Featuring new fiction from Ken Brosky and author authors, as well as occasional political commentary whenever something really important happens. But mostly fiction.
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Let's have a little fun today. Today we're going to take a look at a conservative hit piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and we're going to dissect it. We're going to take it apart and examine it much in the same way you might examine a frog in Science class. Why do we examine frogs in science class? Why, to learn from them, of course! So it goes with this particular editorial. We're going to learn about it so we can more readily identify hit pieces in the future (and there are a LOT of hit pieces out there). This is going to be a great time.
John McCain's vote against Martin Luther King Day was no mistake, and you need to understand this because race plays a BIG role in the modern conservative movement. It plays a big role because the modern conservatives first began in the late 50's to play on the racism of white Americans in order to turn what was once a very tiny sliver of the Republican Party into what we now know as the GOP.
There was a time, in the mid-fifties, where white voters in the south were just as likely to vote Democrat or Republican. The reason they did so was because, from the late 30's through the 50's, Republicans had generally accepted the successful policies of the New Deal. Republicans HAD to accept these policies because they, along with pro-labor, pro-union reform, America had reached what economist Paul Krugman refers to as "The Great Compression," a society where financial inequality was at its lowest in our nation's history. Everyone was beginning to benefit, thanks in no small part to the large union movement (helped by the government's pro-labor reform), which helped guarantee fair wages for union members and had the effect of positively affecting wages in competing non-union jobs.
Patriotism is not blindly following leaders. Patriotism means finding the truth and always questioning, no matter what. What's happening in Iraq belongs to the Bush administration. No presidential administration will ever come close to this one, but that won't stop neoconservative historians from whitewashing history. I strongly encourage you to watch Bush's War on Frontline. Know the truth behind this war, and understand that the Bush administration will not fix this problem. The Bush administration will pass this trillion-dollar quagmire onto the next president, and there will be no easy solution.
Try to count how many laws were broken. Count how many lies were told, how little planning went into the post-invasion, how little intelligence there was. Learn from this.
Well, here we go! It's time for the weekend homework, and this week I'm going to provide you with a number of links to Web sites that you can use again and again. I'll try and do this again in the future, but for now, this will give you a great head start. Bookmark these.
Given it's Earth Day/Week (depending on who you talk to), I thought I'd pick out a few of the best articles I've found on Climate Progress that might be of interest.
Let's talk about Global Warming Denial within the U.S. Congress, specifically Senator Inhofe. For those of you who don't know Senator Inhofe, he gained a lot of media attention for releasing the "Inhofe 400," a list of 400 scientists who allegedly believed global warming was false. There's only one problem: most of the 400 have been thoroughly debunked. Not only have a majority of the scientists been completely debunked for various reasons, still more are actually coming out and REQUESTING to be taken off the list. Why? Because they believe global warming exists, and that it's caused partly by human beings. They don't want to be on the list!
But I digress. How about those scientists who argue that global warming is a hoax? Let's take a look at one--Chris Allen, a weather director from an ABC affiliate in southern Kentucky--from The Grist:
I'm going to write about this once more later in the week, but for now take a look at this link:
To be fair, it's mostly an island of plastic. And if you've heard about it, you're one of the few. Despite the fact that this particular island is twice the size of Texas, very few people even know it exists, unless you live on a shore in the western Pacific Ocean where the garbage has a tendency to wash ashore on.
How was it created? Natural ocean currents have a tendency to gather the garbage from various parts of the Pacific Ocean and take all of it to one particular place, where it swirls and remains mostly stuck in one place, occasionally drifting to the nearby shores and polluting them with a thick sludge of plastic products. At one place in the "island," plastic can be measured at one million parts per square mile.
Sure, Sean Penn's a great actor, but when it comes to other issues, he's about as dense as granite (that means "very" if Sean Penn happens to be reading this). He's going around the country as we speak talking about the wonders of biofuels.
Biofuels are nothing to write home about. At the stage they're currently in, they're not very energy efficient and they have a tendency to drive up the costs of other food-based products. Is there potential? Absolutely. In fact, with the right funding, biodiesel can become a true competitive commodity. But not right now. Right now, biodiesel is not a good option.
At first, looking at the most current information by the Republican Party (and from incumbant Republican Senator Norm Coleman himself), it looks like Al Franken is a tax dodger, a hypocritical liberal who has gone out of his way to not pay his taxes. Even CBS picked up the story from the Politico and it suggests that this could possibly be a problem.
There's only one problem: Al did pay all of his income taxes, he just did it in the wrong state. And here's another thing: why, exactly, would Al Franken pay ALL of his income taxes in New York state and Minnesota if he was trying scam the government? Given that there are 17 other states demanding income taxes from him, and at least half of them have lower income taxes, wouldn't it have been more devious of him to pay taxes in those states instead, since it would be less than paying them in NY and MN?