If FOX was a fair journalistic outlet, would they really so blatantly provide a platform for a muckraker to promote her book without even posting a rebuttal, or even, ya know, asking the IPCC to comment on their hit piece?
Apparently, FOX News is the most watched news channel, and yet employs NO fact checkers. I would say this is gross journalistic misconduct, but that would be giving a little too much credit to the source. http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/11/07/almost-nothing-weve-been-told-about-ipcc-is-actually-true/
They refuse to report on the oil-industry-funded report that confirms global warming is real (http://www.cbs12.com/news/muller-4736353-climate-warming.html), but will give air time to some schlock like this?
BTW, from the google search I just did for the Muller report still revealed lots of distorted websites. I guess the internet is not the place to be looking for scientific information.
Another thought: one of many things that pisses me off about the Tea Party is their absolute disregard for historical context and huge boners over anything Revolutionary-war sounding. The American Revolution was fought (or so I thought) in a very different context in which we are in today. It had nothing to do with Communism, a response to the Industrial Revolution that was still decades away. Yes, our government does many things the founding fathers never imagined it would do, but society has gotten alot more complicated, and they gave us a government that could respond to that. The Constitution was written when no one had heard of aviation, abortion, or air pollution.
As I think about it though, there are some similarities between America 2011 and America 1770. The Revolution was fought as a response to monarchy (which is gone). But also as a response to the nobility system, and lack of social mobility. It was fought against rule by entities that existed miles away, and extracted money and set rules despite never intending to set foot in your town. Laws were made primarily by and for those who could afford to curry favor with government. There was the notorious invasion of privacy.
Which all seems a little familiar today; I would just argue that corporations have replaced the role of the aristocracy.
From (a different) smart financial analyst-type: “Get close to the biggest pile of money, and just take a small cut.”
The more I read about the economy, the more depressing it gets. You start to realize that what creates wealth in America is not hard work, or entrepreneurship, but very often, having wealth to begin with. If you have $10 million dollars in the bank, you can live comfortably on the interest and not even have to work at all. What is why it is so frustrating that so few people have access to most of the wealth in the country:http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graphAre they rich because they worked harder than every one else, or were smarter or more innovative or provided more value to society? No, they just got closest to the biggest pile of money, by hard work or good fortune, and are surfing on the momentum.
So, I recently asked a question to a friend of mine: an ivy league friend, a really amusing guy, and a Wall Street investment banker. I asked:
“So, how much do you make at your job?” (I meant, what is your salary?)
He said: “Like, last year? Last year I made $160,000. But I better make more than that this year. I’m worth a lot more than that to them.”
He’s 24 years old - barely two years out of college.
I don’t begrudge him his salary. I’m happy for his success, and some day I’d like to know a little bit of what that feels like. From all I can tell, he works alot, and he’s really good at his job. I’m sure he made his company alot more than $160,000 last year. But what he said makes it pretty clear what’s wrong with our economy.
He made his money betting with other people’s money. He did well with the money that happened to fall into his lap, but it’s not anything that he, individually, did that no one else could do. He’s a smart guy who’s been given an enormous lever, and marvels at how strong he is for the work his lever did.
There seems to me to be something wrong with a world where the “economy” - the place where an ever-increasing number of the dollars and cents are - is run by people who have no idea what life is like with a paycheck with less than six figures on it. In other words, people who have a warped concept of what “risk” in the marketplace is.
It’s a little sad how much getting money is tied to having money, not qualifications, ingenuity, or hard work. And, of course, this is at a time when unemployment is around 9%, the hangover of financial market excess and failure.
Courtesy to Rebekah Sanderlin for providing some perspective on bin Laden’s death: http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/03/we-got-him/
As bin Laden’s death provides a coda on our tumultuous, decade-long affair with taking over Middle Eastern countries, it only seems appropriate to pause and reflect on how far we’ve come, what we have done, and what 9/11 has done to us. We’ve probably all seen the footage of kids partying in New York at the news of bin Laden’s assassination (watching the media, you’d think all celebrations happen in New York). We’ve probably all vicariously imagined the kill shot in our heads. And while spontaneous celebration at this asshole’s death is perfectly warranted, it should also be tempered by some reflection of 9/11: all we lost that day, and all we’ve lost since. Allow me to raise an unpopular suggestion:
We need the draft.
Not immediately: our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are closing down, but years from over. And mostly they have been handled by highly motivated, professional soldiers. Sending an influx of kids to war right now would probably actually hamper our military’s ability to conclude their missions.
But it is something we should consider the next time we take over a country. Not when bombarding Libya with Tomahawk cruise missiles or sending 20 SEALs into Pakistan for a surgical strike, but invading a country, toppling its government, and rebuilding one of our own.
The draft should be instated the next time we need to have serious boots on the ground and American lives in danger. The next time that we have 100,000 or 200,000 or 300,000 troops deployed overseas, we should have a draft. If the president or his administration can look at a nation and tell them we face an existential threat on the level of Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, we need a draft. Because the way we fight wars today doesn’t work. Repeat: for nation-building, a volunteer army doesn’t work.
Never in our country’s history have we asked for such a huge sacrifice from so few. Less than 1% of the US population fought overseas in a war we were told had to be fought for the very existence of our country. A recruiter once told me their schedule was one year abroad, two at home. In Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers have served double or even triple deployments. The Surge in Iraq restored order, but at a tremendous cost. Our military was so overtaxed that we had no credible military threat against Iran’s nuclear program, and the statistics on veterans’ mental health tell a story of broken families, drug addiction, homelessness, and post traumatic stress disorder. An American History of the 2000’s would be of a few million who made enormous sacrifices abroad, and a few hundred million who went about their daily lives.
A very good point can be made that drafted soldiers don’t fight as well as volunteers; they suffer higher casualties and defection rates. This is absolutely true. But our military uses Navy SEALS, Army Rangers, Marines, and other positions for special missions. In a 200,000 troop deployment, some positions could easily be filled by soldiers on the other side of the spectrum.
The reason we didn’t have a draft, of course, is because no one wants to be ordered to fight overseas. Politicians know this. But that has let us ignore the sacrifices our country made, in human lives and dollars. Since it doesn’t affect most of us, we don’t hear the names Marja, Fallujah, Tora Bora… at least, not every. single. day.
We often hear politicians (the most self-righteous class of our polity) say “I support our troops.” That means one thing when it’s putting a magnetic yellow ribbon (don’t damage your paint job!) on your bumper. It means something else entirely when it’s wearing black to your neighbor’s funeral.
A draft aligns our priorities with our country’s priorities: not what we wish they were. If call yourself a liberal, you probably “opposed” the war in Iraq. Did you get arrested in an act of conscientious objection to the war? Odds are very long against it. If the alternative was you (or somebody you love) serving two tours in Anbar province, would you have acted more strongly?
This week is a good opportunity to ask yourself what you contributed to the war effort. Our country (we) made a huge commitment in Iraq and Afghanistan. Have you even donated your tax cut to a veteran’s organization?
The last time we had a draft was in Vietnam, and the result was enormous social unrest. But at least everyone gave a shit. Thanks to the volunteers who gave a shit this decade and onward: next time, I hope there are more.
Not sure if this is going to work, but if it does…
This is the Pennsylvania State HS swimming championships. This kid’s in fucking high school. Unbelievable.
This post by Bryan Walsh is about a month old, but its still spot on the money as our officials can’t agree on a budget. Academic/professional studies clearly aren’t the basis of any of our legislator’s positions - it seems to be all about pre-disposed priorities. which raises the question:
Can you really buy into apocalyptic warnings about government debt while insisting there is no risk in burning through all the fossil fuels we can find?
Food for thought.