Loyalty without truth
is a trail to tyranny.
|Monday, 29 October 2007 at 18h 10m 11s|
Benjamin Franklin quote
"Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools that
don't have brains enough to be honest"
--- Benjamin Franklin
|Thursday, 25 October 2007 at 18h 55m 2s|
Here is a
from the Washington Post ON THE FRONT PAGE dated 2006 July 5th about Ocean
Acidity. Or click here for a google search list of plenty other
prominent stories in news sources like BBC, CNN, The LA Times, The Seattle Post-
Intelligencer, and The Harvard Magazine.
There are even plenty of recent postings over the last month on this topic.
So where is the gat damn media-gopolis on this issue? Those over-paid
lackeys are more worried about Hillary Clinton's cleavage, or whether a hand-
full of baseball players took a supplement 3 years ago that wasn't illegal and
not against baseball rules at the time. Oh wait, the San Francisco Chronicle
did do a story about 3 victims of a violent crime 25 years ago.
Here's synopsis of Ocean Acidity provided by reputable scientists. [SOURCE]
You will want to click the link because the post has plenty of diagrams and
pictures that help explain the phenomenom.
Ocean Acidification, the Other Threat of Rising CO2
By Crystal Davis on Tuesday, October 2, 2007.
Fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes release over six billion metric
tons of carbon into the atmosphere each year. The consequences of these
greenhouse gas emissions are often discussed in terms of rising global
temperatures, but global warming is not the only threat from increased
atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2). Ocean acidification, which
occurs when CO2 in the atmosphere reacts with water to create carbonic acid,
has already increased ocean acidity by 30 percent (Doney, 2006). Although the
chemistry of this effect is well understood and not much debated, the full
consequences of ocean acidification for marine ecosystems and human well-being
are only beginning to be revealed.
Oceans and the Global Carbon Cycle
The ocean plays a critical role in the global carbon cycle: the amount of
carbon stored in the ocean is roughly 50 times greater than that in the
atmosphere (see Figure 2). At the surface, the ocean interacts constantly with
the atmosphere to absorb and release carbon dioxide. Once absorbed, a carbon
atom will remain in the ocean for hundreds of years, circulating from the
ocean's surface to its depths and back to the surface again. A small amount of
this absorbed carbon will descend to the ocean floor in the form of dead marine
organisms, where it is then trapped within deep ocean sediments. Overall, the
ocean acts as a carbon sink, with a net intake of approximately two billion
metric tons of carbon per year, equivalent to one-third of annual anthropogenic
emissions (Royal Society, 2005).
CO2 Emissions and Ocean Acidification
With the rise of atmospheric CO2 concentrations from the pre-industrial level
of 280 parts per million to 379 parts per million in 2005 (IPCC, 2007), the
amount of carbon in the ocean has increased substantially and rapidly. Global
data collected over several decades indicate that the oceans have absorbed at
least half of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions that have occurred since 1750
(Sabine et. al., 2004). This carbon dioxide has combined with water to form
carbonic acid, which, like all acids, releases hydrogen ions (H+) into
solution, making ocean surface water 30 percent more acidic on average.
Depending on the extent of future CO2 emissions and other factors, the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2007) predicts that ocean acidity
could increase by 150 percent by 2100 (see Figure 3).
Understanding the pH Scale
The pH scale, ranging from zero to 14, is used by scientists to measure the
acidity or alkalinity (a.k.a. basicity) of a solution, which is determined by
the concentration of hydrogen ions, where more H+ indicates greater acidity.
Solutions with a value of seven are considered neutral (such as pure water),
with lower values being more acidic and higher values being more alkaline. The
pH of pristine seawater ranges between 8 and 8.3, indicating that the ocean is
naturally somewhat alkaline, although deeper and colder water tends to be more
acidic. Due to the nature of the pH scale, a 30 percent increase in ocean
acidity corresponds to a decrease of only 0.1 pH units.
Potential Impacts on Marine Organisms
A 150 percent increase in ocean acidity would be undetectable to the average
human, but certain marine organisms including mollusks, crustaceans, reef-
forming corals and some species of algae and phytoplankton are particularly
vulnerable to small changes in pH. These species, known as "marine calcifiers,"
all create skeletons or shells out of calcium carbonate. The essential building
block for this process is the carbonate ion, but when combined with hydrogen
ions released by carbonic acid, it is rendered useless for shell-building
organisms. The concentration of carbonate ions is expected to decline by half
during this century due to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (Orr et.
Marine calcifiers face a second challenge: their calcium carbonate shells
dissolve in environments that are too acidic. In fact, some deep, cold ocean
waters are naturally too acidic for marine calcifiers to survive, meaning that
these organisms only exist above a certain depth known as the "saturation
horizon." With ocean acidification, the saturation horizon is expected to shift
closer to the surface by 50 to 200 meters relative to its position during the
1800s (Doney, 2006). The Southern and Arctic oceans, which are colder and
therefore naturally more acidic, may become entirely inhospitable for organisms
with shells made from aragonite--one of the weaker mineral forms of calcium
carbonate--by the end of this century (EUR-OCEANS, 2007).
Potential impacts on harvested species like fishes and squids are more
uncertain. One area of concern is acidosis, or the build-up of carbonic acid in
body fluids, which can disrupt growth, respiration and reproduction. An
indirect but perhaps more certain consequence is that many species will suffer
from the loss of marine calcifiers, which provide essential food and habitat
(including coral reefs) for countless ocean dwellers.
Uncertainties Highlight Need for Additional Research
Scientists are still unclear about the full consequences of ocean
acidification. Several lab studies that have investigated the effects of
increased acidity on marine calcifiers have found concerning results, but
theories regarding impacts at the ecosystem level remain speculative. Effects
on human well-being, both through lost fisheries and recreational potential,
are also unknown.
Despite our lack of knowledge, the trend of ocean acidification is undeniably
concerning, especially considering the devastating consequences that acid rain
had on freshwater ecosystems during the 20th century. Furthermore, the ocean is
currently undergoing other potentially dangerous changes, including warming,
sea level rise, pollution and overfishing. The rapid pace at which these
changes are occurring, and the fact that they are happening simultaneously,
threatens to disrupt the ocean's well-balanced physical, chemical and
biological processes faster than they can adapt.
Once the ocean's pH has been lowered, it will take thousands of years to
reverse. Thus, reducing carbon dioxide emissions will be critical to minimizing
future ocean acidification. Even if emissions are reduced, however, the ocean
will inevitably continue to undergo significant human-induced changes
throughout this century. To prepare for these changes, we will need scientific
research to enhance our knowledge of complex ocean processes and ecosystem
interactions. Furthermore, ocean resource and fisheries managers, with the
support of improved scientific understanding, must be alert to early warning
signs of ecosystem decline and take precautionary measures to protect
Now I wonder ... is the reason the Television and print news media don't bang
on this truth due to the need to allow morons on air to continually harp about
the need to have "both sides of the issue of global warming."
And what exactly is on the opposite side of the truth?
|Tuesday, 16 October 2007 at 17h 40m 47s|
Republican judges are not conservative
Earlier this month an article
Clarence Thomas as an exemplary Judge, who represents Conservative values when
he asserts legal opinions counter to the First Amendment. In doing so the
author said this was akin to getting students to obey their teachers.
Well, number one, the percentage of disobedient students is no different over
last 100 years. A student who unfurls a banner which says "Bong hits for
Jesus" is not breaking the law despite the scurrilous nature of the wording.
I think an education is in order. Clarence
Thomas was the man Anita Hill
accused of wanton sexual harassment when George HW Bush appointed him to
replace Thurgood Marshall. Thurgood Marshall spent nearly 20 years as a
prominent civil rights attorney and argued many cases before the Supreme
Court. Thomas on the other hand, was an assistant to Attorney General Danforth
Missouri for 3 years. He followed Danforth to the Senate until 1981, and was an
attorney for the Monsanto company from 1977 to 1979. In
the 80's he was routinely appointed as a bureaucratic official to various
positions in the Department of Education before he was named to head the office
of Equal Employment opportunity for about 8 years during the Reagan and Bush
Despite his brief tenure as a Monsanto lawyer, Thomas had minimal experience as
an attorney before he was appointed to the
Supreme Court, and yet of all the qualified candidates, Mr. Thomas was chosen
to replace Thurgood Marshall. Huhn? Do you replace Alex Rodriguez with Cindy
Lauper and call it equal?
Funny how you don't mention the other appointments by beloved Rethuglican
Presidents : Antonina Scalia, John
Roberts, and Tony Alioto.
The Three Justices of Primordial Sin
Scalia sees no
problem going on hunting trips and attending fund-raisers by the very
individuals who are being tried in his court as defendants. Scalia wrote the
Supreme Court decision which overturned the Florida Courts because counting all
the votes was a temporary "threat" to the Democracy.
Alioto is the Federal Circuit Court Judge who saw a case concerning a firm in
which he had large financial investments, and then refused to recuse himself
from the case, despite his statement before the Senate that he would recuse
himself in such a situation. Alioto likes to create legal precidents out of
thin air, and is the man who has concocted the "theory of the unitary
executive" which President Bush uses to justify his plethora of signing
statements which he thinks obliterates his obligation to obey the laws passed
And Roberts is the corporatist judge who has spent his entire legal career
catering to the Multinational corporate business interests. He presides over
legal decisions that overturns local laws that attempt to enforce local
regulations, and ignores legal precidents. He advised the Republican legal
teams on their belligerent tactics during the Florida fiasco of 2000-2001,
which included flying staffers of Tom Delay on Enron jets to scream and shout
outside of West Palm Beach while the law was being followed in an open
But that's the kind of judges you get when you elect Republican presidents
nowadays. Corrupt, biased, hypocritical, and authoritarian.
|Monday, 8 October 2007 at 5h 24m 36s|
El Dia del Diablo
Nancy Scola is the excellent blogger over at Air America.
She is worth a constant
read, for those of you who are so inclined.
However, the following is an excerpt that Nancy posted from someone else. It
is written by Thom Hartmann.
most excellent; gold constitutes treasure; and he who has it does all he wants
in the world, and can even lift souls up to Paradise."
-- Christopher Columbus, 1503 letter to the king and queen of Spain.
Columbus not only opened the door to a New World, but also set an example for
us all by showing what monumental feats can be accomplished through
perseverance and faith."
--George H.W. Bush, 1989 speech
If you fly over the country of Haiti on the island of Hispaniola, the island
on which Columbus landed, it looks like somebody took a blowtorch and burned
away anything green. Even the ocean around the port capital of Port au Prince
is choked for miles with the brown of human sewage and eroded topsoil. From the
air, it looks like a lava flow spilling out into the sea.
The history of this small island is, in many ways, a microcosm for what's
happening in the whole world.
When Columbus first landed on Hispaniola in 1492, virtually the entire
island was covered by lush forest. The Taino "Indians" who loved there had an
apparently idyllic life prior to Columbus, from the reports left to us by
literate members of Columbus's crew such as Miguel Cuneo.
When Columbus and his crew arrived on their second visit to Hispaniola,
however, they took captive about two thousand local villagers who had come out
to greet them. Cuneo wrote: "When our caravels… where to leave for Spain, we
gathered…one thousand six hundred male and female persons of those Indians, and
these we embarked in our caravels on February 17, 1495…For those who remained,
we let it be known (to the Spaniards who manned the island's fort) in the
vicinity that anyone who wanted to take some of them could do so, to the amount
desired, which was done."
Cuneo further notes that he himself took a beautiful teenage Carib girl as
his personal slave, a gift from Columbus himself, but that when he attempted to
have sex with her, she "resisted with all her strength." So, in his own words,
he "thrashed her mercilessly and raped her."
While Columbus once referred to the Taino Indians as cannibals, a story made
up by Columbus - which is to this day still taught in some US schools - to help
justify his slaughter and enslavement of these people. He wrote to the Spanish
monarchs in 1493: "It is possible, with the name of the Holy Trinity, to sell
all the slaves which it is possible to sell...Here there are so many of these
slaves, and also brazilwood, that although they are living things they are as
good as gold..."
Columbus and his men also used the Taino as sex slaves: it was a common
reward for Columbus' men for him to present them with local women to rape. As
he began exporting Taino as slaves to other parts of the world, the sex-slave
trade became an important part of the business, as Columbus wrote to a friend
in 1500: "A hundred castellanoes (a Spanish coin) are as easily obtained for a
woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who
go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten (years old) are now in
However, the Taino turned out not to be particularly good workers in the
plantations that the Spaniards and later the French established on Hispaniola:
they resented their lands and children being taken, and attempted to fight back
against the invaders. Since the Taino where obviously standing in the way of
Spain's progress, Columbus sought to impose discipline on them. For even a
minor offense, an Indian's nose or ear was cut off, se he could go back to his
village to impress the people with the brutality the Spanish were capable of.
Columbus attacked them with dogs, skewered them with pikes, and shot them.
Eventually, life for the Taino became so unbearable that, as Pedro de
Cordoba wrote to King Ferdinand in a 1517 letter, "As a result of the
sufferings and hard labor they endured, the Indians choose and have chosen
suicide. Occasionally a hundred have committed mass suicide. The women,
exhausted by labor, have shunned conception and childbirth… Many, when
pregnant, have taken something to abort and have aborted. Others after delivery
have killed their children with their own hands, so as not to leave them in
such oppressive slavery."
Eventually, Columbus and later his brother Bartholomew Columbus who he left
in charge of the island, simply resorted to wiping out the Taino altogether.
Prior to Columbus' arrival, some scholars place the population of
Haiti/Hispaniola (now at 16
million) at around 1.5 to 3 million people. By 1496, it was down to 1.1
million, according to a census done by Bartholomew Columbus. By 1516, the
indigenous population was 12,000, and according to Las Casas (who were there)
by 1542 fewer than 200 natives were alive. By 1555, every single one was
This wasn't just the story of Hispaniola; the same has been done to
indigenous peoples worldwide. Slavery, apartheid, and the entire concept of
conservative Darwinian Economics, have been used to justify continued suffering
by masses of human beings.
Dr. Jack Forbes, Professor of Native American Studies at the University of
California at Davis and author of the brilliant book "Columbus and Other
Cannibals," uses the Native American word wétiko (pronounced WET-ee-ko) to
describe the collection of beliefs that would produce behavior like that of
Columbus. Wétiko literally means "cannibal," and Forbes uses it quite
intentionally to describe these standards of culture: we "eat" (consume) other
humans by destroying them, destroying their lands, taking their natural
resources, and consuming their life-force by enslaving them either physically
or economically. The story of Columbus and the Taino is just one example.
We live in a culture that includes the principle that if somebody else has
something we need, and they won't give it to us, and we have the means to kill
them to get it, it's not unreasonable to go get it, using whatever force we
In the United States, the first "Indian war" in New England was the "Pequot
War of 1636," in which colonists surrounded the largest of the Pequot villages,
set it afire as the sun began to rise, and then performed their duty: they shot
everybody-men, women, children, and the elderly-who tried to escape. As Puritan
colonist William Bradford described the scene: "It was a fearful sight to see
them thus frying in the fire and the streams of blood quenching the same, and
horrible was the stink and scent thereof; but the victory seemed a sweet
sacrifice, and they [the colonists] gave praise therof to God, who had wrought
The Narragansetts, up to that point "friends" of the colonists, were so
shocked by this example of European-style warfare that they refused further
alliances with the whites. Captain John Underhill ridiculed the Narragansetts
for their unwillingness to engage in genocide, saying Narragansett wars with
other tribes were "more for pastime, than to conquer and subdue enemies."
In that, Underhill was correct: the Narragansett form of war, like that of
most indigenous Older Culture peoples, and almost all Native American tribes,
does not have extermination of the opponent as a goal. After all, neighbors are
necessary to trade with, to maintain a strong gene pool through intermarriage,
and to insure cultural diversity. Most tribes wouldn't even want the lands of
others, because they would have concerns about violating or entering the sacred
or spirit-filled areas of the other tribes. Even the killing of "enemies" is
not most often the goal of tribal "wars": It's most often to fight to some pre-
determined measure of "victory" such as seizing a staff, crossing a particular
line, or the first wounding or surrender of the opponent.
This wétiko type of theft and warfare is practiced daily by farmers and
ranchers worldwide against wolves, coyotes, insects, animals and trees of the
rainforest; and against indigenous tribes living in the jungles and
rainforests. It is our way of life. It comes out of our foundational cultural
So it should not surprise us that with the doubling of the world's
population over the past 37 years has come an explosion of violence and
brutality, and as the United States runs low on oil, we are now fighting wars
in oil-rich parts of the world. It shouldn't surprise us that our churches are
using violent "kill the infidels" video games to lure in
children, while in parts of Africa contaminated by our culture and rich in oil
(Congo) rape has become so widespread as to make the front page of yesterday's New York Times.
These are all dimensions, after all, our history, which we celebrate on
Columbus Day. But if we wake up, and we help the world wake up, it need not be
Thank you Thom Hartmann. For those interested in Journalism, you have just
lucrative example of how Journalism explains and makes relevant to the present.
|Sunday, 30 September 2007 at 16h 0m 55s|
The end of September
Brings the end of the baseball season, the beginning of the October playoffs,
and the reminder that Halloween is right around the corner. Along with the
invasion (or incident) with Iran. Why else would it be necessary to craft a
provision to an spending authorization which made a statement of agressive acts
towards Iran seem like an act of diplomacy merely by adding Secretary Gates
sentence which states diplomacy is the preferred option. How many more billions
and trillions will be wasted as a salve to some mindless ultra patriots ego.
But on a more pleasant note, napsters won in both leagues.
|Thursday, 27 September 2007 at 17h 7m 10s|
Mayor Bloomberg speaks
I Feel like what's going on in Iraq right now is
like 1776, except this time ... we're the British.
-- Mike Bloomberg, mayor of New York City
27 September 2007.
|Wednesday, 26 September 2007 at 5h 20m 18s|
The 2007 Yahoo Fantasy Baseball Championships
And now for the moment you all didn't realize you've been
Yep, that's my team, Nawlins Napsters, somehow brutally hitting the ball
everywhere while my pitching staff holds on. I had a better pitching staff
last year when I took first place. This year I've been pretty lucky. My
friend Chris deserves to be in the finals instead of me, but I lucked out and
beat him 5-5 because I had a better ranking all year. I won the WHIP category
by 0.12, and suddenly Napsters gets to defend the championship.
It was fate Chris ... and a lights out 8th inning by Gagne.
|Saturday, 22 September 2007 at 14h 11m 51s|
Today I come home, and right outside my apartment building, in the 12 foot by 9
foot long corridor where the mailboxes are located, there were 4 Korean Jehovah
Witnesses. The youngest, a 35-ish gentleman wearing a suit and tie, asked me
if I was Korean when I walked by and greeted them. Now I look nothing like
Korean, so I joked that he was a "comedian." Everyone laughed.
Now of course, I knew and anticipated that the young man was actually trying to
find a way to have a discussion about God or something religious. And sure
enough, the Korean man approached me and asked me if "I thought God was
responsible for all of the modern ills and crises," holding up an "Awake"
magazine with a darkened fireman figure amidst a fiery background, the
title "Is God responsible for the crisis of modern times?"
Eerie Halloween music came to my imagination. Quick, the time has come to
worship God before Armaggedom brings doom to all mankind.
I smiled though, and shared with the gentlemen my own perspective.
"No, we are responsible. All of us. The Great Spirit runs through things,
pervades all things, big and small. We are all connected to, not disjoint from,
the Great Spirit. If we perhaps see a reflection of ourselves in the crises of
modernity, it is only because we ourselves have disconnected from the Great
I continued. "I think you and I see things similarly in a lot of ways, but we
are however, not 100% in agreement on everything. But I respect what you do."
I then smiled, and the Korean gentlemen bowed, in that Asian way that conveys
|Friday, 14 September 2007 at 17h 2m 31s|
My life's philosophy
The great spirit runs through all things, large and small, pervading
everything, surrounding all things, connected to all things like a thread,
everyone and everything attached but yet not attached, connected and yet still
disjoint. Separation occurs through lack of understanding, from confusion,
from the misunderstanding of an original fear, from an insecurity concealed
which has transfigured into an alterego. The great spirit -- what some would
trivialise as "God" -- is everywhere, connecting everyone,and yet the
dissolution of the human race exists and remains ongoing. All of us are
equally responsible for the relationship we have with the inate unity, but
nevertheless, our awareness may not be coexistent with the fundamental truths
of our actual existence. And yet the spirit which runs through all things great
and small still exists.
I have a phrase that I repeat to myself everytime I meditate. Here it is.
"Oh great spirit, please come down into me and show me the things about myself
that I can not see, and teach me the ways to make the most beneficial
influences upon all persons and things."
I've been doing this kind of meditation since I was 22 years old.
Psst. Don't tell anyone. I'm 38 years old.
|Wednesday, 5 September 2007 at 21h 52m 41s|
Nawlins Napsters 2007 edition
Last year, the Nawlins Napsters won the 2006 Yahoo league.
This year ? We'll have to see. My two stud pitchers have hit the injury
knockout -- Cole Hamels and Erik Bedard. I made a stupid trade to grab Julio
Lugo that cost me Justin Verlander, so I deserve to lose. But baseball is
funny. I might get lucky.
Anyway, here are the standings and playoff schedule.
At least I was first place.
By the way, my good friend Chris is Chris Carthage. He's beat my butt bad both
times we met all year, and next week we might meet for the final rematch.
Dum da dump dump. Dum da dump dump duhnnnnnnn duhn.
Sound of a cool Pink Panther theme jazz beat ....
That includes you Kristen.
GOTO THE NEXT 10 COLUMNS