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dailykos July 13 2014, 13:10

Votes, paid for in blood


Nothing is more fundamental in our democracy than our right to vote. We are witnesses today to attacks on that hard-won right—by Republicans across the nation—and nowhere is it more apparent than in North Carolina, home to the spreading Moral Monday Movement, which is fighting back against voter suppression.

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, and architect of the Moral Monday's Forward Together Movement, spoke eloquently last Monday about the price we have paid to earn that right. His speech was given at a rally in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to launch Moral Freedom Summer 2014 and the Moral March to the Polls campaign.

He reminded us that our votes were paid for with blood.

The blood of field workers, the blood of the lynched and beaten, the blood of the martyrs of generations fighting for civil rights and that "the hands that once picked cotton now pick a president, a governor and the legislature."

He quoted scripture and Harlem Renaissance poet Claude McCay: "If we must die—oh, let us nobly die, so that our precious blood may not be shed in vain."

He said, "We are fighting for rights that came through the blood and they can’t be given up now."

Follow me below the fold for more on the movement.

dailykos July 13 2014, 11:40

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Maureen Dowd breaks the BS meter edition


You know, it would be 100% less frustrating if Dowd hadn't shown that she's capable of writing clean, athletic prose. If she wasn't capable of finding the nugget of truth hiding behind a political smokescreen. If she didn't occassionally show she was capable of dealing with issues on a level that exceeds soundbites.  But because she does, now and then, demonstrate some capability, it makes it mouth-foamingly, hair-pullingly, teeth-grindingly painful when she slips into her snarky, Mean Girls persona and spends the column inches awarded her by the nation's most prestigious paper tossing out lines better suited to notes being passed in the back row of seventh grade social studies.

And this week, for her outstanding achievement in attacking — not a piece of legislation, not a political position, not a politician — but the daughter of a politician who is not running for any office, Dowd has achieved an honor previously reserved for "Never Cry Rape" George Will.  She is outta here.  

I will not summarize, link to, or even read her column. Naturally, you're free to do so if you feel so inclined. Just leave me out of it.

Of course in this same week, Ross Douthat has spent his precious column inches on making a disjointed ramble through history that ends with a more than slightly dubious argument based on the actions of a single basketball player. Because it's Douthat, a certain level of trite self-important idiocy and points drawn together by logical leaps that would have daunted Evel Knievel is expected. At least the man is consistent.

Let me pause just one moment to make an appeal... Really, New York Times, is this the quality if writing you want from your weekend editorial page? Really?

Now, come inside. Let's see if there's not something out there worth reading...

sf_signal_fd July 13 2014, 05:54

MOVIE REVIEW: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)



REVIEW SUMMARY: A worthy sequel to 2011’s reboot of the classic franchise that often surprises with strong characters and a certain amount of insight even as its climax underwhelms.


SYNOPSIS: After a virus has wiped out much of humanity, a surviving population of humans attempts to seek a truce with intelligent apes to help rebuild civilization.

PROS: Often engaging script; well-crafted action sequences; beautifully realized post-apocalyptic landscape, and of course the apes.
CONS: Competent direction from Matt Reeves that takes too few chances after its powerful opening; social commentary on occasion feels forced; bland human characters.

Sometime after Malcolm (Jason Clarke) meets Caesar (Andy Serkis) to establish an interspecies truce so that the last vestiges of humanity occupying the remains of San Francisco might start a dormant hydroelectric dam to power their community, I forgot that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes used the latest motion-capture technology to bring to life the intelligent chimpanzee through Serkis’s movements.  Cinema has progressed far from the makeup that brought the simian inhabitants Franklin J. Schaffner’s Planet of the Apes to life in 1968.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes renders Caesar, Koba (Toby Kebbel), Cornelia (Judy Greer), and the other denizens of this sequel to a reboot so seamlessly with its actors and post-apocalyptic setting that the entire movie feels as if it were shot in the uncanniest of valleys.  One might encourage potential moviegoers to purchase a ticket simply to marvel at the realizations of this twenty-first century ape planet.

Fortunately, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes offers pleasures beyond the visual, building on 2011’s surprisingly good Rise of the Planet of the Apes to create an effective, if not always stylistically or intellectually innovative, science fiction thriller that occasionally stands above standard summer fare.  Unfortunately, the end product, fine though it is, appears to indicate some form of compromise reached during its crafting.  The movie’s opening moments, from the breathtaking title sequence (in which news reports detail the spread of the ALZ-113 virus, which increase the intelligence of apes yet kill humans, while the world’s hot zones glow red, then finally dim and go dark) to a hunting expedition conducted by the apes in Muir Woods (which occurs without dialogue), provide glimpses of the world without us filmed with skill and no small artistry.  It almost seems a shame when the chimpanzees Blue Eyes (Nick Thurston) and Ash (Doc Shaw) stumble upon the human Carver (Kirk Acevedo) exploring the woods, thus initiating the main conflict.  In a panic, Carver shoots and wounds Ash, leading to a standoff between a team of humans led by Malcolm and apes led by Caesar.  At Caesar’s order, the humans leave, returning to a guarded tower where a cluster of humans genetically immune to the virus have established a community.  The bonobo Koba, mistreated by humans over a decade ago, convinces Caesar to bring the apes to the human city and demand that humans never enter ape territory again.  Malcolm, however, seeks a truce; the hydroelectric dam in ape territory could return humanity to some semblance of pre-ALZ-113 outbreak civilization.  The human leader Dreyfus (Gary Oldman) agrees, but gives Malcolm only three days to establish an accord.

The setup established, director Matt Reeves skillfully works the screenplay by Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver through its paces, though with a professionalism that never becomes genuinely personal.  Reeves, who managed to avoid any real backlash with his agreeable if ultimately disposable remake of Let the Right One In, knows how to blend suspense and humor.  Often he handles the main action competently, creating suspense with some rather unique camera placement, as when an ape seizes control of a tank.  Reeves maintains the point of view of the camera’s spinning turret as the humans within are slaughtered, the tank itself careening into a gate defending a human compound.

And then there are moments when the movie juxtaposes humor and terror.  At one point, Koba, in an attempt to learn about an armory at the human encampment, catches a pair of guards armed with automatic rifles off guard by clowning around in the same manner as Clyde in Every Which Way But Loose.  Even when Koba snatches up a weapon and waves it, Reeves maintains a lighthearted (though uneasy) touch, until Koba pulls the trigger.  These moments of suspense underscore Reeves’s gift for devising crowd-pleasing entertainment, yet, considering the movie’s opening, one cannot help but wonder if some opportunity might have been lost—a wonder exacerbated by the movie’s themes of trust and civilization.  As with the 1970s series, the screenplay touches on some social commentary, at times with grace (the tower that human survivors call home symbolizes the rebuilding of human civilization), but on occasion without subtlety.  When Koba devises a scheme to attack the human’s encampment, Caesar reflects on how few differences exist between the two species.  Though understandable, the contemplation comes across as forced and leaden.

Summer movies seldom require much mention of cast members, so it perhaps surprises no one that the people in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes often hold little interest.  Jason Clarke receives the most screen time, but his Malcolm never sticks into one’s memory, except perhaps because his name might spring from some private joke.  Keri Russell expresses concern and some rationality as Ellie, a former CDC nurse and Malcolm’s partner, but never elevates the material above the merely competent.  The same could be said of Kodi Smit-McPhee, who plays Malcolm’s son Alexander well but with little background and less motivation; his talents, used so well in Reeves’s Let Me In, languish here.  Gary Oldman tries to establish Dreyfus as something of a sympathetic villain, but winds up gnawing scenery, and toothlessly at that.  It matters little, since the actors captured for the ape sequences prove more compelling, both in their motivations and in their emotive abilities.  It underscores what ultimately (if one thinks through the movie’s implications) is a very depressing tale indeed, and makes Dawn of the Planet of the Apes by turns entertaining and chilling.

suvudufeed July 13 2014, 05:30

Gentle Giant’s New ‘Star Wars’ Collectibles Unboxed



Jack Nicholson as Batman villain The Joker once asked, "Where does he get those wonderful toys?" The answer, obviously, is Gentle Giant. Check out these fantastic Star Wars collectibles from the Screen Team, and then head on over to Gentle Giant to grab some of your own. (And maybe a few for me, too. I'm kidding. No I'm not.)

suvudufeed July 13 2014, 05:30

Why The Dystopian Future Of ‘The Forever Man’ Is Closer Than You Think



8bac752ffceaf88319c996bd09e11d40In Pierre Ouellette's dystopian noir The Forever Man, the United States has been left devastated in the wake of a global economic collapse. The very wealthy have access to radical life-extension technology that allows them to live for many decades longer than the common person, and with the government out of the way, they own pretty much everything: schools, police, you name it. What the wealthy don't control, violent criminal gangs do. When Portland, Oregon contract cop Lane Ashton's brother Johnny turns up missing it's up to him to find him. Johnny is bipolar, and when he's manic he can get himself into a lot of trouble unless Lane is around to help him out.  After Lane sets out to find him, he discovers clues that suggest his involvement in an experiment that could have produced the proverbial  "fountain of youth." Could he have done so? Lane will have to find him to find out, but it won't be easy. The Forever Man is a work of fiction, of course, but scientists ]say that some of the worst things in the story are either already here or are practically inevitable, like contract cops and killers. A just published report from a British Ministry of Defense think tank (Global Strategic Trends Out to 2045) predicts many frightening things (mass unemployment and social unrest in response to jobs lost to robots, for example), but perhaps none is more frightening to me than the idea of mega corporations owning their own law enforcement and armies. Lane would be an excellent example of the former.  The same report states that medical science is rapidly advancing to a point where the fabulously rich really will be living longer than the rest of us. (It doesn't say anything about immortality, though.) What's worse is that at least part of the aging gap will be attributable to poorer people living a lot less longer than they did. Read more about the Global Strategic Treneds report here. Another element in the book involves a powerful character who issues his own currency. Well, get ready for a lot of that kind of thing, at least according to the Institute of Economic Affairs. They say that that crypto currencies and other private monetary systems will undoubtedly play a big role in our economic future. Read some more about that report here. Will we see such things in future America? I certainly hope not. Do you?

dailykos July 13 2014, 03:37

College GOP chairman Evan Alvarez explains why he switched to the Democratic Party


Last week Evan Alvarez, Chairman of the Mississippi Federation of College Republicans, resigned from the organization. His letter of resignation was striking. In the letter he made the following statements.

"… When I ran for Chairman in the spring, I ran to be Chairman of the Mississippi Federation of College REPUBLICANS, not the Mississippi Federation of College "Tea Partiers". Also, I believe that the Republican Party has allowed these groups of extremists to have too much of a voice and because of that, the platform of the Republican Party has shifted too far to the right in my opinion. For example, the drastic cuts on needed federal funding that these groups of Republican extremists support would leave society weak and crippled.

Secondly, their far right stance on immigration is not only ignorant, but it is cruel. After all our country is a nation of immigrants and should welcome immigrants from every country. …

Finally, I believe the Republican Party has not done enough to put a stop to the hatred and cruel words and actions of the far right extremists in the party. The Republican Party consistently says they are trying to appeal to minorities, but this will never happen when we allow members of the party to say cruel and ignorant things about Women, African Americans, Hispanics, and other minorities in our country. I simply cannot be a part of an organization that have members who support these far right extremist views, much less be the Chairman of the organization.

Alvarez also gave a heartfelt interview to Lawrence O’Donnell. O'Donnell expressed surprise that Alvarez not only left the Republican Party, but instead of becoming an independent, immediately became a Democrat.

“I was taking some courses at Mississippi State University, Intro to Public Policy and Civil Liberties,” he said.”I really got to do research on the issues that matter to the nation and issues that matter to the people. And I got to look at it from my own perspective. Instead of just saying here is a platform from a Party I have allegiance to, I will actually make my own choice. When I decided to make my own opinion on those issues, they really did not line up with the GOP and they more so line up with the Democratic Party. It was more or less about me saying, doing research on the subjects and drawing my own opinion instead of just blatantly coming out and saying I have an opinion because somebody else does.”

The reality is that if more people did just that, they would not necessarily change parties. After all, a multi-party system is vibrant and allows for the exchange and massage of ideas. If more people used their minds as Alvarez did, more Americans would vote more in line with their economic interests.

dailykos July 13 2014, 02:07

Common Core earns sharp criticism from teachers union that once supported it


Education Secretary Arne Duncan
Education Secretary Arne Duncan and his testing agenda face more criticism from teachers
A week after the National Education Association's Representative Assembly called on Education Secretary Arne Duncan to resign, the American Federation of Teachers is beginning its annual convention, and it, too, is expected to shift to a more aggressive stance against Duncan and the high-stakes testing he pushes. AFT President Randi Weingarten is slated to open the convention with a speech saying "We need a secretary of Education who walks our walk and fights our fight for the tools and resources we need to help children. And we are deeply disappointed that this Department of Education has not lived up to that standard," and a resolution similar to the NEA's may ultimately be introduced. But, separate from the Duncan question, the AFT is significantly shifting its position on Common Core.

The union has in the past actively backed Common Core, then shifted to calling for a moratorium on using Common Core testing in high-stakes ways determining the fates of students and teachers. But:

... the union now plans to give its members grants to critique the academic standards — or to write replacement standards from scratch. [...]

The AFT will also consider a resolution — drafted by its executive council — asserting that the promise of the Common Core has been corrupted by political manipulation, administrative bungling, corporate profiteering and an invalid scoring system designed to ensure huge numbers of kids fail the new math and language arts exams that will be rolled out next spring. An even more pointed resolution flat out opposing the standards will also likely come up for a vote.

Standardized tests aren't the answer for any educational system. Standardized tests that are corporate profit centers and take over the school year really aren't the answer for any educational system. Yet that's what American schools increasingly look like, with even kindergarteners subjected to hours of testing, and companies like Pearson raking in billions of dollars. It's good to see the teachers unions shifting to fight this damage to education more vigorously rather than opting for accommodation in hopes of minimizing the attacks on themselves.
dailykos July 13 2014, 02:07

Missouri man in 21st year of 'life without parole' sentence for marijuana. He needs our help.


Call to action to free Jeff Mizanskey.

The Riverfront Times in St. Louis, Missouri, has done a fantastic job of bringing the case of Jeff Mizanskey to national attention, but this story needs to go wider.

The Riverfront Times highlighted the injustice in this in October 2013 article:

Jeff's troubles began on December 18, 1993, when he drove his friend, Atilano Quintana, to a Super 8 motel in Sedalia to meet two men. Jeff says he thought they were going to meet two men to discuss moving furniture to New Mexico for Quintana's sister, who had recently moved there. To this day, he claims he had no clue Quintana was going there to buy a few pounds of marijuana.

And Quintana didn't know that the two friends who were in the motel with the brick of weed had just been busted the day before -- with thirteen bricks of marijuana -- and were coerced to participate in a sting operation to nab more buyers, which is why there were cops and surveillance equipment in the adjoining room. You can guess what happened next.

Although Quintana was in possession of the package when he and Jeff were arrested and the surveillance video clearly suggests he was the one making the purchase, he was given a ten-year sentence for possession with intent to distribute, a Class B felony.

For the same charge, Jeff, who was busted in 1984 for selling an ounce of pot to an undercover cop and again in 1991 for possession of more than 35 grams of marijuana, got life without parole. He had never before done prison time, never had a violent offense, and his pot convictions did not have aggravating factors, such as involving minors or an illegal firearm. But none of that mattered because of an archaic Missouri law.

Led by Jeff's son, Chris Mizanskey, activists nationwide are saying "enough is enough." Jeff Mizanskey has served 21 years, watching people convicted of more serious violent crimes come and go, many completing their sentences or released on parole.

Jeff Mizanskey's heartbreaking story can be seen here:

Since his sentencing, Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana, 17 states have decriminalized it and two dozen states are considering reform in one way or another in coming months. And according to the Vera Institute of Justice, the average annual cost of incarceration is nearly $32,000, reaching as high as $60,000 in states like New York. Keeping nonviolent offenders like Jeff Mizanskey locked up for decades, based on antiquated laws, doesn't make moral or fiscal sense.

Jeff Mizanskey has more than paid his dues. It is time for Jeff Mizanskey to have his freedom back.

dailykos July 12 2014, 23:07

Open thread: Blood, souls and normalcy


What's coming up on Sunday Kos ...

  • Votes - paid for in blood, by Denise Oliver Velez
  • Supreme Court cases I'd like to see, by Jon Perr
  • SCOTUS sold your soul to the company store, by Mark E Andersen
  • Daily Kos Elections Power Rankings: The Senate (Summer Edition), by Steve Singiser
  • The privilege of normalcy, by Ian Reifowitz
  • Primary-palooza: A look at 2014's remaining primary races, by Darth Jeff
  • Obama to GOP: "I am the guy doing my job. You must be the other guy," by Egberto Willies
dailykos July 12 2014, 23:07

Undeterred by failure, Kochs try another Obamacare lie


Bless their hearts, they're going to keep on trying with this Obamacare repeal thing. That's their latest ad, running in Louisiana against Sen. Mary Landrieu. And it's, well, problematic, as usual.
The conservative outside group Americans for Prosperity has a new attack ad out hitting Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) that features veterans asking if the federal government can't efficiently "run healthcare for 8 million veterans" then how can Obamacare work for the whole country? […]

"All we asked was to be cared for if we needed it," Keith B., one of the veterans featured in the video, said.

Another veteran, identified as Air Force Veteran Murphy J., near the end of the ad said "tell Mary Landrieu fix healthcare for veterans before forcing Obamacare on the rest of the country."

Let's start with the obvious. The similarity between the VA health system and Obamacare stops after the part where they both have doctors and nurses and prescription drugs and buildings. The VA is providing health care to veterans. Obamacare is providing health insurance so people can afford to go to the same doctors and nurses and buildings that were there before the law. No change, except more people get to do that going-to-the-doctor thing. There's also the part about the VA isn't going to be running any part of Obamacare, at all.

Instead, let's talk about the fact that the Kochs and their Republican lackeys have managed to deny any kind of health care to more than 250,000 veterans who aren't getting health care at all because their states' Republican leaders refused Medicaid expansion. You want scandal? You want a travesty? Start with that.

cherie_priest July 12 2014, 22:50

So he told them his scheme for a saviour machine



Here’s recent progress on my witchy art-deco horror novel about Lizzie Borden thirty years after her parents’ deaths – now featuring ghosts and non-ghosts alike, anti-Catholic conspiracy nuts, supernatural political shenanigans, the mafia, and a Bonus! space-worshiping murder cult hiding behind the KKK:

    Project: Chapelwood
    Deadline: October 1, 2014
    New words written: 4243 (multi-day total)
    Present total word count: 98,252

    Things accomplished in fiction: Planned an escape; tried to recover from a ghostly setback.

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunts with dog; writer business including (but not limited to) arrangement details re: BuboniCon and the Santa Fe event; started getting ready for an old friend’s visit; had a different old friend over with her wee dog Fiona for a playdate and catching-up time. Many dog-cuddles were delivered upon that day.

    Other: I didn’t get any writing done yesterday, so my word count is a 2-day total between Thursday and today. It’s better than a 1k/day average, but not much better. I’d really like to crack 100k tomorrow (preferably beyond that), in order to clear up a little goofing-off time for my friend’s visit; mind you, I’ll still need to take an hour or two each day for business (at least), but I don’t know how much actual writing will occur while she’s here. And remember: the goal is to have a full Draft Zero of Chapelwood before I leave for Albuquerque on the 27th.

    Yardwork Other: I’ve excavated the vast majority of the pea gravel from the former herb garden, and relocated it for weed-control purposes to the foundation plants against the house. That doesn’t sound like much, but it was a couple of hours in the summer heat with a shovel and a wheelbarrow, and now my back hurts like hell, so…yeah.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 131,645

cmpriest July 12 2014, 22:21

So he told them his scheme for a saviour machine

Here's recent progress on my witchy art-deco horror novel about Lizzie Borden thirty years after her parents' deaths - now featuring ghosts and non-ghosts alike, anti-Catholic conspiracy nuts, supernatural political shenanigans, the mafia, and a Bonus! space-worshiping murder cult hiding behind the KKK:

    Project: Chapelwood
    Deadline: October 1, 2014
    New words written: 4243 (multi-day total)
    Present total word count: 98,252

    Things accomplished in fiction: Planned an escape; tried to recover from a ghostly setback.

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunts with dog; writer business including (but not limited to) arrangement details re: BuboniCon and the Santa Fe event; started getting ready for an old friend's visit; had a different old friend over with her wee dog Fiona for a playdate and catching-up time. Many dog-cuddles were delivered upon that day.

    Other: I didn't get any writing done yesterday, so my word count is a 2-day total between Thursday and today. It's better than a 1k/day average, but not much better. I'd really like to crack 100k tomorrow (preferably beyond that), in order to clear up a little goofing-off time for my friend's visit; mind you, I'll still need to take an hour or two each day for business (at least), but I don't know how much actual writing will occur while she's here. And remember: the goal is to have a full Draft Zero of Chapelwood before I leave for Albuquerque on the 27th.

    Yardwork Other: I've excavated the vast majority of the pea gravel from the former herb garden, and relocated it for weed-control purposes to the foundation plants against the house. That doesn't sound like much, but it was a couple of hours in the summer heat with a shovel and a wheelbarrow, and now my back hurts like hell, so...yeah.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 131,645
dailykos July 12 2014, 21:37

House Republicans finally let a poor person speak on poverty, but won't hear what she's saying


Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN)
Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN)
When Paul Ryan held his fifth hearing on the War on Poverty earlier this week, he finally allowed an actual poor person to speak. That's right, it only took him five times. Maybe that reluctance was because he knew his Republicans colleagues would make themselves look like the assholes they are. Tianna Gaines-Turner is a seasonal worker whose husband has a part-time job; they earn $10.88 and $8.50 an hour respectively and have three children with health problems. Enter Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN):
He gave a “theoretical example” in which the government would increase spending on government programs like food stamps and welfare by 500 percent and asked, “They [people on the programs] would be out of poverty and that would be a good thing?” to which Gaines-Turner responded, “Yes, the programs work, yes it would be good to move them out of poverty.”

He followed up saying, “But the cycle of dependency would certainly still be there which you also don’t like… The cycle of dependency, you wouldn’t be independent.”

“I’m independent now on the program,” Gaines-Turner told him. “You’re independent on this?” Rokita asked.

“Yes, I consider myself to be very independent. I work just as hard as anybody in this room,” Gaines-Turner replied. “I’m very independent.”

“You’re independent, but you’re here testifying that you have to have these programs, you need these programs,” Rokita responded.

This is an adult woman who works, who cares for her children, who has fought through homelessness and to find a safe home for her family, who finds a way to feed her family on a meager budget. She's forced to be independent in ways someone like Todd Rokita can't begin to understand.

Rokita also tried to get Gaines-Turner to say that she hasn't looked for year-round work because she just wants to sit home with the kids. Now, this is the most noble calling and hardest job ever when it's Ann Romney, remember, and Gaines-Turner and her husband have both missed a lot of work taking their children to the hospital. But in fact, Gaines-Turner has looked for a job that would pay more or offer more hours. The problem is, those jobs aren't just lying around for the taking. The number of unemployed people outstrips the number of available jobs in just about every industry, and overall, there are more than two job seekers for every available job according to the latest data. And of course the fastest-growing occupations pay poverty wages.

But in the utopia of Todd Rokita's mind, that jobs situation is unchanged while the aid that allows people to put food on the table and avoid homelessness is gone. If you're thinking "that's a dystopia, not a utopia," well, that's one of the things that separates you from House Republicans.

dailykos July 12 2014, 21:07

Spotlight on Green News & Views: GMO food labeling, polar vortex may bring relief this time around


Many environmentally related posts appearing at Daily Kos each week don't attract the attention they deserve. To help get more eyeballs, Spotlight on Green News & Views  (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue) appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The most recent Wednesday Spotlight can be seen here. So far, more than 18,700 environmentally oriented diaries have been rescued for inclusion in this weekly collection since 2006. Inclusion of a diary in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.
Senator Bernie Sanders explains why a tax on carbon and methane is the best way to reduce emissions—by HoundDog: "Senator Bernie Sanders explains Why We Need a Carbon Tax, announcing that he is proud to have teamed up with Senator Barbara Boxer to advance the Climate Protection Act which would add fees to the largest emitters of carbon and methane. Sanders reminds us that 'Global warming is the greatest environmental threat facing the planet and averting a planetary disaster will require a major reduction in the burning of coal, oil and other fossil fuels.' The carbon fee would apply to only 2,869 of the largest fossil fuel polluters, covering about 85 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the approach used in our bill will reduce greenhouse gas emissions levels by about 20 percent from 2005 levels by 2025 and will generate $1.2 trillion in revenue over 10 years. Our bill returns 60 percent of that revenue directly to American taxpayers to offset any efforts by the fossil fuel corporations to jack up their prices. The rest of the revenue would support large investments in renewable energy, weatherize a million homes a year (which itself would create hundreds of thousands of jobs and save each household hundreds of dollars a year on their energy bills), fund $1 billion a year in worker training, and put hundreds of billions of dollars into reducing the national
green dots
Fox News stole my light bulbs—by elsaf: "People who know me know I'm a landlord. The housing crash happened just as I came into a small inheritance, and I used a lot of the money to buy houses that I rent out to support myself since my job evaporated. [...] One of the things I pride myself on is energy efficiency in my houses. I can't afford to put solar arrays on every roof, but I do make sure that the heating and cooling is as efficient as possible and that every light fixture has either a CFL or LED bulb. And this points to one of my pet peeves. I'm preparing a house right now. I just spent $80 on light bulbs. Ceiling fans always get LED bulbs because the CFLs don't tend to hold up under the vibration of a fan. (Just my experience -- not any proven principle.) Energy efficient bulbs are expensive compared to the old incandescent bulbs, but supposedly, they last long enough to make that up. Heh... trouble is, as soon as most tenants move in, they substitute old-style bulbs for all my energy efficient bulbs. And they don't save my bulbs, they throw them away. (Going forward, I'm amending my lease to make it clear—they will be charged for every missing LED or CFL bulb when they move out.) Why do they take my bulbs, that are going to save them money on their electric bills, and throw them away? Because right-wing news idiots told them that CFLs are dangerous because of the mercury inside."
green dots
Bash Bish Falls of Massachusetts
Daily Bucket - Bash Bish Falls—by Attack Gardener: "Bash Bish Falls is located in the southeast corner of Massachusetts in the Mount Washington State Forest. It's approximately an hour and a half from our place and a fine, scenic drive on a Saturday afternoon. [...] I had been to Bash Bish once, many moons ago in my twenties. I have very clear memories of a large, open parking lot and the falls visible immediately to the right of the lot with a lovely grassy lawn to lounge on. Upon arriving at The Place, I discovered that my memory was not just slightly degraded but downright fraudulent. The parking lot was your typical state park lot, unpaved, everyone crammed in like cattle and lowing uneasily. To be fair, it WAS a large lot and there was a ranger on hand to direct traffic. We found a spot quickly and unloaded ourselves and Gracie the Wonder Pug. Gracie is a great fan of parks and gets quite put out when we take off without her."

You can find more rescued green diaries below the sustainable squiggle.

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