Daily Archives: October 1, 2012

This Debate Week… Wednesday is the Event.

 

As we get closer to the first presidential debate the news commentators are filled with comments on the pre-debate rehearsing each candidate is doing and speculation as to who is the better debater. Clips appear from Romney’s primary debates (never a 1 on 1 effort, however, always with three other candidates) and Obama‘s debates from the 2008 campaign. From what I see, they both have their strengths.

Romney says he has “zingers” ready to pull on Obama during the debate. What these are, however, is unclear… apparently written by his support staff and committed to memory by Mittens at his rehearsals. Obama is saying that he’s more interested in the seriousness of the debate as opposed to zingers, and, as far as I’m concerned, zingers are probably the best method for Romney to put his foot in his mouth once again.

Everyone seems to agree that if Romney doesn’t win this debate, he might as well give up the whole campaign effort. He needs to win it to be back as a potential winner.

 

We don’t have Frank Zappa to advise us anymore… but we do have Gail

Records on wheels, Toronto, sept. 24 1977

 

 

This is for all folks getting involved in politics and for women in particular. Gail Zappa calls up the spirit of her late husband, Frank Zappa:

 

 

Many of us have missed Frank for years and celebrate Zappadan every year. It’s nice to hear from Gail in this season of political madness.

 

 

 

Environmental Scientist Barry Commoner Dies at 95

One of the men I admired most in the early environmental movement, Dr. Barry Commoner, has died at 95 at his home in Brooklyn Heights, and I think the world experiences a great loss. He was an early champion of recycling, organic food and reducing fossil fuel use… and, of course, he took a firm stand against nuclear testing.

Commoner was trained as a biologist at Columbia and Harvard and combined scientific expertise and leftist zeal. His work on the global effects of radioactive fallout, which included documenting concentrations of strontium 90 in the baby teeth of thousands of children, contributed materially to the adoption of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963.

He was a popular speaker and author 1n the 1960s and ’70s, and even campaigned for president in 1980.

Time Magazine called Commoner the Paul Revere of Ecology on the first Earth Day in 1970.

His four informal rules of ecology were:

1. Everything Is Connected to Everything Else

2. Everything Must Go Somewhere

3. Nature Knows Best

4. There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.

Dr. Commoner’s was both concerned with ecology  and an ideal of social justice in which everything was indeed connected to everything else. Like some other leftist dissenters of his time, he believed that environmental pollution, war, and racial and sexual inequality needed to be addressed as related issues of a central problem.

Commoner insisted that the future of the planet depended on industry’s learning not to make messes in the first place, rather than on trying to clean them up after they were made. He thought scientists in the service of industry could not just create some new process or product and then remove themselves from a moral responsibility for the potential results. He was a lifelong opponent of nuclear power because of its radioactive waste and scorned the idea of pollution credit swaps because an industry would have to be fouling the environment in the first place to be rewarded by such a program.

He saw that social needs were tied up with environmental ones… for instance:

“I don’t believe in environmentalism as the solution to anything. What I believe is that environmentalism illuminates the things that need to be done to solve all of the problems together. For example, if you’re going to revise the productive system to make cars or anything else in such a way as to suit the environmental necessities, at the same time why not see to it that women earn as much as men for the same work?”

Harvard paleontologist Steven J. Gould’s summary of Barry Commoner’s work and achievements is clear:

“Although he has been branded by many as a maverick, I regard him as right and compassionate on nearly every major issue.”

Do you go to a Regal Cinema in your community? Are you a woman?

 

Jim Hightower just wrote a very interesting column – “The Price of Admission”.

DaysofThunder46/Flickr

Here’s the beginning:

Gosh, I feel so much safer now that teenage ticket takers at the Regal chain of movie theaters have been directed by corporate chieftains to search the purses of their female customers.

Responding to that horrible mass murder in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, the Regalites say they’ve begun rummaging through movie-goers’ purses to protect us from…well, from what?

The Dark Knight Rises shooter had an armory of weapons that wouldn’t fit in any purse. And need I point out that he was a he? Yet, Regal’s rummaging is apparently reserved for women, even though practically all mass shootings have been committed by male specimens of our species.

Read the whole column HERE. And thanks to Hightower for making this absurdity visible to us all.

 

 

Ann Romney’s biggest worry: Mitt may go nuts in office…

 

Nevada television station KTVN interviewed Mitt’s wife, Ann Romney, who revealed that her biggest concern is her husband’s mental well-being” if  he becomes president.

Her statement:

“I think my biggest concern obviously would just be for his mental well-being. I have all the confidence in the world in his ability, in his decisiveness, in his leadership skills, in his understanding of the economy. …So for me I think it would just be the emotional part of it.”

So… is Ann’s lack of confidence her husband’s ability to mentally  handle the job as the President of the United States going to instill confidence in voters? Well, she still supported his run even though it might produce this emotional distress.