21 October 2011

A Call To Arms on Climate Change


I found this in Forbes, to my personal surprise. Perhaps I've become too jaundiced from the insanity that now passes for "reality" inside Washington D.C.'s Beltway these days. I no longer expected a prestigious magazine like Forbes to permit a truly balanced comment. I must thank William Pentland for posting this in such an elite publication, and thank Senator Whitehouse for taking a strong and informed stand, where so many have lacked the moral substance, or just the plain backbone to say what needed to be said.  I hope he does not end up retreating or recanting, and I hope the people of Rhode Island see fit to re-elect someone who is so clearly a leader.
Enough of my babble, first the comments from Mr. Pentland, and then the Senator's statement. Ooooorah! Senator!

I  explain my allegiance with Al Gore the way John F. Kennedy explained his relationship with the Vatican. “I don’t speak for Al Gore and Al Gore doesn’t speak for me.”

I would not say the same about Rhode Island’s Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.
Sheldon Whitehouse

In a speech delivered before the U.S. Congress a few days ago, Sheldon argued that America has a duty to respond to the risks posed by global warming.  Sheldon concluded:

Right now I must come before the Chamber and remind this body that we are failing in that duty. The men and women in this Chamber are indeed catastrophically failing in that duty. We are earning the scorn and condemnation of history — not this week, perhaps, and not next week. The spin doctors can see to that. But ultimately and assuredly, the harsh judgment that it is history’s power to inflict on wrong will fall upon us . . . 
It is magical thinking to imagine that somehow we will be spared the plain and foreseeable consequences of our failure of duty. There is no wizard’s hat and wand with which to wish this away. These laws of nature are known; the Earth’s message to us is clear; our failure is blameworthy; its consequences are profound; and the costs will be very high.

I have posted the entire transcript of Sheldon’s speech below. Thank you, Senator. Semper Fi.

19 October 2011

Is it possible that we could elect this person? I hope so.





Warren Quote
Created by: Online MBA Programs

06 October 2011

The Maddow Blog - Getting out the vote versus getting rid of the vote



The news day got away from me a little bit yesterday but I don't want to miss the opportunity to highlight Tuesday's most-gasped-at graphics. In the segment introducing Denver election clerk and recorder, Debra Johnson, Rachel compared the Denver Elections Division map of percentage of "inactive voters" per precinct (pdf) with a map of 2010 Census block data on race/ethnicity (pdf).


And then, sitting alone on my couch, I heard the internet gasp.
On the surface it looks like if you wanted to make it harder for blacks and Hispanics in Denver to vote, you could start by not sending "inactive voters" a ballot. I think the actual answer is a little different but not much more complicated. An inactive voter is defined as someone who didn't vote in the 2010 elections or more recent municipal elections, and hasn't taken care of re-upping. In other words, if you came out for Obama in 2008 and then went back to your life ignoring politics, the state regards you as "inactive" and the Secretary of State doesn't want to send you a ballot to vote (for Obama again?) in 2012.
It's doubly disappointing that people who are less engaged in politics are being encouraged to disengage further.
Square State Democrats, are you paying attention?

05 October 2011

The 48 Laws of Power

by Robert Greene and Joost Elffers




Law 1
Never Outshine the Master
Always make those above you feel comfortably superior.  In your desire to please or impress them, do not go too far in displaying your talents or you might accomplish the opposite – inspire fear and insecurity.  Make your masters appear more brilliant than they are and you will attain the heights of power.

Law 2
Never put too Much Trust in Friends, Learn how to use Enemies
Be wary of friends-they will betray you more quickly, for they are easily aroused to envy.  They also become spoiled and tyrannical. But hire a former enemy and he will be more loyal than a friend, because he has more to prove.  In fact, you have more to fear from friends than from enemies.  If you have no enemies, find a way to make them.

 Law 3
Conceal your Intentions
Keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions.  If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense.  Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelope them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late.

 Law 4
Always Say Less than Necessary
When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you appear, and the less in control.  Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike.  Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less.  The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish.

 Law 5
So Much Depends on Reputation – Guard it with your Life
Reputation is the cornerstone of power.  Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once you slip, however, you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides.  Make your reputation unassailable.  Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen.  Meanwhile, learn to destroy your enemies by opening holes in their own reputations.  Then stand aside and let public opinion hang them.

 Law 6
Court Attention at all Cost
Everything is judged by its appearance; what is unseen counts for nothing.  Never let yourself get lost in the crowd, then, or buried in oblivion.  Stand out.  Be conspicuous, at all cost.  Make yourself a magnet of attention by appearing larger, more colorful, more mysterious, than the bland and timid masses.

  Law 7
Get others to do the Work for you, but Always Take the Credit
Use the wisdom, knowledge, and legwork of other people to further your own cause.  Not only will such assistance save you valuable time and energy, it will give you a godlike aura of efficiency and speed.  In the end your helpers will be forgotten and you will be remembered.  Never do yourself what others can do for you.

 Law 8
Make other People come to you – use Bait if Necessary
When you force the other person to act, you are the one in control.  It is always better to make your opponent come to you, abandoning his own plans in the process.  Lure him with fabulous gains – then attack.  You hold the cards.

 Law 9
Win through your Actions, Never through Argument
Any momentary triumph you think gained through argument is really a Pyrrhic victory:  The resentment and ill will you stir up is stronger and lasts longer than any momentary change of opinion.  It is much more powerful to get others to agree with you through your actions, without saying a word.  Demonstrate, do not explicate.

 Law 10
Infection: Avoid the Unhappy and Unlucky
You can die from someone else’s misery – emotional states are as infectious as disease.  You may feel you are helping the drowning man but you are only precipitating your own disaster.  The unfortunate sometimes draw misfortune on themselves; they will also draw it on you.  Associate with the happy and fortunate instead.


Law 11
Learn to Keep People Dependent on You
To maintain your independence you must always be needed and wanted.  The more you are relied on, the more freedom you have.  Make people depend on you for their happiness and prosperity and you have nothing to fear.  Never teach them enough so that they can do without you.

 Law 12
Use Selective Honesty and Generosity to Disarm your Victim
One sincere and honest move will cover over dozens of dishonest ones.  Open-hearted gestures of honesty and generosity bring down the guard of even the most suspicious people.  Once your selective honesty opens a hole in their armor, you can deceive and manipulate them at will.  A timely gift – a Trojan horse – will serve the same purpose.