Another clueless, airhead model

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A hassle? One person at a time

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blizzards and Teabaggers and too much Powder

Recently I was in northern West Virginia for a government workshop on implications of climate change to refuge management. I was snowed in for 3 days due to the second of a major blizzard within two weeks. It's been a while since I've seen this much snow.I found it amusing if not sad that FOX News (FAUX News) had catered to the ignorance of its audience but implying that those who say the temperature of the earth is rising are wrong and this recent weather pattern proves it. First a definition of weather and climate:

Weather- The state of the atmosphere at a given time and place, with respect to variables such as temperature, moisture, wind velocity, and barometric pressure.

Climate- the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and numerous other meteorological elements in a given region over long periods of time.

One could be freezing his butt off right now and cursing the work it'll take to shovel himself out of his yard and then dismiss the warming of the earth. And another denier would say that the trend of temperatures over the last five years is towards cooling. But climatologists don't deal with trends so short as five or ten years. They study trends over a century or more.

When I hear FOX News or a Republican congressman use short term data for short term gain I am dismayed that a large percentage of this country is still living in denial. What's more there are powerful factions in this country that exploit fear, ignorance and denial for profit. Take the recent Tea Party convention.
The opening speaker was Tom Tancredo; an ultra-conservative anti-immigration zealot. In his speech he ridiculed Hispanic voters; implying that they couldn't spell the word "vote" much less say it. In a thinly veiled use of President Obama's full name - Barack Hussein Obama - he whipped up the frenzied audience who for the most part believed our president was born in Kenya. The Tea Party (or angry white people party) closed it's convention with Sarah Palin. Why this person hasn't used up her fifteen minutes of fame is beyond me. It seems all one has to do to woo teabaggers is rail against the government with vague buzzwords and tired, failed policies. Again, exploiting the classic fears of this audience she bookended Tankrado speech with a sarcastic rap on Obama's Ivy League credentials. This is classic, playing the crowd like a violin the way George Bush did to stay in power for eight years. What is it about so many middle age and senior white Americans that they are scared of intellectuals? Is it a self-esteem thing? Why did so many people feel good about themselves when they had a leader who acted like a good ol' boy buffoon while his policies destroyed America's middle class? Read the book "The Problem with Kansas" and you may get some answers. This ends my soapbox rant for today.

My Gay Dog Kahn

Nine years ago Kahn showed up at the door of my apartment. I forgot the reason I took him in but stayed he did. He was a puppy of about 4 months and early on he exhibited extreme bouts of separation anxiety when I would leave him. Near as I can figure he's half boxer, half Catahoola.  Kahn is a special needs dog and extremely docile. I have seen children as young as two years old approach to pet him and he would remain very still or give them a good licking on the face. Kahn is also gay but he's accepted and loved for who he is. Kahn is extremely fit and strong and at nine years old will jump five foot fences and disregards the shock collar setting at the highest level. He'll also dig under the fence after the ground is softened by rain.  I have to give him doggy Valium during thunderstorms if I leave the house. If you think it's cruel to medicate and shock Kahn then you can bury him when he is ran over by a car.