Tuesday, June 3, 2014

SAR #14153

Americans accept the occasional massacre as the price for the illusion of freedom.

Numbers of the Day: The EPA wants power plants to reduce their CO2 emissions by 30% over the next 15 years. This is far too little to do any good, even if China, India, Europe and Russia do the same. What it will achieve is a lot of braying by the asses on the right, complaining that the American economy and their contributors' profits are far more important than... Florida, etc.

Quickly: Without any great research, I've got two questions about the Bergdahl affair: If he simply put down his gun and abandoned his post in a war zone, isn't he a deserter? If the five Talibansters being released after X years at Guantanamo were and are so essential to the Taliban - including two senior militant commanders - how come it didn't collapse after their capture, instead of putting up enough of a fight to get theUS to declare victory and withdraw?

Asked & Answered: Was YouTube right to take down Elliot Rodger’s video? Yes. And all of the news media should share responsibility for the next copy-cat seeking equal time.

Freedom of the Press? Where'd you get such a weird idea? The Supreme Court, in declining to hear an appeal by NYT reporter James Risen of a lower court decision forcing him to identify the source of a story he wrote, has effectively said that the press can no longer protect its sources from the long reach of a vengeful government.

New And Not Different: There are about 2 million homeowners with modified mortgages now facing interest rate resets. Forty percent of these mortgages are now underwater, and higher payments will not encourage folks to keep pouring money down the drain. Another 18% have less than 9% equity in their houses, which makes them also more likely to default. 
God's Lawyers: A Catholic diocese in NJ says that they are not liable for the sex crimes its priests commit, because it is an act of God molesting boys not part of priest’s official duties.

Vultures: Detroit's creditors are trying to blackmail the city into selling off the entire holdings of the Detroit Institute of Arts. Whether they are after the money or using this as a way of getting their hands on the art is a good question. Quite how the city's cash problems give it the right to sell off the Art Institutes holdings is also somewhat a mystery.

The Sound Of No Hands Clapping: The mainstream media did a masterful job of either not reporting the annualized 1% decline in GDP in 1Q2014, or pretending that the negative number will act as a springboard for a significant increase in GDP in the next quarter. Besides, either “it's not a big deal” or it was all caused by winter coming in January and February this year.

Protecting And Serving: Police in the US have killed about 500 innocent, unarmed citizens - many of them homeless and most of them non-white – every year since 9/11. That's more than the number of US soldiers killed in the Iraq war.

Porn O'Graph: How can this end well?

The Parting Shot:

1 comment:

mistah charley, ph.d. said...

re CO2 emissions - the episode of COSMOS this week was on this topic, and well worth watching - summary from Wikipedia:

"The World Set Free"

June 1, 2014

The increase in surface temperatures on Earth due to global warming

This episode explores the nature of the greenhouse effect and the evidence demonstrating the existence of global warming from humanity's influence. Tyson begins by describing the long-term history of the planet Venus; based on readings from the Venera series of probes to the planet, the planet had once had an ocean and an atmosphere, but due to the release of carbon dioxide from volcanic eruptions, the runaway greenhouse effect on Venus caused the surface temperatures to increase and boiled away the oceans.

Tyson then notes the delicate nature of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can influence Earth's climate due to the greenhouse effect, and that levels of carbon dioxide have been increasing since the start of the 20th century. Evidence has shown this to be from mankind's consumption of oil, coal, and gas instead of from volcanic eruptions due to the isotopic signature of the carbon dioxide. The increase in carbon dioxide has led to an increase in temperatures, in turn leading to positive feedback loops of the melting polar ice caps and dethawing of the permafrost to increase carbon dioxide levels.
Tyson then notes that humans have discovered means of harvesting solar power, such as Augustin Mouchot's solar-driven motor in the 19th century, and Frank Shuman's solar-based steam generator in the 1910's. Tyson points out that in both cases, the economics and ease of using cheap coal and oil caused these inventions to be overlooked at the time. Today, solar and wind-power systems would be able to collect enough solar energy from the sun easily. Tyson then compares the motivation for switching to these cleaner forms of energy to the efforts of the Space race and emphasizes that it is not too late for humanity to correct its course.

full episodes, etc: