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PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

This bill, which is on the fast track to passing in Congress, is so bad for free speech, the freedom of the internet, and the people who use it, that I’m baffled that Congress would even consider passage. But then I remember that Congress thinks pulling Americans off the streets and imprisoning then indefinitely, without knowing what they are accused of or by who was a wonderful enough idea to pass. Does this sound like America to you — well we’re swiftly becoming one of those countries who violate human rights and repress their people.

I’ve already signed petitions and written to my representatives begging them not to pass this legislation. Please join the fight for freedom in America and ask your representatives to vote NO on these two pieces of legislation.

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A friend sent me this link which is an episode of Rachel Madoow’s show that touches on the Budget protests in Madison, Wisconsin.

She breaks the issue down and shows that the budget issue is Wisconsin is not about a budget crisis but about the continued effective existence of the Democratic Party in this country. Her examples are extremely interesting, true and make a lot of sense when you look at the Republican Parties efforts across the country to control and submerge the rights of the people in this country who are hard workers, poor, or otherwise not worthy of their help.

Now that you’ve watched the video — what do you think? Did you go — as I did — hmmm now a lot of what they’re doing make sense. I too am as liberal as the come but I also see the dark in a lot of what is going on. I’m a skeptic about the efforts on both sides of that congressional aisle but this is the best explanation of what I’ve seen going on in Congress and across the country over the past 12 years.

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Today, I got this link to Leo Murray’s Wake Up, Freak Out – then Get a Grip video. It one of the better overviews of what causes global warming / climate change and what the phrase tipping point is all about. (Video is about 11 minutes and 35 seconds).

Wake Up, Freak Out – then Get a Grip from Leo Murray on Vimeo.

It’s a great little video and I found it interesting and informative so I thought I’d share. I especially liked his mention of the rampant consumerism that is so embedded in our culture that so many find it difficult to think of consuming less, of buying smaller or conserving our funds, our environment, our energy — and maximizing our enjoyment of life. It’s tiring and exhausting to get, buy, consume, and waste. Having more doesn’t make us any happier than just enjoying what we already have.

The other day I watched 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama and one of the questions from the interviewer was about his observation that in India, among the poorest of the poor, he’d noted that they laughed far more and with true enjoyment that most of the people he knew who had much, much more — where laughter was more often forced or at someone else’s expense.

Things don’t make us happy. People and relationships and taking the time to get to know and enjoy the people around us help to make us happy. So, rethink your own consumerism and I know that I’ll be thinking of mine and how I can make changes in my behavior.

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Image of Inconvenient Truth DVDWhen Al Gore wrote Inconvenient Truth about the dangers of global warning, he couldn’t have found a name for his book that could be any more indicative of many people’s reactions to global warming, its possible causes and potential results.

Today, I came across an article in the guardian.co.uk entitled, “Utah delivers vote of no confidence for ‘climate alarmists’“. I figured it was just another bit of ranting about how could global warming exist if it snowed and we had winter. These types of stories happen a lot in the US as many people can not or rather will not grasp the concept of “global” in the phrase “global warming”.

Nope. I was wrong. The state of Utah has proved to the world that the United States has, in positions of power, some of the most scientifically uneducated buffoons on the face of the Earth. Note that the vote on this bill was 56 to 17 — only 17 people could see that this was a bad piece of legislation. Utah Legislature HJR012 says in its General Description:

This joint resolution of the Legislature urges the United States Environmental Protection Agency to cease its carbon dioxide reduction policies, programs, and regulations until climate data and global warming science are substantiated.

Obviously, members of the Utah legislature need a refresher course in General Science 101. They also need to pay attention to what has been coming out of the Climate Change Summits over the last several years. They may also need to watch Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth DVD a few times. No matter what government legislates or believes, facts are facts. Our weather is changing. We can work to mitigate those changes but denying the existence of the facts isn’t going to make them go away.

The scientific community is not in doubt about the need to reduce carbon dioxide emission or that global warming is taking place or that human activity is a part of the equation causing global warming. Utah believes that since they want it not to be true they can simply demand that all the data has to be done again and again and again until they get the results they want. Because at heart, that’s what they’re really trying to do.

It might also be noted that Utah is a solid Republican state. That’s important because the Republican party has been the party of wishful thinking for quite a few years. If they don’t like a fact they try to make out like it isn’t a fact. If they don’t like a law that is passed they try to repeal it. If that doesn’t work they try to make it impossible to enforce or use that law. If they don’t like something, they consistently try to denigrate it, besmirch it, or make fun of it. One thing they never ever do is try to come up with a better way of doing things or helping the country or its citizens achieve their potential.

Unfortunately, passing frivolous legislation and showing a total lack of understanding of scientific data to the world is not going to make global warming go away. Passing legislation that denies the existence of gravity and calling it a passing fancy of Newton will not cause you to float if you should trip over an apple peel. Facts are what they are and denying them and asking for more and more proof of their existence when most countries of the world have already determined the facts to be only arguable in degree not in actuality, only shows that here in American we have discovered a way to live on denial to the detriment of our economy and our country.

I cringe to think what this effort on the part of Utah to maintain its place as a oil and coal producing state in the face of such inconvenient truths will do to the standing of the United States on the world stage whenever science and facts are being discussed. It’s fairly obvious that wishful thinking rather than scientific inquiry rules in at least one state of the union.

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If you’re anything like me you probably wonder how we (meaning the country) got in this situation. Well, today I found a link to a great video by Jonathan Jarvis that simply explains the steps that got us to this national credit crisis.

Now that I’ve watched it several times, I understand the process and how it happened. But, I was always told that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Didn’t anyone along the chain of leverage ever think about what would happen if any of the the links in the chain stopped/broke/whatever. In other words this explains the problem — investors got greedy and went for riskier and riskier investments to keep the money coming in. But, and it’s a big but — as you get riskier and riskier the chances of a whopping big crash become almost inevitable — and we’re now faced with the clean up and the holding on until things get better.

It also explains why the first “no strings attached” bail out didn’t work — they went out and just did more of what they’d done to get us in this mess in the first place hoping somehow that this time it would work. At least now it makes a bit of sense as to how it happened.

Hyperion Avatar Greeting! It’s been a while since I showed my whiskers. I just wanted to add to Gayle’s post a couple of thoughts of my own on the nature of the economy. Frankly, I’m convinced that there isn’t one. No, really … it doesn’t exist. It’s vapor … shadows … a consensual hallucination that nobody dares question for fear of things like what we’re now experiencing.

Today Citibank reported that they made a bit of profit. In response, the Dow shot up nearly 400 points. Why? Has the credit crises gone away? Are all the banks lending again? Nope. In point of fact, nothing has really changed at all. So why the rally on Wall Street? Hopes and Dreams. Back last year when oil prices were climbing like a rocket, each day the price would go higher and higher, and the analysts would report that it was because the President of Iran said something, or the Prime Minister of Iraq said something else. Had anything really changed? Did it, in fact, cost one more penny to pump, refine, and transship oil? Nope. So why did the price go up? Fear. That’s right, the entire global economy is run on hopes, fears, and desires, like some magical spell out of Faerie. Companies make huge profits or go into bankruptcy based on what some stockbroker had for lunch and how his stomach feels in the afternoon.

Everyone is so busy looking for reasons why things happen, that they ignore that, most of the time, the reasons come after the event. Nobody really knows why it happened, so they just make something up so that they can make it make sense. But it doesn’t really make any sense. It’s all just a dream that everyone is too afraid to wake up from.

Now that’s not to say that events don’t have some impact, since they obviously do. Gayle’s wonderful link above explains a lot about what went wrong when people’s desire for profit got in the way of good business sense. Greed and avarice obviously still play huge roles in human behavior. But if the markets had been based on something solid and real, then this crisis could never have happened. But the continually rising price of housing served as the engine that powered the whole circuit. But why were housing prices rising? Supply and demand to a degree, but also because that’s just what housing prices do … don’t questions it, just buy buy buy and pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Anyway, that’s my theory. Take it for what it’s worth, but to me, it makes more sense than an invisible hand benignly guiding the stockmarkets ever upwards.

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