Friday, September 06, 2013

Nobody Asked Me, But...

1) Vlad Putin might want to rethink his bellicose nature. Calling people “liars” is rich, coming from a guy who’s proven he’s all about ethnic cleansing in his own hegemony. Just ask the Chechens. Or the Georgians. Or the Uzbeks. Or Pussy Riot.

2) Iranians wish Jews a Happy New Year. Wait, what????

3) The Schaden, it freudes!

4) Now maybe we have a place to put Arizona.

5) When a New York mayor talks about “low income housing,” I’m not sure this is what most people think of.

6) For folks who thought Obama snubbed Putin, he didn’t. I sort of suspected this was going to happen anyway, just not in Moscow.

7) Perhaps they own dogs, Mike?

8) People still get the mumps?

9) Leapin’ lemurs!

10) And finally, the bulletproof squirrel

Thursday, September 05, 2013

While Denialists Double Down....

The insurance industry is already worrying about how to handle Global Warming:

“The debate on climate change and global warming has been intensely polarized. A great deal of this noise has clouded the very real and emerging issues that we as an industry and society need to address,” said Johnny Chan, PhD, director of the Guy Carpenter Asia-Pacific Climate Impact Centre. “In order to adapt to climate change and the changing risk landscape, it is necessary to cut through this noise and focus on objective decisions to mitigate both the financial and social risks associated with climate change.”

The evidence of global warming is undeniable and includes increasing air temperatures, increasing ocean water temperatures, tree ring characteristics, ice core characteristics and the retreat of ice caps, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a scientific body that reviews and assesses scientific evidence pertaining to the physics and impacts of climate change. While climate change has been documented with supporting evidence in  past centuries, the rate of warming is believed to be unprecedented,  IPCC added.

“Based on consistent and mounting scientific evidence, the IPCC has assessed that it is highly unlikely that recent warming trends can be explained away by natural variability alone,” said James Waller, PhD, research meteorologist for GC Analytics. “Estimates show that the mean temperature of the Earth could rise an additional two to four degrees Celsius by the end of the century. This may seem like a relatively small increase, but the impact of rising temperatures, even by a few degrees, could cause a shift in weather patterns, with considerable impact worldwide.”

The impact of weather-related hazards are dependent on the frequency and severity of CAT [ed.note: catastrophic] events, but also on vulnerability, population density, local infrastructure and the property values of affected areas, the report said, and so factors including per-capita gross domestic product, total insured value, population density and annualized property value must be accounted for, according to the report.

So the insurance industry is clearly alarmed at global warming and is convinced that this is not a natural phenomenon but a manmade crisis.

The analysis goes on to point out that sea level rise is the biggest threat to life and property to come out of global warming, which makes sense: higher winds, more frequent storms, and higher temperatures can all be killers but none can kill on the massive scale that floodwaters can – just look at Katrina – and adding water volume can only make things even worse.

And yet, there are still paid derpers prattling…

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Cats And Dogs, Sleeping Together!

The NAACP and the Ku Klan Klan hold meetings:

A meeting between the Wyoming chapter of the NAACP and an organizer for the Ku Klux Klan over the weekend is believed to be the first of its kind.

The meeting between Jimmy Simmons, president of the Casper NAACP, and John Abarr, a KKK organizer from Great Falls, Mont., took place at a hotel in Casper, Wyo., under tight security, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the United Klans of America said Tuesday that the meeting is a first.

Abarr told The Associated Press that he met with Simmons Saturday and ended up filling out an NAACP membership form so he can get the group’s newsletters and some insight into its views. He said he paid the $30 fee to join, plus a $20 donation.

Say what, now?

The NAACP requested the meeting after there were reports that hate literature was being distributed in Gillette, WY, about 130 miles north of Casper, and that black men were being beaten when seen out with white women. The police chief of Gillette has denied any beatings of black men have been reported, altho he admitted the beatings could have taken place just outside of town and therefore out of his jurisdiction.

Y’know, there are some tunes from the Fifties that really, I’m not nostalgic for. This is one of them.

Simmons called the meeting to suss out what the Klan was up to in Wyoming. Abarr denied any violence, and his attendance was sanctioned by the national Klan.

Abarr is part of a separatist movement that wants to carve out the northern tier of the US as a whites-only territory, from Wyoming to the Washington coast.

This has been Your Day in the Bizarre.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

OK, So You Know How You Know Syria Is Probably a Mistake To Get Involved In?

John “Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran” McCain AND Lindsey Graham have signed on:

WASHINGTON — The White House’s aggressive push for Congressional approval of an attack on Syria appeared to have won the tentative support of one of President Obama’s most hawkish critics, Senator John McCain, who said Monday that he would back a limited strike if the president did more to arm the Syrian rebels and the attack was punishing enough to weaken the Syrian military.

In an hourlong meeting at the White House, said Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, Mr. Obama gave general support to doing more for the Syrian rebels, although no specifics were agreed upon. Officials said that in the same conversation, which included Senator Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican, Mr. Obama indicated that a covert effort by the United States to arm and train Syrian rebels was beginning to yield results: the first 50-man cell of fighters, who have been trained by the C.I.A., was beginning to sneak into Syria.

There appeared to be broad agreement with the president, Mr. McCain and Mr. Graham said, that any attack on Syria should be to “degrade” the Syrian government’s delivery systems. Such a strike could include aircraft, artillery and the kind of rockets that the Obama administration says the forces of President Bashar al-Assad used to carry out an Aug. 21 sarin attack in the Damascus suburbs that killed more than 1,400 people.

Now, to be sure, if Assad – and that’s the nub of the matter, the word “if” – if Assad is gassing his people, then there’s a moral obligation on the part of the world community to step in. We do have a selective attention span, to be sure, and to be sure, it would put us in the embarrassing position of aiding Al Qaeda (among others) in their attempts to topple a dictator.

It wouldn’t be the first time America has stood shoulder to shoulder with an avowed enemy in the name of world “peace”, but that’s a digression for another history lesson. And I say that as an avowed pacifist who, while I would prefer a different method of ending the crisis and ending Assasd’s regime, can understand the world’s impatience and intolerance for that sort of behavior. It historically never ends well for the rest of us if we allow a dictator to commit genocide.

But it would be nice if the US government would lay out an actual case that Assad has clearly gassed his people with Sarin. You know the saying from a few years ago, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…errrrr, won’t get fooled again.”

Now, the administration is holding classified briefings on the matter to Congress this week (so is Putin, apparently), but that’s small beer. Americans are tired of endless war, even if it has been carefully packaged and gift wrapped to be hidden from view.

There is one troubling development, however, that should alarm anyone who supports an attack on Syria or not: Russia’s paranoia and Israel’s…paranoia? Recklessness? You decide:

Amid heightened tension in the region, Israel carried out a missile test Tuesday morning in the Mediterranean -- a launch detected by a Russian early warning system before it was confirmed by Israeli authorities.

Israel's Ministry of Defense said it and the U.S. Missile Defense Agency "completed a successful flight test (of the) new version of the Sparrow target missile."

The trial was carried out from an Israeli test range over the Mediterranean Sea, it said. The Arrow defense system successfully detected and tracked the system, it added.

World War III may be a lot closer than we think.