Wednesday, December 16, 2015

GOP: Make the desert sands glow in the dark

For some Republican presidential candidates ISIS is a problem we can bomb away.
Sound familiar?
“Bomb them back to the Stone Age.”
U.S. commanders did their best to do that in Vietnam.
“By the end of the war, 7 million tons of bombs had been dropped on Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia - more than twice the amount of bombs dropped on Europe and Asia in World War II,” according to a book on the war,
Sen. Ted Cruz has suggested considering nuclear attacks that would make “sand glow in the dark.”
For a world still dependent on fossil fuels what could that mean?
We only have to go to Colorado to still one possible result.
“Project Rulison, named after the rural community of Rulison, Colorado, was a 40-kiloton nuclear test project in the United States on September 10, 1969, about 13 kilometres (8 mi) SE of the town of Grand Valley, Colorado (now named Parachute, Colorado) near western Colorado's Grand Valley in Garfield County. The location of "Surface Ground Zero" is39°24′19.0″N 107°56′54.7″W.
“It was part of the Operation Mandrel weapons test series under the name Mandrel Rulison, as well as the Operation Plowshare project which explored peaceful engineering uses of nuclear explosions. The peaceful aim of Project Rulison was to determine if natural gas could be easily liberated from underground regions.
“The test succeeded in liberating large quantities of natural gas however the resulting radioactivity left the gas contaminated and unsuitable for applications such as cooking and heating homes. Although projected public radiation exposures from commercial use of stimulated gas had been reduced to less than 1% of background, it became clear in the early 1970s that public acceptance within the U.S. of any product containing radioactivity, no matter how minimal, was difficult if not impossible.[1] The Department of Energy began a cleanup of the site in the 1970s which was completed in 1998. A buffer zone put in place by the state of Colorado still exists around the site.”
Operation Plowshare
During the Republican presidential debate this week several candidates made it clear they weren’t worried about killing civilians in order to destroy ISIS.
How would the American people feel about paying high gasoline prices again. It might benefit Vladimir Putin.
Some environmentalists might think it is what is needed to move to other energy sources.
What irony. The Republicans, constant opponents of climate change science, might force a change.

Even if none of them cares about what it would mean to Arab countries, it is unlikely the oil companies that have backed them for so many years would be pleased.

Monday, December 7, 2015

First crack in 2nd amendment

It was widely agreed within minutes of the two latest gun massacres that they would change nothing in the gun debate.
But on Monday the U.S. Supreme effectively reversed earlier rulings and allowed an Illinois law banning semi-automatic weapons.
Obviously the court was reacting to shootings in the past two weeks. Instead it means it was studying them even before the latest blood.
The way it was done, by refusing to hear a court appeal, limited what the court said about the matter.
Gun rights’ supporter Clarence Thomas said the decision amounted relegating the Second Amendment to a second-class right.”
Thomas claimed the overwhelming majority of automatic gun owners  Thomas used them lawfully.
The 7th Court in Illinois said only nine That means banning these rifles would not interfere with the rights of gun owners.
In other words, as with many constitutional amendments, they are not without limit.
Thirty-nine states allow the sale of these guns. Caifornia, one which disapproves them, fears killers can enter into another state and buy the guns.
The new decision may encourage to find more cracks.
The gun lobby is already losing another battle: the word war.
Media has been referring to assault style rifles as long rifles, a term meant to describe an old-fashioned Kentucky rifle. It was feared calling them assault rifles would be seen as prejudiced.
Change may be on the way.
Politico reported: "Four times between 1876 and 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to rule that the Second Amendment protected individual gun ownership outside the context of a militia."
It said the 2nd amendment was one of a total of 17 introduced by James Madison. What happened to the other ones.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Why no calls for punishment for abortion clinic killer? Free use with credit

As usual, police who intervened after a terrorist attack were praised. But there were no guarantees of punishment, not even from President Obama.
No airstrikes, or Seal attacks. In some ways, it is like ISIS, the believers are spread throughout society even more so than the Muslim terror group and cannot be hit with drones.
The president, governor of Colorado, mayor of Colorado Springs, and others focused on remembering a policeman killed when he got in the line of fire.
Was it because the target was a Planned Parenthood Center in Colorado Springs, and the terrorist could turn out to be an anti-abortion nut?
They apparently guessed right.
Two people in addition to the policeman were killed. One was an Iraq veteran, the second veteran killed on the streets of Colorado Springs in 30 days. The other was a woman who was accompanying a friend to the clinic. The friend was wounded.
There have been many previous attacks on clinic, most not fatal. However, now anyone going to a clinic will need to worry about being a target for America's ISIS.
The Washington Post reported the shooter, Robert Louis Dear, of North and South Carolina, told them he acted to make sure  “no more baby parts” were sold by the center operators.
Republican Presidential candidate Carly Fiorina have been trying to sell a story that Planned Parenthood killed live fetuses to harvest their body parts. This claim has been denied, and a video that allegedly showed it debunked, but the Internet keeps it alive.
The Post quoted a source as confirming the murders, two civilians and one policeman, were politically motivated.
In other words, while political talk focused on fears of an ISIS attack, a Christian jihadist killed again.
He was from the Carolinas. Will governors of blue states now bar men from red states from entering?
Do Republican presidential candidates approve of these killings. So far, only one has commented, grieving the deaths.
On the Internet the rightwing reaction has been to deny the attack targeted the abortion clinic, saying a nearby bank was the target.
The killer, they say, only entered the clinic when he couldn’t get in the bank.
There have been several threats against Planned Parenthood since the phony video story spread. Meanwhile, the Republican party has sought to stop its federal funding. Three percent is estimated to go to facilitating abortions, mostly for poor women.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Some say Colorado Springs gets what it deserves Use for free with credit & attribution

A city that has been haven for rightwing evangelicals, Focus on the Family, and gun lovers now has paid twice in four months for its Christian jihadist sympathies.
It also is one of the cities with the highest number of gun holders, including concealed carry.
According to the NRA it should be one of the safest places on the planet if all it takes to top one bad guy with a gun is one good guy with a gun.
The holier-than-thou military center has had at least one mega preacher fall from grace for shacking up with a gay guy.
On the last day of October, four people died in a shooting in the downtown area in broad daylight.
The killer strolled down a mainstream carrying a rifle.
He had some connection to the Christian religion.
Meanwhile, the rightwing, and talk-radio blowhards, aided by president candidate Carly Fiorina, launched a campaign to destroy Planned Parenthood. There have been several arson attacks.
On Friday, while the U.S. waited expectantly for an ISIS attack, a terrorist attacked the Planned Parenthood center in Colorado Springs, which was full of patients. Unconfirmed Tweets said his partner had an abortion there. He reportedly was carrying an assault-style rifle.
The toll includes three dead, including a policeman,  and nine wounded. This time the killer didn’t even have the courage to kill himself, and was arrested after five hours of holding prisoners.
News coverage included where some hostages were hiding. Hopefully the killer didn’t have a smart phone.
For hours many in the media sought to distance the incident from the Planned Parenthood Center, citing journalism rules that award omissions more than reporter.
The Gazette identified the suspect as Robert Louise Dear, 57, from Hartsel, near South Park. Some reports said he orginally came from South or North Carolina, and had a history of animal cruelty.
Some jokingly Tweeted that Donald Trump and Republican governors would block any White Christian males from entering their states.
In breathtaking statements of denial of the obvious, media said there was no indication of a motive for the latest shootings.
Granted, terrorism by Christian jihadists is on a much smaller scale than ISIS, but like the Islamic group they often kill their own fellow Americans.
In a statement issued by the organization, which spends only 3 percent of its funding on abortions, said, “Extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism.”
It will be int
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said: “Our deepest condolences go out to the families and loved ones of those who were killed, including UCCS Officer Garrett Swasey, and those who were injured. Our thoughts continue to be with law enforcement, the Colorado Springs community, and the staff and patients at Planned Parenthood.”
Interesting to see if Trump and company want these people called “Christian terrorists” or “radicals.”

Hillary Clinton merely had to Tweet that she supported Planned Parenthood to be trashed by the so-called Prolife groups.
Helena Tweeted: "A few relevant facts: Colorado Springs is an overwhelmingly white, right-wing Christian and Republican stronghold, and home to the powerful conservative Christian organization Focus on the Family. "There's also a widespread anti-government attitude and an obsession with guns.
Certainly this act of terrorism could happen anywhere here in Colorado. But those of use who live here shouldn't be surprised it happened first in Colorado Springs."