John Ennis knows Ken Blackwell; he’s made a feature-length documentary of our former Secretary of State’s devious (and successful) schemes to deliver Ohio to Dubya in 2004.
J. Kenneth Blackwell, the former Secretary of State of Ohio whose administration of the 2004 election made Katherine Harris look like Mary Tyler Moore, is aggressively pushing to become the next chair of the Republican National Committee when its 168 members convene in 2009 to figure out how to pull their party out of the deep, dank hole they have dug themselves into. And I for one support his selection wholeheartedly.
Ennis’s article details the many ways in which Ken exemplifies those qualities that sunk the GOP in November. He wishes Blackwell success in his drive to skipper that derelict vessel, and he concludes, “I think that most readers of Huffington Post will join me in supporting Ken Blackwell to lead the Republican Party to a dismal future. Indeed, his penchant for election fraud may be their only chance left.”
“The color yellow exemplifies the warmth and nurturing quality of the sun, properties we as humans are naturally drawn to for reassurance,” explains Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Mimosa also speaks to enlightenment, as it is a hue that sparks imagination and innovation.”
Pantone has a lot of clout. The color in the box above is as close as I can come to Pantone’s “Mimosa”, and it’s is likely to be what you’ll be wearing next year. Assuming, that is, that you still have a job and there are still a few stores open.
A favorite technique of climate change deniers, free market fanatics, and generally cynical grumps is to trot out some factoid, learned long ago when things were different, or improperly understood all along, to refute the possibility of clean (or cleaner) energy: too expensive, impractical, won’t work. In this article from the Guardian, Chris Goodall has taken points from his new book “Ten Technologies to Save the Planet“, and provided simply understood and authoritative refutations of ten of the commonest “that’ll never work” arguments. Here’s something I’d not heard of, presented in the course of refuting the myth that “all proposed solutions to climate change need to be hi-tech”:
Biochar is an astonishing idea. Burning agricultural wastes in the absence of air leaves a charcoal composed of almost pure carbon, which can then be crushed and dug into the soil. Biochar is extremely stable and the carbon will stay in the soil unchanged for hundreds of years. The original agricultural wastes had captured CO2 from the air through the photosynthesis process; biochar is a low-tech way of sequestering carbon, effectively for ever. As importantly, biochar improves fertility in a wide variety of tropical soils. Beneficial micro-organisms seem to crowd into the pores of the small pieces of crushed charcoal.
Chris points out that low-cost stoves to produce biochar exist; a few million dollars marshalled in support of the groups making and distributing those stoves could increase the productivity of hundreds of millions of small farmers in desperately needy parts of the world, while extracting statistically significant quantities of CO2 from the atmosphere.
Harry’s blog is the Ragged Trousered Philosopher, and I’d not seen it until today. “A Division by Zero“, one of the blogs comprising Planet Atheism, pointed me to Harry’s tale:
I met god the other day.
I know what you’re thinking. How the hell did you know it was god?
Well, I’ll explain as we go along, but basically he convinced me by having all, and I do mean ALL, the answers. Every question I flung at him he batted back with a plausible and satisfactory answer. In the end, it was easier to accept that he was god than otherwise.
Which is odd, because I’m still an atheist and we even agree on that!
It all started on the 8.20 back from Paddington…
The conversation between Harry and God, who enters the car in the form of a 30-year-old white guy in jeans and a tee shirt, takes a number of totally unexpected turns. It’s moving, and funny, and wise, and enormously thought-provoking. I encourage you to read it.
Jim Kunstler, over at Clusterfuck Nation, takes a broad look today at the euphoria afflicting our national media, its alarming willingness to ignore “the reality of the threats we face, which are 1.) the loss of primary energy resources, 2.) the loss of technological potency, and 3.) the loss of a comfortable standard of living.” Kunstler credits the team behind the Financial Sense Newshour podcast with defining our current paradigm shift, and shows how we are desperately trying to find ways to get back to how it used to be: “even the greenest captains of environmentalism strive to find groovy new ways to run all our cars, while their counterparts on Wall Street strive desperately to salvage a set of ‘innovative’ financial rackets based on getting something for nothing.”
Kunstler makes a persuasive case that it’s not going to happen. Our future does not lie in recreating a failed past, but in a society based on the new reality:
Our destination is a far less complex society in a larger, rounder, and less economically-integrated world. We will be leaving a lot of our technological comforts behind, staying closer to home, living in smaller cities and reactivated small towns, working the land more intensively to produce the food we need, and possibly organizing our governance at something less than the continental scale our dwindling riches used to afford. That is, if we’re lucky enough to avoid the real possibility of social disorder and violence that would attend a fullblown economic collapse scenario.
Read Kunstler’s post for a cogent analysis of the realpolitik behind the current Georgia/Russia kerfuffle, and a wonderfully cynical (and realistic) look at the much heralded opening of the billion-customer Chinese marketplace to American manufacturing (GM) and retailing (Big Macs).
Every time I read one of Jim’s posts, I know that I should sell everything and put it into Euros in a Paypal account; if I’d done that the first time I thought I should, I’d be a lot wealthier now. And I probably won’t do it today either.