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Crossposted at: Unbossed

America has always been a land of myth and we all have our own personal stories of who we are and and where we've come from.  Normal stuff.

BUT, in the past five years we've now crossed a threshold of myth and stepped into an unreality where fact and fiction intertwine to create an America of stories where nothing is real, science is dead and the truth is relative.

Confused?  You should be.

I married a woman from Finland. We are raising our daughter bi-lingual.  Recently, I mentioned to my father that Isabella had, at 18 months, mastered a vocabulary of 43 words in each language.  His response?

"You're just confusing her," he said.  "I firmly believe that kids should learn only English.  People can't handle more than one language.  Kids with more than one language don't succeed."

"Dad! Look at my wife! She was raised with three languages," I was bewildered.

"She's the exception."

"What about Switzerland?"  I said.

"A failing country.  Son, people like you are ruining America.  Hell, look what happened in the Balkans."

"Dad...Serbs, Bosnians, Croatians - they all essentially  speak the same language.

"No they don't."


With my father, there is no discussion to be had.  He clings desperately to his beliefs no matter what evidence there is to the contrary and steadfastly refuses to perform his own research.  His belief is his reality, even if there is no evidence to support it.  In my father's view, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are honest people, Reagan and Bush II are fiscal conservatives, Saddam attacked the WTC, WMDs were found in Iraq, Switzerland is a failed state and environmental laws like NEPA and the ESA border on Nazism.

So it is with much of our nation's discourse today - particularly when it comes to environmental regulations.  Belief trumps reality.  Among America's conservative ruling class Rep. Pombo is the best example of this myth-making.  For example, he decries environmental attacks on his family ranch in a book published several years ago, despite the fact that they never occurred:

Pombo has often said that his rage against environmentalists was sparked by a battle with the East Bay Regional Park District in the 1980s. The park district planned to open a hiking trail on an old railroad right-of-way that crossed the Pombo family ranch in the Diablo Range south of Altamont Pass.

"The park district sought this abandoned railroad right of way as a recreational trail through the property of two dozen local ranchers and that of my family," he wrote in his 1996 book This Land is Our Land, a brash credo on property rights and the evils of environmentalism. "We were very concerned that it would interfere with our ability to conduct business on our own property."

Pombo claimed the park district refused to fence the trail, police it or pick up trash, and that "viewshed" rules would have kept the ranchers from building new structures on their own land. All this, he wrote, and the park district refused to pay the ranchers a dime.

But none of this actually happened. The park district did propose a trail on the old rail line, but on a segment some 20 miles away, near San Francisco Bay. At that time, park district boundaries did not include the Pombo family land, Altamont Pass, or anything near it.

"The facts have been reported wrong," says Bob Doyle, the district's assistant general manager, "and it's become part of the robust history."

Source: High Country News

Such created "history" feeds a myth that distorts minds too lazy to seek out the truth  - and that would be MOST AMERICANS.

In our country, corporations and politicians deliberately distort science - nowadays with the help of sciencefiction writers - and their own personal history -  to suit either their ideology or their bottom line - thereby threatening the well-being of our nation.

Here in northern New Mexico, a Taos County Commissioner trumpets his beliefs that the natural gas development proposed for the Valle Vidal  will create more than 500 jobs for his community; this despite figures from economists and the industry itself that shows no more than 90 jobs would be created and nearly all those will go to transient, out-of-state workers.

Rep. Pombo's mythmaking about his own past is, sadly, not the end of his fiction.  Lately, he has lead the House into thinking that yet another giveaway (detailed  HERE and HERE) to private corporations will somehow ease the energy crisis his own party is complicit in creating.  His attempt to gut NEPA and the ESA is a myth-making exercise in and of itself. Pombo's Task Force is more about shaping an alternative reality around NEPA than finding real solutions to the challenges facing the law.

On August 1st, I attended the NEPA Task Force hearing in Rio Rancho, NM.  Of the fourteen people invited by the Task Force to testify, barely three spoke in favor of NEPA.  The Task Force had stacked the deck to be sure it heard what it wanted to hear.

This is how our nation works these days.  You can create your own reality.  If you don't like Social Security, create a myth of insolvency.  If you don't like the results of a scientific study - change the results.  In the world of the Right-Wing, you can create the reality you desire by just saying it is so - which is particularly ironic considering that ,America's conservatives, who so vehemently deny any sort of Relativism, are taking the rest of us on the ultimate Post-Modern roller-coaster ride.

At the NEPA hearings the myth-making was unreal: a woman from an Oregon industry front group posited lie after lie about the Biscuit Fire logging proposals.  A man from Arizona lied about the proposed power lines that would run through the Tumacacori Highlands south of Tucson.  A man from Burlington Resources lied about NEPA impacting its bottom line - despite their posting of record profits this year. Duane Zavadil of the Bill Barrett Corp. proclaimed that seismic trucks searching for oil and gas deposits have no environmental impact.  

I sat through the hearing with my jaw on my chest: these people are lying under oath!  Can't they go to jail for this?

Not in this America.  Reality is relative.

Today the House will vote on to destroy one of the world's land mark environmental laws  - The Endangered Species Act .  So many lies have been told about the ESA, so many myths created, that the American people have no idea what to think.

This is what we've become.

My daughter will have two languages - at least. What I'm not sure of is if I want her growing up in an American that, at the dawn of the 21st Century, more resembles Soviet Russia in its creation of an alternate reality that has no basis in fact.

Originally posted to environmentalist on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 12:51 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Categorization (4.00)
    can we get an "insanity" category going?

    A real soldier died in his 8mpg Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

    by environmentalist on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 12:51:01 PM PDT

  •  And the worst is (4.00)
     that so many people actually believe these mythmakers because they label themselves Republican or conservative or Christian.  Apparently they never got the commandment about false witness (otherwise known as lying).
  •  I thought you wanted to talk about North Eastern (none)
    Pennsylvania. Oh well. = ) I happily have no relaltives with this problem, however I do have a friend or two who approach life with filters over their ears. But please hang in with us. If you don't how will we fight the right and protect the rest of the world including the part you move to?

    Liberal, Christian, Feminazi, Mom.

    by TeresaInPa on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 12:54:57 PM PDT

  •  really excellent diary (4.00)

    excellent diary, really.

    more and more through the years, i've heard cries from folks on the left saying they don't see much difference between republicans and democrats anymore.

    at first i didn't give them much credence.  but frankly, with recent votes -- and the reluctance to support environmental issues +within dem ranks themselves+ makes me more, much more, understanding of these viewpoints than i have been before.

    cheers --

  •  Pombo's bill (none)
    looks as though there's a good deal of opposition. There's been a more bipartisan alternative created but I've yet to read any specifics on it.

    'We have a single system...the only question is the price at which the proletariat is to be bought and sold.' Henry Adams

    by jorndorff on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 12:59:41 PM PDT

  •  Multilingualism (4.00)
    Wowsers.  All my life I thought multiligual people were smarter and more mentally agile.  Now I have a myth to help me feel superior to them.  Thank your dad for me.

    "Out here in the middle, where the center's on the right, and the ghost of William Jennings Bryan preaches every night..."

    by Nineteen Kilo on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:00:33 PM PDT

    •  well, now you know. (none)

      A real soldier died in his 8mpg Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

      by environmentalist on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:07:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah (none)
        I feel so much better now about always having been so ethnocentrically lazy to've only learned English (well enough).  

        (But I've always been secretly in awe of those Chinese people.   I mean, they can speak Chinese, fergawdsake.  How smart is that?)  

        •  Chinese (none)
          Actually, some Chinese folk can speak two different Chinese dialects. Yes, it's not just Chinese, but: * Beijing (formerly, Peking) * Mandarin (being dubbed as the "national" dialect) * Cantonese (spoken in the Canton region, as well as Hong Kong).

          My mom can speak ALL Chinese dialects and is self-taught in English. She's one smart cookie. But has never, ever believed that herself.

          Dumbass Americans amaze me. "English ONLY. THIS is America" bullshit needs to just die. I've been learning Japanese, re-learning Cantonese, learning Mandarin.

          I'm often asked why by those very same dumbasses. I just tell them so that I can feel superior over them - knowing only English just makes you SO limited. I actually say this and walk away with a smirk. Heehee

          •  Multiple dialects (none)
            "Actually, some Chinese folk can speak two different Chinese dialects."

            Well, of course I knew that.  I didn't come to town on no turnip truck, not really.  But to put the finesse of "Mandarin and Cantonese" in my post would've taken the ig'nert <snark> out of it, fer what it wuz worth.

            "I just tell them so that I can feel superior over them - knowing only English just makes you SO limited. I actually say this and walk away with a smirk. Heehee"

            Yeah, go ahead an' rub it in, you arrogant elitist, liberal s.o.b.  We go ways o' dealin' with people like you...

            •  Heh. You forgot to add "multi-lingual" (none)
              That truly makes me a, "arrogant elitist, MULTI-LINGUAL liberal s.o.b".

              Or rather, "soon to be, multi-lingual". Hehe

              •  I don't care if you (none)
                can also speak damn Martian.

                This is America. In America you speaka ENGLISH.  

                An' I don't care if you're "multi-lingual".  You can stick that up yer sub-lingual.  

                People who can only speak English are more intellijunt.  This sub-thread has established this FACT today.  And that's that.   You smugbug.  Hasta la vista, baby.  <g>

  •  btw, re language acquisition (4.00)

    btw, re language acquisition...

    your father's statement, respectfully, is inaccurate.

    small children's brains are wired to acquire language, much better equipped, in fact, than adults or older children.  there seems to be an optimal time for language acquisition, and the brain doesn't seem to have any real problem sorting out conflicting grammars, phonology rules, etc.

    cheers --

    •  You're totally right. (4.00)
      mulit-lingualism is NORMAL in the rest of the world.  Our brains are indeed wired for it.  My wife and I did TONS of research on this and my dad is 100% WRONG.  And thats the point.  He lives by belief only.

      A real soldier died in his 8mpg Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

      by environmentalist on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:09:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  are there any subjects (none)
        are there any subjects on which he's open to truth-finding?  or only specific ones?

        cheers --

        •  Here's a story for you: (4.00)
          near my home, there is a cemetary.  Kit Carson is buried there.  Kit Carson died when he was 59 years old.  Whenever my dad comes to visit, we go to the cemetary for a walk and have this conversation:

          Dad: "wow!  Carson lived to be quite old for his days"

          Me: "Not really.  In fact when you hear about avg lifespan estimates for those days they are distorted by a number of factors...."  I go on to explain the births at deaths, etc. that distort historical lifespan interpretations.  

          He wont buy it.  One day, we went thru the cemetary (everyone there died prior to the 1950s) and averaged out the age at death for those people.  It was 67.34 years.  That would mean, Carson died reletively young compared to many in that cemetary.

          Next time Dad visits:

          "Wow.  Carson lived to be quite old for his days!"

          Belief trumps research.

          A real soldier died in his 8mpg Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

          by environmentalist on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:26:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  shorter thomas kuhn (none)
            "belief trumps research"

            which is while old paradigms don't make way; rather, they are overcome. Too often, by the Reaper taking a critical mass of their adherents.

            Problem here is we haven't got time for all the morons to die. And it's really hard to change the minds of the willfully ignorant.

            but thanks again for an excellent diary -- timely and well-riffed.

      •  There's More (none)
        underneath his need to denigrate multilingualism is a fear that too many people talk in languages that he doesn't understand.

        He's afraid that they are talking about him or in some way planning to undermine him.

        That's why you can't tlak him round, his fundamental state is a mild, but insistent paranoia.

      •  Kids do well with other languages (none)
        I've seen kids (bi-lingual in Spanish and English) switch effortlessly back and forth between languages, talking to parents and school friends. European schools start teaching additional languages very early -- Denmark schools teach English as a mandatory subject starting in about 5th grade.

        Only in this country are foreign languages considered somehow too complicated for anyone but the 'bright' students, and even then, are not considered anything more than an elective. Which is sad....

        "Everyone is entitled to an opinion... What most people fail to realise is that they are not entitled to have that opinion taken seriously." --Adam Tinworth

        by JanetT in MD on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 09:14:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Wow... we got resistance too (none)
      from some relatives when we taught our daughter some baby sign language... they thought she'd "learn English too slow" or some such.

      As far as my wife and I could tell, the main effect was to reduce tantrums, as she can express what she wants when it requires words she can't yet vocalize.

      •  The resistance came from my own dad (none)
        My mother is an immigrant from Greece. When I was born, she spoke only Greek to me, and when I began to talk, my first words were in Greek. My dad -- an otherwise intelligent man (and a staunch Republican at the time) -- was irate. He insisted she speak only English to me because he thought I'd grow up to speak English with a Greek accent. (We were living on the South Side of Chicago at the time -- believe me, if I were going to grow up with an accent, it would've been of the "dese, dems and dose" variety!)

        To keep the peace, she acquiesced. And there went my chance to grow up truly bilingual (I know a few Greek words and can understand context, but I am not fluent by any stretch of the imagination). I have this theory that if I were to study the language it would all come back to me. But it would have been nice to have had the language be innate.

        First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mohandas Gandhi

        by trueblue illinois on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 03:46:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My wife supervises the largest ... (4.00) ESL program in the nation - 250,000 students - and just told me a couple of days ago about a new study about the children of non-native speakers of English (not yet on line) which indicates what many of us have intuitively known for quite a while: if as an ESL child of 8 or 9 you study math and science in your first language while learning your second, you will not only do better in those subjects than if you learn them WHILE you are learning your second language, you will also be 1) more unlikely to drop out, 2) more likely to continue your education past high school.

      Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 04:12:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  8 front page threads and NOT ONE (4.00)

    8 front-page threads posted today and NOT ONE about this CRITICAL ENVIRONMENTAL VOTE THAT'S HAPPENING TODAY.

    the ESA vote is a time-critical issue.  surely one of those top spots could have gone to supporting the defeat of the pombo bill.

    i think this is a travesty.  i'm so frustrated.  

    environmental issues are hugely important to progressives, yet when landmark legislation -- legislation akin to the importance of the passage of civil rights laws to equality, roe v. wade to choice -- this issue is nowhere to be seen either on the rec list or the front page +on the very day it's fighting for it's life+.

    c --

    •  I totally agree with you. (4.00)
      Its appalling.  Kos wants us to stand together to advance a progressive agenda but it doesnt seem that he'll stand for it when its under attack.

      A real soldier died in his 8mpg Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

      by environmentalist on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:21:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  but we're all environmentalists now! (none)
        perhaps this is what it feels like to hang separately? </snark>

        But seriously. As I and others have argued on many occasions, the environment may not be the top-line issue for most voters -- but it is the area where Americans can most clearly recognize the glaring differences between the ruling GOP faction and progressive/Democratic positions. (Ruy Teixera and others have these data up, though they generally haven't emphasized the point.)

        I can't see how we can afford not to pull together to fight battles like this one. Especially given the speed at which Pombo rammed this through the House, most of the media are just beginning to become aware there might be a problem.

        Dave Neiwert has been banging the drum. On Daily Kos, there have been a few thumps, but the rhythm hasn't quite caught on.

        I miss Meteor Blades.

    •  It's still early yet (none)
      I agree it deserves coverage but it's early yet. There's a chance it'll fail. Even if it does pass, it's doubtful that it will pass in the Senate.

      'We have a single system...the only question is the price at which the proletariat is to be bought and sold.' Henry Adams

      by jorndorff on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:23:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, that's (4.00)

        yes, that's good for the issue/bill itself...but there seems to be an ancillary issue here as well -- which surprises me.  the lack of support, the lack of recognition of this as something that was important, nay critical, to promote today.

        given the nature of this site, that is extremely distressing.

        cheers --

      •  Yup (4.00)
        Heard this referred to today as a 'dead cat bill' because the house was going to put a bunch of crap together before the break and lay it on the senate's doorstep like a dead cat. Then they'll go back and tell their constituents that they did everything they could about those high gas prices, even though they know the senate has no intention of doing anything with the dead cat on their doorstep when they get back.

        It could be worse. msaroff could still be living in Texas.

        by George on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:57:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  don't kid yourself (none)
        the souped-up Pombo bill (with extra bitters) passed by some forty votes.

        from the CBD press release:

        In a 229 to 193 vote, falling largely along party lines, the U.S. House of Representative passed a bill today undermining the U.S. Endangered Species Act. 34 Republicans voted against the bill, 36 Democrats voted for it.

        here's the roll call:

        •  I saw that (none)
          ...and wasn't shocked. Regardless, it passing the Senate is going to be very difficult to accomplish.

          'We have a single system...the only question is the price at which the proletariat is to be bought and sold.' Henry Adams

          by jorndorff on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 08:27:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  only if we make it difficult (none)
            to fold will the Democrats stand strong in the Senate.

            The Supreme Court filibuster discussions have laid the numbers and the facts out for all to see. To resist successfully, they must unite.

            And yeah, I know Chafee's role will be huge. But so will Baucus, Feinstein, Reid and so on -- and nearly all of the western Ds in the Senate are hard to rely on for these votes.

            Ironically, one of our rays of hope here may be that Pombo did strip out the faux-moderating elements from his bill just before it flew through the sausage machine. A more radical repeal makes it easier to unite in resistance.

            But we have to start now, and come up for breath only when the dirt's piled high on this thing's grave.  

    •  No kidding. (4.00)
      I thought I was the only one who felt that way. This country's oil problems, the devastation from Katrina and Rita, global warming, etc. and environmental issues go hand in hand. However, it sometimes seems like people don't think the preservation of endangered species, wetlands, and "green space" has any connection to that. I'm frustrated too, and it's why since I've started to become more politically active, I've tried to focus on environmental issues. As much as I care about civil rights, gay rights, separation of church and state, etc., I feel there's no lack of groups and individuals already fighting for these. But the environment doesn't seem to have nearly as many friends.

      "How freeing it must be to walk through this world heeding neither conscience nor soul." - the rude pundit, 5/4/05

      by pattyp on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 02:22:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, the environment needs its friends (4.00)
        Which is why the ESA vote should have been on the Kos home page today. Damn shame.

        A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government - Edward Abbey

        by Naturegal on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 02:26:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I Sympathise (none)
      but there's also the swamp draining/ alligators to ass level problem (I know, bad metaphor)

      There are very urgent and very important problems to solve right now and if they don't get dealt with immediately, the environmental issues will be wholly moot.

      The Republicans are lotting and destroying America at a high rate, they are inviting collapse in the near future, within a couple of years at this rate.

      If they succeed at that there will be no environmental problems at all, the US will have lost its ability to act on a scale that does more than minor damage.

      If they fail and stay in power, then it will be the problem.

      The hierarchy of action needs to be

      1. Stymie and frustrate their actions right now
      2. Undermine their freedom to act through law suits, exposures etc
      3. Electoral action to get them out of power far enough to have a veto proof majority
      4. Start unwinding the damage to the social and economic structure, environmental supports, global reputation etc.

      The US is now in the same position as the people of Darfur. If you went in there and started work on envirnomental protection you would end up dead really fast after the people explained that they need

      1. Stop them killing us
      2. Help us get food water and shelter
      3. Help us build the systems we need to return to self sufficiency, including the environmental protections that will sustain those systems but no more than that.
      4. Everything else

      Its a shit of a deal, but the forest is already burning, deal with that.
      •  I like your heirarchy of actions (none)
        but this seems to me the perfect time to

        1) stymie and frustrate their actions.

        See my point above: it's important to draw clear lines between the insane GOP and the democratic resistance.

        This vote -- and now the impending one in the Senate -- are precious opportunities to define the hard-right in the public mind as the implacable enemies of environmental protection (popular, despite what you see on Faux) and the slavish servants of corporate power.

        We can, and must, do better. It starts by bringing the environment into the sacred circle of things that Democrats will stand up and FIGHT for.

  •  People like myths (none)
    In America the people like myths. Jimmy Carter said, "hey we're running out of oil, we gotta do something and it will require sacrifice" ... so America elected Reagan who said all the pollution comes from plants and trees and go buy a truck and drive as fast as you want.

    Lately I've been feeling like I'm unfortunate enough to be living in a country that is going downhill because it deserves to.

  •  environmental issues (none)
    are big on unbossed these days.

    I also crossposted one on rural pollution on kos this am.

    unbossed investigative blogging

    by shirah on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:33:22 PM PDT

  •  How stupid. (4.00)
    My wife is bilingual in Japanese and English which she learned before she was 5.  Caused so much confusion she skipped third grade and eventually graduated from Barnard and then Law school.

    It is a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead.

    by Steven D on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:36:03 PM PDT

    •  that's the way to do it, when you're young (none)
      i'm trying to learn japanese, and it's killing me. so many rhetorical questions with double negatives, arrrgh.

      the best thing about learning new languages is the humility IMO.

      crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

      by wu ming on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 03:28:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's very zen (none)
        I concur.  Everybody should learn a new language and study a martial art -- nothing like feeling like an idiot and getting your ass beat on a regular basis to turn you humble.  The root problem with our country is hubris; we think we're so fucking great that we let ourselves slide.  

        In every stage of these Oppressions...: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury." DoI, TJ

        by ChuckLin on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 04:37:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yup (none)
          i'm convinced it's also the reason why americans are such bastards to foreigners and immigrants whop don't speak flawless, unaccented english. after sweating blood for years just to sound like a retarded 3rd grader, you tend to have a bit more empathy.

          crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

          by wu ming on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 08:03:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Ah..those Finns...! (none)
    My Father's parents fled Finland when Russia invaded during the 40's. when they came here they wanted to be as American as possible and didn't speak Finnish nor talked about their time in Finland. It is a total shame that I didn't learn more about 1/2 my heritage. (All though it was quite convienent having a good percentage of my cousins being named Sonja.)

    I am sure that were they alive today, my grandparents would promptly pack up and head back to the land of their birth. They wouldn't recognize the country they left everything for. They would probably feel safer closer to the Russians than the Neocons that are running the country today.

    I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. - Ainsley Hayes

    by jillian on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 01:40:07 PM PDT


    Just watched the vote on the floor. Pombo bill is passed. 229 yeas, 193 nays, with 34 Republicans crossing over to oppose and 36 Democrats crossing over to support.

    The Democratic alternative proposed by Rep. Miller was voted down but it was pretty close, only went down by 10 or so votes.

    I'd post a diary except I'm locked out by the 1 a day rule...

    Jason Lefkowitz is the E-Activism Director of Oceana.

    by jalefkowit on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 02:16:22 PM PDT

    •  So more of our guys jumped than theirs (4.00)
      Way to keep the party discipline Pelosi. Make that Democratic base happy.

      A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government - Edward Abbey

      by Naturegal on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 02:28:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  i'm so FUCKING mad (4.00)

      the longer this day went on, the madder i got.

      the ESA needed our support.  i was looking forward to seeing this issue on the front page of kos all day, in some capacity.  highly profiled.  i had faith that this community and its administrators would do that.

      i am so angered.

      c --

    •  Who are those 36 Dems? (4.00)
      I want them on the Endangered List.

      "Why should we hear about body bags, and deaths . . . I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" - B. Bush

      by The New Politeness on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 02:49:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  DCCC just sent me a letter (none)
      with their "survey", and a pitch for money, as well. I told them to come see me about money when they had demonstrated grasp of the concept of "Unified Opposition". I will not support, with either money or effort, a "Party" that can't even deliver a block vote. I have been compromising for forty years, and I have nothing left to give.

      don't always believe what you think...

      by claude on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 04:07:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ugh. (none)

      A real soldier died in his 8mpg Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

      by environmentalist on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 06:51:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Soviet Russia Did It With Force and Oppression (none)
    Here it's done with fairy tales and material abundance, by the entire economy and most of society.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 02:19:26 PM PDT

  •  Don't Forget, This is A Bipartisan Rape (4.00)
    Richard Pombo is a class A asshole developer and menace to creation, and I have a faint hope that the people in his moderate district will turn his ass out next election.  

    More troubling to me is the fact that a Democrat, Dennis Cardoza, is lining up behind Pombo to take his turn.  The Dems are not just sitting on their hands while this crap oozes towards passage, they're pushing it along.

    They can't even impose discipline on an overwhelmingly popular issue like the ESA. Tell me why I should vote for them, again?

  •  Do we have 41 Senators (none)
    Willing to fillibuster this shit?
    •  Fortunately or not Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) (none)
      appears to hold this issue in the palm of his hand.

      He's been (relatively) great on the environment.
      This may be one case where, at least tactically, it helps to have a Republican with even a modicum social responsibilty in office and chairing the relevant committee.

      And NO, this does NOT mean Chafee would be better than Senator Sheldon Whitehouse or Senator Matt Brown.

      But thank our lucky stars that Chafee has some convictions and that he has the courage of them.

      Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

      by willyr on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 04:41:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jeez! (none)
    Ya go to change a diaper, come back and end up on the Big R list!

    A real soldier died in his 8mpg Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

    by environmentalist on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 03:02:16 PM PDT

  •  Our daughter is learning 2 languages too (none)
    Our daughter is learning 2 languages too! And she learned baby signs when she was  younger (it really helped her out). She understands perfectly.

    My Uncle(R), was worried when I had my daughter because I was * gasp * "reading child rearing books". That could be dangerous for my child. I suppose, It can be if you're reading Dobson but  - I don't think that is what he meant- since the big family dispute was me picking up my newborn when she cried :-)  Don'tcha know picking up a newborn will spoil them, they need discipline right out of the womb! (snark) Of course, I was reading Sears. :-D

    When confronted with the realities of a being surrounded by an extended antibush family, he got out of any conversation by saying "yeah, but all politicians are bad" "they're all the same" yadda yadda change subject.

    I even overheard him tell my dad that he would never want his kids to go to Harvard! Which is weird since when we were growing up he was really into education, and spending your time learning (taught my bro chess) but lately he says "he never liked school". He spends most of his time working (skilled labor in a paper mill - tough work) and drinking.

    It is sad. He told me if I ever found a "good" democratic candidate to send him the info but I think it is all hogwash. I'll just be ridiculed.
    I do it anyways, but he'll just use it as an excuse to further find me irrelevent as he uses the right wing spin against whomever I choose to support.

    It's unfortunate but I truly do think less of him now.

    •  We got the same kind of treatment (none)
      We slept with out kids. We didn't force them to cry themselves to sleep. Our kids nursed on demand for way more time that our family was comfortable with. Like a couple of years longer. We home-schooled (never mind my wife teaches college and I was an engineer/business person, we weren't expert enough). And so on.

      Now our first daughter is 17 and applying to colleges, doing well socially and emotionally, and they are mostly quiet. I mean, it's clear that she is a loving, smart, well-balanced, adult-thinking individual. My sister won't talk about our daughter, somehow she sees her as a threat to her belief system, and she's pretty much stopped talk to us. Sigh.

      On the other hand my mother-in-law, a German who just turned 80, has done a complete turn-around from being constantly critical when our daughter was a baby and now praises us for our lifestyle and our child rearing. That feels good.

    •  Righwingers for years .... (none)
      ...have blamed Dr. Spock's child-rearing books for what happened in the 1960s.

      Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 04:14:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (none)
      God dammit.  Good for you.

      A real soldier died in his 8mpg Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

      by environmentalist on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 06:51:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's not just America (none)
    My wife has a lot of relatives in Germany and Austria. They believe a wide assortment of things that are completely devoid of any particle (wave?) of truth.

    I spent a year living in Sweden in 2001. Did a lot of business in Norway, Finland, and Denmark while I was there. I ran into an amazing amount of untruths that were seen as absolute truths.

    I think it's about critical thinking.

    We don't teach critical thinking--being willing to question whatever you read or hear, doing research on that information, and being willing to change your mind or alter your thinking or belief system according to what you find.

    And it ain't just in the USA. I noticed the schools in Sweden, Germany (where a cousin teaches), and in Austria (where we were invited for a couple of middle-school classes to talk about the US), teach the basics, fact-based, and very little critical thinking skills.

    This is a skill you have to pick up at home, or be lucky enough to find a teacher in your life to help you discover how to question what you read or hear, and to have the courage to think outside the norm.

    And Kiitos for the diary.

  •  ESA roll call (4.00)
    Final vote.

    Dems that voted "aye":
    Abercrombie (HI)
    Baca (CA)
    Barrow (GA)
    Berry (AR)
    Bishop (GA)
    Boren (OK)
    Boyd (FL)
    Cardoza (CA)
    Costa (CA)
    Costello (IL)
    Cramer (AL)
    Cuellar (TX)
    Davis (AL)
    Davis (TN)
    Edwards (TX)
    Ford (TN)
    Herseth (ND)
    Hinojosa (TX)
    Holden (PA)
    Marshall (GA)
    Matheson (UT)
    McIntyre (NC)
    Melancon (LA)
    Mollohan (WV)
    Murtha (PA)
    Ortiz (TX)
    Peterson (MN)
    Pomeroy (ND)
    Ross (AR)
    Salazar (CO)
    Scott (GA)
    Skelton (MO)
    Tanner (TN)
    Taylor (MS)
    Thompson (MS)
    Wynn (MD)

    Did not vote:
    Boswell (IA)
    Davis (FL)
    Fattah (PA)
    Gutierrez (IL)
    Harman (CA)
    Lee (CA)
    Payne (NJ)
    Towns (NY)

    BOP News: Unbossed... is why blogs are a threat to top-down media.

    by em dash on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 03:39:31 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for posting that (none)
      And I urge all those who live in the districts of these "representatives" to please drop them a line and let them know you're not happy with the way they represented the Democratic Party today.

      It's the only way they'll learn.

      A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government - Edward Abbey

      by Naturegal on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 03:56:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ahem (none)
        Cactus Ed is smilin on you.

        Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

        by willyr on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 04:34:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Will do... (none)
        Mr. Wynn usually does not disappoint me, but he really should know better -- no matter how many devleopers he's become buddy-buddy with. I shall have to let him know, definitely.

        "Everyone is entitled to an opinion... What most people fail to realise is that they are not entitled to have that opinion taken seriously." --Adam Tinworth

        by JanetT in MD on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 08:49:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Are they lying? Are their lips moving? (none)
      Because I care about the environment, and especially what happens to our public lands, I monitor what anti-environmentalists like Pombo are doing. Almost every day I get a email press release from his committee. This is the one they sent out today.

      Every Democrat who voted for ths piece of crap needs to hear from us.

      Note that they suggest that you contact Brian Kennedy. I strongly urge that you do!

      For Immediate Release:
      September 29, 2005
      Contact: Brian Kennedy at (202) 226-9019

      House Passes Historic Endangered
      Species Act Improvement Bill

      Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act passes by a vote of 229-193

      Washington, DC - For the first time in more than a decade, the House of Representatives passed legislation introduced by Chairman Richard W. Pombo (R-CA) and Representative Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) to update and modernize the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. The Threatened and Endangered Species Recovery Act (TESRA) of 2005 has more than 96 cosponsors from 30 states across the country.

      Born of the best intentions, the ESA has failed to recover endangered species while conflict and litigation have plagued local communities and private property owners alike.

      TESRA fixes the long-outstanding problems of the Endangered Species Act by (1) focusing on species recovery (2) providing incentives (3) increasing openness and accountability (4) strengthening scientific standards (5) creating bigger roles for state and local governments (6) protecting private property owners and (7) eliminating dysfunctional critical habitat designations.

      "During debate, the entire House of Representatives seemed to agree the ESA is in need of updates and improvements," Chairman Pombo said.  "It's incredible how far we have come.  But what surprised me most today was the strong ideological differences about whether or not homeowners should be compensated when their property is taken, as the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution requires.  Upholding this right and partnering with the landowner is the only way we are going to improve the ESA's failing results for recovery.  This legislation does just that."

      Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA):  

      "I co-sponsored the Endangered Species Recovery Act because I believe the ESA should be enhanced and refocused on its original goal - species recovery. Since the enactment of the ESA over 30 years ago, it has been diverted from that goal, and is increasingly driven by litigation, not science.  I am confident that this bi-partisan bill will strengthen the ability of ESA to recover species, while reducing the burden on local economies and landowners."

      Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-NV):

      "The current law is simply not working. We all agree with the intentions of the Endangered Species Act, but out of the almost 1,300 species listed over the past 30 years, only 10 have been recovered and de-listed. A less than 1 percent recovery rate is unacceptable. We can and must do better.  Today's bill will enable us to improve the dismal ESA track record with peer-reviewed science and collaborative efforts to protect and recover threatened species."

      Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA):

      "I am proud to support this common-sense reform legislation that will help communities and protect landowners. We need to update and modernize the Endangered Species Act to strengthen species recovery by building cooperation instead of fostering conflict. Passing the new legislation will remove burdens that have hampered job creation, community development and other improvements for the Inland Empire."

      Rep. Cathy McMorris (R-WA):

      "After 30 years we finally have a commonsense solution that will facilitate the relationship between protecting endangered species and using our natural resources and land. It is time to move away from burdensome regulations, lawsuits and punitive settlements and focus on using objective scientific standards, creating stronger roles for local and state governments, and increasing accountability."

      Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR):

      "It's time to make federal agencies charged with administering the law open up the process to the public.  It's time to set standards to make sure the best possible scientific data available are used.  It's time to ensure that states have a direct role in the process.  It's time to reach out to private property owners, protecting their rights while encouraging participation in recovery efforts.  And it's time to make sure that no region of the country ever suffers as the Klamath Basin did."

      Rep. Chris Cannon (R-UT):

      "For over thirty years the Endangered Species Act has suffered from many fundamental flaws, the most notable being a blatant disregard for property rights. Chairman Pombo's bill recognizes that as long as over 90 percent of endangered species are found on private lands, it defies logic not to compensate landowners' efforts to protect threatened and endangered species. I applaud its passage."

      Rep. John Peterson (R-PA):

      "This bill represents a real improvement on the current Endangered Species Act, which over the past 30 years has done more to harm the species recovery process than to help it," said Peterson. "I was glad to lend my support to this bill in the House, and I encourage our friends in the Senate to act upon it expeditiously."

      Rep. Barbara Cubin (R-WY):

      "The ESA has been on the books for more than thirty years, but in that time only ten out of more than a thousand species on the endangered list have been recovered. Instead of protecting threatened and endangered species, the ESA more often just creates litigation and endless bureaucracy. We know for certain that not a single species has ever been saved in a courtroom."

      Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA):  

      "ESA reform is long overdue. Today, the House enacted significant improvements to the ESA that restores balanced protections to species as well as landowners. This legislation improves and encourages habitat conservation plans by codifying the No Surprises assurance and eliminating unnecessary red-tape that required multiple consultations regarding already approved actions. These important provisions will free up limited government and landowner resources, and ultimately improve conservation of species habitat by encouraging more habitat conservation plans."

      Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA):

      "I commend my California colleagues, Resources Chairman Richard Pombo and Rep. Dennis Cardoza, for all of their hard work in drafting this crucial bill. I'm a cosponsor of this measure because it will lead to actual recovery of endangered species, improves protections for private property owners and brings commonsense to the ESA."

      Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

      by willyr on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 04:34:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Free vote for so-called moderate Republicans (none)
      Note that most of the "yes" votes from Dems came from the west and south,  and the "no" votes from Republicans came from the east.

      There may be some so-called moderate Republicans (like..Boehlert, Shays, Nancy Johnson, Sue Kelly..maybe) who really care about this issue. But time after time on environmental issues, the environment loses by just a few votes.  The Republican party wins if they have so-called moderates who vote for the environment, just as long as they don't actually win.

      Those R's can claim they are friends of the environment, and ought to get re-elected, and oh isn't it too bad that they didn't have enough votes to win this time.


      Vote them ALL out.

      Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

      by willyr on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 05:09:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Republican enablers (none)
        This may seem counter-intuitive, but these Republicans, who voted against the right-wing changes to the Endangered Species Act, are the people who are helping to preserve the MYTH that there is anything moderate about the Republican party. They are the token..very token..environmentalists in the party...ones who always seem to lose.

        And yet when it comes time to organize their caucus in the House..their friends like Tom Delay and Roy Blunt always seem to win.

        Who exactly is getting taken for a ride, here?

        Bass (NH)
        Bradley (NH)
        Davis, Tom
        Fitzpatrick (PA)
        Johnson (CT)
        Johnson (IL)
        Smith (NJ)
        Weldon (PA)

        Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

        by willyr on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 05:22:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  NH pukes (none)
          Bradley and Bass are pukes.

          They get to shine up their 'Environmentally Friendly' badge that they bought at Wal-Mart.

          They make me sick.

          "I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day." - Douglas Adams.

          by shpilk on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 07:11:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Top notch Diary in every ... (4.00)
    ...regard. Huzzah! Too bad the subject is so grim.

    Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

    by Meteor Blades on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 04:13:23 PM PDT

    •  Thank you and.. (none)
      yes, its grim.  A few months ago I diaried on the rise of the Christian right.  Those two things are the scariest thing to me.  I seriously fear we are headed in a very bad direction.  

      A real soldier died in his 8mpg Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

      by environmentalist on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 06:54:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Halfway there. n/t (none)

        Thirty-one million new blogs are created each year. Try ours at The Next Hurrah.

        by Meteor Blades on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 07:22:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Jesus..... (none)
          you know, I think i've said this before, but I've lived about 6 years in Europe.  3 in Finland, 2 in France, 1 split between Spain and Switzerland.  You cant be in those countries and not see what facism wrought - even in finland, a country that only flirted with fascism for a brief time in the mid 1930s.  It remains pervasive, the effect.  And when you talk to the old people in those countries what you hear about is:

          1. ignorance
          2. lack of intellectual curiosity in the general population
          3. a big diff between the haves and the have nots
          4. fundementalism (whether religious, economic or otherwise)
          5. and MYTH. The creation of myth.  

          In Finland, for example, the fascists were Ostrobothnians who wanted to take FInland back to the days of a percieved perfection, power and...some... uncommuniable relation with ancient Gods or powers.  They created myth to get people to gather too them.  They used violence on the intellectuals and the people who questioned the myth.

          Half way there indeed.

          A real soldier died in his 8mpg Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

          by environmentalist on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 07:47:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Recommended (4.00)
    Absolutely stunning that Democrats couldn't even muster enough support to save the ESA in the House. The party has collectively even abandoned passive neglect in favor of completely kicking environmentalists to the curb.

    Exactly where do these people think a supposed groundswell of support in 2006 and 2008 is going to come from?  

    •  one more example (4.00)
      of the Dems abandoning the dreaded "single issue" voters for God knows what is behind Door #2.

      Who needs:

      • Healthy ecosystems
      • Clean water
      • Private medical decisions
      • Safe food
      • Living wages
      • Equal rights
      • Labor protections

      Wah. Wah. Wah. Get in line. SYFPH. We know better.

      BOP News: Unbossed... is why blogs are a threat to top-down media.

      by em dash on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 04:37:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mind SPAM (none)
    Our inboxes are overflowing with offers for cheap pills, get-rich-quick schemes etc.

    Our minds are constantly bombarded by fantasies, lies and distortions from Madison Av., the corporate media and our corrupt politicians.

    We are walking inboxes filling up with SPAM, ever more SPAM.

    Our time will be remembered as The Age of SPAM. If it is remembered at all.

    Don't think it's true just because you believe it.

    by nailmaker on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 04:45:04 PM PDT

  •  Another day where (none)
    the Democrats in Congress help the evil Republican machine SCREW OVER Americans who care about preserving our environment.

    I'll say it again: when has the Bush agenda been defeated by the Dems? The man has Nixonian approval ratings but almost everything he wants he has gotten.

    The Democratic Party is as useful as tonsils.

  •  We need to start NOW... (none)
    pounding the Senators.
    Keeping this on the board.
    I too, am distressed about the lack of front page support here.
    But am proud of all those who called, mailed, and jumped in to recommend the diaries that were written on it. Thanks, folks. From the bottom of my stressed out little heart.

    I'ts too wet to work. Let's buy a DVD.

    by emmasnacker on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 05:57:43 PM PDT

  •  Center for Biological Diversity (none)
    is one of the leading organizations in the U.S. protecting habitat and endangered species.

    Support Them

    Here is their Summary of the Bill

    - Undermines Species Recovery. Richard Pombo (R-CA) garnered involvement by some environmental groups and Democrats by promising to strengthen protection and recovery standards. At each step in the process of finalizing the bill, however, he reduced protections. The day of the final vote, he pushed through an amendment to completely eliminate the nominal protections he had offered in earlier versions.

    "Pombo played a cynical game of bait-and-switch," said Suckling. "He brought people in with false promises, announced the support of environmental groups to the nation, and then systematically stripped every protection clause from his bill."

    - Eliminates Habitat Protection. It eliminates all existing and future critical habitat protections--over 200 million acres of habitat protections for species such as the Northern spotted owl, Right whale, Peninsular big horn sheep, Steller sea lion, and desert tortoise. Critical habitat is one of the most successful provisions of the Endangered Species Act: species with critical habitat are recovering twice as fast as species without it.

    "Habitat destruction is the main cause of extinction," said Suckling. "This bill sends conservation back to the stone age. It eliminates the most important, most scientifically-based, most successful approach to protecting ecosystems."

    - Exempts Pesticides from Environmental Review. In a stunning blow to America's system of checks and balances, the bill exempts the production and spraying of pesticides from review under the Endangered Species Act.

    "At a time when deformed frogs are being found in lakes and rivers across the nation, it is a dangerous travesty to exempt pesticides from environmental review," said Suckling.

    • Politicizes Science. The bill replaces the Endangered Species Act focus on using only the "best available science" and relying on scientists to define what is best, with a completely political system: it allows the Secretary of Interior, a political appointee, to define what science should and should not be used.

    • Diverts the Nation's Environmental Budget to Corporations. Pombo's bill takes the Fish and Wildlife Service's budget hostage by allowing corporations to reap hundreds of millions of dollars by simply asserting that they have been harmed by endangered species protections. The Department of Interior will then have to pay the corporations for their speculative "foregone" profits out of the budget established for America's national parks, wildlife refuges, and endangered species.

    "The takings provision of the bill is litigation magnet," said Suckling, "even the White House budget office concluded that it will dramatically increase corporate lawsuits against the Department of Interior at an enormous cost to the American tax payer."

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 06:08:03 PM PDT

    •  Keiran and the gang at CBD (none)
      are fabulous.  Indeed, DO support them.

      A real soldier died in his 8mpg Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

      by environmentalist on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 06:56:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yep, CBD are the front-line folks (none)
        with the guts and the brains to stand up to these bozos. When the national groups were afraid to litigate to make the ESA work, CBD picked up the ball and made the big plays.

        They've been fighting through bureaucratic resistance worthy of the Soviet state -- except it's coming from corporate America and their agents in Congress.

        And now that the monsters have taken over the menagerie, we're going have to support CBD, and all the little groups doing the same work, ten times harder than ever before.

        Paddle, bail, or learn to swim. Water's rising and this boat don't float.

  •  Pombo is truly disgusting (none)
    And unfortunately my District's Rep.  We've got some activity going to get rid of him.  See my diaries, one as recent as twod ays ago on him.

    He's a traffic wreck in tons of ways, and this will hopefully end it for him.  

    No one should be a politician if they've never lived paycheck to paycheck.

    by Savvy813 on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 06:10:56 PM PDT

    •  I missed this - who is running against Pombo?> (none)
      Where do I sign up to contribute!

      "I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day." - Douglas Adams.

      by shpilk on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 07:01:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  2 Dem Candidates also running (none)
        Jerry McNerney (I like his views/reasoning for running a lot) and support him.

        Also, Steve Filson - an Ellen Tauscher buddy who has the DCCC's backing.  After the primary, he may be the only choice.  I just can't even begin to back someone who has a website with NO info on it.  Not even his platform - his platform is a 4 paragraph speech - but no true positions.

        I hope McNerney makes it, at least I know his positions and respect his reasons for running.  However, Filson has DCCC money.

        No one should be a politician if they've never lived paycheck to paycheck.

        by Savvy813 on Tue Oct 04, 2005 at 10:26:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We are working on ousting Pombo (none)
      See this website for the scoop on Pombo. We are a group working to get him out of office. We are 11th District citizens and are taking real action to get rid of him, not just discussing things. This means building momentum in the district so that there is a real solid opposition going. Then the press takes you more seriously, and the movement grows.

      Please, if anyone is as disgusted and appalled by Pombo, see this site, send email, and we can work together to get him out. We are committed and serious, not a discussion group. We want him out of office, so we don't have to spend another 2 years lamenting all his destructive and corrosive actions. This is NOT a plea for money or donations, it is a call to action to put an end to the "reign of Pombo" over the 11th District.

  •  A huge thank you (none)
    to those who responded to the call in the 3 or 4 diaries that were done on this the last couple of days.
    I cannot ever understand the lack of interest in the environment, the protection it needs from these profiteer rapists. We are already a terribly sick society, physically, from environmental degredation.
    The consequences of all the other issues pale in my mind, since if we are dead or dying from our environment being rendered sick and sterile, they really don't matter, do they?
    The next time you buy a bottle of water, remember to call your Senator.
    The next time you take your kid for a walk, call your Senator.
    The next time you hear a bird sing, call your Senator.
    Ask that they protect our lives. Without an environment that man can live and breathe in, we are just so much dead meat.

    I'ts too wet to work. Let's buy a DVD.

    by emmasnacker on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 06:27:18 PM PDT

    •  people are just too disconnected (none)
      And I mean no offense. But when all you do is live in the city, that's your defined reality. And when most people go on vacation, they go to some warm beach reather than Yellowstone, Glacier National Park or our national forests.

      They don't understand there is a huge, open world out there away from the usual travel paths from city to city. They don't understand 60 million Americans get their drinking water from these public lands, or that these lands act as air purifiers.

       I think the best way to get people interested is to have them take some time and visit some of these last wild places.

      •  Huge sigh. (none)
        I know. I just hope that they do some thinking about what sustains them, and all of us.
        As I have said to a friend, "I don't know why I work so hard for this. I have no children. I guess I am doing it for yours."
        Gallatin. One of the best years of my youth was living near that river....
        I hope they get to see some of the awesome natural beauty of this country, smell it, and feel the life giving power of it.....and are moved to protect it.

        I'ts too wet to work. Let's buy a DVD.

        by emmasnacker on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 07:41:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  great point Snacker. (none)
          And let us hope that our great country doesn't do to it's wild resources what Europe did, building roads and houses through everything.  We have a very unique situation here with our great public lands and wilderness. It is IMHO, part of our core heritage and what makes our country great.  To ignore it because you are too enthralled with tabloid, National Enquirer-esque material is a shame.
  •  Just discussed this with my students tonight. (none)
    You might mention to your dad that the Collier/Thomas study is merely the best-known of numerous longitudinal studies which show that bilinguals are cognitively more efficient than monolinguals.

    Sixty percent of the world's population is bilingual; 50% is trilingual or better. The U.S. highly unusual in prizing monolingualism.

    When we get done studying the data on bilingual education, my students always ask me "If this is so good for students, why isn't everyone doing it?"

    Basically, because there's no arguing with most people. Your dad's 'tude is the rule, not the exception.

    The less a man knows about how sausages and laws are made, the easier it is to steal his vote and give him botulism.

    by SensibleShoes on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 06:30:21 PM PDT

    •  You're exactly right. (none)
      Our brains are wired for many languages. My daughter is amazing and we will put her in a Spanish language school when she is three (we live in Taos, NM).  With three languages, she can conquer the world.

      Evidently tho, our brains are also hard-wired for myth.  Check out one of my past projects that has just to do with that:

      A real soldier died in his 8mpg Hummer so you could play soldier in yours.

      by environmentalist on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 06:58:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Multilingualism Skills Best Mastered by the Young (none)
        Environmentalist - I envy your infant daughter being raised by such enlightened parents - she will learn these foreign languages so effortlessly when she is little that they will be like second nature to her. I began to study Spanish when I was in 8th grade in LA & took it all through high school & 2 years of college. As a result I am pretty fluent in the language. I've been taking French for the past 5 years through the UW Madison Extension program & have found it far more difficult to learn this 3rd language as an adult(60 yrs now). However, I do enjoy the challenge & am not giving up. Thanks for bringing our attention to this atrocious ESA destruction. I'll contact my WI Senators about it.
  •  why can't the good people (none)
    of California take care of this problem at it's source?

    Find someone to knock out this slimy POS in 2006!~

    "I'd take the awe of understanding over the awe of ignorance any day." - Douglas Adams.

    by shpilk on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 07:00:48 PM PDT

  •  Did you realize (4.00)
    That if wolves are reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park, they will destroy our rural economy,  eat all the other wildlife, and kill our children?

    Truth: Tourism has boomed with wolf watching tours in the park, other wildlife is thriving (except for coyotes, which wolves kill) since wolves have come back, and no chlidren have been eaten.

    Did you know that if more public wildlands are protected as wilderness, that local economies will be destroyed and forests will be left to burn up with wildfires?

    Truth: Western Montana counties with the most protected wilderness are thriving as people move to towns with recreation oipportunities and a high quality of life based on protected lands. Most (70%) of large forest fires start and burn through logged over forests that have lots of roads and logging slash which dry out the fromly moist old growth forests.

    Did you know that national parks and wilderness areas lock up land that could be used for profitable industrial activities?

    Reagan's neo-fascist Secretary of the Interior James Watt and his neighbor Vice-president Dick Cheney own ranches adjacent to Grand Teton National Park and the Gros Ventre Wilderness in western Wyoming.  No strip mines, clearcuts or drilling rigs next to these anti-enviro's homes.

    All of these hypocrites create realities to enrich themselves while fooling a majority of Americans into believing that things are just great, as their pockets are being picked.

    Governor Brian Schweitzer on seeking the presidency; "I'm not half that smart and I'm none too pretty."

    by Ed in Montana on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 07:58:34 PM PDT

  •  English is the language of God (4.00)
    God made Man in his own image, and made Eve in the image of Adam's rib. I learn the Bible in English. My bible study class is in English, Nonbeliever. America, the Greatest Nation in the World, speaks English, except for 'spanics.

    God made English, along with everything else, ten thousand years ago in six 24-hour days, Heathen. God speaks exclusively English, unlike the Pope, who is not an English-speaking Christian.

    Your daughter can still be saved from the curse of that other language. Do not be a traitor. Return her to God. Make her speak English, the language of Jesus and Mary and Joseph and Karen Hughes and Tom DeLay and Pat Robertson and President Bush.


  •  dead on (none)
    we are seeing the fruition of a culture so obsessed with self-interest that it is blind to the fact that the good of the few, and the one, must be in proper proportion to the good of the many.  this is exactly why power corrupts: it feeds the illusion of injustice as a viable way of life.  it's like an economic bubble that creates wealth on its way to destruction of the economy.

    there may be something inevitable in all of this.  perhaps economic bubbles are merely the microcosmic form of an entire bubble economy predicated upon a reckless exhaustion of the biosphere.  yet this reckless exhaustion  has produced the high energy state that allows for our 'advanced material culture.'  

    gotta run...

    There ought to be a science of discontent.

    by dreamsign on Thu Sep 29, 2005 at 07:59:54 PM PDT

  •  Worse: Sierra Club blamed for gas prices (none)
    Sadly, No!: Phillip V. Brennan Blows Into Town With Category 5 Wingnuttery

    NewsMax's Phillip V. Brennan has an answer [for high oil prices]. A really, really stupid answer:

        Who's Really Behind Soaring Oil Prices?
        Philip V. Brennan

        When you stand at the gas pump and watch those numbers spin by so fast you can't read them, keep in mind that the soaring price of gasoline is no accident - it is the work of a new fifth column.

    And who are these evil "fifth columnists" that keep gas prices so high? That's right: environmentalists. Or more specifically, people who claim to care about the environment but are really Communists. Seriously.

        This fifth column is rich and powerful. Just one environmental group, the Sierra Club, boasts of an annual budget of tens of millions of dollars and almost 600,000 members.

    Wow! The Sierra Club has a budget of tens of millions of dollars! How will the oil companies ever compete? I mean, last year poor Exxon-Mobil only pulled in a paltry net income of $25.3 billion. Chevron is in even worse shape- last year, they hauled in a measly $13.8 billion...

        Thanks to the environmental fifth column, the United States has been unable to take advantage of its own crude oil supplies. Abundant supplies of crude oil beneath the U.S. mainland and offshore, locked in shale deposits, and in Alaska's North Slope remain untapped thanks to the environmentalists who have stopped development of our natural oil resources.

    Sigh. If we drilled for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, it would take at least 20 years to reach peak production. That does little to affect gas prices today. Try harder, Phil.

    Perception trumps Reality until a category 5 Reality blows all the spin away

    by lawnorder on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 06:16:26 PM PDT

  •  Self deluding dad (none)
    I suspect we all have a threshold were we can't just look at truth in the eye. At least I do, and that makes me understand your dad's lack of knowledge, coupled with his refusal to inform himself: He is afraid to find out the truth:

    Like me on LIHOP, the theory that The Bushies knew 9/11was coming and Let It Happen On Purpose...

    Why I don't believe LIHOP
     Not that it doesn't make sense. It is just to horrific and painful to contemplate the possibility that we have in the White House people capable of letting a man made volcanic eruption shower New Yorkers with the ashes of 2,900 of their comrades. I just can't do it. To do so would fill me with so much worry and despair that I decided, consciously, to look the other way. I tell you this particular tidbit because I believe this is the reason so many Americans refuse to see any wrongs on Bush: It is just too painful and worrisome to face the possibility.


    Perception trumps Reality until a category 5 Reality blows all the spin away

    by lawnorder on Fri Sep 30, 2005 at 06:22:13 PM PDT

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