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Archive for June, 2010

Another first – not from the United States. Julia Gillard was voted in as the first woman  Prime Minister of Australia today. She stood unopposed after Kevin Rudd was dumped.

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In time for the Anniversary of Title IX, The National Women’s Law Center has put out a new Guide entitled: “It’s Your Education: How Title IX Protections Can Help You”. It’s going to be on my reading list for this week. What we don’t know is what can hurt us.

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Want to reform the Democratic Texas Two Step? changethecaucus.org has announced a meeting for 9-11 AM Friday, June 25, 2010, at the State Convention in Room 225 D-E, American Bank Center.

Check HERE for the full notice.

Several precincts have be able to get resolutions passed in their March conventions proposing changes to the rules, which in turn then made it through then the process approval at senatorial district, or county conventions.   They are to be considered next by the Rules Committee at the State Convention.

Change the Caucus Org needs volunteers to collect signatures on a petition, to persuade folks to get the party rules changed.

They are also looking for folks to run for election to the Rules Committee who are interested in changing the Party Rules.

If you have questions or you can help collect signatures on Friday or Saturday, please contact Scott Cobb by email at scottcobb99@gmail.com. You can also call Scott at 512 552 4743 or Linda Burgess at 512 529 7235.

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Tiny newborn kittens.

Feed them every two hours, and

wipe their tiny bottoms,

rub their tiny backs.

Diarrhea and claws and  urgent demands.

Ergg.

The world’s irresponsibility, and

mine,

begets a penitent’s ritual.

As they sleep,

attuned to the possibilities,

I write of the world’s catastrophes, and

death.

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Bradford Plummer has an interesting blog today over at TNR. He notes that our reaction to the oils spill terrifies him. Well, I’m terrified too.

I do understand the urgent need to reimburse losses for humans and companies who have been affected by this spill. In that respect the Government’s agreement with BP to supply $20 billion to the escrow fund is a start. Yet here we sit, 56 days into the spill, watching in agony, a spectacle of Harvard lawyers, engaged in a dance of legalese over exactly what, why, who, when and how anything should be actually done.

Our Chief of State has become an ambulance chaser.

Perhaps because we did so much to promulgate it, we are not acknowledging what it is, an intended culpable chemical attack on our country, and possibly several others. That is the nature of “risk”.

As local jurisdictions attempt their own rescues and the Coast Guard flails about, groups from locations like ours, from the Solano County’s International Bird Rescue Research Center, have gone to help. (See their page HERE on who else is involved and how you can help.)

Too, the President has announced the last appointees of the “National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling”. It includes several well-regarded souls known in the environmental movement.

However, I’m terrified that our government will not learn the lesson of opportunity in crisis. This is the opportunity to be the world leaders we can be, and end deep water drilling TODAY. Put a permanent cap on imported oils to our current recession reduced use and incorporate a schedule for permanent yearly reduction. Take some of the BP money and use it to retrain oil workers who would have, in the next twenty years, lost their jobs to obsolescence.

Most of all, I’m terrified that we will again undervalue and ignore the true loss of our natural resources. Left brained legal thinking presumes that a list of items damaged is a true quantifier of all that is lost. Yet no matter how extensive the list, it will not be inclusive. In political terms, two years more of presidential place holding will be a long time. In terms of compilation of damages to the Gulf, a two-year evaluation will be a flyspeck.

The current problem is conflict of interest. Despite his global warming pontifications, President Obama is not first an environmentalist. (One wonders how Teddy Roosevelt would have handled this mess.) He is a lawyer, a manager of assets and people-especially as they relate to energy and big business. As such, he needs to be convinced of his course, before he will take it.

In the mean time, as the Presidential ponderings continue, I see no evidence in the news that the BP spill would have failed to happen under a Republican President. I see plenty to suggest Republican culpability and general ennui from the previous terms.  Will the USA demand retribution for the loss of natural resources? Will we sue the government as co-conspirators on the attack of the peoples’ properties and natural resources? Will we provide the Brown Pelicans’ and their cohorts counsel?

Does anyone really envision that in two years the Democrats would replace the current bench sitter with another candidate? Do we seriously want another Republican right now? While these are head-splitting thoughts, they are political questions that are really irrelevant to the fundamental problem.  What is needed is to speak for the environment first, let our natural resource live in it’s most natural and originally native way. Then, develop a truly green energy policy from that, rather then the other way around. This mess underscores the need to make our voices known now. Our environment was ruthlessly and greedily attacked. If we don’t speak for the environment today, while we are angry, a short two years from now we will look back in shame.

Stop the Drilling!! We don’t need it. Make the Deep Water Moratorium Permanent!!

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BP Pledges $20 billion to Escrow fund:

[DEAL REACHED: BP has agreed to finance a $20 billion escrow fund to pay claims to people who lost income in the Gulf Coast oil spill, an administration source tells POLITICO. Kenneth Feinberg, who was in charge of payments to families of victims of the 9/11 attacks, will oversee the fund.]

http://www.politico.com/politico44/

I note that this agreement appears to be only for lost income claims. There is NOTHING in this agreement on the attack to the environment.

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On my way over to the WH to download this evening’s Presidential address re: the Gulf oil spill, I noticed that Dandelion already had. So, here is that blog’s  transcript link with just about the same two word comment I would make were I able to be that polite right now:

http://dandelionsalad.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/barack-obamas-oval-office-address-on-bp-oil-spill-and-energy-transcript/.

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