Today, in the state of Colorado, we are breathing smoke from a number of wildfires burning out of control. As of this morning, near Focus on the Family, it's being reported that 15,000 acres have been consumed by fire and some 34,000 people evacuated by the Waldo Canyon fire. More to come, I'm sure. Wouldn't we all agree that it's better to prevent a forest fire, if and when possible, than treat the immense damage in its aftermath? These questions are similar to what the National Abstinence Education Association (NAEA) is asking Congress and state legislatures about our nation's approach toward pre-marital sex.
Certain questions arise: Why aren't our schools, our states and our nation placing a clear and unquestionable priority on sexual risk avoidance (SRA)? Why are we intentionally spending billions of dollars handing kids matches (condoms), which result in careless (sexual) "fires" and treating victims who have been unnecessarily burned by sex (STDs, pregnancy)? Wouldn't prevention be cheaper and healthier? "Safe" sex education – or promoting casual sex, while handing out condoms and birth control to kids – is analogous to passing out matches to kids in school, and telling them, "Be sure you play safely with these in the forest and, above all, have fun!"
There is no doubt in any sane and reasonable person's mind that Global Warming is real and is happening, right now. It's still June and Kansas City is in the grip of August-type weather. We have already had a couple of hundred-degree days, and there is no relief in sight. In the last month, we've had less than an inch of rain. Crops haven't started turning brown and dying in the fields yet, but then again, it's still pretty early in the growing season.
It's real. It's happening. And the deniers are engaging in magical thinking.
Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that the effects of global warming are "manageable," quickly drawing scorn from environmentalists.
Tillerson, speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, said climate change will require people to adapt to rising sea levels and shift food production, Bloomberg reports.
He also called for more "competent" climate change models, their piece states.
Environmentalists bashed the "manageable" comment. "The sound you hear is millions of jaws dropping, polar bear jaws included," the Sierra Club posted on Twitter.
So this begs the question -- what kind of models do the industry groups have that they aren't sharing with us, if the CEO of Exxon is willing to admit, out loud and in public, that the climate change phenomenon is real?
I not only shudder to think about what is heading for us that would prompt such an admission, I have decided to start drinking now and get a head start on the 5:00 cocktail hour.
Without reform, the United States' healthcare system costs nearly double the systems of Canada, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.
– A lot of people still don't know what's actually in the Affordable Care Act — so they don't know exactly what they might lose. Here is a great explanation of the law.
What is REAL AMERICA up to these days, hm? How are REAL AMERICAN HEROES, like police officers, for example, weathering the economic chaos of the past half decade or so? Turns out they are weathering it with lots of fun toys like tanks and machine guns, thanks to a "program" that allows them to acquire military surplus equipment for the cost of shipment and maintenance. And if that equipment somehow gets sold to interested parties, well, this is just the glorious machinations of the Free Market™.
In 2011 alone, more than 700,000 items were transferred to police departments for a total value of $500 million. This year, as of May 15, police departments already acquired almost $400 million worth of stuff. Last year's record would have certainly been shattered if the Arizona Republic hadn't revealed in early May that a local police department used the program to stockpile equipment – and then sold the gear to others, something that is strictly forbidden.…
Hooray! The Texas GOP has published its 2012 platform! It's a bonanza for list-makers, from Think Progress to Comedy Central, because it's just THAT FULL of crazy. It's a veritable Boffo's Joke Emporium Grab-Bag of lunacy: we've got pledges to repeal the 1965 Voter [sic] Rights Act, to stop the womenfolk from doing ungodly things with their sinful ladyparts, and to keep the UN from tainting the water supply with homosexual Kenyan-born Day-After Pills.
But the awesomest part of the platform is to be found in the section on Edumacation. No, it's not the ringing endorsement of corporal punishment, nor is it the predictable support for promoting freedom by forcing children to pledge allegiance to both the US and Texas flags. Heck, it's not even the subtle shift from an open "Cdesign proponentsist" agenda to a pseudo-neutral call for students to be able to answer "God Did It" on a biology test "without fear of retribution or discrimination," or even the plan to base all US History lessons on the art of John McNaughton.
Nope, the real zinger of the 2012 GOP platform is what appears to be a declaration of war on rational thought itself:
We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student's fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.