Saturday, May 7, 2011

Last Call

The Vatican is urging the world's countries to act on climate change.  Granted, the Catholic Church has its own reasons to sell the end days, but at least they aren't as pigheadedly Luddite as our own Republican Party is.

The Vatican Pontifical Academy of Sciences has just released a strongly worded report (PDF) on global climate change demanding in the strongest possible language that humans act decisively to avert a coming crisis. “We call on all people and nations to recognize the serious and potentially reversible impacts of global warming caused by the anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants," says the report. "If we want justice and peace, we must protect the habitat that sustains us.”

The report was not authored by the Pontifical Academy itself; rather, the Vatican convened a group of scientists with relevant experience, along with a few Nobel Prize winners. The group's focus was on increasing evidence of glacier retreat, and the report ended up focused on its causes. The group's co-chair, Nobel Laureate Paul Crutzen, used a somewhat controversial name for the "man-made" geologic era in which we are now living: the "Anthropocene."

Best part?

It concludes: "The believers among us ask God to grant us this wish."

Yeah well, the way things are going right now, we're going to need a hell of a lot more than wishing to save this rock from ourselves.

Another Milepost On The Road To Oblivion

Presented here as is from Josh Marshall:

Andy Card, President Bush's former Chief of Staff, who helped oversee the epic 'Mission Accomplished' victory lap and jet fighter landing, says President Obama has "pounded his chest" too much over the success of the bin Laden raid and shown too much "pride."

Shame is reserved exclusively for Democrats concerned with actual reality, you see.

Shot Through The Heart

Rachel Maddow visited Pittsburgh to cover the NRA's national convention there last weekend, and she talked to City Councilman Rev. Randy Burgess, who represents Homewood, one of the poorest and most crime-ridden neighborhoods in urban America.  Burgess challenged the NRA to come to his district and to see what gun violence had done to his community.  Rachel's interview with him and tour of Homewood is nothing short of astonishing.

Part 2 of the interview:

As I've said before, responsible gun ownership, which the NRA strongly advocates, is one thing.  But the rampant gun culture in this country is something entirely different, and that dark side of that debate is seen in neighborhoods like Homewood every day.  It's heartbreaking, and it continues to happen because increasingly, it seems like the rest of us just don't give a damn because everybody has their own problems.

I'm betting not everybody has problems like this.


Lawrence O'Donnell has been steadily gaining my respect since taking over for Olbermann at MSNBC, and this interview with former Bush adviser Condi Rice on Thursday was amazing, if only in the clear fact that O'Donnell immediately pegged Rice's problem:

Rice refused to answer any of O'Donnell's questions based on what we knew now in 2011 about Iraq and Saddam Hussein, she kept going back to 2002 and 2003 and the pretty sad excuse of "Well at the time we did the right thing."  At one point Rice was so flustered she threatened to walk out of the interview, clearly unused to anyone actually asking her hard questions in the last eight years or so, and she resorted to treating O'Donnell with the tone usually reserved for an errant schoolchild on several occasions.

She spent the entire interview living in 2003, refusing to even consider that taking the focus off bin Laden in order to invade Iraq might have been a bad idea.  But we're supposed to give the lion's share of the credit for OBL's death to the folks that failed to stop bin Laden in the first place and then failed to catch him so we could go after Iraq?

Idiocy at its finest.

[UPDATE]  Steve M. in the comments gives us the FOX Nation headline:

"Condi Rice Manhandles Sputtering NBC News Anchor"

No shame.  No regret.  No remorse.  No goddamn clue.

And you're a terrorist sympathizer if you fail to believe for a millisecond that Bush was the greatest President this nation ever had.

Epic Fail: Hey, Is That Kid Edible Edition

CNN's headline: Child attacked by leopard

(CNN) -- A child on a school outing was attacked by a leopard at a Wichita, Kansas, zoo, authorities said Friday.
The boy, a student from Linwood Elementary, was with classmates on a field trip at the Sedgwick County Zoo when, around 1:15 p.m., witnesses said, he "went over a railing" and approached the Amur leopard exhibit, said Lt. Jay McLaurian of the county sheriff's department.
How about "epic fail for school and zoo staff nearly gets stupid kid killed?"  How safe is it that a first grader can get through to the animals?  Who was watching the children, and were they high?  Yes, the animal attacked, because that's what leopards do.  A kid too young to understand consequences nearly got killed, because that's what they do, too.  The fail is on the part of the safety enforcers and supervisors who nearly got an innocent child killed and an innocent animal destroyed.

Epic Fail: BBQ, Anyone?

Police said it seems that a 3-year-old was able to operate a handheld blowtorch and set fires in his family's garage and on a neighbor's porch in Shenango Township, Lawrence County.

The safety precautions were in check, but the boy was able to manipulate them, and was seen walking around in only a T-shirt while setting the blazes.  His mother was asleep, and is a night shift worker.  One has to wonder if the child is normally unattended and this took it to an extreme, or if another safety measure failed.

Pak-ed With Questions, Part 2

There's still a number of issues with our relationship with Pakistan right now that need to be answered, and those answers only lead to a ton of additional questions and a whole lot of people are asking them right now.

Amazingly enough, it's Hot Air's Allahpundit who raises a very good point on the "Pakistani Intelligence: Osama's Evil Accomplices or A Bunch Of Giant Morons?" question, arguing that the CIA's months-long safe house operation in Abottabad means the answer is the latter:

Kidding aside, this is the first evidence thus far that the Pakistani government wasn’t hiding Osama. If they knew the CIA team was in town and continued to let them operate, then either they were actively cooperating with us or they were double-dealing on Bin Laden by looking the other way at our spies. If they didn’t know the CIA team was in town, then it’s more plausible that they’re honest-to-goodness imbeciles who might have missed the fact that the world’s most wanted terrorist had been there for, um, five years. (If they were hiding him, wouldn’t they have been closely scrutinizing new arrivals in the neighborhood for fear that they were CIA?) Given the embarrassment OBL’s location has caused Pakistan, I assume there’s no way they would have willingly allowed us to take him out at the compound. Once they knew the CIA was there, either they would have spirited him away to a new location or they would have grabbed him and handed him over on the condition that we would say publicly that he was caught in the tribal areas, not a few blocks away from the national military academy.

Realistically, then, there’s no way that they knew the CIA was there. (In fact, according to a U.S. official, they’re reportedly “stunned” by the CIA’s penetration.) Which makes it slightly, but only slightly, more likely that they didn’t know Bin Laden was there either.

First of all, if the CIA was able to fool both bin Laden and Pakistan with this play, then these guys deserve a hell of a lot of credit.  (Or not, given Allahpundit's argument that the Pakistanis are pretty much the worst secret agents on the planet, maybe it wasn't all that difficult for the CIA to pull off after all)

Second, if we're dealing with morons here, that doesn't exactly fill me with confidence involving the integrity of Pakistan's nuclear program either.

On the other hand, considering Pakistan promptly rounded up a couple hundred people in Abottabad for the crime of knowing the AQ courier that led us to OBL this week, I'm betting we're not going to see any of these people again anytime soon based on what they know...and find out what Pakistan doesn't want us to know in turn.

We're Number One, All Others Are Number Two Or Lower

Republican..."candidate" know what is Rick Santorum actually doing these days, anyway?  Anyhow, Ricky here was in South Carolina telling the state's GOP apparatchiks that his plan for beating Obama is that America is awesome for being America.

Santorum, who created a presidential exploratory committee earlier this week, pressed what is likely to be a central rhetorical theme of his campaign: American exceptionalism.

"We have a president who does not understand what American exceptionalism is," he said.

He faulted President Obama for telling an audience last month that America "would not be a great country" without the entitlement programs of Social Security and Medicare.

"Stunning," Santorum said. "America was born great. The president of the United States doesn't understand who we are."

He spoke of how the British Empire faded because "they accepted the mediocrity of state control."

"We face that moment right now," he said. "It is our watch right now."

America is number one because SHUT UP THAT'S WHY.   Also, state control is bad but Republicans telling Americans who they can and can't marry and controlling your vagina is SHUT UP THAT'S WHY.  Also state control is bad so China, which is a centrally-planned Communist country will surpass us if you don't clap hard enough for America because SHUT UP THAT'S WHY.  Also Obama is not American and he doesn't understand what makes America great, like making Grandma work until she's 80 and if you were a real American you would understand that and SHUT UP THAT'S WHY.  Also empire is bad except we have military bases around the world and hundreds of thousands of troops abroad and we need them to protect us from guys with pipe bombs because SHUT UP THAT'S WHY STUPID LIBERAL God you don't understand ANYTHING.

You know, on second thought, I don't understand what the hell Ricky's talking about at all.  Luckily, neither does he.

Happy Free Comic Book Day!

The first Saturday in May is Free Comic Book Day, so check with your local comics shop (which you should be supporting, thank you.)

This year with Thor out in theaters and getting solid reviews, you'll find plenty of Avenger-related stuff out there, but be on the lookout for a couple of my favorite series:  Brian "8-Bit Theater" Clevinger's Atomic Robo, a special The Tick from Benito Cereno and Les McClaine and hell, even Inspector Gadget and Darkwing Duck will be gracing comic pages at FCBD this year (Yes, child of the 80's.)

So swing by your local shop and say hi. They miss you.

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

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