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burning crossIn light of the above report, we should probably keep this news from “atheist raper” Phil Robertson: “Portland, Ore., is No. 1 on the list of metropolitan areas with the most religiously unaffiliated residents (42%), according to the nonpartisan and nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute’s American Values Atlas, a survey of 50,000 people. Seattle and San Francisco tied at second place.”

Animals, less than sufficiently evolved, less than human, bow down to gods.

Human Beings, do not.

Of course here we do it by mail, with double super signature envelopes…

Think Progress: Just a week after Oregon became the first state in the nation to automatically register residents to vote using DMV records, California announced it may follow suit.

images (1)California Secretary of State Alex Padilla said this week that he was inspired by Oregon’s landmark law, which automatically registers every eligible resident who goes to a DMV to get a license or renew one, with the option to opt out.

“While many states are making it more difficult for citizens to vote, our neighbor to the north offers a better path,” he wrote. “One of the biggest barriers to citizen participation is the voter registration process. A new, enhanced Motor Voter law would strengthen our democracy. It would be a game changer.”

One early supporter is California Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-Westlake Village), who told ThinkProgress, “Any measure that would make it easier for American citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote is a good thing for our democracy. We need to ensure that the viewpoints and values of all Americans are represented in government.”

While Oregon’s law is expected to reach 300,000 eligible residents right away, and nearly 900,000 eventually, such a move in California could sweep millions into the political process. Padilla’s proposal could help the nearly 7 million eligible but unregistered voters in the state, many of them low-income, people of color, and younger Californians — whose participation rates are in the single digits.

“In California, an 18- or 19-year-old was more likely to be arrested than actually vote in one of the statewide elections,” California data analyst David Mitchell told KQED.

Overall, California has one of the worst rates of election participation in the country, with just over 42 percent of eligible voters turning out in last fall’s election. In Los Angeles County, just 31 percent of registered voters cast a ballot.

Washington would be wise to follow Oregon’s lead on voter registration

Trans-Pacific Partnership Investment Text

wikileaks-tpp-investment-cartoon“After more than five years of negotiations under conditions of extreme secrecy, on March 25, 2015, a leaked copy of the investment chapter for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was posted. Public Citizen has verified that the text is authentic. Trade officials from the United States and 11 Pacific Rim nations – Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam – are in intensive, closed-door negotiations to finish the TPP in the next few months.”The leaked text provides stark warnings about the dangers of ‘trade’ negotiations occurring without press, public or policymaker oversight. It reveals that TPP negotiators already have agreed to many radical terms that would give foreign investors expansive new substantive and procedural rights and privileges not available to domestic firms under domestic law.”

Obama is as guilty as the rest of them.

In California’s epic drought, wars over water rights continue, while innovative alternatives for increasing the available water supply go untapped.

dirty earthWars over California’s limited water supply have been going on for at least a century. Water wars have been the subject of some vintage movies, including the 1958 hit The Big Country starring Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood’s 1985 Pale Rider, 1995’s Waterworld with Kevin Costner, and the 2005 film Batman Begins. Most acclaimed was the 1975 Academy Award winner Chinatown with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, involving a plot between a corrupt Los Angeles politician and land speculators to fabricate the 1937 drought in order to force farmers to sell their land at low prices. The plot was rooted in historical fact, reflecting battles between Owens Valley farmers and Los Angeles urbanites over water rights.

Today the water wars continue on a larger scale with new players. It’s no longer just the farmers against the ranchers or the urbanites. It’s the people against the new “water barons”  – Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Monsanto and the Bush family – who are buying up water all over the world at an unprecedented pace.

The Washington Post reports on the very sad plight of a group of millionaires who just aren’t rich enough to garner the attention from politicians that billionaires do:

images“They are only going to people who are multi-multi-millionaires and billionaires and raising big money first,” said Neese, who founded a successful employment agency. “Most of the people I talk to are kind of rolling their eyes and saying, ‘You know, we just don’t count anymore.’ ”

It’s the lament of the rich who are not quite rich enough for 2016.

Bundlers who used to carry platinum status have been downgraded, forced to temporarily watch the money race from the sidelines. They’ve been eclipsed by the uber-wealthy, who can dash off a seven-figure check to a super PAC without blinking. Who needs a bundler when you have a billionaire?

Many fundraisers, once treated like royalty because of their extensive donor networks,are left pining for their lost prestige. Can they still have impact in a world where Jeb Bush asks big donors to please not give more than $1 million to his super PAC right now? Will they ever be in the inner circle again?

“A couple presidential elections ago, somebody who had raised, say, $100,000 for a candidate was viewed as a fairly valuable asset,” said Washington lobbyist Kenneth Kies. “Today, that looks like peanuts. People like me are probably looking around saying, ‘How can I do anything that even registers on the Richter scale?’ ”

You may have made ten million dollars founding the most successful business in town since the sawmills, but to these creatures you’re no more important than I.

Stop eating shit: Food experts and groups representing millions of American consumers demand that federal nutrition guidelines adopt sustainability recommendations that put climate and health impacts ahead of industry interests.

downloadAs a federal government panel prepares to hear testimony and then finalize an updated version of influential nutritional guidelines on Tuesday, a coalition of more than 100 organizations and prominent food and health experts have joined together by calling for more sustainable recommendations than previous versions by replacing diets heavy with meat products with ones containing more plant-based foods.

Prepared by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), under the authority of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture, the federal nutrition guidelines act as the government-approved blueprint for what constitutes a healthy diet. Updated and widely distributed every five years, the guidelines are used in nutrition education programs nationwide and dictate the meal plans for government institutions, including schools, prisons, military facilities and cafeterias for federal workers.

On Tuesday, as part of the campaigning efforts of the ‘My Plate, My Planet‘ coalition—which includes groups like the Center for Biological Diversity, Greenpeace, and the Center for Food Safety alongside notable food experts like Eric Schlosser, Michelle Simon, Chef Tom Colicchio and Frances Moore Lappe—the group took out full-page advertisements in major U.S. newspapers as a way to amplify its message.

“People and the planet will be healthier if there’s less meat and more plant-based foods on our plates. Our diets, particularly the meat-heavy American diet, have a huge environmental footprint that not only threatens biodiversity but also our ability to continue producing healthy, nutritious food today and in the future,” said Stephanie Feldstein, director of the population and sustainability program at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Now it’s up to secretaries Burwell and Vilsack to make sure the final guidelines are written to promote the health of Americans, not industry.”

“The importance of eating less meat and more plant-based foods for our own health and the health of the planet is backed up by the science,” said Feldstein. “It’s clear that sustainability is a growing concern among Americans, and the dietary guidelines risk irrelevance if they don’t address these issues.

As an added benefit, you’ll smell better.

Only one budget proposal for fiscal year 2016 wisely deals with the real needs of Americans both in the present and the future. That’s the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s budget: The People’s Budget: A Raise for America. Unlike the slash-and-burn Republican budgets proposed in the House and Senate that would, in the words of Bill Scher, turn the federal government into a “shell of its former self,” the People’s Budget takes a New New Deal approach.

godirectlytojailIt’s not a formula for wild spending. In fact, it’s quite frugal. And it invests in projects designed to improve the well-being of all Americans instead of engaging as the Republican budgets do in giving the one percenters yet another boost.

Sign the petition and become a citizen co-sponsor of the People’s Budget.

So put down the Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid and turn off the television, because an overheated planet doesn’t just mean an extraordinarily early blooming of cherry trees and daffodils.

It means rising sea levels all along our coasts from melting glaciers inundating East and West coasts and all Gulf states. Atmospheric clashes of hot and cold air from now on will be spawning super-sized hurricanes and tornados for the Gulf and Midwest. Killer heat waves—not just 18 days of 90+ºF in New York City, but 76 days. As for the near-waterless Southwest and California, they’ll be exploding in historic, widespread, ferocious forest fires.

Add to this reality the creation of millions of “climate refugees” who will be little different from those living in camps and caves in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey—all fleeing to “safer” places. Recall the 1930s when thousands of dust-bowl refugees (“Oakies”) poured into California, the Pacific Northwest and Canada for food, water, housing, health care, schools—and especially jobs. Oregonians have grumbled for decades about “transplanted” Californians ignoring  former Gov. Tom McCall’s admonition “Come visit, but don’t stay.” That may turn into law with other states barring passage to refugees at gunpoint as in Katrina, and in the nation’s worst flood in 1927.

Those with money will boost spiraling of rents, food prices, real estate values, and property taxes. Those out of luck will swell northern populations with millions of starving, ailing, homeless, and jobless refugees. Suffice it to say, no welcome mat will be unrolled for the tired, poor, huddled masses “yearning” even to breathe. Violence is a certainty.

Aside from this terrifying eventuality, who’ll be there to do rescue-and-relief work?

Who’ll be there to prevent refugee genocide?

You are a clear and present danger to my grand-children’s future. Fear me.

I was right, this is what happened:

The Tokyo Electric Power Corp. says Unit 1 at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant did, in fact, meltdown during the 2011 accident.

TEPCO released results from a three-day study in February of the Unit 1 reactor building jointly with the International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning. The two companies collected data until March 10. The project used cosmic rays to inspect the interior of the building. By analyzing the flow of muons, which are subatomic particles generated when cosmic rays collide with the atmosphere, TEPCO was able to generate X-ray like images of the interior of the reactor. Muons can pass through concrete and iron, but they are blocked and change direction when they hit high-density substances such as plutonium and uranium, creating a “shadow.”

TEPCO said the fuel had melted because there were no shadows around the reactor’s core, and the fuel had likely melted and fallen to the bottom of the building into a containment vessel. The operator also said there was no accumulation of water in the core of the reactor pressure vessel.

TEPCO said the results confirmed previous assumptions of a meltdown. The utility plans to continue measurement until it gains enough data to conduct a statistical analysis, and said the data gained will help it work out a plan to remove the debris, most likely by robots due to the high amounts of radiation in the reactor.

In the days following the meltdown radiation counts at the top of the Santiam Pass were hundreds of times higher than ever recorded, than even the radiation counts recorded during the open-air nuclear testing days.

I’ve had two grandchildren born since.

With literally no snowfall at the lower elevations this past winter, and less than fifty inches on the high cascade, all would do well to recall the fire danger here:

 

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