The U.S. Military Is Preparing for Something Most Conservatives Don't Think Is Real -
For the U.S. military, climate change isn’t just about sad-looking polar bears and declining biodiversity. It’s a real challenge that has the potential to seriously destabilize nations and throw entire regions into conflict, potentially escalating into wars that will require new strategies and new technologies to win.
In a recent interview with the Responding to Climate Change blog, retired Army Brig. Gen. Chris King said that the military is extremely concerned about climate change.
"This is like getting embroiled in a war that lasts 100 years. That’s the scariest thing for us," the general told RTCC. "There is no exit strategy that is available for many of the problems. You can see in military history, when they don’t have fixed durations, that’s when you’re most likely to not win."
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The relevant question is not how much a CEO contributes to the company. That is not how economics works. After all, how much does the firefighter contribute who rescues three kids from a burning house? We don’t pay our hero firefighters multimillion dollar salaries. We pay firefighters on the basis of how much it costs to hire another firefighter who can also do the job.
The question is how much does the CEO contribute compared with the next person in line for the job? Given the experience of large corporations in other countries, there is every reason to believe that there are lots of next people who could do the job as well or better and for much less. — Opinion: Time to rein in grossly overpaid CEOs: Company directors need to be held more accountable (via aljazeeraamerica)
Today’s decision eviscerates an important strand of our equal protection jurisprudence. For members of historically marginalized groups, which rely on the federal courts to protect their constitutional rights, the decision can hardly bolster hope for a vision of democracy that preserves for all the right to participate meaningfully and equally in self-government.
I respectfully dissent. — Supreme Court Justice SONIA SOTOMAYOR, concluding her forceful, data-driven dissent in Schuette v. BAMN; her dissent begins on p. 51. (via inothernews)
“Climate change is projected to progressively increase inter-annual variability of crop yields in many regions. These projected impacts will occur in the context of rapidly rising crop demand.” Translation: We’ll have smaller harvests in the future, less food, and 3 billion more mouths to feed. — Gillen D’Arcy Wood discusses the recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report (via wateringgoodseeds)
Walmart’s owners are so absurdly rich that one of them, Alice Walton, spent over a billion dollars building an art museum in Bentonville, Arkansas, 500 miles away from the nearest person who ever would want to look at art. And she said about it: ‘For years I’ve been thinking about what we can do as a family that can really make a difference.’ How about giving your employees a raise, you deluded nitwit? — Bill Maher (via holygoddamnshitballs)
South Carolina City Approves Plan To Exile Its Homeless -
A new police plan aims to make homelessness illegal in downtown Columbia, S.C.
SMFH. This is wrong on so many levels./
Instead of using its position to line the pockets of water companies, the World Bank should support what is most needed: affordable and clean – and public – water for all. — Opinion: World Bank wants water privatized, despite risks: Efforts endanger access to and pricing of life’s most precious resource (via aljazeeraamerica)
The Koch Brothers Are Trying to Ban an Entire Transit Technology -
(Source: azspot, via reagan-was-a-horrible-president)
It is amazing to me that the conservative working class (especially the working poor) has been so captivated (and captured) by corporate America that they fight fang and claw to keep themselves on the bottom end of increasing economic disparity, and to make the wealthy, wealthier at the expense of worker.
In the 4th century BCE, Plato said that neither oligarchy nor democracy are suitable systems to bring about social justice. An Oligarchy—rule by the few and the wealthy—is unacceptable because the wealthy are only interested in their own appetites and will exploit the workers for gain. But Democracy will not lead to social justice either, because the public, by and large, is ignorant of the functions of government, and by that lack of information, they are easily misled by the emotional rhetoric of self-serving politicians.
Even back in Plato’s time, the two major political parties in Athens were the Oligarchs and the Liberals. The Oligarchs wanted precisely what conservative “leaders” want today—an oligarchy. The Liberals wanted all men to be equal and have equal voice—same as today.
The process of good propaganda is clear:
1. Demonize a word (such as “liberal”) by using it always in a negative sentence, preferably as emotion-generating as possible (falsehoods actually work better than truth). Give the word no quarter and never speak it in a positive sentence. Because of the constant demonization of the word, long and loudly, many in the public will come to hate the word and everything associated with it.
2, Now, attach any person or policy to the word, and the person or policy comes to be hated as well.
Evidence? Take a look at Newt Gingrich’s memo to GOPAC back when the political division was not as bad as today: Google “Language: A Key Mechanism of Control.” Yes, the conservatives started this well before Gingrich wrote the memo, but it did serve to clarify and consolidate the political methodology of the Right Wing. This was greatly enhanced by the rise of the neoconservatives.
So, here we are, a corporatocracy, slipping quickly into an oligarchy with the help of the corporatist conservative Supreme Court. —
Max Furr on Gap between executive pay and worker wages continues to grow
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World Bank Wants Water Privatized, Despite Risk | Al Jazeera
Humans can survive weeks without food, but only days without water — in some conditions, only hours. It may sound clichéd, but it’s no hyperbole: Water is life. So what happens when private companies control the spigot? Evidence from water privatization projects around the world paints a pretty clear picture — public health is at stake.
In the run-up to its annual spring meeting this month, the World Bank Group, which offers loans, advice and other resources to developing countries, held four days of dialogues in Washington, D.C. Civil society groups from around the world and World Bank Group staff convened to discuss many topics. Water was high on the list.
It’s hard to think of a more important topic. We face a global water crisis, made worse by the warming temperatures of climate change. A quarter of the world’s people don’t have sufficient access to clean drinking water, and more people die every year from waterborne illnesses — such as cholera and typhoid fever — than from all forms of violence, including war, combined. Every hour, the United Nations estimates, 240 babies die from unsafe water.
The World Bank Group pushes privatization as a key solution to the water crisis. It is the largest funder of water management in the developing world, with loans and financing channeled through the group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC). Since the 1980s, the IFC has been promoting these water projects as part of a broader set of privatization policies, with loans and financing tied to enacting austerity measures designed to shrink the state, from the telecom industry to water utilities.
But international advocacy and civil society groups point to the pockmarked record of private-sector water projects and are calling on the World Bank Group to end support for private water.
In the decades since the IFC’s initial push, we have seen the results of water privatization: It doesn’t work. Water is not like telecommunications or transportation. You could tolerate crappy phone service, but have faulty pipes connecting to your municipal water and you’re in real trouble. Water is exceptional.
(Read Full Text) (Photo Credit: ZME Science)