We are the Liberal Blog From Hollywood
L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

L.A.'s Premier Post Facility

Photographer in L.A.

Hot Pics & Gossip.

Archive for July 4th, 2011

11 Patriotic Songs That Don’t Suck

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2011 4:47 am by HL

11 Patriotic Songs That Don’t Suck
Wearying of “the dull, repetitive compositions of John Philip Sousa,” the folks at Mother Jones put together a list of 11 patriotic songs notable for the fact that they “don’t suck.” The list is nothing if not eclectic, including James Brown’s “Living in America” and Ray Charles’ rendition of “America the Beautiful.”



Late, Late Night FDL: Amongst The Waves

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2011 4:46 am by HL

Late, Late Night FDL: Amongst The Waves
Pearl Jam–Amongst the Waves and Can’t Keep – Eddie Vedder

Pearl Jam–Amongst the Waves

Aloha ya’ll, from out here amongst the waves! I hope ya’ll are enjoying your Holiday weekend…!

Eddie Vedder has released a new solo album entitled: Ukulele Songs…

Can’t Keep – Eddie Vedder

Ain’t it amazing what sounds four little strings can produce…?

What’s on your mind tonite…?

Funny, you don’t look a day over 220
Sure we behave like an oligarchy, but we still are very good at proclaiming another culture’s bombastic tunes as our own as long as there are howitzer’s involved. Pat yourself on the back, like usual, America.

Have some fries with that Teabagger by cronbach at flickr.com

Happy 235th America.

“America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without civilization in between.”
— Oscar Wilde

Obviously Wilde didn’t live long enough to understand the sophistication of the Steel-Cage Match involving Baron Von Rashke, Nick Bockwinkle and the Iron Sheik; The Real Housewives of Hollywood; or twittering a shot of one’s junk.

Or, of course, the tricorn hat guy at a Teaparty rally who thinks the 1812 Overture is really about Andrew Jackson.

So Happy Birthday anyway.


What Our Declaration Really Said

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2011 4:44 am by HL

What Our Declaration Really Said
Our nation confronts a challenge this Fourth of July that we face but rarely: We are at odds over the meaning of our history and why, to quote our Declaration of Independence, “governments are instituted.”

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

Our nation confronts a challenge this Fourth of July that we face but rarely: We are at odds over the meaning of our history and why, to quote our Declaration of Independence, “governments are instituted.”


Related Entries



Harry Shearer: USA 3.0

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2011 4:43 am by HL

Harry Shearer: USA 3.0
We’re three trillion dollars down, the latest reports say, in trying to — to what? Protect ourselves? Export freedom? Make the world safe for our oil interests? It’s hard to know. This America would be impossible for the Founders to recognize.

Bachmann: As President, I’ll Find Obama A ‘Real Job’
MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa â?? Republican candidate Michele Bachmann spent Saturday shaking hands in Iowa diners and strolling through a bustling farmers market as she tried to…

Eric Sheninger: What Is Wrong With This Picture?
More than ever, education needs passionate individuals who have the drive, patience, and character to work with students that have diverse learning needs.

Jail Inmate Files Pornography Case
MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. — A Michigan jail inmate says he’s being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment because he can’t have pornography. In a handwritten…

Former 2008 Romney Backer Outlines Harsh Reality For Candidate In Key State
DES MOINES, Iowa — The accelerating GOP presidential campaigns in Iowa probably will define front-runner Mitt Romney’s chief challengers over the next six weeks and…


Koch Industries Foreign Subsidiary Admits Making Illegal Donations

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2011 4:42 am by HL

Koch Industries Foreign Subsidiary Admits Making Illegal Donations
A Luxembourg-based subsidiary of Koch Industries has admitted to making illegal campaign contributions to political candidates and committees.


Colbert’s Super PAC Not Actually Called Colbert Super PAC
Turns out that Stephen Colbert’s “Super PAC” won’t be called “Colbert Super PAC” after all.


Happy Independence Day 2011

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2011 4:40 am by HL

Happy Independence Day 2011


Paul Plans Filibuster Over Debt Ceiling

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2011 4:39 am by HL

Paul Plans Filibuster Over Debt Ceiling
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told C-SPAN that he will lead a Senate filibuster to force debt ceiling negotiations into the open.

Said Paul: “We’ve had not one minute of debate about the debt ceiling in any committee. We haven’t had a budget in two years. We haven’t had an appropriations bill in two years. So I’m part of the freshmen group in the Senate that’s saying, ‘no more.'”

“Next week, we will filibuster until we talk about the debt ceiling, until we talk about proposals.”

Quote of the Day
“This is all about him being a bully and a punk. I wanted to punch him in his head.”

— New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeny (D), in an interview with the Newark Star Ledger, on Gov. Chris Christie (R).

He added that Christie reminds him of Mr. Potter from It’s a Wonderful Life, “the mean old bastard who screws everybody.”

An Early Look at 2012 Campaign Logos
With the caveat that Joseph Hughes thinks President Obama’s 2008 campaign logo is in the upper echelon of brand marks — “Nike territory. Apple territory. Volkswagen territory.” — he takes an interesting look at the logos currently used by the Republican presidential hopefuls.

“Overall, I would argue that, from a design perspective, nothing in these comes remotely close to the memorability inspired by the Obama icon. To be sure, though, that’s a nearly impossible goal to reach. Still, no matter Obama’s 2012 opponent, he or she will have to at least get close. If I had to pick a best and worst, my best would go to Huntsman and my worst to Pawlenty. Despite what I said about Huntsman’s logo, there is a lot of potential. I’m curious to see where it goes — provided the candidate is in the race long enough to go there. As for Pawlenty, that logo is just embarrassing.”


America’s Response to the Gaza Flotilla Brings Shame on the Founders

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2011 4:38 am by HL

America’s Response to the Gaza Flotilla Brings Shame on the Founders
Indignities experienced by the crew of the American boat to Gaza show the administration should not claim lineage to the Americans who declared independence 235 years ago.


Presented By:

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2011 4:37 am by HL

Presented By:

Charade
It’s time to end the charade that Pakistan is an ally in the battle against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Pakistan’s top military spy agency has arrested some of the Pakistani informants who fed information to the Central Intelligence Agency in…

Riding White Water Economics Without Paddles and Rudder
This morning I’m sitting in the Coffee Cat in Easton, Maryland. Frederick Douglass was born nine miles from here. The great former US Senator Birch Bayh — who led on Title IX education for women and got 18 year olds…


Again: What?s The Case For Sameness?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on July 4th, 2011 4:36 am by HL

Again: What?s The Case For Sameness?
I’m once again struck by the extent to which legal regimes embed the notion that sameness, as such, is a value worth preserving. Here’s Kelly Matlock reporting on a proposed development that would replace a vacant lot that’s inside a historic district: In her testimony to the HPRB yesterday, Green stated, “The Takoma Central District […]

I’m once again struck by the extent to which legal regimes embed the notion that sameness, as such, is a value worth preserving. Here’s Kelly Matlock reporting on a proposed development that would replace a vacant lot that’s inside a historic district:

In her testimony to the HPRB yesterday, Green stated, “The Takoma Central District Plan specifically addresses height. It states that ‘new commercial and residential buildings should be no more than 2-4 stories in height to match existing residential scale’ and to preserve Takoma’s ‘small/town village character’.”

She continued by saying that, “The Takoma Overlay District permits heights of up to 55 feet, but as I also understand it, you have the ability to reduce the height, as needed, on case-by-case basis.”

Note, again, that we’re not talking about knocking down a historic structure and replacing it with a new one. We’re talking about replacing a vacant lot. Yes, it’s a vacant lot in a historic district. But it’s a vacant lot. And we’re being urged by members of the community to restrict the size of the new development—a move that has citywide implications for housing affordability, the tax base, etc.—in order “to match existing residential scale.” Obviously, though, no neighborhood as it currently exists could have been built if not for the fact that at some point in the past new structures weren’t erected that failed to match what existed previously. And it’s not at all clear to me why we would think it’s the case that, as a rule, conformity is an important aesthetic value that needs to be balanced against other economic and environmental considerations. If someone was objecting to a proposed new building on the grounds that it’s ugly well then that would make perfect sense. Nobody wants to see something they think is ugly go up across the street. But the problem with the new building is just that it’s not the same as other buildings nearby? Who cares?

Misuse of Food and Climate Data at Forbes
Peter Gleick, water and climate scientist, in a HuffPost repost.  Gleick is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Forbes, which regularly publishes biased, misleading, and distorted opinion pieces on climate issues, has just published a remarkable one by Patrick Michaels. Michaels is well known for his regular misleading statements about climate. And while his […]

Peter Gleick, water and climate scientist, in a HuffPost repost.  Gleick is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Forbes, which regularly publishes biased, misleading, and distorted opinion pieces on climate issues, has just published a remarkable one by Patrick Michaels. Michaels is well known for his regular misleading statements about climate. And while his statements are mostly worth ignoring, this one contains a particularly remarkable combination of errors and falsehoods. He accuses a variety of other people (including Justin Gillis of the New York Times) of misrepresenting data on food production and climate risks while simultaneously doing exactly that.

In this case, his misstatements are easily checked (though not, apparently, by Forbes fact-checkers) by actually looking up the real data on world food production. Here are Michaels’ most grossly misleading or simply false statements:

False Statement #1. Michaels says:

Gillis claims that “[t]he rapid growth in farm output that defined the late 20th century has slowed” because of global warming. His own figures show this is wrong. The increasing trend in world crop yields from 1960 to 1980 is exactly the same as from 1980 to 2010. [Emphasis added.]

Did Michaels think no one would actually look at the data? Gillis is right and Michaels is wrong. Crop yields are certainly increasing, on average, as we do better and better with technology. But the trends are in the wrong direction. Very simply, from 1960 to the present, yield increases have been slowing (exactly as Gillis notes), even accounting for year-to-year variation. Figure 1 below shows both the year-to-year variability due to weather and other factors, and the declining long-term trend in yields of all cereal crops combined (rice, wheat, corn, barley, oats, rye, etc.) from around 3% per year to around 1% per year. And to be specific about Michaels’ claim? From 1960 to 1980, global cereal yields grew an average of 2.5% per year, but from 1980 to 2010, they only grew 1.7% per year. These are not “exactly the same.” And it is not good news.

2011-07-01-FoodFigure1.jpg
False Statement #2. Michaels states: “And per capita grain production is rising, not falling.”

In this case, Michaels does not provide any year. Rising between when and when? In fact, per-capita grain production has been flat for decades (see Figure 2) as increases in production have been countered by increases in population. Indeed, in 2008, per-capita grain production was around 374 kilograms per person (and it dropped a bit in 2009, the last year for which global data are available). But the peak in per-capita grain production was 1984 and 1985 — more than a quarter century ago. Figure 2 [above] shows all the data from 1961. The reality is that per-capita grain production is essentially flat, not rising as Michaels claims, as the globe desperately tries to increase production to keep up with population growth.

Finally, the heart of Michaels’ Forbes piece seems to be that climate change will be good for food production, not bad. In his op-ed, under the title “Facts,” Michaels says the following:

Facts: Global surface temperature rose about three-fourths of a degree Celsius in the 20th century. U.S. corn yields quintupled. Life expectancy doubled. People got fat. Global warming didn’t cause all of this, but increased atmospheric carbon dioxide directly stimulated plant growth. Further, greenhouse warming takes place more in the winter, which lengthens growing seasons. With adequate water, plants then fix and yield more carbohydrate. [Emphasis added.]

Here, Michaels is saying that the warming of the past century was largely responsible (even if it “didn’t cause all”) for increases in U.S. corn yields, life expectancy, and people’s well-being (which is presumably what he means when he says “People got fat.”). This isn’t “fact.” It is the grossest speculation and in contradiction to actual science on food and agriculture, which strongly suggests that climate changes will only make it harder and harder to bridge the already massive gap in feeding the world’s population. The World Food Programme’s estimates that 925 million people today go to bed hungry — more than the combined population of the U.S., Canada, and the entire European Union. And his throwaway assumption, “with adequate water,” is also a massive leap of faith, given that much of our current agricultural production already relies on unsustainable overpumping of groundwater.

Truthful statement, but not in the way Michaels means it: “I continue to be amazed at how little the facts are checked on global warming, even when writing for the so-called newspapers of record.”

Well, this statement is certainly true. Alas, it applies to Michaels and Forbes.

Related Post: