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chervilant

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Member since: Wed Nov 10, 2004, 09:41 AM
Number of posts: 7,632

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'If the world ends in 2100, we’re probably OK'

There’s a myopia in the climate discourse today.

“Everyone is focused on what happens by 2100. But that’s only 2 generations from today. It’s like: If the world ends in 2100 we’re probably OK!” says Professor Richard Zeebe of the University of Hawai’i. “But It’s very clear that over a longer timescale there will be much bigger changes.”

If the next century seems impossibly far off, bear in mind that if you have a young child now, we’re talking about the world her or his grandchildren will be trying to raise their kids in.

Scientists who take the long view on climate change see parallels between global warming today and mass extinctions in Earth’s past: “Apart from the stupid space rock hitting the Earth, most mass extinctions were CO2-driven global warming things,” says Professor Andy Ridgwell of Bristol University in the UK.

It has been a consistent pattern throughout geological time: “If you screw with the climate enough, you have huge extinctions,” says Ridgwell.


For more, go to this edition of Skeptical Science.

Merry Christmas, DU!!!

HUMAN, by Yann Arthus-Bertrand



I did a search to make sure this had not been posted before. Although I did not find it posted before, I apologize to anyone who has found it herein before, and wishes to derogate me for posting it again.

That said, I think this is one of the most profound videos I've seen in quite some time. I think it is timely to view it when one of our Democratic candidates is working so very hard to encourage us to work together for the future of our younglings.

We HAVE to have each others' backs!

(Parts II and III are available free on YouTube.)

I must not fear.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”



I'm sure many of you can relate to the difficulties we humans have, both with acknowledging need, and with asking for help. I am, at turns, embarrassed, ashamed, angry, and afraid -- very afraid. Why can't an almost sixty year old, educated, hard-working individual make her own way in the world?!?

Well, perhaps because, unexpectedly, I have just spent the last five weeks bedridden with severe sciatica. I had no idea I could experience such relentless, debilitating pain! I've had no income during this enforced bed rest, and have had far too many moments when fear has seemed my only companion.

The good news is, I'm recovering, finally. My doctor prescribed diclofenac (thank you, thank you, my dearest lovely C***e, for recommending this anti-inflammatory!), and I can walk farther and stand or sit longer with only modest pain.

I do have two jobs to which I can return, hopefully by this coming weekend. However, I get less than $9 an hour, and have only once been allowed to work more than 32 hours in a week. My income has been just sufficient to pay my monthly expenses, and I still qualify for food stamps (thankfully, as this has enabled me to continue to eat).

Consequently, I need help. If I can get help with my rent, utilities, and medical expenses for just next month, I will be fine.

Please help. Even a small donation will help, AND every single donation is GREATLY appreciated.

(Please also note that I am aware that many, many -- TOO many -- of us are in dire straits, so if you cannot help, please give me a K&R -- and a )

My GoFundMe page is here.

I must not fear.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”


I'm sure many of you can relate to the difficulties we humans have, both with acknowledging need, and with asking for help. I am, at turns, embarrassed, ashamed, angry, and afraid -- very afraid. Why can't an almost sixty year old, educated, hard-working individual make her own way in the world?!?

Well, perhaps because, unexpectedly, I have just spent the last five weeks bedridden with severe sciatica. I had no idea I could experience such relentless, debilitating pain! I've had no income during this enforced bed rest, and have had far too many moments when fear has seemed my only companion.

The good news is, I'm recovering, finally. My doctor prescribed diclofenac (thank you, thank you, my dearest lovely C***e, for recommending this anti-inflammatory!), and I can walk farther and stand or sit longer with only modest pain.

I do have two jobs to which I can return, hopefully by this coming weekend. However, I get less than $9 an hour, and have only once been allowed to work more than 32 hours in a week. My income has been just sufficient to pay my monthly expenses, and I still qualify for food stamps (thankfully, as this has enabled me to continue to eat).

Consequently, I need help. If I can get help with my rent, utilities, and medical expenses for just next month, I will be fine.

Please help. Even a small donation will help, AND every single donation is GREATLY appreciated.

(Please also note that I am aware that many, many -- TOO many -- of us are in dire straits, so if you cannot help, please give me a K&R -- and a )

My GoFundMe page is here.

Here's why I'm voting for Bernie:

This is from Bernie's recent appearance on Rachel Maddow:

Let me give you my perspective on what’s going on. It’s a different perspective I think than other people have. I think you have an enormous amount of fear and uncertainty in this country. And it’s not just from San Bernardino or from Paris.

I think what you’ve got are millions of people who are in trouble today. They really are. They’re confused. They’re working longer hours for lower wages. They’re seeing productivity going up but their kids are worse off economically than they are. They’re looking at a campaign finance system in politics and they see corruption, big money buying elections. Nobody in Congress is listening to them.

They’re out there alone. Who’s listening to them? They’re in trouble. They need help.

What’s the cause of their problems? Is it Wall Street? Is it big money? Is it massive inequality in terms of wealth and income? Well, no one talks about that really.

And then have you demagogues like Trump come along. He says I know what the cause is. Remember, a few months ago, the cause was that Mexicans who are coming to this country, well, they were criminals or rapists. Today, it is Muslims.

You all remember how many years ago, we were younger, it was uppity women who are trying to take our jobs as men. It was those gay people who wanted to make everybody homosexual in our school system. It was Blacks wanted to take white jobs.

That’s what demagoguery is about. It is to obfuscate the real problems facing our society and find somebody you can blame and rally the American people. That’s what it is. It’s the immigrants or the Muslims. We’ve got to take them on.

And I think my main concern is because I worry about this. It’s real. You see the people standing up there and applauding. How do we get to those people? How do we say, why do you keep voting for people who are giving more tax breaks to billionaires, who are going to send your jobs abroad, not going to let you form a union, not going to allow your kids to go to college? Why do you keep voting for these guys?

Because they pick out a victim whether it’s Blacks, whether it’s gays, whether it’s women, whether it’s immigrants, whether it’s Muslims who we can pick on.

And what our job is and I think hard about these things, how do we get those people to begin standing up for their own interests.

And I will tell you is the antidote to Trump is a very strong progressive agenda that says, yes, I know you’re angry. And you know what? You should be angry because you’re working longer hours for low wages. You have a right to be bitter, and you have a right to be that.

Don’t take it out on the Muslims. Don’t take it out on Latinos. Try to help us work together to create a country where your kids and you can have a decent standard of living. It has to be a bold and radical agenda. No more same old same old.

I don’t mean to be political here. People are hurting and angry, and they want something to be able to stand up and fight for. That’s what I believe the antidote is to Trumpism.


Bernie really gets it. We HAVE to have each other's backs.

(I've been told that posting in GDP is a waste of time, because I'm "not going to change the minds of Hillary supporters," so I think I'll post for my fellow Bernie supporters for a while. I anticipate far fewer snarks or personal attacks from the GDP people who resent the fact that I don't support Hillary Clinton...)

I still won’t vote for Hillary

— unless her supporters can answer these 20 questions





1. Why is Clinton more capable of leading our nation than Sanders, if it was Vermont’s senator who voted against Iraq and predicted its outcome, while Clinton calls her vote a “mistake”?


Sorry, the Iraq War can’t simply be referred to as a “mistake.” Too much carnage and global instability have resulted from Iraq to ignore Clinton’s Iraq War vote. In addition, Hillary Clinton visited Iraq with John McCain in 2005. During the visit, not only did Clinton say that the insurgency was failing, but also that Iraq was“functioning quite well.”

In reality, Clinton was again wrong. Iraq was already in a devastating civil war before 2005. According to Iraq Body Count, a total of 23,861 civilians had died in Iraq before Clinton’s visit in 2005; a great many the victims of gun violence that Clinton is fervently against.


For more of this article by H. A. Goodman, published in Salon, go here. (Don't worry, fellow Democrats: if Hillary becomes our nominee, I'll vote for her. However, I think the Republicans have too much "ammunition" with which to derail her campaign.)

Does it EVER get better?

Full disclosure: I've asked for help before this past spring via GoFundMe, and many, many kind souls (most of whom I've never met) responded generously and compassionately, enabling me to stay in my little country house, and begin my new career as a non-medical caregiver for the elderly, a job I am finding quite fulfilling (I'm learning additional and valuable advocacy skills, and my clients love me!). I remain grateful beyond words for the help I received this spring.

Frankly, I was confident that this recent request for help was going to set my course to success as a non-medical caregiver, the full-time employment I expect to maintain until my retirement in five years.

However, on November 2 of this year, after two weeks of rather limiting back pain caused from lifting and shifting a bedridden client, I was standing outside beside another client on a beautiful autumn day, when this independent, creative, elderly client FELL right in front of me! My automatic response was to try to stop the fall, but I couldn't! This all happened in the blink of an eye.

The outcome of this accident? A broken wrist for my client, and a severe back injury and sciatica for me. I have been bedridden since that day. The first three weeks of November, I've had severe and relentless pain in my lower left back and down to the calf of my left leg. For this past week, my pain has been manageable, but I am unable to do much more than hobble to the bathroom or into the kitchen. The distance to my kitchen is daunting, but I am now managing two meals a day, and I have been able to wash a few dishes!

Anyway, I have an appointment with my doctor to get a referral to a specialist so that I can get an MRI. I may need back surgery, but I should qualify for my state's version of the ACA, since I've had such a meager income throughout this year (to date, I've grossed around $5300).

Obviously, I've generated zero income for the entire month of November. I'm not sure when I'll be able to get back to work (I'll know more this Thursday), but I do know that I'll need a lot of help to pay my monthly bills for the month of January (I actually had saved my last two paychecks, and they were sufficient to make all my monthly bills for December). In addition to my regular monthly rent and utilities, I need help paying for my doctor's/chiropractor's visits (my chiropractor has been kind enough to wait for his payments) and the drugs I'll have to purchase.

I know I've said this before, but please do note that I have been a volunteer advocate for survivors of relationship violence for more than thirty years. I've created and facilitated peer support groups and provided one-on-one advocacy for survivors during this time. For the past 15 years, my volunteer work has been focused on children and an informal type of art therapy. Before I moved home to Newton County, I was providing free art lessons for low-income children.

This is volunteer work that I am continuing where I currently reside. Right now, I'm providing free art programs at our local library, I'm helping three younglings by tutoring them in math, and I am helping one amazing young artist by transporting her to our knitting group and our woodcarving group (at least, I was providing transportation before this accident).

Again, I mention my volunteerism, because I want everyone to understand that I am giving as much as I can at present, and I fully appreciate everyone giving me as much as they can to help me.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of my request. My GoFundMe can be found here.

How Hillary Ruined Her Legacy As Secretary of State




May we please discuss this issue without personal attacks? I sincerely want to know if this report has legs.

Power, Labor, and Compliance in Education Reform: Why We Must Refuse




If you’ve ever lived with small children then you know this feeling: You have just cleaned the house. All clutter is put way. Table tops and floors have no dirt or food. Clothes are folded. And then, they come home. Next thing you know there’s a trail of chocolate chips on the floor from the refrigerator into the TV room. The cabinets and drawers are vomiting out their contents; pencils, rubber bands, clothing, snacks, scissors. There’s mud and leaves all over the floor…. And you know that within a short period of time you’ll have to pick everything up all over again. Now, I’ve come to terms with this process. It comes with the territory. It’s never ending. At least until they move out.

But, now imagine having this feeling as an educator as it pertains to education policies. It appears apparent to anyone who has worked in education for more than a few years that what we have before us is a never-ending avalanche of policies. Further, dedicated and committed teachers try their best to follow instructions. They try to follow the latest round of “to-do” lists hurled upon them from above by “experts” and policy makers.

But there’s a catch.

We are naïve in believing that there will ever be an end to the policy demands, or that, once we finally get a grasp on the latest “thing” and have command of it, that we can get ever get “caught up.” It’s an illusion (a deliberate one at that) that this next “thing”, whatever it is, will be the solution to our education woes. We are being sold an endless slew of promises– that all we need to do is “clean house” and the problems will be solved. But we must do our part…right?

However, the house of education, beset by a neoliberal agenda is designed to perpetually re-create new messes for us to “clean up.” What does this mean? “(A)t the heart of neoliberal ideology is the appreciation of the role of market in defining and ensuring (supposed) ‘human well-being’, where the state is more of a facilitator providing institutional supports in the form of ‘strong private property right, free markets, and free trade’ (Harvey, 2005, p. 2).

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This is an important, irrefutable article. I hope you will read every word.
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