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FourScore

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Member since: Thu Mar 16, 2006, 02:07 PM
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Mysterious Siberian Crater Found at "End of the World" May Portend Methane Climate Catastrophe

Wed Jul 16, 2014 at 08:07 PM PDT
Mysterious Siberian Crater Found at "End of the World" May Portend Methane Climate Catastrophe
by FishOutofWater


Oblique view of crater shows an elevated rim but around a deep hole. This morphology is indicative of a methane explosion, not a meteorite impact or surface collapse into a sink hole. attribution: Konstantin Nikolaev

A mysterious crater almost the size of a football field discovered in a remote part of Siberia's Yamal peninsula known as the end of the world may have profound implications about the stability of Arctic methane and catastrophic climate change.

The striking puncture in the earth is believed to be up to 80 metres wide but its depth is not estimated yet. A scientific team has been sent to investigate the hole and is due to arrive at the scene on Wednesday.

The cause of its sudden appearance in Yamal - its name means the 'end of the world' in the far north of Siberia - is not yet known, though one scientific claim is that global warming may be to blame.


Russian experts have ruled out speculation that meteorite impact might have caused the crater. The crater was certainly not caused by a meteorite because it has no central crater but instead has a deep hole. Meteorite impacts have far too much energy to leave an open hole. (Note: I studied meteoritics for my first year of graduate school.) Likewise any other extraterrestrial source would have far too much energy to leave an open hole. The impact site would be filled with ejecta.

It doesn't appear to be a sink hole because the hole is surrounded by a rim of ejected material. Genarally, sink holes don't have elevated rims because they are produced by collapse of surface material into a preexisting covered hole. The ejecta appears to have been produced by an explosion. This crater formed in one of Siberia's largest natural gas producing regions. Permafrost in this area is melting in response to the rapid warming of the Arctic. The most likely cause of this crater is a methane explosion.


Strait down view of mysterious Siberian Crater likely caused by a massive methane explosion. attribution: Picture: Konstantin Nikolaev via Siberian Times

Anna Kurchatova from Sub-Arctic Scientific Research Centre thinks the crater was formed by a water, salt and gas mixture igniting an underground explosion, the result of global warming. She postulates that gas accumulated in ice mixed with sand beneath the surface, and that this was mixed with salt - some 10,000 years ago this area was a sea.


If Dr Kurchatova's explanation is correct, the consequences are profound. It means that There are vertical structures where salt accumulated as methane ices formed in permafrost. Layers of permafrost may have salty vertical zones of weakness in them that will allow sudden release of methane trapped below the permafrost layer as the climate warms. Vast quantities of methane trapped in river deltas in the Arctic ocean on the Siberian shelf may be unstable. This crater appears to be evidence that the methane is not protected by a very slowly melting solid layer of permafrost. Methane bubbles recently observed in the Laptev Sea, reported on by the National Science Foundation, could be the beginning of the release of an enormous amount of subsea methane.
Schematic diagram by National Science Foundation of methane release from shallow Siberian subsea sediments.


Methane is escaping from shallow subsea sediments on the Siberian platform. This National Science Foundation diagram shows Siberian platform methane bubbles rising to the surface and entering the atmosphere. attribution: NSF

The concerns of a methane catastrophe expressed by scientists who have discovered large amounts methane escaping from the Laptev Sea may reinforced by this land based observation of methane instability in Siberian sediments of marine origin.


Extraordinarily high methane levels were observed over the Laptev sea in fall 2013.
attribution: Harold Hansel


Harold Hansel who generated this graphic of methane levels over the Laptev sea expressed alarm:

"I am fighting for the lives of my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren who's lifespan will extend 30 to 40 years from now. I am also fighting for all children of the world, animals, whales, dolphins, flowers and all living things. They are all in peril and we are the ones that may have a chance of doing something about it now. The threat of what is coming must sink in."


I have been waiting for independent evidence of methane instability in Siberian sediments to validate the concerns that the Siberian platform could produce a rapid release of methane, a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, that could destabilize the climate. I am afraid that it has just been found.



http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/07/16/1314501/-Mysterious-Siberian-Crater-Found-at-End-of-the-World-May-Portend-Methane-Climate-Catastrophe

Obama Rips The GOP A New One - In Texas (VIDEO)

Fri Jul 11, 2014 at 12:02 AM PDT
Obama Rips The GOP A New One - In Texas (VIDEO)
by Leslie Salzillo

Once again, under extreme fire from the Right, President Obama calmly, and oh, so cooly, tells the GOP and Texas Delegates what time it is. Last night, in Austin, Texas, the president talked about the pending Republican lawsuit, and makes it clear this ain't his first rodeo.

In his own words:

"As long as Congress will not increase wages for workers, I will go and talk to every business in America if I have to. There’s no denying a simple truth: America deserves a raise, and if you work full-time in this country, you shouldn’t live in poverty. That’s something that we all believe.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. There are a number of Republicans, including a number in the Texas delegation, who are mad at me for taking these actions. They actually plan to sue me. Now, I don’t know which things they find most offensive — me helping to create jobs, or me raising wages, or me easing the student loan burdens, or me making sure women can find out whether they’re getting paid the same as men for doing the same job. I don’t know which of these actions really bug them.

The truth is, even with all the actions I’ve taken this year, I’m issuing executive orders at the lowest rate in more than 100 years. So it’s not clear how it is that Republicans didn’t seem to mind when President Bush took more executive actions than I did. Maybe it’s just me they don’t like. I don’t know. Maybe there’s some principle out there that I haven’t discerned, that I haven’t figure out. You hear some of them — ‘sue him,’ ‘impeach him.’ Really? Really? For what? You’re going to sue me for doing my job? Okay.

I mean, think about that. You’re going to use taxpayer money to sue me for doing my job — while you don’t do your job.


There’s a great movie called ‘The Departed’ — a little violent for kids. But there’s a scene in the movie where Mark Wahlberg — they’re on a stakeout and somehow the guy loses the guy that they’re tracking. And Wahlberg is all upset and yelling at the guy. And the guy looks up and he says, ‘Well, who are you?’ And Wahlberg says, ‘I’m the guy doing my job. You must be the other guy.’ Sometimes, I feel like saying to these guys, ‘I’m the guy doing my job, you must be the other guy.’

So rather than wage another political stunt that wastes time, wastes taxpayers’ money, I’ve got a better idea: Do something. If you’re mad at me for helping people on my own, let’s team up. Let’s pass some bills. Let’s help America together."


Here is the video:



I love seeing him like this. He's cocky, yet always seems to turn things around in the end, inviting Republicans over to play together, if they play nice. They won't. They don't. And they will lose in November. The American people are not stupid. Though, many are buying into the GOP/Koch brand of lies, I believe more will invest in Obama's vision for this country, by giving him their votes. I predict there will be a record turnout at the polls, and the 2014 Midterms will be one of the most exciting elections we've seen.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/07/11/1313189/-Obama-Rips-The-GOP-A-New-One-In-Texas-VIDEO

Not too long ago...

This has probably been posted here at DU before (and I'm sorry if it's a repeat), but with the latest shootings, it seems like a good time to post it.


Independence Day Special: A Dozen Facts About America Conservatives Would Like You to Forget

Fri Jul 04, 2014 at 03:09 AM PDT
Independence Day Special: A Dozen Facts About America Conservatives Would Like You to Forget
by Richard Riis





1. Conservatives opposed the Founding Fathers, the American Revolution and a lot of other righteous stuff as well.

By definition a conservative is one who wishes to preserve and/or restore traditional values and institutions, i.e. to “conserve” the established order. No surprise then that 18th century American conservatives wanted no part of breaking away from the British Empire and the comforting bonds of monarchical government. Those anti-revolutionary conservatives were called Tories, the name still used for the conservative party in England. The Founding Fathers? As radically left-wing as they came in the 1770s. The Boston Tea Party? The "Occupy Wall Street" of its day.

Some of the other "traditional" values supported by conservatives over the course of American history have included slavery (remember that the Republican Party was on the liberal fringe in 1860), religious persecution, the subjugation of women and minorities, obstacles to immigration, voter suppression, prohibition and segregation. Conservatives started off on the wrong side of American history, and that's where they've been ever since.

2. The United States is not a Christian nation, and the Bible is not the cornerstone of our law.

Don’t take my word for it. Let these Founding Fathers speak for themselves:

John Adams: “The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.” (Treaty of Tripoli, 1797)

Thomas Jefferson: “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law.” (Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814)

James Madison: “The civil government … functions with complete success … by the total separation of the Church from the State.” (Writings, 8:432, 1819)

George Washington: “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.” (Letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789)

You can find a multitude of similar quotes from these men and most others who signed the Declaration of Independence and/or formulated the United States Constitution. These are hardly the words of men who believed that America should be a Christian nation governed by the Bible, as a disturbing fundamentalist trend today would have it be.

2. Long before the United States even existed, it was drawing "problem" immigrants.

After being pretty much run out of England as anti-government radicals, the religious dissidents we know today as the Pilgrims settled in Leiden, Holland, where they set about making themselves that nation's immigrant problem. Sticking to themselves and refusing to “blend in” with their new homeland, the Pilgrims grew alarmed by the unpalatable ideas to which their children were being exposed, such as religious tolerance (good for the Pilgrims, bad for everyone else) and national service (like all Dutch residents, the Pilgrims were eligible for the draft). When their children began picking up the Dutch language, the Pilgrims had had enough. By then the Dutch had, too. Next stop: Plymouth Rock.

3. Those Pilgrims were commies... and it saved their lives.

Governor William Bradford’s memoirs confirm that the first thing the settlers did upon arrival in the Plymouth Colony was to set up a textbook communist system of production and distribution. Every resident of the colony was expected to share, to the extent of his or her ability, the chores of hunting, farming, cooking, building, making clothing, etc., and, in exchange, everyone shared the products of that communal labor.

That commie-pinko economy sustained the Pilgrims through their first brutal year in the New World, after which it was decided that the colony was sufficiently stable to allow householders their own plot of land on which to grow crops they were free to keep for themselves. The fact that the colonists’ productivity increased exponentially with their own land begs the question: were the Pilgrims working harder now that they got to keep the product of their own labor or, conversely, were they prone to slacking off when the goods came whether they worked hard or not?

I guess you could say the Pilgrims were the kind of lazy, shiftless “takers” that conservatives are always railing against.

4. One of the Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, hated Thanksgiving.

In fact, Thomas Jefferson once called a national day of Thanksgiving “the most ridiculous idea” he’d ever heard of.

Despite being first proclaimed by George Washington in 1789, Jefferson believed a national day of thanksgiving was not consistent with the principle of separation of church and state and refused to recognize the holiday in any of the eight years in which he was president of the United States. “Every one must act according to the dictates of his own reason,” Jefferson once wrote, “and mine tells me that civil powers alone have been given to the President of the United States, and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents.”

For the record, Presidents Andrew Jackson and Zachary Taylor refused to issue Thanksgiving Day proclamations during their administrations, too. Can you imagine what Fox News Channel would have made of these administrations' “War on Thanksgiving”?

5. The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist.

The Pledge was written in 1892 for public school celebrations of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in the Americas. Its author was Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister, Christian socialist and cousin of socialist utopian novelist Edward Bellamy. Christian socialism maintains, among other ideas, that capitalism is idolatrous and rooted in greed, and the underlying cause of much of the world’s social inequity. Kinda puts the red in the ol' red, white and blue, doesn't it?

6. Roe v. Wade was a bipartisan decision made by a predominantly Republican-appointed Supreme Court.

Technically, Roe v. Wade did not make abortion legal in the United States, the Supreme Court merely found that the state of Texas’ prohibition on abortion violated the 14th Amendment Due Process Clause and that states could exercise varying degrees of discretion in regulating abortion, depending upon the stage of pregnancy. The Court also held the law violated the right to privacy under substantive due process.
That being said, the landmark 1973 ruling that conservatives love to hate, was decided on a 7-2 vote that broke down like this:

Majority (for Roe): Chief Justice Warren Burger (conservative, appointed by Nixon), William O. Douglas (liberal, appointed by FDR), William J. Brennan (liberal, appointed by Eisenhower), Potter Stewart (moderate, appointed by Eisenhower), Thurgood Marshall (liberal, appointed by LBJ), Harry Blackmun (author of the majority opinion and a conservative who eventually turned liberal, appointed by Nixon), Lewis Powell (moderate, appointed by Nixon). Summary: 3 liberals, 2 conservatives, 2 moderates.

Dissenting (for Wade): Byron White (generally liberal/sometimes conservative, appointed by JFK), William Rehnquist (conservative, appointed by Nixon). Summary: 1 liberal, 1 conservative.

By ideological orientation, it was an across-the-board decision for Roe: conservatives 2-1, liberals 3-1, moderates 2-0; by party of presidential appointment: Republicans 5-1, Democrats 2-1. No one can rightly say that this was a leftist court forcing its liberal beliefs on America.

7. Conservative icon Ronald Reagan once signed a bill legalizing abortion.

The Ronald Reagan conservatives worship today is more myth than reality. Reagan was a conservative for sure, but also a practical politician who understood the necessities of compromise. In the spring of 1967, four months into his first term as governor of California, Ronald Reagan signed a bill that, among other provisions, legalized abortion for the vaguely-defined “well being” of the mother. Reagan may have been personally pro-life, but in this instance he was willing to compromise in order to achieve other ends he considered more important. That he claimed later to regret signing the bill doesn’t change the fact that he did. As Casey Stengel liked to say, “You could look it up.”

8. Reagan also raised federal taxes eleven times.

Okay, Ronald Reagan cut tax rates more than any other president – with a big asterisk. Sure, the top rate was reduced from 70% in 1980 all the way down to 28% in 1988, but while Republicans typically point to Reagan’s tax-cutting as the right approach to improving the economy, Reagan himself realized the resulting national debt from his revenue slashing was untenable, so he quietly raised other taxes on income – primarily Social Security and payroll taxes - no less than eleven times. Most of Reagan’s highly publicized tax cuts went to the usual handout-takers in the top income brackets, while his stealth tax increases had their biggest impact on the middle class. These increases were well hidden inside such innocuous-sounding packages as the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 and the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987. Leave it to a seasoned actor to pull off such a masterful charade.

9. Barry Goldwater was pro-choice, supported gay rights, deeply despised the Religious Right, and - gasp! - liked Hillary Clinton.

It's a measure of just how much farther right contemporary conservatism has shifted in just a generation or two that Barry "Mr. Conservative" Goldwater, the Republican standard-bearer in 1964, couldn't buy a ticket into a GOP convention in 2014.

There's no debating Goldwater's deeply conservative bona fides, but check these pronouncements from the man himself:

"I am a conservative Republican, but I believe in democracy and the separation of church and state. The conservative movement is founded on the simple tenet that people have the right to live life as they please as long as they don't hurt anyone else in the process." (Interview, Washington Post, July 28, 1994)

"A woman has a right to an abortion. That's a decision that's up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right." (Interview, Los Angeles Times, 1994)

“The big thing is to make this country… quit discriminating against people just because they're gay. You don't have to agree with it, but they have a constitutional right to be gay. ... They're American citizens.” (Interview, Washington Post, July 28, 1994)

"Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can't and won't compromise. I know; I've tried to deal with them. Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of ‘conservatism.’" (Congressional Record, September 16, 1981)

"If let his wife run business, I think he'd be better off. ... I just like the way she acts. I've never met her, but I sent her a bag of chili, and she invited me to come to the White House some night and said she'd cook chili for me." (Interview, Washington Post, July 28, 1994)

10. The first president to propose national health insurance was a Republican.

He was also a trust-busting, pro-labor, Nobel Peace Prize-winning environmentalist. Is there any wonder why Theodore Roosevelt, who first proposed a system of national health insurance during his unsuccessful Progressive Party campaign to retake the White House from William Howard Taft in 1912, gets scarce mention at Republican National Conventions these days?

11. Those "job-killing" environmental regulations? Republican things.

Sometimes being conservative can be a good thing, like when it applies to conserving America's clean air and water, endangered wildlife and awesome natural beauty. Many of Theodore Roosevelt's greatest accomplishments as president were in the area of conserving America's natural environment. In 1905, Roosevelt formed the United States Forestry Service. Under his presidential authority, vast expanses of American real estate were declared off limits for private development and reserved for public use. During Roosevelt's time as president, forest reserves in the United States went from approximately 43 million acres to about 194 million acres. Talk about big government land grabs!

The United States Environmental Protection Agency, arch-enemy of polluters in particular and government regulation haters in general, was created by that other well-known GOP tree hugger, Richard Nixon. In his 1970 State of the Union Address, Nixon proclaimed the new decade a period of environmental transformation. Shortly thereafter he presented Congress an unprecedented 37-point message on the environment, requesting billions for the improvement of water treatment facilities, asking for national air quality standards and stringent guidelines to lower motor vehicle emissions, and launching federally-funded research to reduce automobile pollution. Nixon also ordered a clean-up of air- and water-polluting federal facilities, sought legislation to end the dumping of wastes into the Great Lakes, proposed a tax on lead additives in gasoline, and approved a National Contingency Plan for the treatment of petroleum spills. In July 1970 Nixon declared his intention to establish the Environmental Protection Agency, and that December the EPA opened for business. Hard to believe, but had it not been for Watergate, we might remember Richard Nixon today as the “environmental president”.

Oh, yes – conservatives would rather forget that Nixon was an advocate of national health insurance, too.

12. President Obama was not only born in the United States, his roots run deeper in American history than most conservatives’ - and most other Americans' - do.

The argument that Barack Obama was born anywhere but at Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, is not worth addressing; the evidence is indisputable by any rational human being. But not even irrational “birthers” can dispute Obama’s well-documented family tree on his mother’s side. By way of his Dunham lineage, President Obama has at least 11 direct ancestors who took up arms and fought for American independence in the Revolutionary War and two others cited as patriots by the Daughters of the American Revolution for furnishing supplies to the colonial army. This star-spangled heritage makes Obama eligible to join the Sons of the American Revolution, and his daughters the Daughters of the American Revolution. Not bad for someone some conservatives on the lunatic fringe still insist is a foreigner bent on destroying the United States of America.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/07/04/1311570/-Independence-Day-Special-A-Dozen-Facts-About-America-Conservatives-Would-Like-You-to-Forget

Supreme Court rules women can be discriminated against in health decisions

Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:47 AM PDT
Supreme Court rules women can be discriminated against in health decisions
by Joan McCarter


Protesters hold signs at the steps of the Supreme Court as arguments begin today to challenge the Affordable Care Act's requirement that employers provide coverage for contraception as part of an employee's health care, in Washington March 25, 2014.

The U.S. Supreme Court convened on Tuesday to consider whether business owners can object on religious grounds to a provision of President Barack Obama's healthcare law requiring employers to provide health insurance that covers birth control.     REUTERS/Larry Downing   (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS HEALTH BUSINESS RELIGION) - RTR3IJ5S
The U.S. Supreme Court has given corporations even more personhood by deciding that they can have religious beliefs in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores. They ruled that closely held companies are exempt from the contraceptive coverage mandate for their employees' health insurance, and are exempt from that provision of the Affordable Care Act. The decision, 5-4 and the majority opinion written by Alito, is being described as "narrow." It is narrow, in that basically only applies to women.

The Court says:

This decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to mean that all insurance mandates, that is for blood transfusions or vaccinations, necessarily fail if they conflict with an employer's religious beliefs.


Men could need blood transfusions or vaccinations, so of course they can't allow the exemption from Obamacare to extend to them. The Court then says that this ruling is preventing discrimination. That would be discrimination against who really matters to the majority of the Roberts Court—corporations.

The decision also only applies to "closely held" corporations, which the IRS defines as having more than 50 percent of its stock owned by 5 or fewer individuals. It says that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act requires that the "government provide closely-held corporate objectors the same accommodation it already provides nonprofit organization objectors."

So religious belief trumps medical science and women's ability to make their own health care decisions, and corporations get to dictate that, according to the majority of the Supreme Court.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/30/1310535/-Supreme-Court-rules-women-can-be-discriminated-against-in-health-decisions

OT: Hmm... And what's that I see behind those peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment right? Is that a barrier? Oh, that's right, the supreme Court isn't a woman's healthcare facility! Silly me!

TOM TOMORROW: The Droney memo

Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 07:00 AM PDT
Cartoon: The Droney memo
by Tom Tomorrow



http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/30/1310372/-Cartoon-The-Droney-memo

His father's eyes

Thu Jun 26, 2014 at 01:10 PM PDT
His father's eyes
by SteelerGrrl

He was a rising senior and standout scholar-athlete at his high school. I was the cardiac sonographer on weekend call at the regional trauma center. Answering a mid-afternoon page, I was promptly connected to ICU. "GSW," the charge nurse said flatly. "Harvest."
"I'll be right there."

GSW. Gun shot wound. Someone has been declared clinically brain dead, and the next of kin has consented to donate his or her heart. Organ donation is a tightly choreographed process and every minute counts. My job was to do an ultrasound study of the donor's heart and deliver it stat to my cardiologist, who would assess its viability for transplant.

Guiding my unwieldy machine out of the elevator and into the normally-sterile corridor, I found it teeming with humanity. Mostly teenagers, they were huddled in small groups. Shaking, sobbing, praying.

This was going to be bad.



His cramped room is already packed with family and life support machinery. I introduce myself, scanning their faces. They part silently as I set up my equipment. I know instantly which is his father. I will never forget the look in his father's eyes.

He doesn't look dead. His chest rises and falls with the ventilator; the monitor displays normal vital signs. As I lay my probe on his chest, his skin is warm beneath my glove. His heart springs to life for all to see. Strong. Steady. So much living left to do.

I complete my study methodically, efficiently, as X-ray and lab line up for their turn. His heart function is within normal limits, but I can't tell the family that. Instead, I nod awkwardly and them them I'm so sorry. Mindful of the vigil in the hall, I pause at the door to dab away the rising well in my eyes with a washcloth. It turns out the washcloth is covered with ultrasound gel.

The cold and indignity shock me back into clinical mode. Page the cardiologist. Drive home. The brilliant sun suddenly seems cruel, illuminating a world that doesn't feel beautiful anymore. It feels broken, bleeding about the jagged edges of a piece senselessly and irrevocably ripped from its very flesh.

There was a gun in his home, and there was an accident. It doesn't matter where, or when, or how it happened. In a more perfect world, stories like his would be rare. Instead, he succumbed to the second most common cause of death among children and young people. From the New England Journal of Medicine: (word cloud above)

In 2010, gun-related injuries accounted for 6570 deaths of children and young people (1 to 24 years of age). That includes 7 deaths per day among people 1 to 19 years of age. Gun injuries cause twice as many deaths as cancer, 5 times as many as heart disease, and 15 times as many as infections.


Emphasis mine. Seven gun-related deaths per day, age 1 to 19. Seven bedside vigils, seven devastated families, seven fathers and mothers with a look in their eyes that stays with you forever. My nursing textbooks tell me to work with measurable quantities. How do you measure heartbreak? How do you quantify the carnage of a single bullet, when its wake is measured in decades and generations?

A year after that unforgettable call, I received a card at work. It was signed by the recipient of that young man's heart. He was doing wonderfully, back at work, and able to play with his kids again.

Only then, far removed from the clinical detachment of the moment, did I comprehend the great gift that young man's family had bestowed in a moment of unspeakable tragedy. Only then did I let myself cry.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/26/1309774/-His-father-s-eyes

Tom Tomorrow: In a just world

Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 07:00 AM PDT
Cartoon: In a just world
by Tom Tomorrow



MUST READ RANT FROM STONEKETTLE STATION: Absolutely Nothing

Tragically, all we’ve fought for in Iraq, all that 4,500 American lives were shed to gain, is on the cusp, potentially, of vanishing.
- Mitt Romney, “Ideas Summit,” 6/13/2014



All we fought for in Iraq.

All we fought for in Iraq is on the cusp of vanishing.

That’s what Mitt Romney says.

We fought for. We fought for. We.

Oh, so it’s we now, is it, Mitt?

We.

I must have missed you over there, but it was a busy place. We. The guy who helped set up “pro-draft” rallies and yet somehow managed to avoid service in Vietnam is upset about losing what “we” fought for? We.

Yeah, fuck you, Mitt...

READ IT ALL HERE: http://www.stonekettle.com/2014/06/absolutely-nothing.html

Five things I learned about conservatives these past two weeks

Wed Jun 11, 2014 at 07:45 AM PDT
Five things I learned about conservatives these past two weeks
by kos


Duck Dynasty cast photo alongside photo of Bob Bergdahl showing them sporting similar beards.


Some of these beards are patriotic, others are just like the Taliban. Can you spot which is which?
Conservatives have kindly given us an illuminating inside look into their world view these past few weeks. Things I've learned:

* Reality is a mere inconvenience. Remember when Obamacare would destroy the world? How many of them are talking about the ACA today? The number is pretty much zero. The law proved its worth, and they moved on. There was Cliven Bundy, but that flamed out, so forget he ever existed. So they moved on to Benghazi select committee, but how much are you hearing about that these days? No, now it's BERGDAHL who will finally prove Obama's undoing. Except he won't.

* "Leave no one behind" is not a conservative value. The Solider's Creed says, "I will never leave a fallen comrade." The Airman's Creed says, "I will never leave an airman behind." It's a foundational military and American value. For conservatives, it's "leave no one behind, unless Sarah Palin has something to say about it, then it depends." That's simply un-American.

* Forget about supporting the troops. It's not just leaving our troops prisoner in the hands of our enemies. Conservatives filibustered increased spending on veterans health care. And let's not forget, they'll boo our troops if they happen to be of the wrong sexual persuasion. In other words, support for the troops is now lip service, and even then, situational. It really depends.

* Beards say "I love America!" except the Taliban ones. Long beards are okay when they're on the face of Duck Dynasty pretend hillbillies, but not okay on the face of Bowe Bergdahl's father. Just because.

* Keeping schoolchildren alive is not a priority. Given the choice between unfettered access to weapons of mass killing or keeping our school children safe, conservatives have made their choice very clear. For them, dead school children are preferable.

Alright, I admit it. I didn't learn most of those things these past two weeks. The "leave no one behind, maybe" was new, as was the crazy beard thing. But the rest? It merely confirmed what we already knew. None of it very pretty.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/06/10/1305863/-Five-things-I-learned-about-conservatives-these-past-two-weeks
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