Ellen DeGeneres Tells Sarah Palin Where to Stick It

Ellen has a little something to say to Sarah Palin.

Science vs Sarah

The borders are slippery between Knowledge and Palintology

SCIENCE

Biologists Note Polar Bear Cannibalism

Andrew C. Revkin: Published: June 13, 2006

www.nytimes.com/2006/06/13/us/13brfs-006.html

“Providing hints that a reduction in coastal sea ice may make life difficult for polar bears, government biologists from Canada and the United States say they observed three instances of cannibalism among polar bears in a three-month stretch in 2004 along Alaskan and Yukon coasts. In the journal Polar Biology, the researchers said that no previous examples had been observed in the region in at least 24 years. Computer simulations project that the Arctic Ocean could become largely free of sea ice later in the century in summers if global warming intensifies.”

Global Warming Pushes Polar Bears To Cannibalism

by Mira Oberman Chicago (AFP): Published  Jun 16, 2006

http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Global_Warming_Pushes_Polar_Bears_To_Cannibalism.html

While bears will kill and then eat other bears in fights over territory or females it is extremely rare for them to hunt other bears as prey, Armstrup said. In nearly 40 years of studying polar bears in northern Alaska and Canada, researchers had never observed such behavior.

Agency Proposes to List Polar Bears as Threatened

By Felicity Barringer and Andrew C. Revkin: Published: December 28, 2006

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/28/science/28polar.html?_r=1&fta=y&oref=slogin

The International Conservation Union, in its latest red list of endangered wildlife, gave polar bears threatened status in May, projecting a decline of 30 percent by midcentury from current populations, mainly due to projected losses of sea ice in a warming world.

Polar bears are dependent on sea ice as a platform for hunting seals, and as a pathway to coastal areas. The ice shrinkage has meant that polar bears, which are strong swimmers, have had to cover longer distances between ice and land.

They have survived previous Arctic warming periods, including the last warm stretch between ice ages some 130,000 years ago, but some climate experts project that nothing in the species’ history is likely to match the pace and extent of warming and ice retreats projected in this century and beyond, should emissions of heat-trapping gases continue unabated.

SARAH

Palin loves bears

Palin loves bears

Gov. Sarah Palin on polar bears, climate change, and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/index.php/csw/details/palin_polarbear_climate_anwr/

Posted on Friday, August 29, 2008

In September 2007 Governor Palin formed the Alaska Climate Change Sub-Cabinet and charged it with preparing and implementing an Alaska Climate Change Strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and responding to the effects of climate change.  But Palin opposed listing the polar bear as threatened by global warming and loss of sea ice habitat, in spite of the findings of a scientifically based status assessment put together by the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Marine Mammals Management Office in Alaska and the clear requirements of the Endangered Species Act.

“Alaska’s marine mammal scientists agreed last year with federal researchers who concluded polar bears are threatened with extinction because of a shrinking ice cap,” the Anchorage Daily News reported on May 25.  “The state’s in-house dispute seems to refute later statements by Gov. Sarah Palin that a ‘comprehensive review’ of the federal science by state wildlife officials found no reason to support an endangered-species listing for the northern bears.”

SCIENCE

CNN.com/Technology

http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/09/23/arctic.ice/index.html?eref=rss_topstories

The best known consequence of disappearing sea ice in the Arctic is the loss of the polar bear habitat.  Learn more about polar bears and their habitat.

“The Arctic sea ice melt is a disaster for the polar bears,” according to Kassie Siegel, staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity. “They are dependent on the Arctic sea ice for all of their essential behaviors, and as the ice melts and global warming transforms the Arctic, polar bears are starving, drowning, even resorting to cannibalism because they don’t have access to their usual food sources.”

In May, the U.S. Department of Interior listed the polar bear as a “threatened” species under the Endangered Species Act. In a news release, U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne stated, “loss of sea ice threatens and will likely continue to threaten polar bear habitat. This loss of habitat puts polar bears at risk of becoming endangered in the foreseeable future, the standard established by the ESA for designating a threatened species.”

SARAH

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

By SARAH PALIN

Published: January 5, 2008

Juneau, Alaska

ABOUT the closest most Americans will ever get to a polar bear are those cute, cuddly animated images that smiled at us while dancing around, pitching soft drinks on TV and movie screens this holiday season.

This is unfortunate, because polar bears are magnificent animals, not cartoon characters. They are worthy of our utmost efforts to protect them and their Arctic habitat. But adding polar bears to the nation’s list of endangered species, as some are now proposing, should not be part of those efforts.

Read more here   http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/05/opinion/05palin.html

SCIENCE

Gov. Sarah Palin on polar bears, climate change, and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/index.php/csw/details/palin_polarbear_climate_anwr/

Posted on Friday, August 29, 2008

In September 2007 Governor Palin formed the Alaska Climate Change Sub-Cabinet and charged it with preparing and implementing an Alaska Climate Change Strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and responding to the effects of climate change.  But Palin opposed listing the polar bear as threatened by global warming and loss of sea ice habitat, in spite of the findings of a scientifically based status assessment put

Palin endangers wildlife

Palin endangers wildlife

together by the the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Marine Mammals Management Office in Alaska and the clear requirements of the Endangered Species Act.

“Alaska’s marine mammal scientists agreed last year with federal researchers who concluded polar bears are threatened with extinction because of a shrinking ice cap,” the Anchorage Daily News reported on May 25.  “The state’s in-house dispute seems to refute later statements by Gov. Sarah Palin that a ‘comprehensive review’ of the federal science by state wildlife officials found no reason to support an endangered-species listing for the northern bears.”

SARAH vs SCIENCE

E-mail reveals state dispute over polar bear listing

POLAR BEAR LISTING: Biologists disagreed with administration.

By TOM KIZZIA

tkizzia@adn.com

Published: May 25th, 2008 01:54 AM

http://www.adn.com/news/environment/story/416432.html

A newly released e-mail from last fall shows that the state’s own biologists were at odds with the Palin administration, which has consistently opposed any new federal protections for polar bears under the Endangered Species Act….The e-mail was released…to a University of Alaska scientist who had filed a public records request seeking information on the state’s polar bear decision-making.  Rick Steiner, the university Marine Advisory Program professor who obtained the memo, said it undermines the Palin administration’s scientific defense as well as its claims to being an open government….

“Even the petroleum-loving Bush administration couldn’t find a way around the science on this issue,” Steiner said. “This perpetual denial of environmental harm posture is what gives Alaska a very bad image nationally and globally.”

In its final response to Steiner this month, the state generally withheld all substantive in-house comments on the bears, saying these were private policy discussions among executive officials, a category exempt from release under state public records laws.

Why would someone who doesn’t care about the survival of the polar bear wear a pin in it’s image? It may be a coincidence, but the polar bear happens to be the logo for the Alaskan Independence Party.

Palin's pin
Alaska Independence Party

Alaska Independence Party

My Daily Rant – October 18

To Infinity and Beyond

The Adler Planetarium projector is sort of the Joe the Plumber of earmarks. It is a single example that has been used to make a point.

One of the McCain campaign positions is that there are far too many earmarks in the budget. In an attempt to paint Obama as the king of wasteful spending, during the Oct. 7, 2008, presidential debate, McCain said, “He voted for nearly a billion dollars in pork-barrel earmark projects, including, by the way, $3-million for an overhead projector at a planetarium in Chicago, Illinois. My friends, do we need to spend that kind of money?”

Senator McCain has scornfully mentioned the projector several times since.

Overhead projector. Really? One person’s pork may be another person’s investment in the future.

The equipment in question is hardly an overhead projector. It is a replacement for one that weighs in at 2½ tons, is 18 feet in diameter and elevates from 12 to 20 feet. “It’s used to display 7,000 stars and planets that are visible,” said Mark Webb, director of theaters at Adler Planetarium.

Should the Adler get Federal funding? The request seems consistent with the goal of better education for our children, making them more competitive in the 21st century. Obama has vowed to put education on a fast track to improvement, with science and math in the lead. The Adler serves the population (including the school children) of at least three states – Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana.

“The projection equipment in this theater is 40 years old, and is no longer supported with parts or service by the manufacturer,” a spokesperson from Obama’s office said in a June 21, 2007, announcement. The three million was requested by a bi-partisan group of six legislators from Illinois, but it isn’t the end of the story. The Adler will need about ten million dollars to finish refurbishing the facility. They plan to raise the additional seven million through private funding.

But why would those of us in other states want to use tax dollars to fund a planetarium in Chicago? The United Nations has declared 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy. We here in the United States need to take heed and give out children the tools to excel or at least be knowledgeable in this science. Consider the following.

“Beijing Planetarium is taking a very important part in the preparation of IYA2009 events for mainland China. We are investigating the possibility of including astronomy as a normal middle school course in some cities and emphasizing the importance of planetariums in astronomy education. We are recommending that every middle-size city in China could have a large- or middle-size planetarium and every middle school in China could have its own middle or small-size planetarium. It is expected that hundreds of new planetariums will be built in the next several years, and IPS 2010 in Beijing will greatly speed-up such a process in China, as well as in some other regions of Asia.”

So Chinese children will have the opportunity to reach for the stars. Our kids? Well, the funding for the “overhead projector” was cut.

Sources:

http://jotman.blogspot.com/2008/10/mccain-obama-and-adler-planetarium.html

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/782/

My Daily Rant – October 17

McCarthy Redux

by the Tall Twin

Okay. I’ve really come to the point where, if this were a manuscript, I would get out my red pen and strike out the plot turns that are just too hard to believe. Instead I must rant. In fact, I have a lot to catch up on, so my daily rant may turn into two or ten rants.

Let’s start with a general statement. Governor Palin announced at a rally that she loved visiting the Pro-America areas of the country. Short of one or two secessionist pockets that have recently come to the attention of the media, can we just agree that all areas of the country are Pro-American. In California, Alaska, Nebraska, Florida, Hawaii, New York, or any other state, our ideas and opinions may vary, but from sea to shining sea, we are Americans. Whether we chug beer or sip Chardonnay…we are Americans.

Nonetheless, on the Chris Matthews show, Hardball, Representative Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota said that she thinks the media should take a probing look at the views of people in Congress to determine who harbors anti-American views. Is the Representative a conservative or a liberal? Doesn’t matter. Where’s the line between acceptable American views and those that are anti-American? Are protestors bad guys? If you work to save a plot of land that has been marked for development, are you anti-American? How about if you march for better job benefits? Smaller cars? To save the polar bears?

If you believe in universal health care, free trade, Buddhism, flat tax, global warming, school vouchers, gay marriage, gas-powered lawn mowers, pro-choice, or evolution does that make you anti-American?

If you’re a hunter, a nurse, a creationist, pro-life, a college professor, a real estate developer, a CEO, a Wiccan, a liberal, a conservative, a vegetarian, or a belly dancer, does that make you anti-American?

How do you know? Who decides? Should we be more careful about what we say out loud? What we write? Once we start this kind of labeling, where does it lead?

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”

(Inscribed at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.)

“Sit Down, Boy!” — Sarah Palin, Bottom Feeder

by
The Tall Twin
In recent speeches, Governor Sarah Palin said about Senator Barack Obama, “This is not a man who sees America as you see it and how I see America.” She adds that he, “sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

She used the comments to attack Obama for his association with William Ayers, former member of an anti-war group known for domestic terrorism in the sixties and seventies (when Obama was a child).

Palin Supporters

Palin Supporters

Here’s the background on the Ayers – Obama connection. Ayers, now in his sixties, is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Education. Obama met him when they lived in the same neighborhood. Ayres was one of three authors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge grant proposal for public school reform. In 1995 the project was given nearly fifty million dollars for public school grants. Obama was named to the Board of Directors that oversaw the distribution of grants in Chicago.

In 1995, Ayers hosted a “coffee” in his home so that State Senator Alice Palmer could introduce Obama to her supporters as he began his first run for office. In 1997, Ayers was named Chicago’s Citizen of the Year for his work on the Annenberg project.

From 2000 to 2002, Ayers and Obama both served on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, a community anti-poverty group. In April 2001, Ayers contributed $200 to Obama’s re-election fund to the Illinois State Senate.

Since 2002, there has been little linking Obama and Ayers, and Senator Obama has condemned the actions that Ayers took as a young man. Seriously, if Sarah Palin sees this as “palling around with terrorists” then she will have to accuse dozens of Chicago’s most prominent educators and philanthropists of the same thing.

Sit down, boy!

Now back to Palin’s recent speeches (and one given by McCain as well). During the speeches, some of the responses from the crowd were frightening. When McCain asked in a speech, “Who is Obama?” a member of the crowd yelled out “terrorist!” At a Florida rally a man yelled “kill him!” as Ms. Palin delivered her accusations about Obama. When Palin complained about the press, the crowd grew surly toward a nearby camera crew. Some shouted epithets at an African-American member of the crew as one man snarled, “Sit down, Boy.”

It is true that campaign rallies are meant to energize the crowd. It is also true that politicians use talking points that are less than accurate to sway opinion, but Palin is stepping over a very dangerous line. By saying that Obama is not a man who sees America as you see it and how I see it, she is carelessly characterizing Senator Obama as “not us” but rather as “one of them.” This is a slippery slope that can lead to serious consequences if one crazy person with a warped view of “patriotism” takes this as a “call to act.”

Voltaire said, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” This reckless and shameful brand of rhetoric has no place in American politics and Governor Palin should know that.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/06/AR2008100602935.html

“That One”

Yep, McCain really did refer to Obama, in last night’s debate, as ‘that one.’  Where’d he learn his manners? From Sarah Palin?

Oh, no, wait. He didn’t even know her back in ’98 when he quipped, “Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because Janet Reno is her father,” at a Republican dinner.  So I guess he just identifies with Palin’s crude. (Oil, that is, Alaska Ass.)

Who You Callin’ a Maverick?

Ever wonder where the term ‘maverick’ comes from?
The Nation

Who You Callin’ a Maverick?

Published: October 4, 2008
There’s that word again: maverick. In Thursday’s vice-presidential debate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, the Republican candidate, used it to describe herself and her running mate, Senator John McCain, no fewer than six times, at one point calling him “the consummate maverick.”

BRAND Samuel Augustus Maverick

But to those who know the history of the word, applying it to Mr. McCain is a bit of a stretch — and to one Texas family in particular it is even a bit offensive.

“I’m just enraged that McCain calls himself a maverick,” said Terrellita Maverick, 82, a San Antonio native who proudly carries the name of a family that has been known for its progressive politics since the 1600s, when an early ancestor in Boston got into trouble with the law over his agitation for the rights of indentured servants.

In the 1800s, Samuel Augustus Maverick went to Texas and became known for not branding his cattle. He was more interested in keeping track of the land he owned than the livestock on it, Ms. Maverick said; unbranded cattle, then, were called “Maverick’s.” The name came to mean anyone who didn’t bear another’s brand.

Sam Maverick’s grandson, Fontaine Maury Maverick, was a two-term congressman and a mayor of San Antonio who lost his mayoral re-election bid when conservatives labeled him a Communist. He served in the Roosevelt administration on the Smaller War Plants Corporation and is best known for another coinage. He came up with the term “gobbledygook” in frustration at the convoluted language of bureaucrats.

This Maverick’s son, Maury Jr., was a firebrand civil libertarian and lawyer who defended draft resisters, atheists and others scorned by society. He served in the Texas Legislature during the McCarthy era and wrote fiery columns for The San Antonio Express-News. His final column, published on Feb. 2, 2003, just after he died at 82, was an attack on the coming war in Iraq.

Terrellita Maverick, sister of Maury Jr., is a member emeritus of the board of the San Antonio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas.

Considering the family’s long history of association with liberalism and progressive ideals, it should come as no surprise that Ms. Maverick insists that John McCain, who has voted so often with his party, “is in no way a maverick, in uppercase or lowercase.”

“It’s just incredible — the nerve! — to suggest that he’s not part of that Republican herd. Every time we hear it, all my children and I and all my family shrink a little and say, ‘Oh, my God, he said it again.’ ”

“He’s a Republican,” she said. “He’s branded.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/05/weekinreview/05schwartz.html?_r=1&em&oref=slogin