Monday, November 5, 2018

when i do good, i feel good; when i do bad, i feel bad, and that is my religion. (abraham lincoln)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

shell and exxon predicted climate change effects in 1980's

despite the fact that exxon, in particular, has funded climate change denial on a global scale, the company's own scientists (and shell oil's) predicted catastrophic effects as a result of the use of fossil fuels as early as 1982... but kept the information from the public.

amongst their findings? sea level rise of 15 to 28 feet. the american midwest becoming a desert. loss of fresh water sources worldwide. but wait... it gets worse.

Friday, July 27, 2018

police officers and excessive force

more than 20 years ago, congress ordered the justice department to collect data on excessive use of force by police officers. it didn't actually occur until the obama administration.

when the justice department polled local police departments to gather the government's first database of use of force by officers, they discovered that a) many police departments don't track use of force, b) police departments that do track use of force are often unwilling to share the data, and c) among police departments that track use of force and are willing to share their data, what they consider 'force' varies markedly, and 'excessive force' is often a meaningless term (i.e., they have no guidelines for what constitutes 'excessive force).

nonetheless, some bits of the data that was gathered makes it clear why attorney general jeff sessions wants to stop the government from monitoring or policing police departments:

  • 1 out of 5 episodes of police force by the seattle police department were deemed excessive
  • from 2009 to 2019, most shootings by albuquerque police officers were unjustified
even now, only about half of large police departments document each use of force separately. 1 out of five refused to say how they track excessive force, or even if they do.

taxpayers fund police departments, and have to be able to trust law enforcement personnel to enforce the law - not to act as judges, juries, or - all too often - executioners. when municipalities are sued over excessive use of force or outright murder by police departments, it is the local taxpayer who pays the bill, even when the officers involved are not convicted (as is most often the case).

it is clear that taxpayers should have not only more oversight of local police departments, but more control over who is hired, who is fired, and what defining what constitutes 'excessive force'.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

meet the new game, same as the old game

the reason that the current administration keeps getting away with things that would have been considered treasonous and impeachable just a year ago is that they have convinced many of us that we are playing a new game.

we keep saying 'you can't do that' and 'look how terrible', but the fact is, we have become acclimatized to horrible things over the past year (or numb), which allows them to continually move that red line out, into deeper and deadlier water.

it's not a new game. stalin played it. so did nero, mussolini, hitler, mao, putin, and hundreds more. it is based on belief, rather than fact, and intense fear and hatred. and it always ends the same way.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

sd legislator: businesses should be able to discriminate against people of color

south dakota legislator michael clark (referring to a supreme court case about a colorado baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple): "it is his business. he should have the opportunity to run his business the way he wants. if he wants to turn away people of color, then that (is) his choice."

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

how many days has trump played golf?

hey, do you ever wonder how many days our burger-king-commander has spent playing golf - plus how much it has cost us? especially since he said that, if elected president, he wouldn't have time to play golf?

have we got a site for you:

Thursday, November 30, 2017

biblical 'truth'

the trouble with a word like 'truth' is that it is slippery; everyone has their own version of what constitutes 'truth', and many christians apply that principle regarding what they personally consider 'true' interpretations of the bible. this is why there are more than 43,000 different christian denominations (as of 2012, according to the center for the study of global christianity at gordon-conwell theological seminary), when there were just 1,600 in 1900.

we don't expect bears to consume our children for making fun of bald men. we don't stone people for having sex during menstruation, eating a cheeseburger, wearing a polyester/cotton shirt, or working on a weekend.

there are literally dozens of other examples of biblical 'truths' that are no longer considered extant (spontaneous generation, the location of heaven, heliocentrism), and new 'truths' that become popular and are added to the bible many centuries after the original text was written (the trinity)... religion, too, has frequently changed with the times.

if it does not, it will suffer the same fate as any other business that is out of step with its customers: oblivion.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

after charlottesville

laws re: firing depend on the state. but let's suppose they are all fired. what do you think will happen next? what do you think they'll do? what do you think their families will do? do you think they'll suddenly regret what they did, maybe turn over a new leaf?

no. they will tell the tale that one more thing was taken away from them by the same people that they already hate. and their numbers will grow. it may satisfy our own hate and lust for revenge, but this kind of thinking always makes things worse. it does not treat the root cause: these people are tiny, terrified souls that the world has left behind. they would rather sink the boat the rest of us are on than face the sharks alone.

better education, better jobs, and exposure to more people who are not like them ends hate. until we provide those things, this issue will only get worse. railing at trump or his thugs won't change anything; he has made his position clear. we have to do this, or no one will.

oh - and let's melt the rest of those monuments, plaques, etc., that celebrate racism down into slag. losers lose - that's what loser means.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

do you like actual facts?

are you a trivia buff? if so, our new book, fill my brain, is right up your alley! 499 pages of facts, quotes, bits of history, statistics, and the kind of snarky asides that you've come to know and love after almost 20 years of elsewhen indoctrination.

celebrate your superiority over the mouth breathers! available as black markings on dead tree guts or as a nearly endless stream of ones and zeroes - we don't care which as long as you buy it!