Archive for April 5th, 2009
What’s driving George Will’s warped views on environmental issues, including his criticism of compact fluorescent light bulbs?
On issues relating to the environment, George Will’s strategy has been to draw his curve, then plot his data. As of late, he’s been denying far more than climate change; he’s denying the data relating to climate change. It has gotten so bad that he’s been pointing to changes in the weather to attempt to rebut evidence that there are changes in climate, an unfair tactic that even fourth-graders know enough to criticize. Throughout his arguments, Will delights in sprinkling in pointy little reminders that the government is always misguided, as though we should trust in the “free market.”
This week, in an article published by the Washington Post, Will has employed all of his favorite forms of paltering in a full-scale attack on compact fluorescent light bulbs. He doesn’t like compact fluorescent bulbs for a variety of reasons that he enunciates. Without citing any statistics, he claims that some of those bulbs might not last as long as the bulb life indicated on the package. Because of the existence of mercury in the bulbs, he gripes that we can’t just toss them away in the general trash when they break or cease working. Will also complains that CFL’s are not all-purpose bulbs—they don’t work in hot places with limited airflow. And they take a bit to get to their full brightness. Down with CFL’s!
Glenn Greenwald tells it straight. Tim Russert was an embarrassment to journalism, not a hero.
I previously discussed Russert’s version of “journalism” here.
I also agree with Amy Goodman’s comments about the corporate media still not doing its job.
A friend has recently blogged about her experience being informally arrested and handcuffed around the corner from her apartment in the afternoon. She was going for a walk, and police pulled up, told her they had a warrant, handcuffed her, and then began checking her identity. She certainly wasn’t who they were looking for, nor did the incident last a long time.
I think that her peaceful Zen attitude, presumably nun-induced, kept it from being an experience worth suing about.
What does it mean to be “open minded?” This excellent video gets right to it. Simple, straight-forward reasoning with entertaining animation. I’ve never seen this topic better-discussed.
The video is by Doug, “Qualiasoup,” who puts this quote on his youtube site:
“It is not acceptable to have a religion where the alternative to faith is punishment — that’s how you train dogs, not develop people.”
- Deng Ming-Dao
Consider some of his additional videos, such as this one on the basics of evolution.
Judge James P. Gray is a trial Judge in Orange County, California, a former attorney in the Navy JAG corps, a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles; he has also been a civil litigation attorney for a private law firm. In these two videos, he talks about marijuana and our “failed and hopeless drug policy” in America.
According to Gray, it’s easier for kids to get marijuana than alcohol because alcohol is regulated by the government and marijuana is regulated by drug dealers on the street.
These are excellent videos, caused by a thoughtful judge who is in a position to know.
If we started treating marijuana as we do alcohol, we would see five immediate benefits:
California would save $1 Billion in state expenses currently used to prosecute marijuana offenses.
California would generate $1.3B in take revenue per year in California (marijuana is currently the number one cash crop in California, with grapes being #2).
We’d make marijuana less available than it is now, and the quality of marijuana would be better regulated than it is now.
The entire medical marijuana controversy would go away–the Federal government is currently acting like a “bully” harassing sick people.
Why don’t we treat marijuana like alcohol, even though the majority of people are willing to do this? Why does the federal government care? Here’s Judge Gray’s belief: At least 75% of everyone in the U.S. who uses any illicit substance uses only marijuana. By legalizing and regulating marijuana, the federal government would no longer justify our “colossal prison-industrial complex.” Many government jobs depend on the “war on drugs.” Two Congressmen have admitted to Judge Gray that “the war on drugs is not winnable, but it’s imminently fund-able.” He concludes that the federal government is “addicted to the drug war funding.”
For more on the harmlessness of marijuana, see this earlier DI post.
These videos were produced by Lee Stranahan, a writer, photographer and independent filmmaker. He also blogs for The Huffington Post .