Sunday, October 23, 2005

Foxes now own the chicken coups

Here are two excerpts from a recent speech by Bill Moyers:

But this crowd never gives up. President Bush has turned the agencies charged with environmental protection over to people who don't believe in it. To run the Interior Department he chose a long-time defender of polluters who has opposed laws to safeguard wildlife, habitat, and public lands. To run the Forest Service he chose a timber industry lobbyist. To oversee our public lands he named a mining industry lobbyist who believes public lands are unconstitutional. To run the Superfund he chose a woman who made a living advising corporate polluters how to evade the Superfund. And in the White House office of environmental policy the President placed a lobbyist from the American Petroleum Institute whose mission was to make sure the government's scientific reports on global warming didn't contradict the party line and the interest of oil companies. Everywhere you look, the foxes own the chicken coop.


Earlier this year the White House even conducted an extraordinary secret campaign to scupper the British government's attempt to tackle global warming - and then to undermine the UN's effort to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions. George W. Bush is the Herbert Hoover of the environment. His failure to lead on global warming means that even if we were dramatically to decrease greenhouse gases overnight we have already condemned ourselves and generations to come to a warming planet.

You no doubt saw those reports a few days ago that the Artic has suffered another record loss of sea ice. This summer, satellites monitoring the region found that ice reached its lowest monthly point on record - the fourth year in a row it has fallen below the monthly downward trend. The anticipated effects are well known: as the Artic region absorbs more heat from the sun, causing the ice to melt still further, the relentless cycle of melting and heating will shrink the massive land glaciers of Greenland and dramatically raise sea levels. Scientists were quoted saying that with this new acceleration of melt the northern hemisphere may have crossed a critical threshold beyond which the climate cannot recover.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

So much for honesty and integrity

From an editorial by David Batstone in SoJoMail, 10.13.05:

To be frank, I do not expect Focus on the Family, The 700 Club, or any other influential media network of religious conservatives to raise a red flag about political corruption in the Republican Party any time soon. The specter of political power seems too enticing, too close within reach, to be held back by traditional values such as honesty and integrity. Oh, woe to us, that we shall we gain the whole world, yet lose our own soul.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Concert this Sunday

The Secular Singers (a five-person vocal ensemble) will perform this Sunday, October 16, starting around 1:00 PM at the Hardesty Library. This is a free concert, and all are invited. Members of the ensemble are Bea McCartney, Randy Bradley, Gail Storey, Julia Topi, and Dan Nerren.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Cute joke from Polly

At yesterday's meeting of the Humanist Study Group, Polly Mark read us this joke:

Pedro was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up toward heaven, he said "Lord, take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of my life and give up tequila."

Miraculously, a parking place appeared. Pedro looked up again and said
"Never mind. I found one."

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Progress toward my goals

Here we are now three-quarters of the way through the year. I set some goals back in January. How am I doing? One goal was to walk an average of a mile a day. This is day 278 and I have walked 284 miles so far this year. Barring any unforseen events, I should reach this goal.

As second goal was to reach 185 volkswalks. I am at 180 right now. Only five more to go before the end of the year. I should be able to make that.

Another goal is to revive Secular Singers and stages two performances. The vocal ensemble is up and running again. We have five members in the group -- the most we have ever had. We have a concert set about a week and a half away. I don't know yet if we will try to have a second performance this year. If we do, it will be a Christmas concert.

I reached my goal of finding 100 geocaches a few weeks ago. I'm at 107 caches at this time.