Ghostgrrrl in the Machine

A place to share information and tools to survive in the 21st century.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Global Warnings About Global Warming

Disappearing world: Global warming claims tropical island

For the first time, an inhabited island has disappeared beneath rising seas. Environment Editor Geoffrey Lean reports

Published: 24 December 2006

Rising seas, caused by global warming, have for the first time washed an inhabited island off the face of the Earth. The obliteration of Lohachara island, in India's part of the Sundarbans where the Ganges and the Brahmaputra rivers empty into the Bay of Bengal, marks the moment when one of the most apocalyptic predictions of environmentalists and climate scientists has started coming true.

As the seas continue to swell, they will swallow whole island nations, from the Maldives to the Marshall Islands, inundate vast areas of countries from Bangladesh to Egypt, and submerge parts of scores of coastal cities.

Eight years ago, as exclusively reported in The Independent on Sunday, the first uninhabited islands - in the Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati - vanished beneath the waves. The people of low-lying islands in Vanuatu, also in the Pacific, have been evacuated as a precaution, but the land still juts above the sea. The disappearance of Lohachara, once home to 10,000 people, is unprecedented.

More here

Sunderbans faces threat of submergence

Kolkata: There will be no requiem sung to Lohachara and Suparibhanga on World Environment Day on June 5 this year.

Located in the Sunderbans delta area of West Bengal, these two islands were submerged by the rising sea levels. A few more are facing a threat. In the process, hundreds were displaced from their homes and sought shelter in the four refugee colonies in adjoining Sagar Island.

"The Government of India's disaster management mechanism ignores the implications of slow onset disasters like rise in sea level, and does not provide any compensation for people thus affected," says Prof. Sugata Hazra, Director, School of Oceanographic Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata......

More here

Satellite view of Lohachara Gang, India

A little history

Ancient ice shelf snaps and breaks free from the Canadian Arctic
Dec 28 6:41 PM US/Eastern

Ancient ice shelf snaps and breaks free from the Canadian Arctic STEVE LILLEBUEN (CP) - A giant ice shelf the size of 11,000 football fields has snapped free from Canada's Arctic, leaving a trail of icy boulders floating in its wake.

The mass of ice broke clear from the coast of Ellesmere Island, about 800 kilometres south of the North Pole. Warwick Vincent of Laval University, who studies Arctic conditions, travelled to the newly formed ice island and couldn't believe what he saw. "It was extraordinary," Vincent said Thursday, adding that in 10 years of working in the region he has never seen such a dramatic loss of sea ice.

"This is a piece of Canadian geography that no longer exists."

The collapse was so powerful that earthquake monitors 250 kilometres away picked up tremors from it.

Scientists say it is the largest event of its kind in 30 years and point their fingers at climate change as a major contributing factor.

"We think this incident is consistent with global climate change," Vincent said, adding that the remaining ice shelves are 90 per cent smaller than when they were first discovered in 1906.

Review of the year: Global warming
Our worst fears are exceeded by reality

By Steve Connor

Published: 29 December 2006

It has been a hot year. The average temperature in Britain for 2006 was higher than at any time since records began in 1659. Globally, it looks set to be the sixth hottest year on record. The signs during the past 12 months have been all around us. Little winter snow in the Alpine ski resorts, continuing droughts in Africa, mountain glaciers melting faster than at any time in the past 5,000 years, disappearing Arctic sea ice, Greenland's ice sheet sliding into the sea. Oh, and a hosepipe ban in southern England.


During the past year, scientific findings emerged that made even the most doom-laden predictions about climate change seem a little on the optimistic side. And at the heart of the issue is the idea of climate feedbacks - when the effects of global warming begin to feed into the causes of global warming. Feedbacks can either make things better, or they can make things worse. The trouble is, everywhere scientists looked in 2006, they encountered feedbacks that will make things worse - a lot worse.

Next year, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will publish its fourth assessment on the scale of the future problems facing humanity. Its last assessment, published in 2001, had little to say on the subject of climate feedbacks, partly because, at that time, they were such an unknown quantity. This year, scientists came to learn a little more about them, and they didn't like what they learnt.


Climate feedbacks could turn the Earth into a very different planet over a dramatically short period of time. It has happened in the past, scientists say, and it could easily happen in the future given the unprecedented scale of the environmental changes caused by man.


As climate warms, phytoplankton production goes down, but this also means that carbon dioxide uptake by ocean plants will decrease," says Michael Behrenfeld of Oregon State University. "That would allow carbon dioxide to accumulate more rapidly in the atmosphere, making the problem worse." Some climate scientists believe that the risk of dangerous feedbacks tipping the Earth's climate system beyond a threshold is so great that there should be wider recognition of what they term "abrupt changes". The point is, they say, it has happened repeatedly in the past. It happened 55 million years ago when a trillion tons of methane were suddenly and mysteriously released from frozen stores on the seabed, causing global temperatures to soar 10C, and a mass extinction of species.

It happened 14,500 years ago when ice sheets catastrophically collapsed into the ocean causing sea levels to rise by 20 metres in just 400 years. And it happened 6,500 years ago when the Sahara was suddenly turned from lush vegetation to dry desert......


Friday, November 24, 2006

Pinch yourself to make sure you are awake

I remember when this would have been the top story, at the very least, for one evenings' news. Sometimes I think my childhood was spent in a parallel universe where people really tried to be responsible, America still garnered respect in the world and it was in the best interests of a news gathering organization to get the story first and report it, whatever it was. This is not a false memory and I intend to hold on to it to keep the standard from shifting more than it already has. Let me know if you think this story is less than <, equal to = or greater than > the runaway bride story. I really wanna know.

I heard you, Malachi

By Jennifer Diaz
November 9, 2006


On Friday, November 3, a man doused his body with gasoline and set himself afire to protest the war in Iraq . He died quietly in flames. His name was Malachi Ritscher.

Haven't seen it in the news? Me neither, which is kind of strange if you ask me, considering that it happened right here in downtown Chicago in front of hundreds of commuters during morning rush hour. The only conventional newspaper coverage to date was a tiny paragraph that appeared in the Saturday edition of the Chicago Sun-Times. Since then...nothing.

Should we concerned about the lack of coverage? This is serious, friends. You don't have to be a communication scholar to know that the news media go by the maxim, "When it bleeds, it leads." In a time of intense controversy over war, a man offers up his life and endures prolonged, excruciating pain to make a tangible statement of his belief in peace - are we to believe that this isn't newsworthy?


Malachi Ritscher had a home-made sign with him when he left the house Friday morning. Firefighters found it next to his charred remains. It read, "Thou shalt not kill."

A jazz aficionado who produced professional recordings of countless performers in local venues, Ritscher was well loved in the Chicago jazz community and has been described by members of that scene as being a warm, modest and selfless individual. A long-time music enthusiast, Ritscher was a fixture at several local jazz haunts. He was said to be very generous - band members tell that he would pay the admission fee for their gig, record their performance, and then offer them the recording he had made free of charge. Many of the recordings were later sold commercially. Others corroborate Ritscher's generous nature. "He gave me peppers from his garden!" cried bartender Janice W., tearing up when she heard what he had done.

Ritscher was deeply disturbed by the United States' waging of war in Iraq , which has led so far to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. In his mission statement, posted on his homepage along with a self-written obituary, he writes of his morbid actions:

"I refuse to finance the mass murder of innocent civilians...What is one more life thrown away in this sad and useless national tragedy? If one death can atone for anything, in any small way, to say to the world: I apologize for what we have done to you, I am ashamed for the mayhem and turmoil caused by my country."


Some have suggested that Ritscher's actions can be explained by mental illness. It seems clear that the man was deeply troubled. But it is not clear how that negates his message. At a time when 10% of Americans are taking psychiatric medication, the marginalization of "the mentally ill" as an identifiable group of people radically different from ourselves is making less and less sense. Besides "disturbed," Ritscher is also described by those who knew him as being an animated, friendly person who talked enthusiastically of his many interests and travels in addition to his political beliefs.

Another description that people have applied to Ritscher's mind-boggling choice is "senseless." But his own mission statement offers an elegant response to that notion:

"My position is that I only get one death, I want it to be a good one. Wouldn't it be better to stand for something or make a statement, rather than a fiery collision with some drunk driver? Are not smokers choosing death by lung cancer? Where is the dignity there? Are not the people the people [sic] who disregard the environment killing themselves and future generations?"

Act by 'martyr' to protest war in Iraq a futile gesture
November 9, 2006

Malachi Ritscher, 1954-2006
Story by Nitsuh Abebe | Photo by
Joeff Davis

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Wikipedia entry for Rick Renzi

Rick Renzi


In September 2006, Renzi was named one of the "20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress" in a report by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a nonpartisan watchdog group founded in 2005 by former Democratic congressional staffers.[23] Renzi was also listed in the first report by the organization in January 2006, when he was one of 13 named members. The organization said "His ethics issues stem from the outside income earned by his administrative assistant and from legislation he sponsored that benefitted his father" [24]


2005 land swap

According to the Phoenix New Times, in 2002 Renzi sold off a half-interest in his real estate investment business to a fellow investor, James Sandlin, for $200,000. Renzi used the money for his 2002 congressional campaign. After Renzi was elected, he sold the remainder of the business to Sandlin, for somewhere between $1 million and $5 million.

In October 2005, three years after the business transaction with Sandlin, Renzi announced he'd be introducing a bill in Congress that would include a land swap of some land owned by Sandlin (not in Renzi's district) for federal land near Florence where a developer wanted to build. A week after Renzi's announcement, Sandlin sold his land for $4.5 million, a much higher price than he paid for it.

Renzi told the New Times that he did nothing wrong and that sometime after his announcement he recused himself from the bill after a lobbyist's questioned his connection to Sandlin. The land swap never became law.[17]

On October 24, 2006, the Associated Press reported that the U.S. attorney's office in Arizona has opened an investigation into the land swap deal. According to a law enforcement official, "who spoke on condition of anonymity while the inquiry is ongoing, said the investigation has been under way for a few months and is still in its very early stages."

Etc Etc Etc

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Many exit to protest Hayworth supporter

Many exit to protest Hayworth supporter
Casey Newton

The Arizona Republic
Oct. 22, 2006 12:00 AM Usually when you see voters leaving a candidate forum early these days, it's because they want to be home in time to catch Grey's Anatomy.

But the scores of people fleeing Temple Beth Israel in northeast Phoenix last week had an unusual reason for their flight. They had just been deeply insulted, they said, by a man representing a candidate hoping to win their votes.

"It was just such hatred," said Linda Bliss, a Phoenix resident who attended the Tuesday event. "It was so disgusting."
The offending remarks came from Jonathan Tratt, who was chosen by the campaign of J.D. Hayworth to represent Hayworth at a forum sponsored by the National Council of Jewish Women.

The Hayworth campaign on Saturday expressed regrets for the remarks.

Tratt declined to comment about his remarks, which were confirmed
to The Arizona Republic by seven attendees who were interviewed separately. One of those witnesses, Republic columnist Kathy Shayna Shocket, moderated the event.

After provoking the audience on several occasions, Tratt, who is Jewish, told the audience that in some ways Hayworth is a "more observant Jew" than the Jews at the forum. Hayworth is a Christian.

The remark drew a chorus of boos from the audience, about three-quarters of whom promptly stood up and walked out of the synagogue. Tratt's remark was made in the context of Hayworth's opposition to abortion, witnesses said. Tratt suggested that anti-abortion views are more consistent with Jewish values than pro-abortion views. Tratt's wife, Irit, made similar remarks.

The incident is gaining widespread national attention from political Web logs, including Wonkette, the American Prospect's TAPPED and Daily Kos. Hayworth is in a close race for re-election in the 5th Congressional District with Democrat Harry Mitchell, a former state senator and longtime mayor of Tempe.

Jonathan Tratt is a real estate investor and political fund-raiser from Paradise Valley who has contributed more than $77,000 to Republicans and Democrats since 1999.

The evening, which first featured a forum between Republican Sen. John Kyl and Democratic challenger Jim Pedersen, had been contentious from the beginning. Mitchell's campaign said it had expected Hayworth to attend and objected to having two people speaking for Hayworth when Mitchell only got one: himself.

After some discussion, Mitchell agreed to the format.

Witnesses said some people left the event shortly after Tratt began describing the gruesome death of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, who was murdered by terrorists.

Witnesses said Tratt insulted the audience's intelligence, telling jeering audience members that they might have different opinions if they were more educated.

Hayworth's campaign said the Tratts were goaded by a continually heckling crowd.

Bob Schechter, an audience member and Hayworth supporter unaffiliated with the campaign, agreed. "They were attacked before they even had a chance to say anything," Schechter said.

Still, the Hayworth campaign expressed regrets.

"Prior to speaking, our volunteers were bullied, badgered and insulted," said Brian Hummell, a Hayworth spokesman who attended the event. "Although clearly provoked, it doesn't excuse what was said, and we regret that anyone was offended."

Mitchell's campaign called on Hayworth to apologize.

"He owes and apology to the people in the room, the Jewish community and the people of this district," said Seth Scott, a campaign spokesman.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Featured article

Stealth Zealot

Pop quiz. Who’s Arizona’s other U.S. senator? Here’s a clue: He makes Dubya look like a liberal

By Robert Nelson

Article Published Apr 13, 2006


So here is the choice for Arizona voters:

If you want an Arizona senator more in the mold of past legends such as Carl Hayden, Goldwater and Dennis DeConcini -- guys who spent much of their time in Washington fighting for budgeted dollars to flow to oft-forgotten Arizona -- then your choice in November is our other senator's opponent, moderate Democrat Jim Pederson.


What isn't so simple, Kyl's critics say, is why a guy who is so seemingly thoughtful and civilized can have the voting record of a Jesse Helms, the retired Republican senator from North Carolina.

While John McCain is seen as an independent-thinking moderate Republican, Jon Kyl is considered in lockstep with the Republican Party's far right.

Kyl loves big American business. He is good to the very rich. He has backed the Bush administration on every significant position regarding the war in Iraq, the "war on terror" and growth in defense spending. He has continuously defended the actions of military interrogators at Guantánamo and has been supportive of widespread government eavesdropping powers to combat terrorism.

In an in-depth analysis of voting records, the National Journal gave Kyl a 91 percent conservative rating, topped only by Senator Craig Thomas (R-Wyoming) with 92 percent. John McCain, by comparison, had a 52 percent "moderate" rating.

Studying Congressional Quarterly voting records, Kyl has sided with the president's position 96 percent of the time. When Dubya was up for reelection in 2004, Kyl voted with him 100 percent of the time.

That was the year that the Sierra Club held a press conference announcing that Kyl had a "0 percent" voting record on pro-environment legislation.

One of those votes was against John McCain's legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Kyl on numerous instances has belittled research suggesting greenhouse gasses are contributing to global warming.

Kyl has voted nine times to open up Alaska to oil drilling.

He also voted against international cooperation to limit greenhouse gasses.

Sandy Bahr, longtime leader of the Arizona chapter of the Sierra Club, says Kyl has been "disastrous" on environmental issues. She says Kyl consistently put out false information essentially blaming environmentalists for the massive Rodeo-Chediski fire in east-central Arizona in 2002, pushed for Gale Norton for Interior Secretary ("who has done more damage administratively than we ever thought possible by one person," Bahr says), and has consistently supported a rollback of the Clean Air Act.

"Did you like the air over downtown Phoenix this winter?" Bahr asks. "If you didn't, talk to Jon Kyl, because he didn't think it was a problem."

Regarding war power, Kyl was one of 19 senators in 2005 to vote against requiring the president to submit a report to Congress every three months on U.S. policy and operations in Iraq.

He has consistently sided with federal interrogators and investigators in cases seemingly in violation of constitutional habeas corpus and privacy rights.

In 1997, Kyl opposed a treaty banning the use of chemical weapons.

At the same time, Kyl opposed the production of Humvees with improved armor to help protect soldiers from roadside bombs.

Kyl also has consistently sided with pharmaceutical companies on issues regarding Medicare and senior citizens.........

The article goes on to describe many more votes that puts Kyl in the same camp as The John Burch Society. You can link to it here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Articles GALORE!

--AZ-Sen: Jon Kyl

--AZ-01: Rick Renzi

--AZ-05: J.D. Hayworth

--CA-04: John Doolittle

--CA-11: Richard Pombo

--CA-50: Brian Bilbray

--CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave

--CO-05: Doug Lamborn

--CO-07: Rick O'Donnell

--CT-04: Christopher Shays

--FL-13: Vernon Buchanan

--FL-16: Joe Negron

--FL-22: Clay Shaw

--ID-01: Bill Sali

--IL-06: Peter Roskam

--IL-10: Mark Kirk

--IL-14: Dennis Hastert

--IN-02: Chris Chocola

--IN-08: John Hostettler

--IA-01: Mike Whalen

--KS-02: Jim Ryun

--KY-03: Anne Northup

--KY-04: Geoff Davis

--MD-Sen: Michael Steele

--MN-01: Gil Gutknecht

--MN-06: Michele Bachmann

--MO-Sen: Jim Talent

--MT-Sen: Conrad Burns

--NV-03: Jon Porter

--NH-02: Charlie Bass

--NJ-07: Mike Ferguson

--NM-01: Heather Wilson

--NY-03: Peter King

--NY-20: John Sweeney

--NY-26: Tom Reynolds

--NY-29: Randy Kuhl

--NC-08: Robin Hayes

--NC-11: Charles Taylor

--OH-01: Steve Chabot

--OH-02: Jean Schmidt

--OH-15: Deborah Pryce

--OH-18: Joy Padgett

--PA-04: Melissa Hart

--PA-07: Curt Weldon

--PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick

--PA-10: Don Sherwood

--RI-Sen: Lincoln Chafee

--TN-Sen: Bob Corker

--VA-Sen: George Allen

--VA-10: Frank Wolf

--WA-Sen: Mike McGavick

--WA-08: Dave Reichert

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Mike Malloy Fired from Air America

Mike Malloy isn't my favorite Air America host but I think he is an important voice for the network. He is not afraid to speak truth to power and he doesn't mince words. He also was a big help in getting Air America Phoenix back on the air. So now it's our turn to help him get back on the air. Below are several ways in which you can help.

From Mike Malloys website:

Mike Malloy program today - or any day - on Air America Radio as we have
terminated. We are told its a financial decision.We are as shocked as
you are,
especially since as recently as last Tuesday we were told we had
the go-ahead to
announce our return to NY airwaves and that our contract was
"on the way."We are
told its a financial decision.More details to follow as
we hear them ourselves.

This is from Democratic Underground , I couldn't get the link to work but I'm not registered there yet.×2485066

“This is not a published news article, but I think it qualifies as LBN.

This is Kathy Bay Malloy and we just got news that as of this minute
we’ve been terminated by Air America Radio.
We don’t have all the details
yet, but got a tip from someone who’d seen the new network lineup that we
weren’t included after all. We just had that confirmed by one of the suits a few
minutes ago. We’re told that its a financial decision.
Thank you so much for
your ongoing support and we’ll keep you updated as we receive more
Kathy Bay Malloy”

You can sign the petition to reinstate Mike Malloy .

And you can also call, email and/or snail mail Air America Radio.

Air America Radio

641 Sixth Avenue4th Floor

New York, NY 10011

Phone: 1-212-871-8100

Doug Kreeger Upper Management

Anita and Shelby Drobny

Jon Sinton Upper Management

Jim Wiggett Acting CEO