Karmic Reverberations

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Archive for November, 2008

Why do people ignore global warming?

Posted by karmalily on November 19, 2008

One of the aspects of global climate change that shocks many environmentalists is the slow or absent response from both the government and regular people. Scientists continue to release studies that show that the impact of global warming may be more severe and faster than we first though, and yet people are acting as though they either want to refuse it or they cannot do anything about it. This is particularly troubling since the only way we can tone down the effects of climate change is to step up and place strict regulations on manufacturers and also to convince people that the smallest of changes can help fix our ailing world.

Over at AlterNet, Lisa Bennett has a great article about why people are not more fixated on and working toward fixing global warming:

But now a growing number of social scientists are offering their expertise in behavioral decision making, risk analysis, and evolutionary influences on human behavior to explain our limited responses to global warming. Among the most significant factors they point to: The way we’re psychologically wired and socially conditioned to respond to crises makes us ill-suited to react to the abstract and seemingly remote threat posed by global warming. Their insights are also leading to some intriguing recommendations about how to get people to take action-including the potentially dangerous prospect of playing on people’s fears.

It feels as though the vast majority of Americans are programmed to think illogically in many situations. Other nations, such as many in Europe, are actively taking a strong stance of climate change, building wind and solar farms and implementing policies such as not selling the old-fashioned lightbulbs and using plastic bags. It’s hard to say what sort of shift will have to take place in order for Americans to change their method of thinking and decision-making, but most people can probably agree that people need to recognize on a subconscious level how serious and real global warming is and will become.

AlterNet: Are Human Beings Hard-Wired to Ignore the Threat of Catastrophic Climate Change?

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Clinton or Powell for Secretary of State?

Posted by karmalily on November 14, 2008

barack-hillary

Senator Hilary Clinton met with Barack Obama today to talk about “personal business.” However, many are speculating that this meeting was conducted in order to discuss a possible role in the future administration, such as Secretary of State.

Nothing is certain yet, but it is definitely interesting. Colin Powell’s name has also been thrown around.

There are plenty of people President-Elect Obama could choose, but if he does indeed go with either Clinton or Powell he will get a huge surge of even more support. Even though she didn’t pull enough votes to get on the democratic ticket, people admire and respect her. As they do with Colin Powell.

Obama has done well in his picks overall thus far. Unlike George Bush, who gave jobs to his unworthy cronies, Obama seems to be focusing more on who would actually be right for the job. Good job, President-Elect.

Is there anyone that you would like to see in the Secretary of State position?

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Ralph Nader Digs a Hole

Posted by karmalily on November 8, 2008

Ralph Nader has long been one of my three political heroes (the other two being Senator Russ Feingold and Representative Dennis Kucinich), but tonight I think I need to find someone new to look up to. Someone who doesn’t refer to President-Elect Barack Obama as “Uncle Tom.”

Ralph Nader has done amazingly wonderful things for consumer safety, but give up dude. As one of the commentators (yes, I know it’s FOX News, but this actually is a relevant spot of news) say at the end of that clip, you’re done. Take your racist ass elsewhere.

In case you’re not sure of what “Uncle Tom” means, here’s the Wikipedia definition:

Uncle Tom is a pejorative for a black person who is perceived by others as behaving in a subservient manner to White American authority figures, or as seeking ingratiation with them by way of unnecessary accommodation.

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Obama Wins North Carolina

Posted by karmalily on November 6, 2008

I’m so proud of my home state right now! 🙂

Obama in Raleigh

Obama in Raleigh

North Carolina has finally been called… for President-Elect (I will never tire of being able to say that) Barack Obama. NC has not gone for the Democratic party since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Even though this result has no impact on the outcome of Tuesday’s election, it adds another historical element to his win.

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Hatred Toward Obama

Posted by karmalily on November 5, 2008

Although America has spoken and has elected Barack Obama as president (with a record turnout – 64.1%!), our President-Elect still has a lot to overcome. Specifically, Obama must overcome the hatred of the far-right.

Last night’s election was a monumental moment in American history. We elected our very first African-American president. That’s a huge step toward even greater equality, and his win will give hope to millions of people who feel as though they are being suppressed based on their race, gender, income, sexual orientation, etc. However, Obama cannot single-handedly end racism. We are going to see a lot of hate and anger in the next four years. In fact, it has already started.

Over on the FOX (Faux) News website, someone wrote this:

fox-assassination-comment_5ac3ePicture via Crooks and Liars

And if any of you watched John McCain’s rather gracious speech last night congratulating Barack Obama, you will have noticed McCain’s supporters booing at the mention of Obama’s name. Poor sportsmanship indeed.

All those people who hated Barack Obama before the election will still hate him after it. The people who would raise their voices and proudly announce their hatred for the Muslim/Terroist candidate are not going to back down in the face of defeat. I fear they may even grow stronger in the coming weeks before Obama’s inaguration.

There isn’t much we can do to stop such feelings from arising, although we can call people out on it when we see it. People are allowed their freedom of speech, and rightly so. But when someone activiely supports Obama’s assassination (and yes, maybe I’m over-reacting and the person who posted the comment on FOX News was, um, joking, is it really that unlikely? There’s already been two attempted assassination plots on Obama) we should alert the authorities (if it’s a case of a threat) or call them out on what they are saying.

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A Great Day for America – Barack Obama is Elected

Posted by karmalily on November 4, 2008

barack_obama

Tonight is a wonderful night for America. Barack Obama has won what is one of the most important elections in U.S. history, and has become the first African-American to become the president. He has broken the barrier, and, I hope, will not stop there. Obama has the opportunity to turn America around and make our country so much better. Good luck, President Obama. Make history.

I’ve been glued to CNN since 6pm. The moment they announced Barack Obama as the president-elect, I burst into tears. I’m still crying. I’m so proud of America and of everyone who voted today. I’m so gleefully happy that the John McCain supporters booing Obama can be ignored during McCain’s fair speech. I’m thrilled that I will be able to tell future generations that I saw history made, and that I was a part of it.

Congratulations President Obama.

Posted in barack obama, candidates, courage, democrats, election 2008, freedom, happiness, joe biden, john mccain, politics, republicans, sarah palin, voting | 1 Comment »

What comes next for America?

Posted by karmalily on November 4, 2008

Obama has won. This alone should give us great hope for the next four years.

What makes this amazing victory even better is the now overwhemingly democratic Senate. American politics have changed in the course of just one night. For example, in my home state of North Carolina, the long career of Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole has ended with Kay Hagan’s defeat.

During the next four years, we have a more freedom loving, liberal government to look forward to. America will have the opportunity to reverse and improve on the distructive George W. Bush administration. Hopefully we will see minorities playing a stronger roll in politics, with the first African-American president to take office in January.

What are you looking forward to in the next four years?

Posted in candidates, Congress, election 2008, politics | Leave a Comment »

Terrorists on Twitter?

Posted by karmalily on November 2, 2008

sigh I can’t believe our government is so unable to use our tax dollars to do meaningful things. From AFP:

A draft US Army intelligence report has identified the popular micro-blogging service Twitter, Global Positioning System maps and voice-changing software as potential terrorists tools.

Oh please. The government has not actually seen evidence that terrorist networks are using sites like Twitter, it’s purely “theoretical.” How much longer before our government pries even ffurther into our personal lives.

What makes me so angry about this is what the Army’s definition of a terrorist is:

“Twitter has also become a social activism too for socialists, human rights groups, communists, vegetarians, anarchists, religious communities, atheists, political enthusiasts, hacktivists and others to communicate with each other and to send messages to broader audiences.”

Yeah, we’ve gotta watch out for those Amnesty International types. Damn hippies.

I feel like America is quickly losing our freedoms. We have the obvious threats like the PATRIOT Act, but there is also more subvert actions like taking down peaceful protesters at the RNC and this “Twitter threat” that makes our country look more and more like 1984. It’s scary stuff folks.

Posted in action, activism, animal rights, fear, free speech, freedom, human rights, justice, politics, protest | Leave a Comment »

Indonesia planning global warming relocations

Posted by karmalily on November 2, 2008

The southeast Asian nation of Indonesia is planning mass relocation of people who will be threatened by global warming’s rising sea levels.

From Planetsave:

Experts and Government officials fear that about 2,000 islands across the country will be underwater by between 2030 and 2040 due to rising sea levels caused by global warming. Indonesia has over 17,000 islands, of which, about 6,000 are populated.

This is just the beginning folks. As global sea levels rise, as servere weather occurances increase, and as the world faces clean water and food shortages, the number of climate refugees will continually increase. Live is going to get rather difficult if we don’t do something soon.

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Guantanamo Bay Torture Secrecy OK, says Courts

Posted by karmalily on November 1, 2008

According to the Washington, D.C. Circuit Court, the CIA is allowed to keep the interrogations of fourteen prisoners from Guantanamo Bay secret. These transcripts reportedly describe the torture the CIA uses against them. The CIA’s response was that the country’s national security would be threatened if these interrogations were released.

Ben Wizner of the ACLU:

This decision allows the Bush administration to continue its illegal cover-up of its systematic torture polices. The government has suppressed these detainees’ allegations of brutal torture not to protect any legitimate national security interests, but to protect itself from criticism and liability. It is unlawful for the government to withhold information on these grounds.

Americans deserve the right to know what our government and military is doing. Torture is despicable no matter what circumstances it is used under.

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