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Antarctica melting? Sounds familiar…

Scientists have been murmuring about Global Warming for years and years, but their theories have always been dismissed due to lack of evidence. Well, finally, they’ve got evidence.

Although it’s hard to be sure, the ice at the poles seems to be disappearing at a rapid rate due to Global Warming. “With temperatures climbing in parts of Antarctica in recent years, melt water seems to be penetrating deeper and deeper into ice crevices, weakening immense and seemingly impregnable formations that have developed over thousands of years.” Evidence is piling up thanks to studies by the British Antarctic Survey and NASA. NASA, who’s partnered with the Center for Scientific Studies (a private Chilean organization), is using airplanes specially equipped with lasers and advanced radar to measure the thickness of ice in the Antarctic and Patagonian ice shelves.

Something needs to be done. See, there are ice shelves, big, floating masses of ice, that surround Antarctica. One they’ve melted and broken off from the mainland, all the inland glaciers will advance much more quickly towards the ocean. Scientists like Dr. Claudio Teitelboim, the director of the Center for Scientific Studies, compare the process to a cork being removed from a bottle: “…once the cork is dislodged, the contents of the bottle flow out, and that can generate tremendous instability.”

More money needs to be put into the development of alternative fuels, fuels that give off less (or no) toxic emissions. These emissions rise up into the atmosphere and end up at the poles of the Earth. They eat away at the ozone layer covering the ice, allowing harmful sun rays to come through more easily. The same goes for fumes given off by factories; stricter regulations are necessary to limit the exhaust that they give off.

“Nature is playing a little experiment with us, showing us what could happen if the plug were to be removed,” warns Dr. Eric Rignot, a glaciologist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA.

People (especially those higher-up) need to wake up and realize that if something isn’t done soon, we may have to start looking a lot harder for water on Mars.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/25/science/earth/25ice.html?oref=login&pagewanted=all&position=

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January 26, 2005 Posted by | The Progressive Movement | 2 Comments

The Inauguration of the Day

Today, George W. (Dubya to some) Bush is being inaugurated in Washington. In total his inauguation balls will costat or around $40 million dollars. Many might ask, “Why spend $40 million when you can donate it to a better cause?” But the many who ask that are told “No.” As my history teacher (Mr. Kaufman for those of you who attend my school) correctly said today, “Everyone in America, Democrats and Republicans alike, will be crying today. But most tears won’t be those of joy.”

January 20, 2005 Posted by | The Progressive Movement | 4 Comments

New Poll

How bad did Condi get it during her confirmation hearings? Tell us what you think on this weeks poll.

January 19, 2005 Posted by | The Progressive Movement | Leave a comment

Tsunami Relief

In the past two weeks, I have been organizing a small effort to collect donations for tsunami victims. I have been doing so with conflicting sentiments of reservation and exuberance, glad to be part of making a difference but wondering if my priorities are in the proper place. I am aware that 135,000 people died and for many, their lives as they knew it are over. Most of them lost everything, for which money can never be an adequate replacement.

Yet I still have some reservations about isolating this cause. After 9/11, many charities suffered. My reservations about collecting stem from awareness that as tsunami relief grows, other causes will be shortchanged (so to speak). Funds for humanitarian causes in Africa, which barely assist its abyss of problems – including but certainly not limited to disease, civil war, extreme poverty, starvation, unavailability of drinking water and inadequate infrastructure – will struggle to meet expected funds because people do not give multiple times.

Hence my predicament: I want to encourage donations for other causes but I know that it is best to capitalize on what’s hot. People will give as long as they see the devestation and destruction on TV. As long as they see the faces of orphaned children staring sadly at them, they will reach into their wallets or pull out their checkbooks. People will give to what they feel guilty about – or they will not give at all. So God bless the American media, as President Bush would say, for ingraining these images in our collective mind because they have successfully encouraged Americans, as individuals, to give. The US government has donated $350 million and private corporations continue to provide money to help.

Yet the Red Cross has asked people to stop donating for the tsunami victims and begin looking elsewhere. They beseech people, with appreciation and the fullest respect, to give to other causes, like the strife in Darfur, because those causes will struggle to give when their constituents stop giving. I am not being cynical when I say that most people will only give once; it is the reality of our America. The best I can do is to encourage people to keep giving. In this country, where many of us return home to two (or maybe even three) car garages, we can afford to. And I will keep collection for the cause of the tsunami victims and perhaps, after the attention has cooled, I will begin to focus elsewhere.

January 17, 2005 Posted by | The Progressive Movement | 3 Comments

Iran?

First Afghanistan. Then Iraq. And now possibly…Iran? According to CNN,

The Bush administration has been carrying out secret reconnaissance missions to learn about nuclear, chemical and missile sites in Iran in preparation for possible airstrikes there, journalist Seymour Hersh said Sunday.

The “secret missions” have been going on for over six months, according to Hersh. Iran, as many of you know, has refused to “dismantle its nuclear program, which it insists is legal and is intended solely for civilian purposes.” Writes Hersh in an article in the New Yorker…

“The next step is Iran. It’s definitely there. They’re definitely planning … But they need the intelligence first.”

NOTE: Emphasis mine.
This isn’t consistant with the Bush administration. The Bush I’ve come to know and love would just use false/fake evidence…or maybe no evidence at all. Come on, who’s needs intelligence when you’ve got a mandate? How many wars can we expect Bush to wage in the next four years? According to CNN, possibly ten. Ten.

The plans are not limited to Iran, he said.
“The president assigned a series of findings and executive orders authorizing secret commando groups and other special forces units to conduct covert operations against suspected terrorist targets in as many as 10 nations in the Middle East and South Asia,” he wrote.

The CIA would be powerless and the Pentagon would take over the wars. [A victory for Rumsfeld.]
Here is a statement issued by the Iranian Defense Minister…

We are able to say that we have strength such that no country can attack us because they do not have precise information about our military capabilities due to our ability to implement flexible strategies…we can claim that we have rapidly produced equipment that has resulted in the greatest deterrent.

The American government has also responded to Hersh’s article. According to the Australian News

Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita said The New Yorker article by Pulitzer prize-winning writer Seymour Hersh was “so riddled with errors of fundamental fact that the credibility of his entire piece is destroyed”…Mr DiRita, however, said his latest news report had no basis in fact.

But what if what Hersh is saying is true? Writes Jonathan Marcus of the BBC, “Hersh says that the administration’s aims could include not just an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, but full-scale regime change.” It will be a lot harder to attack and overthrow Iran than it has been with Iraq. The Iranian war would be met with little support in America (none throughout the world), and the entire region of the Middle East would be panic-stricken, chaotic and above all, anti-American.

January 17, 2005 Posted by | The Progressive Movement | 10 Comments

Tomorrow is Condi’s Big Day

In an optimistic article in The New York Times, author Todd S. Purdum predicts that Secretary of State nominee Condoleeza Rice will champion a diplomatic course for the next four years of foreign policy. Beginning tomorrow, Dr. Rice will undergo two days of Senate confirmation hearings, which are expected to confirm and approve of her nomination. Dr. Rice will seize the opportunity to explain her goals for the future of the State Department and Bush administration, rather comment on her past as President Bush’s national security advisor.

“Ms. Rice’s goals vary from restoring America’s reputation in the capitals of Europe through a vigorous campaign of public diplomacy to actively promoting free institutions throughout the Middle East and renewing involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute, and include a heightened focus on free trade and economic issues, associates say.”

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, these goals mirror Sunday’s What the World Wants From America and its related articles.

Although pleased, I am a bit amused by the claim that Dr. Rice will be directing our administration towards the diplomatic course. As Secretary of State, she will be in charge of the largest diplomatic body in our government; of course she will encourage the diplomatic approach. With our military already so overextended, it is irrational to expect that the Bush administration will continue its “proactive” military policy because it is physically unable to do so. Logically, Dr. Rice will have to encourage diplomacy in foreign relations because that will be her job. And despite her close relationship with the president, I am optimistic that Dr. Rice will occasionally express dissent towards his opinions. While commonly supporting the president and his hawkish cronies Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Ms. Rice was sometimes an ally to estranged Secretary of State Colin Powell. This is not to imply that she often opposed the aforementioned, but I am doubtful that she will be the loyal pushover some liberal incendiaries have proposed.

January 17, 2005 Posted by | The Progressive Movement | 5 Comments

Turn Your Back on Bush

This Thursday marks the second inauguration of George W. Bush. The most expensive inauguration to date, there will be a total of nine inaugural balls, a youth concert, a parade, a fireworks display and, the official swearing in ceremony at noon on Jan. 20. A record $40 million has been spent on security and preparing for the festivities.

It’s been estimated that up to a million people are planning to swell into Washington during the week, many to attend the parade. Tickets to the inaugural ceremony have been in controversy, as major Bush donors recieved the prime seats, with little public access to the not-so-prime ones. After legal action, several anti-war and protest groups have secured their own bleacher sections on the parade route.

One movement has been gaining steam since the election. www.TurnYourBackOnBush.org has gained support throughout the nation, thousands planning to do just that on inauguration day- turn their back on Bush. As soon as his limo is spotted, thousands will engage in a direct, non-violent protest to the President, standing in solidarity.

The movement website:

One of the things that makes Turn Your Back on Bush a unique action is that we won’t know who is participating until the moment it begins. This is a nonviolent, silent, and non-responsive action. We expect that our actions will cause some supporters of President Bush to confront us. In order to make this action as effective as possible, we will publish action guidelines and expect those people participating in the action to remain silent, refrain from escalating, and above all, keep this protest non-violent.

For this one moment, the opposition to Bush will stand together.

He has refused us for 4 years– he has drowned out our voices. He has surrounded himself with advisors who blindly support him, he refuses to talk to any but the most submissive and sycophantic news organizations. He has turned his back on the American public as a whole, only catering to his most ardent and obsessive supporters.

Well, Mr. Bush, watch us turn our backs on you.

January 17, 2005 Posted by | The Progressive Movement | 3 Comments

Martin Luther King Day

Liberalyouth.com remembers Martin Luther King Jr. for his progressive work toward racial equality, a goal we are still fighting to achieve.

January 17, 2005 Posted by | The Progressive Movement | Leave a comment

Profile 08: Evan Bayh

There are a couple of front-runners for the 2008 Presidential Election on the Democrat side. This “series” is meant to show where these potential candidates stand on the issues. The first Democrat I will preview is Evan Bayh.

Evan Bayh, Senator Indiana, former Governor.
Brief Bio: Born December 26, 1955, Evan Bayh has been involved in politics since 1984 when he was part of the Wayne Townsend Gubanatorial Campaign. He was Indiana Secretary of State from 1986-1988, Indiana Governor from 1988-1996, and Indiana’s Junior Senator from 1998-present (he won reelection in 2004 by 25 percentage points). Bayh received degrees from the University of Indiana and the University of Virginia and is currently married with two children. He currently sits on six Senate committees and is an active participant in the Senate. Beloved by the people of Indiana, Bayh is viewed as a Moderate and won all but six counties in the 2004 Senate Election.

Votes in the Senate:
Continue affirmative action programs without quotas. (Jan 1998)
Rated 50% by NARAL, indicating a mixed voting record on abortion. (Dec 2003)
Expand embryonic stem cell research. (Jun 2004)
Balance debt reduction, tax relief, & policy investment. (Jan 2001)
Voted YES on restricting rules on personal bankruptcy. (Jul 2001)
Broaden use of death penalty. (Jan 1998)
More funding and stricter sentencing for hate crimes. (Apr 2001)
Voted NO on increasing penalties for drug offenses. (Nov 1999)
Undecided on School Prayer Amendment. (Jan 1998)
Voted YES on funding smaller classes instead of private tutors. (May 2001)
Firmly opposed to Bush’s voucher proposal. (Jan 2001)
(Not really a “vote” but Rated 91% by the NEA, indicating pro-public education votes. [Dec 2003])
Voted NO on drilling ANWR on national security grounds. (Apr 2002)
Voted YES on Bush Administration Energy Policy. (Jul 2003)
Voted YES on enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe. (May 2002)
Progressive Internationalism: globalize with US pre-eminence. (Aug 2000)
Free & fair trade is key to economic growth . (Jan 2001)
Voted YES on banning “soft money” contributions and restricting issue ads. (Mar 2002)
Voted YES on $40 billion per year for limited Medicare prescription drug benefit. (Jun 2003)
Private self-managed accounts OK. (Jan 1998)
Voted NO on using the Social Security Surplus to fund tax reductions. (Jul 1999)
Voted YES on $86.5 billion for military operations in Iraq & Afghanistan. (Oct 2003)
Iraq was not reconstituting its nuclear program. (Jul 2004)
Iraq was not developing its biological weapons program. (Jul 2004)
Iraq was not developing its chemical weapons program. (Jul 2004)
Iraq was developing missiles, but not to reach the US. (Jul 2004)
Fully fund AmeriCorps. (Jun 2003)
SOURCE FOR VOTES: ON THE ISSUES

Advantages and Disadvantages: Appeals to moderates, electable, “charming.” Bayh will definitely win Indiana and its 11 EVs, and will also give the Republicans a run for their money in Ohio, Iowa and Kentucky. If the Democrats run Bayh, a life-long Midwesterner, they will likely cement their base in the Upper Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan). Bayh is well spoken and has a tremendous TV prescence. But he is viewed by many Democrats as being “too Republican,” although the ACU rates him as a very liberal senator (only 30 out of 100 on the “Conservative Scale”). But many Democrats and Republicans are alike are impressed with his reign as Governor of Indiana, balancing the budget, leaving the state with a surplus and making it a great place to live.

My Verdict: Ehhh, I’m not sold on Bayh. Although he is very electable, that’s not what the Democrats need. Hey, John Kerry was the most electable and look at where that got us in 2004. What we need now is a person with a great, strong and unwavering message. I don’t know if Bayh can bring that to the table, but he has four years to prove to me and America that he is presidential.

January 16, 2005 Posted by | The Progressive Movement | 4 Comments

No Regrets

CNN:

Army Reserve Spc. Charles Graner Jr. was sentenced Saturday to 10 years in a military prison for his role in abusing detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad. Led from the court building in handcuffs and leg chains, he twice answered “No, ma’am” when asked by reporters if he had regrets or apologies.

January 15, 2005 Posted by | The Progressive Movement | 3 Comments