Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, but first I need more coffee.

Month: October 2008 (Page 3 of 5)

Glenn Beck : ‘They’re all Marxists’ WTF?

Glenn Beck proves once again he is an ass clown. Here’s the problem: some conservatives think if a political view doesn’t agree with theirs, it must be marxist/socialist/communist. Since they can’t use the word marxist or socialist except amongst like minded folks they use the code word liberal. Has Glenn even read The Communist Manifesto or even read the Wikipedia entry on Marxism?

Crooks & Liars: Glenn Beck: ‘They’re all Marxists’

So there is nothing wrong with being a liberal or liberalism. There is no reasoning with some conservatives. They think everyone on the left is some kind of hate filled angry marxist looney. They refuse to see there are different kinds of Democrats: traditional liberals, progressives, conservative Democrats, centrists and moderates. By holding to this narrow view of politics leaves them at a disadvantage to understanding the left. It also makes them fearful. By demonizing the other side there can be no political discourse. There can be no loyal opposition. As the days countdown to the election I fully expect the crazies on both sides to really ratchet up the rhetoric, and I would not be suprised to see acts of violence and intimidation.

You only have to go south of the border to find a real honest to God socialist and his name is Hugo Chavez. There are stark differences between him and Obama. Oh and another thing this same tired mantra about the Democratic presidental candidate being the most liberal senator is bullshit. Obama is only the 31st most liberal Senator. Hawaii, Indonesia, and Kenya don’t count for going south of the border, but visiting a Brazilian girlfriend does.

Some people don’t like name calling. Glenn should stop calling people what they aren’t. I called him an ass clown because he comes across as a type of clown, a buffoon. And I call him an ass because he makes an ass of himself by presenting himself on national TV. I’m very glad that he’s leaving CNN to go to the network he belongs on Fox Noise.

For the record. I am not a liberal. I am a progressive.

Livejournal vs. website blog

I’m debating what to do about my Livejournal vs. my website blog. I really wanted to be able to feed my blog into Livejournal, but that isn’t an option. So I think what I’ll do is post my more personal stuff on Livejournal and my professional stuff on my blog. Since I can’t upload photos to Livejournal I’ll either upload them to Flickr or my website.

Nitrogen Doom

Normally watching CSPAN is about as exciting as watching paint dry. This morning I was flipping through the channels when I cam across CSPAN2 and they were showing a Book TV segment. So I lingered a little longer than I normally do, and I’m glad I did. They had author Thomas Hager talking about his newly released book The Alchemy of Air. I haven’t been captivated by an author this much since hearing Michael Pollan talk about his book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

Since I came in on the middle of the talk I wasn’t quite sure what the subject was but it was intriguing. In the late 1800’s there was this guy named Cook who was predicting humans would starve in 1930. It was because the world was running out of nitrogen or rather the population would soon bump into the limits of the biosphere. The thing was he was absolutely right. Why didn’t this happen?

Cook said that we’d starve unless scientists came up with a way of getting nitrogen out of the air which is needed as fertilizer. Well to make a long story short Haber invented this process to pull nitrogen out of the air to make ammonia and it was used to make fertilizer, gunpowder, and TNT. One of the downsides of this process was that it allowed people to wage even more destructive wars.

Hager also said something that was fascinating, or rather disturbing once I understood the implications. Humans have doubled the amount of fixed nitrogen in the Earth’s biosphere in the last 70 years. We do not know the full impact of this yet. He also said half the nitrogen fixed ends up in the air and water and does not become food. We can already see one of the major impacts due to all this runoff, dead zones. There are over a hundred dead zones in the oceans around the world. Ironically enough the dead zone created by the Mississipi in the Gulf of Mexico is the size of New Jersey.

I knew that fertilizer runoff was a problem but I didn’t fully appreciate how we got her. I plan to read Hager’s book. I’ll try to get it from the library first, but if that fails I’ll buy a copy. I strongly suspect that when I start arguing with global warming deniers about dead zones they’ll also deny that nitrogen is a problem too. We are changing the chemistry of the ocean. It becomes more acidic due to the carbon dioxide it absorbs and it creates algal blooms that create dead zones.

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