May 9th, 2009


Eighties Slang

Here is an interesting glossary of slang from the 1980s:
This kind of material is very useful for setting the temporal scene in stories where the time is crucial to the plot for some reason, such as time travel or historic fiction. Decade sets make for nice tight aim -- any shorter than that, and the language shift is rarely distinctive enough to have good stamp.

Recent Environmental News

I've found several articles dealing with aspects of the environment:

Norman Solomon | We Need a Green New Deal
Norman Solomon, Truthout: "In the Arctic, sea ice is melting. In the United States, houses are foreclosing. And in Washington, the Senate is becoming a real-life Bermuda Triangle for progressive agendas. Proposals for major limits on carbon emissions aren't getting far in the Senate, where the corporate war on the environment has an abundance of powerful allies."

We need a way to create new jobs, and we need to make sure that the economy stops destroying the environment -- and we need to get the roadblock people out of the way before they kill us all with their blind greed.

Corporate Friendly Democrats Press Pelosi to Shelve Climate Bill
Mike Soraghan, The Hill: "Democratic centrists are pressing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to set aside a flagging climate change bill to focus on what they think is a more achievable goal: overhauling the nation's healthcare system. But those close to Pelosi (D-Calif.) say she is charging forward on cap-and-trade legislation, despite the potential defections of Democrats who represent states with industries that would be adversely affected by the bill. Pelosi views the bill's troubles as predictable and solvable aspects of the legislative process."

I am getting very tired of the Democrats who are working with Republicans to undermine or block important bills, which is to say, making sure some problems continue to be problems. But wow, Pelosi found a spine somewhere? That's cool.

Mexico: "They Kill Our Trees So We'll Grow Their Drugs."
Yemeli Ortega, Rue89: "The region with the richest biodiversity in North America is located in Mexico's far north, at 1,420 meters of elevation, in the heart of the Western Sierra Madre. These lands, rugged and inhospitable, have been inhabited by Tarahumara, 'the light-footed people,' for close to 2,000 years. Today, this peaceful people is threatened by narco-trafficking which threatens the very essence of their culture and the equilibrium of their environment. 㰊

We should not be killing these people. We should be begging them for help. They sound like they have some memes that would be useful for maintaining life on Earth.

Obama Keeps Bush-Era Polar Bear Rule
MSNBC News: "The Obama administration will retain a Bush-era rule for polar bears, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Friday, in a move that angered activists who noted the rule limits what can be done to protect the species from global warming."

This is just stupid. The polar bears are endangered because global warming is destroying their habitat. If you rule out fixing that, nothing else will save the poor bears. You might just as well admit that you're choosing to kill the bears to protect corporate interest, and in the process, continuing to make the planet less habitable for humans too.

Bush EPA Hid Data on Coal-Ash Risks, Study Shows
Ken Ward Jr., The Charleston Gazette: "The Bush administration kept secret for nearly five years data that showed increased cancer risks from drinking water polluted by coal-ash impoundments, according to a new report issued Thursday."

Well, duh. America values money more than human life or health. But when the government stops giving out reliable information, people stop trusting what it says..