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Member since: Fri Dec 16, 2011, 10:30 PM
Number of posts: 8,994

About Me

I'm a liberal looking to make a difference in politics.

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Considering a ring for your spouse? How about a synthetic diamond? Opinions?

Even if you don't get a blood diamond, it's almost impossible to get a natural diamond that isn't acquired by gouging the Earth and damaging the environment. Wouldn't synthetic diamonds be a more eco-friendly option? Is it possible for liberals to make synthetic diamonds, made at environmentally friendly factories, the new "hot" thing in jewelry?

It would be even funnier if it meant a good swift kick in the rear to Debeers and their ilk.

Kuwait is learning from America's anti-Occupy tactics. Yay.

Attack the protestors, then accuse them of violence, whether they act in self-defense or not.

How is this NOT like high school?


Kuwait govt backs crackdown on stateless protests
AFP – Sun, Jan 15, 2012

Kuwait's security forces were right to suppress protesters demanding citizenship rights, the cabinet said Sunday, after recent demonstrations by the so-called "stateless" turned violent.

"The council of ministers expresses its backing and support for the measures being taken by the interior ministry to ... confront all forms of violence," said a statement issued after Kuwait's weekly cabinet meeting.

It said that only "enemies of Kuwait" benefit from such chaos and warned that stateless, officially known as illegal residents or bidoons, will not be able to achieve their demands through violence.

Demonstrations by stateless people turned violent in the past two days when riot police fired tear gas and used batons to disperse protesters who were demanding citizenship and other basic rights.

Dozens were wounded and over 100 arrested, according to the Kuwaiti Bidoons Committee, while the interior ministry said 21 policemen were injured, five of them hospitalised.

Does America use 30% of the world's resources? I suspect that this is true, and this could be why.

America is extremely wasteful. We buy cheaply made goods which break down quickly, and then we throw most of it away and buy something new. We buy clothes that wear out very fast, compared to clothes of years past.

Even if it doesn't wear out break down, something new comes along every 6 months that is shinier, faster (when it comes to computers), bigger, badder, sexier, more fashionable. So we also often throw perfectly working stuff away, too. Most often, right into a trash can and off to the landfill.

Whether it's plastic bags and cars made here or consumer electronics made outside the country, America is in the grip of the monster called planned obsolescence. If you get it now, it's out of style in 6 months or less, and if it's not out of style it's often broken or malfunctioning inside of a year.

So, yeah, America probably does use 30% of the world's resources, and the above-mentioned problems would be a very big part of that.

So, what is the solution to this? How do we cut down on our resource usage footprint?

Put an end to planned obsolescence. We don't need a new iPhone every year. Consumer electronics should be built to last, which may cost more, but we'll buy it less often. Making these goods in American factories would be a big step toward achieving this, but that doesn't solve big business's desire to make stuff cheaper and more prone to breaking. How do we legislate or force businesses to build things to last? Big question, but we need to solve this if we're going to cut down on our usage of resources. Making goods that last longer would also reduce the advantage of making it overseas. Remember, the stuff has to be shipped here, and fewer goods being shipped makes the cost of shipping weigh more heavily on the price of the good.

Which brings me to my next point. America uses a HELL of a lot of oil. Some of it comes from shipping goods across the ocean. But by far our biggest problem is our consumption of oil for transportation. And probably cheap plastics, too. Like all those grocery bags. We could replace those bags with more durable and reusable cloth bags, but don't tell the public that, they love the convenience of plastic bags. (Who cares if the ocean doesn't like it so much? <-- ) Of course, building alternative energy cars involves little short of a political world war with the oil industry, but it's a war that's going to have to be fought if we want to cut down on our usage of fossil fuels. And if we want these cars to be built to last we're gonna need to make them here - and we're going to have to put an end to the concept of planned obsolescence, or even making them here won't work.

Next, we need to start with bumping up our national campaign to reduce, reuse, and recycle. If you need a new car you simply trade it in, right? So why not do this with ALL consumer electronics? For instance, if you are a computer user engaged in the endless hardware/Windows/Video game arms race, then why can't you turn in last year's video card for a discount on today's newfangled card? Now imagine if we do this with TVs, whole computer systems, etc. - nationwide. We could do it without legislation but rather tax incentives. Imagine the sheer number of used consumer electronics that could be diverted from landfills and re-sold cheap to others such as schools or charities. Even in California, with its e-waste laws, we could do more to put used consumer electronics back into use, before they need to be recycled. Oh and [url=http://www.salon.com/2006/04/10/ewaste/]when we recycle these electronics[/url] we are actually killing people and hurting the environment. Recycling consumer electronics here, with our strict pollution laws and workplace safety laws, would actually save the LIVES of people around the world... and the environment.

Pollution cannot be ignored, either. We need the highest emission standards for all factories that produce resources and goods for the American market. We need to wake America up to the fact that there is no such thing as cheap energy or cheap goods, when it comes to allowing heavy pollution: we pay for it in other ways. Industrial pollution has poisoned our fish with mercury, ruined many of streams and even made some people's water catch on fire. We may not have cities heavily shrouded in pollution like those in China, and we may not have any cities ranked among the top 10 polluted cities in the world, but America can still cut down dramatically on its pollution footprint. However, the biggest thing we can do to cut down on our pollution footprint is to simply waste less.

So how does America use less of the world's resources? We render planned obsolescence... obsolete.

How about a "DMCA" for personal information?

Corporations make millions off of trading your personal information. Even your SSN can be found by online search sites. Why shouldn't you get a cut of this?

How about this... every sensitive piece of info about you: your address, phone number, SSN, etc., is your property. No one can trade it around without your consent. And if an online search site or credit bureau wants to sell your information to ANYONE, they must get your consent in writing and they must agree to pay you.

Failure to abide by the law means you can sue in small claims court.

Oh and LLCs, Corporations and such, aren't protected by that law.

How would that work? Any ideas on some tweaks?

How about taxing income disparity?

Along with higher tax rates for capital gains, how about this?

If a CEO is making 300-500 times what the average worker in the company is making, why not tax the hell out of his earnings?

We can also tax the investors, too. Not the common people, but the 10%ers - the ones who own 10% or more of the company stock.

Here is how America is making the Third World a better place with Globalism. Congratulations!

America uses 30% of the world's resources, so we need to send more jobs overseas.

So, let's take a look at all the great things we're doing for the poor outside of America by outsourcing our jobs!

The ceaseless churning of factories and automobile engines in and around Beijing has led to this: hundreds of flights canceled since Sunday because of smog, stores sold out of face masks, and many Chinese complaining on the Internet that officials are failing to level with them about air quality or make any improvements to the environment.

More than 50 percent of our recycled computers are shipped overseas, where their toxic components are polluting poor communities. Meanwhile, U.S. laws are a mess, and industry and Congress are resisting efforts to stem "the effluent of the affluent."

A parade of trucks piled with worn-out computers and electronic equipment pulls away from container ships docked at the port of Taizhou in the Zhejiang Province of southeastern China. A short distance inland, the trucks dump their loads in what looks like an enormous parking lot. Pools of dark oily liquid seep from under the mounds of junked machinery. The equipment comes mostly from the United States, Europe and Japan.

For years, developed countries have been exporting tons of electronic waste to China for inexpensive, labor-intensive recycling and disposal. Since 2000, it’s been illegal to import electronic waste into China for this kind of environmentally unsound recycling. But tons of debris are smuggled in with legitimate imports, corruption is common among local officials, and China’s appetite for scrap is so enormous that the shipments just keep on coming

Rising U.S. Trade May Increase Carbon Emissions

A rise in global trade has researchers wondering about the potential impact on future climate policy.

A recent Carnegie Mellon study finds that the United States may be reducing its own carbon emissions by importing goods from countries that are creating even more emissions in the production process than the United States would have originally.

Making a desktop computer in China, for example, can generate up to three times the carbon dioxide emissions as making the same desktop computer in the United States.

How Big A Deal Is Outsourced Pollution?

It's fairly straightforward to measure how much carbon dioxide a given country is emitting within its own borders. Just count the factories and power plants and cars and so forth and tally up all that pollution. But what about outsourced emissions? After all, the United States and Europe consume a whole bunch of goods manufactured overseas, and those emissions usually get chalked up to developing countries like China. So who bears the responsibility here?

It's a dicey question, though the first step is to get a handle on how much carbon pollution actually gets outsourced. And the answer seems to be: quite a bit. A new study by Steven Davis and Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science finds that the United States outsources about 11 percent of its emissions abroad, while Japan outsources nearly 18 percent and European nations outsource anywhere from 20 percent to 50 percent of their emissions—most of it to developing countries. On the flip side, nearly one-quarter of China's emissions, for instance, go into making goods for other countries.

Outsourcing Global Pollution to India - Vandana Shiva

TURNERS FALLS -- Some townspeople in this 19th-century mill village on the Connecticut River celebrated when workers began tearing down a shuttered coal-fired power plant this year. First, they dismantled the towering boiler. In June, the smokestack that belched hundreds of thousands of tons of heat-trapping gases into the air came down. Last month, workers hauled away the five-story steel skeleton, leaving just a concrete silo as a reminder of this local icon of global warming.

But the demolition is hardly a victory in the battle against manmade climate change.

Virtually every piece of the 2,600-ton plant is being shipped to Guatemala to be rebuilt, girder by girder, to power a textile mill that sells pants, shirts, and sportswear to the United States. It could last, and continue to pollute, for another 50 years.

From 4-ton trucks to 40-ton boilers, US vehicles and equipment are finding a second life in developing countries -- postponing meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by inefficiently using energy or directly emitting carbon dioxide.

Joseph Kahn and Mark Landler of the New York Times do a great job of reporting on the dirty little secret: the west is getting cleaner air and generating less greenhouse gas because we have outsourced it to China. They follow a major steel plant in Dortmund, where ThyssenKrupp sold it to the Chinese, who came over and dismantled it, and reassembled it in Handan. "They worked day and night," said Erwin Schneider, a spokesman for ThyssenKrupp. "They could never have done it that fast if they were governed by German labor laws."

Now Dortmund, which went through a bit of a recession as it lost 40,000 steelmaking jobs, has a performing arts complex being built out of two old blast furnaces, and the Ruhr is a capital of culture. In Essen, a depleted coal mine has been converted into a museum and performing-arts center. In Bochum, a 105-year-old gas-fired power plant is now used as a concert hall, its vaulted roof providing professional-quality acoustics.

In Handan, citizens "live in a miasma of dust and smoke that environmental authorities acknowledge contains numerous carcinogens....People do not eat outdoors, to avoid having black briquettes flake their rice."Hangang knocks 10 years off people's lives."

The next time we pat ourselves on the back for reducing carbon emissions or complain about China, we should look in the mirror first; on a global scale we haven't reduced anything, we just moved it.

The next time you meet someone who believes in globalism, be sure to share these proud achievements of "free trade" with them!

Here's my alternative view on giga Billionaire outrageous spending sprees

As long as the billionaires that got rich off America turn around and spend that money in America and hire American workers, that means they're putting that money back into the country.

Is this not a good thing, looking at it from that perspective?

So now, bashing China's mercantilist policies = bashing all Chinese people.. *head desk*

And the Republican idiots are doing everything they can to reinforce that fear.


China Watches GOP Race With Alarm
By Dan Levin | The Daily Beast – 23 hrs ago

Last weekend at a rally in New Hampshire, Mitt Romney was confronted with a gripe rarely heard on the Republican campaign trail. Amid a sea of white faces, a Chinese-American woman accused the candidate of, well, if not racism, something close to it. “I’m Chinese and I’m American and I love this country. I heard all these degrading things about Chinese this, China that, and it just doesn’t make me feel good,” she said, before asking a question and then telling Romney, “Don't put any Asians down.”

In Campaign 2012, the Chinese Communist Party has become an unexpected factor in American politics. As candidates and voters struggle with how to respond to China’s soaring economic might, the Middle Kingdom is now the source of much debate in the race for the presidency, and it’s getting nasty.

Just look at the recent online video smearing former U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman as a “Manchurian candidate” and questioning whether the billionaire Mormon Republican, who adopted a daughter from China, “shares our values.”

The video, which appears to have been the work of a Ron Paul supporter, juxtaposes stereotypical Chinese music and clips of Huntsman speaking Mandarin with ominous questions like “Weak on China? Wonder Why?” and “What exactly does Huntsman stand for?” before a portrait of the candidate Photoshopped onto an image of Chairman Mao flashes on screen.l

Do not buy into this Republican crocodile te-er, I mean furor over Mitt Romney. Ever watch Survivor?

In Survivor, the front runner often gets voted off the island when they get vulnerable. The same is now happening to Mitt Romney, who just came to the forefront.

Let's look at Newt Gingrich* for example, and his video "When Mitt Romney came to town": http://www.webcasts.com/kingofbain/

Newt Gingrich, the Republican's Republican, is passing around a video that attacks Mitt Romney for his fifteen homes. Who in the world doesn't see through that bullshit?

Wait a second. This doesn't even pass the most superficial of scrutiny. Newt Gingrich is engaging in what ALL Republicans have ALWAYS called the politics of envy. To Republicans it's a sin to be mad at someone who owns 15 homes. Gingrich's video gets on Mitt Romney's ass repeatedly for his outrageous wealth. "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer" is a comment that appears in his video.

Newt Gingrich's big anti-Romney video is nothing more than his way of exploiting America's well founded and exploding rage over corporate greed, job destruction and foreign outsourcing of American jobs. Corporate GREED, for God's sake. Corporate greed is GOD to Republicans.

Newt Gingrich, in his attack on Mitt Romney, is rejecting the core values of his party. And people think that this is a genuine waking up moment for Gingrich? Hardly. Gingrich is using what his focus group tests know are America's most sensitive and popularly discussed issues, to get Romney kicked off the "island".

Mark my words. If Gingrich, or any other Republican candidate, takes down Obama in 2012, you will see rampant job destruction, more Romney-esque corporate raiding and mansion-buying, more tax cuts for the rich, and you will see Free Trade / foreign outsourcing agreements that will make Barack Obama's worst FTA look like the very worst nightmarish overexaggerations of tariffs and isolationist policy.

The very Republicans bashing Romney right now, are only doing so because they want to be like him.

* Gingrich officially doesn't endorse this video, but come on, really now? He's behind this, totally.

Are summary executions EVER acceptable in a civilized society?

Just wondering what the DU collectively thinks about this.
I say nay.
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