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Journey Through The Universe December 31, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Religion, Science & Technology, Video.
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We took this visual journey in the New York City Planetarium. Now you can enjoy it at home.  If you have high-speed internet, click on the HD option.

No rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide fraction in past 160 years, new research finds December 31, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Science & Technology.
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The major media overlooked this Nov.9th study

Most of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activity does not remain in the atmosphere, but is instead absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial ecosystems. In fact, only about 45 percent of emitted carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere.

However, some studies have suggested that the ability of oceans and plants to absorb carbon dioxide recently may have begun to decline and that the airborne fraction of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions is therefore beginning to increase.

via No rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide fraction in past 160 years, new research finds.

Help Iran Become our Ally December 31, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
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The fracturing of the Islamic Republic’s traditional elite, and the persistence and power of Iran’s democratic awakening six months later, make clear that a regime change is under way in Iran–one that is indigenous, sustainable, democratic in spirit, and peaceful in its means. It is the most promising development in the broader Middle East in the past quarter-century. Rather than being viewed as a sideshow, the uprising should be at the core of every policy decision regarding Iran. Western leaders should ask themselves just one question whenever faced with a new set of measures toward Iran: Will they help or hurt the Green Movement?

For all the concern about a fitful and still highly vulnerable nuclear program, a far greater prize is now in sight: a freer society and an accountable government under the rule of law. An opportunity now exists to encourage the evolution of a democratic Iran–through careful, calibrated, and principled policies that refuse to be baited by the crude and bellicose behavior of a usurper president. The premise of Obama’s initial engagement approach seemed to reflect an understanding of this extraordinary potential. The question now is whether the shift to a policy of pressure, threats, and further isolation will trade the promise of transformative change for the illusion of a security arrangement with a regime built on an edifice of enmity with the West.

via Against The Green | The New Republic.

Solutions to Mexico’s Drug Crisis – WSJ.com December 26, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in cool stuff.
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Growing numbers of Mexican and U.S. officials say—at least privately—that the biggest step in hurting the business operations of Mexican cartels would be simply to legalize their main product: marijuana. Long the world’s most popular illegal drug, marijuana accounts for more than half the revenues of Mexican cartels.

Earlier this year, three former Latin American presidents known for their free-market and conservative credentials—Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico, Cesar Gaviria of Colombia and Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil—said governments should seriously consider legalizing marijuana as an effective tool against murderous drug gangs

Some Mexican officials say privately that the U.S. should seriously consider allowing cocaine to pass more easily through the Caribbean again in order to squeeze Mexican gangs. “Would you rather destabilize small countries in the Caribbean or Mexico, which shares a 2,000-mile border with the U.S., is your third-biggest trading partner and has 100 million people?” one official said.

via Solutions to Mexico’s Drug Crisis – WSJ.com.

Heathen’s Greetings for Christmas December 25, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Humor, Religion.
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“Aren’t we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas?” Homer Simpson once asked. “You know, the birth of Santa.”

Like Homer, I enjoy the birthday of Jesus — or Santa. So it pains me to witness fellow atheists acting like a bunch of irritating ’80s televangelists and defeating the entire purpose of unbelief by organizing, grousing, wagging their fingers and, worst of all, proselytizing.

Take the billboards popping up in Las Vegas this year that read “Reason’s Greetings” and “Heathen’s Greetings.” (more…)

Decade of Decline For Small Caribbean Islands December 25, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Geopolitics.
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The first decade of the 21st Century – 2000 to 2009 – has proven to be a decade of decline for the Countries of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM).

Real income in the CARICOM area is less today than it was 10 years ago; unemployment is higher in 2009 than it was in 1999; poverty has expanded in many countries; and many CARICOM countries now experience debt levels of over 100% of their GDP. (more…)

Afghanistan: Why The Russians Are Jealous December 25, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics.
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Because it’s Winter, and very difficult for the Taliban to just hide out in the hills until the troops leave. The American heat sensors can more easily spot groups of men up in the hills, especially if they build a fire. Even hiding out in a cave won’t protect you. Traditionally, Afghan warriors take the Winter off, and devote their efforts to obtaining enough food and fuel to survive the cold and snow.

via Afghanistan: Why The Russians Are Jealous.

The Real Rogue Of 2009: Levi Johnston December 25, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in philosophy & politics, Politics.
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It’s unverifiable – but no less so than Palin’s autobiography. And compared with her bizarre, constantly changing stories and multiple lies about any number of empirically indisputable facts, Johnston’s monosyllabic yeses and nos and plain English eye-witness accounts that have never changed are like oases of sanity and calm.

When I got to meet Johnston, I asked him simply how he seemed so calm as a nineteen year old up against an international celebrity with millions of dollars and every pimp in the “publishing” and political industries trying to suck up to her. “Because I’m tellin’ the truth,” was his simple, and immediate answer.

I can’t know who’s telling the truth for sure. But after a decade of frauds enabled and abetted by political corruption and media cowardice, Palin might well be the biggest fraud of all, perpetrating a hoax so massive no one can quite see it. Perhaps the most memorable quote of the year came when Levi said quite simply, even after unloading all of the above:

“There are some things that I have that are huge. And I haven’t said them because I’m not gonna hurt her that way … I have things that can, you know — that would get her in trouble, and could hurt her. Will hurt her. But I’m not gonna go that far. You know, I mean, if I really wanted to hurt her, I could, very easily. But there’s — I’m not gonna do it. I’m not going that far.

Or as he also put it:

:She knows what I got on her.”

But the rest of us don’t.

Yet.

via The Real Rogue Of 2009: Levi Johnston – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan.

A Trophy Sleigh For Santa December 20, 2009

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Humor.
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And for the rest-of-the-story of how this all happened

(more…)

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