10 11 10 - 06:13Some people are getting it. Modern society was a product of our wealth, and now that we're forced to actually make decisions, we're going to have to say NO to destructive, stupid, pointless or subversive behaviors.
The torrent is just beginning:
The San Francisco, California, Board of Supervisors on Tuesday banned most McDonald's Happy Meals with toys, as they're now served.
The ordinance, which requires McDonald's and other fast-food servings with toys to meet new nutritional standards, now goes to Mayor Gavin Newsom, who indicated before his election last week to California lieutenant governor that he would veto the law. - CNN
Even though this is a liberal move, hoping to prevent idiots from making their kids obese, it's important:
Our society is beginning to say NO to "victimless" (rather "self-victimizing") behavior that has social consequences.
We all know kids are easily manipulated nitwits because their brains are still in formation. Putting toys in junk food is a time-proven tactic. But maybe, we're willing to for once take a stand, and so that even though in theory it would be your right to do whatever you want, things with bad social consequences need to stop.
Faced with spreading decay, city planners led by Detroit Mayor David Bing decided last year to amputate. Large tracts of urban space were cleared to stem the drain on civic resources -- although the move was not met without some dismay from those whose neighborhoods faced destruction.
"[Bing] has been up front saying, 'Look, we're not going to repopulate the city, we're going to be a small but better city and figure how to reinvent it in terms of delivering services to a smaller population,'" said Gallagher, whose book "Re-imagining Detroit" explores options for the city's future.
"Now that we've emptied out a good portion of the city and we don't expect to fill it up again with shopping malls and new housing, we can be a greener city; a more environmentally sustainable city with more parks and more green corridors -- perhaps using Detroit land not for consumption but for production. - CNN
People always joked that they should return it to farmland. But the point Bing makes is a good one: even if it hurts to do it, we have to cut back if there's not production to support what we have. If Detroit is mostly abandoned, destroy the failed and replace it with open green spaces. Convert the whole thing into farms and suburbs.
This was an unpopular move, of course... but as time goes on, people see that it is a necessary one, and not just for Detroit.
And now a more controversial one:
President Shelton also denied that the factors outlawed by Proposition 107 have had any affect on admissions considerations. âIndeed, we have never used race or gender as a criterion for admission to the U of A,â Shelton said in his address. However, according to the UAâs most recent Common Data Set[pdf], racial/ethnic status is among nonacademic factors admissions officers consider in admissions decisions.
He continued, âThis proposition was just one example of a great challenge that was on display in almost every race in this yearâs election, where we saw campaign after campaign designed to divide people, rather than unite them; to play on their fears, rather than inspire their hope.â
âI donât know where heâs getting that,â said Jen Gratz, Director of Research at the American Civil Rights Institute. âI think itâs interesting given that there is concrete evidence that they use race in admissions, theyâre admitted to using race in law school admissions,â Ms. Gratz said, citing a 2008 study [pdf] by the Center for Equal Opportunity that revealed black and Hispanic applicants to the James E Rogers College of Law were more likely to be admitted with lower LSAT scores and undergraduate GPAs than other applicants. âItâs policies that give preference to some based on race and discriminate against others that are dividing people,â Gratz said. - The Lamp
No, Jen, people are already divided -- this is just the first step in saying NO to the idea that what we need is more people and people from everywhere. The fond illusion is that if we mix up all of humanity, we'll emerge into a world of peace and equality. The reality is that this experiment has been tried before, has always failed and now people are sick of it.
Why do we need to say NO? Here's one really good reason:
Scientists have observed the highest rate of beak abnormalities ever recorded in wild bird populations in Alaska and the Northwest, a study by two federal scientists said.
The U.S. Geological Survey study on beak deformities in northwestern crows in Alaska, Washington and British Columbia follows a trend found earlier in Alaska's black-capped chickadees.
"The prevalence of these strange deformities is more than 10 times what is normally expected in a wild bird population," said research biologist Colleen Handel.
The scientists said beak deformities can be caused by environmental contaminants, nutritional deficiencies, and bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic infections.
In the past, large clusters of beak deformities have been associated with environmental pollutants such as organochlorines in the Great Lakes region and selenium from agricultural runoff in California. - AP
Industrial pollutants... why are those a problem? Must just be a bad factory, say the liberals.
Back in realityland, we know that screwups happen. Factories aren't a problem if you have enough wildlife space to absorb the contaminants, since those will inevitably happen. While the factories responsible should be fined, that doesn't solve the problem. The problem is that unless you have a 4:1 ratio of natural land to human land, there's no space for pollutants to disperse and be diluted to non-problematic levels.
We've had industrial plants dropping dangerous chemicals for hundreds of years. It has only become a problem recently because we've used up all the open land, and have left for animals a series of fenced-in areas where they barely have enough room to frolic, hunt and breed, if at all. Eventually, their populations drop below the 20,000 individuals required for genetic health and they become sickly, then die out. But it's nobody's fault.
Buying LED light bulbs won't cure this problem. Buying hybrid cars will not. Nor will donating to the World Wildlife Fund. Those are all pseudo-solutions, surrogate solutions. The real solution is more land for nature: open land, no fences, not farms, no roads. Just forest and prairie, plain and desert, mountain and wetland. But humans expand into all these areas because there are too many of us.
We need to face the real problem:
Bernard Lewis, the renowned Princeton scholar of Islam, has called attention to the Arab tendency to play âthe blame game.â
He notes Arabs traditionally blamed the Mongols, the Ottoman Turks, the colonial powers, and now the Jews and the Americans for everything that has gone awry in their once proud and accomplished history.
When I question Arabs about this, I find they generally hide behind the mantra, âIf only we were better Muslims and followed the Quran, we would do better.â But that becomes a self-set mental trap, excusing any original thought about the need to determine their own destiny. - CSM
There's always someone to blame, and this doesn't apply just to Arabs, but to all of us.
If you're a white person and you're sure that The Jew(tm), The Corporation(sm), The Negro(r) or The Government is what's keeping you down, you've already lost. You've given up on your ability to fix things.
If you're black and you're sure that racism is what's keeping you down, you've already lost. You're keeping you down by believing in racism as the determiner of your fault, and by having something to blame, you're dodging the real issue.
If you're human, you need to realize that the environmental problem we face is not SUVs, light bulbs or "some" bad factories and bad people who keep us down. It's that there are too many of us and we indulge any idiot who shows ups because he has rights too. We need to learn to say NO. And it's starting. Whip it into a brisk momentum -- future birds will thank you.