Thursday, February 26, 2009

Watermelons on the White House Lawn

Photo: Keyanus Price

Wouldn't it be funny to send out an email of the White House with watermelons on the lawn? Orange, California mayor Dean Grose thought so. It was an adolescent attempt at humor that he thought he'd share with a few friends. Not everyone thought it was funny. I know there's absolutely nothing wrong with watermelons growing on the White House lawn but now that Barack Obama is President, it has special significance.

Now I know Mayor Grose didn't mean anything by this email and is surprised that anyone would be offended by it. It's only watermelons, what's the big deal? From Tim Rice, a prominent anti-racist commentator, comes the best observation:
White Denial once this guy says, "Oh sorry, I didn't know watermelons had a racial connotation..."
I guess the next thing we're going to see is cotton in the Rose Garden or Michelle Obama as Aunt Jemima. But of course, nothing wrong with that since Aunt Jemima is on the shelf of every supermarket and grocery store. Aunt Jemima is an American icon and cotton is a natural fiber. Next up, 40s, nooses and black Sambo dolls.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bobby Jindal - Science Fail

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

click to enlarge
Bobby Jindal, the GOP governor of Louisiana delivered the Republican response for Obama's Joint Session of Congress speech. You know it didn't go well when Fox talking heads calls it lackluster. You are certain it sucked bad when folks over at Little Green Footballs, Free Republic and Red State think he made "Palin look smart," "guarantees 8 years of Obama" and "anti-science."

Yeah, Republicans complaining about a candidate being too anti-science. I was shocked too.

But Jindal actually called out volcano monitoring as wasteful, pork barrel spending. The first thought that entered my tree-hugging liberal mind was "there goes his support in the American West."

According to the US Geological Survey Circular, the US states that have active or possibly active volcanoes are New Mexico, Wyoming, Idaho, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. Wyoming is an especially troubling issue since it has Yellowstone - one of the largest volcanoes in the world. 640,000 years ago, Yellowstone erupted and it ejected 240 CUBIC MILES of rock and dust into the sky.

In late 2008 and early 2009 Yellowstone experienced quake swarms - one swarm had over 500 earthquakes in a seven day period.

If Yellowstone goes, most of the midwest would be unlivable and the effects would be felt globally. Mass famine and death would result.

Maybe Jindal is right, we don't need to monitor anything that dangerous. Just like we ignore hurricanes. What's the worst that could happen?