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Hillary Clinton: “Everyone deserves a chance and everyone deserves a champion”

Yesterday, in a speech in New Hampshire, Democratic presidental candidate Hillary Clinton launched her campaign initiative: “Women for Hillary” … it was also “Hillary for Women” and men:

(FULL Speech: Hillary Clinton speaks at campaign event in New Hampshire 09/05/15 ) (Looking for transcript)

NPR:

“What’s good for women is good for America,” [Secretary Clinton] said, adding that equal pay, childcare, and family leave are not just women’s issues, but economic ones.

“Too often these are called women’s issues,” Clinton said. “If you can’t afford to go to work or find a safe place to leave your kids, you’re not gonna have the kind of economic opportunity you deserve.”

Clinton said men also have a stake in such policies, pointing out that many men are now caring for children and aging parents. […] Speaking in New Hampshire, Clinton said she’s been talking about issues affecting families and children for years.

“I believe that raising incomes and supporting families is the defining economic challenge of our time,” Clinton said. “And these are not new fights for me.”

She was also commemorating the 20th anniversary of her speech to the United Nations Conference on Women in Beijing (video and transcript below the fold).

“If there is one message that echoes forth from this conference, let it be that human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights, once and for all,” Clinton famously said 20 years ago in a speech confronting Chinese leaders over their poor record on women’s rights. Clinton talked about poverty, violence, and lack of access to health care.

President Obama’s Email to Me from Alaska

President Obama has been in Alaska the past few days. On his first day, he renamed a mountain and made a fiery speech before the GLACIER conference.

Since then he has been visiting Alaska and sending emails to his friends (like me!) about his doings. Today’s email:
Hi, everyone — checking in on day two. Right off the bat, I’ll note that I’ve got to come back here once I’m done being President.”

You just can’t see Alaska in three days.

I spent the day hiking through Exit Glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park — where the mountains collide with the ocean and fields of ice. When the team handed over the camera, I did my best to do this place justice:

(Standing in front of Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park, President Obama spoke about how climate change is causing Alaska’s glaciers to recede and accelerating rising sea levels. September 1, 2015.)
Transcript: Remarks by the President at Exit Glacier, Kenai Fjords National Park, AK

Visitors from around the world come here to see its Harding Icefield — one of the largest ice fields in the United States — covering hundreds of square miles. As the climate warms, glaciers are shrinking more and more rapidly — and throughout the park, there are signs marking where the glacier line used to be.

This is as good of a signpost as any when it comes to the impacts of climate change.

I also had the chance to tour the area by boat and experience the beauty and wildlife of Resurrection Bay. It was spectacular to see the horizon of ice and snow, but it’s melting. And if we don’t act, this simply won’t be here for future generations to enjoy.

Glaciers in Alaska, and the greater Arctic, are shrinking and it’s changing the way Alaskans live. And considering the Arctic’s unique role in influencing the global climate, it will accelerate changes to the way that we all live. Since 1979, the summer sea ice in the Arctic has decreased by more than 40%, a decrease that has dramatically accelerated over the past two decades.

One new study estimates that Alaska’s glaciers alone lose about 75 gigatons — that’s 75 billion tons — of ice each year. What does a gigaton look like? To put that in perspective, one scientist described a gigaton of ice as a block the size of the National Mall in Washington — from Congress all the way to the Lincoln Memorial, four times as tall as the Washington Monument. Now imagine 75 of those ice blocks.

That’s what Alaska’s glaciers alone lose…each year. And the pace of melting is only getting faster.

It’s now twice what it was between 1950 and 2000 — twice as fast as it was just a little over a decade ago. And it’s one of the reasons why sea levels rose by about eight inches over the last century, and why they’re projected to rise another one to four feet this century.

If we do nothing, temperatures in Alaska are projected to rise between six and 12 degrees by the end of the century, triggering more melting, more fires, more thawing of the permafrost, a negative feedback loop, a cycle — warming leading to more warming — that we do not want to be a part of.

The fact is that climate is changing faster than our efforts to address it. That must change — and we’re not acting fast enough.

President Barack Obama”

More from President Obama’s trip below …

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Meanwhile in Tennessee:

Hamilton County Chancellor Jeffrey Atherton denied the divorce petition last week after hearing from seven witnesses and going through 77 exhibits.

snip-itty-doo-dah…

Atherton said the Supreme Court must clarify “when a marriage is no longer a marriage.” Otherwise, he contended, state courts are impaired from addressing marriage and divorce litigation altogether.

“The conclusion reached by this Court is that Tennesseans have been deemed by the U.S. Supreme Court to be incompetent to define and address such keystone/central institutions such as marriage, and, thereby, at minimum, contested divorces,” Atherton wrote.

Maybe Santorum was right… next comes dogs and cats living together?!?!

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Barack Obama has decided, by the executive order, to rename Mt. McKinley, North America’s highest peak, Denali. That is the traditional name of the mountain, but it was changed back in 1917 or so to honor President McKinley.

The Alaska Delegation, including the Republicans, wanted it to go back to Denali. The Ohio delegation was blocking the legislation. President McKinley was from Ohio.

Coyote Canyon Mammoth Site, digging for Science & Education

Columbian Mammoth by Stev Ominski

Columbian Mammoth by Stev Ominski

August, 2015,
The Horse Heaven Hills,
Southwest Washington State

The Columbian Mammoth, (Mammathus columbi) once ranged all across the US, from its northern border to as far south as Costa Rica.The Columbian species evolved from the Asian elephants (Steppe Mammoth) that crossed the Bering land bridge approximately 1.5 million years ago.

The Mammoth became extinct about 11,000 years ago with the ending of the Pleistocene era. The Columbian’s cousin, the Woolly Mammoth entered North America about 100,000 years ago and occupied much of Canada. The ranges of these two species overlapped somewhat and there is evidence of cross breeding.

Exactly what led to their demise is unclear although we know that paleoamericans hunted them on their arrival some 13,000 or 14,000 years ago and up until their extinction. Climate and habitat change were also likely involved.

These huge creatures standing 13 feet tall and weighing 20,000 lbs were quite plentiful based on the number of remains found throughout the country. The remains of forty five mammoths have been documented in Benton County, WA alone, with most found in the Horse Heaven Hills where this site is located. The Columbian Mammoth is the official fossil of Washington State even though these bones are not yet fully fossilized.

 

The Coyote Canyon dig is located in the Horse Heaven Hills, just a few miles south of Kennewick Washington, also home of the famous, or infamous, 9,000 year old Kennewick Man who was found along the Columbia river. The photo below looking north shows Coyote Canyon with a sliver of the Columbia River in the mid ground. Finding mammoth remains is relatively common in this region.

Coyote Canyon, Kennewick WA

Coyote Canyon, Kennewick WA

As with most such paleontological sites, this one was found inadvertently during a quarrying operation on the edge of Coyote Canyon in 1999/2000, when excavating equipment dug up some large bones (a Mammoth mandible). Fortunately, after covering up the site the excavators moved elsewhere to dig. Eventually the land was sold to a local farming family who wanted the site to be preserved and developed as an educational site for K – 12 teachers, students, community volunteers and as an intern site for college students.

In 2008, an initial group of volunteer scientists and educators formed a non-profit foundation to pursue both educational and scientific goals. The Foundation was called the Mid-Columbia Basin Old Natural Education Sciences” (McBONES). Its professional leaders include: Paleontologist, Bax Barton, from the Burke Museum at the University of Washington; Geologist, George Last, with Pacific Northwest National Labs, and, High School educator, Gary Kleinknecht. Two weekends each month from March through October the site volunteers survey, map, dig, wash, screen, sort, process, and label their findings. Tours for school classes and community adults are regularly provided on these dig days so they can observe the ongoing dig process.

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Educator, Gary Kleinknecht leads a tour for an enthusiastic audience in the dig house

2015-08-08 Mammoth 035 The dig site from above

The dig process moves at a glacial pace, especially when all work is done by volunteers on a bare bones budget. They proceed slowly and meticulously as they are inventorying everything that comes out of the site in order to document all of the geology and biology buried in these flood sediments. When completed they will not only have the mammoth skeleton but a detailed catalog of the stratigraphy and paleoecology of all of the flora and fauna that lived and died here over the past 17,000 years.

Digging began in late 2010. After the site was surveyed and laid out in 3-D grids, incremental digging and scraping began. Now in its 6th year, progress is inching along in terms of uncovering skeletal remains. Here is a photo of the site in 2011, its second year when their trophies were just a few rib bones.

IMG_1379
The site in 2011

Today, considerably more of the mammoth has been excavated as shown below. The colored pieces in the graphic are those that have been found to date although some remain in the ground.
2015-08-08 Mammoth 005

As the skeleton is relatively articulated, they expect to find most if not all of the skeleton relatively in place. It must have arrived in one piece likely having floated down stream after being swept up in one of the Ice age floods that roared through this area about 17,000 years ago. Supporting this hypothesis it is of interest is that there are several erratic pieces of granite that must have rafted along in ice bergs and were found within the same sediments as the mammoth bone bed. Granite is not found locally and these erratics are likely from British Columbia.

Once recovered and removed from the sediment bed, the bones are sorted, identified, cleaned, and preserved before being put on display in the dig house for students and for tour participants. 2015-08-08 Mammoth 017

2015-08-08 Mammoth 0332015-08-08 Mammoth 011

2015-08-08 Mammoth 039 The dig site, August 2015

All soil and remnants are put into labeled buckets for later washing, and drying before being sent to the lab for sorting and identification. From the buckets, the soil is washed over a fine mesh to separate the fragments. Then it is laid out to dry.

2015-08-08 Mammoth 0522015-08-08 Mammoth 0492015-08-08 Mammoth 029

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2015-08-08 Mammoth 042
Close up of current findings: Humerus, Scapula to the left, Vertibra in the back wall

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Close up of two humeri and a rib bone

So far the findings from this site have provided data for several poster presentations at various scientific meetings such as the Geologic Society of America and the Northwest Scientific Association.

2015-08-08 Mammoth 023

2015-08-08 Mammoth 012

Although as noted above, Mammoth remains are not rare in Washington State, this particular dig stands out in that it is so well documented and that its goal is not simply to dig up some old bones. Rather it is highlighted as an institution providing an outdoor laboratory in which to involve community members, teachers, and students in an ongoing example of how the scientific method is used to examine, explore, and describe the area’s ancient history. By the time the task is complete, thousands of K- 12 and college students, as well as teachers and community members will have observed this process and many will have gotten their hands dirty in the dig. They will have participated in detailing the paleoecology of all the flora and fauna that lived here as well as the geologic history of the area. This is truly a community based science education project.

Reference sites:

http://www.nwptv.org/watch-video/access-northwest/mcbones-coyote-canyon-mammoth-site/ (A three part TV documentary on the dig site)

http://www.coyotecanyonmammothsite.org/CCMSBrochure/index.html

(for tours of the site, call the numbers in the above brochure)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Columbian_mammoth

https://depts.washington.edu/qrc/BRB1998WG.pdf

Weekly Address: President Obama – Meeting the Global Threat of Climate Change

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, the President spoke about his upcoming trip to Alaska, during which he will view the effects of climate change firsthand. Alaskans are already living with the impact of climate change, with glaciers melting faster, and temperatures projected to rise between six and twelve degrees by the end of the century. In his address, the President spoke to ways in which we can address these challenges, including the transition away from fossil fuels to more renewable energy sources like wind and solar, an effort in which America is already leading. And he stressed that while our economy still has to rely on oil and gas during that transition, we should rely more on domestic production than importing from foreign counties who do not have the same environmental or safety standards as the United States. The President looked forward to his upcoming trip, and promised that while he is in office, America will lead the world to meet the threat of climate change before it’s too late.

Leonard Pitts, Jr. “… it’s about treating where it hurts”

Leonard Pitts, Jr. has something to say about #BlackLivesMatter:

This is a column about three words of moral cowardice:

“All lives matter.”

Those words have risen as a kind of counter to “Black lives matter,” the movement that coalesced in response to recent killings and woundings of unarmed African Americans by assailants — usually police officers — who often go unpunished. Mike Huckabee raised that counter-cry last week, telling CNN, “When I hear people scream ‘black lives matter,’ I’m thinking, of course, they do. But all lives matter. It’s not that any life matters more than another.”

As if that were not bad enough, the former Arkansas governor and would-be president upped the ante by adding that Martin Luther King would be “appalled by the notion that we’re elevating some lives above others.”

“Elevating some lives.” Lord, have mercy.

Say His Name: Radazz Hearns

From ThinkProgress:

When Radazz Hearns was shot seven times by police in Trenton, New Jersey earlier this month, police claimed the 14-year-old pulled out a gun and attempted to shoot them while running. Now, the attorney general’s office says those allegations are unsupported, and an eyewitness says Hearns was actually unarmed and trying to pull up his pants as he ran.

According to the attorney general’s office, Hearns was one of three teenage boys questioned by three Targeted Integrated Deployment Effort (TIDE) officers near an apartment complex, after a shooting was reported nearby. An anonymous police source alleged Hearns ran away from the cops and reached for what the officers thought was a gun. At one point, they say, Hearns turned around while running and attempted to shoot at them. The three officers opened fire, hitting Hearns seven times in the legs and butt.

Eyewitness Rhonda Tirado, who watched the chase and shooting from her home, paints a different picture of what happened. Tirado alleges the boys were laughing and joking for 15 minutes before the cops arrived near her house, and agrees that the three males were confronted by the officers. She also contends Hearns tried to flee. But Tirado says the teenager looked like he was trying to pull his pants up — not grabbing a weapon.

Those police were amped and they didn’t give that little boy a chance,” she explained to NJ.com. “There was no room for no chase. They just shot that little boy right there.”

Radazz Hearns is “lucky” … he was released from the hospital on Monday and is expected to recover from his wounds.

Unlucky: Michael Brown, Eric Garner, John Crawford, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Samuel DuBose, Christian Taylor …

Deal me in!

Friday night, Hillary Clinton, along with the other 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidates, spoke at the Wing Ding Dinner, an Iowa Democratic Party fundraiser in Clear Lake, IA.

There is a lot at stake in the 2016 presidential election, an election where the contrasts between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party could not be more stark. On the environment, climate change, diplomacy rather than war, women’s rights, income inequality, racial justice, poverty, access to affordable health care, protecting Social Security and Medicare, and more … on issue after issue one party stands firmly on the side of the people and one stands firmly on the side of the special interests and those who do not value the dignity of human life.

One such issue is the full on assault on women’s health. In 2016, all of the the declared Republican candidates have vowed to defund Planned Parenthood and many of them have declared their support for new abortion restrictions: no exceptions for any reason including to save the life of the mother. That restriction is not just ignorant (in an ectopic pregnancy, for example, neither the pregnant woman or the fetus would survive) but so out of the mainstream view on abortion that only 9% of Americans support it. Even their refusal to exempt the cases of rape and incest are at odds with most Americans as a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll (PDF, pg 15) showed that 83% support keeping abortion legal when the physical health of the mother is at risk or in cases of rape and incest.

In 2012, after losing the presidential election, and women’s votes by 12% (including a whopping 38% of unmarried women), the Republican National Committee conducted a post-mortem. One of the “shocking” discoveries was that people believed that Republicans are completely out of touch with women’s issues including equal pay, family leave, and reproductive rights. The RNC boldly declared that they would change their language (but not their policies) and in 2014, they Etch-a-Sketched away their Senate candidates’ extremist positions on fetal personhood laws and gained a majority in the U.S. Senate and in the 114th Congress.

Fast forward to 2015 where their current crop of candidates make cavemen look like feminists.

Secretary Clinton had this to say about women’s issues Friday night:

“… when it comes to women’s health and women’s rights, Mr. Trump’s words are appalling, but so are the policies of the other candidates. Senator Rubio brags about wanting to deny victims of rape and incest access to an abortion. Governor Bush says $500 million is too much to spend on women’s health. And they all want to defund Planned Parenthood.

“Well, why don’t they try telling that to the mom who caught her breast cancer early because she was able to get a screening. Or the teenager who avoided an unintended pregnancy because she had access to contraception. Or anyone who was protected by an HIV test.

Now, this might work in a Republican primary, but it sure doesn’t work in 21st century America. I am so tired of politicians shaming and blaming women. I am tired of Republicans dismissing the contributions women make to our economy and ignoring the obstacles that hold so many back from contributing even more. We cannot afford to leave talent on the sidelines. Women who want to work should be able to do so without worrying every day about how they’re going to take care of their child or what happens when a family member gets sick. That is not a luxury, it’s a necessity, and it’s also an economic growth strategy.

“This isn’t complicated. When you shortchange women you shortchange families, and when you shortchange families you shortchange America. And I know when I talk about this some people think, “There she goes again with the women’s issues.” Like, Mitch McConnell said recently I’m playing the gender card.

“Well, if calling for equal pay and paid leave is playing the gender card, then deal me in. Let me add, if helping more working parents find quality, affordable childcare is playing the gender card, then I’m ready to ante up.

Hey, deal me in, too! Let’s take this fight to the Republican Party in 2016 and let’s take this fight to them with the strongest candidate on women’s issues that we have: Hillary Clinton.

“Hillary Clinton: If this feels like a full on assault on women’s health, that’s because it is.”
Support and Stand with Planned Parenthood

A refuge of love & peace during the debate (for AIDS Walk Austin)

Hi. This morning, when I thought about that debate, my heart just wanted to curl up & hide in a corner. I can’t stand all the awful things that will be said, the horrible ideas, etc. So I used to be a preschool teacher & was raised by a preschool teacher — I can’t deal with meanness & petulance. I need to start raising money for the AIDS Walk, so I thought I’d create a diary filled with niceness — happy music & stuff like that. And links where you can donate to my AIDS Walk page