Snark: to annoy or irritate

"Snark" has been in English language dictionaries since at least 1906, and Lewis Carroll used the word to describe a mythological animal in his poem, The Hunting of the Snark (1874). Most recently, the word has come to characterize snappish, sarcastic, or mean-spirited comments or actions directed at those who annoy or irritate us.

At first, this blog was just going be a place to gripe, but because it's more satisfying to take action than it is to merely complain, now most of the posts/reposts suggest ways to get involved in solving problems.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Boycott BP Bumper Sticker

It's been over a month and the oil catastrophe caused by British Petroleum in the Gulf isn't even close to being contained, much less cleaned up. To make it worse, even as we await the results of the latest attempt to stop the flow of oil gushing from the well, BP continues to not allow anyone other than themselves the ability and access to fully investigate the extent of the problems.

Why won't BP share the full information needed to assist in the emergency response and complete understanding of the severity of the disaster? Because, as it stands right now, they have a lot of incentive to never let us know the full truth. It's likely the smaller the official estimates of how much has spilled, the lower BP's liability could be when it comes time to pay for cleaning it up.

Clearly, BP's bottom line is more important to them than stopping and cleaning up the damage they've caused. Enough is enough. It's time to speak to BP in a language they will understand.

Pledge to buy your gas from anyone but BP until the disaster is cleaned-up. 
Boycott BP until they plug the leak and clean up the mess
As you can imagine, BP is extremely sensitive to public pressure right now. So when you join the campaign, we'll ask you how much money per week you spend on gas so we can alert the media and BP of the financial impact as it grows each day. And of course, we'll also share this information with candidates who understand the enormous extent of this environmental disaster and will work to support our efforts.

A large-scale Boycott Campaign targeted specifically at making sure BP does everything they can -- as fast as they can -- is the perfect way for us to create economic pressure they understand.

By taking matters into our own hands, we're not waiting around hoping for BP to do the right thing or for Washington to take action. We're doing something right now -- as individuals -- that has an immediate impact on BP's bottom line.

And the longer they take to get the job done, the bigger the impact of our campaign.

This is too serious and too big to sit around and just let it continue to happen. It's up to us to take every action we can to have an impact.

Thank you for everything you do,
Jim Dean, Chair
Democracy for America

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Just WHO is the Nazi Threat?

In his new book, FOX News contributor Newt Gingrich compared President Obama's administration to Nazi Germany saying his "secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did." 
This comparison is not only utterly offensive but also completely unacceptable within the context of "news."
The American Jewish Committee has condemned the statement saying, "By invoking the current Administration in the same breath as two murderous totalitarian states, Newt Gingrich has drawn a foolish and dangerous analogy. Gingrich's linkage not only diminishes the horror of the Holocaust, it also licenses the use of extremist language in contemporary America."
Even for FOX this goes too far. If Newt Gingrich wants to peddle his hate speech, he has a right to do it on the tea party circuit or in extremist rightwing propaganda publications. But it is far beyond acceptable for a national news outlet, even one as conservative as FOX News, to give him a paid platform for promoting a view that "diminishes the horror of Holocaust."
Thank you for working for a better world.
Becky Bond, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Clean Air Act

You may have already received 
emails from environmental 
groups about the climate legis-
lation unveiled yesterday by 
Senators John Kerry and Joe 
Lieberman. Most call for its 
immediate passage. A few say 
the bill is so flawed it should be 
killed.  CREDO has a longer 

The morally critical and scientifically necessary goal of 
reversing global warming has run into the political reality 
of a Senate with rules allowing immense power to be exercised 
by a minority of senators who are effectively controlled by the 
biggest oil companies, the utility industry, and the nuclear 
In other words, despite your best efforts, this legislation
has been hijacked and is appropriately no longer even 
called global warming but is now called power legislation.
We understand that passing legislation involves difficult 
compromise. If this legislation actually would eventually stop 
global warming, it would be worth many compromises. But 
this legislation does not.
Outrageously, and at great danger to our economy and 
ecosystem, this bill provides for new offshore oil drilling. 
In an earlier version, it garnered the support of BP, which is 
responsible for one of the biggest environmental disasters in 
American history. You can be assured the major oil 
companies are happy with what their lobbyists were able to 
insert into the Kerry-Lieberman bill, though you can bet that 
Sen. Kerry will no longer name-drop BP when bragging 
about the historic compromises struck to bring this bill to the 
floor of the Senate.
Even worse, some politicians and environmental organizations 
are using the Gulf Coast tragedy to push for passage of this 
flawed bill. To hear their arguments, you'd think the bill adds 
important safeguards and limits to offshore drilling. But in 
reality, it significantly expands offshore drilling. Given that 
hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil are spewing into the 
Gulf of Mexico each day with no end in sight, there is no 
excuse for increasing offshore drilling with this bill.
We need to reinstate a moratorium on new offshore 
drilling, and we need to do it now. Anyone who promotes 
a bill that does otherwise has no credibility in our eyes. If 
they believe that we must expand offshore oil drilling, 
they should simply say so.
The bill's targets are much too weak, falling far short of the 
greenhouse gas reductions that scientists say are necessary 
to credibly address climate change. And it explicitly guts 
measures that are strong enough to ensure progress — 
namely, key sections of the Clean Air Act and existing state 
laws, such as the California legislation already passed that 
calls for much deeper cuts in greenhouse gases.
We don't favor the massive tax incentives and loan guarantees 
that the bill plans to bestow on the nuclear power industry. 
If the bill must contain nukes in order to get the last two or 
three votes for passage in the Senate, tell us who those 
senators are and we'll go to work on them! If nukes are in the 
bill to appease Senator Graham, take them out — he has 
already walked away from the legislation. Even if it's 
inevitable that these subsidies be contained in the final 
legislation, why give it away before the real negotiating 
In a few areas, the proposed legislation is actually better than 
the Waxman-Markey bill passed by the House. There are 
more direct to consumer rebates. The bill includes tougher 
standards for stationary sources of carbon emissions. 
"Carbon Tariffs" are included to protect us against imports 
from countries with weak or no limits on greenhouse gas 
But the bottom line still remains: The bill takes away key EPA 
abilities to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act 
and substitutes weaker standards that do not reverse global 
warming. It preempts stronger state laws on global warming. 
And it expands offshore drilling.
With one exception, good bills go to die or be dramatically 
worsened in the Senate. The exception is the current financial 
reform bill, where a number of strong amendments have 
passed due to the public's utter loathing of the gigantic banks. 
Has public revulsion about dirty industries made it possible 
to strengthen this legislation and get enough votes to over-
come a filibuster? Probably not. But it is worth being clear 
about what needs improvement and then fighting hard to 
change votes. The worst thing is to bargain away key 
environmental strategies and get nothing in return.
Please join us and many others in calling on your senators 
to fix the global warming bill by saving the Clean Air Act, 
protecting stronger state laws, and banning new offshore 
oil drilling. If these key points are not addressed, the 
legislation should be defeated.
We cannot support any legislation that takes us backward in 
these three crucial areas. If these glaring weaknesses are 
fixed, we can consider the revised legislation and may 
support it.
If Congress cannot enact comprehensive legislation this 
year, great progress can and should be made using EPA's 
Clean Air Act powers along with narrower bills on such 
matters as a nationwide renewable standard. It would be 
best for the world if the Senate could pass truly strong 
legislation. But other countries will not be fooled by 
passing legislation riddled with loopholes and pretending 
that it reverses global warming.
Thank you for taking action. The Senate must feel 
immediate and overwhelming pressure to fix this 
Michael Kieschnick, CEO CREDO Action