Civilization killing solar flare just missed us by a week in 2012. So instead of hitting the planet and destroying all electronics across the world, it hit empty space. We weren’t so lucky back in 1859. Or maybe we were, since there were virtually no electronics to destroy back then. A giant solar flare struck the Earth and almost wiped out the fledgling telegraph industry. Fortunately, there wasn’t much to rebuild at that point. Now, however, rebuilding would take forever. It would take a century just to manufacture and replace all the power transformers that shuttle electricity around the U. S.
Extreme solar storms pose a threat to all forms of high-technology. They begin with an explosion — a “solar flare” — in the magnetic canopy of a sunspot. X-rays and extreme UV radiation reach Earth at light speed, ionizing the upper layers of our atmosphere; side-effects of this “solar EMP” include radio blackouts and GPS navigation errors. Minutes to hours later, the energetic particles arrive. Moving only slightly slower than light itself, electrons and protons accelerated by the blast can electrify satellites and damage their electronics. Then come the CMEs, billion-ton clouds of magnetized plasma that take a day or more to cross the Sun-Earth divide. Analysts believe that a direct hit by an extreme CME such as the one that missed Earth in July 2012 could cause widespread power blackouts, disabling everything that plugs into a wall socket. Most people wouldn’t even be able to flush their toilet because urban water supplies largely rely on electric pumps.
Although we “could” be hit by another flare at any time, best guess estimates from scientists say there’s a 12% chance we could be hit during the next 10 years. Which means to me that sometime during the next century, it’s almost a certainty.
So, should we start thinking about shielding/hardening our electronics to prepare for this? Nah, if we can’t be bothered to prepare for all the havoc that global climate change is bringing, why not just wait for the world to end and start over? At least you’ll be able to say to all the religious nuts: I told you so! Of course, you won’t be able to say it to anyone not standing right in front of you (since there will be no telephones, no Internet, no newspapers, no mail service, etc.), but in your heart you’ll know you were right.
And that’s what’s important, isn’t it?
Source: Crooks & Liars
Just when you think the right wing can’t get any crazier, Michele Bachmann comes up with a plan to solve the crisis caused by the influx of tens of thousands of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children from south of the U. S. border. She wants the kids to pay us back the expense of detaining the little brats, to say nothing of the cost of sending them back home. How? By building “Americanization Facilities” where children can work at low-paying, fairly low-risk jobs. Yes, she wants to build labor camps for kiddies.
Conservative radio host Jason Lewis asked Bachmann about the camps, and what life might be like for the children sent to them. “Well, we’d of course want these facilities to be ideal, you know, for the children to work and learn. They’d spend half of their day working, and the other half learning what every child should learn, and that’s English, you know, English and American history. And as soon as they learn English with some degree of fluency, they can attend local schools, maybe with a voucher program, or something like that. And then they could work when they aren’t in school.”
“I think this is a great way to bring businesses into the Texas and Arizona areas, and maybe other states struggling with low employment opportunities, thanks mostly to Obama’s policies,” Bachmann continued. “Once these kids grow up, they’d leave a big gap of new job opportunities, and that’s what this is all about. It’s about opportunity, not just for these kids but for the American people. It helps the businesses, and if we can raise fifty-thousand God-fearing, English-speaking Americans, who understand real American values, then I’d say it’s a job well done.”
Of course, the “real American values” she’d have the little tykes taught would be Republican values, I’m sure. And if the indoctrination doesn’t catch hold? Well, there’s always deportation, waiting in the wings once the children stop being a good source of (virtually) free labor.
I swear, this woman leaves me speechless…
There are about 1,000 National Guard troops headed to the Texas-Mexico border, thanks to Texas Governor Rick “Don’t I Look Smart Wearing Glasses Now” Perry. This attention-grabbing move will cost Texas about 12 million a month, but the Governor says not to sweat it. He thinks the federal government will reimburse Texas for the outlay because he thinks federal troops should be doing the job at the border. He’s not even worried that the feds might take a different viewpoint because his attitude is ‘we can always sue them for it.’
The purpose of the Guard being at the border is cloudy. The troops have been ordered to not actually ‘do’ anything other than watch, and the word is out that their guns won’t be loaded, although ammunition will be ‘available.’
“That’s about as far as I want to go because if the cartel folks understand what we can and can’t do then they may take advantage of that,” [Texas Adjutant General John Nichols] told The Associated Press.
There has been no end date set for the operation. It is assumed that as soon as Perry stops getting headlines out of it, he’ll send them home.
Or maybe as soon as he learns to count to three…
Perry for President in 2016: Oops!
Source: CBS Houston
Sara Hellwege applied for a nursing job at a Tampa, Florida family planning clinic, she was upfront about letting them know she would not prescribe birth control pills. The clinic told her that was part of the job and if she wouldn’t do it, she wouldn’t get hired. So she sued them.
In her lawsuit — which is slightly less silly than an Amish person telling a team at Formula 1 that he doesn’t believe in driving and then acting completely confuzzled about why they didn’t hire him to drive a racecar (which he will not drive) — Hellwege alleges the Tampa Family Health Center has subjected her to religious discrimination after they learned that if she was hired, she would not do her job.
This is, unfortunately, to be expected after the SCOTUS ruling on Hobby Lobby. We can expect many, many more. Fortunately she won’t win this one, but not because the law suit is stupid. Stupidity is never a barrier to law suits. Hellwege won’t win because she’s a human person, not a corporate person.
Of course, sooner or later someone’s going to figure that out and incorporate themselves before applying for a job. Now that will be a trial worth watching…