Saturday, February 27, 2010

One way to bliss out


Is to read Phila of Bouphonia's Friday Hope Blog.

How to talk back to hate

Last year, one of Fox News host Glenn Beck’s top targets was Van Jones, former Obama administration special adviser for green jobs. Beck went on a vicious character assassination campaign against Jones, calling him “a communist-anarchist radical.” Despite all the attacks he endured, last night at the NAACP Image Awards, Jones refused to drop down to Beck’s level. At the end of his speech accepting the President’s Award for his work promoting a green economy, Jones instead had kind words for the Fox News host:

Last thing I want to say is this: To my fellow countryman, Mr. Glenn Beck. I see you, and I love you, brother. I love you, and you cannot do anything about it. I love you, and you cannot do anything about it. Let’s be one country! Let’s be one country! Let’s get the job done!

Reconciliation will not be used to pass health reform

That's already been done, fer gawd's sake!

Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly: (my bold)
The whole discussion seems badly off-track. Democrats and other proponents of health care reform have invested so much energy in questioning the merit of the GOP argument -- pointing to all the other times reconciliation has been used, for example -- that they forget to question the premise.

Whether Grassley and his cohorts realize it or not, let's emphasize what the NYT did not mention: reconciliation would not be used to pass health care reform in the Senate. The Senate has already approved health care reform, with 60 votes, through an entirely conventional process. The next time the Senate votes on a reform-related measure, it's very likely to a small budget fix -- not the huge legislative package -- after reform is already finished.

The Democratic arguments in response to Republican complaints are plentiful and accurate, but ultimately irrelevant. The GOP is arguing that it would be outrageous to pass health care reform through reconciliation, but no one is recommending passing health care reform through reconciliation. The other talking points don't much matter when the premise of the Republican argument is proven to be inexorably flawed.

Let's get this done.

Insidious evil plan to warp your mind


Do you feel it? The weakness in your knees? The sudden desire to look at the Koran? To march helplessly out of your house waving an Obama poster?

Oh the nefariousness of the perfidy!

Or do I mean the perfidiousness of Obama's nefariousness?

They could have done so much with their evil plans!!! But THIS is the LAST straw!!!!11! So subtle, so sneaky, so evil!!! A design that looks like Obama's campaign poster and the Islamic crescent all in ONE!!!!111!......

Wut? You say this logo was designed three years ago under the Bush administration.... Well then...

Look at how patriotic the design is! How clever to employ the US flag's colors....


This is my 6003 post.... This might be cause for some embarrassment but then I think back to Georgie and Dick's excellent reign of terror and I realize it should have been several thousand more posts. I started blogging in 2006.

In fact, historians looking back at this time might say the neocon Bush agenda's destructive hubris and arrogance was the final blow to the United States as a superpower and after that all we could do was move bits of the wreckage around.

We'll see...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

No shit, Sherlock!!

What gave you your first clue?
Obama: Bipartisan health deal may not be possible

San Francisco just before the 1906 quake

4 days before:
This film, originally thought to be from 1905 until David Kiehn with the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum figured out exactly when it was shot. From New York trade papers announcing the film showing to the wet streets from recent heavy rainfall & shadows indicating time of year & actual weather and conditions on historical record, even when the cars were registered (he even knows who owned them and when the plates were issued!).. It was filmed only four days before the quake and shipped by train to NY for processing. Amazing but true!

A shot afterwards...


Monday, February 22, 2010

What blows around...

Comes around:
WASHINGTON — A new study further bolsters concerns that pollution blowing across the Pacific Ocean from China and other rapidly developing Asian nations may swamp efforts to clean up the air in the Western United States and make it difficult for states and cities to meet federal standards.
The study, based on 100,000 measurements over 25 years and a computer model tracking air-flow patterns, found that during the spring, ozone from Asia reaches Washington , Oregon , California and other states west of the Rocky Mountains .
For the first time, the study links ozone in the air above the United States with Asian pollution, said Dan Jaffe , a professor of atmospheric and environmental chemistry at the University of Washington-Bothell and one of the study's authors.
"It is possible that emissions from emerging economies like China , with relatively limited emissions controls, are outpacing reductions in the developing countries," the report concludes. It says that the Asian emissions may "hinder the USA's compliance with its own ozone air-quality standard."
Previous studies have detected such pollutants from Asia as mercury, soot and PCBs reaching the United States . A National Academy of Sciences study last year pointed to increasing unease among regulators about a growing problem.
Canada sees our pollution acidifying their lakes. I'm sure we will soon be able to prove that the dust in Turkey came from a dump in the Congo which came from a desert in Colombia which came from a factory in Thailand which came from a ship from India which came from ....

Because the president is God.

Yoo: 'Sure,' The President Could Order A Village Of Civilians Massacred
Tell us again why Yoo is teaching at UC Berkeley? That he is even allowed to have access to students? That he won't be prosecuted for aiding and abetting war crimes?


We aren't no steekin' racists!

I'll see your bet and raise you one...

Good ol' Kansas tried again to contain them uppity wimmen folk:
The debate started when state Rep. Peter DeGraaf, R-Mulvane, pushed through an amendment that would require women to buy extra health insurance to cover abortions. The amendment was passed 73-45. The exception would be if the abortion was required to save the life of the woman.

Supporters of the amendment said it would save people who oppose abortion from seeing their insurance payments subsidize such coverage.

Opponents called it ludicrous and discriminatory. What if a woman is raped and needs an abortion, but doesn’t have the procedure covered on her policy, they asked.

On smoking, state Rep. Barbara Bollier, R-Mission Hills, successfully added an amendment that would require an extra premium to cover illnesses caused by tobacco products.

Bollier said the Legislature shouldn’t micro-manage insurance companies, but that the abortion amendment opened up the door.

Then state Rep. Ann Mah, D-Topeka, proposed an amendment to exclude coverage of erectile dysfunction from insurance poiicies, unless the policyholder purchased a specific rider to cover that.

Peck drew guffaws when he said the amendment “won’t stand up on its own.” But Mah’s amendment was approved 64-35.

That’s when state Rep. Nile Dilmore, D-Wichita, and Peck, who are both members of the Insurance Committee, sought to send the bill back to committee. Both said they were most concerned with the impact of Bollier’s amendment.

Meanwhile, the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee advanced without a recommendation a constitutional amendment that is aimed at nixing any federal requirement that Kansans purchase health insurance.

"The Healthcare Freedom Amendment will help protect the people of Kansas from the disastrous results of the proposed healthcare bill that Washington, D.C. intends to force upon us,” said state Sen. Jim Barnett, R-Emporia, and chair of the committee.
At least they get to screw the poor people of Kansas out of health care. That should make them feel better.

Update: Teh stupid just isn't in Kansas anymore...
Virginia lawmaker: Children with disabilities are God’s punishment to women who previously had abortions.
Update... he's retracting that statement.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Monsanto and India

Monsanto 'faked' data for approvals claims its ex-chief

The debate on genetically modified (GM) brinjal variety continues to generate heat. Former managing director of Monsanto India, Tiruvadi Jagadisan, is the latest to join the critics of Bt brinjal, perhaps the first industry insider to do so.

Jagadisan, who worked with Monsanto for nearly two decades, including eight years as the managing director of India operations, spoke against the new variety during the public consultation held in Bangalore on Saturday.

On Monday, he elaborated by saying the company "used to fake scientific data" submitted to government regulatory agencies to get commercial approvals for its products in India.


"At that time, Monsanto was getting into the seed business and I had information that a 'terminator gene' was to be incorporated in the seeds being supplied by the firm. This meant that the farmer had to buy fresh seeds from Monsanto at heavy cost every time he planted the crop," he said.

Jagadisan said the parent company also retracted from the assurance given to then minister for chemicals and fertilisers, Vasant Sathe, on setting up a manufacturing unit in collaboration with Hindustan Insecticides for the herbicide butachlor.

"The negotiations went on for over a year and in the meantime, Monsanto imported and sold large quantities of the product and made huge profits," he said.
Lovely. I guess Monsanto is indifferent to the Indian farmer suicides and the prevention of poor farmers to have seed crops.

That was close....

Too close.

A President McCain, following obediently in Bush's footsteps and standing by the country of Georgia would have put us straight into yet another war...
Book: Cheney pushed for military conflict with Russia.

A new book suggests Vice President Dick Cheney pushed for the US to engage militarily with Russia when Russia invaded the US-allied Georgian republic in 2008. A Little War that Shook the World, published last month, says that in August 2008, as the South Ossetia War between Russia and Georgia was raging, the White House looked at the possibility of taking military action to prevent Georgian forces from being routed by Russian troops.

Georgia's leader, Mikheil Saakashvili, was seen as an ally of Washington and had pushed for NATO membership for his country. "The sheer scale of the Russian attack did lead several senior White House staffers to push for at least some consideration of limited military options to stem the Russian advance," Asmus wrote. "The menu of options under discussion foresaw the possibility of bombardment and sealing of the Roki Tunnel as well as other surgical strikes to reduce Russian military pressure on the Georgian government."
Is total war all these guys understand? They are still talking about attacking Iran fer gawd's sake!

I always KNEW pigeons were dangerous!

Hope is not a delusion


Phila of Bouphonia's Friday Hope Blogging... times two.

I read the news today

Oh boy...

Justice for Sale. (Bill Moyers talks about the perversion of our judicial system, from small courtrooms to the Supreme Court.)

Rowling’s being sued for plagiarism again. (Apparently every thought she ever had is owned exclusively by weird self-published authors lurking in basements...)

Your Worst Nightmare; Conservative Success (Reminding conservatives that Georgie Bush did exactly what Republicans have been dreaming about for years... observe the wreckage.)

The NYT's mystery Op-Ed writer. (Glenn Greenwald puzzles over the bloodthirsty Op-Ed writer.)

Santorum Suggest Military Was 'Indoctrinated' Into Supporting DADT Repeal. (Because if we accept gays into the military and lose the fear of the gay, there goes most of Santorum's platform to run for president...)

Schwarzenegger says Obama's stimulus created jobs. (Ahnold steps outta line... clearly he's been too Hollywooded to be a real Republican. This headline demands this short skit. I can't stand the Gropenator, but this made me laugh.)

Nothing you see is real....

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Bolton Admits That ‘Things Could Go Wrong’ After Military Strike On Iran.

Jesus Christ!

When you celebrate stupidity as a way to run the government...

Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly explains:
And if it were just tax policy, this would be easier to ignore. Tragically, we're dealing with a Republican Party that celebrates ignorance, and has given up on the pretense of substance and depth altogether. As Paulson found, even during a crisis that risked the future of the global economy, Republican lawmakers not only had nothing intelligent to offer, but even trying to communicate with them on an adult level was a "complete waste of time."

This has only gotten worse. Faced with an economic crisis, Republicans demanded a five-year, across-the-board spending freeze -- and they still think that was a good idea. They presented a budget blueprint that offered oddly-drawn charts and no numbers. They see snow and assume global warming isn't real. They know they're against health care reform, but can't explain why with anything more sophisticated than bumper-sticker slogans.

They make arguments, are confronted with evidence that their arguments are wrong, and then repeat the arguments anyway.

At the recent Q&A between President Obama and House Republicans, members repeatedly whined that Democrats refuse to take GOP proposals seriously. The truth, which the president probably felt uncomfortable saying, is that they're right -- but only because GOP proposals shouldn't be taken seriously. They're ridiculous.

Maybe this doesn't matter. There's a strong strain of anti-intellectualism in American life that may appreciate the Republican caucus' inanity.

Canada, oh Canada


Sign text reads:

Due to the frequency of human-bear encounters, the B.C. Fish and Wildlife Branch is advising hikers, hunters, fishermen and any persons that use the out of doors in a recreational or work related function to take extra precautions while in the field.

We advise the outdoorsman to wear little noisy bells on clothing so as to give advanced warning to any bears that might be close by so you don’t take them by surprise.

We also advise anyone using the out-of-doors to carry “Pepper Spray” with him is case of an encounter with a bear.

Outdoorsmen should also be on the watch for fresh bear activity, and be able to tell the difference between black bear feces and grizzly bear feces. Black bear feces is smaller and contains lots of berries and squirrel fur. Grizzly bear shit has bells in it and smells like pepper.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Just saw Avatar


And confess I liked it. I could see the plot developing, wasn't surprised by any of the sequences, but still....

The 3D was awesome. The visualization of the entire Navi world was fantastic. The acting was passable. The characters traditional. The music ok....

But the 3D was AWESOME. (adding... the visualization of the world was fantastic....)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Proving that you never really can run away from home

Your DNA will be used against you!
The granddaughter of Alfred the Great came back to England yesterday – or at least fragments of a body returned, more than 1,000 years after the Wessex princess was packed off by her brother as a diplomatic gift to a Saxon king.

Tests in Bristol are expected to provide further proof that Eadgyth (roughly pronounced Edith) was indeed the woman found wrapped in silk and sealed in a lead coffin, inside a magnificent stone sarcophagus at Magdeburg Cathedral in Germany.


"We know she was reburied," Horton said, "but the sarcophagus could have held nothing at all, or a few bits and pieces scooped up from roughly the area of her original grave. Instead we have the remains of one woman, of the right age. The smoking gun is what the tests tell us of where she came from." He hopes isotope tests on enamel from her teeth, and tests on bone fragments, will reveal a woman born and brought up in Wessex and Mercia, where her family moved between different palaces and strongholds. The water drunk or contained in food eaten in childhood laid distinctive traces which last for life and centuries beyond. Scientists will be measuring the bone and teeth fragments looking for strontium and oxygen isotopes which if strong enough should locate precisely the princess's first years.

The sarcophagus also held soil fragments and beetles, all being studied with the silk and the coffin itself by scientists, archaeologists and art historians, hoping to tease out more details of Eadgyth's history in life and death. Initial results are being presented at an international conference at Bristol University today.

Eadgyth's bones are believed to have been moved at least once before being reinterred in Magdeburg Cathedral in 1510.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Blog sprinkles


Welcome in the Year of the Tiger! Cautiously...

Tengrain of Mock, Paper, Scissors remembers Presidents' Day.
Why words matter. (And why education matters... and why stupid people can be so easily manipulated....)
Speaking of manipulation, Wall Street is using reverse psychology and pretending to WANT regulation! So you will think voting against regulation will hurt the evil banksters! Which is what they want! Oh them cleverish evil doers!
That's why we need a Robin Hood Tax! (video is good, too.)
Maybe losing their source for caffeine will finally wake up the climate change deniers.
It's clear the next logical step is to WiFi the ENTIRE WORLD!!
The banksters have really gotten out of hand. Bank forecloses on house that was paid for. With cash.
Rachel Maddow holds her own and hits Republican Rep. Schock with the truth. Very satisfying.
One way to deal with state debt? Cancel 12th grade!

Friday, February 12, 2010

And now for something completely furry

Online TV Shows by Ustream

I still need to be reminded...

Just why we have for-profit health insurance companies involved in our health care.
Top five health insurers posted 56 percent profit gains in 2009.
Update 2/16:
Fox News Scolds WellPoint Rate Hike, Not For Hurting Consumers, But For Energizing Health Reform Advocates.
*Gasp* Now people will REALLY want health care reform!!1!1

I'm not cold, so the east coast snow doesn't exist

But then, I live in Southern California....

Snowmageddon and Snowpocalypse explained. Briefly: global warming means warmer oceans, more moisture in the air and therefore more snowfall:
Warmer oceans increase the amount of precipitable water available to both summer and winter storms. Because the vapor pressure of water goes up in a rapid non-linear way with temperature, modest increases in sea surface temperatures can cause major increases in energy available to storms.
More data: January 13th, 2010 was warmest on record: (my bold)
So while it may be fun to watch the global temperature – a meaningless game that many people began to play in recent years because of the AGW fad (and yes, your humble correspondent only plays these games because others do, not because it is scientifically important) – it is very important to realize that the changes of the global mean temperature are irrelevant for every single place on the globe. They only emerge when things are averaged over the globe – but no one is directly affected by such an average.

Even if you accumulate a whole century of changes, the relevance of the global temperature will be essentially non-existent. A 1.5 °C warming of the global mean temperature is still less than one standard deviation of the monthly average at a given place. And the “local” climate may also shift – the January 2100-2150 average may be warmer than the January 1950-2000 average in Prague by much more than those 1.5 °C. Different regional climates change differently and most of these changes have nothing to do with the changes of the global mean temperature!

By the way, it’s almost certain by now that January 2010 will also be the globally warmest January on the UAH record – the anomaly will likely surpass 0.70 °C. It may even see the highest (or at least 2nd highest) monthly UAH anomaly since December 1978.
And apparently, since science is being used, Republicans make fools of themselves.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Update: Republicans Oppose Using Federal FEMA Funds For Snow Removal.

Roger Ebert, unable to eat, drink or speak

Tells us who can what we are missing.

A beautiful post about what eating really means.

Not being able to punch school-aged gay kids

Is being threatened by tolerance!!

Who will the poor bullies be able to threaten then? Who's thinking of THEM???

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


This one has been around for a while:


Bryan of Why Now? found these:



And in the distance, we can still hear the shrill voices of the neocons....

Bomb Iran!


Bolton seems to believe that everything in the world can be fixed by nuking Iran .... economy, environment, jobs, acne, .....


Really, why on earth did we develop the A bomb if we weren't going to use it and show the world we're total badasses?

Because that was their intent all along... Iraq was supposed to be easy. They were going to pop out Hussein and pop in Chalabi and then be sitting pretty to start a real war with Iran.



And they're making sure the next crop of neocons gets the message:


And even some non-neocons seem to think nuking Iran would fix everything.


They're already planning to blame Obama for everything that goes wrong because he DIDN'T nuke Iran when he had the chance.


Death panels

Denying vital care to a 5 year old. This is not health care. This is a child being denied life-saving treatment by callous and indifferent greedy corporations.

WHY is health care in the US a for-profit system?


Monday, February 08, 2010

I think they forgot Poland...

Paul Krugman explains.

Science in action

Observing in real time an evolutionary split in European blackcap birds.

Batteries as thin plastic sheeting.. flexible and light. This may change everything from electric cars to clothing.

Why should the Republicans be wary?

Isn't this what they want? A president who listens?
Obama calls health care summit with Republicans
Steve Benen explains:
So what's there to talk about on Feb. 25? If the summit is really about striking a new compromise, this would seemingly be pointless. But if the summit is about delving into these plans, exploring what is and isn't in the proposal, and making it clear for all to see that Republican ideas have been considered -- and in several instances, embraced -- the gathering has the potential to change public attitudes and score a key public-relations victory.

Indeed, I can imagine a scenario in which the president spells all of this out explicitly -- writing out which provisions are included that make Dems happy, which provisions are included (and excluded) that make Republicans happy, and declaring the whole package a triumph of bipartisan compromise. The GOP will still almost certainly balk, but the result will give Democrats cover and put Republican intransigence on full display.

Oh look... GOP cool to Obama call for two-party health talks

Gee... Don't the Republicans WANT to be bipartisan?

Ken Salazar wears a white hat!

And takes head on Big Oil:
When president-elect Barack Obama nominated Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar to head the Department of Interior at the end of 2008, some voices in the conservation community wondered whether the moderate Democrat with ties to ranching and other traditional western industries was the best choice to chart a new direction in managing one-fifth of the nation’s land. But immediately after taking office, Salazar quickly moved to dispel many of those worries with a series of directives that forcefully demonstrated that the Bush era had ended, particularly on policies related to energy development on federal lands:

— He suspended 77 controversial oil and gas leases in Utah, some of them near national parks and national monuments.

– Understanding that renewable energy projects create more jobs than fossil fuels development, he directed his agencies to make the development of renewable energy a priority.

– He withdrew the Bush administration’s industry-friendly research and development leases for oil shale development in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

– He launched a department-wide effort to ensure that federal land management decisions respond effectively to climate change.

And, saying “There’s a new sheriff in town,” he began to clean up the scandal-plagued Minerals Management Service, the Interior agency that oversees royalty collections from oil and gas companies operating on federal land and offshore.

We'll be our own energy sources!

And we won't have to turn on the lights at night!!
A Quarter of U.S. Nuclear Plants Leaking
27 of 104 Plants Leak Radioactive Tritium, a Carcinogen, Raising Concerns About Nation's Aging Plants

I'm glad there's one left

Giant Oarfish filmed in sea off Mexico.

When you consider ocean acidification and rapid climate change:

Oh yes... please!

Palin says 2012 presidential bid a possibility
It would give Obama four more years to remember he's a Democrat... or for Democrats to vote in Al Franken as president.

Fear sells

Wars, corporations, governments...
Do you understand economics? I mean big time, prewar, global capitalism. Do you get how it worked? I don’t, and anyone who says they do is full of shit. There are no rules, no scientific absolutes. You win, you lose, it’s a total crapshoot. The only rule that ever made sense to me I learned from a history, not an economics, professor at Wharton. “Fear,” he used to say, “fear is the most valuable commodity in the universe.” That blew me away. “Turn on the TV,” he’d say. “What are you seeing? People selling their products? No. People selling the fear of you having to live without their products.” Fuckin’ A, was he right. Fear of aging, fear of loneliness, fear of poverty, fear of failure. Fear is the most basic emotion we have. Fear is primal. Fear sells. That was my mantra. “Fear sells.”

How we want Democrats to act

Like Senator Franken.. taking Comcast to task:

Love him or hate him, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), former employee of NBC, made Comcast's befuddled CEO Brian "Comcatastrophe" Roberts look like a complete tool during yesterday's hearing on the proposed Comcast/NBC mergepocalypse.

We don't actually know if Brian "Comcatastrophe" Roberts is generally as confused and awkward as he appeared to be while trying to explain why Comcast would testify that FCC regulations provide adequate safeguards for consumers -- after it just argued that the same rules were unconstitutional . Maybe he's usually pretty sharp. We really don't know.

While Americans are struggling to get off the floor

Anthem Blue Cross decides to kick them even more:
Anthem Blue Cross customers got a shock this week when the health insurer informed thousands of individual policyholders that their premium rates will jump as much as 39 percent on March 1.

The company, based in Woodland Hills (Los Angles County), declined to say how many customers received the increase or what the average premium hike was, but the insurer has the largest number of individual customers in the state. Last year, when Anthem Blue Cross raised rates by as much as 68 percent for some customers, the company said it had about 800,000 members.

The Department of Insurance plans to hire an actuarial firm to look into Anthem's "alarming" rate increases, said Darrel Ng, spokesman for the department.

Unlike home and automobile insurers, California insurers can legally raise rates for policyholders as much as and whenever they want. Regulators technically oversee the increases, but they have no power to control rates.
It's a free-for-all out there as fake health care companies try to wring out the last bit of cash from desperate people:
At a time when nearly 7 million Californians are uninsured, state regulators are trying to rein in discount health and dental plans that officials say frequently overstate benefits, offer little if any savings and promise access to doctors who aren't part of the system.

Some of the discounters fraudulently market themselves as insurance, while preying on the poor, the elderly and others who urgently need care, officials say.

"They're basically cheating poor people," said Dr. Dev GnanaDev, immediate past president of the California Medical Assn.

Plan executives bristle at such criticism. They say a few bad apples have tarnished an industry that offers reliable -- and relatively inexpensive -- services. Consumers, however, have lodged complaints against more than 150 unlicensed discount health and dental plans over the last four years, prompting the California Department of Managed Health Care to seek new licensing regulations .

Saturday, February 06, 2010

As the ice melts at the Arctic much faster than projected

The oil and gas companies try to hide their delight over newly accessible oil fields and pretend to show concern over the environment:

Scientists link higher Arctic temperatures and melting sea ice to the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

The Arctic is considered a type of early-warning system of climate change for the rest of the world.

"We know we're losing sea ice -- the world is all aware of that," Barber said. "What you're not aware of is that it has impacts on everything else that goes on in this system."

The loss of the sea ice is taking away areas for the region's mammals to reproduce, find food and elude predators, said Steve Ferguson, a scientist with the Canadian government who took part in the study.

Whale species previously not found in the Arctic are moving into the region because there is less sea ice to restrict their movements.

Climate change is also bringing more cyclones into the Arctic, dumping snow on the sea ice, which limits how thick it can get, and bringing winds that break up the ice, Barber said.

The study is part of the International Polar Year, a large scientific program focused on the Arctic and Antarctic. The scientists have not yet produced conclusions, but they expect to publish dozens of academic papers.

The cost of the Arctic's rapid melt will be $2.4 trillion by 2050 as the region loses its ability to cool the global climate, the U.S.-based Pew Environment Group said on Friday. The group released a report showing the Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet.

Both the Canadian government and the oil and gas industry are keenly interested in the possible environmental impact of development further north in the Arctic, said professor Louis Fortier of Laval University.

Currently, development is focused on mainland regions such as the massive gas fields in the Mackenzie River Delta on the Beaufort Sea. But receding ice levels may make the wider Arctic more accessible to ships and make drilling in more areas possible.

"Conclusions will come later, but ... up to now there's no indication that the impacts would be larger (further north) than elsewhere in the Arctic," Fortier said.

Secretly rejoicing in greenhouse gases melting the ice cap so that more petroleum can be drilled for ... making more greenhouse gases...

Besides nuking your house or spraying with DDT

This may work on bedbugs....(my bold)
How to Build Your Own Bedbug Detector.

Researchers at Rutgers University in New Jersey have created a homemade bedbug trap using a plastic cat-food dish, an insulated jug and some dry-ice pellets. According to Wan-Tien Tsai, who reported her findings in December at the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America, the dry-ice-and-thermos combo captured the bloodsucking critters in an infested apartment just as effectively as, if not more so than, equipment used by professional exterminators.

The most important part of this MacGyverized contraption is an insulated one-third-gallon jug--like the kind sold in camping-supply stores--filled with 2½ lb. of frozen carbon dioxide, which costs about $1 per lb. (and should be handled only with gloves). As the dry-ice pellets slowly evaporate, the open thermos spout lets the CO[subscript 2]--which falsely signals bedbugs that a breathing, blood-filled meal is nearby--seep out overnight. That's usually enough time to entice the nocturnal insects into the other key component of the trap: the overturned food-and-water dish on which the thermos sits. The bugs climb the outer surface of the dish, which can be scuffed with sandpaper for better traction, and get stuck in its moat, made slippery-smooth with a dusting of talcum powder.

This trap was designed to give consumers a cheap way to determine if they have--or, in many cases, still have--a bedbug problem that requires a proper extermination. Bedbugs have made a serious comeback in North America over the past few years, especially in big cities like Toronto and San Francisco.
This would be wonderful if it works. I'm still getting hits and the occasional argument in favor of bringing back DDT. Which would really make Rachel Carson turn in her grave.

Friday, February 05, 2010


Phila of Bouphonia's Friday hope blog... and a Friday Cat.


Mocking those who hate

You can make your own sign! Click on pic for background and site. Here's mine:


There is nothing else you can do to these vile people.

Update... and then there are just the non-thinkers...


Update: Phila of Bouphonia has the last word.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Blog sprinkles


“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”

Phila of Bouphonia's Friday Hope blog... never late.

The Republican party no longer is mainstream.

First rule of infidelity: Don't piss off the wife by asking permission to visit the soul mate mistress.

Buy Chinese products!

Contemplating the choices if we get another Republican governor of California....

Politicians appeal to the teenager mind?

The importance of growing and eating local crops.

JJ of Unrepentant Old Hippie found this Chris Matthews video interview between a rabid anti-gays in military and a gay ex-soldier:

So you know just who is preventing the government from functioning... and thinking it's great fun:

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) has put an extraordinary "blanket hold" on at least 70 nominations President Obama has sent to the Senate, CongressDaily (sub. req.) reports. The hold means no nominations can move forward unless Senate Democrats can secure a 60-member cloture vote to break it, or until Shelby lifts the hold.

"While holds are frequent," CongressDaily reports, "Senate aides said a blanket hold represents a far more aggressive use of the power than is normal."

The party of 'Country First' my ass.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

How many times has your computer crashed?

And why do the car manufacturers assume that computer software won't crash in your car... and make you crash?

Toyota problems 'caused by faulty software' says Steve Wozniak:
Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple and a Toyota Prius owner, has suggested that the "unintended acceleration" problems affecting Toyota's cars may be caused by faulty software.

The comments, from one of the most respected figures in computer technology, will heap more pressure on the manufacturer, which is fighting to defend its reputation for reliability.

As Toyota tries to resolve issues with "sticky" accelerator pedals, The Times has learnt that the company is also conducting an internal investigation into alleged problems with the brake systems on the Prius.

Under direct instructions from the Japanese Land and Transport Ministry, Toyota is examining 13 instances since December 2009 where the brakes have failed on new Priuses sold in Japan and the United States.
We used the Cash for Clunkers program and now have a keyless car. (Don't have to get the keys out for anything except locking it... how lazy are we?) It bothers me they think this is an improvement. (In case your key battery dies or gets wet, there's a hidden key within the remote and an override that needs screw drivers and a clip to pop at the gear box.....) It's going to be one more thing to break and adds big bucks to any repairs.

I'd rather have less bells and whistles and more traditional car mechanics.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

One way out of Bush's war

POLITICS: Behind Cautious Signal, a Decision for Afghan Peace Talks
By Gareth Porter*

KABUL, Jan 26, 2010 (IPS) - Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal's very cautiously-worded support for a negotiated settlement with the Taliban leadership in an interview published Monday is only the first public signal of a policy decision by the Barack Obama administration to support a political settlement between the Hamid Karzai regime and the Taliban, an official of McChrystal's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) command has revealed in an interview with IPS.

Speaking to the Financial Times, McChrystal couched his position on negotiations in terms of an abstract support for negotiated settlements of wars, saying, "I believe that a political solution to all conflicts is the inevitable outcome." The ISAF commander avoided a direct answer to the question of whether the Taliban could play a role in a future Afghan government.

When pressed by the interviewer on the issue, McChrystal would only say that "any Afghan can play a role if they focus on the future and not the past."

The ISAF official, who spoke with IPS on condition that he would not be named, was much more candid about the centrality of peace negotiations with the Taliban leadership in the Obama administration's strategy in Afghanistan and about the understanding of the ISAF command that the Taliban leadership is independent of al Qaeda and is already positioning itself for a political settlement.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Um... NO.

Abstinence-only programs might work, study says. (This is saying that kids who have been told not to have sex don't have sex for two years after the program):
Only about a third of sixth- and seventh-graders who completed an abstinence-focused program started having sex within the next two years, researchers found. Nearly half of the students who attended other classes, including ones that combined information about abstinence and contraception, became sexually active.

The findings are the first clear evidence that an abstinence program could work.

"I think we've written off abstinence-only education without looking closely at the nature of the evidence," said John B. Jemmott III, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who led the federally funded study.
Riiiiggghhhtttt. So there may be a slight delay in sexual activity. But when they DO start, those abstinence trained kids who have not been given specifics on how things work.....
Teen pregnancy rate up after 10-year decline

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. teen pregnancy rate rose in 2006 for the first time in more than a decade, reversing a long slide, a U.S. think tank reported on Tuesday.

The overall teen pregnancy rate was up 3 percent in 2006, with a 4 percent rise in the rate of births and a 1 percent rise in the rate of abortions, according to the report by the Guttmacher Institute.


"It's interesting to note that this flattening out of the rate and the increase in the rate is happening at the same time that we've seen substantial increases in funding for abstinence-only programs," Finer said.
We can't even get elected Republicans to behave themselves, how on earth do you think we could control hormonally challenged teenagers? We need to tell them EVERYTHING: give them contraceptives, books, parental interest and advice, and sex education from when they were very little.

It's that simple and that necessary.