Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Even more shocking...

Roundup: Birth Defects Caused By World's Top-Selling Weedkiller, Scientists Say

Round up the usual suspects?

I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

China wrestles with food safety problems
From steroid-spiked pork to glow-in-the-dark meat to recycled cooking oil collected from sewers, a series of illnesses and scandals linked to tainted food has put officials on guard. But tougher measures have had little effect amid an official culture of secrecy.
I'll add these new ones to the list.

*edited to include the YouTube movie.

As the oceans go

So do we....
The report that the ocean is in trouble is no surprise. What is shocking is that it has taken so long for us to make the connection between the state of the ocean and everything we care about – the economy, health, security – and the existence of life itself.

If the ocean is in trouble – and it is – we are in trouble. Charles Clover pointed this out in The End of the Line, and Callum Roberts provided detailed documentation of the collapse of ocean wildlife – and the consequences – in The Unnatural History of the Sea.

Since the middle of the 20th century, more has been learned about the ocean than during all preceding human history; at the same time, more has been lost. Some 90 per cent of many fish, large and small, have been extracted. Some face extinction owing to the ocean's most voracious predator – us.
Paraphrasing from somewhere on the net: We use the ocean as our pantry and our toilet.

And now we are boiling it.

Eric Cantor bets on the US failing

He's got money on the table.

I couldn't have said it better

Imagine a ship that is sinking and needs all the available power to run the pumps to drain out the rising waters. The first class passengers refuse to cooperate because they feel hot and want to use the air-conditioner and other electrical appliances. The second-class passengers spend all their time trying to be upgraded to first-class status. The boat sinks and the passengers all drown. That is where the present approach to climate change is leading.

From an article about the glacial recession in the Himalayas:
The debate about climate change is mostly conducted by people who live in cities, where everything is artificial. They don’t actually experience the changes that are taking place in the real world. The vast majority of Tibetans, Nepalese and Bhutanese who live on both sides of the Himalayas have never heard of global warming, as they have little or no access to the news media. Yet they all say that the ice is not forming as thickly as before on lakes and rivers, that winter temperatures are getting warmer and the spring blossoms are coming earlier. What they may not know is that these are symptoms of far greater dangers.

The bullying ends


Monday, June 27, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Steve Benen of the Washington Monthly:
"...the basics of modern Republican economic thought are, quite literally, always wrong. It’s not a matter of ideological or philosophical differences — these questions have been put to the test, repeatedly for decades, and the tenets of conservative economic policy have an unyielding track record of failure."

The GOP War on Everybody

War on Women.

War on Social Security: (via Steve Bates)

On workers.

On scientists. And global warming/ climate change.

On net neutrality. And healthy business competition.

On Democrats.

On anyone in the GOP who dares to stray or to think for themselves.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Robert Reich: The Truth About the Economy

What we don't know

Will most certainly kill us. The 'non'-reporting about the total meltdown at Fukishima:
Gundersen points out that far more radiation has been released than has been reported.

"They recalculated the amount of radiation released, but the news is really not talking about this," he said. "The new calculations show that within the first week of the accident, they released 2.3 times as much radiation as they thought they released in the first 80 days."

According to Gundersen, the exposed reactors and fuel cores are continuing to release microns of caesium, strontium, and plutonium isotopes. These are referred to as "hot particles".

"We are discovering hot particles everywhere in Japan, even in Tokyo," he said. "Scientists are finding these everywhere. Over the last 90 days these hot particles have continued to fall and are being deposited in high concentrations. A lot of people are picking these up in car engine air filters."

Radioactive air filters from cars in Fukushima prefecture and Tokyo are now common, and Gundersen says his sources are finding radioactive air filters in the greater Seattle area of the US as well.

The hot particles on them can eventually lead to cancer.

"These get stuck in your lungs or GI tract, and they are a constant irritant," he explained, "One cigarette doesn't get you, but over time they do. These [hot particles] can cause cancer, but you can't measure them with a Geiger counter. Clearly people in Fukushima prefecture have breathed in a large amount of these particles. Clearly the upper West Coast of the US has people being affected. That area got hit pretty heavy in April."
Update: Now they tell us! Chemicals Newly Disclosed As Risky Are In What We Eat...But What?

And the oceans are dying: Ocean life on the brink of mass extinctions

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I was just wondering....

What will the Republicans have when they finally achieve all the things that they care about?

They don't want to create jobs. Obviously. That would make the government actually functional.

They want to make government so incompetent that people cease to look to the government for help. Even though government has been created by the very voters to help when citizens need assistance. Government is not a separate entity but interwoven into our society and is made to last, as Lincoln said: "that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth." But the Republicans want to drown government in the bathtub. Government gets in the way of making money. People who count on the government for assistance will die. Republicans don't care. Drowning government will get them votes and money.

They want to remove a woman's control over her own body and reproduction, and remove abortion as an option of choice. Women will die because of this. They don't care. This will get them votes and money.

They want to negate gays from society. Republicans apparently think gays should have no rights as human beings. Gays will die because of this. They don't care. This will get them votes and money.

They want to allow virulent racism to be unleashed. It helps their voters to be afraid and rally around the Republican flag. People of color will die because of this. They don't care. This will get them votes and money.

They want to remove Medicare and Social Security. This makes rich people happy. Older Americans and people with disabilities and children will die because of this. They don't care. This will get them votes and money.

They want to let religious extremism into government, finally breaking the wall between church and state. This helps them get more votes. Wars about which religion is the right one have started in this way. People of other faiths (other than the one religion finally chosen as the right one) and atheists will die because of this. They don't care. This will get them votes and money.

They want to erase the power unions have because it impedes the progress of corporations. The workers will have less rights and protections. Workers will die because of this. They don't care. This will get them votes and money.

They want corporations to ignore any regulation that hinders its ability to make money. This means poisoning the earth, the water, the food. The quality of the product corporations will produce will be as cheap as possible to make and as expensive as possible to buy. People will die because of this. They don't care. This will get them votes and money.

What on earth DO they care about? They worship the almighty dollar. But dollars won't keep your community happy, healthy, unafraid, and working unless money aimed at helping people and communities prosper. Corporations will lose money in the long run. Corporations will die because of this. No corporations, no money, no votes. Do Republicans care?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How fast can you run?

The video was removed by the author. Just showed the tsunami rushing in between the houses as the person filming the water ran up the hill. The speed of the water is amazing, even though it looks like the town was not as inundated as the others. Perhaps the town was far enough away to just get the final wash before the ocean retreated.

*edited for really bad grammar...

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

This fossil find makes me want to watch Jurassic Park again...

How ... odd. Forecast predicts biggest Gulf dead zone ever. I wonder if the oil companies and corn growers want to make the entire Gulf of Mexico dead so they can drill for oil and ignore fertilizer run off in peace....

Tell American Public Media: Report the facts, not anti-organic propaganda paid for by Monsanto

Sunspots are disappearing! Does that mean a little ice age is coming? On top of global warming? I'm so confused....

Saturday, June 11, 2011

From WWI to Keith....

WWI mines and miners and the battle that cost them their lives.
Archaeologists are beginning the most detailed ever study of a Western Front battlefield, an untouched site where 28 British tunnellers lie entombed after dying during brutal underground warfare. For WWI historians, it's the "holy grail".

When military historian Jeremy Banning stepped on to a patch of rough scrubland in northern France four months ago, the hairs on the back of his neck stood up.

The privately owned land in the sleepy rural village of La Boisselle had been practically untouched since fighting ceased in 1918, remaining one of the most poignant sites of the Battle of the Somme.

In his hand was a selection of grainy photographs of some of the British tunnellers killed in bloody subterranean battles there, and who lay permanently entombed directly under his feet.
Um... run away? Massive Plasma Waves Sweep the Sun --NASA: "We're seeing things we've never seen before"

Go the Fuck to Sleep. A children's story.

Fukushima suffered a melt-through. Worse than anyone thought. And the mutations begin.

Alabama steps on women's rights. And passes the most draconian immigration law. Alabama, the black hole of compassion and empathy.

The utter stupidity of some criminals.

Keith Olbermann to Talking Points Memo consumers:

Monday, June 06, 2011

Anyone could see this was coming...

Watch NRA heads explode: Al Qaeda spokesman urges terrorists to buy lots of guns at gun shows.

It will be interesting to see what the reaction will be. Besides blaming Obama for being a secret Muslim and setting this up so that he could clamp down on the Second Amendment and take away people's right to bare arms. I mean arm bears. Whatever.

Things that are cool

Catching anti-matter to study

Sharks like AC/DC's music

Anybody else see the amazing fire demon rising up out of Chile's volcano?


Australian climate change scientists stand up in spite of death threats.

Paul Krugman explains why Vouchercare is not Medicare.

Fox News has a slump...

Gamer humor.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

And here we go..

The end result in anti-abortion efforts. A 'friend' of the sister turned this woman in:
Unable to afford the doctors visits and medical bills associated with an actual medical abortion, Jennie L. McCormack of Idaho instead had her sister purchase drugs online to ingest in order to cause a miscarriage. McCormack, who is the mother of three, is now being charged with "unlawful abortion" according to the Associated Press.

If McCormack is found guilty, she could be subject to a $5,000 penalty as well as up to five years in prison.
And in comments on Facebook where this article was shared, something I agree with:
I just love how when I talk to anti-choicers about the ways in which we can work together to help end abortion by making sure every woman has easy access to contraception and hammering the facts about safe sex into our youths' heads through comprehensive sex-education, they suddenly clam up and get silent. That just proves to me that they don't really care about reducing abortion & unwanted pregnancies, they just want to control people.

Update: And further into the fringes: Anti-Abortion Groups Push To Outlaw Contraceptives By Redefining Personhood

Update 6/6: More on the woman who had to carry her baby to term even though the amniotic sac had broken and the baby would not develop lungs properly. All because of the anti-abortion pro-life laws that had been passed in the state. The baby suffocated to death at birth.

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Door to Hell

Here and here.
Apparently, during the 1970s, when Turkmenistan was part of the USSR, Soviet geologists were sent into the desert to explore for natural gas, which can often be detected seeping through the sand. While drilling in one such spot, the geologists happened upon a large, cavernous space full of poisonous gas which promptly swallowed their equipment. Hoping to burn off the excess gas, perhaps to make it possible to descend into the crater, the geologists set it ablaze--and 35 years later, it's still burning.

If this little tale seems lacking in the details, it would be because no official explanation has ever been released to corroborate the story--but if it was indeed the Soviets, they weren't known for being too open with their activities anyways. Rather, it's been up to storytellers to maintain the explanation for the "Door to Hell." But fortunately for the skeptical who may want to see it for themselves, the flaming crater continues to burn today--and shows no signs of dying down anytime soon.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

There are some people

Who will believe anything because it's in print. Is it my imagination or are there a whole lot more of them nowadays?

But we knew this already...

Scientists find Corexit made BP Gulf catastrophe worse is not news

BP funded scientists now admit what scientists in other countries have found and EPA adviser warned last July, that toxic Corexit, of which the government and BP applied 2 million gallons throughout the Gulf of Mexico region, made the catastrophe worse, an ongoing catastrophe according to residents, independent researchers, and now, even BP paid scientists.

The scientists, supported by a 10 million dollar BP grant, presenting their reports last week, said they were struck by the studies so far according to the New York Times. Throughout the past year, however, since the oil rig exploded, experts in the fields of public health and toxicology have said that the combined BP oil and Corexit was 11 times more lethal than oil alone.
Have no idea if this is true or not. It almost sounds like The Onion wrote the headline:
Top ex-oilfield executive says Gulf op a depopulation event. 100,000 now sick.

Ex-oilfield executive of 25 years, now human rights defender Ian Crane stated Friday during Voice America “In Discussion” radio program that the Gulf of Mexico operation was a planned population reduction event. During the program, key Gulf advocates disclosed that over 100,000 Gulf people are already plague victims, hundreds of millions more will be impacted, and BP has paid enormous sums of money to keep Gulf activists from having a voice nationally.

“BP has made sure that activists are not campaigning on a national level. They are keeping them local so the corporate world is not threatened,” Crane told show host, David Gibbons.