Thursday, September 26, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2013

The reason we don't privatize

It has nothing to do with justice and everything to do with profit.

Private prisons demand states maintain maximum capacity or pay fees
Falling crime rates are bad for business at privately run prisons, and a new report shows the companies that own them require them to be filled near capacity to maintain their profit margin. 
 A new report from the advocacy group In the Public Interest shows private prison companies mandate high inmate occupancy rates through their contracts with states – in some cases, up to 100 percent.
The report, “Criminal: How Lockup Quotas and ‘Low-Crime Taxes’ Guarantee Profits for Private Prison Corporations,” finds three Arizona prisons must be filled to capacity under terms of its contract with Management and Training Corporation. 
If those beds aren’t filled, the state must compensate the company. 
The report found that occupancy requirements were standard language in contracts drawn up by big private prison companies. 
One of those, The Corrections Corporation of America, made an offer last year to the governors of 48 states to operate their prisons on 20-year contracts. 
That offer included a demand that those prisons remain 90 percent full for the duration of the operating agreement.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Jumble sale....

Nobody knows who's running the place?  The NSA at its best.

This should make you feel happier....
Jeffrey Wiese, the nation's top oil and gas pipeline safety official, recently strode to a dais beneath crystal chandeliers at a New Orleans hotel to let his audience in on an open secret: the regulatory process he oversees is "kind of dying." 
Wiese told several hundred oil and gas pipeline compliance officers that his agency, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA), has "very few tools to work with" in enforcing safety rules even after Congress in 2011 allowed it to impose higher fines on companies that cause major accidents. 
"Do I think I can hurt a major international corporation with a $2 million civil penalty? No," he said. Because generating a new pipeline rule can take as long as three years,
Wiese said PHMSA is creating a YouTube channel to persuade the industry to voluntarily improve its safety operations. "We'll be trying to socialize these concepts long before we get to regulations."
Saving the farmland soil.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story.

Health care in America explained.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Focusing all their technological know-how on...

Boobs.  I mean, is it supposed to titillate?  Does it rack up points or knock one back in surprise? Nope. Maybe they should grow a pair....of breasts and find out what it is like to be reduced to just body parts.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Logic has nothing to do with it.

Um this makes no sense...North Carolina Law Bans Police From Destroying The Guns They Seize

STOP THAT WITH YOUR NAUGHTY BITS!  And weird conspiracy theories held by some fundamentalists.

Beautiful and thoughtful response by an Australian politician to a pastor's question.  Why can't we get intelligent politicians like him?

Why we live longer today.

Harvesting the plastic out of the ocean.  Can it be done?

Climate change's effect on animals who change to winter coats.

The world's largest cave.

Dinosaurs to the death!

Heavy metal Vivaldi.

Trying to push the conservative viewpoint via student textbooks.

Aging in 5 minutes.

Exercise in absurdity.

The best birth control is for men.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Oh boy...

Chinese Chicken Processors Are Cleared to Ship to U.S.

Update: 9/10: Half of China's Antibiotics Now Go to Livestock
Newsflash, from a recent Public Radio International report: China's teeming factory meat farms have a drug problem. To make animals grow quickly under cramped, feces-ridden conditions, animals there get fed small, doses of antibiotics—creating ideal breeding grounds for antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogens that threaten people. 
A research team led by scientists from China and Michigan State University recently found "diverse and abundant antibiotic resistance genes in Chinese swine farms," as the title of the paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, put it. According to a recent analysis by a Beijing-based agribusiness consulting firm, more than half of total Chinese antibiotic consumption goes to livestock.
The article points out that China is just following the US business model....

China... doing what China does best.

220,000 Pounds Of Poisoned Dead Fish Scooped Up In China In Reminder Of Pollution Plaguing Country
Authorities have scooped up around 100,000 kilograms (220,000 pounds) of dead fish they say were poisoned by ammonia from a chemical plant, environmental officials and state media said Wednesday, in a reminder of the pollution plaguing the country.

The Hubei province environmental protection department, notified of the piles of dead fish in central China's Fuhe River on Monday, pointed the finger at local company Hubei Shuanghuan Science and Technology Stock Co. Officials said sampling of its drain outlet showed that ammonia density far exceeded the national standard. The company said it wasn't going to immediately comment.

Inadequate controls on industry and lax enforcement of existing standards have worsened China's pollution problem, stemming from three decades of breakneck economic growth. High-profile incidents this year involving dead animals in rivers – not only deaths attributed to pollution but also carcasses dumped by farmers after die-offs at farms – have added to public disgust and suspicions about the safety of drinking water.

The latest incident has affected the nearby fishing village of Huanghualao, where 1,600 residents make a living from fishing, said the village's Communist Party secretary, Wang Sanqing.
Keeping track of all of China's ... efforts in industrial and food production.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Only 18 times higher...

The Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) had originally said the radiation emitted by the leaking water was around 100 millisieverts an hour. 
However, the company said the equipment used to make that recording could only read measurements of up to 100 millisieverts. 
The new recording, using a more sensitive device, showed a level of 1,800 millisieverts an hour. 
The new reading will have direct implications for radiation doses received by workers who spent several days trying to stop the leak last week, the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes reports from Tokyo. 
In addition, Tepco says it has discovered a leak on another pipe emitting radiation levels of 230 millisieverts an hour. 
The plant has seen a series of water leaks and power failures.