“Today television news is watched more often than people read newspapers, than people listen to the radio, than people read or gather any other form of communication. The reason: People are lazy. With television you just sit—watch—listen. The thinking is done for you.”—Roger Ailes in a Gawker exclusive: Roger Ailes’ Secret Nixon-Era Blueprint for Fox News (via soupsoup)
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Evidence “strongly suggests” that a United Nations peacekeeping mission brought a cholera strain to Haiti that has killed thousands of people, a study by a team of epidemiologists and physicians says.
The study is the strongest argument yet that newly-arrived Nepalese peacekeepers at a base near the town of Mirebalais brought with them the cholera, which spread through the waterways of the Artibonite region and elsewhere in this impoverished Caribbean country.
The disease has killed more than 5,500 people and sickened more than 363,000 others since it was discovered in October, according to the Haitian government.
“Our findings strongly suggest that contamination of the Artibonite (river) and 1 of its tributaries downstream from a military camp triggered the epidemic,” said the report in the July issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases, a journal of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Humans think that they’re smarter than dolphins because they’ve developed war, the atom bomb, and culture, while all dolphins do is swim around all day and have sex. Dolphins think that they’re smarter than humans for the exact same reasons.”—
Inkjet printers, a low-cost technology that in recent decades has revolutionized home and small office printing, may soon offer similar benefits for the future of solar energy.
Engineers at Oregon State University have discovered a way for the first time to create successful “CIGS” solar devices with inkjet printing, in work that reduces raw material waste by 90 percent and will significantly lower the cost of producing solar energy cells with some very promising compounds.
High performing, rapidly produced, ultra-low cost, thin film solar electronicsshould be possible, scientists said.
The findings have been published in Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, a professional journal, and a patent applied for on the discovery. Further research is needed to increase the efficiency of the cell, but the work could lead to a whole new generation of solar energy technology, researchers say.
“This is very promising and could be an important new technology to add to the solar energy field,” said Chih-hung Chang, an OSU professor in the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering. “Until now no one had been able to create working CIGS solar devices with inkjet technology.”
Sometimes when I see, read, or hear of vicious cruelty to animals, it makes me wish my death would hurry up already, so that I will never have to share oxygen or Earth space with sick, vile humans again, and know that I’m powerless to stop them. I am often ashamed to be a human.
Together with the World Wildlife Federation, on June 23 Coca-Cola unveiled a billboard in the Philippines that’s actually good for the city it inhabits.
The 60 x 60 foot living billboard in Manila is made of thousands of Fukien tea plants surrounding the iconic curvy shape of a silver Coke bottle. The project with the CO2-eating plants was created in conjunction with Coca-Cola Philippines’ Live Positively sustainability program.
Pots made from recycled bottles contain the 3,600 trees, which live off a mixture of organic fertilizers. Though they are currently in the first stages of growth, the plants are expected to grow quickly, completely taking over the billboard surface, absorbing a total of 46,800 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
He has, in short, declared himself unfit to serve as head of Central Intelligence. You don’t even have to get to the morality question to understand that torture serves no purpose except to satiate sadism or revenge fantasies. As an interrogation tool it is useless, for the simple and unanswerable reason that people will tell you anything, true or not, to get you to stop. A civilian who does not understand this is merely foolish, uninformed, or stupid. A military man or a government official who doesn’t understand this is a positive menace to the endurance of the nation. Frankly, in the case of General Petraeus it suggests he has a non-military IQ of about 40.
What, General, makes you suppose that your ticking timebomb scenario suspect is going to tell you how to dismantle that nuke under the Empire State Building while you are waterboarding him? Why, if he was already suicidal or evil enough to be involved in some sort of terror plot to detonate a nuclear device, would he not also simply be smart enough to lie to get you stop the pain? Moreover, has it ever occurred to you, General, that he might be suicidal or evil enough, under that scenario, to give you explicit instructions on how to dismantle the device that actually turn out to really be instructions on how to detonate the device immediately?
My god, this is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. And it’s coming from a man that we’re going to put in charge of the CIA. You’re testifying to the Senate Intelligence Committee and giving them half-remembered plot outlines from 24 or Lethal Weapon or Fail Safe. Why not Saturday Night Live? Why not reserve the right to torture in case Superman was German during World War II, or if Al Qaeda gets Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak? Or if the country was flooded with woman suicide bombers who also were considering late-term abortions?
Mr. President, you have to withdraw David Petraeus’ nomination as CIA chief - he just made a fool of himself to a degree and in a manner from which there is no possible return. If confirmed, he will do the same to you. If you do not, you run the risk of what Vietnam did with the help of the late great George Carlin, to turn the phrase ‘military intelligence’ into an oxymoronic brand name. Only this time it will be for the CIA…where the ‘I’ for intelligence will be meant ironically because it’s Chief is so naive he thinks you can torture the truth out of a suicide bomber as his bomb is about to go off.
”—Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment on General Petraeus’ remarks in defense of torture
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice [Republican] David Prosser allegedly grabbed fellow Justice [progressive] Ann Walsh Bradley around the neck in an argument in her chambers last week, according to at least three knowledgeable sources…
They say an argument that occurred before the court’s release of a decision upholding a bill to curtail the collective bargaining rights of public employees culminated in a physical altercation in the presence of other justices. Bradley purportedly asked Prosser to leave her office, whereupon Prosser grabbed Bradley by the neck with both hands.
Justice Prosser, contacted Friday afternoon by the Center, declined to comment: “I have nothing to say about it.” He repeated this statement after the particulars of the story — including the allegation that there was physical contact between him and Bradley — were described. He did not confirm or deny any part of the reconstructed account…
Prosser acknowledged in March that he called Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson a “bitch” and threatened to “destroy” her during a closed-door meeting.
Live green by conserving water, eating organic food, being vegetarian, and buying non-toxic products can help lessen global warming, which is causing water temperatures to rise, upsetting the oceans’ delicate balance.
Take Your Car To The Carwash
Washing your car at home not only uses 60%-percent more water than a commercial car wash, but the untreated detergent runoff ends up in streams, lakes, and the ocean.
Pick Up After Pets
A recent U.S. Geological Survey study of streams and creeks in Kansas showed that pet-waste germs made up approximately a quarter of the bacteria in samples collected from local waterways. When enough bacteria get into the ocean, they can cause beach and shellfish-bed closures and threaten the drinking supply.
Watch What You Wash Down The Drain
Cooking grease, excessive food waste, and trash in sink drains and disposals can accumulate in city sewer lines and cause blockages that create sewage overflows into the ocean. Only use the disposal for organic waste.
Use Natural Personal-care And Laundry Products
Everything you put on your body eventually goes down the drain when you shower, as does the water from your washing machine. Waste-water treatment plants are not equipped to filter out these types of chemicals.
Be A Green Boater
Use nontoxic cleaning products and paints over a drop-cloth, recycle used oil, and schedule regular maintenance to avoid fuel and lubricant leaks.
Organize Clean-Ups Of Nearby Beaches
Last year, volunteers collected almost 18,000 pounds of debris from 130 miles of coastline, according to Coastsweep, a UMass-Boston group that organizes statewide cleanups.
Use Cloth Shopping Bags
Plastic bags cause the deaths of 100,000 marine animals each year when the animals mistake them for food, so if you must use them, always recycle them in the bin at your supermarket.
Choose Your Fish Carefully
Many marine species are over-fished, and some have high levels of mercury and PCBs. Buy only “ocean-friendly seafood”.
Cut Up Mono-filament Fishing Line, String, And Rope Before Discarding
Seabirds and other creatures can get tangled in lines, and marine mammals often mistake balloons for food.
Vote With The Environment In Mind
Lobby your legislators to end harmful fishing methods, set tougher safety standards for oil spills, and keep shoreline development in check, among other things.
Use Less Plastic And Always Recycle
According to Greenpeace, about 10 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean annually; much of it has collected in a spiral in the north Pacific. The “garbage vortex” is the size of Texas, and it’s not getting any smaller.
Help Prevent Air Pollution
Air pollution contributes to water pollution and increases acidity in oceans and lakes. You can reduce your output by avoiding aerosols and driving less, for starters.
Use Only Natural Lawn Products, Landscape Your Property To Lessen Erosion
About 60 percent of soil that’s washed away ends up in waterways, bringing pesticides, fertilizer, and terrestrial bacteria with it.
Don’t Flush Unused Or Expired Medications
Hormones, antidepressants, painkillers, and other drugs are showing up in our water supply and harming aquatic life. Crush unused pills and throw them away in kitty litter, used coffee grounds, or other unpalatable items.
If You Have A Saltwater Fish Tank, Buy Only Marine Aquarium Council-certified Fish, Never Return Them To The Ocean
Pacific Lionfish is just one species that has proliferated in the southern Atlantic and Caribbean after hobbyists released the fish when they got too big for their tanks. A single Lionfish can reduce recruitment of other fish on a reef by a staggering 85%-percent, and these apex predators are threatening both commercial fishing and tourism.
Flex Your Consumer Power
Learn about companies’ environmental policies and buy only from those that promote green practices. Don’t buy products that exploit the oceans, such as coral calcium, shark cartilage supplements, and coral jewelry, and if you take fish oil, you can substitute equally healthy flaxseed oil.
Don’t Throw Trash In Waterways
Cigarette butts, which take up to five years to break down in saltwater, can kill birds and aquatic animals that mistake them for food.
Don’t Use Antibacterial Soap
Its most common ingredient, triclosan, is not completely removed during waste-water treatment, and is toxic to marine organisms.
Don’t Use Soap In Or Near Open Water
Only three parts per million can kill sea urchin embryos, for example.
Dispose Hazardous Waste Properly
Take motor oil, paint, antifreeze, pesticides, and solvent containers and leftovers to a hazardous waste drop-off site rather than pouring them into storm drains or sewers. Clean up spills rather than hosing them into the street.
Service Your Septic System
Make sure your septic system operates properly by having it inspected and pumped at least every three to five years.
Take Up Scuba Diving
It’s safe and will help you appreciate the underwater world.
Use Waterproof Sunscreen
Don’t be a one-person oil spill. Greasy, oily sunscreen leaves a sheen of residue on everything including the ocean.
Use Newspaper Or Popcorn As Packing Material
Never use plastic peanuts and make sure to recycle all plastic material you receive from shipping boxes.
Use Organic Fertilizer
Using compost and organic fertilizers in your lawn and garden keeps rivers and streams clean and free of toxic chemicals.
Ride your bike, walk, use public transportation or carpool to cut down on carbon emissions.
Support Save The Whales, Save The Shark Campaigns
We rely on the top predators of the sea in order to keep eco-systems in balance including carbon consuming plankton.
Say No To Drilling
Offshore drilling results in a wide range of health and reproductive problems for fish and other marine life.
Senate Democrats on Thursday knocked down the latest GOP effort to unseat the Obama administration’s policy “czars.”
The chamber voted 47-51 to defeat an amendment from Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) to strip the salaries of czars currently working in the White House and would block the president from appointing more without Senate approval…
Speaking on the Senate floor, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called the amendment a “poison pill,” designed to handcuff President Barack Obama’s ability to appoint staff.
The White House has said that previous efforts to remove the advisers violate the separation of powers by undermining the president’s ability to exercise his constitutional responsibilities.
James Richard Verone, of Georgia, attempted to steal one dollar from a bank so that he would be arrested, taken to jail and — most importantly — provided with health care, the Gaston Gazette reported.
Verone worked for Coca-Cola for 17 years, but lost that job three years ago. Now 59 years old, Verone can’t handle the physical demands of the part-time jobs, like working in a convenience store, that he has successfully been hired for. Hence, he has no health care.
“The pain was beyond the tolerance that I could accept,” he told the Gazette. “I kind of hit a brick wall with everything.”
Defenders of today’s decision Wal-Mart v. Dukes, the largest class action suit ever, may try to present today’s decision, which features a unanimous decision on certain aspects of the case, as reflecting a larger consensus than it actually does.
The Justices agreed that, given the differing responsibilities and pay scales involved that the issue of back pay should have been dealt with under a different part of the law. But the more important issue, and the one on which the justices reached a far more divisive 5-4 decision, is whether the women could have proceeded as a class at all. The [right-wing] majority essentially set a new higher standard for defining a class, and in doing so made it more difficult for class action lawsuits to be filed in the future. Class action suits are among the few tools for forcing changes in policy when the issue is systemic, rather than individual, discrimination, and without the class action option the women in the case will be forced to seek relief individually…
The new standard set by the court, explained Columbus University School of Law Professor Suzette Malveaux on a conference call set up by the American Constitution Society, will make it very difficult to file class action cases against large companies. “Given all the evidence put forward here, it’s very difficult when, at any time, plaintiffs would be able to put together enough evidence to challenge a company the size of Wal-Mart,” Malveaux said.
The Dukes case is just the latest in which, liberals argue, corporate interests have found a sympathetic ear in the Roberts court.
“We are throwing this word around like all you have to do to earn it is slip on those fake black-rimmed glasses or one of those blue polo shirts. If even Miss USA is now insisting on being a history geek, something has snapped in our culture. Sure, those glasses look chic, but we’re forgetting that they once came with a price”
~ I will return to this topic later tonight. For now, read this article and wrap your nerdy, geeky little heads around this. I’m off to make dinner. Steaks and roasted potatoes with a salad.
I love this…. I’ve often wondered the same thing in recent years, having long admired and respected my geeky friends (not being one myself - at least not a ‘real’ geek). They’re supposed to be special, dammit! ~whyinthehell
"If you follow the link to CommonSense Media and then click on the About page you find this:
Yes, that’s right, CommonSense Media, a firm that does work for Republicans, is led by Jane Hamsher.
In isolation, I don’t care what Jane Hamsher does for money (and it’s not even clear that any revenues from CommonSense Media make it to Hamsher’s pocket). She can do whatever she wants, and I’m not interested in getting in to any battle about purity with her or any of her allies. But it’s time for the media to stop lazily presenting her as a representative figure of liberal Democrats, of the Netroots or of ideologically committed progressives. She’s not. She’s someone who leads a firm that Republicans pay to help them defeat Democrats.
There isn’t a good online tool to search for vendors listed in FEC reports, so it’s unclear which Republican(s) are CommonSense Media clients. I suspect they’re not working for rightwing culture warriors. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re working for Scott-Walker-if-he-were-more-low-key-&-didn’t-care-if-you-get-stoned, AKA Greenwald-darling Gary Johnson. But just because we don’t know which Republicans they’re working for, Commonsense Media says they have Republican clients, so why shouldn’t we take them at their word?
If the national political media is going to present Jane Hamsher as a one-time Obama supporter who has now concluded that Obama “just isn’t in to her,” fine. But it’s horribly irresponsible and inaccurate for the press to file those stories without noting that she at one time did business with the DNC, and apparently now does business with Republicans seeking to defeat Democrats. She’s not just a disaffected progressive, she’s someone who leads a business that takes money from Republicans to defeat Democrats.”
At least three months before the revelation that former Representative Anthony D. Weiner was sending lewd messages and photos to women online, a small group of self-described conservatives was monitoring his exchanges with women on Twitter. Now there is evidence that one or more people created two false identities on Twitter in order to collect information to use against him.
A Twitter user employing a fake name posed as a 16-year-old California high school girl in May and tried to get Mr. Weiner to be her prom date, according to people with knowledge of the communications and a review of documents. The person behind another Twitter account created under a fake name claimed to be her classmate and offered to provide the group with incriminating evidence about Mr. Weiner.
…[T]here’s plenty of evidence that Fox News does deliberately slant its news coverage. For the past few months, Media Matters has released a series of internal emails from Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon that show Sammon pushing the network to take conservative and/or anti-Obama positions. During the 2008 election, Sammon spearheaded the notion on the air that Obama is a “socialist,” even though he privately admitted that the accusation was “far-fetched.” Sammon told Fox employees to refer to the “public option” as the “government option” during the debate over the Affordable Care Act, echoing the advice of Republican pollster Frank Luntz.
Following Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo, Sammon suggested the network focus on the fact that the president hadn’t used the word “terrorism,” even though he had discussed the issue. Sammon urged Fox News employees to present climate change data as controversial. The network’s coverage of the issue is incredibly slanted: 81 percent of Fox News guests oppose the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gases.
One can discern Fox News’ conservative slant merely by watching the network itself, of course. But the leaks offer concrete evidence of how that slant is developed. Stewart pointed out that the end result of all this is that Fox News viewers are consistently the most misinformed — an assertion Wallace didn’t challenge. As Steve Benen points out, that’s because it’s an assertion that happens to be true. When Stewart says the network follows “ideological marching orders,” he’s on pretty solid ground.
“The immune system can not recognize the invasive cancer and it takes over the whole body until the body collapses. And we’re in that spasming, collapsing form now.”—John McMurtry; The Cancer Stage of Capitalism (via zeitgeistmovement)
The New York Times recently broke the story that President Obama rejected the views of top administration lawyers when he decided he had the legal authority to continue U.S. military participation in the war in Libya without congressional authorization. Obama continues to face congressional opposition to the ongoing Libya attack.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner has called on the White House to further clarify the legal basis for the war in Libya or face a cutoff of war funds. Last week, a bipartisan group of lawmakers filed a lawsuit accusing President Obama of violating the War Powers Act of 1973.
To examine the legal dimensions of U.S. military intervention, we speak with Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional law attorney and political and legal blogger for Salon.com. “The idea that presidents can start wars on their own, without any congressional authorization, violates not just the law but the Constitution,” Greenwald said. “In theory, when the president violates the law and the Constitution, that’s an impeachable offense. At the same time, we’ve set a very low standard for our tolerance of rampant presidential law breaking.”