Skip to content


March 18, 2010

It is a treading water, underwater kind of feeling today.
Here’s a new thread.

38 Comments leave one →
  1. Stemella permalink*
    March 18, 2010 6:42 am

    Greenwald discusses the recent French update of the Yale torture studies made into a game show.

    Those Authoritarian, Torture-Loving French

    None of this should be at all surprising to anyone who has observed, first, the American political and media class, and then large swaths of the American citizenry, enthusiastically embrace what was once the absolute taboo against torture, all because Government officials decreed that it was necessary to Stop the Terrorists. But I just watched an amazing discussion of this French experiment on Fox News. The Fox anchors — Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum — were shocked and outraged that these French people could be induced by the power of television to embrace torture.

    – snip –

    Meanwhile, the bill recently introduced by Joe Lieberman and John McCain — the so-called “Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention and Prosecution Act” — now has 9 co-sponsors, including the newly elected Scott Brown. It’s probably the single most extremist, tyrannical and dangerous bill introduced in the Senate in the last several decades, far beyond the horrific, habeas-abolishing Military Commissions Act. It literally empowers the President to imprison anyone he wants in his sole discretion by simply decreeing them a Terrorist suspect — including American citizens arrested on U.S. soil. The bill requires that all such individuals be placed in military custody, and explicitly says that they “may be detained without criminal charges and without trial for the duration of hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners,” which everyone expects to last decades, at least. It’s basically a bill designed to formally authorize what the Bush administration did to American citizen Jose Padilla — arrest him on U.S. soil and imprison him for years in military custody with no charges.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 18, 2010 7:39 am

      Every time I think the corporate media can’t possibly get any more ridiculous and downright repugnant I am proven wrong.

      I kept waiting for them to make the connection to America’s torture policies and Fox’s support for it — if only to explain to their own game show participants at home/Fox News viewers why that was totally different — but it really seemed the connection just never occurred to them. They just prattled away — shocked, horrified and blissfully un-self-aware — about the evils of torture and mindless submission to authority and the role television plays in all of that.

  2. Stemella permalink*
    March 18, 2010 7:05 am

    Speaking of the French, torture and methods of punishment,

    French guillotine exhibition opens 33 years after the last head fell

    The guillotine’s resurrection, thanks to a nationwide search by Badinter and curator Jean Clair who tracked it down in a military bunker in Ecouen, north of Paris, is a fitting contribution to an exhibition full of severed heads, murders and madness.

    With more than 450 works, including sculptures by Rodin and paintings by Degas, David and Munch, the museum has sought to use art to trace attitudes to crime, punishment and rehabilitation from the first bloodthirsty days of the revolution.

    Clair has pointed out that when it was suggested by Joseph Ignace Guillotin in 1789, the idea of making mechanical decapitation the uniform means of France’s execution stemmed not from barbarity but from a desire to make death as quick and painless as possible for the victim, whether a prince or a pauper.

    Hanging and hacking with hatchets were considered woefully inefficient.

  3. cometman permalink*
    March 18, 2010 7:30 am

    I do have a draft of a new post almost ready. I was going to post it last night but then I fell asleep on the couch. Nothing too substantial, just a little eye candy so I’ll save it for the weekend.

    Anyhoo, I was reading this article this morning – Catholic opposition to health bill fades – and although the article doesn’t touch on this, I had to wonder why the Catholic Church (and all the rest of them for that matter) hasn’t been submerged under about 248 tons of IRS documents.

    Although I’d like to see this bill aborted, I did get a kick out of the fact that the nuns told the old pederasts who run this anachronism to shove it (possibly not the best choice of phrase :P)

    A coalition of 59,000 nuns released a letter yesterday calling on Congress to approve the overhaul, defying the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which opposes the measure.

    However no matter what side you’re on, it’s pretty clear from reading the article that the Catholic Church is extremely involved with the political process and is using their lobby in attempts to influence Congress and the public. If they aren’t going to hide their light under a bushel then it’s high time the US Treasury began receiving bushels full of church dollars.

    When facing an ethical conundrum such as this it’s always important to ask WWFZD? Tax The Churches!

    Now that we’ve got Holy wars raging on multiple fronts, maybe Zappa’s warnings don’t seem quite so alarmist a couple decades later.

    And always remember, it’s your ass that’s on the line.

    • Stemella permalink*
      March 18, 2010 7:50 am

      “Yes, Mr. Zappa.” Oh, you know he wanted to poke that Novakula right in the eyeball! Too precious. Of course he was correct. Looking back ,the daze of Raygun seem comparatively innocent next to this Rovian society, which has been completely subverted by the theocans and theocrats. Now that the corporatists have co-opted both parties, what else can you call it, but fascism?

      I miss Frank. Dweezil may have his guitar licks, but no one in the public sphere, it seems, can quite compare to that silly Sicilian wisdom and wit. Jon Stewart is pretty close at times, and thank goodness for that.

  4. cometman permalink*
    March 18, 2010 8:59 am

    This post from Chris Floyd about the continuing US fascism is worth reading for several reasons – Stovepiping to Persia.

    As he describes the continuing belligerence towards Iran he brings up some history that was brushed under the rug, namely the BCCI scandal and the involvement in it of one Jay Bybee, who the Bushies and now the Obama administration have been furiously trying to protect for his more recent role in allowing torture to become accepted national policy.

    What did BCCI do? “It engaged in pandemic bribery of officials in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas,” says journalist Christopher Bryon, who first exposed the operation. “It laundered money on a global scale, intimidated witnesses and law officers, engaged in extortion and blackmail. It supplied the financing for illegal arms trafficking and global terrorism. It financed and facilitated income tax evasion, smuggling and prostitution.” Sort of an early version of the Bush Regime, then.

    And yet nobody was ever really punished for it. The same bad actors are still involved with government and have not changed their ways. Sort of makes you what what institutions are being used to funnel the dirty money these days. Could that be one reason the big banks in the US are being protected and bailed out with trillions of dollars right now?

    He also takes a shot at the recent Texas Board of “Education” decision to do some revisionist history which will affect classrooms all across the country, something we haven’t mentioned here yet but bears noting as we document the empire’s fall.

    And then there was the mention of a recent arms buildup ordered by “<0" in Diego Garcia and Floyd tells how the US came to possess a small island in the Indian ocean to launch airstrikes from in the first place.

    Britain and America cut a secret deal: land for nukes. London sliced off a sliver of its imperial dominions and gave it to Washington, in exchange for a price reduction on some sleek new nuclear missiles. Together, the two great democracies then drove the inhabitants of the sliver from their homes by force, dumping them into poverty-ridden exile hundreds of miles away. Washington built an imperial outpost on the stolen land, a military base which it used to “project dominance” over strategic regions in Central Asia and the Middle East.

    And what happened to those people? This anecdote he posts from Jon Pilger is heart wrenching:

    “To get us out of our homes,” Lizette told me, “they spread rumors we would be bombed, then they turned on our dogs. The American soldiers who had arrived to build the base backed several of their big vehicles against a brick shed, and hundreds of dogs were rounded up and imprisoned there, and they gassed them through a tube from the trucks’ exhaust. You could hear them crying. Then they burned them on a pyre, many still alive.”

    Lizette and her family were finally forced on to a rusting freighter and made to lie on a cargo of bird fertilizer during a voyage, through stormy seas, to the slums of Port Louis, Mauritius. Within months, she had lost Jollice, aged eight, and Regis, aged ten months. “They died of sadness,” she said. “The eight-year-old had seen the horror of what had happened to the dogs. The doctor said he could not treat sadness.”

    The people who run this country are truly monsters.

    • Stemella permalink*
      March 19, 2010 7:10 am

      Yes, monsters. I didn’t know how the US got its hands on Diego Garcia. I remember that it was used by Bush in the initial phases of invading Iraq. A vestige of one Empire, the Brits, trying to sustain its relevance and reach by becoming a subsidiary of its bastard child. It seems that the neo con plan to invade Iran next is still in the process of coming to fruition. It doesn’t matter who sits in the WH. The plan will be executed by the MIC corporatists.

  5. cometman permalink*
    March 18, 2010 9:17 am

    And speaking of monsters, it turns out that blood sucking vampires do have Republican values.

    • Stemella permalink*
      March 18, 2010 11:10 am

      Hahaha, yep these are Republican family values, alright …

      The Impaler was last in the news for his engagement to a 16-year-old Minneapolis ‘vampyre,’ a relationship that ended with a restraining order and statutory rape charges, (although Sharkey maintains they didn’t have sex, just, you know, drank each other’s blood).

      What a freak!

  6. cometman permalink*
    March 18, 2010 11:43 am

    Here is a sampling of articles expressing disappointment with Dennis Kucinich for his cave on the health care legislation from people who have supported him in the past.

    From David Swanson – Kucinich and the Media.

    From Chris Floyd – Pressure Drop: Brave Sir Dennis Ran Away.

    And from Chris Cooper from small town Maine – Everybody Knows The Deal Is Rotten.

    Sadness, confusion, and wondering why are the prevailing sentiments in several articles I’ve read about this. I think Cooper sums it up pretty well:

    I’m not looking to beat up poor Dennis Kucinich. I think it almost unutterably sad that perhaps the most principled man in Congress, in what I’m guessing must be a stomach-churning admission of his own helplessness, understanding the futility of playing ball with the team he can’t get up the nerve or the disgust to quit, on a field laid out to the specifications of the corrupt owners of the other team, under rules designed to preclude the possibility of a fair, clean game, still, finally, gives up and goes along. But he so clearly knows it is the wrong thing to do.

    I’d really like to know why too. Surely Kucinich knows that his isn’t really the deciding vote on anything, not when over 200 Congresspeople wouldn’t vote for any legislation suggested by the Democrats no matter how much it may resemble exactly what they would have proposed themselves, just as Olympia’s Snowe’s was not the deciding vote in an earlier incarnation of this abominable legislation despite the corporate media assertions to the contrary. So why not draw the line in the sand? I noticed Jame Hamsher wants the money back she helped raise for Kucinich as he was standing strong. Maybe Kucinich will change his mind again. Maybe he’s just playing them all and letting them think the bill will pass. I’d sure as hell love to see him vote no and tell “<0" thanks for the fancy plane ride but he should have twisted some ethically challenged Blue Dog's arm a little more if he really wanted the piece of crap to pass. We'll see but for now I remain disappointed too.

    • Stemella permalink*
      March 19, 2010 7:33 am

      Dennis addressed the money he got from FDL in one of his interviews and said he would be returning it.

      At this point it seems that the DLC wing has resumed complete control of the sitting party in power and has effectively crushed whatever liberal coalition evolved out of the Dean experiment. I expect there will be nothing but right wing legislation enabling the Inc. with no enforcement of any regulations giving lip service to the citizenry for decades to come.

      No blue dog, conservadem or neoliberal arms will ever be twisted by the Administration, as they are all one and the same. Instead these rightists get rewarded for their votes with perks and payoffs. Rahmbo has effectively returned the landscape of politics to the narrow country club membership of banskters, lawyers and CEO’s. Along with the pipe dream of a single payer or public option approach to anything, the fifty state strategy, the grassroots, the people have power movement is completely hobbled if not murdered with daggers in the back. The authoritarians are back in charge and there is no room for anyone else.

      The only national political activism I can see worth time and effort is to defeat all of them. In the interim I will focus only on issue advocacy in the local sphere and support small is beautiful wherever I can.

      • cometman permalink*
        March 19, 2010 8:16 am

        Even supporting small is beautiful can be difficult at times. Not long ago I was standing in a small business with a “buy local” sticker on the door and had some cat food I’d picked up at the shop across the street in my hand. The owner of the business who is a friend of mine asked me why I would spend so much money at the little shop across the street when I could get the same cat food at some big box store for a lot cheaper. I asked why anyone should spend money at his store when they could get the same thing at the big grocery store for a lot cheaper. Not sure if it sunk in or not.

  7. cometman permalink*
    March 18, 2010 12:09 pm

    Bear with me for a bit and let’s get ready to ramble! I was looking for some info on an unrelated topic when I ran across this post about a court ruling concluding that vaccines containing thimerosal do not cause autism. The chart at the link shows how autism has been on the rise significantly since the use of thimerosal has been discontinued.

    But then I was reminded of something I ran across earlier about how many scientific studies, especially in the medical field, turn out to be erroneous due to a misuse or misinterpretation of statistics – Odds Are, It’s Wrong.

    “There is increasing concern,” declared epidemiologist John Ioannidis in a highly cited 2005 paper in PLoS Medicine, “that in modern research, false findings may be the majority or even the vast majority of published research claims.”

    Ioannidis claimed to prove that more than half of published findings are false, but his analysis came under fire for statistical shortcomings of its own. “It may be true, but he didn’t prove it,” says biostatistician Steven Goodman of the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. On the other hand, says Goodman, the basic message stands. “There are more false claims made in the medical literature than anybody appreciates,” he says. “There’s no question about that.”

    I don’t think that’s the case with autism and vaccines however based on the fact that autism continues to rise despite new vaccines. One argument that has been used in this discussion is that autism isn’t really on the rise, it’s just being diagnosed more often. However the diagnoses have been for very young children – if it was underdiagnosed before why aren’t there now 20 and 30 and 40 year olds being diagnosed with it who were missed before? That just isn’t happening. So something is causing it to rise and it’s been linked to mercury before.

    So then I was reminded of this article I had also read earlier showing that power plants continue to belch out enormous amounts of mercury. Mercury accumulates in the environment so it would seem to be quite possible that after decades of littering the planet with this heavy metal, we’ve reached a tipping point of sorts where there is just so much around it’s impossible to keep out of people’s systems with a rise in autism and other health problems as a result.

    • triv33 permalink
      March 19, 2010 4:08 am

      Well, we don’t know why…we still get the little man his shots, I mean, we’re not Jenny McCarthy for fuck’s sake. I think it has to be a combination of factors, kids with a mercury intolerance and fragile x? I don’t know. All that matters now is that we do everything we can to help him make his way in this fucked up world.
      Sorry I’ve been so MIA lately. Three deaths in the last month and getting myself in some skuffles with some orange meanies. Yeah, I don’t know what the hell I’m thinking on that score.

      • Stemella permalink*
        March 19, 2010 7:35 am

        Sorry to hear about your losses Triv. I hope you and yours are well.

      • cometman permalink*
        March 19, 2010 8:07 am

        Hi Triv, very good to see you! Sorry about your losses though, that’s tough all in one month.

        I was hoping you’d chime in about this subject. I read an article a few days ago that I brought up here that got me a little confused about the whole thing. For the squidlette I checked with the doctor to make sure there was no mercury in the vaccines and made sure she got them. I tend to trust the medical and scientific evidence myself a hell of a lot more than Jenny McCarthy. The guy who wrote that Counterpunch article seemed a little confused about what he was trying to get at.

        I may or may not have been doing some battling with orange meanies myself lately although at this point I may or may not have gotten it out of my system for a while :)

  8. cometman permalink*
    March 18, 2010 12:53 pm

    So here’s what I was trying to figure out when I ran across the autism post. A couple days ago I posted about an astronomical anomaly and mentioned offhandedly that perhaps the methods used to measure mass and distance could be wrong and were in need of adjustment but all evidence seemed to be against that. Then I ran across this – Super Supernova: White Dwarf Star System Exceeds Mass Limit.

    Since 2003, four supernovae have been discovered that were so bright, cosmologists wondered whether their white dwarfs had surpassed the Chandrasekhar limit. These supernovae have been dubbed the “super-Chandrasekhar” supernovae.

    Now Richard Scalzo of Yale, as part of a collaboration of American and French physicists called the Nearby Supernova Factory, has measured the mass of the white dwarf star that resulted in one of these rare supernovae, called SN 2007if, and confirmed that it exceeded the Chandrasekhar limit. They also discovered that the unusually bright supernova had not only a central mass, but a shell of material that was ejected during the explosion as well as a surrounding envelope of pre-existing material. The team hopes this discovery will provide a structural model with which to understand the other supermassive supernovae.

    Type 1a supernovae have been used for decades to determine how far away distant galaxies are. The occur in binary star systems where a white dwarf star is next door to a larger more gaseous star. The white dwarf is basically a cinder left over from a dead star that did not explode and they are small both in diameter and mass relative to other stars but very dense. Astronomers can tell if a star is a white dwarf through spectral analysis of the light emitted. When the dwarf is in a system with a larger star is starts to suck gas away from the other star into itself. When the extra mass causes the dwarf to reach the critical Chandrasekhar limit, it cannot support the extra mass and collapses, causing the supernova explosion. Since the same mass explodes each time, the explosions produce an equal amount of energy and then astronomers can determine how far away they are by measuring the relative brightness of the explosion as seen from earth.

    So now they’ve seen a white dwarf supernova where the mass is bigger than the Chandrasekhar limit. The article mentions that it may have been more than one white dwarf in the star system which would account for the extra mass.

    Scalzo believes there’s a good chance that SN 2007if resulted from the merging of two white dwarfs, rather than the explosion of a single white dwarf and hopes to study the other super-Chandrasekhar supernovae to determine whether they, too, could have involved a merger of two white dwarfs.

    If that is the case then I would imagine this event would not be classified as a type 1a supernova and not much would change in how things are measured. But if this cannot be proven, this event could have very profound implications in the field of cosmology. Guess the best way to find out would be for astronomers to start cataloging as many star systems containing two dwarfs as they can find and then hope one of them explodes soon so they can measure that data against the post-explosion data they have for these other anomalies. Good thing there are a lot of new ultra-sensitive telescopes out there right now – maybe somebody will get lucky and see something.

    Pretty neat though that even the most solid tenets of science can and do change.

  9. artemis54 permalink
    March 18, 2010 1:15 pm

    Looks like my roundup at the end of the CITES – Dithering in Doha? – will be even more depressing than anticipated. And I’ve somehow run out of absinthe again.

    Today the move to list bluefin tuna under Appendix I – banning trade – went down in flames, with Japan questioning the science (somebody knows which way the wind is blowing) and the ever more perfidious Canada backing them up. A full thirty countries abstained from voting.

    Oh, Canada.

    Listing of the polar bear on App I was also rejected.

    Of the biggies, that just leaves the ivory scam, allowing more one-off sales which as they always have will drive poaching through the roof. Let’s see if CITES chooses to stare down the desperate pleas of every scientific group studying the group, as well as heated opposition from a dozen African countries under the moral leadership of Kenya.

    • artemis54 permalink
      March 18, 2010 1:19 pm

      Either the experience with Atlantic cod taught them nothing at all, or they just don’t care except about next qurters profits. Either is damning.

      CITES is at this point an utter failure, a joke. It would be better to have nothing rather than this paper umbrella.

      • Stemella permalink*
        March 19, 2010 7:42 am

        I think it is now clear that the Humboldt squid overlords need to start overturning the ships at sea and the ships of state.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 19, 2010 8:32 am

      What science is there to question at this point? You don’t need to be a genius to see that there simply aren’t that many tuna around anymore and it’s very clear that most of what are called tuna “farms” are not because they just take wild stock and put them in a pen to fatten them up before killing them, they don’t raise them from eggs.

      Not sure if you were around the day we were talking about this company before – Clean Seas– but they are trying to raise tuna from hatcheries. The website doesn’t give all the details of the process but what I’ve heard is somewhat encouraging. From what I understand the fish are in a large tank where they are able to swim constantly like they do in the wild and it is climate controlled so that the water temperature and light levels adjust with the seasons to mimic the migratory pattern of what wild tuna would see. Finding a decent and sustainable feed for the tuna was one of the problems they were trying to overcome and I have no idea how they deal with the waste which is such a problem with most salmon farms. Anyhow, if you’ve heard about this or programs like it I’d be interested in your thoughts.

      • artemis54 permalink
        March 19, 2010 11:00 am

        No hadn’t heard of them before. Will have to go read about them. An awful lot is going to depend on some definitions – “sustainable feed” for one big thing. A big dose of skepticism would seem in order.

  10. Stemella permalink*
    March 19, 2010 7:53 am

    Here are some updates on the still unresolved crisis in Greece

    Yesterday Greek officials said they might have to go to the IMF

    Greek officials estimate that for every €5bn raised on capital markets, Athens pays around €700m more in interest compared to other eurozone countries because of premiums on Greek bonds that earlier this month reached 6.5%.

    The EU’s lukewarm response to the crisis has infuriated Greeks, who have been asked to endure the toughest economic austerity measures since the second world war. While the eurozone’s 16 member states have agreed to a “mechanism of coordinated assistance” they have refused to divulge the hard figures that Greece says would ward off speculators.

    Today, Sarkozy Opposes IMF Loan to Greece, Widens Rift With Germany.

    President Nicolas Sarkozy opposes Germany’s call for an International Monetary Fund loan to Greece, a French government official said, pitting the euro area’s biggest members against one another over a rescue plan.

    The official, who declined to be named under government ground rules, said Sarkozy favored a European solution to help Greece and said the monetary union must act to restore investor confidence and shrink Greek borrowing costs.

    “I want to be very clear: if it were necessary, the states of the euro zone would fulfill their commitments,” Sarkozy said in Paris March 7 after a meeting with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou. “There can be no doubt in this regard.”

    I am suddenly reminded of Monty Python’s classic football game, except this time Greece is the football and the players are France and Germany

    • cometman permalink*
      March 19, 2010 8:39 am

      Ha! That was awesome. That video sums up the situation quite nicely.

  11. Stemella permalink*
    March 19, 2010 8:04 am

    Invisibility cloak now closer to a reality since proof of principle has been achieved.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 19, 2010 8:50 am

      That is really cool. I’ve been reading about this for a few years now and it seems like it’s getting closer and closer to being a reality, or hiding reality.

      Of course, if you’re already microscopic, there’s no need for a cloak ;)

  12. Stemella permalink*
    March 19, 2010 8:09 am

    More disturbing news from nature Population of migrating monarch butterflies is lowest ever

    Monarch butterflies, hit hard by strong storms at their winter home in Mexico, have dwindled to their lowest population levels in decades as they begin to return to Texas on their springtime flight back to the United States and Canada.

    The monarch loss is estimated at 50 to 60 percent and means that the breeding population flying northward is expected to be the smallest since the Mexican overwintering colonies were discovered in 1975, said Chip Taylor, a professor of entomology and director of Monarch Watch at the University of Kansas.

    “I think it is very clear that the butterflies lost more than half of the population,” Taylor said. “I’m hoping it wasn’t as high as 70 or 80 percent. We’ve never seen it this bad before.”

  13. cometman permalink*
    March 19, 2010 10:02 am

    Good one from Scott Horton at Harper’s –The Pentagon Loses a Skirmish with WikiLeaks.

  14. Stemella permalink*
    March 19, 2010 10:36 am

    Here’s an interesting piece on the history/origins of the domesticated dog

    New Finding Puts Origins of Dogs in Middle EastFido was a Dingo begot from wolfpacks

    Still no rational explanation for the existence of the poodle, however ;-P

  15. Stemella permalink*
    March 19, 2010 10:38 am

    And after teetering and tottering with a non existent economy, the Latvian government has collapsed, at last

    Though the Latvians seem to think it is no big deal. Okey Dokey.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 21, 2010 6:53 am

      Latvia had hired that douchebag lobbyist Stephen Payne as an advisor or something. I blame him :)

  16. artemis54 permalink
    March 19, 2010 10:42 am

    Towleroad has a collection of videos and other accounts of Dan Choi’s protest and arrest at the White House.

    And the howl goes up from the incrementalists and the Obamaniacs – bad timing, etc. Fuck all that, I am with Choi.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 19, 2010 3:22 pm

      Good for him. Somebody really ought to require these manly military men who glory in war and yet are so frightened of serving with a gay person to read the Iliad. Achilles’ and Patroclos’ relationship was a little more involved than snapping towels at each other in the locker room.

  17. cometman permalink*
    March 19, 2010 10:48 am

    Nice article about JD Salinger – Previously Unknown J.D. Salinger Letters Discovered in New York. Talks about the relationship between Salinger and one of his WWII buddies who had several letters from Salinger he received during the course of their friendship. And maybe there are some new books coming someday –

    Kleeman also visited Salinger in New Hampshire twice, in 1958 and 1983. “We spent hours on the balcony chatting,” he says. Kleeman remembers the “overgrown field” in front of Salinger’s house, the garage and the covered stairway. “He had dogs, and they barked, and he came out on the balcony and waved. Come on up, he called.”

    Despite rumors to the contrary, Salinger seemed “very happy” to his friend Kleeman, who confirms a long-standing rumor: “He showed me the room where he kept all his manuscripts.” After Salinger’s death, there was speculation that the author had left behind as many as 15 unpublished novels — a secret Salinger’s heirs have still not revealed.

  18. artemis54 permalink
    March 19, 2010 12:59 pm

    Oh Canada

    Canadian government ‘hiding truth about climate change’

    “Media coverage of climate change science, our most high-profile issue, has been reduced by over 80 percent,” says internal government documents obtained by Climate Action Network.

    The dramatic decline results from a 2007 Harper government-imposed prohibition on government scientists speaking to reporters. Canadian scientists have told IPS they required permission from the prime minister’s communications office to comment on their own studies made public in scientific journals and reports.

    If permission is granted, it requires written questions submitted in advance and often replies by scientists have to go through a vetting process. Within six months, reporters stopped calling and media coverage declined, the leaked report noted.

    Troubling Evidence — The Harper Government’s Approach to Climate Science Research in Canada (43-page pdf)


    This report documents a troubling catalogue of actions by the present federal government that undermine Canadian climate science research and its practioners. Through its budget decisions, the government appears to be expressing a clear desire to reduce the volume of university-based climate science research in Canada. The government has replaced the independent National Science Advisor by a council of which only one-third of the members currently hold a position conducting scientific research. Environment Canada has adopted a new media relations policy that makes it much more difficult for journalists to have direct access to government scientists. Two major federal government reports on the projected impacts of climate change in Canada were published in a manner suggesting that ministers did not want them to receive significant attention. The government has appointed three climate change “skeptics” to key granting agencies for university-based scientific research.

    Overall, it is difficult not to arrive at the conclusion that the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper sees climate change only as a political problem, not a real-world threat. And in order to reduce its political problem, the government seems quite willing to undermine scientific research and those who undertake it, in federal departments and Canadian universities.

    • cometman permalink*
      March 21, 2010 6:57 am

      How much longer has Harper got? Absolutely unconscionable to behave like that. I just can’t understand what people like that think they have to gain by hiding the truth of what’s going on. If thinks start getting really bad, I doubt they’ll even manage to save their own skin.

  19. cometman permalink*
    March 19, 2010 2:07 pm

    More on the health care fiasco. Democracy Now! had a good interview with Kucinich and nader yesterday which you can see here. Dennis is trying to say all the right things, he doesn’t really like the bill, he’ll continue to fight for single payer in Congress and at the state level, etc but he looks old, tired and beaten.

    Supposedly there was a majority in favor of a public option in the Senate but not 60 votes. Now that they are going to try to use reconciliation to pass the bill and would only need 51 votes for the public option, for some reason the public option is still out. Bernie was going to introduce an amendment to put Senators on the record for or against a public option but evidently he’s seen the writing on the wall and has caved in too.

    Meanwhile, now it’s Steven Lynch who says he won’t vote for the bill because it’s a giveaway to the insurance companies. Will he get a ride on “<0" 's fancy plane to get his mind right or will it be some staffer accusing him of excess tickling?

    Can this "debate" get any fucking stupider than it already is? I am hesitant to ask because the answer is probably yes.

  20. artemis54 permalink
    March 20, 2010 5:24 pm

    RIP Stewart Udall

    Sadly for us, they don’t make em like that any more.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: