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The White Album

April 6, 2010

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  1. Stemella permalink*
    April 6, 2010 9:32 am

    Laughter is the best medicine. Now there is proof

    Laugh Loud, Laugh Hard, Live Long

    Cousins defined the physiological response to funniness as “internal jogging,” claiming benefits similar to exercise. Dr. William Fry — author of Sweet Madness: A Study of Humor — provides an exact equation: 20 seconds of Belly Laughing = 3 minutes on the Rowing Machine. (Har-har, stay home and watch accidents on YouTube) Numerous studies say glee gives us enhanced oxygen supply, endorphins, T cells, defense against cancer and infections, pain tolerance, circulatory/muscular/lymph/digestive health and it decreases stress, depression, blood pressure, pulse rate, and arterial stiffness. Precise chemical changes were calculated in 2002 by Dr. Lee Berk of Loma Linda University. His subjects that anticipated laughter from an upcoming funny video had:

    1. increased endorphin levels by 27% (elevates mood)
    2. increased human growth hormone by 87% (optimizes immunity)
    3. decreased cortisol by 39%, adrenaline 70%, DOPAC 38% (lowers stress)

  2. Stemella permalink*
    April 6, 2010 9:59 am

    The antidote for “cutesy” animal blogs

    Fuck You Penguin

    Funny stuff.

    • cometman permalink*
      April 6, 2010 10:09 am

      Ha! I’ve seen that one before but hadn’t checked it in a while. Got a good chuckle out of this one:

      You think just because you’re iridescent, you can get away with being a beetle. You know what else is iridescent? THIS FUCKING SHARK.

      Yes, I realize it’s a catfish. What the fuck do you know about fish, you’re just a stupid beetle. Shut up, asshole.

      I notice they made fun of the lizard I posted about here a while back too.

    • artemis54 permalink
      April 6, 2010 10:17 am

      Love it.

    • artemis54 permalink
      April 6, 2010 11:22 am

      During one of the godawful bitchfests at dk, I was sorely tempted to post a photoessay on how to skin a cat. I didn’t, only partly out of fear they would track me down and assassinate me.

      • cometman permalink*
        April 6, 2010 11:33 am

        Any time you want to borrow Tready just let me know :)

  3. cometman permalink*
    April 6, 2010 10:14 am

    Laughter and mockery not only improve your health, they can also get stupid politicians to change their ways every once in a while. That gallery in Dublin has staged a second blasphemous art exhibit which started on Good Friday.

    …the Irish Justice Minister has responded to the campaign against the law by saying that he will propose a referendum, later this year, to remove the reference to blasphemy from the Irish Constitution, thus enabling the blasphemy law to be repealed.

    Here’s their new video which once again includes that funny as hell Jaysus song:

    • Stemella permalink*
      April 6, 2010 11:01 am

      Good for them. There is so much material to work with given all the new revealing evidence of rez-erections. There ought to be non stop traveling exhibits from each nation where the papal people have buggered children exposing their criminal and hypocritical deeds.

  4. cometman permalink*
    April 6, 2010 10:28 am

    Here’s an interesting one about something I never thought about before – the Monte Hall Dilemma.

    Imagine that you’re in a game show and your host shows you three doors. Behind one of them is a shiny car and behind the others are far less lustrous goats. You pick one of the doors and get whatever lies within. After making your choice, your host opens one of the other two doors, which inevitably reveals a goat. He then asks you if you want to stick with your original pick, or swap to the other remaining door. What do you do?

    Evidently pigeons can figure it out better than the average Let’s Make a Deal contestant. I thought one of the commenters explained the answer better than the post did.

    Just imagine there are two candidates, A and B. A and B both choose the same door. After the moderator picked one door A always stays with his first choice, B always changes his choice to the remaining third door. Now imagine you run this experiment 999 times. What will happen? Because A always stays with his initial choice, he will win 333 cars. But where are the remaining 666 cars? Of course B won them!

  5. artemis54 permalink
    April 6, 2010 11:15 am

    China says dams not to blame for low Mekong levels, promises to tell us the one about the three bears tomorrow.

    • cometman permalink*
      April 6, 2010 11:30 am

      It won’t be long before living too near the mouth of a river rather than its source will become a very perilous existence. Same problem is happening in Iraq right now.

  6. cometman permalink*
    April 6, 2010 11:24 am

    This is not funny at all. The only reason most people have even heard of Caribou Maine is because it is often the coldest place in the US on any given day when they do the national weather broadcasts.

    This weekend it was 82 degrees in Caribou, breaking the previous record high for the date by over 20 degrees.

    The whole NE has been warm this spring and maple sugaring season is all but wiped out for those using traditional methods. Spoke with my relatives this weekend and the only producers who made anything to speak of were ones who used pipeline with a vacuum to draw out the sap. Normally you need freezing nights and warmer days to get the sap to run and it just hasn’t been freezing at night. It’s been several years in a row now of bad weather for sugaring but this may turn out to be the worst ever production-wise for my family, and they’ve been doing it for a long, long time.

  7. cometman permalink*
    April 6, 2010 12:10 pm

    Here’s a preview of what we may have to look forward too with the new national health care “reform” which was modeled on the republican Mitt Romney Massachusetts plan – Health insurers sue to raise rates.

    A half-dozen health insurers yesterday filed a lawsuit against the state seeking to reverse last week’s decision by the insurance commissioner to block double-digit premium increases — a ruling they say could leave them with hundreds of millions in losses this year.

    The proposed rate hikes would have taken effect April 1 for plans covering thousands of small businesses and individuals. Insurers wanted to raise base rates an average of 8 percent to 32 percent; tacked on to that are often additional costs calculated according to factors such as the size and age of the workforce.

    As the article mentions, the insurance companies are crying poverty and trying to claim that rising health care costs necessitate the increase to premiums. What the article does not mention is the fact that health insurance companies don’t make money from the premiums people pay, they make money by investing those premiums and hoping those investments pay off before they have to pay out. The entire private system is basically a Ponzi scheme.

    They’ve got a lot of nerve trying to gouge people even further after several years of profits in the billions and when it has just been announced that Wellpoint CEO Angela Brady just got a 51% increase in her compensation last year, her ill-gotten gains rising to $13.1 million dollars. Blatantly lying to Congress pays pretty well.

  8. artemis54 permalink
    April 6, 2010 2:19 pm

    Nice black eye for the Yakima Valley:

    You fucking Pike Street whore!

    • cometman permalink*
      April 7, 2010 7:32 am

      Yikes. That guy makes the calls I’ve made to Snowe and Collins look positively tame.

      • artemis54 permalink
        April 7, 2010 12:30 pm

        Yes I had to go back and review my emails to Murray and Cantwell. Fortunately I have a policy of waiting to review and send while sober, and limit myself to “I will/will not vote/not vote for you and may actively support/donate to your opponeent if you keep this shit up.”

  9. cometman permalink*
    April 7, 2010 8:05 am

    I’ve been saying for a while that the main problem at lot of people had with Bush’s policies was not the policies themselves but that he was so blatant about things and made what was once done with a wink and a nod into official policy and dared anyone to challenge him. The US has spied and tortured and assassinated for years but in the past at least tried to pretend that they didn’t.

    Now we see that Gerald Ford also approved warrantless wiretapping although if you read the memo authorizing it it sounds like Ford was at least trying to keep some checks in place compared to what Bush did.

    Since nobody has successfully challenged the Bush policies and in some cases they have even been expanded upon by the Obama administration, now that we have a less blatantly arrogant president, will anybody even bat an eye now that he’s ordering the extra-judicial murder of specific American citizens? Is it OK because the guy has one of those funny Arab sounding names?

  10. cometman permalink*
    April 7, 2010 8:26 am

    Protesters with a righteous cause or just Oolong tea baggers? – Red Shirts storm Thai parliament.

    Thailand’s parliament has been forced to suspend proceedings after anti-government protesters briefly stormed the building, forcing MPs to flee from their seats.

    Some senior officials were evacuated by military helicopter as hundreds of so-called “red shirt” protesters pushed past security forces at around midday on Wednesday, using a lorry to ram the gates to the parliament compound.

    I looked at several articles on this situation to try to figure out what was going on. Just about every one was from an Asian or Australian news source; not much coverage at all from US sources but hey Tiger Woods is playing golf in a couple days and we can’t be giving people here any ideas so whaddya you expect. The Al-Jazeera article I linked to had the best summary of what was actually going on and it kinda sounds like the Asian equivalent of the “keep government away from my Medicare” crowd at first glance, right down to their red as opposed to blue shirts.

    The current government has not cracked down on the protesters with violence and wants to resolve the situation peacefully despite being encouraged to use force after several weeks of protest leading up to the charge on parliament . The protesters are largely from the poor rural areas and claim the current leader and government are elitist and want new elections. They favor the old leader who they claim was more of a friend to the poor although he sounds like a shyster himself.

    Many of the protesters are loyal to Thaksin, seeing him as Thailand’s first and only prime minister who looked out for the poor.

    Thaksin, a telecommunications tycoon, has fled into exile to avoid a jail term for graft, a court judgement he has called politically motivated.

    Guess you’d have to live there to really get the feel of what is going on, but Thailand sounds almost as screwed up politically as the US.

    • cometman permalink*
      April 7, 2010 11:49 am

      Scott Horton reports on similar events going on in Kyrgyzstan which have not turned out nearly as peaceful as those in Thailand – In Kyrgyzstan the Tulips Turn Blood Red.

      At least 180 people in Kyrgyzstan have been wounded and 17 killed in clashes between riot police and anti-government demonstrators. Police opened fire when thousands of protesters tried to storm the main government building in the capital Bishkek and overthrow the regime. Reporters saw bodies lying in the main square outside the office of Kurmanbek Bakiyev, the central Asian republic’s president, and opposition leaders said that at least 17 people were killed in the violence.

      This is not a case of protesters possibly being confused as the government of Kyrgyzstan is notoriously corrupt. But the US uses a base there to conduct its wars in the region and the people don’t much care for the corrupt relationship between their leaders and the US.

      Imagine that.

    • cometman permalink*
      April 8, 2010 9:19 am

      Today brings a media crackdown in Thailand aimed at the protesters. Still can’t figure out exactly who the good guys are in this one.

    • Stemella permalink*
      April 8, 2010 10:18 am

      I don’t know the background on this one either. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. I’ll take a look around too and see if I can add anything to clarify what’s up.

      Here’s a video report found on the Guardian about protests that were happening a year ago with some larger background that likely relate to what is happening now.

      Bangkok protesters ‘feel they have been robbed of political power’

      • cometman permalink*
        April 8, 2010 12:19 pm

        Thanks for that. Thaksin keeps being referred to as a “populist” politician and it sounds like he did take some measures to help out the poor. Still can’t quite figure it all out though. I’ll try to find out more about the guy but for now here’s here’s the wikipedia entry on Thaksin. Coups are pretty frequent in Thailand. Says he was the first to actually serve out the full term as prime minister after being elected. Looks like he had quite a few failed business ventures before finally striking it rich with cell phones. Must have had some help somewhere to keep getting funding. Also says he was accused of selling off Thailand’s national assets to foreign investors which is one thing that sparked the uprising against him.

        Probably not accurate to try and compare him to figures from other countries but he sounds like a cross between George W and Hugo Chavez if that’s even possible ;) Again, guess you’d have to live there to really get the feel of it.

  11. cometman permalink*
    April 7, 2010 9:23 am

    Haha! The Reverend Billy and the Life after Shopping Gospel Choir brings the fight to Jamie Dimon and JP Morgan Chase for financing mountain top removal mining.

    The self-ordained Rev. Billy Talen was arrested on Easter Sunday after putting a “holy hex” on JPMorgan Chase bank, which he calls the nation’s largest financier of coal-mining mountaintop removal. The former New York City mayoral candidate and his green-robed chorus put the hex on two bank branches, saying Morgan Chase has helped destroy more than 450 Appalachian mountains, deforested 800 square miles and polluted more than 1,200 miles of streams.
    Rev. Billy led his Life After Shopping Gospel Choir to two East Village Chase branches, where the singers “deposited” mounds of “sacred dirt from Coal River Mountain, West Virginia” on the floors of ATM lobbies.

    Of course, he got arrested and the choir belted out a chorus as the cops hauled him off.

  12. cometman permalink*
    April 7, 2010 9:36 am

    Looks like Matt Taibbi and the zerohedgers have been ruffling the feathers of “God’s Work” Blankfein. In their latest annual report attempt to justify their actions to shareholders.

    Nine months after being labelled “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity”, Goldman Sachs has issued a wide-ranging justification of its conduct before, during and after the financial crisis.

    In a letter to shareholders issued alongside Goldman’s 2009 annual report, the Wall Street bank denied that it “bet against its clients” when it changed its position in the housing market in 2007, shortly before prices began to collapse.

    The eight-page letter, signed by chief executive Lloyd Blankfein and president Gary Cohn, also contained a detailed defence of the $12.9bn (£8.5bn) payout which Goldman received from AIG after the failed insurance giant was bailed out by the US government.

    The letter appears to be a detailed response to some of the allegations made nine months ago by Rolling Stone journalist Matt Taibbi. His article, which argued that Goldman had repeatedly profited by inflating unsustainable financial bubbles, received widespread coverage. It included the claim that the company was “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money”.

    Here’s a link to the annual report. Check out the bullshit bullet points from the first page.

    our people provide solutions
    resources grow ideas
    ideas benefit communities
    market knowledge manages risk
    advice promotes innovation
    trading supports markets
    entrepreneurship stimulates commerce
    financing creates jobs
    engagement furthers sustainability
    investment expertise provides security
    capital fosters opportunity
    our work enables growth

    I suppose if you add “for Goldman Sachs” to each of the bullet points they might actually be accurate.

    • cometman permalink*
      April 7, 2010 9:56 am

      Yves Smith finds a lot of flaws as well with God’s Work’s arguments.

  13. cometman permalink*
    April 7, 2010 11:42 am

    Melvin suggested tampering with items on store shelves to make a point not long ago.

    Somebody did. Haha!

    • artemis54 permalink
      April 7, 2010 12:31 pm

      Well done!

    • Stemella permalink*
      April 8, 2010 10:04 am

      Most excellent! In the spirit of Hayduke of the Monkeywrenchers, All hail the Doucheboxers!

      :)

  14. cometman permalink*
    April 7, 2010 11:56 am

    One of these days Mississippi might make it into the 20th century (the 21st seems far too much to ask for) but nobody should hold their breath waiting for it. Can’t remember if we talked about it here before or not but there was a story about a lesbian teenager named Constance McMillen who was being barred from attending her prom with another girl by the school and took the matter to court. She won.

    So the school sent her to a fake prom with the special ed kids instead while they held the real prom elsewhere. She still manages to show more class than the entire hillbilly town.

    Two students with learning difficulties were among the seven people at the country club event, McMillen recalls. “They had the time of their lives,” McMillen says. “That’s the one good thing that come out of this, [these kids] didn’t have to worry about people making fun of them [at their prom].”

    • artemis54 permalink
      April 7, 2010 12:34 pm

      She and her dad both – he’s backed her all the way.

  15. cometman permalink*
    April 8, 2010 9:37 am

    “<0" has made a pact with Russia to reduce nukes but once again the devil is in the details. Dan Froomkin notes that remaining missiles will still be on hair trigger alert, contrary to a promise “<0" had made earlier.

    Democracy Now! mentions that the reduction may not be as great as the government claims.

    While President Obama said the treaty will cut the US and Russia nuclear arsenals by a third, arms-control experts warned that the figure is misleading because the new pact uses different counting rules than previous agreements. Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists said the new deal could represent an actual decline of only about 100 or 200 nuclear weapons—a reduction of only as much as 13 percent.

    Now “<0" does say the process of getting rid of nukes completely will be a gradual one which seems pretty obvious on its face. But more worrisome than the fact the the exact figures may be off are the statements that went along with the signing.

    Evidently the US promises not to nuke countries that don’t have nukes themselves and abide by the extant non-proliferation treaties (I guess that means Israel isn’t off the hook) but still reserves the right to turn certain nations into glass.

    At a Pentagon news conference, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the unprecedented limits being placed on the U.S. nuclear arsenal won’t weaken the nation’s defense and will send a “strong message” to Iran and North Korea to “play by the rules.”

    “All options are on the table when it comes to countries in that category,” Gates said.

    Obama has stopped short of saying the U.S. will never be the first to launch a nuclear attack, as many arms control advocates want.

    Taken all together, while this may be a step in the right direction, it sounds more like rhetoric designed to get some good PR than anything substantive. Just more of “<0" trying to be all things to everybody – makes it look like he's working towards peace for those who hoped he might end a war or two, makes it look like he's a tough guy to those who were afraid he might end a war or two, and meanwhile nothing really changes.

    • Stemella permalink*
      April 8, 2010 10:00 am

      Thanks for looking into this. This is one area of <O policy I’ve been able to cheer so far, believing it is critical that the ailing superpowers ditch the nukes, something John Kerry has been pushing for years now. I think <O is probably pursuing this policy in part on Kerry’s behalf.

      As to be expected though, the devil is always in the details and is rarely implemented in the ways the idea had been sold, or the ways we’d been told.

      It is a step though, as you say. More leaps required.

      • cometman permalink*
        April 8, 2010 10:18 am

        Here’s the next leap, but not necessarily in the right direction – U.S. looks to nonnuclear weapons to use as deterrent.

        As the White House pushes for cuts in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, the Pentagon is developing a weapon to help fill the gap: missiles armed with conventional warheads that could strike anywhere in the world in less than an hour.

        U.S. military officials say the intercontinental ballistic missiles, known as Prompt Global Strike weapons, are a necessary new form of deterrence against terrorist networks and other adversaries. As envisioned, the conventional missiles would give the White House a fresh military option to consider in a crisis that would not result in a radioactive mushroom cloud.

        Evidently the problem is how to fire these things off without other nations thinking they are actual nukes. But hey, once they get that figured out what could possibly go wrong????

        By the way, I like the new <O notation. Much better! The quotes I was using before really got in the way sometimes.

        • Stemella permalink*
          April 8, 2010 10:25 am

          I immediately thought how much the missile makers would love this idea.

          You bring up a great point about the retaliation effect, especially from whacko Kim Jung and the like.

          In any case it appears militarism is not going to decline as we might have hoped, but instead will be on the rise. The whole point of nukes in theory was to deter the blood baths of conventional warfare. Around and around we go again. Meanwhile the melting ice caps pose a greater threat to more of the planet and we do relatively nothing.

  16. Stemella permalink*
    April 8, 2010 9:47 am

    Greenwald has a couple of posts up about <O's policy of allowing the CIA to assassinate US citizens when deemed them eligible.

    Nauseating.

    Confirmed: Obama authorizes assassination of U.S. citizen

    and

    Olbermann on Obama’s assassination program

    • cometman permalink*
      April 8, 2010 8:11 pm

      I fail to see how this is any different than the fatwas issued by the ayatollahs calling for the death of Rushdie and others, the same ayatollahs the US supposedly want removed because of their anti-democratic measures.

      Greenwald makes a great point with this:

      Republicans are not going to object to any of this. With rare exception, they believe in unlimited executive authority and denial of due process. They see Obama’s adoption of the core Bush/Cheney approach as a vindication of what they did for eight years (and also see it, not unreasonably, as proof that progressive complaints about Bush’s “shredding of the Constitution” were not genuine but rather opportunistic, cynical and motivated by desire for partisan gain).

      Chris Floyd has an excellent post on this subject and hammers home a similar point to Greenwald’s:

      Now, there can be no shuffling, no waffling on the matter. Obama has made it crystal clear for even the most avidly self-duping progressive: He will murder his fellow citizens without trial or evidence if he sees fit. The state can murder whom it pleases. This is the system we have. This is what you support when you support Barack Obama. You cannot escape this logic, this judgment. If you support Obama now, in this, then there is no crime he can commit that you will not support.

      And thus you become one of those people that we all used to puzzle over, the accomodationists to brutal tyranny: “How did all those people go along with the Nazis? Why wasn’t there more opposition to Stalin? How could they countenance all those obvious abominations? What kind of people were they?”

      Now you know. They were you. You are them.

      This is the worst thing about Obama – he’s putting a kindler gentler face on murderous despotism and tyranny and far, far too many people are lapping it up without questioning it.

  17. Stemella permalink*
    April 8, 2010 9:52 am

    Reports over at Zedge seem to indicate that Greece has finally reached the tipping point after teetering for some time now.

    Here’s an article about the situation from the Guardian

    Investors rush to sell Greek bonds: Market turmoil hits the euro and adds to fears of economic collapse in Greece

    “Greece continues to look like a slow-motion train crash,” Steve Barrow, analyst at Standard Bank, said. “The crash has not occurred yet but it is coming.”

    Greek bonds fell, pushing the premium that investors demand to buy the securities to 440 basis points over German bunds, the highest since the European currency was created a decade ago. The cost of insuring $10m (£6.6m) of Greek debt leapt to $450,000, from $410,000 yesterday, according to Markit data. That is more than four times the price paid for Britain’s debt protection.

    Last month’s announcement by the European Union that it would stand by Greece has failed to calm markets.

    “Efforts to avoid a crash seem doomed to failure, whether it is emergency loans or some other initiative,” Barrow said. “As the crisis plays out, so bond spreads are likely to widen much further and the euro fall much more.”

    • cometman permalink*
      April 8, 2010 8:18 pm

      Hmmm.

      Led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, some leaders say Greece should have to borrow at market rates.

      Really? And the banks that played a huge role in causing this mess get to borrow from the Fed at about 0%. I think Greece ought to get the same deal. Or maybe charge market rates and force the banks to pick up the interest payments. Sounds fair to me.

  18. cometman permalink*
    April 8, 2010 10:09 am

    Andrew Cockburn doesn’t think much of Congress’ attempts at financial reform – Financial Reform Bids Collapse Into Farce .

    Not too much new in there but I thought this was worth noting –

    Just to remind everyone what’s at stake here, Moody’s recently reported that the big derivatives-trading banks would simply not allow their OTC trades to be forced onto exchanges, where prices would be public, because that would eat into their profits. “Exchange-based trading could improve the efficiency of the OTC market, but this would almost necessarily be done at the expense of dealers’ currently substantial profits: JPMorgan Chase, for example, has disclosed that it generated fully a third of its overall investment banking profits from OTC derivatives in 2006-2008. Such a permanent reduction in profitability would be a credit negative,” warned the credit rating agency.

    What goes on in over-the-counter (OTC) trades is not public knowledge. These derivatives have been mostly traded with large institutional investors and they are traded far less frequently than your average stock. There isn’t as much demand for them which is one rationale for why an exchange hasn’t been created. But this is a thin justification at best. What the above paragraph really means is that if the banks were forced to make the trades public so everyone could see how much these things were being bough and sold for, it would be a lot harder to keep people in the dark and fleece the rubes as the banks have become accustomed to doing. When they say “profits” would go down it should really read “scams”.

  19. Stemella permalink*
    April 8, 2010 10:10 am

    Well, here’s a royal crock of horse sized squidshit

    Prince, Rubin Didn’t See Citi’s CDO Risk in Time

    whatthefuckever, douches

    time to deposit douches in the night deposit boxes , wearing surgical gloves, of course :)

    • cometman permalink*
      April 8, 2010 8:27 pm

      Godammit I’m I’m so sick of this “nobody could have foreseen….” bullshit. There were plenty of people who foresaw it when they argued that repealing Glass-Steagall would create a disaster. For fuck sake I foresaw it when I was working at WAMU right after the repeal and people came in to the newly opened brokerage section of the bank asking how they could get the FDIC to pay back all the money they had lost when the internet bubble blew up. They actually had to put up a sign in front of the brokers’ desks to tell people deposits made there were not FDIC insured. Ratfuckers all of them.

  20. cometman permalink*
    April 8, 2010 10:26 am

    Brooksley Born to Alan Greenspan yesterday –Epic FAIL!

    I like the name of that little blog. May have to bookmark that one for future reference.

  21. artemis54 permalink
    April 8, 2010 12:17 pm

    New(ish) from Annie Leonard:

    The Story of Bottled Water

    Spread it around!

    • cometman permalink*
      April 8, 2010 8:51 pm

      Heh. “What will they sell us next…..air?” Well, yes.

      Great video though. I’ve seen some others from her and I really like the way she puts it all together.

      The fuckers from Nestle have a big presence in Maine which is where they extract water for their “Poland Spring” bottled water label. A few years ago a group called H20 for ME tried to get an initiative on the ballot that would charge a fee on all water meant for resale and then set up a trust like Alaska has for oil that would pay out a dividend to every taxpayer in the state plus do some other good things.

      This initiated bill assesses a fee of 3¢ per 20 fluid ounces for water extracted for resale. It establishes the Maine Water Dividend Trust and requires that funds from this assessment be deposited in the trust. It provides that a dividend from the trust, when declared, must be paid to each resident of this State who has filed a Maine income tax return for the prior calendar year. It establishes the Water Resources Conservation Board to 1) monitor and regulate the amount of water removed from each aquifer; 2) to ensure sustainability and the viability of the aquifer; and 3) to determine that the extraction of water does not negatively affect lakes or other bodies of water, rivers, streams, wetlands, farming interests, economic development, private wells or public water supplies.

      Nestle sent all kinds of people to encourage people against the measure, claiming the usual “It will put us out of business and Maine will lose all its jobs” horseshit. Partly due to that and partly due to disorganization from the H20 for ME campaign itself, it never made it on the ballot.

      Lately individual towns have taken a more direct approach and are just telling Nestle to fuck off.

      Another community says NO to Nestle! Activists in the communities which surround the Branch Brook Aquifer, located in the southern part of the state handily defeated a water extraction ordinance on a referendum vote in the town of Wells.

      The ordinance, written under the direction of the Nestle Corporate lawyers, would have opened the door to large scale bottled water extractors. The vote was 3,194 against large scale extraction and 1,420 for, a 69.2% margin!!! This was a stunning defeat for the corporation who was ousted from McCloud, California and in Shapleigh and Newfield, Maine this year. This was convincing testimony that a grassroots campaign cannot be replaced by slick marketing and Greenwashing.

      • artemis54 permalink
        April 9, 2010 1:37 am

        Kindred souls:

        Bundanoon bans bottled water, installs city fountains

  22. artemis54 permalink
    April 9, 2010 6:18 am

    Spread the word!

    Gross! mamz has cooties!

    Explains this disgusting itch I developed about a week ago.

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