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Dysphonic Friday

April 9, 2010

If there’s a rock and roll heaven, they may have a hell of a band.

But if you end up in rock and roll hell, you’re going to be stuck listening to these assholes.

Astoundingly enough, these guys take themselves quite seriously. While I have not put extensive theological research into this, from what I can gather they hate just about everybody except one small Xtian sect of their own creation where long hair on your head=evil but growing a nesting sanctuary for assorted vermin on the bottom half of your face=bound for everlasting glory.

Lots more from them here if you can stand it.

And come to think of it, “Rock and Roll Heaven” is a pretty craptacular schmaltzfest itself.


Ok, I have to post one more video if only because I’ve never heard anyone refer to their lord and saviour as a “hippy on a stick” before. Here it is, a Paean to Jeebus H Buzzcut Xrist.

58 Comments leave one →
  1. cometman permalink*
    April 9, 2010 8:08 am

    Ran across a link to that Devo focus group I mentioned a while back. If you want to participate in the fun or just listen to some of their new songs CLICK HERE!

    And if you happen to be in Maine this summer and want to hang out with a whole bunch of long-haired freaky people, get your tickets now for The Nateva Music Festival in Oxford.

    Just heard about this yesterday and I really want to go! What’s left of the Grateful Dead will be there (no zombie Jerry) along with the Atomic Dog Mr. George Clinton, The Flaming Lips, and assorted dirty hippie jam bands but the main draw for me is that the Dweeeeeeez and Zappa Plays Zappa will be making an appearance. It will also give me a chance to relive my salad days a bit because I believe the last time Oxford had a big concert like this was back in 1988 when the Grateful Dead and Little Feat showed up and I made the trek with some college friends. The locals didn’t really appreciate tens of thousands of revelers dropping by (and dropping acid) , banned big concerts from the town, and haven’t had one since.

    Anyhoo, speaking of salad days here’s the Dweez. Note the drummer asking a question that may come in handy at said large music festival – “Where can I go to get my stomach pumped?” :P Take us on out!

    • Stemella permalink*
      April 9, 2010 8:50 am

      Man, would I ever love to go to that! Hmmm. Might investigate the possibility. Last time I was in Maine was in 1977 or thereabouts. The festival really does look like a great one and it would be amazing to run into you there! I also have a friend who has an organic farm outside Burlington I’d love to visit while out that way. hmmmm, indeed :)

      As to these Winterband freaks who strongly resemble honky Taliban or possibly Amish with delusions of Jefferson Airplane on the brown acid, WHOA!

      The Hippie on a stick ain’t him bwahahahaaha!!!

      The only proper response to ALL of that is Weird Al

      • cometman permalink*
        April 9, 2010 9:14 am

        Let me know if you make the trip. I’m not sure if I can go yet or not. People won’t stop getting married and screwing up my summer plans :) Looks like tickets are going pretty quickly so I’m going to have to figure it out soon.

        And that Weird Al song was awesome!

  2. cometman permalink*
    April 9, 2010 8:22 am

    Huh. Researchers use little worms to discover the active ingredients in herbal mixtures.

    At first glance I thought this might be one of the bullshit articles Science Daily lets slip in from time to time but it comes from PLoS ONE.

    Eating ginseng root may extend the lifespan of tiny little worms but I am putting the worms on notice that eating azalea leaves when they come out in a couple weeks definitely will not.

    • Stemella permalink*
      April 9, 2010 8:59 am

      Murderer! ;)

      I’m going through that DEVO song study list and I’m about ready to put that dweeb in the polyester suit on notice! Great songs though.

  3. cometman permalink*
    April 9, 2010 8:39 am

    Good one from the Guardian – Blowback in Kyrgyzstan.

    …the unexpected swiftness with which an unpopular regime was swept aside, and the potentially seismic impact it has on the US war effort in Afghanistan – is a good reminder of the inevitable breaking point produced by a US foreign policy semantically dedicated to human rights – that looks the other way while “strategic allies” loot their countries’ assets, murder their journalists, and send troops out to gun people down in the streets.

    Nobody ever learns.

    • Stemella permalink*
      April 9, 2010 9:23 am

      Looking the other way while a country in the sphere of influence commits atrocities … an American specialty. It sounds exactly like the US role in Central America over the last century. 12th dimensional chess indeed, Obama and bots. Different band covering the same old song.

  4. cometman permalink*
    April 9, 2010 9:11 am

    More about the new nuke treaty. Isreal is canceling its trip to <o's nuke conference next week because Bibi just doesn’t think it’s relevant to his fine upstanding nation.

    “This conference is about nuclear terrorism,” Netanyahu told reporters on Wednesday. “And I’m not concerned that anyone will think that Israel is a terrorist regime. Everybody knows a terrorist and rogue regime when they see one, and believe me they see quite a few — around Israel.”

    The article doesn’t mention whether he managed to get the whole statement out with a straight face or not.

    Here’s one thing I haven’t seen anybody mention so far. <O said that the US would not nuke any non-nuclear countries or signatories to the nuclear nonproliferation treaty but reserved the right to blow Iran back to the stone age just for shits and giggles. Perhaps <o is unaware that Iran is a non-nuclear nation according the the IAEA and El Baradei and is also a signatory to the nonproliferation treaty. Reports that Iran may be working to get nukes in the future have come from the new guy at the IAEA who the US likes a lot better, have been inconclusive at best, and have been refuted by people who have actually been right about these things in the past.

    That would seem to render <o's words on this subject essentially meaningless. But the unthinking cheerleaders keep lapping them up.

  5. Stemella permalink*
    April 9, 2010 9:27 am

    Updated footage on Thai uprising

    Thai protesters storm telecoms company

    • cometman permalink*
      April 9, 2010 9:41 am

      Interesting. Still can’t get a good read on this Thaksin guy. Mentioned earlier that I get hints of both W Bush and Hugo Chavez but he also sounds like he may have a little Berlusconi in him too. At any rate it doesn’t sound like a crackdown by the government would be successful as the police are likely to join the protesters like they did back when Milosevic got ousted.

    • cometman permalink*
      April 9, 2010 10:53 am

      Here’s an older article on Thaksin that sheds a little more light. If I’ve got this right, after his ouster a populist political party aligned with him took control until the current government took power with the aid of the military. The descriptions of what Thaksin actually did to be forced into becoming a fugitive are still vague though. Something about tax evasion by one of his subordinates.

      Too bad for Thaksin he wasn’t from the US. Then instead of being indicted, the subordinate would have been promoted to Treasury Secretary.

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

    More of the same ol shit exploit the third world policy from the World Bank

    World Bank’s $3.75bn coal plant loan defies environment criticism

    The World Bank approved a controversial $3.75bn loan to build one of the world’s largest coal plants in South Africa yesterday, defying international protests and sharp criticism from the Obama administration that the project would fuel climate change.

    The proposed Medupi power station, operated by South Africa’s state-owned Eskom company, was fiercely opposed by an international coalition of grassroots, church and environmental activists who said it would hurt the environment and do little to help end poverty. As planned, it would put out 25m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year and would prevent South Africa making good on a promise to try to curb future emissions.

    The bank said it had acted to help South Africa escape a crippling power shortage. “Without an increased energy supply, South Africans will face hardship for the poor and limited economic growth,” said Obiageli Ezekwesili, the World Bank’s vice president for Africa.

    But the bank’s approval for the Medupi plant, though expected, was overshadowed by dissatisfaction from American and European donors, as well as a groundswell of protests.

    America, Britain, the Netherlands, Italy and Norway registered their opposition to the loan by abstaining from the vote, the traditional method of dissent on the board which operates by consensus.

    Lotsa yadda yadda from US and Euro leaders. What are they going to DO about it?


    • cometman permalink*
      April 9, 2010 9:45 am

      Whaddya expect? I bet you can guess what the current World Bank president’s previous job was without even checking this link.

      • Stemella permalink*
        April 9, 2010 12:02 pm

        A goldiesuckin squid, yep, I guessed it. His face is too much, so damn smarmy with eyebrows of an archvillian.

        Ick personified – much like his predecessor.

  7. cometman permalink*
    April 9, 2010 11:46 am

    Link dump.

    In the tangled web department, check out this little blurb from Ken Silverstein and follow the links – Two Former Senators May Find Themselves Out of Board Positions with Kyrgyz Revolution.

    More on what to expect from our new and improved Mass.- style health care system – Massachusetts Health Insurance “Market” Just Failed, And There’s Worse to Come.

    And the zerohedgies have added to some WSJ data and found that it’s quite likely Lehman wasn’t and isn’t the only one engaging in Repo-105 type schemes – Evidence That Primary Dealers Have Collectively Engaged In Repo 105 And Qtr-End Book Cooking Type Schemes For Years.

  8. artemis54 permalink
    April 9, 2010 12:00 pm

    Never can find an icepick when I need to puncture my ear drums so this rusty phillips screwdriver will just have to do.

    • cometman permalink*
      April 9, 2010 12:11 pm

      Ha! I was thinking that when you get disgusted with Klub Kumquat you could always drop some of those videos on them. Might be a nice alternative to Tready.

    • Stemella permalink*
      April 9, 2010 12:12 pm

      Be sure to dip it in alcohol first, ya know, sanitation and all. wouldn’t want to get an infection, ;)

  9. cometman permalink*
    April 9, 2010 12:19 pm

    And in the “if we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane” department, check out this crazy bastard – Aussie’s Afghan travel show a tribute to crazy love.

    The guy quit his job in Australia to go meet an Afghan woman, got dumped and sort of stranded there until an Afghan TV producer found him and asked him to host a travel show.

    It’s amazing what a man with a broken heart will do. Join up with the Afghan army. Rollerblade through the Taliban’s spiritual capital in spandex shorts and a pink tank top sporting the slogan “Dead or Alive.”

    Perform rapper Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” as part of a cultural exchange in the Afghan desert with bewildered Kuchi nomads.

    Along the way, consult a scorpion doctor to exercise the genies cast upon your soul by an ex-girlfriend.

    What started out as a romantic quest for love in Kabul for Australian filmmaker Sabour Bradley quickly turned into an irreverent, some might say reckless, five-month journey across Afghanistan. That odyssey is now the focus of a six-hour travel series, “The Extreme Tourist: Afghanistan.”

    The trailer –

    Have a great weekend everybody!

  10. sisdevore permalink
    April 11, 2010 12:10 pm

    I love the faux background. or foreground.

  11. cometman permalink*
    April 12, 2010 9:38 am

    Ha! Touching your rosary isn’t going to cut it – Richard Dawkins wants to see Pope Benny transferred from his current penile institution in Rome to a penal one .

  12. Stemella permalink*
    April 12, 2010 9:51 am

    Someone throw me a rope, I’ve been sucked into reading far too much kumquat metastasis from the weekend. There has been much high comedy there between the sparring gangs, rending and shredding of fabric, wiping of tears, shivving in between shoulderblades, in short, the usual antics of interblogoballistic warfare. Awesome entertainment while I was laid up with my own battles with pollen and allergies. I never used to be allergic to much, and I must say, it truly sucks, because spring is my favorite outdoors season.

    • cometman permalink*
      April 12, 2010 10:10 am

      Hmmm. Maybe this will help with the allergies –

      Not sure what to do about the metastasis :p All my sockpuppets are currently deceased so I haven’t been paying much attention over there lately. If I had one I’d drop the wonder of Winterband on them.

      • Stemella permalink*
        April 12, 2010 10:38 am

        Haha! Love that kermit. The song? Ahhhhhhhhhh earworm! I still have that record from ancient history, Nilsson Schmilsson.

        Here’s another one of his from the same album on youtube with eyecandy

  13. cometman permalink*
    April 12, 2010 9:52 am

    Looks like we won’t be getting any real justice from <O any time soon according to these two posts from Greenwald.

    First he discusses the specualtion that Elena Kagan will replace the retiring Justice Stevens and turn the court further to the right. She seems to be quite enamored with the Bush/Obama policies of executive privilege and the Right can’t get enough of her.

    Meanwhile, Dawn Johhnsen, who actually opposes the Bush/Obama policies of torture, rendition, illegal spying etc has withdrawn as the nominee to head the Office of Legal Counsel since her confirmation has been held up and Obama did nothing to further it. Greenwald reads the tea leaves:

    I don’t know the real story behind what happened here — I had an email exchange with Johnsen this afternoon but she was only willing to provide me her official, pro forma, wholly uninformative statement — but here’s what I do know: virtually everything that Dawn Johnsen said about executive power, secrecy, the rule of law and accountability for past crimes made her an excellent fit for what Candidate Obama said he would do, but an awful fit for what President Obama has done.

    More here – The Savaging of Dawn Johnsen.

    • Stemella permalink*
      April 12, 2010 10:46 am

      He’ll appoint another centrist insuring the Court will stay center right for the rest of our lives. Centrism with Raygun tendencies is core to <O's being. I have finally come to acknowledge that completely.

      • cometman permalink*
        April 12, 2010 10:53 am

        The longer he’s in office, the more Reagan I see. Just a kinder more articulate facade for fascism. I don’t care how much he claims that he’s trying to help or how much the vapid cheerleaders who lack the ability to think wave their pompoms- he’s done more than Reagan ever dreamed of to take us further down the road to tyranny.

  14. cometman permalink*
    April 12, 2010 10:17 am

    The military learned absolutely nothing from the recently released wikileaks video detailing their atrocities against journalists and decided to strafe a bus full of civilians over the weekend for no apparent reason, even as another wikileaks video of even more atrocities is pending.

    Chris Floyd has more – The Pentagon’s Cult of Killing Strikes Again. The part at the end where he reiterates an earlier article comparing the WWII generation to our current bloodthirsty military was quite good:

    In-depth studies by the U.S. Army after WWII showed that between 80 to 85 percent of the greatest generation never fired their weapons at an exposed enemy in combat, as military psychologist Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman reports. Many times they had the chance, but could not bring themselves to do it. They either withheld their fire altogether or else shot into the air, to the side, anywhere but at the fellow human beings – their blood kin in biology, mind and mortality – facing them across the line. This reticence is even more remarkable given the incessant demonization of the enemy by the top brass, especially in the Pacific, where the Japanese – soldiers and civilians – were routinely portrayed by military propaganda as simian, sub-human creatures fit only for extermination.


    Yet strangely enough, this new model army, imbued with eager “warrior spirit,” has not produced the kind of lasting victories won by the reluctant fifteen-percenters of yore. It was stalemated in Korea, defeated in Vietnam, chased out of Lebanon and Somalia, balked in Afghanistan (where 40,000 Taliban troops slipped away to fight again and drug-dealing warlords rule the countryside), while its two excursions into Iraq have ended first in irresolution (with “worse-than-Hitler” Saddam still on his throne) and now in bloody quagmire.

    Could it be that the systematic degradation of natural morality and common human feeling – especially in the service of dubious ends – is not actually the best way to achieve national greatness?

  15. Stemella permalink*
    April 12, 2010 10:17 am

    Ever tried a Tactical Nuclear Penguin?

    and I thought Newcastle Ale was the piss on a penny, knockya on yer bum sort of beverage.

    • cometman permalink*
      April 12, 2010 10:29 am


      “We’re keen to push the envelope,” says Jim Watt, one of BrewDog’s co-founders, “and challenge people’s perceptions of how beer can be enjoyed.”

      I’m not sure beer can technically be enjoyed from face down in the gutter after one bottle.

      • Stemella permalink*
        April 12, 2010 10:58 am

        I’m pretty sure that will fuckup alotta Toddy’s ;)

  16. cometman permalink*
    April 12, 2010 10:42 am

    Brooksley Born asks some questions about synthetic CDOs. Pretty decent explanation of what they’re all about.

    And Washington’s Blog has a good post with lots of links about an idea growing in popularity – debt repudiation. If this idea is going to gain traction among the population at large, this idea needs to be hammered home:

    The most cynical (but not necessarily inaccurate) view of debt I’ve seen is that banks loan out imaginary money they don’t really have, which money is “collateralized” by capital they do not really have, which is, in turn, based upon central bank printing presses which create money out of thin air which the central banks don’t really have. But then when debtors have trouble repaying onerous loans, the bankers seize real assets.

    Yeah it’s a somewhat simplistic argument, but I don’t feel it’s inaccurate either. I don’t think it’s a justification for nobody ever having to pay back money borrowed from banks, but in the absence of regulation that allows banks to shackle people and entire nations with onerous loans, refusing to pay them back may be the only way to ever get the system to change. The oligarchs sure aren’t in any hurry to change a system that lavishes them with ill-gotten wealth.

  17. cometman permalink*
    April 12, 2010 11:02 am

    Really amazing post from Cosmic Variance regarding new observations of the star Epsilon Aurigae.

    This star is a binary system where one star eclipses the other every 27 years. The observed light was not like most other binaries which led to a theory that was kind of convoluted and not very likely – astronomers postulated that the second star was surrounded by a huge disc of debris that hadn’t coalesced into planets and was on edge from the vantage point of earth so that it didn’t completely block the light from the primary star. Now that technology has advanced to the point where researchers don’t need to rely on mathematical models and can simply take a picture.

    They did, and it turns out they were right.

    • Stemella permalink*
      April 12, 2010 11:18 am

      That is fascinating! and even logical. :)

  18. cometman permalink*
    April 12, 2010 12:01 pm

    Can somebody just arrest this old sack of shit before he gets away by dying on us? – The Case Against Kissinger Deepens.

    • Stemella permalink*
      April 12, 2010 1:42 pm

      But, but, but <O must keep sending him to China to beg, I mean negotiate

      I think I might have been there. If it was in Oakland, I was. Hazy to say the least.

    • artemis54 permalink
      April 12, 2010 1:48 pm

      Gee, what a surpise.

      We’ve only been asking this same question for about 35 years. Maybe if he abducted a white woman live on Fox News.

  19. cometman permalink*
    April 13, 2010 7:49 am

    Catholic priest makes a call for Benny’s resignation from the pulpit, receives standing ovation from the congregation.

    This makes an interesting parallel with the political situation in this country. At my local 2008 Democratic caucus Dennis Kucinich had already dropped out of the race but one local guy got up and spoke on his behalf anyway advocating for an end to illegal war, for single payer health care, etc and got a HUGE round of applause from the couple thousand people there, larger than for the candidates who were actually still running. Anecdotal evidence to be sure, but I think it goes to show that people do know what the right thing to do is when they hear it and would like to see it done. But in top heavy institutions like the Church or the US Congress, the “leadership” is so busy grasping for power and all the perks that come with it that they are completely unresponsive to those within their institutions who do have a conscience and to the will of the people they are supposed to be acting on behalf of.

    I’m glad this priest spoke up but it’s more likely that he’ll be excommunicated than that the Pope will step down, just as it’s more likely that Kucinich will lose his House seat before anyone in Congress mentions single payer publicly except to tell us we can’t have it.

  20. artemis54 permalink
    April 13, 2010 8:05 am

    This is a fun article, relevant to Stemella’s comment the other day on traditional English breakfasts:

    How the English breakfast has changed with Britain is a kind of culinary tour of the “Full English” breakfast in endlessly self referential modern England. (This is not to mock English Mongrel Pride. They have been a proudly motley people for a long long time, and rightly so.) We hear of the new variations, the Full Polish, the Full Muslim, and what we’d probably call the Full Marin:

    “Janet comes down here with a tray of eggs that are still covered in shit, straight out of the chicken’s arse. You don’t get fresher than that.” The black pudding is made with haggis to give it a richer taste. The bread is baked across the road. Best of all, though, is the bacon, dry cured in Guinness and treacle in Suffolk (near a village where Andy used to live, so that’s sort of local). “It costs four times as much as the best at the cash and carry, but it has got six or seven times the flavour.”

    This is the way my grandfather ate – in preparation for a 10-12 hour work day that was largely physical labor and mostly out in the elements. They needed the grease, the protein, all of it.

    The article never takes us north of the Tweed, where I found it pretty easy to go day after day on what I’d call the Full Skye – two giant kippers, local; tomato from god knows; local eggs; a bit of orange; fresh muffin; coffee that would choke a Seattlite. Of course, that was in anticipation of a few hours of hiking, which perhaps is what made it taste so good.

    • cometman permalink*
      April 13, 2010 8:26 am

      That was a good one. My grandfather ate the same way too, bacon or sausage that he made himself and eggs fresh from the chicken butt. Such a meat and potato family that my dad claims he never ate pasta at all until he got married.

  21. cometman permalink*
    April 13, 2010 8:08 am

    More on mess that is the Mass. health care system

    A Suffolk Superior Court judge yesterday denied a request that would have let six Massachusetts health insurers go forward with double-digit rate hikes for tens of thousands of small businesses and individuals, setting up a protracted battle that could become a test of government’s role in controlling health care costs.

    Judge Stephen E. Neel’s decision against granting the preliminary injunction sought by insurance companies means the state’s rejection of 235 proposed rate increases stands for now. The higher rates would have taken effect April 1.

    But –

    Jay McQuaide, vice president at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the state’s largest health insurer, said the judge’s decision was limited to the issue of whether insurers could boost rates immediately and does not mean regulators will ultimately prevail.

    “We’re confident in the final outcome of the case,’’ McQuaide said. “We’ll be playing the process out. We look forward to having an opportunity to demonstrate that the costs we filed are appropriate and reflect the expected medical costs of insuring these customers.’’

    And here’s something that seems pretty important –

    During a court hearing last week, the insurers’ lawyer, Dean Richlin, suggested some insurers might “go out of business’’ or go into state receivership if they can’t cover their costs.

    Wouldn’t that kind of be the solution to this entire mess – a government takeover of health insurance programs? Just say “Sorry we tried private insurance but it just wasn’t working out”. Unfortunately I think it’s far more likely that the state will just cave in or the insurance companies will just hide increases in their already Byzantine billing process.

    But since <O is supposedly playing 18 dimensional chess and has just used the Mass. plan as a model for the “reform” the whole country must now endure, putting health insurers into receivership rather than bailing them out when they cry poverty would be a great way to prove he’s up to something other than just giving handouts to his corporate benefactors.

    Once again, I won’t be holding my breath until this occurs.

  22. cometman permalink*
    April 13, 2010 8:44 am

    After courting the wingnuts for the presidential election, McCain is trying to distance himself from them now that one of them is challenging him for his Senate seat. Not sure whether to laugh at this ad or at his craven attempts to figure out which way the wind is blowing, but here’s the latest from his campaign –

    • artemis54 permalink
      April 13, 2010 9:14 am

      wow. There’s the elder statesman we need.

      You sure he is isn’t running for frat president? Aging with dignity doesn’t seem to be his strong suit. I guess afflicting us with Mosselini just wasn’t enough, he’s going to continue to abase himself until he winds up with Vicki Lawrence doing vegematic commercials.

  23. cometman permalink*
    April 13, 2010 9:01 am

    Couple of interesting articles about life in deep sea vents.

    A British expedition has discovered the deepest black smokers yet.

    And other researchers have found that when these vents undergo volcanic eruptions which destroy the life around them, they are repopulated with different organisms and speculate that the larvae may travel great distances on undersea “superhighways”.

  24. cometman permalink*
    April 13, 2010 11:23 am

    Good one from Mike Whitney which documents how the Bush administration promoted and encouraged subprime lending and then turned a blind eye to all the fraud. He also takes aim at my favorite, WAMU – Will WaMu Pay for Its Crimes?

    A quote taken from the LA Times:

    At times, WaMu selected and securitized loans that it had identified as likely to go delinquent or securitized loans in which the company had discovered fraudulent activity, such as misstated income, without disclosing the information to investors, the subcommittee found. The company’s pay practices exacerbated the problem by rewarding loan officers and processors based on how many mortgages they could churn out.

    One of the reasons I chose to work for WAMU rather then elsewhere is precisely because they used to tout their involvement in low income communities and they looked like a nicer business than your typical bank. Of course much of the info I was going on was from lengthy articles that their PR department somehow got placed in the Seattle newspapers talking about what friendly corporate citizens they were (somebody at WAMU must have greased some palms to get free articles written rather than having to pay for actual advertisements). Didn’t take too long on the job to realize that it was all just PR and the reality of the situation was far different. And as somebody who did help process loans for WAMU, I can verify that rather than giving employees raises, WAMU made pay contingent on the number of loans a branch processed among other things . But the loans were the main driver of the monthly bonus compensation for all branch employees. The base pay for most branch employees was substantially lower than the $14/hour that the Seattle Times determined was necessary to make a living in Seattle at the time and the only way most could afford to get by was with the bonus structure which often equaled two weeks pay per month when things were booming.

  25. cometman permalink*
    April 13, 2010 11:38 am

    Here’s something I hadn’t heard about – The Privatization of Wildlife: How Ted Turner Scored Yellowstone’s Bison.

    Bison are currently only allowed in national parks, if they wander across the boundary they can be shot even on public lands due to the threat of brucellosis. Except brucellosis from wild buffalo doesn’t actually infect cows and cattle ranchers just don’t want wild buffalo competing with the herds they graze on public land.

    What’s driving the buffalo killings outside Yellowstone is the fact that a handful of ranchers graze cattle on the public lands adjacent to the park. The USDA and MDOL claim these livestock are at risk of contracting brucellosis, even though there has never been a single documented case of a wild buffalo transmitting the disease to cattle. Down in Wyoming’s Grand Teton Park buffalo that carry brucellosis antibodies commingle with cattle on a daily basis, yet there has not been a single contamination instance ever recorded.

    So now they’re giving buffalo to Ted Turner on his private ranch where it’s quite likely they’ll die of anthrax instead.

    Just two years ago a major anthrax outbreak occurred at Turner’s Flying D ranch, which is located just down the road from where the buffalo are today. Anthrax, a deadly bacteria, occurs in soil and remains dormant until it rains when the spores can become lethal. The anthrax on Turner’s ranch in 2008 took the lives of 257 of his domestic buffalo. It was also reported that at least two deer and 14 elk fell victim to the outbreak. A state veterinarian even recommended that cattle ranchers in the area vaccinate their cattle against Turner’s anthrax.

    Our government can’t seem to do anything that isn’t the exact opposite of what is actually required.

    • artemis54 permalink
      April 13, 2010 12:17 pm

      This scandal goes back quite some time now. Given the antics of the state of Montana and Wyoming, among others, I don’t even blame Turner much any more.

      Once upon a time I had this all written up for dkos, but, well, you know. The truth is no one actually cares.

  26. cometman permalink*
    April 13, 2010 12:11 pm

    Couple of good articles on the food supply.

    From Reuters – Special Report: Are regulators dropping the ball on biocrops? The answer would seem to be YES and the problem comes from the fact that independent testing is not allowed and the only tests that are done have to be approved by companies like Monsanto and DuPont. And we’re supposed to trust those results.

    But a November 2008 report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of the U.S. Congress, cited several problems. Among the shortcomings mentioned in the report is a lack of a coordinated program to determine whether the “spread of genetic traits is causing undesirable effects on the environment, non-GE segments of agriculture, or food safety.”

    The GAO took the FDA to task for not requiring companies like Monsanto and other GMO developers to notify the agency before selling new products, relying on only voluntary notice. It recommended the FDA publicize the results of food safety assessments of genetically engineered crops and advised the three agencies to develop a risk-based strategy to monitor use of GE crops.

    But more than a year later, most of the recommendations remain unimplemented, according to Lisa Shames, director of the natural resources and environment arm of the GAO.

    “We can only influence agencies to take action. We can’t compel them to,” she said.

    Would it really be that hard to require that new products be independently tested before they go on the market?

    This article discusses the many drawbacks of the Food, Inc system including the fact that modified crops have far less nutritional value, which would seem to put the lie to claims that modified crops are necessary to feed ever increasing populations.

    USDA studies reveal that the food currently grown on America’s chemical-intensive farms contains drastically less vitamins and essential trace minerals than the food produced 50 years ago (when far less pesticides and chemical fertilizers were used).

    The article encourages people to but organic which is not a bad idea if you can find real organic food. I’m more than willing to pay more for organic food but I’m not willing to pay more so they can package one green pepper in a cardboard container surrounded by a half mile of plastic wrap. That would seem to defeat the purpose of organic food and yet that is how much of it is packaged. I have no idea why the geniuses who market this stuff can’t figure out the contradiction here.

    • artemis54 permalink
      April 13, 2010 12:27 pm

      I have no idea why the geniuses who market this stuff can’t figure out the contradiction here.

      Follow the money.

      There is a lot of blame to go around here, starting with Suzy Q. Housewife. My favorite example is the Red Delicious apple, very early cultivars of which weren’t that bad. But like Tiger Woods the Red Delicious left this realm and became not merely a marketing tool but a whole new universe of marketing. A stop sign red color and the exaggerated high shoulders and dimpled bottom – are ya getting hot yet? – of the RD “type” were sold as somehow positive goods in themselves. These are the terms used: “typiness” became the only factor in which cultivar got planted or not and the only driver of the market. But Suzy Q was right there with them, feeding and driving the whole thing with her buying buck. What can you say of a people who are too stupid to recognize food any more? What can you do for them?

      • Stemella permalink*
        April 14, 2010 6:36 am

        soylent green?


        What we can do I suppose, is make sure their kids learn what real food is,decent school lunches, and field trips to farms, all kinds of farms. Of course that takes funding, which takes decent politicians and smart voters…. yeah, what can you do for them, indeed.

      • cometman permalink*
        April 14, 2010 6:49 am

        I’m a McIntosh eater myself – don’t go much for the Red Delicious. The few I’ve had in recent years are often very mealy. Maybe that’s a result of the excessive cultivation and inbreeding.

        Can apples be inbred? Well, you get the point… :)

        • artemis54 permalink
          April 14, 2010 12:07 pm

          I like early, unripe Golden Delicious, also Gala – very fragrant.

          Although I must confess after working in apple orchards for a few years one comes to see them as merely handy sources of rehydration.

  27. Stemella permalink*
    April 14, 2010 6:40 am

    This story about the Maltese Phallus and the Pope made me laugh

    ‘Phallic’ art sparks row ahead of Pope’s Malta visit

    It must have been quite a blue meanie to have such a big blue weenie! :)

  28. Stemella permalink*
    April 14, 2010 6:43 am

    Here’s a very good one from Tom Tomorrow. You’d think he’d been visiting Klub K or something.

    If real life were more like the Internet

    I have to be away again today, but I’ll put up a new thread this evening if this one is getting full.

    Until then, have a great day all.

    • cometman permalink*
      April 14, 2010 6:54 am

      Have a good day at the old grind. I’ll wait for your new thread. I was going to look around for something to put up but I’ve got nothing.

  29. cometman permalink*
    April 14, 2010 11:32 am

    Here’s something to keep an eye on. Vermont and other states are trying to pass laws supporting something called a B corporation.

    According to the Web site, B Corps. use “the power of business to solve social and environmental problems.” They are unlike traditional responsible businesses because they “meet comprehensive and transparent social and environmental performance standards; institutionalize stakeholder interests; and build collective voice through the power of a unifying brand.”

    They also appear to offer protection against hostile and not-too-hostile-but-not-too-benign-either takeovers.

    “You also embed your values into your corporate governing documents so they can survive new investors, new management and even new ownership,” the Web site says.

    In Vermont, the B Corp. bill is being promoted by in part by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenberg, who lost control of their ice cream company when it was bought out by the giant Unilever.


    Vermont is a natural place for this kind of corporation. Many companies here already believe in the triple bottom line of profit, people and planet. Many of Vermont’s large companies, for example, are employee-owned, including King Arthur Flour, Pizzagalli Construction, Carris Reels and Chroma Technology. Others, like Seventh Generation, lead the way in social responsibility. The nonprofit organization Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility has over 300 members; it supports the new law.

    More at the B Corporation website.

    One thing that sounds promising:

    …we set a benchmark which distinguishes “good companies” from “good marketing”

    We’ll have to wait and see whether this program lives up to its intentions however I remain skeptical that market solutions will solve the problems facing this planet. Sure some small companies may agree to stop using toxics or reduce their pollution, etc but until the big ones are required to and those requirements are stringently enforced I don’t see how much is going to change.

  30. cometman permalink*
    April 14, 2010 11:34 am

    This might be promising. Researchers use genetically modified viruses to replicate photosynthesis in the lab.

  31. artemis54 permalink
    April 14, 2010 12:11 pm

    Saving the northern quoll with airdrops of poisoned cane toad-flavored meatballs?

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