LEHIGH ACRES, FL - JANUARY 24: Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney holds a campaign event in front of a foreclosed home January 24, 2012 in Lehigh Acres, Florida. Romney continued his criticism of President Barack Obama before his State of the Union speech tonight. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
YOUNGSTOWN, OH - MARCH 05: Supporters of Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney stand with a puppet of U.S. President Barack Obama outside a Romney campaign rally at Taylor-Winfield Technologies on March 5, 2012 in Youngstown, Ohio. With one day to go before Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney is making one final push through Ohio. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
YOUNGSTOWN, OH - MARCH 05: Supporters of President Barack Obama gather outside a campaign rally fo Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at Taylor-Winfield Technologies on March 5, 2012 in Youngstown, Ohio. With one day to go before Super Tuesday, Mitt Romney is making one final push through Ohio. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
Mali Lošinj (Photo credit: aly24j)
flag of the Economic Community of West African States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My Feedly Feed your mind
Wax Fruit – a story inspired by Chuck Wendig’s Blackbirds
Regular readers may recall something from my recent post about Chuck Wendig’s riveting novel Blackbirds: But I couldn’t help but ask myself what Miriam I would write. And I end up with a psychic Emily Dickinson, a woman trying to avoid the world not by moving through it too quickly to be touched, but by withdrawing from it entirely. A woman damned not to touch or be touched by anyone, ever. Not mu
The Pacific Ocean Is Dying
A Special Report On the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe Just prior to the Supermoon of March 18th, 2011, the world witnessed a natural and manmade disaster of epic proportions. What transpired off the coast of Honshu Island, Japan on March 11 has forever altered the planet and irremediably affected the global environment. Whereas the earthquake and tsunami proved to be truly apocalyptic events for t
Humanity At The Height Of Folly Nuclear Power And Earthquake Zones
By Richard Wilcox 5-17-12 “Every living thing could use a little mercy now Only the hand of grace can end the race Towards another mushroom cloud People in power, well They’ll do anything to keep their crown I love life, and life itself could use some mercy now Yeah, we all could use a little mercy now I know we don’t deserve it But we need it anyhow We hang in the balance Dangle ‘tween hell and h
Romney Economics: Job Loss and Bankruptcy at Ampad
Published on May 21, 2012 by BarackObamadotcom Learn more: http://www.romneyeconomics.com With American Pad & Paper (Ampad), Mitt Romney and his partners took a small but successful paper products business and merged it with other companies in the industry, piling up debt as they went. Ultimately, the company was unable to keep up with the interest payments on its debt and was forced into ba
CNBC Analyst: Bain Capital ‘Fired A Lot Of People’ To Get ‘Prosperity For The Rich’
Think Progress By Travis Waldron on May 20, 2012 at 12:36 The private equity firm co-founded by presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney “fired a lot of people” to get “prosperity for the rich,” CNBC analyst Jim Cramer said during an appearance on Meet The Press this morning. During a panel discussion on the effectiveness of an ad from President Obama’s campaign highlighting Romney’s past
WATCH: Strategist Behind Proposed Reverend Wright Attack Ad Has Long History Of Race-Baiting
GOP Strategist Fred Davis Think Progress By Annie-Rose Strasser on May 17, 2012 at 11:35 am A group of GOP strategists is planning to pull out all the stops — including racism — in its campaign strategy to defeat President Obama, the New York Times reported today. The Times obtained a proposal, crafted by race-baiting GOP media consultant Fred Davis, that says the group will go after Obama for hi
G.O.P. ‘Super PAC’ Weighs Hard-Line Attack on Obama
The New York Times By JEFF ZELENY and JIM RUTENBERG Published: May 17, 2012 WASHINGTON — A group of high-profile Republican strategists is working with a conservative billionaire on a proposal to mount one of the most provocative campaigns of the “super PAC” era and attack President Obama in ways that Republicans have so far shied away from. Timed to upend the Democratic National Convention in Se
The GOP’s Dukakis Problem
Among Republican partisans, it's peak season for trash-talk. Polls show President Obama and Mitt Romney engaged in a close race, with Obama having a one- to two-point edge when recent polls are averaged. If you believe recent conservative punditry, though, it's already game over. The fat lady has sung. Obama is a one-and-done president. "It's mushroom cloud after mushroom cloud for President Obam
Our Silent Spring
Fifty years ago, America was on its way to being the kind of place few species would want to inhabit. Toxic waste flowed into rivers, soot floated out of smokestacks and pesticides were driving some species to the brink of extinction. Then, amid the turbulence of the 1960s and early 1970s, people began to realize that the earth might be something worth protecting. The result was our modern framewo
Yes, We Can Walk and Chew Gum
One of the most overused metaphors in a writer's arsenal is the one about "walking and chewing gum at the same time." As a hiker and Big League Chew enthusiast, I particularly hate this cliché. Nonetheless, I feel it is fitting right now because it so perfectly summarizes the argument being made by Republicans. They now insist that America cannot simultaneously walk the walk on equal rights and al
Javier Sicilia: Leading His Caravan to Washington
Last summer, the eyes of the Mexican people were fixed upon Javier Sicilia, a poet, columnist, and the spokesman of a new social movement, the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity. As Sicilia and his fellow activists toured through Mexico in a "Caravan for Peace," they called for fundamental political and social reforms and for a radical reassessment of Mexican (and U.S.) drug policies. In
Q&A: No Single Country Can Forecast Climate Change Alone
Cuban climate change scientists have been sharing their research findings and experience over the past few years with the rest of the Caribbean islands, using PRECIS, a regional climate modelling system, to help design adaptation policies.
While Men Go Drinking, Women Go Fishing
Climate change may have led to declining water levels in Genda Village in Zambia's Eastern Province, but Mercy Mwanza and the women here discovered there was a positive side to it and found a new way to earn a living.
Bangladesh Set to Take the Reins at Rio+20
Experts believe that the upcoming United Nations Earth Summit, Rio+ 20, scheduled to take place in Brazil from Jun.20-22, could be a real opportunity for Bangladesh to negotiate a road to sustainable development.
Dispatch: Algeria's "nif"
Since there was a lot of interest in Abu Ray's recent piece on Algeria, I have asked friend-of-the-blog Geoff Porter if I could reproduce an email he sent me just before the parliamentary elections there. Geoff's take is quite unique, and while I'm not sure what to make of it (having not been to Algeria) I thought it was worth sharing. Let us know what you think of it. Parliamentary elections on 1
When Pizza Becomes Policy
Like US policy in Bahrain, this looks repulsive. Credit: Arabian Business Paul Mutter sends in this inspired analogy on US policy towards Bahrain, where the crackdown continues. Pizza Hut’s Crown Crust Pizza is a good metaphor for up the US’s Bahrain policy: stuff ’em full of meats and cheeses in the hopes that such largesse predisposes them to better hear us out on human rights. This month the US
Links May 13-20 2012
Getting back to blogging... Egyptian presidential hopefuls travel across country in bid for votes - The Washington Post For Egypt, an unusual presidential campaign: No one knows who will win The Egyptian Republic of Retired Generals - By Zeinab Abul-Magd | The Middle East Channel "A republic of retired generals par excellence" - Can any president demilitarise #Egypt? AFP: Legendary singer Ward
Dispatch: The Algerian exception?
Election posters in Algiers (credit: Abu Ray) Our friend Abu Ray, a journalist covering North Africa, sent in this dispatch from Algeria where he was to cover the recent parliamentary elections, in which the ruling FLN won against expectations that Islamist parties would do well, as they have done in neighboring Tunisia and Morocco. The Islamists and many others have decried widespread fraud and t
"Failure to fix Egypt's economy could lead to second revolution"
That's the conclusion of a new paper by Jane Kinnimont for Chatham House [PDF], which argues that too much of what politicians promise is vague and without basis, that the Muslim Brothers could find themselves soon at odds with labor movements, that the subsidy system now in place is both failing to address inequality and costing the government too much, and much more. It's worth reading alongsid
Houston Area 2012 Memorial Day Events
Memorial Day 2012 is Monday, May 28. Here is my annual posting of Memorial Day facts and links. As always, there will be a number of events observing Memorial Day in the Greater Houston area. The leading event each year is at the Houston VA Cemetery. At the bottom of this post are details of the 2012 events from the website of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Fort Bend County will be observing
Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up—The Work Of Freedom Is Up To Each Of Us
Here is the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas. Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, wri
Memorial Day 2012 Is May 28—Memorial Day Facts & Links
In 2012, Memorial Day is Monday, May 28. This post has some history on the origins of Memorial Day and, also, links appropriate for Memorial Day ( We’ve been fighting wars for a long time. Above is an engraving by Amos Doolittle of the Battle of Lexington and Concord in 1775.) Here is a brief explanation of the origins of Memorial Day— Memorial Day originated in 1868, when Union General John A.
An Empty Hall
Above is a picture I took last week of an empty hall. You can (barely) see that something is showing on the screen in the hall. This scene made me think about blogging, or about any venture in which you make an effort and hope folks will show up. Though the fact there is something showing on the screen despite the absence of an audience, makes the point that you have to proceed in any case if you
Antimatter: The Production Problem
Antimatter is so tantalizing a prospect for propulsion that every time a new slant on using it appears, I try to figure out its implications for long-haul missions. But the news, however interesting, is inevitably balanced by the reality of production problems. There’s no question that antimatter is potent stuff, with the potential for dealing out a thousand times the energy of a nuclear fission r
100 Year Starship Organization Launches
Today was to have been devoted to antimatter, continuing the discussion not only of how to produce the stuff on Earth or harvest it in nearby space, but how to create the kind of propulsion system that could tap its enormous energies. But the Dorothy Jemison Foundation for Excellence released its first public announcement about the 100 Year Starship yesterday, and I want to go right to that story
Antimatter: Finding the Fuel
In Stephen Baxter’s wonderful novel Ark (Roc, 2010), a team of scientists works desperately to come up with an interstellar spacecraft while epic floods threaten the Earth. The backdrop gives Baxter the chance to work through many of our current ideas about propulsion, from starships riding a wave of nuclear explosions (Orion) to antimatter possibilities and on into Alcubierre warp drive territory
The SNC – Conversation between Kodmani, Labwani, & Landis
Joshua Landis, Bassma Kodmani (spokesperson for the Syrian National Council), and Kamal Labwani (opposition leader who recently broke away from the SNC) discuss the Syrian opposition on aljazeera English. May 20, 2012 Afghan war dominates NATO summit: Obama announces that Assad must leave: NATO commander says that NATO will not intervene in Syria. Economy: Three articles from Cham Press about the
Opposition Says it has Killed Top Six Regime Figures, But Claim is Doubtful
This photo of an opposition banner hung on a dormitory at the University of Aleppo shows the growing reach of the opposition in Aleppo. Another sign of the growing capability of the opposition is its ability to set off car bombs with growing regularity near intelligence offices and in Syria’s major cities, such as this one: Car bomb hits Syrian city of Deir al-Zour, killing 9 instantly and woundi
Election Results of the May 7, 2012 Syrian Elections
Mawal95 wrote up this very useful news summary of the results of the May 7, 2012 parliamentary elections in Syria, copied below. In short, the Baath party has won an even larger victory in the 7 May 2012 parliamentary elections than it did in previous elections. The Ba’ath party has won a majority of around 60% of the 250 parliamentary seats. Previously, the Baath had a majority of just over 50% o
The SNC in Trouble as Ghalioun Offers to Resign
deaths on Syria map Total deaths, by governorates, March 2011 through April 14, 2012 The SNC is in deep trouble. Burhan Ghalioun has offered to resign as soon as another leader can be chosen, even though he was recently reelected to a new three-month term. The SNC is ripping itself apart. From the beginning, the SNC leadership has been troubled by deep divisions within the Council and accusations
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Peeling or Trading Onions?
J.P. Donleavy used to be a popular author. He made a big splash with The Ginger Man, but many readers lost interest when it became apparent in The Saddest Summer of Samuel S and The Onion Eaters that he kept writing the same book. Donleavy comes to mind when following efforts over the past two decades by Pakistani and Indian diplomats to negotiate confidence-building and nuclear risk-reduction mea
Saola still a mystery 20 years after its spectacular debut
Two decades after the sensational discovery of a new ungulate species called the saola, this rare animal remains as mysterious and elusive as ever. WWF, the Saola Working Group (SWG) of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) warn the species is sliding towards extinction because of intensive hunting pressure and poor reserve management. A cousin of c
WWF forest programme welcomes review; initiates key changes
WWF is welcoming an in-depth evaluation of its Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) and has announced plans to initiate several changes aimed at making the programme stronger and more effective. The evaluation, covering fiscal years 2008-2011, reaffirmed that GFTN is an important part of the forestry sector and has played a pivotal role in helping companies towards responsible forest managem
Tiger recovery efforts progressing, urgent action still needed to fight poaching
New Delhi, India – Tiger range countries in their first meeting to review efforts on doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022, reported significant progress, but recognized that urgent and elevated action is still needed to halt poaching. “Steady progress is being made towards meeting the goal of doubling wild tiger numbers,” said Mike Baltzer, Leader of WWF’s Tigers Alive Initiative. “But tig
UPDATE 2 (9:07PM Central Standard Time): For an easily accessible link to numerous livestreams and ustreams, go here.UPDATE 1 (8:50PM Central Standard Time): Arrests, police clubbing protesters, chaotic scenes on both ustreams.INITIAL POST: Occupy is making the connection between austerity at home and perpetual war abroad. This is the fourth day of marches in Chicago, marches conducted in the fac
I received a missive from a long-time friend this afternoon. I've known that she's moved toward the Republican side for some time, asked her not to send me stuff a while ago, so this was something of a surprise. It was pretty much incoherent, although the outrage was clear. Something about a crotch salute, which (I googled) has to do with the position of President Obama's hands in military circums
This Is Important
What I like about this news item is that it shows that nature just keeps on doing what it's doing, even when it might not seem that way.And that it's helpful to us humans, who, after all, are part of nature.
I flew to Wisconsin over the weekend. Leaving Milwaukee on Monday morning, my airplane was a smallish Embraer, three seats across, eighteen rows. That's a total of 54 people, a few less for the one-seat rows near the front.The temperature was in the low to mid seventies. Milwaukee's altitude is 581.2 feet, pretty close to sea level.As the temperature goes up, the air thins and it becomes more diff
Bits and Pieces - Rainbow Edition
Seems like there are a number of good posts on various equality themes today. And some others.The business about "first gay president" has seemed silly to me. Bill Clinton as "first black president" seemed silly too, although there was more basis that he had shared some of the culture. Simply coming out in favor of one group or another doesn't confer that group's experience and characteristics on
I'm not here next week, more's the pity, seeing as it looks like the Euro's about to collapse and everyone's going to starve to death as a result. We can though all meet our maker safe in the knowledge that a social networking site guaranteed to have been overtaken by something new within 5 years is, for the moment, worth billions of dollars in the United States. Here then are a few links to kee
Even the Mona Lisa is falling apart.
Well did you hear, there’s a natural order.Those most deserving will end up with the most.That the cream cannot help but always rise up to the top,Well I say: Shit floats.Today, Donna Summer died. Meanwhile, in London, the Ivor Novellos were taking place. The writers, that's the writers, not the public or record company executives, gave awards to Ed Sheeran, Adele and Take That. Oh, and PJ Harv
Oh, they hate things. Just the wrong things.
From time to time, there comes along an article that is so lacking in apparent awareness that it takes the breath away. When that same article is written with seeming direct input from the bowels of Downing Street, it makes you realise that two years in, this government is already away with the fairies.Steve Hilton then is gone. I personally thought he had already gone, and that the omnishambles
A belated Friday open thread: the espresso book making machine
by liberal japonicus This is perhaps not really open thread material, but this Forbes article about the Harvard bookstore and how they are fighting Amazon was interesting and perhaps related to Dr. Science's recent posts on the publishing industry. The centerpiece of the efforts is the espresso book making machine, which I have put a youtube video below the fold. I remember seeing one of thes
The Superhero Men Don't See: Evidence
by Doctor Science As I said in my Avengers reaction post, I was surprised and pleased by how the character of Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow was treated: she has a major role, not-particularly-exploitive clothing, and lots of action both physical and psychological. This is what my many friends in fandom see, too: I've seen a lot of reaction posts, and they all talk about how impressed they are with
FBI: Neo-Nazis Planned to Attack Mexican Consulate
Two members of a new white supremacist group in Minnesota discussed killing former associates in the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) and using homemade napalm in a truck bomb attack on the Mexican consulate in St. Paul, newly released court documents say. Joseph Benjamin Thomas, 42, of Mendota Heights, Minn., and Samuel James Johnson, 31, of [...]
Alleged Swedish Immigrant-Killer Bought Goods from U.S. Neo-Nazis
Peter Mangs, who went on trial in Sweden this week for allegedly killing three people and attempting to kill 12 others because he hated immigrants, apparently did business with America’s leading neo-Nazi organization at least once. Mangs is believed to have shot his victims, who included many Muslims and other immigrants in his home city of [...]
Canadian Conservative MP Ted Opitz’s Etobicoke Centre win overturned
Conservative MP Ted Opitz’s 2011 federal election win last year in Etobicoke Centre was declared null and void today in a challenge by former Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj. Opitz won the May 2011 election by 26 votes, but Wrzesnewskyj challenged the results over voting irregularities. Justice Thomas Lederer’s decision Friday in Toronto, if appealed, would be immediately heard by the Supreme Court
Misconduct charges are expected against 45 Toronto police officers involved in the G20 summit two years ago
By Zach Dubinsky and Dave Seglins, May 18, 2012 Misconduct charges are expected against 45 Toronto police officers involved in the G20 summit two years ago, including five senior officers, one of them the commander who gave the notorious order to “kettle” protesters. A copy of an investigative report carrying the logo of the provincial watchdog agency, the Office of the Independent Police Review D
He then prepared to move forward to Abydos, where a bridge had already been constructed across the Hellespont from Asia to Europe. Between Sestos and Madytus in the Chersonese there is a rocky headland running out into the water opposite Abydos. This headland was the point to which Xerxes’ engineers carried their two bridges from Abydos—a distance of two furlongs. One was constructed by the Phoeni
Bee kills in the corn belt: What's GE got to do with it?
In the last few weeks beekeepers have reported staggering losses in Minnesota, Nebraska and Ohio after their hives foraged on pesticide-treated corn fields. Indiana too, two years ago. What's going on in the Corn Belt? read more
Minnesota communities find pesticides in their air
Today Pesticide Action Network (PAN) is releasing Pesticide Drift Monitoring in Minnesota, a report that documents multiple pesticides in the air near homes and farms throughout Central Minnesota. This report is the result of diligent, on-the-ground monitoring by a group of citizens who have directly experienced harm from pesticide exposure — and are refusing to let it continue. Since joining
JoNova: Science, carbon, climate and tax
World Awash In Environmental Armageddon
Truth Frequency News
A Closer Look: Jody Paterson
In These Times
Inexplicata-The Journal of Hispanic Ufology
- As Max Keiser put it...`Hi...Im Jamie the TAPEWORM...got any MONEY for me to STEAL???`
- The ultra-rich betray America and it comes in many forms. Here are a few of the more outrageous, and destructive, examples.
- It's Gaia! "Possible New Evidence That Earth Is A Giant Living Organism"
- These are the folks who worked behind the scenes at the GCCF and are now coordinating the transition from the old GCCF to the new settlement program.
- West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office has declared a state of emergency. A spokesperson from the Sheriff's office said numerous tanks have exploded but their main concern is the two larger tanks that have not exploded. Officials believe the explosion was caused by a faulty valve on a tank.
- BP appears to be well on its way to concluding an estimated $7.8 billion settlement that will resolve most of its civil liability from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. But a potential landmine lurks in the settlement documents, and if disaster strikes the company will be able to invoke a little-noticed provision that allows it to walk away from the deal.
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