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Archive for April, 2008

NEWS WATCH! BUSHIES TAILOR SCIENCE TO POLICY

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Eco Thugs, Global Warming, Government Shenanigans, Health Watch, News Brief, Public Service Announcement, Toxic Living on April 24th, 2008

NEARLY 900 EPA SCIENTISTS REPORT EXPERIENCING “SIGNIFICANT ADMINISTRATION MANIPULATION” OF THEIR FINDINGS

bush_dunce2.jpgNearly 900 of our nation’s best and brightest scientists and climatologists working for the Environmental Protection Agency have reported experiencing firsthand meddling by Bush administration political operatives as the Bush flunkies fought to make the scientist’s findings fit administration policy.

This is according to a report issued earlier today by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit environmental organization.

While this latest data is not particularly surprising, the sad thing is that these findings are in keeping with what was found in other government agencies.

Per the report, nearly 900 of the aforementioned scientists claim to have “personally experienced at least one instance of political interference in the last five years”, while 394 scientists reported experiencing “frequent or occasional statements by EPA officials that misrepresent scientists’ findings.”

But the bad news does not end there. An additional fifth, or 285, reported “selective or incomplete use of their data to justify a ‘specific regulatory outcome’”.

As might be expected, an EPA spokesman, Jonathan Shradar, denied all allegations.

-LIB

READ MORE…

Union of Concerned Scientists Web Site

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QUERY! WHY ISN’T EVERY DAY EARTH DAY?

Posted in Conscious Media, Eco -Chic on April 22nd, 2008

WILL THIS BE THE YEAR THAT WHAT IS GOOD FOR THE EARTH BECOMES THE PRIORITY OF ALL OF THE EARTH’S PEOPLE?

globetemperature2033.jpgWith her recent ascension to the throne atop LA’s City Beat newspaper, regular friend of this site and our sister site, The Recovering Liberal, , Rebecca Schoenkopf, better known to fan and foe as “Commie Girl” has put together a fantastic, fitting earth day issue, the lead story of which I have linked to below.

Written by investigative journalist, Jim Washburn, formerly of the award winning Orange County Weekly, as was Ms. Schoenkopf, this posting says neatly and concisely much of what I would be touching on today, if this was not also my birthday and I didn’t have other plans. But rest assured, with Jim and Rebecca, you are in good hands.

See you all tomorrow.

-LIB

HEADIN’ FOR THE TAR PITS, ONE AND ALL
by Jim Washburn,
LA City Beat

“Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time …”
– Come on, you know the words, intone along –
“… for y’all have knocked her up,
I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe,
I was not offended,
For I knew I had to rise above it all,
Or drown in my own shit.”

That’s the intro to “Maggot Brain” by Funkadelic, in case you were absent when American History stopped dead as 10 minutes of Negro fuzztone lamentation washed over it in 1971. “What the truckful of fuck was that?” you might have asked then, for this was not progressive supergroup fuzz guitar; it was a raw cry, Funkadelic guitarist Eddie Hazel operating under first-take instructions from George Clinton to play as if he’d just heard his mother had died. Clinton didn’t tell him it was Mother Earth. That’s where that was coming from.

CONTINUE READING:

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HEALTH WATCH! NYC RESTAURANTS MUST LIST CALORES FOR ALL ITEMS

Posted in Conscious Actions, Health Watch, Healthy Food on April 18th, 2008

ESTIMATES ARE NEW REGS WILL PREVENT 130,000 NEW YORKERS FROM BECOMING OBESE AND 30,000 FROM DEVELOPING DIABETES OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS

fast_food_nation1.jpgKudos to Big Apple Federal Court judge, Richard Holwell, for his courageous, common sense ruling, earlier this week, upholding a new law requiring that calories be posted on the menu boards of most of the city’s chain restaurants. The judge made his ruling over the objections of the New York State Restaurant Association, a local trade group. “It seems reasonable,” Judge Holwell said in announcing his ruling, “to expect that some consumers will use the information disclosed … to select lower calorie meals … and these choices will lead to a lower incidence of obesity.”

The new law takes effect on April 21 and applies to restaurants with more than 15 outlets across the country.
Some restaurants including Starbucks and Chipotle have already started to post calories on menus.

Now if we only had that law and Judge Holwell here in the OC.

-LIB

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COMMENTARY: MORE OF THE SAME GIBBERISH

Posted in Administrative Arrogance, Clean Energy, Corporate Polluters, Eco Thugs, Global Warming, Government Shenanigans, News Brief, Presidential Crimes & Misdemeanors, Toxic Living on April 17th, 2008

BUSH’S LATEST ENVIRONMENTAL NON-PROPOSAL ALLOWS CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS TO PEAK IN 2025

s-bush-and-the-bunny-large.jpgWith the release, yesterday, of the latest White House plan to stop the growth of global warming emissions, George Bush all but guaranteed his standing as the most anti-environmental president in US history.”

The administrations proposal, sketchy that it is, calls for letting U.S. carbon dioxide emissions peak in 2025, though Mr. Bush has proposed no specifics on how to do so.

The President was specific, however, in refusing to consider any new taxes, trade barriers, or plans to abandon nuclear power, saying that the coal-burning electric utilities — the biggest single source of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions — need to find new high-tech ways of trapping greenhouse gases.

Per da prez, “if we fully implement our strong new laws, adhere to the principles I’ve outlined, and adopt appropriate incentives, we will put America on an ambitious new track for greenhouse gas reductions,” he said, before adding, “we’re doing a lot to protect this environment.”

Now any even marginal student of environmental issues knows that the president has no plan, whatsoever, to implement conservation policy at this late hour in his presidency, and this entire discussion is just empty words intended to placate an ever more environmentally aware population.

From the day he took office, Mr. Bush and his administration have rejected any and all attempts to enact any serious legislation to curb carbon dioxide emissions, citing on the rare occasion that he deemed to explain his actions, his belief in the Market Economy and the ability of corporations to self regulate.

We all know what a lot of crap that that is!

Moreover, I am willing to go out and a limb and speculate here that we will not see any significant change in environmental policy until Barrack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.

-LIB

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HEALTH WATCH! SCIENTISTS DISCOVER HOW TO GROW PORK, CHICKEN, AND BEEF THROUGH CELL CULTURE IN VATS

Posted in Corporate Polluters, Global Warming, Health Watch, Humane Treatment of Animals, New Scientific Data, News Brief, Sustainable Business on April 15th, 2008

HOW LONG BEFORE YOU CAN EAT MEAT AND BE ETHICAL, AND ENVIRONMENTAL, TOO?

cattle.jpegWouldn’t it be kinda nifty if it were possible to have all of the pork, chicken, and beef that anyone would ever want to chow down on, without the environmental and ethical consequences created by the outdated and barbaric process of raising and slaughtering cattle for food?

Well, thankfully the lab coat and pocket protector set think that this is as important as I do and have figured out a way to do something about it.

Their discovery, a procedure, known as Cultured Meat Technology, while still in its infancy, will in the years to come eliminate the need for most of the feedlots and slaughterhouses scattered around our world today, by making it possible to produce ample supplies of different meats through cell culture in vats.

Besides the fact that this new procedure will allow scientists to produce products high in beneficial nutrients and low in heart-debilitating fats, it will make it possible for us to eliminate several of the most prolific sources of methane gas production in our world today. A colorless, odorless gas, methane from cow belches and lower gastric discharges is a potent, greenhouse gas, as it traps 21 times more heat within our atmosphere than carbon dioxide, our most common and best known greenhouse gas.

To help wrap you mind around the scope of the methane issue and how important this discovery is to our continued existence on this planet, it’s important to understand that the methane released by the 1.3 billion cows alive on our planet today, (100 million in the US alone), is more harmful than all of the carbon monoxide fumes generated by all of the cars, trucks and planes in use today.

This does not mean that if we fix this problem, we can all run out and order without consequence, a three-ton gas-guzzler. No way, Jose! What it does mean is that, perhaps, we have bought ourselves a little time-out in our rush to destruction, time, which hopefully we will not squander with distractions, as has been our society’s ongoing MO.

The time has come when we as a civilized people can no longer allow the poorer nations of the earth to bulldoze large swaths of rain forest land to make way for cattle grazing as our society struggles to produce enough meats to supply the needs of the almost 9 billion people who currently call this planet home. Now why they cannot eat more meat substitutes, more tofu, tofutti, tempeh etc., is beyond me, but that is a topic for a different discussion.

-LIB

CONTINUE READING –

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NEWS WATCH! WHEN ORGANIC IS NOT ENOUGH

Posted in Conscious Actions, Eco -Chic, News Brief on April 15th, 2008

FKNOWLEGE OF A GARMENT’S PRE-PURCHASE CARBON FOOTPRINT HAS BECOME AS IMPORTANT A CONSIDERATION AS THE ORGANIC NATURE OF THE MATERIALS IT IS MADE FROM

maninsuit.jpegEvery well-traveled suit leaves a carbon footprint, but unlike its fabric content, that footprint is pretty much a mystery to consumers.

Now some clothing companies, in a bid to make their manufacturing processes more transparent, are beginning to provide that information.

Patagonia, for example, offers such details for five of its designs on its Web site. It traces the path of a $190 rain jacket

CONTINUE READING – (NY Times)

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HEALTH WATCH! REGULAR MEDITATION LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE

Posted in Health Watch, New Scientific Data, Sustainable Living on April 15th, 2008

MEDITATING TWICE A DAY PROVEN TO SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE BLOOD PRESSURE

meditation1.jpgPracticing Transcendental Meditation or TM, as it is better known, a minimum of two times daily has been shown to lead to a blood pressure reduction of as much as 12-15 percent, according to a study published in the March 2008 edition of American Journalof Hypertension.

This translates to a reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular causes and a 15-20 percent lower risk of stroke, according to Dr. James W. Anderson, the study’s lead author in an article posted to Reuters Health over the weekend.

For the uninitiated, TM, is the process where a man or woman sits in a comfortable chair for 20 minutes twice a day and attempts to quiet the mind by focusing on a mantra. Where TM succeeds over other forms of meditation, per Dr. Anderson, is that it has the “unique ability to bring the practitioner into a ‘quiet zone’ that acts as a kind of “sanctuary” for a person, refreshing them and reducing stress.

-LIB

SOURCE: American Journal of Hypertension, March 2008.

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NEWS WATCH! POST OFFICE OFFERS SAFE HAVEN FOR UNWANTED ELECTRONICS

Posted in Conscious Actions, Eco Warriors on April 10th, 2008

TEST PROGRAM FOR OLD ELECTRONICS UNDER WAY IN SEVERAL CITIES

clover-girl.gifNeed a way to dispose of old, unwanted cell phones, PDA’s, MP3 players, inkjet cartridges and other small electronic items?

Hey, who isn’t in that position in this technologically overwhelming day and age? In fact, not far from where I sit here in sleepy, anemic, old Orange County – the OC to all of you kids – a virtual junkyard of old, outdated, seriously trashed electronic gear stares me in the face, gear that I really don’t feel comfortable just throwing in the trash, knowing what I do about the damage that these wonder devices can do to the water table when they are tossed unprocessed into a landfill.

Well, it appears that a pilot program is underway to deal with just this, which means that you and I won’t have to stress about this matter anymore and can move on to more important matters, such as, is John McCain really a ticking time bomb with infidelities up the wazoo, not to mention an out of control temper which would make him totally unsuitable for the Presidency? Or my favorite, speculating as to which scandal the Repubs plan to unload about Bill Clinton’s wandering pecker, should Hillary manage to steal the nomination.

Needless to say, there have been attempts in the past to find a legislative solution to the problem of what to do with old electronics. Perhaps the best among them, a system, which would require gear manufacturers to offer some sort of buy-back at the end of the device’s life. This would not only make the manufacturer responsible for the old, unwanted gear’s ultimate disposal, but would also force manufacturers to begin building these products out of materials, which would lend themselves to recycling and reuse. Sadly, with the current state of affairs in the US Congress, any such legislation is a long, hard battle away.

So the question is, what do we do in the meantime? Surprisingly enough, the solution could be coming from of all places, the US Post Office.

The Snail Mail purveyors are – as I write this – testing a pilot program in several areas, including parts of California, Chicago, Washington, D.C., northern Virginia and Baltimore, Md., where they are providing postage free packaging to consumers to send their unwanted electronics for recycling.

Partnering with the Post Office in this exciting new venture is Clover Technologies Group. Clover best know as a leading distributor of OEM-branded imaging supplies to leading dealers and resellers nationwide, pays the one-way postage to it’s facility at which point it will either refurbish the item or if that is not possible, break the item down and use the parts to refurbish other items. Components that are unused will safely and correctly be recycled.

This service is not all that different from Clovers core business, which recycles print and toner cartridges. So I am optimistic as to it’s potential for success. Plans are in place to roll the program out nationwide, if it is a success in the test markets listed above.

Now, as regular readers of this space know, I am not a great friend of corporations and of the whole ‘corporation as citizen’ theory. Nor, do I put much stock in the Shithead in the White House’s Reagan inspired belief that corporations, unrestricted, will do what is right for society. It is my belief that this whole argument is just a smokescreen to confuse the masses while the CEO’s of the world rob the middle class blind. Thinking as I do, I am nothing short of seriously stoked, dude, to see corporate America doing anything that does not involving steamrolling the masses on their march to profitably.

Seeing what Clover Technologies Group is doing to make this program a success goes a long way to restoring my belief that corporations can be a force for good in this highly complex world. Now don’t screw it up, Clover.

In another matter, Is their any way I get some money for the old I-Pods I recycle?

Just kidding, LOL.

-LIB

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NEWS WATCH! SEATTLE INSTITUTES BAG TAX

Posted in Clean Energy, Conscious Actions, Eco -Chic on April 7th, 2008

CHARGES A 20-CENT “GREEN FEE” FOR PAPER OR PLASTIC BAGS

totebag1.jpg This is a marvelous idea, and one that should be adopted by every city and town throughout this great big world. Kudos to the forward thinking men and women of Seattle for taking this brave first step.

-LIB

Under a proposal announced just last week, Seattle shoppers will pay a 20-cent “green fee” beginning next year for every new paper or plastic bag they use to carry away goods from grocery, drug or convenience stories. The proposal would also ban foam food containers.

Why ban paper bags?

Seattle ‘powers that be’ have determined that the production and shipping costs of paper bags made them “actually worse for the planet” than plastic bags.

Read More…

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NEWS WATCH! BARNEY FRANK MOVES TO LEGALIZE SMALL AMOUNTS OF MARIJUANA.”

Posted in News Brief on April 2nd, 2008

INTRODUCES A BILL TO ELIMINATE ALL FEDERAL PENALTIES FOR THE PERSONAL USE AND POSSESSION OF UP TO 100 GRAMS [3-1/2 OUNCES] OF MARIJUANA

barneyfrank.jpgIt didn’t come as a huge shock to Bill Maher when Rep. Barney Frank announced on Real Time the other night that he plans to file a bill later this week, which would remove all penalties for possessing and using small amounts of marijuana,”. Congressman Frank’s proposed legislation would eliminate all Federal Penalties prohibiting the personal use of up to 100 Grams, or three and one half ounces of marijuana.

When asked by Maher as to why he was taking this action at this “late stage in the history of marijuana”, Frank replied, “because I finally got to the point where I think I can get away with it. I wanted to do it for a long time. I filed it in the state legislature in the ’70s. When I got to Congress, frankly, I was feeling more cautious.

“I now think its time for the politicians to catch up to the public. The notion that you lock people up for smoking marijuana is pretty silly. I’m going to call it the Make Room for Serious Criminals bill.”

READ MORE….

SOURCE: CELEBSTONER

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