Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on March 27, 2015

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging | Leave a Comment »

MN GOP Hates Bees And Anything Else That Can’t Sign Checks

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 26, 2015

It’s a pity that bees don’t have appendages capable of holding pens or clicking keyboards, much less have big bank accounts from which they can use the pens or keyboards to draw out money to hand to Minnesota Republican state legislators like senator Gary Dahms (R-Poisoned Bees). Then they might be able to hold their own against the chemical companies that have captured his interest and his loyalties, causing him to roll back polllinator protections that were created by a more sensible legislature last year:

Unfortunately, the insecticide industry is fighting back, and it won another battle in the war against bees today in the Minnesota Senate Jobs, Agriculture and Rural Development Committee when Senator Gary Dahms (R-Redwood Falls) moved to amend SF1459 so that existing language would be deleted from statute.

“This is loosely drawn language, it’s very vague,” Dahms said. “. . . This was passed in the House last year, and the concern I have is that we’re going to start asking people when they apply for money through Legacy or LCCMR, we’re going to insist they meet this and it’s really going to be hard to do that because the terms and the facts just aren’t there. . . ” (We post the section of statute below).

But it’s not just wildlife habitat will be affected. As a consequence of removing the language, greenhouses and garden stores could market bee-lethal, neonic-treated plants and seeds as “pollinator friendly” to the home gardener.

Go to Bluestem Prairie for the full story, as well as for ways to contact the members of the relevant committee.

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Sequestration’s Last Gasp?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 22, 2015

I suspect it’s coming soon:

President Barack Obama on Friday drew a sharp line in the sand before the next big battle over funding the government, pledging his opposition to any bill that does not alleviate the spending cuts scheduled to become law this fall.

“I will not,” the president said in an interview with The Huffington Post, when asked if he would put his signature to legislation that allowed for sequestration to come back in October this year.

“And I’ve been very clear. We are not going to have a situation where, for example, our education spending goes back to its lowest level since the year 2000 — since 15 years ago — despite a larger population and more kids to educate. … We can’t do that to our kids, and I’m not going to sign it,” Obama said.

We’ll soon see.

(By the way: A good way to save money would be to avoid going to war with Iran. Tell your congresscritters that.)

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Cry, the Beloved Country

Posted by Charles II on March 20, 2015

Outsourced to Brother John.

War is Peace in our Brave New Dystopia.

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Oh, Danny boy. We shall miss you.

Posted by Charles II on March 20, 2015

Danny Schechter

(image from DemocracyNow)


Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling, From glen to glen and down the mountain side. The summers gone and all the roses falling, its you, its you must go and I must bide. But come ye back, when summers in the meadow, or when the valleys hushed and white with snow, it’s I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow, oh Danny boy oh Danny boy I love you so.

But when ye come and all the flowers are dying. and i am dead as dead i well may be. ye’ll come and find the place where i am lying. and kneel and say an ave there for me. and i shall hear though soft you tread above me. for all my grave will warmer sweeter be. for you will bend and tell me that you love me. and i shall sleep in peace until you come to me.


The author, filmmaker and media reform activist Danny Schechter has died at the age of 72. Schechter rose to prominence as “The News Dissector” on Boston’s WBCN radio in the 1970s. He went on to work as a television producer at ABC’s 20/20, where he won two Emmy Awards, and at the newly launched CNN. But he left corporate media to become executive director of and co-founder and executive director of Global Vision. He authored 12 books, including “The More You Watch, the Less You Know.” He was also a leading activist against apartheid in South Africa and made six nonfiction films about Nelson Mandela. Schechter appeared on Democracy Now! multiple times. In this 2013 interview, after Mandela’s death, he reflected on his own activism as part of a project called “Sun City: Artists Against Apartheid.”

Danny Schechter: “This was not all about lobbying Congress. This was about informing America about what was happening. And in some cases, it was cultural figures, 58 of the world’s top artists who indicted the system of forced relocation in South Africa. That’s what Sun City was all about. It was a part of an effort to promote a cultural boycott alongside an economic boycott. And it was very successful and worldwide in its impact. And I think that was important. And then, you know, I helped start the TV series, South Africa Now, that ran for 156 weeks, every week, in the United States, reporting on South Africa through the eyes of South Africans. It was their story.”

Schechter died in New York City after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 72.

I corresponded a few times with Schechter. While I disagreed with him on several occasions, I found him to be a modest, kind, thoughtful, receptive guy–and a great journalist. Rest in peace, Danny.

Posted in journalists, media | 1 Comment »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on March 20, 2015

Friday Cat Blogging

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Ask not for whom the bell tolls

Posted by Charles II on March 15, 2015

Richard Lea and Caroline Davies, The Guardian:

The writer Terry Pratchett, who took millions of readers on a madcap journey to the universe of Discworld, has died aged 66.

The announcement came in typically irreverent manner on the author’s Twitter feed, with a series of tweets beginning in the voice of his character, Death: “AT LAST, SIR TERRY, WE MUST WALK TOGETHER.”

“Terry took Death’s arm,” the following tweet read, “and followed him through the doors and on to the black desert under the endless night.

“I rage at the imminent loss of my friend,” [Neil] Gaiman continued, “And I think, ‘What would Terry do with this anger?’ Then I pick up my pen, and I start to write.””

Old news to my co-bloggers, I suppose. I’m always last to know. But I wanted to say goodbye to one of my favorite writers.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Gunboat diplomacy, but with tanks

Posted by Charles II on March 13, 2015

I don’t like it when the U.S. does it.

I don’t like it when Russia does it.

Posted in Russia, Ukraine | 2 Comments »

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted by MEC on March 13, 2015

Friday Cat Blogging

Posted in Alexander the Great, Friday Cat Blogging | 3 Comments »

If A Homeopathic Drug Works, Look At Its “Inert” Ingredients

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 12, 2015

<font size=”2″>I’ve noted elsewhere that Nelsons Acne Gel, which is surprisingly effective for a homeopathic treatment, has alcohol and tea tree oil among its “inert” ingredients:

Here’s the list of “active” ingredients, making up 9% of the total product: Extracts of organically grown Arnica montana tincture 2.5%, Calendula officinalis tincture 2.5%, Hypericum perforatum tincture 2.5%, Sulfur 6x 1.5%

Now here’s the list of “inactive” ingredients, making up the other 91% of the product: Alcohol, Carbomer [of what?], Methylparaben, Purified Water, Tea tree oil, Trolamine.

You tell me which ingredients are more likely to do a number on acne.

It is true that sulfur would normally be considered a pretty potent anti-acne medicine, but at a 6x dilution — meaning that it’s literally a millionth of what it once was — it’s practically nonexistent in this gel.

Now, I think I’ve found another example of this phenomenon: Traumeel. Once again, alcohol is one of the few ingredients with a possible pharmacological effect to be present in meaningful doses, yet it is listed as an “inert” ingredient:

…Traumeel ointment is 13.8% alcohol. Rubbing an alcohol-based ointment into the skin is likely to produce a cooling effect — exactly what you might be looking for if you’ve got a bruise, injury or swelling.

Want to duplicate the cooling effect of Traumeel ointment? Use pretty much any ointment with a similar percentage of alcohol in its makeup.

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