Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for April 20th, 2009

A Republic of Liars

Posted by Charles II on April 20, 2009

This is the kind of story that makes one cringe, both for the behavior of Kellogg and at the thought that any researcher would actually stoop to this:

Kellogg Company, the world’s leading producer of cereal, has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that advertising claims touting a breakfast of Frosted Mini-Wheats as “clinically shown to improve kids’ attentiveness by nearly 20%” were false and violated federal law. The proposed settlement bars deceptive or misleading cognitive health claims for Kellogg’s breakfast foods and snack foods and bars the company from misrepresenting any tests or studies.

According to the FTC’s complaint, Kellogg claimed in a national advertising campaign – including television, print, and Internet advertising, as well as product packaging – that a breakfast of Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal is clinically shown to improve children’s attentiveness by nearly 20 percent. The complaint alleges that, in fact, according to the clinical study referred to in Kellogg’s advertising, only about half the children who ate Frosted Mini-Wheats for breakfast showed any improvement in attentiveness, and only about one in nine improved by 20 percent or more.

I bet the clinical study didn’t mention what happened to the kids’s attentiveness after the sugar crash.

Posted in children, liars | 2 Comments »

But But But There’s No Such Thing As Right-Wing Extremism!

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 20, 2009

I find it amusing that the same right-wing newspaper that saw fit to publish Jonah (son of Lucianne) Goldberg’s attack on DHS for a Bush-ordered probe of domestic (and right-wing) terrorism, also published the story of a guy from Jacksonville, North Carolina caught at Logan International Airport with bombmaking materials:

A U.S. Marine was arrested yesterday morning at Logan International Airport for allegedly trying to slip a 9 mm gun, several hundred rounds of military ammunition and bomb-making materials onto a U.S. Airways flight, according to federal and state authorities.

Cpl. Justin W. Reed of Jacksonville, N.C., arrived on a flight from Las Vegas and was bound for Charlotte, N.C., on US Airways flight 877 yesterday morning, said Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Ann Davis.

Reed is currently being held at the Logan airport police barracks on $50,000 bail pending a court appearance on Tuesday. They wouldn’t be doing that if they thought this was just a simple “oopsie!” on his part.

UPDATE: John Cole shows Special Ed getting it wrong, as usual.

Posted in DHS, security theater, terrorism | 1 Comment »

The Economic Reach of Wind

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 20, 2009

Renewable Energy World has an interesting article on why wind power is so important to the US right now:

…as the U.S. economy hemorrhaged jobs in 2008, the wind industry enjoyed 70% job growth — growth that supported a 60% surge in new wind capacity installation over 2007. The wind industry installed 8,358 MW last year, which accounted for roughly 40% of all new electricity capacity. This incredible growth led to the addition of around 35,000 new jobs, creating a total of 85,000 people now employed in the wind industry. More impressive still, even though the new jobs were wind power jobs, they were added across myriad sectors, such as manufacturing, construction and operations, among others.

The wind power jobs story is also one of “on-shoring” (as opposed to offshoring). In 2008 a continued shift toward domestic production resulted in nine new facilities opening across the country and many more on the way. …


In the past, the U.S. wind industry relied largely on imported components; however, there has been a remarkable shift towards domestic manufacturing in the past few years that is likely to continue. Since 2005 many of the leaders in turbine manufacturing have opened U.S. facilities; of the top 10 global suppliers in 2007, seven — Vestas, GE, Gamesa, Suzlon, Siemens, Acciona, and Nordex — have an American manufacturing presence. (The other three — Enercon, Goldwind, and Sinovel — do not yet sell into the U.S. market.) In addition, the homegrown Clipper Windpower has joined GE Energy as a major domestic player in the production of utility-scale turbines, with the two companies together capturing 50% of the 2008 domestic market.

Domestic manufacturing for large components in particular, such as towers and blades, has increased significantly over the past several years, with the majority now produced in the U.S. As for the thousands of smaller and midsized components, while the U.S. continues to import some of them (mostly from Europe) many more can now be sourced from American companies.

Posted in energy, environment, Good Things, industry, infrastructure, wind power | 1 Comment »

Obama Meets Chavez

Posted by Phoenix Woman on April 20, 2009

And it is good.

How do I know? For one thing, several prominent Republicans are going into Full-On Hissy Kabuki Mode over it.

Meanwhile, back at the grown-ups’ table:

The overall “feeling” one gets from the Summit is that Latin American presidents are a bit taken aback – but pleasantly so – at what is a strange and new situation for them: a United States government that arrives at the meeting not to impose decrees or dictate other nation’s policies with blackmail tactics, but, rather, one that many have noted is really trying to listen and learn from its long neglected neighbors.

It’s a block association meeting, basically, one with a new community organizer in the neighborhood, and a very different approach to how things get done.

I can relate, as one who has been reporting on these regional meetings for a dozen years now. I’m almost too familiar with so many of the protagonists: Lula of Brazil, Chávez of Venezuela, Morales of Bolivia (who was a professor in the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism, class of ’04), Ortega of Nicaragua (whose 1985 inauguration I attended in Managua), and others like the narco-presidents Uribe of Colombia and Calderon of Mexico who have been the subject of years of investigative reports from this corner. I reported all of their elections. And each of them – including Obama of the USA – look like they feel a little out of place, but in a good way; like, who thought that a Summit of the Americas might ever be this fun and fearless all at once?

What is happening in Port of Spain is almost unrecognizable. It’s going to take some getting used to. But I don’t think there is a single participant or careful observer from any country in the hemisphere that isn’t pinching himself right now wondering, “can this really be happening?”

Posted in Chavez, Latin America, President Obama, Republicans, Republicans acting badly | Comments Off on Obama Meets Chavez