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Archive for May 27th, 2014

‘We Should Say To Ourselves: Not One More’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

‘We Should Say To Ourselves: Not One More’
“Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights. What about Chris’s right to live? When will this insanity stop? When will enough people say, ‘Stop this madness; we don’t have to live like this?’ Too many have died. We should say to ourselves: not one more.” — Richard Martinez, the father of Isla Vista victim Christopher Michael-Martinez. Adam Gopnik of the New Yorker writes, “Why did Christopher Michael-Martinez die? Because the NRA and the politicians they intimidate enable people to get their hands on weapons and ammunition whose only purpose is to kill other people as quickly and as lethally as possible. How do we know that they are the ‘because’ in this? Because every other modern country has suffered from the same kinds of killings, from the same kinds of sick kids, and every other country has changed its laws to stop them from happening again, and in every other country it hasn’t happened again. (Australia is the clearest case — a horrific gun massacre, new laws, no more gun massacres — but the same is true of Canada, Great Britain, you name it.)


Using STEM to Stop the Salt

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Using STEM to Stop the Salt
In 2012, salt blowing from a nearby alkali flat caused a white out that claimed their teacher’s life. Now, one 8th grader explains how she and her classmates may have found a way to solve the salt problem.

Veterans groups cry foul at senator’s criticism
WASHINGTON (AP) — Three prominent veterans groups and Republican Sen. Richard Burr are hurling accusations at each other after the veterans organizations declined to embrace Burr’s call for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign amid reports of treatment delays and falsified records at VA hospitals.

Manziel back with Browns after weekend in Vegas
CLEVELAND (AP) — Johnny Manziel has reported for practice after the wildly popular rookie quarterback spent the holiday weekend in Las Vegas.


GOP pressing Obama on alleged nukes cheating by Russia

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

GOP pressing Obama on alleged nukes cheating by Russia
Lawmakers want WH to demand answers about accusations Moscow violated a START treaty; issue emerges at low point of post-Cold War relations

George W. Bush gets partial knee replacement
The former president traveled to Chicago over the Memorial Day weekend for the procedure


From “Homosexual Impulses” To The “War On Masculinity”: The Worst Media Reactions To The UCSB Mass Murder

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

From “Homosexual Impulses” To The “War On Masculinity”: The Worst Media Reactions To The UCSB Mass Murder

Some in the media reacted to the killing spree in Isla Vista, California that claimed the lives of six victims with offensive or bizarre commentary.

On May 23, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed three people in his house with blunt or sharp objects before driving to a sorority house near the University of California, Santa Barbara. Outside that house he shot three women, killing two. He then shot to death a young man at a nearby convenience store. Rodger reportedly committed suicide with one of his guns, but not before killing six people and wounding 13 others.

Much attention has focused on a video uploaded by Rodger on YouTube where he describes his desire to kill women in a “day of retribution” against those who has refused his sexual advances and a 140-page manifesto that described his hatred towards the world and in particular women.

Media reactions to the killings included: A Fox News guest suggested the shooting was the result of “homosexual tendencies”; a Fox News contributor who blamed a “war on masculinity” for the killing spree; conservative commentators who lashed out at a victim’s father who castigated the National Rifle Association during an emotional press conference; and a CNN reporter described Rodger’s manifesto as “really well written” and compared it to a Dickens novel.

Fox’s Erick Erickson: Blame Violence On “War On Masculinity”

Writing at RedState.com, Fox News contributor Erick Erickson claimed that Rodger “lived the very lifestyle the cultural left thinks men should live” and that his actions were a consequence of a “war on masculinity.” One of the features of this “war,” according to Erickson, is that “[i]nstead of men and women complimenting each other, they’re supposed to be perfectly equal even if they are not.”

Best we can tell, Elliot Rodger lived the very lifestyle the cultural left thinks men should live and that is regularly glorified on the silver screen. For all the talk of a “War on Women,” there has actually been a war on masculinity for a few decades. And more and more twenty-something young men are getting lost and acting out while society tries to find something new to replace the tried and true.

Society used to expect men to open doors, protect their families, and be champions of modesty and virtue. But chivalry is dead. Instead of men and women complimenting each other, they’re supposed to be perfectly equal even if they are not. The hook up culture, instant gratification, and selfishness pervade our culture.


A Young College Grad Calls My Show

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

A Young College Grad Calls My Show
Dennis Prager, RealClearPolitics
Last week, on my radio talk show, I received a call from Jeff, a 21-year-old in North Carolina. I have abridged it and edited it stylistically. JEFF: I wanted to respond to your question about America being feared in the world. You brought up Syria. I think it’s a little naive, and maybe that’s not even the right word, to boil down such complex international issues into just good and bad. Like to say that America, for you, represents good. And to just boil down the Syria situation into good and bad is to underestimate the complexity of the situation. Because if the United States were to get…

On Mideast, a Hopeful Dialogue
David Ignatius, RealClearPolitics
BRUSSELS — Getting the former spy chiefs of Israel and Saudi Arabia to talk together about peace is hardly a breakthrough, but it at least helps keep alive the idea of an eventual Israeli-Palestinian settlement. Sharing a public stage here Monday were Prince Turki al-Faisal, former Saudi intelligence chief, and retired Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, former head of Israeli military intelligence. The gathering was sponsored by the German Marshall Fund, of which I’m a trustee. It was streamed live on the Internet around the world, including to Muslim countries where the very idea of such an open…

Memorial Day’s Calling
E.J. Dionne, RealClearPolitics
WASHINGTON — Memorial Day is a peculiarly appropriate holiday for our times. Its origins lie in the Civil War, which resulted from the failure of a deeply polarized political system to settle the question of slavery. Reading the history of the period leading up to the war is jarring because its political conflicts bear eerie similarities to our own — for the sharp regional differences over how the federal government’s powers should be regarded; for the way in which advocates of slavery relied on “constitutional” claims to justify its survival and spread; for the refusal of pro-slavery…


VIDEO: Clegg: ‘Now is not the time to change’

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

VIDEO: Clegg: ‘Now is not the time to change’
Nick Clegg tells Liberal Democrats who blame him for the party’s big losses in the European election, that now is not the time to change its strategy or leader.

France urges reform of ‘remote’ EU
France’s president will tell Europe’s leaders to focus on boosting the economy, as they prepare to discuss the fallout from the European polls.

Blair: UKIP ‘unpleasant and nasty’
UKIP has “no solutions to the problems to the 21st Century”, former prime minister Tony Blair says.


Tea Party topples Texas lt. gov.

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Tea Party topples Texas lt. gov.
Incumbent David Dewhurst, who lost in 2012 to now-Sen. Ted Cruz, was defeated by Dan Patrick.


Iraq Vet Killed In Gunfight With Police Was Turned Away by VA Hospital

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Iraq Vet Killed In Gunfight With Police Was Turned Away by VA Hospital
The bloodstained floor of his father’s garage is a long way from the Iraq streets where Isaac Sims served two tours of duty in the U.S. Army’s famed 82nd Airborne Division, but it was there that the violence finally caught up with him.


Pregnant Pakistani Woman Is Beaten to Death by Her Family

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Pregnant Pakistani Woman Is Beaten to Death by Her Family
The woman, 25, who was killed on a busy street in Lahore, had enraged family members by marrying a man who was not their choice for her, the police said.



Open Source: Dissenters in Egypt Mock Election Turmoil
With the expected coronation of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi falling flat, schadenfreude was the dominant emotion of Egyptian activists and bloggers.



World Briefing: Libya: State Dept. Urges Americans to Leave
The State Department cited the fighting among militias in urging Americans against traveling to Libya and asking those already there to leave.



Sinosphere Blog: Hong Kong Considers Limits on Mainland Chinese Visitors
As a politically volatile summer nears, Hong Kong’s leader floats the idea of reducing the number of visits by mainland Chinese.



Contributing Op-Ed Writer: Food’s Big-Picture Guy
A “special rapporteur on the right to food” confirms how mainstream what once seemed like radical thinking about diet has become.


Moms Want Monsanto To Stop Using A Herbicide That’s Made Its Way Into Breast Milk

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on May 27th, 2014 11:08 pm by HL

Moms Want Monsanto To Stop Using A Herbicide That’s Made Its Way Into Breast Milk

They’re asking the U.S. government to crack down on the potentially harmful product.

The post Moms Want Monsanto To Stop Using A Herbicide That’s Made Its Way Into Breast Milk appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Bottles of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide on a store shelf

Bottles of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide on a store shelf

CREDIT: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

A group of mothers is going after the biotech corporation Monsanto, pressuring the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to crack down on the company’s controversial herbicide. “Moms Across America” says that Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup should be recalled.

The group points to evidence that glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Roundup, is building up in women’s bodies and is now being detected in breast milk. The chemical has previously been found in drinking water, but its presence in the human body is especially concerning, considering the fact that glyphosate been linked to health issues like neurological disorders, reproductive issues, and birth defects.

Glyphosate, which is now the most popular herbicide in the world, spiked in use in the 1990s after Monsanto genetically engineered crops that can survive being sprayed directly with Roundup. Monsanto executives have previously stated that glyphosate doesn’t accumulate in human bodies, but the new research appears to contradict that claim.

“This is a poison and it’s in our food. And now they’ve found it in breast milk,” Zen Honeycutt, the founder of Moms Across America, explained to Reuters. “Numerous studies show serious harm to mammals. We want this toxic treadmill of chemical cocktails in our food to stop.”

The EPA is currently conducting a standard review of glyphosate. By next year, the agency will decide whether the chemical can continue to be used as it is currently, or whether there needs to be stricter regulation over it. That’s why environmental activists like Moms Across America are taking the opportunity to meet with regulators to express their concerns about Roundup.

Moms Across America is also targeting other government agencies on this issue. The group wants the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to conduct more tests to determine glyphosate’s potential long-term effects on Americans’ health. “It is the responsibility of parents to care for their children and it is the responsibility of the CDC to partner with us to care for our nation,” the mothers write.

This isn’t the only potentially harmful chemical that could pose a threat to women’s health. There’s increasing evidence that environmental toxins can harm women’s ability to have children. Last year, two leading reproductive health groups — the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine — issued a joint statement urging the EPA to limit the chemicals that could have a negative effect on women’s pregnancies.

Nonetheless, Monsanto doesn’t shy away from using its considerable economic power to undermine the policies that would restrict its current business model. The company has deep roots in Washington, and has poured millions of dollars into campaigns to defeat state legislation to regulate genetically engineered groceries.

The post Moms Want Monsanto To Stop Using A Herbicide That’s Made Its Way Into Breast Milk appeared first on ThinkProgress.

Yale Poll: Americans Much More Worried About ‘Global Warming’ Than ‘Climate Change’

New polling has an answer to the age-old (decade old?) question of what term is better for climate hawks to use: “global warming” or “climate change.”

The post Yale Poll: Americans Much More Worried About ‘Global Warming’ Than ‘Climate Change’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.

YalePollDo we finally have the answer to the age-old (decade old?) question of what term is better for climate hawks to use: “global warming” or “climate change”?

In new polling by the Climate Change Communication efforts of Yale and George Mason, “global warming” is the winner — across the board:

We found that the term global warming is associated with greater public understanding, emotional engagement, and support for personal and national action than the term climate change.

… the use of the term climate change appears to actually reduce issue engagement by Democrats, Independents, liberals, and moderates, as well as a variety of subgroups within American society, including men, women, minorities, different generations, and across political and partisan lines.

Here’s an even more amazing finding: “Within the Weather category, global warming generates a higher percentage of associations to “extreme weather” than does climate change, which generates more associations to general weather patterns.”

So for all those who think the term climate change is more closely associated with extreme weather — I’m looking at you Wall Street Journal editors — think again.

Indeed, as that WSJ article shows, it is difficult to separate the question of which term is better from the doubly wrong claim by conservatives that progressives are allegedly now using the term ‘climate change’ because the planet has supposedly stopped warming. Of course, warming hasn’t actually stopped, it has sped up. Similarly the melting of the great ice sheets has accelerated. In fact, recent analysis makes clear that even surface air temperatures are rising faster than reported by the global temperature records, especially the Hadley Center’s (see “Faux Pause 2“):

A new study by British and Canadian researchers shows that the global temperature rise of the past 15 years has been greatly underestimated. The reason is the data gaps in the weather station network, especially in the Arctic. If you fill these data gaps using satellite measurements, the warming trend is more than doubled in the widely used HadCRUT4 data, and the much-discussed “warming pause” has virtually disappeared.

But since the deniers make up stuff about the science, why shouldn’t they make up stuff about everything else?

In fact it was the GOP’s spinmaster, Frank Luntz — the guy who pushed “death tax” to replace “estate tax” — who first urged conservatives to switch from “global warming” to “climate change” over a decade ago! Scientists, environmentalists, progressives, and frankly the whole darn planet have always used both terms — hence the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, established in 1988.

In a confidential 2003 memo, Luntz wrote (original emphasis):

It’s time for us to start talking about “climate change” instead of global warming…

1) “Climate change” is less frightening than “global warming”. As one focus group participant noted, climate change “sounds like you’re going from Pittsburgh to Fort Lauderdale.” While global warming has catastrophic connotations attached to it, climate change suggests a more controllable and less emotional challenge.

D’oh! And as it turns out, at least according to the Yale polling, Luntz was right. Yale explains that “the term global warming is associated with”:

  • Greater certainty that the phenomenon is happening, especially among men, Generation X (31-48), and liberals;
  • Greater understanding that human activities are the primary cause among Independents;
  • Greater understanding that there is a scientific consensus about the reality of the phenomenon among Independents and liberals;
  • More intense worry about the issue, especially among men, Generation Y (18-30), Generation X, Democrats, liberals and moderates;
  • A greater sense of personal threat, especially among women, the Greatest Generation (68+), African-Americans, Hispanics, Democrats, Independents, Republicans, liberals and moderates;
  • Higher issue priority ratings for action by the president and Congress, especially among women, Democrats, liberals and moderates;
  • Greater willingness to join a campaign to convince elected officials to take action, especially among men, Generation X, liberals and moderates.

So it would seem that global warming is the term to use (though other polling has found little difference between the two terms).

For the record, widespread use of the term “climate change” long predates Luntz’s memo, particularly in the scientific literature:

Indeed, the term “climatic change” goes back to a 1956 paper by Gilbert Plass, long-predating the use of “global warming” by climatologist Wallace Broecker in 1975.

I have always used both terms, though, as I’ve said many times, I prefer “Hell and High Water,” since it is more descriptive of what is to come. Others prefer “Global Weirding.” Whatever you call it, it ain’t gonna be pretty.

The post Yale Poll: Americans Much More Worried About ‘Global Warming’ Than ‘Climate Change’ appeared first on ThinkProgress.