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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 12:18 AM
Number of posts: 74,621

Journal Archives

U.S. 'dirty oil' imports set to triple

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. imports of what environmentalists are calling "dirty oil" are set to triple over the next decade, raising concerns over the environmental impact of extracting it and whether pipelines can safely transport this Canadian oil.

The United States currently imports over half a million barrels a day of bitumen from Canada's oil sands region, according to the Sierra Club. By 2020, that number is set to grow to over 1.5 million barrels -- or nearly 10% of the country's current consumption.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration's overall Canadian oil production numbers are in-line with the Sierra Club's projected pace. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/30/news/economy/oil-imports/index.htm

Win the 100-meter sprint .......... OR ELSE !!!!

(AP) Some London residents are getting troops and surface-to-air missiles on their rooftops for the Summer Olympics.

British security officials identified potential sites for the missiles on Monday and announced plans for security tests during the week.

The potential sites include Lexington Building in Tower Hamlets, the Fred Wigg Tower in Waltham Forest, Blackheath Common, Oxleas Wood, the William Girling Reservoir and Barn Hill in Epping Forest.

News of one of the sites leaked out over the weekend when a journalist who lives in one of the buildings found a flyer notifying residents of the plan. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/wireStory/olympics-residents-missiles-rooftops-16241624#.T56szVLi7To

Beware: Long stretch of I-96 to close for overhaul

from the Detroit Free Press:

The state has a hugely disruptive reconstruction project on the books for I-96 in Wayne County and is giving drivers, residents and others a two-year warning that a long stretch of the expressway will close down.

The Michigan Department of Transportation said this morning that it will rebuild seven miles of I-96 between Newburgh and Telegraph roads in Livonia and Redford Township starting in early 2014.

The $150-million project also will upgrade 36 overpasses and upgrade freeway drainage and lighting, MDOT said.

The state said it held a public hearing March 1 and a majority of those who attended or sent in surveys -- about 1,700 in all -- supported closing the freeway to shorten the duration of the project. MDOT said the work will be completed in one season rather than over multiple years. ................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.freep.com/article/20120430/NEWS05/120430029/MDOT-I-96-Newburgh-Telegraph-reconstruction?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Doctor's orders

Why You Should Be Worried About the California Mad Cow Case

from Mother Jones:

Why You Should Be Worried About the California Mad Cow Case

—By Tom Philpott
| Fri Apr. 27, 2012 10:50 AM PDT

Move along, nothing to see here.

That sums up the USDA's public reaction to news that a downed California dairy cow was discovered to have contracted bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also known as mad cow disease. The cow had an "atypical" case of BSE, one that likely doesn't come from BSE-infected feed, but rather from a genetic mutation, the agency insists.

Moreover, it never came close to entering the food supply, USDA stressed—it had shown up dead at a rendering facility, where it was randomly chosen for testing as part of the USDA's BSE-testing program. USDA chief Tom Vilsack, ever ready to jump to the meat industry's aid at a time of need, declared on CNN, "I'm having beef tonight for dinner. And that's no lie."


Let me raise two uncomfortable points about this case.

• The idea that the discovery of this BSE-stricken cow proves that the US "surveillance system is working" is, well, ludicrous. The cow showed up at Baker Commodities, a California company plant that buys spent cows from California's vast dairy industry and renders them into various pet and livestock feed products.

"We randomly pick a number of samples throughout the year, and this just happened to be one that we randomly sampled," Baker Commodities executive vice president Dennis Luckey said. "It showed no signs" of disease.

The complete piece is at: http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/04/mad-cow-california

Lions invade wealthy Nairobi suburb ... and crime rates nosedive

[font size="1"]A lion warning sign in a suburb of Nairobi, Kenya.
Jonathan E. Kalan/For the Toronto Star[/font]

NAIROBI, KENYA—At the entrance of Mukoma housing estate, a leafy suburb 15 kilometres from the bustling city centre of Nairobi, a prominent neighbourhood watch sign has been warding off potential intruders.

For the past six months, not one robbery has been reported in this wealthy community. A chalkboard sign subtly hints at why. “To All Our Dear Residents: LION SEEN — Ndorobo Road.”

The neighbourhood watch, it seems, has had some extra help.

Since last year, several full-grown adult lions have taken up residence in this pleasant neighbourhood, terrorizing residents and causing a peculiarly Kenyan case of suburban woes. ........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1168554--lions-invade-wealthy-nairobi-suburb?bn=1

British Columbia hang glider plunges to her death as boyfriend videotapes anniversary gift

VANCOUVER—Mounties in B-C’s Fraser Valley have seized a hang glider for inspection after a 27-year-old woman fell to her death over the weekend.

Lenami Godinez of Vancouver was killed when she dropped 300 meters from the glider shortly after it took off from a well-known gliders leap at Mount Woodside.

RCMP Sergeant Mark Pelz says the woman’s boyfriend was waiting for his turn on the glider and witnessed her fall to the forest below. .............(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/1170301--b-c-hang-glider-plunges-to-her-death-as-boyfriend-videotapes-anniversary-gift?bn=1

E.J. Dionne: Connecticut’s Death Penalty Message

from truthdig:

Connecticut’s Death Penalty Message

Posted on Apr 29, 2012
By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

GREENWICH, Conn.—Since the 2010 elections, the activism of newly empowered conservative and Republican state legislatures has gained national attention with their wars on public employee unions, additional restrictions on abortion and new barriers to voting.

Against this backdrop, the little state of Connecticut has loomed as a large progressive exception. Last year, it became the first state to require employers to grant paid sick leave. It also enacted a law granting in-state tuition to students whose parents brought them to the United States illegally as young children.

And last week, Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy signed a law repealing the state’s death penalty. There are now 17 states without capital punishment, Illinois having joined the ranks last year. What happened in Connecticut brings home the flaw in seeing everything that has happened in the states since the midterm vote as embodying a steady shift rightward.

Where they hold power, progressives have also been using their states as laboratories, and Malloy is part of an impressive group of mostly smaller-state Democratic governors who have combined a moderate, business-friendly style with progressive policymaking. Their ranks include, among others, Govs. Jack Markell in Delaware, Martin O’Malley in Maryland, John Hickenlooper in Colorado, Deval Patrick in Massachusetts and outgoing Gov. John Lynch in New Hampshire. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/connecticuts_death_penalty_message_20120429/

Chris Hedges: Welcome to the Asylum

from truthdig:

Welcome to the Asylum

Posted on Apr 30, 2012
By Chris Hedges

When civilizations start to die they go insane. Let the ice sheets in the Arctic melt. Let the temperatures rise. Let the air, soil and water be poisoned. Let the forests die. Let the seas be emptied of life. Let one useless war after another be waged. Let the masses be thrust into extreme poverty and left without jobs while the elites, drunk on hedonism, accumulate vast fortunes through exploitation, speculation, fraud and theft. Reality, at the end, gets unplugged. We live in an age when news consists of Snooki’s pregnancy, Hulk Hogan’s sex tape and Kim Kardashian’s denial that she is the naked woman cooking eggs in a photo circulating on the Internet. Politicians, including presidents, appear on late night comedy shows to do gags and they campaign on issues such as creating a moon colony. “At times when the page is turning,” Louis-Ferdinand Celine wrote in “Castle to Castle,” “when History brings all the nuts together, opens its Epic Dance Halls! hats and heads in the whirlwind! Panties overboard!”

The quest by a bankrupt elite in the final days of empire to accumulate greater and greater wealth, as Karl Marx observed, is modern society’s version of primitive fetishism. This quest, as there is less and less to exploit, leads to mounting repression, increased human suffering, a collapse of infrastructure and, finally, collective death. It is the self-deluded, those on Wall Street or among the political elite, those who entertain and inform us, those who lack the capacity to question the lusts that will ensure our self-annihilation, who are held up as exemplars of intelligence, success and progress. The World Health Organization calculates that one in four people in the United States suffers from chronic anxiety, a mood disorder or depression—which seems to me to be a normal reaction to our march toward collective suicide. Welcome to the asylum.

When the most basic elements that sustain life are reduced to a cash product, life has no intrinsic value. The extinguishing of “primitive” societies, those that were defined by animism and mysticism, those that celebrated ambiguity and mystery, those that respected the centrality of the human imagination, removed the only ideological counterweight to a self-devouring capitalist ideology. Those who held on to pre-modern beliefs, such as Native Americans, who structured themselves around a communal life and self-sacrifice rather than hoarding and wage exploitation, could not be accommodated within the ethic of capitalist exploitation, the cult of the self and the lust for imperial expansion. The prosaic was pitted against the allegorical. And as we race toward the collapse of the planet’s ecosystem we must restore this older vision of life if we are to survive.

The war on the Native Americans, like the wars waged by colonialists around the globe, was waged to eradicate not only a people but a competing ethic. The older form of human community was antithetical and hostile to capitalism, the primacy of the technological state and the demands of empire. This struggle between belief systems was not lost on Marx. “The Ethnological Notebooks of Karl Marx” is a series of observations derived from Marx’s reading of works by historians and anthropologists. He took notes about the traditions, practices, social structure, economic systems and beliefs of numerous indigenous cultures targeted for destruction. Marx noted arcane details about the formation of Native American society, but also that “lands (were) owned by the tribes in common, while tenement-houses [were] owned jointly by their occupants.” He wrote of the Aztecs, “Commune tenure of lands; Life in large households composed of a number of related families.” He went on, “… reasons for believing they practiced communism in living in the household.” Native Americans, especially the Iroquois, provided the governing model for the union of the American colonies, and also proved vital to Marx and Engel’s vision of communism. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/welcome_to_the_asylum_20120430/

Why This May Day Matters

from YES! Magazine:

Why This May Day Matters
This year, the day is about occupying the space and the time to create a different world.

by Sarah van Gelder
posted Apr 27, 2012

If the mainstream media was confused about Occupy Wall Street in its early days in Zuccotti Park, they’re bound to be completely befuddled this May Day.

May Day already has a lot piled on it. In pre-Christian Europe, May Day was a time to dance, light bonfires, sing, and carry on in celebration of the changing seasons. May Day also marks the anniversary of the 1886 Haymarket massacre, which occurred during a Chicago strike for the eight-hour work day. Also called International Workers’ Day, it’s a holiday in more than 80 countries.

And most recently, the U.S. immigrants right movement has used May 1st for massive street demonstrations and strikes aimed at reforming laws and policies that result in imprisonment, deportation, and discrimination against undocumented people.

This May Day, the Occupy movement is getting involved, calling it “The day without the 99 percent.” What will May Day look like with so many traditions riding on it? ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.yesmagazine.org/blogs/sarah-van-gelder/the-meaning-of-may-day

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