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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 02:31 PM
Number of posts: 53,475

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“GTAC Won’t Sample Mining Area With Asbestos-Like Fibers“

Put your fingers in your ears and yell "lalalalalalalalalalala" and you have a reasonable representation of how iron mining interests will deal with environmental concerns.


Gogebic Taconite (GTAC), the company behind the proposed iron ore mine in the Penokee Hills, says it won’t take rock samples from an area where asbestos-like fibers were found.

GTAC took nearly four months to pull together information the Department of Natural Resources wanted for a plan to sample tons of rock in Iron and Ashland counties. The revised plan scales back the number of sampling sites from five to three, bypassing the site where asbestos-form fibers were found by the DNR and a Northland College geoscientist. The fibers are in grunerite deposits, but in a letter last week to the DNR, GTAC continues to deny its existence, saying: “Our position remains that asbestosform material is unlikely to be present in the reserve.”

DNR Waste Management Director Ann Coakley says there is no doubt asbestos-like fibers exist, and that GTAC needs to address the problem in its bulk sampling plan. “They maintain there are not asbestosform minerals in the area,” says Coakley. “We know that there are because we ourselves collected a sample and have the results back. I’ve been getting a lot of questions on that.”

Coakley says the questions are how much asbestosform rock is in the deposit, and how to prevent it from contaminating the air and water.

One more on Mandela: “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear ...

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela


Mental illness, ignorance, fear and ultra-conservatism - The Homeschool Apostates


They were raised to carry the fundamentalist banner forward and redeem America. But now the Joshua Generation is rebelling.

10 P.M. on a Sunday night in May, Lauren and John,* a young couple in the Washington, D.C., area, started an emergency 14-hour drive to the state where Lauren grew up in a strict fundamentalist household. Earlier that day, Lauren’s younger sister, Jennifer, who had recently graduated from homeschooling high school, had called her in tears: “I need you to get me out of this place.” The day, Jennifer said, had started with another fight with her parents, after she declined to sing hymns in church. Her slight speech impediment made her self-conscious about singing in public, but to her parents, her refusal to sing or recite scripture was more evidence that she wasn’t saved. It didn’t help that she was a vegan animal-rights enthusiast.


Mixed with the control was a lack of academic supervision. Lauren says she didn’t have a teacher after she was 11; her parents handed her textbooks at the start of a semester and checked her work a few months later. She graded herself, she says, and rarely wrote papers. Nevertheless, Lauren was offered a full-ride scholarship to Patrick Henry College in Virginia, which was founded in 2000 as a destination for fundamentalist homeschoolers. At first her parents refused to let her matriculate, insisting that she spend another year with the family. During that year, Lauren got her first job, but her parents limited the number of hours she could work.


In Washington, that new support network immediately kicked in. Through an informal group of young women who broke away from fundamentalist families, Lauren had become friends with Hännah Ettinger, who writes “Wine & Marble,” a blog about transitioning out of fundamentalist culture. When Lauren told her the story of Jennifer’s rescue, Ettinger posted a brief account. She asked readers to chip in to defray Jennifer’s costs of starting over: buying a computer, acquiring normal clothes, applying for community college. Within the first day, the blog’s readers donated almost $500. Then a new website, run by another former homeschooler, linked to Ettinger’s appeal, and within a few days, close to $11,000 had been donated.

It was a surprise, but it was hardly a fluke. Jennifer’s rescue coincided with the emergence of a coalition of young former fundamentalists who are coming out publicly, telling their stories, and challenging the Christian homeschooling movement. The website that linked to Jennifer’s story was Homeschoolers Anonymous, launched in March by two homeschool graduates, Ryan Stollar and Nicholas Ducote. Their goal was to show what goes on behind closed doors in some Christian homeschooling families—to share, as one blogger puts it, “the stories we were never allowed to talk about as children.”

Nelson Mandela on poverty

Ages 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, 11, 13, 14, 14, 16, 16, 16, 16, 17, 17, 17 and 17


Interactive: Republicans More Likely to Have Constituents Who Use Food Stamps


As Congress debates fate of program, several of those seeking cuts have high percentage of constituents who benefit

When the House voted in September to cut $40 billion from the federal food-stamp program over 10 years, all but 15 Republicans supported the measure while not a single Democrat did so.

But according to a TIME analysis of county-by-county food-stamp-enrollment data compiled by the nonprofit Feeding America, it appears that House Republicans represent more districts with high levels of participation in the program than House Democrats. Of the 350 congressional districts in which TIME was able to estimate the percentage of people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), 76 had levels of 20% or higher. Of those, 43 are held by Republicans while 33 are controlled by Democrats.

SNAP enrollment is visualized by county where data is available and by state where it is not. Use the buttons below to reorient by Congressional district. Note: Estimating congressional districts from county-level data is prone to error in densely populated locations.

I could not embed the interactive map, sorry.

"With your help, I can continue to send out racist Tweets."

For those who might have missed it, Scott Walker fired PR flak Taylor Palmisano this week for sending out racist tweets two years ago, at least that's what he said. A little birdie told me the real reason was Taylor's email over the Governer's (sic) signature suggesting that instead of buying Christmas presents for your children, Walker backers should donate to his campaign, or legal defense fund.

This parody brought to you by: http://bloggingblue.com/2013/12/taylor-palmisano-is-back-with-a-new-email-asking-for-money/

The Walker Medicaid shell game


Argh. Look at how National Journal frames this news story in both title and image. Isn’t that sort of a Papal hand motion, there? Was he offering his blessing?

In reality, Walker’s legislative disciples in the Assembly are keeping 83,000 of our poorest from healthcare for an extra 3 months. The bill next goes to the WI Senate.

What a joke. Those 83K people who must wait ’til April have an income of 100% of poverty level or less ($11,490 or less), so how do they come up with a couple hundred dollars a month for an insurance premium? Keep in mind, people at 100% or below F.P.L. [federal poverty level] do not get a tax credit to cover this.


I like Senator Cullen’s response to Walker which is “I find no humane rationale for this decision.”

Squat Wanker wants to be President, so he got a Bushie to ghostwrite a book.


To be a presidential contender, demonstrate gravitas and readiness to lead — you have to publish. JFK wrote his Pulitzer Prize-winning “Profiles in Courage,” and people began to take his presidential aspirations seriously. President Obama released “The Audacity of Hope” — and it became a best-seller.

Taking a chapter from George W. Bush's “A Charge to Keep,” — Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has put his name on a lightweight tome (written by someone else) filled with partisan rhetoric which resembles nothing more than a long-form presidential stump speech.


Thankfully, I'm nothing like you, Governor Walker — but this is the beauty of publishing FICTION — I actually agree with you. We're going to part company on WHY things look grim, but before we go any further — do you suppose your supporters see what you did there? You DO NOT have a "view from Washington," Scott — you have a view from Madison, Wisconsin.

I hope the good folks who skimped on presents for the kids to fuel your ambition to be president — oh, sorry, your desire to be re-elected governor — understand just how little you'll actually be DOING that job, now that you've set your sights on moving to the District of Columbia. What other fiction are you weaving? I'll break up your Wall-O-Text™ into sentences to help the reader see what you're REALLY trying to say — okay?



9) Exclude people for what they look like, how they were born or things beyond their control.
I may have mentioned this already but Jesus was constantly including people. Jesus had this rebel streak in him that actually sought out folks who didn't “fit in.” People who were different, people who were marginalized, people who were made to feel unwanted in one way or another held a special place in the heart, life and actions of Jesus. I suspect he did it because he understood they weren't actually different at all. Touch the lepers (the “untouchables”). Do it.

8) Withhold healthcare from people.
Did you ever play the game “Follow the Leader"? If you don't do what the leader does, you are out. Following means you should imitate as closely as possible. When people who were sick needed care, Jesus gave it to them. If we are following Jesus, we will imitate him as closely as possible. No, we can't repeat the miracles he did but I've seen modern medicine do things that are about as close to a miracle as I expect to get.


6) Let people go hungry.
When Jesus said, “feed my sheep,” it was about more than just a spiritual feeding. As a matter of fact, if Gandhi was right (and I suspect he was), you can't have one without the other: “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” There is not a food shortage in the world -- there is enough for everyone. There is not a problem with having a distribution system capable of handling it; I can eat lobster from Maine while looking over the Pacific ocean. The problem is that we aren't very good at sharing.

5) Make money more important than God (and the children of God).
The love of money really is the root of all sorts of evil. We make choices about what we will do with our money every day. Our choices speak louder than our words. Willingly or not, our choices frequently hurt the least of these and others rather than help them. Sometimes, we even hurt ourselves. Our money is so important to us, we are willing to shop at stores because their prices are cheaper even though we know the products they sell recklessly endanger the lives of those who make them. We buy food which is mass produced with disregard for their health implications because the farmer down the road is more expensive. We'd rather keep more of our money than pay the taxes it takes to provide for those in need. We have a money problem.
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