Tuesday, April 22, 2014

White-Breasted Nuthatch as Indiana State Bird

Image from Wikimedia Commons
Earlier this month the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel reported on a campaign by Tom Johnson and Andy Cullimore of Valparaiso to adopt the white-breasted nuthatch as the state bird of Indiana. Their activity is featured on Facebook. If the campaign ever moves beyond the wall, let me sign the petition! This is not to take anything away from the cardinal, which happens to be the official bird in seven states, according to the News-Sentinel's report. I'm delighted to know that others appreciate this spunky little guy, the white-breasted nuthatch. It's a beautiful bird. And it really is beautifully Indiana.



Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Salute to Deborah Hughes

Retired nurse gets mob in Detroit to back off, stop beating driver

Monday, April 07, 2014

Side Effect Suicide

A Truthout interview with Robert Whitaker, author of Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, has an up-beat —
I felt a new sense of optimism, hopeful that maybe psychiatry would now really address this issue, which is so important to the lives of so many people. A short while ago, The New York Times published a feature story on Dr. Insel, noting that he had recently raised a question about the long-term use of antipsychotics, which had caused a stir in psychiatry because it contradicted conventional wisdom. That is a sign that perhaps a new discussion is really opening up.
— and a down-beat —
Even as the intellectual foundation for our drug-based paradigm of care is collapsing, starting with the diagnostics, our society's use of these medications is increasing; the percentage of children and youth being medicated is increasing; and states are expanding their authority to forcibly treat people in outpatient settings with antipsychotics drugs. Disability numbers due to mental illness go up and up, and we don't see that as reason to change either. History does show that paradigms of psychiatric care can change, but, in a big-picture sense, I don't know how much is really changing here in the United States.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Make More Pigs

Americans are not as fond of “the other white meat” as we once were. You wouldn’t know it from the menus in trendy restaurants, but US consumers’ appetite for pork hit a peak in 1999 and has declined ever since. Yet industry, beholden to shareholders demanding growth, keeps churning out more.’

Monday, March 24, 2014

Frostpaw Rap

Everybody knows that we can't go on burning fossil fuels and that the main problem with clean-tech energy is storage. That's the problem with clean energy: storage. The problem with dirty energy is the destruction of everything on the planet.
The main arguments in support of laying the Keystone XL pipeline are money, jobs and clout as a major oil supplier. There will be many damages but the profits will surpass the losses. Some people disagree with the big-money justification.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Assaults on Democracy

A couple of phrases that just might encapsulate how it is with the U.S. of A....

“Indeed, race is the Rosetta Stone that makes sense of many otherwise incomprehensible aspects of U.S. politics.”
Paul Krugman, NYT

“The report offers a powerful case study of everything that is wrong with this corporate assault on democracy.”
Robin Broad, Triple Crisis (via Naked Capitalism)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Multinationals Care About Your Job, Dude

Economic Policy Institute reports:

U.S.-Korea Trade Deal Resulted in Growing Trade Deficits and Nearly 60,000 Lost Jobs
Trade deals do more than cut tariffs, they promote foreign direct investment (FDI) and a surge in outsourcing by U.S. and foreign multinational companies (MNCs). FDI leads to growing trade deficits and job losses. U.S. multinationals were responsible for nearly one quarter (26.9 percent) of the U.S. trade deficit in 2011. Foreign multinationals operating in the United States (companies like Kia and Hyundai) were responsible for nearly half (44.2 percent) of the U.S. goods trade deficit in that same year. Taken together, U.S. and foreign MNCs were responsible for nearly three-fourths (77.1 percent) of the U.S. goods trade deficit in 2011.
So... NAFTA and KORUS turned out to be not so great for non-multinational people who salute a particular flag and pay taxes if they have, like, something to tax. But these deals work out great for the multinational guys who are working on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — a.k.a. "NAFTA on Steroids."