September 11, 2007 archive

Health News Roundup

Thought I’d create a little links fest for those who would like to sip from the firehose that is health and healthcare. 

This post is for novice readers and features some core and must-have reference links.

Since I’m a two a day essayist, and I already used one of my daily offerings, I’ll add the links for the major highlights of today at the bottom.  If you like what you read, or if you would enjoy something different, please let me know in the comments, and I’ll adjust accordingly.

News from the Northwest

Also posted at Truth & Progress

The Copper Salmon Wilderness

Oregon’s 4th district congressman Peter DeFazio and Senator Ron Wyden have introduced bills to create the 13,700-acre Copper Salmon Wilderness in southwestern Oregon.


This one’s for you, LoE:

“Now that the Republicans no longer control the Congress, there’s a possibility of doing a meritorious wilderness bill,” DeFazio said Monday. He said former Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., who was the gatekeeper for wilderness bills before he lost re-election last year, “hated wilderness with a passion.”

The proposal is enthusiastically supported by virtually every local official, the local chamber of commerce, Governor Kulongoski, and hunting and fishing groups. And for good reason. The area is home to one of the most productive salmon spawning grounds in North America. Its loss would be yet another blow to both the commercial and sport fisheries.

Friends of Elk River presents the case:

What would the Copper Salmon Wilderness protect?

  • the headwaters of the Elk, Sixes and South Fork Coquille Rivers
  • eighteen miles of streams used for spawning and rearing by Coho salmon and coastal cutthroat trout, both listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as well as Chinook salmon, steelhead, resident rainbow trout and lampreys
  • critical habitat for spotted owls and marbled murrelets, both listed under the ESA
  • one of the last large stands of old-growth Port-Orford-cedar that remains free of the deadly Phytophthora lateralis root disease
  • a wildlife corridor extending from the Grassy Knob Wilderness near the coast to the Wild Rogue Wilderness, the Kalmiopsis Wilderness and south through the Klamath-Siskiyou bioregion to the Yolla Bolly Wilderness

In effect, the adjacent 17,200-acre Grassy Knob Wilderness is being doubled. Click on the map above to expand it and see the location.

The bills are not yet available at THOMAS. When they are, Wyden’s will be S. 2034 and DeFazio’s H.R. 3513.

Four at Four

Four stories in the news at 4 o’clock. Simple, huh?

  1. While Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker continue with the White House ‘stay the course’, ‘just a little be longer’ rhetoric today while facing skeptical Senators who will, undoubtedly, turn around and vote for more “emergency” funding for Iraq, an analysis in the Los Angeles Times quotes a Mideast specialist that “Bush has found his exit strategy,” bequeath Iraq to successor. Meanwhile, “Newsweek has learned that a separate internal report being prepared by a Pentagon working group will ‘differ substantially’ from Petraeus’s recommendations… An early version of the report, which is currently being drafted and is expected to be completed by the beginning of next year, will ‘recommend a very rapid reduction in American forces: as much as two-thirds of the existing force very quickly, while keeping the remainder there.’ The strategy will involve unwinding the still large U.S. presence in big forward operation bases and putting smaller teams in outposts.” Senior Pentagon officials, including Petraeus’ commander, Admiral William Fallon, want to “draw down faster”.

  2. gray whaleYesterday’s Four at Four reported a brief bit of good news for whales, but today’s the bad whale news returns with a Los Angeles Times story, Gray whale recovery called incorrect. “The success story of the Pacific gray whales’ full recovery from near-extinction is wrong, according to a new genetic analysis that pegs the current population at only one-third to one-fifth of historical levels. ¶ By examining subtle variations in DNA taken from 42 modern whales, scientists have concluded that between 78,500 and 117,700 gray whales lived before the heyday of commercial whaling in the 19th and 20th centuries. ¶ That finding, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that the about 22,000 gray whales now swimming along the California coast remain a depleted population.” Unfortunately, it gets worse.

    The results counter what had been a predominant scientific view that the iconic creatures of the West Coast were so bountiful that they were overgrazing their traditional feeding grounds. Instead, the findings provide further evidence that this year’s abnormally high number of skinny whales is a sign of deterioration of the vast ocean ecosystem that stretches from Baja California to the Bering Sea.

    “If the oceans a few hundred years ago could support 100,000 gray whales, why can’t the oceans sustain 20,000 whales today?” said Stephen Palumbi, a Stanford University marine sciences professor and senior author of the study.

  3. The oceans are trying to tell us something. From The Independent today is the ominous story that climate change will harm life on the deep ocean floor. “A study of the most remote forms of life on Earth has found that their splendid isolation on the deep seabed will not protect them from environmental catastrophes on the surface. ¶ Scientists used to believe that a global disaster that wiped out most of the life on Earth would not touch the unusual organisms that live around the mineral-rich vents on the sea floor. But research by a team of British scientists has found that even these deep-sea creatures which live in total darkness and survive on the chemical energy oozing from mineral vents on the seabed are not immune from the seasonal changes above.” In addition, the change has already started. In a diary at Daily Kos, jbalazs writes that the National Snow and Ice Data Center has found the melting polar ice caps are changing ocean circulation.

  4. Lastly, this report from Reuters, Biofuels may harm more than help. “The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said biofuels may ‘offer a cure that is worse than the disease they seek to heal’. ¶ ‘The current push to expand the use of biofuels is creating unsustainable tensions that will disrupt markets without generating significant environmental benefits,’ the OECD said. ¶ ‘When acidification, fertilizer use, biodiversity loss and toxicity of agricultural pesticides are taken into account, the overall environmental impacts of ethanol and biodiesel can very easily exceed those of petrol and mineral diesel,’ it added.” Their advice? Cut consumption. “‘A liter of gasoline or diesel conserved because a person walks, rides a bicycles, carpools or tunes up his or her vehicle’s engine more often is a full liter of gasoline or diesel saved at a much lower cost to the economy than subsidizing inefficient new sources of supply,’ it said.” Also OECD suggest encouraging “developing countries that have ecological and climate systems more suited to biomass production” to become producers.

One more story below the fold…

Saudi Arabia and Petraeus’s First Slide

At the outset I would like to note that this is my testimony. Although I have briefed my assessment and recommendations to my chain of command, I wrote this testimony myself. It has not been cleared by nor shared with anyone in the Pentagon, the White House or the Congress until it was just handed out.

General David Petraeus, 9/10/07

General Petraeus employed thirteen slides in his opening remarks to the joint hearing of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs committees, yesterday.  A PDF of them can be found here.

Many people have noted that the slides concerning the frequency of insurgent attacks and “ethno-sectarian violence” were misleading.  However, it seems to me that the very first slide, a map of the region labeled “Major Threats to Iraq”, is more revealing of the limits of General Petraeus’s independence, the decidely pragmatic nature of the hearings, and the meaning of the occupation of Iraq itself, than any other.

It is wrong to threaten the Universe, I see this now.

Yesterday I was exceedingly rude to our wonderful, and btw, quite good looking in those lovely shoes, Universe!

I would like to, at this point humbly apologize to the Universe and ask it what it is drinking and could I possibly buy it a fresh one and by the way I’m very sorry, please excuse me, I will be happy to not GBCW and keep writing essays and diaries, and whenever you see fit to hook my power up and give me lights and a refrigerator and a blessed ceiling fan and even…..gasp…..air freaking conditioning I will be more than grateful and promise to never be such a sodding wanker again, thankyouverymuch!

Univision #1 Beating ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and CW

Well, here is some interesting news, Univision has beat out all the other networks, FOX, ABC, CBS, NBC and CW for the coveted 18-34 demographic. While not exactly surprising with how the sociodemographics are trending in the United States of America, it is definitely a benchmark, an a benchmark that was just a matter of time.

This is also before the Presidential Debates in Spanish, so the quality programming on Univision cannot be discounted. Have you ever seen Sabado Gigante? You don’t need to speak Spanish to enjoy that. Plus, even the The Soap agrees that soap operas on Univision are more entertaining than the usual ABC, NBC and CBS fare.

Let’s take a look at the data, shall we?

PONY PARTY… remembering a Tuesday unlike any other

Six years ago… our world changed. We had no idea how much it would change. We didn’t know then that so many thousands and tens of thousands of lives would be lost and destroyed. We didn’t know about New Orleans. Or polar bears drowning. We didn’t know about sub prime loans or surges. Firefighters, cops, rescue workers, and others sick from ground zero… we did not know.

We just had no idea. That there would be, on a perfectly beautiful Tuesday morning, two tall buildings falling down… ashes ashes we all fall down…

We did not know. That for six years hence, sleep would come without rest.

Here’s a recording of “Fragile” made by Sting on that very day.

The Main Bang – A Must Read

I doubt that many – if any – read the air traffic contollers’ blogs.  There is one called The Main Bang, written by John Carr, that I most vigorously advocate for inclusion here.  I would be ecstatic if John became a front pager here.  He is the past president of NATCA – The National Air Traffic Controllers Association.  That is the union formed after Reagan gutted PATCO and fired controllers en masse in August of 1981.

Screw Bin Laden, I’m Going Shopping!

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, and lemme tellya, I’m scared shitless that the economy will be tanking, um, soon. Sometime soon. I’m also a bit concerned that we’ll be Bombing Beautiful Persia within two months. Or tomorrow. Who can say? I’m mildly worried that White Male Christian Dominionists will, in short order, be transforming our country’s military into their own personal paintball game, and in the process taking over everything else with ridiculous ease. Some people tell me that I’m overrreacting, but I don’t think so, dude.

Tuesday’s Live-Blog…Petraeus v. Senate Foreign Relations

according to the CSPAN website, the hearing will air on cspan3, online at this link, and on cspan radio which is available online in multiple formats.  time listed is 9:30 am edt.

this is the cspan website description of today’s hearing:

Senate Committee
Status of War in Iraq
Foreign Relations
Washington, District of Columbia (United States)

  Biden, Joseph R. Jr. U.S. Senator, D-DE
  Petraeus, David H. Commander, Multinational Force-Iraq
  Crocker, Ryan C. Ambassador, United States, Iraq

A hearing on the status of the war in Iraq and political developments there was held to hear a report by the commanding general and the U.S. ambassador on conditions in Iraq.

Pony Party: September 11th edition

We hear that 9/11 changed everything.  And we know that’s not the whole truth.  9/11 changed people through their emotional response, and the opportunistic pounced on the opportunity to change the rest of the ‘everything’. 

9/11/01 changed how we feel about our world, yet I feel more fear and less hope today than i did then.  9/11/01 was merely the catalyst.

I’m not a poet, a preacher, a politician, or a philosopher.  I have no wise words, on this anniversary, no perspective to offer.  Only quotes about change.

Anniversaries are days we tend to look back. But today, while I reflect, I am also committing to looking forward.  To change.  9/11/07 could change ‘everything’, too.  All it wants is a catalyst. 

Scheduling (Revolutions)

Why, Mr. Anderson?  Why do you do it?  Why get up?  Why keep fighting?

Do you believe you’re fighting for something?  For more that your survival?  Can you tell me what it is?  Do you even know?

Is it freedom?  Or truth?  Perhaps peace?  Yes?  No?  Could it be for love?

Illusions, Mr. Anderson.  Vagaries of perception.  The temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose.  And all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself, although only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love.

You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson.  You must know it by now.  You can’t win.  It’s pointless to keep fighting.

Why, Mr. Anderson?  Why?  Why do you persist?

Because I choose to.

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