HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » n2doc » Journal
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 1324 Next »


Profile Information

Gender: Do not display
Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 40,617

About Me

Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Livestock falling ill in fracking regions


In the midst of the domestic energy boom, livestock on farms near oil- and gas-drilling operations nationwide have been quietly falling sick and dying. While scientists have yet to isolate cause and effect, many suspect chemicals used in drilling and hydrofracking (or “fracking”) operations are poisoning animals through the air, water or soil.

Earlier this year, Michelle Bamberger, an Ithaca, N.Y., veterinarian, and Robert Oswald, a professor of molecular medicine at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine, published the first and only peer-reviewed report to suggest a link between fracking and illness in food animals.

The authors compiled 24 case studies of farmers in six shale-gas states whose livestock experienced neurological, reproductive and acute gastrointestinal problems after being exposed — either accidentally or incidentally — to fracking chemicals in the water or air. The article, published in “New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health,” describes how scores of animals died over the course of several years. Fracking industry proponents challenged the study, since the authors neither identified the farmers nor ran controlled experiments to determine how specific fracking compounds might affect livestock.

The death toll is insignificant when measured against the nation’s livestock population (some 97 million beef cattle go to market each year), but environmental advocates believe these animals constitute an early warning.

Exposed livestock “are making their way into the food system, and it’s very worrisome to us,” Bamberger said. “They live in areas that have tested positive for air, water and soil contamination. Some of these chemicals could appear in milk and meat products made from these animals.”


Nurses union vows to continue backing Bernie Sanders

By Matea Gold and John Wagner

A super PAC financed by the country’s largest nurses union has spent more than $610,000 on behalf of Bernie Sanders’s presidential bid, including $41,000 on new billboards touting him in the early caucus states of Iowa and Nevada, according to expenditure reports filed Monday.

Union officials said they plan to continue spending through the political action committee, National Nurses United for Patient Protection -- even though Sanders has repeatedly denounced the influence of super PACs and has insisted that he doesn’t have one flanking his upstart campaign.

“We never considered it a super PAC,” said Jean Ross, co-president of the nurses union. “This isn’t a corporation or an individual who can write out millions of dollars at a time. This is money that nurses put out for things that they believe in.”



For Clinton, one glaring holdout among female Democratic senators

The tableau surrounding Hillary Clinton on Monday was impressive: Thirteen women Democratic senators endorsing the Democratic 2016 presidential front-runner en masse.

The evening fundraising event on Capitol Hill brought in a chunk of campaign cash ahead of an often difficult fund-raising month in December. But it was also meant to underscore Clinton’s near monopoly among Democratic lawmakers who have declared a preference, and her appeal as the first woman with a strong shot at becoming president.

But one particularly influential female Democratic senator didn’t join her colleagues: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — the anti-Wall Street crusader who was courted to run as the darling of very liberal Democrats — has not endorsed Clinton, nor has she promised she will.

Her absence served as an awkward reminder of Clinton’s enduring struggle to generate support and enthusiasm among an influential segment of her party’s most liberal members. It also illustrates the leverage that Warren holds in an election that Democrats are calculating will be waged on issues of economic advancement and fairness.



Scott Walker Bankrupts Wisconsin Food Banks—Just in Time for Christmas!


It is becoming increasingly likely that, come Christmas Eve, Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their Midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin, will be visited by three very angry spirits—the Ghosts of Christmas Past, the Ghost Of Christmas Present, and the Ghost Of Let Me Hit You With This Croquet Mallet.​​

The 2013-15 state budget created a rule for some recipients of the state's food stamp program known as FoodShare: If you're an able-bodied adult without children living at home, you must work at least 80 hours a month or look for work to stay in the program. That rule went into effect in April, and between July and September, about 25 percent of the 60,000 recipients eligible to work were dropped from the program when the penalty took effect, according to DHS data. Meanwhile, about 4,500 recipients found work through a new job training program for FoodShare recipients. Participants can get three months of FoodShare benefits before being kicked out of the program if they decline to look for work.

​It is an article of rightwing faith that churches and other private institutions do a better job of charity work than does the government, which encourages "dependency" or some such. Of course, when the state throws up its hands, it causes chaos in the soup kitchens and food pantries as well.​

"They will bankrupt our food banks," said Sherrie Tussler, executive director of the Milwaukee-based Hunger Task Force, a supplier of food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters with emergency food. In Wisconsin, about 770,000 people receive FoodShare benefits as of September, according to DHS. The law automatically enrolls eligible recipients in a program designed to help them find employment called the FoodShare Employment and Training program. Since the new law took effect, just 7 percent of recipients in Milwaukee County—where about half of the able-bodied childless adult recipients live—that were referred to the program were placed in jobs, state data show.

​This is stupid. This is cruel. You rig your state's economy so that jobs flee by the thousands and then you tie food stamps to employment and—presto!—you've "cut government spending." Merry Christmas, all ye poor people of Wisconsin. You are nothing but a line item now.​


PhDs need real jobs too

Leonard Cassuto
People who study for doctorates in the arts and sciences are typically driven by love — for a particular historical period, author or field of inquiry. But graduate school isn't just a place to dive into 18th century novels, Medieval art or neurobiology. It's also, necessarily, a place to prepare for a career.

Most graduate programs encourage their students to set their sights on jobs teaching or conducting research at a college or university. They also endorse the notion, whether intentionally or not, that taking a position outside of the professoriate is some kind of failure.

That's insanity. It takes nine years on average for students to obtain a doctorate in the humanities, and the sciences are almost as bad. At the end of that long process, students encounter a job market for professors that is a mostly dry well. Only about half of doctoral candidates in the arts and sciences will eventually obtain jobs as college and university instructors. An increasing number of those openings are short-term gigs, many less than a year long, with no promise of future employment.

Even the lucky graduate students who secure a tenure-track position are likely to find a mismatch between their training and their future job requirements. As students, they learn how to become research specialists. But most professors spend most of their time teaching. Only a sliver of the doctorate population gets top-tier, research-first jobs.

We would hardly expect a modern journalism school to have a single-minded focus on print newspapers. Yes, there are still jobs to be had at newspapers, but only a small fraction of the number that there once were. A single-minded focus on professorships — on research-dominated professorships in particular — is just as irrational.



Monday Toon Roundup 3-The Rest






Monday Toon Roundup 2- Climate

Monday Toon Roundup 1- Carson and Trump

Why the Kochs Really Embraced Criminal Justice Reform

It looks like the Koch brothers have scammed us once again.

When news first came out that Charles and David Koch — the Koch brothers — were supporting criminal justice reform efforts in Congress, many of us thought, “Wow, they’re actually doing something good for once.”

And for good reason, too.

Criminal justice reform has, over the past few years, become one of the very few legitimately bipartisan issues in American politics, and given their public statements, it really looked like the Kochs were joining that bipartisan consensus for all the right reasons.

Here, for example, is Charles Koch on a recent episode of Morning Joe talking about why we need to reform drug laws.

Sounds pretty persuasive, right?

Boy were we naïve.



If the bill passes, white collar criminals could get away with breaking the law if they can simply say that they “didn’t know” they or their business and colleagues were breaking the law when committing the crime in question.

They can’t do this now — it’s that whole “ignorance of the law is no excuse” thing.

Sen. Warren: Low-wage workers deserve predictable schedules

— U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is hoping the holiday season will bring attention to one of her major legislative priorities.

The Massachusetts Democrat says some retail, restaurant and fast food workers are at the mercy of erratic work schedules during the holidays.

Warren says half of low-wage workers say they have little or no say over the hours they are scheduled to work and up to 30 percent say they can be called into work at the last minute.

Warren is pushing a bill aimed at encouraging more dependable employee schedules.

Warren said her bill targets practices like placing workers “on-call” with no guarantee of work hours, scheduling them for “split shifts” of nonconsecutive hours, and sending workers home early without pay when demand is low.

Go to Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ... 1324 Next »