Saturday, July 23, 2011

Coffee and Provocation

Do You Think Organic Means No Pesticides?
If you think organic produce means no pesticides, you might want to read this piece from Scientific American on organic myths. As someone who hunts organic farms, I can tell you no one is more interested in seeing every deer, groundhog and raccoon taken off the place. A blood free meal? Sorry, that's not possible from the moment you cut down the forest and plant row crops.

PeTA is as Dumb as a Stump:
It seems the idiots at PeTA have a solution for the two million feral hogs running around Texas -- just round them up and put them inside some nice cheap fencing. Over at the Texas Department of Agriculture, they are still laughing.

The End of Service Ferrets and Seeing Eye Ducks:
I was a huge supporter of the Americans with Disabilities Act and pushed hard for its passage. What I did not expect was the level of nonsense that would pop up in the the world of service animals. For 20 years now, a small but pushy group of people have been trying to claim their house cat, ferret or duck as a service animal so they can get it onto airplane flights, into stores, and even into restaurants.  Now the U.S. government has put an end to it and defined a service animal as a trained dog that does a service (and under certain narrow circumstances, it may include a miniature horse). 

Transgenic Chickens to Stop the Spread of Disease?
Researchers from the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland (the same place that created Dolly the cloned sheep) have created a transgenic chicken that won’t spread bird flu to other birds.  Because about 80 percent of the world’s chickens come from just two companies that sell purebred chicken lines, this may have an enormous (and positive) public heath consequence.

The Toyota RAV4 Powered by Tesla?
Things are starting to look pretty interesting in the world of electric vehicles.  Toyota is paying Tesla Motors $100 million for the rights to put the Tesla power train (it works!) into production in the 2012 Toyota RAV4 EV.  This may be The One for those of us with dogs (price will matter a lot!) and it's going to be here very soon. 

The Story Fox News Will Not Tell You:
You can blame a right-wing, Christian, nationalist, Islamophobe for shooting 80 children on Utoya Island in Norway and bombing an Oslo building that killed 7. And, of course, it was a right-wing, Christian, nationalist, Islamophobe that also bombed us in Oklahoma City. And, of course, it was right-wing, Christian, nationalist, Islamophobes that spurred us to kill 300,000 in Iraq who had nothing to do with the September 11 bombing of the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. Sauce for the goose and sauce for the gander, and a little something to think about.

This Dog Will End Up Dead, Killed by His Owner:
People are idiots, and here's a good example, captured on video. This guy is letting (and even encouraging) his Jack Russell terrier climb difficult rock cliffs without benefit of the rope and other protective features he demands for himself. This is a predictable disaster waiting to happen, same as throwing a dog's ball out in traffic.

Deviled Tongue:
I have a friend who loves tacos made from cow tongue.  I must remember to send him this ad for Underwood "Deviled Tongue," made by the same people who used to make "Deviled Ham."  And how about that corporate slogan:  "Branded with the Devil, but fit for the Gods" ? I'm not sure that slogan would pass muster with the fundies these days.  In 1918, of course, the fundies did not exist; they are a modern creation.

The Original Polar Bear Club:
A female polar bear wearing a GPS tracking device was recorded swimming for nine days straight and covering a distance of 426 miles.  Think about that for a second.  You could not walk 9 days straight, and you do not even want to drive 426 miles.  Swim it?  Unimaginable!

Would Hemmingway Tweet?
J.R. Absher, over at The Outdoor Pressroom, asks a fun question on Ernest Hemingway's 112th birthday. I think not, under the theory that if Leroy Jethro Gibbs does not tweet, neither does Hemingway.  Please discuss.

Remove the Mountains and Put Up Solar Panels?
Could mountaintop removal sites in Kentucky serve as a home for fields of solar panels? I suppose that's one way to put damaged land back to good use.  By one calculation, the 897 square miles of cleared mountaintop in Kentucky could supply nearly 10% of the electricity needed in the entire U.S.!

An Environmental Republican?
In other news coal news, Michael Bloomberg, the Republican mayor of New York, has donated $50 million of his own money to the Sierra Club to help fight coal-fired power plants.

There Are No Feral Dog Packs in America:
There are no feral dog packs in America... or so I have been told.  Nonetheless, The Fayetteville, North Carolina Observor reports that a dog-hunting team has been hired to help help track wild packs in Fayetteville. As many as 150 wild dogs in the city are killing pets and threatening residents, and the city is going to hire a pair of two-person teams with trucks and tranquilizer darts to hunt the dogs which will be darted with a tranquilizer/GPS chip combination "that allow the hunters to find the animals in the woods after the drugs take effect and the animals collapse." Eh? Did I miss a completely new technology being invented?  Gun-fireable GPS units with tranquilizer darts?  I am betting the reporter has invented something here... or the spokesperson for the company doing the shooting of these dogs has.  If there is new tech I have missed, however, let me know in the comments.... it's hard to keep up!

Barbed Wire and Profits:
In the past I have written about the history of barbed wire (yes, there's a dog connection). Now comes a paper from Harvard's Richard Hornbeck that notes the land values connection. As barbed wire dramatically expanded its reach from 1880 to 1900, "counties with the least woodland experienced substantial relative increases in settlement, land improvement, land values, and the productivity and production share of crops most in need of protection" due to the sudden availability of cheap fencing.

No More Pugs to China!
Pugs may have come from China once upon a time, but there's no going back now that Cathay Pacific Airlines has banned brachycephalic breeds due to concerns these short-nosed animals have an increased risk of breathing problems and overheating due to the stress of flying. Shit-Zoos are no longer welcome at Cathay, and neither are Pekingese, English Bulldogs, Boston Terriers and Boxers. Most American airlines no longer take brachy dogs in cargo (though some will take them in winter), and neither does Singapore Airlines. More to follow no doubt!

A Gay Dog Show?
That seems a little redundant.  It's not like any of them are totally straight (and no there's nothing wrong with that). And they're not not going to physically exclude heteros (heaven for fend!), so this just seems like a fundraising gimmick designed to institutionalized gay separateness while saluting overt discrimination in the name of rosette chasing.  In short, nothing new here!



HurricaneDeck said...

No feral dog packs in America? Dang. That's something new. Someone forgot to tell the pack that runs on my parents' property then, because I don't think that they knew that!

fleur de leesa said...

Love your blog more all the time! Thanks for the doses of common sense.

Seahorse said...

A guest on Fox "News" actually said the Norway shooter was a fundamentalist Christian, gay and Muslim-hating murderer. I heard it with my own shocked and amazed ears. Bet they never let THAT guest on again! "Retraction at 6!"

Poor Biscuit the rock climber. You're right, if she's not already dead, she will be. Her ass of an owner will keep challenging her until she loses. WHOOPS!

The PeTA rebuttal was pretty funny. I love that guy's solution.

Years ago when I was barely in my teens, my best friend's dad was a world-renown biologist. He overheard us talking about organic foods and put me on the spot, asking me what I thought the word organic meant. I went on a bit about no pesticides, etc. and he chuckled and said, "No, it simply refers to either having carbon in its chemical make-up or not." I still cringe thinking about that to this day! Poor brilliant bastard is now so debilitated with Alzheimer's he doesn't know his own name. Life will kill ya, so said dead Warren Zevon.


scott Kauffman said...

The Story Fox News Will Not Tell You:

Damn Patrick, that rant makes you sound like a left wing, atheist/muslim, world order, demagogue.

It makes little difference what the nut case thinks he believes in, he is still a nut case. Correlating christians and Republicans with mass murders is just the way your mind works. You'll take any shot to kill the competition. I'm guessing the democrats line your pockets there in the belt way world you live in more than the republicans? That has to be the driving force behind your vitriolic rants against right wing christians.

Thanks for giving Fox news the plug though.

No Worries, Scott

PBurns said...

Scott, it's 10 an, Shouldn't you be in church, or avoiding taxes, or polishing a gun, or spewing paronia or something? I hate to see my Republican friends off their schedule, Lol.

Here's a question for you: Why is it any worse to correlate Christians with mass murder than Muslims, which is done ALL THE TIME by the people you salute everyday? If I have got you thinking about that, then my post served its mission, which seems to have escaped you. However, if you have a sermon from your church that you want to steer me towards on the theme of not killing people that never waged war on us, please post away! So far as I can tell the right-wing Christian community has been as silent as a guppie about Iraq... certainly more silent that the Muslim Imam's were about 9-11 -- and yes I have bashed them in the past for not speaking out more. But at least they have spoken -- more than we can say for the conservative churches, eh?

And no, my pockets are not lind by the right or the left. Nice try. Sadly, not lined at all, and certainly not on a partisan basis as anyone will tell you.

Now about right-wing Christian killers. They're actually a pretty long tradition in this country, as you certainly know, from slavery to the Indian masacres, and from Oklahoma City to the Arayan Nations and the militia groups.

But you want terrorism? How could anyone do better than your right-wing friends in Congress right now, and NO it's not me saying it. See here: "Republicans, Zealots and Our Security" in this morning's New York Times >>


scott Kauffman said...

Big smile :). Hay, it is closer to 7 than 10 out here! Haven't been in a church since my mom died and only then once in a great while to placate her. I should keep my guns cleaner but they run lead through them just fine a little dirty. We don't need to be taxed anymore than we are. Paid $1,400,000 when my mom died (you know the death tax) and that should cover me for life as far as I see it. Thanks for the Times article, I didn't know anyone still read that leftist rag?

Now don't take this as (paronia) sic, but I believe there are most likely hundreds of muslims waiting here in the U.S. prepared to do the same thing the Norseman did. Time will tell.

No Worries, Scott

PBurns said...

If you paid $1.4 million in taxes, Scott you must be RICH as estate taxes only kick in after a really bug number -- now over $2 million. An estate tax of $1.4 must mean you pocketed about $5 million. No wonder you're a Republican! By the way, you didn't pay those taxes -- your mom did. That was unearned income to you. Just sayin'.... Oh, and by the way only 2% of those who inherit have to pay taxes at all. See >> for more data.

Sure I will bet there are Muslims hell bent on bad news... more Christians, though. We have Christians killing people every day in this country, don't we?

Disappointed to find you have lost contact with your God. I make contact with mine every Sunday that it's under 90 in the shade ;-)

As for the gun: patches, bore shine and Hoppes #9, with a light spray of oil over the moving parts. Cleanliness is next to Godliness in the Church of Field and Stream. Let us prey.


PBurns said...

AS PREDICTED: Laura Ingraham Blames Norway Terrorism on Muslims >>

"FOX News is still at it, misrepresenting the news in order to provide a skewed and distorted worldview for the conservative base. On Friday night (July 22) Laura Ingraham... took the opportunity to blame the terrorist attack conducted by a right-wing Christian extremist on Muslims. In her words, 'two deadly terror attacks in Norway, in what appears to be the work, once again, of Muslim extremists…'"


Seahorse said...

Geez, between the two of you I think you missed calling out the fundamentalist Christian abortion doctor killers. That's always a nifty mental sleight-of-hand where assassination is called for to prevent "killing". I haven't seen a Muslim arrested for that one yet.


Jenn said...

Put Up Solar Panels?

- What a great idea!
A good land use and who's going to be crazy enough to NIMBY something like that?

(I know, I know. The NIMBYs are always with us. Sometimes I'm one of them...)

PBurns said...

Bill O'Really says the Norwegian killer is not a Christian, and never mind if the killer himself says he is, and oh, by the way, all terrorists are true Muslims, but no terrorists are ever Christians. So says Bill O'Really. See >>

Seahorse said...

Guess that little Inquisition way back when was just an "oopsie" in no way related to Christianity.


e said...

OOOO...the Rav4 is my dog car of choice...can fit 3 shelties, and a big collie in...all in crates....Because the wheel is on the back (or not at all if you have the new drive on flats) the interior height is large...the largest of all the smaller SUVs...I know because I measured all of them myself...;-)