Feed on

You’ve got to be carefully taught

That’s so darn Christian of them, isn’t it?

Documents have come to light in a Maine court filing that detail a plot by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to slow the legalization of same-sex marriage by dividing black and LGBT people, according to the Human Rights Commission.

The documents, marked “Confidential,” emerged as part of an investigation by the State of Maine into the conservative organization’s campaign finance activities in the state. In a board report called the “Not a Civil Right Project” for 2008 to 2009, the group discusses its heavy involvement in Proposition 8 in California, it’s goal of blocking attempts by New England states to legalize same-sex marriage, and, most controversially, a plan by NOM to “drive a wedge between gays and blacks.”

The organization hoped to “(f)ind, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots,” thereby “fanning the hostility” between two groups it sees as “key Democratic constituencies.”

NOM also hoped to target Latinos and prevent the “process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture” from leading Hispanics to “abandon traditional family values.”

Quick weight loss

Only 16 people? That’s still enough to get your own book contract these days!

In a study presented Tuesday at the American Chemical Society’s spring national meeting in San Diego, 16 overweight young adults took, by turns, a low dose of green coffee bean extract, a high dose of the supplement, and a placebo. Though the study was small, the results were striking: Subjects lost an average of 17.5 pounds in 22 weeks and reduced their overall body weight by 10.5%.

If green coffee extract were a medication seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration, these results would make it a viable candidate — more than 35% of subjects lost more than 5% of their body weight, and weight loss appeared to be greater while subjects were taking the pills than when they were on the placebo.

But as a dietary supplement, green coffee extract does not require the FDA’s blessing. In fact, it is already available as a naturopathic medicine and antioxidant.

Local boy makes good

Go read about John Prendergast, a Philly-area native who agitates around the world to help Africa. Truly one of the good guys (I just finished reading one of his books).

Hope for Paws

You can donate here:



(Reuters) – The guarantee of landline telephone service at almost any address, a legal right many Americans may not even know they have, is quietly being legislated away in our U.S. state capitals.

AT&T and Verizon, the dominant telephone companies, want to end their 99-year-old universal service obligation known as “provider of last resort.” They say universal landline service is a costly and unfair anachronism that is no longer justified because of a competitive market for voice services.

The new rules AT&T and Verizon drafted would enhance profits by letting them serve only the customers they want. Their focus, and that of smaller phone companies that have the same universal service obligation, is on well-populated areas where people can afford profitable packages that combine telephone, Internet and cable television.

Sprint, T-Mobile and the cell phone divisions of AT&T and Verizon are not subject to universal service and can serve only those areas they find profitable.

Unless the new rules are written very carefully, millions of people, urban and rural, will lose basic telephone service or be forced to pay much more for calls.

Climate change driving extreme weather

by Susie
In other news, water is wet!

Cancer breakthrough

I remember when they first discovered this. Maybe this really is the magic bullet to cure cancer:

A single drug can shrink or cure human breast, ovary, colon, bladder, brain, liver, and prostate tumors that have been transplanted into mice, researchers have found. The treatment, an antibody that blocks a “do not eat” signal normally displayed on tumor cells, coaxes the immune system to destroy the cancer cells.

A decade ago, biologist Irving Weissman of the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, discovered that leukemia cells produce higher levels of a protein called CD47 than do healthy cells. CD47, he and other scientists found, is also displayed on healthy blood cells; it’s a marker that blocks the immune system from destroying them as they circulate. Cancers take advantage of this flag to trick the immune system into ignoring them. In the past few years, Weissman’s lab showed that blocking CD47 with an antibody cured some cases of lymphomas and leukemias in mice by stimulating the immune system to recognize the cancer cells as invaders. Now, he and colleagues have shown that the CD47-blocking antibody may have a far wider impact than just blood cancers.


Both the actual situation at the No. 2 Fukushima reactor and the news of the massive coverup that went with it? It just keeps getting worse:

TOKYO (AP) — One of Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and hardly any water to cool it, according to an internal examination Tuesday that renews doubts about the plant’s stability.

A tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer, a dosimeter and a water gauge was used to assess damage inside the No. 2 reactor’s containment chamber for the second time since the tsunami swept into the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant a year ago. The probe done in January failed to find the water surface and provided only images showing steam, unidentified parts and rusty metal surfaces scarred by exposure to radiation, heat and humidity.

The data collected from the probes showed the damage from the disaster was so severe, the plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology to tolerate the harsh environment and decommission the plant, a process expected to last decades.

Tuesday’s examination with an industrial endoscope detected radiation levels up to 10 times the fatal dose inside the chamber. Plant officials previously said more than half of melted fuel has breached the core and dropped to the floor of the primary containment vessel, some of it splashing against the wall or the floor.

Particles from melted fuel have probably sent radiation levels up to dangerously high 70 sieverts per hour inside the container, said Junichi Matsumoto, spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co.

“It’s extremely high,” he said, adding that an endoscope would last only 14 hours in that condition. “We have to develop equipment that can tolerate high radiation” when locating and removing melted fuel during the decommissioning.
Continue Reading »

Neither one of us

Daryl Hall:

The look of love

Diana Krall:

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »