Archives for posts with tag: news

I’m sure most people saw a headline along the lines of “One in seven Americans living in poverty” today— but did anybody else catch how that was defined? $22050 a year for a family of four. In the 98122 zip code in Seattle (“From Broadway to Lake Washington, Denny to Yesler”), the median rent for a two bedroom apartment is $1343 a month according to some random rent calculating website. That leaves $5934 a year— $494 a month— for, what, groceries, utilities, medical care— never mind insurance, education, etc etc. I find thinking about that a lot more useful than an abstracted “one in seven.”

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It’s also crushing to think about how many are just above the cut— there but for the grace of a statistic wonk’s technical definition go they. Crushing more so to think of all this happening during a time when some have so obscenely much.

I saw this on a car in the Southern County the other day:

Big ups for that one— easily my favorite since “ABOLISH CORPORATE PERSONHOOD.”


Being the (mostly) positive person that I am, I was elated when introduced to a news source by a friend of mine. Happy News is my kind of place. When I need to catch up on the what’s happening and am not feeling like I can brave the usual mega-news sites I just go to Happy New and pick a few stories. I call it ‘selective positive news consumption’ and I am not at all ashamed.

It even has science news.


Here’s my other source of news.

Hillary Clinton moved strongly counter to former administration public position in citing the execution of carbombings as an example of one of the “indices of insurgencies.”

I know all the paranoid types are worried about the war hawk drum banging of “Mexico is a dangerous failed state!” I’m just desperately crossing my fingers it isn’t supposed to be (please forgive me) Obama’s Kosovo. Or, worse yet— a pathetic proffer for conservative support. I definitely think better of Obama than that, which is why this Clinton thing has me so rattled.

Sabre-rattling to trick anti-peace drug warriors they mean business for November? Would that be meta wagging the dog?

Our Internet seclusion this weekend led to us missing out on the first few news cycles of this unbelievably inane and vulgar Qur’an burning business. Kind of just makes you want to leave it off. But every once in a blue moon, the Internet makes good on its promise as a democratizing news and entertainment source— or at least points you towards a pretty hilarious and offensive video:

It seems to me that if Bertrand Russell were alive today, he wouldn’t have to use “devastating…cold logic” in Why I Am Not A Christian so much as just make it a scrapbook of Current Events.

Sam and I are living an Internet-less life this holiday weekend, so fortunate I got an email on this timely unpleasantness just before the unplugging:

The note came from an old friend whose hemisphere status I can never keep track of; last I knew she was working with the Guatemala Solidarity Project. They have a (few weeks out of date) summary of the situation on their website here: .

Part of the email I got is below and mostly an exhortation to contact local officials to keep them mindful of the fact that the situation isn’t going unnoticed. Seems like a useful Sunday afternoon por aquellos que pueden escribir en Español- si malo o no…

*Please immediately call the governor of the department of Altaverapaz at 011 (502) 7951 4311

* Please immediately email President Alvaro Colom at
Please also cc:,,,,,

The demands of the members of Saquimo Setaño and CUC are:

1. The General Prosecutor of the Public Ministry reexamines and evaluates the actions of Prosecutor Sebastian Cucul concerning this case.

2. The President of the Supreme Court of Justice evaluates the role of the Judge of the First Instance of Penal Cases with office in Cobán Alta Verapaz.

3. The Human Rights Ombudsman and COPREDEH (Presidentioal human rights commission) closely monitors the situation in the community.

4. The Secretary of Agrarian Affairs uses all tools available to find a solution to the land conflict that is injuring this Q’eqchi community of Cobán.

5. The Governor of the Department of Alta Verapaz guarantees the safety of the members of the community.

Please write in English or Spanish your concern about the situation. Your email can be brief or long but it is important members of the regional government know they are being monitored. If possible, please write an email in your own words. Please include your location in the email.

Days later edit to add— this site posted the whole email.

A quick note in treehugger news— a coworker said something about genetically engineered salmon this morning, and I just looked it up. Sure enough, the FDA is holding hearings on both the permissibility of and potential labeling for genetically engineered salmon.

I went looking for some more and found this:

Unlike ordinary salmon, AquaBounty’s genetically modified fish grows during the winter as well as the summer, so it reaches an 8-pound market weight in 18 months instead of 36. That’s accomplished by inserting part of a gene from an eel-like creature called the ocean pout into the growth gene of a Chinook salmon, then injecting the blended genetic material into the fertilized eggs of a North Atlantic salmon.

Here’s an ocean pout for reference.

A bit more herky jerky than I hoped but, well, it was 6 in the morning and I was standing astride a hazardous woodpile:

Meanwhile, “Obama strongly supports mosque near Ground Zero.” Maybe it’s finally Morning in America.