Category Archives: Natural News

Hot Air

Well-Preserved

Mighty mite real estate guy John Saunders looks to be next in line to become chair of Bloomington’s Historic Preservation Commission. He was notified by current Commission member Marj Hudgins that he’d been tabbed. The full Commission will vote on new officers at one of the two upcoming February meetings.

Saunders

Saunders

The Commission, as of today, has two vacancies. Under normal circ.’s, some 13 B-ton citizens fill the board, with nine appointed by the mayor and four named by the city council. Just in case you were wondering, here are the members:

  • Jeannine Butler retired educator and current MCCSC board member
  • David Harstad real estate
  • Saunders real estate
  • Hudgins real estate
  • Marleen Newman senior lecturer, Indiana University, Dept. of Apparel Merchandising & Interior Design
  • Sam DeSollar architect
  • Chris Cockerham real estate
  • Doug Bruce architect
  • Chris Sturbaum construction company owner and city council member
  • Leslie Abshier Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington
  • Duncan Campbell historic preservation consultant and retired Ball State University architecture professor

BTW: Saunders says he attended Keb’ Mo’s show at the packed Buskirk Chumley Theater Tuesday night. The neo-delta bluesman shook the place to the rafters, the BHPC’s next chair observed.

Pence: Aw, I Was Just Joshin’

So, Gov. Mike Pence was really dedicated to his Just IN idea, huh?

Indy Star

Peeps have been saying his aborted state-run news agency will come back to haunt him as he chases the Republican presidential nomination. I say, Meh. Give the citizenry a month, two at the very most, and they’ll have forgotten it ever happened.

Open Season

The interwebs last week were abuzz with yet another story of cops gunning down a citizen. This time it was a teenaged white girl named Kristiana Coignard who was turned into a swiss cheese by constables from the smallish east Texas town of Longview.

Pix of the teen show a cute and delightful-looking little gal. Natch, the prevailing sentiment was Johnny Law had gone way, way, way too far. That’s two extra ways owing to the target’s Caucasian-ness.

Coignard

Coignard

Why, it was wailed, would the police do such a thing?

It occurs to me that there was a time when cops were well-known for solving problems with their fists or with hand held tools meant to inflict excruciating but not necessarily life altering damage. Think rubber hoses, nightsticks, and telephone books. Think also guys like Chicago’s notorious street sergeant nicknamed “Gloves” — he’d dramatically slip on kid leather gloves before administering one of his patented beatings to juveniles, be they delinquent or not. Civil rights and anti-police brutality crusaders worked tirelessly to get these kinds of police practices outlawed. To a large extent, police brutality has been reduced. At least the hand-to-hand variety.

Sadly, what we’re left with ain’t much better. In fact, it’s worse. A lot worse. Cops today, it seems, often fire their pistols at the drop of a hat. And prosecutors and mayors are reasonably happy to let them do so.

So why did the cops shoot this teenaged girl? Because they can.

Scientists Should Be Seen, Not Heard

The citizens of this holy land say they dig scientists. Only they’re not so fond of all that much scientists have to say.

Scientist

A Scientist Works On An Old School Laptop

That’s the finding of the latest Pew Research Center poll conducted in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Scope these poll findings:

  • 87% of scientists polled say eating GMO food is safe; only 37% of civilians think so
  • 68% of brain geeks think eating pesticide-treated food is safe; a mere 28% of the public buys that
  • 87% of these scientists are sure humans have caused climate change; only half the people do
  • 98% of the scientists accept evolution; 65% of your neighbors do

The takeaway for scientists? Americans think you look great in your lab coats. But just shut up, wouldya?

Natural?

Speaking of science, do you read the Natural News website?

Please don’t.

NN‘s majordomo, Mike Adams, who fancies himself “the Health Ranger,” is one of the wingnuttiest characters in this mad, mad, mad, mad world. I point this out because the name of his compendium of falsities, nonsense, and woo suggests a crunchy, peaceful, kumbaya message. It ain’t.

Adams is beloved by misinformation mavens like Dr. Mehmet Oz, the Food Babe, and scads of huffers and puffers about how there’s a worldwide arch-criminal conspiracy to turn us all into scurrying lab rats. He’s also from the moon.

Adams

Mike Adams And…, Hell, I don’t Know What It Is

Here are a few examples of what he believes:

  • GMO researchers are modern-day Nazis
  • In “chemtrails
  • In “quantum healing
  • HIV has nothing to do with AIDS
  • Parents should not have their children vaccinated
  • The Sandy Hook school massacre was a hoax
  • Western medicines and doctors are useless
  • Barack Obama was not born in the United States
  • 9/11 was an inside job

Neurologica’s Steven Novella has said of Adams:

If it is unscientific, antiscientific, conspiracy-mongering, or downright silly, Mike Adams appears to be all for it – whatever sells the “natural” products he hawks on his site.

One final shot: Last summer in a series of posts on NN, Adams repeated his claim that GMO researchers are the moral equivalent of Dr. Josef Mengele and his cronies and called for right-thinking folks to, well, murder them.

No, Natural News is decidedly not crunchy, peaceful, and kumbaya-ish.

 

Hot Air

A Law Supreme

I’m very, very lucky I didn’t have internet access yesterday.

If I had, it’s a sure bet I would have written something that would have gotten me into the hottest of water with the FBI, the Secret Service, the NSA, Academi (nee Blackwater), Control, Sgt. Friday, TJ Hooker, Dirty Harry and any other law enforcement cartoon characters you can imagine. I’m hot. And if you’re not, well then, you and I have wildly divergent views on what this free society should look like.

The US Supreme Court Monday not only ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby refusing to pay for slut pills, it also further chipped away at organized labor in this holy land. Some thoughts:

  • Not only are corporations people, acc’d’g to this Court, but they are religious.
  • Justice Antonin Scalia has positioned himself as a strict constructionist ever since he came on the national scene. He’s not; he is a theocrat.
  • The five justices who voted in favor of Hobby Lobby are, natch, white men. They also were nominated by Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. Anybody, therefore, who bleats that there’s no diff. between the Democrats and the Republicans is an idiot.

Conservative Justices

Boys Club

  • Clearly, the five Republican-nominated justices cherish the right to believe in a mythical creation figure who has issued a laundry list of dos and don’ts for humanity over the right of women to control their uteri. Kids, that’s just bizarre.
  • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote the dissent for the minority. She is becoming a superstar on the interwebs now, with people posting pull quotes from her angry denunciation of the decision all over social media.
  • The Supreme Court also ruled that gov’t employees who don’t want to be members of unions don’t have to pay dues. That means those workers can benefit from collective bargaining w/o sharing the cost. And the Republicans say they’re four-square against freeloaders!
  • Justice Samuel Alito wrote that public employee unions are “lobbyists.” These Reagan/Bush/Bush dudes, my friends, are awfully confused.

In other Supreme Court news last week, the Nine ruled unanimously that municipalities cannot bar anti-abortion protestors from verbally assaulting or otherwise violating the personal space of abortion clinic clients on public sidewalks. As you know, any number of cities had instituted buffer zones to keep “pro-life” zealots away from women trying to enter the clinics. (Read Sara Benincasa’s remembrance of being so assaulted when she went to an abortion clinic some years ago.) I get the reasoning behind the decision, even if I don’t like it. So I was wondering, can atheists now stand outside churches and temples and shout “Suckers!” at worshipers trying to enter therein?

Overall, the importance of the November mid-term elections cannot be overstated. If the Senate goes GOP, we’re going to move even further toward the Radical Right than we have already..

Choose Your Friends Carefully

In other news of late, the influx of undocumented Central American kids in this holy land has resulted in heart-wrenching pix of and stories about the young ‘uns being warehoused in cold, dirty, concrete-floor holding centers. But the self-idolators and tinfoil cap wearers who run the crunchy, conspiracy-theory laden website Natural News have gleaned an even more insidious bit of fallout from this sad state of affairs.

Mike Adams, who’s the “brain” behind Nat. News, wrote that all these dirty immigrant kids are going to pollute our population with all their yucky germs.

Here’s Adams’ headline:

Unloading disease-carrying immigrants in large US cities a ‘perfect storm’ for pandemic disease outbreak

In the body of the piece, Adams writes that one of the reasons we should fear the kids is that they haven’t been vaccinated. A practice, BTW, that Natural News has opinionated time and again is horribly dangerous to our Aryan American citizenry.

I’ve always felt the zealot natural food and anti-chemical crowd has a bit of a Perfect Race streak in it. As in, sure, the Green Revolution has fed hundreds of millions of starving souls in Africa and Asia but, golly gee, are all those saved lives worth it if we get a trace of synthetic fertilizer in our organic cookies? There are trade-offs in every decision, as any adult would acknowledge, but the hyper-natural gang is convinced that American food must be pure, pure, pure even at the cost of a potential mass starvation in India.

Immigrant Detention

Not Perfect

Adams adds:

If infectious disease isn’t bad enough, this immigration wave also consists of “sex offenders, murder suspects and gang members….”

Old Joey Goebbels would have been proud.

BTW: Adams feels the Obama Admin. is way cool with this wave of undesirables because, “[a]fter all, these are future Democratic voters!”

Lots of natural food, sustainable agriculture, anti-Monsanto-ites seem to dig Mike Adams — who calls himself the “Health Ranger” — because, well, he and his peeps are four-square against GMOs and such.

That’s scant reason to hitch one’s wagon to a bunch of crypto-Nazis. It’d be like the vegetarians of America plastering bumper stickers of A. Hitler on their cars simply because he, too, refused to eat meat.

 

Hot Air

Big Talk

Who’s the coolest person in Bloomington?

Today, at least, it’s Nate Powell. The noted cartoonist and author of numerous top-selling graphic novels is grilled, pierced, gutted, and otherwise questioned online by the majordomo of this communications colossus in the new interview series Big Talk.

That majordomo? It’s me.

BigTalkRoundCorners

Big Talk, long-time readers of this series of shrieks already know, is the shiny new monthly run of colloquys co-sponsored by The Ryder magazine, WFHB radio, and, natch, The Electron Pencil. The whole shebang had a soft kick-off in mid-January with the first airing on ‘FHB’s Daily Local News of my interview with the author/drawer of March: Book One, Any Empire, The Silence of Our Friends, and others. As in any new endeavor attempted by creative types, getting this thing synched up has been about as efficient as the wrangling of a houseful of cats by a blind man, so the other shoe part of interview No. 1 finally hits the interwebs today.

Powell Cartoon

Powell By Powell

We’ve already run a second interview with poet extraordinaire Tony Brewer on WFHB, with his print chat set to hit the streets in the April edition of The Ryder, due out soonly. Slowly but surely we’ll get our radio, print, and online skeds to jibe, so keep your shirts on while we pretend we know what we’re doing.

To refresh, the whole idea is for me to find fascinating Bloomington characters and shine the harsh light upon them, sans the blackjack and the telephone book treatment. Honest, I try to treat my victi…, er, subjects nicely. We want to learn about B-Town’s cools, not gawk at their lifeless bodies. The resultant interviews will find their way to your ears and eyes via an 8-minute feature segment on WFHB’s Daily Local News, a much longer discussion in that month’s hard-copy Ryder, and then a web redux on The Ryder‘s site. Natch, all links will be accessible here, thanks to our (duh) Big Talk page.

EP Screenshot

Go Ahead, Click It; You Know You Want To

So, unless you want to be the most square square in this Indiana college town, listen to the Daily Local News, read The Ryder when it hits your local merchants and street newsboxes, and, well, read it again when each month’s issue comes out online.

And, of course, you have to read The Pencil every single day. No misses, No excuses. What — you want your neighbors to think you’re out of it?

Ideas, Babies

Oh, before I forget: Feel free to suggest people you’d like to see interviewed by me. I’ve already got a long list of potential subjects. Hard as it may be to believe, I might have missed someone of note, so I’m leaning on you, hep Pencillista, to help me out. Send in your suggestions via the comments section in these posts or at glabagogo@gmail.com.

Do your part, savvy? It takes a village.

Mea Culpa

Alright, I’ll admit it. I’m a human and I sometimes have evil thoughts. Herein, I’ll confess my latest.

For a hot minute, I really, really wanted that Nevada rancher flap to devolve into a shootin’ war. Yep. I wanted all those loony militia members converging on the Bundy Ranch as well as the Bundys themselves and their supporters to get the living crap kicked out of them by the Feds.

Bundy Ranch

Standoff

The very notion that these gun-fondlers, Tea Party “patriots,” and miscellaneous survivalists and supremacists should position their dopey stance as a fight for freedom makes me want to retch. The Bundys, pure and simple, are letting their cattle graze on publicly-owned land. They owe us rent. That is all, kids.

And they want to fight a war over it? Yeesh.

An alarming number of Bundy-ists believe in a twisted interpretation of the Posse Comitatus rule — that is, the only governmental authority they recognize is that of the county. The state of Nevada and the US Gov’t, to these people, are unlawful, tyrannical entities.

In short, they’re nuts.

Bundy Ranch

Yikes

And don’t buy the line that they are the moral equivalent of the Freedom Riders, Martin Luther King, and Rosa Parks. They’re not. Merely suggesting that they might be comparable to those civil rights activists insults anybody who’s truly risked life and limb for freedom and equality.

The Bundy-ists said they were prepared to shoot it out with Bureau of Land Management security forces. One of their tactics, it’s been revealed, would be to place unarmed women in the front rank of their picket line so that when and if the Feds started shooting, their sainted womenfolk would take the first slugs.

Nice, huh?

Just imagine if one of the Bundy-ists had squeezed off a shot to start the party rolling. The Feds, of course, would be obligated to fire back and, necessarily, those target dames would be riddled with bullets. And then the Bundy-ists could cry martyr.

That mean little part of me wished it would have happened. The devil within me said, Mow ’em all down.

Now, my firmly-held believe is that it’s our second thoughts that make us human. My second thought was, Aw, hell, I don’t want to see bloodshed. But for that flash of a moment, I figuratively rubbed my hands together and hoped for the worst.

See, that’s the diff. between me and those Bundy-ists.

[BTW: The paranoiac, conspiracy-obsessed website Natural News is coming down four-square on the side of the Bundy-ists. More evidence that those of us on the crunchy, natural Left should stay away from Mike Adams’ scare-mongering delusion-fest. As if his chemtrails fetish wasn’t enough for you.]

Hot Air

Hide And Seek

Alright-ee-o — here’s a list of as many Malyasia Air Flight 370 theories as I could find (before I was driven to stick a fork in my eye.):

● From the New York Daily News:

The North Koreans snatched it and plan to put a nuke onboard and fly it over some as-yet unnamed target.

● From the Christianist apocalypse fetishists at End Times Headlines:

Members of the Chinese Martyrs Brigade hijacked it because…, well, maybe because they were feeling cranky that day.

● From crunchy, organic, tinfoil hat site Natural News:

Some “entirely new, mysterious and powerful force is at work on our planet which can pluck airplanes out of the sky without leaving behind a shred of evidence.”

Peter Cushing

I Shall Rule The World!

● Sticking with the wingnut Left, 9/11 Truthers are pouring out of the woodwork thanks to the disappearance. From Truther News:

The Chinese grabbed the jet and will soon use it to carry out a 9/11-style attack in the US.

● From Before It’s News:

Representatives of the US corporation Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. were on board and they carried with them the company’s technology that can make a jet “disappear” from radar screens. They’re doing this, natch, to prove to the world it can be done.

● From Agenda NWO (that stands for New World Order, for those of you not up on your garden-variety paranoiac groups):

In this video, the announcer tells us the jet carried passengers from the Ukraine, Russia, and the United States. Also, while it was flying across Malaysia, a “military jet” was simultaneously crossing Malaysia air space. So, therefore, um…, who knows? But isn’t it all suspicious?

● And, of course, the ultra-demented Alex Jones chimed in on his InfoWars site:

The jet was teleported through a “stargate” that uses principles of the quantum theory to blah, blah, blah.

[Big Mike note: Whenever someone who is not a physicist with a specialization in quantum mechanics bandies about the word quantum, ignore him or her.]

Okay that’s enough now. My eyeball jelly is starting to run down my cheeks.

Freedom

Let’s talk Bill of Rights. Another Bill of Rights.

President Franklin Roosevelt, during his State of the Union address of January 11, 1944, proposed an Economic Bill of Rights, which he also called a Second Bill of Rights.

Campaign Button

He said:

We have come to the clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence…. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day, these economic truths have become self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all, regardless of station, race, or creed.

He went on to call for, among other things

  • The right to a useful, well-paying job
  • The right to afford adequate food, clothing, and recreation
  • The right to decent housing
  • The right to adequate medical care, as well as overall good health
  • The right to insurance against poverty in old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment
  • The right to a good education

Franklin Roosevelt, you may recall from your post-school readings of history, was accused of being a socialist, a communist, someone whose goal was to destroy America, and a traitor to his class. All because, as he said, “…[W]e must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being.”

Hardly a thing has changed in nearly a quarter of a century. Sure, we’ve got unemployment insurance and Medicare, but the same type of people who demonized Roosevelt are trying to convince us now that we ought to dump those “failed” plans. And today, people who throw around the word freedom promiscuously and with impunity tell us we can only be free if we have piles of guns, more of them than we’d ever need, and our businesses are unregulated.

That’s freedom? Nah. That’s idiotic.

Anyway, watch Roosevelt talk about his Second Bill of Rights.

The Answer To All Our Problems

Ready for some science fiction? Okay. By 2020, there will be a working machine in southern France called a tokamak. Basically, it will be a magnetic chamber suspending a human-made star in midair within a hermetically sealed housing.

This artificial star will be able to generate energy. If its designers and patrons all have their way, it will replace conventional nuclear power, oil-burning, natural gas, fracking, and hydroelectric power as the planet’s primary means of making our coffee grinders and hair dryers go.

The machine itself will weigh 23,000 tons. Its design specs take up 1.8 terabytes of memory. When the machine is switched on, it will generate at its core a temperature of 200,000,000 ℃ Like every other (natural) star in the Universe, it will run on hydrogen. In the process of generating power, it will convert that hydrogen to helium.

Its waste, in other words, will be that harmless gas, already the second most plentiful substance in existence.

Serling

Where Is Rod Serling When You Need Him?

Now, ready for reality? The machine I’ve just described is now under construction. It’s called the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). It makes CERN’s Large Hadron Collider look like an iPod. Scientists and administrators from 35 countries, including the United States, Russia, European Union, Japan, South Korea, and India are working feverishly on the project. So much so, many of them feel compelled to take stress leaves.

And it’s no wonder. The countries involved in this project representing more than half of living humanity and will be expected to pony up some $20 billion. And, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, the tokamak in France is the single most ambitious, complicated, and expensive scientific engineering endeavor in human history. So, naturally, scientists and bean counters working on it are losing sleep, their hair and, quite possibly, their minds.

Too bad Rube Goldberg isn’t around to help.

Rube Goldberg Fly Swatter

Click Image To Enlarge

I get all this information from an eye-opening article written by Raffi Khatchadourian in the March 3 edition of the New Yorker. Read it. You don’t need a particle physics or astrophysics background to grasp the thing.

ITER

Artist’s Concept of the ITER

This machine just might be the answer to all our fuel and pollution problems. Or it’ll be a monumental bust. Or — yikes! — it’ll blow us all to smithereens.

We’ll see. We’re willing to take a lot of risks to keep our coffee grinders and hair dryers humming.

[BTW: Here’s a bucket of cold water splashed on the whole ITER idea by the science-in-journalism wonks at MIT.]

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