October 31, 2007
It was a three page spread, with a kaleidoscope of licorice, candy corn, sweet tarts and lolly pops in full color… in the special “HEALTH” section of Monday’s LA Times. Part of the headline read: “the sugar high may be a myth.” Ah, you heard it here folks—sugar has no adverse effects on our bodies or moods; that is all in our heads.
There was a quote from a nutritionist backing this up. But most of the science in the article was in direct contradiction to the narrative. A professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School was allowed one quote giving the specific changes to a person’s hormones and mental functioning due to sugar; while lots of ink was given to “early studies” that “searched in vain” for any connection to sugar changing a person’s mood or behavior.
So remember, if your child dips into his/her candy bag at Halloween and starts jumping up and down, giggling and screaming (followed by a sugar crash of possibly crying), moms out there: it’s all a figment of your imagination. Just like PMS.
October 30, 2007
Crazy but true–some racist with a Tennessee IP address constructed a fake CNN web site, with a fake story about a “radical Hispanic separatist organization” taking responsibility for setting the fires with “Molotov cocktails” because “Aztlán belongs to indigenous people, the Chicanas and Chicanos of Aztlán.” There are fake quotes from Gov. Schwarzenegger, and a fake interview with a fire chief. It even links to the real CNN site for related news. The only thing lacking on the fake site are advertisers.
Take a look for yourself, and compare. Fake site (notice a missing ‘n’ in ‘headline’):
Real CNN site:
According to the Immigrant Solidarity Network, Nashville police and the CNN legal department are looking into the matter.
October 28, 2007
On Friday, in Paris, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld fled a talk sponsored by Foreign Policy magazine through a side door connecting to the U.S. embassy to avoid journalists and human rights attorneys waiting for him outside. Four human rights groups filed charges against Rumsfeld for his role in ordering and authorizing torture in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. They filed similar charges against Rumsfeld when he was in Germany in 2004.
“Rumsfeld must understand that he has no place to hide,” said the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights Michael Ratner. “A torturer is an enemy of all humankind.”
The complaint, filed by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) along with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), and the French League for Human Rights, was with the Paris Prosecutor before the “Court of First Instance” (Tribunal de Grande Instance).
Charges are brought under the 1984 Convention against Torture, ratified by both the United States and France, which has been used in France in previous torture cases.
The human rights organizations say French courts have an obligation under the Convention against Torture to prosecute individuals responsible for acts of torture if they are present on French territory.
To read to full press release, click here.
Here’s the complaint (currently only available in French).
The AP story, here. Compare it to Reuters, here.
October 27, 2007
Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.) have joined forces urging the FCC’s chair Kevin Martin not to approve further media consolidation. Dorgan and Lott pledged to introduce a “resolution of disapproval” — a rarely used legislative veto of bad regulations — if the FCC continued to ignore public input and proceed with consolidation by the end of December.
“If the FCC proceeds on the schedule it is planning, it will be a big mistake,” Dorgan said. “It’s clear the concentration of media ownership that has already taken place has not been good for our country. I’m confident any plan to allow additional concentration of media ownership will be rejected.”
To send a letter, click here.
To join in an online dicussion with a member of the FCC, click here.
October 23, 2007
Last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill that makes California the first state in the union to require all new semiautomatic handguns to come equipped with “microstamping” – when a gun is fired, the shell casing will be stamped with the make, model and serial number of the gun.
This means shell casings can be traced back to the gun’s owner. According to the LA Times, 70% of all new handguns sold in the Golden State are semiautomatic, and 45% of all homicides are left unsolved because of lack of evidence. This bill hopes to close the evidence gap.
One wonders why the gun lobby was so vehemently opposed to this bill. It doesn’t restrict or prevent anyone from buying a gun. The NRA says the bill has “unintended consequences,”like making guns more expensive. That seems like a bs reason. If “guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” then, let’s arrest those people, people—not protect the identity of murderers.
October 21, 2007
Never in the short history of the nuclear age has the military lost track of nuclear missiles—until now. Buried on A23 (with a few scant paragraphs in “Nation in Brief”) of the LA Times on Thursday, it seems a B-52 bomber mistakenly flew from North Dakota to Louisiana with six (6!) nuclear warheads strapped to its wings. Strapped to its wings!
By Saturday, the story moved up to page A10, and had more details: the plane’s crew had no idea that six nuclear warheads were strapped to the wings when they made the flight; the weapons were strapped to the wings on the runway for nearly 24 hours in North Dakota, and no one noticed; Air Force personnel who were assigned to secure the move of non-nuclear missiles didn’t examine the missiles closely enough to realize that they contained nuclear warheads.
The flight occurred on August 29. Although it is military policy never to discuss the movements of the nuclear arsenal, Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne decided to go public at a Pentagon news conference because the accident was so serious. At least five officers have been relieved of command.
Photo of Hiroshima Bomb Damage: it could have happened here.
October 18, 2007
The University of Chicago Press has reprinted a manual the U.S. War Department handed out to American servicemen posted in Iraq back in 1943. The book seems to have struck a chord with the public. The LA Times reports that it has become a hit seller for the university publisher. That’s because the 64-year-old advice the book gives is shockingly relevant.
“American success or failure in Iraq may well depend on whether the Iraqis like American soldiers or not,” the book says on it’s opening page. Other tips: always be respectful, and don’t stare at, Iraqi women; don’t be boastful or arrogant; learn some Arabic phrases; remember that Arabs are some of the most relentless guerrilla fighters in the world.
The 44-page book appears just as it did during WWII, with one addition: a forward by Army Lt. Col. John A. Nagl, who served in Iraq in 2003. He writes, in part, that some of the advice given in this book “might have prevented the fervent insurgency from being raised to the fever pitch it has taken recently.”
Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq During World War II is only $10, and can be ordered here.