Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, January 31, 2014

Why Early Voting Needs to be BANNED

OK, I'm convinced.  I used to think conservatives wanted to ban early voting because only the wrong people were benefiting from extended voting hours.  You know, those lowly working stiffs who might have trouble getting away from the workplace; the elderly, low-income, dark-skinned, etc.

But now law professor Eugene Kontorovich has shown us the light.  The real benefit of cracking down on early voting is that warm fuzzy patriotic feeling we get when we're all crammed simultaneously into the polling place with our neighbors on that one special day.  Or something.  Here, I'll let Professor Kontorovich explain it:

A single Election Day creates a focal point that gives solemnity and relevance to the state of popular opinion at a particular moment in time; on a single day, we all have to come down on one side or the other. But if the word 'election' comes to mean casting votes over a period of months, it will elide the difference between elections and polls.  People will be able to vote when the mood strikes them — after seeing an inflammatory ad, for example.

Voting then becomes an incoherent summing of how various individuals feel at a series of moments, not how the nation feels at a particular moment. This weakens civic cohesiveness, and it threatens to substitute raw preferences and momentary opinion for rational deliberation.

Doesn't that just tug on the ol' heart strings?  When you were reading those two stirring paragraphs, you probably heard our National Anthem while visualizing Old Glory waving in the breeze.

And in this same spirit, we also need to crack down on all absentee ballots.  Oh, you're fighting and getting shot at in Afghanistan?  Sorry; if you can't be bothered to come back to your own country on the first Tuesday in November and take part in this sacred ritual with your Fellow Americans, then you really don't care, do you.

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Scientific American vs. the War on Drugs

The editors of Scientific American have called for an end to the federal government's prohibition against psychoactive drug research. They pointed out that LSD, MDMA (aka Ecstasy), psilocybin and cannabis all “had their origins in the medical pharmacopeia.”

Marijuana and all other psychedelic drugs are classified as Schedule I, meaning “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

LSD and Ecstasy were both heavily used by psychotherapists (er, their patients, that is) before they became illegal.  As the linked article says:

“A catch-22 has arisen:  these drugs are banned because they have no accepted medical use, but researchers cannot explore their therapeutic potential because they are banned.”

Recent studies have also shown that former prisoners who take LSD or psilocybin are less likely to return to prison.  No wonder the Prison Industrial Complex wants to keep these drugs illegal.

Also from the linked article:

“If some of the obstacles to research can be overcome, it may be possible to finally detach research on psychoactive chemicals from the hyperbolic rhetoric that is a legacy of the war on drugs. Only then will it be possible to judge whether LSD, ecstasy, marijuana and other highly regulated compounds — subjected to the gauntlet of clinical testing for safety and efficacy — can actually yield effective new treatments for devastating psychiatric illnesses.”

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

“Workplace Policies that Belong in a Mad Men episode”

...and a few other one-liners from tonight's State of the Union speech.

Before Obama's speech, talking heads were saying the President needed to play offense instead of defense, and to be upbeat and not too confrontational.  He delivered.

Referring to equal pay for equal work and paid sick leave for employees taking time off to care for a sick child/spouse/parent, President Obama said It’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a 'Mad Men' episode.

His speech basically stressed the broad areas where everyone agrees (hopefully) and avoided doing too much partisan toe-stepping-on.  Other memorable quotes included:

...here in America, our success should depend not on accident of birth but the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams.

And my administration's launched two hubs for high-tech manufacturing in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Youngstown, Ohio, where we've connected businesses to research universities that can help America lead the world in advanced technologies.Tonight, I'm announcing we'll launch six more this year. Bipartisan bills in both houses could double the number of these hubs and the jobs they create. So, get those bills to my desk and put more Americans back to work.

And taken together, our energy policy is creating jobs and leading to a cleaner, safer planet. Over the past eight years the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth.

So tonight, I've asked Vice President Biden to lead an across- the-board reform of America's training programs to make sure they have one mission: train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now. (Cheers, applause.) That means more on-the-job training, and more apprenticeships that set a young worker on an upward trajectory for life. It means connecting companies to community colleges that can help design training to fill their specific needs. And if Congress wants to help, you can concentrate funding on proven programs that connect more ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs.

Americans understand that some people will earn more money than others, and we don't resent those who, by virtue of their efforts, achieve incredible success. That's what America's all about. But Americans overwhelmingly agree that no one who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty.

[referring to Obamacare] So again, if you have specific plans to cut costs, cover more people, increase choice, tell America what you'd do differently. Let's see if the numbers add up.  But let's not have another 40- something votes to repeal a law that's already helping millions of Americans.

Anyway, that was just a few highlights.

Apparently, Obama's SOTU speech was so good how good was it? it was soooooo good, the GOP needed not one, not two, but THREE rebuttal speeches.

I surfed through all our TV channels, and the only counterpoint speech I saw was the official one from Cathy McMorris Rodgers.  Now, nobody will admit it, but the GOP has an unwritten ironclad rule that when their designated drone delivers the SOTU rebuttal speech, he/she MUST maintain a fixed simple-minded thousand-yard-stare smile while bobbing one's head up and down in a GOP-prescribed rhythm.  (And if GOP and rhythm isn't an oxymoron, I don't know what is.)

The one meaningful phrase uttered among McMorris Rodgers' platitudes was But the real gap we face today is one of opportunity inequality.

OK, good point.  And your solution is ________??????????????????

Uh, we're still waiting...I guess we'll never know.  Or, film at eleven.  Probably not though; don't hold your breath.

Senator Mike Lee (RWall Street) delivered the rebuttal to the rebuttal.  I couldn't find anything on TV or the Internet except for this video link.  Go ahead and watch in case you care.

And Rand Paul:  as of this writing about an hour and a half after the SOTU speech the only thing I've found on the Intertubes about Rand Paul's rebuttal to the rebuttal to the rebuttal speech was a few news stories saying Rand Paul will rebut the president's SOTU speech

Stay tuned...

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Idaho Wolves 1, Inbreds 0

Might as well savor this one victory.  Wolves, and the people who still believe in the Endangered Species Act, have won this particular battle against the inbred mouthbreathers who won't have a minute's peace until the last wild animal has been killed. For now, an Idaho wolf pack is safe from the professional hunter YOUR tax dollars at work who was hired by Idaho Fish and Wildlife to kill wolves inside the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness is a federal wilderness area, and the professional hunter again, paid for with YOUR tax dollars was using air strips, cabins and other equipment provided by the U.S. Forest Service.

Defenders of Wildlife filed a lawsuit to stop this wolf hunt on federal land.  The first judge to hear their case refused to stop the hunt.  But just a few hours ago, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals convinced Fish and Game officials to call off the hunt.  A spokesperson from Defenders of Wildlife said:

They had planned to stay there through April.  I hope that they don't target wolves in the wilderness again. There's huge respect for wilderness in this state. This is one of the only places where wildlife can run free, can actually achieve more of a natural balance.

According to the linked article, wolves were reintroduced into Idaho in the mid-1990s   presumably so a bunch of neckdrooling retards can shoot them when they get tired of watching cement harden and pulling the wings off of flies.

Thank you Defenders of Wildlife for your persistence.

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/01/27/2994827/idfg-pulls-pro-wolf-hunter-from.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2014/01/27/2994827/idfg-pulls-pro-wolf-hunter-from.html#storylink=cpy

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President Obama to Start Issuing More Executive Orders

What else can he do, with the corporate-funded and -orchestrated Tea Party derailing and sabotaging everything Obama tries to do?

The Teatards throw a tantrum every time Obama does or says anything, so he might as give them something to cry about.  And crying they are.  If you could use a good laugh or just an excuse to start screaming and throwing things here's Townhall.com's take on President Obama's SOTU speech tomorrow and his intent to issue more executive orders.

When somebody puts quotation marks around Income Inequality, you know the writer is either part of the .01 percent, or one of the .01 percent's useful idiots.

Here's the author's description of tomorrow's SOTU speech:

His audience is a tough one with the American people overwhelmingly unhappy with the continuing jobless economy and with Obamacare destroying the middle class.


Even more entertaining are the comments at the end of the article.  The author of this article looks like a Rhodes Scholar compared to some of these inbred commenters.


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Friday, January 24, 2014

Wall Street's Newest Victims: Renters, First-Time Home Buyers

Hedge funds, private equity investors and wealthy individuals are buying property in record numbers — usually for cash.  And in the process they're elbowing millions of first-time home buyers out of their way.

And millions of renters will be over a barrel. Try getting help with your leaking roof, or complaining about your loud (or worse) neighbors, when the landlord is a hedge fund in a distant city.

“Wall Street absentee slumlords” (quoted from the linked article) — just what we need.  Also from the same article:

“The same companies that helped turn homeowners into renters through mass foreclosures are now preparing to make even more money off of the same rental demand they helped create.”

Even worse, when a Wall Street landlord owns most of the rental property in a town, this landlord can use its political clout to push their own agenda.  For just one example:  in Huber Heights, OH, Magnetar Capital has bought up most of the rental properties.  And Magnetar Capital is now pushing for lower property taxes, which would be a threat to schools and other public services.  And the more money Magnetar Capital “earns” by demanding lower property taxes, the more properties they can buy up and the more influence they'll have over the local government.  And the more influence they have...

Still worse, these firms can turn their hundreds of thousands of rent payments into securities that they can sell to other investors.  A new Wall Street casino; a new financial bubble — let's party like it's 2007.

For whatever it's worth, Congress is starting to make a few noises about this.  Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA) has called for congressional hearings, saying:

“Proper oversight of new financial innovations is key to ensuring we don’t go down the same road of the unchecked sub-prime mortgage backed security, and create an unsustainable bubble that will wreak havoc when it bursts.”

Nice rhetoric.  Let's see if it leads to any action.

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Monday, January 20, 2014

Single Payer: Coming to a Liberal State Near You

The Teahuggers were right.  Obamacare really IS just a steppingstone to that there Socialized Medicine.  Works for me.

Until I saw Froma Harrop's column yesterday, I didn't know about Section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act. Under Section 1332, beginning in 2017, states will be able to apply for innovation waivers.  Under these innovation waivers, a state can choose its own path to health care reform, even if this path is different from those that are spelled out in the Affordable Care Act.

These individual routes to health care reform will have to meet the minimum requirements of the ACA.  But it's OK if a state exceeds those requirements.  And this paves the way for Single Payer.

Several states have indicated that they plan on using Section 1332 to start implementing a Single Payer system.  These states include Vermont, Washington, Oregon, California, New York, Maryland, Colorado and Hawaii.

It's a start.  After that, it'll get harder and harder for the rest of the country to not follow suit.  Soon we'll all be sliding down that Slippery Slope to Communism.

In her column, Froma Harrop spells out the obvious (if you're not a Republican):  By the way, Canada’s [single payer] system is not socialized medicine but socialized insurance (like Medicare). In Canada, the doctors work for themselves.

Whether the teabaggers and Foxsuckers like it or not, America is slowly being dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century.

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Reefer Madness (cont'd)

The chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is exhibiting the exact same whacked-out hysteria that was portrayed in Reefer Madness and Marijuana:  Assassin of Youth.

James L. Capra brought out his inner Harry Anslinger at  a Senate hearing a few days ago:

“I have to say this… going down the path to legalization [of marijuana] in this country is reckless and irresponsible.  I’m talking about the long-term impact of legalization in the United States. It scares us.”

“It scares us” LOL.  Just pull the covers over your head, curl up in the fetal position, don't make a sound, and the big bad monster will go away.

He continued:

“The idea somehow… that this is somehow good for us as a nation, that this is good for the next generation coming up is wrong. It’s a bad thing, and this body will get its door knocked on ten years from now and say, ‘How did we get where we got?’”

How did we get where we got?”  Uh, gee, I don't know, probably because that was the way we were going.

He said he was at an international drug conference in Moscow, and everyone asked him why the U.S. is scaling back the War on Drugs:

“Almost everyone looked at us and said:  'Why are you doing this?'  I have no answer for them. I don’t have an answer for them.”

WTF???  A conservative actually cares what a foreigner thinks of the United States???  He was Apologizing For America!!!  A True Conservative KNOWS that America is Superior EXCEPTIONAL and has the God-given right to tread on the rest of the world, at any time, for any reason, with no back-talk from any of them furriners.  Any cautionary warning about international relations or possible repercussions is supposed to be met with a contemptuous Aww, gee, they might not like us if we attack our enemies.

In one of those there's no difference between the two parties moments, Senator Dianne Feinstein (supposedly a Democrat) actually agreed with James Capra that marijuana is a gateway drug.

Oh that's right, I almost forgot.  Ninety-eight percent of all heroin addicts started off on marijuana.  And the crime rate in San Francisco has quadrupled since the Golden Gate Bridge was built.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fourth Grade Science Quiz

This fourth grade science quiz is from a Christian school in South Carolina.

This quiz was submitted to Daily Kos by the father of a student who had to take the quiz.  He didn't identify the school; he's planning to transfer his daughter to another school at the end of the year.

This story gets a “Probably True” rating from Snopes.


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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

“Why Does Congress Insist on Destroying the Postal Service?”

That's the title of this article.  It's a rhetorical question, of course.

As you probably know, in 2006 the lame-duck Congress passed a law requiring the U.S. Postal Service to pre-fund all of its employees retirement pensions for the next seventy-five years.  This is billions of dollars beyond what any other government agency is required to do.

And you can't even blame Republicans for this law; plenty of Democrats voted for it too.  The Postal Service tried to eliminate Saturday delivery and close their most remote little-used branches.  Both of these cost-saving moves are heavily favored by the public.  Congress said NO.

And the trillion-dollar-plus spending bill that will probably be passed this week clearly stipulates:

6-day delivery and rural delivery of mail shall continue at not less than the 1983 level, and none of the funds provided in this Act shall be used to consolidate or close small rural and other small post offices in fiscal year 2014.

Sounds like one of those Unfunded Mandates that conservatives always used to scream about.

In other words, stop spending so damn much money, and quit coming up with all these cost-cutting ideas, you cheap bastards.

As the linked article says:

Lawmakers want the Postal Service to run itself like a for-profit business, but they retain the right of final say over all its major business decisions.

Imagine driving up to an intersection and seeing a bunch of signs saying Do Not Enter!  No Stopping!  No Right Turn!  No Left Turn!

That's about the level of Congress' reasoning here.  What motive could Congress possibly have, if not the ultimate elimination of the U.S. Postal Service?  (Another rhetorical question.)

FedEx and UPS have both purchased a lot of expensive friendships in Congress.  And they'd probably love to get rid of their pesky competitor.

Even more importantly, a lot of people vote by mail.  In at least one state, all voting is done through the mail.  So many well-funded rightwing organizations have worked tirelessly to make sure all voters have at least five pieces of identification before they vote, and to eliminate extended voting and early voting.  These dedicated voter suppression efforts are all in vain if voters can just mail in their ballots.

Get rid of that damn Post Office already!

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA): the new Koch Industries

When it comes to corporate juggernauts, the Grocery Manufacturers Association is right up there with the fossil fuel industry, the banking cartel and defense contractors.  Or maybe the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would be a better comparison.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce does intense lobbying and bribing on behalf of its corporate members.  And when they make political donations, nobody knows which company provided the funding.  All we know is, the money was contributed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

This is called money laundering.  And this is exactly what the Grocery Manufacturers Association does.  When the Grocery Manufacturers Association bribes politicians and purchases elections, nobody knows which members of the Food Syndicate provided the funding.  Was it Safeway?  Tyson Foods?  Pepsi?  Burger King?  Nope, it was the Grocery Manufacturers Association.  That's all you need to know.  Move along.

I hadn't even heard of the Grocery Manufacturers Association what an innocuous-sounding name until last Fall when they spent tens of millions of dollars convincing Washington voters that they didn't really want this cumbersome new law that would have required all GMO foods to be labeled.  Washington voters had originally thought they wanted this GMO-labeling law, but after a relentless ad campaign, they realized what an expensive intrusive law this would be; and the initiative got voted down.  (This exact same sequence happened earlier in California.)

The State of Washington has strict campaign disclosure laws, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association had to pay a fine for not revealing the specific companies that had financed their campaign.  Plus they ultimately had to disclose these companies' identities anyway.  The Grocery Manufacturers Association reacted the way all good corporate citizens react when they've violated a law:  They're suing to have Washington's campaign disclosure laws overturned.

And at the national level, the Grocery Manufacturers Association is bribing Congress to pass a federal law that would prevent states from passing any GMO-labeling laws in the future.  Washington and California were too close for comfort.  One of these years, a state's voters might actually be smart enough to vote for a GMO-labeling initiative no matter how many jillions of dollars Monsanto and the GMA have spent to brainwash the voters.  Can't let this happen.  Thank God the Grocery Manufacturers Association is nipping this little problem in the bud.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Peak Water

Peak water is here.

The term “Peak Oil is already a cliché.  But oil can and will be replaced by alternate sources.  Water, not so much.  As the linked article says:

But like peak oil, the low-hanging fruit of our fresh water supply has been picked and what is left requires costly environmental and financial impacts to extract."

Eighteen countries containing roughly half of the world's population are overpumping their aquifers.  This includes China, India and the U.S.

Desalination of sea water is not an option because of the environmental impacts and prohibitive cost.

In the U.S., fifty percent of all water is used for livestock production.  It takes 2,400 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat.

Needless to say, the reduced water supply is going to drive up food prices.

And there's another red flag that wasn't mentioned in the linked article:  the increasing privatization of the world's water supply.  The media is stone silent about this threat (it's not happening a lot in the U.S.).  But a lot of Third World countries are dealing with scarce and/or unsanitary water supplies PLUS a global corporation controlling their access to water and charging whatever inflated price they can get.  About the only attention this issue gets is the occasional over-the-top movie (A Dark Truth) or TV episode.  And that kind of publicity probably does more harm than good.

The article concludes with:

It is only through a massive, collective effort that we will turn this ship around, but we'll need all hands on deck.


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Does the First Amendment Include the Right to Lie?

According to an anti-abortion group, the Susan B. Anthony List, the First Amendment protects everyone's constitutional right to be a lying sack of shit. 

The State of Ohio has a False Statement law which prohibits political candidates and organizations from making false statements in a campaign ad.  And now two groups the Susan B. Anthony List and the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and Taxes are suing for the right to lie like a cheap rug.  A federal court and an appeals court have both thrown out this frivolous lawsuit.  But the Supreme Court has agreed to hear their case.

Uh oh...

The whole thing started during the 2010 election when Democratic Rep. Steven Driehaus was being targeted by gangs of fetus-worshipers.  They put up billboards saying “Shame on Steve Driehaus! Driehaus voted FOR taxpayer-funded abortion.”

The billboards were referring to Driehaus' vote in favor of Obamacare.  Trouble is, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) does NOT provide any federal tax funding for abortion.  The fetus-humpers were lying.  Case closed.

Under Ohio's False Statement Law, the billboards had to come down.

I can't believe the Supreme Court has actually agreed to hear this case.  Hopefully they won't overturn the two lower court rulings.

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Thursday, January 09, 2014

Assault on Wall Street

Now don't get all hopeful; it's just a movie.

I didn't even see the whole thing.  It was on TV and I came in on the last half hour or so.  It's about a (formerly) well-paid security guard who lost everything in the 2008 meltdown, had his home foreclosed, and his wife committed suicide after being dumped by her insurance company and unable to afford her medical bills.  He decides to get even.

The movie is pretty over-the-top (how could it not be?) and gets mostly negative reviews.  But it expresses the hopelessness and fury of one person who had his life turned upside down by the banking cartel.

Take this one fictitious person's boiling rage and multiply it by the millions of real people who have been robbed by the one percent, and you have to wonder why this kind of event hasn't happened in real life.

Now obviously I'm not saying anyone should go out there and start mowing down a few Wall Street/HMO perps.  That's not the solution.  But when somebody has been fucked over one time too many and decides to take the law into his own hands well, as Chris Rock once said (in a different context):

I'm not saying it's right.  But I understand.


Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Massive-Scale Agriculture is a Threat to the Climate

Fossil fuels aren't the only threat to the planet.  Modern mass-scale farming methods based on GMOs, monocultures and factory farms are also putting the Earth in jeopardy.  Needless to say, America's media” are studiously ignoring this problem.

But as the linked article says, The UN has been especially persevering in connecting the dots between climate change, agriculture, and food security."

The UN Commission on Trade and Development has released an alarming report titled Trade and Environment Review 2013:  Wake Up Before It Is Too Late.

Basically, organic and small-scale farming will be the only way to keep feeding seven Plus billion people without wrecking the planet.  The report says:  “This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production toward mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers.”

Unfortunately, the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership and other global trade agreements are pushing in the opposite direction:  More GMOs, more mass-scale industrial farming operations, and corporate profits über alles.

Which way will we go?

(It was a rhetorical question.)

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Monday, January 06, 2014

Republicans Punish Obama

Tom Toles

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Koch Brothers try to Intimidate Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow did a recent story about the Koch Brothers' secret financing of a nationwide network of rightwing pressure groups.  The story was accurate, but that hasn't stopped the Koch Brothers from trying to silence her.

The Kochs' attorney not only sent her a threatening letter; enclosed with the letter was a scripted correction she was supposed to read over the air.

On last night's program, Rachel Maddow said:

“We cover the Conservative movement a lot on this show, and in so doing we occasionally find people who have been mentioned in our coverage who are absolutely outraged that they have been mentioned in our coverage.  And the Conservative political figures who you can most count on to threaten to sue you and call your boss and scream about their victimization as loud as they can whenever they get mentioned by name in a way they do not control are of course, the Koch brothers...”

“...The Koch brothers’ letter to us includes a script that they want me to read to you on the air denouncing my own reporting on the Florida 'Drug Test the Poor' story and telling you that they are not involved in promoting any such issue. I’m not going to read their script. I’m not going to renounce my own reporting on this story because the reporting on this story stands. We will not stop reporting on the political actions and the consequences of the political actions of rich and powerful men even if they send angry letters every time we do it.  I will not read scripts provided to me by anyone else. I do not play requests. I will happily make corrections when I do get things wrong. We do it on this show all the time. But I will not renounce or retract reporting that is true even if the subjects of that reporting don’t like it.”

All Right!!!  Stand up to those Kochsuckers.


Thursday, January 02, 2014

Dogs Poop in Line with Earth's Magnetic Field

This is so cool.  When your dog is getting ready to, uh, go, and he/she keeps sniffing, moving around, stopping, changing position, pausing again, changing position again:  Your dog is aligning him/herself with the Earth's magnetic field before doing his business.  Who'da thunk?

According to the research (conducted by Czech and German scientists):

“It is still enigmatic why the dogs do align at all, whether they do it ‘consciously’ (i.e., whether the magnetic field is sensorial perceived [the dogs ‘see,’ ‘hear’ or ‘smell’ the compass direction or perceive it as a haptic stimulus] or whether its reception is controlled on the vegetative level [they ‘feel better/more comfortable or worse/less comfortable’ in a certain direction]).  Our analysis of the raw data (not shown here) indicates that dogs not only prefer N-S direction, but at the same time they also avoid E-W direction.”

Also, dogs don't do this north-south alignment when they're being walked on a leash; only when they're on their own.

There's so much we're just finding out; that animals have a lot more going on than we ever dreamed.  Dolphins bite on the venomous puffer fish to get high — presumably knowing exactly how much they can safely ingest — and then pass the puffer fish around to their buddies, like a joint.

Salmon and migratory birds are using the Earth's magnetic field for their respective migration routes.  And even ants are sensitive to this magnetic field and can distinguish between north, south, east and west.

The article doesn't mention anything about cats...