This is from CBS 60 Minutes and the segment is called “Washington’s open secret: Profitable PACs”
The complete transcript is HERE
We the people are getting the shaft from the politicians in Washington, D.C. This is both parties, nearly equally. The duopoly in control is the problem. We need reform right NOW. Not later, not someday, reform right now.
Lowlights from this clip:
Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss likes golf, so much so that he spent more than $100,000 the past two years entertaining at some of the finest courses in the world. New York congressman Gregory Meeks prefers football. He spent $35,000 on NFL games. All of this was paid for with political contributions — all in the name of democracy.
For example, Democratic Congressman Robert Andrews of New Jersey used $16,000 from his leadership PAC “the committee to strengthen America” to fly his family to Scotland, ostensibly to attend the wedding of a friend that he was thinking about hiring as a political consultant.
Sloan says there are at least 75 members of Congress who have hired members of their family to work on their campaign and paid them with political contributions.
Until Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas retired last year he seemed to be the leader with six family members on the campaign payroll — daughter, daughter’s mother in-law, three grandchildren and a grandchild in-law. Paying them a total of $304,000 over the past two election cycles.
But Paul only ranked third in total payouts to family members — behind former Republican Congressman Jerry Lewis and Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters both of California.
“The West Coast Is Being Absolutely Fried With Nuclear Radiation” “The Pacific Ocean is Destroyed”
You’ve seen this posted across social media sites and emails. False. Untrue. Balderdash.
The radiation headlines are the most off-base. If you take a minute to check either the EPA Rad-Net or the community based Radiation Network, you will see that radiation levels are actually quite low on the West Coast and have been this whole time since the massive earthquake, resulting tsunami, and major damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility.
The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility suffered catastrophic damage and failure from the massive Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011 resulting in meltdown beginning the next day as cooling equipment failed and poor human response made the meltdown worse. Massive explosions occurred sending radioactive material into the air which did circle the world in minute amounts. Since the facility was located on the coast, with a high water table underneath. thousands of tons of water containing cesium 137 and cesium 134 have been and continue to be released into the Pacific Ocean.
To the issue of the Pacific Ocean and cesium 134 and cesium 137 contamination, a kernel of truth exists there. Radioactive cesium-137 is produced when uranium and plutonium absorb neutrons and undergo fission and has a half-life of 30 years, while cesium 134 has a half life of two years. Scientists monitoring around the Pacific Ocean have detected NO increase in these cesium isotopes. But tuna, a migrating fish species, have measured a very small uptick in cesium.
The reason why there isn’t a problem on the West Coast is because the Pacific Ocean contains 70 million cubic miles of water or 187,189,915,062,857,142,857 gallons, (187 quintillion gallons or 187,189,915,062 billion gallons). Even a million gallons of contaminated water is an immeasurably small amount. And remember that the radioactive materials are already diluted in the water spilling. Please remember the concepts of diffusion (watch this animation) and dispersion where material is distributed.
Really this is the kicker, regarding the bluefin tuna from Professor Nicholas Fisher a distinguished professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) at Stony Brook University: “In estimating human doses of the Fukushima-derived radioactive cesium in Bluefin tuna, we found that heavy seafood consumers – those who ingest 124 kg/year, or 273 lbs., which is five times the US national average – even if they ate nothing but the Cs-contaminated bluefin tuna off California, would receive radiation doses approximately equivalent to that from one dental x-ray and about half that received by the average person over the course of a normal day from a variety of natural and human sources. The resulting increased incidence of cancers would be expected to be essentially undetectable.”
Would I eat fish caught off the East coast of Japan? No. Would I eat fish caught off Hawaii, Alaska, or California? Yes. Why? Because the data shows I don’t have to be afraid of eating these delicious fish, and because of mercury and heavy metal pollution (unrelated to Fukushima) I already limit my fish intake to approximately once per week.
Why the scaremongering? Money. There is money to be collected in donations for environmental groups, there is economic war between the traditional power source providers like coal, oil, and nuclear versus the new solar and wind companies.
So let’s stay focused on finding a clean, renewable, base load power source like geothermal energy, instead of constantly scaring people.
EDIT October 30, 2013 0326 PDT – The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a health risk assessment on the disaster, and unless you live in Fukushima prefecture, there is basically no risk.
From the report: “Outside of the geographical areas most affected by radiation, even in locations within Fukushima prefecture, the predicted risks remain low and no observable increases in cancer above natural variation in baseline rates are anticipated.”
Who is protecting the average person? Is there an agency making sure that technology pushed onto the unknowing public isn’t harming us?
I have written numerous articles on my concerns with genetically modified organisms (GMO). But now every natural fragrance will be replaced with GMO yeast engines pumping out smells according to the New York Times?
I understand and support technology helping humanity, but shouldn’t we be careful about replacing everything in the wild with a lab-produced product? Is it a good idea to lose knowledge of the natural world and the remaining knowledge being chemistry?
We already have a massive problem of unregulated chemicals. We need to get a handle on the hundreds of millions of tons of chemicals we pump out every year and ensure safety before we continue down the path of potentially further toxifying not only ourselves, but the entire world around us.
And then we have the socio-economic issues of all of the poor, third-world farmers of the natural products. From the article:
“Rick Brownell, an executive at the Virginia Dare Extract Company, a leading supplier of natural vanilla based in Brooklyn, said 80,000 farmers in Madagascar, one of the world’s poorest countries, grow vanilla beans.
“I really count on that to make a living,” said Bersonina, 63, a farmer in Madagascar. Bersonina, who uses only one name, said in a telephone interview arranged by the company that the $200 he made last year producing about 50 kilograms, or 110 pounds, of vanilla barely supported his family of four. He said he was not familiar with the yeast-made vanilla substitute but imagined that an industrial process “could make thousands and thousands of tons,” posing a threat to farmers like himself.”
Not a chemically synthesized product, but genetically modified yeast. Maybe a good thing, maybe not, there are a complex set of issues in this solution to a problem that really didn’t exist.
Gree Recalls 12 Brands of Dehumidifiers Due to Serious Fire and Burn Hazards; More Than $2 Million in Property Damage Reported
As if melamine contamination, toy lead poisoning, and solar panel failures weren’t enough. I received an email today regarding a dehumidifier I purchased(here on California’s central coast the humidity causes mold issues).
I immediately called the number to begin the refund process as should you if you have one of the models listed. The ominous message read:
We are writing to let you know that Gree is voluntarily recalling 12 brands of Dehumidifiers due to serious fire and burn hazards. The dehumidifiers can overheat, smoke and catch fire, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers.
This recall involves 20, 25, 30, 40, 45, 50, 65 and 70-pint dehumidifiers with brand names Danby, De’Longhi, Fedders, Fellini, Frigidaire, Gree, Kenmore, Norpole, Premiere, Seabreeze, SoleusAir and SuperClima. The brand name and the pint capacity are printed on the front of the dehumidifier. The model number and date code are printed on a sticker on the back, front or side of the unit. The dehumidifiers are white, beige, gray or black plastic and measure between 19 and 24 inches tall, 13 and 15 inches wide, and 9 and 11 inches deep.
If you believe you are affected by this recall, you should immediately discontinue use of this product. Consumers should direct questions and concerns to Gree toll-free at (866) 853-2802 from 8am to 8pm ET Monday through Friday, and on Saturday from 9am to 3pm ET or online atwww.greeusa.com and click on Recall for more information.
Photos available at http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2013/Gree-Recalls-12-Brands-of-Dehumidifiers/
Does the leader of the ill-advised government slowdown, Ted Cruz, have Goldman Sachs issued golden health insurance, and does it matter? What about the $16 million in fines issued by the California Fair Political Practices Commission, are those darned conservatives trying to skirt the rules again?
Plus listener calls and a discussion of bumper music. Tune in to AM 1080 KSCO from noon to 2 p.m. today or click HERE for all the ways to listen to the shows.
A Barney’s mailer arrived for my wife today and inside was this funky looking backpack of leather and fur. Take a closer look at what kind of fur in the lower left corner above the style number: nutria fur.
Nutria. Giant water rodents. Say that out loud, giant water rodents. Giant rodents are now the source of fur for high fashion? What?!? Next thing you’ll start hearing about cockroach farms, oh right they do that in China.
National Geographic says this about nutria “Nutria are large, web-footed rodents… (also called coypu) are varied eaters… live in large colonies, reproducing prolifically.” Great, two foot tall rodents reproducing prolifically, just what we need.
I guess if the darn rodents are destroying everything, why not destroy them and put their fur to good use. Although won’t PETA throw blood at you for wearing rodent fur?
Look, I understand if there is a desperate attempt to reduce rodents the by-product might as well get put to use, although you won’t catch me eating these things. But the fur in this haute couture bag at Barney’s is imported from Argentina! What, isn’t Louisiana nutria good enough for Marni, the company making the bag?
The least we could do is help our cajun friends before helping the flailing Argentine economy.
Would you pay $2,070 for a rodent bag?
Don’t forget to keep up with Ethan’s twice monthly segment on KBYR AM 700 in Anchorage, Alaska, discussing the latest in technology topics with host Glen Biegel. You can tune in live every first and third Monday of the month, AM 700 in Anchorage or online at the KBYR website. Plus, every conversation is posted on the Podcast site HERE
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|– The latest on JPMorgan is a $13 billion fine|
– Interview with Alexandra Cousteau, National Geographic Emerging Explorer and founder of Blue Legacy
– Who wants cockroach farms?
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As I argued on air many times, this stupid government slowdown was stupid. People furloughed still get paid (see page 10). The taxpayer will now pay for work NOT received. Absolutely asinine why the Republicans thought this was the right approach when disagreeing with PPACA. Plus the whole approach of an end-around legislation is bad for our already malfunctioning government in Washington, D.C.
And then there is the pork stuffed into this bill (see page 13, section 123, page 20 section 176, etc.). How in the world can the people supposedly serving us see this as the time to tack on extra spending?!? I am outraged at the hubris of those in Washington who see fit to spend more at this moment. Debate the merits of the extra spending, don’t hide it away in this bill.
Anyone else getting tired of this style of politics from the people in Washington?