Analiese’s Reading 5/4

The environment: Bird die-off in California, a nuke plant gone bad and a coal plant going the way of the dodo; very bad news about fish. Social justice: Cocaine sentencing disparity will go away; were Abu Ghraib guards scapegoats? Efficient light bulbs = you feel good, third world workers get sick. Society: Eliminate cross dressing! Convert the Afghan infidels! Stalk the big size girls! (Not not not). The Economy: A mixture of good news and bad news and some important details.


Hundreds of dead birds on Bay Area beaches

Hundreds of emaciated seabirds have washed up dead on beaches from Marin County to Monterey Bay, and wildlife officials said they suspect that a dip in the birds’ food supply may be killing them.
San Francisco Chronicle

At the Indian Point Nuclear Plant, a Pipe Leak Raises Concerns

The discovery of water flowing across the floor of a building at the Indian Point 2 nuclear plant in Buchanan, N.Y., traced to a leak in a buried pipe, is stirring concern about the plant’s underground pipes and those of other aging reactors across the country….A one-and-a-half-inch hole caused by corrosion allowed about 100,000 gallons of water to escape from the main system that keeps the reactor cool immediately after any shutdown, according to nuclear experts. The leak was discovered on Feb. 16, according to the plant’s owner, Entergy Nuclear Northeast, a subsidiary of the Entergy Corporation.

Congress To Stop Using Coal In Power Plant

The 99-year-old Capitol Power Plant, which provides steam for heat and hot water in congressional buildings, is ending its distinction of being the only coal-burning facility in the District of Columbia. …House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Friday that the switch to natural gas as the sole fuel source used at the plant was part of their efforts to reduce the carbon pollution impact of Congress on the nation’s capital.

Your Tuna Is Getting More Toxic

The rate of mercury contamination in tuna and other Pacific fish has increased 30% since about 1990, and is expected to increase another 50% if China continues to build more coal-fired power plants to fuel its industrial revolution.
The Daily Green

Feds declare salmon disaster

The federal government has declared the commercial salmon industry in California and part of Oregon a disaster, and conditions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta are partly to blame….The declaration by U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is a continuation of an order issued last year and paves the way for Congress to allocate disaster relief dollars for Northwest fishers….The commercial Chinook salmon fishing season will be closed from Cape Falcon, Ore., all the way to the U.S. border with Mexico in San Diego County.
Sacramento Business Journal

Social Justice

Obama Administration Supports Complete…

Elimination of Cocaine Sentencing Disparity
In an historic legislative hearing, the United States Department of Justice this week endorsed legislation that would end the 100 to 1 quantity-based sentencing disparity between crack and powder cocaine.
The Sentencing Project

Abu Ghraib Guards Say Memos Show They Were Scapegoats

When the photos of detainee abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq surfaced in 2004, U.S. officials portrayed Army Pvt. Charles A. Graner Jr. as the ringleader of a few low-ranking “bad apples” who illegally put naked Iraqi detainees in painful positions, shackled them to cell doors with women’s underwear on their heads and menaced them with military dogs….Now, the recent release of Justice Department memos authorizing the use of harsh interrogation techniques has given Graner and other soldiers new reason to argue that they were made scapegoats for policies approved at high levels.
The Washington Post

‘Green’ lightbulbs poison workers

WHEN British consumers are compelled to buy energy-efficient lightbulbs from 2012, they will save up to 5m tons of carbon dioxide a year from being pumped into the atmosphere. In China, however, a heavy environmental price is being paid for the production of “green” lightbulbs in cost-cutting factories…. Large numbers of Chinese workers have been poisoned by mercury, which forms part of the compact fluorescent lightbulbs. A surge in foreign demand, set off by a European Union directive making these bulbs compulsory within three years, has also led to the reopening of mercury mines that have ruined the environment.
Times Online


Rejecting The Gender Binary In Fashion

Men have two arms. Women have two arms. Men have two legs. Women have two legs. Legs and arms, in both cases, are connected by a torso which is, genitals included, more or less the same. Tops must have holes for a head and two hands. Pants must have holes for feet. And so on……So why are department stores separated in clothes for women and clothes for men? Why is there no clothes section?
Sociological Images

US troops told ‘to be witnesses’ for Christ in Afghanistan

A video broadcast on Al Jazeera shows US troops stationed in Afghanistan being advised by a chaplain ‘to be witnesses’ for Christ….“The U.S. military denied Monday it has allowed soldiers to try to convert Afghans to Christianity, after a television network showed pictures of soldiers with bibles translated into local languages
The Raw Story

I want you to stop stalking “overweight” women.

Do we really need ANOTHER television show that tells women they are ruining their lives because of what they put in their mouths?

The Economy

Falling Wage Syndrome

Wages are falling all across America….Some of the wage cuts, like the givebacks by Chrysler workers, are the price of federal aid. Others, like the tentative agreement on a salary cut here at The Times, are the result of discussions between employers and their union employees. Still others reflect the brute fact of a weak labor market: workers don’t dare protest when their wages are cut, because they don’t think they can find other jobs….Whatever the specifics, however, falling wages are a symptom of a sick economy. And they’re a symptom that can make the economy even sicker.

School of Hock: Obama Plans for Student Loan Reform Bucks an Influential Industry

With a growing number of college grads finding themselves crushed under the weight of their student loan debt, the Obama administration is considering action that could derail the entire student loan industry. Groups who monitor campaign contributions, though, worry that the strength of the industry could block any shot at real change…. The student loan industry is big business. A total of $89.5 billion in loans was originated in the 2007-2008 school year, $22.5 billion of which was in the form of private loans. For students, the stakes are even higher. The default rate on student loans climbed from 5.2 percent to 6.9 percent in only a year, and analysts say the number is likely to rise as the recession continues.
The Washington Independent

Obama Tax Haven Plan: Read The Full Text

President Barack Obama plans changes to tax policy to crack down on tax havens, a move certain to be unpopular with corporations with international divisions who exploit tax loopholes. Aides say the plan is a step toward the massive overhaul of international financial regulations that the president has promised. President Obama announced the plan at the White House Monday

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