Dan Rather says Hugo Chavez is on death’s door. To be honest, I’d thought Dan was co-hosting with Mike Wallace somewhere other than here on earth but I guess not. Nice to contemplate Chavez joining Mike in the broadcast booth, however.
Daily Archives: May 30, 2012
Martha’s Vineyard “Wampanoag Indians” present plan for casino at Gay Head. Locals don’t want it and voted it down in a non-binding referendum but like Connecticut’s own casinos, this has nothing to do with the law or local sentiment and everything to do with (Malaysian) money.
From EOS comes this story from the Vineyard: Solar wind farm area off Hyannis is cut again. Originally 3,000 square miles, the feds cut the area that wind turbines could be installed to 1,200 and now its sliced it again, in order, they say, to save sea ducks. More cuts to follow as the save the whales movement weighs in.
Which neatly illustrates my point that the non-fossil fuel crowd has no intention or desire to see alternative energy sources replace what they’re destroying. “The World Without Us” is more than a book, it’s a dream.
And in fact, I did. 38 Carriglea in Riverside has now dropped its price to $2.995 million from a February start price of $3.995. While it is true that the same one acre on Carriglea waterfront sells for $5 million, that does nothing for a non-waterfront building lot, and the fact that this property is listed as both a residence and a land parcel is acknowledgment that 1972 contemporaries add nothing of value to this land (even though, to my eye, it looks like a very appealing house – get it for free!).
Nothing else of interest to report on as of 3:00, except that the highest-priced new listing is $649,000.
I spoke this morning with a friend who’s writing a piece for Wall Street 24/7 and he’s concluded, based on national data, that the recovery is underway. We both have our statistics and arguments but perhaps our main disagreement came on a non-real estate issue: the pending collapse of Europe and thus the American economy. He discounts that possibility, I don’t.
And if the mark of a man’s intelligence is the extent to which he agrees with you, here’s a piece from a true genius, who thinks the housing recovery is a chimera and is due for (a further) collapse.
Radioactive bluefin tuna makes a great media dish but there’s no “there’ there. NPR’s science editor Richard Harris, the last best reporter on government radio, weighs in with what the national press won’t tell its readers: the trace amounts of Japanese nuclear material has no health significance – naturally occurring radioactivity already in bluefins is 30X greater.
Fisher says they weren’t actually worried about radioactive cesium as a health risk. They tested the flesh, “mostly just to see if it we could detect it, and we were quite surprised, I must say. We did not expect to see this radioactivity retained by the fish during their trans-Pacific voyage, which we estimates takes from three to four months.”
Yes, radiation in seafood seems scary. But here’s the catch (if you pardon the expression). Tuna, like every other food on the planet, already contains naturally occurring radiation. It has potassium-40 and polonium-210. It always has and it always will. In addition, seafood in general contains a trace of cesium-137 left over from nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and 1960s.
So the question is, how much more radiation did these particular tuna fish contain? The answer is: A trivial amount. In fact, radiation from the cesium is 30 times less than the radiation that’s already in the fish naturally in the form of potassium-40, according to the research paper. And the natural polonium-210 packs a radiation dose 200 times larger than the dose from the cesium.
Really, the result is a testament to how well scientists can now measure tiny amounts of radiation. And of course it’s a remarkable lesson in how wildlife can be traced using accidental “tags” instead of using the labor-intensive plastic ones.
If you are still worried about the cesium from Fukushima, Robert Emery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston says you’d need to eat 2.5 to 4 tons of tuna in a year to get a dose of cesium-137 that exceeds health limits. That’s a lot of sushi.
Yes, bluefin is used primarily for sushi. And, much of the Pacific bluefin tuna that’s caught off the coast of Mexico and Southern California is shipped right back across the ocean, to be sold at the lucrative seafood markets — in Japan.
This media frenzy isn’t, I don’t believe, part of some vast conspiracy to make people fear their food but rather just a typical example of how mass media treats scientific news: in 3o-second sound bites. The trouble is, thirty seconds exhausts most people’s attention span so that’s the beginning and end of their education. Witness, just as an example, the shut down of Eastern Middle School a few years ago when a classroom thermometer broke and spilled a tiny blob of mercury on the floor. no mere wiping up the spill with a Bounty towel, no sir, not when children’s lives are at stake. We had HazMat teams, yellow police tape and kids sent home from school, where presumably they could toss a burned-out, mercury-laden CFL bulb into the trash. Ain’t stupidity grand?
Sierra Club shifts its sights to natural gas. The object of the green movement, as I’ve argued for years, is to shut down the western world’s economy and has nothing to do with cleaner air or water. So the Sierra Club endorsed natural gas (and accepted millions of dollars in donations from the energy industry) when it was trying to kill coal and nuclear energy plants – “we aren’t against affordable energy per se”, the greens argued, and used their support of natural gas as proof of their good intentions.
But that was when natural gas was expensive; now that shale gas has arrived and the price has dropped by half, now that they’ve killed coal plants and nuclear energy, natural gas no longer serves a useful purpose as a stalking horse and it must go.
The battle plan is called “Beyond Natural Gas,” and Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune announced the goal in an interview with the National Journal this month: “We’re going to be preventing new gas plants from being built wherever we can.” The big green lobbying machine has rolled out a new website that says “The natural gas industry is dirty, dangerous and running amok” and that “The closer we look at natural gas, the dirtier it appears; and the less of it we burn, the better off we will be.” So the goal is to shut the industry down, not merely to impose higher safety standards.
This is no idle threat. The Sierra Club has deep pockets funded by liberal foundations and knows how to work the media and politicians. The lobby helped to block new nuclear plants for more than 30 years, it has kept much of the U.S. off-limits to oil drilling, and its “Beyond Coal” campaign has all but shut down new coal plants. One of its priorities now will be to make shale gas drilling anathema within the Democratic Party.
According to the New York Times, Obummer not only insists on name-by-name control over which terrorist will be dispatched to Allah, he brings his top political adviser David Axelrod into the “top secret” meetings where such things are decided. So (a), maximum security authorization has been given to a political flack who currently runs the Obama reelection campaign, and (b), the decision of who among our enemies stays and who leaves this mortal coil has been converted to a political one.
Obama is not only an amateur hopelessly over his head, he’s rapidly becoming a danger to our country. Wonder how that will poll?