...in 2006, in what looks like an attempt to bust the postal workers' union, george bush signed into law the postal accountability and enhancement act
of 2006. this law required the postal service to pre-fund 100 percent
of its entire future obligations for 75 years of health benefits to its
employees – and not only do it, but do it within ten years. no other
organization, public or private, has to pre-fund 100 percent of its
future health benefits.
...the transparent purpose of this law, which was pushed heavily by
industry lobbyists, was to break a public sector union and privatize the
mail industry. before the 2006 act, the postal service did one thing,
did it well, and, minus the need to generate profits and bonuses for
executives, did it cheaply. It paid for itself and was not a burden to
..so definitely write your congressman and ask him to roll back bush's
idiotic law, and at least give the post office a chance to sink or swim
on its own. - rolling stone
call the post office and tell them "don't shut this historic public service down - 202-268-2599
this is where our society has finally come. debtors prisons now seem, well..."quaint"
one of the nation's largest medical debt collection companies —
already the subject of a lawsuit over alleged privacy violations — finds
itself in more hot water as newly released documents claim that agency
employees are actually working in hospital emergency rooms and sometimes
demanding that patients pay up before they receive any further medical
the nytimes reports on hundreds of pages of documents
pertaining to the debt collector's practices obtained from the minnesota attorney general.
according to the times, the debt collector promises savings and
increased collections to hospitals if they turn over control of certain
administrative functions. this includes putting employees of the
collections company in the emergency room - consumerist /nytimes
cuz they don't care what they do to the health of the earth or actual human beings. they just want that money.
two leading conservative political organizations say they are
stepping up coordinated efforts to repeal state-level renewable energy
the american legislative exchange council (alec) — a “stealth business lobbyist”
that works with corporate interests to help them write and implement
“model” legislation — says it may soon start crafting laws designed to
kill or weaken state targets for renewable electricity, heating and
fuels. - think progress
the genesis of earth day is credited to senator gaylord nelson (d), then a u.s. senator from wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in santa barbara, california. inspired by the student anti-war movement, he called for an environmentalteach-in, or earth day, to be held on april 22, 1970. over 20 million people participated that year, and this earth day is now observed on april 22 each year by more than 500 million people and several national governments in 175 countries. wikipedia
...the story of this annual celebration actually started with a tragedy. on january 28, 1969, an oil platform six miles off of santa barbara's coast ruptured, sending 80,000 to 100,000 barrels of crude oil into the santa barbara channel over the next 10 days. the oil spread from goleta to ventura, killing thousands of sea birds, as well as dolphins, elephant seals, and sea lions.
"it's hard to imagine today, but at the time it was the largest oil spill in the u.s.," said marc mcginnes, retired ucsb environmental studies program professor. (today the santa barbara spill ranks third behind the deepwater horizon spill in the gulf in 2010 and the exxon valdez spill in 1989.) "what we now know as the environmental movement was just emerging. it was events like this and fires burning on the cuyahoga River that got people's attention." - community environmental council
to prosecuting people pushing bad cheese. u.s. attorney white hat wearer patrick j. fitzgerald rides again.
according to a press release
from patrick j. fitzgerald, united states attorney for the northern district of illinois, four individuals who were involved in shipping
more than 110,000 pounds of mexican cheese in 2007 were indicted (see, full indictment pdf)
on federal charges for allegedly conspiring to distribute the cheese
throughout the united states despite food and drug administration orders
that it be held for inspections, which later determined that samples
were adulterated with salmonella, e. coli and other illness-causing
bacteria. one defendant owned the illinois company that imported the
dried mexican cheese to the u.s., and another defendant owned a wisconsin company that had a facility in suburban elmhurst and
distributed the cheese to customers nationwide. all four defendants were
charged with conspiring to illegally distribute the cheese, to “wash”
cheese returned by dissatisfied customers by scrapping off mold and
fungus so that it could be resold, and to cover up their distribution of
the cheese by lying to an fda inspector and by creating and sending a
false document to the food safety agency. - marler blog
fresh on the heels of dick clark's death, we lose two more greats.
rip levon helm, the instrumental engine behind the band, which backed bob dylan back in the day. levon was responsible for writing some of his generation's iconic songs, including "the night they drove old dixie down," "up on cripple creek" and our personal favorite, "the weight."
and finally, it's either deeply sad or highly ironic (or both) that the original barnabas collins, jonathan frid, died recently, just weeks before the tim burton remake of "dark shadows" opens (and, appropriately enough, on friday the 13th). jonathan has a cameo in the new film, playing an elderly barnabas to johnny depp's version.
we will miss levon and jonathan, and of course dick clark.
From the Madman Across the Water to the Greatest Helmsman of His Generation?
Others will embed clips from Scorsese's jacking off of Robbie Robertson. Nothing wrong with that, especially when you get something like this or Greg Mitchell's tweet of his amazing work to keep "Baby Let Me Follow You Down" from sounding like a mediocre garage band performance. (That video appears to have been placed in Copyright Claim Hell.)
Instead, though, let's re-interpret, in the manner of Dylan touring "The Mutineer":
in october, kalw conducted a survey asking bay area residents what
was in their earthquake kits. Of the 328 people who responded, 127 said
they didn’t have one at all and many weren’t sure they were packing the
for those without a kit, rubinstein suggests food, water, and basic
hygiene supplies. cash in small denominations is also a good thing to
have because credit cards might not work and coins for payphones are a
“and all of this is with the expectation that you should be without services for at least 72 hours,” he explains. - kalw
for those stories that won't be bandied about on the talking head shows. and, should i be so bold to say, these stories are more important to peoples lives than knowing that brad and angelina are now engaged.
radioactive waste may soon travel on highways. - shipments of low-level radioactive waste from up to 36 states will soon
head to a dump in west texas, owned by dallas billionaire and generous republican political donor harold simmons, despite concerns from
environmentalists and others worried about potential accidents or
contamination - fort worth star telegram
the guar gum bubble. - big business is in a bidding battle over a little legume that’s used in
everything from food to fracking. the interest in guar gum has caused
the price to spike nearly twenty-fold. though there are alternatives to
guar in fracking, none work quite as well or are too expensive to
produce - living on earth
oil spill not just a terrible memory. - on florida's panhandle beaches, where local officials once fretted over
how much oil washed in with each new tide, everything seems normal. but
with an ultraviolet light, geologist james "rip" kirby has found
evidence that the oil is still present, and possibly still a threat to
beachgoers - tampa bay times
fda criticized for secrecy in food-illness probes. - the fda's decision to let a six-state e. coli probe in 2009 go dormant,
despite clear leads, is part of what some food safety experts call a
worrisome "cone of silence" around leafy green produce problems in the united states - denver post
gas prices too high? Have you considered sewage? - hydrogen cars aren’t taking off because hydrogen is hard to make and put
in cars. but there is a lot of the gas in our waste treatment plants,
and one in california will now let you fill up. have they opened the
door to a hydrogen economy? - fast company
fracking water linked to earthquakes. - the use of underground wells to dispose of waste water produced by
fracking – the process used to unlock oil and gas deposits hidden deep
in rock formations – is “almost certainly” behind the surge in
earthquakes in the central us in recent years, a government study has
found - financial times
and you thought it was just 'pink' slime.
"lean finely textured beef," aka "pink slime," sparked an uproar when
the usda bought 7 million pounds of the stuff for school lunches. the
agency maintains it's safe and healthy; critics say it's not fit to eat - propublica
overcoming climate change denial. - according to the mayo clinic, "if you're in denial, you're not being
realistic about something that's happening in your life -- something
that might be obvious to those around you." - redding record searchlight
let's end childhood hunger. if we want to invest in our country...we have to invest in the health of our citizens. you can't learn in school if you are hungry. if a child is going hungry...they are being "left behind."
the open hatred of our president because he is african-american is becoming frightening.
a top republican donor who recently announced he would be financially
supporting mitt romney’s presidential campaign made a joke about president obama being shot at.
speaking on fox business, millionaire foster friess — who the romney campaign has reached out
to for financial support — said, “there are a lot of things that
haven’t been hammered at because rick and Mitt have been going at each
other, now that they have trained their barrels on president obama, i
hope his teleprompters are bullet-proof.” - national confidential
each person has inside a basic decency and goodness. if he listens to it and acts on it, he is giving a great deal of what it
is the world needs most. it is not complicated but it takes courage. it
takes courage for a person to listen to his own goodness and act on it. - pablo casals
students at santa monica college went to the board of trustees meeting to complain and peacefully protest the proposed two tiered community college system (you can get into the classes you need...but only if you can afford to pay up to 4x the going rate.)
santorum: i was just reading something last night from the state of california. and that the california universities – i think it’s seven or eight of the california system of universities
don’t even teach an american history course. it’s not even available to
be taught. - think progress
Taking nothing away from the IOC's Athlete of the Century, the first attempt at a professional football league in the United States would be remembered more in the manner of the USFL than as "Once in a Lifetime."
*Title reference. The complete Village Voice review at year-end was "No, Pavarotti."
and, no, despite protestations from the gop claiming so.... climate change is no april fools joke.
a florida beekeeper knows why bees are dying and colonies are collapsing. - scientists, farmers and chemical companies did not listen when david hackenberg said colony collapse disorder might not really be so mysterious, that it was almost certainly caused by a relatively new class of pesticides. and now, it seems, people are finally paying attention - tampa bay times
bees and insecticides: subtle poison. - evidence is growing that commonly used pesticides, even when employed carefully, are bad for bees. dying bees are a problem, and not just for apiarists. bees pollinate many of the world’s crops—a service estimated to be worth $15 billion a year in america alone - economist
pesticide, epa faulted in bee die-off. - beekeepers from minnesota and across the country this month asked the federal government for a temporary ban on one the most widely used pesticides until its effect on bees is clear, arguing that the epa failed to require some legally mandated field testing before the pesticide was approved in 2003 - minneapolis star tribune
raising awareness of plastic pollution. - the crew of a research ship in hawaii prepared for a trip into the huge field of tsunami debris spreading across the pacific ocean. while on land, concerned volunteers cleaned up our coastline and prepared for that debris to reach our islands - kitv 4 honolulu
critics alarmed by looser ontario farm sludge rules. - the loosening of rules around spreading sewage sludge -- potentially laced with pharmaceuticals like viagra -- on ontario farm fields has critics sounding the alarm about potential health risks. - canadian press
wendy's jumps into 'pink slime' public relations war. - wendy's co, the nation's second-largest hamburger chain, is the latest company to join the public relations war over so-called "pink slime" – an ammonia-treated beef filler product that the meat industry calls "finely textured beef" – that is at the center of one of the biggest us food fights in recent history. - reuters
democrat blasts agency for rejecting petition to ban chemical. - a leading critic of the chemical bisphenol a (bpa) criticized the obama administration's rejection of a petition to ban its use in food and beverage packaging because of growing concerns that the omnipresent chemical could be linked to cancer and other diseases - the hill
Skippy is not responsible for the views and opinions of any website linked to & from this page.
All Original Material Copyrighted 2012. Just in case you aren't aware of all internet traditions, let us assure you that the writers and proprietors of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo are not responsible for the opinions, ideas, conjectures and snark of any articles linked herein.