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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

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Talk-show host starts petition to revoke Kansas’ statehood

A Wichita talk-show host is petitioning the White House to revoke Kansas’ statehood, citing a provision in the Constitution requiring the federal government to “guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government.”

That’s republican small r, not Republican big R, as in the party that dominates Kansas politics.

The petition was launched Monday night by R.J. Dickens, the news director/anchor/talk-show host on Wichita-based KCTU-TV, Channel 43.

The action line: “We urge the President to certify that Kansas can no longer guarantee a republican form of government under Article 4, Section 4; revoke Kansas’ statehood; and appoint a Territorial Governor until such time as it proves worthy of re-admission to the Union.”

“It’s sort of tongue in cheek, but the more you think about it, the more you can make a case that Kansas is a failed state,” Dickens said. “Look what happened (Tuesday) in the House. (House Speaker Ray) Merrick runs that place like a tinhorn dictatorship.”

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article66639302.html

How Vermont beat Big Food


It was May 8, 2014, when the state of Vermont—knowingly or not—launched the war with the American food industry that spilled onto the floor of the U.S. Senate yesterday.

Sitting behind an antique desk brought onto the steps of the statehouse in Montpelier for the occasion, Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a bill that would make Vermont the first state to require the labeling of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Vermont is a heavily agricultural state that prides itself on a reputation for purity: green mountains, real maple syrup, small dairy farms. And though bioengineered foods don’t pose any documented health risk, its legislature had decided, by a large majority, to stand firmly on the side of caution.

“Vermonters take our food and how it is produced seriously, and we believe we have a right to know what’s in the food we buy,” Shumlin, a Democrat, told the crowd of hundreds watching from the lawn in front of the building. “I am proud that we’re leading the way in the United States to require labeling of genetically engineered food.” Much of the crowd that day was enjoying free scoops of ice cream from Ben and Jerry’s, a local company that had supported the law.

Requiring the labeling of GMO foods seems like precisely the type of thing that would start in Vermont, and just as likely stay there. With just 600,000 people, Vermont is known for idiosyncratic positions: It bans roadside billboards, elected a socialist as mayor of its largest city, and ruthlessly polices use of the word “maple” in any food that does not contain actual products of the maple tree.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2016/03/vermont-gmo-labeling-law-national-standard-000067

Mr. Fish Toon- Imagine


Military Admits Billion-Dollar War Toy F-35 Is F**ked

Officials are finally admitting the F-35 fighter has turned into a nightmare—but it’s too late to stop the $400-billion program now.
Way back in the early 2000s, the U.S. military had a dream. To develop a new "universal" jet fighter that could do, well, pretty much everything that the military asks its different fighters to do.

But the dream of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter turned into a nightmare. The program is six years behind schedule and tens of billions of dollars over budget. And now, 16 years after the JSF prototypes took off for their first flights, top officials are finally owning up to the trauma the $400-billion fighter program has inflicted on America's finances and war readiness.

In a remarkable period, beginning in February and lasting several weeks, senior officers and high-ranking bureaucrats finally publicly copped to the warplane program's fundamental failures.

But the timing of the military's mea culpa is ... interesting. For at the same time as the admissions of guilt, the F-35 was passing several bureaucratic milestones that make it more or less impossible to cancel. Too much money's already been spent. Too many well-established jobs are at stake. Too many F-35s are already rolling out of the factory.

The Pentagon can clear its conscience of the jet fighter's misdeeds because doing so is, at this late hour, consequence-free.



Thursday Toon Roundup 3: The Rest




Thursday Toon Roundup 2: Yammer

Thursday Toon Roundup 1: Supreme Fight

Cat tossers caught red-handed, juvenile charged with cruelty to animals

NEW IBERIA (Humane Society of La) - On Saturday, March 11, at approximately noon, Ms. Rocky Gates, Director of Angel Paws Adoption, was leaving her facility when she noticed a truck pull over to the side of Troy Road. To Ms. Gates' horror, who has been an animal rescuer and investigator for many years, two young men got out of the vehicle and proceeded to throw two kittens into the tall grass by the edge of the road.

After tossing the kittens, the young men got back into their vehicle and sped away, little realizing that Ms. Gates was in hot pursuit. Several miles later, the young men turned into their driveway and walked toward a residence. Before entering the house, Ms. Gates confronted the pair and explained to them that releasing kittens into the wild creates a terrible hardship for the cats, as they try to find food, water and shelter and is a criminal offense.

The young men ignored Ms. Gates comments and proceeded to enter the residence. Later that day, Ms. Gates filed a criminal complaint against the two men and driver of the vehicle was issued a summons by a New Iberia Sheriff's deputy for cruelty to animals.

"I was horrified at what I saw, because as a rescuer and animal lover, I know how domesticated animals suffer in the wild. Fortunately, we were able to return to the field where they were abandoned and rescue one of them. We are leaving food and water for the second one and hope to recapture and rehome it as well," says Ms. Gates. A photo of the rescued kitten, a 12 week old male tabby now named Zahne, is attached.



Lockheed Expands Its Munitions Plants for ISIS Fight and Beyond

Lockheed Martin is expanding various munition factories to meet rising demand from the U.S. and its partners fighting the Islamic State — and to start equipping American warplanes for great-power wars at sea.

“We are seeing a lot of international demand for our product set,” Frank St. John, Lockheed’s vice president of tactical missiles, said Tuesday. “That’s causing us to do a lot of work in international partnerships and co-production and we’re very excited about those opportunities.”

In particular, U.S. and allies are burning through their stocks of Lockheed’s Hellfire missile, the signature weapon of Predator and Reaper drones. Helicopters and fixed-wing planes also carry the versatile laser-guided weapon.

“It requires a little bit of investment on our part to expand the factories, but the demand is there and we’re keeping up with it we’re staying ahead of it,” St. John said.



Kurds to announce 'democratic federal' system across controlled Syrian territories, Turkey rejects

Source: ABC

Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Syria are expected to declare a federal system imminently, Kurdish officials say, taking matters into their own hands after being excluded from talks in Geneva to resolve Syria's civil war.

The step aims to combine three Kurdish-led autonomous areas of northern Syria into a federal arrangement and will be sure to alarm neighbouring Turkey, which fears a growing Kurdish sway in Syria is fuelling separatism among its own minority Kurds.

A conference held in the Kurdish-controlled town of Rmeilan on Wednesday discussed a "Democratic Federal System for Rojava — Northern Syria", and ended with a decision to make the announcement at a news conference on Thursday.

Rojava is the Kurdish name for northern Syria.

Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-17/syrian-kurds-set-to-announce-federal-system-in-northern-syria/7253064
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