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n2doc

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

Journal Archives

House Hacks Away at Environmental Regulations

BY COLE STANGLER


This week, the House of Representatives passed three climate-related bills designed to target and weaken federal environmental regulations: Together they speed up the permitting process for cross-country natural gas pipelines and for drilling on federal lands; impose fines on those wanting to protest the government’s decisions to grant drilling permits; and undercut pending federal fracking regulations.

Each of the bills’ Republican sponsors have painted their legislative initiative as necessary fixes to the Obama administration’s regulatory overreach—a claim that’s heavily disputed by Athan Manuel, the Sierra Club’s director of lands protection.

“These bills are all meant to fix problems that don’t exist,” Manuel says. “There’s this perception that the Obama administration is holding back the oil and gas industry, when it’s not true. They get plenty of permits. … The oil industry’s making lots of money. And they don’t have a lack of access to areas to drill.”

The largest and most sweeping of the legislative efforts, the Federal Lands Jobs and Energy Security Act, which passed on Wednesday by a 228-192 margin, gives the Department of the Interior sixty days to approve applications from oil and gas companies to drill on federal land. If the DOI doesn’t issue a decision in that time, the application is automatically approved. The bill, introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Col.), also imposes a $5,000 fee on anybody who files an administrative appeal to protest the federal government’s decision to issue a permit or not—a practice that citizens, consumer advocacy groups and environmental activists often take advantage of.


more

http://inthesetimes.com/article/15923/house_hacks_away_at_environmental_regulations/

Monday Toon Roundup 2-The Rest


Walmart



Tday



ACA



Clinton




Flights



Literally





Schools



Climate




War






JFK






Monday Toon Roundup 1- Fillibusted Party



















The Neuroscientist Who Discovered He Was a Psychopath

e afternoon in October 2005, neuroscientist James Fallon was looking at brain scans of serial killers. As part of a research project at UC Irvine, he was sifting through thousands of PET scans to find anatomical patterns in the brain that correlated with psychopathic tendencies in the real world.

“I was looking at many scans, scans of murderers mixed in with schizophrenics, depressives and other, normal brains,” he says. “Out of serendipity, I was also doing a study on Alzheimer’s and as part of that, had brain scans from me and everyone in my family right on my desk.”

“I got to the bottom of the stack, and saw this scan that was obviously pathological,” he says, noting that it showed low activity in certain areas of the frontal and temporal lobes linked to empathy, morality and self-control. Knowing that it belonged to a member of his family, Fallon checked his lab’s PET machine for an error (it was working perfectly fine) and then decided he simply had to break the blinding that prevented him from knowing whose brain was pictured. When he looked up the code, he was greeted by an unsettling revelation: the psychopathic brain pictured in the scan was his own.

Many of us would hide this discovery and never tell a soul, out of fear or embarrassment of being labeled a psychopath. Perhaps because boldness and disinhibition are noted psychopathic tendencies, Fallon has gone all in towards the opposite direction, telling the world about his finding in a TED Talk, an NPR interview and now a new book published last month, The Psychopath Inside. In it, Fallon seeks to reconcile how he—a happily married family man—could demonstrate the same anatomical patterns that marked the minds of serial killers.



Read more: http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2013/11/the-neuroscientist-who-discovered-he-was-a-psychopath/

Oh Joy! Now you can buy a Christmas ornament painted by W!



Former President George W. Bush's painting of a cardinal caught his wife's eye, and now the artwork is set in an ornament for sale at the George W. Bush Presidential Center for $29.98

By TOM BENNING Staff Writer tbenning@dallasnews.com

The artwork of George W. Bush — the painter known as “43” — is finally for sale.
While the former president’s paintings won’t be found at the National Gallery of Art — or even the Dallas Museum of Art — the George W. Bush Presidential Center is selling a limited-edition Christmas ornament that highlights one of Bush’s pieces.

The ornament, which features a Bush painting of a cardinal, is the first reproduction of the former president’s work to be available for purchase. Bush surprised many in politics, the media and the art world earlier this year by discussing his newfound love of painting.

The original was painted for a friend of Bush’s, Warren Tichenor, a San Antonio media executive and investor who was an ambassador in the Bush administration. Bush said his wife, Laura, liked the painting’s red and green hues. She chose it for their Christmas card and as the first official holiday ornament for the Bush Center, on the campus of Southern Methodist University.

more
http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/park-cities/headlines/20131121-from-george-w.-bush-the-painter-a-holiday-ornament-for-sale.ece

Weekend Toons- Unleash the Senate!












FDA: Anti-smoking drug Chantix linked to more than 500 suicides

Tina Hurst was living what she considered a perfect life in her quiet neighborhood in suburban Chicago. She was happily married, the mother of two teenage girls and an executive at an insurance company.

Hurst also had a secret. She was a closet smoker, an on-again, off-again, pack-a-day habit she’d hidden from her family.

“I would quit for a couple of months and then I would start back again, so it was one of those periods where my family thought I was still not smoking, and I had started again,” Hurst said.

Hurst called her doctor, who suggested a prescription drug called Chantix, which is designed to help smokers quit by curbing the desire to light up. Hurst thought she’d found an easy fix. Wiithin a week, she quit smoking.

“I thought it was a miracle drug, you know?” she said.

As Hurst continued taking the drug as prescribed, her well-ordered life started coming unhinged and she began acting erratically. After her husband convinced her to throw the pills away, Hurst said she went over the edge.


more

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/america-tonight-blog/2013/11/21/fda-anti-smokingdrugchantixlinkedtomorethan500suicides.html

FDA: Anti-smoking drug Chantix linked to more than 500 suicides


Tina Hurst was living what she considered a perfect life in her quiet neighborhood in suburban Chicago. She was happily married, the mother of two teenage girls and an executive at an insurance company.

Hurst also had a secret. She was a closet smoker, an on-again, off-again, pack-a-day habit she’d hidden from her family.

“I would quit for a couple of months and then I would start back again, so it was one of those periods where my family thought I was still not smoking, and I had started again,” Hurst said.

Hurst called her doctor, who suggested a prescription drug called Chantix, which is designed to help smokers quit by curbing the desire to light up. Hurst thought she’d found an easy fix. Wiithin a week, she quit smoking.

“I thought it was a miracle drug, you know?” she said.

As Hurst continued taking the drug as prescribed, her well-ordered life started coming unhinged and she began acting erratically. After her husband convinced her to throw the pills away, Hurst said she went over the edge.


more

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/america-tonight-blog/2013/11/21/fda-anti-smokingdrugchantixlinkedtomorethan500suicides.html

Spanish Government trying to outlaw peaceful protest

On Wednesday, the Spanish government announced a draft proposal to introduce anti-protest measures that would make Russia’s handling of activists look magnanimous in comparison. If passed, the bill will penalize many accepted forms of peaceful protest with fines and prison sentences, which isn't a great look for a country with a fascist past.

Aside from the contents of the bill, what’s most worrying is how many of the proposed changes to the law seem to have been thought up as a direct response to specific groups and actions, mainly from the left, and mainly emerging out of Spain’s Occupy movement—15M.

Reading between the lines, the proposed bill reads uncannily like a timeline of the last four years, with each law dreamed up as a direct response to any action that has upset the government or caught it with its pants down by exposing corrupt behavior. It takes on online activist groups like Anonymous, as well as a political pressure groups such as the PAH (Platform for People Affected by Mortgages—Spain’s anti-foreclosure activists) and, perhaps most controversially, makes a villain out of those who use social networks for political ends. In short, it’s trying to kill social activism in a country that’s been utterly failed by the state.

Anyone organizing an protest through Facebook that is not officially sanctioned would receive a prison sentence of up to three years, or a huge fine of $45,000. Spain has been much vaunted as the birthplace of Occupy, and it was the spontaneous protests organized through Facebook and Twitter that led to the formation of the first campsites in the center of Madrid. Without 15,000 people marching under an apolitical banner, it’s unlikely that much of what followed, would have, um, followed.

more

http://www.vice.com/read/the-spanish-government-is-waging-a-war-on-the-right-to-peaceful-protest

Luckovich Toon: Ya Big Meanie!

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