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Saviolo

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Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 04:34 PM
Number of posts: 335

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Why not WalMart? - Why are people still defending them?

For some reason, I can't read an article about this without getting into an internet argument about it. Someday I'll learn, I guess.

So, here's a fellow making sort of vague hanging points about middle class vs. working class, and how WalMart is actually going to help people, because the small businesses in the Kensington Market area aren't paying better, and... aren't the local economy?

I'm sorry, I can't follow, so I'll link you to the article here:

http://www.randomhouse.ca/hazlitt/blog/why-not-walmart-case-chain

The smug tone of it just reeks of the currently popular hipster-hate. A sneering "those hipsters are just -so awful- aren't they?" that just makes me angry. Yes, those are my fairly angry comments at the bottom down there. It's my neighbourhood, so I'm a little passionate about the situation.

I wish people would just stop defending WalMart. They a) don't need it and b) don't give a shit about you. Am I just way off base here?

Lots of people rely on homeopathy. Can they all be wrong? Yes

From the article:

Homeopathy has nothing to do with herbal remedies, many of which have legitimate uses. It is a practice hatched in the dark ages of science based on the idea that substances that cause symptoms in a healthy person can cure those same symptoms in an ill person. (So, for instance, onions, which make eyes itchy and tearful, can be used to relieve the symptoms of hay fever.) There is no logic to this, but this is not where it stops. Homeopaths, defying everything we know about toxicology, believe that diluting a solution containing a homeopathic remedy increases its potency. In fact, to potentiate the remedy, dilutions are carried out to an extent that the final product in most cases doesn’t even contain a single molecule of the original “remedy.”

Obviously it’s easy to make fun of homeopathy. The concept is absurd. But millions of people around the world do rely on homeopathic medications. Can they all be wrong? The simple answer is: Yes.

It is hard to understand how this has happened, since the directorate’s stated goal is for “all Canadians (to) have ready access to natural health products that are safe, effective and high quality, while respecting freedom of choice and philosophical and cultural diversity.”

Safety is not an issue with homeopathic products, because they contain nothing. I’m not sure what “high quality” means in this context; presumably that the pills are produced in an environment free of contaminants. But what about efficacy? There is actually no requirement that homeopathic producers demonstrate this — which is lucky for them, because no proof of efficacy is to be had for homeopathic mercury, arsenic, “Berlin Wall” or, most alarmingly, homeopathic “vaccines” and mosquito repellents.


Homeopathy isn't the same as herbal remedies or legitimate alternate therapies, it is pure snake oil. It's not unsafe in and of itself, but as indicated in the article, people are passing off homeopathic vaccines and mosquito repellants that will not actually do anything. This is actively dangerous if you're going into an area that has a danger of West Nile (the example in the article) or Malaria.

Read the article from the Montreal Gazette here: http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Right+Chemistry+Debunking+homeopathy/8852871/story.html

And as Tim Minchin quotes in his fantastic poem Storm:
It's a miracle! Take physics and bin it!
Water has memory!
And while it's memory of a long lost drop of onion juice is Infinite
It somehow forgets all the poo it's had in it!


Read the whole poem here: http://www.lyricsmania.com/storm_lyrics_tim_minchin.html

Stephen Harper to seek prorogation of Parliament (AGAIN!)

From the CBC article:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has confirmed he will ask the Governor General to prorogue Parliament until October, when his Conservative government will introduce the next speech from the throne.

"There will be a new throne speech in the fall, obviously the House will be prorogued in anticipation of that. We will come back — in October is our tentative timing," Harper told reporters in Whitehorse Monday. Harper is in the Yukon on the second day of his annual summer tour of the North.

The Prime Minister's Office later clarified that Harper will ask for Parliament to be prorogued before the scheduled return of the House on Sept. 16, meaning Parliament will not sit again until after the throne speech in October.

It will be the third time since Harper took office in 2006 that he has sought prorogation. He first used the tactic in 2008 to successfully out-maneouvre the opposition's attempt to unseat him and form a coalition government. He prorogued again in 2010 in the midst of a controversy over Canada's treatment of prisoners in Afghanistan and ahead of Vancouver's hosting of the 2010 Winter Olympics.


Why does he need to do this? He's got a -majority government-!!! He doesn't face a vote of non-confidence! This is absurd beyond comprehension. Time to hand this man his pink slip.

Full article here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2013/08/19/pol-harper-commons-prorogation.html

Fracking: Meet the town that’s being swallowed by a sinkhole

From the article on Grist:

Texas Brine’s operation sits atop a three-mile-wide, mile-plus-deep salt deposit known as the Napoleonville Dome, which is sheathed by a layer of oil and natural gas, a common feature of the salt domes prevalent in Gulf Coast states. The company specializes in a process known as injection mining, and it had sunk a series of wells deep into the salt dome, flushing them out with high-pressure streams of freshwater and pumping the resulting saltwater to the surface. From there, the brine is piped and trucked to refineries along the Mississippi River and broken down into sodium hydroxide and chlorine for use in manufacturing everything from paper to medical supplies.

What happened in Bayou Corne, as near as anyone can tell, is that one of the salt caverns Texas Brine hollowed out — a mine dubbed Oxy3 — collapsed. The sinkhole initially spanned about an acre. Today it covers more than 24 acres and is an estimated 750 feet deep. It subsists on a diet of swamp life and cypress trees, which it occasionally swallows whole. It celebrated its first birthday recently, and like most 1-year-olds, it is both growing and prone to uncontrollable burps, in which a noxious brew of crude oil and rotten debris bubbles to the surface. But the biggest danger is invisible; the collapse unlocked tens of millions of cubic feet of explosive gases, which have seeped into the aquifer and wafted up to the community. The town blames the regulators. The regulators blame Texas Brine. Texas Brine blames some other company, or maybe the regulators, or maybe just God.

Bayou Corne residents need only drive a quarter mile down Highway 70 to see the worst-case scenario. On Christmas Day 2003, a methane leak from a Napoleonville Dome salt cavern storing natural gas forced residents of Grand Bayou, a neighboring hamlet, to evacuate. Dow Chemical, which owned the cavern, bought out the mostly elderly residents, leaving only concrete slabs behind. In places like Barbers Hill, Texas, similar leaks have turned once-thriving neighborhoods into ghost towns. A 2001 cavern leak in Hutchinson, Kan., spewed 30-foot-tall geysers of gas and water and caused an explosion that left two people dead.

“I hate to say, but it’s not an unusual event,” says Robert Traylor, a geologist at the Railroad Commission of Texas, the state’s oil and gas regulator. “These things happen. In the oil business, a million things can go wrong, and they usually go wrong.”


And the corporations in charge are just passing the buck. Not that it would make much difference if they were indicted, because the maximum fines for destroying entire towns would likely be barely a blip in their bottom line.

Read the article here:
http://grist.org/business-technology/meet-the-town-thats-being-swallowed-by-a-sinkhole/

Inequality: Why are the rich getting richer?



... and is it too late to change?

Halliburton admits it destroyed Deepwater Horizon evidence

From the article:

As emergency workers scrambled to control oil that was spreading from the Deepwater Horizon site in 2010, Halliburton had other damage-control priorities on its mind: The company was busily destroying the results of computer simulations that suggested it shared some blame for the disaster.

Halliburton, BP, and rig owner Transocean (which has also obstructed the federal investigation into the disaster) are all on trial in a civil case in New Orleans, where they’re trying to shift blame from themselves onto the others. The New York Times explains how Halliburton’s plea deal could affect that case:

Legal scholars said the guilty plea would probably work against Halliburton in the civil trial in New Orleans to determine the share of damages owed to the Gulf states and businesses affected by the spill.


So which evil oil company are you rooting for?


Which evil oil company indeed...

And here's the real tragedy of it all. The environmental and human cost of the whole fiasco is not only incalculable, it is still ongoing. And there have been new spills and explosions since then that are adding to the problem. Welcome to the new normal, kids. Whatever money the courts manage to get any of these enormous corporations to cough up will be a pittance both to their bottom lines and to the relief efforts and victims, but will still be used as an excuse to raise prices on oil and gas. There is literally no way that the we as consumers can win.

Full article from Grist here: http://grist.org/news/halliburton-admits-it-destroyed-deepwater-horizon-evidence/

Hate letters threaten gay couple in Canada

From the article:

A same-sex couple in Kingston is the subject of a hate crime after they received two threatening letters Thursday, urging them to move out of town or face physical violence.

Some of the group’s younger members would “have fun chasing ‘lesbos,’” the second letter stated. “We have brought them BB guns and today they are going to target practice, so they can hunt you down.”

The group said they “know (the couple) and have been following (them) for the past several weeks and we wish for you to leave this city before it’s too late, for (them),” adding that they should relocate to Vancouver or San Francisco.

The group claims to be “energized by the recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions legalizing same-sex marriage,” and has a head office in the “Deep South.”

The couple, who notified police upon receiving the letter, has also reached out to local LGBTQ activists to find more information about the assailants.

Kingston police said they “are aware of,” the letters and a report has been assigned to major crime detective, Const. Chris Gobeil.


I've always felt like I have a comfortable buffer because I live openly in Toronto, but this is around the corner from me, less than a 2 hour drive away. It's just crazy to me that this is even a thing. It smacks to me of some young trollsters who want to stir up some shit and make a big noise and get some attention for it, and as such, I'd rather make this post in solidarity of the couple that has been threatened, and not focus on the shit disturbers that are trying to cause FUD.

Read the article here:
http://www.thewhig.com/2013/07/19/hate-letters-threaten-gay-couple

Hate letters threaten gay couple in Canada

From the article:

A same-sex couple in Kingston is the subject of a hate crime after they received two threatening letters Thursday, urging them to move out of town or face physical violence.

Some of the group’s younger members would “have fun chasing ‘lesbos,’” the second letter stated. “We have brought them BB guns and today they are going to target practice, so they can hunt you down.”

The group said they “know (the couple) and have been following (them) for the past several weeks and we wish for you to leave this city before it’s too late, for (them),” adding that they should relocate to Vancouver or San Francisco.

The group claims to be “energized by the recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions legalizing same-sex marriage,” and has a head office in the “Deep South.”

The couple, who notified police upon receiving the letter, has also reached out to local LGBTQ activists to find more information about the assailants.

Kingston police said they “are aware of,” the letters and a report has been assigned to major crime detective, Const. Chris Gobeil.


I've always felt like I have a comfortable buffer because I live openly in Toronto, but this is around the corner from me, less than a 2 hour drive away. It's just crazy to me that this is even a thing. It smacks to me of some young trollsters who want to stir up some shit and make a big noise and get some attention for it, and as such, I'd rather make this post in solidarity of the couple that has been threatened, and not focus on the shit disturbers that are trying to cause FUD.

Read the article here:
http://www.thewhig.com/2013/07/19/hate-letters-threaten-gay-couple

Lose your tickets to a scalper-bot? Ticketmaster doesn't care...

They know scalper bots are there, and they want to slow them down, but they're not interested in stopping them:

http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/ticketmaster-knows-scalper-bots-buy-up-60-of-its-seats-but-it-doesnt-want-to-stop-them#ixzz2WWMsB7wl

From the article:
According to my calculations, Ticketmaster currently just barely edges out Exxon and Halliburton as the most-loathed company in existence. Previously, the bulk of that hatred was thanks to the exorbitant fees it tacked onto concert tickets, ostensibly for giving you the privilege of navigating their reliably infuriating, poorly designed, and perennially buggy website. But now there's a brand new reason to hate Ticketmaster: it knowingly tolerates ticket-buying hacker-spawned bots on its network.

The New York Times has a report about the ticket-snatching bots, which currently buy up to a staggering 60% of the company's goods. For anyone who's logged on at precisely 9:00 am the morning that Radiohead show goes on sale only to be interminably redirected to the seating chart page—or the thousands of real people who lost their LCD Soundsystem seats to scalper-bots—this revelation will probably make you want to smash something. You've been hopelessly competing with virtual robots that have been programmed to buy up your tickets. You never had a shot at getting into that Arcade Fire show, no matter how furiously you clicked.

And here's what makes the whole thing especially maddening. Ticketmaster not only knows about the bots, but, as BetaBeat notes, it's not even trying to kick them out of its system. It's just trying to slow them down, so humans have at least a spitting chance.


So, who cares? Well, the bands do!

http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/in-a-just-world-everyone-could-get-lcd-soundsystem-tickets

From the article:

The vast majority of indie music fans, after all, don’t have a grand to drop on a rock concert. It also pissed off LCD frontman James Murphy, who penned a furious screed on the band’s blog, denouncing the ‘scumfuck scalpers’ using his show to make a quick buck. In an attempt to thwart them, Murphy announced that the band was going to flood the market with 4 more shows leading up to the final one, exponentially increasing supply, and hopefully getting the scalpers’ absurd MSG ticket prices to come down.

It seems like a tired cliche at this point (and who knows if it even happens much but on occasions like this anymore) but rock bands have a long history of butting heads with promoters to keep ticket prices affordable for their fans. In other words, bands have long worked against their own economic interests to keep prices low; this was a dominant part of the punk ethos of the 70s and 80s.

And we’re all the better for it: How many of your favorite bands would you go see if every ticket cost $200? I think most folks would agree that they’d rather live in a society where more people have access to the shows, concerts, and events they love. If bands didn’t fight to keep prices lower, market forces would take over and exclude many of their fans. This is why the legendary punk band Fugazi refuses to play a show where the ticket price is more than $5.

How Monsanto could be poisoning your Microbiome

Just how much of Monsanto's RoundUp is it safe to ingest? According to Monsanto and now the US Government, more! But it's looking more and more like it's far more toxic than we're being told.

From the article:

First the bad news: The “safest” herbicide in the history of science may be harming us in ways we’re just beginning to understand. And now for the really bad news: Because too much is never enough, the Environmental Protection Agency just raised the allowable limits for how much of that chemical can remain on the food we eat, and the crops we feed to animals – many of which end up on our plates as well. If you haven’t guessed its identity yet, it’s Monsanto’s RoundUp, a powerful weed killer.

Here’s the thing: As farmers adopted Monsanto’s genetically modified seeds in droves — the majority of corn, soy and cotton grown worldwide include the company’s RoundupReady trait — there has been an explosion in the use of the pesticide for which the trait is designed: You guessed it, RoundUp.

In the U.S. alone, it’s estimated that over 200 million pounds of the stuff are spread on fields and farms every year. That’s almost triple the amount used in 2001. (These numbers, by the way, are all estimates, since the USDA doesn’t precisely track glyphosate use because MONSANTO!)


Read the entire article here:
http://grist.org/food/gut-punch-monsanto-could-be-destroying-your-microbiome/
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