Thursday, March 03, 2011

Friday Hope Blogging

This week, we'll start with an amusing joke. See if you can find its grain of deadly truth.

A public union employee, a tea party activist, and a CEO are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies in the middle of it. The CEO takes 11 of the cookies, turns to the tea partier and says, "Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie."

New Haven has resolved to tear down an urban freeway:

In New Haven, Conn., a mistake of the past – one that displaced hundreds, razed a neighborhood, and physically divided a city – is finally set to be rectified: A highway is going to be demolished.

Some people in New Haven have been waiting to see this for 40 years, ever since it became clear that a modern roadway slicing through the heart of downtown would not bring the hoped-for suburban shoppers and revitalization.

Incidentally, George Will says that trains are an attack on American freedom and individuality. Three images come to mind.

Los Angeles has approved a plan that will create more than 1,500 miles of bikeways, and force the area's few remaining Real Americans under the pleather yoke of the metrosexual nanny state:
At its heart is the creation of three networks of bikeways, expanding total mileage from an existing 378 to 1,680. The "backbone network" would consist mostly of bike lanes painted on major arterials leading to employment centers, transit stations, retail and entertainment centers and parks. The "neighborhood network" involves local and collector streets that would be made more bicycle-friendly with the installation of barriers, roundabouts and other measures to limit car traffic. And the "green network" would consist of dedicated bike paths in recreational areas, such as along the Los Angeles River.
Noted 1337 h4xx0r Aaron Barr has apparently been permab& by HBGary Federal, just as he was about to reveal that Glenn Greenwald works from a secret bunker deep in the bowels of Fort Longcat:
HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Bar has resigned, doubtless cheering members of the elusive "hacktivist" group Anonymous who have targeted him in the past month....

Now, as Barr steps down from his post, House Democrats are calling for an investigation of HBGary Federal's "use of subversive tactics" to target progressive groups.
The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations don't have personal privacy rights:

The unanimous decision in Federal Communications Commission v. AT&T, Inc. reversed a ruling by a US appeals court in favor of the telecommunications company....

"The protection in FOIA against disclosure of law enforcement information on the ground that it would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy does not extend to corporations."

Researchers have found a new population of an endangered chameleon:
Scientists have discovered a new population of the Belalanda chameleon (Furcifer belalandaensis), boosting hope for one of Madagascar's rarest chameleons....

According to DICE professor, Richard Griffiths, the discovery is "very important for [the Belalanda chameleon], which is probably one of the world's rarest reptiles."
The world's rarest rhino is breeding:
There may only be 40 left in the world, but intimate footage of Javan rhino mothers and calves have been captured by video-camera trap in Ujung Kulon National Park, the last stand of one of the world's most threatened mammals. Captured by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Indonesia's Park Authority, the videos prove the Javan rhinos are, in fact, breeding.

"The videos are great news for Javan rhinos," said Dr. Eric Dinerstein chief scientist at WWF, adding that "there are no Javan rhinos in captivity—if we lose the population in the wild, we’ve lost them all."
New York will require honesty from CPCs:
Yesterday the New York City Council voted 39 to 9, with one abstention, to pass a bill that would require crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to disclose whether they provide emergency contraception and abortion services and whether they have a licensed medical practitioner on site. Evelyn Erskine, a spokeswoman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg (D) stated that she expected the major to sign the bill in the next few weeks. The new law will impact approximately 12 CPCs in New York.

Sabrina Shulman, political director of NARAL Pro-Choice New York, asserted, "It has been neither coincidence nor by accident that CPCs have been deceiving women about their true nature. Until now, deception has been their business model. This needs to stop. Today it will."
At a forum in Washington DC, black church leaders apologized to members of the LGBT community for being "judgmental":

Anthony E. Moore, pastor of Carolina, moderated the dialogue and stated up front that the forum was not intended to be one in which the church took a theological position on homosexuality....

Toward the end of the event, he reinforced the sincerity of the church's apology by pledging to continue the dialogue and to make concerted efforts to make his ministry more inclusive of members of the LGBT community.

(via Feministing.)

The SPLC has recognized Pam Geller and her followers as a hate group:
Stop the Islamization of America was included in the civil rights organization's annual roundup of extremist groups - a rogue's gallery that includes everything from the Ku Klux Klan to white supremacists and Nazis.
Canada will not repeal its law against lying on news programs:

Canada's broadcasting regulator has abandoned its attempt to change a regulation that prohibits the dissemination of false or misleading news.

[T]he CRTC's call for public input on the proposal resulted in a tidal wave of angry responses from Canadians who said they feared such a move would open the door to Fox TV-style news and reduce their ability to determine what is true and what is false.

A federal judge has extended the restraining order that prevents Bayer CropScience from manufacturing methyl isocyanate:
Given the limited record, including limited evidence of the defendant's history of safety violations, misrepresentations to the public, and multiple accidents and chemical leaks, and in light of the fact that the court has not had the opportunity to conduct a preliminary injunction evidentiary hearing, I FIND that the plaintiffs are likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of this temporary relief.
(h/t: Karin.)

The University of Arizona is working to improve the Navajo Nation's access to clean water:

Using power from the sun and a process known as membrane distillation, Ela and a team of student researchers are testing a prototype system on the roof of the UA Civil Engineering Building to see if it could be used on the reservation. Currently in its infant stage, the purification system resembles an oversized high school science project. Long rolls of tubing connect a drum of water to a complex arrangement of heat exchangers and a membrane module.

Almost done, migraine notwithstanding. Regional typography of Portugal (via Aqua-Velvet). A plain of jars. An interview with China MiĆ©ville (I'm agnostic — at best — on his novels, but he has some interesting things to say). A map of businesses opposed to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. And life on the canals.

Crimean mud volcanoes. Dried stuff. Labelography of home recording discs. Art by Hubert Blanz. The Dartmoor Archive. Moon over Edmonton. Tintin's cars (via Peacay). British rock art. And images of everyday life in 19th-c. California.


Photo at top: "Incarnation" by Tilby Vattard, 2009.)


Makarios said...

The punch line to the joke is:

The Tea Party guy grabs the last cookie, throws it on the ground, stomps on it, and screams at the union member, "You %*#&@ Socialist!"

Phila said...


rental elf said...

Nice article, thanks for the information.

Anonymous said...

And images of everyday life in 19th-c. California.

My innerwear slipped all the way to the floor. Gah!

As ever, thank fuck for phila.


charley said...

hey, i'm here.

actually too drunk to look at photos.

just wanted to let you know how much i appreciate that you do that photo thing. i've been hunting around and consistently i find the best and most compelling photos here.

like i said, too wasted right now, but i can see you have the goods.

as for the cookie joke, it's so true and so sad you can only cry.