Posted by eurobrat under Uncategorized
| Tags: environment
, Pacific Ocean
, sea lions
, polar bears
, West Coast
In my continuing quest as a news junkie, I spent time this weekend trying to get more information about the Fukushima aftermath, as mainstream media reporting on this topic has been sporadic at best. And right down the rabbit hole I went. All the usual websites have a Fukushima conspiracy theory, and a video with scary synth music to match, talking about all the bad stuff going on in the Pacific.
But there really is lots of bad stuff going on in the Pacific. Up and down the West Coast, starfish are disintegrating due to a mystery disease. Sea lion pups are dying at unusual rates in California. On land, moose in North America are collapsing and dying, and we still haven’t figured out why. And polar bears and seals in the Arctic are losing fur and suffering open sores.
I was left with a sad conclusion–we’re poisoning our ocean and coasts. There is no hard and fast evidence linking any of the above things to Fukushima, but it doesn’t matter if there is. There is plenty of other pollution to go around. Fukushima or no Fukushima, we are throwing chemicals and trash and plastic and overfishing and climate change into the mix, and sooner or later will experience the consequences.
Fukushima may still turn out to be a much bigger radiation disaster, but even if it doesn’t? We’re doing an excellent job of killing ourselves and our world off, anyway.
Posted by eurobrat under Uncategorized
| Tags: Al Jazeera
, cable news
, Fox News
, international news
, Justin Bieber
, news media
, Vladimir Putin
, world news
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CNN finally seems to have woken up from their nap today and has started covering the Ukraine crisis in a serious way, and it took the Russian Parliament voting for military action for them to do so. Not that there wasn’t ominous stuff going on in that part of the world before today, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from looking at my TV machine.
Once again, I’m completely frustrated by the lack of international news coverage in the American media. I like MSNBC for the political stuff–yes, I admit it, they reflect my bias–but they’re better on the domestic stuff. I can’t take Fox News for the constant Obama bashing–I think that’s their full-time job at this point. And CNN has been useless lately. Endless Oscars specials and Justin Bieber gossip, while the world has been coming apart at the seams. Were they joking about the “News” part of their name?
So I’ve been left with Al Jazeera. They’ve been doing in-depth reporting on the Ukraine, and it’s been quality reporting that doesn’t appear to be too heavily biased in one direction or another. I realize that a lot of people wouldn’t touch Al Jazeera, mainly because of who has created and owns the channel. All I can say to that is that I would gladly watch American news channels if they improved their coverage of the world outside our borders. But as long as they continue focusing on awards show red carpet BS, I don’t have too many options.
So this is what it’s like when your favorite city becomes a minefield, every place you go a reminder of what you’ve lost. The park trails you used to hike. The scones you would eat in the morning. The police horses sneaking nibbles of grass through the fence, the cormorants over the cold river. The streets which were white that last time you got snowed in together.
I will forever love my rainy little town, but right now every moment in it brings a tiny explosion of pain. In time, I will be stronger again, and Portland will turn back from a minefield into a city.
So the Stephanie Miller Show was discussing Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic death recently, and one of the guests was explaining the dangers of heroin. How with heroin, you never quite know what you’re injecting into yourself, or how good/pure/lethal it might be. And then she made the comparison to alcohol–when you see Bud in the store, you always know what you get, and there’s no such thing as bad Bud.
As a beer lover, I feel I have to correct that statement…it would be more accurate to say that Bud is always bad. In fact, Bud is always terrible. However, I agree that it’s terrible in a way which is consistent, and which won’t kill me. It will also never shock me by tasting like a delicious craft brew when I open one up. And while Bud isn’t dangerous, you might waste your life drinking bad beer…a fate not much better than death, in my opinion.
What will those be like, I wonder? Will there be little child dancers fighting the evil Pink Triangle trying to recruit them into homosexuality? Will the ladies of Pussy Riot perform a touching song about how beautiful life can be in a gulag? Will Putin ride out on a horse, all macho and bare-chested? What about Edward Snowden in a bodysuit? Toilets that will actually work?
Honestly, at this time, unless the opening ceremonies include a festive parade of happy gay people with their newly adopted stray dogs, I really don’t wanna watch ‘em. The idea of Putin’s Russia putting on a show about world peace and love is too ludicrous for consideration. I had a difficult time watching the Beijing Olympics because I have a problem with how that country treats the Falun Gong and Christians–looks like these Olympics will be an equally painful event.
The people of New York have had a mixed bag response to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s tenure now that he’s transitioned back into civilian life. On the one hand, a recent Quinnipiac poll shows that 64% of New Yorkers think Mayor Bloomberg was a success. However, 57% of the city’s residents also think Bloomberg’s ban on large sodas should not be continued.
This confirms something we already know about ourselves as Americans. You can be a friend of the rich like Bloomberg or try to redistribute wealth like de Blasio, but for the love of God, let us be fat. We’re already being used and abused like we’re in a dysfunctional marriage, so at least let us have our super sized soft drinks. I’m no exception to this. I’m far from obese, but my right to consume sweets and chips is the reward I get for sacrificing most of my life to my corporate job. So, while I’ve handed almost everything else over to those in power–woe to the person who dares touch my snacks. This is about freedom, after all! Well, my freedom to overeat, anyway.