Archive for October, 2008

Trashed Tech Dumped Overseas: Does the U.S. Care?

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

A new report proves that the fed’s environmental watchdog has knowingly allowed toxic e-waste to be shipped overseas

e-WasteThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) knows that most of the 1.9 million tons (1.7 million metric tons) of discarded cell phones, computers and televisions, among other electronic goods, went into landfills, because those are the agency’s own figures.

The EPA also knows that this so-called e-waste contains cadmium, mercury and other toxic substances, and it is responsible for making sure that lead-laden monitors and television sets with cathode-ray tubes (CRT) are disposed of properly and the parts recycled. But congressional investigators charge that the EPA has failed to even attempt to clean up the mess—or keep it in check. The agency has “no plans and no timetable for developing the basic components of an enforcement strategy,” concludes a report released this week by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’s investigative arm.

GAO official John Stephenson testified at a House hearing yesterday that his investigators had posed as would-be buyers of CRT waste in Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, Singapore and Vietnam and found at least 43 recyclers willing to export the toxic e-waste from the U.S. in direct violation of EPA regulations. In addition, unlike the European Union (E.U.), the EPA has no regulations concerning the disposal of other types of used electronic devices, despite their dangers.


The Sietch Blog – I’m a new writer over there…

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

I’ve started posting some of my stuff over on the Sietch Blog.  They’ve been kind enough to accept me as one of their writers and since they’re focused on topics that I relate to and since they’ve got a good readership already … well, that was a no-brainer, eh? <smile>.

Here’s my first two pieces they’ve published over there (rewarmed from stuff I’ve done here earlier):

Eroding Judgements

Corporations, Beast Or Blessing

I encourage you to check out The Sietch – it’s an interesting site with good writers and interesting topics.

Sarah Palin Debate Flow Chart

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

– I snagged this off The Sietch blog.  It’s part of a longer piece that you can follow the link below to read.   It’s good so it’ll be well worth the trip.

This is how it is done…

– To the full deal over at The Sietch…

Sarah Palin – Post Turtle

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Sarah Palin - Post TurtleWhile suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from being President. The old rancher said, ‘Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle.‘ Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was.

The old rancher said, ‘When you’re driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that’s a post turtle.‘ The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor’s face, so he continued to explain. ‘You know she didn’t get up there by herself, she doesn’t belong up there, she doesn’t know what to do while she is up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put her up there to begin with‘.

– research thanks to Joel J.

Medical studies about drugs may be victims of spin, says report

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

– Why oh why was it not a good idea for the American medical industry to have been captured by the corporate world?   Can you say, “Profits first and people second”?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Does the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have access to the data it needs to make informed decisions on approving drugs, or are drug companies cherry-picking the studies they publish to make their drugs look better than they actually are?

A new report in Monday’s PLoS Medicine questions whether doctors and patients are getting objective information about whether a medicine works. That’s because more than half of studies on government-approved medications—presumably the ones that show a drug doesn’t work—are never published, and those that are show disproportionately positive results.

Just 43 percent of trials behind 90 drugs approved by the FDA were published in the medical journals most commonly consulted by doctors, according to the report by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. Of those, 66 percent show the drugs are beneficial. The results are based on 909 clinical trials of medicines approved between 1998 and 2000.


Europe’s Conservatives Sour On the Free Market

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

France’s notoriously divided and ideologically marooned Socialist opposition has long struggled to find a leader capable of selling a modern leftist vision that voters will embrace. Right now, though, conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy may be doing that job for the Socialists. Following his Tuesday address to the United Nations in which he characterized international financial markets as “insane,” Sarkozy Thursday sounded like an indignant leftist when he called for sweeping regulation and “moralization” of international finance, and declared that the era “of the market always being right is over.”

“A certain conception of globalization has closed out: [one that] imposed its own logic on the entire economy and helped pervert it,” Sarkozy said during a speech in Toulon, attacking those who had created the unfolding financial crisis. “Self-regulation as a way of solving all problems is finished. Laissez-faire is finished. The all-powerful market that always knows best is finished.”

That’s pinko talk for a man who came to power promising to liberalize the French economy, free up its markets, and roll back the 35-hour work week imposed by the Socialists. Sarkozy’s new views may be similarly surprising to some of his closest friends, who include several billionaire businessmen and stock market titans — an elite to whom critics have accused Sarkozy of tailoring his policies.