Thursday, January 31, 2013

Burning My Boston Globes

I'm just tired of sifting through the unread piles, folks, and I needed to do something to keep warm.

"Massachusetts plan to burn waste is opposed; State disputed on safeguards for environment" by Beth Daley  |  Globe Staff, December 31, 2012

A state plan to loosen a nearly quarter-century moratorium on new waste incinerators is renewing a long-simmering trash war in Massachusetts over how to deal with the vast amounts of garbage that residents and businesses generate each day.

Everything is framed in terms of a war in my war paper (sigh). 

As for vast amounts of garbage, I have a pile of Globes on the table over there.

State officials say landfill space is already so tight that Massachusetts is forced to export significant amounts of trash. By the end of the decade, space will be so scarce that the state could export as much as 18 percent of the garbage it generates.

Good Lord, who is accepting our garbage?

To ease the landfill crunch, officials want to allow new technologies on a limited scale that would turn waste into energy and not emit as many harmful air pollutants as traditional incinerators.

Yeah, I was thinking that burning trash couldn't be good for the air, but.... 

See: Boston Globe Garbage Can

I could throw them in there, but I usually recycle them.

Yet environmentalists are ardently opposed, arguing that the state could find more space for garbage if it stopped allowing banned materials such as recyclables, yard debris, and wood into landfills and incinerators. At the South Hadley Landfill in October, for example, there were at least 50 truckloads of banned material dumped in the landfill, according to town officials.

Environmentalists maintain that the new technologies are unproved and environmentally unsound and that loosening the incinerator moratorium will mean the state will not work harder to reduce waste.

“New technologies are proposed all the time, but thus far none of them have been proven safe and effective in removing harmful air pollution,’’ said Sue Reid, director of the Massachusetts office of Conservation Law Foundation, a Boston-based legal environmental advocacy group.

But the real threat is global warming!

State officials will probably decide whether to ease the moratorium within 30 to 60 days after receiving public comment through Feb. 15 as part of finalizing a solid-waste master plan for the state. Taunton officials are already hoping to bring such a facility to their community.

They can have the noise and stink.

Garbage woes are nothing new in Massachusetts, which boasts some of the country’s most ambitious efforts to reduce garbage. The state, for instance, will begin banning some commercial food waste from landfills and the seven existing incinerators in 2014. But Massachusetts has experienced problems achieving those reduction goals.

The state lifted a moratorium on landfills in 2000 because of a growing realization that more space was needed for garbage, but no new landfills have been built because of a lack of space and opposition from local communities.

Yes, it's always your fault if you want a clean community, citizen. 

Now your yearly carbon tax total comes to.... hey, isn't that incineration plant putting carbon into the atmosphere?

The state has periodically reviewed its 1990 incinerator moratorium, most recently in 2009, when officials decided to keep the moratorium in part because new technologies to burn garbage in an environmentally safe way remained unproved.

Now, state officials say the situation is dire....

Garbage exports are projected to rise to 2 million tons a year by 2020....

And who is taking that s*** of our hands?


Related: Massachusetts Says Burn Baby Burn


"State revisits ban on new incinerators; Opponents fear impact on recycling initiatives" by David Abel, Globe Staff | May 11, 2009

SAUGUS - With its two boilers brewing fires at more than 2,200 degrees, the massive incinerator along Bear Creek burns 1,500 tons of trash a day, mounds of which are hauled to the aging plant on tractor-trailers and deposited in an 85-foot-deep pit piled high with soggy cardboard, ripped plastic, and loads of other refuse.

In addition to generating enough electricity to power 47,000 homes a day, the incinerator - one of seven left in the state - releases a constant plume of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, and an awful, nose-burning stench.

"Ah, the smell of money," John O'Rourke, the incinerator's plant manager, joked during a recent tour. For the first time in 15 years, environmental officials are considering whether to end the state's moratorium on new incinerators....

And we are supposed to take their fart-misting global warming seriously?

Over the years, to the chagrin of environmental groups, waste management companies have lobbied aggressively to lift the ban, arguing that new technology significantly reduces emissions and that it's better to burn the trash and collect the resulting energy than dump it in the state's rapidly filling landfills or ship it out of state, sometimes as far as South Carolina.



UPDATEBurning questions

I'm sure you have some of your own, readers. 

I'll be back tomorrow, dear readers, to begin February in an entirely new yet similar style and with an exciting yet still familiar format. 

A Final Salute to the Boston Globe

Flying the surrender flag up now... 

"More towns designing flags to join State House display" by Noah Bierman  |  Globe Staff, January 02, 2013

Peru is part of a trend, as once flagless towns in the Commonwealth adopt flags, after a bit of coaxing from constituents and state lawmakers, who say a flag is a way to instill community pride and to remind the rest of the world that their municipalities matter.

Towns, of course, don’t need flags. Unlike countries that wage battles or race to the moon, or states that christen dams and tunnels, many communities have been content with humbler markers of their domain, such as seals and stationery....

Senator Benjamin B. Downing, a Pittsfield Democrat, has made flags a personal mission....

About 20 towns in his Western Massachusetts district lacked flags, a rather high ratio in a district of 48 communities....

Several formed committees or held contests. Pittsfield designed its flag just in time for its 250th anniversary in 2011, ­after holding a contest. Otis held a contest in 2009, in time for its bicentennial. Worthington, Mount Washington, Tyringham, and Monterey followed suit. Northfield seemed close, but an artist’s proposal inspired by schoolchildren’s renderings was rejected at Town Meeting in 2011, over what some believe were budget concerns.

Yeah, those are my concerns in this time of austerity. 

Is 351 flags, one from each Bay State community, within reach?

“I’d like to get them all in there, but I’m under no illusion that I will,” Downing said, lamenting how flags may not be at the top of everyone’s agenda.

The state began asking for flags two decades ago. The initial impulse was more logistical than civic. Former governor Michael S. Dukakis had covered a large atrium in the center of the State House, known as the Great Hall, to use for events. But the acoustics were terrible, and after a number of experiments, the state Bureau of Office Buildings determined in the early 1990s that municipal flags would solve the problem, while further connecting constituents to their capitol.

New England, it turns out, already had an unusually rich tradition of municipal flags, often with displays of pastoral imagery, said Hugh L. Brady, president of the North American Vexillogical Association, an organization dedicated to the study of flags....

Most flags now on display in the Great Hall are handmade, lovingly sewn together by seamstresses, according to Susan Greendyke Lachevre, art collections manager for the Bureau of State Office Buildings.

Still, not everyone is so enamored....

Like me.

Clarification: An earlier version of this story may have left the impression that....

The agenda-pushing doesn't win me over.


Time Has Run Out

"Time cutting 500 from its staff" Associated Press, January 31, 2013

NEW YORK — Time Inc., the magazine unit of Time Warner Inc., says it is cutting 6 percent of its global staff of 8,000, or about 500 people.

The cuts began Wednesday and will affect domestic and international workers.

In a memo to staff, Time chief executive Laura Lang said the company must become more nimble, and operate on multiple platforms. She said operating more efficiently will create room for critical investments and new initiatives. The unit publishes magazines such as Fortune, InStyle, People, Real Simple, Sports Illustrated, and Time.

Time Warner is expected to release its fourth-quarter earnings next Wednesday.

In recent years, Time Inc. has been a drag on corporate-level results; revenue from the magazine unit hasn’t recovered from the recession as advertisers continue to shift money out of print formats and onto digital ones.

In 2008, the publishing division took in $4.6 billion in revenue, the same year it booked a one-time impairment charge that resulted $6.6 billion loss for the unit.

According to a survey by FactSet, analysts expect Time Inc.’s magazines to post 2012 revenue of $3.5 billion when the company releases financial results next week. They see revenue declining to $3.3 billion in 2015.


Also see: No More Newsweek

I didn't read it anyway so it won't be missed.

Agenda-pushing lying isn't unique amongst the AmeriKan media, sorry. 

Meet the Next Senator From Massachusetts

William ‘Mo’ Cowan to be interim US senator

I mean after him. Sometimes I guess it's okay to be a lock-step loyalist, huh?

Cowan’s path to Senate began in small-town N.C.

Hey, I'm sure it's a great life story, but... 

For Patrick’s top aide ‘Mo’ Cowan, echoes of boss’s rise, obstacles

Patrick confident in choosing confidant Cowan

Cowan the crony?

In naming Mo Cowan to Senate, Patrick lessens state’s clout

Globe doesn't like him? 

I'm sorry, folks, but I simply won't have time to read those items.

Looking ahead:

"Leaders in party support Markey" by Frank Phillips  |  Globe Staff, December 29, 2012

Top members of the Democratic establishment on Friday threw their weight behind the Senate candidacy of US Representative Edward Markey in what appeared to be a coordinated effort by party leaders to close ranks behind the congressman and avoid a divisive primary....

The rallying of support behind him sends a clear sign to other potential Democratic candidates, namely Representatives Michael Capuano of Somerville and Stephen Lynch of South Boston, to stay out of the race.

Both representatives were bristling at the bold move Friday night, and offered no indication that they would back off any consideration of entering the race, according to a top Democratic operative who was in contact with both camps.

The unusual attempt to clear the field for Markey reflects the Democratic leaders’ eagerness to avoid a primary battle that would drain resources and potentially create bitterness within the party....


"Media giants big donors to Rep. Markey; His committee oversaw industry" by Michael Levenson and Noah Bierman  |  Globe Staff, January 09, 2013

Representative Edward J. Markey, a leading contender to replace Senator John F. Kerry, has never been known as an aggressive fund-raiser. He did not need to be.

From 1987 to 2008, his perch atop a powerful congressional committee that oversaw the multibillion-dollar telecommunications and media industries during a period of explosive growth and intense competition helped him build what is now a $3.1 million war chest.

The communications and electronics industries have been Markey’s largest sources of campaign cash....

The list of Markey’s top 20 donors over those years is studded with multinational media conglomerates, including Time Warner, AT&T, News Corp., Comcast, Sprint, Viacom, Walt Disney, General Electric, and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

The biggest contributor on the list is DLA Piper, the politically connected law and lobbying firm whose clients include Raytheon, the Massachusetts-based defense contractor. Other major donors include finance, insurance, and energy firms.

Markey’s campaign account has helped him hold his House seat for 37 years, scaring off potential challengers. Now, it has made him the early leader among Democrats seeking to replace Kerry.

Despite the corporate donations Markey has collected, consumer advocates say the Malden Democrat has consistently voted against industry interests in his roles as either chairman or top Democrat on the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications.

The panel has been at the center of fierce fights between telephone, cable television, wireless, and broadcast companies as they battled for dominance in an exploding world of Internet commerce and digital consolidation.

“He would have the lowest for-sale ratio in the country,” said Mark Cooper, longtime research director at the Consumer Federation of America, an association of non-profits that seeks to check corporate media power. “They may give him money, but he certainly never demurs from opposing them on every key issue.”


Even if Markey is seen as hostile to corporate interests, the industry wants lawmakers like him to consider their viewpoints, said Marian Currinder, a senior fellow at the Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University.

“You’re not counting on Markey — if you’re a big industry group — to vote for you, but you want him to hear what you’ll have to say,” said Currinder.

“Even as ranking member, he can make your life difficult,” Currinder said.

Israel Klein, Markey’s former communications director, who served as his national finance director in 2004, said media conglomerates and other corporations that donate to Markey never expect to get “more than a fair hearing.”


Klein, who is now a lobbyist representing several major energy companies, another area where Markey has been a key player. “They continue to support him because they like him.”

You can go see who else likes him. 


Also seeScramble underway for John Kerry’s Senate seat

Mass. braces for third Senate race in four years

You can thank Ted Kennedy and the Democrats for that. 

Scott Brown still silent on Senate campaign

Weld’s return to Boston brings speculation of a Senate run

Capuano won’t seek Kerry’s seat in Senate

He got the message.

A confirmed entry into the field:

"Rep. Stephen Lynch to declare run for Senate; Entry a challenge to Democratic establishment" by Frank Phillips and Michael Levenson  |  Globe Staff, January 29, 2013

US Representative Stephen F. Lynch has painted himself as a scrappy outsider unbeholden to the Washington establishment. He has a voting record largely in line with the rest of the state’s Democratic delegation and strong support from unions that can turn out Democratic voters in the primary. But some of his socially conservative positions on abortion could prove problematic in the primary, where voters from the liberal flank of the party have a strong influence.

As a state legislator, he had a 100 percent voting record from Massachusetts Citizens for Life, said the organization’s president, Anne Fox, who recalled once attending a house party in which Lynch pointed proudly to his record on the issue. In Congress, Lynch has sided with the National Right to Life Committee 38 percent of the time.

See: Lynch's Lies About the Ladies

In 2009, during debate on President Obama’s health care overhaul, he joined anti­abortion activists and voted for the Stupak amendment, which sought to ban the use of federal funds for abortion or health plans that covered abortion.

In 2010, he sided with ­Republicans and voted against the health care bill. Lynch said he opposed the legislation ­because the Senate had added the so-called Cadillac tax on expen­sive insurance plans and because he was disappointed that the bill did not allow states to adopt government-run insurance plans, a liberal priority. Lynch has said that he would not seek to repeal the law.

On the Republican side, Scott Brown, former senator, continues to stay silent about his intentions as he considers jobs in the private sector. His low profile has produced a great deal of anxiety among ­Republican leaders who feel he has a strong shot at winning the seat. Polls confirm that, if he enters the race, Brown holds an advantage over Markey.



Related: The Reincarnation of George Romney

And he ain't it. 

So what intere$t$ does the Globe say should be looked after by our new interim senator?

"3 departures curtail New England’s political muscle" by David Uberti  |  Globe Correspondent,  January 30, 2013

WASHINGTON — Senator John F. Kerry used his experience and relationships in the Senate to help secure more ­Navy ships for coastal combat, boosting Massachusetts technology jobs. Senator Joe ­Lieberman, an independent, fought hard to protect Connecticut’s submarine-building franchise. Olympia J. Snowe, Maine’s moderate Republican, built a reputation ensuring Bath Iron Works continued hammering out destroyers.

Would you expect any other concern coming from the war paper? 

Anybody remember how Joe "won" his seat?

But now this powerful trio of veteran New England senators is gone, sapping the ­region’s political clout. Snowe and Lieberman retired and, on Tuesday, Kerry won confirmation as secretary of state.

Gone is their combined 70 years of experience in the Senate, creating a challenge for the less-experienced New England senators and newcomers who must assume leadership roles in a clubby chamber where the key political currencies are seniority and personal relationships.

“This is the first time in a while the state of Massachusetts finds itself in this position [without senior senators],” said Stephen Ansolabehere, a professor of government at Harvard University....

Meaning we won't be able to easily loot public tax dollars as in the past.

In the Capitol, experience not only catapults senators atop committee leadership, but it proves key when the Senate writes bills that decide winners and losers in economic matters, from research grants to military weapons procurement. Where Kerry, Snowe, and Lieberman could win favors in legislation with a phone call or a private huddle on the Senate floor, the region’s less-experienced senators will have to wear out a lot more shoe leather....

Darrell West, director of Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution, said, “It’s a risky time for New England.”


Massachusetts contracts garnered nearly $14 billion in federal defense and homeland security projects last year, according to the Defense Technology Initiative, a regional trade group. Connecticut firms nearly mirrored the total, bringing in $12.7 billion. Bath Iron Works in Maine, meanwhile, builds Navy destroyers and is among the state’s largest employers.

And yet Massachusetts has this image as some sort of liberal, antiwar place. Maybe the people feel that way, but it is not reflected in our state government.

Lieberman and Snowe used their moderate profiles and swing votes to leverage contracts for the region, West added. Lieberman emerged in the early 1990s as a champion of local military dollars by opposing Pentagon reductions in fast-attack submarines, made in Connecticut. Snowe, meanwhile, prevailed against a 2004 Navy proposal to shift destroyer production from Maine to Mississippi....

Maine will be aided by Senator Susan M. Collins , a Republican who worked with Snowe to protect the state’s shipyards.

Senator Richard Blumenthal — now Connecticut’s senior senator — said he is eagerly taking up the fight for the state’s air and sea contractors. And Jack Reed of neighboring Rhode Island is a veteran senator who consistently looks out for submarine building in the region.

But we elect Democrats because they are the peace party.

Chris Murphy, Connecticut’s freshman senator, said Lieberman’s defense savvy cannot be replaced overnight. But he added that he had already fought for in-state contractors during a six-year-stint in the House. Given recent turnover in the Senate, he said, that “makes me pretty senior these days,” he said....

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts faces a different — and perhaps tougher — opening act, as she will temporarily work with a senator appointed by Governor Deval Patrick before the June 25 special election for Kerry’s seat. Warren did not respond to requests for comment and declined to discuss the issue when approached outside the Senate chamber.

Given her history as a consumer advocate and recent appointment to the Senate Banking Committee, Warren may focus more on financial regulation than military contracts, Ansolabehere said.

Related: MSM Monitor: Did Warren Really Win?

Also see: Sunday Globe Special: Warren's Whining

She's making a lot of people whine with the fact that she won. 

With his 47 years of Senate experience, the late Edward M. Kennedy possessed an in-depth understanding of the industry’s importance to the Bay State economy, said Chris Anderson, president of the Defense Technology Initiative, a Massachusetts nonprofit that seeks to grow the region’s defense industry. Warren’s predecessor, Scott Brown, is a National Guard colonel who sat on the Armed Services Committee and advocated for Bay State firms.

Related: Meet Your Antiwar New England Liberals

At least he voted against the Iraq War, right?

Brown joined Kerry and the Massachusetts delegation in opposing cuts to the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford last year. Efforts like those helped him amass a $319,000-to-$11,000 advantage over Warren in election-year contributions from defense firms, campaign finance records show.

But Blumenthal said the importance of experience in garnering defense dollars is overstated. The Democrat, elected in 2010 and now sitting on the Armed Services Committee, said in an era of tightening defense budgets, the importance of seniority is “diminishing to the point of almost irrelevance.”

“A senator cannot persuade the president, the Armed Services Committee, not to mention the military itself, that dollars should be squandered for local interests,” Blumenthal said. “This process is so fact-driven now. We’re dealing with military professionals who will simply not sacrifice dollars willingly.”

He can say that with all the war-profiteering corruption out there?

Blumenthal added that a senator’s personal interest in military issues can compensate for lack of the seniority.

After he just said it wasn.... pretty good trick, Dick, talking out of both sides of your mouth.

“What wins the day is the merits of the equipment,” he said. “I’ve been to Afghanistan three times. I can come back and tell my colleagues, ‘You should see what this helicopter can do.’ Nothing beats seeing this stuff on the ground.”

That after the latest crash, or.... sigh.


UPDATESCowan pick is 100 percent Patrick

The virtues of inexperience

GOP prods a hesitant Scott Brown to run for Senate

The search for a big senator

Zumba and Zombies

Reading the Globe might turn you into one.

Better start with the exercises:

Zumba instructor prostitution story grips Maine town

Police release 21 names in Zumba sex case

It's Maine's Heidi Fleiss.

At least he wasn't pumping some adolescent's pooper.

"In Zumba prostitution case, now 62 accused clients" Associated Press,  November 27, 2012

The number of accused clients in a high-profile prostitution case in Maine now stands at 62 with the release of four more names by Kennebunk police Monday. Four men have already pleaded guilty. Accused clients previously identified by police include a former mayor, a former minister, a firefighter, and a high school ice hockey coach. They are accused of engaging the services of Alexis Wright, a 29-year-old Zumba instructor. She and her alleged business partner have pleaded not guilty. A lawyer who has seen the entire list says it contains more than 150 names (AP)."

I'm sorry I'm so brain dead on that story.

"Zombies now part of Red Cross readiness; Gag website aims to reach youths" by Sarah N. Mattero  |  Globe Correspondent, October 24, 2012

The Red Cross assists people in all sorts of emergencies. So why not the zombie apocalypse, when the undead are staggering around the streets?

That is the premise behind a tongue-in-cheek website launched by the Red Cross that has the twin goals of having a little fun and getting people more prepared for natural disasters.

“Everyone should be prepared, the elderly, the young, those with different ability,” said Kat Powers, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts, emphasizing the importance of “go bags” or self-made kits that contain emergency equipment in case of an evacuation or other situations. “If you need to evacuate for any reason, tsunami, zombies, hurricanes, you should have a go bag.”

Powers said although everyone’s “go bag” will vary, it should still have the basics: food and water, medications, flashlights, batteries, cash, as well as copies of medical, military, and legal records.

After hearing about urban legends detailing the end of the world in December as predicted by the Mayan calendar, the national Red Cross launched its SavingZombies website, which contains information on what do in various emergencies, a “go bag” video contest, and a “survivor’s journal.” The site is ­

Red Cross officials say they hope the site will catch the eye of a younger demographic.

“We have a wonderful organization that was founded in the 19th century, but we’re still working to find our way in the 21st century,” said Jarrett Barrios, regional Red Cross chief executive. “We need to figure out how to get millennials to engage with our mission at the Red Cross.”

Both Barrios and Powers said that it is important to get young people involved so they can carry the organization into the future.

“We want people in their teens and 20s to be as excited for the Red Cross as people in their 50s are,” Barrios said, adding that in the last six months, the organization has made bringing in volunteers one of its top priorities.


Also see: Sunday Globe Special: South African Zombies

Flying cars: Not just for escaping zombies

The apocalypse as a plotline

Yup, they are everywhere and all around you. 

This Post is Tit


"Pageant hopeful to have mastectomy" by Hannah Dreier  |  Associated Press, January 12, 2013

LAS VEGAS — Win or lose Saturday, Miss America contestant Allyn Rose will have conveyed a message about breast cancer prevention using her primary tool as a beauty queen: her body.

The 24-year-old Miss DC plans to undergo a double mastectomy after she struts in a bikini and flaunts her roller skating talent. She is removing both breasts as a preventive measure to reduce her chances of developing the disease that killed her mother, grandmother, and great-aunt.

‘‘My mom would have given up every part of her body to be here for me, to watch me in the pageant,’’ she said between dress rehearsals and preliminary competitions at Planet Hollywood on the Las Vegas Strip on Wednesday. ‘‘If there’s something that I can do to be proactive, it might hurt my body, it might hurt my physical beauty, but I’m going to be alive.’’

If crowned, the University of Maryland, College Park politics major could become the first Miss America not endowed with the Barbie silhouette associated with beauty queens.

Rose said it was her father who first broached the subject, during her freshman year of college, two years after the death of her mother.

‘‘I said, ‘Dad I’m not going to do that. I like the body I have.’ He got serious and said, ‘Well then you’re going to end up dead like your mom.’ ’’


That was tougher than I thought. 


Angelina Jolie’s preventive surgery shows harsh choices
Angelina Jolie: The courage to save lives
Jolie helps out in Congo

Couldn't she have waited for the mammogram? 

"Mammograms may raise cancer risk for some, study says; MRI maybe safer for young with suspect gene" by Maria Cheng  |  Associated Press, September 07, 2012

LONDON — Mammograms aimed at finding breast cancer might actually raise the chances of developing it in young women whose genes put them at higher risk for the disease, a study by leading European cancer agencies suggests.

The added radiation from mammograms and other types of tests with chest radiation might be especially harmful to them, and an MRI is probably a safer method of screening women under 30 who are at high risk because of gene mutations, the authors conclude.

The study can’t prove a link between the radiation and breast cancer, but is one of the biggest ever to look at the issue. The research was published Thursday in the journal BMJ.

‘‘This will raise questions and caution flags about how we treat women with [gene] mutations,’’ said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. He and the society had no role in the research.

Mammograms are most often used in women over 40, unless they are at high risk, like carrying a mutation of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. Having such a mutation increases the risk of developing cancer fivefold. About 1 in 400 women has the gene abnormalities, which are more common in Eastern European Jewish populations. Unlike mammograms, an MRI does not involve radiation....

Now I see the why there are such concerns about it in my paper.


RelatedShould breast cancer patients have a decade of tamoxifen?

‘Chemo brain’ confusion may result from stress, not medicines


Yes, ladies, the problem is all in your heads. How many centuries have you been hearing that one?

Also see: Does the Boston Globe Hate Women?

Komen Right Back at You

The Massachusetts Model: The Imagery of Massachusetts Health Care 

British Babies

As always, the root question is who$e making money?

And what the heck, while we are there let's make a try for something lower:

"Beavers expanding range, making homes closer to people; With trapping ban, population grows" by Beth Daley  |  Globe Staff, December 26, 2012

WEST ROXBURY — The furry rodents are making a comeback throughout the state, in large part because of a more-than-15-year ban on trapping them. Their distinctive log-and-branch architecture is dotting landscapes and damming up streams and culverts from woodsy bogs to big-box-store parking lots.

Though the beavers have done little real damage yet in Millennium Park, there are few places in the state where their impact is more stark. More than 80 trees have been chewed or felled along a popular walking path — and many more appear down in the adjacent wetlands and in the thick tangle of woods near the canoe launch on the Charles River....

Beavers were once intensely hunted in Massachusetts and disappeared from the state by the mid-1700s because of trapping and deforestation as land was cleared for farming. Trees grew back and by 1928, the first beavers in nearly 180 years were spotted in West Stockbridge in the Berkshires....

With few natural predators, the beaver population grew so quickly that state officials established a hunting season in the early 1950s. But public sentiment against certain types of traps for animals grew, and in 1996, a state ballot referendum banned most types of traps....


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Kerry Confirmation

Just looking over his portfolio:

"Kerry faces scrutiny over extensive investments; Panel considers steps to prevent conflicts for secretary of state" by Bryan Bender and David Uberti  |  Globe Staff | Globe Correspondent, January 16, 2013

WASHINGTON — Senator John F. Kerry and his wife hold an array of international investments that could pose conflicts of interest for him as secretary of state, and an ethics review is already underway to determine whether he needs to divest holdings, put them in a blind trust, or recuse himself from some discussions, according to Obama administration officials.

Kerry’s 2012 financial disclosure statement details some of the investments that could be seen as problematic if, as expected, he is confirmed as secretary of state. Among them: shares in a Canadian oil company that is lobbying for the Keystone XL pipeline; a stake in Brazil’s energy giant, which was recently accused by Congress of flouting UN sanctions against Iran; and a large investment in a private equity firm seeking deals across Asia.

No wonder Kerry gets caught in so many compromising positions. 

Such holdings could present conflicts for Kerry when advising the Obama administration on trade deals, diplomatic agreements, or other decisions that affect international economics, according to government ethics specialists and watchdog groups. In addition, his holdings in sustainable energy companies could be seen as in conflict with his expected efforts to curb global climate change....

Oh, so like his friend Al Gore, Kerry $tands to benefit from the fart-misting fraud literally created out of thin air. Kerry also benefited from his war stocks. 

The Kerrys’ investments stretch from East Asia to Canada to Brazil, a global financial network that ethics lawyers must carefully map.

For example, records show he has up to $31,000 invested in the Canadian oil company Cenovus Energy, which has been lobbying for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline to bring Canadian oil to refineries on the Gulf Coast of the United States. The green light for such a transnational project would have to be granted by the State Department.

Others are harder to track, such as Asia Alternatives Management LLC, a San Francisco-based private equity firm focusing investment on Asian countries, including China, Japan, and South Korea, according to its website. As of 2011, the Kerrys had at least $1 million invested in two separate funds, his disclosure reports show.

That same year the family sold off as much as $350,000 worth of assets in the South American oil giant known as Petrobras. They currently maintain a smaller investment in the company, which is half-owned by the Brazilian government. Still, the investments could prove problematic for other reasons: Petrobras, has been investigated for flouting the UN sanctions against Iran. In 2007, the energy conglomerate signed a $470 million contract to explore oil fields off the coast of Iran, according to the Iranian oil ministry’s news service.

Kerry’s energy interests extend further, the most recently available filings show, including at least $1 million in each of three Sustainable Technologies funds focusing on clean energy in Scandinavia. As secretary of state, Kerry could preside over decisions that would at least indirectly benefit such firms.

Hey, in Congress he was inserting language that would direct tax loot to favored interests, so WTF?

There is also a $500,000 to $1 million stake in PotashCorp, a Canadian fertilizer firm attempting to merge with Israel Chemicals Ltd., among the largest firms in Israel....

Just another reason Israel wanted him over Rice. 


"Kerry to divest some financial holdings; Move aims to avoid conflicts of interest at State Department" by Bryan Bender  |  Globe Staff, January 23, 2013

WASHINGTON — Senator John F. Kerry said he and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, pledged to divest shares in such companies as a Canadian oil firm and defense contractor Raytheon Co., and in a series of international equity funds, according to an agreement reached with the Obama administration and released Wednesday....

It's at this point you realize Kerry is PART of the PROBLEM!

A prerequisite for the job, government lawyers concluded, is that he and Heinz Kerry, the heir to the ketchup fortune, sever a series of financial ties that could raise ethics questions....

Kerry, who is expected to win speedy confirmation from fellow senators, also agreed to resign from his position at the American Security Project, a think tank he help found in 2007, as well as his advisory role at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics.

But the greatest concern was a number of investments — in the form of outright stock or as part of family trusts — that could be directly affected by decisions he makes as secretary of state on trade agreements, security contracts, or other transnational arrangements.

For example, the divestitures will include his shares of Cenovus Energy Inc., the Canadian company that would benefit from the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

His wife, meanwhile, will sell her interests in the so-called Sustainable Technologies Fund, a private equity fund that invests in alternative energies such as wind power.

In both instances, his decisions or recommendations to the Obama administration could conceivably benefit such investments.

Kerry was also advised to dump a series of other energy-related holdings, according to the documents, including shares of ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, BP, and the electric and gas provider Wisconsin Energy Corp.

But Kerry is a big climate change guy!

A pair of Kerry’s family trusts, which are separate from his wife’s, will also be divested of shares in Waltham-based defense giant Raytheon Co.; Pentagon contractor United Technologies; drug maker Pfizer; communications giant Qualcomm Inc.; and American Express, among others.

Related: Don't Leave Home Without This Post

Also seeAmerican Express to cut 5,400 jobs

The Kerry investments slated to be sold touch on a variety of other industries including computer software, banking, fast food, and food packaging. Among them are shares in Boston investment bank State Street Corp.

Got his mitt$ in ju$t about everything, huh?

See: State Street Profit Soars 

Is that how they got the tax subsidies and write-offs?

The Massachusetts senator has also been advised to recuse himself from certain matters involving the H.J. Heinz Co. because the Kerrys’ investments in company stock are greater than in other publicly traded firms, according to the ethics documents.

That includes Heinz Co. holdings in Italy, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, Cyprus, France, Venezuela, Indonesia, and India....

Maybe someone else should have been nominated. 

Kerry spent Wednesday in his so-called “hideaway” US Capitol office preparing for his confirmation hearing and watching Clinton testify on the terrorist attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in September.

See: Clinton's Clot 

Judging by the testimony she still has one. 

Kerry, who will remain chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee until confirmed, also attended what is likely his last official lunch with fellow committee chairmen.


So when is the hearing?

"Senate panel schedules Kerry’s confirmation hearing" January 17, 2013

WASHINGTON — Massachusetts Senator John F. Kerry will appear before fellow members of the Foreign Relations Committee on Jan. 24 for his confirmation hearing to be secretary of state, according to a Senate aide.

The hearing will be chaired by Senator Robert Menendez, the New Jersey Democrat who is expected to become chairman upon Kerry’s elevation to President Obama’s Cabinet and his subsequent resignation from the Senate....

Also seeSunday Globe Specials: Initiating Immigration Reform


Kerry is expected to win speedy confirmation from the Foreign Relations Committee and the full Senate....


"McCain jokes about grilling of Kerry

“We will look forward to interrogating him at his hearing . . . mercilessly,” the Arizona Republican joked about the Massachusetts Democrat at a Capitol Hill press conference. “We will bring back for the only time waterboarding to get the truth out of him.” 

That isn't going to do it you sick old fossil. 

If anyone has earned the right to make light of torture, it is McCain.... 

I'm sorry, but I SEE NO LIGHT regarding TORTURE! 

That's an OFFENSIVE STATEMENT proving the mouthpiece media has internalized the values of its masters!


What is torture is reading this shit:

"Kerry vows to combat climate change" by Bryan Bender and David Uberti  |  Globe Staff and Globe Correspondent, January 24, 2013

WASHINGTON — In a confirmation hearing unusual for its bipartisan comity, Secretary of State-designate John F. Kerry pledged Thursday to pursue a different brand of foreign policy — one rooted in greater cultural understanding of the developing world — while leading a global fight to combat climate change, which he described as a direct threat to American security


Kerry drew praise from Republicans and Democrats as he spoke, sitting at the same witness table where, more than four decades earlier, he had testified as a Vietnam veteran-turned war protester.  

How far he has fallen. 

Senators nodded to his deep knowledge of overseas challenges, which Kerry said require more active diplomacy to advance US economic and security interests.

Where Kerry was most passionate was on the issue of climate change, calling it a “life-threatening issue.”


“I will be a passionate advocate for this,” he added, “not based on ideology but facts.” 

I'm $ure he will. 

Blizzard in a Senate hearing room. 

In discussing global markets, Kerry warned that “There are some places where we are not in the game.” He noted the expanding global role of China, saying: “I hate to say, we got to get in the game. The world is competing for resources in global markets. Every day that America is unwilling to engage in that arena . . . is a day in which we weaken the nation itself.” 


How many f***ing countries have we invaded and bombed for those?

Kerry cruised through the nearly four-hour session, sustaining no political damage. He is expected to easily win a positive recommendation from the committee followed by confirmation by the full Senate — probably next week....

The proceedings went largely according to script.... 

And they called it news!

At one point the hearing was interrupted by a female protester who shouted, in part, “The Middle East is not a threat to us! I am tired of my friends in the Middle East dying!” 

A Code Pink plant no doubt.

She was removed by US Capitol Police, but Kerry responded to the outburst by drawing on his own experience.

“I’ll tell you Mr. Chairman, when I first came to Washington to testify it was obviously as a member of group who came to have their voices heard,” he told Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey who chaired the session. “That is what this place is all about.”

The appearance was deeply personal for the 69-year-old lawmaker, who first testified before the panel in April 1971 after he returned from Vietnam and became a leader of the antiwar movement.

The nomintion of Kerry, the son of a foreign service officer, was seen by some as the culmination of a life spent immersed in foreign affairs — well before his 29 years on the Foreign Relations Committee and three years as chairman.

“I think you have led a life that has brought you to this moment,” Senator Bob Corker, a Republican from Tennessee, told him.

Questions from the committee ranged ranged from economic development in Africa to diplomatic involvement in Syria to women’s rights in Afghanistan.

Much of the hearing centered on the US interest in the Islamic world, especially in light of the recent Arab Spring that has toppled dictators from Libya to Egypt....  

Then why did the Globe emphasize the climate change crap?

He said there must be a greater emphasis on spreading American ideas in a “struggle for hearts and minds." 

I suppose that is why Obama is expanding the drone program into Africa.  

It is un-f***ing-believable and damn offensive that AmeriKan officials are still spewing such shit after the millions murdered over lies the last ten years. 

“We have to do better,” he said, citing as an example alternative media to help reach foreign populations that enjoy little press freedom.... 

Yeah, I know how they feel

Declassified: Massive Israeli manipulation of US media exposed

Operation Mockingbird

Why Am I No Longer Reading the Newspaper?

Yup, my "newspaper" is nothing more than an intelligence operation megaphone for Israel.

Kerry told the committee that much has changed since he first appeared before the panel 42 years ago.

“Today’s world is more complicated than anything we have experienced,” he said, citing, among others, the emergence of China, nuclear proliferation, poverty, pandemic disease, refugees, as well as “faiths struggling with the demands of modernity, and the accelerating pace of technological innovation shifting power from nation-states to individuals.”

But what the United States does at home will most determine its international position, Kerry offered.

“We can’t be strong in the world unless we are strong at home, and the first priority of business which will affect my credibility as a diplomat working to help other countries create order, is whether America at last puts its own fiscal house in order.”


Umm, Senator, one more question, regarding Afghanistan. Is there any reason you can think of that justify the continuing deaths of young American men and women?

I think that in the next days, the government of Afghanistan’s response to anticorruption efforts are a key test of its ability to regain the confidence of the.... American people [who] are prepared to support with hard-earned tax dollars and with most importantly, with the treasure of our country — the lives of young American men and women.... and say, ‘Hey, that’s something worth dying for.’ ’ 

Thank you, Senator.  

I vote nay.

"John Kerry sails in Senate voting; Confirmed for State; farewell speech today" by Christopher Rowland  |  Globe Staff, January 30, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed President Obama’s nomination of Senator John F. Kerry to be secretary of state on Tuesday, handing the Massachusetts Democrat a redemptive career victory that ensconces him in an elite echelon of national leadership nine years after his failed bid for the presidency.

The 94-to-3 vote was the final hurdle for Kerry, whose nomination roared through the Senate after Obama’s first choice of UN Ambassador Susan Rice ­encountered stiff GOP opposition and never got off the ground.

Kerry met virtually no resistance, as his colleagues on both sides of the aisle lauded his 28 years of service in the Senate and his deep experience in international affairs, most recently as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is expected to give a farewell speech in the Senate on Wednesday.

Little suspense hung over the proceedings after Kerry cruised through a confirmation hearing last week before the Foreign Relations Committee. The accolades and ceremony began Tuesday morning when the committee — in just 10 minutes with almost no discussion — approved Kerry’s nomination, setting up the late afternoon vote by the full Senate. Even harsh administration critics such as Republicans Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky joined the unanimous voice vote in committee.

In a statement, Obama said he was pleased....

Well, that's all that matters then. 

In addition to his diplomatic role, the career lawmaker will face significant administrative challenges. The State Department has a budget of about $50 billion, more than 50,000 American and foreign employees, and nearly 300 embassies, consulates, missions, and other posts around the world....

And Kerry has never even met a payroll let alone run a bureaucracy. 



Both parties embrace Kerry for secretary of state

It's official!

Hagel Haters


John Kerry parts with warning on gridlock

Kerry must engage China

Also seeGlobally bound, John Kerry first retraces, recalls roots

No offense, but I have more important things on which to spend my time.

Clinton's Clot

Trying to clear some of my Globes:

"Announcement on Senator John Kerry is delayed; Other national security team picks are factor" by Glen Johnson  |  Globe Staff, December 16, 2012

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was bedridden with a virus that forced her to cancel a planned trip to the Middle East and North Africa.

On Saturday, her spokeswoman said Clinton had a concussion after fainting because of her illness and would work at home next week.

Related: Sunday Globe Special: Field of Dreams

I'm wondering if maybe that wasn't it at all.

She had been slated to testify before Congress on Thursday about the circumstances of the Sept. 11 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.

That testimony has been postponed, though the White House official said Clinton’s illness was not affecting the timing of any successor announcement.

Public attention has also been focused on the mass shooting on Friday in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 elementary school students and six adults in their school.....

The newspaper is throwing that around so much it is really calling into question what really happened there. 

"Hillary Clinton in NY hospital with blood clot" by Matthew Lee  |  Associated Press, December 31, 2012

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, 65, fell and suffered a concussion while at home in mid-December as she recovered from a stomach virus that left her severely dehydrated, her aides said. The concussion was diagnosed Dec. 13 and Clinton was forced to cancel a trip to North Africa and the Middle East.

Clinton was forced to cancel Dec. 20 testimony before Congress about a scathing report into the Sept. 11 attack on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.

The report found that serious failures of leadership and management in two State Department bureaus were to blame for insufficient security at the facility.

Clinton took responsibility for the attack before the report was released, but she was not blamed.

Some conservative commentators suggested Clinton was faking the seriousness of her illness and concussion to avoid testifying, although State Department officials vehemently denied that was the case.

I'm not suggesting that, although I wouldn't put it beyond the realm of possibility, either. 

Lawmakers at the hearings — including Senator John Kerry, who has been nominated by President Obama to succeed Clinton — offered her their best wishes. 

The former first lady and senator, who had always planned to step down as America’s top diplomat in January, is known for her grueling travel schedule

How much is that costing us taxpayers in this time of austerity?

That's all that print gave me.

Web expanded:

Clots in the legs are a common risk after someone has been bedridden, as Clinton may have been for a time after her concussion. Those are ‘‘no big deal’’ and are treated with six months of blood thinners to allow them to dissolve on their own and to prevent further clots from forming, he said.

A clot in a lung or the brain is more serious. Lung clots, called pulmonary embolisms, can be deadly, and a clot in the brain can cause a stroke, Motamedi said.

Keeping Clinton in the hospital for a couple of days could allow doctors to perform more tests to determine why the clot formed and to rule out a heart problem or other condition that may have led to it, he said.

Dr. Larry Goldstein, a neurologist who is director of Duke University’s stroke center, said blood can pool on the surface of the brain or in other areas of the brain after a concussion, but those would not be treated with blood thinners, as Clinton’s aide described.

Last Thursday, before the discovery of the blood clot, Reines said Clinton was expected to return to work this week.

She is the most traveled secretary of state in history, having visited 112 countries while in the job.

Clinton is considered a front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, although she has not announced plans to run.


Oh, so it IS serious!

"Hillary Clinton still hospitalized for blood clot; Doctors trying to determine right drug dose" Associated Press, January 02, 2013

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton continues to recover in a New York hospital where she is being treated for a blood clot in her head.

Her doctors said blood thinners are being used to dissolve the clot and they are confident she will make a full recovery. Clinton didn’t suffer a stroke or neurological damage from the clot, which formed after she suffered a concussion during a fainting spell at her home in early December, doctors said in a statement Monday.

Clinton, 65, was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital on Sunday when the clot turned up on a follow-up exam on the concussion, Clinton spokesman Phillipe Reines said. The clot is located in the vein in the space between the brain and the skull behind the right ear. She will be released once the medication dose for the blood thinners has been ­established, the doctors said.

In their statement, Dr. Lisa Bardack of the Mount Kisco Medical Group and Dr. Gigi El-Bayoumi of George Washington University said Clinton was making excellent progress and was in good spirits.

Clinton’s complication ‘‘certainly isn’t the most common thing to happen after a concussion’’ and is one of the few types of blood clots in the skull or head that are treated with blood thinners, said Dr. Larry Goldstein, a neurologist who is director of Duke University’s stroke center. He is not involved in Clinton’s care.

The area where Clinton’s clot developed is ‘‘a drainage channel, the equivalent of a big vein inside the skull. It’s how the blood gets back to the heart,’’ Goldstein said.

Blood thinners usually are enough to treat the clot and it should have no long-term consequences if her doctors are saying she has suffered no neurological damage, he said.

Clinton returned to the United States from a trip to ­Europe, then fell ill with a stomach virus in early December that left her dehydrated and forced her to cancel a trip to North Africa and the Middle East. Until then, she had canceled only two scheduled overseas trips, one to Europe after breaking her elbow in 2009 and one to Asia after the February 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Her condition worsened when she fainted, fell, and suffered a concussion while at home alone in mid-December as she recovered from the virus.

This isn’t the first time Clinton has suffered a blood clot. In 1998, midway through her husband’s second term as president, Clinton was in New York fund-raising for the midterm elections when a swollen right foot led her doctor to diagnose a clot in her knee.

Clinton had planned to step down as secretary of state at the beginning of President Obama’s second term. Whether she will return to work before she resigns remains a question.

Democrats are privately if not publicly speculating about how her illness might affect a decision about running for president in 2016.

After decades in politics, Clinton says she plans to spend the next year resting. She has long insisted she had no intention of mounting a second campaign for the White House. But the door is not entirely closed, and she would probably emerge as the Democrat to beat if she decided to give in to calls to run again.

Her age — and thereby health — would probably be a factor under consideration, given that Clinton would be 69 when sworn in, if she were elected in 2016. That might become even more of an issue in the early jockeying for 2016 if what started as a bad stomach bug becomes a prolonged bout with more serious infirmity.

Not that Democrats are willing to talk openly about the political implications of a long illness, choosing to keep any discussions about her condition behind closed doors. Publicly, Democrats reject the notion that a blood clot could hinder her political prospects.

‘‘Some of those concerns could be borderline sexist,’’ said Basil Smikle, a Democratic strategist who worked for Clinton when she was a senator. ‘‘Dick Cheney had significant heart problems when he was vice president, and people joked about it. He took the time he needed to get better, and it wasn’t a problem.’’

Related: Closing the Book on Dick Cheney

Maybe we should throw it at him before he dies.

It isn’t uncommon for candidates’ health — and age — to be an issue. In 2000 and 2008, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona., had to rebut concerns that he was too old to be president or that his skin cancer could recur.

Beyond talk of future politics, Clinton’s three-week absence from the State Department has raised eyebrows among some conservative commentators who questioned the seriousness of her ailment after she canceled planned Dec. 20 testimony before Congress on the deadly attack on the US diplomatic mission in Libya.


Clinton defends US response to Libya attack

Better check to see if that clot has cleared. 

Yeah, if we were lied to what difference does it make? Who cares if there were warnings, or that the embassy was begging for additional security? She took responsibility without taking responsibility, so case closed.  Everyone got their talking points, and Hillary saw things clearly right from the start.  You just never mind the lies we were told

What took so long, Globe?

That's their story and their stickin' to it!

Yeah, they'll get to the bottom of it (pffft).

At least she is retreating. 

"President Obama praises work of Hillary Clinton; Interview fuels 2016 speculation" by Philip Elliott  |  Associated Press, January 28, 2013

WASHINGTON — ‘‘You guys in the press are incorrigible,’’ Obama said when pressed on another Clinton presidency. ‘‘I was literally inaugurated four days ago. And you’re talking about elections four years from now.’’

I do agree with that. The six years of blogging has convinced me.

The possibility of a presidential campaign for Vice President Joe Biden did not come up during the interview, taped Friday at the White House....

Related: Obama's Opposite 

And we should be just about ready for him in 2016.


Let me shut it for you:

In the heat of a presidential election year, the scene was a gripping reminder of the daily danger facing Americans in diplomatic and military service and of the turmoil in an incendiary region of the world that continues to test the president’s leadership.

US officials are investigating whether the assault was a coordinated terrorist attack that took advantage of protests in the Arab world over a film. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s voice broke as she spoke before Obama, and she appeared to be fighting tears as she listened to him." 

She did the same when she finally testilied, 'er, testified in front of Congress. 

Yeah, officials are investigating when they already know. 

And you wonder why I don't believe my mouthpiece media anymore?