the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a criminal conspiracy

The Fall of June Psychology Today Oct. 8th 2013

The Fall of June

Eulogy for a Mother

Published on October 8, 2013 by G.A. Bradshaw, Ph.D., Ph.D. in Bear in Mind

Lynn Rogers, June, and Sue Mansfield

lynn rogers-june bear-sue mansfieldLeaves are turning quickly now. Red maples are living up to their name, and aspens are mostly yellow. Leaves are just beginning to fall. All will be down within 3 weeks if they hold to their usual schedule. —Lynn Rogers and Sue Mansfield, September 27, 2013 [1]

Little did the researchers realize that two days later, their fall soliloquy would turn to an obituary— the obituary of a victim. Her name was June. She was the mother of Ember and Cole, and only twelve years old. [2]

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources might have referred to her death as just a “kill.” After all, June was a black bear. She and another, Dot, were well known and part of a long-term partnership. The Wildlife Research Institute considered both Dot and June to be “research partners. We worked with them and learned from them. They knew us as well or better than we knew them. . . [they] are irreplaceable.” [1]

Juxtaposed to the Cambridge Declaration of Non-Human Animal Consciousness, the claim of “just a kill” appears hollow, and June’s death, a murder. [2]

Political hyperbole? Not at all. Because science, our culture’s pundit of rationality that guides social ethics and law, declares that “key differences in human and animal brains, mainly found in the frontal cortex, do not play a role in the phenomenon we associate with consciousness.” Further, the “weight of evidence indicates that humans are not unique in possessing the neurological substrates that generate consciousness.” In common speak, bears share with us sentience, awareness, subjectivity, feelings, cognition, sense of self, agency, and, importantly, something that humans seemed to have lost: executive control. [3, 4]

June was fully conscious, fully capable of intentional behavior, fully capable of experiencing joy, grief, curiosity, wonder, remorse, consternation, puzzlement, ambition, exhilaration, tenderness, anger, love, shame, and all the 31 plus flavors of emotions and mental states that we experience ourselves. The capacity for consciousness means that bears may reflect on the existential and spirituality. Bears may believe in a God and have their own story of how the universe was created. Perhaps, bears even have a Big Black Bear Bang theory.

This speculation is not meant to be humorous. It is meant to encourage humans to think beyond the narcissistic confines of anthropocentrism, beyond the political agenda masked by selective use of scientific fact.

The time is past for speaking with forked tongue, celebrating science on one hand and using it selectively on the other hand for the sole purpose of appropriating power. In spite of itself, science has exploded a millennia-old myth that causes bears and other animals to suffer immeasurably. Individually, and as a society, we are compelled to translate this knowledge into ethics and law.

Cinnamon With Charlie Russell

Cinnamon With Charlie Russell

June’s children are now orphaned. The scorching blast of the bullet that laid their mother down has torn at the delicate tissue of their consciousness. They will recover in some sense. Remarkably, victims of genocide can somehow manage to scavenge a way to survive. But they will remain haunted and hunted until humanity ceases its cruel and angry scourge to obliterate those who simply live to love.

Literature Cited

[1] Rogers, L and S. Mansfield. 2013. The Wildlife Research Institute.

[2] Nelson, T. 2013. June the research bear killed by hunter. MPR News., Retrieved October 8, 2013.

[3] Cambridge Declaration. 2012. The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness. Retrieved July 9, 2013 from

[4] Francis Crick Memorial Conference on Non-Human Animal Consciousness. 2103. Website. Retrieved October 8, 201

We beat them in 1865. We can beat them now.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 EB Misfit

NSA Chronicles: Another Day, Another Lie Exposed, and Yet, the Tea Party Doesn’t Give a Shit

Only this time, the leaker was Sen. Feinstein, who inadvertently disclosed that the NSA is collecting and keeping cellphone location data.

The NSA has repeatedly [denied] that they are doing this. But they are. Since it’s a pretty safe bet that you have a cellphone, the NSA knows where you are and where you have been.

The NSA is also tracking everyone’s use of social media because they want to know your personal relationships and who your friends are. They’re collecting your browsing data (why are you still doing online banking).

This needs to be fixed.

Which brings me to the point of this post: How the Tea Party and the conservatives are wrapping themselves around the post on trivialities. They have shut down the Federal government over whether or not people who have not had heath insurance can have access to health insurance and medical care. Providing a national version of Romneycare is, according to them, the clearest and presentist danger to the Republic that has ever existed.*

Yet when clear evidence is presented to them of Federal government intrusion: Tracking what people do online, who they talk to on their phones and what they talk about, what they purchase with their credit/debit cards and where they are, well, all you hear from the Right is silence.

This is the Tea Party calculus:

  • Government providing health insurance to millions more people- that’s tyranny! Shut down the government!!
  • Government actually spying on all Americans- meh. Nothing to worry about.

They are fucking insane. And no, I am not engaging in bombast, they are truly fucking drooling strait-jacket-ready batshit-crazy lunatics.

And they are holding our nation hostage to their delusions.

We are so screwed.

But fuck it, if they’re going to try and wreck our country, let them do their worst. Let’s have this fight, right here, right now. Let’s get it over with.

We beat them in 1865. We can beat them now.

Let’s do this thing. [[ ]]

Warning lands Batavia teacher in hot water –

Kids are forced to incriminate themselves on a voluntary mandatory non-anonymous anonymous survey so teach acquaints them with their 5th Amendment rights not to disclose shit, so The Powers That Be get all nuclear on him… It’s just for your own good kids, honest

The Canadian War on Science

The same sort of scoundrels sabotaging science in the U.S. have been working at least as hard – and effectively – in Canada. Dupuis is doing his best to keep track of, and raise some hell about it.

The Canadian War on Science: A long, unexaggerated, devastating chronological indictment

by John Dupuis on May 20, 2013 LINK
in CONFESSIONS of a Science Librarian

This is a brief chronology of the current Conservative Canadian government’s long campaign to undermine evidence-based scientific, environmental and technical decision-making. It is a government that is beholden to big business, particularly big oil, and that makes every attempt to shape public policy to that end. It is a government that fundamentally doesn’t believe in science. It is a government that is more interested in keeping its corporate masters happy than in protecting the environment.

As is occasionally my habit, I have pulled together a chronology of sorts. It is a chronology of all the various cuts, insults, muzzlings and cancellations that I’ve been able to dig up. Each of them represents a single shot in the Canadian Conservative war on science. It should be noted that not every item in this chronology, if taken in isolation, is necessarily the end of the world. It’s the accumulated evidence that is so damning.

Most of the items come from various links I’ve saved over the years as well as various other media articles I’ve dug up over the last week or so. This series at The Huffington Post has been particularly useful as has this article at the Wastershed Sentinal.

A long list of various environmental programs that the Harper government has discontinued or slashed funding to is here. I haven’t found individual media stories about all of them, so they aren’t in the list below. If you can help me find stories about some of those programs, etc, please let me know. As well, some stories are treated multiple times, with perhaps an initial story telling the big picture or introducing a large series of cuts and later stories fleshing out details.

This list is no doubt incomplete. There may also be link errors or duplications.

In particular, if you have updates on any of the stories, including reversals or reprieves, I want to hear those too.

Please feel free to make suggestions and corrections in the comments or to me at jdupuis at yorku dot ca.

How To Subvert…

Walker and his lackies want to privatize the Univ. of Wis. system (the whole state actually) … selling off the buildings via no-bid sales to co-conspirators… later on the new landlords will perhaps have conditions they will want to apply… from Chas. Pierce at Esquire…

Scott Walker Holds A Yard Sale

By Charles P. Pierce
at 1:05PM

We haven’t looked in recently on the activities of Scott Walker, the twice-elected goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin. It seems that he and his pet legislature has decided to put what’s left of the state’s public patrimony out on card tables in the driveway to see who pulls up the old minivan to haul it away.

Under the governor’s plan, the state also could negotiate sales with individual buyers without going through a public bidding process. Any sales would have to go through a “competitive and transparent process,” though that process is not defined and includes no explanation of how negotiations with a single buyer could be competitive.

What could possibly go wrong there? And if there really is an explanation for how negotiations with a single buyer can be competitive that does not include the phrase, “schizophrenic episode,” I’d like to hear it.

The plan has generated fierce opposition from supporters of the University of Wisconsin System, who say allowing the sale of UW buildings without the approval of the Board of Regents could be detrimental, especially if the buildings were paid for with the help of student fees or private donations. Currently, the regents have a say in the management of all UW buildings. “I think it’s foolish, mindless and will have a very chilling effect on fundraising,” said Milwaukee businessman Sheldon Lubar, who donated millions of dollars to help build academic buildings at UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee, and served on the UW System Board of Regents from 1991 to 1998. Lubar said it never occurred to him that campus buildings he supported financially could ever be sold to a third party. “I really don’t think (Walker) thought this through and understands the negative impact this would have on the university,” Lubar said. Student leaders worry that student unions, such as the landmark Memorial Union at UW-Madison, could be sold and no longer controlled by the university. Student unions, built with student fees, are central to student life, as are residence halls that also potentially could be sold under the governor’s proposal, said Matt Guidry, communications director for United Council of UW Students. “Legislators have told us that selling these buildings isn’t their intent,” Guidry said. “We believe that’s their intent today, but the next person down the road may feel differently.”

Go to sleep in your dorm. Wake up in a Taco Bell. Sounds like a plan.

Even some of the Republicans in the pet legislature seem to think this plan is dangerously ill-conceived. Oh, and the $8 billion debt that this bill is supposed to address? That is not exactly hard to explain, either. But, by all means, let’s give the man a chance to sell off the state’s prisons and its university dormitories.

And he’s running for president.

Do not sleep on this man. There is nothing he thinks is beyond his ambition.


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Only Elitists Oppose Monsanto’s Global Domination Plan, Says CEO

GAWKER: Monsanto is a $58 billion multinational Pesticide-‘n-Frankenfood corporation that has moved on from selling Agent Orange to its new business of patenting actual seed genomes and then suing farmers who try to grow crops without paying the Monsanto corporation. Who could be opposed to such a thing. Only the elites, clearly.

Nobody really knows what sort of social and environmental consequences might result from the widespread use of genetically engineered Monsanto seeds that are resistant to Monsanto pesticides. I mean, what kind of weirdo would question whether that system has a downside? Latte-swilling, Mark Bittman-worshipping elitists, according to Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant:

There is this strange kind of reverse elitism: If Im going to do this [meaning “not bombard the world with genetically modified seeds and
pesticides and also destroy any farmer who attempts to buck the system”
], then everything else shouldnt exist, Grant said at Monsantos St. Louis headquarters yesterday. There is space in the supermarket shelf for all of us….

And the sad piece of this is, it ends up either or, Grant said. So you get conventional agriculture or broad scale or however you define it, and organic. I think were going to look back on this period and say, How on earth did that ever become the fight that it became.

Alternately, we might look back on this period and say “Yes, May of 2013 is the date to which we need to send our Terminators back in time in order to stop the Monsanto people from distributing their Frankenseeds which will eventually decimate life on earth.” I know, I know typical elitist reaction.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THIS STORY FOR THE BUSY EXECUTIVE: Only elitists care about small farmers; Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant (2012 compensation: $14.4 million) is the voice of the common man.

Made In Bangladesh

Tom Janssen, Cagle Cartoons, The Netherlands

Budget Cuts Devastate Meals On Wheels

Budget Cuts Devastate Meals On Wheels: Enrollment Slashed, Services Cancelled

By Bryce Covert ThinkProgress

Congress recently passed a bill to undo furloughs at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) caused by sequestration, but it left cuts to many other programs intact, including Meals on Wheels. The program brings hot meals to homebound seniors and adults with disabilities, thus providing them with nutrition and helping many of them live independently.

Directors of Meals on Wheels programs across the country spoke with ThinkProgress about how they are coping with decreased funding. Some, like Meals on Wheels of Western Broome in New York, are private nonprofits that don’t rely on government funding and will therefore be shielded. But by and large, the heads of these programs described facing deep cuts after having already slimmed down in response to lean times over the past few years. Continue reading

Stealing Honey From Bees Leaves Bees Vulnerable To Colony Collapse

Stealing Honey From Bees, Substituting Corn Syrup Leaves Bees Vulnerable To Colony Collapse

Honey Revs Up Their Immune And Detox Systems, Corn Syrup Just Empty Calories

by Diana Gitig – May 3 2013, 10:30am CDT via ARS Technia via PNAS


When incorporated into honey, the pollen covering this bee may help protect the bee from environmental insults.

Apis mellifera, the western honeybee, is big business; the pollination services the bees provide to US agriculture are valued at roughly $14 million. Unfortunately, bees the world over are suffering from colony collapse disorder (CCD), in which worker bees go out foraging and then disappear instead of returning to the hive and tending to the queen like they are supposed to. The causes of CCD are not clear, but pathogens, parasites, and pesticides have all been implicated. Neonicotinoids, a class of pesticides that have been shown to alter bees’ navigation, foraging, communication, and reproduction, have just been banned in Europe in an attempt to help the bees.

New research suggests yet another potential contributor to CCD. The problem? We’ve been stealing the bees’ honey and instead feeding them high fructose corn syrup. The problem isn’t so much the fructose as the absence of chemicals in the honey.

Bees are exposed to a huge variety of plants because they gather nectar from the spring through the fall. The honey they make from these diverse nectar sources varies according to locality (leading to the unsubstantiated belief that eating local honey can alleviate seasonal hay fever). And bees’ “immune systems”—detoxification enzymes used to rid the body of foreign chemicals, like pesticides—are known to be induced by different stimuli than those of other insects. So scientists decided to check whether any components of honey can induce bees’ detoxification enzymes. Continue reading