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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Be sure to bring him a bagful of unmarked bills

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

Image result for zinke and corruptionFlorida recently received an exemption from a new plan to revive offshore drilling and other states, including Rhode Island, hope to receive the same treatment from the Department of Interior.

Gov. Gina Raimondo's office spoke with the Department of Interior on Jan. 10 to schedule a call with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. No date and time for that call have been announced.

After traveling to Florida to meet Gov. Rick Scott, Zinke removed the state form a proposal to open federal waters off the East and West coasts and Alaska to oil and gas drilling.

“I support the governor’s position that Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver,” Zinke said in a press release.

Zinke made the Florida decision five days after a Jan. 4 announcement of a sweeping proposal to expand drilling in areas long closed to fossil-fuel extraction, including in many prime commercial fishing grounds. Most of these proposed zones are in federal waters that typically begin just 3 miles off the coast.

Work requirement

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Recognize the signs?

Can Muesli help against arthritis?

Fiber affects autoimmune diseases
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg

Animated GIFIt is well known that healthy eating increases our general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence on chronic inflammatory joint diseases, leading to stronger bones.

The key to the effect our diet has on our health are intestinal bacteria: healthy intestinal flora consists of a multitude of different species of bacteria.

Every adult carries approximately two kilogrammes of benign bacteria in their intestines. They help our digestion by breaking fibre down into its individual components, which can then be absorbed by the body.

A by-product of this process are short-chained fatty acids which are important for the body, providing energy, stimulating intestinal movement and having an anti-inflammatory effect.

The intestinal bacteria also fight against pathogens which have found their way into the gastrointestinal tract. It is known that intestinal flora can either protect against illness or cause illness, depending on its composition.

If the various bacteria coexist harmoniously, they can protect the intestinal wall and prevent it from letting pathogens pass through.

Stay strong!

Mediterranean diet may help protect older adults from becoming frail

Image result for mediterranean diet & agingAn analysis of published studies indicates that following the Mediterranean diet may reduce the risk of frailty in older individuals. 

The findings, which are published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, suggest that a diet emphasizing primarily plant-based foods -- such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts -- may help keep people healthy and independent as they age.

Frailty is common among older people and its prevalence is increasing as the population ages. Frail older adults may often feel low in energy and have weight loss and weak muscle strength. 

They are more likely to suffer from numerous health concerns, including falls, fractures, hospitalization, nursing home placement, disability, dementia, and premature death. Frailty is also associated with a lower quality of life.

Archive of poisonous truths

In, a Treasure Trove of Industry Secrets
Sample document
THE HISTORIANS Gerald Markowitz and David Rosner took notice when, in 2004, a colleague wrote a 41-page report lambasting their work. 

The two New York professors (Markowitz at the City University of New York and Rosner at Columbia University) had spent decades working together at the intersection of history and public health, and much of their research focused on the consequences of corporate wrongdoing, so attacks weren’t uncommon — or even surprising.

This one, though, was particularly scathing.

Philip Scranton, a historian at Rutgers University, had taken aim at their book “Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution” — and at Markowitz in particular. Scranton accused him of everything from “overgeneralization and failure to corroborate” to “selectively appropriat[ing] information,” among a list of other alleged misdeeds.

Rosner and Markowitz’s peers quickly came to their defense, calling Scranton a “hired gun” for the chemical industry. (Scranton had in fact been hired by a group of companies to review two chapters in the book, along with a report Markowitz had prepared for a court case involving job-related chemical exposure.) 

But Rosner and Markowitz knew there would be more rounds to the stressful, time consuming, and seemingly never-ending fight.

“We didn’t know how to respond,” said Rosner.

One of Rosner’s undergraduate students, Merlin Chowkwanyun, gave them the answer. Why not, he asked, just post all of their source documents — secret company memos, the minutes of internal meetings, industry letters, and more — online and let people decide for themselves? Rosner and Markowitz agreed. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Heartless Trump, Heartless America

‘When Will He Decide I’m Not Welcome Here Either?’
By Terry H. Schwadron, DCReport New York Editor

Image result for ellis islandI’d like to hope that the decision to deport 260,000 Salvadorans who had been granted temporary immigration status to escape natural and man-made disasters in their country 16 years ago gave the Trump administration even a moment’s pause.

As it did recently with 45,000 Haitians granted a similar status, this White House seems to revel in breaking up families and showing the world that Americans have no heart. No tienes corazón.

That huge undercurrent of the jobs, jobs, jobs agenda becomes clearer by the day: Maybe it’s really deport, deport, deport immigrant workers to create workplace vacancies for natural-born Americans to fill. After all, these 260,000 would join 800,000 Dreamers and up to 11 million more immigrants lacking full documentation that Trump believes endanger the United States.
Image result for drumpf family
Trump's grandfather Friedrich Drumpf left what was then a
shithole in Germany for the United States in 1885. He changed
his name to Frederick Trump in 1892 upon being a US citizen.

Specifically, the White House gave Salvadorans a year to become citizens or face deportation—even as it works to make that process much more burdensome and complicated. 

The announcement was consistent with the administration’s broader goal of reducing legal immigration and stopping illegal immigration. Homeland Security officials say the conditions in El Salvador have improved enough since the earthquakes in 2001 to no longer support the temporary stay designation.

I readily acknowledge that these anti-immigrant policies anger me. I work with immigrants in a don’t-ask-don’t-tell program to help hard-working new arrivals learn enough English to apply for jobs, fill out forms and communicate in American society.

Trump goes to war against us

For more cartoons by Ted Rall, CLICK HERE.

A message to remember from Dr. King

State aid available for local food producers

DEM Announces That $380,000 in Grants Is Available For Rhode Island Food and Farming Businesses

Related imageThe Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced $380,000 is available to help grow Rhode Island farm and food businesses and increase the competitiveness of local products in the marketplace. 

The funding is part of the Local Agriculture and Seafood Act (LASA) and Farm Viability grant programs – which combined have invested over $3 million to accelerate growth of Rhode Island's green economy and support small businesses.

"Investing in these popular grant programs boosts our state's vibrant food economy and the competitiveness of Rhode Island-grown agricultural products and local seafood," said DEM Director Janet Coit.

"Farming and fishing are an important part of our heritage and increasingly vital to our economy, and these grants will help farmers, fishers and food businesses start or expand their operations in Rhode Island. I'm excited to announce this latest grant round and look forward to the initiatives and businesses it helps inspire."

Swallowable sensors reveal mysteries of human gut health

First human trials of gas-sensing capsule reveal potential new immune system
RMIT University

Image result for Swallowable sensorsFindings from the first human trials of a breakthrough gas-sensing swallowable capsule could revolutionise the way that gut disorders and diseases are prevented and diagnosed.

The trials by researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia have uncovered mechanisms in the human body that have never been seen before, including a potentially new immune system.

The new technology and discoveries offer a game-changer for the one-in-five people worldwide who will suffer from a gastrointestinal disorder in their lifetime. They could also lead to fewer invasive procedures like colonoscopies.

The ingestible capsule (the size of a vitamin pill) detects and measures gut gases -- hydrogen, carbon dioxides and oxygen -- in real time. This data can be sent to a mobile phone.

Kilmartin opposes Invenergy water deals and pollution

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

Image result for Raimondo & invenergy
So where is Gina Raimondo on this issue?
CLICK HERE to read Attorney General Peter Kilmartin's statement.

Opponents of the fossil-fuel power plant proposed for the woods of Burrillville, R.I., have a powerful new ally, as Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin recently announced his opposition to plans for the state’s largest energy facility.

Kilmartin cited the main arguments against the Clear River Energy Center (CREC), a $1 billion power plant that would be fueled by natural gas and diesel oil. 

He said the power plant may have been needed when the proposal was announced in August 2015, but rapid growth of renewable energy, mandates for greater offshore wind, and the likelihood of imported hydropower render CREC redundant.

The plant's developer, Chicago-based Invenergy Thermal Development LLC, however, says the “fast-start” power plant will take care of intermittency or lulls in the electric grid when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. It will also be ready to fill power needs as older fossil-fuel power plants retire across New England, according to company officials.

Kilmartin is also siding with opponents who argue that emissions from the nearly 1,000-megawatt facility would prevent the state from achieving its greenhouse gas-reductions goals established by the Resilient Rhode Island Act of 2014. Invenergy and the state Office of Energy Resources argue otherwise, claiming the proposed power plant would lower regional climate emissions. 

Kilmartin also takes note of the two issues most likely to derail the power plant: water and interconnection. From the outset, Invenergy has struggled to secure a source for cooling water. Two water boards in Burrillville and neighboring communities turned down offers from Invenergy to buy municipal water. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Forty minutes of terror in Hawaii while Donald Trump played golf

Could you even imagine receiving that?

I grew up during the Cold War and I never had anything happen that was anywhere near as frightening as this.


I went to college in Hawaii and I have say that back then at least there were just not that many places to go to for shelter.

The same must be essentially true today because residents were literally stuffing their children down storm drains in a frantic attempt to keep them safe. 

It was almost forty minutes later that residents received this correction.

Can you imagine being that terrified for more than half an hour, only to find out that it was all a mistake?

Speaking of mistakes Donald Trump just kept right on golfing while all of this was going on:

The world according to Trump

For more cartoons by Ted Rall, CLICK HERE.

We could do this

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