Showing posts from March, 2010

Sic Semper Tyrannis

As the right continues to froth about the mouth over the threat of poor Americans having health care, it is instructive to read some reasoned legal opinion about the sheer fatuousness of the right's case to use the courts to kill the plan (see Balkin's sharp "If you can't stop the bill, just have another Bush v. Gore."

Also interesting are the roots of the health plan in "RomneyCare" and the Heritage Foundation

The Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (yes, the same moralistic AG who ordered Virginia's public universities and colleges to rescind policies that banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation) is going to sue to stop the tyranny of us all having to buy health insurance.

No doubt this means that the Commonwealth will soon stop the tyrannical state abuse of power which forces us all to buy car insurance. Sic Semper Tyrannis

South Carolina is apparently also threatening to pursue a legal remedy to this out break of majority…

more bad news for bees

The American Chemical Society is not shying away from the fact that chemicals in hives are devastating bee populations, both in the pollen and the wax, a new study is detailing exactly what is going on:

"In it, Christopher Mullin of Pennsylvania State University in University Park and his colleagues describe widespread pesticide tainting in 749 samples of bee-dom, some of those chemicals at levels that would be toxic if they occurred alone. Except that most bees aren’t exposed to just a single pesticide.

In beeswax, they report, “87 pesticides and metabolites were found with up to 39 different detections in a single sample.” The average number of pesticides identified per wax sample (and they analyzed 259 samples): eight. Among 350 pollen samples retrieved from hives, each harbored an average of seven such chemicals – but at times up to 31 pesticide contaminants (or their breakdown products, some of which are far more toxic to bees than the parent chemical would have been)."

Check out this series of pictures of Juárez from the Washington Post. The picture of Colonia Fronteriza seems more telling than the ones of corpses.

snapshots of the state of things

You can skip this post if you are going to claim that you don't want to hear some random charming stories about the evervescent and incredibly brilliant Miss Lark.

She always has something interesting to say, really it is a daily pleasure.

Looking at some lions at the zoo as they snoozed I said (in that apparently inescapable parental way) 'what are the lions doing?' I was thinking "napping" or maybe "sleeping." Her response: "basking in the sun." Basking, nice.

Today as we were driving she asked me to play Ralph Stanley's "Bound to Ride." I put the cd in and then accidentally put it on the wrong song. Lark said within the first measure: "That isn't 'Bound to Ride,' that's 'Rocky Island.'" Not bad. Especially considering all of that music sounds the same...

And speaking of music that all sounds the same, today during dinner she requested Mexican music (or however it is she pronounces "…


The killing of the U.S. consulate workers in Ciudad Juárez gave U.S. officials a chance to dust off some time worn language that gets evoked often in borderland issues--it was an "outrage."

This was how Obama was quoted in the AP story and elsewhere, for some reason the NYTimes did not run that quote. And outrage is all over the place. "President Felipe Calderon, Foreign Relations Secretary Patricia Espinosa and U.S. Ambassador Carlos Pascual flew together to Ciudad Juarez to express their outrage on Tuesday."

Not that these killings were anything but completely outrageous. They were insane, totally reprehensible and evil, especially given the proximity of infants and little children.

"The wife of one of the victims, a 13-year employee of the consulate named Hilda, described to a friend how she watched in horror as hit men pumped bullets into her SUV with her husband and children inside. She had been trailing her family in a second car when the attack occu…
Spring is finally here and I have had a chance to visit all of my bees. All of them are doing extremely well, which is heartening since I am now 5 years chemical free and this is a tough row to hoe. But a critical one and worth every effort.

This picture is from a hive in Pungo. On the bees on the comb you can see them packing away at least three different pollens. IN the other one if you look closely you can see them bringing it it. Check out the bright red pollen they are pulling in and the yellow/orange in the middle, and then the whitish pollen on the bee at the top.

Some of the hives are actually extremely big and extremely active and extremely defensive--which is the nice beekeeper way of saying extremely mean. But there is sometimes a correlation between mean bees and honey production, the key is to keep a balance since it is no fun to keep mean bees. I'll requeen them and settle them down.

here is how things look in Suffolk at the moment. You'll notice that nice …
Some photos of the Lil Buddha from the weekend at a local playground. She looks characteristically darling of course but the angle is unfortunate. I sent one of these first two to a friend of mine and he said "Where do you take her to play, a parking ramp?"

local idiot watch

The foolish movie reviewer in the local paper (Mal Vincent) wrote a review of the Green Zone that stated at the beginning that there was no difference between being anti-American policy in Iraq and being anti-American. Uh, what?

(though a friend at work noted that I am about the only sub-60 year old person who reads the paper)
This is an interesting study about the impact of pyrethroid pesticides on honeybee fertility. Rather than just flat wiping out bees, these supposedly green pesticides are slowly destroying the queen laying numbers and egg success. So you can soak the bees in the chemical and it is fine, but the real impact is on laying. Beekeepers who have witnesssed the much higher failure rate of queens these days will be especially interested.

"After first establishing the dose that would kill no more than five percent of exposed bees, the researchers laced sugar water near bee hives with either of the pyrethroids at that tolerable dose. Worker bees had access for 20 days to the pseudo-nectar in each of three successive years. Queens in each colony were dosed every five days over each treatment period. Studied bees had no access to outside nectar during the trial periods.

Compared to queens receiving clean sugar water, those in the pyrethroid groups were substantially less fecund. For instanc…