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  • Today's comic by Ruben Bolling is Disney World's Florida Adventure Park: Stand Your Ground:
    Cartoon by Ruben Bolling - Disney World's Adventure Park: Stand Your Ground
  • Beepocalypse study shows situation worse than thought:
    When researchers collected pollen from hives on the east coast pollinating cranberry, watermelon and other crops and fed it to healthy bees, those bees showed a significant decline in their ability to resist infection by a parasite called Nosema ceranae. The parasite has been implicated in Colony Collapse Disorder though scientists took pains to point out that their findings do not directly link the pesticides to CCD. The pollen was contaminated on average with nine different pesticides and fungicides though scientists discovered 21 agricultural chemicals in one sample. Scientists identified eight ag chemicals associated with increased risk of infection by the parasite.

    Most disturbing, bees that ate pollen contaminated with fungicides were three times as likely to be infected by the parasite. Widely used, fungicides had been thought to be harmless for bees as they’re designed to kill fungus, not insects, on crops like apples.

  • Respect for journalists plummets among Americans no matter what their political alignment.
  • Claims of attorney general and governor that dead people voted in South Carolina untrue. The claim in 2012 was that 953 dead people had died but had subsequently voted in the 2010 election, a clear indication, they said, of fraud. The claim was used to bolster support for requiring photo I.D. to in the state. One lawmaker claimed “We must have certainty in South Carolina that zombies aren’t voting.” A 13-month review by the State Law Enforcement Division shows it didn't happen. The count of the zombie voters was not, it turns out, for one election but for 74 over seven years. But the real problem was mismatching the names of living persons with dead ones, like a son with the same name as a deceased father, or overly sensitive scanners and a range of other clerical errors. Result: Not a single zombie voter.
  • Man who named killers of Emmett Till dead at 76. In 1955, Emmett Till, a 14-year old black boy, was beaten and shot to death in Mississippi by two white men for supposedly flirting with a married white woman. Eighteen-year-old Willie Reed, the son of black sharecroppers, saw the men drive by in a pick-up truck with Till in the back. He heard Till being beaten in a barn. Till's body was discovered three days later in the Tallahatchie River. Reed testified against the murderers even though he had to enter the court by first passing through a welter of Klansmen. He immediately left the state after the trial and changed his name to Willie Louis. The murderers were acquitted but, protected by bars against double jeopardy, soon afterward admitted they had killed Till. His murder was a pivotal moment that helped galvanize the civil rights movement.
  • Fifty years ago today: "This is obviously a fuckup." Appalled at a newspaper report, in a salty phone call, JFK berates general over Navy hospital furniture that had been prepared for Jackie in case she went into labor.
  • Wired Love: a novel from 1880 that could have been written last week
    I don’t want to give too much of the plot away — I save my spoilers for below the jump. But the story, in brief, is that Nattie is at work one day when a telegraph operator in another city, who calls himself “C”, begins chatting her up. They engage in a virtual courtship, things get funny and romantic, until suddenly things take a most puzzling and mysterious turn. [...] the conversations she and her friends have about her online courtship are utterly wild to read: They have the arch elocutions of Victorian-era America, mixed with concepts that are so thoroughly modern that book feels like it was written this year, by someone merely emulating the language of 1880.
  • New Jersey's likely GOP Senate candidate calls climate change warning "silly hysteria". Steve Lonegan, former Mayor of Bogota, N.J., blasted a campaign video of long-shot Democratic candidate Rush Holt that calls global warming “lethal” and favors a carbon tax. Lonegan responded:
    I signed the No Climate Tax pledge because I oppose the idea of making consumers pay more to fight the silly hysteria that Congressman Holt puts forward in his web video. Unfortunately, all the candidates on the Democrat side, along with President Obama, support this view. [...]

    Scientists, on the other hand, have stood behind Holt’s scientific views. In a letter released on Tuesday, 65 of the U.S.’s leading scientists, including Energy Secretary Steven Chu, announced their support for Holt, calling him a “rare and outspoken voice for evidence-based thinking in the U.S. Congress.”

  • Mob Rule: Organized crime a growth business globally:
    Analysts put the value of the global drug trade at some $350 billion a year -- and that’s probably a conservative estimate. And yet narcobusiness comprises only one relatively small slice of the much larger world of global criminality. According to the World Economic Forum: 'The cross-border flow of global proceeds from criminal activities, corruption and tax evasion is estimated at over US $1 trillion, with illegal drugs and counterfeit goods each accounting for 8% of world trade.'”
  • On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin's round-up included the "Carlos Danger" name generator, the Amash-Conyers amendment, and how Steve King's racism continues to damage the Republican brand. We puzzled over the backstory of Laura Clawson's post about the Ohio woman who had all her belongings stolen by a bank that got the wrong address on an eviction. Then, a deep dive into the moving parts of the Amash-Conyers result. Lastly, more discussion of "The Last Days of Big Law" with Armando, which wandered instead into the universality of the money chase and the MBA-ization of the "learned professions."

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