Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

All The News Fit To Share: Late Sunday to Late Tuesday


Because sometimes we need warm sunny beach pictures.  

Welcome to your nearly-nightly news diary that we leave open throughout the weekend! JanF and I are combining forces for an open news thread we hope will please all of you.  

Please comment on any of the stories in the diary or comments, or share any news stories you like from anywhere!  

News stories may be added throughout the day and night, so please stop back if you are inclined.  

This will serve as the open news thread until Tuesday overnight.


2/3 of these came from my twitter and fb feed.  1/3 from my usual sources & topics, the last 5 in the International section.  Because I am compelled to include Afghanistan (war), Pakistan (neighbor to Afghanistan & India), and India and China (population).  


Mozambique: Cholera Confirmed in Northern Mozambique

In the last 10 days, 22 cases of the waterborne disease cholera have been confirmed by laboratory testing in three areas in and around the northern Mozambique town of Pemba, in Cabo Delgado Province.

Leonard Heyerdahl, project manager of Africhol – an initiative of Paris-based NGO Agence de Médecine Préventive – told IRIN that from 30 January, “samples started turning positive [for cholera].” Prior to that, there were 366 cases of severe diarrhoea caused by the salmonella bacteria.

Heavy rains, flooding, displacement and poor access for humanitarian assistance are creating an ideal environment for the proliferation of cholera. Heyerdahl, whose unit is supporting Mozambique’s health authorities, said in such conditions, “one case of cholera is already an epidemic”.

Captive Sea Turtles Extract Their Revenge by Making Tourists Sick

Captive sea turtles in the Cayman Islands can ruin a tourist’s visit with a nasty dose of bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites, The Smithsonian Magazine reports. The symptoms can take some time to emerge and typically resemble gastrointestinal bugs or the flu, researchers report in the journal JRSM Short Reports. For those more severely affected, however, the turtles can cause septicemia, pneumonia, meningitis and kidney failure.

None of these problems apply to free-living turtles, which the researchers insist are quite safe. Only interacting with wild-caught and captive-housed sea turtles carries a risk.

The researchers conducted a case study of the Cayman Turtle Farm in Grand Cayman, where approximately 300,000 tourists visit each year. The farm sells turtle meat to visitors and to local restaurants. The turtles, kept in stressed, confined conditions, are particularly prone to infection in their vulnerable state.

Blog post from Smithsonian blog post.

Battle for a living wage: A Kiwi bloke can survive on $19 an hour … yeah right

Actor Grae Burton was the classic “Kiwi bloke” in Tui beer commercials last year. His work only just earned him what unions consider a “living wage”.

“When I was first in Hercules and Young Hercules back in 1998, my daily rate was 50 per cent better than what I’m currently seeing,” he says.

He says actors on a comparable show now being filmed in Auckland, Spartacus, are being asked to do much more for less.

“Actors on any given show day are being asked to do full-frontal nudity, simulated sex and graphically violent, hugely physical roles, and are being paid a comparably lower daily rate,” he says.

Yet living costs have gone up.

“Ten years ago I could live on $150 to $160 a week. My living costs break down to more like $500 a week now.”

Govt unlikely to support living wage campaign – Key

Apparently, there is an austerity troll hiding in Key’s government.  Or New Zealand is not yet a socialist paradise.  Brief news article.  

Also, for reference:  USA Minimum Wage, if indexed.

Added stories from usual sources/topics:

Freed Taliban prisoners return to fight

Some 28-30 prisoners have been set free in a series of goodwill gestures aimed at building trust between Kabul and Islamabad as well as helping nudge the Taliban towards negotiations.

Their whereabouts are unknown and Afghan officials raised concerns last weekend during talks with David Cameron at Chequers that their release had failed to help an embryonic peace process.

“It’s not clear what has happened to them,” said a security official in Islamabad.

Pakistan eyes leftover US military equipment in Afghanistan

With the US and Pakistani officials engaged in crucial talks on the use of NATO supply lines running through Pakistan for the withdrawal of US-led western troops from Afghanistan, Islamabad may seek an agreement with Washington for the purchase of the leftover military equipment.

Currently, Islamabad and Washington are engaged in talks through diplomatic channels to sort out issues related to the use of NATO supply routes through Pakistani soil for the withdrawal of thousands of troops and military equipment, like the security of supplies and also what material could be transited and what could not.

The talks are mainly aimed at a smooth and safe transit of NATO supplies through Pakistan once thousands of vehicles start moving out of Afghanistan for which a deadline of 2014 has been set by the United States. As the US and its allies shape up its plan for the troops’ withdrawal, reports in western media suggest that some regional states like Uzbekistan have showed interest in clinching a deal with the United States for the supply of war leftovers and in return the western powers would be provided with the roads.

This caught my attention because of the same issue in Iraq; and Pakistan’s control over the roads to/from Afghanistan.

More executions in 7 months of President Pranab than previous 15 years

By signing Parliament attack convict Mohammed Afzal Guru’s execution warrant, President PranabMukherjee has ordered death penalty for three convicts in the last six months, a rate faster than any President in the last 15 years. While his predecessor PratibhaPatil rejected the mercy petitions of five death row convicts in three cases, two involving four criminals are pending before the Supreme Court.

In quick succession, Mukherjee rejected the mercy petitions of Mumbai terror attack convict Ajmal Kasab on November 5, 2012 and Saibanna Ningappa Natikar on January 4 before clearing Guru’s death penalty on February 3. He commuted the death sentence of Atbir, who was found guilty of murdering three relatives on November 15, 2012 over a property dispute.

China Eclipses U.S. as Biggest Trading Nation Measured in Goods

China surpassed the U.S. to become the world’s biggest trading nation last year as measured by the sum of exports and imports of goods, official figures from both countries show.

U.S. exports and imports of goods last year totaled $3.82 trillion, the U.S. Commerce Department said last week. China’s customs administration reported last month that the country’s trade in goods in 2012 amounted to $3.87 trillion.

China’s growing influence in global commerce threatens to disrupt regional trading blocs as it becomes the most important commercial partner for some countries. Germany may export twice as much to China by the end of the decade as it does to France, estimated Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Jim O’Neill.

Polaroid, Kodak and the art of black and white

Exploring “the radical notion that prejudice might be inherent in the medium of photography itself” the title of the Goodman Gallery’s latests exhibition To Photograph the Details of a Dark Horse at Night, by the London based duo Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, becomes a euphemism for the racist practices inherent in the history of photographic representation.

The show’s title is not a term coined by the pair, but rather one taken from the CEO of Kodak in the 70’s when they announced their new product, Kodak Gold, a film that would not underexpose darker skin tones. But as inclusive as this intention sounds, it was as an answer to two major clients in the furniture and confectionary industries who complained about the range of Kodak’s exposures. It was objects, not people that led Kodak’s hand in developing better technology.


Carlsbad desalination plant creates jobs, may lead to water bill increase for San Diegans

10 News, San Diego; Natasha Zouves

A desalination plant coming to Carlsbad will create thousands of jobs, but could end up costing San Diegans in the long run.

Like so many San Diegans, David Shin was laid off in 2009.

“I know what it’s about to not be in a job for awhile,” said Shin. “It’s an eye-opener.”

But now, with his gloves on, walking alongside the site for the Carlsbad Desalination Plant, Shin said things are looking up.

Navajo, Hopi tribes struggle without water in Southwest cold snap

Navajo tribal spokesman Erny Zah told Reuters the freeze hit the vulnerable particularly hard, including knocking out water at a disabled community of five homes in Navajo, a village a few miles north of Window Rock.

“It can further complicate some of the health issues they are already experiencing,” Zah said on Wednesday, adding residents were “not taking a bath anymore … you’re talking about sponge baths.”

Brewer’s office said the damage to drinking water infrastructure “threatens public safety and the operation of basic infrastructure, including schools and businesses.”

Tomgram: Michael Klare, Will the Keystone XL Pipeline Go Down?

Think of it as a prospective irony: In a spirit of pure, blind partisanship, the drill-baby-drill folks in the Republican Party may have done themselves in.  After all, their obsession with the Benghazi incident led them to launch a preemptive strike against the president’s choice for secretary of state, Susan Rice, for her statements on what happened when the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were murdered there.  They sent her nomination down in flames.  In the process, it’s just possible that they took out something far dearer to them.  Though it didn’t get much attention during her disastrous nomination moment, we did learn that Rice and her husband had made significant investments in companies connected to the Canadian tar-sands industry and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which is to bring the resulting crude (and carbon-dirty) oil 1,700 miles from Alberta, Canada, to the U.S. Gulf Coast.  They reportedly had $300,000-$600,000 in stock in TransCanada, the company building the pipeline.  In addition, “about a third of Rice’s personal net worth is tied up in oil producers, pipeline operators, and related energy industries north of the 49th parallel,” including Enbridge, a company which hopes to build another tar-sands pipeline.  Had she been secretary of state, she might have had one of the great conflicts of interest of our time (or a major divestment problem).

In the circular bloggy world, this blog entry includes another blog entry . . .


Living History: Coal smoke, not emissions, once choked Wasatch Front

Salt Lake Tribune; Pat Bagley (cartoonist, writing this up)

Among the sources of the gritty, freezing fog were the 10,000 furnaces that warmed peoples’ homes. My own house still has a square metal hatch set into the foundation where the coal was delivered. A slow and steady-burning fuel, coal was great for making things cozy upstairs on long winter nights.

But it is dirty. A regular household chore back then was wiping down the walls above the heating vents, which displayed a perpetual charcoal smear. Curtains and drapes had to be taken down and cleaned yearly.

To make matters worse, the largest ore-smelting operation west of the Mississippi belched smoke in the very center of the Salt Lake Valley. The Murray City logo still features a stylized pair of smokestacks to represent the thousands of tons of ore per day from Park City’s mines that were once refined there.


Science’s ‘beauty problem’: Scientists increasingly confusing elegance and symmetry for truth

National Post; Joseph Brean

Among the things described as “elegant” by the American Association for the Advancement of Science in the past month or so are such diverse wonders as an arthritis medicine, a heat-powered laser, an immune system response, a palliative care strategy, the modularity of biological systems, an electrical switch smaller than a human hair “that can flex like a tiny beckoning finger,” and the mathematical structure of birdsong, specifically Bengalese finches.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Symmetry, unity, harmony, elegance and beauty are concepts that crop up in science with striking regularity. From the music of the spheres that inspired the earliest Greek philosophers to modern supersymmetrical string theory, physics has been especially prone to mistake a beautiful theory for a true one. But there is a growing sense that biologists, psychologists, economists and even mathematicians can also be preoccupied with subjective aesthetics over falsifiable science, and confuse the one for the other.

So you’re feeling too fat to be photographed . . .

Listen. I hear you. You’re a few pounds heavier than you like (or a 100lbs heavier than you like). I completely understand how you feel. I get that same blah feeling about myself when I think about booking new head shots or long overdue pictures of me and Justin. Precious, I even picked a career that has me permanently behind the camera rather than in front of it. Seeing myself in pictures actually produces the faintest sick feeling in my stomach. Isn’t it amazing we can see the beauty in our best friends, sisters, mothers, and aunts without the slightest thought to their flaws . . . but can obsess for hours on our own imperfections? We fixate on our flaws to the point we shirk at any documentation that our round faces and curvy bodies ever walked the earth. No pictures to show how we LOVE, how we laugh, how we are treasured by our families. How is it possible that a double chin can overpower the beauty of a mother cuddling her child? How does arm fat distract from the perfect shot of a spontaneous hug? I swear y’all . . . how is it that we can put more value on a TUMMY ROLL than the captivating way you throw yourself into a roar of laughter during a shoot?

In our warped minds pictures become frozen mirrors that we can stare at as we pick apart our features over and over again.

I know girl. I know.

My personal duck-and-cover (or signature “make a funny face”) approach to having pictures of myself changed completely when I had a serious car accident last year (and started over). In the flash of a second (or a flash of the text message the young woman was reading) my entire life changed. I nearly left this earth with no physical evidence of the goofy, wide open and loud love I have for my life, my husband, my family and friends. I haven’t had professional pictures done since our wedding in 2006 . . . always waiting for this elusive moment where I would be thin enough (pretty enough) to have such a permanent record of me. Because, you know, HEAVEN FORBID there be any proof that I look the way I actually look.

h/t bluejerseymom

  TPM Livewire     The Onion  
  the guardian     Salon     The American Prospect  
  Newseum News     Newseum Front Pages     The Daily Beast  
  Mother Jones     Discovery News     BBC  
  McClatchy     Reuters     NPR News  

Cross-posted in orange.


  1. jlms qkw

    Simple, three step procedure:

    1. Put a pair of square brackets into the comment:


    2. Copy the link (URL) to your story and paste it into the brackets:

    3. Copy the headline (or type your own) into the brackets at the left and put a space after it (the space before “http” is essential):

    American Voices: Northeast Braces For Historic Blizzard

    You can add a block quote from the news story by copying/pasting text, highlighting it then using the quote button to surround it with the “quote” html pairs:

    Voila! (that is French for “Holy mackeral!! It works!!”):  

  2. dear occupant

    Quote of the Day

    ‘Nicole Wallace on Marco Rubio: “He’s everything we need and more. He’s modern. He knows who Tupac is. He is on social media.”

    sounds like Presidential material to me Nicole, OY.

    FAA Releases New Drone List – Is Your Town On the Map?

    ‘The Federal Aviation Administration has finally released a new drone authorization list. This list, released in response to EFF’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, includes law enforcement agencies and universities across the country, and-for the first time-an Indian tribal agency. In all, the list includes more than 20 new entities over the FAA’s original list, bringing to 81 the total number of public entities that have applied for FAA drone authorizations through October 2012’

  3. Moozmuse

    Germany’s Gun Argument

    Does the “right to life” outweigh the right to shoot guns recreationally? Germany’s constitutional court will soon decide. The case pits one man against Germany’s gun clubs – and centuries of tradition.

    Roman Grafe overlays a graphic onto a map of Germany, thereby demonstrating the magnitude of the gun problem. Every shooting since 1991 is labeled on the map with a cross. In total, more than 130 have died.

    Compared to the US, the number of gun deaths – even when taking the disparity in populations into account – seems ridiculously low, but the man making the argument has a point. And we should also remember that even only one violent gun death is one too many.

  4. Pope To Resign On Feb. 28

    Pope Benedict XVI will resign on Feb. 28, the Associated Press and others reported early Monday.  Pope Benedict’s papacy began in 2005. He is 85 years old. Pope Benedict is the first pontiff to resign in nearly 600 years, accordint to the AP.

    He is citing his age as the reason. I wish he would say “I am ashamed of my role in protecting pedophile priests and will spend the rest of my life doing penance for the harm done to innocent children by my negligence.”

  5. Club For Growth Aide: It’s Not The ‘President’s Sequester’

    Congressional Republicans have been trying to pin a looming set of automatic spending cuts known as sequestration on President Obama, even dubbing it ‘Obamaquester’ on Friday.

    Barney Keller, communications director for the conservative group Club for Growth, took to Twitter to rebut that effort.

    “Every time I hear the Republicans call this the “President’s sequester” my head explodes,” Keller tweeted on Monday, “because all of the Republicans voted for the legislation that created the sequester.”

    Apparently the Club for Growth wants all the spending cuts enforced … even the ones that cut defense spending.  

  6. Pentagon To Extend Benefits To Gay Service Members

    Following the successful repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the Pentagon will begin to extend certain benefits to gay service members and their families, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced Monday.  

    “Our work must now expand to change our policies and practices to ensure fairness and equal treatment and to taking care of all of our Service members and their families,” Panetta wrote in Monday’s memo.

    According to the memo, the Defense Department conducted a review of benefits it could legally extend to gay service members at the direction of President Obama.

    The armed forces extending benefits to gay service members and their families sounds suspiciously like the Federal government recognizing these families.

  7. Ron Paul Seeks UN’s Help In Domain Ownership Dispute

    Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who once filed legislation to end the United States’ participation in the United Nations, is now turning to the international organization for help in obtaining two domain names, the Texas Tribune reported Monday.


    The former presidential candidate and congressman filed a complaint Friday with the World Intellectual Property Organization, a United Nations agency, against the owners of and so he could gain control of the domains, according to a blog post published on the site.

    His fans are LIVID and see this as a betrayal. HAHAHAHA!!





  9. Senate Defeats GOP Amendment To Scale Back Violence Against Women Act

    The Senate late Monday defeated a Republican-backed amendment to eliminate a provision of the Violence Against Women Act aimed at beefing up protections for Native American women, setting the stage for final passage of the reauthorization Tuesday.

    The amendment offered by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) would have stripped out language in the bill that allows tribal regions to prosecute non-Native Americans accused of committing crimes against Native Americans.

    Thank you, Senate.

    Ex-Rep. Joe Walsh: I Can’t Afford Child Support Payments

    Former Rep. and Tea Party darling Joe Walsh has filed a request in Cook County Circuit Court to cease paying child support payments because he is no longer employed, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on Monday.

    And Joe Walsh further requests that the court suspend those pesky laws of nature which state that his children need food and shelter from the harsh Illinois winters.

  10. princesspat

    Shell Oil will send two Arctic drilling rigs to Asia – rather than Seattle – for major repairs that could put at risk plans to resume a search for oil next summer off Alaska’s North Slope.


    “Shell can’t get away from the fact this has been a difficult, complex operation that didn’t go well,” said Lois Epstein, an environmental engineer who serves as Arctic program director for The Wilderness Society. “They knew they were under tremendous scrutiny, and they still couldn’t perform.”

  11. princesspat

    Andrew Sullivan has a thoughtful post today.

    Perhaps once he abdicates the papacy the full extent of Joseph Ratzinger’s transformation can be understood and, if not explained, then more fully grasped. And then, maybe, a Church that so desperately needs renewal, and a world that needs Jesus’ message of love and grace more than ever, finally can move forward and speak with credibility to the modern world. It is difficult to know how that can happen apart from coming to terms with the forces, within and without the Church, that are personified by the brilliant young German theologian who became Pope. A Pope who, in the end, gave up, when faced with the enormity of the corruption and degeneracy his papacy did so little to counter and the Western faithless he failed to engage.

  12. Senator Mitch “My Number One Job is to Make Obama a One-Term President” McConnell wants the president to “work with Congress”.

    Speaking on the floor the morning of the State of the Union, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called on President Obama not to offer any “left-wing” proposals.

    I’d like to humbly suggest once again that it’s time for the President to reach out to Congress, including Republicans, and make divided government work. That’s how he’ll actually address the issues Americans are most concerned about right now.

    Yeah? And why the heck should he care what you think after you spent the last four years making his, and our, lives miserable? And the Republican house spent the last 2 years voting to repeal Obamacare and, really, voting to repeal the 20th century. The Republican party does not have the foggiest notion of the “issues Americans are most concerned about right now”.

    [insert bitter laughter here]

  13. Boxer And Nelson To Co-Sponsor Election Reform Bill

    The LINE (Lines Interfere with National Elections) Act — first introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) late last year — would require the Attorney General to issue new national standards regarding the number of voting machines, election workers and other resources necessary to conduct federal elections.

    National standards for national elections is long overdue. As we saw in 2012, tea party state governments have way too much ability to cause shenanigans that impact elections and deciding who to vote.

    For one thing, why can’t a felon who has served their sentence vote? That disproportionately disenfranchises people of color and the poor. When a drunk driver loses their license, they are allowed to drive again after the suspension time has elapsed. Why should voting, a right enshrined in the constitution, be revoked permanently after committing a crime and paying the price?

Comments are closed.