The ancient Greeks attributed weather to the god Zeus; today we can safely attribute it to industrial capitalism and its voracious consumption of fossil fuels. The carnage left by a tornado in Oklahoma yesterday is just the latest in our economic system’s daunting body count. Other recent examples include the mass suicides of farmers in India, who because of drought are losing their crops and therefore their livelihoods (a foreshadowing of climate change’s impact on global agriculture); the deadly garment factory collapse in Bangladesh, about which fellow CounterPuncher Vijay Prashad wrote a fine piece; and the explosion of a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, due to lax regulatory agencies. Zeus’ lightning bolts seem quaint by comparison.
Connecticut students who have a conscientious objection to dissection may soon have the right to opt out if lawmakers pass An Act Concerning Dissection Choice.
Students have come forward to express their discomfort and objections to learning about the study of life by wasting the lives of innocent animals. Some are met with understanding and support, while others have had to struggle with criticism and ostracism from both educators and peers to have their ethical objections recognized as valid.
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It stretched from the Caspian to the Baltic Sea, from the middle of Europe to the Kurile Islands in the Pacific, from Siberia to Central Asia. Its nuclear arsenal held 45,000 warheads , and its military had five million  troops under arms. There had been nothing like it in Eurasia since the Mongols conquered China, took parts of Central Asia and the Iranian plateau, and rode into the Middle East, looting Baghdad. Yet when the Soviet Union collapsed in December 1991, by far the poorer, weaker imperial power disappeared.
Mark Zuckerberg’s complaint box is filling up. The billionaire founder of FaceBook is behaving as destructively as other sociopaths who hoard vast riches while others starve and die for lack of medical care. And people are letting him know how they feel about it.
Zuckerberg’s new advocacy group FWD.us is running TV ads in support of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. A petition asks him to stop. The comments that people are leaving on the petition ask him to do a number of other things I won’t repeat. You’ll never guess what they’ve found that rhymes with Zuck.
The world exploded with praise and awe when actress Angelina Jolie announced – via op-ed in The New York Times – that she had undergone double-mastectomy as a preventative measure after discovering that she possessed the mutant BRCA1 gene. A mutation to either the BRCA1 and/or BRCA2 (both named for BReast CAncer) genes seems to confer an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer in its carriers. As the scourge of cancer has permeated the American landscape – one in two men and one in three women will develop cancer in their lifetimes – diagnosis and treatment have become the sole allowable precautionary procedures. Every day we learn more about the myriad of known and probable human carcinogens saturating our built environment.
Until Nugent came along, no one knew they could stack excrement 6 ft. high.
RRC Extra No. 36 / May 2013:
DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO… Ted Nugent spent the hours before his speech at the National Rifle Association’s recent national convention as just another vendor, hawking his books to the public. Then, as the confab’s final speaker, he gave his stock speech about his love of guns and his eagerness to kill people (“if you dare attempt to argue with me about my right to self-defense, I will just have to destroy you”). But the truth of the matter is that Ted’s never killed anyone and when he had a chance to, he bailed. Ted Nugent is just another chicken hawk.