Another Thing To Worry About

It’s the air we breathe… inside our homes!

Since passage of the Clean Air Act in 1963 and creation of the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970, emissions of carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and other harmful gases have fallen by half; particulate matter by eighty percent. An official “very unhealthy” warning for outside air is no longer common. That’s great, except, on average, we spend ninety percent of our time indoors.

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Republican Snowflakes

Trump toady and fake-Russian-news creator Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Fresno) is threatening more lawsuits against those who have said mean things about him. He already had filed suits against Twitter accounts “Devin Nunes’ Cow” and “Devin Nunes’ Mom.” The suits are asking for $250 million for the damage to his reputation. He also sued the Fresno Bee newspaper for $150 million because of its reporting of unseemly activities that took place on a yacht he is partial owner of.

The latest lawsuit is against a Central-Valley California farmer who had tried to have Nunes’s “Farmer” occupation removed from a ballot because Nunes does not actually do any farming.

Nunes says he will file three to five more lawsuits against other “dark money” groups. Is it possible for others to damage Nunes’s reputation more than Nunes has damaged it himself?

Side note: The last public town hall meeting Nunes held with constituents was in 2010.

Meanwhile, in Oregon, Republican lawmakers fled the state to prevent a quorum as the legislature considered a carbon-tax bill. State Senator Brian Boquist responded to the possibility of the state police looking for them, saying they should “send bachelors and come heavily armed.” He also threatened Democratic Senate President Peter Courtney before the walk-out, that “hell is coming to visit you personally” if Courtney sent the police.

Courtney and Boquist both attend the same Catholic church. Boquist declared he “does in fact believe President Courtney’s soul is completely lost now.”

Boquist has filed suit in federal court against new security regulations requiring he give twelve hours notice when reporting to the capitol, in order to provide state troopers time to make public safety accommodations. Who is the real Boquist? Is he the posturing tough guy or is he a snowflake?

Plastic: It’s Everywhere – Literally

Maybe a plastic-debris raft the size of Texas — actually two Texases — floating around the ocean amuses you; then you’ll get a real chuckle from the latest evidence of micro plastics being found everywhere! Everywhere includes both outside and inside our bodies.

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Cruz and Paul and Inhofe, Oh My!

Senators Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, and James M. Inhofe and James Lankford, both of Oklahoma… okay, you know this will be about ignorance, maybe willful, maybe not.

Continuing their fight against science and knowledge, Cruz, Paul, Inhofe and Lankford tried to prevent a nonprofit educational organization called Climate Central from providing documented climate information to our nation’s TV weather forecasters. Climate Central provides information and graphics to about 750 meteorologists who have requested it. Material supplied by Climate Central has appeared in more than 1,200 broadcasts in the first half of 2019.

The four senators — is it necessary to mention they’re Republicans? — demanded an investigation into the $4 million federal funding the non-profit receives from the National Science Foundation. The four snowflakes said the NSF had “issued several grants which seek to influence political and social debate rather than conduct scientific research.”

After an investigation at who knows what cost, the NSF’s Inspector General said Naw, the program was thoroughly vetted, scientifically sound and non-political.

In other Cruz news, the Texas senator wrote to U.S. Attorney General William Barr and FBI director Christopher Wray urging an investigation into Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s handling of recent Antifa demonstrations in the Rose City. He says the Antifa group was mean to the far-right groups Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys who also were demonstrating in Portland. Cruz said it was like when authorities failed to protect civil rights demonstrators against violence from the Ku Klux Klan. To date, Mayor Wheeler has not commented on Senator Cruz’s demands.

Where Men Were Men and…

As we know from television, movies and other media, the westward expansion to our manifest destiny was the work of white men of European stock. The women were there for, well… you know what went on upstairs at Miss Kitty’s Long Branch Saloon.

But in the Old West a person could get away from life’s previous entanglements, get a fresh start or simply lose oneself.

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The Bats and the Bees

Bees seem to get all the good publicity. In the past few decades, we’ve gone from fear of marauding hordes of killer bees to concern about the decreasing populations of the cute and fuzzy pollinators. But what about bats? These nocturnal creatures, who like to spend their days hanging upside down in dark caves, are creepy and scary. (Except, of course, a certain crime-fighting comic superhero.)

Bats have a good side, though. In their nighttime wanderings, they feast on mosquitos, including mosquitos carrying West Nile virus. They consume pests and insects to the benefit of cotton and corn crops. Recent studies estimate bats provide pest-control worth nearly $4 billion in the U.S. More importantly — to some — they pollinate the agave plant, the ingredient necessary for tequila. They do the same for Arizona’s official state cactus, the saguaro. In Austin Texas, they entertain locals and tourists with their evening emergence from under the Congress Street bridge. They provide similar entertainment in other cities.

Bats’ ravenous appetite for bugs, encourages many homeowners to make their properties attractive roosting places for bats. And there is no documented proof that a bat caught in your hair has dire, even fatal, consequences.

But now bats are threatened by the spread of white-nose fungus.

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