Corn Insecticides Killing Honeybees, Cause Of Colony Collapse Disorder

Watch the farming community try to spin this idea out of the park.  Large agricultural industries have done more harm than good for the planet.

What was killing all those honeybees in recent years?  New research shows a link between an increase in the death of bees and insecticides, specifically the chemicals used to coat corn seeds.

The study, titled “Assessment of the Environmental Exposure of Honeybees to Particulate Matter Containing Neonicotinoid Insecticides Coming from Corn Coated Seeds,” was published in the American Chemical Society’s Environmental Science & Technology journal, and provides insight into colony collapse disorder.

Colony collapse disorder, or the mass die-off of honeybees, has stumped researchers up to now. This new research may provide information that  could lead to even more answers.

According to the new study, neonicotinoid insecticides “are among the most widely used in the world, popular because they kill insects by paralyzing nerves but have lower toxicity for other animals.”

Beekeepers immediately observed an increase in die-offs right around the time of corn planting using this particular kind of insecticide.

Pneumatic drilling machines suck the seeds in and spray them with the insecticide to create a coating before they are planted in the ground. Researchers suspected the mass die-offs could have been caused by the particles of insecticide that were released into the air by the machines when the chemicals are sprayed.

The researchers tested several methods to make the drilling machines safer for bees. However, they found that all variations that used the neonicotinoid insecticides continued to cause mass die-offs of bees.

Why Are Republicans Acting Like Troglodytes And Warring Against Women’s Health Care?

There are so many questions I have about the reasons the Republican Party–coast to coast–are being needlessly repugnant when it comes to women and health issues.  Yes, I am aware that there has alway been a slim sub-set of conservatives who are anti-contraception, and have little appreciation for the health care needs of society.  But having said that I am shocked and dismayed that so many creepy-type GOPers are coming out of the dark places to raise objections to something I thought was settled in the 1960’s!

The latest incident comes from Arizona.

There seems to be no regard by some Republicans, who are making a push against contraceptives, about the reason they are used, and why they should be covered under insurance plans.   There seems little recognition that the vast majority of this nation is taken aback by the out-dated way of thinking when it comes to demonizing contraceptives.  That there is going to be a political price to pay when women cast ballots against the Republican Party this fall seems not to register with the anti-contraception crowd.

Why these troglodytes are allowed so much lee-way in the Republican Party at this time must be a mystery to the establishment GOP crowd who well understand the crushing they will take at the hands of women voters this fall.

Women in Arizona trying to get reimbursed for birth control drugs through their employer-provided health plan could be required to prove that they are taking it for a medical reason such as acne, rather than to prevent pregnancy.

A bill nearing passage in the Republican-led Legislature allows all employers, not just religious institutions, to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage when doing so would violate their religious or moral beliefs.

When a female worker uses birth control pills, which can be used to treat a number of medical conditions, the bill would allow an employer who opted out to require her to reveal what she was taking it for in order to get reimbursed.

The bill thrusts the state into a raging national debate about religious freedom and birth control, sparked after the Obama administration required that employers must provide contraception coverage under the federal health care overhaul.

After objections from religious groups, the administration changed course, ordering that insurers, not employers, would have to pay for the coverage. Republicans, social conservatives and some religious groups believe the new order still violates their beliefs.

“We don’t live in the Soviet Union,” said the Arizona bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko. “And so government shouldn’t be telling employers, Catholic organizations and mom and pop (businesses) to do something that’s against their moral beliefs.”

Critics say the bill allows employers to violate their worker’s privacy.

Is Rush Limbaugh Infecting Other Conservative Radio Shows?

The repercussions of Rush Limbaugh calling a woman “a slut” on the air is having a wider reach than many had first thought possible.  When ad dollars become the topic many in the radio business become very nervous.

Rush Limbaugh’s attack on Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke and the subsequent fallout has shaken up the lucrative industry of conservative talk radio with senior radio executives concerned about its future.

As a result of public pressure, more than 100 sponsors (that number is over 140) have already pulled ads from Limbaugh’s show, raising fears that action will spread to other provocative hosts like Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Michael Savage.

“They are going to leave Rush’s show, Glenn Beck’s show, and I would think Hannity would be on that list too,” Norman Pattiz, founder of Courtside Entertainment Group and Westwood One, told TheWrap.

Kim Vasey, managing partner and director of radio at GroupM, a major advertising agency, does not buy advertising to the Limbaugh show but estimates that it has lost at least 50 percent of its advertising revenue. But the impact reaches further, as other nationally known shock jocks will lose money as well.

Joyce Dreyfus, Wife Of Wisconsin Governor, Dies At Age 84

One of the truly nice ladies.

Mrs. Joyce Dreyfus, wife of Governor Lee S. Dreyfus, serving tea and cake to a woman’s group that toured the Governor’s Mansion in 1979.  Photo by Carolyn Pfasterer

The wife of former Wisconsin Gov. Lee Dreyfus has died at age 84 following complications from surgery.

Family members say Joyce Dreyfus died Thursday at Waukesha Memorial Hospital where she had undergone surgery to relieve bleeding on the brain following a fall at an assisted living center in Pewaukee.

Her son, Lee Dreyfus Jr., said his mother apparently suffered a stroke and never woke up from surgery.

Gov. Dreyfus, a Republican, served from 1979 to 1983. He died in 2008 at age 81. Aside from campaigning with her husband and serving as the state’s first lady, her son says his mother loved the theater and performed in local acting groups over the years.

Recall Election To Move Forward In Spite Of Senator Galloway Resignation

Nothing stops an election called by the people!

The recall election against Galloway would still move forward even though she would no longer occupy the seat, said Reid Magney, a spokesman for the Government Accountability Board, which runs state elections.

That election is preliminarily scheduled for May 8. If more than one candidate runs from one party, that election would become a primary and the general election would be on June 5.

“A recall can’t be short-circuited” once signatures to recall someone have been submitted, Magney said.

Galloway’s name will not appear on the ballot if she resigns before the election, Magney said.

Wisconsin Republicans Will Lose Senate Majority With Galloway Resignation

There is another huge twist and turn in Wisconsin politics today.

Galloway’s resignation will cause the Republicans to lose their Senate majority. Republicans would hold 16 seats and Democrats would hold 16 seats. It marks a dramatic change from a year ago, when Republicans held a commanding 19-14 majority in the Senate. It was narrowed to 17-16 in August when Democrats gained two seats in recall elections.

The new, 16-16 split will be brief, and one side or the other should take control in May or June, when recall elections are expected to be held for state senators.

With Galloway’s resignation, the Republicans will lose their Senate majority. Fitzgerald said he and Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona) would become co-leaders.

“Needs Of My Family” Is Excuse For State Sen. Pam Galloway Resignation

I strongly suspect the needs of the family started appearing when the recall petitions started to be circulated.  This is all too amusing for those who watch these events play out.

State Sen. Pam Galloway, who faces a recall election this summer, plans to resign from the Senate shortly, leaving an even split between Republicans and Democrats.

“After a great deal of thought and consideration, I’ve decided to put the needs of my family first,” the Wausau Republican said in a statement Friday. “My family has experienced multiple, sudden and serious health issues, which require my full attention. Unfortunately, this situation is not compatible with fulfilling my obligations as state Senator or running for re-election at this time.”

Her statement did not say when her resignation would take effect, and her office said she was not available for an interview. She plans to speak to voters in her district on Sunday.

Dharun Ravi Foud Guilty—Justice Served

This verdict was the only acceptable outcome.  Ravi’s small-minded way of thinking, and his anti-gay bigotry are not the normal characteristics of those who attend Rutgers.  What Ravi did was so horribly wrong, and the end result so dreadful there was no way not to find him guilty.  The most serious charges in the case centered on whether Ravi’s actions had constituted bias intimidation, meaning that he was motivated to inspire fear in Clementi because of his sexual orientation.

A former Rutgers University student accused of spying on and intimidating his gay roommate by use of a hidden webcam was found guilty on charges of invasion of privacy and bias intimidation in a case that thrust cyberbullying into the national spotlight and prompted comments from President Barack Obama.

The jury found Ravi not guilty on several questions within the verdict sheet, but because he was found guilty on at least one question of whether his actions constituted bias discrimination, he could now face the maximum penalty: Up to 10 years in jail and deportation to his native India.

Ravi, 20, also was found guilty of witness tampering, hindering apprehension and tampering of physical evidence.

His roommate, Tyler Clementi, an 18-year-old freshman, killed himself in September 2010 by jumping off the George Washington Bridge, which spans the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey, after learning that Ravi had secretly spied on his sexual encounter with another man.