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March 23, 2012

Cops, Brains, Stories, Patterns

I continue to write a monthly column for the Ann...

Texas Drought Cost Farmers $7.6 Billion: ‘No One Alive Has Seen Single-Year Drought Damage To This Extent’

Hey everyone, we broke the environment. Warming-Fueled Texas Drought Cost Farmers $7.6 Billion: 'No One Alive Has Seen Single-Year Drought Damage To This Extent' | ThinkProgress
Texas Agronomists have revised estimates for the cost of Texas’ devastating drought, finding that it cost the agricultural sector $2 billion more than originally thought. According to the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, the Texas drought has caused $7.62 billion in damages to crops and farming operations. That’s up from $5.3 billion reported last August. Texas State Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon explained last September: Warmer temperatures lead to greater water demand, faster evaporation, and greater drying-out of potential fuels for fire. Thus, the impacts of the drought were enhanced by global warming, much of which has been caused by man. Nearly every single agricultural sector in the state was hammered by the record-breaking drought that began in 2010, causing a ripple effect through global commodity markets. With livestock, cotton, peanut and even pumpkin crops hit hard, shortages of product is driving prices up and putting a squeeze on farmers in the state

March 22, 2012

Stand Your Ground laws allow you to murder criminals with impunity

T. Coates is thoroughly covering this, after the senseless killing of Trayvon Martin. Casting the net wider he is finding many other cases of people hunting down perceived-criminals and murdering them and getting away with it. Despite the criminals not having any weapons. This is legalized vigilantism. This is the state not even bothering to provide police services and saying "go ahead, do what you want, criminals deserve to die." The Stand Your Ground laws were written by ALEC (the Koch-funded policy factory) and pushed by the NRA. They are trying to get them passed in every state. Stand Your Ground and Vigilante Justice - Ta-Nehisi Coates - National - The Atlantic
Greyston Garcia was charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of Pedro Roteta, 26, whom he chased for more than a block before stabbing the man. The incident took place on Jan. 25, when Roteta and another youth were behind Garcia's apartment at 201 SW 18th Ct. According to police, Roteta was stealing Garcia's truck radio. Garcia, alerted by a roommate, grabbed a large knife and ran downstairs. He chased Roteta, then stabbed him in a confrontation that lasted less than a minute, according to court documents. The stabbing was caught on video. Roteta was carrying a bag filled with three stolen radios, but no weapon other than a pocketknife, which was unopened in his pocket and which police said he never brandished. After initially denying involvement in the man's death, Garcia admitted to homicide detectives that he attacked Roteta even though "he actually never saw a weapon." Garcia claimed Roteta made a move that he interpreted as a move to stab him -- so he struck first.

Should librarians serve their communities or is that the road to hell?

In which a librarian laments having to buy the books her (his?) patrons want and apparently thinks they should just be happy with the books the librarian selects? Censored Genius: Librarian in Blackface.
There are times when I question the whole notion of the librarian as a professional. I don't know about you, but I went to library school to learn how to be a librarian. And before that, I went to a decent college and learned stuff to make me smarter than other people who didn't go to a decent college. People who had knowledge presented some of it to me and I may or may not have built on it to form new knowledge. But I think I did. But our profession is filled with assholes who think we should only do what our community wants us to do. When this happens, you know you're on a downward spiral from civilization into chaos. If libraries were originally thought up as community centers then they would have just been gambling halls and minstrel shows. Because that's what the people wanted 150 years ago. And today I would be sitting at the desk in blackface and rolling dice and taking all your money. Because that's what America was 150 years ago and the libraries would have reflected their communities. And don't even think there could have been a civil rights movement if libraries didn't have books. The whole notion of a public library was because some rich person or group wanted the local population to have common sense and common understanding and common knowledge. In every single imagined concept of the public library you will find the goal of an educated public. So the idea that I would go to college for five years just so I can do whatever the people say to do is counter to any idea of professionalism. I say the library needs books on math and you say you want books on tarot card reading, and guess, what, we compromise and buy one of each. And that's why your kids can't find a job outside of a carnival. . . .