The Breakfast Club (Ahab)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgIt's been a bad week for Marine Mammals. 

Icelandic plan to ship whale meat to Japan angers environmentalists
AFP

Tuesday 19 May 2015 13.41 EDT

The Icelandic whaling company Hvalur HF plans to
ship 1,700 tonnes of whale meat via Luanda in Angola, repeating a
similar controversial delivery of 2,000 tonnes last year which sparked
protests along its route.

...

Iceland and Norway are the only nations which openly defy the International Whaling Commission's (IWC's) 1986 ban on hunting whales.

Icelandic whalers caught 137 fin whales and 24 minkes in 2014, according to Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC), an anti-whaling group - compared with 134 fin whales and 35 minkes in 2013.

Japan has used a legal loophole in the ban that allows it to continue hunting the animals in order to gather scientific data.

But it has never made a secret of the fact that the whale meat from these hunts often ends up on dining tables.

Consumption of whale meat in Japan has fallen sharply in recent years while polls indicate that few Icelanders regularly eat it.

Yup, Japan has warehouses full of whale meat nobody
wants to eat and they can't sell.  Now there may be a very thin and
specious argument about the necessity of keeping a domestic whaling
industry for the financial benefit of the whalers (though simply paying
them off would be cheaper and easier), but what the heck is the reason to import it?

Dolphin-hunting Japanese town may start farming them on the side
Reuters

Thu May 21, 2015 12:47pm IST

A Japanese town notorious for killing dolphins
may set up a dolphin breeding farm after zoos and aquariums decided to
stop buying their animals caught in the wild, but it has no plans to
halt the controversial hunt, its mayor said on Thursday.

The western port town of Taiji, the location of an annual hunt
featured in the Oscar-winning 2009 documentary "The Cove", may suffer a
loss of income because of the Wednesday decision, which Japanese
officials said came in response to foreign pressure.

The decision by Japan's zoos and aquariums came after the World
Association of Zoos and Aquariums threatened Japan with expulsion unless
it stopped buying dolphins from Taiji. That would have meant Japan
might lose access to zoo animals such as elephants and giraffes from
overseas.

In 2013, 1,239 dolphins were caught in the Taiji hunt, according
to the Fisheries Agency. Most of them were killed for their meat but 172
were sold alive, mainly overseas, at a price of at least $8,200 each.

...

"We plan to protect our fishermen, who have authority from both the
nation and the local government," Sangen said, emphasising the tradition
of the hunt.

"We believe it can become the world's main provider. I believe in 10 years our town will have changed its role in all this."

Despite the bid to develop the live-animal business, the hunt would still go on, he said.

Like the legal market in ivory, this is simply another way to enable poaching.

Study Links Dolphin Deaths to Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
By NICHOLAS ST. FLEUR, The New York Times

MAY 20, 2015

The findings are the latest results from the
Deepwater Horizon National Resource Damage Assessment, an ongoing
investigation by NOAA into the spill, the largest offshore oil spill in
United States history. Combined with previous studies by the agency,
this paper provides additional support to a link between the Deepwater
Horizon oil spill in 2010 and mass dolphin deaths in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.

"The evidence to date indicates that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill caused the adrenal and lung lesions that contributed to the deaths of
this unusual mortality event," said Stephanie Venn-Watson, a researcher
with the National Marine Mammal Foundation who was the lead author of
the report. "We reached that conclusion based on the accumulation of our
studies including this paper," she added.

...

A third of the Gulf Coast dolphins had a thinned or damaged adrenal
gland cortex compared with only 7 percent of the so-called reference
dolphins, the researchers said.

...

The researchers also found that about a fifth of the Gulf Coast
dolphins had lung lesions caused by bacterial pneumonia, and that 70
percent of that group died because of that condition. Only 2 percent of
the reference dolphins had any trace of bacterial pneumonia.

The researchers said that the dolphins most likely inhaled the
fumes from the petroleum products on the ocean surface. They added that
exposure to oil fumes is one of the most common causes of chemical
inhalation injury in other animals.

"These dolphins had some of the most severe lung lesions I have
ever seen in wild dolphins throughout the United States," Dr. Colegrove
said.

Below you will find a report from The Guardian on the close ties between the British government and BP and Shell.

Science Oriented Video

 

 

The law that entropy always increases holds, I think,
the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to
you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with
Maxwell's equations - then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If
it is found to be contradicted by observation - well, these
experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found
to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope;
there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.

-Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

Science News and Blogs

Obligatories, News and Blogs below.

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Boulder mom steps up for her kids

Kai Mackenzie has two children. Both were assigned male at birth...but that didn't take.

As a parent, Kai McKenzie admits it took years to understand what it meant to raise a transgender child. Kai’s oldest, Elsa, was assigned male at birth but began rejecting that identity at just two years old.

When I told her she was a boy she just screamed, ’No!’” Kai said. “I still didn’t get it.

--Kai

From age two until age 8, Kai's oldest child would draw pictures of herself as a girl...and chose to dress as a girl when she could.

Kai says Elsa eventually refused to go to the bathroom and, at 8 years old, began showing signs of physical sickness when gender conversations came up.

She started increasingly just breaking down any time anyone called her a boy. I mean, just collapsing and sobbing. She came to me and said, ‘If I’m a boy, why is there no one like me? There must be something wrong with me. I wish I didn’t exist.’ And those words. Those words are a wake-up call to any parent.

--Kai

So last year the Mackenzie family embraced Elsa as a girl.

But there was also Sky.

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The Breakfast Club (With A Little Help From My Friends)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and
weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our
boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late,
it's PhilJD's fault.

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This Day in History

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

Charles Lindbergh begins his trans-Atlantic flight;
Amelia Earhart starts her trek across the Atlantic; Freedom Riders
attacked in the South; Explorer Christopher Columbus, comedienne Gilda
Radner die.

Breakfast Tunes

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

 

Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking
the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to
happen next.

Gilda Radner

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Gender Prison: A small but important detail

Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee in Illinois unanimously passed HB 3552, which is an amendment to the Disposition of Remains Act which would allow transgender people to provide written instructions to the person charged with the responsibility for carrying out the decedent's funeral and disposition of remains to ensure that said transgender person's identity is respected.

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The Breakfast Club (Fool Me Once)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and
weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our
boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late,
it's PhilJD's fault.

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This Day in History

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

Actress Marilyn Monroe sings a sultry 'Happy
Birthday' to President John F. Kennedy; Black militant Malcolm X born;
Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis dies; The Who's Pete
Townshend born.

Breakfast Tunes

 

 

 

  

 

 

   

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

 

A fool and his money are soon elected.

Will Rogers

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Barnes and Noble sued for wrongful termination

 photo VictoriaRamirez2_zpss5qmmpor.jpgVictoria Ramirez put herself through college working for Barnes & Noble. She worked herself up the ladder from bookseller to merchandise manager at a store in Irvine, CA.

But when she began transitioning from male to female, she says that managers told her she would not be allowed to use a new name, would not be referred to by female pronouns and would not be allowed to use the women's restroom.

In other words, her managers vetoed her transition. She was told the store had a "neighborhood vibe" and that she should "think about the children." When she complained she was fired.

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Transgender students and eating disorders

For the first time ever the American Health Association-National College Health Assessment survey allowed students to identify as transgender. Out of this effort emerged

Gender Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Eating-Related Pathology in a National Sample of College Students, Diemer, Grant, Munn-Chernoff, Patterson and Duncan in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Abstract:

This study examined associations of gender identity and sexual orientation with self-reported eating disorder (SR-ED) diagnosis and compensatory behaviors in transgender and cisgender college students.

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The Breakfast Club (banjo-harmonica-feet)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault.

 

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Transgender Health Care

The American College of Physicians (ACP) is the second largest group pf medical doctors in the nation, behind the AMA. This past week the ACP has issued its positions on how best to support and serve the nation's LGBT people.

The ACP recognizes that LGBT people have significant disparity in the health care we receive, ranging from coverage to culturally competent care to state and federal policies that systemically reify social stigma, marginalization and discrimination. That results in LGBT people being discouraged from seeking preventative health care, as well as increasing anxiety, suicidal ideation and substance and alcohol abuse.

So the ACP adopted nine positions:

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The Breakfast Club (What's Opera Doc?)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgI'm extremely happy that I've finally dismissed Wagner who was no more than a third rate hack with no talent except for
shameless self promotion (hey, it takes one to know one), but he
codified The 3 Rules of Opera in a way that led Chuck Jones to create the best cartoon of all time (I'd embed it, but it never stays up for long). 

Sung by Elmer J. Fudd, Millionaire, who owns a mansion and a yacht, and Bugs Bunny (from Flatbush Brooklyn by most accounts though some say the Bronx or even shudder Poughkeepsie New Joisey), there are Three Acts and as I recall it goes a
little something like this (Elmer in Italics, Bugs in Normal; Singing
Centered, Spoken Left Justified)-

 

Be vewy quiet I'm hunting wabbits
Wabbit tracks!!!
Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit
Kill the rabbit?
Yo ho to oh! Yo ho to oh! Yo ho...
O mighty warrior of great fighting stock
Might I inquire to ask, eh, what's up doc??
I'm going to kill the wabbit!!
Oh mighty hunter t'will be quite a task
How will you do it, might I inquire to ask??
I will do it with my spear and magic helmet!
Your spear and magic helmet?
Spear & magic helmet!
Magic helmet?
Magic helmet!
(Dismissively) Magic helmet
Yes, magic helmet, and I'll give you a sample

Stage direction: General Devastation 

Bye

That was the wabbit!!!

Stage direction: Bugs Cross Dressed

 

Oh Brunhilda, you're so wuvely
Yes I know it I can't help it
Oh Brunhilda be my wuve
Return my wuve a longing burns deep inside me
Return my love I want you always beside me
Wuve like ours must be
Made for you and for me
(Harmony) Return won't you return my love for my love is yours
 

Stage direction: You tip your hat to this Teuton son and all them ears come out from underneath

 

I'll kill the wabbit!
Arise storms
North winds blow, south winds blow
Typhoons, hurricanes, earthquakes, SMOG!
Flash lightning strike the wabbit
What have I done?? I've killed the wabbit...
Poor little bunny, poor little wabbit...

Well what did you expect in an opera, a happy ending??? 

That HTML is more complicated than it looks.

Now you might suspect this is the introduction to some Wagnerian Opus and I've already said it will be a cold day in Muspelheim.  He represents everything bad and overblown about Romantic Art Music.  No, it's simply to remind you of The 3 Rules of Opera which are-

  1. It must be long, boring, and in an incomprehesible foreign language (even if that language is English).
  2. The characters, especially the main ones, must be thoroughly unsympathetic and their activities horrid and callous.
  3. Everyone must die, hopefully in an ironic and gruesome way.

Ballet is the same, but with more men in tights and without the superfluous singing.

Today's subject is Lucia di Lammermoor, also Romantic but from a time when Wagner was a struggling nobody and Gaetano Donizetti was the last remaining "genius" of the Italian School after the death of Vincenzo Bellini and the retirement of Gioachino Rossini.

While the plot bears some similarity to a mashup of Romeo and Juliet and MacBeth it is in fact lifted from Sir Walter Scott's The Bride of Lammermoor.

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