Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Greek radicals take over the airwaves

Fucking fantastic.

Greek protesters pushed their way into television and radio studios Tuesday, forcing broadcasters to put out anti-government messages in a change of tactics after days of violent street protests.

A group of about 10 youths got into the studio of NET state television and turned off a broadcast of a speech by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, station officials said. The protesters forced studio cameras to instead show them holding up banners that read: "Stop watching, get out onto the streets," and "Free everyone who has been arrested." No one was hurt, and no arrests were reported.

That's part of how you have to do it. Serious shit.

They're also still sticking it to pigs and people running the capitalist slaughterfest.

Police said 30 youths threw petrol bombs and stones at the riot police building, damaging seven cars and a police bus parked outside.

In Thessaloniki, riot police fired tear gas to disperse 300 youths throwing fruit and stones outside the city's main court complex. The disturbance followed a court decision that found eight police officers guilty of abusing a student following riots two years ago.

Overnight, arsonists attacked three Athens banks with petrol bombs, causing extensive damage.

The shit is crazy. In some years, we will have a better idea of what's going on right now, and has been for the last week and a half. That's a strange situation, isn't it? How long it takes to get things reasonably documented? All this shit's going on right now, but we can't really know about it. It's so obfuscated, not just by distance, but by the capitalist media. By the way, here's their full article.

Two trillion tons of land ice melted since 2003

but it will not move us. We're too busy staring at screens. Our heads, buried in digital sand. I guess we won't notice the world we made running us over then. It should be less painful that way. Here's an excerpt of the article laying out what has happened, as found on the Discovery Channel's site:

Scientists studying sea ice will announce that parts of the Arctic north of Alaska were 9 to 10 degrees warmer this past fall, a strong early indication of what researchers call the Arctic amplification effect. That's when the Arctic warms faster than predicted, and warming there is accelerating faster than elsewhere on the globe.

As sea ice melts, the Arctic waters absorb more heat in the summer, having lost the reflective powers of vast packs of white ice. That absorbed heat is released into the air in the fall. That has led to autumn temperatures in the last several years that are six to 10 degrees warmer than they were in the 1980s, said research scientist Julienne Stroeve at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo.

That's a strong and early impact of global warming, she said.

"The pace of change is starting to outstrip our ability to keep up with it, in terms of our understanding of it," said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Centerin Boulder, Colo., a co-author of the Arctic amplification study.

Two other studies coming out at the conference assess how Arctic thawing is releasing methane -- the second most potent greenhouse gas. One study shows that the loss of sea ice warms the water, which warms the permafrost on nearby land in Alaska, thus producing methane, Stroeve says.

A second study suggests even larger amounts of frozen methane are trapped in lakebeds and sea bottoms around Siberia and they are starting to bubble to the surface in some spots in alarming amounts, said Igor Semiletov, a professor at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. In late summer, Semiletov found methane bubbling up from parts of the East Siberian Sea and Laptev Sea at levels that were 10 times higher than they were in the mid-1990s, he said based on a study this summer.

The amounts of methane in the region could dramatically increase global warming if they get released, he said.

That, Semiletov said, "should alarm people."

It won't.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Firebombing a Greek police station

is pretty serious. But hey, you get what you give, I guess.

Greek students announced fresh rallies Sunday after a night of violence during which hooded militants firebombed an Athens police station in fresh protests over the police shooting of a teenager.
About a hundred protesters attacked the police station Saturday night, next to the Exarchia district where 15-year-old Alexis Grigoropoulos died from a police bullet eight days ago.

If the police are generally standing down and refraining from wanton violence at all like this corporate news article suggests, I wonder how much longer they will hold off. It seems like these street protests are growing and the country is falling apart while the government removes itself from the situation.

Oh, and destruction of corporate/government property is not violence.

A police source said youths hurled Molotov cocktails and set off fires at three banks near the Polytechnic. Protesters also targetted an environment ministry office, torching two luxury cars and blocking roads with blazing bins.

The fresh violence followed ceremonies marking the moment Grigoropoulos was killed, and signalled a deep-rooted protest movement that has united mainstream and radical youth.

Iraqi journalist whips his shoes at George Bush

He's pissed. Rightly so. The dude encouraged and presided over the ruining of his country.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Self-styled reporters continue to comment upon Greece

and construct a twisted reality for the outside world. All I really know is that people are still pissed and acting upon it in Greece and it's pulling pretty much the whole country in, in one way or another. Six days straight now. The capitalist media is really playing up this property destruction bit. That's a distraction. That's not what it's about. Anyway, they say this is what's going on now:

Student protesters pelted 20 police stations with rocks and bottles, overturned cars and blocked streets in central Athens on Thursday. Police responded with tear gas as sporadic violence persisted amid Greece's worst rioting in decades.
Good, go after the pigs. Fuck them. Give them some of what they've been distributing. It won't get too far; they'll almost always win in the end, but it's not about winning. It's about fighting. Still, the police aren't the real enemy. They're just the battlebots in the way of the enemy.

If people were doing this here, they would have been shot. Attacking a police station in the States, let alone doing so without deadly consequences, is nearly unfathomable.

Oh, and the Greek parliament held a moment of silence for the kid the police killed. That seems like a different world. People barely acknowledge that shit here. It doesn't make it past city councils, let alone to the national legislature. The police are so goddamn violent in this country.

In other, related news, demonstrations are spreading through Europe.

In Denmark, protesters pelted riot police with bottles and paint in downtown Copenhagen at a rally late Wednesday. Some 63 people were detained and later released.

And in Spain, angry youths attacked banks, shops and a police station in separate demonstrations in Madrid and Barcelona late Wednesday that each drew about 200 people.

Some of the protesters chanted "police killers" and other slogans. Eleven people — including a Greek girl — were arrested at the two rallies, and two police officers were lightly injured...

Elsewhere in Europe, more than 15 people occupied a Greek consulate in Berlin on Monday, hanging a banner out the window with the dead Greek teenager's name and the words, "Killed by the State." Youths clad in black appeared occasionally at a consulate balcony, exchanging chants with more than 50 protesters gathered on the street below.

About 100 people protested outside the Greek consulate in Frankfurt on Tuesday evening and minor violence was reported on the peripheries of the demonstration, including the breaking of a bank's window.

In Italy, a group of protesters gathered in front of the Greek Embassy in Rome on Wednesday and some turned violent, damaging police vehicles, overturning a car and setting a trash can on fire.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The current situation in Greece, according to self-styled reporters

It's still crazy. I don't really get what "self-styled anarchists" means, but I keep reading it over and over again in these Associated Press reports. Maybe they just keep revising the same article. Probably. I wish I could know what was going on there, as opposed to only the reality the capitalist press is constructing. I know there's IndyMedia and whatnot, but that shit's hectic.

Violence is nothing new in Greece's frequent demonstrations, where the right to protest is considered an intrinsic part of democracy. The student uprising in 1973 against the 1967-74 military dictatorship has gained near mythical status.

Despite general public grumbling, the occasional Molotov cocktail and tear gas volley during a protest march is considered normal. Groups of youths march under the black-and-red anarchist flag, with the gasoline bombs in their backpacks.

I don't really know much about Greek society, but I doubt it's as simple as Greece having a higher percentage of delinquents. There is always a portion of the population that is nihilistic in the sense that some people are looking to break shit for the sake of it, for no real purpose or gain. But to have something this prolonged, on this scale, it cannot be pure nihilism. This is anger. This is disaffection. This is alienation. These people are a lot less afraid at directing their anger at physical manifestations of repression than Americans.

I suspect, that as per usual, the capitalist press is taking incidents of wanton destruction and attributing it broadly, as an effort to delegitamize the actions, words and principles of so many thousands who have taken to the steets.

New York Police sodomize a 24 year old Brooklyn man, part 2

So now, despite earlier claims to the contrary, these pigs did quite a few things very wrong.

From the New York Times today:

A New York City patrolman used his baton to sodomize a man in a subway station, and two complicit colleagues helped him cover it up, the Brooklyn district attorney charged on Tuesday as he unsealed indictments against three police officers.

Using graphic detail, the district attorney described an attack that he said left the man, Michael Mineo, with a gashed anus and blood on his hands.

Then, when Mr. Mineo screamed and later showed his hands, he was “ignored by the police officers,” said the district attorney, Charles J. Hynes. At one point, the officer who wielded the baton, Richard Kern, gave Mr. Mineo a disorderly conduct summons with an invalid date and threatened “that if he reported the circumstances to anyone, he would be arrested and charged with a felony,” Mr. Hynes said...

The grand jury heard from 20 witnesses, including three officers who were present during the encounter — at least two of whom cooperated with the authorities. The grand jury also reviewed forensic evidence, including DNA from Officer Kern’s baton that prosecutors said matched Mr. Mineo’s...

Officers Morales and Cruz, both 26, face charges that include hindering prosecution and official misconduct. Officials said that there was no evidence Officers Morales and Cruz assisted Officer Kern in the assault but that they knew what was happening, did nothing to stop it and helped conceal it. “Both Police Officers Morales and Cruz have been charged with a cover-up,” Mr. Hynes said. “In essence, they tried to make this thing go away."...

Then, said Charles Guria, an assistant district attorney, Officer Kern was seen shoving his retractable baton repeatedly between Mr. Mineo’s buttocks. Mr. Mineo was wearing low-slung pants, which had begun to slip down during the chase. Officer Kern’s act, Mr. Guria said, tore a hole in Mr. Mineo’s underwear, ripping his skin and causing him to bleed. Afterward, Mr. Mineo stood up and started yelling about his injuries.

He was taken to the police car, and Officer Kern asked him if he had been hurt.

Then, Mr. Mineo “reached down and showed proof he had been injured,” Mr. Guria said. “He reached into his pants and showed his bloody hands.”

Officer Kern gave Mr. Mineo a summons for disorderly conduct. The summons was defective, said the assistant district attorney; it said he had to appear in court in January 2008.

One law enforcement official familiar with the investigation said on Tuesday evening that the invalid date was an attempt to make sure that “no one would ever hear what the disorderly conduct was about, assuming it would be rejected” by the court, the official said...

And the one laughable moment:

Officer Kern left the courthouse a little while later and was rushed into the back seat of a waiting car. Reporters yelled questions, which he did not answer, and a spectator shouted: “You’re going to jail!”

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

An anthropocentric perspective of forests

"If the state loses its base of roughly 200 interconnected sawmills, pulp buyers and family-owned tree-cutting contractors, advocates say, who will be left to work in the woods to make them usable, beautiful and safe, and at what cost?"

  • Usable for whom, and for what? They serve plenty of use for the life within them.
  • The forests will be immeasurably more beautiful without industrialized human intrusions, decimation and attempts at domination.
  • Safe? For whom? The only way forests are unsafe are if you are stupid enough to build a house in a place that consistently burns and expect to be bailed out.

“Our fear is that we could lose our infrastructure — the base of knowledge and experience of working in the forest,” said Mary Sexton, the director of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. “Once it’s gone, it’s gone.”

Once it's gone, nature benefits. Everything living in those woods wins. Forests know how to manage themselves quite well.

From a New York Times article on Montana's logging industry. Not surprising.

Greece - still going for the fourth day

Violence breaks out during Greek teen's funeral

ATHENS, Greece – Riot police are fighting running battles with mourners after the funeral of a teenager whose shooting by officers triggered Greece's worst rioting in decades.

Officers are making heavy use of tear gas to dispel dozens of youths throwing stones and sticks and setting trash cans on fire.

No injuries have been reported from the clashes, which started outside the cemetery and have spread to a nearby district.

Dozens of local residents have gathered on the streets, shouting at police to stop firing tear gas in the residential area

Some 6,000 people attended the funeral Tuesday, applauding as the 15-year-old's body was carried out of the church in a flower-covered white coffin.

In Thessaloniki, Greece's second-largest city, police are clashing with self-styled anarchists after a protest march.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Police in Greece's second-largest city are clashing with self-styled anarchists following a new march to protest the fatal police shooting of a 15-year-old boy.

Mourners are clashing with riot police outside an Athens cemetery during the funeral of the teenager, whose shooting by officers set off three days of rioting across Greece.

In Thessaloniki, riot officers in fired tear gas to dispell some 200 youths who hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at police. An estimated 2,000 people took part in Tuesday's march through the center of the northern port city.

Rioters also attacked journalists covering the march and set trash bins on fire.

No injuries have been reported. Police say three suspected rioters have been detained.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Blackwater mercenaries' violence revealed a bit more

From an Associated Press article:

"WASHINGTON – Blackwater Worldwide security guards opened machine gun fire on innocent, surrendering Iraqis and launched a grenade into a girls' school during a gruesome Baghdad shooting last year, prosecutors said Monday in announcing manslaughter charges against five guards."

Blackwater's got thousands of these guys, armed to the fucking teeth and ready to blow. They use them here too. A bunch of them went to New Orleans when Katrina hit and played war, and who knows where and what else they are up to. It's fucked. Thousands.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The government vs. Blackwater

The federal government of the United States finally threw something at those megapigs for hire, Blackwater Worldwide. Of course, they're not leveling anything at the company, just six individuals who, apparently unprovoked, shot up a bunch of random Iraqis in Baghdadlast year, killing 17, including children. I guess the government had to do something to save face and couldn't go along with Blackwater's repeated statements that everything that happened was justified.

Greek radicals don't fuck around

So different from here. Even people in the government are pissed off about this. A couple of ministers tried to resign over it. Seems like Europeans have a different relationship with the police; perhaps they are not so dominated as we are in this country. Then again, no one cares all that much when the police shoot people here.

The Greek police are prohibited from entering universities. Incredible.

Riots in 2 Greek cities after teen killed

ATHENS, Greece – Hundreds of youths angered by the fatal police shooting of a teenager rampaged through Greece's two largest cities for a second day Sunday in some of the worst rioting the country has seen in years.

Gangs smashed stores, torched cars and erected burning barricades in the streets of Athens and Thessaloniki. Riot police clashed with groups of mostly self-styled anarchists throwing Molotov cocktails, rocks and bottles. Clouds of tear gas hung in the air, sending passers-by scurrying for cover.

Rioting in several cities, including Hania in Crete and cities in northern Greece, began within hours of the death Saturday night of a 15-year-old shot by police in Exarchia. The downtown Athens district of bars, music clubs and restaurants is seen as the anarchists' home base.

Soon stores, banks and cars were ablaze.

The rioting was some of the most severe Greece has seen in years. The last time a teenager was killed in a police shooting — during a demonstration in 1985 — it sparked weeks of rioting. In 1999, a visit to Greece by then U.S. President Bill Clinton sparked violent demonstrations in Athens that left stores smashed and burned.

The two officers involved in Saturday's shooting have been arrested and charged, one with premeditated manslaughter and the illegal use of a weapon, and the other as an accomplice. They are to appear before a court Wednesday. They and the Exarchia precinct police chief have been suspended.

Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, whose offer to resign was rejected Sunday, has promised a thorough investigation.

"It is inconceivable for there not to be punishment when a person loses their life, particularly when it is a child," he said. "The taking of life is something that is not excusable in a democracy."

Police said the two officers involved claimed they were attacked by a group of youths and, when they confronted the youths, one fired three shots and the other threw a stun grenade.

Violence broke out again Sunday afternoon in Athens and Thessaloniki during demonstrations to protest the shooting. "Cops, pigs, murderers," protesters chanted.

Police said 24 policemen were injured in Athens in overnight riots that started Saturday, and another 13 on Sunday, while seven people were arrested and another 15 were detained.

As night fell, groups of youths, some masked and others wearing motorcycle helmets, set trash cans alight and overturned cars to erect burning barricades on streets around the Athens Polytechnic — which, like all universities, is protected by law from police intrusion. Some could be seen walking on the roof of the Polytechnic, taunting police.

Violence in the capital began to die down late Sunday, after several hours of running battles between police and rioters. In Thessaloniki, a large fire could be seen burning at the city's university.

A blurry video shot by a bystander that purportedly shows the shooting Saturday has been aired on Greek television and posted on the Internet. Two sounds that could be gunshots can be heard, but the image is too blurry and distant to show the events clearly.

Greece has seen frequent and sometimes violent demonstrations recently against the increasingly unpopular conservative government of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. The opposition Socialists are now consistently ahead in opinion polls.

Dozens of stores in central Athens went up in flames or saw their storefronts smashed. At least two buildings were destroyed by fire, as was a Ford car dealership. Streets were littered with chunks of paving stones and rocks thrown at riot police, as well as shattered glass from storefronts and banks.

"I understand the anger and the right to demonstrate it," Pavlopoulos said Sunday night. "What is inconceivable is the raw violence that undermines social peace and turns against the property of innocent people."

Violence often breaks out between riot police and anarchists during demonstrations in Greece. Anarchist groups are also blamed for late-night firebombings of targets such as banks and diplomatic vehicles.

The self-styled anarchist movement partly has its roots in the resistance to Greece's 1967-74 military dictatorship. The youths tend to espouse general anti-capitalist and antiestablishment principles, and have long-running animosity toward the police.

Poisoned pigs in Ireland

Here is a video from the BBC explaining the situation. (embedding is disabled for this video)

Here's a lesson to be learned: stop eating animals.

People act like they have no choice but to eat animals.

No matter what kind of diseases, sickness and death they get from it, no matter how much raising these animals for consumption annihilates the earth, they keep looking for ways around it instead of saying "fuck this" or even "I really need to rethink this."

Ireland recalls pork over dioxin contamination

Sat Dec 6, 2008 5:28pm EST

By Andras Gergely

DUBLIN (Reuters) - The Irish government ordered the food industry on Saturday to recall all domestically-produced pork products because of contamination with cancer-causing dioxin.

Ireland exported 368 million euros ($467 million) worth of pig meat in 2007, half of it to Britain, according to industry body Food and Drink Industry Ireland.

"This recall involves retailers, the hospitality sector and the Irish pig processing sector," the government said in a statement. "Preliminary evidence indicates that the contamination problem is likely to have started in September 2008."

Ireland had almost 1.5 million pigs as of June, the Central Statistics Office said.

Bacon and sausages can be found on most Irish breakfast tables while ham is a traditional food around Christmas.

Dioxins are contaminants that may be formed during combustion processes and can be present in industrial wastes, the government said.

Laboratory results of animal feed and pork fat samples obtained on Saturday confirmed the presence of dioxins, it said, with toxins at 80-200 times the safe limits.

The Irish Farmers' Association said the few affected farms had been isolated and the recall was a precautionary measure as the vast majority of products on the market were safe.

Fresh meat products from the unaffected farms will come on the market soon, IFA President Padraig Walshe said.

"There will be perfectly safe pig meat on sale to consumers I expect from the middle of the week," Walshe told public broadcaster RTE.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

America to the world: "Fuck you"

Hey look, we can still do whatever we want!!

Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey [whose nomination as attorney general last year was threatened by his refusal to say whether he considered waterboarding to be torture] said Wednesday that he saw no need for President Bush to issue blanket pardons of officials involved in some of the administration’s most controversial counterterrorism policies.

Mr. Mukasey told reporters that there was “absolutely no evidence” that anyone involved in developing the policies “did so for any reason other than to protect the security in the country and in the belief that he or she was doing something lawful.”

The comments appeared aimed at tamping down speculation that Mr. Bush, before leaving the White House next month, might issue pre-emptive pardons to protect counterterrorism officials from legal jeopardy in the face of possible criminal investigations by the new Democratic administration.
Yeah. The torture-loving Attorney General made sure to let everyone know that the people running this country hold all their atrocities to be perfectly legal. Waterboarding, nudity, dogs, extreme temperatures, sensory deprivation, whatever. It's all in the rules, they say. Someone's gonna blow something else up, and the people running this country and the ones who put them there will be responsible. They won't tell themselves that though. And lots of other people will be responsible for not removing them from power, for letting them rule and for following their orders.

Animal exploitation is killing the planet

It's not really news, but the New York Times thinks it is. They published an article today detailing the skyrocketing growth of animal-based food industries, as well as those sub-industries that serve them.

Here are some highlights:

The trillions of farm animals around the world generate 18 percent of the emissions that are raising global temperatures, according to United Nations estimates, more even than from cars, buses and airplanes...

But such fledgling proposals are part of a daunting game of catch-up. In large developing countries like China, India and Brazil, consumption of red meat has risen 33 percent in the last decade. It is expected to double globally between 2000 and 2050. While the global economic downturn may slow the globe’s appetite for meat momentarily, it is not likely to reverse a profound trend...

Indeed, scientists are still trying to define the practical, low-carbon version of a slab of bacon or a hamburger. Every step of producing meat creates emissions.

Flatus and manure from animals contain not only methane, but also nitrous oxide, an even more potent warming agent. And meat requires energy for refrigeration as it moves from farm to market to home...

Producing meat in this ever-more crowded world requires creating new pastures and planting more land for imported feeds, particularly soy, instead of relying on local grazing. That has contributed to the clearing of rain forests, particularly in South America, robbing the world of crucial “carbon sinks,” the vast tracts of trees and vegetation that absorb carbon dioxide...

“I’m not sure that the system we have for livestock can be sustainable,” said Dr. Pachauri of the United Nations. A sober scientist, he suggests that “the most attractive” near-term solution is for everyone simply to “reduce meat consumption,” a change he says would have more effect than switching to a hybrid car...

Producing a pound of beef creates 11 times as much greenhouse gas emission as a pound of chicken and 100 times more than a pound of carrots, according to Lantmannen, the Swedish group...

And this, far and away, is the best line in the article:

Meat producers have taken issue with the United Nations’ estimate of livestock-related emissions, saying the figure is inflated because it includes the deforestation in the Amazon, a phenomenon that the Brazilian producers say might have occurred anyway.

Yeah, definitely, the rain forest would just be falling down, so it's a good thing there is an industry there to take up all that space that would have been wasted.

I have no illusions that this will move any significant portion of the population towards reducing meat consumption. No, everyone will keep doing what they were doing. Perhaps some will fret over how unfortunate this all is, but as a whole, humans will keep increasing their meat, milk and egg consumption, diligently building their own demise. I mean, what can you really do, right? We are a profoundly stupid species.

So don't let science and the health of the world in which we live get in the way of what you feel like doing. Go ahead, eat your way into oblivion. Their death will one day make ours.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's getting too loud for whales to talk

Some environmental groups and the United Nations just released a report documenting that whales and dolphins, who of course communicate through sound, are having their voices doused by industrial noise - ship engines, sonar tests (familiar), weapons tests, military exercises and seismic surveying activities.

Here's a quick summary:

That sound pollution — everything from increasing commercial shipping and seismic surveys to a new generation of military sonar — is not only confounding the mammals, it also is further threatening the survival of these endangered animals.

Studies show that these cetaceans, which once communicated over thousands of miles (kilometers) to forage and mate, are losing touch with each other, the experts said on the sidelines of a U.N. wildlife conference in Rome.

These people got together to try to fix what they are doing. Nice measure. Here's what they're talking about doing:

Measures suggested include rerouting shipping and installing quieter engines as well as cutting speed and banning tests and sonar use in areas known to be inhabited by the endangered animals.

I'm sure they mean well, but here are some thoughts:

  1. It's not ok to inflict this damage upon any animal, endangered or otherwise. There is nothing we, as humans, are doing that can justify the ruining of others' lives, even if we can't see them. We've got no fucking right.
  2. Keeping this behavior up will ensure that lots of animals will become endangered.

Unfortunately, there is an even bigger problem, one that has no quick-fix solution:

An indirect source of noise pollution may also be coming from climate change, which is altering the chemistry of the oceans and making sound travel farther through sea water, the experts said...

Other research suggests that rising levels of carbon dioxide are increasing the acidity of the Earth's oceans, making sound travel farther through sea water.

The study by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in the United States shows the changes may mean some sound frequencies [not the ones whales and dolphins use] are traveling 10 percent farther than a few centuries ago. That could increase to 70 percent by 2050 if greenhouse gases are not cut.

Yeah, yeah, so what? So they have to hear loud noises. Who doesn't, right? What's the matter with it?

Environmental groups also are increasingly finding cases of beached whales and dolphins that can be linked to sound pollution, Simmonds said.

Marine mammals are turning up on the world's beaches with tissue damage similar to that found in divers suffering from decompression sickness. The condition, known as the bends, causes gas bubbles to form in the bloodstream upon surfacing too quickly.

Scientists say the use of military sonar or seismic testing may have scared the animals into diving and surfacing beyond their physical limits, Simmonds said.

Several species of cetaceans are already listed as endangered or critically endangered from other causes, including hunting, chemical pollution, collisions with boats and entanglements with fishing equipment. Though it is not yet known precisely how many animals are affected, sound pollution is increasingly being recognized as a serious factor, the experts said.

Oh right, that. Killing them. Even if you don't give a fuck about dolphins and whales dying, remember that ecosystems are complex chains and you cannot simply remove one part of it. There are dire consequences, things that cannot be predicted.

However, governments seem ready to take action, said Nick Nutall, a spokesman for the U.N. Environment Program...

Not the United States, of course. The people running this country are actually taking anti-action. The Supreme Court just agreed with the United States Navy that all the sonar testing they can muster up has never hurt a single creature. So smart again with those "no proven links" statements/lies.

Thoughts of the future

The last few days, I've been taken by the thought that, if the planet survives long enough, and people survive long enough, our species will come to regard consuming animals, particularly in this current hyper-exploitative, industrialized manner, as many people now view smoking. It was not too long ago when people were inundated with advertisements and science that told them that smoking was not just safe, but could even be good for you. Watch here:

Right. Well, most people at least know now that smoking is definitely not good for you. I don't think anyone really challenges this notion. Sure, tobacco companies still lie and say that tobacco isn't addictive, but I don't think anyone really takes it seriously. People know that this happens after a while:Now about animals. There is so much information forced upon us, telling us how beneficial it is to consume animals. What does eating them do for you? Everything, they say. Energy, strong bones, nice hair, muscle mass, etc. They don't tell you that dosing hard on animal protein and animal calcium, like we're supposed to do, like the standard American diet commands, gives you osteoporosis. They don't tell you about how you couldn't have high cholesterol if you only ate plants. Cholesterol is produced in livers, and that's it. Unless you have a malfunctioning liver, you will absolutely not be able to raise your cholesterol level through a plant-based diet. It's funny, because they sell you fish oil as a natural way to lower cholesterol, but you only got it through your excessive, gluttonous consumption of flesh, milk and eggs. And that lower risk of heart disease and cancer, why were they raised in the first place? A lot of it has to do with diet.

They love telling you that all the growth hormones and antibiotics in their products are safe, that there are "no proven links" between consuming those substances by way of others and health problems, but how could this be true? Especially when people eat animal products to such a degree. The most recent USDA figures put meat intake at 195 pounds per person, per year, milk at 23 gallons per person, per year, and cheese at 30 pounds per person, per year. But no, eat on, they say. You will be fine. How? How could you possibly be eating so many extra chemicals and drugs and face no effects? It's simple - you do. However, the animal exploitation industries buy bullshit science, just like tobacco companies have, and straight up lie to people so that the people running them can rake in money. I doubt there has ever been a study to prove links between getting shot in the face and dying, but there is no need. It's obvious. Think about it.

So yeah, I've been thinking in the last few days that people will, in the not too distant future, look back upon this period of industrialized mega slaughter as a shameful one, where they were not so unwillingly duped into believing that they could eat however they like (watch that fat content!), eating whatever they like, as well as whatever shit is poured into their troughs, with no real negative outcomes. And I'm just talking about the personal health effects on individual humans. The environmental devastation, and yes, devastation is absolutely the word, wrought by these enforced practices is something I will deal with separately, even though they are wholly linked.

But then again, maybe people, as a species, are too fucking stupid to catch on, too self-destructive, too self-indulgent to really make a change. Smoking works here again. People know it degrades their lives, they know it kills them, but 45 million people in this country smoke, and over 1.3 billion worldwide. Nearly one quarter of the world chooses to do something that gives them no benefits, has no basis in nature, and produces only negative outcomes. Why should I expect them to choose differently when it comes to their diets? An industrial crash will force them, but I know not when that will come. Even this is an absurd dream, I don't care; dreams needn't be realistic.