Friday, June 1, 2012


The United States is the principal consumer of the Mexican drug trade, and so we are complicit in this violence. In the 1980s and 1990s we saw similar levels of drug-related violence at home. But tens of thousands of homicides that used to occur in the U.S. are now Mexico’s problem. If we compare homicide rates in the United States during the most active period of our war on drugs, from 1975 to 2000, to the homicide rates before and after, there were at least 200,000 additional homicides in this period.

That earlier U.S. epidemic of murder was remarkably similar to what Mexico has seen in the last five years. But now the United States has gotten others to do our dirty work. We’ve cut our homicide rates by 50 percent since 1993 while maintaining our lavish drug habits (a $60 billion market) and implacably resisting any change in drug policies. And Mexico is not the only battleground in the Americas; Honduras and El Salvador sit astride the main drug routes north and have even higher murder rates.

Obama's EPA is taking fewer enforcement actions than the previous Bush administration's EPA.

Toxic flame retardants: you're eating them in your food.

Unsustainable groundwater withdrawals could mean important agricultural lands will run out of water in as little as three decades.

Does ecosystem valuation actually affect policy?

Planting indigenous trees to battle the impacts of land change and climate change.

The fight to keep America from exporting coal — and its resultant emissions — to China.

Especially with the climate system increasing in its variability, we can't let funding for earth system monitoring continue to shrink.

A fracking boom means a boom in fracking-related health problems.

If California chooses to label GMOs, the rest of the country may soon follow. But there's quite a battle raging.

LA bans plastic bags.

They say they support climate science, but money talks louder and it speaks the language of climate skepticism.

NYC should harness the power of its wastestream.

North Carolina considers intentionally ignoring sea-level rise.

From parking space to park space.

Geoengineering could mean brighter skies.

Cheap natural gas may stop renewables from taking off.

CO2 hits 400 ppm.

Roger Revelle on CO2.

The importance of an area drinking establishment in creating a complete community.

Women's health? Hmm, let's hear what men think.

Don't get raped in Oklahoma.

All the PRENDA links you could possibly desire. And an alternate modest proposal.

Sigmoidoscopy as an effective colon cancer screening tool.

Arming antibodies as a way to fight cancer.

More federal funds going to for-profit colleges.

The world starts to tune in to the protests in Quebec.

Politics in Arizona are a complete and utter joke. And the joke isn't funny.

Krugman: “So the austerity drive in Britain isn’t really about debt and deficits at all; it’s about using deficit panic as an excuse to dismantle social programs. And this is, of course, exactly the same thing that has been happening in America.”

Obama choosing who to kill in targeted assassinations is a power too great.

The no-kill list eschews any legitimate accountability.

Constitutional objections to healthcare reform are new and didn't come up when mandates were suggested by those on the right.

ProPublica's guide to drones.

Mann and Ornstein tell it how it is: the GOP has gone off the deep end and is completely bonkers.

Rick Scott's voter purge is a joke.

Where the college grads are in metro America. And those areas that don't have college grads are being left behind.

Normalizing the policies that used to be extreme.

The one man behind the movement to pass the 27th amendment.

Steven Pinker on the made-up prescriptivist vs. descriptivist wars in linguistics.

“Hopefully” isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

Yes, poli sci can be useful

Boys are dirtier than girls, NYC ickier than San Fran, says SCIENCE!

Decoding the tomato.

The top 10 species discovered last year.

Analytical thinking versus religion.

Science will save us all, there are no unintended consequences, and a lone genius inventor can do it all. Thanks, NYTimes, for offering not the tiniest dose of critical thinking and instead publishing a hagiography of Craig Venter.

NatGeo's top 10 national parks.

More things were seen.

On pencilophilia.

On its 20th anniversary, Bob Mould discusses the first Sugar album, Copper Blue.

A delightful retort from Future of the Left frontman Andy Falkous regarding Pitchfork's review of the new FOTL album: “[I]f it is truly amongst the worst songs of the year then I am a giant bat and Pitchfork a cave into which I will shit golden effigies of your face.”

Jeff Chang assesses Chuck Brown's legacy.

Against Me!'s Tom Gabel becomes Laura Jane Grace.

Heather's Happy Link Of The Day: Whiteys, worry not — stable employment awaits in Bollywood.

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