Thursday Reads

Good Morning!! For the past couple of days, I’ve been having a lot of trouble keeping myself from getting down in the dumps about all the bad news. So I’m going to stay away from the depressing stuf again this morning–hope you all don’t mind. You can feel free to link to serious news in the comments, though.

Here’s some good news. Glenn Beck’s daily show is coming to an end sometime this year. If you want to hear Beck’s explanation, you can watch him on video here. I couldn’t face watching it, but here’s part of the transcript.

“When I took this job I didn’t take it because it was going to be a career for me,” Beck explained to his audience. “Paul Revere did not get up on the horse and say, ‘I’m going to do this for the rest of my life.’ He didn’t do it. He got off his horse at some point and fought in the revolution, and then he went back to silver-smithing.”

Beck said the truth was he never really wanted to do the Fox show. He said he turned it down when first offered because he “hated doing it at the other place,” a reference to his earlier TV show on Turner Broadcasting’s HLN network.

He said FNC, by comparison, is “sweeeeeet!”

Beck said he ultimately took on the daily Fox TV show because “I thought I had something important to share. I really thought if I could prove my case that something wicked this way was coming, something in America was wrong, America would listen. And they have. I’m surprised both the number that have, and haven’t, even withal the facts.”

Something is wrong in America, all right, and Beck is part of it. The NYT has more backstory (i.e., gossip).

The negotiations that led Glenn Beck to announce his departure from the Fox News Channel on Wednesday ended with an expression of “let’s part as friends,” according to several people with knowledge of the talks. But behind that moment was a torrent of acrimony that underscored just how fractious the relationship between Mr. Beck and the network had become during his three-year run on Fox.


unhappy from almost his first day on the job, which happened to be the day before Mr. Obama was inaugurated. Even in his first year, he was contemplating an exit from Fox and wondering if he could start his own channel.

Beck supporters presented a picture of constant sniping, planted stories about his declining ratings, and discomfort with his ability to build a career for himself outside the Fox News brand.

From Fox’s perspective, the facts about Mr. Beck’s run on the network have been public and indisputable. Among those were the refusal of hundreds of Fox advertisers to allow their commercials to be placed on Mr. Beck’s program, and a history of incendiary comments that attracted harsh backlash, including one where the host called President Obama a racist and another where he compared Reform Judaism to radical Islam. (He later apologized for both comments.)

Here’s some good news if you like strawberries. A new study shows that strawberries may help people with esophageal cancer. From the Wall Street Journal:

The study’s lead researcher, Tong Chen, an assistant professor in the oncology division of Ohio State University, presented the study at the American Association for Cancer Research’s annual meeting.

Esophageal cancer is the third most common gastrointestinal cancer and the sixth most frequent cause of cancer death in the world, Dr. Chen said.


The research team designed a small study in humans and approached the California Strawberry Commission, which agreed to fund the study and make available the freeze-dried strawberries. The commission is a state agency funded by the strawberry industry.

Dr. Chen’s team recruited 38 people in China who had mild-to-moderate dysplasia in the esophagus; 36 people completed the study. Biopsies of the esophagus were taken before and after the study. On average, patients were about 55 years old.

They were instructed to consume 30 grams of freeze-dried strawberries dissolved in a glass of water twice daily for a total of 60 grams a day for six months. Dr. Chen said the freeze-dried substance is about 10 times as concentrated as fresh strawberries, but suggested people could still benefit from eating whole strawberries on a daily basis.

Overall, the results showed 29 out of 36 participants experienced a decrease in histological grade of the precancerous lesion, or a slowing in the growth of the lesion during the study.

This is interesting from Raw Story: Fermi lab may have found new force of nature.

Data from a major US atom smasher lab may have revealed a new elementary particle, or potentially a new force of nature, one of the physicists involved in the discovery told AFP on Wednesday.

The physics world was abuzz with excitement over the findings, which could offer clues to the persistent riddle of mass and how objects obtain it — one of the most sought-after answers in all of physics.

But experts cautioned that more analysis was needed over the next several months to uncover the true nature of the discovery, which comes as part of an ongoing experiment with proton and antiproton collisions to understand the workings of the universe.

“There could be some new force beyond the force that we know,” said Giovanni Punzi, a physicist with the international research team that is analyzing the data from the US Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory…. [but] researchers agree that this is not the “God Particle,” or the Higgs-boson, a hypothetical elementary particle which has long eluded physicists who believe it could explain why objects have mass.

I think it’s good news that Hillary is still our Secretary of State. Today she told Gaddafi where to go after he sent a bizarre letter to President Obama.

“I think that Gaddafi knows what he must do. There needs to be a ceasefire. His forces need to withdraw from the cities that they have forcibly taken at great violence and human cost,” Clinton told reporters at a joint press conference with her Italian counterpart Franco Frattini.

“There needs to be a decision made about his departure from power and, his departure from Libya. So I don’t think there is any mystery about what is expected from Gaddafi at this time. That is an international assessment. And the sooner that occurs and the bloodshed ends, the better it will be for everyone,” Clinton said following her meeting with Frattini at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the state department.

Frattini said that a delegation form the African Union plans to visit Gaddafi and tell him it’s time to step down.

More good news: A priceless Gauguin painting has survived an attack by a patron at the National Gallery.

Screaming “This is evil,” a woman tried to pull Gauguin’s “Two Tahitian Women” from a gallery wall Friday and banged on the picture’s clear plastic covering, said Pamela Degotardi of New York, who was there.

“She was really pounding it with her fists,” Degotardi said. “It was like this weird surreal scene that one doesn’t expect at the National Gallery.”

Gallery spokeswoman Deborah Ziska said no damage to the 1899 painting was immediately apparent after the 4:45 p.m. incident. But she said a more thorough examination will be conducted Monday.

Have you ever seen a fisher cat? Actually they aren’t cats, but a member of the weasel family. Supposedly they have been seen in the area where I live. Some of my neighbors told me stories about them killing pets. These animals are really nasty and make a very creepy screeching sound.

Here’s some video of a fisher:

And a recording of a fisher screech:

Today there is a piece about fishers in the NYT: Do Fishers Really Eat Cats?

OK, this isn’t a good news story, but I like scary stuff so it appeals to me.

What are you reading and blogging about this morning? Don’t hold back!

46 Comments on “Thursday Reads”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    What I am reading this morning is the dismal record so far coming from our beloved Red Sox. Just adds to the depression.

    I am so sick of the GOP at this point that I can’t even turn on the tv for the latest news. Why bother? We are being f*cked six ways to Sunday and President Indifferent gives me little hope.

    As both sides will naturally claim “victory” when this thing is passed, it only stands to reason that the majority of us are expecting to be reamed in the process.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I know! What’s the matter with the Red Sox? Will they ever win a game?

      • Pat Johnson says:


        Opening day tomorrow in Boston v the Yankees. Probably another clean sweep.

        Heading for Boston this weekend for a dance recital. Can only imagine the traffic heading the same way on the pike.

        At least for almost two hours I can slip in my cd’s and tune out the world. A needed escape.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Wisconsin voters let Scott Walker have it

    Wisconsin voters sent Republican Gov. Scott Walker a clear message about their unhappiness with his muscling through a law restricting union rights by sending a state Supreme Court race once considered a runaway toward a near-certain recount and filling the governor’s former post with a Democrat.

    While Walker downplayed the significance of Tuesday’s elections yesterday, saying they were skewed by exceptional turnout in the liberal cities of Madison and Milwaukee, Democrats warned that they are a sign of what’s to come. Recall efforts have been launched against 16 state senators from both parties, either for their support or their opposition to the legislation eliminating most public employees’ collective-bargaining rights.

    “This continues to add fuel to the tremendous fire of enthusiasm and passion to recall the Republican senators that support Scott Walker’s backwards priorities for the state,” Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate said.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      Hopefully this is a sign that people are waking up to this agenda and it spreads.

    • paper doll says:

      Good news, but Walker has done his deed. Whatever they say on the campaign trail, whoever replaces him will not roll back the “gains” ….and The K brothers will have him out to CA as a reward. I’m sure they will find a spot for him. Mission Accomplished.

    • mjames says:

      Walker’s take is absurd. All he’s really saying is that more people went out and voted against his man than voted for him. If he wants to call the people who voted against his candidate “liberal,” then I guess Wisconsin has more liberals than Republicans. Or, if the list of registered voters shows more Repubs than Dems, then he personally motivated the opposition more than his own base. What a jackass.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    John Boehner cried about the possible gov’t shutdown at a meeting of Republicans yesterday.

    • paper doll says:

      I told my husband the gov is facing a shut down and he said ” and this time there’s no Bill”. Indeed. This time there is no one who wants anything to actually work for ordinary people. Nor is there anyone to stand up the Repugs….Now Obama can accelerate his submitting to GOP ” ideas”. The last shut down happened because Bill said no. This one is happening so Obama can say yes yes and yes .

      • WomanVoter says:

        Obama can say yes yes and yes .

        Yes, it is most sad indeed, that his effort to be ‘Reagan’ like, have lost everyone any hope of getting health care reform or protecting the most vulnerable.

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    I am at the point where I am asking myself does it really matter one way or the other?

    It appears that one of the “sticking points” revolves around Planned Parenthood. It’s all a “game”.

    Either way, most of us are going to feel the brutality of these cuts, Planned Parenthood or not.

    The WH is not actually “fighting” for the American people it is playing a game of “chicken” with all eyes on 2012.

    Whatever passes for legislation is going to take a bite out of the majority of programs that we have come to expect as assistance while 3 unnecessary wars roll on, the rich get even more breaks, and deregulation of most industries goes into effect.

    Why any of us should claim “victory” for this obscenity is futile. The public at large is against it but our voices have been silenced as the two parties fight to regain a foothold of power.

    It is a shameful process that we have come to tolerate since we seem to be hopeless against the odds.

    • bostonboomer says:

      You’re right. I’m just sitting passively watching, because I know either way I’m in the groups that will come out losers.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      It is a shameful process that we have come to tolerate since we seem to be hopeless against the odds.

      I find that lately the feeling I have is more of indifference. At this point I don’t care anymore. I have given up.

  5. paper doll says:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans battling with President Barack Obama over budget cuts are moving one-week legislation Thursday to avoid a government shutdown, despite opposition from the White House and Senate Democrats pressing for a longer-term solution.

    Oh great! This will now be a weekly event .
    Remarkable how GOP run everything whether they are in or out of power. The Dem congress never flexed so much as an eye lash muscle

    • bostonboomer says:

      The Dems in the Senate have already turned them down on the one week thing.

    • WomanVoter says:

      The WAR ON WOMEN started with Nancy Pelosi as Speaker, Reid and Obama and Ms Magazine offered cover by celebrating Obama as a feminist.

      When the attack on women started they didn’t fight and Obama signed the President Obama Stupak Executive Order…and they expect us to clap about what they did.

  6. Pat Johnson says:

    Pardon my sentimentality today, but this song just keeps rolling around my head:

  7. janicen says:

    Interesting story about the Fishers. I had never heard of one until I read this post. I also learned, from the comments in the NYT article that cats kill anywhere from 250 million to a billion birds each year. Wow. Another reason to spay and neuter animals to control the population. When we lived in a Seattle suburb, there was a big problem with ferrel cats, exacerbated by the fact that several people would leave food out for the cats but of course, nobody would claim them or care for them or get vet care for them. I bought a humane trap and took 4 of them to the animal shelter until I learned that they would come and pick up the cats if you caught them in a humane trap. I knew coyotes would go after cats, so I wanted to keep them out, but I had never heard of Fishers.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I never heard of Fishers until my sister-in-law told me about them. There are a lot of them in NH where she lives. But apparently they are in MA too. They have not only killed pet cats, but also dogs.

    • WomanVoter says:

      K0deWhaaat K
      by dredeyedick
      RT @GovernAmerica: Paedophile Freed After Judge Blames 13 Year Old Victim

      The Express
      April 5, 2011

      A JUDGE yesterday sparked outrage by accusing a schoolgirl of seducing a paedophile – and then let the pervert walk free.

      David Barnes, 24, met the 13-year-old girl in an internet chatroom and persuaded her to perform a sex act while he watched over a webcam.

      Police who later raided his home found hundreds of obscene pictures and movies on his ­computers. One showed a handcuffed five-year-old being raped.

      The shop worker from Darlington, Co Durham, admitted 17 specimen charges of making indecent images and one of inciting a child to engage in ­sexual activity.

      But when Barnes appeared before Judge Peter Fox at Teesside Crown Court he was given a ­suspended sentence. …

      Well, with judges like this one, it is no wonder why there is a growing number of victims at the hands of known criminals that prey on children.

  8. okasha says:

    Hey, bb, there is a fishing cat, native to Asia:

    Just plain fishers, though, are weasels as you’ve stated.

    • bostonboomer says:

      That one really does look like a cat. Very interesting. I’ve never heard of them before.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    Obama’s golfing buddy arrested for soliciting a prostitute.

  10. dakinikat says:

    They’ve found an interesting grave site in the Czech Republican of a Man buried in the way that most women were always buried so they believe he may have been gay.

    “What we see here doesn’t add up to traditional Corded Ware cultural norms. The grave in Terronska Street in Prague 6 is interred on its left side with the head facing the West. An oval, egg-shaped container usually associated with female burials was also found at the feet of the skeleton. None of the objects that usually accompany male burials  such as weapons, stone battle axes and flint knives  were found in the grave.

    “We believe this is one of the earliest cases of what could be described as a ‘transsexual’ or ‘third gender grave’ in the Czech Republic,” archaeologist Katerina Semradova told a press conference on Tuesday.

    She said that archeologists had uncovered an earlier case dating from the Mesolithic period where a female warrior was buried as a man.

  11. dakinikat says:

    From CNN Breaking News:

    7.4-magnitude earthquake strikes off coast of Miyagi, Japan, Japan’s meteorological agency says.

    • Branjor says:

      Tsunami warning also issued. Not expected to be oceanwide but could be destructive locally.

  12. bostonboomer says:

    Four-year-old boy shot in Atlanta road rage incident. He will survive, thank goodness.

  13. foxyladi14 says:

    it does just get scarier every day.