Sunday Reads: Monster Weeds, Taxing the Poor and Beware of Full Moons

Good Sunday Morning!

Yesterday was a very sad day in the music world.  Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London home. She was 27 years old and as Dakinikat mentioned in the comments, there have been many other musicians in the past that upon reaching the age of 27,  also left this world too soon.  So here is a link to a series of images and stories… Dead At 27: Nine Artists Gone Too Soon |

An uncanny number of musicians have passed away at age 27, and with the passing of Amy Winehouse today (July 23), the club has unfortunately recieved a new member. Here we reflect on some of the 27 Club’s most notable members: Kurt, Janis, Jimi and Jim may be gone, but none of them are forgotten.

With her heartfelt songs about love and heartbreak powered by her alluring alto vocals, Amy Winehouse‘s prowess laid in her fearlessness to showcase her vulnerability. Unfortunately, the British soul singer’s potential and success were overshadowed by her addiction to alcohol and drugs. As Winehouse sold millions of albums and won numerous awards, Winehouse was personally tormented by substance addiction, eating disorders and destructive relationships, most notably with her husband Blake Fielder-Civil. In May 2011, at the advice of her father, Winehouse checked into rehab. On July 23, two months later, police found the singer dead at her London loft. At the time of the announcement, a cause of death was still undetermined.

Winehouse had an amazing voice, and like so many other musicians, led a tortured life…a self inflicted tortured life. I always thought her singing reminded me of Janis Joplin.  Of course no one had a set of pipes like Janis, but Amy Winehouse had a familiar emotion in her voice. A sadness and deep emotion that comes with a difficult life.  So sad indeed.

This week has been such a difficult one for me personally, and perhaps for many of you as well. I know there was no full moon, but it sure as hell felt like there was.  So maybe this is why the following story jumped out at me this week.  STUDY: After Full Moon, Lions Likely to Eat Humans – International Business Times

That midwives’ tale about crazy and strange “events” happening when a full moon is out isn’t merely a myth.  Now a study coming out of Africa is saying that lions are most likely to eat human beings following a full moon. Lions are predators that hunt most successfully in the dark, which surprises their prey.

The research analyzed records of some 500 lion attacks on Tanzanian villagers between 1988 and 2009, and also the size of lions’ bellies.  The lions killed and ate humans in two-thirds of the attack, and the majority of the attacks  happened between dusk and 10p.m. when the moon is faint or below the horizon.

The findings also revealed 30 percent more attacks in the second half of the moon cycle, also when there was minimal moonlight.


The study suggests that other predators, such as the wolf that comes to mind in association with the moon, may be most dangerous following a full moon when the night is dark.

“The full moon is a reliable indicator of impending danger, perhaps helping to explain why the full moon has been the subject of so many myths and misconceptions,” say researchers.

If anyone lives in an area where lions and tigers and bears roam the streets, beware of those full moons.  So if lions eat more humans during a full moon,  I wonder if that also goes for politicians in Washington, DC?

On to a beast of another kind, monster super weeds are becoming a big problem in farm country.  It may not be radiation that turns these weeds into mutants…it’s genetic engineering.  Monsanto-Resistant Weeds Take Root, Raising Food Prices | Fast Company


For decades, farmers had it relatively easy when it came to weeds infesting their soil: apply herbicides, wait for the weeds to die and grow more crops. Those salad days, alas, are coming to an end.

A new series of studies released by Weed Science this month finds at least 21 weed species have become resistant to the popular herbicide glyphosate (sold as Monsanto’s Roundup), and a growing number survive multiple herbicides, so-called “super-weeds.” The same selection pressure creating bacteria resistant to multiple antibiotics is leading to the rapid evolution of plants that survive modern herbicides. If the trend continues, yields could drop and food costs climb as weeds grow more difficult to uproot.

The herbicide resistance issue is becoming serious,” said journal editor, William K. Vencill, in a recent statement. “It is spreading out beyond where weed scientists have seen it before.” More than 11 million acres, up from just 2.4 million in 2007, are now infested with Roundup-resistant varieties. The herbicide, a relatively low-impact chemical since it biodegrades quickly, has ranked among the most popular for farmers since Monsanto introduced its genetically engineered Roundup Ready crops that are unaffected by the chemical, accounting for about 90 percent of the soybeans and 70 percent of the corn and cotton grown in the United States.

The article goes on to give an example of these super weeds. Pig weed, which can grow three inches a day and is tough enough to damage farm equipment has grown herbicide resistant…leading to stronger toxic chemical herbicides and extreme plowing, both of which will cause even more damage to the environment.

Personally, I would like to see one of these pig weeds go at it with some of these damn political assholes. Well, there is always the next full moon…it is pretty damn pathetic when the only hope you have for any good to come in these horrible economic times is a giant monster pig weed, going up to Obama and doing its best impression of Rick James.  There may be some of you who do not know what I am talking about…so I give you this.  After you see it, you will “get it.”

Oh, to tell Obama…what did the five fingers say to the face…but even then I don’t think it will “slap” any sense in him.

From Minx’s Missing Link File:  So, this article from the Wall Street Journal was published this week, and it just highlights one of Bachmann’s ridiculous ideals:  Bachmann: Everybody Should Pay Taxes – Washington Wire – WSJ

Republican presidential candidates have been resolutely opposed to tax increases in the debate over the nation’s budget straits, but Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann this week suggested there’s one group that needs to be paying more: poor people who pay nothing now.

At a town-hall meeting Tuesday given by the South Carolina Christian Chamber of Commerce in Columbia, a questioner noted that major U.S. corporations are paying “very few dollars of federal income taxes, if any.” He prefaced his point by saying the Bible advises us to render unto Caesar what Caesar is due.

Ms. Bachmann turned the conversation elsewhere: “Part of the problem is today, only 53% pay any federal income tax at all; 47% pay nothing,” the former federal tax attorney said. “We need to broaden the base so that everybody pays something, even if it’s a dollar.”

Why is it always the ones who have shit loads of dollars, who bring hell on the ones who have absolutely no dollars?

Easy Like Sunday Morning Link of the Week:  Here is an interesting look at the big news outlet magnate, Rupert Murdoch, by comparing him to the Orson Welles’s character Charles Foster Kane, who of course was based on William Randolph Hearst. There is a link to listen to this radio broadcast. Enjoy it…Milos Stehlik views Rupert Murdoch through ‘Citizen Kane’ | WBEZ

It is one of the most famous and enigmatic words uttered in film: as he dies, Charles Kane, wealthy newspaper baron, whispers his last word, “Rosebud.” The scene from the Orson Welles masterpiece Citizen Kane, references the name painted on a small sled that Kane had as a child, implying that this was the only happy time in his life.

Kane was loosely based on real-life newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst, whose own “Xanadu” is the famous Hearst Castle at San Simeon, California.

In real life Hearst, urged on by his top gossip columnist, Louella Parsons, tried to stop Citizen Kane from reaching the screen. His efforts to condemn the film to oblivion nearly succeeded. Today, it commands mythic status.

Have a fabulous Sunday, and be sure to post some links to things you are reading today.

41 Comments on “Sunday Reads: Monster Weeds, Taxing the Poor and Beware of Full Moons”

    • Woman Voter says:

      Someone with a SPINE needs to call Child Protective Services and report a RAPE of a minor. Pelosi should be the one to call, being that she now is aware of the situation.

    • Woman Voter says:

      I mean really he admitted having sex, claiming it was ‘consensual’ with the MINOR daughter of a friend. What does Wu think Nancy Pelosi is going to do!?!?

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        And crickets in the MSM, I guess the only way to get attention these days is tweeting your Wiener.

        Ugh, this is something that you should resign over…

  1. Minkoff Minx says:

    And it just gets better:

    Boehner’s Market Signals? Did August 2nd Just Become Tomorrow? – Steve Clemons – Politics – The Atlantic

    Unbelievable. The scripting of this high stakes drama between House Speaker John Boehner balancing the White House on one side and the never compromise, never surrender Tea Party on the other keeps getting better and better.

    Reports have emerged that House Speaker Boehner told his caucus that their team needs to “provide a positive signal on a plan to avert a U.S. default by tomorrow.”

    That’s right, by the time markets in Asia open tomorrow. That’s right, Sunday in DC is pretty much Monday in Asia — and the roller coaster of financial shocks could start if Boehner doesn’t get his act together.

    Instead of August 2nd being the debt default deadline, Boehner’s tactics and now his statement to his own troops have created market expectations that will either be met — or be disappointed, possibly creating a real sell-off in American treasuries.

  2. northwestrain says:

    Prime Minister of Israel gets nomination for first class Male Chauvinist. Pig.

    Women reporters are ordered to remove their bras — after a pat down — bras are then xray (story wasn’t clear but the reporters may have also been xrayed sans bras. Apparently the middle east is unsafe for women reporters.

    I’ve read reports of women being harassed by fundamentalist Jews.

    What is it with fundamentalist religions and their hatred and sexual harassment of women?

    • bostonboomer says:

      WTF?! I hope the TSA guys didn’t see that!

    • paper doll says:

      Thanks for the round up!

      I’ve read reports of women being harassed by fundamentalist Jews.

      imo one of reasons Israel is very resistant to stopping the illegal settlements is because they got to have a place to park the fundamentalists Jews. That way they whale on the Palestinians rather than other Jews. I remember before the wholesale illegal settlements, fundamentalist Jews would stone other Jews waiting in line to get in a movie and such on the sabbath….of course the fundamentalist Jews were the ones who said the secular establishment of a Jewish state was an abomination, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to run it .

    • Woman Voter says:

      I wrote my congressperson when they were harassing women on public transport behaving much like Taliban nuts, which surprised because I thought that sort of thing would have met with swift police action, but did not as the people thrown off the bus were WOMEN. 😦

  3. joanelle says:

    Boehner has figured it out – if you don’t like the government you have – build a new one – just like the Super Delegates that all but crushed Hill’s nomination, Boehner’s suggested a Super Congress of a handful of those dunderheads to “solve the problem.”

    That’s not what our founders had in mind – that gets us back to a government without full representation – it looks like we may be nearing the start of a public uprising.

    • northwestrain says:

      I just read the article — 12 men to serve as dictators — or dictators puppets.

      The news just keeps getting worse.

      • joanelle says:

        We can’t let this happen – I pay my taxes – I want to be fully represented.

      • jawbone says:

        Thanks for this good summary of what they’re planning to do to us.

        “Nice little republic you have there…but not efficient enough for the global economy, so we’re just going to tweak it a bit.”

        This is Obama’s style: Negotiate in secret behind closed doors and then his way or the highway. I see his hand in this.

        It’s his Cat Food Commission on Steroids.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        I’ve reached the point where nothing surprises me anymore.

      • Woman Voter says:

        So, we have the dictatorship of 12, as if self appointees?

    • Peggy Sue says:

      Naked Capitalism has an essay on this as well. A Super Congress. Somehow I don’t think the Founding Fathers had this in mind. Let’s see if the Tea Party express and all their ‘the Constitution is sancrosanct’ screeches will find a megaphone on this one . Or will they merely roll up like the pill bugs they are.

      I vote for the latter.

    • paper doll says:

      I just saw “Shock Doctrine” again after awhile …the doc based on Naomi Wolf’s GREAT book….Russia in 1998 ….it’s happening right here now. They will suspend congress if needs be to get what they want …hell they already have .

  4. Minkoff Minx says:

    Taylor Marsh blog has this up: Sunday Early Bird News Round-Up | Taylor Marsh – – News, Analysis, Independent Political Opinion on Progressive Politics

    ~The death toll from the terror attack in Norway continues to rise. Naturally, as soon as word of the attack hit the airwaves the righties and neocons immediately blamed it on Islamic Jihad. Jen Rubin’s blog post at the WaPo was by far the worst and as of yet, she has not issued a correction or retraction, given that the perpetrator was a very white, very Christian, very right wing Norwegian named Anders Behring Breivik who reportedly just so happens to hang out in right wing circles and was known for being very critical of Islam/Muslims. It’s interesting that almost everybody has stopped calling this a terror attack all of a sudden and media coverage has dropped off considerably. If Anders had turned out to be Muslim, wouldn’t we still be calling it terrorism?

    I feel that it is still terrorism, and I would still call it a terrorist attack. A right-wing terrorist attack.

    Terrorism is not limited to the Muslims…it is used by extremist the world over. Hell, I would say that all the anti-woman legislation that the PLUBs have put forth is also terrorism…

    Quick definitions from WordNet (terrorism)

    ▸ noun: the calculated use of violence (or threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear

    Definitions of terrorism – OneLook Dictionary Search

    • northwestrain says:

      I agree — killing nearly 100 people based on his political belief is terrorism.

      Killing abortion providers is terrorism. Harassing women solely on the basis of their sex — is terrorism.

    • paper doll says:

      When a white Christian does it, it’s suddenly not terrorism…I remember the first days of the OK city bombing the media was calling it Islamic Jihad….and oops, the truth finally came out But by that time many Arab Americans had been beaten on the street .

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Lots of great reads here, Minx. Thanks.

    The Roundup-resistant weeds story is really scary. Rachel Carson must be rolling over in her grave.

    I definitely believe the full moon affects behavior of animals and people too.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    What Cornell West would say to Barack Obama if he ever got the chance?

    You have 30 seconds of private time with the president — what do you say to him?

    I would say: “Look at that bust of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Oval Office and recognize that tears are flowing when you let Geithner and others shape your economic policy, when you refuse to focus on poor and working people or when you drop the drone bombs that kill innocent civilians. Tim Geithner does not represent the legacy of Martin King.”

    • paper doll says:

      Nice words . But Obama is incapable of feeling for others, or caring about King’s legacy …imo Obama would not be in the WH with a fawning press if he was

  7. mablue2 says:

    Another incredibly worthless column from The Mustachioed One!

    I really need some time to write about this kind of drivel.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Oh yes mablue, please do…I love to read your post and have missed them immensely.

    • JeanLouise says:

      How does the NYT manage to have so many stupid columnists on staff at the same time? You’d think that they’d get one or two good ones just by accident.

  8. Fannie says:

    I wonder if Michele Bachmann would have the same painful feelings I have after reading this article on income inequality and mortality:

  9. bostonboomer says:

    The first member of the “27 club” was blues great Robert Johnson.

  10. mablue2 says:

    Btw, The Shrill One has been on a tear lately. Check some of the things he has written just in the laszt 2 days:

    Conceder In Chief

    I hope I’m wrong about all this. But when has Obama given progressives any reason to believe they can trust him?

    Obama / Nixon

    Bruce Bartlett says what you’re not supposed to say: Obama has governed as a moderate conservative, somewhat to the right of Richard Nixon. The frothing-at-the-mouth comments are an extra bonus.

    What Obama Was Willing to Give Away

    Jonathan Cohn summarizes what seems to have been in the deal that Boehner walked away from; it’s horrifying. Above all, the proposed rise in the age of Medicare eligibility was a real betrayal of both Democratic principles and good government.

    His latest post is really a doozie:
    President Pushover

    The redoubtable Elizabeth Drew has a forthcoming article in the New York Review of Books — not yet online — that confirms all our worst fears.

    I don’t think the last sentence of the post needs a comment:

    What a disaster.

    • paper doll says:

      oh yeah they get it now…when the deal is just about done . Obama will sign anything and Dems aren’t even allowed in the room……the outcome is predicable. I hope people wake up in time

  11. Minkoff Minx says:

    Dammit, somebody get me the hell out of this country:

    GOP Voter Disenfranchisement Wisconsin-Style: First Pass Voter ID; Then Limit Access To Comply | Crooks and Liars

    The Voter ID law passed under Scott Walker’s watchful eye earlier this year, with all due credit to ALEC for their helpful drafting of the legislation for lazy lawmakers.

    One Wisconsin Now explains how that impacts voters:

    Wisconsin’s population is substantially less likely to have a state-issued identification. Those without state-issued photo identification and who would need to obtain one under the Wisconsin Voter ID bill include:

    23 percent of all elderly Wisconsinites over the age of 65
    17 percent of white men and women
    55 percent of all African American males and 49 percent of African American women
    46 percent of Hispanic men and 59% of Hispanic women
    78 percent of African American males age 18-24 and 66 percent of African American women age 18-24

    [Driver License Status of the Voting Age Population in Wisconsin, 6/05]

    Yes, the bill as written does have a provision to provide free identification for some Wisconsinites. Each and every one of these people would have to take the time off (in many cases unpaid) from work or family obligations to flock to Wisconsin DMVs. However, access to the DMV is a problem in Wisconsin; Indiana provides its residents exponentially more access to its Department of Motor Vehicles offices to obtain identification.

    That post was written in January. It’s now July, and guess what? Governor Scott Walker, citing budget squeezes, is closing 10 DMV offices throughout the state. But these aren’t just any old DMV offices, no. They’re conveniently located in Democratic districts.