Thursday Night Talk on KHSU this week – Liana Simpson will be my guest. She is a bit more conservative than I on most issues, and we’ll discuss everything from Richardson Grove to water rationing politics. Join us at 7:00 p.m. for an hour of respectful dialogue.

All Things Reconsidered again this Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. Bob Froehlich and Julia Minton will join me again for our ongoing series on critical thinking. This time we’ll discuss the nature and effects of political propaganda and whether it is ever conducive to critical thinking. Obviously we have to define the term, which is problematic by itself. It’s a call-in show and we’d love any input.


Some long overdue attention to a long overdue effort – Linda Stansberry, who really deserves some sort of award for her writing and reporting over the past couple of years, reports on the efforts of the growing local Latino population to organize and be heard.  These developments could change the complexion of local politics, figuratively and literally.

I’m glad that despite the loss of some crucial talent in recent years, the North Coast Journal is retaining its much-need vitality.

Or “Saturday of Light” according to the Coptic Christians

Bridge in Sequoia Park

Again, I talk to people outside Humboldt County who think I’m joking about some of the discussions on this very blog.  If Contrails in the 1970sanyone is really interested in the science of contrails, here are two excellent pieces.

“To Chemtrailers: Twenty Things You Don’t Know”

Contrail Science

The photo is from Life Magazine – taken in 1970, posted on the Contrail Science blog linked above.

On Thursday Night Talk on KHSU this week my guests will be Bob Froehlich and Julia Minton with whom I’ve done shows on KMUD. It will be the latest installment on a series about critical thinking and this week we will focus on the element of fear in making us vulnerable to misinformation and manipulation. Calls will be welcome as always. 7:00 at 90.5 or online at

Jefferson StateIt will be on the ballot in Lassen and Lake Counties in 2016.

It passed narrowly in Tehama County and failed badly in Del Norte County.  I don’t count Board of Supervisor votes.

I don’t like the idea of a new rural state sending two more white Tea Party Senators to Washington, but as a matter of principle I’m fine with whatever the counties want to do as long as they leave mine out of it.  I will actively campaign against any such proposal in Humboldt County.

By the way, contrary to popular mythology, the rural areas receive much more public money per capita than the urban areas.  Pretty much true of the country as ironically the blue states tend to subsidize the red states in one of the bigger political ironies.  All about economies of scale of course, and urban residents do benefit from rural infrastructure when they travel, but there is considerable misinformation on the issue.  Bottom line is that Jefferson State would be the poorest state in the nation – it would be a economic disaster for those counties and most of these pandering supervisors know it if they’re not deliberately ignorant or just complete idiots.

Photo comes from the movement website.

I don’t have the time to fully analyze this right now, and it’s far from a problem unique to the anti-GMO movement.  But rape and death threats from alleged progressives seem more egregious – perhaps because I expect better.

”I have found that when I go to other pages and try to share science-based information to challenge misinformation, no one is interested. My comments are deleted. I’m banned from pages like Food Babe’s. I’m called names. I’m accused of being a “shill”, getting paid by a company (usually Monsanto) to share accurate information. Fortunately, that has been the extent of my negative experiences. Other members of this pro-science community have been attacked in far more personal ways. They are accused of being bad parents for feeding their children GM and non-organic food. There are death threats, threats of rape, being compared to Nazis. There are even organized attempts to intimidate scientists and science advocates.” — ”In such a hostile environment, there is no room for dialogue and sharing of information. The people who lose in this environment are the people who aren’t scientists and genuinely want accurate information to help them make good decisions for themselves and their families.”

Maybe this will be the one time many of you hit a link to the Genetic Literacy Project.

Thanks to Kevin Hoover for drawing my attention to this.  What the ad leaves out is that dihydrogen monoxide has killed more people than any other chemical compound, perhaps more than all the others combined!


Here is a link to the discussion of the environmental consequences.

I guess the assumption will be that Monsanto bought him off. He joins a slew of progressive scientists including Neil DeGrasse Tyson and E.O. Wilson.  The Union of Concerned Scientists is in very cautious support of the technology, while advocating strict regulation. What I would like to know is if there are any major progressive science figures remaining, excluding those who are selling books or are on speaking tours in opposition to GMOs, who continue to view the technology as inherently dangerous. And just to clarify, I am not necessarily “pro-GMO.”  I believe like any other technology, there are good and bad applications.  But I do believe there is a plethora of misinformation fueling the opposition.

May 2015
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