Saturday, October 13, 2007

Mattel Has More China Problems - Now a Possible Stock Scandal Too!

Get ready for an interesting Christmas shopping season this year. Looks to me like Mattel, one of the nation’s leading toy brands is going to go down hard by the bow. They are already plagued with lead tainted toys from China, and now according to a CNN report I just watched, they are being sued by stockholders for not disclosing problems earlier. Furthermore, seems like insiders at Mattel sold off $33 million in stick just before the last round of bad news about lead poisoned toys. More distressing, Mattel hid these problems for months before reporting them.

As I said earlier this year in a rant about imported toys from China, it will take a major Enron style collapse before American companies wise up and stop looking for cheaper and cheaper sources for products. Mattel and Fisher-Price may soon be things of the past, and all because of corporate greed!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Robot Dragonflies? High Tech Spy Gadget Sighted at Anti-War Protest

Robot Dragonflies? Sounds like science fiction, but according to The Washington Post and several eye witnesses these sci-fi creatures have shown up at political and anti-war rallies in the United States. Though the CIA and the government officially deny their existence, it has been widely known that the military has been developing micro-robots for surveillance for years. Now it seems they are being used to infiltrate anti-war protests.

Should this story turn out to be true, I would not be surprised. Remember the Bush folks see no problem with warrantless spying on Americans if they see fit. Now all they have to do is shout “Global War of Terror” ® and they feel they can do anything they want. Just a note that gives this story even more credence, the alleged dragonfly robots were flying in a pack. Dragonflies, the organic kind are solo flyers.

Lipstick Latest Poisoned Product - What's That Color, Dead Red?

I have often heard the expression that “vanity knows no pain”, but now I realize it’s not vanity at all, just lead poisoning. Seems lots of lipsticks sold here in the US contain high amounts of lead. In fact 61% of the 33 randomly tested lipsticks contained a significant level of lead, but lead was not listed as an ingredient.

Seems like product safety here in our country has gone the way of the Dodo bird. Kind of makes you long for the pre-Regan era when the Consumer Products Safety Commission had some power and real teeth in its rulings. I also seem to remember the FDA actually monitoring this kind of thing back then. But maybe my mind has been affected by the lead in everything from kid’s toys to cosmetics. Duh?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

BBC Releases GI Jonny - Anti-Barebacking Infomercials!

The BBC has once again broken new ground in television and media. Their spoof action figure, GI Jonny is a campaign to educate young adults to the dangers of barebacking (unprotected sexual intercourse). The campaign has its own website with a hillarious mock TV commercial that is a must see. I wish the US government took disease prevention seriously and would do a real anti-HIV campaign here. Instead we get the same old ineffective "abstinence only" plan from our Decider in Chief.

Well Mr. Bush, better watch out or GI Johnny might pay you a visit with his "protect-a-shield" and the country would be a safer place, especially since you seem intent on f*#king us every chance you get.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Baptist Preacher Dies in Kinky Accident

Imagine the shock of his congregation when the pastor of the Thorington Road Baptist Church was found dead at his home. Imagine the additional shock of the police report.
Reverend Gary Aldridge died of "accidental mechanical asphyxia" and was found hogtied and wearing two complete wet suits, including a face mask, diving gloves and slippers, rubberized underwear, and a head mask. Additionally an autopsy revealed a dildo in him covered with a condom.

Aldridge was an associate of the late Jerry Falwell and a graduate of Falwell’s Liberty University.

I would guess that his politics were as conservative as Falwell’s and it is another amazing incidence of hypocrisy that he died in such a tragic manner.

As a BDSM practitioner myself, I know the dangers of autoerotic asphyxiation. A close friend of mine died that way last year and I have heard many other stories. This kind of edge-play is often cautioned and condemned in BDSM workshops as patently unsafe, and had the Reverend been out with his kink, he might have attended some of these events and learned that lesson. Unfortunately it is now too late.

I would be tempted to dance a few rounds of the Schaddenfreude Polka, but I find I can only grieve for his family and friends. I hope his tragic death will serve as a cautionary tale about living in the closet and playing too close to the edge.

White House Leaks Critical Intel - Destroys Valuable Source!

So in our “Global War On Terror ™” the Bush administration is not only its chief proponent but its greatest hindrance. Seems that the US intelligence folks had a pretty good channel into the communications of the Al Qaeda people. To my surprise it was through a private source as well. SITE, a private intelligence firm, was contracted by the government to monitor the Web and Internet sources for Al Qaeda info.

Things went very well, to the point where SITE handed over a video of Osama Bin Laden that was destined to be broadcast at a later date. The condition was that the White House would keep it secret until the broadcast date, but could use the video to analyze the content. Our friends in the Bush Administration just couldn’t keep a PR opportunity like that quiet and leaked the video to the press and before long it was all over television.

Leaking that video exposed the back channel surveillance and what had previously been a productive and active source of intelligence suddenly dried up. A spokesperson for SITE said hat the company had worked years to develop and exploit the sources of intelligence and the White House’s actions made them useless.

Wonder why they leaked that video? Maybe to give the impression that the Bush Administration was “on top of things” at a time when their approval ratings were slightly above those of sewer rats? Or perhaps it was to assure that Al Qaeda would remain a threat as long as possible, thus continuing the massive profit windfall the “Global War On Terror ™” has been for defense contractors in the US? Any ideas?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

More GOP Restroom Sex - Senate Candidate Drops from Race Under a Cloud

Another conservative in the closet? Looks like it. This one is a Senate candidate from Louisiana named Joey DiFatta who has now dropped from the Senate race under a cloud caused by documents that surfaced connecting him with 2 lewd conduct charges in public restrooms with police.

Police documents outline a 1996 "peeping Tom" encounter and a 2000 "toe-tapping" escapade similar to that of Larry “Guilty/Not Guilty” Craig. Seems you can take a Republican out of the restroom but not the closet.

The whole episode is another sad chapter in the story of self-hating closeted conservatives who act-out their sexual frustrations in inappropriate ways instead of just coming out and living an honest life. Of course that would be difficult for a Republican, but I understand it can happen.

More Meat Recalled - E-Coli Again Implicated

When I was a teenager, I worked with my father in his laboratory. He was a microbiologist and researcher. As a summer job I was a lab technician for a couple of years. Today that would never happen because of liability suits and other regulations, but the 1960’s were less litigious ties.

While working in the lab I often handled specimens that contained Escherichia Coli, E-Coli for short. This bacterium lives in the lower intestinal tracks of all kinds of animals including humans. It helps the body digest the food and when confined to the gut is a good bacterium. When it gets into our food supply it’s a bad bacterium. Strains of E-Coli cause everything from diarrhea to death in some patients. So how does it get into food? In a word, poop!

Fecal matter contains E-Coli and when food handlers do not take proper precautions like washing their hands after using the bathroom, it gets into the food chain. Not a pretty picture. Now I don’t have proof, but the recent outbreaks of e-coli in ground beef point to a big problem. First that meat packing employees are not practicing preventative hygiene, or they are not slaughtering animals in a way that prevents cross contamination from the animals own gut. To me this means there is not enough education of the dangers of this problem to employees, or the USDA and FDA inspections are ineffective or infrequent. I would bet both are the case.

Budget cuts in the USDA and FDA have been cited in the pet food problems that occurred back in the spring of this year. There is no reason to believe that anything has changed, and as many warned it would eventually affect the food humans eat. Well that pigeon has come home to roost. Last week Topps Meats closed its doors after a recall of 21 million pounds of ground meat, and this week Cargill recalled 844,812 pounds of ground beef patties because of our friend, E-Coli. Cargill is a much bigger company than Topps and perhaps it can withstand a massive recall, but in the end it’s going to come down to better practices and more inspections.

Meanwhile here is a tip. Cook meat well done, and wash your hands before preparing food and afterward. Take my advice, I know from experience. I handled hundreds of specimens infected with E-Coli and never became infected. Hand washing is the reason. Bon App├ętit!