It’s Tax Time… One of the mainstays of contemporary Republican legends has to do with the terror of tax day. To hear them tell it—aided by the mainstream media more interested in sensational headlines than facts—millions of Americans are traumatized annually during April by the prospect of having to file their income taxes. Never mind the 50% of taxpayers that either receive refunds or owe nothing. Never mind that over 70% of all taxpayers file on-line these days. It’s Tax Terror Time! And that means it’s the season for the annual Tea Party Tax Protests, which didn’t start until taxes went down a bit and we had a Democrat in the White House who happened to be Black.
I’m sure we won’t see any Tea Party types out in front of SeaWorld this month protesting the big corporate fat cats who spend April worrying that the public will find out how they’ve managed to acquire all those government services for free. Like SeaWorld, for instance, with $380 million in earnings and ZERO dollars in Federal taxes for 2011. Oh, and for those you who are feeling warm and fuzzy about the fact that our Daily Fishwrap ran a story about SeaWorld’s bad citizenship, consider the fact that other newspapers around the country ran with this story last week.
Hawking puts on an iBrain… Physicist Stephen Hawking has lent his considerable intellectual capacity towards helping a San Diego based company perfect research on a device to communicate using brain waves. The iBrain, invented by a team led by Philip Low, the thirty-something neuroscientist who is chief executive of NeuroVigil, is part of a new generation of portable neural devices and algorithms intended to monitor and diagnose conditions like sleep apnea, depression and autism. Dr. Hawking’s involvement stems from his hope that it may lead to future treatment for ALS and other neurological diseases.
The Mike Wallace story they’d like you to forget… Part of the GOP re-write of history that’s working its way into the news media these days concerns itself with just what a wonderful person and conservative theologian Ayn Rand was. Just so you don’t forget, here’s Mike Wallace exposing Ayn Rand (in 1959!) as being out to destroy the American Way of Life.
Sorry Carl, Filner won’t play your game…. Mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio managed to get his name back in the news this weekend after being drowned out for several days by chatter about Nathan Fletcher ditching his party. Republican DeMaio challenged Democrat Bob Filner to a Lincoln-Douglas style debate on the issue of pension-reform for San Diego’s public employees. ‘No thanks’, said Filner, pointing out that DeMaio has avoided many of the Mayoral debates by insisting on controlling the moderator or the topics. SDRostra, the local conserv blog has started a betting pool asking its readers to name the date that Filner introduces his counter-proposal to the DeMaio measure. There is no on whether or not candidate Bonnie Dumanis will prosecute Rostra for running an illegal gambling venue.
Cows digging on Cabernet down under…. Australian researchers have discovered a revolutionary way of cutting down on livestock methane emissions, long known as a leading source of greenhouse gases. The world’s 1.2 billion grass eaters produce 80 million tons of methane, or 28 per cent of global methane emissions annually. Just one grazing dairy cow belches around 600 liters per day. And methane is a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Grape marc supplements added to cow’s diets have been shown to produce a 20 per cent cut in methane emissions – the largest reduction through a feed product ever discovered. What is more, the research suggests that the grape marc supplement could boost milk production by five per cent.