USDA honey bee report worse than ever — Congress holds a hearing

The USDA just released a report on the state of America’s honey bees, and the news is not that sweet.

As this Reuters graphic shows, beekeepers reported a loss of 42.1 percent of their colonies in 2014/2015. Summer losses were 27.4 percent, and for the first time on record exceeded the winter rate, which was 23.1 percent. More than two-thirds of the 6,128 beekeepers surveyed reported winter loss rates above the 18.7 percent rate deemed the tipping point for economic sustainability.

Bees impact 50-80 percent of the global food supply, so the issue extends beyond healthy sweeteners. A Cornell University study reported that insect pollinators contribute $29 billion to the U.S. farm economy, and the country has an estimated 2.74 million managed bee colonies which pollinate one-third of the country’s fruit and vegetable crops.

Indeed, the situation is serious enough to attract Washington’s attention: A subcommittee of the House Committee on Agriculture convened this week for a public hearing…

Whoop-de-doo. Congress holding a hearing is about as useful as looking through the Sears Roebuck catalogue for remedies for teen pregnancy. The advice is more out-of-date than the hardware.

Crowds in Munich greeting refugees who made the trek from Budapest

In pouring rain, they crossed the last few metres into Austria in the early hours of Saturday morning. The waiting Austrian police in their heavy waterproofs were taken aback by the refusal of the Hungarian bus drivers to take their passengers the last two kilometres, over the border and on to the Nickelsdorf train station where they were expected, and where a Vienna-bound train was waiting.

Instead, the officers had to guide the way with torches, helpless to offer shelter to the tired clusters of men, women and children coming through the puddles at the side of the motorway in the darkness…

A Red Cross tent offered a respite from the rain, with medics and volunteers working shifts while people waiting their turn to board special half-hourly bus and train services, laid on by the Austrian Federal Railway, to Vienna and Salzburg, and from there to Munich…


German volunteers feeding refugees as they arrive in Munich

By midday on Saturday, said Colin Turner, volunteers’ spokesman at Munich railway station, a total of 3,000 people had arrived. German officials expected up to 7,000 to arrive through the city by the end of the day.

This, said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, was a “defining moment” for the 28-nation European Union. Already the heroes and villains of the piece were being laid out – with condemnation of the response of the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orbán, and praise for Germany’s Angela Merkel and the Austrian chancellor, Werner Faymann, who announced they were opening their doors to refugees in the early hours of Saturday.

Around the same time, Hungary unexpectedly decided to provide buses for those who had simply walked out of Budapest on foot, heading for the Austrian border, after being prevented for several days from catching trains out of the capital. Some had been taken to a refugee camp.

In what the Hungarian media called a “day of uprisings”, 350 people had broken through a police cordon on Friday and begun heading to Austria, 137km away, on tracks leading away from the railway station. By late afternoon on Friday, a day after Orbán had warned of a “Muslim threat” to a Christian culture, up to 2,000 people – most from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan – were walking towards the border in chaotic scenes.

The sudden appearance of blue public buses was a staggering about-turn – and an unexpected rejection of the Dublin convention, which says refugees should be kept in the first EU country they enter, and which Hungary had insisted on upholding. The country is already under fire for its plans to close and wire-fence its borders, saying it will effectively seal the frontier to migrants as of next week, in the face of EU Schengen rules…

The buses triggered alarm. Many refugees distrusted the Hungarian authorities after some of those camped at Budapest railway station had earlier boarded buses that they were told were heading for the Austrian border, only to end up in a refugee camp in Hungary. Many feared a similar ploy this time. “Who’s organising it, the Hungarians?” asked Ali, a Syrian on the march, after seeing the buses were coming. “Forget it, I’m walking.”…

In Austria, the mood was one of pride – for the way the government responded to the crisis and for the overwhelming response from people ferrying donations of food, water and clothes to train stations in Vienna and Salzburg…

By Saturday afternoon, officials in Vienna had to ask people to stay away from the station, which was heavily overcrowded with well-wishers bearing donations…

On Saturday night at Munich’s main station, dozens of Germans lined up behind police barriers to clap, cheer and distribute sweets to welcome refugees to their new home. A sophisticated official operation provided food and transport to temporary lodging.

RTFA for many more details.

To me it is clear the response from each nation’s government – guided the public response. Conservatives and rightwing politicians provoked all the worst in anti-human attitudes. In other lands – like Germany and Austria, more traditional Conservatives along with their Left-wing peers focused on providing aid and assistance to refugees from war.

Same as it ever was.

Nutball claims LHC is Stargate – and the invasion of Earth less than 3 weeks away


This is NOT the Large Hadron Collider and the scientific staff of CERN

Bad news, citizens of Earth: those evil physicists at CERN are once again hellbent on vaporizing the Earth and ending the universe as we know it as the Large Hadron Collider ramps up to unprecedented energies. That’s according to Lonnie Robinson, intrepid correspondent/prophet of doom for The Daily Reporter in Coldwater, Michigan, who sees the signs of our imminent destruction everywhere he looks (including The Simpsons). He even pegs the specific day on which we can probably expect global annihilation: September 24, 2015.

The good news: Lonnie Robinson is full of shit.

Seriously, I am baffled that this article ever found its way into The Daily Reporter. At first I thought it had to be The Onion or a similar satirical site, but no — it’s an actual newspaper. Were the editors asleep at the wheel?…

..These are words that Robinson actually wrote, and presumably some editor at The Daily Reporter approved: “Two of the major goals for CERN is to collapse and break apart the God Particle that creates and maintains our physical world and to tear a hole through the veil that is the barrier protecting our physical universe from the unknown, non-physical universes and other non-physical dimensions believed to be located outside our physical universe…. CERN destroys matter, and everything in our universe is matter. Destroying physical matter eliminates the restrictions and barriers produced by physical matter that keeps us from entering the non-physical universes around us.”

There is so much wrong in that short excerpt, it’s not even worth debunking. This is the full-on crazy mode of the hardcore conspiracy theorist, made crystal clear by this little gem:

“CERN is being used as a stargate, so that human scientists will be able to go to and from currently unknown, perhaps very hostile, non-physical worlds and dimensions located and currently unseen, outside our physical universe.”…

…Note to Robinson: The Stargate franchise is not a documentary. And neither was Interstellar.

Robinson may be serious. I think it more likely the article was produced as clickbait for a smalltown newspaper with nothing else to do to pass the time. Who knows? By the 24th they may have acquired a sponsor or two, someone selling gold for Ron Paul?