If Fox News were around in the 50’s…


Thanks, gocomics.org

This commentary is excerpted from an email I sent off literally 5 minutes before I saw tonight’s cartoon.

In the 1940’s – when I was a kid in elementary school and spring came around to the East End of Bridgeport, there were a couple of constants. (1) We’d get ready to start playing baseball, again. There always were seasonal pickup games of basketball or football; but, baseball was the sport for our neighborhood. (2) We’d look around as kids would start gathering to and from school, afternoon sports time, weekends – to see who died over winter.

Diphtheria vaccination was becoming widespread; still, we’d always lose at least one kid over winter. Going into spring and summer, polio was the scariest. There often was a survivor or two clattering through the neighborhood on crutches … And another one or two missing.

We learned to embrace vaccination, parents and kids alike, as the best modern survival medicine on Earth. I can’t recall more than one True Believer of the breast-beating Christian category who refused to be vaccinated. And, yes, he died before he was old enough to vote. My peers and I said, “he got what he deserved”.

Our government, our educators, have grown soft in the head and lax since the bad old days … Ignoring the propaganda of religious nutballs and ignoranus conservatives. They deserve the blame … and most of the responsibility to bring education and understanding back up to standard. In my not-at-all-humble opinion.

Ed Campbell

Fox News is turning the Republican Party into a suicide cult — A reasonable goal for Trump voters

Tucker Carlson really wants his audience to die. The notorious Fox News host and primary mainstreamer of white nationalist views was at it again on Monday night, presenting the coronavirus vaccine as some kind of evil conspiracy and discouraging his audience from getting it…

“How effective is this coronavirus vaccine?” How necessary is it to take the vaccine?” Carlson asked, with his usual feigned expression of skepticism.

He went on to defend the honor of “anti-vaxxers” and lambast social media sites for kicking off people who spread misinformation, claiming, falsely, “there are things we don’t know about the effects of this vaccine and all vaccines by the way.” This is typical Carlson rhetoric. He doesn’t exactly come right out and tell people that vaccines are a nefarious plot. He simply claims he’s “asking questions,” allowing the audience to believe they are practicing critical thinking when what they’re doing is the opposite: rejecting evidence in favor of outrageous conspiracy theories…

What’s weird about this situation, as many people have pointed out, is that Carlson, Ingraham, etc. are actively trying to get their own audiences killed. Nearly 2% of people who test positive for COVID-19 die of it. For Fox News viewers, who tend to lean older, the risk of death is much higher. Nearly half of male GOP voters say they won’t get the vaccine, and it’s a certainty that many of them will die because of it. It’s usually not considered particularly smart business practice to get your own customers killed, but that’s exactly what Carlson and his fellow travelers are doing.

You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes
Well, you might find
You get what you need…

(Apologies to The Rolling Stones)

Fish started swallowing plastic in the 1950’s … matching the growth of our plastics industry ever since


A strand of microplastic from museum fish/Loren Hou

Forget diamonds–plastic is forever. It takes decades, or even centuries, for plastic to break down, and nearly every piece of plastic ever made still exists in some form today … To learn how these microplastics have built up over the past century, researchers examined the guts of freshwater fish preserved in museum collections; they found that fish have been swallowing microplastics since the 1950s and that the concentration of microplastics in their guts has increased over time…

Tim Hoellein and his graduate student Loren Hou were interested in examining the buildup of microplastics in freshwater fish from the Chicagoland region. They reached out to Caleb McMahan, an ichthyologist at the Field Museum, who helped identify four common fish species that the museum had chronological records of dating back to 1900: largemouth bass, channel catfish, sand shiners, and round gobies. Specimens from the Illinois Natural History Survey and University of Tennessee also filled in sampling gaps…

The researchers found that the amount of microplastics present in the fishes’ guts rose dramatically over time as more plastic was manufactured and built up in the ecosystem. There were no plastic particles before mid-century, but when plastic manufacturing was industrialized in the 1950s, the concentrations skyrocketed.

“We found that the load of microplastics in the guts of these fishes have basically gone up with the levels of plastic production,” says McMahan. “It’s the same pattern of what they’re finding in marine sediments, it follows the general trend that plastic is everywhere.”

Another stream of pollution contributing to the general poisoning of portions of the whole ecosystem we live within. Why we now have a field of medical practice called environmental medicine. Researchers get to examine air, water, soil and food … and how our industries can make these dangerous.