NC town rejects solar panels — fear they “suck energy from the sun”

Members of the public in Woodland, North Carolina, expressed their fear and mistrust at the proposal to allow Strata Solar Company to build a solar farm off Highway 258.

During the Woodland Town Council meeting, one local man, Bobby Mann, said solar farms would suck up all the energy from the sun and businesses would not go to Woodland, the Roanoke-Chowan News Herald reported.

Jane Mann, a retired science teacher, said she was concerned the panels would prevent plants in the area from photosynthesizing, stopping them from growing…

She also questioned the high number of cancer deaths in the area, saying no one could tell her solar panels didn’t cause cancer.

Yes, there are plenty of folks throughout the whole United States as ignorant, backwards and foolish as the citizens of Woodland, North Carolina. Still, the Solid South remains a leading candidate for out-of-date, out-of-time, out-of-the-running for the advancement of any business or project that’s progressed beyond a 19th Century skillset.

Republican Party still trying to block the Equal Rights Amendment

…The Equal Rights Amendment, which passed Congress in 1972 and would amend the Constitution to give women equal standing under the law, is on the verge of ratification. Within the next few weeks, Virginia is expected to become the 38th state to ratify the ERA, clearing the Constitutional threshold for ratification, which is three-fourths of the states.

Already, Republicans are in court trying to block the ERA’s inclusion in the Constitution. At the end of December, three GOP attorneys general filed a suit in a federal court in Alabama to block the ERA’s ratification, arguing that it’s not constitutional…

The litigation marks the start of a new chapter in the decadeslong fight to get women’s rights into the Constitution…

“It’s kind of disturbing that in 2020 that any state would spend resources trying to maintain women’s second-class citizenship in this country,” Wendy Murphy said.

Some Democratic attorneys general also put out a strong statement…lambasting their Republican counterparts for being on the wrong side of history.

Nothing surprising to me about today’s Republican Party dedicating all its resources to reactionary and bigoted causes. Is anyone actually surprised?

Missouri tracks Planned Parenthood patients’ periods


Michael Thomas/Getty

❝ Missouri’s top health official testified at a state hearing that his department used a spreadsheet to track the periods of women who visited Planned Parenthood.

Missouri state health director Dr. Randall Williams testified Tuesday at a hearing that will help decide whether the state’s lone Planned Parenthood clinic can continue to perform abortions. Williams said that his office created the spreadsheet to identify women who underwent failed abortions…The Kansas City Star reported…

❝ The head of the St. Louis Planned Parenthood, Yamelsie Rodriguez, told The Star that Williams’ testimony was “deeply disturbing.”

“This is government overreach at its worst,” she said. “This is outrageous and disgusting.”

Someone mail me a penny postcard when Missouri decides to join the 21st Century. Even the 20th would be an improvement.

Automakers refuse Trump’s order to lower gas mileage – so, now, they’re accused of antitrust violations

❝ The Justice Department has opened an antitrust investigation into four major automakers who have rejected the Trump administration’s relaxed air pollution and mileage regulations.

The four automakers — Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW — agreed in July to meet the tougher standards set by the California Air Resources Board rather than the Trump administration’s rules, which would roll back standards put in place under former President Barack Obama.

❝ “California, a coalition of states, and these automakers are leading the way on smart policies that make the air cleaner and safer for us all,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom at the time. “I now call on the rest of the auto industry to join us, and for the Trump administration to adopt this pragmatic compromise instead of pursuing its regressive rule change. It’s the right thing for our economy, our people and our planet.”

But the Trump administration is challenging California’s right to set standards that are tougher than federal rules.

Does it matter whether Trump is a creep or a cretin? Either way, his proposals – so often adopted by a Senate run by Republican bobbleheads – are crafted only to increase corporate profits and diminish American health.

When Victorian Doctors Used to Finger Their Patients

❝ In the Victorian Era – specifically 1837 to 1901 – doctors treated woman by genital stimulation to induce “hysterical paroxysm” or an orgasm. This hysteria was supposed to be a build-up of fluid in the woman’s womb and doctors assumed that since men ejaculated and felt better then it stood to reason…

Female hysteria was a once-common medical diagnosis, made exclusively in women, which is today no longer recognized by modern medical authorities as a medical disorder. Its diagnosis and treatment was routine for many hundreds of years in Western Europe. Hysteria was widely discussed in the medical literature of the Victorian era. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.

Part of the “tradition” still current in some conservative circles. No doubt.

RTFA. Stupid, ignorant, thoughtless by modern medical standards…cruel and absurd.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Abortion Bans Based on So-Called “Science” Are Fraudulent

❝ We are scientists, and we believe that evidence, not ideology, should inform health care decisions. The wave of anti-abortion laws across the U.S. is the latest in a long string of attempts to falsely use the language and authority of science to justify denying people their basic human rights and inflict lasting harm. Although abortion is still legal in every state, recent legislation in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio threatens the future of abortion rights in the country. Scientists should, first and foremost, value evidence, and the evidence is clear: abortion bans cause harm. They make abortions less safe and especially harm historically marginalized communities…

❝ So-called heartbeat bills, which ban abortion as early as after six weeks of pregnancy, are not based on science. In fact, no heart yet exists in an embryo at six weeks. Yet six states and counting enacted such bills in 2019, in addition to Alabama’s near-total ban. Equally unscientific “abortion reversal” laws are also gaining traction. These laws, now on the books in eight states, require doctors to tell patients receiving a medication abortion, a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy, that it can be reversed halfway through to save their pregnancy.

Not only is this law bad science, it is actively dangerous. The idea of abortion reversal is based on a single study of six participants that was (poorly) conducted without an ethics review board. The so-called abortion reversal procedure is experimental and has neither been clinically tested nor approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

❝ Both heartbeat bills and abortion reversal laws have been opposed by leading medical groups, including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Real doctors, real scientists, don’t rely on ancient myths and legends to advance the health and welfare of our species. A primary reason they have success rate scores enormously higher than superstitious mumbo-jumbo.