where are the honey bees?

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On 5/9/2014 7:57 AM, trader_4 wrote:

Sorry. I just have to point out that the dust-bowl was partly man-made. Remember? Mechanized farming and grass lands? Fortunately, people back then realized they could do something about it.
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On Friday, May 9, 2014 5:18:32 PM UTC-4, gonjah wrote:

Yes, I agree, the dust part was. The drought part AFAIK, was just part of climate change.
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http://www.wired.com/2014/05/wild-bee-and-butterfly-declines/
But it's not just honeybees that are in trouble. Many wild pollinators-thousands of species of bees and butterflies and moths-are also threatened. Their decline would affect not only our food supply, but our landscapes, too. Most honeybees live in commercially managed agricultural colonies; wild pollinators are caretakers of our everyday surroundings.
"Almost 90 percent of the world's flowering species require insects or other animals for pollination," said ecologist Laura Burkle of Montana State University. "That's a lot of plants that need these adorable creatures for reproduction. And if we don't have those plants, we have a pretty impoverished world."
Compared to honeybees, wild pollinators are not well studied, and their condition has received relatively little public attention. Most people don' t realize that there are thousands of bee species in the United States. Even many butterflies are overlooked, with the plight of just a few species, particularly monarchs, widely recognized.
'Species that used to be in all our yards are dropping out.' Wild bees and butterflies are out on the landscape, making them difficult to count, and a lack of historical baselines makes it challenging to detect long-term trends. Slowly but surely, though, results from field studies and anecdotal reports from experts are piling up. They don't paint a pretty picture. Many pollinator populations seem to be dwindling.
According to a recent survey organized by the Xerces Society, an invertebrate conservation group, nearly one-third of North American bumblebee species are declining. Other studies have reported similar trends, documenting dramatic declines in once-common species such as the American bumblebee. If that's happening to bumblebees, says Xerces Society executive director Scott Black, it's quite possible, even likely, that others are hurting, too.
"There's very little information status on most of the bees other than bumblebees, but if you look at the life histories of these groups, many are likely even more sensitive to the disturbances leading to the declines, such as pesticides and habitat loss," Black said. "Although we don't know what's going on with all bees, I think we could be seeing real problems."
Among other pollinators, iconic monarch butterfly declines are well documented: Their numbers are now at a small fraction of historical levels. And entomologist Art Shapiro of the University of California, Davis spent most of the last four decades counting butterflies across central California, and found declines in every region. These declines don't just involve butterflies that require very specific habitats or food sources, and might be expected to be fragile, but so-called generalist species thought to be highly adaptable. Many other entomologists have told Black the same thing.
"Species that used to be in all our yards are dropping out, but nobody's monitoring them," Black said.
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news:51e7f1fc-1ba8-4f41-aa68-

It doesn't have to be "the core" of what happened. It's a substantial part of what happened. Workers had to make do with poorly planned cuts across the board because of the sequester funding cuts.
When you don't give people who are caring for those injured in Bush's poorly executed and planned wars the funds to do it, shortcuts and all sorts of issues are *bound* to occur and they're occurring not just in the VA, but all throughout government. China is flexing its muscles all throughout the South China Sea and we're ill-equipped to deal with them, partly because of mindless "percentage based" spending cuts and partly because the AfRaq wars have changed the military focus from fighting credible military forces like China to counter-insurgency fighting in countries where we're not really welcome as "saviors."
Mindlessly cutting budgets appeals to Tea Party types who don't realize that such cuts cause enough disruption to essentially make them worthless. My wife's said repeatedly that DoD is spending as much money trying to figure out how to deal with the cuts as they're ever likely to save. Eventually starved departments are going to need emergency appropriations. People in agencies like the VA are scrambling to figure out how to make things work with less and less money and eventually something bad's going to happen. Oh wait, it just did. The Tea Party modus operandi is to starve the government and then kick it when it falls over from starvation and blame it for bleeding on the floor. The VA problems, I predict, are only the tip of the iceberg.

You're still missing the point. The poor performance comes from being starved for funds by mindless "X percent" sequester cuts based on the debt hysteria the Republicans hyped. The debt that came from Bush cutting taxes on the super-rich and then going on a war spending spree. There was a reason why "cutting government income while wildly increasing government spending" Bush was kept away from the McCain/Obama race. People finally figured out that cutting taxes on the ULTRA rich didn't produce the jobs we were promised it would.
Spin it any way you like, but even my dead Grandma knows the Republicans only care about the debt when money's being spent on something they DON'T like. When it's for war or building the world's biggest spy apparatus, it's "spend, spend, spend" like a drunken sailor.

Well, that's your take but if you read what I actually wrote it's that Christie's toast because of some simple facts. If he knew what Kelly allegedly did, he should be run out of town on a rail. However, if he *didn't* know what his top aides were doing in his name then he's a bad manager.
If Christie hired *lots* of bad/incompetent people and was unable to supervise them closely enough to prevent this scandal from occurring why would anyone suspect he could put together a presidential administration that was any better? He's deep in a lose/lose situation and I don't think he'll ever recover. Even worse for Christie he's involved in a process that still has plenty of steam left in it while Benghazi will have sputtered out long before 2016. His numbers have flagged badly as a result of Bridgegate.
And as for someone "not needing facts" I'd hang that placard on Christie who fired Bridget Kelly without even talking to her or attempting to fairly determine what happened. While you seem to think that's decisive and praiseworthy, I would say he's guilty of the "lynch mob" mentality you're accusing me of. FWIW, Bridgegate's going to turn out to be a lot more damaging to Christie than Benghazi will be to Clinton. As for it damaging Obama it's of almost no concern to him because he can't run again and because all of the clamor raised when the issue was current didn't slow down his re-election.
If only the Republicans would exit the "witch-hunting" mode and reclaim their role as the party of fiscal responsibility they might win a Presidential election. Sadly, there seems to be no realization that inquests like Benghazi really only satisfy the base of people who would NEVER vote Democrat for any reason. The Republicans don't seem to realize they have to convince all the people that sit on the fence that they have the better ideas. I don't see how witch hunting helps them achieve that goal. In fact, I think it actually hampers their goal of reaching independent voters.
Now that our deficit/debt is going down after the Bush tax cuts on the ULTRA-rich have been reversed, I think that convincing voters to reduce taxes on the UR again is going to be very tough for the Republicans to pull off. Maybe even impossible.
What they miss is that they not only fail to sway independents, but actually help convince them that the Republican party is mired deeply in the past. Obama, despite his many other failings, refused to play the blame game when he became President even though there were multiple opportunities to do so. Republicans would be well-advised to consider that when then try to keep things like Benghazi on artificial life support it just makes them look petty, vindictive and unable to offer a real plan for improving people's lives.
Benghazi was a tragedy that mostly effected the poor four people that died. Bridgegate, on the other hand, is something that EVERY poor slob ever stuck in an interminable traffic jam can identify with. That's why Bridgegate will sink Christie but Benghazi will probably end up helping Clinton in the long run as it turns into another "birther" type issue that tends to cast Republicans as mud-slinging conspiratorial theorists obsessed with past events and no plan for the future.
--
Bobby G.



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On Friday, May 16, 2014 4:48:07 AM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:

It's the core of the problem. You can't fix something that no one knows is broken. It's like saying the airplane stalled and crashed, but the core of the problem wasn't the fact that the airspeed indicator was broken and the stall warning horn was disabled.

It's funny. In private industry, in tough times, they figure out how to make do. In govt, it's waahhh, I always need more money.
China is flexing its muscles all throughout the

If that's true, then why is Obama proposing huge military budget cuts? Why does he want to take troops down by 80,000 to just 440,000 which would be the lowest in decades?
Could it be that China, like Russia, Iran, Syrian and the like see Obama as an indecisive, false bluffing, community organizer that is in way over his head?

Could be. Come to think of it, maybe it's all intentional. Create a train wreck, and then "waaaaaah", see what happened? We need more money!
For the record, do we have Shenseki saying I didn't have the money to do my job? Did he ever tell that to Congress? I sure have not seen it. And if he did, there are many from both parties that would be all over it, eg McCain

You're still missing the point. It's that in the cases under investigation, the VA covered up the poor performance. If they had not hidden it, then upper management, Congress, would know what's happening. The VA, in some cases, deliberately manipulated the system (gamed in the words of one participant in a memo), to hide the fact that the serious wait delays were occurring.
Did Shenseki tell Congress he didn't have the funds to do his job? That the delays were excessive? I haven't seen it and he just testified. If this were going on and I was the head of the VA, and the core of the problem was lack of funding, I'd be saying "I testified before Congress on x/yy, stating that our funding was inadequate, people were waiting. I sent out memos to Congress, here they are. Funny, thing, we have none of that. So far, the defense seems to be, I didn't know, now I'm mad, and the instances were isolated, not system wide.
The debt that came from Bush cutting taxes

Oh pleas, what total BS. Look at the deficits in the last several years of Bush. They were steadily *declining*, and the deficit in the last year before the recession was down to just $160bil. Then we had the severe recession, which had nothing to do with tax cuts or wars. It was caused by systemic problems and speculation in real estate.
So, for one year, we had a huge and unusual deficit that reached $1.4 tril. That included one time stimulus spending, and $700 bil TARP. TARP was ultimately almost all paid back, with interest, so it should not have even been counted as part of that extraordinary $1.4 tril deficit. Yet now, the Democrats want to use that one time extraordinary deficit as a baseline. "See, look what we've done. Five years later, and we've cut the deficit in half....." That's like using the year your house burned down as basis for the future, instead of all the typical years before it. By any historical measure, the current deficits are a disaster and unexplainable.
There was a

It sure did. The Bush tax cuts were in effect for what, 7 years? We had low unemployment and the budget deficit was down to just $160bil.
Now after 5 years+ of Obama, we have high unemployment, a labor participation rate not seen in 3 decades, record numbers of people on food stamps, welfare, and a $600bil deficit.
See the difference? Yet you continue to point the finger at Bush. Obama has done nothing to fix the deficit. The best example of that was Simpson/Boles. You had a bi-partisan committee make real recommendations to address it. Obama received the report, put it away and never mentioned it again. And then he continued his divisive attacks on the rich, he's still doing it today. Some leader.
And BTW, if the Bush tax cuts didn't help generate jobs, why was it that Obama extended them? He was all in favor of it, until he later flip-flopped. Actually, I think he did it a couple of times. But he clearly chose to extend the Bush tax cuts for years. But, here you are complaining about them.

The war, the war, the war. The total cost of two wars spanning 13 years is what, $1.5tri? The national debt is $17tril. Obama has added 7 tril in just 5 years. Clearly war is not the primary problem here. Did the Republicans fail to control spending during the Bush years? Sure. Does that make what the Democrats are doing, ie taking that extraordinary $1.4tril deficit and using it as the baseline right? Of course not. It's one of the most dishonest and dangerous things I've even seen politicians do.

"If he knew" translates into fact? Good grief.
However, if he

So Obama is then a bad manager, because he didn't know WTF Sebelius was doing? And with Obama, it wasn't some bridge closing that you wouldn't expect him to know about, it was Obama's biggest achievement, Obamacare. Sebelius had it all screwed up and Obama didn't know about it. Either that, or he did know and he's lying. Either way, he's a bad manager, by your own standards.

The "If" is a big one. Where is the similar outrage over Obama and Sebelius, IRS commissioner, Holder, and now the VA head?
He's deep in a lose/lose situation and I don't think

See, there you go again. You're all over Christie, he's finished, while giving a free pass to Obama and similar. Where is the outrage of what went on at IRS? Lerner takes the fifth, the investigation is being stonewalled at IRS and that gets excused? The IRS being used against political opponents gets a pass? For sure I'd rather be stuck in traffic, than have IRS screwing me.

Oh, BS. Christie had told his entire staff that if they had any involvement in the bridge thing, he wanted them to come forward and say so, right now, within the next hour. That day long passed. And then information came out that clearly showed Kelly did have involvement. So, he fired her. Not a damn thing wrong with that.
I guess it's OK to keep obviously incompetents around, like Sebelius for you Dems.
FWIW, Bridgegate's going to turn out to be a lot more

There you go again. The investigation hasn't even been concluded. So far, nothing has come out that shows Christie was involved.
BTW, speaking of investigation and coming out, can one of you Obama fanatics tell us the answer to a simple question? Obama was told that the Benghazi consulate was under attack around 5PM as it was starting. Where was Obama for the next 10 hours, what discussions did he have, what orders did he give? How is it that we've had several investigations into that, and we still don't have an answer to that simple question? I suspect I know the reason.
As for it damaging

If there's nothing damaging about Benghazi, why does the WH keep lying about it and why don't we know the answer to the simple question about what, if anything, Obama did?

When they try to act fiscally responsible, you libs shoot them in the head. Why, you were here just bitching about sequestration. That's the only way the Republicans could control spending. Obama shoved Simpson/Bowles in the drawer. And for an example of tactics, look at what Obama did to Paul Ryan. Ryan came up with proposed budget cuts. Did Obama invite him the the WH to discuss it? Hell no, he gave him a front row seat at one of Obama's press conferences and proceeded to try to tear him a new AH in front of cameras.
Sadly, there seems to be no realization that

That's what was said about Watergate too. And nobody died in Watergate. Polls show two thirds of the public think the WH is hiding stuff about Benghazi.
The Republicans don't seem to realize

You assume the witch hunting is about their goals and not about finding out the truth. I think the families of the 4 dead Americans would like to know the truth. So would I. Are you afraid of the truth?

Now you're really lying. The deficit under Bush before the recession was down to just $160bil. That was with the tax cuts in place.

OMG! I can't believe you said that. Obama, just like you're doing here has blamed everyone, but himself. He's blamed Bush. He's lied about deficits and tax cuts, like you just did. He's blamed Republicans for everything and anything he could. He's used class warfare to blame the rich. And he has to, because otherwise the simple fact is the economy, foreign policy, everything is a mess under 5+ years of Obama. We even have a return to the Cold War.

So, that makes it OK to wind up the UN Ambassador, with a pack of lies, and send her out to 5 Sunday talk shows, saying that Benghazi was a spontaneous demonstration over a movie? When in fact there were no demonstrations at all?

Sure 4 Americans, including our Ambassador dead. A consulate burned to the ground. And a bridge delay is worse. Are you for real? And BTW, Christie has had several press conferences on the bridge thing. He's stood there for hours answering every question put to him.
Where is Obama on Benghazi? He's hiding, mostly behind Jay Carney. And even on the rare occasion when he gets a question, he refuses to answer. Case in point, O'Reilly asked him in Jan the simple question if when Panetta and Dempsi first told him of the attack in Benghazi when they met with him aroung 5PM that day, did they call it a terrorist attack. Simple question. O'Reilly asked two or three times and Obama refused to answer, just deflecting it. Have you seen Christie do that?
And the factor in all the lies about Benghazi. Carney had been telling the press for a year that the only words in a talking points memo about Benghazi that were changed were grammatical and changing "embassy" to "consulate". He said absolutely nothing of substance was edited. Then, thanks to a year of Congress investigating, we finally find out that the document was edited 13 times, taking out "terrorist", Al-Qaeda, references to prior attacks in Benghazi, etc.
Have you seen that with Christie?
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<stuff snipped>

That reminds me of a famous short story by Katherine Mansfield ("Ship of Fools") titled "The Fly". An old man describes his life and the death of his son as he puts tiny drops of ink on a fly's wings, studying and remarking at how well it cleans itself and carries on, until, of course, it finally can't cope with the onslaught of inkdrops and dies.
I've thought that a better way to describe the generations (i.e. "X", the Millenials, etc) would be by the most popular cutural icons of the period. The "Dune" generation, the "Grok/Water Brother" generation (can't remember the name of the Heinlein novel those terms are from - "Stranger in a Strange Land!!" -- another neuron that wasn't quite dead yet - only sleeping), the Harry Potter generation, the "Twilight" generation, the "Star Wars" generation, etc. Gives a much finer gradation to the cohort of people who all share a deep affinity for those books or movies.
Not sure where to divide the groups age-wise. Films and books seem to have had the most profound effect on me from age 12 to 24 or so. What famous lines do you remember from movies from that time in your life? I know it's pretty cliche but "I am Spartacus" really stuck with me as well as "Because we LIVE here!" and in two different movies "I am my own police". "Take the cannoli, leave the gun!" and of course "Help me Obi Wan." (-: "The slow blade penetrates the shield." "You have to ask yourself, do you feel lucky, punk?" "Is this the end of Rico?" "I'm killed, Jed."
I realized recently that good writing is writing that you can remember as you advance in years. I'm really thinning out the herd in my head.
--
Bobby G.




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