Friday, May 1, 2015

Last Call For Taking A Deep Breath

The annual American Lung Association report on the country's dirtiest air is out, and it's not surprising that while several California cities rank in the top 7 for worst air pollution, spots 8, 9 and 10 are all Midwest cities, including Cincinnati being number 8.

Nearly 44 percent of Americans live in areas with dangerous levels of ozone or particle pollution, according to the American Lung Association's annual "State of the Air" report, published yesterday. 
The good news is that's actually an improvement over last year's report, which showed that 47 percent of the population lived in these highly polluted places. Overall, the air has been getting cleaner since Congress enacted stricter regulations in the 1970s, and the American Lung Association report, which looked at data from 2011 through 2013, showed a continuing drop in the air emissions that create the six most widespread pollutants. 
But don't pat yourself on the back just yet. Many cities experienced a record number of days with high levels of particle pollution, a mixture of solid and liquid droplets in the air that have been linked to serious health problems. Short-term particle pollution was especially bad in the West, in part due to the drought and heat, which may have increased the dust, grass fires and wildfires. Six cities—San Francisco; Phoenix; Visalia, California; Reno, Nevada.; Yakima, Washington; and Fairbanks, Alaska—recorded their highest weighted average number of unhealthy particle pollution days since the American Lung Association started covering this metric in 2004.

It's not all bad news.  We're the #1 cleanest metro area for 24-hour particle pollution, but 8th worst for year-round pollutants.  Kinda weird, but that describes this place with weather systems quickly moving in and out of here.  We clean out pollution in the air super fast, it just gets replaced almost immediately by new pollution.

Go figure.

The Baltimore Hammer

Marilyn Mosby, the State's Attorney in Baltimore responsible for state charges in the Freddie Gray case didn't just throw the book at the six officers involved, she hit them with the entire criminal code.

Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced on Friday that she had filed murder, manslaughter, and assault charges against city police officers following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray.

Gray died on April 19 after being injured while in police custody. 
"The manner of death deemed a homicide by the Maryland state medical examiner is believed to be the result of a fatal injury that occurred while Mr. Gray was punrestrained by a seat belt in the custody of the Baltimore police department wagon," Mosby said at a morning news conference. 
Cheers could be heard in the crowd when Mosby announced that "we have probable cause to file criminal charges."
She said that six officers would face charges, including second-degree murder, manslaughter and assault, and that a warrant had been issued for their arrest at about 9:30 a.m. Friday.

The charges carry 20 years for four of the officers, 30 for the police lieutenant in charge of the scene, and 60 for the officer driving the van, including second-degree murder charges.  This is more than I could ever imagine being thrown at these bad cops, and no less than should be thrown at them.

Whether or not Mosby can prove her case?  We'll see about that.  But there will be a case.

Onward Christian Tin Soldiers

A group of far-right Republican "Christians" plan to martyr themselves by being mean to gay people.

No really, that's the plan.

“We will not obey.” 
That’s the blunt warning a group of prominent religious leaders is sending to the Supreme Court of the United States as they consider same-sex marriage. 
“We respectfully warn the Supreme Court not to cross that line,” read a document titled, Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage. “We stand united together in defense of marriage. Make no mistake about our resolve.” 
“While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross,” the pledge states…. 
“Yes, I’m talking about civil disobedience,” Staver said. “I’m talking about resistance and I’m talking about peaceful resistance against unjust laws and unjust rulings.” 
That’s quite a shocking statement. So I asked Mr. Staver to clarify his remarks. 
I’m calling for people to not recognize the legitimacy of that ruling because it’s not grounded in the Rule of Law,” he told me. “They need to resist that ruling in every way possible. In a peaceful way - they need to resist it as much as Martin Luther King, Jr. resisted unjust laws in his time.”

So I guess this means they're going to what, disobey a Supreme Court order?  We'll see how far that gets. 

In all seriousness however, there remain a number of states where firing someone for being gay is 100% legal, so I guess they'll encourage that, I guess?  That should look really good on TV, a national pogrom against the LGBT community.  I'm sure that will persuade Americans to join them, right?

Good luck with that, bigots.  Bonus points for completely co-opting Dr. King's message of tolerance.


Related Posts with Thumbnails