Sunday, December 04, 2016

Mark Twain was a great American and so am I.

..."There are some things that can beat smartness and foresight. Awkwardness and stupidity can. The best swordsman in the world doesn’t need to fear the second best swordsman in the world; no, the person for him to be afraid of is some ignorant antagonist who has never had a sword in his hand before; he doesn’t do the thing he ought to do, and so the expert isn’t prepared for him." - from  A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. (click here)

“The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter, they are an entire banquet.”

“Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

“A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining and wants it back the minute it begins to rain.”

"If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything."

 "Patriotism is defending your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."...

I never needed Mark Twain to justify activism. I have been an activist for as long as I can remember. I was debating my teacher (male) in the world history class in the seventh grade about the Vietnam War.

To show how education has transgressed from American excellence, let me offer this reality. My junior high school had an entire year of world geography in eight grade? Yep? I did well in learning environments.

The Trump years are going to be different than the "W" years. This is a launch into an entire change of paradigm in the USA and it's' relationship with the world. I think much is foolishness and populism on steroids.

I think there is going to be a real need for newspapers and by all estimations there will be an increase in readership. This is an opportunity for journalists to be at their best and befriend the American people. Trump loves to be the center of attention and the media will provide that. It will be up to Democrats to have a louder and ever present megaphone.

If Hillary Clinton is going to be victimized then it is time feminists are front and center to scream sexism and educate the American people as to what defines sexism.


Hillary Clinton from the beginning of her public career has received a far different standard in politics. It is amazing she has achieved the level of involvement she has for the defamation of character she receives. When the right wing Republicans attack her in the years to come, she will have plenty to say. I look forward to it.

Recently, Hillary was met by an average citizen while on her daily walk. She looks great. She is most likely enjoying down time and her family. I don't expect to see her on a campaign any time soon, but, I do expect to hear from her in anticipation of more Republican brutality at the cost of the American taxpayer.

I think she needs to return to her speeches and lectures. I am sure there is a great deal more to hear from her.

Next week, I'll begin the introduction of the chemical industry, the environment and Green Chemistry.

Beware those with altered realities.

December 4, 2016
By Melanie Benesh

By releasing the first 10 chemicals (click here) to be reviewed under the new federal chemical safety law, the Environmental Protection Agency reminds us of what’s at stake – and how decisions made by the incoming Trump administration could jeopardize Americans' health.

Many of the chemicals identified by the EPA are found in consumer products and have been linked to cancer. But the team deciding how the incoming administration will implement the new law is led by Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an industry-funded front group that has consistently downplayed the risks toxic chemicals pose.

The front group's so-called experts deem chemicals posing serious health hazards safe – including arsenic, mercury, phthalates and formaldehyde. The Institute even laments that the notorious killer asbestos might be among the first “casualties” of the new law, which gives the EPA new power to review and regulate the most dangerous chemicals.

If people like Ebell, who is not a scientist, are put in charge of the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, there’s no telling how the science will be twisted to serve the chemical industry. And if the EPA gets it wrong with these first 10 chemicals, there could be serious consequences....

There are simple answers found in "Return to life less complicated."

Washing our hands (click here) is something we do many times a day because it's a proven way to kill germs. So why are we highlighting something you already do? Because it's an effective - but often overlooked - way to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals, especially for children. But ironically, some soaps contain chemicals you should avoid, so choosing a safer soap is important and more challenging than it should be.

Triclosan is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity. (click here) Exposure to even low levels of triclosan may disrupt thyroid function. Treatment does not remove 100 percent of the triclosan washed into wastewater, which means it ends up in lakes, rivers and water sources. That’s especially dangerous, since triclosan is very toxic to aquatic life.

DISCLAIMER: Due to public pressure, (click here) many major manufacturers have quietly begun reformulating their products without triclosan. Product formulations may change without notice. Below is a small sampling of products formulated with, or used to be formulated with triclosan and is not to be considered a comprehensive list. Remember to always refer to product labels to determine whether triclosan is contained in your product. Some retail outlets may still carry older formulations. Look out for labels that state: "antimicrobial protection." Some antibacterial soaps may use triclosan's cousin, triclocarban, in place of triclosan.
Soap: Dial® Liquid handsoap and bodywash; Tea Tree Therapy™ Liquid Soap; Clearasil® Daily Face Wash; Dermalogica® Skin Purifying Wipes; DermaKleen™ Antibacterial Lotion Soap; CVS Antibacterial Soap, Ajax Antibacterial Dishsoap, Kimcare Antibacterial Clear Soap, Bath and Body Works Antibacterial Hand Soaps, Gels and Foaming Sanitizers.

Dental Care: Colgate Total®; Breeze™ Daily Mouthwash; Reach® Antibacterial Toothbrush...
A study of a product or procedure is considered the most valid after 20 years OR if there is significant evidence of effects throughout a population of people, ie: ATZ when tested on AIDS patients.

"Ivory" bar soap has been around a long, long time. The film loop below shows some liquid soap. The complaint and worry among schools and preschools about bar soap is that it can fall to the floor and cause a slippery surface. That can be handled IF the children are using a deep soap dish and taught about that inherent danger in their environment. 

Young children need to learn academic information, but, they also need to learn LIFE SKILLS and this is a great health care class.

June 22, 2004
By Lloyd Vries

Procter & Gamble Co. (click here) is coming clean about the history behind Ivory soap, saying the product's ability to float wasn't discovered by accident.

The company has used the slogan "It floats" to promote Ivory since the 1800s. The earliest P&G advertising also emphasized Ivory's buoyancy, along with the long-standing claim that the bar soap is "99 and 44/100ths percent pure."

Although the Cincinnati-based company acknowledged that the soap floats because P&G whips air into it, it long has attributed that to a production mistake.

But an 1863 notebook entry by P&G chemist James N. Gamble may set the record straight, according to Ed Rider, the company archivist who found the document.

"I made floating soap today," Gamble wrote. "I think we'll make all of our stock that way."

Gamble, son of P&G co-founder James Gamble, had previously studied with another chemist who already knew how to make soap float, Rider discovered....

I was very lucky as a teenager in that I didn't have acne problems and I was an "all natural" teen. I think it was easier for me than most others.

One of the more pesky issues regarding human health has to do with thyroid disruption.

Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2012 May 22;355(2):240-8. (click here)
Thyroid effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals.

Boas M, Feldt-Rasmussen U, Main KM
Department of Growth and Reproduction GR, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


In recent years, many studies of thyroid-disrupting effects of environmental chemicals have been published. Of special concern is the exposure of pregnant women and infants, as thyroid disruption of the developing organism may have deleterious effects on neurological outcome. Chemicals may exert thyroid effects through a variety of mechanisms of action, and some animal experiments and in vitro studies have focused on elucidating the mode of action of specific chemical compounds. Long-term human studies on effects of environmental chemicals on thyroid related outcomes such as growth and development are still lacking. The human exposure scenario with life long exposure to a vast mixture of chemicals in low doses and the large physiological variation in thyroid hormone levels between individuals render human studies very difficult. However, there is now reasonably firm evidence that PCBs have thyroid-disrupting effects, and there is emerging evidence that also phthalates, bisphenol A, brominated flame retardants and perfluorinated chemicals may have thyroid disrupting properties.

This is only one scientific article that seeks to deal with thyroid disruption in the body. No one should dismiss the importance of European research. It is considered some of the best science in the world that leaves society open minded to changing habits that are not good for a person's health.

Should the USA have it's expertise dismantled in any area of consumer concerns, the European community does not give up it's culture and clear thinking about what a human body should be exposed to through consumer products and the environment.

Europeans are great people and they hold their ground when it comes to threats to their quality of life; ie: Flint, Michigan would never happen. 

This is just short of 30 minutes. This will take 10:15 and 10:30 PM. Next entry will be 10:45 PM.

The only time these were discussed on the blog was when they presented as a topic of concern. I haven't really elaborated on the chemicals or chemistry itself.

Inorganic chemical pollutants – are those chemicals of mineral origin in (not produced by living organisms). Common inorganic chemical pollutants include:

Metals and their salts – usually from mining and smelting activities, as well as disposal of mining wastes;

Organic salts contain a carbon such as sodium acetate (CH3COONa). Inorganic salts have no carbon, such as sodium chloride (NaCl), common table salt. Salts are not always benevolent to the body either. The two mentioned here are. As a matter of fact if one mixes sodium acetate and acetic acid (CH3COOH) the "Snack Food Association" (click here) would have approved of the salt and vinegar taste in potato chips.

Inorganic fertilizers (e.g., nitrates, phosphates) used largely in agriculture and gardening. If present in large amounts in water they can be harmful to human health and usually trigger algae blooming events;

Sulfides (such as pyrite) are usually mined minerals and once disposed in the environment, they may generate sulfuric acid in the presence of precipitation water and microorganisms

Ammonia is a poisonous gas if released in higher amounts and may cause blindness followed by death;

The oxides of nitrogen and sulfur are very common air pollutants resulting from vehicle emissions, industrial processes and other human activities

Acids and bases are used in a variety of industrial applications as well as in chemical laboratories. These are less problematic chemicals because their effect can be easily neutralized in the environment, but if spread in large amounts they may still pose a threat to environment and human health;

Perchlorate includes the perchloric acids and its various salts. Perchlorate is used in a variety of applications including rocket fuel, explosives, military operations, fireworks, road flares, inflation bags, etc. Perchlorate is problematic because it is persistent and may damage thyroid function in humans.

This blog has discussed organic chemistry before. The biological chemistry of

Carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, fluorine, phosphorus, sulfur, magnesium, potassium, iodine, chlorine, sodium and iron.

Just for controversy there are also elements called Chalcogen. They are unique and are sometimes considered organic, although, they are not found in any multi-vitamin;  selenium (Se), tellurium(Te), and the radioactive element polonium (Po) and there are some who consider the synthetic element livermorium (Lv) is predicted to be a chalcogen. Basically, chalcogens react with oxygen and can react with oxygen inside the body.

Everyone will recognize polonium as the poison of Russian agents for the KGB. So, Chalcogens are organic, but, they aren't necessarily helpful to life.

Organic chemical pollutants – are those chemicals of organic origin or that could be produced by living organisms or are based of matter formed by living organisms. Common organic chemical pollutants include:

Crude oil and petroleum refined products (e.g., gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, mineral spirit, motor oil, lubricating oil);

Solvents (e.g., acetone, MEK, toluene, benzene, xylene) used in industry as well as in many household products;

Chlorinated solvents (e.g., PCE, TCE, 1,1,1-TCA, 1,2-DCA, 1,1,2-TCA) used in industrial degreasing processes, as well as in dry cleaning, and in various household products;

PAHs (polyaromatic hydrocarbons) are found in petroleum products, crude oil, but are also a result of burning activities (e.g., from coal power plants as well as historical manufacturing gas plants);

PCBs (polychlorinatedbiphenyl ethers) which are now banned but were used in transformers and are already present in large amounts in environment

Alcohols (e.g., ethanol, methanol, isopropanol) are used in a large variety of applications and household products;

Trihalomethanes (e.g., chloroform, dibromochloromethane, chlorobromomethane, bromoform) which are common products of water chlorination

Phenols are usually an indication of waste water and a result of industrial processes;

Plastics are a result of industrial processes as well as our daily activities involving using and disposing of a large variety of plastics (e.g., bags, bottles, containers);

Pesticides / Insecticides / Herbicides are commonly used in agriculture and may contain toxic organic chemicals and metals (such as mercury and arsenic);

Detergents (e.g., nonylphenol ethoxilate) include a variety of chemical compounds with surface activity;

Organo-metalic compounds (e.g., organo-arsenicals, organo-mercurials) are usually pesticides / insecticides / herbicides.

In order to appreciate "Green Chemistry" one has to realize what the dangers are of traditional chemistry.

When chemicals (click here) are released into our environment and disrupts the balance of our ecosystems, threatening our health, polluting the air we breathe and contaminating our food.

That is a fairly good definition of chemical pollution. This site goes on to mention how chemical pollution takes place; transportation, household, industries and factories. Those are fairly standard places to look for chemical pollution, but, all too often chemical pollution occurs in more intimate places, such as children's toys, formula bottles and water pipes when exposed to corrosive effects. There are also issues with furniture cloth, airborne contaminates that migrate into a home from outside. 

There is an organization that monitors this mess. I believe they are out of Europe. So, when the USA eliminates moral agencies from the federal government there are still strong alternatives available.

The Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) (click here) is one of three independent non-food scientific committees that advise the European Commission on matters of consumer safety, public health and the environment.
The committee was set up in 2004 to provide the European Commission with scientific advice on health and environmental risks. It replaced the Scientific Committee on Toxicity, Ecotoxicity and the Environment (CSTEE).
SCHER addresses questions relating to examinations of the toxicity and ecotoxicity of chemicals, biochemicals and biological compound whose use may have harmful consequences for human health and the environment.
In particular, the Committee addresses questions related to new and existing chemicals, the restriction and marketing of dangerous substances, biocides, waste, environmental contaminants, plastic and other materials used for water pipe work (e.g. new organics substances), drinking water, indoor and ambient air quality. It addresses questions relating to human exposure to mixtures of chemicals, sensitisation and identification of endocrine disrupters.

The SCHER complies with the principles of independence, transparency and confidentiality. SCHER members therefore make a declaration of commitment to act in the public interest and a declaration of interests; requests for opinions, agendas, minutes and opinions are published; work and publications are done with regard to the need for commercial confidentiality.
This initiative was created in 2001 from the vision that:
  • in the environmental and health fields, the current state of scientific knowledge is an essential
    basis for constructive debates and informed decisions.
  • scientific information available on these issues is often partially unreliable, because it is
    usually provided,
    • either by stakeholder organizations (businesses, NGOs...), which tend to defend their
      opinions or their own financial or political interests,
    • or by individual experts, which are often tempted to put forward their own personal
The founders agreed that the current state of scientific knowledge on these issues is best provided
by scientific consensus reports, produced by large panels of scientific experts under the authority of
international organizations, such as WHO, FAO, IARC, UNEP, and the European Commission.

A short political note. Harry Reid is not afraid of traditional Democratic values.

Also known as "Where do you plant your flag?"

December 1, 2016
By Joshua Zaffos

While most swing states bent (click here) toward President-elect Donald Trump and a surprisingly red result on Election Night, Nevada actually got bluer. Not only did the Silver State go for Hillary Clinton, but Democrats held onto retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s seat, flipped its U.S. House delegation, and regained control of both chambers of the state legislature. Progressives also helped legalize recreational marijuana, supported breaking up a monopoly on the state electricity market, and even passed tougher background checks for gun purchases.

So, what exactly happened? “Nevada actually followed the formula that the Democrats thought would carry the nation,” says Eric Herzik, chair of the University of Nevada, Reno, political science department.

That meant relying on an organized and powerful get-out-the-vote strategy. Clinton’s campaign set up shop in the state 18 months in advance of the election. Reid’s political “machine,” a staff and network developed over decades, hustled to register voters and support several handpicked candidates. A coalition of the potent, 57,000-member Culinary Workers Union Local 226, representing Las Vegas hotel and service workers, and other progressive groups also registered and rallied tens of thousands of voters, including Latinos...            

While on the subject of pollution and chemistry...

According to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, (click here) these spills and ruptures released over 7 million gallons of crude. Individual leaks ranged from a few gallons to hundreds of thousands of gallons. One of the largest spills happened in North Dakota in 2013 when lightning struck a pipeline, which leaked over 840,000 gallons of crude onto a wheat field.
Much of this crude originates in the oil fields of Texas and North Dakota. But accidents frequently occur with pipelines that just transport crude through states to refineries. Thus, states not directly involved in the oil fracking boom still face substantial risks to public safety and the environment from crude transport.
In addition to the mainland USA spills there were five in Alaska. Below are the gas and oil pipelines that service the USA. is there any place where there are pipelines WITHOUT a spill? The answer is no. Everywhere there are pipelines their are spills. What is the argument exactly for pipelines? Safer transport? That is a lie.

Thank you. There are more important aspects of life than oil.

Although I expect the encampment to be occupied for awhile longer, this is a wonderful conclusion for the Native Americans. They were right. I am so pleased they were able to keep their land and their traditions. It is a great victory for them.

The encampment will probably stand for a short while simply because of a trauma bond with the land. It is difficult for them to feel safe immediately. The occupiers of the encampment now have to balance the wellness and well being of the people against their victory. The law now protects them and they can disband into their homes for the remainder of the winter. Perhaps an occasional ceremonial prayer can occur during the winter to continue to bless the land, but, warm housing has to be replaced by their sacrifice.

December 4, 2016
By the Sacramento Bee Editorial Board

Thousands of American Indians (click here) and their supporters gathered in a frozen expanse of North Dakota for what could’ve become a needlessly violent showdown Monday with police at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Instead, on Sunday afternoon, the federal government did the right thing and capitulated. The Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would not approve the final permits to complete construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline – a leg of which would’ve crossed under Lake Oahe, a sacred site and a source of drinking water for the tribe of Indians.

“It’s clear that there’s more work to do,” the Corps’ assistant secretary for civil works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, said in a statement. “The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternate routes for the pipeline crossing.”...
 It's Sunday Night

New life, first breath
Clean water, stress less
Bright lights, no test
So you outta get dressed
Just so you know, you're blessed
Move on, forget the rest
Put away your clocks, it's a brand new day
It's time to clean your head
Get out of bed instead
Let the sunshine in, don't waste your day
Today is the day you'll find your love is in you
And it's been right there the whole time
Today is the day you realize you can do
Whatever's on your mind
New life, first breath
Clean water, stress less
Bright lights, no test
So you outta get dressed
Feel right, your at soul rest
Check your order, manifest
Insight, no regrets
Love your life, go on rest
Just so you know, you're blessed
Move on, forget the rest
Put away your clocks, it's a brand new day
It's time
to clean your head
Get out of bed instead
Let the sunshine in, don't waste your day
Today is the day you'll find your love is in you
And it's been right there the whole time
Today is the day you realize you can do
Whatever's on your mind
Today is the day you'll find your love is in you
Oh, and it's been right there the whole time
Today is the day you realize you can do
Oh, whatever's on your mind
Now let's get carried away
With the love that you made
Hold up your head, be strong
Get out of bed, do what you said
You can get through the storm
Now let's get carried away
With the love that you made
Hold up your head, be strong, be strong
Now let's get carried away
With the love that you made
Hold up your head, be strong
Get out of bed, do what you said
You can get through the storm
Now let's get carried away
With the love that you made
Hold up your head, be strong, be strong

Sincerest sympathies to the family and friends of those lost.

December 4, 2016
By Kimberly Veklerov, Hamid Aleaziz, Evan Sernoffsky and Peter Fimriteand 

Dread and anxiety (click here) accompanied the grim work of identifying bodies Sunday as dozens of families suffered through a second day of not knowing whether their loves ones were dead or alive.

The Alameda County coroner confirmed that 33 people had died in the fire and officials said they expect to recover more bodies. But by late afternoon Sunday only seven families had been notified, including an Alameda County sheriff’s deputy whose son was confirmed as being among the dead.

“We’re doing the identifications as fast as we can,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Ray Kelly, explaining that there were also victims from other countries, requiring notification of foreign embassies and the U.S. State Department....