March 31 Sources: 300 Spartans & Honey Bees

As older readers know, I post sources that I have looked at during the past week. I do not pretend that the list is as fair & balanced as Fox News. Rather it reflects my idiosyncrasies. This week, for example, you see my interest in the 300 Spartans, Chinese in Africa, the Brazilian Economy & honey bee colony declines. I hope that others will find something to like.

Sources are Below

Domestic

The Dirty Secret about Clean Cars
YouTube Unleashes Human Creativity
Attorney Firings: Important but Not Interesting*
Congressional Access to Classified National Security Information * Report argues that Congress must have access to information about executive branch activities to carry out its constitutional responsibilities to make
Democrats Fail to Impress in First 100 Days * Government Faulted on Vets' Care, Military Ratings Slip Post-Walter Reed
Fifty Percent of U.S. Adults Would Not Vote for Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Candidate for President*
More Immigrants Choosing Naturalization * Today's legal immigrants are signing on to a closer relationship with Uncle Sam more quickly and at higher rates than was the case a decade or two ago.
Suing for Silence * Free speech can be a valuable weapon in the War on Terror.
The Pitfalls of Civil Service U* The U.S. Public Service Academy is an idea whose time has never come.

Foreign

Advancing Freedom in Iran * Because a peaceful democratic transformation of the Iranian government is in America's national security interests, the United States should focus its funding and public diplomacy efforts on supporting a national referendum on Iran's constitution.
Five Priorities for the Brazilian Economy*
Al Jazeera and Alhurra Contend with TV Ratings Problems*
American Universities in the Middle East: Agents of Change * Three American university presidents from Lebanon and Egypt discuss the state of liberal arts education in the Middle East
Building Moderate Muslim Networks * Drawing on the U.S. and allied experience during the Cold War building democratic networks, this study develops a "road map" for building moderate Muslim networks to counter the message of Islamist radicals in the war of ideas within Islam.
Free Trade Is Dead. Long Live Free Trade * A series of crucial votes in coming months will show whether the U.S. continues to embrace the trade posture that has brought it so much prosperity.
Into Africa: China's Scramble for Influence and Oil * Beijing's broad energy, trade, political, diplomatic, and military interests and activities in Africa threaten to undermine long-standing international efforts to promote regional peace, prosperity, and democracy.
Is the United States Losing Turkey?*
On Iraq, the Gauntlet is Thrown * After years of facing relatively few obstacles to his Iraq policies from the legislative branch, President George W. Bush now confronts dual resolutions from both chambers of Congress demanding an end to combat operations there sometime next year.
The Real Battle of Thermopylae * The real history behind the film “the 300”.
The State Department’s Digital Outreach Program: A New Critical Perspective*
Thinking for the Long War * In addition to defense and homeland security, attention should be given to U.S. public diplomacy and foreign assistance programs, the defense industrial base, the intelligence community, and the use of space for national security purposes.
U.S. Aid Does Not Build Support at the U.N. *The United States should forge coalitions with nations that share its principles of political and economic freedom, and expand those coalitions by focusing development assistance on countries with records of improving political and economic freedom, because such nations are more likely to support U.S. priorities in the U.N. and build support for U.N. reform.
Will Western Europe Surge Again?* As the European Union celebrates its fiftieth birthday, a trenchant new study of the continent’s economic history shows that reforms are needed.

Energy, Economics & Environment

Climate Change and Climate Zones*
Economists' Statement on Network Neutrality Policy *-Congress has introduced several bills on net neutrality, but most of them are likely to do more harm than good.
Honey Bee Colony Declines* - This report examines the recent sharp decline in U.S. honey bee colonies. The monetary value of honey bees as commercial pollinators in the United States is estimated at about $15 billion annually. Honey bee colony losses are not uncommon. However, current losses seem to differ from past situations.
New America Launches Climate Change Program*
Patching up the Patent System * A battle pitting business-world behemoths against one another is brewing in Congress as legislators consider an overhaul of U.S. patent law.
The Ethanol Mandate Should Not Be Expanded * Instead of trying to pick alternative energy winners and losers, Congress and the Administration should seriously consider repealing the ethanol mandate instead of expanding it and eliminate tariff and regulatory barriers to ethanol imports.

Posted by Jack at March 31, 2007 8:14 PM
Comments
Comment #214574

Jack, thanks for the link to the Bee colony report. I have been reading about this and wondering whether the bees died or just disappeared. According to this report the bees are “gone without any accumulation of dead bees”. While Im not a beekeeper,but I do like to put out a salsa garden and know from past experience what happens when the bees dont pollinate my plants. Hopefully this mystery is solved soon, or we could be facing serious crop shortages.

Posted by: j2t2 at March 31, 2007 9:32 PM
Comment #214583

There has been a fair amount on the bees lately. It is a very serious problem, but one that is easily overlooked.

Posted by: Jack at April 1, 2007 12:24 AM
Comment #214588

There was an impassioned discussion on DailyKos about Colony Collapse Disorder. It is only speculation at this point, but one possible contributor is genetically modified corn. The wikipedia article has a pretty good presentation on the topic:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_Collapse_Disorder

I also cannot help but wonder if Global Warming indirectly contributes to the problem. This problem for bees may have existed before GM corn, but the combination of a lack of genetic diversity, weather just warm enough not to kill mites/bacteria/fungus, and a diet contaminated by GM corn in High Fructose Corn Syrup cannot be ruled out. Notice the link to the Congressional Research Servicedoes not include GM corn. That is a possibility no one wants to contemplate, but it should not be ruled out.

Posted by: phx8 at April 1, 2007 1:52 AM
Comment #214590

The illegals stole the bees.

Posted by: KansasDem at April 1, 2007 2:00 AM
Comment #214591

Phx8

I think it is still a mystery. They do not grow GM corn or even very much corn - i.e. maize - in general in W. Europe and they also have a bee problem. Even in the U.S., the problem is most severe on the coasts, when most of our corn is Midwest.

I also do not see how global warming could make a difference. The weather we had this year on the E. coast was like the kind of weather we had in the 1950s. There just is not enough variability to account for these sorts of things. Besides, they move the bees from north to south, so they would experience all sorts of weather.

I have a theory about amphibians, however. You know that frogs & salamanders are disappearing in some places. I blame land use. Amphibians need mud holes (PC name vernal ponds) to breed. We tend to fill them in or drain them. Landscapers hate them. Beyond that are roads and traffic. Amphibians move, but not very fast. I have seen roads slippery with salamander. This isolates populations and eventually they die out.

Maybe the honey bee problem is something prosaic like that, which - BTW - is a more intractable problem.

Posted by: Jack at April 1, 2007 10:41 AM
Comment #214592

A couple more, just for you, Jack.

hunger, melt himalayas

species impacted

Posted by: womanmarine at April 1, 2007 11:03 AM
Comment #214593

If it was food source problem you would think they would not abandon the Queen and the young but return with an alternative foor source.
If it was environmental you wouldnt think they would abandon the hive, as that leaves them in the environment.
The problem appears to be behavorial. If they are deserting the queen and the young they are stressed due to altered living conditions or have found a new pied piper or a bee equivelent to LSD or religion. But thats just my guess.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 1, 2007 11:30 AM
Comment #214610

Jack,
This is a serious problem, no doubt, and I am only speculating. But… I cannot resist. How will Republicans react to the issue of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD)? Here are some future news stories:

Christian Evangelists denounce “Beeism.”

Limbaugh “has a feeling” this is the work of environmentalist wackos.

Bush cuts short a vacation to visit a woman dying of anaphylactic shock. Shortly afterwards, the White House declares a War on Bees.

Senator Inhofe denouces CCD as “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American public,” and points out, “if anything, there are too many bees.”

CCD skeptics observe there are no bees on Mars.

Al Gore makes a hit movie, “Buzzkill,” making the public aware of the problem.

Fox News reveals Gore eats more than his fair share of honey.

Mitt Romney comes out in favor of bees.

Cheney emerges from his undisclosed location and announces his fondness for eating live bees.

Gonzales reveals the DOJ destroyed eight bee hives due to their “poor performance.”

Iran develops its own bee industry. Neocons demand an attack, asserting “we must kill them over there, so they do not sting us over here.”

Mitt Romney comes out against bees.

And so it goes…

Posted by: phx8 at April 1, 2007 6:19 PM
Comment #214611

Do not forget that city kids Hillary and Barack do not know that bees live in hives and call for a government program to build them housing.

Posted by: Jack at April 1, 2007 6:26 PM
Comment #214623

Barack poses for a picture wearing an enormous bee beard. Sujected to ridicule, his campaign founders.

In a tragic misunderstanding, Democrats hear the word “beeswax” as “beestax.” The results are predictable.

The FBI finds 90,000 bees in the freezer of Democratic congressman Jefferson. He promises to explain “later,” and wins re-election.

Posted by: phx8 at April 1, 2007 8:35 PM
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