For Arizona water expert$ “megadrought” condition$ are limited to Native American reservations so it’s OK … Just ask our Governor Arizona don’t need no stinking state-wide water conservation program

… For Arizona water expert$ “megadrought” condition$ are limited to Native American reservations so it’s OK … Just ask our Governor Arizona don’t need no stinking state-wide water conservation program …

As Farms Bite the Dust, "Megadrought" May Be the New Normal in the Southwest

By Ari LeVaux, AlterNet…Posted on July 1, 2012, Printed on July 1, 2012…

In a dirt parking lot near Many Farms, Arizona, a Navajo farmer sold me a mutton burrito. He hasn’t used his tractor in two years, he told me, and is cooking instead of farming because "there isn’t any water." He pointed east at the Chuska mountain range, which straddles the New Mexico border. In a normal year, water coming off the mountains reaches his fields, he said. 

But this might be the new normal for the American Southwest, writes William deBuys in his new book, A Great Aridness. It was published late last year, months after one of the Southwest’s driest summers in recorded history, during which fires of unprecedented size scorched hundreds of thousands of acres of forest. This summer is worse than last; forest fires have already broken last year’s records. The rains haven’t come, and temperature records are falling like leaves from a dried-up tree. Springs, wells and irrigation ditches are bone dry. Farms are withering. We’ve all heard the gloomy scenarios of global warming: extreme weather, drought, famine, breakdown of society, destruction of civilization.

My current perch in Placitas, New Mexico feels like a front-row seat to the apocalypse. 

Intuitive as the connection may seem, we don’t know if the current drought is a consequence of global warming, deBuys writes. Periodic, decades-long droughts have been relatively common in the last few thousand years, according to analysis of dried lake beds. Most of the area’s famously collapsed civilizations–Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, the Galisteo pueblos–are thought to have died out for lack of water in these extended dry periods, which deBuys calls "megadroughts." 

By contrast, the last century’s human population growth in the American Southwest occurred during a relatively wet period in the climactic record. We were due for another megadrought sooner or later, deBuys writes, which could be expected to dramatically alter human settlement patterns in the area. While this current heat may not be caused by global warming, he writes, climate change could nonetheless trigger the next megadrought. 

In the Sandia Mountains above Placitas, last winter’s snowpack was relatively high. But the spring runoff never came, because the snow evaporated straight into the air of the hottest spring on record. 

Lynn Montgomery has been farming in Placitas for more than 40 years. Like many farmers in northern New Mexico, he irrigates his land with water from an acequia, a type of canal system implemented by Spaniards, who’d adopted the technique from the Moors. This year, for the second year in a row, Montgomery’s acequia has run dry. Last year summer rains came in time to save his crops, but this year the rains haven’t come. The ditch is dry. His farm is dying. 

First to go were the young Italian prune trees. His more established pear trees were next. Now, his decades-old grape vines are dropping their fruit and clinging to their lives. The 30-year-old asparagus patch is toast, as are the perennial herbs, garlic and strawberries, along with everything he planted this spring. Even the weeds are dead. 

The farm was part of a thriving community in the ’60s and ’70s. Most of the inhabitants drifted away, or ran away, or got dragged away by the police. Montgomery was the last man standing. He sold the farm to the local Pueblo Indian tribe, on the condition that they assume ownership after his death, and spent the proceeds paying lawyers to enforce water law around Placitas. He managed to stop several developments that would have illegally taxed the fragile aquifer. 

Despite his successes, which included a victory at the New Mexico Supreme Court, many wells were drilled, especially in the 1980s and 1990s, dropping the water table to the point at which many springs in Placitas began running dry, along with the acequias they feed. Montgomery’s neighbors, with the turn of a tap, can water their grass and wash their cars thanks to the wells that killed the spring that feeds his acequia. But it’s only a matter of time, he told me, until they feel his pain. 

"At that point all the bedroom community types will realize that the real estate people have bamboozled them, and most of us too," he said, referring to the Placitas real estate boom of the late 20th century. 

Harold Trujillo is member of an acequia near Mora, New Mexico. All the acequias in his Sangre de Cristo mountain valley, near the headwaters of the Pecos River, are dry, he told me by phone. Before this year, the worst he remembered was 2002, which, according to the Colorado state engineer’s office was the region’s driest year in the last 300. 

"In 2002 there were natural ponds that never dried up. Cows could drink out of them. Now those ponds are dry. People have been digging them deeper with backhoes to get them to fill with water," Trujillo said. 

Tempers are getting short. Trujillo said he was verbally threatened last weekend at Morphy Lake, the reservoir his acequia association helped build. 

"We were opening Morphy Lake to get water in the river. These people wanted us to open it more, so more water would flow into the river. But we can’t. We need to save some water for July and August, because we don’t know if it’s going to rain or not." 

Even if the next megadrought has already begun, deBuys says, we wouldn’t know it yet. "The character of a drought becomes clear only retrospectively." Either way, he suggests, our decisions for the future should be the same. 

"Building resilience against drought into the region’s water systems and cultural practices would be a wise course, irrespective of the cause or timing of the next emergency," he writes. 

To that end, Lynn Montgomery is scraping together the resources to re-tool his farm to be more efficient with water. He’s installed a holding tank, in which he’ll be able to store precious acequia flow in future years, before it goes dry again. And he’s switching from traditional flood irrigation, the way it’s always been done in Placitas, to more efficient drip tape. It remains to be seen whether his adaptations, and his resilience, will be enough to help him face the new normal.


Tea Party – GOP – Democrat – Republican – Blue – Red – every member of Congress had an opportunity to have input and voice into the Affordable Care Act … So wag you finger as it meaningle$$ …

… Tea Party – GOP – Democrat – Republican – Blue – Red – every member of Congress had an opportunity to have input and voice into the Affordable Care Act … So wag you finger as it meaningle$$ … on the

‘ObamneyCare’ tax


Posted: 30 Jun 2012 09:08 AM PDT  Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

The Arizona Republic should just drop all pretense about being an objective news organization and return to its roots and original masthead, The Arizona Republican. It is, and has always been, the media arm of the Republican Party in Arizona.

On Friday, the Republican published a series of opinions decrying the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act. So much sturm und drang, so much conservative bedwetting. One unsigned opinion in particular caught my attention. So, we’ll be penalized with higher taxes:

The decision affirms that on June 25, 2010, President Obama signed a health-care law that levies a substantial, new set of taxes that, according to congressional estimates, perhaps 75 percent of people earning less than $200,000 per year will pay.

Note the imprecise source citation "congressional estimates." I did a Google search for the source of this claim and, surprise, it comes from Stephen Moore of Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal, one of the most unreliable sources in the business. And why is this opinion not properly attributed to Stephen Moore? Here is the original. Political Diary: The ObamaCare Tax –

According to Congressional figures 70% to 75% of the "tax" falls on those who earn less than $200,000 per year, and that is 8 million non-rich people. So Mr. Obama argued this was a mandate and a fine to enforce the requirement to buy health care.

Well, that changes everything. The Republican would have you believe that 75 percent of all Americans earning less than $200,000 will be paying more in taxes. That is not what Stephen Moore said. He is saying that of those people who opt to pay the penalty (tax) rather than purchase healthcare insurance, 70% to 75% of them will earn less than $200,000 per year. And that is a relatively small number. This is the game of "fun with facts and figures" to lie to you from The Arizona Republican.

Stephen Moore is an unreliable source, so I am sure as hell not going to take his word for it. It turns out that has run its fact check of the "ObamneyCare" tax. : How Much Is the Obamacare ‘Tax’?:

How Many Will Pay?    In his opinion, Chief Justice Roberts cited an estimate from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that 4 million would pay, and cited that as a further reason to consider the assessment a tax rather than a penalty. “Congress did not think it was creating four million outlaws,” he suggested.

However, since then, CBO has increased its estimate. In an estimate released in March of this year, CBO projected that the tax would yield $6 billion for the government, up from the $4 billion it estimated two years earlier. That’s a 50 percent higher total, and would seem to imply that CBO now expects about 6 million will be paying. But CBO didn’t give a specific figure for the number of persons it now expects to pay.

– Brooks Jackson

So Stephen Moore over-estimated by some 2 million people supposedly reading from this same CBO report available to him. He was not nearly as disingenuous as The Arizona Republican, however.

But let’s take a look at what the "ObamneyCare" penalty (tax) levy actually is, since that is what is of interest to most people:

How Much?  The minimum amount — per person — will be $695 once the tax is fully phased in. But it will be less to start. The minimum penalty per person will start at $95 in 2014, the first year that the law will require individuals to obtain coverage. And it will rise to $325 the following year.

Starting in 2017, the minimum tax per person will rise each year with inflation. And for children 18 and under, the minimum per-person tax is half of that for adults.

However, the minimum amount per family is capped at triple the per-person tax, no matter how many individuals are in the taxpayer’s household. So, for example, a couple with one child over 18 (or two children age 18 or under), and no coverage, would pay a minimum of $285 in 2014, $975 in 2015 and $2,085 in 2016. And that would be the minimum no matter how many uninsured dependents a taxpayer has.

The tax would be more for persons with higher taxable incomes. When phased in, it will be 2.5 percent of household income that exceeds the income threshold for filing a tax return. For 2011, those thresholds were $9,500 for a single person under age 65, and $19,000 for a married person filing jointly with a spouse. So, to give a rough calculation, a couple with $100,000 of income might pay a tax of $2,025 if they choose to go without coverage.

[This is far less than the average cost of a heathcare insurance plan. Some people may make the cost-benefit analysis to pay the penalty (tax) rather than purchase the more costly healthcare insurance plan.]

But the penalty can never exceed the cost of the national average premiums for the lowest-cost “bronze” plans being offered through the new insurance exchanges called for under the law. We have no way of knowing what that average rate might turn out to be in 2014, but there is reason to think it could be quite high. For example, the total cost of a basic Government Employees Health Association plan currently offered through the Federal Employee Health Benefit program (the model for the state insurance exchanges) totals $9,459 per year for a family plan, and $4,159 for individual coverage.

Update, June 29: The cost of a “bronze” plan could be higher, however. In January 2010 the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office issued this estimate:

CBO, Jan. 11, 2010: Overall, CBO estimates that premiums for Bronze plans purchased individually in 2016 would probably average between $4,500 and $5,000 for single policies and between $12,000 and $12,500 for family policies.

CBO has not issued any new estimate since that one, according to spokeswoman Deborah Kilroe.

In addition:

[The] tax is assessed for each month that a person is not covered. It is pro-rated, so that a person who is not covered for only a single month would pay 1/12th of the tax that would be due for the full year.

So, for example, the minimum tax per person for failing to get coverage would be $7.92 for each month of 2014, $28.75 for each month of 2015, and $57.92 for each month of 2016, when fully phased in.

Moreover, a number of persons are exempt from the penalty (tax):

Who’s Exempt?  The law makes a number of exemptions for low-income persons and hardship cases.

“Individuals who cannot afford coverage”: If an employer offers coverage that would cost the employee more than 8 percent of his or her household income (for self-only coverage) that individual is exempt from the tax.

“Taxpayers with income below filing threshold”: Also exempt are those who earn too little to be required to file tax returns. For 2011 — as previously mentioned — those thresholds were $9,500 for a single person under age 65, and $19,000 for a married person filing jointly with a spouse, for example. The thresholds go up each year in line with inflation, so those cut-offs will be higher in 2014, when the tax first takes effect.

“Hardships”: The Secretary of Health and Human Services is empowered to exempt others that she or he determines to “have suffered a hardship with respect to the capability to obtain coverage.”

Other exemptions: Also exempt are members of Indian tribes, persons with only brief gaps in coverage, and members of certain religious groups currently exempt from Social Security taxes (which as we’ve previously reported are chiefly Anabaptist — that is, Mennonite, Amish or Hutterite).

Source citations include:  Congressional Budget Office. “Payments of Penalties for Being Uninsured Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” 22 Apr 2010.

Congressional Budget Office. “Updated Estimates for the Insurance Coverage Provisions of the Affordable Care Act.” 13 Mar 2012.




Astaxanthin … what do you know about it…?

Astaxanthin … what do you know about it…?


Astaxanthin: A Rising Star in Alzheimer’s Prevention


Story at-a-glance

  • In the prevention and treatment of dementia (including Alzheimer’s type) and its associated cognitive changes, the rising star is astaxanthin due to its powerful antioxidant properties
  • The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are multifactorial, and the more risk factors you have, the more likely you will develop this sad, debilitating disease which has few effective treatments, making prevention extremely important
  • Factors known to contribute to dementia include diets too high in fructose, certain health conditions, nutritional deficiencies, and environmental toxins
  • Key approaches to preventing and reducing the symptoms of dementia include good dietary choices, regular exercise (physical and mental), and making sure you are consuming enough B vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin E, and high-quality omega-3 fats
  • Besides astaxanthin, natural treatments that science has shown have promise in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s are coconut oil, Gingko biloba, and alpha lipoic acid (ALA)


Like Shakespeare wrote … full of sound and fury signifying nothing

… Like Shakespeare wrote … full of sound and fury signifying nothing …


House votes to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt

06-28-2012  •  Washington Post

The House of Representatives voted to make Eric H. Holder Jr. the first sitting attorney general held in contempt of Congress in U.S. history after he withheld documents that Republican lawmakers demanded as part of an investigation into a flawed gun

But unlike Bradley Manning (who..?) not one executive from United Technologies will ever see the inside of a jail cell or will this transaction be labeled treason … Corporate will rally to CYA

… But unlike Bradley Manning (who..?) not one executive from United Technologies will ever see the inside of a jail cell  or will this transaction be labeled treason …  Corporate will rally to CYA …


United Technologies acknowledges coverup of sale of military software to China

06-28-2012  •  New York Times

United Technologies, a major defense contractor, and 2 of its subsidiaries acknowledged covering up the illicit sale of sensitive military software to China — technology the country used to develop its first attack helicopter.






World’s first GM babies born

06-28-2012  •  Daily Mail

Thirty genetically modified babies were born contained DNA from three parents. It is believed genetic modification can be used to create certain superior characteristics, but some say it is messing with nature.

You’re not surprised, are you … corporate owns Arizona politician$ … and Arizona court$

…You’re not surprised, are you  … corporate owns Arizona politician$ … and Arizona court$ …



Glendale City Council approves secondary property-tax hike
06-27-2012  • 
<b>The Glendale City Council on Tuesday warned residents that tax increases are better than the alternative.</b> :


Judge rules in favor of Glendale’s Phoenix Coyotes deal
06-28-2012  •  Arizona Republic
A judge ruled the Glendale City Council’s approval of a Phoenix Coyotes deal should stand. The ruling by Judge Fink comes after the Phoenix-based Goldwater Institute argued a vote to approve an arena lease agreement