Why sterilize a lethal Injection needle?

‘Besides the fact that manufacturers sterilize the needles (so no real extra effort is needed), other sterilization procedures are also used in these executions for good reason.

You see, a stay of execution may happen at the last minute. If this happens, but then the condemned later dies from infection, a wrongful death suit could be filed against the state -a suit the state would likely lose.’ (Gizmodo).


New research: lobsters and other invertebrates may feel pain

English: Invertebrates in Smithsonian National...

‘Although some people are horrified by the idea of cooking lobsters alive or the practice of tearing claws from live crabs before tossing them back into the sea, such views are based on a hunch. We know very little about whether these animals — or invertebrates in general — actually suffer. In Elwood’s experience, researchers are either certain the animals feel pain or certain they don’t. “Very few people say we need to know,” he says.’ (Washington Post).

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4 disturbing ways America is regressing

‘Our great shame is that we forget the past, or perhaps simply refuse to learn from it. We have traveled this path before. We have seen the worst of times for our most vulnerable citizens, for people who fought for many years for modest gains, only to see the self-interest of a powerful few whisk those gains away.’ — Paul Buchheit (Salon.com).


Using the polar vortex as an excuse to revive older, dirtier power plants

‘There’s some tentative science to suggest that the polar vortex may have been linked to climate change. There’s a near scientific consensus that the burning of coal and other fossil fuels is contributing to climate change — not to mention a host of public health threats. Hence the reason why environmental rules are expected to force about 6 percent of the nation’s coal capacity into retirement by 2020.

The way the coal industry sees it, however, this winter’s brutal weather demonstrates exactly why we should be calling for more, not less, dirty energy.’ (Salon.com).


Supreme Court ruling delivers a major blow to bike paths

‘The case wasn’t about bike paths per se — it was about whether or not the federal government retains its control over land that had been granted to railroad companies once it’s been abandoned.  But the decision undermines a federal “rails to trails” program, threatening the more than 1,400 bike and nature trails it’s created since its inception in 1983.’ (Salon.com).


The right’s other “war on women”


5 ways the assault is about way more than abortion: ‘The GOP remains, as ever, a party that appeals largely to white men and married white women while falling further out of step with everyone else. While spitting vitriol about reproductive healthcare certainly alienates women voters and their allies, being vindictive about poverty, civil rights and other issues virtually annihilates the GOP’s chances of expanding its base….’ (Salon.com).