The Real Welfare Problem: Government Giveaways To The Corporate 1% - (Sept. 3, 2012 - by John Atcheson - Common Dreams) - It’s about handouts to the uber-rich and the corporations.
Bottom line: if you’re a Fortune 500 company or a member of the wealthiest 1%, you’re getting welfare, and a hell of a lot of it.
If you’re one of the dreaded entitlement crowd – which, if you include social security and Medicare, is the vast majority of the remaining 99% -- you’re getting chicken feed, and the Republicans want to take even this meager sustenance away.
Let’s run the numbers: - http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/09/03-7
The Algorithmic Copyright Cops: Streaming Video’s Robotic Overlords - (Sept. 6, 2012 - by Geeta Dayal - Wired) - As live streaming video surges in popularity, so are copyright “bots” — automated systems that match content against a database of reference files of copyrighted material. These systems can block streaming video in real time, while it is still being broadcast, leading to potentially worrying implications for freedom of speech.
A swarm of tech companies are rushing in to provide technical solutions to enforce copyright in online sharing communities and video-streaming sites. Those players include Vobile, Attributor, Audible Magic, and Gracenote. And they’re thriving, despite the fact that U.S. copyright law, as modified by the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, doesn’t require sites that host user-created content to preemptively patrol for copyright violations.“The companies that are selling these automated takedown systems are really going above and beyond the requirements set for them in the DMCA, and as a result are favoring the interests of a handful of legacy media operators over the free-speech interest of the public,” says Parker Higgins, an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. - http://tinyurl.com/8cs4gun
The Power of RAW Cannabis - (12 min. - YouTube audio/video) - This is a must-watch video featuring some of the top researchers on the healing effects of Cannabis (Marijuana) in it's raw form, eaten or juiced. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgEP9FdIzT8
Francis Mangels On
(Interview by John Whyte)
(42 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Tracking School Children With RFID Tags? It’s All About the Benjamins - (Sept. 7, 2012 - by David Kravets - Wired) - It was only a matter of time. Radio frequency identification devices are a daily part of the electronic age, and are fast becoming a part of passports, libraries and payment cards, and are widely expected to replace bar-code labels on consumer goods.And it appears that the educational move to Big Brother-style monitoring is motivated mainly by money, despite privacy and health concerns. - http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/09/rfid-chip-student-monitoring
9/11: Explosive Evidence - Experts Speak Out - (91 min. - video) - (Sept., 2012 - PBS) - Over 40 experts in high-rise architecture, structural engineering, metallurgy, chemistry, physics, explosives, and controlled demolition share their professional expertise and insights about the events of 9/11. Additionally, 8 psychological experts discuss why proving controlled demolition of the three World Trade Center skyscrapers can be so difficult for individuals to accept. - http://video.pbs.org/video/2270078138
Why Your Cellphone Could Be Called A 'Tracker' - (16-1/2 min. - audio) - (September 6, 2012 - Fresh Air/NPR) - Your cellphone is a tracking device collecting a lot more information about you than you may think, says ProPublica investigative reporter Peter Maass.
"They are collecting where we are — not just at one particular moment in the day, but at virtually every moment of the day," Maass tells Fresh Air…. "They are also taking note of what we are buying, how we're purchasing it, how often we're purchasing it." - http://www.npr.org/2012/09/06/160627856
The Secrets In A Cigarette - (30 min. -
audio) - (September 6, 2012 - Science
Friday/NPR) - In his book Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case
for Abolition, historian Robert
Proctor, an expert on the tobacco
industry, reveals little-known
secrets of the cigarette. The book is
a 737-page indictment of the tobacco industry, loaded with secrets about smoke
and smoking you may have never known, like that filters don't filter, he says,
or that cigarette
smoke is radioactive and contains Polonium-210, or that only two-thirds of an American cigarette is tobacco, the rest
additives, hundreds of them like antifreeze, ammonia, high fructose corn syrup,
carob beans, cocoa, licorice, and over 100 other additives. - http://www.npr.org/2012/09/07/160752629
BBC Admits ‘Al Qaeda’ Never Existed - (10-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video) - The title is misleading. This clip is from a film made in three parts and broadcast by the BBC in 2004. But the message is accurate. Robin Cook MP and former Foreign Secretary wrote an article in The Guardian revealing Al-Qaida, literally "the database", "...was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians.
Revolution OS - (85 min. - video) - Revolution OS is a documentary which traces the history of GNU, Linux, and the open source and free software movements. It features several interviews with prominent hackers and entrepreneurs (and hackers-cum-entrepreneurs), including Richard Stallman, Michael Tiemann, Linus Torvalds, Larry Augustin, Eric S. Raymond, Bruce Perens, Frank Hecker and Brian Behlendorf.
The film begins in medias res with an IPO, and then sets the historical stage by showing the beginnings of software development back in the day when software was shared on paper tape for the price of the paper itself. It then segues to Bill Gates’s Open Letter to Hobbyists in which he asks Computer Hobbyists to not share, but to buy software. (This letter was written by Gates when Microsoft was still based in Arizona and spelled “Micro-Soft”.)
Richard Stallman then explains how and why he left the MIT Lab for Artificial Intelligence in order to devote his life to the development of free software, as well as how he started with the GNU project. Linus Torvalds is interviewed on his development of the Linux kernel as well as on the GNU/Linux naming controversy and Linux’s further evolution, including its commercialization. Richard Stallman remarks on some of the ideological aspects of open source vis-á-vis Communism and capitalism and well as on several aspects of the development of GNU/Linux.
Michael Tiemann (interviewed in a desert) tells how he met Stallman and got an early version of Stallman’s GCC and founded Cygnus Solutions. Larry Augustin tells how he combined the resulting GNU software and a normal PC to create a UNIX-like Workstation which cost one third the price of a workstation by Sun Microsystems even though it was three times as powerful.His narrative includes his early dealings with venture capitalists, the eventual capitalization and commodification of Linux for his own company, VA Linux, and ends with its IPO. Frank Hecker of Netscape tells how Netscape executives released the source code for Netscape’s browser, one of the signal events which made Open Source a force to be reckoned with by business executives, the mainstream media, and the public at large. - http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/revolution-os
NSA Whistle-Blower Tells All - Op-Docs: The Program - (8-1/2 min. - YouTube audio/video) - (Aug. 29, 2012 - The New York Times) - The filmmaker Laura Poitras profiles William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who helped design a top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans' personal data. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9-3K3rkPRE
Exclusive Interview With Investigative Journalist Greg Palast - (17 min. - YouTube audio/video) - Greg Palast is the investigative journalist who uncovered exactly how the 2000 election was stolen for George W. Bush. He's chased major evil corporations like BP and Exxon around the world to find out the truth. He's the thorn in the side of the billionaire criminals like the Koch Bros. and Paul Singer. He also happens to be a NY Times bestselling author. (Check out his new book at BallotBandits.org) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJAxTq5wOag
Public Security – The Greatest Casualty Of The Drug War - (September 11, 2012 - by Laura Carlsen - Americas Program) - In stops all around the country, the Caravan for Peace has found that convincing people that the war on drugs is destructive and wasteful is not the problem. The polls show the public came to this conclusion long ago and now close to a majority favor what used to be considered “radical” solutions like legalizing and regulating marijuana. Although most people weren’t aware of the impact of the violence in Mexico, it’s immediately obvious to them that the drug war—trying to block supply in places like Mexico and stop consumption by criminalizing drugs in the U.S.– is not working. Anywhere.
The question then is: If a public consensus on the failure of the drug war, why hasn’t anything changed?
Why does the U.S. government continue to send millions of tax dollars to cities to fight the drug war, as they close down schools for lack of funds? Why does it waste more millions financing a bloody war in Mexico? Why does the Mexican government continue to pay the economic and political cost of a disastrous and destabilizing war? The U.S. has spent 2 billion dollars on the Mexican drug war in the past five years, mostly through the Merida Initiative and the Mexican government has spent at least four times that much.
To answer these questions, we have to look behind the scenes of the drug war. There we find that this disastrous policy has some powerful promoters. - http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/09/11-2
Is Privacy Dead? 4 Government and Private Entities
Conspiring to Track Everything You Do Online and Off - (September 10, 2012 - AlterNet) - The
police-corporate surveillance “complex” is being consolidated, drawing
ever-closer corporate tracking and government surveillance. - http://tinyurl.com/8qj6fzt
Second-Hand Smoking Damages Memory - ScienceDaily (Sep. 11, 2012) — Non-smokers who live with or spend time with smokers are damaging their memory, according to new research from Northumbria University.
The findings, published in the latest online edition of the journal Addiction is the first study to explore the relationship between exposure to other people's smoke and everyday memory problems. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120911091340.htm
In 5 Minutes!
(5 min. - YouTube audio/video)
I’m not sure. But I do know
that every day I greet people from all over the world who come to Yosemite to experience this wonder for
themselves, yet African Americans are
few and far between. Today, many African Americans don’t consider a
national park visit to be a “black thing,” something that is symbolic of
African American culture. The absence of
African Americans is particularly ironic when one considers that 100 years ago,
both Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks were protected by the Buffalo Soldiers,
African American cavalry and infantry troops who served as some of the first
park rangers before the National Park Service was even created. - http://tinyurl.com/8va8ce6
Are Your Favorite National Parks Under Threat From Drilling? Find Out
Sick Money: How Mitt Romney's Bain Investments Are Exploding The Deficit And Harming Our Health - (September 12, 2012 - AlterNet) - Few individuals or organizations have been as influential as Mitt Romney and Bain Capital in worsening our runaway healthcare costs, causing unnecessary suffering, or accelerating our government's long-term deficit problem. Their highly leveraged investment strategy puts healthcare companies under enormous pressure to increase revenue. They often respond by overbilling -- or worse, by encouraging unnecessary medical treatments that can include anything from non-invasive tests to heart surgery.
I spent many years working in healthcare economics: running health service companies, projecting health plan costs for governments and employers, and analyzing healthcare investments. I've reviewed hospital bills in detail and seen shocking things: Thousands of dollars for bandages and gauze during a surgery; a 12,000-percent markup on ointments; a $250 charge for the lightbulb in a projector the hospital claimed was used during surgery.
I've seen hucksters put red filters over an ordinary flashlight, call it an "infrared" healing device, and charge insurance companies or hapless patients for their use. And I've seen hundreds of cases of human tragedy brought on by unnecessary surgeries performed solely for money. I can't say I was always on the side of the angels, but I can say this: Before Bain, I had never seen behavior that was as consistently bad as we're seeing today.Mitt Romney and Bain Capital paved the way for other investors in healthcare. Their greed has caused explosive growth in a cost and overtreatment spiral that's threatening Medicare, our healthcare system, and arguably -- us. - http://tinyurl.com/9t45lot
Anti-convulsant Shakes Up Epilepsy Treatment - (September 12, 2012 - by Douglas Heaven - New Scientist) - The
versatile cannabis plant may have a
new use: it could be used to control
epileptic seizures with fewer side effects than currently prescribed
anti-convulsants. - http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22263
(6 min. - YouTube audio/video)
How To Stop Facebook From Tracking You - (Sept. 12, 2012 - by Samantha Felix - Business Insider) - Most people don't realize that Facebook can continue to monitor their internet activity, even if they are no longer logged into the site.
Using "Facebook Connect," and other social plug-ins, Facebook is able to set up a cookie on any site that has a "Like" or "share" button, giving Facebook access to a startling amount of user information. Technically, the purpose of these plug-ins is to authenticate users, but it still has the ability to collect personal information such as the IP address of your computer, browsing data, outside login information, phone numbers, etc.
The cookie, known as the "datr" cookie, has been a controversial topic for the past year. Using this cookie, among other things, Facebook knows what you have read on a web page even if you did not click the "like" button. As the Wall Street Journal reported, "for this to work, a person only needs to have logged into Facebook or Twitter once in the past month. The sites will continue to collect browsing data, even if the person closes their browser or turns off their computers."
To help users control how and when their information is tracked and distributed, companies such as Abine and Ghostery have developed tools that allow users to block Facebook social plug-ins, cookies, and other trackers.We identified five practical options for consideration, including an option for web site publishers that will help protect their customers from trackers while keeping their websites running smoothly. - http://tinyurl.com/9txpq6q
Flight 93 Eyewitness
Says Flight 93
Was Shot Down
(2-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Kent State: Was It about Civil Rights or Murdering Student Protesters? - (Sept. 11, 2012 - by Laurel Krause with Mickey Huff - Project Censored) - This article is from our forthcoming book, Censored 2013: Dispatches from the Media Revolution, and intends to expose the lies of the state in order to uncensor the “unhistory” of the Kent State massacre, while also aiming toward justice and healing, as censoring the past impacts our perspectives in the present.
When Ohio National Guardsmen fired sixty-seven gun shots in thirteen seconds at Kent State University (KSU) on May 4, 1970, they murdered four unarmed, protesting college students and wounded nine others. For forty-two years, the United States government has held the position that Kent State was a tragic and unfortunate incident occurring at a noontime antiwar rally on an American college campus. In 2010, compelling forensic evidence emerged showing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) were the lead agencies in managing Kent State government operations, including the cover-up. At Kent State, lawful protest was pushed into the realm of massacre as the US federal government, the state of Ohio, and the Ohio National Guard (ONG) executed their plans to silence antiwar protest in America.
The new evidence threatens much more than the accuracy of accounts of the Kent State massacre in history books. As a result of this successful, ongoing Kent State government cover-up, American protesters today are at much greater risk than they realize, with no real guarantees or protections offered by the US First Amendment rights to protest and assemble. This chapter intends to expose the lies of the state in order to uncensor the “unhistory” of the Kent State massacre, while also aiming toward justice and healing, as censoring the past impacts our perspectives in the present.
[….]The hidden truth finally began to emerge at the fortieth anniversary of the Kent State massacre in May 2010, through the investigative journalism of John Mangels, science writer at the Cleveland, whose findings supported the long-held suspicion that the four dead in Ohio were intentionally murdered at Kent State University by the US government. - http://tinyurl.com/8kqy54p
Government Sponsored Technologies For Weather Modification - (Sept. 30, 2011 - Top 25 of 2012 - Project Censored) - Rising global temperatures, increasing population and degradation of water supplies have created broad support for the growing field of weather modification. The US government has conducted weather modification experiments for over half a century, and the military-industrial complex stands poised to capitalize on these discoveries.
One of the latest programs is HAARP, the High Frequency Active Aural Research Program. This technology can potentially trigger floods, droughts, hurricanes and earthquakes. The scientific idea behind HAARP is to “excite” a specific area of the ionosphere and observe the physical processes in that excited area with intention of modifying ecological conditions. HAARP can also be used as a weapon system, capable of selectively destabilizing agricultural and ecological systems of entire regions.
Another Environmental Modification (EnMod) program is that of atmospheric geoengineering, or cloud seeding, which has found new life since the global warming scare. Cloud seeding involves creating cirrus clouds from airplane contrails. Unlike regular contrails, which dissolve in minutes, these artificial contrails can last from several hours to days. Once the artificial clouds have been created, they are used to reflect solar or manmade radiation.
At a recent international symposium, scientists asserted that “manipulation of climate through modification of cirrus clouds is neither a hoax nor a conspiracy theory.” The only conspiracy surrounding geoengineering is that most governments and industry refuse to publicly admit what anyone can see in the sky or discover in peer-reviewed research. The Belfort Group has been working to raise public awareness about toxic aerial spraying, popularly referred to as chemtrails. However, scientists preferred the term ‘persistent contrails’ to describe the phenomenon, in an attempt to move the inquiry away from amateur conspiracy theories.Dr. Vermeeren, Delft University of Technology, presented a 300-page scientific report entitled, “CASE ORANGE: Contrail Science, Its Impact on Climate and Weather Manipulation Programs Conducted by the United States and Its Allies.” He stated clearly, “Weather manipulation through contrail formation… is in place and fully operational.” Vermeeren mentioned a 1991 patent now held by Raytheon, a private defense contractor, with “18 claims to reduce global warming through stratospheric seeding with aluminum oxide… thorium oxide … and refractory Welsbach material.” Authors of the study expressed concern that Raytheon, a private corporation, makes daily flights spraying these materials in our skies with apparently minimal government oversight. Raytheon is the same company that holds the HAARP contract with the US. - http://tinyurl.com/7vv8n4a
9/11: INTERCEPTED - Full Film - (41-3/4 min. - YouTube audio/video) - War Games, Simulated radar tracks, aircraft exceeding their max operating limits by more than 130-150 knots, inaccurate aircraft position reports, false aircraft target reports, aircraft converging -- flying virtually in formation with -- and then diverging from reported 9/11 aircraft, fighters launched in the wrong direction, aircraft seemingly still airborne after the alleged attack, poor communications, phones not working.... What happened on the morning of September 11, 2001? Why were our defenses ineffective? Pilots For 9/11 Truth analyze NORAD response, Audio recordings as well as Radar data provided by government agencies. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6WSDxErgBE
Pilots For 9/11 Truth:
(6-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
(6 min. - YouTube audio/video)
FBI Rolling Out High-Tech 'Big Brother' Monitoring System - (Sept. 10, 2012 - By David Jeffers - PCWorld) - Thanks to the FBI, the United States government will soon have a nationwide system in place capable of monitoring and identifying “persons of interest” virtually anywhere. The Next Generation Identification (NGI) system….
NGI will include voice recognition, iris and retina scan data, facial recognition, DNA analysis, and more in an automated system….
NGI is designed to integrate with surveillance camera systems across the country. An algorithm will be used to automatically scan surveillance video and compare faces….
For privacy advocates, though, there’s a huge difference between using your own biometric features as a security measure to protect your computers and mobile devices, and “Big Brother” rolling out a nationwide system to automate the capability to spy on the entire population. Privacy advocates are concerned about the possible abuse of the system, or the prospect that unauthorized users might be able to hack the system and gain access to sensitive data. - http://www.pcworld.com/article/262071
Arctic Expert Predicts Final Collapse Of Sea Ice Within Four Years - (Sept. 17, 2012 - by John Vidal - The Guardian/UK) - As sea ice shrinks to record lows, Prof Peter Wadhams warns a 'global disaster' is now unfolding in northern latitudes - http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/sep/17/arctic-collapse-sea-ice
5 Marijuana Compounds That Could Help Combat Cancer, Alzheimers, Parkinsons (If Only They Were Legal) - (Sept. 14, 2012 - by Paul Armentano - AlterNet) - They don't even get you high, so why are these natural, non-toxic substances illegal? Because they're derived from cannabis. - http://tinyurl.com/8kuarkz
(8 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Checks and manage your e-mails
Before you download them to your computer.
Free to use and won't ever expire.
It works with
Outlook, Outlook Express, Incredimail,
Thunderbird, Windows Mail, GMail,
And every other email program.
Powerful spam-blocker software
That effectively stops unwanted spam e-mails
Before they get to your computer.
America’s Crumbling Infrastructure: (InfoGraphic)
(2-1/2 min. - YouTube audio/video)
A Close Look At Your Bills' 'Fine Print' - (20 min. - audio) - (September 20, 2012 - Fresh Air/NPR) - Americans are paying high prices for poor quality Internet speeds — speeds that are now slower than in other countries, according to author David Cay Johnston. He says the U.S. ranks 29th in speed worldwide.
In his new book, The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use "Plain English" to Rob You Blind, Johnston examines the fees that companies — such as cellphone and cable — have added over the years that have made bills incrementally larger.
Johnston says that telephone and cable companies worked the regulatory process and the legislatures and Congress to get the rules written for their benefit.
[….]An investigative reporter, Johnston worked for The New York Times for 13 years and won a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for exposing loopholes in the American tax code. He is a columnist for Reuters. - http://www.npr.org/2012/09/20/161477162
Dr. Marty Makary: "Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won't Tell You And How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care" - (51 min. - audio & transcript) - (Sept. 19, 2012 - The Diane Rehm Show/NPR) - A New England Journal of Medicine study concluded as many as 25 percent of all hospitalized patients will experience a preventable medical error of some kind. Other studies indicate one in every five medications, tests and procedures is unnecessary. Consumers have the tools to comparison shop when deciding on a new car, home or other major purchase. But when it comes to choosing a hospital or doctor, they are largely in the dark. Most patients do not have access to data on safety and quality from individual hospitals and doctors. Johns Hopkins surgeon and health safety advocate Marty Makary says transparency can revolutionize health care. We discuss what hospitals won't tell you and why you need to know. - http://tinyurl.com/9t238nr
Memo to Fracking Apologists: You're Hurting Renewables (and You're Greenwashing, Too) - (September 20, 2012 - by Wenonah Hauter - Food & Water Watch Blog) - Here’s a memo to the technocrats, pundits, environmental organizations and foundations that believe corporate collaborations and market-based solutions are the key to solving the critical environmental problems facing us. Why are you so afraid of fighting for what we really want—a future based on renewable energy and energy efficiency?
Any position short of a ban on fracking is hurting the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions in the long term, saddling us with 50 years of infrastructure to continue fracking for gas that will be exported around the world. It’s also helping to pave the way for a new phase of geopolitical dynamics (like we saw at Rio+20) where corporations are jostling to promote the market as the ultimate arbiter for the environment and corporations as the last hope for saving the planet.
Here are some of the arguments that are often used to greenwash fracking at the expense of a truly sustainable future: - http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/09/20-1
In The Backyard
(4-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
(Sept. 21, 2012 - Science Friday/NPR)
On How To Fight Back
And Hold Accountable
The Corporate Ogliarchs
Who Are Destroying
The Environment And Us!
(24-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Twenty-Three Nuclear Power Plants Found To Be In Tsunami Risk Areas - ScienceDaily (Sep. 21, 2012) - In the study published in the journal Natural Hazards, the researchers drew a map of the world's geographic zones that are more at risk of large tsunamis. Based on this data, 23 nuclear power plants with 74 reactors have been identified in high risk areas. One of them includes Fukushima I. Out of them, 13 plants with 29 reactors are active; another four, that now have 20 reactors, are being expanded to house nine more; and there are seven new plants under construction with 16 reactors. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120921083202.htm
"Where Do YOU
Get Your News?"
(4-1/2 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Copy & Pasted
At Mars Curiosity
Gale Crater Landing Site
(3-1/2 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Online, Your Reading Habits Are An Open Book - (Sept. 24, 2012 - by Aisha Sultan, Home and Family Editor - St. Louis Post-Dispatch) - ST. LOUIS • Washington University law professor Neil M. Richards worries about a day when everyone knows what everyone else is reading.
From social reader apps, which automatically share what users are reading on Facebook, to tablets and e-reading devices, which store detailed reading data, the laws protecting individuals haven't kept up with technology, he says.
"The way we read is really changing," Richards said. "It used to be we could go to bookstore, with a $5 bill, and there would be no record that we had read that book."
That kind of privacy does not exist on tablet devices such as the new Kindle Fire HD, which became available earlier this month. The older Kindle Fire sold out last month and was described by Amazon as the "most successful product launch in the history" of the company.
Richards points out that when consumers read on devices such as the Kindle, "Amazon knows exactly who you are, all the books you have bought, what you are reading, what page you are on, which passages you've highlighted and how long it takes to read."
Corporations such as Apple with its popular iPad, Barnes and Noble with the Nook and Amazon know much more than librarians ever did about individual reading habits. But unlike librarians, who are bound by professional ethics and dozens of statutes protecting individuals, companies are guided by privacy policies they write themselves, Richards said.
Plus, they have a business interest in the information collected. - http://tinyurl.com/9azfmqy
Scientists: ’93 percent’ of Fox News climate change coverage is ‘staggeringly misleading’ - (September 24, 2012 - by Stephen C. Webster - TheRawStory) - When it comes to reporting on what scientists say about climate change, the Union of Concerned Scientists told Raw Story that their research shows Fox News can be counted upon to mislead its viewers.
In a study (PDF) published Monday, the group takes Fox News and The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial page to task for consistently misleading their audience on climate change. Data collected over six months showed that Fox News was the worst offender on climate issues between the two, allowing misleading statements to permeate “93 percent” of its broadcasts on the subject from February to July 2012. The Journal‘s editorial page did not fare much better, however: the Union said “81 percent” of their climate coverage from August 2011 to July 2012 was “misleading.”“[Fox News and The Wall Street Journal] both were staggering in the levels of misleading information about climate science,” Brenda Ekwurzel, a climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, told Raw Story. “We found that both Fox News and [The Wall Street Journal] opinion page have staggeringly high levels of misinformation.” - http://tinyurl.com/9datgdb
Meet The Welfare Queens Of The 1%: The Moochers Mitt Missed Work For The Pentagon - (Sept. 26, 2012 - Forget the laid-off workers, disabled veterans and elderly retirees. Pentagon contractors are far more dependent on taxpayers to pay their way than Mitt Romney's fabled 47 percent…. - http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11781
There's Been A
Dictatorial Coup -- Koch Bros. Have A Bunch Of Czars Running Cities Across
Michigan - (Sept. 25, 2012
- By Jim Hightower - Hightower Lowdown) - This is a national scandal, and few people have
noticed. - http://tinyurl.com/9dcstll
Only A Revolution In Our Thinking Can Save Us From A Water Crisis - (Sept. 26, 2012 - By Tara Lohan - AlterNet) - Cynthia Barnett's new book, "Blue Revolution" issues a call for an American water ethic. - http://tinyurl.com/8gwnf7w
Mitt Romney On
Plan To Buy And
(1-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Free 9/11 Documentaries & Videos - The definitive collection of 9/11 documentaries and videos. Watch 9/11 related documentaries and videos online for free. - http://www.911docs.net
The Events Of
September 11, 2001
5 Biggest Lies About America's Public Schools -- Debunked
United States of ALEC - (32 min. - video) - (Sept. 28, 2012 - Moyers & Company/PBS) - Moyers & Company presents “United States of ALEC,” a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of — ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. A national consortium of state politicians and powerful corporations, ALEC presents itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership”. But behind that mantra lies a vast network of corporate lobbying and political action aimed to increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge.
Using interviews, documents, and field reporting, the episode explores ALEC’s self-serving machine at work, acting in a way one Wisconsin politician describes as “a corporate dating service for lonely legislators and corporate special interests.”In state houses around the country, hundreds of pieces of boilerplate ALEC legislation are proposed or enacted that would, among other things, dilute collective bargaining rights, make it harder for some Americans to vote, and limit corporate liability for harm caused to consumers — each accomplished without the public ever knowing who’s behind it. - http://billmoyers.com/segment/united-states-of-alec
Orwell Time: 5 Creepy New Ways You Are Being Tracked - (October 1, 2012 - AlterNet) - From GPS devices in candy bars to codes on headstones, we're living in a scary new world.
Is there any moment in life where you’re not being watched? It doesn’t seem so. - http://tinyurl.com/98u8l2n
Remote Vote Tampering Attack On A Sequoia AVC Voting Machine - (11 min. - YouTube audio/video) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ClrHPShljM
How Britain’s MI5 And The FBI Plotted To Destroy The Rolling Stones - (Sept. 30, 2012 - by Phillip Norman - The Daily Mail/UK) - …MI5 were operating on behalf of
an FBI offshoot known as COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) set up
by the FBI’s director, J. Edgar Hoover…. - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2210932
The Blueberry Deception: Fake Blueberries Made From Chemicals And Petroleum Byproducts - (3 min. - YouTube audio/video) - The blueberries found in blueberry bagels, cereals, breads and muffins are REAL blueberries right? Wrong! Award-winning investigative journalist Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, exposes the deceptive chemical ingredients and dishonest marketing of "blueberry" products from big-name food and cereal companies. The blueberries, it turns out, are made from artificial colors, hydrogenated oils and liquid sugars. (See more episodes at www.FoodInvestigations.com ) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_HjvjB4G5s
Homeland Security 'Fusion' Centers Spy On Citizens, Produce 'Shoddy' Work, Report Says - (October 2, 2012 - By Michael Isikoff - NBC News) - The ranking Republican on a Senate panel on Wednesday accused the Department of Homeland Security of hiding embarrassing information about its so-called "fusion" intelligence sharing centers, charging that the program has wasted hundreds of millions of dollars while contributing little to the country's counterterrorism efforts.
In a 107-page report released late Tuesday, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said that Homeland Security has spent up to $1.4 billion funding fusion centers -- in effect, regional intelligence sharing centers-- that have produced "useless" reports while at the same time collecting information on the innocent activities of [American citizens] that may have violated a federal privacy law.
The fusion centers, created under President George W. Bush and expanded under President Barack Obama, consist of special teams of federal , state and local officials collecting and analyzing intelligence on suspicious activities throughout the country. They have been hailed by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as “one of the centerpieces” of the nation’s counterterrorism efforts. --- [NOTE: The ubiquitous (particularly along streets and roadways throughout the U.S.) 24/7, 360-degree, inverted, black-dome surveillance cameras -- which are digitally archived and monitored via computer software, can observe, in extreme detail, all outdoor activity (and indoors though un-draped windows!) at distances of more than a mile -- are directly tied into these “fusion” centers. -- Bike Bob]
But Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the panel, charged Wednesday that Homeland Security had tried to bury evidence of problems at the centers.
The American Civil Liberties Union also issued a statement saying the report underscores problems that it and other civil liberty groups have been flagging for years. "The ACLU warned back in 2007 that fusion centers posed grave threats to Americans' privacy and civil liberties, and that they needed clear guidelines and independent oversight," said Michael German, ACLU senior policy counsel. "This report is a good first step, and we call upon Congress to hold public hearings to investigate fusion centers and their ongoing abuses.”
In addition to the value of much of the fusion centers’ work, the Senate panel found evidence of what it called “troubling” reports by some centers that may have violated the civil liberties and privacy of U.S. citizens. The evidence cited in the report could fuel a continuing controversy over claims that the FBI and some local police departments, notably New York City’s, have spied on [American citizens] without a justifiable law enforcement reason for doing so. Among the examples in the report: - http://tinyurl.com/9g4come
Sproul Says GOP Had Him Disguise Involvement In Voter Registration Scandal - (Oct. 3, 2012 - by Mark Karlin, Editor of BuzzFlash - TruthOut) - Overlooked in the rapidly escalating charges of massive GOP voter registration illegalities is an admission by the coordinator of the scheme: the shady Republican consultant, Nathan Sproul. Having a long history of legally questionable voter registration tactics, Sproul was a known public relations disaster to a party that had trumped up charges of Democratic voter fraud at the polls that was, according to the MinnPost, "virtually non-existent."
The MinnPost reports:
A News21 analysis of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases since 2000 shows that while fraud has occurred, the rate is infinitesimal, and in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tough voter ID laws, is virtually non-existent….
Analysis of the resulting comprehensive News21 election fraud database turned up 10 cases of voter impersonation. With 146 million registered voters in the United States during that time, those 10 cases represent one out of about every 15 million prospective voters.
So what have the Republicans been up to in creating national hysteria over a problem that doesn't exist? They've been up to, as Greg Palast and Brad Friedman (among others) have detailed, attempting to steal elections and succeeding at times (think Bush 2000) through a variety of strategies.One of them, championed by the disreputable Nathan Sproul, has been to aggressively register Republicans, even it appears without their consent, while refusing to register Democrats, as legally required, or allegedly dumping the registrations of Democrats into garbage bins. - http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/17552
The 10 Most Dangerous Religious Right Organizations - (October 2, 2012 - by Simon Brown - Church & State Magazine) - The religious right is more powerful than ever, using its massive annual revenue and grassroots troops to promote a right-wing ideology and undermine church and state separation.
The movement known as the Religious Right is the number-one threat to church-state separation in America. This collection of organizations is well funded and well organized; it uses its massive annual revenue and grassroots troops to undermine the wall of separation in communities nationwide.
Americans United staff members have carefully researched this movement, and here are the 10 Religious Right groups that pose the greatest challenges to church-state separation. Most of these organizations are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code, but the financial data includes some affiliated 501(c)(4) lobbying organizations operating alongside the main organizations. The figures come from official IRS filings or other reliable sources. - http://tinyurl.com/8aqslv9
New TSA scanners will be able to read EVERY molecule in your body and tell what you had for breakfast - (Security staff at airports can already force us to go through metal detectors and use X-rays to see under our clothes.
But a new technology being developed on behalf of the U.S. government goes even further - soon officials will be able to scan every single molecule in our bodies.
And travellers might not even know that they are being watched, as the device can be operated from a distance of 50 metres.
It is reasonable to assume that the Department of Homeland Security is primarily intending to use the Picosecond Programmable Laser scanners in airports, where security is usually at its highest.
But the device is small and light enough to be easily portable, and could be installed in any building or even on the street.The invention, while technologically exciting, raises the sinister spectre of government, businesses and individuals having the ability to monitor everyone constantly. - http://tinyurl.com/8mjeh7u
Drug Maker Profits
Soar From Bilking States, Despite Record Medicaid Fraud Fines - (October 9, 2012
- Public Citizen) - Corporate ripoffs of taxpayers continue despite legal
settlements, a new report by Public Citizen finds. - http://tinyurl.com/9ytqqga
The Ten Most Egregious Tax Loopholes In The U.S. - (Oct. 11, 2012 - by Chris Parker - St. Louis Riverfront Times) - A year ago Citizens for Tax Justice, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit, studied the tax returns of 280 corporations. What it found was a Beltway version of a Mafia protection scheme.
From 2008 to 2010 at least 30 Fortune 500 companies — including PepsiCo, Verizon, Wells Fargo and DuPont — paid more for lobbyists than they did in taxes. They collectively spent $476 million sucking up to Congress, buying protection for tax breaks, loopholes and special subsidies.
It didn't matter that these same 30 firms brought home a staggering $164 billion in profit during that three-year period. They not only managed to avoid paying taxes. They actually received $10.6 billion in rebates.
…there's another part of the tax code where 99 percent of America is barred from entry. It's where Congress sells loopholes and subsidies to those with the wallets to pay. They…saddle the rest of the country to make up the difference…. - http://www.riverfronttimes.com/content/printVersion/1708830
Report: EPA Struggling To Keep Pace With ‘Fracking’ Boom - (Oct. 9, 2012 - A second report details potential public health and environmental
impacts of oil-and-gas development.
NRC Whistleblowers Warn Of Nuclear Accidents Caused By Dam Failures And Effort To Suppress Disclosure - (October 11, 2012 - Beyond Nuclear) - Independent warnings from government whistleblowers within the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have surfaced alleging that U.S. nuclear power stations sited along major rivers and below reservoirs are vulnerable to a catastrophic nuclear accident following major dam failures.
In July 2011 with the flood waters along the Missouri River still rising around Nebraska’s Fort Calhoun nuclear power station, David Loveless, a NRC Senior Reactor Analyst concluded in a post-Fukushima technical review for the flood analysis at the nuclear power stations, that the reactor would not survive the gross failure of the Oahe dam—one of six dams on the Missouri River upstream from the nuke. Loveless cites analysis that a dam break would hit the reactor on the Missouri River with a wall of water knocking out electrical power systems and water pumps vital for reactor cooling. The group, Clean Nebraska, has recently written to NRC Chairwomen Allison Macfarland in an appeal to not allow the restart of the reactor pending a full investigation.
Then in September 2012, Richard Perkins, an Nuclear Reactor Regulations engineer and the lead author of “Flooding of U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Following Upstream Dam Failure,” asked the agency’s Office of Inspector General to investigate his allegations that the NRC “staff intentionally mischaracterized relevant and noteworthy safety information as sensitive, security information in an effort to conceal the information from the public” where “agency records that show the NRC has been in possession of relevant, notable, and derogatory safety information for an extended period but failed to properly act on it. Concurrently, the NRC concealed the information from the public.”
Perkins further charges that his concerns regard a government deliberate cover-up and violation of law involving fraudulent safety claims to surrounding communities and their representatives.Another NRC anonymous whistleblower, drew even more attention to risk of nuclear accidents following dam failure to the Oconee reactor in Senecca, South Carolina, stating, “The probability of Jocassee Dam catastrophically failing is hundreds of times greater than a 51 foot wall of water hitting Fukushima Daiichi,” the engineer said. “And, like the tsunami in Japan, the man-made ‘tsunami’ resulting from the failure of the Jocassee Dam will –- with absolute certainty –- result in the failure of three reactor plants along with their containment structures. - http://tinyurl.com/9kaa3kd
James Balog On Capturing Our Disappearing Glaciers - (27 min. - YouTube audio/video) - (Oct. 12, 2012 - Bill Moyers/PBS) - James Balog, one of the world's outstanding cinemaphotographers, joins Bill to explain that "the earth is having a fever." At tremendous risk to his own safety, Balog has been documenting the erosion of glaciers in Switzerland, Greenland, Iceland, and Alaska. His soon-to-be-released film, Chasing Ice, is a breathtaking account of climate change in action.[If you have the time, do watch this whole segment of the show. But BE SURE to at least watch these two segments: (a) the 5 minute segment -- beginning at about 6 min. & 15 secs. into the video -- where Balog talks about this extremely “anomalous” (accelerating) period of climate change were presently experiencing; (b) the 1 and ¼-min. segment -- beginning at 24 min. & 45 secs. into the video -- where Balog discuses “the tipping point.” --Bike Bob]: - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJVvD2cNZHI
Education Profiteering: Wall Street's Next Big Thing? - (October 15, 2012 - by Jeff Faux - AlterNet) - Wall Street's involvement in the charter school movement is presented as an act of philanthropy, but it's really about greed. - http://tinyurl.com/8kzlnz9
Transparency Outsourced As U.S. Hires Vendors For Disclosure Aid - (Oct. 9, 2012 - by Danielle Ivory - Bloomberg) - The next time you submit a Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. government, it may end up in the hands of a company you’ve never heard of.
At least 25 federal agencies are outsourcing parts of the FOIA process. The contractors, sometimes using workers with security clearances, are building FOIA software, corresponding with requesters, redacting documents and recommending what information should be withheld. - http://tinyurl.com/8fj7qhp
Fast Food Companies Like Subway, McDonald’s And
Starbucks Are Gaming The System To Avoid Millions In Taxes - (October 15, 2012
- by Alex Kane - AlterNet) -
Each year taxpayers get stuck paying hundreds of dollars
more because of corporate tax avoidance. - http://tinyurl.com/96v3x4x
Romney Exposed - (41 min. - YouTube audio/video) - Romney's secrecy in business is detailed, and revealed; as well as his role as a drug money launderer for GHW Bush; his connection, through Bush, to CIA death squads in Central America; his role in 9-11; in the murder of US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens; and the significance of his endorsement of and by Cheney. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9QA5B6U86s
UFO, Nuclear Site Ties - (Oct. 16, 2012 - The Columbia [MO] Daily Tribune) - http://tinyurl.com/9ua7rx2
Google: Let Us Opt Out Of Your Data Mining Machine - (Oct. 17, 2012 - by - Doug Miller - Wired) - Google’s answer to this is “competition is one click away.” If you don’t like how Google treats your private data then you can use someone else’s product.
Yet this answer does not ring true for users who are forced to use Google’s services because their employer or school has adopted Google Apps for Business, Education and Government. In this case, your employer or school has signed up for Google Apps but you, as the user, are the one who has to live with the data mining that goes on every time you use the service. Somehow this does not seem right. All Google Apps organizations that pay for these services and their users should have the ability to not pass any data back to Google beyond what is needed to run the service they have signed up for.
So, you may ask, what has this got to do with having an email account for a business or school, or creating documents for a government job? Well — nothing actually. None of this is required for providing these services. You could even go so far as to say that this is none of Google’s business. Yet in reality, this is exactly Google’s business. This data collection is purely to benefit Google — the company that has stated it wants to organize the world’s information (including all of your information) and the company that makes about $40 billion a year from advertising based on leveraging all that data that it has “organized.”
The Europeans are onto something here and we in North America need to pay attention. As individuals, students and workers, we cannot afford to let this become the norm for cloud services. Google, give us our digital lives back and let us opt out from your data mining machine. - [Actually, it should be via "opt-in" only! --Bike Bob]: - http://www.wired.com/insights/2012/10/google-opt-out
Green Party Candidates Arrested, Shackled To Chairs For 8 Hours For Trying To Enter Debate - (6-3/4 min. - YouTube audio/video) - (Oct. 17, 2012 - Amy Goodman/Democracy Now!) - Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein and vice presidential candidate Cheri Honkala were arrested…as they attempted to enter the grounds of the presidential debate site at Hofstra University. Like other third party candidates, Stein was blocked from participating in the debate by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Republican and Democratic parties. Stein and Honkala were held for eight hours, handcuffed to chair. As she was being arrested, Stein condemned what she called "this mock debate, this mockery of democracy." - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejsLetOUfk8
Greg Palast: "Mitt Romney’s Bailout Bonanza: How He Made Millions From The Rescue Of Detroit" - (17 min. - video) - (Oct. 18, 2012 - Democracy Now!) - We turn now to a major new exposé on the cover of The Nation magazine called "Mitt Romney’s Bailout Bonanza: How He Made Millions from the Rescue of Detroit." Investigative reporter Greg Palast reveals how Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made some $15 million on the auto bailout and that three of Romney’s top donors made more than $4 billion for their hedge funds from the bailout. Palast’s report is part of a film-in-progress called "Romney’s Bailout Bonanza." Palast is the author of several books, including recently released New York Times bestseller, "Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps." [Includes transcript] - http://www.democracynow.org/2012/10/18/greg_palast_mitt_romneys_bailout_bonanza
Taking On The Plutocrats - (49-1/4 min. - video) - (Oct. 19, 2012 - Bill Moyers/PBS) - Bill Moyers discusses “The One Percent’s Power and Privileges” with Matt Taibbi, of “Rolling Stone” magazine, and Chrystia Freeland, author of the new book Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.The One Percent is not only increasing their share of wealth — they’re using it to spread millions among political candidates who serve their interests. - http://tinyurl.com/8kgts79
Marijuana Like You've Never Seen It Before - (3-1/2 min. - video) - (Oct. 21, 2012 - 60 Minutes/CBS News) - What's next for medical marijuana? Hint: it doesn't involve a match, pipe or rolling papers. Some of it doesn't even get you high.
In Steve Kroft's 60 Minutes story this week, we saw how Colorado has capitalized, literally, on its medical cannabis program. We also saw how the state has become fertile ground for a marketplace of unconventional marijuana products to flourish. And we're not just talking about pot brownies.
Sodas, peanut butter sandwiches, truffles, breath sprays, skin ointments -- almost anything can be infused with marijuana, and in Colorado, entrepreneurs are developing all manner of new pot-infused product lines. These products are a far cry from the dorm-room stash of weed in a plastic baggy, and some of them deliver the medical benefits of the drug without the high.The strange new world of non-smokable marijuana. - http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504803_162-57536817-10391709.html
How Corporations Know Who You Will Likely Vote For - (October 23, 2012 - by Lois Beckett - ProPublica) - Across the country, companies are using cookies to tailor the political ads you see online.
If you're a registered voter and surf the web, one of the sites you visit has almost certainly placed a tiny piece of data on your computer flagging your political preferences.That piece of data, called a cookie, marks you as a Democrat or Republican, when you last voted, and what contributions you've made. It also can include factors like your estimated income, what you do for a living, and what you've bought at the local mall. - http://www.alternet.org/how-corporations-know-who-you-will-likely-vote
Internet Of Food: Arduino-Based, Urban Aquaponics - (13-1/2
min. - YouTube audio/video) - The land in West
Oakland, Calif., where Eric Maundu
is trying to farm is covered with freeways, roads, light rail and parking lots
so there's not much arable land and the soil is contaminated. So Maundu doesn't
use soil. Instead he's growing plants
using fish and circulating water.
It's called aquaponics- a gardening system that combines hydroponics (water-based planting)
and aquaculture (fish farming). It's
been hailed as the future of farming: it
uses less water (up to 90% less than
traditional gardening), doesn't
attract soil-based bugs and produces two types of produce (both plants and fish).
Third Party Presidential Debate - (1-1/2 hrs. - video) - (Oct. 23, 2012 - C-SPAN) - Four Third Party Presidential candidates participated in a debate in Chicago, organized by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation.The participants included Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode, and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson. The hour and half event was moderated by former CNN anchor Larry King and Christina Tobin, founder and chair of the Free and Equal Elections Foundation. - www.c-span.org/Events/Third-Party-Presidential-Debate/10737435220-1
Bike Sharing Takes Over America - (Oct. 25, 2012 - by Alexander George - Wired) - Bike share programs are spreading across the United States like carbon-reducing wildfire. Since the launch of the first modern U.S. bike-share system in 2008 (yes, the system has been around for decades, but 2008 was the first theft-proof and functioning system), 29 have popped up. In 2012 alone, eight new cities have set up bike share programs with more scheduled to begin in cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Fort Worth.
Capital Bikeshare in Washington, D.C. is the model share program of the moment. Starting in 2010 with 1,100 bikes and 18,000 members, the program now has over 1,670 bikes and 175 pick-up and drop-off stations, making it the largest sharing consortium in the country.The major reason that bike shares actually work is the technology that keeps a share organization’s inventory in check. Free and coin-operated programs usually succumbed to theft, but new innovations in inexpensive bicycle tracking technology keep the fleet intact. - http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/10/bike-share
Health Care Waste Deconstructed: Patients Aren't The Problem - (October 28, 2012 - If anybody ever tells you we can't afford health care for everybody, consider the following: Every other wealthy country in the world provides health care for all at an average of about half the per-person cost in the United States.
Their health care systems are more popular than ours and get better results for all their people. In those countries, there is no such thing as medical bankruptcies and there is no job-lock due solely to health care coverage.
Last month, the National Academy of Sciences reported that in the U.S. we waste $750 billion on health care, or about one in every three dollars we spend. Apologists for our dysfunctional health care system blame fraud and inadequate prevention — "blame the patient" — for most of that. But those two factors accounted for only 17 percent of the waste, according to the NAS.
The rest of the waste, 83 percent, was accounted for by other factors. Unnecessary services accounted for 28 percent. Unnecessarily high prices accounted for 14 percent. Excess administrative costs due to too many private insurance companies and types of insurance accounted for 25 percent. Inefficiently delivered services due to a lack of coordination among doctors, hospitals and other providers accounted for another 17 percent.
Many of these problems can be solved, and have been in other countries and in parts of this country. But they will not be solved anytime soon unless we fundamentally transform the ways we finance and deliver health care.
The mission of a public financing system, such as Medicare, is to facilitate the delivery of medical care. Medicare has an administrative overhead of less than 5 percent. - http://tinyurl.com/8erylmg
‘Occupy’ Protesters Were Right, Says Bank Of England Official - (Oct. 29, 2012 - by James Kirkup, Deputy Political Editor - The Telegraph/UK) - Andrew Haldane, a member of the Bank’s financial policy committee, said the Occupy movement was correct in its attack on the international financial system.
The Occupy movement sprang up last year and staged significant demonstrations in both the City of London and New York, protesting about the unequal distribution of wealth and the influence of the financial services industry. Members of the movement occupied the grounds of St Paul’s and remained camped there for more than three months until police evicted them in February last year.
“Occupy has been successful in its efforts to popularise the problems of the global financial system for one very simple reason; they are right,” Mr Haldane said last night. Mr Haldane, the Bank’s executive director for financial stability, was speaking to Occupy Economics, an offshoot of the Occupy movement, at an event in central London.
In a speech entitled Socially Useful Banking, he said the protesters had helped bring about a “reformation” in financial services and the way they are regulated.
Partly because of the protests, he suggested, both bank executives and policymakers were persuaded that banks must behave in a more moral way, and take greater account of inequality in wider society. - http://tinyurl.com/9j97sra
(5-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
"What's Wrong With
Our Food System"
(5-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
(5-1/2 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Midway - Shocking
In The Pacific
(3-3/4 min. - video)
(2-1/2 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Busting Election Theft Attempts - (9-1/2 min. - YouTube audio/video) - Investigative reporter Harvey Wasserman lays out the ways in which the elections can be stolen and what we can do about it. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=440vOki3jfE
“Man in the Middle” Dead Man Tells No Tales - (9-1/2 min. - YouTube audio/video) - From the film FREE FOR ALL! by John Wellington Ennis http://freeforall.tv — The Man in the Middle scheme subverts election results reporting. This maneuver occurred in Ohio 2004, in the Bush-Kerry Election. The man who oversaw the Man in the Middle operation, Mike Connell, died mysteriously in a plane crash soon after giving a deposition in 2008. Featuring Dr. Bob Fitrakis, Cliff Arnebeck, Sec of State Jennifer Brunner, Brad Friedman, Stephen Spoonamore. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNNHSpM-Z-w
The Permanent Militarization Of America - (Nov. 4, 2012 - by Aaron B. O’Connell, an assistant professor of history at the United States Naval Academy and a Marine reserve officer; author of “Underdogs: The Making of the Modern Marine Corps.” - The New York Times/Op-Ed) - http://tinyurl.com/9w82htc
India's Thorium-based Nuclear - (Nov. 9, 2012 - by Hal Hodson - NewScientist) - The rhetoric is familiar: for decades, thorium has been repeatedly held up as a cheap, clean way forward for nuclear power. Compared with the uranium-based fuel cycles, thorium produces far smaller amounts of radioactive waste elements - including plutonium, which remains dangerous for tens of thousands of years.
But the reality is that there's nothing new about the AHWR [Advanced Heavy Water Reactor], says Craig Smith, a nuclear engineer at the US Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Smith says Bhardwaj's claims that the reactor will be safe enough to build in urban areas simply do not stand up. The reactor will convert thorium to uranium-233, which then splits to produce heat and other elements with short half-lives. If an accident were to occur, this dangerous mix of chemicals could be released into the environment.Ralph Moir, a nuclear physicist at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in California, suggests that India's devotion to thorium is driven more by ideology than science. India's nuclear road map was laid out by nuclear pioneer Homi Bhabha in 1954. His primary goal was not safe nuclear power but energy independence based on the sheer abundance of thorium in the country - as much as one-quarter of the world's supply. - http://tinyurl.com/d8bskgd
Amy Goodman, host of 'Democracy Now!', looks ahead to the next 4 years for Progressives - (26-3/4 min. - video) - (Nov. 8, 2012 - The Tavis Smiley Show/PBS) - http://video.pbs.org/video/2302708715
Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki discusses his documentary on America’s War On Drugs, 'The House I Live In' - (26-3/4 min. - video) - (Nov. 9, 2012 - The Tavis Smiley Show/PBS) - http://video.pbs.org/video/2302728414
Our Biggest Challenge
(3-3/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHP9Rh-ooh0
Fracking Database: New Weapon Against 'Sinister
Secrecy' Of Industry - (November 15,
2012 - by Common Dreams) - SkyTruth reveals new tool for research and
analysis of fracking chemicals - http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/11/15-1
SkyTruth reveals new tool for research and analysis of fracking chemicals - http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/11/15-1
Social Media Surveillance OK'd By DHS 'Privacy Office' - (November 16, 2012 - Common Dreams) - A section of the US Department of Homeland Security known as the "Privacy Office" recently approved a DHS initiative designed to monitor social media sites for "emerging threats," according a new report by the Center for Investigative Reporting -- a move that will add to fears that the US government may be 'friending' and 'following' an increasing number of citizens for surveillance purposes.
Congress created the Privacy Office in 2003 to monitor DHS initiatives and databases to ensure citizens' rights are protected.
However, social media monitoring, an increasingly common practice used by Homeland Security and other US departments, has now been given the official stamp of approval.
"As Americans turn to social media sites like Twitter and Facebook to communicate with one another, intelligence officials are looking for ways to harness that ocean of data and convert it into actionable information," CIR reports.
For example, in 2010, The Electronic Frontier Foundation discovered that federal Immigration Services investigators were “friending” people on Facebook who were applying to become citizens in order to monitor their lives and "snoop for marriage details." Such activities are now acceptable forms of surveillance according to the Privacy Office. - http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/11/16-8
Moderate Drink During
Pregnancy Can Lower Baby's IQ - (Nov. 15, 2012 - by Debora MacKenzie - New Scientist) - Drinking as little as half a pint of beer per
week during pregnancy can cut a baby's intelligence by several IQ points.
This may be enough to make a difference to the child's prospects, suggest
researchers who have finally teased out the true relationship between moderate
drinking in pregnancy and its affect on an unborn child. - http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22506
The Petraeus Affair vs. The CIA’s Long Criminal History - (November 15, 2012 - By Julie Lévesque - Global Research) - [The CIA-drug connection...and why the "War on Drugs" targets the CIA-backed drug lords' competition. --Bike Bob]: - http://tinyurl.com/bnc3pkf
Your Online Attention, Bought In An Instant - (Nov. 17, 2012 - by Natasha Singer - The New York Times) - That worries some federal regulators and consumer advocates, who say that such electronic trading systems could unfairly stratify consumers, covertly offering better pricing to certain people while relegating others to inferior treatment. A computer-generated class system is one risk, they say, of an ad-driven Internet powered by surveillance.“As you profile more and more people, you’ll start to segregate people into ‘the people you can get money out of’ and ‘the people you can’t get money out of,’ ” says Dan Auerbach, a staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital civil rights group in San Francisco, who formerly worked in digital ad data-mining. “That is one of the dangers we should be worried about.” --- [Note: This process is similar to that employed by brick-and-mortar retail stores’ with their so-called “loyalty cards.” --Bike Bob]: - http://tinyurl.com/bww5f59
…the UN released the new report claiming that the concentration of warming gases has increased by an alarming 20 per cent since 2000 -- emphasizing that agreements made in the Kyoto Protocol no longer keep up with the rate of warming.
"Action on climate change needs to be scaled-up and accelerated without delay if the world is to have a running chance of keeping a global average temperature rise below two degrees Celsius this century," the UN stated Wednesday.At the current rate, as a result of subsequently inadequate provisions of Kyoto, global average temperatures could rise by three to five degrees Celsius (5.4 to 9.0 degrees Fahrenheit) this century -- far greater than the two degrees Celsius originally targeted, said the UN. - http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/11/21-9
Monsanto Insurance: USDA Tells Farmers To Pay For Avoiding Troubles With Agro-Giant - (Nov. 22, 2012 - RT) - The Monsanto Company dominates more than just grow fields across the US, as evident in their stellar track record of taking small-time farmers to court and winning cases, an occurrence that Think Progress acknowledges happens roughly a dozen times a year. Time and time again, Monsanto’s patented, lab-made genetically engineered seeds are sold to one farmer, only for Mother Nature to move the crop onto neighboring fields with the help of a bit of wind. Just as often, of course, Monsanto’s team of high-paid litigators take the little guys to court, only to triumph thanks to a legal counsel that collects around $10 million a year just to take other farmers to court.
In a statement issued Wednesday from The National Organic Coalition (NOC), the group condemns the USDA and its AC21 panel for allegedly putting little work into alleviating a big problem destroying America’s agriculturists.
the group writes.
,” says Liana Hoodes, NOC’s executive director.Andrew Kimbrell, executive director at Center for Food Safety and a NOC member, adds that the AC21’s findings are an
(2-1/2 min. - YouTube audio/video)
(2-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Agenda 21: The Latest Sleight Of Hand Trick By Corporate Elite - (Nov. 22, 2012 - by Thom Hartmann and Sam Sacks - ) - When the Corporate Elite tells us we need to be afraid of something, they almost always expect to make some money off our fear.
…here's what Agenda 21 really is. Standing for "Agenda 21st Century," it's a completely non-binding UN agreement that aims to address climate change and inequality by calling on local and federal governments, NGOs, and businesses, to develop plans to create more sustainable environments in their respective nations. The UN believes that…wealth disparities can be reduced, indigenous populations can be protected, and the deterioration of ecosystems around the globe can be reversed.
If you ask the environmentalists who are growing more and more concerned with a warming, crowded planet what they think of Agenda 21, they'll say it doesn't go nearly far enough. Especially after new reports by the UN about record levels of greenhouse gases and the atmosphere, and a report by the World Bank on the global economic impacts of a planet that's 7-degrees warming by 2100 as a result of climate change.
But, as you'd expect from a plan to reduce poverty worldwide and use resources and land in more eco-friendly ways, wealthy oil barons and banksters are opposed to it. ….
So, right-wingers have employed their best charlatans in America…to reinvent Agenda 21 as something completely different: a nefarious plot by communist globalists to force redistribution of wealth and confiscation of private property, and ultimate devour American sovereignty.
[….]...this latest scheme by the Corporate Elite to scare the hell out of all of us with Agenda 21 is just like every other scare tactic by the Corporate Elite – it's meant to distract us. It's a sleight-of-hand technique to keep us focused on bogeymen, while their ranks of Texas oilmen, outsourcing CEOs, and Wall Street banksters carry out the true destruction of the United States of America: the pillaging of the Middle Class at home and the construction of a WTO-style one-world corporate government to promote unfettered capitalism and free trade everywhere on the planet. - http://tinyurl.com/b3ljtdt
EyeSee Facial Recognition Cameras Deployed In Mannequins Record Age, Gender And Race Of Customers - (Nov. 21, 2012 - by Madison Ruppert, editor - End the Lie) - As unbelievable as it sounds, facial recognition technology is now being deployed in mannequins. While this might sound completely insane, it’s not all that surprising given the rise of facial recognition systems capable of scanning 36 million faces per second, the FBI giving out facial recognition software to police and rolling out a $1 billion facial recognition system across the United States, not to mention drone-based facial recognition along with behavioral recognition and much more. - http://tinyurl.com/be8g7y4
A Year In Jail For
Not Believing In God? How Kentucky Is Persecuting Atheists - (Nov. 21, 2012 - by Laura Gottesdiener - AlterNet)
- In Kentucky, a homeland security law requires the state’s citizens to acknowledge
the security provided by the Almighty God--or risk 12 months in prison. - http://tinyurl.com/aaxa4bg
The Healing Power Of Marijuana Has Barely Been Tapped - (November 23, 2012 - by AlterNet) - Medical marijuana is now legal in 18 states, but it's clear we've discovered a fraction of its potential for health.…it's useful to note that since 2003, the U.S. federal government has held a "medical patent" for the marketing of cannabinoids as antioxidants or neuroprotective agents. The patent states that cannabinoids are "useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases such as inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and HIV dementia." - http://tinyurl.com/ccbez4m
(15 min. - YouTube audio/video)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pznsPkJy2x8
“Larry Hagman, boyish to the end: An appreciation” - (November 24, 2012 - by Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic) - Hagman had a long, bad history with alcohol and nicotine, the drugs of his generation. (He had a liver transplant in 1995, and it was throat cancer that killed him.) He quit both but remained a devotee -- that seems to be the apt word -- of marijuana, to which Jack Nicholson introduced him, thinking it might help cut down on his drinking. (Characteristically, that vice tended toward champagne.) And he wrote and spoke glowingly of his experience with LSD, which, he said, opened him to "the oneness of the universe" and rid him -- I am glad to think today -- of any fear of death. - http://tinyurl.com/cxzqs45
Your Smartphone's Dirty, Radioactive Secret - (November/December 2012 Issue - by Kiera Butler - Mother Jones) - The rare earths inside microcomputers make our lives easier. But just how toxic are the guts of your smartphone?
But here's the catch. Rare earths always occur alongside the radioactive elements thorium and uranium, and safely separating them is a complex process. Miners use heavy machinery to reach the raw ore, which contains anywhere between 3 and 9 percent rare earths, depending on the deposit. Then the ore is taken to a refinery and "cracked," a process wherein workers use sulfuric acid to make a liquid stew of sorts. The process is also hugely water- and energy-intensive, requiring a continuous 49 megawatts (enough to power 50,000 homes) and two Olympic swimming pools' worth of water every day.
Workers then boil off the liquid and separate out the rare earths from rock and radioactive elements. This is where things get dangerous: Companies must take precautions so that workers aren't exposed to radiation. If the tailings ponds where the radioactive elements are permanently stored are improperly lined, they can leach into the groundwater. If they are not covered properly, the slurry could dry and escape as dust. And this radioactive waste must be stored for an incomprehensibly long time—the half-life of thorium is about 14 billion years, and uranium's is up to 4.5 billion years. Reminder: Earth itself is 4.5 billion years old. - http://tinyurl.com/c5ypykt
[NOTE: Be sure to also read the following related article. -- Bike Bob]:
My Visit To An American Rare Earth Metals Mine - (Mar. 10, 2011 - by Rebecca Boyle - Popular Science) - The electronic future is buried under the ground in Missouri
…the Pea Ridge iron mine near Sullivan (Missouri)…. When Jim Kennedy bought the mine in 2001, he’d planned to restart production on a high-grade iron ore deposit. He didn’t realize he was sitting on a mother lode of 600,000 metric tons of high-grade rare earth elements -- elements the U.S. is desperately hungry for. ….
When it starts production, Pea Ridge would follow California’s Mountain Pass mine, becoming only the second American producer of rare earths. ….
…. Ten states are known to have significant rare-earth deposits, according to a 2010 study by the USGS. Most are in the western U.S., but the Pea Ridge deposit has the highest grade of any site in the country….Given its resources and existing infrastructure, why isn't Pea Ridge already producing rare earths? There’s a catch. Along with iron, the heavy rare earths at Pea Ridge are found intermingled with thorium, a radioactive element that requires special processing and cleanup. - http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-03/rare-earth-mine
Why Are Police Allowed To Break Into Your Phone? - (November 26, 2012 - by Alex kane - AlterNet) - A New York Times review of court cases and legislation around the country shows that there are no uniform rules when it comes to whether law enforcement can search cell phone records and use the data as evidence. - http://tinyurl.com/cc2fwwk
First Amendment Win: Supreme Court Rejects Attempt To Block Recording Of Police Officers - (Nov. 26, 2012 - Common Dreams) - ACLU of Illinois: "... individuals and organizations must be able to freely gather and record information about the conduct of government and their agents – especially the police." - http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/11/26-4
(4-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Solar Power Revolution
Here Comes The Sun
(48-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Online Privacy Law Stuck In 1986! - (1-3/4 min. -
YouTube audio/video) - (Oct. 6, 2011 - ACLU) - 1986 was also the last time that the law that protects the privacy of
your electronic life — email, cell phone location records, Facebook posts,
search history, cloud computing documents — was passed.
Since 1986, technology has advanced at breakneck speed while electronic privacy law remained at a standstill. The outdated Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) is allowing the government to engage in a shopping spree in the treasure trove of information about who you are, where you go, and what you do, that is being collected by cell phone providers, search engines, social networking sites, and other websites every day.
Online privacy law shouldn't be older than the Web, and Americans shouldn't have to choose between new technology and privacy.
(Visit www.aclu.org/ecpa to learn more and take action today.) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paLwr1nHiHU
Police Cameras Gobbling Up Driver Data In St. Louis - (Nov. 28, 2012 - by Robert Patrick - St. Louis Post-Dispatch) - …a photo of the car and its license plate number were among 3 million scanned at random by cameras atop six city police cars equipped with an automatic license plate recognition system…. Times and locations are logged and saved with the images.
…such systems, commonly called ALPR….
The cameras, which may be barely noticeable nestled among patrol cars’ rooftop warning lights, can log thousands of images an hour. Nationally, agencies are adding them and interconnecting the information. In the Cincinnati area, data are linked among 10 counties in three states.
But critics worry about potential mischief with so much information collected on ordinary people’s movements.
“Our concern is that ALPR (systems) are used to collect and store info, not just of people suspected of crimes, but of every single motorist,” said Anthony Rothert, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri. “And they’re increasingly becoming a tool for routine tracking and surveillance.”
Rothert said ACLU affiliates around the country surveyed a limited number of police agencies this year, seeking information about their use of the technology. The ACLU plans to use open records laws to learn more about how the data are collected, stored and used. ….
Rothert, of the ACLU, said that only two states, Maine and New Hampshire, currently limit the use of such data.
Rothert said it is a core American principle that government does not collect information on people “just in case they do something wrong. We only collect information about citizens when we suspect wrongdoing.”“I think that there need to be ... clear regulations to keep authorities from tracking our movements on a massive scale,” he said. “The technology and the local police departments are getting ahead ... of the law in protecting our privacy.” - http://tinyurl.com/bro5xvr
Arctic Permafrost Is Melting Faster Than Predicted - (Nov. 28, 2012 - by Michael Selzak - NewScientist) -We may be closer to a major climate tipping point than we knew. Earth's permafrost – frozen soil that covers nearly a quarter of the northern hemisphere and traps vast amounts of carbon – may be melting faster than thought and releasing more potent greenhouse gasses.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released a report yesterday reviewing the most up-to-date research on Arctic permafrost. It claims temperature projections due in 2014 from the International Panel on Climate Change are "likely to be biased on the low side" because the IPCC does not take into account the positive feedback cycle of permafrost melting and releasing greenhouse gases.
"Overall, these observations indicate that large-scale thawing of the permafrost may already have started", the UNEP report warns. It calls on governments to monitor permafrost in greater detail and urges communities in permafrost areas to develop plans for managing any damage to infrastructure caused by the frozen soil melting.
But even these calls might be downplaying both the extent of the melting and the severity of the warming it could cause, according to NASA researchers doing groundbreaking research. ….
[….]One big question is how much of the 1700 billion tonnes of carbon locked in the permafrost as frozen organic matter will be released as methane and how much as CO2 if there is a thaw. [Charles] Miller [of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, the principal investigator on the Carbon in Arctic Reservoirs Vulnerability Experiment]says that if the region gets warmer and drier, the microbes that thrive will be the type that produce CO2. But if it gets warmer and wetter, they will tend to produce more of the potent methane. - http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn22549
Neil deGrasse Tyson:
Does The Universe
Have A Purpose?
(2-1/2 min. - YouTube audio/video)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pL5vzIMAhs
UFO In Mars Spirit Rover Photo
(1 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Ninth Circuit Gives The A-OK For Warrantless Home Video Surveillance - (Nov. 29, 2012 - by Hanni Fakhoury - [Note: When reading this keep in mind the made-to-order biometric-recognition capabilities (voice, face, movement) of the new Internet-connected "smart" TVs, and other entertainment devices! --Bike Bob]: - https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/11/ninth-circuit-gives-ok-warrantless-home-video-surveillance
The Climate Denial Machine
- (December 1, 2012 - Despite the overwhelming consensus
among climate experts that human activity is contributing to rising global
temperatures, 66 percent of Americans incorrectly believe there is "a
lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is
happening." The conservative media
has fueled this confusion by distorting scientific
research, hyping faux-scandals, and giving voice to groups funded by industries that have a
financial interest in blocking action on climate change. Meanwhile,
mainstream media outlets have shied away from the
"controversy" over climate change and have failed to press U.S.
policymakers on how they will address this global threat. When climate change
is discussed, mainstream outlets sometimes strive for a false balance that elevates marginal voices and enables them to sow doubt about the science
even in the face of mounting evidence.
Here, looks at how conservative media outlets give industry-funded "experts" a platform, creating a polarized misunderstanding of climate science. - http://truth-out.org/news/item/13083
Fracking's Health Calamities Left To Fester - (December 1, 2012 - Unless you've been living on a desert island for the last couple of years, you've probably heard of "fracking," or hydraulic fracturing, and you may well have seen dramatic footage of tap water being ignited. If you listen to the slick and expensive public relations campaign from the natural gas drilling industry, lobbyists and politicians of both parties, fracking is the answer to this country's energy problems, a way to free us from our problematic ties to Saudi Arabian and Middle East oil.
…we are turning large swaths of our country into toxic industrial zones. Currently, fracking is taking place in 36 states across the nation. Natural gas drilling, one of the most powerful businesses on the globe, has become the new gold rush for those who stand to benefit. But for those who stand in the way, it can be devastating.
Fracking involves boring down as deep as 10,000 feet, and then, at that level, can go as much as two miles out horizontally. Chemically laced water is forced into tight seams of rock formations to loosen the methane or natural gas for collection. For every single well -- and there are already a million across the country -- eight million gallons of water, mixed with some 91 tons of chemicals per million gallons of water, industrial sodium and sand, are required. When a bore extends so far underground, there are any number of potential leak points along the way which can poison water tables. According to the industry's own statistics, cementing of pipe casings fails due to shoddy workmanship in an astounding one in four cases.
Each drilled gas well produces a nightmarish chemical soup, and tons of foul smelling, harmful emissions and highly toxic liquid byproducts. ….What goes down, also comes back up. "These regurgitated waste fluids are mixed with what Mother Nature has been safely ensconcing way underground for 350 million years -- strontium, radium, arsenic, heavy metals," Cornell University's Anthony Ingraffea, Ph.D., one of the world's leading experts on fracking, told me. Known as NORMS -- Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material -- this witches' brew, combined with the fracking chemicals, is exceedingly dangerous to human health, he points out. It is also very hard to dispose of safely. - http://truth-out.org/news/item/13091
Less Than 25 Percent Of Americans Walk For More Than Ten Minutes
Continuously In A Typical Week - ScienceDaily (Nov.
30, 2012) — Many people in the
U.S. do not walk, bike or engage in other forms of active transportation, missing an
important opportunity to improve their cardiovascular health, concludes a new study in the American Journal of
Active transportation refers to any form of human-powered transportation, most commonly walking and cycling, but also using a wheelchair, in-line skating or skateboarding. The study's researchers suggest active transportation is "an untapped reservoir of opportunity for physical activity for many U.S. adults."
"We knew that many studies have demonstrated that physical activity can help prevent a variety of conditions like high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and serum lipid abnormalities -- all risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease," said lead study author Gregg Furie, M.D. of the Yale School of Medicine, who specializes in adult primary care medicine. However, the majority of previous studies done on physical activity primarily focused on its use in recreational activity or leisure time activity, he noted.
The U.S. has one of the lowest rates of active transportation in the world, said James F. Sallis, Ph.D., chief of the division of behavioral medicine at the University of California, San Diego."This is not an accident. U.S. transportation policies and funding prioritize travel by car, unwittingly discouraging active travel," said Sallis, who is also director of active living research at UCSD. "This situation is made worse by land use and zoning policies that separate residential and commercial zones to the extent that it is not feasible to walk for daily needs. These new findings point out how transportation policy is health policy."
He called the study "powerful evidence from a large national sample that active transportation is just as beneficial to health as leisure-time physical activity. Not surprisingly, the findings highlight that transportation policies that essentially ignore walking and cycling appear to be contributing to the major chronic diseases that account for 80 percent of healthcare costs."
There's a need for better understanding of the overall benefits of active transportation, Furie said. "This information adds to the weight of evidence that suggests more work is necessary to develop environmental policies that make it safer, easier, and more desirable for people to walk and bike for transportation." - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121130151132.htm
Gundersen: Fukushima contamination will be “redeposited onto the surface for 300 years” — “This is not a problem that goes away” (VIDEO) - (Dec. 2, 2012 - by Ernie Gundersen - ENENews) - Nuclear Expert Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education: […] When we talk Fukushima Daiichi, or the Fukushima Prefecture being contaminated, this is not a problem that is going to go away tomorrow.
This is going to wash down and into the watersheds and then biologically be brought back up through the roots of the plant and redeposited onto the surface for 300 years.
This is not a problem that goes away. - http://tinyurl.com/c23ps6h
From Sci-Fi To Reality: The Computer-Blitzing Drone That Can Cripple A Nation's Electronics At The Touch Of A Button - (Dec. 1, 2012 - by Ben Ellery - Daily Mail/UK) - Aircraft manufacturer Boeing have created a weapon that can knock out computers.
The missile is thought to be able to penetrate bunkers and caves.
Experts warn, in the wrong hands, could bring Western cities to their knees. - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2241525
Privacy Trumps Need For Cellphone Surveillance - (Dec. 2, 2012 - Editorial/St. Louis Post-Dispatch) - …the 2001 Patriot Act, under which the FBI and the National Security Agency can subpoena cellphone records without a warrant and monitor cellphone conversations. [NOTE: This would also include all VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) Skype communications, too! --Bike Bob] The Patriot Act also makes it illegal for a cellphone company to publicly disclose that phone records are being investigated.
…Neil Richards, a Washington University law professor. He is an author and internationally recognized expert on privacy, the First Amendment and information law.
Right now there’s no guarantee of cellphone privacy. Mr. Richards said the importance of electronic technology in our lives can’t be overstated, and the need to keep that information private is paramount.
“…he said. Surveillance, or the mere threat of surveillance, he said, is a tactic used by tyrants and has no place in the United States.In an article for the Texas Law Review, Mr. Richards described intellectual privacy as the protection of records of our intellectual activities, and said it is “vital to a robust culture of free expression, as it safeguards the integrity of our intellectual activities.” He argued that free speech depends on free thought, and “without free thought, the freedom to think for ourselves, to entertain ideas that others might find ridiculous or offensive, we would lack the ability to reason, much less the capacity to develop revolutionary or heretical ideas about (for instance) politics, culture, or religion,” he wrote. “Engaging in these processes requires a space, physical and psychological, where we can think for ourselves without others watching or judging. Those thoughts are precious and need to be protected against intrusion.” - http://tinyurl.com/bvkrrpg
Watch: Teacher Infiltrates ALEC Education Meeting,
Confronts Members - (1-1/2
min. - video) - (December 3, 2012 - by Adele M. Stan - AlterNet)
- Education activist Sabrina Joy Stevens, a former teacher in the Denver
school system, tells right-wing,
would-be policymakers how their agenda is destructive to education. - http://tinyurl.com/cfcegae
As Global Pollution Hits Record High, Frighteningly Hot Future Seems 'Inevitable' - (Dec. 3, 2012 - by Common Dreams) - 'Carbon pollution up to 2 million pounds a second'
New global carbon emission numbers released on Sunday show that the world is heading in the exact wrong direction when it comes to its energy production policies and scientists at the Global Carbon Project now say that frightening climate change impacts are all but inevitable without a "radical plan" to decrease the level of greenhouse gasses spewing into the atmosphere. - http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/12/03-0
NSA Whistleblower: Everyone In US Under Digital Surveillance, Trillions Of Messages Stored - (Dec. 3, 2012 - by Juan Cole, the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan - JuanCole.com) - National Security Agency whistle-blower William Binney explains how the NSA puts all the electronic communications of all Americans under constant surveillance and then stores zetabytes of data permanently. - [NOTE: This also includes all Skype and other VOIP [Voice Over Internet Protocol] communications, too! --Bike Bob]
Binney says that social networks analysis is being carried out on all Americans, and that if for any reason the clique in charge of the government decides to target an individual, they can go back and analyze the electronic records on him or her for damning information.
Presumably, this is what the Bush White House asked the intelligence community to do to yours truly. (See James Risen’s article here).Binney refered to Boeing’s NARUS traffic analyzer, which we know the telcoms allowed the Bush administration to run on all our communications. - [Note: Article includes an ABSOLUTE MUST-SEE 12-1/2 min. video interview with NSA whistleblower William Binney. --Bike Bob]: - http://tinyurl.com/cqb58zd
Ferguson (Missouri) Street Signs Mark Safety Advance For Bicyclists - (Dec. 3, 2012 - by Paul Hampel - Political Fix/St. Louis Post-Dispatch) - Martin Pion resisted getting pushed to the curb, and now bicyclists have a safer ride through Ferguson.
Prompted by Pion's pro-bike activism, Ferguson recently installed street signs that reflect a change — perhaps the first like it in the state — to a traffic ordinance regulating lane usage.
Two custom-made signs at each end of Ferguson-controlled Florissant Road, a major north-south route, indicate that bicycles now may use the full lane and that other vehicles may change lanes to pass.
The signs follow the repeal in June of the city's so-called “Far to the Right” ordinance that required cyclists to “ride as near to the right side of the roadway as safe.”
Pion spearheaded the change after one of the city's police officers pulled him over for violating the ordinance. Pion had been riding his bike in the center of the right lane on Florissant Road.
“I was controlling the curb lane near my home while bicycling to Ferguson's downtown,” Pion, 76, of Ferguson, said on Monday.
The English-born Pion is a longtime champion of bicycle commuting who has taught classes on cycling safety. - [NOTE: Martin Pion is a registered Effective Cycling Instructor. --Bike Bob]
He prefers riding in the center of the curb lane, asserting that, contrary to the provisions of the old ordinance, cycling becomes more dangerous the farther one rides to the right.
“The far right side typically is the worst part to travel on. You have drain grates, debris that accumulates and gets swept infrequently, there's also a joint there and you are less visible to motorists."
He added, “By riding far to the right, you are more likely to get crowded by large vehicles trying to pass you. By controlling your lane, you are signaling to following motorists that they should change lanes to pass you because they won't be able to do it safely within the lane.”
Pion said he regards "Far to the Right" laws as “discriminatory to bicyclists.” He said his research has indicated that Ferguson is the first entity in the state to repeal such an ordinance.
"Hopefully, other cities will follow suit," he said.
Partly because of Ferguson's strong support of the bicycling movement, statewide health officials have pointed to the city as a leader among area communities in efforts to promote healthy living.Pion has a bicycling blog at thinkbicyclingblog.wordpress.com - http://tinyurl.com/ceum393
Fears Confirmed: Domestic Drones 'Fly Regularly' In US Airspace - (Dec. 5, 2012 - by Lauren McCauley, staff writer - Common Dreams) - Watchdog publishes new flight map, 'takes surveillance to a whole new level'
Digital watchdog the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) published several thousand pages of new drone license records on Wednesday confirming innumerable theorists' fears: that drones "regularly fly" in "national airspace all around the country."
The records, which were obtained by way of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), come from state and local law enforcement agencies, universities and—for the first time—three branches of the U.S. military: the Air Force, Marine Corps, and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), the group writes on their blog.
According to the records, the Air Force has been testing out a variety of drones, from the smaller, hand-launched Raven, Puma and Wasp drones to the larger Predator and Reaper models largely responsible for countless civilian and foreign military deaths.
Breaking down the shocking capabilities of the various machines, writes that the technologies "takes surveillance to a whole new level." They continue:
According to a recent article, the Puma AE (“All Environment”) drone can land anywhere, “either in tight city streets or onto a water surface if the mission dictates, even after a near-vertical ‘deep stall’ final approach.” Another drone, Insitu’s ScanEagle, which the Air Force has flown near Virginia Beach, sports an “inertial-stabilized camera turret, [that] allows for the tracking of a target of interest for extended periods of time, even when the target is moving and the aircraft nose is seldom pointed at the target.” Boeing’s A160 Hummingbird, which the Air Force has flown near Victorville, California, is capable of staying in the air for 16-24 hours at a time and carries a gigapixel camera and a “Forester foliage-penetration radar” system designed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Perhaps the scariest is the technology carried by a Reaper drone the Air Force is flying near Lincoln, Nevada and in areas of California and Utah. This drone uses "Gorgon Stare" technology, which defines as “a spherical array of nine cameras attached to an aerial drone capable of capturing motion imagery of an entire city.” This imagery “can then be analyzed by humans or an artificial intelligence, such as the Mind's Eye project” being developed by DARPA.Also Wednesday, the watchdog group published a new map that tracks the location of drone flights across the United States. - http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/12/05-9
Police Have The Scary Capability To Track Wherever You're Driving - (November 30, 2012 - by David Rosen - AlterNet) - License-plate reading technology's jaw dropping capabilities are already deployed across America. - http://tinyurl.com/asqv6yn
Verizon Files Patent For Creepy Device To Watch You While You Watch TV - (Dec. 5, 2012 - by Ryan Gallagher - Slate) - …Verizon’s “gesture recognition technology.”
The company has filed a patent, published last week, for a system designed to be used in the home to target advertisements at people. Using a combination of image and audio sensors, it would detect actions in your living room while you were watching TV. These sensors, deploying facial and profile recognition, would pick up “physical attributes” like skin color, facial features, and even hair length, and also detect “voice attributes” to help determine the tone of your voice, your accent, and the language you speak. Inanimate objects aren’t off-limits—the technology could also spot beer cans and wall art.
Combined, this would mean that your TV or set-top box would effectively be watching and listening to you while you snuggle up on the couch with your partner to watch the latest episode of Homeland. If the cuddling went a bit further, the chances are the technology would pick up the noises and start playing ads for "a commercial for a contraceptive” or “a commercial for flowers,” as outlined in the patent.
The patent also says if the device picks up that the user is “stressed” then it “may select an advertisement associated with the detected mood (e.g., a commercial for a stress-relief product such as aromatherapy candles, a vacation resort, etc.).” It adds that “If a couple is arguing/fighting with each other” the system “may select an advertisement associated marriage/relationship counseling.” And if the sensors detect that a user is a kid, the system will trigger “more advertisements targeted to and/or appropriate for young children.” - http://tinyurl.com/ahrfvz7
First Study Of Its Kind Detects 44 Hazardous Air Pollutants At Gas Drilling Sites - (Dec. 3, 2012 - by Lisa Song - InsideClimate News) - With gas wells in some states being drilled near schools and homes, scientists see a need for better chemical disclosure laws and follow-up research.
For years, the controversy over natural gas drilling has focused on the water and air quality problems linked to hydraulic fracturing, the process where chemicals are blasted deep underground to release tightly bound natural gas deposits.
But a new study reports that a set of chemicals called non-methane hydrocarbons, or NMHCs, is found in the air near drilling sites even when fracking isn't in progress.
According to a peer-reviewed study in the journal Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, more than 50 NMHCs were found near gas wells in rural Colorado, including 35 that affect the brain and nervous system. Some were detected at levels high enough to potentially harm children who are exposed to them before birth. - http://insideclimatenews.org/print/22792
Public Buses Across Country Quietly Adding Microphones To Record Passenger Conversations - (Dec. 10, 2012 - by Kim Zetter - Wired) - Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses that would give them the ability to record and store private conversations, according to documents obtained by a news outlet. - http://tinyurl.com/ajp6onz
Boeing’s Meltdown Makeover - (Dec. 10, 2012 - EnviroReporter) - The Santa Susana Field Laboratory sprawls across 2,850 acres in the hills between the Simi and San Fernando [California] valleys. The site’s history includes massive chemical and radiological contamination and partial nuclear reactor meltdowns. The 1959 meltdown released more radiation than Three Mile Island in 1979.
A four-year EnviroReporter.com investigation has uncovered an extensive Boeing “media campaign” to bamboozle the press and public into thinking that the lab is safe enough to open immediately as open space when new evidence shows huge amounts of radiation and chemical contamination will still remain.
Thousands of pages of documents, reports, interviews, e-mails, photographs and surveillance video of demolition at the site reveal a vast Boeing meltdown makeover. New information shows the lab more radioactive than ever with a polluter-pliant government subverting its own $41.5 million radiation study.
The Boeing apparent plan to “greenwash” pollution woes away at Rocketdyne involves “astroturfing” the community, feeding media puff pieces and rewarding cooperative reporters, controlling corrupted government oversight agencies and sloppy demolition sending toxic dust into the San Fernando Valley.
At risk without a complete lab cleanup are future SSFL open space users, surrounding communities and the Los Angeles River, slated for a $2 billion revival central to the city of L.A.’s 50-year master plan. - http://www.enviroreporter.com/2012/12/boeings-meltdown-makeover
Wind And Solar Power Paired With Storage Could Power Grid 99.9 Percent Of The Time - Dec. 10, 2012 — Renewable energy could fully power a large electric grid 99.9 percent of the time by 2030 at costs comparable to today's electricity expenses, according to new research by the University of Delaware and Delaware Technical Community College.A well-designed combination of wind power, solar power and storage in batteries and fuel cells would nearly always exceed electricity demands while keeping costs low, the scientists found. - http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121210133507.htm
'Operation Delirium:' Psychochemicals And Cold War - (37-3/4 min. - audio) - (December 11, 2012 - Fresh Air/NPR) - In the The New Yorker, journalist Raffi Khatchadourian writes about a secret chemical weapons testing program run by the U.S. Army during the Cold War.
Throughout the 1950s and '60s, at the now-crumbling Edgewood Arsenal by the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, military doctors tested the effects of nerve gas, LSD and other drugs on 5,000 U.S. soldiers to gauge the effects on their brain and behavior. - http://www.npr.org/2012/12/11/166891159
Of Landline Phones
- (51-1/2 min. - audio) - (Dec. 6, 2012 - The
Diane Rehm Show/NPR) - Landline phone use is plummeting. The telecom
industry argues it should no longer be required to provide the service.
Consumer groups disagree.