By Gary Null Recent studies suggest that by the year 2050, approximately 30 percent of people living in industrialized countries will be sixty-five years of age or older. That means that there will be an increase in neurodegenerative disorders that may cause considerable cognitive and physical impairment and shortened life …
April 21, 2011
GRIST, 6 Apr 2011
Speaking of Monsanto, it turns out they are playing a role in Iowa’s proposed anti-whistleblower bill — a bill focused primarily on agriculture. Should the bill pass, it will become illegal to produce undercover videos at various types of agricultural facilities (as well as to get a job at a facility with the express intent of producing a video). Sarah Damian of the Government Accountability Project, a “whistleblower advocacy organization,” observes over at the Food Integrity Campaign’s blog that Monsanto has been throwing lobbying dollars behind Iowa’s effort to draw a steel curtain around food production. And not without reason:
The Contours of Global Order
By Noam Chomsky
Posted on April 21, 2011, Printed on April 21, 2011
The democracy uprising in the Arab world has been a spectacular display of courage, dedication, and commitment by popular forces — coinciding, fortuitously, with a remarkable uprising of tens of thousands in support of working people and democracy in Madison, Wisconsin, and other U.S. cities. If the trajectories of revolt in Cairo and Madison intersected, however, they were headed in opposite directions: in Cairo toward gaining elementary rights denied by the dictatorship, in Madison towards defending rights that had been won in long and hard struggles and are now under severe attack.
Each is a microcosm of tendencies in global society, following varied courses. There are sure to be far-reaching consequences of what is taking place both in the decaying industrial heartland of the richest and most powerful country in human history, and in what President Dwight Eisenhower called “the most strategically important area in the world” — “a stupendous source of strategic power” and “probably the richest economic prize in the world in the field of foreign investment,” in the words of the State Department in the 1940s, a prize that the U.S. intended to keep for itself and its allies in the unfolding New World Order of that day.
by Mike Adams
(NaturalNews) Thanks to the Fukushima catastrophe, we’ve all been learning a lot about the laws of physics lately — especially about radiation. To help explain it all, the folks over at InformationIsBeautiful.com have created a radiation explanation chart that shows the relative levels of harm from various doses of radiation (link below).
The InformationIsBeautiful website is pretty cool. The folks there specialize in making complex data visually interesting. I’ve admired some of their work for quite some time.
• 100 mSv Annual dose at which increased lifetime cancer risk if evident
• 250 mSv Dose limit for US radiation workers in life-saving operations
• 1,000 mSv Temporary radiation sickness. Nausea, low blood count. Not fatal.
Virginia Tech, April 20, 2011
If a friend or relative won $100 and then offered you a few dollars, would you accept this windfall? The logical answer would seem to be, sure, why not? “But human decision making does not always appear rational,” said Read Montague, professor of physics at Virginia Tech and director of the Human Neuroimaging Laboratory at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.
According to research conducted over the last three decades; only about one-fourth of us would say, “Sure. Thanks.” The rest would say, “But that’s not fair. You have lots. Why are you only giving me a few?” In fact, people will even turn down any reward rather than accept an ‘unfair’ share.
Unless they are Buddhist meditators, in which case – fair or not – more than half will take what is offered, according to new research by Ulrich Kirk, research assistant professor with the Human Neuroimaging Laboratory at Virginia Tech; Jonathan Downar, assistant professor with the Neuropsychiatry Clinic and the Centre for Addition and Mental Health at the University of Toronto; and Montague, published in the April 2011 issue of Frontiers in Decision Neuroscience.
University of California at Berkeley, April 21, 2011
Berkeley – In a new study suggesting pesticides may be associated with the health and development of children, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health have found that prenatal exposure to organophosphate pesticides – widely used on food crops – is related to lower intelligence scores at age 7.
The researchers found that every tenfold increase in measures of organophosphates detected during a mother’s pregnancy corresponded to a 5.5 point drop in overall IQ scores in the 7-year-olds. Children in the study with the highest levels of prenatal pesticide exposure scored seven points lower on a standardized measure of intelligence compared with children who had the lowest levels of exposure.
“These associations are substantial, especially when viewing this at a population-wide level,” said study principal investigator Brenda Eskenazi, UC Berkeley professor of epidemiology and of maternal and child health. “That difference could mean, on average, more kids being shifted into the lower end of the spectrum of learning, and more kids needing special services in school.”
Reality Sandwich http://www.realitysandwich.com/across_threshold_0
For a few decades now, it seems, humanity has been on the verge of a breakthrough in collective consciousness. Perhaps it was the Hippies in the 60s who saw it first. To them, it was crystal clear that the consciousness revolution would sweep all before it, that within a few years’ time such institutions as government, money, marriage, and school would become obsolete. Forty years later, their vision has not come to pass and, superficially at least, the defining institutions of our civilization are more powerful, more encompassing than ever. Nonetheless, to many of us much of the time, and to most of us at least once in a while, the breakthrough in consciousness the Hippies foretold seems imminent still.
Perhaps it seems imminent because, in those peak experiences when we know the true potential of our humanity, the true vastness of our minds, and the love that is the default state of existence, it seems so obvious that we have returned to our birthright and recovered our original estate. It could be a near-death experience that brings us there, a psychedelic experience, a moment in nature, giving birth, making love; it could be a religious experience, or come through a dream, music, or meditation; it can also be awakened through psychological work, a transformational seminar, even a book. Usually, though, the high does not last.
Wednesday 20 April 2011
by: Cary Fraser, Truthout
The recent decision by the Obama administration to spearhead the NATO effort to oust Muammar Qaddafi from power in Libya reflects the oft-evident American penchant for war as a substitute for intelligent diplomacy. It was this mindset during the George W. Bush administration which led the US into pursuing two expensive and indecisive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Barack Obama has now opted to pursue a third. The hubris evident in both the recent Republican and current Democratic administrations illustrates the power of war’s appeal to American political leaders, especially as an index of “effective” leadership when such leadership has been missing on matters of domestic policy. A sycophantic mainstream press has also promoted the culture of war and its imputation of “manliness/courage” for testing the mettle of American leaders. In effect, the recourse to war has acquired its own compelling, if not quite rational, logic within contemporary American political culture. For those who were influenced favorably by Barack Obama’s
New Zealand Herald 5:30 AM Thursday Apr 21, 2011
The mobs poured into the streets by the thousands in the dusty city of Kaduna, separating Nigeria’s Muslim north and Christian south, armed with machetes and poison-tipped arrows.
Muslim rioters burned homes, churches and police stations in Kaduna after results showed Nigeria’s Christian leader beat his closest Muslim opponent in Sunday’s vote.
Reprisal attacks by Christians began almost immediately, with one mob allegedly tearing a home apart to look for a Koran to prove the occupants were Muslims before setting the building ablaze.
The rioting in Kaduna and elsewhere across Nigeria’s north left charred bodies in the streets and showed the deep divisions in the African nation.
Published on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 by The Guardian/UK
Industry urging governments and business to reject renewables in favour of ‘green’ shale gas
The Guardian UK
Senior executives in the fossil fuel industry have launched an all-out assault on renewable energy, lobbying governments and business groups to reject wind and solar power in favour of gas, in a move that could choke the fledgling green energy industry.
Multinational companies including Shell, GDF Suez and Statoil are promoting gas as an alternative “green” fuel. These companies are among dozens around the world investing in new technologies to exploit shale gas, a controversial form of the fuel that has rejuvenated the gas industry because it is plentiful in supply and newly accessible due to technical advances in gas extraction known as “fracking”.
By Bob Chapman
Global Research, April 20, 2011
Many banks are insolvent, yet are allowed to stay in business. Being allowed to keep two sets of books is obscuring their real estate loan problems. This is the shadow inventory you sometimes hear about. Those millions of homes “that exist, but they don’t.” They presently admit to owning some 1 million homes they cannot sell, which is almost 25% higher than last year. If you put everything together you could be looking at an 8-year supply. Making matters worse lenders are holding homes on the books at values 40% higher than what they are worth. This is very similar to what is going on in Spain presently. We’ll say this one more time. Most major banks and some middle tier and small institutions are broke and you are being lied to regarding their condition.
By Les Leopold, AlterNet
Posted on April 15, 2011, Printed on April 21, 2011
This horror story starts in the 1970s when the economic policy establishment, led by Milton Friedman, thought they were a whole lot smarter than the New Dealers who had put a lid on the financial sector and forced high taxes on the super-rich – all designed to prevent the gamblers from again wrecking our economy like they did in 1929.
Blinded by ideology, the 1970s gang were certain the economy would run much better if free markets were allowed to function without government interference. This meant deregulation of airlines, telecommunications, trucking industry and most importantly, the deregulation of finance. At the same time they called for tax cuts for the rich because these elites were the source of investment capital needed to make the economy grow.
April 19, 2011
By John Perkins
“Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose.” Eisenhower, 1961 Military Industrial Speech http://www.h-net.org/~hst306/documents/indust.html )
While we send our love and support to those so horribly impacted by the earthquake and tsunami, we must not allow this shock to divert us from the tsunami headed our way. Our business and political leaders will try to use this terrible catastrophe as a diversion to hoodwink us into budgetary reductions that will fatten their wallets and leave us and our children devastated.
It does not matter on what side of the political fence you sit during the current budget debates. The fact is that if our leaders are not willing to take into account our over-dependence on a militarized economy and change it, we will never balance the budget. Our progeny will face an endless struggle to clean up the debris.
April 20, 2011
By David Swanson
How do you get politicians living off legalized bribery to criminalize bribery? How do you persuade the corporate media to report on the interests of flesh-and-blood, non-corporate people? How do you take over a political party when the only other one allowed to compete is worse? These are not koans, but actual problems with a single solution.
It might seem like there are a million solutions: pass state-level clean election laws, build independent media, build a new party, etc. But the fundamental answer is that when the deck is stacked against you, you insist on a new deck. Power, as Frederick Douglas told us, concedes nothing without a demand. We cannot legislate our way out of plutocracy. Instead, we the people must seize power.
The problem of seizing power for non-billionaires is the problem of the dying labor movement. To many, this looks like an unsolvable riddle as well. How do you pass the Employee Free Choice Act to legalize unionizing when you have no aggressive unions willing to pressure Congress to do so? And if Congress works for corporate masters, do we need to apply the pressure there instead? But making a scene in a corporate lobby doesn’t hurt a corporation in an era of shamelessness, and we can’t unelect CEOs.
What to do?
Published on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 by CommonDreams.org
Here then is the origin and rise of government; namely, a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world. –Thomas Paine
People in power believe that the free market will solve society’s ills, that anyone willing to work hard can succeed, as they did themselves. Somewhere along the line the rich and powerful lost touch with the great majority of Americans. Their link to this barely visible world may be a server in a restaurant, or a taxi driver, or a clerk behind the counter. The “other America” has grown larger and more diverse.
235 years after Thomas Paine, we live in a society that allows one man to make enough money in a year to pay the salaries of 100,000 health care workers.