Articles

Nadia Prupis – Latest SAT Scores Raise New Alarms Over ‘Test-and-Punish’ Education

September 4, 2015

New statistics show that average SAT scores countrywide have dropped to their lowest level since the college admissions exam was redesigned in 2005, continuing a 10-year trend that education advocates say illustrates the failures of test-driven schooling. According to the College Board, which reported the statistics on Thursday, the average SAT score for the class of 2015 was 1490 out of a possible 2400, with points declining on all three sections of the test—reading, math, and writing. That raises an alarm for the The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest), an education advocacy group, which said the latest SAT numbers highlight the failings of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) and other standards-based scholastic achievement measures. Read

Charles Hugh Smith – Is the Stock Market Now “Too Big to Fail”?

September 4, 2015

Correspondent Bart D. recently speculated that the U.S. stock market was now “too big to fail,” that is, that it was too integral to the global financial system and economy to be allowed to fail, i.e. decline 40+% as in previous bubble bursts. The U.S. stock market is integral to the global financial system in two ways.Now that investment banks, pension funds, insurers and multitudes of 401K retirement plans are dependent on current equity valuations, a crash would impair virtually the entire spectrum of finance from hedge funds to banks to insurers to pension plans. A decimation of these sectors would impact the U.S. economy and thus the global economy very negatively. Read

Pepe Escobar – Say hello to China’s new toys: Escobar

September 4, 2015

China’s aggression is destabilizing its neighbors in the South China Sea. China never stops cheating on world trade. China’s stock market is a trap for investors. China’s devaluation of the yuan is a dirty trick. China is imploding. President Xi Jinping does not have any credibility left. And China is a major threat because the Pentagon said so. Whatever. Cue to clear blue skies over Beijing – engineered with a hefty dose of political will. Lots of glittering toys – aerial and terrestrial. Guests from all over the world (absent the predictable Western suspects). A made-for-TV spectacular dwarfing the Oscars (no teary-eyed acceptance speeches!) What’s not to like? Read

Dr. Gary G. Kohls – Flibanserin (Addyi), the Alleged “Libido Pill For Women”

September 4, 2015

On August 18, 2015, the FDA proudly announced that they had approved (after 2 previous rejections) a new drug whose generic name is flibanserin (Addyi will be the brand name when it comes to your local drug store in mid-October). The only drug that Sprout Pharmaceuticals has ever marketed, flibanserin is purported to treat a “disease” called hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD). The drug has been approved only for premenopausal women. The company will offer the drug in a 100 mg dose, to be swallowed once per night, no matter if sexual encounter is anticipated or not. This pill is not a female Viagra! Read

Cole Mellino – Third U.S. City Goes 100% Renewable

September 4, 2015

Aspen is one of three U.S. cities to run on 100 percent renewable energy as of today, according to city officials. The Colorado mountain town is best known for its posh ski resorts, but this beautiful town also has established itself as a leader in environmental stewardship. The city had been using about 75 to 80 percent renewable energy until Thursday when it signed a contract with wholesale electric energy provider Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, in order “to achieve this final leg of our goal,” David Hornbacher, utilities and environmental initiatives director, told The Aspen Times. The goal was proposed 10 years ago as part of the city’s Canary Initiative, which “identifies Aspen and other mountain communities as canaries in the coal mine with respect to their sensitivity to the effects of climate change.” Read

Andrea Germanos – Humankind Has Halved the Number of Trees on the Planet

September 4, 2015

The good news: there are over 3 trillion trees covering the Earth—that’s far higher than the 4 billion estimated just two years ago, a team of international researchers has found. But here’s the bad news: there were far more trees—46 percent more—before human civilization got hold, with an estimated 15 billion trees being lost own each year, with just 5 billion replanted. “Trees are among the most prominent and critical organisms on Earth, yet we are only recently beginning to comprehend their global extent and distribution,” said Thomas Crowther, a Yale Climate & Energy Institute post-doctoral fellow at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and lead author of the study, in a press statement. The statement also described the findings as “the most comprehensive assessment of tree populations ever produced,” and the researchers say that, as forests function as carbon sinks, their new map provides important information for climate change models. Read

Heather Digby Parton – Why Ben Carson’s Rapid Surge in the Polls Should Have You Very, Very Worried

September 4, 2015

Even as Donald Trump continues to dominate the national polls, with the latest from PPP [3] showing him holding on to a substantial national lead, another one of the Republican presidential candidates is finally starting to break away from the pack. And it’s not one of the mainstream political professionals, as everyone assumed it would be: Governor Scott Walker, Senator Marco Rubio, former Governor Jeb Bush are all mired in the single digits. Even Senator Ted Cruz, who is working the far right very hard, remains in the middle. No, the candidate who is suddenly nipping at Trump’s heels is the other non-politician in the race, Dr. Ben Carson. According to the same PPP poll, Trump is currently at 29 percent, with Carson the next most popular at 15 percent. And Carson has some very strong fundamentals: [4] Read

Indivar Dutta-Gupta, Peter Edelman, LaDonna Pavetti – New Research Documents Growth of Extreme Poverty

September 4, 2015

A new book by two of our nation’s foremost poverty researchers, Kathryn Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, reveals the desperate circumstances that hundreds of thousands of children and their parents increasingly face: living with virtually no cash income in an economy that requires it to meet nearly every human need. In $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, Edin and Shaefer trace this disturbing trend to the 1996 welfare law, which has gradually but inexorably gutted the cash assistance safety net for families with children. Attention to this often neglected side of our nation’s extreme economic inequality is especially timely as policymakers from both parties consider reauthorizing the 1996 welfare law. As the book vividly shows, we are long overdue to take a different path — one that upholds our nation’s values, including our responsibility to protect and empower the most vulnerable by eliminating extreme poverty. Read

Bill Boyarsky – Why Ending Homelessness Is Political Poison

September 4, 2015

On a hot, sultry day in July, I walked through Los Angeles’ Skid Row, the largest and most infamous of the city’s numerous homeless encampments. It is a little-visited part of a city better known for its celebrities and showy materialism—a city where the very rich build mansions with a dozen or more bedrooms while the poorest of the poor live on sidewalks, under freeways or in parks. Buildings trapped the street’s heat. Some residents sat in tents or under tarps in stifling conditions. Others were standing or sitting on the sidewalk, with their backs against the buildings. So packed were the sidewalks with people, tents and possessions that sometimes I had to walk in the street. I was so intent on observing the scene that at one point I stumbled and almost fell. A homeless man asked if I was OK. I assured him I was. He patted me on the back and told me to be careful. Read

Risk of financial crisis higher than previously estimated International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

September 4, 2015

The study, published in the journal Financial Stability, introduces a new method that allows researchers to estimate the systemic risk that emerge from multiple layers of connectivity. “Systemic risk is the risk that a significant part of the financial system stops working–that it cannot perform its function,” says IIASA Advanced Systems Analysis program researcher Sebastian Poledna, who led the study. For example if a major bank fails, it could trigger the failure of other financial institutions that are linked to it through loans, derivatives, securities, and foreign exchange exposure. The fear of such contagion is what drives governments to bail out banks. “Previous studies of systemic risk had just examined one layer of this system, the interbank loans,” says Poledna. The new study expands this to include three other layers of connectivity: derivatives, securities, and foreign exchange. By including the other layers, Poledna and colleagues found that the actual risk was 90% higher than the risk just from interbank loans Read
1 2 3 348
Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com