The White Flag


Free Telescreens For All!
May 1, 2011, 4:41 pm
Filed under: Old Articles

United States

Wikileaks: The Guantanamo Files
Read more

Fair and Balanced (Conspiracy Theories)
Read more

“A Media Matters review of Fox News’ opinion programs found that in recent weeks, the network devoted nearly two hours and 20 minutes to [the myth of Presidents Obama’s Kenyan childhood], and in the vast majority of the cases, the hosts either espoused birther conspiracies or did not challenge or correct false claims about Obama’s birth that aired on their shows. By contrast, when possible GOP presidential candidate and Fox News host Mike Huckabee similarly questioned — but subsequently walked back — Obama’s origins, Fox devoted just over five minutes of coverage to Huckabee’s false claim that Obama was raised in Kenya.”

Once the rich have all the money my children and I will have all we ever wanted. Well, that is what republican leaders of Michigan are saying.
Read more

“The Michigan House of Representatives passed a series of bills Thursday that will revamp the state’s tax structure, shifting $1.8 billion in taxes from businesses to individuals, including a new tax on pensions.”

General Electric, designing extremely expensive chariots of death, that we, all Americans, have to pay for, about a million dollars a day. Oh, did I mention GE paid no TAXES last year?
Read more

“The Department of Defense appears to have to scored a rare victory for fiscal sanity by taking out the F-136. ‘It took 2 SecDefs, 2 Admins & 5+ years, but Extra Engine contract finally terminated, saving taxpayers $1M per day,’ tweeted DOD spokesman Geoff Morrell. But if the Pentagon won a battle for Joe Taxpayer, the episode suggests it’s losing the war against wasteful spending. After all, how did it even get to the point where $3 billion was spent on a contract of questionable utility that virtually everyone claimed to hate? And what’s it say about our ability to control costs on more popular defense projects?”

“Last year, [GE] tumbled from being the nation’s 24th biggest defense contractor to being the 33rd, pulling in $844 million in defense dollars. In 2001, it lost the $4 billion competition to provide engines for the JSF; that contract went to Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies (the 21st largest defense contractor, with $1.47 billion in annual military contracts).”

“On April 15, the Pentagon told Congress that it expected the JSF program to cost taxpayers $1 trillion, plus another $382 billion for development and production, assuming a 30-year lifespan for the first batch of aircraft. ‘Most of the cost of our programs is in ‘having’ them, not in ‘acquiring’ them,’ the DOD’s top arms buyer, Ashton Carter, told a crowd at the Heritage Foundation last week. In other words, while Congress debates defunding NPR and Planned Parenthood, it’s putting taxpayers on the hook for hundreds of millions to maintain and repair a planned fleet of 2,443 Joint Strike Fighters. (In comparison, China reportedly has 1,300 fighter aircraft; Russia has 748.)”

Business

Children are begging to work longer hours and be paid less for them, and a minimum wage job is far more important than an education, so I say let them. It is for the children…
Read more

“But Governor Paul LePage is promoting legislation this year that would move toward deregulating non-adult employment. The Maine legislature is considering bills that would remove any limit on the number of hours children 16 or older can work on school days, raise their maximum hours each week to 24, up from 20, and allow them to work until 11 p.m., rather than 10 p.m.”

“In addition to loosening the limits on hours of work, another bill now being considered in the legislature would allow employees younger than 20 years old to be paid a ‘training wage’ of $5.25 per hour for up to 180 days. That’s far less than Maine’s $7.50 per hour minimum wage. LePage has expressed support for this overall approach as well, although he has expressed concerns about whether it would be consistent with federal law.”

“State Representative Mark Bryant, a Democrat and leading critic of the idea, says that even though decades have passed since the nation’s industrial era, the fundamentals of the debate are the same. ‘We don’t want to have our youth working more hours while they’re trying to go to school, and working for less money,’ he says. ‘That’s just unacceptable.’ ”

Finally the nation is on the right track, it takes the entire bottom 50% of families to equal the wealth of the top 400, if only we could get the percentage to be closer to 99% our nation would be fabulous.
Read more

“Moore is almost right when he said the Forbes listers have as much wealth as the bottom 50% of the population. As you can see from the chart below, in 2007, the bottom 50% of American households (that is about 57 million households) had $1.61 trillion in wealth in 2007, the latest period for which such data is available. The Federal Reserve defines wealth as all financial and nonfinancial assets, including bank accounts, investments, houses, cars and debt.”

Economic growth slowing…
Read more

“The 1.8 percent pace of increase in gross domestic product in the first quarter, according to a Commerce Department report Thursday, is down from a 3.1 percent gain in the final months of 2010. It is also lower than the level of growth that, over time, would be expected to drive down joblessness. The U.S. economy needs to grow about 2.5 percent annually to keep unemployment steady given continual growth in the labor force and in worker efficiency; even stronger GDP growth is needed to bring unemployment down.”

“The job market was a bright spot in the first quarter, despite the soft growth in economic output, with the unemployment rate falling and job growth coming in strong. But the number of people filing for unemployment insurance benefits has been edging up in recent weeks. The number of new jobless claims rose to 429,000 last week, the Labor Department said in a separate report Thursday, the highest level since January.”

Civil Liberties

Sure he never broke the law, and he was forcibly rapped by his captors who were also our enemies, and he is only a young boy, but he might know something!
Read more

“According to his file, the Afghan detainee said he was running an errand for his father when he was kidnapped by 11 men who hailed from a group called ‘Samoud’s people.’ The men, according to the detainee, ‘forcibly raped him at gunpoint’ and brought him back to their village, where they made him do manual work. Three days later, the group’s members, tipped off about an imminent U.S. raid of their camp, forced the detainee and some other people to stay behind and fight the Americans while the group members themselves fled. The file indicates that the detainee had an unfired weapon on him when U.S. forces stormed the camp. The detainee was shipped to Guantanamo in January 2003 for what seems like a rather vague and flimsy reason– ‘his possible knowledge of Taliban resistance efforts and local leaders.’ ”

Justice will only be achieved when Americans adopt the cruel tactics of their enemies.
Read more

“For the other 578 prisoners, information has at least been revealed through the release of the government’s allegations against the prisoners, and the transcripts of the tribunals and review boards used to assess their significance, which were released in 2006 (with follow-ups in the years since), but for these 201 prisoners, many of the stories are being related for the very first time. These are mostly dispiriting revelations about how children as young as 14 and old men in their 80s were rounded up and sent to Guantánamo, joining farmers, taxi drivers and unwilling Taliban recruits — hordes of the innocent or the insignificant, whose stories help to confirm the folly of Guantánamo.”

“They include ‘high-value detainees’ like Abu Zubaydah,waterboarded 83 times and held for four and a half years in secret CIA prisons, and Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, tortured in Egypt until he falsely confessed that there were connections between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein (used to justify the invasion of Iraq in March 2003), who was finally sent back to Libya to be murdered.”

“As for the rest of the 171 men still held, 47 of whom are being held indefinitely without charge or trial by President Obama on the basis that they are too dangerous to release, even though no evidence exists that can be used in court, these documents reveal how the distortions engendered by Guantánamo continue to erode all hope of a rational settlement to the vexed question of when Guantánamo will actually close.”

Of course terrorist detainees and Bradley Manning are being mistreated while they wait for trial, they are guilty! (If you did not know, trials are conducted to present evidence of a person’s wrong doing to a judge, who determines if the accumulated evidence does, in fact, prove the person is guilty.)
Read more

“The majority of the 779 detainees at Guantanamo were nowhere near the ‘worst of the worst,’ as former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld characterized them. In fact, at least 150 people were completely innocent: an 89-year-old man suffering from dementia; a photographer for al-Jazeera news service, held for six years and questioned mostly about that organization; 20 children; and dozens of farmers, rug sellers, cooks and taxi drivers.”

“One key piece of evidence against detainees, mentioned in 50 detainee reports, was – get this – they wore a cheap Casio F-91W watch. This is the type of watch used by al Qaeda as a timer to set off bombs. It also is the type of watch worn by millions of people in that part of the world (and this one as well.)”

“[…] as the Washington Post reported over the weekend, thanks to the illegal interrogation techniques, there is ‘court-worthy’ evidence to try only about 20 of them. This is likely why 47 men are being held indefinitely without charge or trial.”

“Then again, we also are utterly mystified at the willingness of Obama to allow the mistreatment of the Army private who allegedly provided the government documents to WikiLeaks, Bradley Manning, not to mention Obama’s astonishing statement last week that Manning ‘broke the law,’ when Manning has not yet been tried.”

Our fellow Americans are terrorists, hurry take away our rights.
Read more

“San Francisco cops assigned to the FBI’s terrorism task force can ignore local police orders and California privacy laws to spy on people without any evidence of a crime.”

The United States is getting attention, the good kind, for human rights abuses.
Read more

“In an address to the Brazilian Senate on Thursday, Patriota criticized ‘developed countries’ for their history of human rights abuses and urged them to re-examine their rights practices.”

“In October of last year, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for the first time called on the United States to shut down its notorious Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba over accusations of human rights violations in the detention facility.”

“Former and current detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp have reportedly been abused and tortured on numerous instances.”

Health

Multiple pesticides may be male hormone disruptors.
Read more

“Released last week in Environmental Health Perspectives, the study found that 30 of the 37 pesticides tested blocked or mimicked male hormones. The 37 pesticides are those most commonly found as residues on European produce.”

Ever read the ingredients of your food to find loads of poison, no? That is probably because it is marked incorrectly, instead of reading poison the label says things like, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), or aspartame. The link provided is to a movie about the dangers of consuming large amounts of refined sugar, in particular, HFCS. In recent decades health related diseases and obesity have increased, so has our consumption of HFCS. Dr. Lustig presents elaborate and compelling evidence that these problems are directly related to the increased consumption of processed foods containing HFCS. If you are an avid soda drinker this video may just change your life.
Read more



Hate taxes? Form a corporation.
April 24, 2011, 4:39 pm
Filed under: Old Articles

In order for Adolf Hitler to attain dictatorial authority over Germany he used the event of the Reichstag fire; the Reichstag is the German Parliament. He convinced the people of Germany that the fires were caused by political enemies, and that they were in danger. However, there was no need to worry because Hitler knew how to make them safe, he just needed to be given powers beyond that which he was granted by the German Constitution.

Likewise, our leaders have turned the events of 9/11 into a political tool to subvert the rule of law. American politicians are pushing for more and more laws to make American citizens safer in the face of terrorists. The government needs no court to permit it to break the 1st and 4th or any other amendment, they simply need the words that strike a chord of fear in the mind of Americans. The President has the authority to deem anyone, including American citizens, enemy combatants, hold them without telling them what they have been charged with, send them to a military tribunal to be tried, and deem the evidence secret so that the person on trail cannot defend themself against the supposed evidence. This is just one thing our government has done by manipulating a tragic event in human history.

Afraid we may be, however we must remain confident that the founding fathers of this nation had wisdom in what they wrote to protect American freedom. They were aware on some level of what a tyrant uses to control people, I imagine much better than we do today in America because very few of us have ever experienced a totalitarian society. From their experiences they decided that we the American people do not have the right to give up our freedoms, in order to protect Americans from the tyranny of the majority. That is why the Constitution and the Bill of Rights exists to ensure that at all times Americans receive what were seen as apparent basic human rights to the Framers of the Constitution.

Yet, our modern political leaders have accomplished what the Framers tried to prevent. We are slowly giving up our inherent freedom for safety, and of this Benjamin Franklin stated, a person who would forfeit freedom for safety, deserves neither.

Many people wonder what the government would get out of taking away freedom from the American people, and why the government would want to spy on them. For most people, the government probably has no interest in them because they live mundane lives. But, there are people in the world who are involved in politics, who want all sorts of things that may be in opposition to what the American government desires. For instance, often times antiwar groups are infiltrated by undercover agents, there are many stories of antiwar group members being put on watch lists, and so on. There are many examples of ex-President Nixon saying many horrible things about war protesters. For whatever reason ($$$), presidents often support war, and a president with dictator like powers will do whatever they can to achieve their noble ends.

Thus, all presidents are more than likely in favor of being given the power to run the nation as they please, for they believe they know what is right and how to accomplish their right goals. And it is also obvious that a dictator would stomp out any flames of rebellion because they threaten the dictator’s ability to complete his noble goals.

People who spread dissent about the government, oh say, maybe this website, are the reasons the government would want to spy on people, and have the power to imprison whomever they wanted. Stalin and many other dictators of the past have done this, that is, attack political enemies. Presidents have agendas, and people who interfere with that agenda are best removed from society. Presidents would prefer people were passive, subservient, and so on because they have goals, good goals, and to stop that is to stop good. So, in a sense to stop the President from doing what he sees as the good, is pretty much an evil. Only evil stops good, right?

President Bush once said, “If this were a dictatorship, this would be a heck of a lot easier.”

Be skeptical of your government, it helps protect your freedom, i.e., your way of life.

– The White Flag

United States

Everything must be done expediently in times of war, it is a good strategy. Never look before you leap, it is the best way to unwittingly jump into a large pile of gold, at least that is what they always say.
Read more

“Last week, the Defense Logistics Agency awarded Air BP, a division of BP Products North America, a $42 million contract to supply fuel to Dover Air Force Base for the next month and a half. BP is the biggest supplier of fuel to the Defense Department.”

“According to government contracting regulations, ‘an unusual and compelling urgency precludes full and open competition’ and ‘delay in award of a contract would result in serious injury, financial or other, to the Government.’ ”

“BP won the most recent contract even though the company’s federal probation officer petitioned a US district court judge last November to revoke the company’s probation over a 46,000 gallon oil spill that occurred at BP’s Lisburne facility on Alaska’s North Slope in November 2009.”

“Furthermore, last September, BP was found to have violated the terms of a settlement agreement it entered into with government regulators six years ago to make certain safety upgrades at its Texas City refinery, where an explosion in March 2005 killed 15 people and maimed and seriously injured 170 others. The Justice Department refused to pursue a probation revocation case in that incident, opting instead to give BP another year to make the upgrades at the refinery.”

Civil Liberties

Rights are great and all except they are the primary tool of our enemy, terrorists. Unless you want to be scared of a bomb terrorists failed to explode, or one that did work on the other side of the planet, then you should mail your congressmen begging them to take away our individual rights, to make America safe, also remind them that corporations should keep their rights because they need them.
Read more

“The Michigan State Police have a handful of portable machines called ‘extraction devices’ that have the potential to download personal information from motorists they pull over, and the ACLU would like to know more about them.”

“The devices, sold by a company called Cellebrite, can download text messages, photos, video, and even GPS data from most brands of cell phones. The handheld machines have various interfaces to work with different models and can even bypass security passwords and access some information.”

“To that end, it’s petitioning the MSP to turn over information about its use of the devices under the Freedom of Information Act. The MSP said it’s happy to comply, that is, if the ACLU provides them with a processing fee in excess of $500,000. That’s more than $100,000 for each of the five devices the MSP says it has in use.”

Cell phone information extraction devices (yes, a device that can download all sorts of information from your phone, even GPS if your phone tracks it, like the iPhone) may be more of a concern for minorities, although, I do not know who would mind getting pulled over for speeding and subsequently forfeiting all of the personal information they keep on their phone.
Read more

“ ‘Alright, so one day after learning of a hidden iPhone feature that tracks your every single move, there’s new concern that tracking technology purchased by police can lead to racial profiling,’ Roberts said. ‘You are looking at what’s called the Universal Forensic Extraction Device. It can copy the entire content of a cell phone including text messages, contacts, GPS data and do it in just minutes. Michigan State Police purchased this device, though we don’t know how exactly they’re using it but civil liberties groups worry that the device endangers the privacy rights of blacks and Latinos. A Nielsen study shows blacks talk on average twice as much each month on their cell phones as white counterparts.’ ”

Terrorism is scary, did you know on average less than a thousand people die from terrorist attacks each year, terrifying, huh? All this panic about terrorists is making me crave a cigarette.
Read more

“This week, the feds are looking to start talks about keeping the expiring provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act. The bill they passed last time allegedly strengthened civil liberties in reality, it fails to make any meaningful improvements to the Patriot provisions that violate citizen’s basic rights. Strangely, the Obama Administration is playing a significant behind the scene role in opposing stronger civil liberties protections, directly contradicting Obama’s positions as a Senator.”

“A new bill introduced in this 110th Congress is designed to extend the USA Patriot Act allowing what many experts say are illegal provisions which will continue to allow the FBI, DEA, ICE, ATF, U.S. Military and other federal agencies to spy on investigate and arrest innocent Americans.”

“According to Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) the law dramatically expands the ability of states and the Federal Government to conduct surveillance of American citizens. The Government can monitor an individual’s web surfing records, use roving wiretaps to monitor phone calls made by individuals ‘proximate’ to the primary person being tapped, access Internet Service Provider records, and monitor the private records of people involved in legitimate protests.”

“PATRIOT eliminates Government accountability. While PATRIOT freely eliminates privacy rights for individual Americans, it creates more secrecy for Government activities, making it extremely difficult to know about actions the Government are taking.”

“PATRIOT authorizes the use of ‘sneak and peek’ search warrants in connection with any federal crime, including misdemeanors. A ‘sneak and peek’ warrant authorizes law enforcement officers to enter private premises without the occupant’s permission or knowledge and without informing the occupant that such a search was conducted.”

“The federal government has turned American freedoms into a world wide mockery with their unchecked spying on ordinary Americans, part of a broad pattern of the executive branch using ‘national security’ and or ‘suspected terrorism’ as an excuse for encroaching on the privacy and free speech rights of Americans without adequate oversight.”

All enemy combatants will be sent to a special court, where the enemy combatant (the defendant) will not receive the rights of a normal citizen because they are an enemy combatant. The special courts are to determine whether the enemy combatants are guilty of in fact being enemy combatants, and after being determined that the enemy combatant on trail was an enemy combatant they figure out his punishment. Sounds wonderful but what I have a problem with is if these military courts are so great then how come normal criminals cannot be tried by them? As a nation we should not allow our government to deprive American criminals an obviously better way of determining their guilt.
Read more

“ ‘The only right way’ to bring [the terrorists] to justice, he wrote, ‘was with the very system they sought to destroy and so many courageous Americans have died defending. Instead, we … lost faith in our own courts and laws’ (April 5). As Amnesty International reminds us, ‘Real justice comes from real courts.’ ”

“Yet, the very day after 9/11, President Bush pledged: ‘We will not allow the enemy to win the war by changing our way of life or restricting our freedoms.’ ”

“In view of the military commission’s lower standards of admissible testimony and other proof of guilt, the Guantanamo prisoners are still not privileged to have the standard American protections of due process […]”

“ ‘I had thought the purpose of the trial was to determine whether the defendant (actually) was an unlawful combatant, but Mr. Allred seems to have presumed guilt before any defense has been presented.’ ”

War

President Obama was never against secret prisons, just the ones Bush was running because Obama knows Bush is not that great at keeping secrets.
Read more

“The US military has finally confirmed the existence of such prisons across this war ravaged country. They reportedly hold detainees at the facilities for nine weeks. Then they are moved to Bagram jail or to Guantanamo Bay.”

“Rights groups only know that prisoners are deprived of sleep, made undress in public and they have no charges filed against them.”

No evidence in the world could make me believe the American Government under Comrade George W. Bush sacrificed human lives for a commodity, oil, that him and his running mate, Dick Cheney, were intimately involved with. That is why all this nonsense from the UK cannot be real. Ignorance is patriotism.
Read more

“ ‘The secret papers, obtained by an oil campaigner and published by The Independent, are minutes of meetings between senior oil executives and Labour cabinet members, and highlight for the first time the hollow nature of Western governments’ public denials of national self-interest in the decision to invade Iraq.’ ”

“[…] Baroness Symons, then the British trade minister, told BP that the government believed British energy firms should take a share of Iraq’s enormous oil and gas reserves as a reward for Mr Blair’s military commitment to US plans for regime change.”

“The minutes reveal that she also agreed to lobby the Bush administration on behalf of BP because it feared being ‘locked out’ of discussions and deals purportedly being thrashed out between the US, France and Russia, and their oil companies.”

They cannot disclose information about illegal activity of the American government, do they not know that even uttering the United States and Afghanistan in the same sentence will lead to the death of NATO troops!
Read more

“The Ministry of Defence has been ordered to disclose its involvement in the US-led rendering of terror suspects seized in Iraq and Afghanistan to prisons where they were likely to be abused or tortured.”

“The tribunal, which hears disputes arising from Freedom of Information Act disclosure requests, says it was ‘difficult to see how any responsible government … with whom we have friendly relations could take offence at open disclosure’ of the terms of agreement or arrangements over the practice ‘to ensure that the law is upheld.’ ”

“An internal MoD review concluded in 2008 that there was no evidence of unlawful rendition. A year later, it admitted that two detainees captured by British forces in Iraq had been rendered to a notorious jail in Bagram in Afghanistan.”

Business

Trickle down is real, but some times it takes several decades before the rich can figure out how they are going to spend all their money.
Read more

“New data released by the IRS reveals that, over a period of 12 years, tax rates for the richest 400 Americans were effectively cut in half. In 1995, the richest 400 Americans paid, on average, 29.93% of their income in federal taxes. In 2007, the last year for which the IRS has released data, the richest 400 Americans paid just 16.63%.”

“As their tax rates plummeted, the total income of the richest 400 Americans skyrocketed. In 1995, the combined income of the richest 400 was just over $6 billion. By 2007, the combined income of the richest 400 was almost $23 billion.”

What industry is not causing humans cancer anymore? I for one think profits of energy companies should come before public health. If DDT pumps gas out of the ground the best, then let us use it.
Read more

“The commonly used gas drilling practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, frees up more natural gas by injecting mostly water and sand, along with undisclosed chemicals, deep into natural gas wells to fracture tight geological formations. The process has been increasingly scrutinized because of concerns about groundwater contamination.”

“Between 2005 and 2009, the nation’s 14 leading natural gas drilling service companies used hydraulic fracturing fluids containing 29 different chemicals regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) as potential human carcinogens, according to a new congressional report released Saturday.”

Do not worry about the environmental effects someone is going to pay for the oil spill disaster, and when they do a small portion of that money will be given directly to the poisoned dolphins so they seek out the best veterinarians money can afford.
Read more

“Dispersants like Corexit do not eliminate oil, but break it down into tiny, more biodegradable droplets that are less visible on the surface and can sink to the bottom. Nalco, the company that currently manufactures Corexit, claimed the chemicals were safer than dish soap and would decompose in 28 days. Scientific research conducted since the disaster, however, shows components of Corexit and dispersed oil lingered in Gulf waters much longer and could still be in the food chain.”

“Corexit applied in deep water was trapped in layers of the ocean and traveled on ocean currents, and a team of researchers with the University of Georgia found one chemical component of Corexit had not degraded by December 2010. This persistence, the FWW report claims, raises concerns about long-term impacts of the dispersants and shows that wildlife and seafood eaters may have been exposed to the chemicals for a longer period of time that previously thought.”

“The FWW points out that, on March 11, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared an ‘unusual mortality event’ after more than 80 dead dolphins washed up on Gulf state shores between mid-January and early March. As of April 7, 153 dead dolphins were found, and experts believe the actual death count to be as high as 7,650. Many of the dolphins were premature, stillborn or newborn. The carcasses of hundreds of turtles and other endangered species were also found.”

“Corexit 9527 was one of the dispersants used to clean up the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. Nearly 7,000 cleanup workers reported feeling ill with breathing problems at the time, and chemicals in Corexit have long been suspected to be the culprits. FWW reports that the average age of death for Exxon Valdez cleanup workers is 50 years.”

Science should not be treated like a democracy, that is, the person with the most money decides what is good science. For that matter, a democracy should not be treated like a democracy.
Read more

“Discussion around GRI and whether or not BP can influence this Long Term Research Program ($US$500million) to undertake the studies we believe will be useful in terms of understanding the fate and effects of the spill on the environment, e.g. can we steer the research in support of Restoration Ecology? Liz provided the context around GRI [Gulf Research Initiative], i.e. that it was set up as an independent research program, to be managed by a Board of Trustees, independent of BP. It may be possible for us to suggest the direction of the studies but without guarantee that they will be done.”

“An email from Russell Putt — an Environmental Professional with BP — sent two days after Ragoonan-Jalim’s, reiterated BP’s position and desire to influence the $500 million research program: Can we ‘direct’ GRI funding to a specific study (as we now see the governor’s offices trying to do)? What influence do we have over the vessels/equipment driving the studies vs the questions?”

“What is known, according to anecdotal evidence cited by AFP, is that cleanup workers have complained of headaches, nausea, vomiting, memory loss and a variety of ear, nose and throat issues.”

“ ‘I was exposed to those chemicals, which I questioned, and they told me it was just as safe as Dawn dishwashing liquid and there was nothing for me to worry about,’ she said of the BP bosses at the job site.”

Progress

Check out this website, it lists a bunch of companies who got out of paying taxes despite enormous profits.
Read more

You did not hear this on the news? That is because it was about some silly issue, a few people were mad that companies like GE, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, did not pay taxes. Who cares right?
Read more

“Bank of America hasn’t paid a nickel in federal income taxes for the past two years, and in fact raked in an additional $1 billion in tax ‘benefits.’ The bank is enjoying these profits after accepting $45 billion from taxpayers, which the company then got to count as a deduction when they paid back the money.”

“This is why two-thirds of corporations in America pay no federal income taxes. If they were forced to, we’re told, the whole country would suffer. Jobs would be lost, salaries slashed. Thank heavens we’ve avoided such calamity by allowing corporations to shape legislation in their favor.”



Capitalism: Leave Your Hopes and Morals at the Door
April 17, 2011, 4:37 pm
Filed under: Old Articles

The narrow minded push their agenda hard in America, however, it is not the confused citizen who is to blame. For, citizens do not wish to pollute the environment, citizens to not wish to expose themselves to toxic chemicals, and citizens are not normally filled with glee as they poison themselves; it is corporations which benefit from selling cheap hazardous products to the public.

Where are the fail safes of the free market? In a time when the richer are more rich than ever, the working class should also have more than ever, yet this is not the case. The working class have less, are paid the same, and do more work for it.

The free market is no longer controlled by the customer because the customers has little means to inform themselves of whether the stores they shop at support political groups they oppose, how their workers are treated, what the company does with its profits and so on. So, the market does not have informed consumers who shop at the places with the best business practices. In fact, many of us find ourselves purchasing whatever costs least in these hard times, with no room to decide who sells the best products and has the best business practices.

Furthermore, consumers in America usually buy products they are comfortable with buying, things they have seen numerous advertisements for. The logic here is probably that the best company has the most excess of wealth to purchase all these ads, so many more people stick with that product because the ads they viewed, not because of any attributes the products attained.

Also, today’s businesses are traded on the public market, which means investors give companies money in hopes that one day they will make returns on that money. This means that companies are now obligated to raise stock prices to obtain more investments, some companies even go as far as to “cook their books” (meaning they make up profits), in order to artificially inflate their stock price. With 401 K’s and the public itself trading stock hoping to make high returns, even the public maintains the attitude that companies should raise stock prices above all else (not to mention the mantra of economic gurus and the media is the best, most profitable company is the one with the best business practices, making the notion entirely reasonable). So, you can see that the customer is now secondary to a companies real goal, which is to keep the cost of running a business as low as possible to inflate stock prices, to attain more investments that can be used to purchase public opinion to buy the companies products.

To sum this all up, a quote:

“There is, of course, no reason why the new totalitarian should resemble the old. Government by clubs and firing squads, by artificial famine, mass imprisonment and mass deportation, is not merely inhumane (nobody cares much about that now a days), it is demonstrably inefficient and in an age of advance technology, inefficiency is a sin against the Holy Ghost. A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced because they love their servitude.”
– Aldous Huxley

The White Flag

United States

Listen to Bernie Sander explain the new budget. (VIDEO)
Read more

They did it, Congress finally passed a budget that did not tax those who can most afford it and did not make America a better place to live in the process.
Read more

“About one-fourth of House Republicans and more than half of Democrats opposed the deal, with Republicans arguing the cuts were not deep enough and Democrats fearing they would hurt lower-income Americans.”

“The House vote came after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office circulated a new estimate that found the budget deal’s actual impact on government spending was likely to fall short of the agreed $38 billion cut.”

Republicans = less government and fiscal responsibility. They must have attained some advice from Fox News; have an empty slogan people can latch onto, but have no actual intention of fulfilling that goal.
Read more

“The fiscal 2012 budget resolution proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) drew the support of all 235 Republicans present and voting Friday, as well as the opposition from all 193 Democrats in attendance. That means 235 members of the House GOP are now on record in favor of slowing the growth of domestic discretionary spending and Medicaid, shrinking the deficit gradually through fiscal 2015, and sharply reducing federal spending as a percentage of the economy over the long term.”

“Fiscal year 2021: $23,105,000,000,000[is our estimated debt].”

Representative Markey gives a speech pleading with American citizens to do their part in protecting the Internet. (VIDEO and a transcript is included)
Read more

Finally, a bill that will protect my privacy… except from the government, who else is worried about what I am doing? It is like armor that blocks everything, except bullets.
Read more

“[…]one feature of the bill (PDF) sponsored by senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) that has gone relatively unnoticed: it doesn’t apply to data mining, surveillance, or any other forms of activities that governments use to collect and collate Americans’ personal information.”

“[…] the measure applies only to companies and some nonprofit groups, not to the federal, state, and local police agencies that have adopted high-tech surveillance technologies including cell phone tracking, GPS bugs, and requests to Internet companies for users’ personal information–in many cases without obtaining a search warrant from a judge.”

“In January, the Justice Department announced that investigations ‘are being frustrated’ because no law currently exists to force Internet providers to keep track of what their customers are doing. A month later, the FBI outlined its push for expanded Internet wiretapping authority.”

“Last week, the Justice Department said it opposed proposals–backed by AT&T, Google, Microsoft, eBay, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Americans for Tax Reform–to protect Americans’ privacy by requiring a search warrant to access online files and track Americans’ locations. Then, on Friday, the Justice Department renewed its opposition to being required to use a search warrant to access the Twitter accounts of Wikileaks volunteers.”

“The FTC would also be given one year to set up a ‘safe harbor’ program, which would be administered by approved non-governmental organizations. Companies that participate in the safe harbor, as long as it includes similar data use restrictions, would be ‘exempt’ from the more restrictive aspects of the bill.”

Business

The company with the most money is the most honest company that gives the most quality product, that is how capitalism works.
Read more

“Levin accused Goldman of profiting at clients’ expense as the mortgage market crashed in 2007. ‘In my judgment, Goldman clearly misled their clients and they misled Congress,’ he said, reading glasses perched as ever on the tip of his nose.”

“ ‘Blame for this mess lies everywhere — from federal regulators who cast a blind eye, Wall Street bankers who let greed run wild, and members of Congress who failed to provide oversight,’ said Coburn, the subcommittee’s top Republican.”

“It said Washington Mutual — which became the largest failed bank in U.S. history in 2008 — embraced a high-risk home loan strategy in 2005 while its own top executives were warning of a bubble that ‘will come back to haunt us.’ ”

The nation is hitting a hard time, so sacrifices must be made, however, some officials are the equivalent to royalty and obviously should not have to worry about making sacrifices, that job should be primarily on the serfs, aka middle class and below families.
Read more

“Christie earns $175,000 per year, receives a $75,000 stipend for expenses, and may use two state-owned residences: a mansion in Princeton and a summer beachfront home in Island Beach State Park. Christie’s calls for ‘shared sacrifice’ to alleviate New Jersey’s budget problems have been a marquee theme of his governorship, but he’s said that any reduction to his own salary would be ‘of little or no consequence.’ ”

BP intended to manipulate science so that the studies were in their favor. I have no idea why they would do a thing like that, this is probably a complete fabrication by the media. The phrase is ‘nice guys finish first,’ is it not?
Read more

“Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show BP officials openly discussing how to influence the work of scientists supported by the fund, which was created by the oil company in May last year.”

“Other documents obtained by Greenpeace suggest that the politics of oil spill science was not confined to BP. The White House clashed with officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last summer when drafting the administration’s account of what has happened to the spilled oil.”

“But Kert Davies, Greenpeace US research director, said the oil company had crossed a line. ‘It’s outrageous to see these BP executives discussing how they might manipulate the science programme,’ Davies said. ‘Their motivation last summer is abundantly clear. They wanted control of the science.’ ”

Does capitalism work for you? As our society evolves it would only make sense that the way we trade would also evolve. What does not make sense is the idea that society can infinitely expand, which is what capitalism requires. At some point Earth’s resources will run out, if you look you will find we are coming to an end of oil, phosphorus, readily available fresh water, coal, and so on. The way people live is going to drastically change within the next one hundred year, meaning, we will be feeling the effects much sooner. The world of the future depends on the actions we make now. The video presented here is long, however, extremely informative and thought provoking. Definitely worth viewing. (VIDEO)
Read more

If taxes are raised then CEOs will have to take larger bonuses, which will hurt job growth and no one wants that, so no new taxes or regulations for the good of America. There is no other solution to this problem, like holding corporations and their executives accountable because if that were the case no one would want to be an executive with all the risk of being jailed, so let massive companies do what they want, it is patriotic.
Read more

“Florida’s Everglades Forever Act of 1994 drives one of the major environmental cleanup efforts in the state. Everglades Forever implementation so far has cost the state of Florida $1.8 billion. Of that, Florida sugar companies have pledged to contribute $300 million in tax revenue. (The Fanjuls own 40 percent of Florida’s sugar industry, though no hard numbers exist on how much each company has offered to the effort.) Put another way, the industry that is almost entirely responsible for both the historical destruction of the Everglades and continual pollution of the ecosystem thanks to fertilizer runoff is footing less than 20 percent of the bill to clean up the mess.”

“The billions that have been spent and the billions that have yet to be spent are meant to reverse the massive ecological changes that came about when nearly 2 million acres of the Everglades were razed, predominately to make room for sugar development. The money is also used to cut down the concentration of phosphorus that ends up in Florida waterways after being dumped on fields of sugar cane. Phosphorus is a nonrenewable central element in the production of fertilizer and is already in short supply all over the world — it’s also one of the many contributors to record-high food prices.”

“Between 1990 and 2009, U.S. prices for raw sugar averaged out to almost exactly twice the global average: 21.56 cents a pound, as compared to 10.85 cents a pound for the rest of the world. In recent months, however, food shortages, crop failures and the economic growth of sugar-producing countries like India and Brazil have driven global prices up to levels close to the artificially-inflated U.S. prices.”

“The Fanjul family’s political connections — and, it could be said, the Florida sugar industry’s diminished role in paying for the Everglades reconstruction projects that were crafted in the ’90s — become rather more open when it comes to Alfy Fanjul’s longstanding ties to the Clinton family. The campaign donation records of Alfy Fanjul, a Democrat, show he gave extensively to both the Senate and presidential campaigns of Hillary Clinton. He has also given money to the William J. Clinton Foundation, was the co-chair of Bill Clinton’s 1992 Florida campaign and has hosted Clinton fundraisers in the past.”

Civil Liberties

Permitting torture? That is hardly a crime, why don’t you come back when a real law has be broken like jay walking!
Read more

“Yesterday a Spanish judge chose to dismiss a politically charged case against six former Bush administration officials for their part in creating a legal framework that permitted the torture of detainees held in U.S. custody. Judge Eloy Velasco made his decision claiming the U.S. would conduct its own investigation, freeing Spain from the obligation of investigating under its universal jurisdiction law. He based this on a mere seven-page submission by the U.S. despite its clear statement that ‘the Department of Justice has concluded that it is not appropriate to bring criminal cases with respect to any other executive branch officials, including those named in the complaint, who acted in reliance on [Office of Legal Counsel] memorandum during the course of their involvement with the policies and procedures for detention and interrogation.’ ”

“This decision is a cowardly political act by a judge afraid to pursue justice under his country’s own laws. He is hiding behind the fig leaf of the U.S.’s scant seven-page response, but the submission made clear the U.S. has no intention of investigating these crimes or holding higher-level officials accountable for torture.”

“Judge Velasco asked for opposing views but then issued his decision without even looking at our detailed submission refuting the U.S. claims. We will fight this decision and continue to demand accountability for torture.”

A vote for the drug war is a vote for death as the head of the DEA claims that a spike in child death is a sign that the war on drugs is winning. If that is the case I personally would prefer we were losing horribly.
Read more

“The children’s rights group estimates that 994 people younger than 18 were killed in drug-related violence between late 2006 and late 2010, based on media accounts, which are incomplete because newspapers are often too intimidated to report drug-related crimes.”

“U.S. and Mexican officials say the grotesque violence is a symptom the cartels have been wounded by police and soldiers. ‘It may seem contradictory, but the unfortunate level of violence is a sign of success in the fight against drugs,’ said Michele Leonhart, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. The cartels ‘are like caged animals, attacking one another,’ she added.”

The American government would never investigate someone who had not committed a crime, that is why I now believe at points the local police of America were able to find thousands of terrorists on Facebook a day.
Read more

“ ‘Unfortunately, there are no reporting requirements for the modern surveillance methods that make up the majority of law enforcement requests to service providers and telephone companies,’ Soghoian wrote. ‘As such, this surveillance largely occurs off the books, with no way for Congress or the general public to know the true scale of such activities.’ ”

“Soghoian found through his research that law enforcement agencies requested more than 30,000 wiretaps between 1987 and 2009. But the scale of requests for stored communications appears to be much greater. Citing a New York Times story from 2006, Soghoian wrote that AOL was receiving 1,000 requests per month.”

Can a person claims to be pro-life if they are against ALL abortion, which includes scenarios such as these: 1) If the baby is not aborted both mother and child will die, 2) Mother will die and father does not want the child, 3) Mother again dies and child is born with a debilitating disease which causes them to suffer their entire life? If these cases are consistent with being pro-life, then being pro-life is not really about being against evil, or suffering, or concerned about a person’s quality of life, but just the right fetuses have to make it entirely through their development despite whatever horror awaits them at the end; a belief only a humanitarian could have.
Read more

“State senators struck down a measure that would have expanded medical care to low-income women and children yesterday. The measure was struck down because of concerns that ‘expanding the [insurance] program might provide funds for as many as 22 more abortions.’ The bill would have expanded coverage to about 1,300 more children and 250 pregnant women.”

“The legislation is in response the indictment of Pennsylvania’s Dr. Kermit Gosnell, an abortion provider who was charged with murdering seven infants.”

“The Indiana legislature approved legislation yesterday that would ban abortions in the state after 20 weeks. The law has an exception for when the mother’s life is in danger due to the pregnancy. Current law allows an abortion up to 24 weeks, which is considered to be around the time of fetal viability.”

Progress

The government and corporations are like people, they will do whatever they are likely to get away with. If we allow them to take away worker’s rights, avoid taxes, and leave the burden of debt on the people with the least money they are likely to do it. Tomorrow (Monday, April 18th) there will be protests all over America to say the American people will not stand for it any longer. Please, be apart of true change, it will not come from a single vote every four years, it will come from individual activism. Follow this link to a list to find a protest nearest you.
Read more

Science

Coming closer to understanding the origins of life; RNA in space.
Read more

“Crucially, tC19Z can copy pieces of RNA that are almost half as long (48 per cent) as itself. If an RNA enzyme is to copy itself, it has to be able to copy sequences as long as itself, and tC19Z is closing in on that goal.”

“In a neat twist, Holliger’s team also showed that tC19Z can make copies of another RNA enzyme, which then worked correctly. That suggests that, once the first self-replicating RNA had appeared, it would have been able to surround itself with additional molecular equipment, kick-starting the evolution of more complex life.”



Patriotism Becoming Nationalism
April 10, 2011, 4:35 pm
Filed under: Old Articles

The people of Afghanistan are as angered by the deaths of loved ones as are we here in America. Innocent citizens of Afghanistan that fall in the massive black hole, known as the war on terror, are tortured, detained with no trail, certainly they receive harsh interrogations, and if they are lucky their interrogators will realize they have made a mistake, and they will finally be dropped off in the desert.

People who are the most informed are the most adapt to succeed, for instance, the greatest lawyer is the one who knows the law most adequately.

And, our freedom is what people love, and seek out when they immigrate to America, whether it is economic freedom, individual freedom, or religious freedom.

So, how is it that the people of America have been lead to believe war is peace, ignorance is strength, and freedom is slavery?

Since 9/11 we have created a global war that has so far expanded major military operations into five countries – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia – along with many smaller operations in other countries all over the planet including the United States. All of this murder is done in the names of Americans, and will be paid for by today’s youth of America, all for our safety; peace.

Americans allow injustice to take place in their name and do not concern themselves with the repercussions it has on those people, and the likely future complications (say another 9/11 from radical Muslims tired of what seems to be a war on Islam, which the media twists to incite irrational fear of all Muslims as though one billion people can easily be written off by the actions of a psychotic few; must it be said that people must be judge on their individual actions?). It is almost as if Americans have conformed to the national agenda, as though, whatever reason the government had for breaking the law, that is, torture, indefinite detention, aggressive war, murdering of innocent civilians, was a good one; strength.

Furthermore, we believe our freedoms are our own worst enemies, “they are useless, except for protecting the guilty.” Our privacy is but worthless for the innocent they have nothing to hide for their government, yet the American Constitution clearly had the intention of protecting us from having our private lives be put under a microscope. Are we to believe we have more wisdom than the nations framers? No, those who feel this way – that privacy should be secondary to the expediency of law enforcement – think privacy inhibits investigators abilities and it is imperative in this time of great threat that our nation have access to information quickly. If we have our freedom the terrorists will win; slavery.

We must be rational, and critical of our government. While our nation’s leaders drag the name of America through the dirt it is important that people are not blinded by their pride, nor are paralyzed by their fear. For, if we stand by and do nothing, the hate the world has for America will fester as they believe the citizens not only allow the government to commit atrocities, but they agree with it. That hate will not bring peace, it will not make the world a more just place, nor will it make America a freer, better place to live.

A quote from a true “patriot”:

“There is a road to freedom. It’s mile stones are obedience, endeavor, honesty, order, cleanliness, sobriety, truthfulness, sacrifice, and love of the Father land.”
-Adolf Hitler

I feel as though we can draw parallels from our own nation’s leaders while they drum up support for their own motives. Politicians try to use words to provoke emotions in the people of America, yet it is important that people stay focused and rational, which will make them more able to see the truth.
-The White Flag

United States

Who cares about the environment? When it is of no use we will buy a new one!
Read more

“The Senate voted Wednesday against a measure that would have blocked the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing new regulations on greenhouse gasses — a move that further cripples efforts by lawmakers to weaken the agency’s regulatory authority.”

“In a statement, the White House said Wednesday’s Senate vote ‘rejected an approach that would have increased the nation’s dependence on oil, contradicted the scientific consensus on global warming, and jeopardized America’s ability to lead the world in the clean energy economy.’ ”

Change is finally coming, President Obama plans on widening the gap between the super rich and the rest of rest more than has ever been seen, meanwhile he will simultaneously break a second record of creating the largest debt the nation has ever had. Can we get this guy another award?
Read more

“House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan would get about two-thirds of its more than $4 trillion in budget cuts over 10 years from programs that serve people of limited means, which violates basic principles of fairness and stands a core principle of President Obama’s fiscal commission on its head.”

The government would love to tell us they are breaking the law to keep us safe, but if they do the “bad guys” will find out. So, we must wait to hear the truth until it is a politically sound move for the government to do so, that will stick it to the “bad guys” and keep us safe.
Read more

“After Congress enacted the Patriot Act, FBI officials swore to a court that national security would be compromised if the FBI revealed how many times it had used a particularly controversial surveillance power. But when then-Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft realized that he could use the statistic to discredit critics of the act, he volunteered the statistic at a press conference. Similarly, the CIA filed affidavits in various lawsuits insisting that national security would be compromised if the government officially acknowledged its network of secret prisons, but at a subsequent press conference President Bush did exactly that. In a suit involving the CIA’s ‘extraordinary rendition’ program, then-CIA Director Michael Hayden filed an affidavit asserting that the CIA could neither confirm nor deny allegations concerning clandestine interrogation techniques. But after disclosure became more politically palatable than continued concealment, Hayden confirmed publicly that three prisoners had been waterboarded in CIA custody.”

We have always supported military tribunals, it was really the Bush Administration that did not trust military tribunals because they were working with the terrorists. Great Leader Comrade President Obama only appeared not to support military tribunals to oppose Bush and the terrorists. It is called double speak.
Read more

“When the Obama administration on Monday reversed itself and announced that it would prosecute the plotters behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in military tribunals rather than in civilian courts as Obama promised during the 2008 campaign, it was the latest episode of President Obama embracing policies that candidate Obama had vowed to overturn.”

“Obama pledged to monitor the rendition program to guard against the use of torture, but continued its use. Obama also declared that the U.S. would not torture terror suspects, though he carved out an exception that would allow it in limited circumstances approved by the president.”

Civil Liberties

Are you a threat to the U.S.? Below is a list of things criminals, mainly terrorists, are doing. Make sure you give Big Bother a call if you, or anyone you know is experiencing the following dangerous, and borderline psychotic behaviors.
Read more
Click here to see if you are a threat.

  • Expressions of libertarian philosophies (statements, bumper stickers)
  • Second Amendment-oriented views (NRA or gun club membership, holding a CCW permit)
  • Survivalist literature (fictional books such as “Patriots” and “One Second After” are mentioned by name)
  • Self-sufficiency (stockpiling food, ammo, hand tools, medical supplies)
  • Fear of economic collapse (buying gold and barter items)
  • Religious views concerning the book of Revelation (apocalypse, anti-Christ)
  • Expressed fears of Big Brother or big government
  • Homeschooling
  • Declarations of Constitutional rights and civil liberties
  • Belief in a New World Order conspiracy

The UK is defending the rights of Bradley Manning, more than likely, it is because they too are terrorists sympathizers.
Read more

“Manning is being held in military detention in solitary confinement for all but an hour every day, and is stripped naked each night and given a suicide-proof smock to wear to bed.”

“ ‘All people who are detained in custody deserve to be treated in detention according to the highest international standards, and we certainly expect nothing else, nothing less, from the United States,’ British Foreign Office minister Henry Bellingham told lawmakers”.

“In early March, the Army filed 22 new charges against him, including aiding the enemy, a crime that can bring the death penalty or life in prison. However, Army prosecutors have notified the Manning defense team that it will not recommend the death penalty.”

“Bellingham confirmed that Manning is a British citizen, but said he has not requested formal help from the U.K. government. Though born in Oklahoma, Manning moved to his mother’s native Wales when his parents separated and qualifies as a British citizen under U.K. law.”

War

Like paying high taxes? Like it when those taxes are used to buy really expensive tools for murder? Who does not? That is why now rethinkafghanistan.com is offering you an online tax calculator to approximate how much you spent on the war in Afghanistan, then you can send that information along to your representatives. (It is incredibly easy.)
Read more

“According to our friends at the National Priorities Project, 27.4 percent of our income taxes will go to pay for the Afghanistan War and other military spending. Already the taxpayer is on the hook for $107.3 billion just for this year, and just for the hugely expensive Afghanistan War.”

“The military reportedly is pushing the president to pull out only an ‘insignificant’ number of troops, despite the fact that it will cost us $1 million per troop to keep forces in Afghanistan this year. Bleeding that many resources on a war that’s not making us safer all the way until 2014 is losing, regardless of what General Petraeus’ spin shop tells us. We’re losing the future in Afghanistan.”

Why do you not want a camera in your house? Are you doing something illegal, because all of us who are not breaking the law would love to have cameras in our houses. In fact, I feel safer with a camera, then the government can make sure I am okay, and being a good citizen 24 hours a day.
Read more

“Mainstream orthodoxies, harmless ideas, and inoffensive platitudes require no protection as they are not, by definition, vulnerable to censorship. But as has been repeatedly seen in history, ideas that are despised and marginalized are often proven right, while ideas that enjoy the status of orthodoxy prove to be deeply erroneous or even evil. That’s why no rational person trusts the state — or even themselves — to create lists of Prohibited Ideas. And those who endorse the notion that ideas they hate should be forcibly suppressed inevitably — and deservedly — will have their own ideas eventually targeted by the same repressive instruments.”

“The whole reason for free speech protections is to safeguard such ideas — despised by the majority — from suppression. Burning the Koran is despicable, but it’s every bit as much core political speech as burning the American flag or an effigy of a hated political leader, or tearing up a picture of — or publishing cartoons unfavorably depicting — a religious leader.”

“ ‘ . . . we should also remember that this war has no end, and that therefore the liberties taken away by wartime are permanently taken away.’ In addition to the body count and the vast sums of money, this inevitable erosion of liberty from our continuous wars — and the always escalating wall of secrecy that enables it — must be counted when deciding whether to support them. Wars degrade a nation’s character and the fabric of its political culture; Endless War has that effect exponentially.”

Business

Now that the million and billionaires have all of our money they can probably afford to buy local and support small businesses, right?
Read more

“Business taxes were cut from 46 to 34 percent 25 years ago, according to ProPublica. But today, 115 of the big 500 companies listed on Standard and Poor’s stock index paid federal and other taxes of less than 20 percent over the last five years, according to David Leonhardt of The New York Times.”

“Last year, John Paulson, a hedge fund manager ‘earned’ $4.9 billion, according to The New York Times. Ten years ago, it took 25 such managers to collectively earn that much. Last year, the top 25 hedge fund managers pocketed (a much better word) a total of $22 billion. It would take over 440,000 people each earning $50,000 a year to match that amount.”

“According to the Financial Times, there are now more people living in poverty in the US than at any time in the last 50 years. Foreclosure filings were nearly four million in 2010, up 23 percent since 2008, according to RealtyTrac.”

Health

Scientists use organisms in the wild to study pollution, and other things, known as bioindicators. This is an article about how a widely used pesticide in America, Atrazine, has been disrupting the endocrine systems of frogs, particularly turning males into females. You can also go here to see if your drinking water has tested positive for Atrazine.
Read more

“Atrazine, one of the world’s most widely used pesticides, wreaks havoc with the sex lives of adult male frogs, emasculating three-quarters of them and turning one in 10 into females, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley, biologists.”

“Though the experiments were performed on a common laboratory frog, the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis), field studies indicate that atrazine, a potent endocrine disruptor, similarly affects frogs in the wild, and could possibly be one of the causes of amphibian declines around the globe, Hayes said.”

“Some 80 million pounds of the herbicide atrazine are applied annually in the United States on corn and sorghum to control weeds and increase crop yield, but such widespread use also makes atrazine the most common pesticide contaminant of ground and surface water, according to various studies.”

“More and more research, however, is showing that atrazine interferes with endocrine hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone — in fish, amphibians, birds, reptiles, laboratory rodents and even human cell lines at levels of parts per billion. Recent studies also found a possible link between human birth defects and low birth weight and atrazine exposure in the womb.”

If it does not have harmful side effect attributed to it then how can it be medicine?
Read more

“This research suggests that changes in diet could reduce both heart disease and cancer by as much as 90%.”

“The FDA has imposed its ‘Extended Label’ rule on food producers and dietary supplements manufacturers. This rule does not allow the circulation of truthful scientific information about food and nutrient health benefits.”

“In February 2008, the FDA even obtained a court order to silence 29 cherry orchards. The FDA held that any discussion of the health benefits of cherries automatically turned cherries into ‘unapproved’ drugs. Moreover, the Agency says that any ‘claim’ made for an ‘unapproved drug’ is by definition ‘false’ and legally actionable, even if the claim originates at the Harvard Medical School.”

Exploring this website about the dangers of chemical found in our food is very interesting. If you have a minute, check out the “what’s on my food” scroll box to the right, extensive data is provide on my different kinds of food, and data about the differences in chemical levels between organics and non-organics is provided.
Go to site.



Something About Eggs
April 3, 2011, 4:33 pm
Filed under: Old Articles

United States

Only 1% of the population are really Americans, the rest of us are here just to work for the real Americans. (Video Included)
Read More

“With Congress returning to Capitol Hill on Monday to debate steep spending cuts, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations must do their share to help bring down our record-breaking deficit.”

“Sanders said it is grossly unfair for congressional Republicans to propose major cuts to Head Start, Pell Grants, the Social Security Administration, nutrition grants for pregnant low-income women and the Environmental Protection Agency while ignoring the reality that some of the most profitable corporations pay nothing or almost nothing in federal income taxes.”

“Sanders has called for closing corporate tax loopholes and eliminating tax breaks for oil and gas companies. He also introduced legislation to impose a 5.4 percent surtax on millionaires that would yield up to $50 billion a year. The senator has said that spending cuts must be paired with new revenue so the federal budget is not balanced solely on the backs of working families.”

You have to break a few eggs to make an omelet and you have to let thousands of children die to run a country.
Read More

“We estimate, and I believe these are very conservative estimates, that H.R. 1 would lead to 70,000 kids dying.”

No trial or evidence needed, American soldiers have been thoroughly trained in the art of smelling guilt. Now if a guilty person, like a terrorist, walks in a room NATO soldiers can smell the non-innocence, it is too bad we are not employing these same tactics back in the States.
Read More

“Treated as punchbags without rights when first picked up, mostly in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, the 172 men still held at Guantánamo are still treated with scorn by the administration of Barack Obama, the standard bearer of ‘hope’ and ‘change,’ who promised to close Guantánamo and to do away with ‘the dark halls of Abu Ghraib and the detention cells of Guantánamo, [where] we have compromised our most precious values.’ ”

“[…] Mohammed Hassan Odaini, a student who had been seized while staying the night wth [sic] other students at their universtiy [sic] dorm in Faisalabad, Pakistan, in March 2002. Many of the other students staying in the dorm are still held, but Odaini was lucky because a judge reached the point where he was satisfied that he could make a ruling on his habeas petition, and forcefully explained that the US government had no reason for having deprived Odaini of eight years of his life, when intelligence officials knew, almost from the moment of his capture, that he was an innocent man.”

“[…] Judge Kavanaugh, who wrote the judges’ opinion, declared, as ProPublica stated, ‘that the government doesn’t need direct evidence that a detainee fought for or was a member of al-Qaeda in order to justify a detention.’ ProPublica added that the court ‘determined that circumstantial evidence, such as a detainee being in the same location as other al-Qaeda members, is enough to meet the standard to hold a prisoner without charge.’ ”

“Interpreted by the Supreme Court, in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, in June 2004, as ‘clearly and unmistakably’ authorizing the detention of individuals, the AUMF therefore provides the rationale for holding prisoners neither as criminal suspects, to be put forward for trials, nor as prisoners of war protected by the Geneva Conventions, but as what Bush called ‘illegal enemy combatants,’ […] terrorists are criminals, whereas those involved in the Taliban’s military conflict with the Northern Alliance, which morphed, after 9/11, into a global war against the US, were nothing more than soldiers, and should have been held as such according to the Geneva Conventions. ”

What does it matter if the FBI is wrongly investigating an innocent person, this is American, no one has ever been convicted of a crime they did not commit, so no worries.
Read More

“FBI Director Robert Mueller testified about the Bureau’s desire to extend three expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act — PATRIOT Section 215, authorizing secret court orders for the Internet and financial records of innocent Americans; the ‘lone wolf’ wiretapping provision, which unconstitutionally allows foreign intelligence investigators to bypass traditional wiretapping protections and spy on people inside the U.S. who have no link to any foreign organization; and the ‘John Doe’ roving wiretap provision, which allows blank-check wiretapping orders that don’t identify the suspect or the particular phone or Internet connections to be tapped.”

“[…] the FBI, in a case where use of a ‘John Doe’ roving wiretap was authorized, monitored the conversations of ‘young children’ for ‘approximately’ five days.”

Business

No one wants to pay taxes right? All taxes do are provide roads, schools, police, firemen, and the rest of the structure which our society was built on, taxes are hardly of any use at all.
Read More

“General Electric paid no tax at all in America last year and even managed to get a $3.2billion ‘rebate’ from the government.”

“The utilities giant allocated just 7.4 per cent of its $5.1billion U.S. profits in tax – around a third of what others companies its size are paying.”

“But through a complex series of measures GE, which is America’s largest company, will not even have to hand that over.”

“Across the whole of America such strategies have pushed the corporate share of the nation’s tax receipts down from 30 per cent in the mid 1950s to just 6.6 per cent today.”

“ ‘We are committed to complying with tax rules and paying all legally obliged taxes. At the same time, we have a responsibility to our shareholders to legally minimise our costs.’ ”

Once taking a photo was legal, then it could put you on a watch list, now taking a photo in the wrong place and you could end up in jail.
Read More

“Iowa and Florida are considering bills that make it illegal to film or photograph inside factory farms without permission. Are the CAFOs afraid their unhealthy conditions and animal cruelty will be exposed?”

“In a CAFO, animals are crammed by the thousands or tens of thousands, often unable to breathe fresh air, see the light of day, walk outside, peck at a plants or insects, scratch the earth, or eat a blade of grass. They are notorious breeding grounds for disease and thus overuse antibiotics, and they pollute the environment in terrible ways.”

“As author Erik Marcus points out, CFEs render the horrors of battery cages, veal crates, and gestation crates completely legal. Likewise, they allow cruel practices such as castration without anesthetic, beak searing, and the deliberate withholding of lifesaving veterinary care. […] New York Times food writer Mark Bittman recently discussed the inequity of laws that protect companion animals, but allow unconscionable abuse of farm animals.”

“SB 1246 would make it a first-degree felony to photograph a farm without first obtaining written permission from the owner. Farmers say the bill is needed ‘to protect the property rights of farmers and the “intellectual property” involving farm operations.’ ”

“The second set of bills, from Iowa (HF 589, and its companion in the Iowa Senate, SF 431), criminalize ‘animal facility interference’ for shooting a photo or video without facility owners’ consent or knowledge, and ‘animal facility fraud’ for people who obtain employment in order to shoot videos or take photos. Penalties include fines and prison sentences”

Health

Hyperactivity a problem for your child? Do not worry about their diet, go to your primary pediatrician and ask for the strongest amphetamines they can give your child, that will fix him or her right up. Side effects may include an addiction to speed, but that is much easier than bothering to make sure your child is eating healthy.
Read More

“Research, says the FDA panel, is insufficient to conclude that food dyes cause hyperactivity. Despite much concern about this issue in Great Britain, the FDA will not put a warning label on foods that contain the dyes.”

“Ben Feingold, a physician in California, said that a diet devoid of food colors would help calm kids down. The Feingold Association still encourages that diet.”

“Parents of hyperactive kids can easily do their own experiment and see if removing food colors helps calm their kids down.”

“Food dyes have no health benefits that I can think of. Kids don’t need to be eating those foods anyway. Kids will not be harmed by avoiding food dyes.”

“It would be nice to have more conclusive research. In the meantime, read food labels!”

War

We may think the war in Afghanistan is separate from the American life, yet the atrocities our soldier commit in Afghanistan now will surely breed more of the hate for the American people which ultimately lead to the attacks on 9/11. In the wake of another attack will we wonder why they hate us? Will we still believe that the ‘War on Terror’ was separate from the lives of us Americans?
Read More

“I must report that Afghans do not believe this to be a story of a few rogue soldiers. We believe that the brutal actions of these ‘kill teams’ reveal the aggression and racism which is part and parcel of the entire military occupation. While these photos are new, the murder of innocents is not. Such crimes have sparked many protests in Afghanistan and have sharply raised anti-American sentiment among ordinary Afghans.”

“The ‘kill team’ images will come as a shock to many outside Afghanistan but not to us. We have seen countless incidents of American and Nato forces killing innocent people like birds. For instance, they recently killed nine children in Kunar Province who were collecting firewood. In February this year they killed 65 innocent villagers, most of them women and children. In this case, as in many others, Nato claimed that they had only killed insurgents, even though local authorities acknowledged that the victims were civilians. To prevent the facts coming out they even arrested two journalists from al-Jazeera who attempted to visit and report from the site of the massacre.”

“Once you know all this, and once you have seen the ’kill team’ photos, you will understand more clearly why Afghans have turned against this occupation. The Karzai regime is more hated than ever: it only rules through intimidation, corruption, and with the help of the occupying armies. Afghans deserve much better than this.”

“This resistance is inspired by the movements in other countries like Egypt and Tunisia – we want to see ‘people power’ in Afghanistan as well. And we need the support and solidarity of people in the Nato countries.”

World

Canada legislators say “no” to propaganda that claims to be the “news.”
Read More

“The Harper government was quietly attempting to change this rule to make broadcasting false news illegal only in cases where it could be proven that the broadcaster ‘knew’ the news was false prior to broadcast.”

Pastor Terry Jones believes Islam is a religion of hate that is why him and his congregation joined together in the loving, and peaceful act of burning the Koran.
Read More
Watch Video

“Friday’s incident began when three mullahs, addressing worshipers at Friday prayers inside the Blue Mosque here, one of Afghanistan’s holiest places, urged people to take to the streets to agitate for the arrest of Terry Jones, the Florida pastor who oversaw the burning of a Koran on March 20. Otherwise, said the most prominent of them, Mullah Mohammed Shah Adeli, Afghanistan should cut off relations with the United States. ‘Burning the Koran is an insult to Islam and those who committed it should be punished,’ he said.”

“Gen. Abdul Raouf Taj, the deputy police commander for Balkh Province, where Mazar is located, put the death toll at eight foreign United Nations staffers, but said there had not been any beheadings.”

“The mob also burned down part of the United Nations compound, toppled guard towers and heaved blocks of cement down from the walls.”

Civil Liberties

The only people worried about the American Government taking away suspected terrorist’s rights are terrorists! Because us law abiding citizens do not have to worry about being labeled as terrorists, that only happened a few times. (Audio File)
Read More

“A memorandum from the Obama Department of Justice further whittled away Miranda rights (you have the right to remain silent, etc.) for terrorism suspects, allowing investigators to hold suspected domestic terrorists longer than others without reading their rights.” Note: Do not forget, the president is also able to deem any one he sees fit as a terrorist.]



Bombs for Peace
March 27, 2011, 4:32 pm
Filed under: Old Articles

United States

Sometimes Americans forget because the Constitution is so confusing, but the president is our dictator, rightfully so.
Read More

“The Justice Department has released portions of a detailed legal analysis from 2004 of President George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program — an opinion which concluded that a law Congress passed restricting surveillance in the U.S. was unconstitutional if it barred Bush’s program.”

“First, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force passed by Congress in 2001 implicitly authorized surveillance like that under the warrantless wiretapping program. Second, if the AUMF was read not to authorize such surveillance, the 1978 law Congress passed setting out the “exclusive” means for domestic electronic surveillance was unconstitutional.”

“[…] Bush modified the surveillance program, apparently doing away with certain activities the three lawyers objected to as illegal.”

Reliable capitalism; good for competition, always setting historically low prices, and ultimately beneficial to society.
Read More

“A drug which the FDA approved more than half a century ago—which doctors have been prescribing for their patients with high-risk pregnancies through compounding pharmacies with great success—was designated by the FDA an ‘orphan drug.’ [An orphan drug is a pharmaceutical agent that has been developed specifically to treat a relatively rare medical condition, and the designation gives the manufacturer clinical trial tax incentives.] Now KV Pharmaceutical has been given the exclusive right of production and sale (not to mention drug trial tax breaks!). They immediately raised the price from $10 per dose to $1,500.”

“Doctors say the $30,000 price tag will almost certainly deter low-income women from getting the drug, leading to more premature births. Dr. Roger Snow, deputy medical director for Massachusetts’ Medicaid program, was quoted as saying, ‘That’s a huge increase for something that can’t be costing them that much to make.’ ”

“Besides the grave jeopardy placed on the mothers and their infants, this will create a huge financial burden for the health insurance companies, private citizens, and government programs that have to pay for it.”

“ ‘I am deeply concerned that your company appears to be taking advantage of FDA approval at the expense of women, children and federal and state budgets,’ Brown wrote. ‘By ratcheting up prices, fewer women will be able to afford the drug, increasing rates of preterm birth nationwide. This isn’t in the interest of children, new mothers, or taxpayers.’ ”

Fair and balanced news corporation finds it fair to avoid paying taxes.
Read More

“A few weeks ago video pimp and propagandist, James O’Keefe, released a heavily edited and deliberately deceptive video that purported to expose an institutional bias at National Public Radio. It was quickly debunked and denounced as a fraud by analysts across the political spectrum, including those at Glenn Beck’s web site, The Blaze.”

“As far back as 1999, there have been reports documenting how News Corp, Fox’s parent company, exploited loopholes in tax laws that permitted them to avoid levies that all other citizens have to pay.”

“ ‘…News Corporation and its subsidiaries paid only A$325m ($238m) in corporate taxes worldwide. In the same period, its consolidated pre-tax profits were A$5.4 billion. So News Corporation has paid an effective tax rate of only around 6%. By comparison, Disney, one of the world’s other media empires, paid 31%. Basic corporate-tax rates in Australia, America and Britain, the three main countries in which News Corporation operates, are 36%, 35% and 30% respectively.’ ”

“When giant, prosperous, multinational corporations weasel out of their tax obligations, ordinary citizens are the ones who are forced to make up the shortfall.”

Silencing the truth is hard work, especially when you are pretending to do the opposite.
Read More

“ ‘All previous presidents put together brought three prosecutions… We see a campaign here against whistleblowing that is highly unprecedented in legal terms.’ ”

“Earlier this month, the military unveiled 22 additional charges against Manning including ‘aiding the enemy,’ which carries a potential death sentence, though the army said it would not seek capital punishment.”

“US investigators have failed so far to establish a direct link between the Manning and the website [Wikileaks], which began publishing the documents last year.”

“ ‘It’s important that in order to strenghten [sic] our democracy, we have to keep our government honest, and the only way to keep our government honest is to give access to that information,’ ”

If you are beginning to lose the ability to make the distinction between our previous republican president’s policies and our new democratic president’s policies it is because they are the same. (It is called double speak.)
Read More

“Suffice to say, it is no longer provocative or controversial when someone like Yale Law Professor Jack Balkin writes, as he did the other day, that Obama ‘has more or less systematically adopted policies consistent with the second term of the George W. Bush Administration.’ No rational person can argue that or even tries to any longer. It’s just a banal expression of indisputable fact”

The Wall Street Journal reports that ‘new rules allow investigators to hold domestic-terror suspects longer than others without giving them a Miranda warning, significantly expanding exceptions to the instructions that have governed the handling of criminal suspects for more than four decades.’ ”

“Ironically, it was the administration — and its followers — that defended the sanctity of Miranda back in late 2009, when the Cheney/Kristol/Limbaugh/Palin Right attacked Obama for Mirandizing the ‘underwear bomber’ as soon as he was taken into custody. Back then, the White House and its loyalists stridently argued that Miranda does not interfere with effective interrogations and that, in any event, it is a pillar of our justice system that should not be eroded.”

“In other words, with the sweep of a unilateral pen, Miranda simply no longer compels the government to read you your rights if you are accused of involvement in Terrorism and FBI agents unilaterally decide that it shouldn’t.”

“With a swoop of a pen — more than 9 years removed from the 9/11 attacks — Barack Obama has done more to erode Miranda than any right-wing politician could have dreamed of achieving.”

Everyone knows peace can only be attained through bloodshed, that is what Ghandi and King are so famous for, without them we would still be trying to attain peace and equality through peaceful acts of solidarity. And with America being the largest arms dealer in the world, peace could be very profitable.
Read More

“If the bitter lesson of Iraq and Afghanistan has taught us anything, though, it’s that wars of liberation exact a deadly toll on those they purportedly liberate – and that democracy doesn’t come on the back of a Tomahawk missile.”

“President Barack Obama announced his latest peace-through-bombs initiative last week – joining ongoing US conflicts and proxy wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia – by declaring he could not ‘stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people that there will be no mercy and … where innocent men and women face brutality and death at the hands of their own government.’ ”

“That’s the reality of the no-fly zone and the mission creep that started the moment it was enacted: bombing civilians and massacring retreating troops. And like any other war, it’s not pretty.”

“Russia, the Arab League and others have said that coalition airstrikes have caused significant civilian casualties. Though the number of deaths are unconfirmed at this time, Reuters reports that the Arab League will be commissioning an analysis into health ministry claims that 64 civilians died in the initial flurry of missile strikes on Libya.”

“[…] before [the White House] started calling for a regime change, the Obama administration was working to provide the Libyan dictator another $77 million in weapons, on top of the $17 million it provided in 2009 and the $46 million the Bush administration provided in 2008.”

“In Yemen, which has received more than $300 million in military aid from the US over the last five years, the Obama administration continues to support corrupt thug and president-for-life Ali Abdullah Saleh, who recently ordered a massacre of more than 50 of his own citizens who dared protest his rule.”

“Rather than engage in cruise-missile liberalism, Obama could save lives by immediately ending support for these brutal regimes. But for US administrations, both Democratic and Republican, arms sales appear to trump liberation. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute documented that Washington accounted for 54 percent of arms sales to Persian Gulf states between 2005 and 2009.”

“The US government need not drop a single bomb in the Middle East to help liberate oppressed people. All it need do is stop selling bombs to their oppressors.”

World

Disaster in Japan, radioactivity reaches Tokyo. (Video Included)
Read More

“The plant, 140 miles (220 kilometers) north of Tokyo, has been leaking radiation since the quake and tsunami knocked out its crucial cooling systems.”

“The crisis is emerging as the world’s most expensive natural disaster on record, likely to cost up to $309 billion, according to a new government estimate. Police say an estimated 18,000 people were killed.”

“Concerns about food safety spread Wednesday to Tokyo after officials said tap water showed elevated radiation levels: 210 becquerels of iodine-131 per liter of water — more than twice the recommended limit of 100 becquerels per liter for infants. Another measurement taken later at a different site showed the level was 190 becquerels per liter. The recommended limit for adults is 300 becquerels.”

“Dr. Harold Swartz, a professor of radiology and medicine at Dartmouth Medical School in the U.S., said the radiation amounts being reported in the water are too low to pose any real risk, even to infants who are being fed water-based formula or to breast-fed infants whose mothers drink tap water.”

Civil Liberties

People rally to support Private Bradly Manning who is being mistreated while he awaits court martial. (Video Summary Included)
Read More

“Manning was charged in May 2010 with violating parts of the Uniform Code of Military Justice after officials said he gave classified data to the exposé website WikiLeaks.”

“He was accused of releasing 77,000 classified military documents, as well as video of a 2007 Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that resulted in the deaths of Reuters news personnel, according to the Associated Press.”

“Manning is awaiting a court martial while being held at Quantico. He could get up to 52 years in prison if convicted.”

“This is not the first rally for Manning near Quantico. Supporters, in much smaller numbers, have gathered before near Quantico.”

The American war on old American values; mistreatment of prisoners and a dedication to keeping illegal activity secret.
Read More

“For generations, the United States stood as a beacon of democracy and human rights — until the Bush administration, the Patriot Act, and Guantanamo Bay. Any hope that Barack Obama would restore civilization to Washington has been dashed by the cruel and unusual punishment meted out to Bradley Manning.”

“ ‘Solitary confinement will slowly wear down the mental and physical condition of Bradley Manning,” warned clinical psychologist Jeff Kaye after his visit to Quantico. Such extreme isolation was declared unconstitutional in the US in 1890, but continues to be used widely in the country’s infamous ‘supermax’ prisons.”

“Despite praising whistleblowers during the 2008 election campaign and promising to protect them, Obama has prosecuted more whistleblowers for leaking information to the press than any other president in US history.”

“Congressman Dennis Kucinich has said that ‘the Army’s treatment [of Manning] would obviously constitute “cruel and unusual punishment” in violation of the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.’ ”

Economy

Companies avoiding taxes, nonsense. (Video)
Read More

War

US troops pose with dead Afghan civilians they murdered. This is all part of President Obama and General Petraeus’s new strategy, be friend the people of Afghanistan, and use force when the civilians resist.
Read More

“Commanders in Afghanistan are bracing themselves for possible riots and public fury triggered by the publication of ‘trophy’ photographs of US soldiers posing with the dead bodies of defenceless Afghan civilians they killed.”

“Some of the activities of the self-styled ‘kill team’ are already public, with 12 men currently on trial in Seattle for their role in the killing of three civilians.”

Health

The USDA is aware of something the rest of us are not, scientists cannot explain things as well as lobbyists. A good explanation is always “green.”
Read More

“A new lawsuit from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is aimed at both the USDA and the Department of Health and Human Services. Their new Dietary Guidelines are clear about what to eat more of—vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, for example—but use deliberately obscure language when discussing the foods Americans should eat less of.”

“According to the PCRM, this deliberate omission can be traced to the USDA’s close ties to food industries, including fast food companies such as McDonald’s. The PCRM is demanding that the USDA actually name the foods they suggest consumers eat in lesser quantities. The lawsuit also raises concerns over Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee members with ties to the food industries, including a member who served on an advisory council for the McDonald’s Corporation.”

Dieing for something sweet?
Read More

“High-fructose corn syrup is a corn syrup that has undergone enzymatic processing to convert some of its glucose into fructose to produce a desired level of sweetness. But because of its processing, some brands of HFCS may contain mercury, a known neurotoxin.”

“Rats fed HFCS developed fatty liver disease and type 2 diabetes, while those on a fructose-free diet did not. […] HFCS also causes cardiovascular disease, even in children and adolescents. And the American Society of Nephrology found that HFCS causes high blood pressure as well.”

“The metabolic processes involved in the breakdown of fructose can lead to a buildup of uric acid—which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Fructose can raise blood triglyceride levels, which can trigger atherosclerosis, increases fat deposits around the viscera, and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight people.”

“Cancer cells thrive on sugars, particularly fructose. It has been demonstrated that cancer cells actually metabolize glucose and fructose differently from other cells. While cancer thrives on both, it uses fructose specifically to proliferate. It’s no wonder that cancer has moved quickly up the list of killers in our society since we started adding high-fructose corn syrup to everything from sodas to bread. With such damning and irrefutable research, I still don’t understand why it hasn’t become standard practice to immediately put cancer patients on fructose-free diets to help disrupt cancer growth.”

“George Mason University professor of economics Walter E. Williams points to powerful sugar companies whose massive political donations—millions of dollars to both parties—ensure that Congress keeps tariffs high on foreign sugar so the US sugar industry can charge higher prices. According to one study, one politically connected sugar-manufacturing family alone earns about $65 million a year from congressional protectionism.”

“Aspartame (Equal and NutraSweet), which is used in more than 6,000 diet products, beverages, and pharmaceuticals, has remained a battleground. Despite FDA officials describing aspartame as ‘one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved’ and its safety as ‘clear cut,’ in March 2006, Environmental Health Perspectives (from the National Institutes of Health) published the first compelling experimental evidence for the carcinogenic effects of aspartame at a dose level within range of human daily intake. […] according to the Canadian Diabetes Association. A 44-pound (20-kg.) child would only have to consume 400 mg., about the equivalent of three Diet Cokes per day, to reach the carcinogenic 20 mg./kg. body weight dose.”

“Diet Coke contains aspartame. Yet in 1985, as a member of the National Soft Drink Association, Coca-Cola opposed the FDA approval of aspartame for beverages. The company’s own objections—running to several pages in the Congressional Record—included the assertion that aspartame is uniquely and inherently unstable and breaks down in the can. It decomposes into formaldehyde, methyl alcohol, formic acid, diketopiperazine, and other toxins. In a study on seven monkeys, five had grand mal seizures and one died, a casualty rate of 86%.”

“Sucralose (Splenda) alters the microflora in the intestine and ‘exerts numerous adverse effects,’ according to Duke University study, including an increase in body weight (not quite what a ‘diet aid’ is supposed to do!), and an elevation of liver enzymes, which negatively affects the bioavailability of nutrients. And as our colleagues at ANH-Europe note, sucralose is an organochloride compound. Most of the derivatives of this type of compound are insecticides, herbicides, and pesticides.”



The Myth of Instant Gratification.
March 20, 2011, 4:30 pm
Filed under: Old Articles

People often cannot seem to find time for improvement and future planning. Instead, they devote their time to the current moment, to activities that are instantly gratifying. People do this for their happiness, but could it be that this is a farce?

If I spend all my extra money now on perishable goods I will not have attained the same amount of pleasure had I saved my money to buy an object of greater value that will sustain through time. For instance, buying things purely for the satisfaction they bring us now, such as high calorie beverages, sweets with refined sugar, and fast fatty foods, will lead to tooth decay, disease, and obesity. Whereas one could acquire more happiness by denying pleasures of excessive spending on goods of low worth now, to redirect that money and time toward a more satisfactory good, such as a new car, later. Or, that saved money could be utilized to prevent the stress of not having adequate funds to pay for an emergency expenditure, the avoidance of pain can be as satisfying as a car sometimes.

People that tell themselves they do not have the time to change their habits, or the world they live in, also tell themselves they have time to relax, and indulge in empty pleasures of the now. If hedonistic indulgence now is done with the intent of attaining happiness, I argue that a life time of happiness will surely exceed the fleeting bliss of the moment. To elaborate, choosing to go to college to work hard for a degree, and all the extra knowledge that comes along with it, instead of taking the less demanding route of the unstable job, will lead to a higher and more fulfilling happiness.

That is, a person with a job who avoids the “hard” work of school takes on the much more difficult challenge of struggling through life without a particular skill to call their own, making them tethered to whatever employer they find. On the other hand, a person with a degree (or another type of skill which they have earned through persistence) will have the freedom to go where they desire because their talent will always be useful. The person with a skill experiences less worry and struggles because their skill is a security, thus people who avoid skill building to avoid the hard labor it requires are, in actuality, burdening themselves with a much more challenging experience.

Humans have the ability to be rational, but to be human is not to act with reason. It is unreasonable to be expedient all the time. People who take short-cuts in their life are only doing a disservice to themselves, which is not rational because it is self-destructive. It is self-destructive because there are alternatives to expedient decision making that will lead to a better future. A rational being will act only with the intent of building their life to its highest potential, for a rational being realizes they are the only being capable of improving their own life.

Maximize your utility, use knowledge and reason to improve your life, instead of allowing desire to control it.

-The White Flag

United States

The assault on workers’ rights continues in Michigan. I cannot blame these governors, everyone knows their allegiance lies with corporations, that has been an American tradition since forever, and has served us especially well since 2008.
Read More

“The state House and Senate Minority Leaders have already called for a state constitutional amendment protecting collective bargaining rights, but Michigan voters can bypass the legislature altogether and call for a constitutional amendment by petition and referendum.”

“In short, this means slightly over 300,000 signatures are required to place an amendment protecting workers’ rights on the ballot. Once the proposed amendment is on the ballot, a simple majority of the electorate can turn it into law.”

“As in Wisconsin, Michigan elected officials enjoy a safe haven period immediately after they take office — ‘a recall petition cannot be filed against an officer until the officer has performed the duties of the office to which elected for a period of 6 months during the current term of that office.’ ”

Of course Republicans are fighting Obama’s decision not to uphold DOMA (Defense of Mirrage Act), heterosexuals are superior to other sexual orientations, and many closed-minded people fought the hard fight to ensure the law reflects that attitude. As proud heterosexuals we must continue putting inferior Americans in their place.
Read More

“Congressional Democrats introduced on Wednesday, March 16, legislation that repeals the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal law that bars the government from allowing same-sex couples to receive the same rights and benefits as a married man and woman.”

“Following Attorney General Eric Holder’s announcement that the Obama administration would no longer defend the law in court, House Republicans moved quickly to condemn the action. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) called the administration’s position ‘regrettable.’ ”

“But that was the least of it. Far-right politicians such as former House speaker and perennial 2012 Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich went so far as to call for hearings on Obama’s impeachment if he did not continue to defend the law. Though he later said that his statement was distorted, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Arizona) told ThinkProgress that he would support hearings on Obama’s impeachment if he did not defend the law in court.”

Obama is committed to closing Guantanamo, but before doing so he has to open up a few more secret prisons where he will not have so many legal battles over indefinitely detaining people without a trial.
Read More

“The Obama administration’s recent announcement that it would restart military commission proceedings at Guantanamo Bay is a huge disappointment to anyone who values a commitment to due process and the rule of law. The military commissions are a second tier, flawed system of justice that will only produce verdicts highly vulnerable to appellate challenge.”

“In May 2009, after already pledging to close Guantanamo within one year of taking office, he announced he would use both military commissions and civilian courts to prosecute terrorism suspects. The decision to use the military commission system, even if only in part, was bad then and it is bad now for a variety of reasons. But it is not new. What is new is the ease with which the administration is willing to hide behind recent congressional restrictions as an excuse for the failure to close Guantanamo and bring more terrorism suspects to justice.”

“The restrictions only bar the use of DOD funds. The administration can still use Department of Justice or Homeland Security funds for the same purpose. The restrictions also expire at the end of September so Obama should be laying the political groundwork to prevent their extension now.”

“During one Fox News interview [U.S. General David Petraeus] said, ‘Gitmo has caused us problems, there’s no question about it. I oversee a region in which the existence of Gitmo has been used by the enemy against us.’ ”

Civil Liberties

Sometimes it is okay to act with complete disregard for human life, and the rule of Law? If you ask the American Government the answer is often, “yes.”
Read More

“Over the weekend, senior US state department spokesperson Phillip Crowley was forced to resign for saying the treatment of alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning was ‘ridiculous… counterproductive and stupid.’ His comments came after Manning claimed to be stripped naked and forced to parade in front of his guards and placed on ‘punitive’ suicide watch.”

“President Obama has backtracked on one of the first promises of his tenure. When he approved the continuation of the Guantánamo Bay detention camp this month, despite an earlier promise to close the controversial facility within a year of coming to office, Obama effectively endorsed the inhumane and degrading treatment of 172 terrorism suspects that must surely be tantamount to torture. In Afghanistan, an even larger detention centre at Bagram airbase, known as the ‘New Guantánamo’, was touted as an alternative to the Cuban naval base. Now it appears both will be in continuous operation into the foreseeable future.”

“For years, Amnesty International and several other rights groups have reported on the widespread use of torture at all levels of Pakistan’s law enforcement and security authorities, in neighbouring Afghanistan, and in every one of the countries used as rendition sites by Britain and the US.”

“ ‘Never once,’ said Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s leader for the first seven years after the September 11 attacks, did British authorities tell him not to torture terrorism suspects. He argues that the silence was tantamount to ‘tacit approval’ of what Pakistan security authorities were doing.”

“In last night’s programme, former CIA chief Michael Hayden justified the use of waterboarding on terrorism suspects, as one of the ‘heroic choices’ that unearthed a ‘treasure trove’ of information.”

Bradley Manning must be put on the most extreme suicidal watch because if he kills himself he will get away with upsetting our gracious rulers, as well as, exposing their war of its impotence and atrocities. Exposing the wrong doings of a nation should be punishable by death; like they say, let the punishment fit the crime!
Read More

“There is no such need for the cruel mistreatment now reported as being practised on one of their own, the diminutive US private Bradley Manning.”

“Mr Manning is made to stand naked outside his cell this morning, and apparently on all future mornings. This is the culmination of a punitive regime which has gone on for 10 months under which, although untried and unconvicted, he is not allowed to sleep or exercise in his cell during the day, is denied any personal possessions and is barred from conversing with the guards.”

“Every five minutes he is required to answer that he is fit and, if he turns his face away while asleep, he is immediately forcibly woken up. In an Orwellian trick, this is dubbed “prevention of injury” for his own protection. When Manning finally protested, sarcastically, that he could no doubt injure himself with the boxer shorts which are all that he is left with at night, the boxer shorts, too, were taken away.”

The White House is considering proposing new legislation that would allow the government to monitor a person’s computer activity if that person is caught viewing, or downloading material protected under copyright. This law is extremely frightening because these copyright laws are most commonly broken by youth, who have no money, thus could not drive themselves to the mall to purchase this material if they desired too. Furthermore, this law could easily be abuse to secretly tap into American citizen’s computers after the unknowingly using a website that hosts illegal material.
Read More

“A white paper recently published by the White House’s Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator urged Congress to make ‘illegal streaming’ of content a felony and allow law enforcement to wiretap those suspected of being involved in copyright infringement.”

“The white paper called on Congress ‘to ensure that DOJ and U.S. law enforcement agencies are able to effectively combat infringement involving new technology’ by clarifying that streaming unauthorized audio or video is a felony.”

Business

AT&T will open the gate for companies to end Internet freedom by making its access too costly. Business practices like this will end net neutrality whether laws are passed or not.
Read More

“Starting May 2, AT&T will begin implementing monthly usage limits for its U-Verse and DSL users and charge $10 fees every time a customer exceeds the cap.”

“[…]DSL customers will have a 150GB monthly usage limit, while U-Verse subscribers will get 250GB. AT&T will impose the $10 fee for every 50GB over the limit a customer uses.”

“Other bandwidth-hungry online services include video streaming company Netflix, where three hours of HD video would use up all 150GB available to DSL customers; Nielsen ratings show that the average American watches a little over five hours of television every day. Video conferencing, file sharing, torrent downloads and watching 1080p-resolution HD videos on YouTube would also become difficult to do without racking up extra fees.”

“Rep. Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts) also expressed his worry over the potential repercussions of AT&T’s usage caps. ‘I am concerned that charging more for increased usage would raise prices for some consumers and potentially lead to lower broadband adoption levels,’ Markey told The Hill. ‘This would undermine our broadband goals as outlined in the National Broadband Plan while undercutting our global competitiveness, and I will be closely monitoring this decision.’ ”

Health

If you are on a diet you should not be drinking soda pop, no, instead you should be drinking diet soda pop. It is soda made for folks on a diet!
Read More

“Last month we reported on the dangers of many artificial sweeteners. Now a report links diet sodas to a 61% increase in strokes and heart attacks.”

Your brain needs exercise too!
Read More

“In addition to cognitive challenges (such as taking a class, learning a new skill or even just doing some brain teasers), several studies concur that physical activity helps keep your mind sharp. Moderate activity has a positive impact on mental acuity, but cardiovascular workouts that really get your heart pumping seem to have the greatest effect. What’s more, an active lifestyle will have a long-lasting impact on your mental fitness.”

“One study found that even short bouts of physical activity in previously-sedentary seniors restored some of the brain loss that’s associated with aging.”

Dieting for your brain.
Read More

“Your brain weighs just 3lbs or so – a fraction of overall body weight – but it gobbles up about 20 per cent of your daily calorie intake. A brain-healthy diet is essential for keeping your memory and intellect sharp and your mood buoyant.”