Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pathogen New to Science Found in GM Crops and It KILLS!

USDA senior scientist sends “emergency” warning to US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on a new plant pathogen in Roundup Ready GM soybean and corn that may be responsible for high rates of infertility and spontaneous abortions in livestock-- Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

***Please distribute widely and forward to your elected representatives***

From :Institute of Science in Society

If you dont know about Genetically modified crops here is a Wiki.

An open letter appeared on the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance founded and run by Judith McGeary to save family farms in the US [1, 2]. The letter, written by Don Huber, professor emeritus at Purdue University, to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, warns of a pathogen “new to science” discovered by “a team of senior plant and animal scientists”. Huber says it should be treated as an “emergency’’, as it could result in “a collapse of US soy and corn export markets and significant disruption of domestic food and feed supplies.”

The letter appeared to have been written before Vilsack announced his decision to authorize unrestricted commercial planting of GM alfalfa on 1 February, in the hope of convincing the Secretary of Agriculture to impose a moratorium instead on deregulation of Roundup Ready (RR) crops.

The new pathogen appears associated with serious pervasive diseases in plants - sudden death syndrome in soybean and Goss' wilt in corn – but its suspected effects on livestock is alarming. Huber refers to

“recent reports of infertility rates in dairy heifers of over 20%, and spontaneous abortions in cattle as high as 45%.”

This could be the worst nightmare of genetic engineering that some scientists including me have been warning for years [3] (see Genetic Engineering Dream or Nightmare, ISIS publication): the unintended creation of new pathogens through assisted horizontal gene transfer and recombination.

Huber writes in closing: “I have studied plant pathogens for more than 50 years. We are now seeing an unprecedented trend of increasing plant and animal diseases and disorders. This pathogen may be instrumental to understanding and solving this problem. It deserves immediate attention with significant resources to avoid a general collapse of our critical agricultural infrastructure.”

The complete letter is reproduced below.
Dear Secretary Vilsack:

A team of senior plant and animal scientists have recently brought to my attention the discovery of an electron microscopic pathogen that appears to significantly impact the health of plants, animals, and probably human beings. Based on a review of the data, it is widespread, very serious, and is in much higher concentrations in Roundup Ready (RR) soybeans and corn-suggesting a link with the RR gene or more likely the presence of Roundup. This organism appears NEW to science!

This is highly sensitive information that could result in a collapse of US soy and corn export markets and significant disruption of domestic food and feed supplies. On the other hand, this new organism may already be responsible for significant harm (see below). My colleagues and I are therefore moving our investigation forward with speed and discretion, and seek assistance from the USDA and other entities to identify the pathogen's source, prevalence, implications, and remedies.

We are informing the USDA of our findings at this early stage, specifically due to your pending decision regarding approval of RR alfalfa. Naturally, if either the RR gene or Roundup itself is a promoter or co-factor of this pathogen, then such approval could be a calamity. Based on the current evidence, the only reasonable action at this time would be to delay deregulation at least until sufficient data has exonerated the RR system, if it does.

For the past 40 years, I have been a scientist in the professional and military agencies that evaluate and prepare for natural and manmade biological threats, including germ warfare and disease outbreaks. Based on this experience, I believe the threat we are facing from this pathogen is unique and of a high risk status. In layman's terms, it should be treated as an emergency.

A diverse set of researchers working on this problem have contributed various pieces of the puzzle, which together presents the following disturbing scenario:

Unique Physical Properties
This previously unknown organism is only visible under an electron microscope (36,000X), with an approximate size range equal to a medium size virus. It is able to reproduce and appears to be a micro-fungal-like organism. If so, it would be the first such micro-fungus ever identified. There is strong evidence that this infectious agent promotes diseases of both plants and mammals, which is very rare.

Pathogen Location and Concentration
It is found in high concentrations in Roundup Ready soybean meal and corn, distillers meal, fermentation feed products, pig stomach contents, and pig and cattle placentas.

Linked with Outbreaks of Plant Disease
The organism is prolific in plants infected with two pervasive diseases that are driving down yields and farmer income-sudden death syndrome (SDS) in soy, and Goss' wilt in corn. The pathogen is also found in the fungal causative agent of SDS (Fusarium solani fsp glycines).
Implicated in Animal Reproductive Failure
Laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of this organism in a wide variety of livestock that have experienced spontaneous abortions and infertility. Preliminary results from ongoing research have also been able to reproduce abortions in a clinical setting.

The pathogen may explain the escalating frequency of infertility and spontaneous abortions over the past few years in US cattle, dairy, swine, and horse operations. These include recent reports of infertility rates in dairy heifers of over 20%, and spontaneous abortions in cattle as high as 45%.

For example, 450 of 1,000 pregnant heifers fed wheatlege experienced spontaneous abortions. Over the same period, another 1,000 heifers from the same herd that were raised on hay had no abortions. High concentrations of the pathogen were confirmed on the wheatlege, which likely had been under weed management using glyphosate.

In summary, because of the high titer of this new animal pathogen in Roundup Ready crops, and its association with plant and animal diseases that are reaching epidemic proportions, we request USDA's participation in a multi-agency investigation, and an immediate moratorium on the deregulation of RR crops until the causal/predisposing relationship with glyphosate and/or RR plants can be ruled out as a threat to crop and animal production and human health.

It is urgent to examine whether the side-effects of glyphosate use may have facilitated the growth of this pathogen, or allowed it to cause greater harm to weakened plant and animal hosts. It is well-documented that glyphosate promotes soil pathogens and is already implicated with the increase of more than 40 plant diseases; it dismantles plant defenses by chelating vital nutrients; and it reduces the bioavailability of nutrients in feed, which in turn can cause animal disorders. To properly evaluate these factors, we request access to the relevant USDA data.

I have studied plant pathogens for more than 50 years. We are now seeing an unprecedented trend of increasing plant and animal diseases and disorders. This pathogen may be instrumental to understanding and solving this problem. It deserves immediate attention with significant resources to avoid a general collapse of our critical agricultural infrastructure.


COL (Ret.) Don M. Huber
Emeritus Professor, Purdue University
APS Coordinator, USDA National Plant Disease Recovery System (NPDRS)

This is scary stuff, I am not against all GMO crops, when done naturally though selective breeding, but not when done this way in a lab. I am very pro science, but this is too far, only due to the lack of testing and accountability.

North and South American farmers are using multiple varieties of GM cotton, corn, soybeans and canola to ward off insects and provide alternative weed controls. New varieties with ‘stacked traits’ - where all these benefits are available in one variety - are being commercialised by the R&D people. GM varieties accelerate farm output and financial return for least risk financial with no environmental concerns.

The huge increase in use of two key GM varieties (Herbicide Tolerant and Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal) across the USA’s 134 million arable hectares is clear in the graph:

And here is how much companies spend to develop GM crops, with little environmental concerns!


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Scott Walker crushing all public unions ON TAPE!!

The BEAST's Ian Murphy calls Walker, posing as conservative moneybags David Koch, and they casually discuss crushing all public unions.

This is ten minutes of of Gov Walker Rambling against Unions

If you like this story you will also like:

Indiana Deputy Attorney General calls for "live ammunition" against Wi Unions!


Indiana Deputy Attorney General Jeff Cox Tweets: “Use Live Ammo!” Against Wisconsin Unions

“All my comments on twitter & my blog are my own and no one else's… and I can defend them all.” --Jeff Cox *note his blog has since been deleted.

On Saturday night, when Mother Jones staffers tweeted a report that riot police might soon sweep demonstrators out of the Wisconsin capitol building, DAG Jeff Cox wrote via Twitter: "Use live ammunition."

This has to be one of the most deplorable statements I have ever heard! And it scares me, that people in the circle of power feel this way. I grew up in Indiana and I am an activist, so I have been rubber bulleted, teargassed and even struck by police…but I never feard death. Maybe Mr. Cox was confused and thought he was still a humorist for Sun Features, but even as a joke this ranks right up there.

Considering the murder of citizens by security forces in Baharain, Libiya, Yemen and other nations, this is the worst possible time to make such statements.
Indiana has employed DAG Jeff Cox for over 10 years, do you think he really represents the common person/worker with attitudes like this?

Especially considering that the Wisconsin police actually said “There has been good camaraderie between the police officers and the demonstrators,”

Is this really the way our country is now? Egotistical and extremists like Jeff Cox and Andrew Shirvell holding public office and stifling all progress in society. They get elected by a public that is propagandized by hatemongers on the news, and then bring bigotry and hatred of people power to public office.

Not only did he make these remarks, but many others as covered in the story by Mother Jones Magazine: Indiana Official: "Use Live Ammunition" Against Wisconsin Protesters.

He wrote horrible things like:

"sensible policy for handling Afghanistan, KILL! KILL! ANNIHILATE!"

And referring to an Indianapolis teen beaten by local police as:

"a black teenage thug who was (deservedly) beaten up"

And even tweeting that unionized public employee is synonymous with idiot.

Also saying there was a “civil war” in Wis.

I grew up in Indiana, spent a big chunk of my life there and then when I was an adult…I ran, from bigotry, xenophobia and gay bashing that I saw there on a daily basis. We can’t have men like this in charge of the state. Call the Indiana Attorney Generals Office and ask them to remove Jeff Cox, He can have an opinion, but just don’t Tweet it from your iPhone when you’re on the clock…that’s real government waste.

*******Update: The Indiana attorney general's office has confirmed to Mother Jones that Jeff Cox was terminated Wednesday. ******


6 Obscure Government Agencies That Waste Your Money.

So what does the government waste all of this money we give them on? Here are 6 good examples.

#1: Minerals Management Service (MMS)
This one got a bit more notoriety during the BP oil spill, If it weren’t for an exploding oil rig that killed 11 people, you and I probably wouldn’t have a clue what the Minerals Management Service is. One interesting fact that came to light was that Minerals Management Service has SWAT teams to use for compliance. According to News Herald, this agency knew that the “supposedly fail-safe system designed to protect against the leak of thousands of barrels of oil was not fail-safe”, and yet they did nothing.
But thanks in part to these regulators not doing their job, or being bribed; we spent months dealing with a nonstop gusher in the Gulf that started by an explosion that killed 11 men, the Gulf of Mexico and thousands of jobs.
#2: Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, or PBGC, was created by Congress to “insure participants in defined-benefit pension plans against losing their pension if their employer is in financial distress or fails to fully pre-fund its pension obligations.” About 44 million Americans are protected by PBGC.
Unfortunately, it appears the PBGC will soon be unable to meet its obligations for retirees. The agency is constantly facing billions of dollars in deficit, and it seems that a taxpayer-funded bailout may be inevitable. Its time to make corporations responsible for their own plans insurance not let it fall on the government. Pensions previously sponsored by Bethlehem Steel, the Chicago Sun-Times, Delphi, LTV Steel, and United Airlines are among the agency's more dramatic recent acquisitions.
#3: Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP)
The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) make sure human subjects in research are protected when the research is conducted or supported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The agency most recently made the news as human rights groups are seeking the OHRP’s help to investigate claims that medical professionals helped the CIA perform experiments on detainees after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It’s this obscure agency’s duty to investigate these allegations to ensure no illegal human experimentation was carried out. Another agency could easily do this.
#4: Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)
The MCC was created to provide international assistance to some of the poorest countries in the world. Since 2004, MCC has been creating partnerships with impoverished countries, but only with those countries “committed to good governance, economic freedom, and investments in their citizens.”
Some of these partners are countries like Jordan to which we pledged $275 million more to in October 2010, and Morocco, which got a 5-year, $700 million deal in 2007 all via the MCC. Both of these countries have recently seen protests due to the human rights and economic abuses of their leaders…good investment strategy.
#5: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
According to the agency’s website, “The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) charters, regulates, and supervises all national banks. It also supervises the federal branches and agencies of foreign banks.” The OCC did nothing to stop predatory lending practices, or really regulate anything, putting countless Americans in a dreadful state of affairs.
#6: U.S. Board on Geographic Names
This agency is responsible for deciding upon the names of the geographic highlights of our picturesque land. The federal agency was created in 1890 to “maintain uniform geographic name usage throughout the Federal Government.” There are dozens of board members from 10 different government agencies including the State Dept., Homeland Security and the CIA.
The number of wasteful useless federal government agencies confuses the mind!

Here is a good blog on overall waste, its very thorough.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Zeland Has Earth Quake

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — For the second time in less than six months, Christchurch, New Zealand, has been rocked by a powerful earthquake. It was magnitude 6.3, significantly weaker than last year's 7.1, but strong enough to collapse buildings. There were early reports of multiple deaths, but the prime minister says nothing is confirmed yet.



Monday, February 21, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

What Kind/Brand Of Shirt Is This?

Ok, I am not good with fashion or brand names. I need to know if anyone can identify the shirt that Glenn Beck is wearing, it looks like a Native American head and headdress with maybe "1796" on it.

Any ideas?


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Unions Unite: Its Time To Make A Stand.

We must learn what has gone on in the past so we dont repeat mistakes, but many have and do willfully forget or ignore history. The beginning of American union with the 1877 railroad strike is a lot like today's strikes in Wisconsin, and it began the new union movement in America, can we hope for such a great result this time?

"Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."
~George Orwell~

Post Civil War America

With the end of the Civil War (1865), the United States experienced massive, unchecked expansion, especially in the railroad industry, with the help of government land grants and subsidies. Speculators fed large amounts of money into the industry, causing abnormal growth and over expansion. Just like real estate was a few years ago.

The 1870s saw a significant economic depression in the world. The effects of this downturn hit the United States hard on September 18, 1873, with the failure of the banking firm Jay Cooke and Company. The country slumped further and further. In response, the U.S. economy sputtered and then collapsed. Shortly after Cooke’s demise, the New York Stock Exchange closed for 10 days, credit dried up, foreclosures and factory closings became common. Unemployment reached 14 percent within 3 years, and a full recovery was not achieved for many years. The 1876 Presidential election had been close, dividing the nation and disenfranchising half of the population. Then the railroads began announcing wage cuts, first 10% and then few months later 10% more.

Trotskyites Unite

The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 began on July 14 in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and eventually spread through large swaths of the railroad industry in the East and Midwest. Many other groups of workers such as coal and steel, begin to strike in solidarity with the railroad workers (these groups are the beginning of unions, and are not yet called such).

“One spirit and one purpose among them–that they were justified in resorting to any means to break down the power of the corporations.”
Unknown Pittsburgh state militiaman

The Strike Winds Down

The Strike began to lose momentum when President Hayes sent federal troops from city to city. These troops suppressed strike after strike, until at last, approximately 45 days after it had started, the Great Railroad Strike of 1877 was over.

Power To The People

For workers and employers alike, the strikes had shown the power of workers in combination to challenge the status quo and led to the organizing of several labor unions in the United States. In fact in 1884 one of the biggest railroads targeted in the strike, the B&O, became the first major employer to offer a pension plan.
The Modern Parallel

Financial companies collapsing, an over inflated market taking down the economic system, unemployment, poverty, and strikes. Didn’t we already have this fight? If history truly does repeat itself, are we destined this year or next to have mass worker uprisings in succession with the normal economic inflation/depression cycle? Will there be National Guard on the streets assaulting Americans as there was in 1877 (and many other years too)?

The Little Guy

Wal-Mart made over $408 Billion dollars last year while mistreating workers, giving them low pay and benefits and then preaching how thankful everyone should be for the jobs they provide.

BP made $246 billion last year, even though it just destroyed the Gulf of Mexico and hundreds, maybe even thousands of jobs, and ignored safety and environmental regulations.

In 2009 General Electric made nearly $157 billion dollars, and paid no taxes, they did pay a Securities and Exchanges Commission fine of $50 million for breaking accounting rules in two separate cases, misleading investors into believing GE would meet or beat earnings expectations.

And you can find dozens of other examples, the rich get richer and the poor must endure “austerity measures” in the budget. Funk that.

Go, Fight, Win!!

It is time for the people of this country to take an active role in their own world. Weekends, minimum wage, bargaining power, child labor laws, and safety standards were all brought about by unions, which are just large organized groups of people, fighting for what is right. Now unions and workers across America are under attack again. Its time to stand against Gov. Scott Walker and other labor busters and tell them its time for Wal-Mart, BP, Exxon, Shell, JP MorganChase, and even Goldman Sachs to start paying their part of the debt. It time to stand against the robber baron Federal Reserve (oddly named since they are not federal and have no reserves) and tell them we will coin our own money and no longer borrow from organized mafia-like banking syndicates. Its time to stand against government leaders who don’t listen or help us with these problems but instead just help themselves to wealth, power and a revolving door, lifetime job bouncing between the private sector, government and media. But most of all America it time to stand for something, anything you believe in. Get in groups, talk to unionists, help by giving what you know, let corporate America know that real America is in charge.

Its time to make a stand.


National Guard Vs. Wisconsin Unions: History Repeats Itself.

In Wisconsin there is a travesty currently taking place. The Governor, Scott Walker (R), asked the legislature to end the right of state and local workers to bargain for benefits and other non-salary compensation. The Governor will be effectively and brutally weakening unions if this bill passes. In the capitol city of Madison thousands of unionists have been demonstrating to show their hatred of this budget.

As reported on Democracy Now, unionists in some school districts in Wisconsin are informing teachers calling in sick that if their absence is connected to a labor movement they could face termination. But schools were closed in Madison on the 16th as 40% of the teachers called in sick anyway. Milwaukee Public Schools sent an e-mail to teachers warning them not to be absent without prior approval.

So as teachers, firemen, trade unionists and others gather to redress their grievances with this budget proposal, what does the Governor do? Gov. Walker put National Guard units on standby in order to possibly control trade unionists.

Gov. Scott Walker says the Wisconsin National Guard is prepared to respond wherever is necessary in the wake of his announcement that he wants to take away nearly all collective bargaining rights from state employees. --Associated Press

Since the 1930’s there has been a more or less non-violent negotiation mentality on pretty much all U.S. union negotiations, the history before that is bloody and hard fought. I had hoped that this was a long behind us, but I guess not. Soon I am going to do a history of National Guard Vs. Unions in America. I will link it here.

There are those who say that the unions carry to much power and even abuse it. New York City’s school system pays $65 million a year to hold suspended teachers in limbo. The strict rules of the agreement between the NYC Department of Education and the teachers union make it extremely hard to dismiss anyone.

Why do they do this? Many teachers are accused with fictitious and vicious libel, the nature of the offense is not considered until their suspension hearing, which is what they are waiting for in these so called “rubber rooms”. This is not an abuse of power by unions as it is often framed, but rather the failure of the NYC administrations (since the 1990’s) to manage their own disciplinary oversight.

So what will the teachers and other unions do in Wisconsin?

"I'm not intimidated by the National Guard, I know my fellow teachers aren't either." . -- Wis. Middleton-Cross Plains district teacher Mark Voss.

Fight on Wisconsin we are with you.


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

War Is Over: 11 Abuses During The Iraq War (so far)


This is by far a short list, there isnt enough space on the entire Internet to cover EVERYTHING so...this is a short list.

The fatalities and violence are down in Iraq. The funding is going to drop for the war in Iraq. Every other country has left it to America to fight “terrorists” and non-existent “WMD”. As the anniversary for the Iraq War (part 2) approaches(it began on 3/20/03). Here are some of the sickest monetary abuses and just general shocking information. This war, in fact both wars saw record levels of corporations taking advantage of a war to steal whatever they can. As we are broke both financially and morally is this enough to finally stop these wars?

11. Amongst the lost and unaccounted for in Iraq is $9 billion of U.S. taxpayers' money, in cash, and $549.7 million in spare parts shipped in 2004 to US contractors. Also, per ABC News, 190,000 guns, including 110,000 AK-47 rifles M.I.A.

10. There is $1 billion in tractor-trailers, tank recovery vehicles, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and other equipment and services provided to the Iraqi security forces missing, possibly used against U.S. troops. (Per CBS News on Dec 6, 2007.)

9. $1.4 billion is what the Pentagon classified as Halliburton overcharges on contracts.

8. $20 billion, $3.2 billion of which the pentagon called “questionable”, is the amount paid to KBR, a former Halliburton division, to supply U.S. military in Iraq with food, fuel, housing and other items -

7. Cost of deploying one U.S. soldier for one year in Iraq - $390,000 (Congressional Research Service)

6. Total 47,000 U.S. troops as of Nov 30, 2010. All other nations have withdrawn their troops. (yes if you do the math from #7 it cost $18,330,000,00 just to put the troops currently in Iraq there, not to count how many have been and gone and troops in Afghanistan.)

5. 54% of US casualties were under 25 years old, 91% non-officers, the working class and poor young men.

4. The number US troops wounded in Iraq is 32,033, this is roughly equal to injuring the entire capitol city of Delaware, which is Dover. About 20% of these injuries are serious brain or spinal injuries. (This total excludes psychological injuries, such as PTSD or rape.)

3. 30% of US troops develop serious mental health problems within 3 to 4 months of returning home.

2. There have been 145 journalists killed: 97 by murder and 47 by acts of war, including 14 by the United States.

1. According to cables leaked to WikiLeaks, the U.S. Government estimated over 100,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since 2003, but credible institutions have put it as high as 600,000.

The costs of the war(s) are growing so fast I have to use constantly updating apps to keep up. The war is over, we won-lost, its time to bring the boys back home Mr. President. Why keep killing and dieing, “Mission Accomplished” remember? G.W. on the deck of the USS Lincoln…ok but anyways its over.

Oh and America...Where are you on this one? Tell the people in charge to bring the people you ❤♥ love ❤♥ home!

*Just in case you’re curius here is the Afghanistan War and the Combined total.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Proposed SD law would legalize murder of abortion providers and even pregnant women

By Miriam | Published at February 15, 2011

This is the logic of anti-choice legislation taken to its extreme.

From Mother Jones:

A law under consideration in South Dakota would expand the definition of “justifiable homicide” to include killings that are intended to prevent harm to a fetus—a move that could make it legal to kill doctors who perform abortions. The Republican-backed legislation, House Bill 1171, has passed out of committee on a nine-to-three party-line vote, and is expected to face a floor vote in the state’s GOP-dominated House of Representatives soon.

It’s clear this bill likely has the goal of inciting violence–murder–of abortion providers. But I think this logic can actually be taken a step further, to include the murder of a pregnant woman herself.

Often one connection between anti-choice legislation that isn’t talked about is how it affects the rights of pregnant women who do want to parent. I’m talking about the rights of pregnant women to decide....(READ THE REST HERE)


Bankrupt and Broken: Will Borders And Books Survive?

Borders is filing for bankruptcy any day now. The #2 bookstore operator in the US (after Barnes & Noble), Borders Group runs more than 500 Borders superstores in about 45 states and Puerto Rico, as well as about 175 small-format shops under the Waldenbooks, Borders Express, and Borders Outlet banners.

So what does this mean to your favorite (or second favorite) bookstore in your nearby mini-mall? Well, maybe nothing, maybe everything. In a press release dated 27 Jan. 2011, Borders announced they would receive some financing from GE Capital Restructuring Finance who will provide a $550 million infusion of funds. In the same release Borders acknowledged one of the goals is:

‘Borders' finalization of a store closure program comprising the identification of underperforming stores that will be closed as soon as practicable.”

The company employs approximately 19,500 people throughout the U.S., primarily in its Borders and Waldenbooks stores. It is headquartered in Ann Arbor Michigan, a state already hit hard by the recent global implosion, real estate bottom out, and slumping auto trade.

Another stated goal of Borders is to:

Aggressively reduce costs across the business, including costs in the supply chain network and store portfolio.

Since we all know the largest cost in a business is labor, labor is first to go.

The official line is that Borders failed to “keep up” with the e-book market, and I suppose they know their business better than I. But I also think this could be what my wife and many other bibliophiles fear…the beginning of the end of the conventional book.

Borders new plan is simply to be more like by:

Continuing to expand and enhance the Borders Rewards Plus program;
Strengthen the company's position as a purveyor of content by aggressively growing and eBook market share;
Expand and enhance the company's overall retail mix, including non-book offerings, to improve profitability and offset the digital effect;
Make strategic investments in IT to improve the customer experience.

Either way you look at it everyone is moving to a Kindle or Nook and conventional books cannot sustain a very large company. Books are not the only products that Borders sells of course, but they do need it to stay in the black overall.

Here is a good HubPage on the subject of E-book v. Paper Books

And a decent blog about them.

With declining readership as a whole in America, and a faster and faster media world, it is likely this will be only the first bankruptcy we see in the publishing and conventional book and print media world. Many companies have diversified products and turned to the Internet for a cheaper and faster means to profits.

As the price of paper, oil, production, etc increase paper books will possibly be more expensive, both monetarily and environmentally to produce. The delivery method for e-books and periodicals, and the paper saved are pluses.

Some recommendations I would give to all producers of e-book readers is to start looking into alternative and sustainable methods of production. Plant resin plastic, environmental batteries, and maybe even things like solar cells are all things that could easily be implemented. And the Coltan and other minerals that are destructively mined must be eliminated. Until then I would consider e-readers are not very sustainable, and maybe even equally or more environmentally destructive than standard paper books.

As for now paper books either are or can be easily adapted to a sustainable production method. Hemp or bamboo paper, soy inks, and environmentally friendly printers and printing techniques are all steps in the right direction.

The 15 Top Polluters In The State of Maine.

The 15 Top Polluters In The State of Maine.*

Here they are just released the baddest of bad guys when it comes to pollution. Although their totals are down…McCain Foods and their petrochemical Giant factory farms are at the top of the list.



3.SD WARREN CO. 1329 WATERVILLE RD, SKOWHEGAN, Maine 04976 (SOMERSET) 1,539,735 lbs.

4.RUMFORD PAPER CO. 35 HARTFORD ST, RUMFORD, Maine 04276 (OXFORD) 810,587 lbs.








12.BATH IRON WORKS. 700 WASHINGTON ST, BATH, Maine 04530 (SAGADAHOC) 52,634 lbs.



15.EVONIK CYRO LLC. 1796 MAIN ST, SANFORD, Maine 04073 (YORK) 13,446 lbs.

All Information is from the EPA’s TRI report.

*Ok I will admit it, I made a mistake, I had originally posted material that contained the wrong data set. I accidentally posted the old 2002 data I had instead of the newest 2009 data (which was released in Dec. 16, 2010). I was wrong, thank you to those who pointed it out to me! Here is the updated material.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Musharraf, One Of Americas BFF's

A Pakistani court issued an arrest warrant for former president Pervez Musharraf in relation to the shooting of ex-prime minister Benazir Bhutto. Bhutto was killed after addressing an election campaign rally in the garrison city, near the capital Islamabad, on December 27, 2007.

Musharraf was president when Bhutto was killed in December 2007 and is a self made expatriate now living in London. His spokesman says he will not be going back to Pakistan for any court hearing.

The former president and military ruler is alleged to have been part of a "broad conspiracy" to have his opponent killed before elections.

Bhutto’s widower, Asif Ali Zardari, led her Pakistan People's Party to election victory in February 2008 and is now president.

Asked what would happen if Musharraf did not appear in court, the prosecutor said: "We will see when the time comes."

On the other hand if you are not loved by, or even worse if you are hated by America, your stay in London may not be so fun.

Embattled WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange is currently fighting extradition from London to Sweden, he has NOT been charged with a crime, he is only wanted for questioning on shaky sexual assault charges.

This proves that the only way to be a “terrorist” as both men have been called, and still be allowed a comfortable life, is if you’re America’s BFF like Mubarak or Musharraf.

Top 5 Evil New Bills In The House of Representatives

Top 5 Evil New Bills In The House of Representatives

I had to leave out a lot of good choices and boil it down to these five really bad ones. Some others, like the “Repealing The Job-Killing Healthcare Act”, probably belong on here, but I left many bills off due to the fact they will not likely pass the House, they are less prone to clear the Senate, and almost surely would be vetoed by the President never to rise above an override vote.

5.H.R. 58 -- Firearms Interstate Commerce Reform Act

This piece of work is to “update” certain procedures applicable to commerce in firearms and remove certain Federal restrictions on interstate firearms transactions.

4.H. R. 45 -- Criminal Alien Accountability Act

This is to amend section 276 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to impose mandatory sentencing ranges with respect to aliens who have committed 3 misdemeanors or a felony while here illegally. This is spite of the fact that mandatory minimum sentences have long ago been proven counterproductive.

3.H.R.77 -- Border Security, Cooperation, and Act Now Drug War Prevention Act of 2011

Lots of immigration hate this term, so to continue that…This legislation is to appropriate $150,000,000 per year to increase border security, including new vehicles, body armor, weapons and ammo, night-vision equipment, helicopters, boats, a joint ATF/DEA/Border Patrol task force, radios, GPS, computers, and new vehicles. This bill will also provide for grants to sheriffs departments within 25 miles of the border. All of this while we are already broke.

2.H.R. 67 -- extends expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005 and Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 until February 29, 2012.

If you’re not familiar with the USA PATRIOT Act then you can read a good summary of the problems with it here.

1.H.R. 3 -- No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act

A main goal of H.R. 3 is to directly attack private health insurance plans by imposing a new tax on individuals who choose and pay for a plan that covers abortion services. Conservatives once again use the passive aggressive method to harass abortion, being that they are unable to attack it directly with success.

If you like these but want a more positive fix, try The Top 10 Good House Bills


The Top 10 Good House Bills:

There are some things that the House of Representatives are trying accomplish that should be supported in my opinion. Here is a hotlist of good legislation that is on the books.

These are not the only good things that could be done, and new legislation may be introduced periodically throughout the session, but these are those most promising:

10.H.R. 106 -- Public Official Accountability Act

This bill provides for an extra two year penalty for any public elected or appointed official convicted of bribery, fraud, extortion, or theft of public funds greater than $10,000, not a mandatory, just an extra tool available to the judge.

9.H.R. 61 -- Coach Act of 2011

This bill is to amend title 5 of the United States Code, to require Federal employees to use coach-class air travel in the United States except in limited circumstances.

8. H.R. 54 -- Stand by your Oil Pollution Act or the STOP Act.

To amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to extend liability to corporations, partnerships, and other persons having ownership interests in responsible parties, make the corporations pay.

7. H.R. 47 -- Classified Information Accountability Act of 2011 or CIA Act.

This is legislation to provide a civil penalty for certain misrepresentations made to Congress by a person employed by the intelligence community, a $10,000 fine to be exact.

6.H.R. 109 -- To establish a national commission on presidential war powers and civil liberties.

This is a commission to investigate the broad range of executive branch national security policies undertaken since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, such as torture, wiretaps, etc, etc.

5. H.R.35 -- Teacher Tax Reduction Act of 2011

Allows teachers to take a $500 larger deduction for material they buy for their classrooms, the language is not very specific, it only says the deduction is for “certain expenses of elementary and secondary school teachers”, but it’s a good start.
I would like to see it expanded to upper level education too, but for now this is pretty advantageous.
(FULL DISCLOSURE: My wife is a community college teacher and so we value education and teachers a lot here, I may be biased in liking this legislation.)

4. H.R.29 -- To provide for the withdrawal of the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

This one is pretty self-explanatory, if you haven’t hard about the negative effects of NAFTA, you should have. Facts like in the US alone, more than 765,000 jobs have disappeared as a result of NAFTA. When these laid off workers find new jobs, they earn 23 percent less on average than at their previous employment, NAFTA hurts everyone.

3. H.R.32 -- Homeless Children and Youth Act of 2011

This bill is too amend the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to include youths and children…not sure why the Regan era legislators left them out.

2. HR 111: Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2011

This bill is to require a minimum standard of care by insurance companies for all persons with breast cancer, including extending the hospital stay to up to 48 hours if a doctor deems its needed and other benefits.

1. H.R. 36 -- Eating Disorders Awareness, Prevention, and Education Act of 2011.

This bill is to raise awareness of eating disorders and to create educational programs in schools to help students learn and avoid these devastating diseases. This is not the first time that the bills sponsor, Congresswoman Judy Biggert, has done some good things with her power, as this story shows.

And one that deserves an honorable mention, and all good internet users should look up is...

H.R. 96 -- Internet Freedom Act

This is to keep the FCC from further regulating the Internet.

So there it is, a summary of some of the most promising legislation in the House of Representatives. --♣

for the slightly darker at heart , The Top 5 Most Evil Bills.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

'Passive' House Saves 90% On Energy Bills

By Mike Nemeth

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History plans to build a house on its grounds that will be so well insulated, so weather tight and so efficient that it will need no furnace.

That's right, no furnace. And Cleveland can have some nasty, bone-chilling weather.

The house is of the "passive" variety, a movement gaining major steam in Europe and apparently here too. The superinsulated home boasts 18-inch walls, triple-pane and glazed windows and overall efficiency that should make it one of the museum's biggest attractions when the house exhibit opens for three months in June 2011.

"You can walk around barefoot in the middle of winter where there are no drafts, no cold spots," said David Beach, director of GreenCityBlueLake Institute, which is the center for sustainability at the museum, in a video on the official site. "And it's a wonderful place to live."

No doubt. But it's hardly the norm.

Buildings account for about half of global energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. There's a big push nationally and worldwide to address that with retrofits, upgrades and better building practices through efforts like the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED building certification system, which was designed to improve energy savings, water efficiency and CO2 emissions reduction.

Adoption of more stringent building practices would make a big dent in greenhouse gas emissions and energy use.

But for consumers adding energy efficiency means lower energy bills. Way lower with a super-insulated house. For instance, my house was built in 1961 with 2-by-4 walls, single-pane windows and no insulation in the floors. I blew in a bunch more insulation in the ceiling, replaced the windows and upgraded the heating system to a 95 percent efficient furnace. My bills dropped like a rock.

My co-worker Sandy Nax lives in a 1990s vintage home with 2-by-six walls and stock double-pane windows. He's got a better design. Even so, his cooling costs in the summer sometimes exceed $500 a month. Mine's smaller, and it's cheaper.

Both of us would love to lower our bills. Like many who chose the newspaper profession, we got used to low pay and being frugal. We lived in pretty dicey places at the start of our careers.

Many others trod the same road, learning along the way that saving money is practical.

The Cleveland Museum believes people will appreciate the benefits of the passive design once they tour the exhibit. Beach, the museum official, said he hopes the concept will catch on, certainly in his own city where it adoption by builders and architects could "bring industry to Cleveland." The Passive House Institute U.S. says, the design technique "provides a solution that puts true carbon-neutrality within reach. Today."

And why not. U.S. Green Building Council Central California Chapter official Loren Aiton has said that adding energy efficiency and other measures to buildings add relatively little to the overall cost.

Still, upgrades come at a premium. LEED standards are graduated, starting with little or no difference in cost to tacking on 4 percent to 10 percent or more. The higher gold and platinum standards cost more to implement. But the savings are greater.

Chuck Miller of Doty & Miller Architects, who designed the Cleveland project, said the passive house was crafted to look conventional inside and out. While materials cost more initially, he said, "it will be a more affordable house over time. It will use 10 percent of the energy of other homes."

Back to that furnace or lack of one. Miller said the house will boast "very sophisticated ventilation and heat recovery equipment."

My friend lives in a small town just south of Tacoma, Wash. and has ducted electric heat. The system is very inefficient. He weatherproofed his home and added a plug-in heater -- an EdenPure, pitched by Bob Vila -- that uses light bulbs to generate heat. He dropped his winter electric bill 40 percent. And the mobile heater keeps his house just as warm.

It just goes to show that the efficiency concept is sound and can be done in different ways.

At summer's end, the Cleveland house will be moved to a permanent site a few blocks from the museum where it will be sold to a family. There it will continue to save its owners money, even in winter. And that's saying something. For instance, Cleveland has an average January temperature of 30.7 degrees. When I looked on Weather Underground, it was 21.3 degrees with a wind chill of 13 degrees.

That passive family will be toasty.

And others could be too. I've written in the past about Ed McGrath of who began pushing many of these ideas decades ago. I can't help but think he'd be impressed.

Mike Nemeth, project manager of the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization, spent 24 years working as a newspaperman editing and reporting from Alaska to California. The SJVCEO is a nonprofit dedicated to improving quality of life through increased use of clean and alternative energy. The SJVCEO is based in Fresno, Calif. and works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley. For more information, go to

Article Source:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Brewing Up Trouble: The War In The West

Reuters reported yesterday that Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has filed suit against the United States federal government for failing to secure the border with Mexico.

"Because the federal government has failed to protect the citizens ... of Arizona, I am left with no other choice," --Gov. Jan Brewer

Last July, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton blocked parts of the states harsh anti-immigration law in response to a lawsuit filed by the federal government. The Judge’s argument was basically that immigration matters are the federal government's responsibility, so Gov. Brewer is trying to twist their arm to do something. At the passing of this law it was repeatedly said by Arizona lawmakers that this law was needed to defend the homeland, but the Obama administration was not convinced and filed suit.

Gov. Brewer even co-opted the popular WW2 "Rosie the Riveter" graphic for her own nefarious purposes.

Recently New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez got in on the hating too as she issued an executive order (2011-009) to officially reverse the state’s “sanctuary” status which had been in place since 2005. This “sanctuary” status prohibited law enforcement from asking criminal suspects about their citizenship.

A number of states, including California, are considering laws similar to Arizona claiming increased calls from their constituents calling for immigration reform.

Why all this hatred we NEED immigration.


Foreign-born population 37,342,870
Naturalized U.S. citizen 15,917,019
Not a U.S. citizen 21,425,851

(Source: Census Bureau)

Aging America

The United States benefits from the fact that we are, and always have been, a nation of immigrants. Today, immigrants make up a large part of the U.S. population.

Other industrialized nations, in Europe and elsewhere, face the prospects of declining populations as their baby boomers age and are not replaced by younger generations. In the United States immigration offsets the aging society.

In the next 18 to 20 years, 79 million Americans will turn 65, at a rate of 7000 per day! These millions of aging Americans will need healthcare, money and personnel. They will need to be replaced in the workforce. And each American household will be responsible for nearly a half a million dollars in retirement and healthcare benefits for them. Not to mention the time and money individual families will spend for their own loved ones.

We need immigrants.

There are many arguments that seem to be the major rational for these hate laws. They really are mostly knee-jerk reactions that people have heard or been programmed with, not reality.

Who Pays?

Since about 1986 most illegal workers have been forced to buy fake ID’s to get a job. That was the year when the Immigration Reform and Control Act set fines for employers who knowingly hired illegal immigrants. The immigrants buy fake ID’s and Social Security cards so that it provides cover for employers, who, if asked, can plausibly assert that they believe all their workers are legal. It also means that workers must be paid by the book – with payroll tax deductions, one down.

Is There Enough Room?

Our current situation is far from grave. During the late 1800′s we absorbed a proportionally greater number of immigrants, while benefiting from far fewer resources. I think the evidence shows that America can not only absorb the immigrants we already have, but that we are capable of absorbing far more than we ever have before.


Do immigrants live on welfare? Not really. Of course undocumented immigrants are not eligible to receive any "welfare" benefits and even legal immigrants are severely restricted in the benefits they can receive. In fact they cannot receive benefits until 5 years after receiving their green cards.


Though the first generation immigrants are often poor and uneducated compared to native-born Americans. But by the third generation, they are on nearly level ground with native-born citizens both in education and in income. Many more Americans receive entitlements than do illegals, and usually those few that do get citizenship are either children of college graduates, or college graduates

American Wages

Many argue that immigrants lower American wages, I wont even spend time to address this to deeply, as it is well documented by many prominent economists that immigrants increase the economic productivity and thus the wages and quality of life of natives.


Again I think this one is just a reflex. University of California and others have proven that immigrants, both legal and illeagal, are LESS likely to commit a crime…’nuff said

and last…

Why don’t they come here legally?

We have a complicated system of visas and quotas, only about 5000 unskilled laborers a year get even the chance to get in legally, and a very small portion of those are Mexican.

Strategies geared simply towards building walls and sealing the border, or deporting the undocumented without restructuring the immigration procedures and providing a path to legal status for undocumented immigrants already in the country would cost the nation hundreds of billions of dollars while accomplishing nothing.

We need true reform, not prohibition. Prohibition didn’t work for alcohol, drugs, or any other social problem. We need a policy where people would be free to move the United States (as long as they passed a criminal background check), regardless of socio-economic status, job skills, or education. As the U.S. labor market became saturated, potential immigrants would hear from existing immigrants that work was becoming scarce. Once that happens, the flow of immigration would slow down, in fact this did happen as the “Great Recession/ Great Depression 2” took hold, it occurred without government intervention or direction, or infighting.

Get over America, give an immigrant a hug today, and don’t worry if they are allowed to cross a fake line, but worry if their needs are met, if they are fed, and if they are just generally swell…as a person. --♣

We need immigrants.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Review: Zeitgeist III: Moving Forward & The Top 5 Reasons You Need To See Zeitgeist III

Zeitgeist III: moving forward is director Peter Josephs third attempt to explain the problems and now solutions to humanities problems. Teaming up with Jacque Fresco of The Venus Project, Joseph uses a plethora of brilliant speakers to paint a picture of humanity in decline by it own design, and some solutions to make the best society we can. Fresco even stresses several times that these are only the first steps, not the end result.

I love this movie personally, it is packed with information and elucidation, but it is also entertaining and presented in a first-rate way. This movie has the great production value we have come to expect from Peter Joseph. If John Lennon’s song Imagine were made into a movie this would be it.

“It’s time that we wake up, the doomsday scenario, the big contraction, might be happening right now. The system of monetary exchange is — in the face of advancing technology — completely obsolete.” --Peter Joseph, Writer and Director of Z3

This movie is a great addition to those of us who are old hands in the Zeitgeist world, but it is also a great introduction to any newcomers as well. It really has something for everyone and great heaps of knowledge presented in a compelling way.

It is nearly 3 hours long and it may feel a little slow and even a bit long at times, but it is difficult to cover such a vast array of material in such a short time, if you stick with it the payout is good. The third part is indisputably noteworthy, as it described an introduction to a Resource-based economy. The Venus Project is a collection of dome-like cities that fully operates on a computer-controlled system. I have a high regard for the architect of this project, Mr. Jacque Fresco. Although the project in my opinion is not flawless, what is? It is a 100% better than what most of the planet’s inhabitants are currently living in.

This is a movie you may need to watch a few times to get the full grasp of it…and if you like go back and see the other movies. This movie should wake you up, show you the truth and give you an idea about you what this world is really like. --♣

Top 5 reasons to see Zeitgeist 3: Moving Forward.

5. A ninety four year old man says, “This shits got to go.”

4. Wall Street gets another black eye.

3. It shows that Socialism, Capitalism, Communism, are all on equal footing…they suck!

2. The abrupt but funny Monty Python tribute! (Nerd Draw)

1. Its FREE!!!! No really it is!

( torrent)
(All 3 Zeitgeist movies streaming)

(but if you wish to support the movement, please go to and order the DVD. )

The Craigslist Congressman and Top Ten Stupid Political Quotes of 2010

By now you may have read that Rep. Christopher Lee (R-NY) is resigning over allegations that he attempted to cheat on his wife using the online service Craigslist.

The allegations were first reported Wednesday afternoon on Gawker.

So once again in the political world we have to ask the question; infidelity, is it or is it not our business? Really I am not sure. I am sure it may be the business of the constituents, as he represents them and his morale compass, and propensity for lies, is important to them. I am sure it’s his wife's business; in fact it is mostly for him and his family to deal with.

The problem for me is more the stupid way that the Congressman went about seeking a girlfriend, on Craiglist, with his own email and own name. Now I am in no way encouraging marital infidelity, I am a happily married man myself. But it is obtuse to go looking for trouble in such an open way for any married man, let alone a married man who has the small amount of fame and notability afforded to a congressman of the Niagara Falls region.

This is all proving once again there is no IQ test for public office, but as this SHORT list shows, maybe there should be.

Top ten stupid political quotes of 2010.

10. 'If you don't hold us accountable, we'll do some real bad things in Washington, D.C.'
—Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), who became the subject of a Senate Ethics Committee investigation related to the fallout from an affair he had with the wife of his best friend and co-chief of staff, Sept. 1, 2010

9. 'F**king retarded.''
—Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, scolding liberal groups planning to air ads attacking conservative Democrats who were balking at President Obama's health care overhaul

8. 'Why would you want to put people in charge of government who just don't want to do it? I mean, you wouldn't expect to see al Qaeda members as pilots.'
—Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), on the prospects of Republicans taking back control of Congress, May 21, 2010

7. 'Now, they're saying I groped a male staffer. Yes, I did. Not only did I grope him, I tickled him until he couldn't breathe and four guys jumped on top of me. It was my 50th birthday.'
—Ex-Congressman Eric Massa (D-NY), talking to Glenn Beck after resigning amid allegations that he sexually harassed his aides

6. "I'm blacker than Barack Obama. I shined shoes. I grew up in a five-room apartment. My father had a little laundromat in a black community not far from where we lived. I saw it all growing up.'
—Ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, in an interview with 'Esquire' magazine

5. 'If ObamaCare passes, that free insurance card that's in people's pockets is gonna be as worthless as a Confederate dollar after the war between the states -- the Great War of Yankee Aggression.
—Rep. Paul Broun (R- Ga.), March 18, 2010

4. 'Refudiate,' 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-wee'd up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!'
—-a Tweet sent by Sarah Palin in response to being ridiculed for inventing the word ''refudiate,'' proudly mistaking her illiteracy for literary genius, July 18, 2010

3. "She's a f**king raghead. We got a raghead in Washington; we don't need one in South Carolina. She's a raghead that's ashamed of her religion trying to hide it behind being Methodist for political reasons.'
—South Carolina State Sen. Jake Knotts (R), claiming that his Republican rival in the South Carolina governor's race, Nikki Haley, had been set up by a network of Sikhs and was programmed to run for governor by outside influences in foreign countries. (Haley is of Sikh descent, and is now a Christian.) Knotts later clarified his statement, saying he did not mean to use the F-word. (June 4, 2010)

2. ‘‘We had no domestic attacks under Bush; we've had one under Obama.”
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani: Jan. 8, 2010

1. "My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.''
Representative Hank Johnson (D-Ga.): speaking to his fear that too many troops sent to Guam could be disaster, specifically the presence of a large number of American soldiers might upend the island of Guam. March 25, 2010

I know this last one seems insane, this man seems impossibly stupid to have won an I included the video link

This is leaving out a lot of crazies and pundits that said even crazier things, I stayed with only elected people and people who have held appointed important office.
I think we want Americas brightest and best running the country, not it barely literate and dull witted.

Maybe we should institute a basic knowledge test before you can get on the ballot, I mean you have to take a math test and a urine test just to get a crappy job…unless you’re a politician. --♣

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

America The …Polluted: Top 10 Polluters in the United States.

So here they are the ten most environmentally destructive companies in America.










1. RED DOG OPS., 90 MILES N. OF KOTZEBUE, KOTZEBUE, AK 481,578,816 lbs
is a great resource to see the pollution levels on a local, regional and national scale, where you can find out about the pollution problems in your community and learn who is responsible.

So where do they get all this information? Scorecard integrates over 400 scientific and governmental databases to generate its customized profiles of local environmental quality and toxic chemicals. All data sources are clearly cited on Scorecard, with hyperlinks back to online references whenever available. --♣

The PATRIOT actors: A Turning Point For Conservatives.

The Republican-led House failed to pass an extension of expiring segments of the Patriot Act on Tuesday, an unexpected outcome to say the least.

Many tea party activists see the PATRIOT ACT as the federal government overreaching into private persons affairs. The provisions in question will lapse Feb. 28, so what are these unrenewable conditions?

The provisions set to expire include giving federal investigators admission to a suspect's personal records, such as library receipts, enabling the government, via court order, to conduct roaming wiretaps of terrorism suspects as they change phones or locations and to conduct surveillance on foreign terrorism suspects who are not affiliated with known groups, this is the so called "lone wolf" provision. The last one alone gives the right to scrutinize almost anyone.

The White House on Tuesday said in a statement that it "does not object" to extending the three Patriot Act provisions until December 2011 although it "would strongly prefer" an extension until December 2013, so much for hope and change.

If the TEA Party movement has ever done anything good for the country, this may be it. The vote in the house turned out the way it did, in part, due to the Republicans TEA Party offshoot.

This is a pivotal moment of choice for both TEA Party and conventional GOP members. Do they stick to the civil liberty and small government attitude that the TEA partiers bring to the table, or do they stick to the Ronald Reagan standard attitude and decide with defense.

Only time will tell, but if you write Congress people and/ or Senators, now is the time.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The GINI Is Out Of The Bottle.

Have you ever heard of the GINI coefficient? (Pronounced Genie) This is a complex math formula developed by the Italian statistician Carrado Gini. His formula is then used to create the index that measures income disparity between countries in the world. a value of 0 represents absolute equality, and a value of 100 absolute inequality. The basic idea is that the higher the income disparity is, the less egalitarian a country will is. So where does the U.S. stack up in this income equality shuffle?

Japan 24.9
Finland 26.9
Germany 28.3
Austria 29.1
South Korea 31.6
Canada 32.6
Greece 34.3
Russia 39.9
United States 40.8
Mexico 46.1

These are only a few of the countries in the overall index, I used the U.N. index numbers, but the C.I.A. factbook and other organizations keep their own. I chose the U.N numbers as they were more conservative, for example the US is a 45 by the C.I.A. numbers.

How is it that the so called "greatest country in the world" has so many poor and such an unequal allocation of wealth?

Ok so the rich get richer, we all know that, but we all are getting a good education and have an equal chance right? In a future post I will focus on the numbers for educational equality and an emerging idea for an index of opportunity equality.

He Gacked On It!: Did Keith Olbermann Drop The Ball On Journalism?

According to the New York Times Keith Olbermann, of former ESPN and MSNBC fame, has reportedly signed with Current TV and will announce it later today. Current TV is a struggling fledgling network founded in part by former Vice-President Al Gore.
As part of his roughly $7 million settlement with MSNBC, the anchor signed a non-compete agreement that keeps him off rival television networks for several months. The agreement applies only to specific competitors in cable news and broadcast news not to independent Current TV.
Current TV may seem to be autonomous with its self-supporting ownership by Al Gore and his not so often mentioned partner Joel Hyatt.

But Mr. Hyatt is a board member of The Brookings Institute, which receives a large part of its funds from Bank of America, ExxonMobil, and the governments of the United States, Japan, Qatar, Taipei, the District of Columbia, and the United Kingdom. He is also a board member at Hewlitt Packard.

Mr. Gore has become the green billionaire and sits on the board of Apple, and don’t forget his investment fund with David Blood, the former head Goldman Sachs’s asset management firm.

Not exactly a pair that I would consider free of corporate influence, not to mention the innumerable links to the political world these men have.

But now is the time for a good man to come to the aid of his country.

At present the fact that AOL has bought the Huffington Post has created a gap in the independent media area. The same five conglomerates own most media outlets. Olbermnn himself even recently Tweeted:
“Am I missing something or has the primary appeal of The Huffington Post been its independence from big $ media?”

So now is the golden opportunity for Mr. Olbermann to step up and fill that roll. Sometime in late January someone (presumably Mr. Olbermann) registered the domain name, this would be the perfect venue to launch the newborn Olbermann Post (or something with a more creative name). Hundreds of thousands signed the online petition to get him back on the air following his short suspension at MSNBC, so you know he has a built in and very large fan base. The Huffington Post was started with only a million dollar investment, we know you’re good for it Keith, I will help you fundraise it myself if need be.
Just please Keith say it ain’t so, back out of Al Gores offer and come restore journalism to the proud institution it can be, practice as you always preached. Good night and good luck.

Arianna Huffinton's New Domain

Top 5 reasons Huffington Post and AOL merger may be a good thing for America.

Today AOL announced it’s buying Huffington Post, the online news and culture website, for $315 million. This has sparked a lot of shock and fear in the liberally minded world.
AOL is dying, and they think the solution is to buy the Huffington Post and essentially turn it over AOL’s content machine to the Post founder founder, Arianna Huffington. She will be assigned to integrate the collective companies’ news and information websites.
So if you have a sunny outlook you could say that the Huffington Post is taking over AOL.

5. Many people fear this could lead to censorship on behalf of AOL, this is fairly unlikely since Arianna Huffington will retain control of not only her own company but also step into the roll of Editor for AOL too (and by extension its other online products) and has pledged to not changing the Huffington Post’s content.

4. This is a giant leap forward for online news as a whole and its credibility.

3. Huffington Post may lose its largest appeal of separation from big media, but it also gains the ability to compete with other larger networks on breaking news.

2. It is good for AOL stock (the Post is not a public company).

1. With any luck this could be the end of AOL and the start of a great media company that puts journalism back on track!

The outcome from this merger remains to be seen, but the Huffington Post has a formerly conservative now liberal founder who could steer both companies in a positive way. She is a great role model for women in America and a successful journalist with growing credentials. So be positive and hope and help the Huffington Post become what America needs now, competitive and accurate news.

At the same time AOL is the Evil empire that may only exploit the Huffington Post's weaknesses. --

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Glenn Becks head WILL explode!!

In Egypt there is a lot of talk about who will be the new leader. As this revolt grows it becomes more obvious that it will no longer be Hosni Mubarak, so who is left?

Will it be the Nobel Laureate and Western media posterboy Mohamed ElBaradei?

How about the newly appointed Vice-President Omar Suleiman? He is the former head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate (EGID or also in slang Mukhabarat) and in that role he “interrogated” prisoners for the C.I.A.. By former I mean he JUST quit a few days ago when he was appointed V.P., he still has blood under his nails I am sure.

No one is mentioning the obvious choice. How about no leader? Disassemble the police and Army, organize, localize and live in Anarchy.

Not that catchphrase anarchy like in the Sex Pistols song, I also do not mean a crazy “wild west” scenario, I mean philosophical Anarchy.

The term anarchism derives from the Greek, anarchos, meaning simply "without rulers".
The Egyptian people have organized food, safety checkpoints, garbage removal, and even defense itself all without, and in fact in spite of their leaders.

Egypt could form a society made up of self-governing cells with shared use of the production facilities, organized either by direct democracy and in cooperation with other groups or cities, city states of they wish.

I know this is not a likely outcome, nor my choice to make for Egypt. If for no other reason the Egyptians, Tunisians and other movements in the area should try it just to watch Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly’s heads explode. Muslims living like Communists that ought to do it! ;-)

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