Tag Archive: Free Press


Environmental

 

 

Bike Share In Los Angeles Announced At CicLAvia

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 04/16/2012 1:16 pm

 

Bike Share Los Angeles

Sunday’s CicLAvia kicked off with a major announcement for Los Angeles: we’re all getting bikes!

Angelenos will be the proud new riders of 4,000 bikes located at 400 kiosks throughout the metropolis. The stations will be installed over two years and will be located in bike-friendly neighborhoods like downtown LA, Hollywood, Playa del Rey, Westwood and Venice Beach, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made the announcement Sunday morning, saying, “We know it’s what LA needs. As we’ve seen with CicLAvia and ‘Carmaheaven,’ Angelenos are aching for a day without a car,” reports LA Streetsblog.

The initiative is being spearheaded and funded by Bike Nation, a Southern California bike share company that will also assemble the bicycles in a Los Angeles factory. The implementation of the bike share program will cost over $16 million (no public funds will be used), and Bike Nation has committed to the program for 10 years.

 

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Survival / Sustainability

 

Prepper List : Ten MORE Things To Do Now

by M.D. Creekmore

Prepper List : Ten MORE Things To Do Now

You may remember my post “10 things to do now!“, if not go read it before continuing – go on I’ll wait… Done. great. Now let’s go back to the shopping center with another survival food and gear list and ten more things to do now. Ready? Great.

1. Go to the grocery department and pick up 5 lbs of powdered milk or the equivalent of canned, now go over to the next aisles and throw in 5 lbs of rolled oats and a case of Ramen noodles. Ramen noodles aren’t the most nutritional food but they are cheap, add bulk to the diet and store well –  just don’t rely on them to provide all your nutritional needs. And don’t forget a good manual can opener.

2. While you’re in the grocery department be sure to pick up an assortment of spices to taste, such as Basil, Chili powder, Cinnamon, Garlic, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme and Black Pepper. Spices can go along way toward making unfamiliar foods palatable. Also, while you’re in that area add 5 or more lbs of salt to your shopping cart, as you know salt has 101 uses.

3. Okay, counting what you bought during our first trip to the shopping center, that should do it for the grocery. Now go over to the area near the pharmacy and pick up 3 large tubes of toothpaste, 3 brushes, 100 double edge razor blades, (note: if you don’t have a razor you’ll probably have to order one from Amazon.com and don’t forget a brush and bowl), I’ve used this type razor for years and think it is a cheaper long-term solution than disposable.

 

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1/19/2012 2:49:29 PM

Follow these easy steps to watch your seeds grow into flourishing plants even amongst the hustle and bustle of daily life. With organic gardening expert Barbara Pleasant’s simple, easy-to-follow guidelines, any seed starter can become a gardening pro in no time. Her book Starter Vegetable Gardens offers 24 plans for small organic gardens. Throughout the book she offers great ideas and tips to cut down on cost and make vegetable gardening efficient right from your own home! So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start planting!

Starting Seeds Step-by-Step

You Need:

1 small bag of fresh seed-starting mix or potting soil

1 package small disposable paper cups (4- or 6-ounce “bathroom” cups are perfect)

2 8-inch-diameter square or round baking pans

1/2-by-2-inch strips of rigid plastic (cut from discarded food container)

Seeds for planting

1 large clear or translucent produce bag

1 desk lamp with 75-watt equivalent fluorescent bulb

 

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Activism

Activists plan week of protests against new House cybersecurity legislation

By Brendan Sasso

In an attempt to re-create the backlash that killed anti-piracy legislation earlier this year, activists are planning a “week of action” beginning on Monday to protest the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).

Many of the groups leading the protest are veterans of the fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Center for Democracy and Technology, Free Press, Fight for the Future and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Brock Meeks, a spokesman for the Center for Democracy and Technology, said the protest will rely on similar tactics as the ones used to derail the anti-piracy bills, potentially including petitions and phone calls to members of Congress. But he said the groups have no plans to blackout websites, which was a central component of the anti-piracy protests.

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Outrage In Thailand: Save Aged Elephants From Confiscation And Death!

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The world-renowned Elephant Nature Park (ENP) in Thailand, which rescues aging, sick and disabled elephants from the trekking and logging industries, has been raided repeatedly by government authorities who are threatening to confiscate as many as eight elephants. Why? Because ENP founder Sangduan “Lek” Chailert, a celebrated conservationist, spoke out against the recent slaughter of elephants in Thailand’s national parks. These killings allegedly were orchestrated to supply baby elephants for tourism, with the involvement of government officials.

Elephant Nature Park, ThailandMore raids are now feared. So far, Lek has been able to protect these elephants who have already suffered enough, but they could be taken away at any time from their safe haven. She has bravely sworn to do whatever is necessary to protect them, even go to jail.

Confiscations at other locations, including the highly respected Wildlife Friends of Thailand (WFFT), have resulted in the deaths of two gibbons and one elephant. According to the group’s press release, the elephant was chained and unable to move at a government-designated location, and there was no keeper assigned to care for her or any of the other twenty-plus confiscated elephants. It states: “There is now great concern for the physical and mental well-being and lives of more elephants there.”

 

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Articles of Interest

 

 

Killer stray dogs put Bulgaria on edge

AFPBy Vessela Sergueva

 

  • A stray dog passes by an elderly woman in a Sofia neighborhood. Many stray dogs are fed by locals -- as was the case with a pack that mauled a elderly professor -- out of pity or so they might guard their apartment blocks or parking lots. (AFP Photo/Dimitar Dilkoff)A stray dog passes by an elderly …

Sprawling in the sun or barking and chasing cars, stray dogs have become part of urban life in Bulgaria but after a pack mauled a US university professor to death, the mood of tolerance is over.

The 87-year-old man, who chose to spend his retirement in his native Bulgaria, was attacked in a Sofia street late last month by some 25 dogs who knocked him to the ground, tore at his face and bit his legs and arms to the bone.

He died in intensive care 10 days later, prompting the government to suggest a large-scale euthanasia program for aggressive animals and construction of emergency shelters to remove other strays from the street.

Rights groups struck back, accusing authorities of weak control over pet owners who do not register their animals and often abandon them or their litters on the streets.

“This spring there are about 1,000 more stray dogs than last year,” said Aksinia Bosneva of the “Care For the Stray Dogs” non-governmental animal rights group.

She also blamed corrupt practices when it comes to castrating dogs.

“Some dogs are only partially neutered so that castration squads can return and get double money. Dogs already neutered are captured twice and workers get paid for something already done,” Bosneva charged.

For Lolita Radeva, head of the Sofia municipal council’s environmental committee, the economic crisis has made things worse.

“The current economic crisis has forced people to increasingly abandon their pets. Many dogs were also let go from abandoned construction yards they used to guard,” Radeva said.

She put the total number of stray dogs roaming the capital, which counts two million people, at about 9,500.

A new city hall program aims to halve this number within two years and get rid of all the animals by 2016.

 

 

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Politics and Legislation

Campaign Spending Shows Political Ties, Self-Dealing

Kim Barker, Al Shaw, ProPublica:

“Our analysis found that more than $306 million has been spent so far by major super PACs and the five leading presidential candidates. In some cases, payees serve both candidates and the super PACs aligned with them, raising the specter that groups may be working together in ways that violate the rules, campaign finance experts said. We also found instances in which overseers of some political action committees directed hefty fees to their own companies, a legal form of self-dealing.”

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US House of Representatives Approves Plan to Destroy
Medicare, Medicaid and Food Stamps

By Patrick Martin

The US House of Representatives has adopted a budget resolution that calls for privatization of Medicare and the elimination of Medicaid, food stamps and many other federal entitlement benefits. The resolution is part of a bipartisan campaign to slash spending on social programs.

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US Anti-terrorism Law Curbs Free Speech and Activist Work, Court Told

By Paul Harris in New York

A group political activists and journalists has launched a legal challenge to stop an American law they say allows the US military to arrest civilians anywhere in the world and detain them without trial as accused supporters of terrorism.

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Economy

Break Up the Big Banks, Says the Dallas Fed

Robert Reich, Op-Ed:

Wall Street’s increasing power remains “difficult to control because they have the lawyers and the money to resist the pressures of federal regulation.” The Dodd-Frank act that was supposed to control Wall Street “leaves TBTF [too big to fail] entrenched.” The Dallas Fed goes on to argue that the Fed’s easy money policy can’t be much help to the U.S. economy as long as Wall Street is “still clogged with toxic assets accumulated in the boom years.

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Department of Energy Knew of Solyndra Risks, Former FBI Agent Finds

Ronnie Greene, News Analysis:

“The Department of Energy was fully aware of the risks in backing Solyndra Inc., a start-up company that pocketed a half-billion dollar DOE loan but never turned a penny in profit before shutting its doors, concludes a former FBI agent hired to examine the company’s books. The expert’s report, filed this week in Solyndra’s voluminous bankruptcy case in California  , could embolden critics who say the government ignored financial red flags in supporting the solar panel maker with President Obama’s maiden green energy loan in 2009.”

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While White House Emphasizes Easing Student Debt Burden, Fed Contractors Play Hardball

Marian Wang, News Analysis:

“Under Education Department contracts, collection companies “rehabilitate” a defaulted loan by getting a borrower to make nine payments in 10 months. If they succeed, they reap a jackpot: a commission equal to as much as 16 percent of the entire loan amount, or $3,200 on a $20,000 loan. These companies receive that fee only if borrowers make a minimum payment of 0.75 percent to 1.25 percent of the loan each month, depending on its size.”

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Bank Of America CEO Gets $7.5 Million Pay Package After The Bank Lost More Than Half Its Stock Value

Pat Garofalo, News Report:

“The Wall Street Journal noted this week that that CEO pay lagged behind profits and productivity last year, mirroring a trend that has been occurring with workers’ wages for decades. But even that slight modicum of moderation regarding executive compensation evidently didn’t extend to Bank of America, which gave CEO Brian Moynihan a $7.5 million pay package — six times as much as he made in 2010 — following a year in which the company’s stock plummeted.”

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Wars and Rumors of War

Assad remarks give little hope of peace

By AGENCIES

BAGHDAD: Bashar Assad’s remarks on a UN-Arab plan yesterday gave little hope of peace as the Syrian tyrant called for an end to “terrorist acts” by foreign powers.

“It’s not surprising, but it’s discouraging and disappointing,” US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

Arab leaders, meanwhile, urged a peaceful end to the bloodshed through “serious national dialogue,” at a landmark summit in the Iraqi capital yesterday.

They approved a resolution calling on the “Syrian government and all opposition factions to deal positively with the envoy (Kofi Annan) by starting serious national dialogue.”

Arab leaders said the plan should be implemented “immediately and completely.”

It said “the massacre committed by the Syrian forces against civilians in Baba Amro … can be considered crimes (against) humanity.”

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Israel Shields Public From Risks of War With Iran

Gareth Porter, Inter Press Service:

“The message that Iran is too weak to threaten an effective counterattack is contradicted by one of Israel’s leading experts on Iranian missiles and the head of its missile defense program for nearly a decade, who says Iranian missiles are capable of doing significant damage to Israeli targets.”

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Environmental

EPA Climate Proposal Could Limit Coal’s future, at Least in U.S.

Renee Schoof, News Report:

The rules require future power plants to keep their emissions of heat-trapping gases under a limit. Most natural gas plants would meet the standard easily, but coal-fired plants would have to reduce emissions by about half. The equipment to capture and store those emissions underground isn’t commercially viable. “This is not a sudden death for the coal industry by any means,” said David Pumphrey of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a center-right research center.

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Activism

Fault Lines: History of an occupation Part 1

Uploaded by AlJazeeraEnglish on Mar 21, 2012

Fault Lines tells the definitive history of Occupy Wall Street from its early days through the movement’s rapid spread up to the brutal crackdown by state authorities.

Fault Lines: Occupy Wall Street: Surviving the Winter Part 2

Uploaded by AlJazeeraEnglish on Mar 27, 2012

Fault Lines follows key Occupy organisers through the winter as they continue to build a movement even after violent evictions across the country.

On the News With Thom Hartmann: Anti-Austerity Strikes Halted Business in Spain Yesterday, and More

In today’s On the News segment: Supreme Court now deciding the fate of Obamacare, the recall vote of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is set, new oil subsidies sail through Congress, natural gas platform disaster continues to unfold in the North Sea, Egyptian courts censor Internet pornography, and more.

Read Transcripts Here

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Articles of Interest

Russian Proton-M Puts Military Satellite into Orbit

Russia’s Space Forces launched a Proton-M carrier rocket with a Cosmos class military satellite on board on Friday, spokesman Lt. Col. Alexey Zolotukhin said.

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Japan orders SDF to intercept DPRK rocket if necessary

China.org.cn

Japanese Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka officially ordered the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to intercept a Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s (DPRK) rocket launch if necessary on Friday.

Tanaka issued the order after he told SDF on Tuesday to take preparatory measures against the DPRK rocket launch.

Japan and other countries see the rocket launch as a cover for a long-range ballistic missile test, Xinhua reported.

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All Parties Ignore the One Way to Reduce Health Care Costs: Single-Payer

David U. Himmelstein MD and Steffie Woolhandler MD, MPH, Truthout:

“Both parties studiously avoid the one health-reform solution that – unlike computers – would actually save money while sparing patients: single-payer, nonprofit national health insurance. Research shows that single-payer reform could save about $380 billion annually that’s currently wasted on insurers’ overhead and the unnecessary paperwork (and screen-work) they inflict on hospitals, doctors and patients.”

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CWA Union Teams Up With Free Press, Consumer Groups to Oppose Telecom Deregulation

Mike Elk, In These Times:

“The Communications Workers of America union has been criticized by progressive consumers groups like Free Press for its positions on net neutrality and the proposed AT&T-T-Mobile merger. Now, though, CWA is teaming up with groups like Free Press to fight two big bills that they say would deregulate the telecommunications industry, help build telecom monopolies and lead to telecom job losses.”

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Exclusive: Soros’ son strikes out on his own

(Hmmmm, Can anyone say Restructuring and SEC?)

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By Jennifer Ablan and Matthew Goldstein

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The upheaval within billionaire investor George Soros’ firm continues as one of his sons is separating some of his personal fortune to manage it himself.

Jonathan Soros, who stepped down in September from day-to-day management of Soros Fund Management LLC, plans to hire at least one of his father’s key employees, say two people familiar with the situation.

The two sources said Soros’ son intends to set up his own family office – something the Soros Fund converted to last year – with the help of David Kulsar, currently chief risk officer for the Soros Fund.

“Jonathan wants to manage some of his own money so the (Soros Fund) family office has made that accommodation for him,” said a source familiar with the situation but who was not authorized to discuss the matter.

Jonathan Soros, who was a law clerk for a federal judge before joining with his brother Robert in 2002 to oversee the management of Soros Fund, did not return calls or emails seeking comment. He currently is a senior fellow with the Roosevelt Institute, a liberal think tank group in New York.

Kulsar, who also did not return a phone call seeking comment, worked in risk management for John Meriweather’s JWM Partners before joining the Soros Fund. Meriweather founded Long-Term Capital Management, the hedge fund whose collapse in 1999 sparked fears of a financial crisis.


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