Advertisements

Tag Archive: Occupy Movement


 photo FamilySurvivalProtocolColliseumBannergrayscale900x338_zpsb17c85d0.jpg

Global Community Report Banner photo FSPLogoGlobalCommunityFulloldworldmapbckgrnd_zps43d3059c.jpg

**************************************************

 

Time to Trade in Your Jag, Benz, BMW for a Dented Econobox: Days of Rage Are Coming

The resistance will take the form of subverting the signifiers of wealth that exemplify the few who have benefited so greatly while everyone else lost ground.
It’s time to trade in your Jag, Mercedes, BMW (and maybe your Prius, Volvo, Lexus, etc.) before the Days of Rage start. As I’ve explained before ( As the “Prosperity” Tide Recedes, the Ugly Reality of Wealth Inequality Is Exposed), the rage of the masses who have been losing ground while the Financier Oligarchs, the New Nobility and the technocrat class reap immense gains for decades has been suppressed by the dream that they too could join the Upper Caste.
But once the realistic odds of that happening (low) sink in, the Days of Rage will begin. For those still who don’t know the facts of rising inequality, here’s what you need to know.
The top 1% skim 23% of all income:
While the top 5% has enjoyed substantial income gains over the past 45 years, adjusted for inflation, the bottom 90% have lost ground:
The last time there was mass unrest in America was the civil rights/Vietnam War era. The power of the civil rights movement arose from the core injustice of segregation (separate and unequal) and institutionalized racism/bias. This institutionalized injustice drew people from all classes and ethnicities into the streets, where they were promptly beaten by police.

Read More Here

Advertisements

Why Did FBI Monitor Occupy Houston, and Then Hide Sniper Plot Against Protest Leaders?

Enhanced by Zemanta

DAHBOO77

 

Published on Feb 11, 2014

Heads Up Folks! Justine Tunney is connected with Google!

http://pando.com/2014/02/07/occupy-wa…

 

…..

 

Occupy Wall Street leader now works for Google, wants to crowdfund a private militia

 

justineRemember Justine Tunney? The OWS-anarchist-turned-cultist-Google-employee who bashed my reporting on Google’s for-profit surveillance? Well, today she hit the big time.

Over the last few days, Tunney has been causing a Twitter outrage tsunami after she took full control of the main Occupy Wall Street (OWS) Twitter account, claimed to be the founder of OWS and then proceeded to tweet out stream of ridiculous anarcho-corporatist garbage. She railed against welfare, described the government as “just another corporation,” argued poverty was not a political problem but “an engineering problem” and told politicians to “get out of the way.” She also debunked what she thought was a misconception: people thought OWS activists were protesting against concentrated corporate power, and that, she claims, is simply not true.

As I wrote before, Tunney’s sudden epiphany that not all corporations are evil just happened to coincide with her decision to take a well-paid job at Google. Since then she has become an astroturfer par excellence for the company, including showing up in a comment section to bash my reporting on Google’s vast for-profit surveillance operation. “It never ceases to amaze me how far people have to stretch in order to denounce the one corporation that gives away everything for free,” she wrote.

It’s important to realize that, before taking her job at Google, Tunney wasn’t just an Occupy foot soldier, but a prominent spokesperson for the movement. She’s been written about in the New Yorker and The Nation as one of the founding members of OWS in Zuccotti Park, and was instrumental in setting up and  running OWS’s main Internet communication hub, OccupyWallSt.org. In media profiles, Tunney described herself as “just another geek trying to help out with the revolution,” and you can see her in photographs with other hi-tech revolutionaries occupying a table in Zuccotti Park, hunched over laptops, wires and computer gear.

And this week Tunney’s shift away from her former Occupy pals broke the Twitter troll barrier. Her tweets caused such a social media backlash that even Buzzfeed’s Rosie Gray felt compelled to cover it:

 

Read More Here

 

…..

Enhanced by Zemanta

democracynow democracynow

Published on Sep 19, 2013

http://www.democracynow.org – Two years after the Occupy Wall Street movement shifted the conversation on economic inequality, we look at its origins in New York City’s Zuccotti Park and its continued legacy in a number of different groups active today. We speak with Nicole Carty, actions coordinator with The Other 98 Percent, and a facilitator of general assemblies and spokescouncil meetings during Occupy, where she was a member of the Occupy People of Color Caucus. Also joining us is Nathan Schneider, editor of the website Waging Nonviolence, and a longtime chronicler of the Occupy movement for Harper’s Magazine, The Nation, The New York Times, and The Catholic Worker. Scheider’s new book, “Thank You Anarchy: Notes from the Occupy Apocalypse,” chronicles Occupy’s first year.

See all of the reports on Democracy Now! about Occupy Wall Street in our archive at http://www.democracynow.org/topics/oc….

*************************************************************************

Read Full Transcript Here

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We turn now to look at the Occupy Wall Street movement and its legacy on its second anniversary. On September 17, 2011, thousands of people marched on the financial district, then formed an encampment in Zuccotti Park, launching a movement that shifted the conversation on economic inequality. Here in New York activists marked the occasion Tuesday with a march to the New York Stock Exchange and the United Nations highlighting a poll for taxing Wall Street transactions and directing the funds to public causes.

AMY GOODMAN: For more, we are joined by two guests. Nicole Carty is an actions coordinator with The Other 98%. During Occupy Wall Street she was a facilitator at general assemblies and spokes counsel meetings and she was a member of the Occupy People of Color Caucus. Nathan Schneider is also with us, editor of the website “Waging Nonviolence,” author of the new book “Thank You Anarchy: Notes From the Occupy Apocalypse.” We welcome you both to Democracy Now!. Why “Occupy Apocalypse,” Nathan?

NATHAN SCHNEIDER: That’s a great question. It’s a question I get a lot. The word in Greek meant unveiling, right? It described a moment in which something is revealed that changes our perception of everything and I think pretty accurately describes what happened with Occupy Wall Street, both for us a society in revealing the depth of income inequality, of the corruption of the political system and also of the power of the militarized police state; but also for so many individuals who took part across the country. I have been privileged to meet so many people and to watch them as their lives were changed by this movement, as they became activated and haven’t been able to go back to the way their lives were before.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Nathan, you write in the beginning of the book, you say for nearly two months in the fall of 2011 a square block of granite and honey locust trees in New York’s Financial District, right between Wall Street and the World Trade Center, became a canvas for the image of another world. Two years later how has that canvas been preserved and what are some of the activities that the Occupiers are now involved with?

NATHAN SCHNEIDER: Well, to talk about that canvas itself, it is interesting to see the ways in which the movement is memorialized kind of informally in the Financial District. There is still a wall of barricades around the Charging Bull statue. There are still regularly barricades in Zuccotti Park. There are still barricades around Chase Manhattan Plaza which was the original planned sort of decoy site for the Occupation. It is amazing how the security state is still living in fear of this movement. But at the same activists who were involved in it, many of them are spread out across the country in all kinds of networks that have formed through the course of this movement, putting their bodies in the way of the Keystone Pipeline, calling attention to issues like a financial transaction tax, bringing housing activists together around the country to create a stronger movement. There are a number of campaigns that have been profoundly strengthened by networks formed in the Occupy Movement.

AMY GOODMAN: Nicole Carty, where were you two years ago?

NICOLE CARTY: Two years ago I was working for the Sundance Channel doing content management. I was just one of many precariate who didn’t really have a solid job and I came in to Occupy because it was the first time I ever had seen people my own age, or anyone for that matter, talking about the deep inequality within this country. It was just kind of this secret and I feel like part of the legacy is that that so unveiled at this point. It is not even questioned.

AMY GOODMAN: So talk about what it was really like, what day did you go to Occupy and describe the community there.

*************************************************************************

Enhanced by Zemanta

Environmental

60 percent reduction in acidity of Delaware rain

by Teresa Messmore
Newark DE (SPX) May 11, 2012


Joseph Scudlark has gauged the acidity of rain at UD’s collection station in Lewes for more than three decades.

Several decades ago, precipitation in Delaware was among the most acidic in the country. Pollutants in the air reacted with rainwater to sprinkle sulfuric, nitric and carbonic acids onto the ground below, affecting crops and ecosystems statewide.

The scientific consensus is that pollution controls enacted through the Clean Air Act Amendments in the 1990s and other measures have helped decrease the acidity of rain by approximately 60 percent to less harmful levels, as reflected in data gathered nationwide and by UD researchers in Lewes, Del., as part of a longstanding study.

“Every time it’s rained since 1978, we’ve collected and analyzed samples,” said Joseph Scudlark, assistant director of the School of Marine Science and Policy in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment. “It’s one of the largest, longest continual records in the whole country, and the data shows pretty dramatically that the legislation is working.”

Scudlark oversees an acid rain collection site in an isolated part of Cape Henlopen State Park. A specialized container sits out in the open with a small canopy to prevent debris from entering, and precipitation triggers a sensor powered by a nearby solar panel to open the lid and capture samples. Once the rain stops, the device automatically returns the cover.

Each day at 9 a.m. Scudlark’s assistant collects the sample, which is prepared in a lab and shipped off with others obtained the same week to a central analysis station in Illinois through the National Atmospheric Deposition Program. The pH and concentration of certain substances are measured along with samples from 250 other locations around the country.

While the collection methods have been largely the same over the past three decades, the research associated with the project has shifted focus over time. In the early years, monitors concentrated on gauging the distribution and severity of acid rain nationwide.

UD’s location at the Hugh R. Sharp Campus in Lewes was significant: Researchers wanted to know whether the atmosphere near the ocean counteracted the acid-producing qualities of pollutants, and found that it did not.

“This was in the very early days of acid rain and not a lot was known about it,” Scudlark said.

In the 1980s, he worked with Thomas Church, E.I. du Pont Professor of Marine Studies, to analyze the presence of trace metal pollutants like lead, mercury, zinc and copper in rainwater and gauge their impact on coastal waters.

Later they and others started examining how nitrogen, including nitrogen from ammonia generated from the poultry industry, was entering the air and then Delaware’s coastal waters to cause algal blooms and other problems.

By the mid-1990s, acid rain research focused on how well the Clean Air Act Amendments were working. Data gathered in Lewes and around the country shows dramatic improvements over the long term, taking into account natural variability in the climate from year to year.

With the pH scale ranging from 0 at its most acidic, 7 for pure water and 14 at most basic, precipitation acidity in Lewes improved from 4.3 to 4.7.

“It doesn’t sound like a lot because pH is a logarithmic scale, but it represents a 60 percent decrease, which is significant,” Scudlark said. “That is better than the original target of the legislation.”

Yet while the changes have decreased the amount of acid entering these ecosystems, fish populations and vegetation have been slow to respond. The soils have been leeched of certain important nutrients, in some cases organisms have completely disappeared.

Certain fish, for example, have yet to return to previous numbers. That’s why researchers continue to watch and monitor.

“It takes time for the soils, lake sediments and organisms to rebound,” Scudlark said. “It’s not reasonable to expect that they’re just going to bounce back overnight.”

Related Links
School of Marine Science and Policy
College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment
The Air We Breathe at TerraDaily.com

Corexit chemical dispersant used by BP during Gulf oil disaster linked to horrific human injuries

By Ethan A. Huff, 
(NaturalNews) A man who is now a paraplegic and who is also going blind has filed a lawsuit against British Petroleum (BP) and its related companies; Halliburton; Transocean; NALCO; ConocoPhilips and several other companies involved with the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster that began on April 20, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the suit, BP officials lied about the safety of Corexit, an oil dispersant sprayed throughout the Gulf, which resulted in serious and permanent injuries for a dive…

EPA Grossly Misrepresents The Toxicity Of Corexit Used In Gulf Of Mexico

Susan Aarde
Activist Post
plane spraying corexit

© Apalachicola Bay Corexit Poisoning

Quite incredibly, the EPA issued a positive report on May 1, 2012 regarding the safety and toxicity of various dispersants used in the BP Gulf Oil Spill. Included in this assessment was the use of Corexit.

This report “indicated that all eight dispersants had roughly the same toxicity,” and all fell into the “practically non-toxic” or “slightly toxic” category. Scientists found that none of the eight dispersants displayed endocrine-disrupting activity of “biological significance.”

The same report went on to say that “dispersant-oil mixtures were generally no more toxic to the aquatic test species than oil alone.”

The first question that jumps out for those who have researched this subject with any degree of thoroughness is how this recent report fails to reconcile with previous studies performed by the EPA.

Here is some test data retrieved from the EPA website that was posted previous to the BP Gulf Oil Spill.

The dispersant (Corexit 9500) and dispersed oil have demonstrated the following levels of toxicity per the EPA website link that follows:

(1) 10.72 parts per million (ppm) of oil alone will kill 50% of the fish test species in a normal aquatic environment within 96 hours.

(2) 25.20 parts per million of dispersant (Corexit 9500) alone will kill 50% of the fish test species in a normal aquatic environment within 96 hours.

(3) 2.61 parts per million of dispersed oil (Corexit-laden) alone will kill 50% of the fish test species in a normal aquatic environment within 96 hours.

This data diverges from the recent report to such a significant degree that the results which were just posted at the EPA.gov website under the title of “The BP Oil Spill: Responsive Science Supports Emergency Response” must be seriously scrutinized.

What is the buying public to make of such conflicting data? Those who have medical conditions which require complete avoidance of toxic seafood need to know with certainty what they are eating.

Likewise, the fishermen in the Gulf need to know the true condition of their catch. Swimmers and beachgoers need to know the state of the water, as well as the beaches. Boaters ought to be informed of the relevant risk factors when out in the areas of recently sprayed waters, whether surface or deep sea.

The most serious questions to emerge from this report revolve around the issue of credibility. Can the EPA ever be trusted again to conduct the necessary research regarding anything having to do with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill caused by BP?

Issuing such blanket statements about the relatively low toxicity associated with this spill, irrespective of location on the beach, in the waters, in the wetlands or estuaries, seems to be quite disingenuous.

Furthermore, the federal government’s declaration that the “clean up phase” of the Deepwater Horizon spill is over begs for review, especially in light of the large quantities of submerged oil unaccounted for residing in the water column, DOJ’s discovery of false flow rate numbers reported by BP and new sightings of oil slicks all over the Gulf.

In light of all that, the clean up phase is not over and further use of Corexit dispersant isn’t an effective solution.

Moreover, the fact that the EPA has approved for use a very safe bioremediation agent known as Oil Spill Eater II, but has yet to allow its use in the Gulf raises many additional questions.

From our investigation, it has become clear that Corexit has been given preferential treatment over other much safer alternatives. The Gulf Oil Spill Remediation Conference (GOSRC) was quoted as follows in this regard:

When we heard about Oil Spill Eater II, and the fact that it is EPA-approved (NCP listed) and has demonstrated its effectiveness at least 14 times for the BP Gulf Oil Spill, we wondered why it wasn’t being used 24/7.

The GOSRC went on to issue a press release entitled: Coalition Of Enviro, Citizens And Political Groups Demand COREXIT Use Be Stopped which pointed out the deliberate false image which has been created around the use of this toxic dispersant – Corexit 9500.

The Gulf Rescue Alliance (GRA) also made the recent observations in their press release entitled: BP Gulf Oil Spill Revisited.

Many of these studies point out the obvious; that when you mix a tremendous volume of released oil with methane gas and further mix it with a toxic dispersant like Corexit, as they have done throughout this oil spill, a chemical cocktail is created that will have as far-reaching ecological ramifications as it will profound environmental consequences.

The Earth Orgainization (TEO) has also weighed in on this issue through their release of an excellent documentary entitled: Hidden Crisis in the GULF. Barbara Wiseman, TEO President, has been an ardent advocate for safer oil remediation measures since the very beginning of this oil spill. She has said that:

At the beginning of the disaster, TEO investigated to find effective, non-toxic technologies currently available in adequate supply to clean up an oil spill of this size. Once we isolated the best solutions, we then investigated to find what the barriers to getting them implemented were. The barriers have all come down to specific people in the EPA. They are, in effect, holding the Gulf hostage and, for some unexplained reason, won’t let it be cleaned up.

Lastly, perhaps the words of Steven Pedigo reflect the voice of reason more than any other in this ongoing oil spill when he was quoted in A 2nd Anniversary Report on the BP Gulf Oil Spillas follows:

The toxic dispersants add absolutely nothing to EFFECTIVE RESPONSE. There is no scientific basis for it, and their use violates The Clean Water Act, EPA’s charter and common sense.

Corexit’s label clearly states it can cause kidney failure and death and the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) specifically warns, ‘Do not contaminate surface water with it. Additionally, toxicity testing in regards to marine species shows little tolerance by all forms of sea life; thus, applying it on spills as a preferred response method increases the toxicity of the spilled oil on which it is used.

**********************************************************************************************************

Cyber Space

Netherlands passes net neutrality law, first among EU nations

By Vlad Savov  

netherlands

People in the Netherlands have reason to celebrate today, following the expected passing into law of new net neutrality regulation. The legislation in question was agreed upon back in June last year, but it’s only on Tuesday that the nation’s second legislative chamber gave its blessing to the move, making everything official. Under the new law, mobile internet providers like KPN won’t be able to charge for access to particular services like Skype or throttle traffic through them — both techniques that the company was intent on using to manage its mobile traffic.

Some exceptional reasons, such as network congestion and security, are allowed for slowing down users’ connections, but the general thrust of the law is that operators ought to be blind to the traffic they carry and treat all of it equally. Dutch lobbying group Bits of Freedom also notes that the net neutrality law includes anti-wiretapping provisions, making it unlawful to use deep packet inspection on users’ internet communications without their express consent or a legal warrant. All in all, it’s a good day for privacy and internet freedom in the Netherlands, now how about we spread the good cheer throughout the whole European Union?

Mozilla Cracks Down on Memory Leaks in Firefox Add-Ons

By Katherine Noyes, PCWorld

It was only a few short months ago that Mozilla put its Firefox browser on a memory “diet,” and this week it announced that it’s doing much the same thing for Firefox add-ons as well.

“Leaky add-ons are a big problem,” began the blog poston Monday from Mozilla developer Nicholas Nethercote.

Accordingly, Nethercote’s post outlines a summary of Mozilla’s strategy to deal with such problems as well as requesting help from testers of its current Nightly versions.

‘Working Splendidly’

A promising new patch, in fact, has shown great potential in addressing what Nethercote calls “chrome-to-content” leaks.

“In theory it would prevent almost all add-ons’ zombie compartments, which constitute the majority of leaks from add-ons,” Nethercote explained. “And in practice, it appears to be working splendidly.”

In fact, tests of the new patch so far have found a reduction in memory consumption of as much as 400 percent, Nethercote said.

The result–regardless of hardware capabilities–can be much faster browser speeds, he added.

“Even on high-end machines with lots of RAM, leaks can greatly hurt browser performance,” Nethercote explained.

More details on the new patch can be found in a recent blog post by Kyle Huey, its creator.

Read Full Article Here

US spy agency can keep mum on Google ties: court

AFP

  • The top-secret US National Security Agency is not required to reveal any deal it may have with Google to help protect against cyber attacks, an appeals court ruled Friday. The US Court of Appeals in Washington upheld a lower court decision that said the NSA need not confirm or deny any relationship with Google, because its governing statutes allow it keep such information secret. (AFP Photo/Kimihiro Hoshino)

The top-secret US National Security Agency is not required to reveal any deal it may have with Google to help protect against cyber attacks, an appeals court ruled Friday.

The US Court of Appeals in Washington upheld a lower court decision that said the NSA need not confirm or deny any relationship with Google, because its governing statutes allow it keep such information secret.

The ruling came in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from a public interest group, which said the public has a right to know about any spying on citizens.

The appeals court agreed that the NSA can reject the request, and does not even have to confirm whether it has any arrangement with the Internet giant.

“Any information pertaining to the relationship between Google and NSA would reveal protected information about NSA’s implementation of its information assurance mission,” Judge Janice Rogers Brown wrote in the appeals opinion.

The non-profit Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) filed a formal request to make public documents related to the dealings, and said much of the information had already been in news media.

Read Full Article Here

Facebook’s Potential For Putting User Data to Work Off Network Stirs Debate

By Christina DesMarais, PCWorld

Facebook’s desire to further put its user data to work for the social network makes sense because advertising is a major profit driver, and the company is looking to impress investors ahead of its IPO.

Facebook’s business model revolves around serving people highly relevant ads, so it should come as no surprise that the company said recently that at some point it could launch an advertising network to display ads outside of its platform.

Privacy advocates are raising questions again, calling the company’s proposed changes an inadequate attempt to quell privacy concerns, but Facebook says it is simply trying to be forthright with its users and potential investors.

In an explanation of changes document it posted on May 11, Facebook wrote, “We’re also clarifying our existing disclosure that we might show ads off Facebook to explain that, if we showed these ads, they may or may not include social context (such as whether your friends have ‘liked’ a particular business).”

Read Full Article Here

Phony Flash Player Plants Malware on Android Phones

By John P. Mello Jr., PCWorld

Source: Trend MicroAdobe Flash Player users beware: A website that promises visitors a free copy of the download for all versions of Android is reportedly planting malware on smartphones running Google’s mobile operating system.

The infected web page used to distribute the malware was discovered in a number of Russian domains, wrote Karla Agregado, a fraud analyst with Trend Micro, in a recent company blog. A similar tactic emerged last month to infect Android phones with bogus copies of Angry Birds and Instagram.

When a visitor clicks the download button at the infected site, Agregado explained, a connection is made to another site that, without the guest’s knowledge, sends a malicious APK file to the mobile web surfer’s smartphone.

Once on the phone, the malware starts to secretly send text messages to premium numbers. This scam is a popular one among cyber criminals targeting Android phones. Symantec estimates in its most recent annual threat report that in 2011 some 18 percent of all mobile threats during the year involved premium SMS messages from infected phones.

“Malware that sends premium SMS text messages can pay the author $9.99 for each text and for victims not watching their phone bill could pay off the cyber criminal countless times,” Symantec noted.

Read Full Article Here

Facebook Proposes More Changes to Privacy Policy

By Cameron Scott, IDG News

Facebook said on Friday that it intends to make further changes to its privacy policy in order to respond to an audit by the Irish government, but privacy advocates saw the move as an inadequate attempt to quell privacy concerns prior to Facebook’s planned initial public offering.

The proposed changes, which the company put out for public comment on Friday, don’t appear to reflect any major shifts in policy. For the most part, the document makes more explicit how Facebook is already using user data. The company has also updated the policy to reflect newer features, such as cover photos.

The proposed changes are not final. A document highlighting the proposed changes is available on the website in PDF form, along with an explanation of the changes. The company is asking for user feedback and will host a web question-and-answer session about the changes May 14 at 9 a.m. Pacific time.

Sarah Downey, a privacy analyst and attorney at privacy software vendor Abine, said the more explicit language was required by a consent decree issued last year as part of a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, and by the audit by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner.

Downey said once Facebook goes public, it will face pressure to generate more revenue and will probably accomplish that goal by using personal information to sell targeted advertising. The initial public offering (IPO) is expected to take place on May 18.

Read Full Article Here

**********************************************************************************************************

Survival / Sustainability

How to make soap in a few easy steps

by M.D. Creekmore  

by Bam Bam

pic of Soap Making Equipment

Soap Making Equipment

It is really easy to make soap at home. And the homemade product is by far superior to anything you could buy in the box stores. It is better for your skin and gives you something with which to barter. Everyone loves a nicely scented homemade bar of soap.

In this post, I want to walk you through the cold process method of making homemade soap. It’s easier than you might think. Soap is made from three basic ingredients: lye, water and fat (oil). Adding lye water to fat results in a chemical reaction called saponification, the end result of which is soap.

About the ingredients: make sure your lye is 100 percent sodium hydroxide. (You don’t want any additives.) Next use either rainwater or bottled water. There are all kinds of oils that are used to make soap, and some of them are very expensive. The ones that I have used so far include olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, caster oil, vegetable shortening and lard. It’s good to use a combination of oils because different oils add different characteristics to the fished soap. For instance, caster oil is added for lather and olive oil is added to make a nice hard bar of soap. (More on this later.)

Here is the quick and dirty explanation of soap making. Measure out the water and the lye, and then add the lye to the water. Cool until lye mixture reaches 100 degrees. Then heat the oils to 100 degrees. When the lye water and the oils are both 100 degrees, add the lye water to the oils. Stir until the mixture reaches “trace”. Then pour into your mold and leave unmolested overnight. Remove the soap from the mold and cut into bars. Let cure for six to eight weeks. (I will give a detailed explanation later.)

Read Full Article Here

Week 8 of 52: Emergency Sanitation

Tess Pennington
Ready Nutrition
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if your trash wasn’t picked up each week? Have you thought of how you dispose of it? What would happen to your town if trash was left to sit out in the sun to bake for weeks on end without anyone showing up to take it away?

The odor alone would be enough of a nightmare to face, but what about what is inside the trash itself (i.e., dirty diapers, contaminated medical supplies, rotting meat and food)? This type of situation would cause E. coli and bacteria to invade most everything that you touch. If a situation like this was allowed to fester, the potential for diseases and epidemics would create an entire new disaster to be dealt with.

No one really wants to discuss sanitation because it’s an unpleasant and dirty subject; however, it is one of the most important areas to focus on when preparing for a disaster. In a disaster where water resources are compromised, people within a 50 mile radius could be adversely impacted by illness and disease just if one person handled the trash improperly. When trash cannot be picked up, it must be burned or buried by you; however, municipalities cannot risk contamination to the water source or soil from people who incorrectly bury their debris, so it is important to know how to properly dispose of your waste products.
If you find yourself in a situation where toilet paper is not available, you may have to resort to a more natural method of being hygienically clean. Below is a list of toilet paper alternatives for an emergency situation.

Read Full Article Here

***********************************************************************************************************

Community

Revitalizing Traditional Native Food-ways Topic of Weekend Workshop

HOPKINS, MICHIGAN – The Gun Lake Band of Pottawatomi and the Great Lakes Lifeways Institute in partnership with the Native American Institute and MSU Extension have announced an in-depth weekend hands-on workshop on revitalizing access to traditional and healthy Native foods.

Traditional and healthy Native foodsEvent will Showcase Traditional Healthy Foods, Flavors and Ingredients

The workshop will be held this Saturday and Sunday at Camp Jijak in Hopkins, Michigan. The workshop will run from 9 am to 5 pm both days. The cost of the workshop is $35 for one day or $50 for both days. Registration cost includes lunches and Saturday evening feast and activities.

Having healthy and sustainable food systems is both a critical part of tribal sovereignty and crucial to the health and well being of native families and communities.

Traditional food systems used for generations by native communities in the Great Lakes Region including foraging, hunting, fishing, permaculture and gardening have long provided a diverse and healthy diet. These traditional practices sustainably balanced human needs with those of the local environment and brought communities and extended families together to meet common needs.

In today’s world, the need to revitalize and build upon these traditional and sustainable practices is greater than ever. At 16.1 percent, American Indians have the highest age adjusted prevalence of diabetes among all US racial and ethnic groups. This workshop will provide an opportunity for around 100 participants from across Michigan to share knowledge, learn traditional food and agriculture practices and discover effective food programs from a variety of tribes throughout the region.

The event will be catered by Carly Shananaquet, of the Gun Lake Tribe. Each of the four meals provided at the event will showcase traditional healthy foods, flavors and ingredients, many of which have been produced by Native American communities.

Some of the foods being served include:

  • Adikmekwak (Tribally Harvested Lake Superior Whitefish)
  • Mnomen mine Seksi Wiyas (Wild Rice, Venison and Wild Leeks)
  • Acorn Meal Cranberry and Maple Muffins
  • Wild Spring Greens Salad with Ziwa’abo (Maple Vinegar) Dressing
  • Wishkmnomen (Sweet Maple Wild Rice)
  • American Hazelnut and Wild Plum Cookies
  • Bison Roast
  • Cree Style Pemmican
  • Damnabo (Corn Soup)
  • Wezhashkemdek (Boiled Hominy and Hickory Nut Dumplings)
  • Sassafras Gelato
  • Shktagnabo (Birch/Chaga tea)
  • Sassafrass Tea

Read Full Article Here

***********************************************************************************************************

Activism

Day 238: Live Stream of the Occupy Movement

Josh Harkinson
NationofChange / Special Coverage
Day 238 of the Occupy Movement: Live Video Stream And Twitter Feed

http://cdn.livestream.com/embed/globalrevolution?layout=4&width=560&autoplay=false&height=340

Watch live streaming video from globalrevolution at livestream.com

***********************************************************************************************************

Articles of Interest

Kenyan ranches relocating rhinos in fear of poachers

by Staff Writers
Nairobi (AFP) May 11, 2012

Claus Mortensen is a private Kenyan rancher with a passion — endangered rhinos — and now a mission: to save his herd from slaughter by ruthless poachers who sell their horns to Asia, where they are prized as a miracle drug.

But costs are spiralling for Mortensen and other ranchers as they battle to keep one step ahead of the hunters and guarantee the survival of rhinos, and elephants, on their expansive, remote reserves.

“Seeing a dead rhino is terrible,” said Mortensen, who runs Mugie ranch, around 300 kilometres (186 miles) north of the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

“Mugie is located in such a remote corner that to secure it we need many more helicopters and airplanes,” he said.

Twenty rhinos were reintroduced to the 18,000-hectare (44,000-acre) sanctuary in 2004. Four years later, poachers struck, killing one animal and hacking off its horns.

“It happened again and again,” said Mortensen, explaining that his and other ranchers’ work has changed from basic conservation to intelligence gathering operations aimed at deterring poachers.

And the change has pushed up bills: private ranchers have had to triple the number of rangers working their reserves and it now costs an average $1,200 (900 euros) a month, up from $150, to keep one rhino alive.

“All night, all day… you have your telephone on, radio on, next to your bed and when somebody calls your heart stops beating,” Mortensen said.

Kenya, which has the world’s third largest rhino population — around 600 black and 300 white rhinos, is constantly battling poachers. In 2009, it suffered its worst year for rhino poaching when 12 black and six white rhinos were killed.

The illegal trade is driven by the voracious Asian and Middle Eastern demand for the animals’ horns for use in traditional medicines for fevers, convulsions and as an aphrodisiac.

— Legal market for illegal horns —

The horns mainly contain keratin — a substance also found in animal hooves, human nails and hair — and despite having no medicinal value, demand continues to rise.

“The increase, escalation of poaching is driven by the growing influence of the Asian economy. There is a legal market for illegal horns,” said Patrick Bergin, the director of the Washington-based African Wildlife Foundation (AWF).

“It is a complex phenomenon. Poachers are from international gangs and have sophisticated arms — and they are ready to do anything,” said Patrick Omondi of the state-run Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).

A kilo (2.2 pounds) of rhino horn can cost as much as $60,000 (45,000 euros), according to KWS estimates.

The KWS has transferred 11 of Mugie’s rhinos to a park near the shores of Lake Victoria, and will relocate the rest to another more secure private ranch.

Poachers have also hit Kenya’s renowned rhino sanctuaries in Laikipia, on the equator in the foothills of snowcapped Mount Kenya.

According to the British-based conservation charity Save the Rhino, the area has the largest population of rhinos in East and Central Africa, with 49 percent of Kenya’s black rhino population and 70 percent of its white rhinos, but resources at the area’s sanctuaries have been stretched fending off the marauding gangs.

“Private sanctuaries do not have enough money. They cannot afford to protect the rhinos,” said Mordecai Ogadam of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum.

Between 2007 and 2011, Kenya lost 75 rhinos and so far this year, 12 have been killed, according to Kenya wildlife officials.

Authorities have arrested several suspected poachers and confiscated weapons and traps, but their efforts do not seem to deter the gunmen.

Despite a ban on rhino horn trade by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which took effect in 1975 and now has 175 members including Kenya, the world rhino population has almost been wiped out, with 90 percent lost since the 1970s, according to the AWF.

Related Links
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com

Nepal winning battle against rhino poachers

by Staff Writers
Kathmandu (AFP) May 11, 2012

In a nation where a civil war and years of political deadlock have stunted prosperity and development, the burgeoning rhino population is one of Nepal’s rare success stories.

The Himalayan country’s endangered one-horned rhinoceros has increased its numbers significantly over recent years thanks to tightened security against poachers and community conservation programmes.

Wildlife experts spent a month last year conducting an exhaustive survey and counted 534 rhinos in Nepal’s southern forests — 99 more than when the last such census was carried out in 2008.

“Despite all the hardship during the unrest in the country, we continued our support to the fullest extent to control poaching of rhinos and we are glad that our efforts have yielded positive results,” said Diwakar Chapagain of WWF Nepal’s wildlife trade control programme.

The wildlife organisation, which has been involved in anti-poaching and anti-trafficking programmes as well as habitat research for more than 30 years, expects numbers to keep improving.

The picture was not always so positive.

Thousands of greater one-horned rhinos, also known as the Indian rhinoceros, once roamed Nepal and northern India but their numbers plunged over the last century due to poaching and human encroachment on their habitat.

The animals are killed for their horns, which are prized for their reputed medicinal qualities in China and southeast Asia.

A single horn can sell for tens of thousands of dollars on the international black market, and impoverished Nepal’s porous borders, weak law enforcement and proximity to China have made the country a hub for the illegal trade.

The population decline was particularly dramatic during Nepal’s 1996-2006 civil war, when soldiers on anti-poaching details were re-deployed to fight a Maoist guerrilla insurgency.

“Because the security forces had to engage in other national security issues, priority to park security and wildlife protection was weakened,” said Chapagain.

“Similarly, park guard posts were decreased to a few posts in a single location, which left a security vacuum in the habitats of the rhino and other wildlife.

“Poachers could go to parks without any fear of arrest.”

When the conflict ended, the government made a priority of rebuilding its wildlife protection apparatus, said Maheshwar Dhakal, an ecologist with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation.

“But it took some time for the results to appear because the poachers had changed their strategies. They waited for the rains or night time so that the guards wouldn’t be there,” Dhakal told AFP.

“They entered the conservation areas from the bushes and during festivals when the security was at a minimum.”

A key turning point in the fight to save the rhino occurred in 2009, when the government decided to enlist community groups to protect the animals, Dhakal said.

“We started to exchange information and create awareness campaigns in the local areas. We enlisted a group of local volunteers who would go on patrol in the jungle,” he said.

“It boosted the morale of the local people. We also developed a network of committees under our office to make our efforts more coordinated.”

This new approach yielded remarkable results last year, the first since records began in which no deaths of rhinos at the hands of poachers were recorded in Nepal.

“On the one hand, the Nepalese Army’s patrolling was becoming more effective, and the police also arrested several poachers, on the other,” said Dhakal.

“These campaigns were instrumental in the rise of numbers of rhinos and the decline in the illegal trade of their organs.”

Related Links
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com

White Buffalo and Mother Killed in Texas

Reward at $30,000

Native News Network

GREENVILLE, TEXAS – Lightning Medicine Cloud and his mother, Buffalo Woman, were killed and slaughtered before the special white buffalo reached his first birthday. He was slaughtered and skinned while the Little Soldier Family was out of town in Oklahoma City.

Lightning Medicine Cloud and his mother, Buffalo WomanLightning Medicine Cloud and
his mother, Buffalo Woman last Summer

Lightning Medicine Cloud, a white buffalo, was born on the Lakota Ranch on May 12, 2011. A special naming ceremony was held at the ranch on June 29, which drew thousands of people from various parts of the United States.

Arby Little Soldier, Lakota, great-great-great grandson of Sitting Bull and owner/operator of the ranch, stated then that the birth of a white buffalo is one in ten million occurrence.

Among some American Indian tribes, it is believed that the message of a white buffalo is that humankind should live with the understanding that all living beings are linked and interdependent. The birth of a white buffalo is an opportunity for all people to collectively focus their energy on the peaceful, healthy and harmonious world.

“I discovered Lightning Medicine Cloud dead after we returned home from Oklahoma City. Whoever came on to our ranch killed him, stripped the meat. I could tell it was him because the head was left with its white hair, along with the tail,”

Little Soldier told the Native News Network on Sunday night.

“On the other side of the pond, we discovered his mother. She was hit be a poisonous arrow. She died later last Monday night,”

Little Soldier continued.

“Whoever did this, singled out Lightning Medicine Cloud and his mother,”

stated Little Soldier.

“I am clueless at this point about who did. The Texas Rangers, BIA police and FBI are investigating this crime. Some are calling it a hate crime. I feel completely dishonored and disgraced. And, I am mad.”

Little Soldier says his ranch is securely fenced in and believes the person or people responsible for the killings must have known they were out of town.

Read Full Article Here

************************************************************************************************************
[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Environmental

Study finds that mild winters are detrimental to butterflies

by Staff Writers
Notre Dame IN (SPX) Apr 25, 2012


So although mild winters may be a cause for celebration for many of us, those who are concerned are biodiversity might find them to be much more somber seasons.

The recent mild winter throughout much of the United States was a cause for celebration for many. However, butterfly aficionados shouldn’t be joining in the celebration.

A new study by Jessica Hellmann, associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame, and researchers from Western University found that mild winters, such as the one many of us just experienced, can be taxing for some butterfly or possibly other species.

Hellmann and her fellow researchers studied caterpillars of the Propertius Duskywing butterfly, which feed on Gary Oak trees. This species of caterpillar, like many insects, has a higher metabolic rate and burns more fat during mild winters.

“The energy reserves the caterpillars collect in the summer need to provide enough energy for both overwintering and metamorphosing into a butterfly in the spring,” Caroline William, lead author of the study, said.

So a butterfly needs to conserve as much energy as it can during the winter months. In the paper, Hellmann and her colleagues explain for the first time how warmer winters can lead to a decrease in the number of butterflies.

However, Hellmann and the Western University researchers found that warmer winters might not always reduce butterfly populations as much as one might initially think. They reared caterpillars in two different locations: one which often experiences more variable and warmer winter temperatures and one which generally features more stable and generally cooler winter temperatures.

The caterpillars that were exposed to the warmer and more variable conditions were better able to withstand the warmer conditions, simply by being exposed to them. They did so by lowering the sensitivity of their metabolism.

However, the ability of even caterpillars accustomed to warmer, more variable winters to cope with such conditions is still limited, according to the researchers. They calculated the energy use of both groups of caterpillars and discovered that the caterpillars that lower their metabolic rates to deal with warmer winters still use significantly more energy to survive them.

“We still have lot to learn about how organisms will respond to climate change,” Hellmann said. “Our study shows significant biological effects of climate change, but it also shows that organisms can partially adjust their physiology to compensate. We now need to discover if other species adjust in similar ways to our example species.”

So although mild winters may be a cause for celebration for many of us, those who are concerned are biodiversity might find them to be much more somber seasons.

Related Links
University of Notre Dame
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com

 

Challenges hinder agroforestry research, policy formulation and adoption in Indonesia

by Yvonne Otieno
Nairobi, Kenya (SPX) Apr 25, 2012


File image.

Indonesia, the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, most of which come from deforestation, is setting out to reverse the trend. One of the ways it plans to do so is to create a national strategy to put more trees on farms, a practice known as agroforestry

The importance of collaboration among all research partners in agroforestry was recently emphasised at a historic workshop to develop a national strategy on agroforestry research in Indonesia.

During the meeting, five key challenges facing agroforestry in Indonesia were also identified. The first challenge mentioned was the Government’s partial approach to research, which translates into low adoption of research recommendations.

Second, land tenure insecurity, particularly in State forest areas, leads to social conflict and degradation of forest resources. Third, the trade-off between conservation and development activities lead to difficulty in deciding forest management.

The slow progress of community-based forestry management schemes introduced by the Ministry of Forestry hampered agroforestry development and emerging issues related to climate change and affecting forestry and land management were also mentioned as hindrances.

Despite the challenges, the meeting identified opportunities for agroforestry, such as the large pool of knowledge worldwide; increasing support for agroforestry-related policies; availability of potential partners in research and development, including the World Agroforestry Centre, Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), NGOs, regional governments, the private sector and universities; and international concern for climate change that provides financial support for agroforestry research.

The meeting included experts from the Forestry Research and Development Agency (FORDA) of the Ministry of Forestry (including the newly formed agroforestry research centre at Ciamis), Bogor Agricultural Institute, University of Lampung, Gadjah Mada University and the World Agroforestry Centre Indonesia office. Several key resource persons with expertise in policy analysis, natural resource management and agroforestry were also present.

The day-long workshop was jointly opened by Dr Ir Bambang Trihartono MF, head of FORDA’s Centre for Research and Development for Enhancement of Forest Productivity, and Dr Ujjwal Pradhan, regional coordinator of the World Agroforestry Centre in Southeast Asia.

In their opening speeches, both talked of focusing on achieving clear research outcomes and timeframes with direct impact on the development of agroforestry.

FORDA had prepared a draft document, which the workshop discussed in detail. The draft stated that the vision of the strategy was ‘agroforestry mainstreamed into forestry development in Indonesia and widely adopted by the community as a forestry and land-use system to meet sustainable forest management goals for improving people’s livelihoods and sustaining natural resources’.

The mission of the meeting was in two parts; first to develop the partnerships and involvement of research actors in producing knowledge for the development of agroforestry in Indonesia and second was to widen the adoption of agroforestry by stakeholders in Indonesia.

The opening presentation by Dede Rohadi of FORDA, who is also a consultant to CIFOR, explained that although agroforestry was a legal practice and widely practised it had not yet been formally acknowledged in Government planning and policy.

FORDA had been conducting significant research activity for some time. However, research into the social aspects had been less adequately addressed yet there were many problems in the social arena that affected agroforestry development.

Dede provided a background to the research status of agroforestry in Indonesia, dividing the research topics into four: silviculture, environment, social and economic. A literature search had revealed that the first, silviculture, had more than 120 publications associated with it; environment had 109; economic 112; and social 98.

The strategy development targeted several areas for initial research including smallholders’ production systems and markets for agroforestry practices, community-based forest management in State forest areas, harmonising agroforestry practices with global climate change, and enhancing agroforestry practices for environmental services.

The research into smallholders’ production systems is closely linked with CGIAR Research Program 6 whose objective is enhancing the management and use of forestry, agroforestry and tree genetic resources across landscapes from forests to farms; and the research priorities of FORDA[y1] .

The results from the research will be disseminated through national and international journals, popular media, policy briefs, international and national seminars, the internet, working groups and demonstration plots.

In order to implement the strategy, the capacity of staff and farmers would need to be enhanced, typically through training and workshops; exchange programs involving study tours, internships and seconded scientists; a post-graduate program; and advocacy.

The deliberations of the day’s workshop are being taken into account in the continuing drafting of the national strategy. A national workshop with partners from other ministries, especially agriculture, marine and fisheries and the National Planning Agency, will be held in the near future to establish a cross-ministry approach.

Related Links
World Agroforestry Centre Indonesia
Forestry News – Global and Local News, Science and Application

**********************************************************************************************************

Cyber Space

Obama condemns monitoring abroad as Congress pushes CISPA

Published on Apr 24, 2012 by

President Obama announced that he is planning on fighting genocide in the Middle East by cracking down on entities that use technology to conduct human rights violations. On Monday, Obama signed an executive order that targets individuals who use technology to monitor and track dissidents. Although President Obama opposes the monitoring of individuals abroad, Congress is attempting to pass a legislation that will allow the US government to do just that domestically. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing Protection Act (CISPA) could alter online freedoms in the US, and Declan McCullagh, CNet News correspondent, joins us for a closer look.

 

**********************************************************************************************************

Survival / Sustainability

10/4/2011 3:42:55 PM
By David Wendell – Bushcraft on Fire
Dealing often with people who may run into a “survival situation” the question of “Survival Mentality” often comes up. And while it is important to have a positive attitude in far-out situations, I believe that this mentality also comes into play in our everyday lives. In homesteading, sustainability, and self reliance this outlook can mean the difference between success and failure, and in a critical situation it could even mean life or death! We all face severities in our everyday life, and the ability to overcome these difficulties will determine the outcome. So what exactly is a “Survival Mentality?”Simply put,  a survival mentality is the inward knowing that you can do what needs to be done to overcome whatever adversity you might be facing. This could be as simple as building a new addition, or as severe as a strong storm or drought wiping out your entire crop for the year. How would you be able to handle these things if they occurred in your life? The only way to be able to face such hardship with a positive attitude is by adhering to the old adage…

“Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.”

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Adapt… or Face Extinction

Animals adapt to the environment or face extinction, while some humans seem too stuck in their own old ways.

By Joe Novara

186-104-1b

“Did Seattle win last night?” my friend Ernst, the animal psychologist, asked during brunch at my place.

“How should I know?” I snapped back. “The morning paper isn’t here yet. I hate when that happens. Messes up my whole Sunday routine.”

“You should not be so set in your ways,” my friend counseled. “You have to adapt to the environment. Like animals adapt. They have to or face extinction.””You think I should get with it – read the news on handheld computers rather than flattened trees.”

“It’s all a matter of information-format conditioning,” Ernst began, easing back into the lounge chair. I hate it when he waxes professorial. “Take the early Greeks…” he began.”No thanks,” I retorted. “…they were very upset when the written word was discovered. What was going to happen to all those epic story-poems told by heart? And when books first came out, the Romans must have missed unwinding with a good scroll.”

“Hey look, I didn’t ask for a lecture. I only want my morning paper in the morning, not the afternoon. Okay?”

“We all have to adapt to changing times,” Ernst persisted. “Take animals, for instance. They’re too slow. Look at roadkill.””I usually try not to. But, okay. I can see where you’re going – roadkill would have to continue for a million years before animals know to ‘stop, look and listen’ before they cross the street. Is that it?”

“Something like that. Animals can figure out how to live around cities. But they can’t get the concept of roads. They’re wired to go from one place to another the same way, over and over, no matter what’s in the way.”

“Right. Plop your garden across a snake’s migratory path and he could give a hiss about detours and alternate routes.”

***********************************************************************************************************

Activism

Hundreds rally for Mumia’s release outside the DoJ

Published on Apr 24, 2012 by

Mumia Abu Jamal is an American writer and journalist whose prison case
has sparked international outrage. He has spent the last 29 years on
death row, but earlier this year his sentence was reduced to life in
prison without the possibility of parole. Abby Martin of RT reports
from the “Occupy the Justice” rally in Washington, DC on Mumia’s 58th
birthday, where hundreds have gathered in solidarity with the Occupy
Movement to call attention to his case, the unfairness of the US
justice system and an end to mass incarceration in the US, where one
out of every 100 Americans are currently in prison.

***********************************************************************************************************

Articles of Interest

The Associated Press April 24, 2012, 7:38PM ET

Ex-BP engineer arrested in Gulf oil spill case

By CAIN BURDEAU and MICHAEL KUNZELMAN

NEW ORLEANS

Federal prosecutors brought the first criminal charges Tuesday in the Gulf oil spill, accusing a former BP engineer of deleting more than 300 text messages that indicated the blown-out well was spewing far more crude than the company was telling the public at the time.

Two years and four days after the drilling-rig explosion that set off the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, Kurt Mix, 50, of Katy, Texas, was arrested and charged with two counts of obstruction of justice for allegedly destroying evidence.

His attorney, Joan McPhee, issued a statement Tuesday evening describing the charges as misguided and that she is confident Mix will be exonerated.

“The government says he intentionally deleted text messages from his phone, but the content of those messages still resides in thousands of emails, text messages and other documents that he saved,” she said. “Indeed, the emails that Kurt preserved include the very ones highlighted by the government.”

Read Full Article Here

***********************************************************************************************************

[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Environmental

 

Thawing permafrost may have led to extreme global warming events

 

by Staff Writers
Sheffield UK (SPX)

 


File image: thawing permafrost.

Scientists analysing prehistoric global warming say thawing permafrost released massive amounts of carbon stored in frozen soil of Polar Regions exacerbating climate change through increasing global temperatures and ocean acidification.

Although the amounts of carbon involved in the ancient soil-thaw scenarios was likely much greater than today, the implications of this ground-breaking study are that the long-term future of carbon deposits locked into frozen permafrost of Polar Regions are vulnerable to climate warming caused as humans emit the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuels for energy generation.

Researchers in centres across America, Italy and the University of Sheffield, analyzed a series of sudden, and extreme, global warming events – called hyper thermals – that occurred about 55 million years ago, linked to rising greenhouse gas concentrations and changes in Earth’s orbit, which led to a massive release of carbon into the atmosphere, ocean acidification, and a five degrees Celsius rise in global temperature within just a few thousand years.

It was previously thought that the source of carbon was in the ocean, in the form of frozen methane gas in ocean-floor sediments but now the experts believe the carbon released into the atmosphere millions of years ago came from the Polar Regions.

Professor David Beerling, of the University of Sheffield’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, said: “For the first time, we have linked these past global warming events with a climatically sensitive terrestrial carbon reservoir rather than a marine one. It shows that global warming can be amplified by carbon release from thawing permafrost.”

“The research suggests that carbon stored in permafrost stocks today in the Arctic region is vulnerable to warming. Warming causes permafrost thaw and decomposition of organic matter releasing more greenhouse gases back into the atmosphere.

“This feedback loop could accelerate future warming. It means we must arrest carbon dioxide emissions released by the combustion of fossil fuels if humanity wishes to avoid triggering these sorts of feedbacks in our modern world.”

The breakthrough was made through cross-disciplinary collaborations with climate and vegetation modellers, isotope geochemists and permafrost experts led by Rob DeConto at the University of Massachusetts, in collaboration with the University of Sheffield, Yale, the University of Colorado, Penn State, and the University of Urbino, Italy.

Rob DeConto added: “Similar dynamics are at play today. Global warming is degrading permafrost in the north Polar Regions, unlocking once-frozen carbon and methane and releasing it into the atmosphere. This will only exacerbate future warming in a positive feedback loop.”

The temperature of Earth’s atmosphere is a result of energy input from the sun minus what escapes back into space. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere absorbs and traps heat that would otherwise return to space.

The global warming events were accompanied by a massive input of carbon to the atmosphere plus ocean acidification, and were characterized by a global temperature rise of about five degrees Celsius within a few thousand years.

Until now, scientists have been unable to account for the massive amounts of carbon required to cause such dramatic global warming events and Antarctica, which on today’s Earth is covered by kilometres of ice, has not been appreciated as an important player in such global carbon dynamics.

The research is published in the journal Nature.

 

***********************************************************************************************************

Cyber Space

 

Internet can help, not start, democracy

 

by Staff Writers
Columbus, Ohio (UPI)

 


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

The use of the Internet to promote democracy is most effective in countries already enacting reforms to move in that direction, U.S. researchers say.

The common assumption that the Internet played a major role leading to democratic revolutions in the Arab world and elsewhere is likely an exaggeration, they said.

“Instead of the Internet promoting fundamental political change, it seems to reinforce political change in countries that already have at least some level of democratic freedoms,” researcher Erik Nisbet, a professor of communication at Ohio State University, said.

“Internet use is a less effective means to mobilize citizens for democracy in extremely authoritarian countries,” he said in an OSU release Wednesday.

Demand for democracy is highest in countries where more people are connected to the Internet, the researches said, and in countries where Internet users spend more time on the Web.

“Internet penetration in a country matters in terms of how much people want democratic reforms, but it is even more important that people are spending greater amounts of time on the Internet and that they are connected to other people in their community,” study co-author Elizabeth Stoycheff said.

The researchers analyzed data on 28 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia that evaluated how much the citizens in each country demanded democracy and their frequency of Internet use.

Some countries have the right political and technological mix for the Internet to play a role in social and political change, the researchers said, but countries with highly authoritarian regimes are not likely to see democracy flourishing anytime soon regardless of use of the Internet.

“Our results suggest that the Internet can’t plant the seed of democracy in a country,” Nisbet said. “However, the Internet may help democracy flourish if it has already started to grow.”

***********************************************************************************************************

Survival / Sustainability

 

Useful lessons learned from the Great Depression

 

by M.D. Creekmore


This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest  by MtWoman

(Note: the numbers in certain places are references to the links and info provided at the end.)

Recently, there was a discussion here on the SBlog (as I like to call it) about what knowledge and wisdom our parents and grandparents may have to share with us from their experiences during the depression. I decided to “interview” my father on the subject, using the specific questions that Hunker-Down and Bam-Bam proposed, and expanding from there using my own questions.

It was a very good experience for me. My father is a tough German man, and is seldom open to such things, especially because having to ‘think back’ reveals to him how his memory is failing. But I was gentle and patient and this time he opened up quite a bit. I learned a lot about him, other members of our family, and myself. Discussing my family of origin, and what their lives were like has given me a better understanding of how I am, and what life was like ‘back then’…and what I can do to ‘prep’ for my own future. I’ll share with you here what I found out.

First a little history:

It seems that my father, who was born in 1925, making him 4 years old when the market crashed at the start of the Depression, didn’t have a very hard time of it, really.

His parents were German immigrants, who had been “sponsored” (1) by some other family members to come to the US. In those days, immigrants had to be “sponsored” for a year, which meant someone vouched that you would not become a “burden to society” and they would cover your financial needs until a job was found. There were other requirements, like taking the “umlaut” (those two little dots over some letters) off your name if you had one, which my grandparents had to do. My grandfather came over first (1922), and my grandmother came a year later. They were married here in the US in 1924.

When my father was born and through his childhood, my grandfather worked, and my grandmother was a housewife. They had a small house in Minnesota (one of my most favorite places to go in the summer as a kid). It had a couple of bedrooms, a kitchen, a ‘sitting’ room, and – my favorite – a screened in front porch where I would sleep on a cot sometimes in the Summer, and watch the train go by on the tracks just across the street.

There was electricity in the house and running water and ‘flush’ toilets. They had an apple tree, a good garden, and a ‘cellar’…a space under the house with a hardened dirt floor. I remember there being bushel baskets of root vegetables down there and some jars on shelves. My grandfather had some barrels at the corners of the eaves of the garage which gathered rain water. Their house was 1-2 miles from downtown…..

 

Read The  Full Article Here

 

 

How much water is enough?

 

by M.D. Creekmore


This is a guest post by Tom Sciacca of CampingSurvival.com Yes .

If you like food as much as I do, it’s hard to imagine that our body can actually go weeks without food. It wouldn’t be fun, of course, but it can be done. But without water, our bodies can get into serious trouble quickly – just a matter of days before dehydration can set in. So why is it that many people keep lots of extra food stored in their houses, but neglect to store any water?

This subject came to mind recently when my cousin told me about having to endure a power outage with no drinkable water. Since power outages often impact water treatment facilities, tap water can be unsafe for drinking. The situation was made worse by the fact that her child had vomiting and diarrhea, which meant that there was an even greater need for drinking water, as well as water for cleaning, sanitation and hand washing.

For instance, a mixture of water and chlorine bleach would have greatly assisted in sanitizing around her child, helping to ensure that others didn’t also get sick. And obviously, you wouldn’t want to clean up after such a mess without being able to thoroughly wash your hands. (As a dad, I know that’s NOT fun!) Finally, water for food preparation is a supply you’ll need over and above what you plan to drink.

Now if you look at the conventional wisdom out on the internet, you’ll find guidelines such as the following:….

 

Read Full Article Here

 

***********************************************************************************************************

 

Activism

 

The Wonderful, Unpredictable Life of the Occupy Movement

 

By Arun Gupta, Truthout

Occupy Wall StreetOccupy Wall Street demonstration on March 15, 2012. (Photo: Sunset Parkerpix)

I met Nomi on a bus in Baltimore. She was from Wisconsin and had been involved with Occupy Wall Street. She was part of Occupy Judaism and fondly recalled the Yom Kippur services she attended at the Wall Street occupation with hundreds of other people. Nomi said that, for the first time, she and her friends felt like they could combine the religious and radical dimensions of Judaism. The conversation fell silent as the bus rolled along. Suddenly she turned to me and excitedly announced that she met her girlfriend at Liberty Plaza. I smiled and responded, “That’s why Occupy Wall Street matters.”

By enabling people to find fulfillment in all parts of their lives, whether romantic, spiritual, political or cultural, the Occupy movement is more than a movement. It is life-changing. People experience themselves as complete social beings, not just as angry, alienated protesters. Nomi said she was no longer involved in the movement, which I thought was more evidence of why the actual occupations were so important.

The emergence of every mass movement makes sense in hindsight, but no one could have predicted hundreds of occupations and thousands of groups would pop up across the United States just weeks after a ragged encampment secured a tenuous foothold on Wall Street last September. Sure, anger was boiling over prior to the takeover of Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan, but the occupation crystallized who is to blame for the economic crisis and who are the legitimate people. Anyone could walk into the public space, share their stories, find people with similar grievances and help build micro-societies. Occupy wasn’t just a rejection of Washington and Wall Street. It revealed the failings of liberals, unions and the left. New activists didn’t first have to master volumes of social and cultural theory, attend grueling anti-oppression workshops and learn how to pepper their comments with academic jargon before joining. Nor did the movement require consultants, focus groups or polling to occupy the center of American politics with a radical left message. And the form was not the same old rallies with canned chants, pre-printed protest signs and preaching to the choir.

It’s worth considering why Occupy Wall Street was such a smashing success last fall, as well as where it is headed. While the media lens has shifted away, Occupy has spawned a menagerie of energized movements and ambitious plans. Veteran organizer David Solnit, who is involved with Bay Area Occupy movements, sums up the current state: “The numbers showing up at GAs have dropped. Any movement has its mass mobilization and its in-between times. The organizing a lot of people are doing around housing and education are less visible but go much deeper. We need a better measuring tape than numbers and public space and whether it’s amplified through media owned by the 1 percent.”

Like plants that lay dormant for the winter conserving energy, many occupations are blossoming anew with ambitious plans now that it’s spring. Solnit says in San Francisco the movement is defending a dozen families in foreclosure, and is working toward a citywide moratorium on bank foreclosures and evictions. In Los Angeles, organizers say May Day plans include large-scale marches by immigrants and unions, rolling street blockades and even an attempt to disrupt the main airport. In New York and around the country, a campaign has been launched called “F the Banks” to force the government to dismantle Bank of America, which is still receiving taxpayer subsidies. In Chicago, after the G8 summit set for May was moved to Camp David because of fear of large-scale protests, activists are moving forward with large-scale demonstrations to coincidence with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) meeting the same month.

Challenging the status quo comes with costs. As the Occupy movement struggles to effect radical social change, it faces persistent police attacks and co-optation by Democratic Party forces from the outside and divisions over identity politics, militancy, localism and diffusion from the inside.

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Writer fled China to ‘publish book’ on dissident

by Staff Writers
Hong Kong (AFP) April 6, 2012

 

A Chinese dissident who wrote a book critical of the country’s leadership has said he fled into exile after being warned against publishing a biography of a jailed Nobel laureate.

Yu Jie, a writer who in 2010 published “Wen Jiabao: China’s Best Actor” despite threats of jail time, fled to Washington with his family in January after he was “subjected to torture” and faced restrictions on publishing.

In an interview aired Friday on Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK, Yu said that his decision to flee Beijing was also prompted by his urge to pursue a book project on fellow dissident Liu Xiaobo, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

“The secret police told me I will be jailed if the book is published,” he said.

“(I fled)… to make sure the biography can be published overseas,” the 38-year-old told RTHK without saying when the book will be released.

He described the decision to flee as “painful” and said he believed he would not be able to return to Beijing within the next five years.

The writer said he had been warned against criticising the Communist Party or speaking out against China abroad.

Yu has previously said he came under tighter surveillance after Liu won the Nobel Prize.

He has also complained that he was forbidden from publishing or practicing his religion. He is a member of a Protestant church which is not authorised by the Chinese government.

Liu, 56, is the only Nobel Peace Prize winner in prison. He wrote a bold manifesto for democracy called Charter 08 and was jailed for 11 years for subversion on Christmas Day 2009.

Human rights groups frequently voice concern about Chinese dissidents who remain in the country including prominent rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng.

Gao, who has defended some of China’s most vulnerable people including Christians and coal miners, was detained in February 2009 and had been held largely incommunicado by authorities except for a brief release in March 2010.

Gao’s brother said last week that was allowed to meet with him in a remote jail for the first time in nearly two years, allaying fears for his well-being.

China rights couple hear trial verdict on Tuesday
Beijing (AFP) April 7, 2012 – The verdict in the trial of rights activists Ni Yulan and her husband will be announced on Tuesday, a year after the couple were detained amid growing unrest in China, their daughter said Saturday.

Ni and Dong Jiqin, who have long helped victims of government-backed land grabs, were detained in April last year as authorities rounded up scores of activists amid online calls for protests similar to those in the Arab world.

In a brief December trial they were charged with “picking quarrels, provoking trouble and willfully destroying private and public property” — charges lawyers and supporters say were trumped up to silence them.

“Our lawyer told me the verdict will be read by the Beijing Western District court on Tuesday morning,” daughter Dong Xuan, 27, told AFP.

“They are not guilty and should be released, but I fear that my mother will be sentenced to at least three years as a repeat offender. I am hoping that my father will be released for time served.”

The couple’s lawyer last visited them in February, she said. Ni, 51, remains ill and is suffering from fever, a swollen neck and has trouble speaking.

Ni spent much of the trial lying on a bed in the courtroom due to her poor health and needed a respirator to breathe.

The couple have provided legal assistance to numerous families around China who have been forcibly evicted from their homes in government-backed land requisitions, a major cause of unrest in China.

Their battle to oppose the land grabs began in 2001 after their courtyard home in central Beijing was requisitioned and marked for demolition.

Trained as a lawyer, Ni was sentenced to a year in jail in 2002 for “obstructing official business,” and for two years in 2008 for “harming public property” — charges brought against her as she tried to protect her home.

She was also disbarred in 2002.

In January, Dong Xuan was barred by police from leaving China to collect a 100,000-euro (131,000) human rights award for her mother in the Netherlands.

She says she remains under police surveillance.

Ni’s case has been championed by numerous Western governments, including the United States and the European Union, which sent representatives to meet with her during her brief period of freedom in 2010.

Related Links
China News from SinoDaily.com

 

 

Day 207: Live Coverage of the Occupy Movement

Josh Harkinson, Special Coverage:

As we enter Day 207 of the Occupy movements the protests have spread not only across the country but all over the globe. Thousands of activists have descended on Wall Street these past weeks as part of the #OccupyWallStreet protest organized by several action groups. What follows is a live video stream and live Twitter feed of this event….

Read Full Article Here

 

**********************************************************************************************************

Articles of Interest

 

Bald eagle in crosshairs of US fight over lead bullets

by Staff Writers
Boyce, Virginia (AFP) April 7, 2012

 

The bald eagle that came into wildlife rehabilitator Belinda Burwell’s care last month, just as the hunting season was coming to a close in North America, was a shadow of its former self.

The stiff and wobbly bird clung to life but showed distinct signs of lead poisoning, likely from scavenging the remains of big game left by hunters who killed their prey with lead bullets.

“She couldn’t walk, couldn’t fly,” said Burwell. “If she tried to move, she would fall over, she would stumble.”

Environmental groups say 20 million birds die worldwide each year from eating bits of lead in animal carcasses, because many US hunters use lead ammunition which leaves 3,000 tons of toxic fragments in gut piles and unclaimed kills.

The dangers of lead have been well known for decades, and steps have been taken to prevent human consumption by removing it from paint, gasoline, pipes, children’s jewelry and more.

A ban on hunters’ use of lead shot for killing waterfowl was passed in the United States in the early 1990s because birds were being poisoned by ingesting the pieces that fell into waterways and ponds.

But the question of whether to do the same for hunters on land has thrust the eagle, the national symbol of America, into a fresh political battle over gun rights and environmental protection.

On one side is the powerful US gun lobby, which disputes science on lead poisoning and insists that any measures to regulate lead ammunition would spell a ban on hunting in all its forms, infringe on gun rights and raise costs.

On the other is a dogged but weary wildlife protection movement that is pressing the Environmental Protection Agency to take steps to regulate the use of lead ammunition in order to protect birds and humans against lead poisoning.

Both have adopted the bald eagle as a symbol of their efforts, with the bird featuring on the cover of the Center for Biological Diversity’s petition to the EPA as well as on the web page of the National Rifle Association.

“This is the last unregulated, widespread distribution of toxic lead into the environment,” said Jeff Miller of the Center for Biological Diversity, which is seeking US federal rules to require non-toxic bullets in hunting and shooting sports.

— Gun-grabbers disguised as nature lovers —

“We know it is getting into the food chain. We also know that humans are eating it and there is no safe level of lead in the human body so it is most certainly a human health issue too.”

Miller said 150 groups in 40 states now support the petition, including hunters, scientists, American Indians, conservationists and veterinarians.

The EPA turned down a similar request for a ban on lead bullets in 2010, saying it did not have the authority to regulate ammunition. However, environmental advocates say the EPA does have the right to regulate components of ammunition.

More than a dozen countries in Europe have banned lead ammunition for hunting waterfowl and Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden are among a handful of countries that have totally banned lead bullets.

Germany, Japan and Belgium have passed limited restrictions on their use.

The Peregrine Fund, a nonprofit group in Idaho, has posted online a host of peer-reviewed studies on the effects of lead on wildlife, with some figures showing as many as 10-15 percent of young eagles die each year from lead poisoning.

While the bald eagle is no longer a threatened population in the United States, it and other birds that scavenge like the endangered California Condors, vultures, herons and golden eagles, are among the species most at risk.

One study by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources showed how a lead ballistic tip bullet could fragment into an average of 141 pieces per carcass, reaching as far as 14 inches from the wound (35 cm), indicating a danger for humans who eat meat killed with lead bullets, too.

Pro-gun groups like the National Shooting and Sports Foundation say there is no “sound science” to support a ban.

“If wildlife management decisions become about preventing harm to individuals within a species and not about managing a species itself, then you have essentially made the argument to ban hunting,” said Lawrence Keane, senior vice president of the NSSF.

The NRA has urged Congress to “step in and ensure this restriction never happens,” asserting that the effort is being headed by “gun-grabbers… disguised as nature lovers.”

A House subcommittee in late February approved a bill that would prevent the EPA from taking action on the CBD’s petition, and some senators with ties to sportsmen’s groups are considering the same.

Rick Watson of the Peregrine Fund said switching to copper bullets costs the same as buying a box of premium lead ammunition, about $45 a box, while the cheapest lead ammo can be had for $15.

“Hunters historically and traditionally have been some of the best conservationists this country has had. And given accurate facts we believe the vast majority will choose to use lead-free ammunition because it protects the wildlife they so enjoy,” he said.

Matt Miller, an outdoor writer and hunter, said he switched to copper bullets years ago after learning of the dangers of lead, and is pleased with the results.

“It has not increased the cost of my hunting. The bottom line is if you know your rifle and you shoot it well, a big game hunting trip costs you one bullet.”

Burwell, who has been treating her eagle for three weeks and is ready to release her into the wild on Saturday, said she is not optimistic that the EPA will act.

“With the NRA pushing to prevent any type of regulation, the word on the wildlife side is it will never happen,” she said.

“It depends on who has the most money. Doesn’t it seem sometimes that that is who wins these things?”

Related Links
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com

 

**********************************************************************************************************

[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

 

Environmental

Monsanto’s Roundup Altering the Physical Shape of Amphibians

 

Mike Barrett, News Analysis:

 

While it wasn’t surprising to see morphological changes take part due to the naturally emitted chemicals from predators, it was rather shocking to find out that Roundup had the same effects — causing the tails of the tadpoles to grow in size. What’s more, the combination of the naturally emitted chemicals and Roundup caused the tadpoles’ tails to grow twice as large. Seeing as tadpoles alter body shape in order to properly survive in its environment, the forced changes from herbicides like Roundup can put the animals at a disadvantage.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

Environmental Groups Sue EPA Over Lack of Coal Ash Regulation

 

Emma Schwartz, News Report:

 

A 2009 investigation by the Center for Public Integrity revealed the havoc that coal ash has wreaked near ponds, landfills, and pits where it is dumped. Even the EPA has identified 63 “proven or potential damage cases” in 23 states where coal ash has tainted groundwater or otherwise harmed the environment. But critics say no meaningful federal regulations have been put in place.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

************************************************************************************************

 

Survival / Sustainability

 

Using Community Gardens to Grow Low-Income Communities Out of Food Deserts

 

Emily Apple, New Deal 2.0:

 

“More than 23 million Americans live in ‘food deserts’: areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food, particularly ones composed of predominantly lower income neighborhoods and communities. Recognizing these problems, Daniel Bowman Simon … has now has moved on to helping low-income individuals and families access healthy foods through his organization SNAP Gardens. Simon encourages SNAP beneficiaries to ‘grow’ their benefits by utilizing a 1973 amendment to the Food Stamp Act that allows food stamp recipients to use their benefits to buy seeds.”

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

The Hidden Food in Your Yard – You May Walk by It Every Day…

 

By Dr. Mercola

 

A major part of achieving optimal health is living in partnership with nature.

Growing your own food is a great way to rekindle this connection with nature.

But have you thought about eating plants that grow wild—perhaps in your own backyard?

Some “weeds” can be delicious if prepared properly, and they are absolutely free.

In an article published earlier this summer, Live Science collected some easy-to-identify healthful weeds, including:

Dandelion: The entire plant is edible, and the leaves contain vitamins A, C and K, along with calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium.
Purslane: Purslane tops the list of plants with omega-3 fats.
Lamb’s-quarters: Lamb’s-quarters are like spinach, except healthier, tastier and easier to grow.
Plantain: Not the better-known banana-like plant with the same name. It has a nutritional profile similar to dandelion.
Stinging Nettles: If you handle them so that you don’t get a painful rash from the tiny, acid-filled needles, these are delicious and nutritious cooked or prepared as a tea.

This is of course how our ancestors ate. They hunted and gathered, and ALL of it was wild. And by all accounts, they were far healthier than we are.

Of course, like anything else, identification and use of wild plants requires spending some time educating yourself, lest you eat something inedible or even poisonous. But with some attention to learning what to look for, you can avail yourself of some of the most highly nutritious, health-promoting plants for FREE—and have a lot of fun doing it. With the availability of the Internet, in addition to a number of excellent printed books and even wild-food foraging classes, this information is now easy to access.

So, grab your favorite weeding tool and a basket, and step outside to see what little gems you can find in your own backyard!

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

 

************************************************************************************************

 

Whistle Blowers

 

‘Reluctant Spy’ indicted for leaking US secrets

 

A former CIA officer was indicted Thursday on charges of leaking secrets to journalists, including the name of a covert agent and the role of another CIA employee in classified operations.

John Kiriakou, who had previously revealed the CIA’s use of waterboarding of Al-Qaeda suspects, was charged in January with leaking secrets. The indictment allows the case to proceed to trial without an evidentiary hearing.

The indictment returned by a grand jury in Virginia charged Kiriakou with one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and three counts of violating the Espionage Act.

The indictment also charged him with making false statements to the CIA in an unsuccessful attempt to trick the agency into allowing him to include classified information in his 2010 book, “The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror.”

 

Read Full Article Here

 

************************************************************************************************

 

Activism

 

How to Succeed in Reoccupation Without Really Trying

 

Nathan Schneider, Op-Ed:

 

This is a new time; the movement and people’s perspectives on it are in a totally different place than they were last fall. Potential allies expect more from the movement, I’d say, and so they should. People I know who were wholeheartedly behind it a few months ago seem to think it’s over, or it should be. The encampments, which Occupiers know as well as anyone sometimes turned into rather unsafe spaces, lost much public support.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

Corrupt Canadian Banking System.mp4

 

Uploaded by facing42 on Apr 6, 2012

 

This is my daughter. She gave this speech at a business meeting in front of 600 people. Her eyes have been opened to a scam that is being perpetrated upon Canadians and the rest of the world.
I am the owner of this video. Feel free to use it freely without altering the content in a manner that would draw conclusions unintended by the speech but please redirect people back to the original post.

Please also see these great resources for more information and people who are trying their best to enact the necessary change in our country and the world:

http://www.ohcanadamovie.com/

 

 

 

 

More proof activism works: Kraft, Coca-Cola and Pepsi all say they will leave ALEC

 

By Madison Ruppert

 

For those who are unaware, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is a corporate front group which enables corporate members to help craft “model” legislation which they then give to their allies in state legislatures to put forth as their own.

Essentially, it allows America’s largest corporations to ghostwrite legislation which is later proposed by legislators without the public ever knowing that ALEC had a hand in crafting the bill. They have been linked to many corporations with less-than-admirable intentions, one of the more troubling being Corrections Corporation of America.

A great resource to learn more about the corrupt and deplorable actions of ALEC is ALEC Exposed, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy. They expose ALEC corporations, politicians, state chairmen, who funds ALEC as well as a breakdown of all of the so-called “model bills” they create.

A coalition of citizen groups led by the group Color of Change have begun a campaign to pressure the corporations behind ALEC to quit the group and thus cease providing them with massive funding.

They are arguing that popular consumer corporations should not be backing legislation which, ultimately, is incredibly harmful to the communities which profit off of.

Furthermore, they are directly harming their shareholders and employees as well by damaging their communities as well.

The coalition, made up of Color of Change, Rebuild the Dream, Center for Media and Democracy and the Republic Report, along with private individuals, recently wrote to all 20 corporations sitting on ALEC’s board.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

Generation Waking Up: The Story of Our Generation

 

 

**********************************************************************************************

Articles of Interest

 

These Are The Prices AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Charge For Cellphone Wiretaps

 

Andy Greenberg, Forbes Staff

 

If Americans aren’t disturbed by phone carriers’ practices of handing over cell phone users’ personal data to law enforcement en masse–in many cases without a warrant–we might at least be interested to learn just how much that service is costing us in tax dollars: often hundreds or thousands per individual snooped.

Earlier this week the American Civil Liberties Union revealed a trove of documents it had obtained through Freedom of Information Requests to more than 200 police departments around the country. They show a pattern of police tracking cell phone locations and gathering other data like call logs without warrants, using devices that impersonate cell towers to intercept cellular signals, and encouraging officers to refrain from speaking about cell-tracking technology to the public, all detailed in a New York Times story.

But at least one document also details the day-to-day business of telecoms’ handing over of data to law enforcement, including a breakdown of every major carrier’s fees for every sort of data request from targeted wiretaps to so-called “tower dumps” that provide information on every user of certain cell tower. The guide, as provided by the Tucson, Arizona police department to the ACLU, is dated July 2009, and the fees it lists may be somewhat outdated. But representatives I reached by email at Verizon and AT&T both declined to detail any changes to the numbers…..

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Politics and Legislation

‘Stability’ Trumps Democracy in Egypt

 

Charles Davis and Medea Benjamin, Op-Ed:

If one only pays attention to what politicians say, ignoring what they do, this may come as a surprise. President Barack Obama, after all, has voiced support for the Arab Spring. He gave a speech in Cairo full of lofty words about the people of the region’s legitimate democratic aspirations. So why would his administration lavish a regime that cracks down on pro-democracy forces with money for weapons?

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/medea-benjamin/us-egypt-aid_b_1376226.html

 

 

The Dumbest ‘Bipartisan’ Move Since Repealing Glass-Steagall

 

Richard (RJ) Eskow, Op-Ed:

The hype that led Washington honchos to name this tragic bill the “JOBS Act” is the same brand of patented b.s. that inspired lawmakers to call Gramm-Leach-Bliley, the law that overturned Glass-Steagall, the “Financial Services Modernization Act.” That act of “modernization” actually turned the clock back – from 1999 all the way back to 1929, stripping away some of the common-sense measures that prevented the formation of too-big-to-fail banks that could gamble with their customers’ money or bring the economy to the brink of ruin – which they promptly did, less than a decade later.

http://www.nationofchange.org/dumbest-bipartisan-move-repealing-glass-steagall-1332569940

 

 

Economy

 

Ten years of Obamacare would cost 1.76 trillon dollars – far more than originally claimed

 

By Ethan A. Huff,

(NaturalNews) According to new spending projections issued by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the costs associated with implementing Obamacare over the next ten years are more than double what the Obama Administration claimed when first pushing for its passage. Through 2022, the gross spending requirements for the federal government to fully implement this progressive form of universal healthcare in the U.S. are an astounding $1.76 trillion dollars, also written as $1,760,000,000,000.

“The ACA’s (Affordable Care Act) provisions related to insurance coverage are now projected to have a net cost of $1,252 billion over the 2012-2022 period,” says the CBO report. “[T]hat amount represents a gross cost to the federal government of $1,762 billion, offset in part by $510 billion in receipts and other budgetary effects (primarily revenues from penalties and other sources)” (http://cbo.gov/publication/43080)…..

http://www.naturalnews.com/035324_Obamacare_health_care_costs.html#ixzz1q9qukB7F

Cairo fuel shortage causes long lines at gas stations

 

The New Straits Times reports that the reason for the fuel shortage isn’t clear:

Petroleum Minister Abdullah Ghorab flatly dismissed talk of a shortage, saying fuel supplies exceed demand. He said the crisis stems from “mistrust between the government and the citizens,” according to the state-run MENA news agency.

Another Petroleum ministry official, Hani Dahi, was also quoted by MENA as saying that there is “a rise in the illegal use of fuel” and calling for tighter security measures to prevent black market dealers selling subsidised fuel at higher prices……

http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/23/10831029-cairo-fuel-shortage-causes-long-lines-at-gas-stations

Tax breaks exceed $1 trillion

 

By John D. McKinnon

A congressional report detailing the value of major tax breaks shows they amount to more than $1 trillion a year—roughly the size of the annual federal budget deficit—and benefit wide swaths of the population.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303812904577299923495453562.html

AT&T points finger at federal regulators for layoffs at T-Mobile

 

By Brendan Sasso

AT&T blamed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Friday for thousands of layoffs at T-Mobile, saying the jobs would have been saved if the agency had approved the merger of the two companies last year.

http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/217857-atat-blames-fcc-for-t-mobile-layoffs

 

Why Leaving Goldman Sachs Breaks the Rules of the Game

 

Elizabeth Doty , Op-Ed:

Most professionals who hold this second worldview believe that, in the long run, the greatest financial rewards go to whoever creates the most value. Unfortunately, when regulations are distorted or monopoly power comes into play, businesses can be rewarded for actions that do not add value for customers or other stakeholders. For example, by convincing regulators to drastically reduce banking oversight, Goldman and other banks helped create incentives for banks to take irresponsible risks, for which society ultimately bore the cost.

http://www.nationofchange.org/why-leaving-goldman-sachs-breaks-rules-game-1332571268

Why Seniors Could Pay $5,900 More for Health Care Under the Republican Budget

 

Topher Spiro, News Report:

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analyzed the Republican budget and estimated its effect on average Medicare spending per beneficiary. Under current law, or CBO’s “baseline scenario,” CBO projects that average spending will rise from $5,500 today to $8,600 in 2030 and to $17,000 in 2050. (CBO converted all dollar figures to 2011 dollars to remove the effects of inflation and ensure appropriate comparisons over time.) These numbers reflect the projected trend in health care costs over time.

http://www.nationofchange.org/why-seniors-could-pay-5900-more-health-care-under-republican-budget-1332597060

Wall Street Confidence Trick: The Interest Rate Swaps That are Bankrupting Local Governments

 

Ellen Brown, Op-Ed:

Interest rate swaps are less often in the news than credit default swaps, but they are far more important in terms of revenue, composing fully 82% of the derivatives trade. In February, JP Morgan Chase revealed that it had cleared $1.4 billion in revenue on trading interest rate swaps in 2011, making them one of the bank’s biggest sources of profit.

http://www.nationofchange.org/wall-street-confidence-trick-interest-rate-swaps-are-bankrupting-local-governments-1332571419

MF’s Corzine Ordered Funds Moved to JP Morgan, Memo Says

 

Jon S. Corzine, MF Global Holding Ltd. (MFGLQ)’s chief executive officer, gave “direct instructions” to transfer $200 million from a customer fund account to meet an overdraft in a brokerage account with JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), according to a memo written by congressional investigators.

Edith O’Brien, a treasurer for the firm, said in an e-mail quoted in the memo that the transfer was “Per JC’s direct instructions,” according to a copy of the memo obtained by Bloomberg News. The e-mail, dated Oct. 28, was sent three days before the company collapsed, the memo says. The memo does not indicate whether that phrase was the full text of the e-mail or an excerpt.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-23/mf-global-s-corzine-ordered-funds-moved-to-jpmorgan-memo-says.html

 

 

Wars and Rumors of War

 

Terrorists blow up gas pipeline in Syria: State media

 

Syrian state media say terrorists have blown up a section of a pipeline carrying gas through the eastern province of Deir al-Zour.

The attack was carried out on Saturday, state media said.

This is not the first time a Syrian gas pipeline comes under attack by armed groups over the past year.

In January, Syrian state media also said terrorists attacked an oil pipeline near Quriye area in Deir al-Zour.

An armed terrorist group also blew up a section of a gas pipeline in the central province of Homs near the Lebanese border in January, state media said…….

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/233067.html

US: Journalist fired after calling Israeli occupation ‘brutal’

 

A veteran American journalist has been fired after referring to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian and Syrian land as “brutal.”

Sunni Khalid, managing news editor at WYPR-FM in Baltimore, was dropped by the public radio station on Thursday after more than nine years on the job.

He had been on probation following criticism of comments he made on Facebook about Israel’s continued illegal occupation of Palestine.

“I, for one, have had enough of this pandering before the Israeli regime,” he wrote.

“The war-mongering toward Iran has, once again, distracted the world from Israel’s brutal military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.”…..

http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/news/news.php?article=21971

 

Activism

Anatomy of an Occupation: Did the Planners of Occupy Wall Street Really Have a Plan?

 

Nathan Schneider, Video Report:

When Occupy Wall Street and the ensuing Occupy movement captured the world’s attention in the fall of 2011, the world wasn’t exactly sure what hit it. Through a series of up-close portraits of the movement in both planning and execution, this webinar will explore how it has succeeded as well as what its challenges will be in the coming months. Drawing from his experience covering the Occupy movement since the early planning stages, Nathan Schneider will focus on the role of strategizing.

http://www.nationofchange.org/anatomy-occupation-did-planners-occupy-wall-street-really-have-plan-1332599972

 

Misc

Afghan case puts military mental health care under microscope

 

By Carlo Munoz

The recent killing of 17 Afghan civilians at the hands of a U.S. soldier has reignited concerns on whether the Pentagon is doing enough to care for its newest generation of combat veterans.

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/operations/217923-bales-afghanistan-shooting-case-puts-military-mental-health-care-under-the-microscope

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/operations/217923-bales-afghanistan-shooting-case-puts-military-mental-health-care-under-the-microscope

Documents: White House was all-hands-on-deck as Solyndra collapse neared

 

By Ben Geman and Andrew Restuccia

Several key White House offices were involved with the Obama administration’s messaging plans and other preparations as the collapse of the taxpayer-backed solar company Solyndra was imminent, newly released documents show.

http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/217915-white-house-was-all-hands-on-deck-as-solyndra-collapse-loomed

 

Hunter: Marine should not be punished for anti-Obama Facebook posts

 

By Jeremy Herb

A Marine who said he would not follow an unlawful order from President Obama should not be dismissed, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) said Friday.

Hunter, a Marine reservist who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Marine Sgt. Gary Stein should not be punished for posting his opinions on Facebook.

http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/marine-corps/217901-hunter-marine-should-not-be-punished-for-facebook-posts

 

U.S.: Bales went on 2 shooting sprees

 

(AP) WASHINGTON – American officials say U.S. investigators now believe the U.S. soldier accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians split the slaughter into two episodes – returning to his base after the first attack and later slipping away to kill again.

This scenario seems to support the U.S. government’s assertion — contested by some Afghans — that the killings were done by one person, since they would have been perpetrated over a longer period of time than assumed when Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales was detained March 11.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57403946/u.s.-bales-went-on-2-shooting-sprees/

Politics and  Legislation

Mosaic News – 03/05/12: Palestinian Woman Hana Shalabi Continues Administrative Detention Protest

Obama Runs From Occupy Protesters! Moving G8 Summit From Chicago To Camp David

Chris Hedges, Truthdig Op-Ed: “We are, and have long been, the primary engine for radicalism in the Middle East. The greatest favor we can do for democracy activists in Iran, as well as in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf and the states that dot North Africa, is to withdraw our troops from the region and begin to speak to Iranians and the rest of the Muslim world in the civilized language of diplomacy, respect and mutual interests.”
Nomi Prins, Op-Ed: “All these dots and lines project a gamed world, where it is not sweat or merit that propels people forward, but connections and power and pedigree. That’s why there’s an Occupy Movement. As I wrote on behalf of the compelling book, ‘The economic elite vs. the People,’ ‘Occupy Wall Street has coalesced across towns, cities, and countries.”

Justifying ‘justice’: When it’s OK for US to kill own citizens

Henry A. Giroux | The Scorched-Earth Politics of America’s Four Fundamentalisms
Henry A. Giroux, Truthout: “Americans seem confident in the mythical notion that the United States is a free nation dedicated to reproducing the principles of equality, justice and democracy. What has been ignored in this delusional view is the growing rise of an expanded national security state since 2001 and an attack on individual rights that suggests that the United States has more in common with authoritarian regimes like China and Cuba ‘than anyone may like to admit.'”

Obama blasts GOP candidates for ‘beating the drums of war’ on Iran

By Jonathan Easley – 03/06/12 01:52 PM ET

President Obama shot back at his Republican critics over accusations he has shown a lack of resolve in protecting Israel from a potentially nuclear-armed Iran, condemning their “bluster” in “beating the drums of war.”

“Those folks don’t have a lot of responsibilities,” Obama said at his first press conference since October 2011. “They’re not commander-in-chief. When I see the casualness with which some of these candidates talk about war, I’m reminded of the decisions I have to make in sending these men and women into war.”

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/214439-obama-rips-gop-field-for-beating-the-drums-of-war-over-iran

The Hill: Holder: Clear authority to kill US citizens

By Jordy Yager
Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday said the Obama administration has the “clear authority” to kill U.S. citizens overseas who are believed to be a terrorist threat.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/214295-holder-clear-authority-to-kill-citizens

The Hill: Export-Import Bank splits Republicans

by Erik Wasson
A battle over reauthorizing the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) is pitting conservative groups against big business and could lead to an insurrection against GOP leaders in the House this month.

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/banking-financial-institutions/214289-export-import-bank-splits-conservatives-big-business

The Wall Street Journal: Wisconsin recall realigns campaign spending

By Alicia Mundy
Unions and conservative groups have turned the state’s battle over labor rights into a national, multimillion-dollar war that will reverberate through the presidential and congressional races this fall.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204571404577255743288370690.html?mod=ITP_pageone_2

Economy

The Best Reason for the Very Rich to be Paying A Lot More in Taxes

Paul Buchheit , Op-Ed: “The super-rich like to believe their own initiative and creativity have been the primary drivers of growth in technology and science and business and medicine. Some innovative business leaders deserve credit for putting the pieces together on specific initiatives. But the pieces themselves were put together over many years by thousands of less conspicuous people.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/best-reason-very-rich-be-paying-lot-more-taxes-1331052108

American Airlines Union President Sees Future Without Pensions

Josh Eidelson, In These Times: “Weeks after American Airlines’ parent company AMR submitted a bankruptcy proposal to its three unions, labor and management say time is running out to reach negotiated settlements. Any unions that don’t reach deals with AMR may have their new contract terms, and the number of layoffs, set directly by a bankruptcy judge.”

http://www.truth-out.org/american-airlines-union-president-sees-future-without-pensions/1331043965

Stocks Log Biggest Drop in 2012 on Greek Woes

Stocks closed sharply lower Tuesday, with the Dow posting its first triple-digit decline in 2012, fueled by fears over a Greek default and amid economic growth concerns.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/46639583

Failure of Greek debt deal could cost $1.3 trillion

http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-greek-deal-20120306,0,5073903.story

Wars  and  Rumors  of War

Three Blind Mice?

Uploaded by on Mar 6, 2012

Senators John McCain, Joseph Lieberman and Lindsey Graham are just about as close as anyone in the U.S. Senate. They travel together, make joint media appearances and seem to sing the same song in their appeals to the American people. That song often revolves around the need for more war.

US Mercenaries admit they are Mercenaries in Syria 06-03-12

Huge death toll doubles in Yemen ‘slaughter’

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/06/world/meast/yemen-violence/index.html

Fresh Iran nuclear talks agreed with world powers – EU

Six major world powers and Iran are to hold fresh talks on Tehran’s nuclear program, the EU has said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17274364

Obama Says Military Force is Option to Keep Iran From Getting Nuclear Weapons

Lesley Clark, News Report: “Israel is afraid that Iran — which says its nuclear program is for domestic reasons — could reach what the Israeli Defense Minister calls a ‘zone of immunity’ where Israel would be unable to take out Iran’s nuclear program. Obama argued there is time for diplomacy, ‘backed by pressure,’ to work — a call that met with little applause.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/obama-says-military-force-option-keep-iran-getting-nuclear-weapons-1331052228

John McCain Calls for US-led Strike Against Syria

Michael A. Memoli, News Report: “Republican Sen. John McCain said the United States should lead a military air assault on government forces in Syria, arguing the Obama administration’s continued efforts at diplomacy and sanctions against the Assad regime is “starting to look more like a hope than strategy.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/john-mccain-calls-us-led-strike-against-syria-1331053300

Netanyahu Tells Obama Israel May Attack Iran Alone if Necessary

Lesley Clark and Jonathan S. Landay, McClatchy Newspapers: “Highlighting their different views of the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program, President Barack Obama insisted Monday that diplomacy still has time to halt the effort, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reasserted Israel’s right to take unilateral military action, saying the Jewish state must remain ‘the master of its fate.'”

http://www.truth-out.org/netanyahu-tells-obama-israel-may-attack-iran-alone-if-necessary/1331048376

Monsanto

Monsanto’s Roundup Shown to be Ravaging Butterfly Population

Mike Barrett, News Report: A 2011 study published in the journal Insect Conservation and Diversity found that increasing acreage of genetically modified Roundup Ready corn and soybeans is heavily contributing to the decline in monarch butterfly populations within North America. Milkweed, a plant butterflies rely on for habitat and food, is being destroyed by the heavy use of glyphosate-based pesticides and Roundup Ready crops. Over the past 17 years, the monarch butterfly population in central Mexico has declined, reaching an all-time low in 2009-2010.

http://www.nationofchange.org/monsanto-s-roundup-shown-be-ravaging-butterfly-population-1331055035

Environmental

The True Cost of Tar Sands

Joe Romm, Video Report: “What does environmental devastation actually look like? At TEDxVictoria, photographer Garth Lenz shares shocking photos of the Alberta Tar Sands mining project — and the beautiful (and vital) ecosystems under threat. This powerful talk is for anyone who thinks the tar sands are just another source of oil — and that the only source of greenhouse gases from the tar sands come from burning gas and oil.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/must-see-video-true-cost-tar-sands-1331054083

Way Beyond Greenwashing: Have Corporations Captured “Big Conservation”?

Tuesday 6 March 2012
by: Jonathan Latham , Dollars and Sense | Report
“Imagine an international mega-deal. The global organic food industry agrees to support international agribusiness in clearing as much tropical rainforest as they want for farming. In return, agribusiness agrees to farm the now-deforested land using organic methods, and the organic industry encourages its supporters to buy the resulting timber and food under the newly devised ‘Rainforest Plus’ label. There would surely be an international outcry.”

Japan’s Illegal Environmental Impact Assessment of the Henoko Base

Sakurai Kunitoshi, The Asia-Pacific Journal – Japan Focus: “Before dawn on December 28, 2011, with the end of the year looming, the Okinawa Defense Bureau (ODB) delivered a load of cardboard boxes to the office of the Okinawa Prefectural Government. The boxes contained copies of the environmental impact statement (EIS) for a base in the Henoko district of Nago that is planned as the replacement for the US Marines Corps Air Station Futenma.”

Imperial Valley Residents Must Fight for Right to Breathe Clean Air

David Bacon, New America Media: “Today, the land surrounding the two towns is farmed in huge tracts of hundreds of acres. To make the desert productive, ranchers not only built the world’s largest irrigation canal, but also developed farming methods dependent on chemical fertilizers and strong pesticides. Even with the recent advance of some large-scale organic operations, it’s still common to drive a local highway and see a small airplane called a cropduster make circular swoops and passes over the green crops.”

One Year After Fukushima – Defining and Classifying a Disaster

One Year After Fukushima – Defining and Classifying a Disaster
This is the first in a series of articles dedicated to preserve the facts revealed about the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. This coming week will mark the first anniversary of Fukushima’s multiple meltdown nuclear disaster. There is little data on how badly contaminated the now-abandoned area of forced evacuation is in the 20-kilometer (12-mile) zone around the Fukushima plant.http://theintelhub.com/2012/03/05/one-year-after-fukushima-defining-and-classifying-a-disaster/

Misc

Alleged LulzSec hackers held in international swoop

Published on Mar 6, 2012 by

http://www.euronews.com/ Leading members of the computer hacking group LulzSec have reportedly been arrested in the US.

Irish police say they are also holding a man in connection with the investigation.

Court documents in New York hacktivist are said to show that the group’s suspected leader, Hector Xavier Monsegur who is nicknamed Sabu, was charged last year with conspiracy in computer hacking and had pleaded guilty.

There are reports that he had been cooperating with police for a while.

He is said to have been an influential member of three hacking organizations, involved in high profile attacks on major firms including online payment companies.

Court papers say Sabu formed LulzSec last May, and operated by identifying weaknesses in potential victims’ computer systems.

LulzSec is a spin-off of the loosely organised activist group Anonymous.

Some alleged associates of the collective are already facing charges in other countries such as Britain.

Bust Reveals Government Runs Hacking Groups

Bust Reveals Government Runs Hacking GroupsCURATOR: BARRACUDA. The establishment media has characterized the leader of LulzSec ratting out his hacktivist comrades as betrayal, but the incident reveals something far more sinister – government is responsible for creating and…

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1857/374/NL/Bust_Reveals_Government_Runs_Hacking_Groups.html

Govt. agencies, colleges demand applicants’ Facebook passwords

By Bob Sullivan

If you think privacy settings on your Facebook and Twitter accounts guarantee future employers or schools can’t see your private posts, guess again.

http://redtape.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/06/10585353-govt-agencies-colleges-demand-applicants-facebook-passwords

Troops Used For Crowd Control At Texas Kite Festival

Uniformed troops from the Texas State Guard were used for the purposes of crowd control during the Zilker Kite Festival in Austin this past weekend, with video showing the troops ordering parents and children to board school buses at the end of the event.

Disturbing footage of the troops controlling the movement of attendees was filmed by Infowars reporters, in addition to a police helicopter circling above. However, the website of the Zilker Kite Festival attempted to downplay the Guard’s involvement as if it was completely normal.

http://theintelhub.com/2012/03/06/troops-used-for-crowd-control-at-texas-kite-festival/