Friday, October 30, 2015

“U.S. Descending to Third World” Status: American Jobs Are Gone Because of Offshoring

SHTF Plan - When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
11 years ago, I declared that the consequence of jobs offshoring would be that the US would be a Third World country in 20 years.


Breaking: Obama Puts US Boots in Syria – Where is Congress?

LewRockwell » LRC Blog

“I will not put US boots on the ground in Syria.” That was President Obama’s unequivocal statement to the American people just two years ago when he first planned to bomb Syria. He has repeated the statement several times, as he has also repeated his promise that he “will not pursue a long air campaign” in Syria and Iraq. Obama lied. And he lied again. And he lied again today, when it was announced that he was putting US boots on the ground in Syria. This move encapsulates neocon-occupied Washington’s response to foreign policy failure: if an intervention is failing, … Continue reading

The post Breaking: Obama Puts US Boots in Syria – Where is Congress? appeared first on LewRockwell.


Dragged Across the Classroom Floor: It’s Time to Admit That Schools Are Prisons

The Anti-Media

Here's why.

The post Dragged Across the Classroom Floor: It’s Time to Admit That Schools Are Prisons appeared first on The Anti-Media.


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Obama Teams Up With Muslims and Forces Shariah Law on U.S. Businesses

You are not going to believe what Obama has done now. Obama had crossed the line YET AGAIN! When two Muslims were interviewed for the job of delivery men, they were told that in their capacity as delivery men, they would be required to deliver alcohol as part of the job. They agreed, they were hired, and once the job started, they refused to deliver a shipment of beer. Subsequently they were fired, and they sued their former employer.


The Dismal Failure of Arne Duncan's 'Race to the Top' Program Main RSS Feed
Test scores have been an embarrassment to the Obama and Bush administrations.

Sometimes events happen that seem to be disconnected, but after a few days or weeks, the pattern emerges. Consider this: On October 2, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that he was resigning and planned to return to Chicago. Former New York Commissioner of Education John King, who is a clone of Duncan in terms of his belief in testing and charter schools, was designated to take Duncan’s place. On October 23, the Obama administration held a surprise news conference to declare that testing was out of control and should be reduced to not more than 2 percent of classroom time. Actually, that wasn’t a true reduction, because 2 percent translates into between 18-24 hours of testing, which is a staggering amount of annual testing for children in grades 3-8 and not different from the status quo in most states.

Disconnected events?

Not at all. Here comes the pattern-maker: the federal tests called the National Assessment of Educational Progress released its every-other-year report card in reading and math, and the results were dismal. There would be many excuses offered, many rationales, but the bottom line: the NAEP scores are an embarrassment to the Obama administration (and the George W. Bush administration that preceded it).

For nearly 15 years, Presidents Bush and Obama and the Congress have bet billions of dollars—both federal and state– on a strategy of testing, accountability, and choice. They believed that if every student was tested in reading and mathematics every year from grades 3 to 8, test scores would go up and up. In those schools where test scores did not go up, the principals and teachers would be fired and replaced. Where scores didn’t go up for five years in a row, the schools would be closed. Thousands of educators were fired, and thousands of public schools were closed, based on the theory that sticks and carrots, rewards and punishments, would improve education.

But the 2015 NAEP scores released today by the National Assessment Governing Board (a federal agency) showed that Arne Duncan’s $4.35 billion Race to the Top program had flopped. It also showed that George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind was as phony as the “Texas education miracle” of 2000, which Bush touted as proof of his education credentials.

NAEP is an audit test. It is given every other year to samples of students in every state and in about 20 urban districts. No one can prepare for it, and no one gets a grade. NAEP measures the rise or fall of average scores for states in fourth grade and eighth grade in reading and math and reports them by race, gender, disability status, English language ability, economic status, and a variety of other measures.

The 2015 NAEP scores showed no gains nationally in either grade in either subject. In mathematics, scores declined in both grades, compared to 2013. In reading, scores were flat in grade 4 and lower in grade 8. Usually the Secretary of Education presides at a press conference where he points with pride to increases in certain grades or in certain states. Two years ago, Arne Duncan boasted about the gains made in Tennessee, which had won $500 million in Duncan’s Race to the Top competition. This year, Duncan had nothing to boast about.

In his Race to the Top program, Duncan made testing the primary purpose of education. Scores had to go up every year, because the entire nation was “racing to the top.” Only 12 states won a share of the $4.35 billion that Duncan was given by Congress: Tennessee and Delaware were first to win, in 2010. The next round, the following states won multi-millions of federal dollars to double down on testing: Maryland, Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Rhode Island.

Tennessee, Duncan’s showcase state in 2013, made no gains in reading or mathematics, neither in fourth grade or eighth grade. The black-white test score gap was as large in 2015 as it had been in 1998, before either NCLB or the Race to the Top.

The results in mathematics were bleak across the nation, in both grades 4 and 8. The declines nationally were only 1 or 2 points, but they were significant in a national assessment on the scale of NAEP.

In fourth-grade mathematics, the only jurisdictions to report gains were the District of Columbia, Mississippi, and the Department of Defense schools. Sixteen states had significant declines in their math scores, and thirty-three were flat in relation to 2013 scores. The scores in Tennessee (the $500 million winner) were flat.

In eighth grade, the lack of progress in mathematics was universal. Twenty-two states had significantly lower scores than in 2013, while 30 states or jurisdictions had flat scores. Pennsylvania, Kansas, and Florida (a Race to the Top winner), were the biggest losers, by dropping six points. Among the states that declined by four points were Race to the Top winners Ohio, North Carolina, and Massachusetts. Maryland, Hawaii, New York, and the District of Columbia lost two points. The scores in Tennessee were flat.

The District of Columbia made gains in fourth grade reading and mathematics, but not in eighth grade. It continues to have the largest score gap—56 points–between white and black students of any urban district in the nation. That is more than double the average of the other 20 urban districts. The state with the biggest achievement gap between black and white students is Wisconsin; it is also the state where black students have the lowest scores, lower even than their peers in states like Mississippi and South Carolina. Wisconsin has invested heavily in vouchers and charter schools, which Governor Scott Walker intends to increase.

The best single word to describe NAEP 2015 is stagnation. Contrary to President George W. Bush’s law, many children have been left behind by the strategy of test-and-punish. Contrary to the Obama administration’s Race to the Top program, the mindless reliance on standardized testing has not brought us closer to some mythical “Top.”

No wonder Arne Duncan is leaving Washington. There is nothing to boast about, and the next set of NAEP results won’t be published until 2017. The program that he claimed would transform American education has not raised test scores, but has demoralized educators and created teacher shortages. Disgusted with the testing regime, experienced teachers leave and enrollments in teacher education programs fall. One can only dream about what the Obama administration might have accomplished had it spent that $5 billion in discretionary dollars to encourage states and districts to develop and implement realistic plans for desegregation their schools, or had they invested the same amount of money in the arts.

The past dozen or so years have been a time when “reformers” like Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee, Joel Klein, and Bill Gates proudly claimed that they were disrupting school systems and destroying the status quo. Now the “reformers” have become the status quo, and we have learned that disruption is not good for children or education.

Time is running out for this administration, and it is not likely that there will be any meaningful change of course in education policy. One can only hope that the next administration learns important lessons from the squandered resources and failure of NCLB and Race to the Top.



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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Will Not Release Documents To Prove Global Warming

The Burning Platform
Guest Post by Martin Armstrong National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been subpoenaed to turn over its documentation to prove global warming and they are REFUSING to show the data. They are claiming confidentiality when it is taxpayer money that funds them. How can this be confidential?


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Shooting of Zachary Hammond: Is This What Self-Defense Looks Like? Full Feed
No matter what prosecutors say, killing a teenager during a penny-ante pot bust cannot be justified.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Senate passes CISA, strikes down four pro-privacy amendments

RT - Daily news
Preview The Senate on Tuesday passed CISA, a controversial bill encouraging companies to share private user data with the government that is worrying to civil liberties advocates. Four amendments were proposed to address privacy concerns, but they all died on the floor.
Read Full Article at


Facebook Caught Secretly Lobbying for Privacy Destroying “Cyber Security” Bill

SGTreport - The Corporate Propaganda Antidote - Silver, Gold, Truth, Liberty, & Freedom

by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blitzkrieg:

Before I get into this post, I want to thank everyone for all the congratulations and kind well wishes on the recent birth of our first child. Mom and baby are doing great, and we couldn’t be happier. Now let’s get back to the business of liberty.

There’s a [...]


‘Untouchables': Obama Cronies “Protected Wall Street’s Most Criminal From Prosecution”

SGTreport - The Corporate Propaganda Antidote - Silver, Gold, Truth, Liberty, & Freedom

by Mac Slavo, SHTFPlan:

The slow motion financial holocaust has been underway for some time now.

Goldman Sach recently commented that we are in the third wave of the great crisis. What happened in 2008 remains directly relevant to the personal financial risk that most Americans face at the brink of the next phase [...]


BEST OF THE WEB: Alternate reality? CNN broadcasts U.S. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard telling the truth about Syria

Signs of the Times
Comment: Did we wake up in an alternate universe?! It's reassuring to see there is at least one American member of Congress who has a functioning brain. Gabbard pretty much tells it like it is. If only there were more like her. Speaking with Wolf Blitzer on CNN, Tulsi explains why the US allying with Islamist extremists to overthrow Syrian President Assad is an illegal, counterproductive war that will cause even more human misery in the region and help ISIS and other Islamist extremists take over all of Syria. Instead of once again being distracted by trying to get rid of a secular dictator, Tulsi explains, the US must stay out of counter productive wars and focus on defeating the Islamist extremists who have declared war on America.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Why, Oh Why, Does Everyone BELIEVE Big Pharma’s Shtick?

Activist Post


Revealed: Army Scientists Secretly Sprayed St Louis With ‘Radioactive’ Particles For Years To Test Chemical Warfare Technology
(Daily Mail) The United States Military conducted top secret experiments on the citizens of St. Louis, Missouri, for years, exposing them to radioactive compounds, a researcher has claimed. While it...

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Why is Wheat Such a Problem in the Modern Diet?

Activist Post


Uncovered Government Docs Prove Chemtrails Real-Dane Wigington

SGTreport - The Corporate Propaganda Antidote - Silver, Gold, Truth, Liberty, & Freedom

from USA Watchdog:

Lead researcher Dane Wigington for the global climate engineering informational website,, says newly discovered U.S. government documents prove global climate manipulation, commonly referred to as chemtrails, is real.

Not only that, but the document, that originated in the U.S. Senate, also proves weather manipulation has been going on around the [...]


Bacon, sausages and ham rank alongside smoking as cancer causes, says WHO

Network Front | The Guardian

UN health body says cured and processed meats are among top five most carcinogenic substances along with cigarettes, alcohol, asbestos and arsenic

Bacon, ham and sausages rank alongside cigarettes as a major cause of cancer, the World Health Organisation has said, placing cured and processed meats in the same category as asbestos, alcohol, arsenic and tobacco.

The report from the WHO’s cancer arm, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), said there is enough evidence to rank processed meats as group 1 carcinogens, because of a causal link with bowel cancer.

Continue reading...


Saturday, October 24, 2015

“Free Pass”: Constitution-Violating DOJ Won’t Prosecute Lois Lerner in IRS Targeting Scandal

Freedom Outpost

I have seen my share of "good ole' boy" backscratching.  It is frowned upon by most people.  It has this air of giving someone something that they have not earned or allowing them to get away with something that they should not have done.  And, it is something that has always been a part of […]

The post “Free Pass”: Constitution-Violating DOJ Won’t Prosecute Lois Lerner in IRS Targeting Scandal appeared first on Freedom Outpost.


Gov’t Gag Order on National Weather Service and NOAA Employees

Zen Gardner

I personally spoke to an NOAA scientist that said "we all know it is going on (climate engineering) but we are afraid to speak out, we have no first amendment protection".

The post Gov’t Gag Order on National Weather Service and NOAA Employees appeared first on Zen Gardner.


CIA Torture Program Whistleblower Speaks on – “The Sad Fate of America’s Whistleblowers”

Washington's Blog

Submitted by Michael Krieger, Liberty Blizkrieg, I’ve mentioned John Kiriakou several times before on these pages. In case you forgot, he was the only person jailed for the CIA’s torture program. Unsurprisingly, he was the guy who blew the whistle … Continue reading

CIA Torture Program Whistleblower Speaks on – “The Sad Fate of America’s Whistleblowers” was originally published on Washington's Blog


Study Finds Almost All Sanitary Cotton Products Contaminated with Probable Carcinogen

Washington's Blog

85 percent of sanitary cotton products tested in a new study were contaminated with glyphosate, which was recently ruled a “probable carcinogen” by the World Health Organization and is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, used worldwide. Roundup is … Continue reading

Study Finds Almost All Sanitary Cotton Products Contaminated with Probable Carcinogen was originally published on Washington's Blog


Friday, October 23, 2015

Confidential files on El Salvador human rights stolen after legal action against CIA

Network Front | The Guardian

US group says computer and hard drive containing survivor testimony about El Salvador civil war was stolen from Washington office

Confidential files containing evidence of violations committed during El Salvador’s civil war have been stolen from a Washington-based human rights group days after it launched legal proceedings against the CIA over classified files on a former US-backed military commander implicated in massacres, death squads and forced disappearances.

A computer and hard drive containing testimonies from survivors were stolen from the office of the director of the University of Washington Center for Human Rights (UWCHR) last week.

Continue reading...


Is America the greatest country in the world? | SOVEREIGN MAN

Is America the greatest country in the world? | SOVEREIGN MAN:

'via Blog this'

Turkish Whistleblowers Corroborate Story on False Flag Sarin Attack in Syria

Global Research
This is quite the bombshell delivered by two CHP deputies in the Turkish parliament and reported by Today’s Zaman, one of the top dailies in Turkey. It supports Seymour Hersh’s reporting that the notorious sarin gas attack at Ghouta was…


Whistleblowers In Peril As Government Policies Shaft Press Freedoms

A report by the UN special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression called for greater protections for journalistic sources — particularly those that publicly or privately expose malfeasance.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

UK Goes Full Orwell: Government To Take Children Away From Parents If They Might Become Radicalized

High Court Judges now tasked with determining whether children will be made wards of the state based solely on suspicions of possible radicalization.


Whistleblower: Powerful Congressman Hastert’s Corruption Goes FAR Beyond Sex With a Student

Washington's Blog

The REAL Hastert Scandal 18-year CIA officer Philip Giraldi notes that 8-year Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is guilty of a lot more than sex with a student. Giraldi’s report is based on the revelations of Sibel Edmonds, a … Continue reading

Whistleblower: Powerful Congressman Hastert’s Corruption Goes FAR Beyond Sex With a Student was originally published on Washington's Blog


Iceland Just Jailed Dozens of Corrupt Bankers for 74 Years, The Opposite of What America Does Main RSS Feed
The prosecution of the Icelandic bankers represents an accountability that does not exist in America.

Raykovich, Iceland – In stark contrast to the record low number of prosecutions of CEO’s and high-level financial executives in the U.S., Iceland has just sentenced 26 bankers to a combined 74 years in prison.

The majority of those convicted have been sentenced to prison terms of two to five years. The maximum penalty in Iceland for financial crimes is six years, although hearings are currently underway to consider extending the maximum beyond six years.

The prosecutions are the result of Iceland’s banksters manipulating the Icelandic financial markets after Iceland deregulated their finance sector in 2001. Eventually, an accumulation of foreign debt resulted in a meltdown of the entire banking sector in 2008.

According to Iceland Magazine:

In two separate rulings last week, the Supreme Court of Iceland and the Reykjavík District Court sentenced three top managers of Landsbankinn and two top managers of Kaupþing, along with one prominent investor, to prison for crimes committed in the lead-up to the financial collapse of 2008. With these rulings the number of bankers and financiers who have been sentenced to prison for crimes relating to the financial collapse has reached 26, and a combined prison time of 74 years.

Massive debts were incurred in the name of the Icelandic public, to allow the country to continue to function, which are still being repaid to the IMF and other nations eight years later by the citizens of Iceland. In contrast to the U.S., Iceland has chosen to hold the criminals that manipulated their financial system accountable under the law.

In the U.S., not a single banking executive was charged with crimes related to the 2008 financial crisis, even though the U.S. itself precipitated the crisis. Icelandic President, Olafur Ragnar Grimmson summed it up best in his response when asked how his country recovered from the global financial crisis.

“We were wise enough not to follow the traditional prevailing orthodoxies of the Western financial world in the last 30 years. We introduced currency controls, we let the banks fail, we provided support for the people and didn’t introduce austerity measures like you’re seeing in Europe.”

While Iceland has prosecuted those that caused their financial crisis, America has done the opposite. In 2008, after Congress bailed out the failing American banks to the tune of $700 billion dollars, courtesy of the American taxpayer, many of the executives of institutions that received TARP bailout funds ended up getting large bonuses!

The prosecution of the Icelandic banksters represents an accountability that does not exist in the United States of America. It seems clear that the financial “Masters of the Universe” are the ones that truly control the political apparatus in the U.S., making it obvious there is no one who is going to hold them accountable for manipulating and crashing the financial markets.

Please share this article to help expose who really controls the political system in the United States!!



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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fukushima Radiation in Pacific Reaches West Coast

Truthout Stories

"[W]e should be carefully monitoring the oceans after what is certainly the largest accidental release of radioactive contaminants to the oceans in history," marine chemist Ken Buesseler said last spring.

Instead, the US Environmental Protection Agency halted its emergency radiation monitoring of Fukushima's radioactive plume in May 2011, three months after the disaster began. Japan isn't even monitoring seawater near Fukushima, according to a September 28, 2015, story in "The Ecologist." 

"[W]e should be carefully monitoring the oceans after what is certainly the largest accidental release of radioactive contaminants to the oceans in history," marine chemist Ken Buesseler said last spring.

Instead, the US Environmental Protection Agency halted its emergency radiation monitoring of Fukushima's radioactive plume in May 2011, three months after the disaster began. Japan isn't even monitoring seawater near Fukushima, according to a September 28, 2015, story in "The Ecologist."

The amount of cesium in seawater that Buesseler's researchers found off Vancouver Island is nearly six times the concentration recorded since cesium was first introduced into the oceans by nuclear bomb tests (halted in 1963). This stunning increase in Pacific cesium shows an ongoing increase. The International Business Times (IBT) reported last November 12 that Dr. Buesseler found the amount of cesium-134 in the same waters was then about twice the concentration left in long-standing bomb test remains.

Dr. Buesseler, at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, announced his assessment after his team found that cesium drift from Fukushima's three reactor meltdowns had reached North America. Attempting to reassure the public, Buesseler said, "[E]ven if they were twice as high and I was to swim there every day for an entire year, the dose I would be exposed to is a thousand times less than a single dental X-ray."

This comparison conflates the important difference between external radiation exposure (from X-rays or swimming in radioactively contaminated seawater) and internal contamination from ingesting radioactive isotopes, say, with seafood.

Dr. Chris Busby of the Low Level Radiation Campaign in the UK explains the distinction this way: Think of the difference between merely sitting before a warm wood fire on one hand, and popping a burning hot coal into your mouth on the other. Internal contamination can be 1,000 times more likely to cause cancer than the same exposure if it were external, especially for women and children. And, because cesium-137 stays in the ecosphere for 300 years, long-term bioaccumulation and bioconcentration of cesium isotopes in the food chain - in this case the ocean food chain - is the perpetually worsening consequence of what has spilled and is still pouring from Fukushima.

The nuclear weapons production complex is the only other industry that has a record of deliberate whole-earth poisoning. Hundreds of tons of radioactive fallout were aerosolized and spread to the world's watery commons and landmasses by nuclear bomb testing. The same people then brought us commercial nuclear power reactors. Dirty war spawns dirty business, where lying comes easy. Just as the weapons makers lied about bomb test fallout dangers, nuclear power proponents claimed the cesium spewed from Fukushima would be diluted to infinity after the plume dispersed across 4,000 miles of Pacific Ocean.

Today, globalized radioactive contamination of the commons by private corporations has become the financial, political and health care cost of operating nuclear power reactors. The November 2014 IBT article noted that "The planet's oceans already contain vast amounts of radiation, as the world's 435 nuclear power plants routinely pump radioactive water into Earth's oceans, albeit less dangerous isotopes than cesium."

Fifty million Becquerels of cesium per-cubic-meter were measured off Fukushima soon after the March 2011 start of the three meltdowns. Cesium-contaminated Albacore and Bluefin tuna were caught off the West Coast a mere four months later; 300 tons of cesium-laced effluent has been pouring into the Pacific every day for the four and a half years since. On September 14, 2015, the Japanese government openly dumped 850 tons of partially-filtered but tritium-contaminated water into the Pacific. This latest dumping portends what it will try to do with thousands of tons more now held in shabby storage tanks at the devastated reactor complex.

Officials from Fukushima's owners, the Tokyo Electric Power Co., have said leaks from Fukushima disaster with "at least" two trillion Becquerels of radioactivity entered the Pacific between August 2013 and May 2014 - and this nine-month period isn't even the half of it.

The fact that Fukushima has contaminated the entirety of the Pacific Ocean must be viewed as cataclysmic. The ongoing introduction of Fukushima's radioactive runoff may be slow-paced, and the inevitable damage to sea life and human health may take decades to register, but the "canary in the mineshaft" is the Pacific tuna population, which should now also be perpetually monitored for cesium.

Last November Buesseler warned, "Radioactive cesium from the Fukushima disaster is likely to keep arriving at the North American coast." Fish eaters may want to stick with the Atlantic catch for 12 generations or so.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

MH-17 Case: ‘Old’ Journalism vs. ‘New’ | Consortiumnews

MH-17 Case: ‘Old’ Journalism vs. ‘New’ | Consortiumnews:

'via Blog this'

Why You Might Not Want to Be Pregnant in Pennsylvania Main RSS Feed
Or anywhere else where fracking is prevalent.

The health issues associated with fracking just keep piling up. The unconventional gas drilling method, officially known as hydraulic fracturing, not only damages the environment by injecting toxic chemicals into the ground, which poisons groundwater, interrupts natural water cycles, releases radon gas and causes earthquakes, but it has also been connected to numerous health conditions, including asthma, headaches, high blood pressure, anemia, neurological illness, heart attacks and cancer.

But perhaps most heartbreaking is the effect that fracking may have on babies. Studies have linked fracking to increased infant mortality and low birth babies. Now researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found that expectant mothers who reside near active fracking sites in Pennsylvania have a higher risk of giving birth prematurely and having high-risk pregnancies.

The retrospective cohort study, which was published online on September 30 in the journal Epidemiology, analyzed electronic health record data on 9,384 mothers living in northern and central Pennsylvania linked to 10,946 neonates from January 2009 to January 2013. The researchers found that expectant mothers living in the most active fracking areas were 40 percent more likely to give birth prematurely, i.e., a gestation period of less than 37 weeks. In addition, those pregnant women are 30 percent more likely to have a high-risk pregnancy, a label that refers to a variety of factors that include excessive weight gain and high blood pressure.

"Prenatal residential exposure to unconventional natural gas development activity was associated with two pregnancy outcomes," write the researchers in the study's abstract, "adding to evidence that unconventional natural gas development may impact health."

Today, Pennsylvania is one the most heavily fracked states, and the rapid development of the practice has occurred in just a few years: In 2005, there were no producing wells. In 2013, there were 3,689. Now, there are more than 8,000.

"The growth in the fracking industry has gotten way out ahead of our ability to assess what the environmental and, just as importantly, public health impacts are," said study leader Brian S. Schwartz, a professor in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Bloomberg School. "Our research adds evidence to the very few studies that have been done showing adverse health outcomes associated with the fracking industry."

It should be noted that while the study shows a correlation between fracking and negative maternal issues, it does not establish any causation as to why pregnant women who live near active wells experienced worse outcomes. However, Schwartz points out that there is some kind of environmental impact associated with every facet of the fracking process, from increased noise and traffic to poor air quality — all of which can increase maternal stress.

"Now that we know this is happening, we'd like to figure out why," Schwartz said. "Is it air quality? Is it the stress? They're the two leading candidates in our minds at this point."

While the impacts of fracking on public health are far from fully understood, early research should be incorporated in policy decisions about how best to regulate the industry.

"The first few studies have all shown health impacts," said Schwartz. "Policymakers need to consider findings like these in thinking about how they allow this industry to go forward."


8 Dangerous Side Effects of Fracking That the Industry Doesn't Want You to Hear About

Fracking Has Now Been Linked to Low Birth Weight Babies

Fracking Pollutes Drinking Water, Says Long-Awaited EPA Study

Earthquakes Tied to Fracking Boom, Two New Studies Confirm

Fracking Linked to Heart Conditions and Neurological Illness

Radioactivity Found in Pennsylvania Creek, Illegal Fracking Waste Dumping Suspected



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Monday, October 19, 2015

Homan Square revealed: how Chicago police 'disappeared' 7,000 people

US news | The Guardian

Exclusive: Guardian lawsuit exposes fullest scale yet of detentions at off-the-books interrogation warehouse, while attorneys describe find-your-client chase across Chicago as ‘something from a Bond movie’

Police “disappeared” more than 7,000 people at an off-the-books interrogation warehouse in Chicago, nearly twice as many detentions as previously disclosed, the Guardian can now reveal.

Related: Homan Square: an interactive portrait of detainees at Chicago's police facility

Continue reading...


Attacking Peace and Love: How the FBI Neutralized John Lennon for Questioning Authority Main RSS Feed
For a little while, at least, Lennon became enemy number one in the eyes of the U.S. government.

“You gotta remember, establishment, it’s just a name for evil. The monster doesn’t care whether it kills all the students or whether there’s a revolution. It’s not thinking logically, it’s out of control.”—John Lennon (1969)


The Rutherford Institute


John Lennon, born 75 years ago on October 9, 1940, was a musical genius and pop cultural icon.

He was also a vocal peace protester and anti-war activist and a high-profile example of the lengths to which the U.S. government will go to persecute those who dare to challenge its authority.

Long before Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden were being castigated for blowing the whistle on the government’s war crimes and the National Security Agency’s abuse of its surveillance powers, it was Lennon who was being singled out for daring to speak truth to power about the government’s warmongering, his phone calls monitored and data files collected on his activities and associations.

For a little while, at least, Lennon became enemy number one in the eyes of the U.S. government.

Years after Lennon’s assassination it would be revealed that the FBI had collected 281 pages of files on him, including song lyrics, a letter from J. Edgar Hoover directing the agency to spy on the musician, and various written orders calling on government agents to set the stage to set Lennon up for a drug bust. As reporter Jonathan Curiel observes, “The FBI’s files on Lennon … read like the writings of a paranoid goody-two-shoes.”

As the New York Times notes, “Critics of today’s domestic surveillance object largely on privacy grounds. They have focused far less on how easily government surveillance can become an instrument for the people in power to try to hold on to power. ‘The U.S. vs. John Lennon’ … is the story not only of one man being harassed, but of a democracy being undermined.”

Indeed, as I point out in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, all of the many complaints we have about government today—surveillance, militarism, corruption, harassment, SWAT team raids, political persecution, spying, overcriminalization, etc.—were present in Lennon’s day and formed the basis of his call for social justice, peace and a populist revolution.

For all of these reasons, the U.S. government was obsessed with Lennon, who had learned early on that rock music could serve a political end by proclaiming a radical message. More importantly, Lennon saw that his music could mobilize the public and help to bring about change. Lennon believed in the power of the people. Unfortunately, as Lennon recognized: “The trouble with government as it is, is that it doesn’t represent the people. It controls them.”

However, as Martin Lewis writing for Time notes: “John Lennon was not God. But he earned the love and admiration of his generation by creating a huge body of work that inspired and led. The appreciation for him deepened because he then instinctively decided to use his celebrity as a bully pulpit for causes greater than his own enrichment or self-aggrandizement.”

For instance, in December 1971 at a concert in Ann Arbor, Mich., Lennon took to the stage and in his usual confrontational style belted out “John Sinclair,” a song he had written about a man sentenced to 10 years in prison for possessing two marijuana cigarettes. Within days of Lennon’s call for action, the Michigan Supreme Court ordered Sinclair released.

What Lennon did not know at the time was that government officials had been keeping strict tabs on the ex-Beatle they referred to as “Mr. Lennon.” FBI agents were in the audience at the Ann Arbor concert, “taking notes on everything from the attendance (15,000) to the artistic merits of his new song.”

The U.S. government was spying on Lennon.

By March 1971, when his “Power to the People” single was released, it was clear where Lennon stood. Having moved to New York City that same year, Lennon was ready to participate in political activism against the U. S. government, the “monster” that was financing the war in Vietnam.

The release of Lennon’s Sometime in New York City album, which contained a radical anti-government message in virtually every song and depicted President Richard Nixon and Chinese Chairman Mao Tse-tung dancing together nude on the cover, only fanned the flames of the conflict to come.

The official U.S. war against Lennon began in earnest in 1972 after rumors surfaced that Lennon planned to embark on a U.S. concert tour that would combine rock music with antiwar organizing and voter registration. Nixon, fearing Lennon’s influence on about 11 million new voters (1972 was the first year that 18-year-olds could vote), had the ex-Beatle served with deportation orders “in an effort to silence him as a voice of the peace movement.”

Then again, the FBI has had a long history of persecuting, prosecuting and generally harassing activists, politicians, and cultural figures, most notably among the latter such celebrated names as folk singer Pete Seeger, painter Pablo Picasso, comic actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, comedian Lenny Bruce and poet Allen Ginsberg.

Among those most closely watched by the FBI was Martin Luther King Jr., a man labeled by the FBI as “the most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country.” With wiretaps and electronic bugs planted in his home and office, King was kept under constant surveillance by the FBI with the aim of “neutralizing” him. He even received letters written by FBI agents suggesting that he either commit suicide or the details of his private life would be revealed to the public. The FBI kept up its pursuit of King until he was felled by a hollow-point bullet to the head in 1968.

While Lennon was not—as far as we know—being blackmailed into suicide, he was the subject of a four-year campaign of surveillance and harassment by the U.S. government (spearheaded by FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover), an attempt by President Richard Nixon to have him “neutralized” and deported. As Adam Cohen of the New York Times points out, “The F.B.I.’s surveillance of Lennon is a reminder of how easily domestic spying can become unmoored from any legitimate law enforcement purpose. What is more surprising, and ultimately more unsettling, is the degree to which the surveillance turns out to have been intertwined with electoral politics.”

As Lennon’s FBI file shows, memos and reports about the FBI’s surveillance of the anti-war activist had been flying back and forth between Hoover, the Nixon White House, various senators, the FBI and the U.S. Immigration Office.

Nixon’s pursuit of Lennon was relentless and in large part based on the misperception that Lennon and his comrades were planning to disrupt the 1972 Republican National Convention. The government’s paranoia, however, was misplaced.

Left-wing activists who were on government watch lists and who shared an interest in bringing down the Nixon Administration had been congregating at Lennon’s New York apartment. But when they revealed that they were planning to cause a riot, Lennon balked. As he recounted in a 1980 interview, “We said, We ain’t buying this. We’re not going to draw children into a situation to create violence so you can overthrow what? And replace it with what? . . . It was all based on this illusion, that you can create violence and overthrow what is, and get communism or get some right-wing lunatic or a left-wing lunatic. They’re all lunatics.”

Despite the fact that Lennon was not part of the “lunatic” plot, the government persisted in its efforts to have him deported. Equally determined to resist, Lennon dug in and fought back. Every time he was ordered out of the country, his lawyers delayed the process by filing an appeal. Finally, in 1976, Lennon won the battle to stay in the country when he was granted a green card. As he said afterwards, “I have a love for this country…. This is where the action is. I think we’ll just go home, open a tea bag, and look at each other.”

Lennon’s time of repose didn’t last long, however. By 1980, he had re-emerged with a new album and plans to become politically active again.

The old radical was back and ready to cause trouble. In his final interview on Dec. 8, 1980, Lennon mused, “The whole map’s changed and we’re going into an unknown future, but we’re still all here, and while there’s life there’s hope.”

That very night, when Lennon returned to his New York apartment building, Mark David Chapman was waiting in the shadows. As Lennon stepped outside the car to greet the fans congregating outside, Chapman, in an eerie echo of the FBI’s moniker for Lennon, called out, “Mr. Lennon!”

Lennon turned and was met with a barrage of gunfire as Chapman—dropping into a two-handed combat stance—emptied his .38-caliber pistol and pumped four hollow-point bullets into his back and left arm. Lennon stumbled, staggered forward and, with blood pouring from his mouth and chest, collapsed to the ground.

John Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. He had finally been “neutralized.”

Yet where those who neutralized the likes of John Lennon, Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Robert Kennedy and others go wrong is in believing that you can murder a movement with a bullet and a madman.

Thankfully, Lennon’s legacy lives on in his words, his music and his efforts to speak truth to power. As Yoko Ono shared in a 2014 letter to the parole board tasked with determining whether Chapman should be released: “A man of humble origin, [John Lennon] brought light and hope to the whole world with his words and music. He tried to be a good power for the world, and he was. He gave encouragement, inspiration and dreams to people regardless of their race, creed and gender.”

Sadly, not much has changed for the better in the world since Lennon walked among us. Peace remains out of reach. Activism and whistleblowers continue to be prosecuted for challenging the government’s authority. Militarism is on the rise, with police acquiring armed drones, all the while the governmental war machine continues to wreak havoc on innocent lives. Just recently, for example, U.S. military forces carried out airstrikes in Afghanistan that left a Doctors without Borders hospital in ruins, killing several of its medical personnel and patients, including children.

For those of us who joined with John Lennon to imagine a world of peace, it’s getting harder to reconcile that dream with the reality of the American police state. For those who do dare to speak up, they are labeled dissidents, troublemakers, terrorists, lunatics, or mentally ill and tagged for surveillance, censorship or, worse, involuntary detention.

As Lennon shared in a 1968 interview:

I think all our society is run by insane people for insane objectives… I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal means. If anybody can put on paper what our government and the American government and the Russian… Chinese… what they are actually trying to do, and what they think they’re doing, I’d be very pleased to know what they think they’re doing. I think they’re all insane. But I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.”

So what’s the answer?

Lennon had a multitude of suggestions.

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”

“Produce your own dream. If you want to save Peru, go save Peru. It’s quite possible to do anything, but not to put it on the leaders….You have to do it yourself. That’s what the great masters and mistresses have been saying ever since time began. They can point the way, leave signposts and little instructions in various books that are now called holy and worshipped for the cover of the book and not for what it says, but the instructions are all there for all to see, have always been and always will be. There’s nothing new under the sun. All the roads lead to Rome. And people cannot provide it for you. I can’t wake you up. You can wake you up. I can’t cure you. You can cure you.”

“Life is very short, and there’s no time for fussing and fighting my friends.”

“Peace is not something you wish for; It’s something you make, Something you do, Something you are, And something you give away.”

“If you want peace, you won’t get it with violence.”

“Say you want a revolution / We better get on right away / Well you get on your feet / And out on the street / Singing power to the people.”

And my favorite advice of all: “All you need is love. Love is all you need.”



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Saturday, October 17, 2015

End The FED – A Dismal Share

The Daily Coin
Vaniety Fair banksterby Bill Bonner, Acting-Man The Dow fell back below 17,000 on Wednesday, after Wal-Mart warned that it was having trouble selling things to people with no money – at least online. Its e-commerce efforts don’t seem to be paying off as quickly as it hoped. Why?   A bad day for WMT on the heels of a bad year for WMT – neither do its customers have enough money to buy stuff, nor is WMT...


Soda Wars: How Big Beverage Targets Poor People and Compromises Their Health Main RSS Feed
Soda sales may be declining among the more affluent, but a complex battle over public health rages on.

Every five years, the U.S. federal government releases its "Dietary Guidelines for Americans," a joint production of the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS). The new one is scheduled to be released in December.

According to the last one, released in 2010, sugary beverages are extremely popular, with soda, energy drinks and sports drinks making up the fourth highest source of calories among Americans overall — and the third highest source for children and adolescents up to the age of 18. These sweetened drinks also make up the lion's share (almost 36 percent) of the sources of added sugars in the American diet.

But tastes appear to be changing. As The New York Times recently noted, sales in full calorie soda in the U.S. have declined more than 25 percent over the last two decades, while bottled water sales have increased. Still, the overall dietary picture isn't great, as the majority of Americans continue to get their calories from unhealthy sources, including processed foods, grain-based desserts and alcohol. Pizza, often washed down with soda, is the fifth-highest source of Americans' caloric intake.

Looking more closely at the statistics reveals striking socioeconomic forces at work. In her new book Soda Politics:Taking on Big Soda (and Winning), Marion Nestle, chair of New York University's Department of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, points out that soda drinking is split across race and class lines, with African and Hispanic Americans drinking more soda than their white counterparts, adding that their soda drinking habits "are strongly influenced by television advertising, especially when commercials feature celebrities of their own race and ethnicity." She also notes that "this diversity — in income, social status, and outlook — complicates efforts to reduce soda intake in minority communities."

And while the sharpest declines in soda consumption have occurred "among richer, white populations," according to the New York Times, Nestle said she expected "poor and minority customers would also reduce their soda intake over time, just as tobacco declines occurred first among educated consumers and then spread to a larger population."

I had a chance to ask Rebecca Spector, West Coast Director of the Center for Food Safety, a national non-profit public health and environmental advocacy organization, about the current state of soda drinking in the United States, how it cuts across race and class — and if we are heading towards a future free of sugary beverages.

Reynard Loki: For many health advocates, soda been used as a symbol for bad diets. Has the strategy worked?

Rebecca Spector: Soda has become the “poster child” for unhealthy foods for good reason: Sugary drinks are the single largest source of added sugars in the American diet. The ongoing campaign to educate the public about the risks associated with regular consumption of soda and sugary drinks — including greater risk of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay — has been successful in reducing soda consumption in the U.S. However, overall consumption of candy, potato chips and other processed foods is not declining. So the message about the negative health impacts from consuming soda and other sugary beverages is unfortunately not reducing consumption of other unhealthy foods. Curtailing soda consumption is an important goal, but it can’t be our only focus.

RL: Soda has been called the new tobacco. Is that a fair comparison?

RS: There are a lot of similarities between the soda industry and the tobacco industry. First, both industries are selling products that are unhealthy and are directly related to the onset of disease. Second, both have notoriously targeted children in their marketing. The difference right now is that one could argue that drinking soda in moderation is okay, while smoking, even in moderation, is not recommended. This is because of its strong links to lung and other cancers and its highly addictive nature. That said, research is showing that sugar is biologically addictive and I think that as the evidence grows in the coming years, we will realize how insidious sugar-laden products truly are.

RL: Is the decline in soda consumption temporary? What are soda companies doing to make up the loss in market share?

RS: The major soda manufacturers have already altered the portfolio of products they sell, diversifying into alternative beverages such as sports drinks, juices and bottled water, among other products. Such a market shift at the corporate level indicates that soda has lost its previous market share, and now the focus of these large beverage corporations will be on marketing other beverages and processed food products. What we’re seeing is that soda companies are now trying to tap into the current energy around healthy eating by developing supposedly healthy versions of their products, like Coca-Cola made with real sugar rather than high fructose corn syrup, or Pepsi with added vitamins. And we’re also seeing these companies buy up smaller brands that have healthy images, like Honest Tea. These corporations aren’t going away. They are just shifting to manufacturing and selling other (still mostly unhealthy) products.

RL: Sales of diet soda have also shrunk. How concerned should we be about the potential negative health effects of artificial sweeteners even though there hasn't been much evidence pointing to that?

RS: As you note, most mainstream medical associations have not linked artificial sweeteners to diseases or other health impacts. However, some independent studies have indicated otherwise, linking artificial sweeteners to a host of health problems, including cancer. We need many more independent studies to be conducted to ultimately shed more light on this controversial issue. One thing to note, however, is that consuming foods with artificial sweeteners can lead to cravings for other sweet foods, which may undermine any attempts to cut calories. In addition, some artificial sweeteners may be addictive. I think the answer is to severely limit the consumption of beverages that are sweetened with both sugar and artificial sweeteners and stick primarily to water, herbal teas (which are delicious as iced drinks) and diluted juices. And choose organic as much as possible to avoid exposure to pesticides used in the growing of fruits, vegetables, tea and coffee.

RL: Soda taxes have failed in New York State and San Francisco; only Berkeley has one. Is a soda tax is the right kind of tool to fight the obesity crisis?

RS: Soda taxes and other forms of legislation are great ways to educate the public about an issue — and that’s exactly what the soda tax fight has done. It’s accomplishing its mission by exposing and publicizing the truth about the impacts of sugary drinks and changing people’s diets through the power of information. In addition to taxes, laws requiring the labeling of sugary foods, stating that “drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay,” would provide the public with critical information before choosing a product. I hope to see more innovative legislation on this issue in the coming year.

RL: Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg's fought to limit the size of sugary beverages sold at food service outlets. Though the New York Court of Appeals ruled that the board of health exceeded the scope of its authority in adopting the regulation, the ban may come back, at least for minors. The soda industry says it's an assault on consumer choice. Is the so-called "Big Gulp Ban" a good idea?

RS: Even if such a law to limit the size of sugary beverages sold at food service outlets was upheld, consumers would not be prohibited from consuming however much of these sugary beverages they want. The law would merely eliminate the sale of sodas larger than 16 ounces; it would not prevent a person from buying as many sodas as they want. Center for Food Safety argued that it is in fact the beverage companies that have taken away consumer choice when they replaced smaller sized fountain soda cups (7 or 12 ounces) with huge cups containing 42 to 128 ounces. The companies pushed the public into a consumption pattern that benefited their bottom line.

RL: The individual consumer choice argument eventually has to reckon with the public health issue. A more obese public may impact everyone through higher public expenses that go towards health care of obesity-related health issues, as well as the possibility of health care premiums going up across the board. Does this have a place in the overall narrative?

RS: When people’s individual choices affect other people, it becomes a public health issue. So yes, I think that as a society we have a responsibility to ensure our individual choices do not negatively impact others. When people become ill as a result of the individual choices they make, and that in turn increases public expenses towards health care, that is an issue for all of us. But obviously this applies to many things other than just food, such as alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. But the onus should not just be on the individual. It should also be on corporations that are bringing products to market that cause cancer and other diseases. These corporations and their products should be properly regulated, including containing warning labels when necessary, and held liable if appropriate (such as the tobacco industry). Ultimately, we need to craft an environment where making healthy choices is easy and the norm. Right now, it is far too difficult for consumers to get the information they need and to access the food that will keep them healthy.

RL: Much of the success in reducing obesity rates in children has come from changes in food offerings at schools, many of which have stopped offering soda. Are schools the primary battleground for fighting the obesity epidemic?

RS: Schools are a critical place to get children on the right dietary track. Millions of children eat both breakfast and lunch (in addition to snacks) at school five days a week. So for many kids, approximately half of their meals are eaten at school. By eliminating soda and other sugary foods at school, children are significantly reducing their consumption of these products and also establishing healthier eating habits that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

RL: What is your advice to concerned parents who are trying to instill healthy diets at home but are worried when their child goes out into the world?

RS: The models we establish at home shape the choices our children make out in the world. Feeding our children home cooked meals made from whole, unprocessed foods (and organic when possible to avoid pesticide residues) is the path to good health and to establishing healthy eating habits. It’s difficult if not impossible to prevent school-aged children from consuming soda or other processed foods in moderation when they are out and about. Knowing that my child may have a soda or candy when at a party or at the movies, I do not serve these products at home, ensuring a healthy balance. I think it’s important to allow for moderation and not make these foods “forbidden fruit,” which can result in a backlash and increased desire for these products. I don’t see any place for routine consumption of processed foods in a healthy diet, especially for children.

RL: Alice Green, executive director for the Albany-based Center for Law and Justice, called race-targeted soda ads “environmental racism.” Do you agree? Should soda marketing be more heavily regulated, as some lawmakers desire?

RS: I agree that race-targeted soda ads are “environmental racism,” as they disproportionally target a specific audience based on race and class, putting that population at greater risk for obesity and diabetes. I think the iniquitousness of soda and junk food ads are a problem for all of American society and I would like to see greater regulation of those ads and soda marketing in general as a benefit to all Americans, especially children and African and Hispanic Americans.

RL: Do you agree with Katie Bayne, Coca-Cola's president of sparkling beverages in North America, who told USA TODAY that "there is no scientific evidence" that connects sugar beverages to obesity? Sugary drinks, she added, can be part of any good diet.

RS: There is absolutely evidence linking regular consumption of sugary beverages and other high-calorie processed foods to obesity. A healthy diet requires consuming a majority of our daily calories from whole, unprocessed foods low in sugar – and when a 64 ounce soda (which is not even the largest size available at some convenience stores) contains almost 750 calories and nearly 200 grams (one full cup) of sugar, there is no place for that amount of soda in someone’s regular diet. Most of us have very regular habits of what we eat and drink, and those habits can be deeply swayed by persuasive marketing. As such, it’s critical to develop healthy habits early, which means severely limiting regular consumption of soda and other sugary foods and beverages. Personally I do not believe that regular soda consumption can be part of a truly healthy diet.

RL: Do soda companies bear responsibility for effect of their products on public health?

RS: I believe that corporations should be held accountable for how their products affect our society, in particular our health and our environment. When a product is responsible for poisoning our water supply or contributing to the onset of obesity and diabetes, I think the corporations that produce those products should be regulated and held accountable.

RL: If people aren't going to drink less soda on their own, what can be done to reduce the public health impact?

RS: I’d like to see more legislation to increase the regulation of these products and the marketing of them, as allowed by law. In addition, we need more education campaigns in schools and elsewhere that reveal the true risks of regular soda consumption. These campaigns should be coupled with boycotts of these foods by the public and by celebrities who currently endorse them. The overall downward trend of soda intake is a positive development, but we can’t take that to mean that our work here is done. It means we need to redouble our efforts, assess which strategies have been effective and which haven’t, and commit ourselves to affecting change even where the problem seems most intractable. I think one part of that will be to encourage community-led educational campaigns that can help reshape eating and drinking habits in schools and neighborhoods where those most vulnerable reside.

RL: For consumers, what's the bottom line? Is a little soda okay, or is it a slippery slope that should be avoided altogether?

RS: Personally, I think extreme moderation of soda is okay, but that can be a slippery slope given the addictive nature of products containing sugar and sugar substitutes. As a parent, my child is occasionally allowed a non-caffeinated soda at a restaurant or at the movies — adding up to less than half a dozen small sodas a year. As such, she doesn’t crave soda or ask for it, except on rare occasions. But it also is not forbidden. The same holds true for candy — it’s reserved for special occasions such as birthday parties and Halloween, so, there is no expectation or craving for it as it’s never something we buy at the store or keep in the house. But every person needs to decide what set of rules works best for them or their children to prevent daily or even weekly consumption of these unhealthy products. There is no debate that eating whole foods that are unprocessed, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, legumes, fish, and lean meats, should be making up the majority of our daily diets.

RL: How do you see the soda issue evolving in the coming years?

RS: Just as smoking has decreased dramatically over the decades, I think soda consumption will also continue to decline; however, I do not think it will be eradicated completely. New and alternative beverages, many of which are equally sugary, are steadily gaining market share and will continue to grow in popularity. With the expansion of this new market we will need to monitor the ingredients of these products and determine how they may be contributing to obesity and disease. Soda is just one piece of the processed food explosion, which we must continue to closely examine in order to truly improve health. Only with the necessary research and data can we craft meaningful and impactful policies. I think there are a lot of creative solutions to our public health problems yet to be explored. The fact that we’re discussing this issue at every level of government and society is a positive sign for the future.


Coca-Cola Says Its Drinks Don't Cause Obesity — Science Says Otherwise

Jamie Oliver Is Right: It’s Madness Not to Clamp Down on Sugar

Our Unhealthy Addiction to Sugar Is Harming the Poor And Making the Rich Richer

Poor Diets Are Lowering Children’s IQ

Coca-Cola Has Poisoned the Drinking Water of Millions in Sri Lanka

If You Thought K-Cups Were Bad, Wait Until Pods Come to Soda



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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Liberal Physicist Says Obama Is Wrong On Global Warming

The Daily Caller
'Republicans took the right side'


France’s Leading Meteorologist Sparks Controversy, Denies Reality of Climate Change

Somewhat Reasonable | Somewhat Reasonable
  France’s top meteorologist Mr Philippe Verdier has been fired claims in his new book Climat Investigation (Climate Investigation) that leading climatologists and political leaders have “taken the world hostage” with misleading data.[...]


Eric Garner and Tamir Rice among those missing from FBI record of police killings

US news | The Guardian
  • Only 224 of 18,000 law enforcement agencies reported fatal shootings in 2014
  • Previously unpublished FBI data sheds new light on flawed voluntary system

Killings by police that unleashed a new protest movement around the US in 2014, including those of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and John Crawford, are missing from the federal government’s official record of homicides by officers because most departments refuse to submit data.

Related: The tracking of police violence in the US may have reached a turning point

Continue reading...


Hysteria! Panic strikes Texas high school after students ask for 'gum'

Signs of the Times
Emotions are on a hair trigger in schools these days. So much so, just hearing the word "gum" can cause a school-wide freak-out, as evidenced by an episode Wednesday. A student at Lehman High School student reportedly asked for some chewing gum, but another student thought the student said "gun," KCEN reports. No gun was found and Hays County, Texas school district spokesman Tim Savoy insists the school was never in "lock down," though school administrators did "hold students in their extended class periods to investigate the concern with little to no disruption to their schedule." Principal Michelle Chae sent a letter home to parents after the incident, according to the Hays Free Press, writing: Dear Lobo Parents, This morning we received a report from a student that there was allegedly a weapon on campus. After investigating the concern, it was determined that a student thought he heard the word "gun," but in fact it was another student asking for some "gum." The safety of our students is always foremost on our list of priorities, so we take these concerns seriously. We continue to encourage students to report anything they see or hear that causes them concern. Fortunately, in this case, it was a misunderstanding and there was no threat to our school or need to conduct a lockdown. Because we are conducting the PSAT, we were able to hold students in their extended class periods to investigate the concern with little to no disruption to their schedule. Sincerely, Michelle Chae Principal, LHS No gun was ever found. No word on if the student ever got the requested gum.


“I Am The Creepy Guy at the Park”

Free Range Kids
Great letter in Wicked Local Cambridge (as in outside of Boston) begins: Dear Neighbor, Yesterday was a beautiful day, I think you will agree. I decided to take a short walk from my house on Hamilton Street to Dana Park, which I have been coming to almost daily since 1989, the year my son was born. […]


A New Whistleblower Exposes America’s Drone Assassinations Full Feed
Unintended targets listed as ‘enemies killed in action’ without any actual evidence.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Look at What Obama’s DHS Tried to do to this Whistleblower and Her 1-Year-Old Daughter!

Freedom Outpost

The Obama administration is certainly known for its criminal activity and its Chicago ties, as well as those tied to the Muslim Brotherhood. They are a thug organization. There is nothing lawful about the Obama's or the Obama administration. This was on display as senior special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement Taylor Johnson told […]

The post Look at What Obama’s DHS Tried to do to this Whistleblower and Her 1-Year-Old Daughter! appeared first on Freedom Outpost.


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Media Reports ISIS Nuclear Plot That Never Actually Involved ISIS Main RSS Feed
FBI posing as ISIS is not evidence of ISIS.

The AP published this week (10/5/15) a thrilling account of how the FBI, in concert with Moldovan authorities, “disrupted” a smuggling ring that was supposedly trying to sell “nuclear material” to ISIS and other terror organizations over a five-year span. The primary developments in the story are almost a year old, but the resurfaced tale made news across the English-speaking world:

‘Annihilate America’: Inside a Secret, Frightening Scheme to Sell Nuclear Material to ISIS

—Salon (10/7/15)

AP: Smugglers Busted Trying to Sell Nuclear Material to ISIS

—CBS News (10/7/15)

FBI Foils Smugglers’ Plot to Sell Nuclear Material to ISIS

—The Independent (10/7/15)

There was only one problem: At no point do the multiple iterations of the AP‘s reporting show that anyone involved in the FBI sting were members of or have any connection to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (aka ISIL or Daesh). While one of several smuggling attempts discussed in AP‘s reporting involved an actual potential buyer–an otherwise unknown Sudanese doctor who four years ago “suggested that he was interested” in obtaining uranium–the “terrorists” otherwise involved in the cases were FBI and other law enforcement agents posing as such. According to the AP and NBC’s Pete Williams:

However, the official emphasized that there was no known ISIS connection. An undercover informant, working with Moldovan police, claimed that he was an ISIS representative.

But that was totally made up,” the official said.

This would not perturb the American press, who once again eager to hype an ISIS threat, either A) heavily implied this “plot” was evidence of ISIS seeking a nuclear weapon or B) actually went step further and said as much despite it being wholly untrue.

First the outlets who heavily implied ISIS was involved but used the qualifiers “attempted,” “tried” or the abstract “plots” so as to not expressly lie:

Smugglers Tried to Sell Nuclear Material to ISIS

—NBC News (10/7/15)

Smugglers Try to Sell Nukes to ISIS

—Fox News (10/7/15)

FBI Has Foiled 4 Attempts by Gangs to Sell Nuclear Material to ISIS Through Russian Connections

—Daily Mail (10/7/15)

(Note that the Daily Mail managed to also work the threat du jour into the headline by means of the reference to “Russian connections”–a phrase so vague as to be virtually meaningless.)

Boston Herald: Nuclear Material Shopped to ISIS

Actually, no nuclear material was shopped to ISIS.

Then there were the publications who said ISIS was involved (a falsehood):

AP Investigation Finds That Nuclear Smugglers Shopped Radioactive Material to ISIS and Other Terrorists
—Business Insider(10/6/15)

Nuclear Smugglers Shopped Radioactive Material to Islamic State, Other Terrorists: AP report
—Chicago Tribune (10/6/15)

Again, there was nothing “shopped” to ISIS, because ISIS was never involved. While it’s accurate–if misleading–to say they “attempted” or had a “plot” to sell radioactive material to ISIS, it is factually incorrect to say anyone “shopped” something to people who weren’t in any way involved in the transaction. While it can be said that smugglers “seeking” ISIS is disturbing in and of itself, it’s untrue that this solicitation is evidence of an actual ISIS threat.

Fox News and CBS would take it one step further, by expressly saying the plot was evidence that “ISIS was trying to buy a nuke.”

National Review's Rich Lowry appears above Fox News' false claim that "ISIS trying to buy nukes."

National Review‘s Rich Lowry appears above Fox News‘ false claim about “ISIS trying to buy nukes.”

Fox’s Gretchen Carlson started off an interview with Rep. Mike Turner by asking, “Congressman, what are we supposed to make of this news that ISIS and other terrorist groups are trying to get their hands on dirty bombs?” CBS, meanwhile, led their broadcast by breathlessly revealing “new fears tonight that ISIS is ready to go nuclear.”

But neither of these statements are true. This sting does not support the claim that ISIS is “trying to buy a nuke,” because “there was no known ISIS connection.”

International Business Times’ Christopher Harress would take misinformation to whole new heights, inventing a Jason Bourne narrative out of whole cloth and, evidently, not bothering to read the AP story:

Members of the Islamic State group with links to Russian gangs were trying to get hold of nuclear material to build a radioactive dirty bomb before Moldovan police and FBI operatives stopped them, according to an investigation reported Wednesday by the Associated Press. The terror group, which is also known as ISIS, had been approached by gangs in Moldova that were specifically seeking a buyer from ISIS.

This is 100 percent false. There is no evidence the Islamic State group (with links to “Russian gangs” or otherwise) were trying to get a hold of radioactive material to build a dirty bomb. What there is evidence of is that FBI and local authorities posed as “ISIS” and conned some Moldovan gangsters into selling them some materials that may or may not have actually been “nuclear,” much less capable of creating a “dirty bomb”–a weapon, it should be noted, that is thus far entirely hypothetical.

So here we are: Fake FBI ISIS setting up ostensibly real post-Soviet mobsters to purchase material for a potentially deadly device that exists only in the minds of counterterrorism threat risk managers. The media, either agnostic to or incapable of understanding what really happened, paints the picture of the FBI swooping in to stop a Russian/ISIS nuclear conspiracy at the 11th hour.

What takes place, before our very eyes, is a kind of War on Terror transubstantiation. Representational terror plots become real ones, fake enemies become Russo-Jihadi crime syndicates, and an American public, once again, is presented with a cartoonish, wildly inflated threat profile that’s increasingly divorced from reality.


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