NEWS RELEASE – (Mayflower, AR) – Green Fields Renewal, a partner company for Rebuild America, today issued a statement on the disaster. The statement urged all parties to focus on the core issues. These, the statement said, are to ensure the long term survival of residents and to clean up the spill, minimizing damage which continues to spread.
Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, an officer of Green Fields, said, “While much attention has been given to organizing a class action law suit, the sad fact is that given the history of Exxon for the last two generations, many of the people involved could be dead before a dime is ever paid for resident’s health by Exxon. This kind of irresponsibility can no longer be tolerated.”
The statement continued, “Instead, we propose Exxon offer to relocate ALL impacted families and individuals whose homes may now be dangerous to health to new homes. For Exxon, this cost is minimal for a spill of this magnitude. For the people it might literally be life and death. Exposure to toxic Tar Sands can become a death sentence, which Exxon well knows. People in Mayflower are already struggling with health issues, bewildered, and desperate for answers.
CNN reported, few of the over 10,000 who helped clean up the Exxon Valdez Spill almost 25 years ago are alive today and Exxon has still failed to pay all of the ordered reparations. We cannot permit this to happen again.
We can make this the turning point for America, rejecting the systemic irresponsibility of corporations like Exxon, establishing accountability for oil companies to ensure that people are not dying to improve their profits.”
Pillsbury-Foster closed her comments urging people to go to their website, read it, and take action in conjunction with David Lincoln, who is on the ground in Mayflower to provide coordination. Dave can be reached by phone to 870-321-0251 and by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We propose a negotiated settlement using a Qualified Settlement Trust. This works to help you limit the damage done to you and your family so you can move on with your lives, while at the same time creating a precedent which will protect others in the future.
When citizens are affected by large pollution events, such as a pipeline spill, they are often left little recourse to ensure compensatory damages for their losses. A Qualified Settlement Trust is a tool used in negotiating an appropriate and long-term model to assist community members who have been impacted.
The fund is established under §468B of the Internal Revenue Code. This Code section permits Exxon to deposit money or property into a trust and receive a full and complete release of liability. Once the funds are deposited, Exxon is entitled to a current deduction from income tax for the amount paid into the fund.
A QST provides a way for the entire community to stand together and be secured. Individuals can still retain legal counsel; this could bring a fair and just reaction from Exxon or the court systems in the event that Exxon does not fulfill their obligations.
This takes into account the well documented history of Exxon and other oil companies for delay and intimidation of those impacted.
Otherwise, the strategy Exxon and other oil companies follow is ruthless, and intended to avoid creating any precedent for alleviating the problems created or assisting those harmed.
This approach protects you, and everyone in your community. To learn more, talk to Dave, and sign up, go to OUR GOALS
Our proposal for you is to rebuild your homes outside the impacted area, but still within your community, to remove you permanently from the danger zone.
As part of the restitution for what you have already suffered, and for impacting your lives and health, we propose those homes be entirely paid for by Exxon and built to allow you to focus less on the problems you will still face, and more on ensuring your health and the health of your families is not further impacted.
Moving the subdivision should include everyone, both owners who are resident and renters. Owners who were not resident should be paid the full price for the loss of the house because all of the homes in the subdivision have been permeated with toxic fumes and are no longer safe for habitation.
Follow-Up Health Insurance
All who have been impacted, including clean-up personnel, should receive no cost to them coverage for twenty years, again paid for by Exxon along with heath professionals to provide assessments on an ongoing basis.
The land and water remain impacted. We propose Exxon do a thorough clean-up using the technologies now in use in other parts of the world for exactly these problems. This technology leaves the land and water clean and fertile in a far shorter period of time and helps avoid the problems which are already occurring as the waste seeps into other areas downstream.
This proposal would cost Exxon far less than litigation – but would create the precedent for accountability all of us need. You can ensure this happens, benefiting yourselves and all Americans – if you stand firm.
We will provide multiple forms of documentation, proving the point, to you and to the media directly through this site.
Today, you face years of health risks. Many have died of exactly what you face today.
The mainstream media covered the inauguration of Barack Obama with breathless anticipation on Monday, but should we really be celebrating another four years of Obama? The truth is that the first four years of Obama were an absolute train wreck for the U.S. economy. Over the past four years, the percentage of working age Americans with a job has fallen, median household income has declined by more than $4000, poverty in the U.S. has absolutely exploded and our national debt has ballooned to ridiculous proportions. Of course all of the blame for the nightmarish performance of the economy should not go to Obama alone. Certainly much of what we are experiencing today is the direct result of decades of very foolish decisions by Congress and previous presidential administrations. And of course the Federal Reserve has more influence over the economy than anyone else does. But Barack Obama steadfastly refuses to criticize anything that the Federal Reserve has done and he even nominated Ben Bernanke for another term as Fed Chairman despite his horrific track record of failure, so at a minimum Barack Obama must be considered to be complicit in the Fed’s very foolish policies. Despite what the Obama administration tells us, the U.S. economy has been in decline for a very long time, and that decline has accelerated in many ways over the past four years. Just consider the statistics that I have compiled below. The following are 37 statistics which show how four years of Obama have wrecked the U.S. economy…
1. During Obama’s first term, the number of Americans on food stamps increased by an average of about 11,000 per day.
3. According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”
4. The number of Americans receiving money directly from the federal government each month has grown from 94 million in the year 2000 tomore than 128 million today.
5. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 146 million Americans are either “poor” or “low income” at this point.
6. The unemployment rate in the United States is exactly where it was (7.8 percent) when Barack Obama first entered the White House in January 2009.
8. During the first four years of Obama, the number of Americans “not in the labor force” soared by an astounding 8,332,000. That far exceeds any previous four year total.
9. During Obama’s first term, the number of Americans collecting federal disability insurance rose by more than 18 percent.
10. The Obama years have been absolutely devastating for small businesses in America. According to economist Tim Kane, the following is how the number of startup jobs per 1000 Americans breaks down by presidential administration…
Bush Sr.: 11.3
Bush Jr.: 10.8
11. Median household income in America has fallen for four consecutive years. Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.
12. The economy is not producing nearly enough jobs for the hordes of young people now entering the workforce. Approximately 53 percentof all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed in 2011.
13. According to a report from the National Employment Law Project, 58 percent of the jobs that have been created since the end of the recession have been low paying jobs.
14. Back in 2007, about 28 percent of all working families were considered to be among “the working poor”. Today, that number is up to 32 percent even though our politicians tell us that the economy is supposedly recovering.
15. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, only 24.6 percent of all of the jobs in the United States are “good jobs” at this point.
16. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the middle class is taking home a smaller share of the overall income pie than has ever been recorded before.
17. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the United States is losinghalf a million jobs to China every single year.
18. The United States has fallen in the global economic competitiveness rankings compiled by the World Economic Forum for four years in a row.
19. According to the World Bank, U.S. GDP accounted for 31.8 percentof all global economic activity in 2001. That number declined steadily over the course of the next decade and was only at 21.6 percent in 2011.
20. The United States actually has plenty of oil and we should not have to import oil from the Middle East. We need to drill for more oil, but Obama has been very hesitant to do that. Under Bill Clinton, the number of drilling permits approved rose by 58 percent. Under George W. Bush, the number of drilling permits approved rose by 116 percent. Under Barack Obama, the number of drilling permits approved actuallydecreased by 36 percent.
21. When Barack Obama took office, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was $1.84. Today, the average price of a gallon of gasoline is$3.26.
22. Under Barack Obama, the United States has lost more than 300,000 education jobs.
24. Families that have a head of household under the age of 30 now have a poverty rate of 37 percent.
25. More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as were sold in 2012.
26. Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.
27. Health insurance costs have risen by 29 percent since Barack Obama became president.
28. Today, 77 percent of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck at least part of the time.
29. It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
30. The total amount of money that the federal government gives directly to the American people has grown by 32 percent since Barack Obama became president.
31. The Obama administration has been spending money on some of the most insane things imaginable. For example, in 2011 the Obama administration spent $592,527 on a study that sought to figure out once and for all why chimpanzees throw poop.
32. U.S. taxpayers spend more than 20 times as much on the Obamas as British taxpayers spend on the royal family.
33. The U.S. government has run a budget deficit of well over a trillion dollars every single year under Barack Obama.
35. During Obama’s first term, the federal government accumulated more debt than it did under the first 42 U.S presidents combined.
36. As I wrote about yesterday, when you break it down the amount of new debt accumulated by the U.S. government during Obama’s first term comes to approximately $50,521 for every single household in the United States. Are you ready to contribute your share?
37. If you started paying off just the new debt that the U.S. has accumulated during the Obama administration at the rate of one dollar per second, it would take more than 184,000 years to pay it off.
But despite all of these numbers, the mainstream media and the left just continue to shower Barack Obama with worship and praise. Newsweek recently heralded Obama’s second term as “The Second Coming“, and at Obama’s pre-inauguration church service Reverand Ronald Braxton openly compared Obama to Moses…
At Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, Braxton reportedly crafted his speech around Obama’s personal political slogan: “Forward!”
Obama, said Braxton, was just like Moses facing the Red Sea: “forward is the only option … The people couldn’t turn around. The only thing that they could do was to go forward.” Obama, said Braxton, would have to overcome all obstacles – like opposition from Republicans, presumably, or the bounds of the Constitution. Braxton continued, “Mr. President, stand on the rock,” citing to Moses standing on Mount Horeb as his people camped outside the land of Israel.
But it wasn’t enough to compare Obama with the founder of Judaism and the prophet of the Bible. Braxton added that Obama’s opponents were like the Biblical enemies of Moses, and that Obama would have to enter the battle because “sometimes enemies insist on doing it the hard way.”
So what do you think the next four years of Obama will bring?
Source: The Economic Collapse
When I’ve written about our listing mis-education system, my focus has mainly been on rampant political correctness, on how students learn few of the right things partially because of emphasis on teaching the wrong things. Yet there’s another problem: in some cases the teachers couldn’t teach the right things even if they wanted to — they don’t know them.
Professor Walter Williams treated this in his latest syndicated column, “Dishonest Educators.” He introduces the topic by talking about the fairly recent cheating scandals in places such as Atlanta, Philadelphia, Houston, New York, Detroit, and other large cities (in areas that, not coincidentally, also have high rates of vote fraud and other criminality). These are shocking instances in which teachers would commit transgressions such as reading answers aloud in class during the National Assessment of Educational Progress test. How did they justify this? Well, Williams quotes one teacher who told a fellow “educator,” “I had to give your kids, or your students, the answers because they’re dumb as hell.”
But it seems the kids aren’t the only ones. Now we learn that some teachers in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi paid surrogates between $1,500 and $3,000 to take the Praxis exam for them, the passing of which is necessary for teacher certification in 40 states. And how challenging is this test that some would fork over a few grand to a ringer sit-in? Williams describes a couple of representative questions, writing:
Here’s a practice Praxis I math question: Which of the following is equal to a quarter-million — 40,000, 250,000, 2,500,000, 1/4,000,000 or 4/1,000,000? The test taker is asked to click on the correct answer. A practice writing skills question is to identify the error in the following sentence: “The club members agreed that each would contribute ten days of voluntary work annually each year at the local hospital.” The test taker is supposed to point out that “annually each year” is redundant.
Forget about the fact that adults would find such questions challenging; it’s a sad statement about our society that we’d set the bar for teacher certification so low in the first place. I had to think: how young was I when I didn’t know the answers to the above two questions? Ten? Nine? Maybe even eight? Idiocracy has arrived.
Professor Williams also touches on a third rail of American social commentary, mentioning that most of the teachers hiring the surrogates are likely black — and that most of the surrogates may very well be white. Now, before anyone thinks of “Summerizing” Williams (not as I have. Rather, this refers to application of the kind of politically correct social pressure that drove Larry Summers from Harvard), know that he is black himself. And his point in addressing race is that our leftist mis-educators’ tolerance of low-information black teachers puts the lie to their claim that they care about blacks. After all, as he writes in his closing line, “If they [the teachers] manage to get through the mockery of teacher certification, at what schools do you think they will teach?”
But never fear, Dr. Williams. I’m sure these molders of young minds are well versed in afro-centrism, critical-race theory, and the principles of white privilege.
As of November of 2012, a mind-numbing 47.7 million Americans subsist on taxpayer-funded food stamps. One in seven Americans cannot feed himself or herself with a job or work of any kind. What constitutes the irony to this national tragedy? Answer: our U.S. Congress imports 100,000 legal immigrants into the USA with green cards every 30 days.
No matter how much poverty and unemployment blacks, whites and Hispanic Americans suffer– the leaders of this country continually pound more humans into the mix without pause. At the same time, food banks go belly up with bare shelves. Over 13 million American children live in destitute poverty and cannot secure three square meals per day.
While Congress supports our enormous military spending into the trillions of dollars and two 10 year long wars that devour (ed) money—it fails to create jobs and feed our poorest. It fails the fundamental rights of our own citizens to work and eat.
The gross statistics created by our U.S. Congress: (Source:hubpages.com)
#1 According to one calculation, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the combined populations of “Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.”
#3 Right now, one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps.
#4 It is projected that half of all American children will be on food stamps at least once before they turn 18 years of age.
#5 According to new numbers that were just released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans living in poverty increased to a new all-time record high of 49.7 million last year.
#6 The number of Americans living in poverty has increased by about 6 million over the past four years.
#7Today, about one out of every four workers in the United States brings home wages that are at or below the federal poverty level.
#8According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate for children living in the United States is about 22 percent.
#9 Overall, approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be either “low income” or impoverished.
#10 In the United States today, close to 100 million Americans are considered to be either “poor” or “near poor”.
#11 One university study estimates that child poverty costs the U.S. economy 500 billion dollars each year.
#12 Households that are led by a single mother have a 31.6 percent poverty rate.
#13 In 2010, 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.
Once you research the numbers, you cannot help but look to your own U.S. Senators and House reps and see failure, duplicity and corruption. No excuses! How could men and women who are supposed to represent American citizens continually leave American citizens in the grips of poverty, joblessness and homelessness?
Some kind of moral, ethical and spiritual wrong grows in the nation’s capitol all the way up to the president. American citizens become its victims.
Do you think there is any chance of it changing and becoming better as that same U.S. Congress adds over 3.1 million immigrants every year on our way to adding 100 million immigrants within the next 38 years?
Solving problems with violence is as American as apple pie…
The National Rifle Association (NRA) has become public enemy number one amongst left-leaning Americans since the most recent incident of random shooting. Is blaming the NRA a convenient way for Americans to avoid some necessary soul searching: a refusal to address the deeply-rooted cultural problem of violence being the preferred method of conflict resolution and most popular source of entertainment in areas that include sports, movies, TV, and video games? In essence, violence provides the backdrop to nearly all aspects of life in the United States. The government has glamorized violence by conducting endless wars, maintaining a gargantuan prison system, and keeping the death penalty legal. The US economy has increasingly become a war economy since 2001, and the business of death is booming. Recruitment centers for the US military are popping up in every high school and shopping mall. Television and cinema advertisements for the Marines have the slick and sexy look of Hollywood trailers. “Be all you can be!” says Uncle Sam, who carefully omits from his sales pitch that the main requirements for the job are the willingness to kill and get killed.
Can one blame the NRA when the US president runs a kill list from the White House?
A couple of days after the assassination of Osama bin Laden, president Obama’s approval rating jumped up more than five percent. Mr. Obama was proud and excited to take responsibility for the extrajudicial killing: “shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda.” Everywhere, newspaper headlines shouted “We took him out!” and the US public glowed from the pleasure of doing away with their favorite bogeyman. Killing people for the US federal government has become a quite simple affair that can even be done remotely, as in a video game, with drones that reach anywhere in the world from Yemen to Pakistan. The countless innocent victims of these drone attacks are called “collateral damage.” Most people in the US could care less about them, the understanding being that it is all right to kill people who had the bad luck to go to a market, mosque, or wedding at the wrong time.
So a man loses his job and kills his boss and numerous colleagues at his place of work. This has become so common that it is called “going postal,” or more politely, “workplace violence.” Every year, more than 10 Americans on average are gunned down in such workplace killing sprees. The enemy is quite close, especially for women. For example, of 429,729 homicide FBI files examined by evolutionary psychologist David Buss, 13,670 (or 3%) were cases in which a husband killed his wife. Thus, in their more intimate roles as jilted lovers or unloved sons, a small fraction of men murder not only their mates or parents but also everyone else who happens to be nearby at the wrong time. Why should collateral damage be solely the purview of the President? After all, he is considered to be the country’s ultimate role model. And why should Americans be surprised by an endemic violence problem when their role model, their foremost example of what one does with power, runs an assassination program directly from the White House?
Guns and America: A love affair
One week after the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Mr. Wayne LaPierre broke the NRA’s silence with a press conference. LaPierre argued that only more guns in the hands of “good guys” could stop America’s killing spree.
“I call on Congress today to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation. Innocent lives might have been spared if armed security was present at Sandy Hook. The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” said LaPierre. Besides this “good guy with gun” versus “bad guy with guns” argument, reminiscent of a John Wayne Western movie cliche, LaPierre blamed the mass shootings on popular culture like “vicious, violent video games” such as ‘Bulletstorm’, ‘Grand Theft Auto’, ‘Mortal Kombat’ and ‘Splatterhouse’ and on movies such as ‘American Psycho’ and ‘Natural Born Killer’ for “portraying life as a joke and murder as a way of life. In a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate, and offend every standard of civilized society by bringing on ever-more-toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty into our homes,” added LaPierre.
The supposed adverse effect of popular culture on vulnerable minds is a perennial argument that gets brought up after each shooting, although the details vary. But this argument is about as sound as blaming a flood on the movie “Waterworld.” Violence is ubiquitous in American life, and it is quite natural that it should pervade American fantasies and popular culture.
Who are LaPierre’s “good guys?” Might they be the policemen who routinely criminalize and kill innocent black youths in urban centers? Might they be part of the growing security sector? Or could they be the teenage students who meet a life-size cardboard cutout of a machine-gun toting soldier at the entrance to their high schools every day? One moment of impatience about growing into full adulthood is all it takes for them to sign away their lives. Thus the dear children survive elementary school, junior high school, and finally high school, only to be sent off to kill people in places like Haiti, Iraq, and Afghanistan. There they learn not to distinguish those who are defending their countries from invasion from those who either cannot fight (like children and the elderly) or choose not to fight. The cost is their very soul. Many return hollowed out and suicidal.
A culture of death
By far the most violent practice of the US is capital punishment, in which a person is made completely defenseless and then killed in cold blood by the state with the collusion of its citizens. The shooters, who are well aware of this, typically conclude their sprees in a quick suicide, thus depriving the state of the sadistic process involving a protracted stay on death row and numerous appeals. The practice of the death penalty is all the more gruesome for its discrimination based on race and the innocence of many of those killed. An Innocence Project study in 2011 discovered that, of 230 individuals exonerated in the US by DNA Testing, 17 had been sentenced to die.
For US presidential candidates, the support of capital punishment has become a rite of passage: the ultimate proof of their willingness to kill the innocent so as to support an expansion of US wars and weapons sales. Former US President Clinton suspended his presidential campaign so he could return to Arkansas to make sure Ricky Ray Rector was executed. Rector was so mentally impaired and clueless about his fate that, before his execution, he asked the guards to save his pecan pie “for later.” On the evening of George W. Bush’s inauguration as Governor, the state of Texas executed Mario Marquez, who was brain damaged and had the skills of a seven-year old; later, when Mr. Bush was a presidential candidate, he mocked Karla Faye Tucker in an interview a year after her execution. On November 6, while Mr. Obama celebrated his reelection with an elated public by hugging his wife, mentally-ill Oklahoma inmate Garry Allen, who had been watching the election with great enthusiasm, was executed.
The violence of the state, domestically and abroad, is pervasive. It is celebrated: even sexy. Violence breeds more violence and, in a sense, we have become collateral damage.
Source: News Junkie Post
Of all the many, many stupid things that most Americans do, nothing is more insane than the ritual every two years of reelecting incumbent members of Congress. Countless opinion polls find that the public has incredibly low levels of positive regard for Congress. Just one in 10 Americans approves of the job Congress is doing, according to a Gallup poll released a few weeks ago, tying the branch’s lowest approval rating in 38 years.
Yet this year as in past years, unless Americans take back control of their country, voters will again reelect nearly all incumbents. Often, some incumbents do not even have any significant opposition. For example, in the 2000 election cycle, out of 435 House seats, 64 members had no major-party opponent, and in 2008 every House race in Arkansas was uncontested by a major party according to the Center for Voting and Democracy. Political redesign of congressional districts, gerrymandering, is widely done to ensure reelection of incumbents or one party.
The main way that incumbents get removed from office these days is when they lose in a party primary election, or die, or get themselves into a sex or corruption scandal. Primaries often replace the incumbent with someone else from the same party who will, in time, become an incumbent. That replacement is often a more extreme partisan than the previous incumbent.
The usual rationale for this survival of incumbents given by political analysts and writers is that although the public correctly sees Congress as a whole as incompetent, dysfunctional and incapable of serving critical public interests, they somehow think that their own Representatives and Senators are worth reelecting. This, of course, makes no sense. If this had validity, then cumulatively and nationally it would make sense to keep incumbents in office and Congress would get better and better with each election. In fact, Congress has become worse and worse with each election. This holds true in a genuine bipartisan sense, as nearly all incumbents, regardless of party, do not deserve to be reelected.
If Congress as a whole stinks, which it clearly does, then it is only logical to believe that this bleak condition must result from nearly all incumbents contributing to the mess. The exceptions are not defined by simply being the ones on your ballot.
How can a democracy function and have any deserved credibility when the electorate stubbornly refuses to act honestly and appropriately to get rid of the elected representatives who have proven themselves incapable of governing with competence and honor?
There must be better explanations.
Here is a likely one. Most Americans have become beholden to one of the two major political parties even if they are not officially members of them and may even consider themselves as uncommitted or independent. Moreover, a majority of people find themselves living in places where their favored party has predominated. When election time rolls around they cannot get themselves to vote for the candidate from the “other” party and they refuse to vote for third party candidates. Or they are so fed up with an awful government and political system that they do not vote at all, or not for congressional races.
Another contributing factor might be related to the lesser evil mode of thinking. The incumbent loser that you know is, somehow, thought to be better than the competing candidate you do not know, especially one from the “other” party. Reelecting incumbents is like some form of hallucinatory fantasy deemed the safer choice as if keeping them in office will magically turn out to be different and better than in previous times. They have seen the light, gotten the message, turned the corner, become what they once promised to be, and so on. Nuts. Congressional experience is not to be rewarded; it must be penalized for rotten performance.
Third, incumbents almost always have the most money because they have already been corrupted by money. More money means more advertising and more lies. Lies work. Especially for the many information-poor voters that are easily swayed by campaign propaganda. The big popular lie of omission these days is staying completely away from their congressional record. No incumbent wants to be seen as an experienced Washington insider. If you failed on the job, why would you?
In our country effective representative government is crucial. To keep reelecting congressional incumbents that nearly always deserve to be fired is unpatriotic, subversive and antithetical to the ideals of our constitutional republic.
This year ten Senators and 42 Representatives are not running for reelection. Odds are that far fewer incumbents will be voted out of office, if historic trends continue. For House elections from 1982 to 2008 only one in three voters did not vote for a winning House representative and 73 percent of House races were won by landslide margins of at least 20 percentage points. The power of incumbency reduces much needed political competition which a healthy democracy requires.
If the royalty of incumbency does not stop there is no hope whatsoever of putting the nation on a much better track. It does not matter who is elected president. In the end, if the fractured Congress we have witnessed for years perseveres the US is doomed to join the list of once great global powers that went down the toilet.
Flush congressional incumbents out. Now. Or be complicit in the death of American democracy. Stop making excuses, rationalizing. Throw incumbent turds out of office. Even more important than not voting for the challenger or incumbent from the “other” party is not voting for the incumbent of your party, even if it threatens party control of the House or Senate.
If you do not help fire Congress, then you deserve to suffer personally from what the federal government does or does not do. Make you voice really heard this year.
An aerial view of drought affected Colorado farm lands, 74 miles east of Denver, Colorado on Saturday, July 21, 2012 [Photo: USDA]
Severe drought spread rapidly across the central US this week, further damaging staple crops and heightening the risk of a global food crisis. The Midwest, where roughly one-third of the world’s staple grains are produced, is experiencing the deepest dry spell in over half a century.
The National Drought Mitigation Center in a statement Thursday reported “tremendous intensification of drought through Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Indiana, Arkansas, Kansas and Nebraska, and into part of Wyoming and South Dakota in the last week.” Almost 30 percent of the Midwest is under extreme drought, triple that of the previous week.
Every state in the country had some counties under abnormally dry or drought conditions, making the disaster the most widespread US drought since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared 1,369 counties across 31 states disaster areas—officially the largest US disaster on record.
“It’s getting to the point where some of the damage is not reversible,” said Brian Fuchs, a climatologist at the center. “The damage is done, and even with rain, you’re not going to reverse some of these problems, at least not this growing season.”
With temperatures remaining in the triple digits across the Midwest, scattered rainstorms did little to restore moisture to topsoil. Iowa State University agronomist Roger Elmore said that over the week, “most of the state got a quarter- to half-inch of rain. We lose the equivalent of a quarter-inch of moisture every warm, sunny day.”
Meteorologists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center have warned that the high heat and dry spell could extend through October. Through June, the year has been the hottest ever recorded for the US. Globally, land temperatures likewise broke all previous records last month. The extreme weather corresponds to projections issued by climatologists over the past three decades, indicating the worsening impact of global warming.
“This year is very emblematic of the type of thing we worry about with climate change,” David Lobell of global warming monitor Climate Central told ABC News. “The new normal for agriculture is going to be frequent episodes of very high temperatures. Temperatures at which pretty much any crop does not do very well.”
For the seventh consecutive week, the USDA on Monday downgraded its assessment of corn and soybean crops. For the week ending July 22, the portion of the corn crop rated in “poor” and “very poor” condition rose to 45 percent. Thirty-five percent of soybean acreage was rated poor to very poor. Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt told the World Socialist Web Site in a recent interview that a rating of “very poor” likely meant such crops were “approaching no yield.”
Since June 3, the portion of corn rated in “good” to “excellent” condition plummeted from 72 to 26 percent. Seven of the largest corn-exporting states now have only one percent or less of corn acreage assessed as “excellent.” A similar plunge was recorded in soybean acreage (65 to 31 percent).
The assessment is the worst since the drought of 1988, when small farmers went out of business en masse after a decade-long rural economic crisis.
The impact of the agricultural disaster on the global food supply is compounded by a speculative frenzy on grain futures on the Chicago Board of Trade. Last week corn futures surpassed all-time records at $8.2875 a bushel, before falling back on news of rain. As of Friday, corn for September delivery was trading at $7.9375 a bushel. Some analysts have suggested that corn futures for December delivery could fetch $9 or more per bushel in August if climate predictions prove correct.
With pastures in ruin and feed prices driven up in trading, smaller US livestock producers are facing the prospect of liquidating their herds. As a result, supermarket prices for beef, pork, and other meats are likely to surge in the coming year, after the initial influx of slaughtered herds. Prices for quick-to-market meats such as chicken and eggs, as well as dairy products, will likely rise more swiftly.
The USDA on Wednesday announced that supermarket prices would rise in coming months. Currently it projects beef prices will rise 4 to 5 percent, and dairy products 3.5 to 4.5 percent.
However, large meat producers are warning that cheaper meats such as pork and chicken will become “luxuries” if Washington does not suspend a program enabling the energy industry to secure up to 40 percent of the US corn crop for ethanol production.
“I’ll use the word catastrophe—that’s my definition,” Larry Pope, head of Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, told the Financial Times. In June, Smithfield moved to lock in feed costs on the futures markets before corn broke $8 a bushel. “I thought that $6 corn was the end of the world,” he said. “I never could have realized that I would be thankful to be buying it at $7.”
“Beef is simply going to be too expensive to eat,” Pope said. “Pork is not going to be too far behind. Chicken is catching up fast… Are we going to really take protein away from Americans?” He said US meat prices would rise by “significant double digits” per year.
Even a less drastic price increase in protein food sources would compell millions of low-income Americans to choose what they can afford to buy over the nutritional value provided.
The disaster bears brutal consequences for the populations of import-dependent countries across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. In 2008, riots erupted in more than 30 countries after a similar confluence of severe weather and speculation drove up staple food prices. Among the billions of people living on $2 a day or less, the cost of food consumes as much as three-quarters of a family’s income.
Grain suppliers are beginning to default on deals with importers in Egypt, Libya, and Iraq. Egypt, the world’s largest consumer of wheat, is turning to Russia as the US drought deepens. However, Russia has also cut its wheat outlook by 3 million tons.
The US corn outlook negatively impacts wheat exports, as a poor corn harvest tends to mean wheat is held more tightly for domestic use. Because Egypt imports half of its wheat, and a quarter of its wheat imports originate in the US, any fluctuation in the grain’s price or supply sharply impacts living conditions in the country. Forty percent of the Egyptian population subsists on $2 a day or less.
The world’s population is subjected to the irrationality of the market, and the disjointed global food system. Barges loaded with Southeast Asia-bound grain have clogged Indian ports, creating delays of up to 25 days. Spotty rains in Asian growing regions may further compound food shortfalls and inflation.
“The deficit in rainfall will definitely cause food inflation to go up,” Dun & Bradstreet economist Arun Singh told Reuters. “The extent of the impact will be known only after the monsoon is over.” With monsoon season half over, some agricultural areas of the country have seen rainfall 68 percent lower than average. Food inflation in India is already 10.81 percent, significantly higher than general inflation; on lentils, chickpeas, potatoes, and other staples, the rise is far higher.
Source: Naomi Spencer | wsws.org
Walmart’s explosive growth has gutted two key pillars of the American middle class: small businesses and well-paid manufacturing jobs.
Sam Walton opened the first Walmart store in Rogers, Arkansas, 50 years ago this month. Sprawled along a major thoroughfare outside the city’s downtown, that inaugural store embodied many of the hallmarks that have since come to define the Walmart way of doing business. Walton scoured the country for the cheapest merchandise and deftly exploited a loophole in federal law to pay his mostly female workforce less than minimum wage.
That relentless focus on squeezing workers and suppliers for every advantage has paid off since July 1962. Walmart is now the second-largest corporation on the planet. It took in almost half-a-trillion dollars last year at more than 10,000 stores worldwide.
Walmart now captures one of every four dollars Americans spend on groceries. Its stores are so plentiful that it’s easy to imagine that the retailer has long since reached the upper limit of its growth potential. It hasn’t. Walmart has opened over 1,100 new supercenters since 2005 and expanded its U.S. sales by 35 percent. It aims to keep on growing that fast. With an eye to infiltrating urban areas, Walmart recently introduced smaller “neighborhood markets” and “express” stores.
Community members rally against Walmart in New York City (asterix611 / Flickr)
While the big-box business model Sam Walton pioneered half a century ago has been great for Walmart, it hasn’t been so great for the U.S. economy.
Walmart’s explosive growth has gutted two key pillars of the American middle class: small businesses and well-paying manufacturing jobs.
Between 2001 and 2007, some 40,000 U.S. factories closed, eliminating millions of jobs. While Walmart’s ceaseless search for lower costs wasn’t the only factor that drove production overseas, it was a major one. During these six years, Walmart’s imports from China tripled in value from $9 billion to $27 billion.
Small, family-owned retail businesses likewise closed in droves as Walmart grew. Between 1992 and 2007, the number of independent retailers fell by over 60,000, according to the U.S. Census.
Their demise triggered a cascade of losses elsewhere. As communities lost their local retailers, there was less demand for services like accounting and graphic design, less advertising revenue for local media outlets, and fewer accounts for local banks. As Walmart moved into communities, the volume of money circulating from business to business declined. More dollars flowed into Walmart’s tills and out of the local economy.
In exchange for the many middle-income jobs Walmart eliminated, all we got in return were low-wage jobs for the workers who now toil in its stores. To get by, many Walmart employees have no choice but to rely on food stamps and other public assistance.
Walmart’s history is the story of what has gone wrong in the American economy. Wages have stagnated. The middle class has shrunk. The ranks of the working poor have swelled. Whatever we may have saved shopping at Walmart, we’ve more than paid for it in diminished opportunities and declining income.
And the worse things get, the more alluring Walmart’s siren call of low prices becomes. While the Ford Motor Co. once profited by creating a workforce that could afford to buy its cars, today Walmart profits by ensuring that Americans cannot afford to shop anywhere else. The average family of four now spends over $4,000 a year at Walmart.
Such market concentration is unprecedented in U.S. history, as is the concentration of wealth it has engendered. Sam Walton’s heirs own about half of Walmart’s stock and have a net worth equal to the combined assets of the bottom one-third of Americans — about 100 million people. This year alone, the Waltons will pocket $2.7 billion in dividends from their Walmart holdings.
They are among the few Americans who have reason to celebrate Walmart’s 50th birthday. As for the rest of us, the milestone offers a good moment to reflect on the company’s business model and where it might lead us if we allow Walmart’s growth to continue full-steam for another 50 years.
Obama and Trayvon Martin…
The saying goes that generals fight the last war. Obama, and his allies, politically are stuck in the 1960s. Everything for them, is Bull Connor setting police dogs and hoses on peaceful Black civil rights marchers, live on the three networks! But like the Nazi army in late 1942, they seem headed for failure. Not because of the brilliance of their enemies, but because of the fatal but unseen flaws in their own organization.
For the German Army, it was the lack of any real ability to logistically support a mechanized army in the field for any considerable distance. THAT was the reason Adolf Hitler ultimately failed. He inherited a magnificent military machine, whose NCOs to General Staff were superb.
Obama has seemingly fixated on the sad case of a Mestizo man, born to a Peruvian mother, and adopted by a Jewish man in Florida, who shot a 17 year old Black boy in a town near Orlando Florida, in what police ruled self-defense. Latinos are on notice, when they get into conflicts with Blacks, they are “White” (which is to say, automatically guilty). The media is in a 24/7 Trayvon Martin frenzy, with old photos of Martin from age 12-13, not his more recent Facebook photos flashing gang signs, and old photos of George Zimmerman age 20, looking like a fat thug, not a leaner guy in a suit and tie. The media frenzy is to whip up Black violence, for its own sake, to intimidate and create fear among Whites, as emotional payback, and also to create an image of 1965 and Bull Connor. A failed attempt if ever there was one. President Barack Dinkins? Crown Heights?
Yes, that event is coming, somewhere, to a city near you.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail is full of stories about brutal Black criminals. In the case of the prior link, one Tyrone Woodfork, brutally raping and beating to death 86 year old Nancy Strait, and critically injuring her 90 year old husband Bob, a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge as a member of the 101st Airborne. Then there is the case the Daily Mail also reported on, two British tourists murdered in Sarasota Florida by a Black thug named Shawn Tyson.
Floating around the internet is the 2009 case of the 15 year old White boy set on fire in Deerfield Beach Florida, and the 13 year old White boy set on fire in Kansas City several weeks ago. Both were set on fire by Black “youths” as the links make clear (photos at the link of the accused). The boy in Florida nearly died, has massive burns, and faces a life with heart and kidney problems, as well as being permanently disfigured.
There is the “I will Kill the F*** out of you” video at the Daily Mail link here.
What is notable in the video are two things, which every thoughtful observer will have flagged immediately. First, the Black students are smirking and laughing, because they agree and endorse the sentiments of the Black woman having a melt-down, threatening her White Professor and White fellow students. Secondly, the angry passivity of the White students who have FEAR. FEAR of being the one charged, if they talk back to “fighting words,” FEAR if they retaliate for being shoved. FEAR of the entire legal and social system coming down upon them if they do anything but stare off into space with stony silence.
Such social FEAR is only really sustainable when good times are rolling. If money, and the things it brings comes in, people will put up with it. If not, they won’t. FEAR eventually turns into even more FEAR. The White students are not convinced of the holy goodness of all Black people. Merely reacting in FEAR to a physical threat backed up by a social system that takes the side of the aggressor and punishes them. That is not a healthy way to build society.
Now, the Daily Mail is in the business of delivering viewers to advertisers. It is the #1 Newspaper site according to comScore, surpassing the New York Times. The online edition (there is a special US version) appeals to Blue collar White women, offering celebrity gossip that takes the celebs down a peg or two, all sorts of true crime stories, unlike the US media clearly identifying Black suspects, and lifestyle stuff. Drudge Report does much the same, often linking to Daily Mail Online. Blue collar White women like the straight scoop on crime. After all, unlike their White collar sisters, they can’t escape it. They don’t live in gated communities, or security buildings. The Mail has plenty of White criminals featured (because their readers like reading about it), but does not shy away from portraying the reality of crime (mostly Black criminals in the US). As depressing as that may be for those searching for the Bonfire of the Vanities “Great White Defendant” or Law and Order re-runs.
White people are stuck. They cannot unlike say, those living in Detroit in the 1960′s, simply move. The housing market is down, people are underwater or nearly so in their mortgages, lenders are giving mortgages to only the best credit holders, and income and wages are down as prices go up. White flight is simply not possible in today’s economic environment.
Meanwhile, the White guilt such as it is, no longer exists. Bull Connor was nearly 50 years ago. Nobody cares anymore. The Civil Rights era is as distant to us as the end of WWI (47 years) was to the Civil Rights Era. No one in 1967 was really concerned with the fallout of the end of the Great War. No one today really cares, about the Edmund Pettis Bridge either. Too many OTHER things have happened since. The media blitzkrieg to replay the 1960′s civil rights movement is as doomed as the German occupation of Stalingrad or Rommel in North Africa in 1943.
Moreover, White people are reminded every day, that they will soon be (discriminated against) minorities in their own country. That’s entirely different from the carefully orchestrated story of peaceful, respectable Civil Rights marchers being beaten by Bull Connor. A population soon to be a minority, and one that will be second or third class at best, does not have a lot of give when it comes to attempts to bully and threaten.
But the most important difference between today and 1965, is the knowledge, the more powerful because it is seen only on the Daily Mail, and the internet (often in raw video from World Star Hip Hop), that Black on White violence is extensive and threatening. THAT is the problem Obama and company face in their own Stalingrad.
Martin Luther King Jr. did not merely choose non-violence because he was filled with moral goodness as a cardboard Jesus. To suggest that takes away from the man’s political genius and legacy as a political figure with no equal in the modern era. Rather, King knew that Whites would hunker down and fight, as they had when a decent, and good man, Homer Plessy challenged Segregation in the Supreme Court three generations prior, and lost. King leveraged the divisions between wealthy and middle class Northerners and Westerners, who lived nowhere near Blacks, and those of the “wrong sort of White people” among blue collar Catholic ethnics (Irish, Italians, Germans, Poles, and Hungarians mainly) and Protestant Hillbillies who did live near them. King understood the Northern, elite Whites, having rubbed shoulders with them at Boston University. Non-violence was a political ploy, as a minority population sought acceptance through adherence to non-threatening behavior. No matter how gratifying intimidation and thuggery might be on an emotional level. Had King embraced violence and intimidation, as Malcolm X argued for, even the Northern and Western Whites who loathed the “wrong sort” of White people — ethnic Catholics (think Rick Santorum and how the elite react to HIM) and “hillbillies” (think the disdain for Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears) — would have opposed Civil Rights.
King used non-violence as political judo. It does not always work. But in that case, it did. Fighting a majority population with violence rarely works out well. Ask the Tamil Tigers, they fought harder and more ruthlessly than any. They still lost.
In King’s time, rising income, a robust property market, and a need to socially distinguish one’s self from “the wrong sort of White person” led to inexorably, a larger elite system with many, many hangers-on and those aspiring to that status. King’s political Judo worked, not the least of which was the social class of “Semi-New Englanders” or Post-Puritans or Semi-Scandinavians (the Puritans nearly all came from the Danelaw, as David Hackett Fischer’s “Albion’s Seed” makes clear, and carried with them very Nordic cultural assumptions about well, everything) grew substantially. While those on the receiving end of Black violence shrunk. It was just so easy to sell out, leave historic neighborhoods, and move to the safe, NEW suburbs.
White Flight was the key component of the Civil Rights movement, as much as non-violence. White Flight not only helped create new “semi-elites” who felt “the wrong sort of White person” was the only one concerned about Black violence, it created therein a “virtuous circle” wherein more and more Whites moved to the suburbs. All predicated on cheap gas, easy credit, and booming markets in property.
However, King did not properly explain this political reality to Black leaders and more importantly, the people themselves. The ethnic cleansing of Detroit, 29% Black in 1960, 45% Black in 1970, 89% Black today, may have been satisfying and gained political control of the city, but produced no measurable increase in wealth among Blacks other than a few leaders, and permanent dependency upon the larger White population of the State and the US at large.
Black people are indeed angry. Angry that they have not attained financial success as they have embraced thuggery and ethnic cleansing of Whites out of their historic cities (Baltimore, Detroit, Philadelphia, Gary Indiana, to name a few). Not understanding that is one thing to chase people away with violence, another to create wealth. Like the Visigoths and Vandals before them, futilely trying to emulate the Rome they destroyed, Black populations in cities they control are angry that Black control has not meant Black wealth. Other than what can be extorted in the Chicago model, from surrounding White areas.
The anger is however, counter-productive. The images on TV and newspapers of angry, threatening Black crowds angry and “out for justice” (implication violence), with Louis Farrakhan offering a bounty, and Jessie Jackson saying “Blacks are under attack” (they are, from other Blacks) It certainly is emotionally satisfying, to threaten and intimidate. That is why people do it, making people afraid of you creates the feeling of power.
Certainly, when Delrick Miller IV was shot in his home, at age 9 months, in Detroit, by AK-47 wielding attackers, no one cared. There was a fight, among the all-Black attendees at a baby shower. Two women felt offended they could not get seats:
”A woman got mad because she couldn’t find a seat, so she started knocking tables down, and it escalated from there,” Wilkins said. “My daughter and her friends left the club, but (a group of men and women) followed them to a gas station, and there was a fight with one of the guys who was at the shower with my daughter. Then, they followed them to the house.
“I think they came back the next day and shot up the house,” said Wilkins, who sobbed as she recounted the events. “They went to the shower to celebrate life; instead, a life was destroyed.”
Who kills a 9 month baby over a fight about seats at a baby shower? Who fights over seats at a baby shower anyway?
Where was Louis Farrakhan then? Or Jessie Jackson? Or Al Sharpton? No one cared. Because it was business as usual. The price of intimidating and scaring Whites, is Black on Black violence. So far, the Black community has not only tolerated it, but protected it. Since any reasonable measure to stop it: stop and frisk of Black men, imprisoning gang members, is resisted tooth and nail by Black leaders and Black voters. Obama did not comment on the murder of Delric Miller IV. Al Sharpton did not fly to Detroit to threaten the killers. Louis Farrakhan did not put out a bounty on the killers. The most innocent of all — a nine month old baby! And the reaction was … nothing.
No one among Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, Jessie Jackson, and yes Barack Obama and the media really cares about Trayvon Martin. Any more than they cared about Delrick Miller IV. They just want to flex their political muscle and intimidate (mostly White) people as a reflexive response. It is so ingrained it is instinctual. The aim is to over-turn gun laws, and “stand your ground” so that there is no possibility of defense, as Whites are stuck in place, against young thuggish Black men. That is the whole purpose of the exercise, in the short term. Just as Hitler ordered Von Rundstedt to stand his ground in Stalingrad, eager to hold and destroy the city named for the man he hated the most. [Who in fact resembled him in a number of ways, and before Operation Barbarossa counted Hitler as a friend. Oddly enough.]
Long term, Obama and company want riots and violence and cities burning. This he thinks will win him votes, as this has been successful in Chicago for decades. Pay to make the mob go away. Again, with Whites in place, stuck, that just guarantees a fight. Probably as an ultimate back-up plan, Obama wants violence so he can if he loses the election, institute Martial Law and rule by decree. His recent executive order allowing him to seize basically anything including newspapers, radio, TV, and the internet is part of that ultimate back-up plan.
Unlike Bill Clinton, who stole everything that was not nailed down (particularly the corrupt deal with Haiti Teleco involving Joseph Kennedy and Bill Clinton), Obama did not steal wisely. Clinton made sure to involve not just Republicans, but Republican interest groups in corrupt deals. That’s why Bill Clinton did not spend a day in jail, and only lost his law license, not the Presidency. Unlike Bill Clinton, Obama has not kept the good times rolling either, for many in the elites and the people as a whole. As far as corrupt Presidency models go, the Arkansas version was better than the Chicago one.
Obama has made too many enemies: on Wall Street, among energy companies, among utilities, among Silicon Valley, among home builders, among mining companies, among almost everyone but a few favored cronies. That’s the downside of the Chicago Way, you make powerful enemies who know they must destroy you or be destroyed in turn. There is no easy good-time corruption ala the Arkansas model, where everyone is happy.
Ultimately, however, the idea that “evil White racists” are killing Black people is unsustainable even for the Blitzkrieg media. It just isn’t true, and people know it. David Duke lives in a trailer in Mississippi. Louis Farrakhan has a mansion bigger than Oprah’s, and with more goons too. All those threats turn off the Middle Class, White female voters who are the swing and thus the decisive votes in the 2012 elections. It is satisfying, and the default mode for Black politicians and people, to make threats and noise at the White population. For decades it has been rewarded. Going national makes pretty much every White homeowner, renter, and everyone else stuck in place, unable to flee, ready to fight.
Indeed, rising gas prices threaten the fundamental basis for American social peace: Blacks would have a free hand in self-ruled cities that they ethnically cleansed (White flight was flight because Whites FEARED Blacks not because they hated them). Meanwhile Whites would live as far away as possible from them, while refraining from mentioning Black dysfunction and economic failure and dependency (upon White wealth transfers). Being unwilling to rock the boat of rising income, later rising credit replacing income, and cheap electronic toys. Whites do not HATE Blacks, they’d hardly have endorsed decades of fictional Black Presidents on TV and in movies, made a billionaire of Oprah, every White woman’s imaginary Black Best Friend(tm Whiskey), or consumed Rap and the NBA, NFL, obsessively. Again that is why David Duke lives in a trailer in Mississippi. There is no money in White hate for Blacks. There certainly is for Black hate for Whites: look at Sharpton’s mansion, or Louis Farrakhan’s which is bigger than Oprah’s with more goons.
This is why Trayvon Martin is Obama’s Stalingrad. He’s fighting the last war, with the tools used two and a half generations ago. White people are not consumed with hatred for Black people. Rather, they FEAR them. Almost no one speaks this openly, but the taboo can be broken,and fairly rapidly. The internet, as an entry into the nation’s id, is a scary place. It is quite likely Obama will get his own Crown Heights, as Mayor Dinkins did in New York City. The result was not a coronation of his reign, but un-interrupted Republican (and semi-Republican in the case of Nanny Bloomberg) rule ever since. Even Upper East Siders finding the Black Panthers scary-fun thrills, don’t like property values crashing due to race-riots.
Ultimately Hitler failed because he failed to understand one simple truth. His magnificent military machine could not supply food, fuel, ammunition, and clothing to his men more than a few hundred miles before the supply line collapsed. When German forces got to Greece, they descended like starving locusts, because they were in fact, starving. The German army was not capable of even providing them with food!
Obama and his media allies, Al Sharpton and Louis Farrakhan and the like, enter this Trayvon Martin conflict, hampered by the lack of understanding that they cannot control the alternative media, that Whites are not bigoted but fearful (rationally so) of Black crime, and that White flight is simply impossible in today’s economy.
After all, what did Tyrone Woodfork get for raping and beating to death an elderly White woman, and (all likelihood given his age) killing her husband? A beat-up old car, 12 years old, and a few things ransacked from the house. The killer of the two British tourists got nothing — he killed them because they had no money to rob. That sort of crime is not only stupid, it is senseless. The killers were soon caught. Cold comfort to survivors and the victims.
Whitey Bulger may have been responsible, over his criminal career, for more than fifty deaths. But those sorts of White criminals, by and large don’t commit random crimes informed more by racial hatred, or sheer stupidity, than anything else. Nothing like the murder of the Straits, or Delric Miller IV, can be laid to his doorstep. No money in it, and the risk too high. He quite likely is a monster, but one society can survive, because that kind of monster does not kill 9 month old babies sleeping in their homes because there were not enough seats at a baby shower. Nor do they kill robbery victims because they had no cash. Nor set teen boys on fire for sheer racial hatred. Nor rape, rob, and murder elderly couples for a few bucks and an old car.
White swing voters cannot be made to care about Trayvon Martin, because they are scared, for the most part, even if they won’t admit it in public. Too much push and they’ll start admitting it. Too much reflexive intimidation, in the Chicago Way, and they’ll push back. Obama might plan a Self-Coup, but he’ll find if he goes that route, he’s no Fujimori.
Source: Alternative Right
Thyroid cancer cases have more than doubled since 1997 in the U.S., while deadly industrial practices that contaminate groundwater with radiation and other carcinogens are also rising.
New information released by the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that 56,460 people will develop thyroid cancer in 2012 and 1,780 will die from it.
That’s up from 16,000 thyroid cancer cases in 1997 – a whopping 253% increase in fifteen years, while the US population went up only 18%.
From 1980 to 1996, thyroid cancer increased nearly 300%, while the population increased by (again) 18%.
Most thyroid cancers don’t develop for 10-30 years after radiation exposure, but the monstrous spike in thyroid cancer from 1980-2012 is only partly the result of Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979 (TMI).
Pennsylvania, with its nine nuclear reactors, does have the highest incidence of thyroid cancer across nearly all demographics among 45* states, reports epidemiologist Joseph Mangano, MPH MBA, of the Radiation and Public Health Project. In 2009, he analyzed data from the Centers for Disease Control’s national survey of thyroid cancer incidence for the years 2001-2005 and compared it with proximity to nuclear power stations, finding:
“[M]ost U.S. counties with the highest thyroid cancer incidence are in a contiguous area of eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and southern New York. Exposure to radioactive iodine emissions from 16 nuclear power reactors within a 90 mile radius in this area … are likely a cause of rising incidence rates.”
TMI also can’t explain why the thyroid cancer rate for the four counties flanking Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant in New York was 66% above the national rate in 2001-2005.
Other, more subtle sources may also be contributing to hiked thyroid cancer rates, like leaking nuclear power plants and hydraulic fracturing, both of which contaminate air, soil and groundwater with radiation and other nasty chemicals.
Indeed, remarking on this, Mangano (who recently co-authored a controversial study with toxicologist Janette Sherman suggesting a link between Fukushima fallout and US cancer deaths numbering from 14,000 to 20,000) said:
“From 1970-1993, Indian Point released 17.50 curies of airborne I-131 and particulates…. [That] amount exceeded the official total of 14.20 curies released from the 1979 Three Mile Island accident. In 2007, officials that operate the Indian Point plant reported levels of I-131 in the local air, water, and milk, each of which is a potential vector for ingestion.”
Iodine-131, or I-131, is a radioactive isotope produced by nuclear fission.
Fracking a ‘Dirty Bomb’
Radiation isn’t released into the environment only via nuclear plants and bombs. Geologist Tracy Bank found that fracking mobilizes rock-bound uranium, posing a further radiation risk to our groundwater. She presented her findings at the American Geological Society meeting in Denver last November.
Because of some 65 hazardous chemicals used in fracking operations, former industry insider, James Northrup, calls it a “dirty bomb.” With 30 years of experience as an independent oil and gas producer, he explains:
“The volume of fluid in a hydrofrack can exceed three million gallons, or almost 24 million pounds of fluid, about the same weight as 7,500 automobiles. The fracking fluid contains chemicals that would be illegal to use in warfare under the rules of the Geneva Convention. This all adds up to a massive explosion of a ‘dirty bomb’ underground.”
What’s underground seeps into our groundwater.
Thomas House and his wife have become ill since New Dominion, LLC began drilling for oil and gas behind their home in Wellston, Oklahoma. He’s tested the water for barium and strontium, and indoor air quality for BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes and styrenes).
Though none of the levels exceed EPA standards, he insists the drilling operations are causing their illness.
“We have been getting sick from headaches, nose bleeds, rashes, vomiting, burning eyes, and breathing problems for the last year,” he told me.
House is reliant on the Veterans Administration for health care, but it refuses to test him for BTEX poisoning.
Radioactive Drinking Water
Though scientists have associated thyroid cancer with water supplies contaminated by nitrates (another knock against industrial agriculture), it is usually indicative of radiation poisoning, as the thyroid sucks up iodine – radioactive or not. Those with not enough iodine in their diets are more susceptible to absorbing I-131.
NCI says that the main sources of radiation exposure are X-rays, nuclear fallout and radiated food and drinking water. The Centers for Disease Control reports that women are three times more susceptible to thyroid cancer than men, with white women being most susceptible. Rather than noticing any symptoms, most often, they discover a lump on their neck.
The good news is that 95 percent of thyroid cancer is successfully treated.
The bad news is that radiation exposure is also coming from our food and water supply.
For over a year, a Houston news station has been reporting on a governmental cover-up of radiation in drinking water. KHOU says that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality under-reported radioactive contaminants in drinking water for over 20 years.
But not just Texas authorities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also low-balled radiation stats by simply not looking for specific radioactive elements, which can be more common and more dangerous than, say, Strontium-90.
Eventually, Texas shut-down two of Houston’s water wells shown to be radioactive.
From an investigative series by the Associated Press last year, we learned that 75 percent of US nuclear power plants leak radioactive materials. Documents from 48 of 65 commercial nuclear power sites showed that radioactive tritium leaked – often into groundwater – in concentrations exceeding the federal drinking water standard, and sometimes at hundreds of times the limit.
Nukes, Fracking and Earthquakes
The global fallout from Fukushima’s nuclear meltdown means our food and water absorbed radioactive fallout. But, we also see an increasing number of earthquakes from fracking operations that further threaten nuclear plants, which are old, leaking and “brittle” (AP’s word).
Information compiled by Treehugger last year showed that of the 104 commercial nuclear power plants and 34 nuclear research stations, many sit in seismically active locations.
Though earthquake risk in Texas is considered very low, last October, Atascosa County saw a rare 4.8 magnitude quake centered 130 miles from the South Texas Project nuclear power plant. The temblor originated in Fashing Field, a highly productive oil and gas field. One company, Momentum Oil and Gas, is producing 3.8 million cubic feet of gas per day from the field.
Many states that normally had very low seismicity have seen an incredible upswing in earthquake frequency with the advent of hydraulic fracturing, which the feds have long known about. As far back as 1966, federal authorities suspected the fracking-earthquake link so strongly that they shut down Rocky Mountain Arsenal’s 12,000-foot injection well after several quakes rattled Denver.
In 1981, researchers suggested that mobile pressure dynamics could explain epicenters some ways distant from such wells.
Ohio recently shut down two fracking waste injection wells after a New Year’s Eve earthquake, and in 2010 New York imposed a statewide moratorium. Ohio has two nuclear power plants (both on Lake Erie) and New York has five, operating six reactors.
Ohio’s 5.0 earthquake on January 31, 1986 that rocked eleven states and Ontario, Canada was centered 11 miles south of the Perry Nuclear Plant. Researchers suggested the quake was induced by fracking, writing in 1988:
“Three deep waste disposal wells are currently operating within 15 km of the epicentral region and have been responsible for the injection of nearly 1.2 billion liters of fluid at pressures reaching 112 bars above ambient at a nominal depth of 1.8 km. Estimates of stress inferred from commercial hydrofracturing measurements suggest that the state of stress in northeastern Ohio is close to the theoretical threshold for failure along favorably oriented, preexisting fractures.”
Not only preexisting fractures, but new ones created by the massive surge in earthquake swarms also present a risk. As modern horizontal fracturing techniques are employed, earthquake frequency goes up.
From 1900-1970, Arkansas experienced 60 earthquakes. After fracking operations picked up in the mid-1970s, that number jumped exponentially. Per the Advanced National Seismic System, in 2010 alone, Arkansas felt over 700 earthquakes; in 2011, it endured over 800.
The number of quakes in 2010 and ’11 represents a 2,400% increase over the number of quakes in the first 70 years of the 20th century, before horizontal fracking began. With that spike in frequency, is it any wonder that a new faulthas opened up in Arkansas? Geologists say the new fault shows a history of 7+ magnitude earthquakes.
Though the 2001-2005 thyroid incidence data reveals that Arkansas has the lowest incidence of thyroid cancer of all 45 states surveyed, that may change should the new fault become seismically active and damage the state’s two 40-year-old nuclear reactors.
Of note, Arkansas’ nuclear reactors are run by Entergy, which operates eleven others including 40-year-old Vermont Yankee (strontium-90 found in nearby fish last August) and New York’s nearly 40-year-old Indian Point (failed inspection and sought over 100 safety exemptions last year).
Pennsylvania is another strong fracking state, vulnerable to earthquakes originating within or outside its borders. It also houses nine nuclear reactors at five locations. A swarm of small earthquakes occurred near Dillsburg from 2008 until early 2011, reports the state’s Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Dillsburg is 16 miles from Three Mile Island, which still operates one nuclear reactor.
Last August, most of the east coast felt a 5.8 magnitude quake whose epicenter is just 11 miles from two reactors at the North Anna nuclear power plant in Virginia. Both 30-year-old reactors had to be shut down. RT reports:
“The odds of a quake exceeding a magnitude of 5.5 occurring in central Virginia are so slim that Dominion Power determined only around six quakes of that size would occur in the area over the next 10,000 years.”
Protect Your Water Supply
Radioactive particles damage bones, DNA and tissue, including the thyroid. Water softeners, ion exchange, carbon filters or reverse osmosis water-treatment systems can be installed in the home to reduce concentration levels. The National Sanitation Foundation certifies various products for efficacy in reducing or eliminating particular contaminants.
To reduce or eliminate radiation from food and water, see this compilation of articles recommending various techniques, including washing your vegetables in bentonite clay.
A more proactive way to protect the water supply is to decommission nuclear power plants and ban hydraulic fracturing, lest your hometown ranks among the 10 Most Radioactive Places on Earth.
*When the CDC surveyed states for thyroid cancer in its landmark 2001-2005 study, it neglected to publish data for Maryland, Mississippi, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Washington’s Blog posted some info last August confirming that the US federal government has long known of the link between fracking and earthquakes, as well as the link between deep well fluids contaminating shallow drinking wells. As more info keeps coming out, this collection should serve as a handy resource for those confronting (or occupying) well sites or state regulatory agencies.
At a recent oil & gas conference, frackers urged colleagues to engage in psyops to con Americans into accepting carcinogenic drinking water and earthquakes as the price to pay for oil and gas. The Oil & Gas Accountability Project taped the speakers and turned it over to CNBC which posted the audio.
In Fracking May Have Caused 50 Earthquakes in Oklahoma, Brian Merchant writes:
In a surprising turn of events, Cuadrilla Resources, a British energy company, recently admitted that its hydraulic fracturing operations “likely” caused an earthquake in England….
Right on the heels of Cuadrilla’s announcement, news is spreading that theUnited States Geological Survey has released a report (pdf) that links a series of earthquakes in Oklahoma last January to a fracking operation underway there….
The U.S.G.S. determined that “from the character of the seismic recordings indicate that they are both shallow and unique.”
From the report:
Our analysis showed that shortly after hydraulic fracturing began small earthquakes started occurring, and more than 50 were identified, of which 43 were large enough to be located. Most of these earthquakes occurred within a 24 hour period after hydraulic fracturing operations had ceased. There have been previous cases where seismologists have suggested a link between hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes, but data was limited, so drawing a definitive conclusion was not possible for these cases.
The report is still under peer-review, and even then, the correlation between fracking and the quakes is inconclusive. The U.S.G.S. notes that region has historically been seismically active, though the summary states that the “strong correlation in time and space as well as a reasonable fit to a physical model suggest that there is a possibility these earthquakes were induced by hydraulic fracturing.”
While Merchant tiptoes around the issue, it’s clear to many that fracking is more than correlated; it’s causative.
The US Geological Survey confirms that “the link between fracking fluid injection and the earlier series of earthquakes was established” in 1990 at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal by Craig Nicholson and R.I. Wesson in “Earthquake Hazard Associated with Deep Well Injection” (1990).
In 2001, the EPA also confirmed the link between deep injection fluids and toxic contamination of shallow water wells near Boulder, Colorado. (See Underground Injection Control Regulations 2001.)
Fracking in the New Madrid Fault zone has generated hundreds of earthquakes each year, far exceeding the previous annual earthquake history prior to the advent of mass drilling. (SeeFracking the life out of Arkansas and beyond.)
On Jan. 31, 1986, I stood in my office on the 13th floor in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, when we experienced a 30-second earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter Scale. (News video) The quake rumbled 11 states and Ontario, Canada. Researchers Nicholson and Wesson questioned if the quake was induced by fracking, writing in 1988:
“Three deep waste disposal wells are currently operating within 15 km of the epicentral region and have been responsible for the injection of nearly 1.2 billion liters of fluid at pressures reaching 112 bars above ambient at a nominal depth of 1.8 km. Estimates of stress inferred from commercial hydrofracturing measurements suggest that the state of stress in northeastern Ohio is close to the theoretical threshold for failure along favorably oriented, preexisting fractures.”
Daneen Peterson collected the following videos and reports:
Fracking Hell: The Untold Story (17:53)
This video is an original investigative report by Earth Focus and UK’s Ecologist Film Unit looks at the risks of natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale deposits. It covers the introduction of toxic chemicals that end up in the drinking water, the unregulated interstate dumping of radioactive waste and that the wells leak radioactive radium.
The following video reveals that a “Halliburton loophole [in a] 2005 energy bill completely exempted natural gas industry and gas fracking from any regulation under the Safe Water Act.” That fact is PROOF, like the vaccine exemptions given, that “they” know full well that what they are doing is extremely harmful.
If that ONE ‘loophole’ were eliminated . . . the OVERWHELMING revelations would KILL ALL FUTURE FRACKING!
60 Minutes Video Piece on Dangers of Natural Gas Fracking
Pittsburgh’s drinking water is radioactive, thanks to fracking. Only question is, how much?
Residents of Pittsburgh — as well as potentially tens of millions of other everyday citizens in the Northeast corridor who rely on their taps to deliver safe water — are consuming unknown and potentially dangerous amounts of radium in every glass of water. That’s the buried lede in the Sunday New York Times‘ massive exposé on fracking, the relatively new process for extracting natural gas from the massive shale formation that stretches from Virginia to New York state.
Even frackers admit that the Marcellus Shale formation “is mildly radioactive since it contains a small amount of uranium and produces gamma radiation from decaying organic matter.” But, of course, it denies that any “significant amount of this radioactivity is released in the natural gas produced from the shale.”
Gasland‘s reach and Oscar nomination brought enough attention to the issue to warrant apparent censorship of industry concessions that the documentary got things right:
“We have to stop blaming documentaries and take a look in the mirror,” Matt Pitzarella, a spokesman for gas producer Range Resources Corp., was quoted as saying in [The Wall Street Journal].
However, if you go to the article, you won’t find Pitzarella’s statement because within the hour the quote disappeared, say citizen journalists, whoscreen captured it and posted it on Twitter.
Toxic Contamination From Natural Gas Wells
This shows an interactive map of the types and areas that are contaminated in Pennsylvania.
Water Problems From Drilling Are More Frequent Than PA Officials Said
When methane began bubbling out of kitchen taps near a gas drilling site in Pennsylvania last winter, a state regulator described the problem as “an anomaly.” But at the time he made that statement to ProPublica, that same official was investigating a similar case affecting more than a dozen homes near gas wells halfway across the state.
In fact, methane related to the natural gas industry has contaminated water wells in at least seven Pennsylvania counties since 2004 and is common enough that the state hired a full-time inspector dedicated to the issue in 2006. In one case, methane was detected in water sampled over 15 square miles.
In another, a methane leak led to an explosion that killed a couple and their 17-month-old grandson.
The Tyee: Fracking and Quaking: They’re Linked
The number of mini-quakes in highly drilled Alberta alone has increased so demonstrably in recent decades (from 60 to more than 200 a decade) that the government launched a project “to document and understand their relationship to oil and gas production.” Concluded researchers in the Canadian Journal of Exploration Geophysics in 1994: “there do appear to be spatial and temporal correlations between the earthquakes and oil production in the Eagle West and Eagle fields [in Fort St. John, B.C. ]. Fluid injection in particular must be considered as a possible cause.”
This is not about which side you take regarding Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Denver or Occupy Big Belch, Arkansas. Some things ought to frighten you more.
I saw this picture the other day of police dressed in full combat gear dispersing the crowd at Occupy Chapel Hill, home of the University of North Carolina.
Such grotesquely excessive displays of power by police have become commonplace in America over the last two decades. The police – along with the FBI, IRS, DEA, DHS, TSA, BATF, etc. – are becoming exactly the kind of occupying army that is so characteristic of places like Guatemala and that the Founders warned us about. I hate to say this, but Iseriously believe that a lot of people are just jonesing for some sort of Kent State-type of tragedy at an Occupy rally* if for no other reason to prove a sick and totally twisted political point about the righteousness of their chosen side.
Who cares if innocent people have to die? Ya can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, ya know.
We have degenerated so far from the America of 1958, when the police could be counted on “To Serve and Protect.” This picture won a Pulitzer for photography.
Contrast this with the picture that won the Pulitzer for the year 2000.
It takes a village…
The picture from Chapel Hill appeals to a lot of Americans. Is there a Cairo in our not too distant future? Early this year, a police van roared right through a group of protestors in the streets of Cairo, Egypt. Several people were killed. (WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE STARTS AT ABOUT THE 0:45 MARK.)
When I saw this, I said something to this effect: If this happened in America, lots of people would justify the killing. (I said other words too.) This should scare you way more than either the Occupiers or the police.
The Occupiers occupy a few square blocks – or, in many cases, a few square acres – of their respective cities. The cops are part of a larger army that occupies from Maine to Hawaii.
The biggest threat to our liberty in America comes neither from the caves of Afghanistan or from Washington, D.C. It comes rather from the millions of Americans who will rationalize tyranny when it is inflicted on others. They fail to realize is that when theycasually disregard the rights of others, they put their own liberty at grave risk.
* Thanks to Steven Yates for providing me this link. It goes into much further detail on this matter than I have time for.
Each has attended meetings of the Bilderberg Group, a secretive, invitation-only organization whose annual conferences for the most part remain mysteriously off the record.
A recently published thriller novel, The Ninth Orphan, by James and Lance Morcan, shines a light on the little known Bilderberg Group and portrays it as being America’s, and the world’s, shadow government. The authors claim their book, which merges fact with fiction, exposes a secret elite pulling the strings of various administrations.
Is there any truth behind this supposed political conspiracy? Well, that depends on who you ask.
Conspiracy theorists have long said the Bilderberg Group undermines democracy and influences everything from nations’ political leaders to the venue for the next war; the politicians and industrialists who attend say it’s nothing more than a think-tank, conducted without media coverage so the world’s most powerful can speak freely.
Certainly, it’s easy to see why conspiracy theories plague the group.
Bilderberg takes its name from a hotel of the same name in the Netherlands where the first meeting took place in 1954. Ever since, every Bilderberg conference has received almost complete media blackouts despite being held at prominent five-star resorts.
Conspiracy theorists point out this dearth of media coverage is highly unusual given the veritable who’s who of world leaders and movers-and-shakers in attendance each year.
Other notable US political figures to have officially attended Bilderberg meetings include current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Alexander Haig and Colin Powell, former President Gerald Ford as well as Texas Governor and 2012 Presidential hopeful Rick Perry.
Some say these and all other US attendees have been in direct violation of the Logan Act, a Federal law which prevents US citizens and representatives from making policy decisions in secret with foreign government officials. However, no Bilderberger has ever acknowledged engaging in policy-making during the meetings and there is no clear proof that any of them do.
On the international roster, Bilderbergers have included leaders of almost every Western nation, Swiss bankers, EU Commissioners and Royalty. Among past and present attendees are current Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, former British Prime Ministers Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and Margaret Thatcher, the King of Spain Juan Carlos I and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Phillip.
Beyond these confirmed Bilderbergers, there’s also a raft of other high profile figures suspected to have participated in conferences – according to the conspiracy theorists at least. For example, shortly before becoming the US President, Barack Obama was rumored to have met with key Bilderberg members at or near their conference venue in Chantilly, Virginia, in 2008.
Veteran Bilderberg observer, Jim Tucker, phoned Obama’s office during the campaign to confirm whether he had attended the conference. A campaign spokeswoman refused to discuss the matter, but would not deny that Obama had attended.
Other rumored attendees include Rupert Murdoch, George Bush, Sr. and George W. Bush. Hillary Clinton also denies having attended any Bilderberg meetings despite reported sightings of her at the locations of the 2006 (Toronto) and 2008 (Virginia) conferences.
Bill Clinton, however, was an official attendee of the 1991 Bilderberg conference in Germany while still a little known Governor of Arkansas; the following year he won the US Presidential Election.
So what does all this mean exactly? Is it just a pile of the usual circumstantial evidence that seems to conveniently support most conspiracy theories?
According to Belgian magnate and Bilderberg chairman Étienne Davignon, that is exactly the case. Davignon says an attraction of Bilderberg Group meetings is they provide an opportunity for participants to speak candidly and to find out what major figures really think without the risk of off-the-cuff comments becoming fodder for media controversy. However, partly because of its working methods to ensure strict privacy, the Bilderberg Group is often accused of conspiracies.
Then again, it is hard to believe the only decisions the world’s elite make at these exclusive resorts each year is what to order for dinner or what time to play golf.