Five Things You Can Buy for an F-35. Once the current news cycle turns and U.S. servicemen and women cycle home from Liberia, the population there (and in places like it around the world) will still suffer from the difficult sanitation issues that give rise to epidemics. Increasing the availability of fresh water in places like West Africa could play a meaningful role in preventing future health catastrophes and maintaining peace and order. The Defense Department first mentioned water as a potential source of conflict in the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review and has continued to publically highlight water scarcity ever since. In a recent discussion on climate change, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said “food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, more severe natural disasters all place additional burdens on economies, societies and institutions around the world.” The United States will spend $5 million for water sanitation in Liberia in fiscal 2015.
5 shocking reasons why Americans are getting fatter. Americans have become huge. Between the 1960s and the 2000s, Americans grew, on the average, an inch taller and 24 pounds heavier. The average American man today weights 194 pounds and the average woman 165 pounds. The growing girth has led to the creation of special-sized ambulances, operating tables and coffins as well as bigger seats on planes and trains.
Almost a third of American children and teens are overweight, but 84 percent of parents believe their children are at a healthy weight in one study. Why? Still there are scientific reasons why Americans are blimping up and they aren’t limited to eating too much and exercising too little. 1. Most researchers blame over-prescription of antibiotics for excessive human exposure; US children get as many as 20 antibiotic treatments while they are growing up, says Martin Blaser, a leading antibiotic researcher at New York University Langone Medical Center. 2. 3. 4.
There are three reasons artificial sweeteners may do more harm than good. Fatal Encounters | A step toward creating an impartial, comprehensive and searchable national database of people killed during interactions with law enforcement. How the Defense Industry Convinced Congress to Militarize Local Cops. Police drift through a cloud of smoke on August 13 in Ferguson, Missouri Jeff Roberson/AP The Ferguson, Missouri, police department's display of armored cars, officers in riot gear, and assault rifles over the past week shocked Americans who didn't realize how much military equipment is now available to local police departments.
But since the 1990's, more than 8,000 federal, state, tribal, and local police agencies across the country have armed themselves with the military's excess gear, free of charge. The inventory includes everything from office furniture and first aid kits to aircraft, armored cars, rifles and bayonets, according to the Defense Logistics Agency, the Department of Defense office that manages the transactions under an initiative called Program 1033. In June, Rep. Correction: The original version of this story said that three representatives who received more than $100,000 from the defense industry voted against the amendment. Monsanto. Monsanto is considered the mother of agricultural biotechnology.
The company produces biotechnology, genomics and herbicides for corn, cotton, oil seeds, and vegetables. It produces genetically altered seeds to tolerate it's flagship product, Roundup. Monsanto also produces Asgrow, DEKALB, Deltapine, and Seminis seeds. Other products have included Agent Orange, the now ubiquitous PCBs, DDT, Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) and Aspartame. Monsanto is one of the "Big 6" Biotech Corporations, along with BASF, Bayer, Dow Chemical Company, Dupont, and Syngenta (so called because they dominate the agricultural input market -- that is, they own the world’s seed, pesticide and biotechnology industries). In the fiscal year ending in August of 2010, the company reported sales of approximately 10.5 billion dollars and had 27,600 employees.  Monsanto or Organics Cartoon by Joe Mohr Ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council A list of ALEC Corporations can be found here.
U.S. rolls back oversight of potentially dangerous experiments. Americans Have Spent Enough Money On A Broken Plane To Buy Every Homeless Person A Mansion. Just days before its international debut at an airshow in the United Kingdom, the entire fleet of the Pentagon’s next generation fighter plane — known as the F-35 II Lightning, or the Joint Strike Fighter — has been grounded, highlighting just what a boondoggle the project has been. With the vast amounts spent so far on the aircraft, the United States could have worked wonders, including providing every homeless person in the U.S. a $600,000 home.
It’s hard to argue against the need to modernize aircraft used to defend the country and counter enemies overseas, especially if you’re a politician. But the Joint Strike Fighter program has been a mess almost since its inception, with massive cost overruns leading to its current acquisition price-tag of $398.6 billion — an increase of $7.4 billion since last year. That breaks down to costing about $49 billion per year since work began in 2006 and the project is seven years behind schedule. Buying Every Homeless Person In The U.S. A Mansion. A Quick Read of the Post’s Latest NSA Story. The Washington Post has a dramatic new NSA story today, one that is qualitatively different from any of the previous Edward Snowden revelations.
Written by Barton Gellman, Julie Tate, and Ashkan Soltani, the story describes a large cache of intercepted communications (roughly 160,000 email and instant message exchanges) and the benefits and privacy costs of the collection they reflect. The bottom line is that the benefits were huge but the costs were big too. As the story’s lead reflects, Some thoughts on the story: This is incredibly sensitive stuff, both from a national security perspective and from a civil liberties and privacy perspective. The operational consequences of having this information outside of government hands—even if not reported to the public—will be significant. On the privacy side, the story describes categories of invasive surveillance, even giving details and chains of correspondence about romances, but it keeps names out of it. Raising the EPA Radiation Limit Will Save Thousands of Lives and Billions of Dollars. Wikimedia CommonsThe EPA is raising the radiation threat level by a factor of 350.
That may sound unbelievable but it is assuredly a good thing: The previous limits were far lower than science justified and caused hundreds of billions of dollars of economic loss to America and the world. The trigger for the change was the government recognizing the ramifications of two things. The first is the reality of nuclear terrorism. The Government Accounting Office (GAO) has recently insisted that the EPA establish realistic limits in accordance with the latest science. Under the old limits, a tiny “dirty bomb” explosion in an American city would have meant evacuating hundreds of thousands of people. The second is Fukushima. The cost to U.S. citizens is staggering as well. Fortunately, the EPA is making changes that acknowledge the shortcomings of ultra-low radiation limits. Further, in Florida, the EPA has given up on enforcing a very expensive radiation cleanup under the old rules. Mr. Solar has won. Even if coal were free to burn, power stations couldn't compete | Giles Parkinson.
Last week, for the first time in memory, the wholesale price of electricity in Queensland fell into negative territory – in the middle of the day. For several days the price, normally around $40-$50 a megawatt hour, hovered in and around zero. Prices were deflated throughout the week, largely because of the influence of one of the newest, biggest power stations in the state – rooftop solar. “Negative pricing” moves, as they are known, are not uncommon.
But they are only supposed to happen at night, when most of the population is mostly asleep, demand is down, and operators of coal fired generators are reluctant to switch off. So they pay others to pick up their output. That's not supposed to happen at lunchtime. The influx of rooftop solar has turned this model on its head. The impact has been so profound, and wholesale prices pushed down so low, that few coal generators in Australia made a profit last year. The answer is no. Coal, of course, will never be free. Supreme Court Broadens Hobby Lobby Ruling to All Forms of Birth Control. So much for Justice Alito's "narrow" opinion. —Patrick Caldwell on Wed. July 2, 2014 8:32 PM PDT Brian Cahn/ZUMA Less than a day after the United States Supreme Court issued its divisive ruling on Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, it has already begun to toss aside the supposedly narrow interpretation of the decision.
The Affordable Care Act had listed 20 forms of contraception that had to be covered as preventive services. "The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield," Ginsburg wrote in her dissent. Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the the 5-4 opinion, used numerous qualifiers in an attempt to limit its scope, but a series of orders released by the court Tuesday contradict any narrow interpretation of the ruling.
The court vacated two decisions by the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit—Autocam Corp. v. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg predicted this outcome in her dissent, noting that the logic of Alito's decision went far beyond the limited scope he initially claimed. Hobby Lobby’s secret agenda: How it’s quietly funding a vast right-wing movement. Hobby Lobby says it’s just trying to protect its religious freedom. The family-founded and -run company is closed on Sundays, has an employee manual that includes biblical references, and announces on its website its commitment to “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.”
The company got in hot water last year when an employee told a blogger that no Hanukkah decorations were stocked “[b]ecause Mr. Green is the owner of the company, he’s a Christian, and those are his values.” Though the company went on to apologize, the battle for its Christian identity was revived this week when lawyers for the company argued before the Supreme Court that the company should not have to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. The issue, says Hobby Lobby co-founder Barbara Green, isn’t that the company wants to meddle with women’s rights to take contraceptive drugs.
Typically the trail would stop there. 15 Things Everyone Would Know If There Were A Liberal Media - While I share Prince’s frustration with the media, as a liberal, I’d like to go on record and state that the media isn’t focusing on issues I care about. They seem to be far more focused on entertainment and making money. If you know anyone who still believes in a “liberal media,” here are 15 things everyone would know if there really were a “liberal media” (inspired by Jeff Bezos’ purchase of The Washington Post): 1. Where the jobs went. Outsourcing (or offshoring) is a bigger contributor to unemployment in the U.S. than laziness. Since 2000, U.S. multinationals have cut 2.9 million jobs here while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million.
When was the last time you saw a front-page headline about outsourcing? Source: Wall Street Journal via Think Progress. 2. In 2010, 20 percent of the people held approximately 88 percent of the net worth in the U.S. The bottom 80 percent of people held only 12 percent of net worth in 2010. These statistics are not Democratic or Republican. 4. Wrong. Texas Requests ‘Emergency Use’ of Restricted Herbicide to Kill Superweeds. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting comments on a petition filed by the Texas Department of Agriculture to permit emergency use of the hazardous herbicide propazine to kill herbicide resistant weeds infesting Texas cotton.
Calling the resistant weeds an emergency, Texas requested to use hundreds of thousands of pounds of the toxic chemical on up to 3 million acres of cotton. “This request clearly demonstrates that herbicide-resistant crops—by generating an epidemic of resistant weeds—lead directly to increased use of hazardous chemicals,” said Bill Freese, a science policy analyst at Center for Food Safety.
“EPA should reject this request.” Propazine is a possible human carcinogen and a “restricted use pesticide”—the EPA’s category for particularly hazardous agricultural chemicals. “Herbicide-resistant crops lead to increased herbicide use and this is just the beginning,” added Freese. Kyr_english. Falkirk gas wells to release 5 tonnes of methane a day | Ric Lander.
• Information obtained by Frack Off Scotland reveals plans to release 7000 times more of the potent greenhouse gas than previously claimed. • Over 2500 residents have now signed up to support the Falkirk Against Unconventional Gas campaign. Airth, Falkirk. Photo by Richard Webb, Geograph (licensed under Creative Commons). Opposition is mounting against Australian company Dart Energy‘s controversial new gas drilling in central and southern Scotland as documents obtained by Frack Off Scotland show the extent of damage the operations will cause. Information obtained under Freedom of Information legislation and published in the Sunday Herald shows that Dart Energy expect to vent up to 5 tonnes of methane into the atmosphere per day at Airth, Falkirk. The FoI release includes the Airth ‘Field Development Plan’, which states that “a license shall be in place far an allowable five tonnes per day cold venting” and “there will be a provision to facilitate venting and flaring at well sites”.
Br1n. Heartland_institute_sowing_global_warming_doubt. Fire photo by peasap on Flickr; Earth photo by NASA; composite by Phil Plait. Well, the Heartland Institute is at it again. This fossil fuel–funded (and tobacco company–funded) group has made quite the name for itself in the climate change denial game, from trumpeting the false controversy over Climategate to comparing climate scientists to mass murders to misrepresenting the actions of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (which was so egregious the CAS issued a statement against Heartland that used the word false four times). Heartland’s latest salvo involves an email they sent out about meteorologists and climate change. A paper (a legitimate one, I’ll note) was recently published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society called “Meteorologists’ Views About Global Warming: A Survey of American Meteorological Society Professional Members.” They’re pretty clear about it, too: The very first paragraph of the discussion section of the paper states (emphasis mine): Yikes.
Credit Suisse: The Global Sugar Epidemic. Credit Suisse A new study from Wall Street bank Credit Suisse exposes the "dietary impact of 'sugar and sweeteners' and their role in the ongoing health debate surrounding obesity and diabetes. " The accompanying video — "Sugar: Sweet With a Bitter Aftertaste" — visualizes the sorry state of sugar consumption. The harrowing effect of sugar consumption on American waistlines isn't necessarily new news, but Credit Suisse does an excellent job of breaking down just how out of control it has gotten (especially in the U.S., where they had to literally adjust the y-axis of one of their charts so that U.S. soda consumption could be mapped).
We grabbed some screenshots from Credit Suisse's video to break it down. Monsanto. Republication Of Séralini Study: Science Speaks For Itself. Secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) - Financial Services Annex. Medical Marijuana Returns Life To 6-Year-Old: Cannabis Oil Stopped Charlotte Figi's Severe Seizures. Richest Bankers - The Richest. Politifact. 24. Cheney’s Halliburton Stock Rose Over 3000 Percent Last Year – Top 25 of 2007. Fox News wins in court. America's Covert Re-Invasion of Iraq. CHART: Koch Spends More Than Double Top Ten Unions Combined. [SHOCKING] Street kids murdered to clean up Brazil ahead of the world cup. Anonymous Hacker Who Exposed the Steubenville Rapists May Get More Prison Time Than Rapists. The Catholic Irish babies scandal: It gets much worse.
Colleges are full of it: Behind the three-decade scheme to raise tuition, bankrupt generations, and hypnotize the media.