background preloader

Chris Hedges "Brace Yourself! The American Empire Is Over & The Descent Is Going To Be Horrifying!"

Chris Hedges "Brace Yourself! The American Empire Is Over & The Descent Is Going To Be Horrifying!"
Related:  USA

FDA staffers sue agency over surveillance of personal e-mail Information garnered this way eventually contributed to the harassment or dismissal of all six of the FDA employees, the suit alleges. All had worked in an office responsible for reviewing devices for cancer screening and other purposes. Copies of the e-mails show that, starting in January 2009, the FDA intercepted communications with congressional staffers and draft versions of whistleblower complaints complete with editing notes in the margins. The agency also took electronic snapshots of the computer desktops of the FDA employees and reviewed documents they saved on the hard drives of their government computers. FDA computers post a warning, visible when users log on, that they should have “no reasonable expectation of privacy” in any data passing through or stored on the system, and that the government may intercept any such data at any time for any lawful government purpose. “Who would have thought that they would have the nerve to be monitoring my communications to Congress?”

The True Cost of US Military Equipment Embed this infographic on your site! <a href=" src=" alt="Military Equipment Costs" width="500" border="0" /></a><br />From: <a href=" This infographic takes a look at the amount of tax payer money that goes into funding specific military equipment ranging from the 'small' items to the truly gargantuan in price. The graphic then compare these prices to things that the average American can relate to such as median income, cost of a college education, health insurance, or the price of buying a home. The goal of doing this is to show the viewer how their tax money is being used compared to various other things it could be used to acheive.

To My Old Master In August of 1865, a Colonel P.H. Anderson of Big Spring, Tennessee, wrote to his former slave, Jourdon Anderson, and requested that he come back to work on his farm. Jourdon — who, since being emancipated, had moved to Ohio, found paid work, and was now supporting his family — responded spectacularly by way of the letter seen below (a letter which, according to newspapers at the time, he dictated). Rather than quote the numerous highlights in this letter, I'll simply leave you to enjoy it. (This letter, along with 124 other fascinating pieces of correspondence, can be found in the bestselling book, Letters of Note. Dayton, Ohio, August 7, 1865To My Old Master, Colonel P.H.

We're Spending More on Nukes Than We Did During the Cold War?! On April 5, 2009, President Barack Obama took the stage before 20,000 people in Prague's Hradcany Square to offer an ambitious global vision. "Today, I state clearly and with conviction America's commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons," he told the open-air audience in the former Eastern Bloc capital. "To put an end to Cold War thinking, we will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, and urge others to do the same." The timing of his bold promise seemed perfect. Russia was ready to whittle down its destructive power; a year later, Obama and President Dmitri Medvedev would sign a treaty limiting both countries to 1,500 active warheads—though still enough to annihilate millions of people, a 50 percent reduction to each nation's atomic arsenal. Even the military brass was moving away from relying upon nuclear deterrence. But shrinking America's nuclear arsenal has turned out to be far easier said than done.

The Right to Know, the Responsibility to Protect: State Actions Are Inadequate to Ensure Effective Disclosure of the Chemicals Used in Natural Gas Fracking Do you know how many natural gas wells are operating in your state or near the watershed that supplies your drinking water? You should. Most of those wells rely on a process known as hydraulic fracturing (or natural gas fracking) that employs toxic chemicals to crack open shale beds and release methane gas. Both the chemicals used in fracking and the methane gas released pose a risk to local water supplies and the health of those who live nearby. Click image to enlargeSource: Al Granberg/ProPublica Community groups, individual citizens, and public officials have a right to know which chemicals are used in the fracking process. Before receiving a drilling permit, the owners and operators of natural gas wells should gather baseline information on nearby water sources and water and air quality. Read the report in medium-resolution PDF format [6 MB] Read the report in high-resolution PDF format [7.5 MB]

Nuclear Security Spending: Assessing Costs, Examining Priorities of the Chinese general public believe their country should share a global leadership role. Read More of Indian parliamentarians have criminal cases pending against them. Read More charter schools in the United States are linked to Turkey’s Gülen movement. Read More thousand tons of chemical weapons are in North Korea’s possession. Read More of import tariffs among Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru have been eliminated. Read More trillion a year is unaccounted for in official Chinese income statistics. Read More of GDP in oil-exporting Arab countries comes from the mining sector. Read More of Europeans and Turks are opposed to intervention in Syria. Read More of Russian exports to China are hydrocarbons; machinery accounts for less than 1%. Read More of undiscovered oil is in the Arctic. Read More U.S. government shutdowns occurred between 1976 and 1996. Read More of Ukrainians want an “international economic union” with the EU. Read More million electric bicycles are used in Chinese cities. Read More is consumed by cities.

America's Real Criminal Element: Lead Illustration: Gérard DuBois When Rudy Giuliani ran for mayor of New York City in 1993, he campaigned on a platform of bringing down crime and making the city safe again. It was a comfortable position for a former federal prosecutor with a tough-guy image, but it was more than mere posturing. Throughout the campaign, Giuliani embraced a theory of crime fighting called "broken windows," popularized a decade earlier by James Q. Giuliani won the election, and he made good on his crime-fighting promises by selecting Boston police chief Bill Bratton as the NYPD's new commissioner. The results were dramatic. But even more remarkable is what happened next. All in all, it seemed to be a story with a happy ending, a triumph for Wilson and Kelling's theory and Giuliani and Bratton's practice. The PB Effect What happens when you expose a generation of kids to high lead levels? Second, and far more puzzling, it's not just New York that has seen a big drop in crime. Did Lead Make You Dumber?

US Army's Soldier Radio Waveform demonstrated on Raytheon's next gen air and ground radios In a key milestone, Raytheon has demonstrated the Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) on its new class of airborne and ground radio terminals, providing soldiers with another way to communicate across disparate networks. During the demonstration, users were able to send voice and data traffic between Raytheon's terminal and another soldier radio running SRW. Raytheon is moving through the Department of Defense's Joint Tactical Networking Center's (JTNC) certification process for waveform conformance, and the company plans to be at upcoming interoperability tests with the government. In addition to SRW, Raytheon's tactical radios already have the Next Generation Mobile Ad Hoc Networking Waveform (NMW), specifically designed to run on lower cost, reduced size and lower power-consumption radios, while delivering much-needed wideband networking capability. Raytheon's airborne radios are integrated on helicopters and unmanned aircraft.

Related: