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EPA: New Radiation Highs in Little Rock Milk, Philadelphia Drinking Water

April 10th, 2011
Categories: News, Health

Link: http://blogs.forbes.com/jeffmcmahon/2011/04/10/epa-new-radiation-highs-in-little-rock-milk-philadelphia-drinking-water/

Milk from Little Rock and drinking water from Philadelphia contained the highest levels of Iodine-131 from Japan yet detected by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to data released by EPA Saturday.

Dirty Energy's Dirty Secrets

April 10th, 2011
Categories: News

Link: http://www.counterpunch.org/cantarow04082011.html

For years, "not in my backyard" has been the battle cry of residents in Cape Cod who stand opposed to an offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound. The giant turbines will forever mar the beauty of the landscape, they say. Energy is ugly. Some forms more so than others, as nuclear near-meltdowns in Japan, the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and deaths in a West Virginia Coal Mine explosion have driven home in the last year. Energy kills plants, plankton, and people. It imperils the environment, poisons the oceans, and is threatening to turn part of Japan, one of the most advanced nations on the planet, into a contaminated zone for decades to come.

Apocalypse and the New Madrid Fault

April 10th, 2011
Categories: News

Link: http://beforeitsnews.com/story/550/177/Apocalypse_and_the_New_Madrid_Fault.html

On March 9, beginning in the Big Bend region of Florida, reports filtered in from various sources, reporting a strange rumbling noise. The sound was described by witnesses as being similar to a freight train. Over the next 10 days or so, the sounds were reported all over the eastern United States, and even globally. The National Weather Service, in an attempt to explain the sounds, suggested it was a phenonemon known as 'ducting', in which thunder bounces off a stable atmospheric layer above the ground, and causing sound to travel great distances.

Latin America Shakes Off the US Yoke

April 9th, 2011
Categories: News, World, Politics

Link: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/09-0

The current spat with Ecuador is symptomatic of Washington's failure to grasp that it no longer exercises regional hegemony. On Thursday, the United States expelled the ambassador from Ecuador, in retaliation for Wednesday's expulsion of the US ambassador from Ecuador. This now leaves the United States without ambassadorial relations in three South American countries – Bolivia and Venezuela being the other two – thus surpassing the Bush administration in its diplomatic problems in the region.

No Shutdown, But a Lot of Sellouts

April 9th, 2011
Categories: News, Economic, Politics

Link: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/09-2

If you had asked Franklin Roosevelt or Harry Truman or John Kennedy or Lyndon Johnson or Jimmy Carter or even Bill Clinton what Democrats would defend in a fight over the future of government, there's no real question that funding for housing, public transportation, community development programs and safe air travel would be high on the list.

Israeli Embassy in Cairo Under Siege

April 9th, 2011
Categories: News, Zionism, Middle East

Link: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2011/04/09/dr-ashraf-ezzat-israeli-embassy-in-cairo-under-siege/

Demands: Embassy Closure and Withdrawal from The Camp David Accords in Wake of Renewed Attacks on Gaza. “Just when the Palestinians in Gaza thought they were facing this new Israeli attacks alone and with their backs against the wall, they found out they forgot, over the years, that they had brothers in Egypt who are willing not only to accompany them in their struggle against Israel but to protect their backs as well”

Obama hails deal to impose record cuts in social spending

April 9th, 2011
Categories: News, Politics

Link: http://wsws.org/articles/2011/apr2011/budg-a09.shtml

A late-night agreement between the Obama administration and congressional Republicans is premised on the largest-ever one-year cut in domestic social spending. The Obama administration agreed to $2 billion more in social spending cuts in return for an agreement by the Republican House leadership on a stop-gap continuing resolution that will fund the federal government through next Thursday. President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also said they had reached a broader agreement to fund government operations through the end of the fiscal year, September 30, which is to be voted on by both houses of Congress next week.

Is America Becoming The Land Of The Part-Time Job?

April 9th, 2011
Categories: News, Economic

Link: http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=23878

Do you need a good job? If so, there are millions of other Americans that are just like you. Unfortunately, most of the jobs that are available in America today are either part-time jobs, temp jobs or are “independent contractor” jobs. The “full-time job with benefits” is a dying breed. There are so many desperate unemployed workers in America today that companies don’t have to roll out the red carpet anymore. Instead, they can just hire a horde of inexpensive part-timers and temps that they don’t have to give any benefits to.

The American Dream as We Know it Is Obsolete

April 9th, 2011
Categories: News, Economic

Link: http://www.alternet.org/economy/150555/the_american_dream_as_we_know_it_is_obsolete/

Why progressives need to think beyond the mantra of creating a "middle class America." In an era of insecurity, we all want security. We want a decent home to call our own, healthcare to heal us when we are sick or old, education to improve our minds and job prospects, healthy food and clean water to nourish us, income to provide for all our needs and even some affordable luxuries, a career to give us social status and a sense of self-worth, and a pension for our golden years.

Clashes erupt around Cairo's Tahrir Square

April 9th, 2011
Categories: News, Middle East

Link: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/04/20114921821599558.html

Protesters retake iconic square, hours after security forces moved in to break up crowd demanding Mubarak's trial. Hundreds of protesters demanding that Hosni Mubarak, the former Egyptian president, be put on trial for alleged corruption, have retaken Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square, hours after security forces attempted to disperse them.

Nuclear Nightmare on the Great Lakes

April 8th, 2011
Categories: News, Environment, Health

Link: http://www.counterpunch.org/kamps04082011.html

The Great Lakes of North America make up 20% of the Earth's fresh surface water. Their dynamic ecosystems have been considered by many Native American tribes to function as the heart of the interconnected ecosystems that make up the North American continent known to many of the Indigenous peoples here as Turtle Island. The Great Lakes are known world wide for their biodiversity, beauty, fishing, and trade and shipping routes. These fragile and beautiful ecosystems along with the human populations that live along their shores are under constant threat from the Nuclear Industry that has been slowly and quietly irradiating the heart of the Turtle for decades.

The People's Budget: What a "Centrist" Budget Should Look Like

April 8th, 2011
Categories: News, Economic

Link: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/04/08-6

WASHINGTON - Just when it seemed that all of Washington had lost its values and its connection with the American people, a bolt of hope has arrived. It is the People's Budget put forward by the co-chairs of the 80-member Congressional Progressive Caucus. Their plan is humane, responsible, and most of all sensible, reflecting the true values of the American people and the real needs of the floundering economy. Unlike Paul Ryan's almost absurdly vicious attack on the poor and working class, the People's Budget would close the deficit by raising taxes on the rich, taming health care costs (including a public option), and ending the military spending on wars and wasteful weapons systems.

Fukushima: A 'nuclear sacrifice zone'

April 8th, 2011
Categories: News, Environment

Link: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/04/20114812554680215.html

Some experts believe Japan's nuclear disaster could become worse than Chernobyl. Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that was heavily damaged by the tsunami from the massive March 11 magnitude 9.0 earthquake continues to spread extremely high levels of radiation into the ocean, ground, and air. Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco), the company that operates the plant, said on April 5 that radioactive iodine-131 readings taken from seawater near the water intake of the No. 2 reactor reached 7.5 million times the legal limit. The sample that yielded this reading was taken just before Tepco began releasing more than 11,000 tonnes of radioactive water into the sea.

UCB Food Chain Sampling Results

April 8th, 2011
Categories: News, Environment, Health

Link: http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/node/2525

Radionuclides, once deposited by rainwater or air onto the ground, will find their way through the ecosystem. We are already tracking its path from rainwater to creek runoff to tap water, but we would also like to monitor how much these isotopes that make their way into our food. For example, how much gets taken up by the grass and eventually winds up in our milk?

The new Arctic: trade, science, politics

April 7th, 2011
Categories: News, Environment

Link: http://www.geopoliticalmonitor.com/the-new-arctic-trade-science-politics-4326/

The opening of the Arctic to ship-passage will transform the region’s political as well as environmental landscape. Soon ships will be able to sail across an open Arctic Ocean during the summer months. The low humming of freight vessels will be a regular sound. The reduced presence of massive multi-year sea-ice is rapidly becoming a reality as the thicker and older ice is being exported from the region.

Insanity: Paul Ryan's Assault on Medicaid Would Cost the Private Sector 2 Million Jobs

April 7th, 2011
Categories: News, Politics, Health

Link: http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/553110/insanity%3A_paul_ryan%27s_assault_on_medicaid_would_cost_the_private_sector_2_million_jobs/

According to an analysis released today by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), one provision of the budget proposal unveiled this week by Rep Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, would kill 2.1 million jobs over the next 5 years, the overwhelming majority of them in the private sector.

Japan: Risking generations of radiation

April 7th, 2011
Categories: News, Environment, World

Link: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/03/201132911258214770.html

With engineers wrestling to control the damage at Japan's shaken nuclear plant, the public gauge if and when to panic. TEPCO said on Tuesday that it had found seawater with 7.5 million times the legal limit of radioactivity [EPA] With many foreigners - or gaijin - turning into flyjin and booking out of Japan as fast as their embassies and travel agents can negotiate flights, the locals have been left to make tough choices. To leave - but go where? - or to stay and deal with shortages of all manner (from food to fuel) in addition to the looming spectre of whatever is unfolding at the Daiichi nuclear reactors in Fukushima, damaged in the March 11 earthquake.

Quake-ravaged Japan rattled by new tremor

April 7th, 2011
Categories: News, Environment

Link: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2011/04/201147145035158637.html

Tsunami warning lifted after 7.1 aftershock hits northeast coast of the country. Japanese authorities lifted the tsunami warning shortly after people were ordered to leave coastal areas [Reuters] Japan was rattled by a magnitude-7.1 aftershock nearly a month after a devastating earthquake and tsunami flattened the northeastern coast. Thursday's aftershock, the strongest since the day of the magnitude-9.0 quake, was a fresh blow to victims of that March 11 quake and subsequent tsunami that killed at least 25,000 people, tore apart hundreds of thousands of homes and sparked the ongoing crisis at a nuclear power plant. Al Jazeera's Marga Ortigas, reporting from Mizusawa in northeast Japan, said there were reports of injuries and gas leaks following the quake.

A Vortex of Death and Wealth

April 7th, 2011
Categories: News, War, Politics

Link: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/07-0

Whatever the strategic — and humanitarian — considerations behind NATO/U.S. intervention in Libya, a larger force utterly indifferent to both, and seldom sufficiently newsworthy to merit mention, unites tyrant and rescuer and keeps the world tangled in an endless cycle of hellish violence far beyond the scope of the conflict that generates it. I’m talking about the global arms trade, for which wars large and small, whatever their cause, whatever their “legitimacy,” are necessities without which the goods would not move. They’re also more than that, but not the sort of thing we salute or honor with granite statuary.

Justice for Gaza conflict victims: a response to Richard Goldstone

April 7th, 2011
Categories: News, Palestine, Zionism

Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/07/richard-goldstone-report-gaza

Palestinian human rights organisations express their concern about Goldstone's revised position. As Palestinian human rights organisations, we were surprised by your op-ed, Reconsidering the Goldstone report on Israel and war crimes. Your conclusions that "civilians were not intentionally targeted [by Israel] as a matter of policy‟ and that Israel has "to a significant degree‟ sufficiently self-investigated incidents potentially amounting to war crimes in Operation Cast Lead are of particular concern.

Gambling With The Planet

April 6th, 2011
Categories: News, Nature, Environment

Link: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27836.htm

Japan's disaster and the global recession provide stark lessons on societies' failure to manage risks, economist says. The consequences of the Japanese earthquake - especially the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear power plant - resonate grimly for observers of the American financial crash that precipitated the Great Recession. Both events provide stark lessons about risks, and about how badly markets and societies can manage them.

Is America Addicted to War?

April 6th, 2011
Categories: News, War, Police State

Link: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27840.htm

The United States started out as 13 small and vulnerable colonies clinging to the east coast of North America. Over the next century, those original 13 states expanded all the way across the continent, subjugating or exterminating the native population and wresting Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California from Mexico. It fought a bitter civil war, acquired a modest set of overseas colonies, and came late to both world wars. But since becoming a great power around 1900, it has fought nearly a dozen genuine wars and engaged in countless military interventions.

Oil Giants Need To Think Beyond Profits

April 6th, 2011
Categories: News, Economic

Link: http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=55153

The uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa have shaken the petroleum industry, triggering oil price hike and forcing it to go on the defensive. But critics say the industry carries some of the blame for the current crisis.

What's Really at Stake With the GOP's Awful Budget Plan and the Coming Government Shutdown

April 6th, 2011
Categories: News, Economic, Politics

Link: http://www.alternet.org/economy/150525/what%27s_really_at_stake_with_the_gop%27s_awful_budget_plan_and_the_coming_government_shutdown/

Although the budget plan has no chance of passage, it could be a blueprint for America's future when and if right-wing Republicans take charge. I was there in 1995 when the government closed because of a budget stalemate. I had to tell most of the Labor Department’s 15,600 employees to go home and not return the next day. I also had to tell them I didn’t know when they’d next get a paycheck.

Greed is Not a Virtue

April 6th, 2011
Categories: News

Link: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/06-0

We humans are living out an epic morality play. For millennia humanity’s most celebrated spiritual teachers have taught that society works best and we all enjoy our greatest joy and fulfillment when we share, cooperate, and are honest in our dealings with one another. But for the past few decades, this truth has been aggressively challenged by a faith called market fundamentalism—an immoral and counter-factual economic ideology that has assumed the status of a modern state religion. Its believers worship the God of money. Stock exchanges and global banks are their temples. They proclaim that everyone does best when we each seek to maximize our individual financial gain without regard to the consequences for others.

Honeybees 'Entomb' Hives to Protect Against Pesticides, say Scientists

April 6th, 2011
Categories: News, Nature, Environment

Link: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/04/06-6

By sealing up cells full of contaminated pollen, bees appear to be attempting to protect the rest of the hive. Honeybees are taking emergency measures to protect their hives from pesticides, in an extraordinary example of the natural world adapting swiftly to our depredations, according to a prominent bee expert.

Fool Us Twice? Can Obama Get Reelected?

April 6th, 2011
Categories: News, Politics

Link: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/05-9

Usually I don't care about political horseraces. Yet I am fascinated by Obama's reelection bid. Never mind what's good for the country. I'm dying to hear him make his case for another four years.

Sharp Drop in American Enthusiasm for Free Market, Poll Shows

April 6th, 2011
Categories: News, Economic

Link: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/04/06-8

American public support for the free market economy has dropped sharply in the past year, and is now lower than in China, according to a GlobeScan poll released today. The findings, drawn from 12,884 interviews across 25 countries, show that there has been a sharp fall in the number of Americans who think that the free market economy is the best economic system for the future.

Australia reneging on cluster mine ban?

April 6th, 2011
Categories: News, War, Politics, Police State

Link: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/04/20114410351647319.html

Lack of action in ridding world of dangerous munitions will make Australia an international embarrassment, analyst says. According to Handicap International, in Kosovo in 1999 and Iraq in 2003, cluster munitions killed more civilians than any other weapon system. A cluster bomb is a weapon that has inside multiple – often hundreds – of small explosive sub-munitions or "bomblets" that are dispersed over an area the size of several football fields from either the air or ground. As a result, the final location of each bomblet is impossible to control for those deploying them, and so whom they maim or kill is both unknown and indiscriminate. Roughly 30 per cent of those deployed "fail" to explode on impact and so the unexploded bomblets become de facto landmines.

Opposing a war machine in overdrive

April 6th, 2011
Categories: News, War, Politics, Police State

Link: http://socialistworker.org/2011/04/06/opposing-the-war-machine

National antiwar protests this weekend can reflect the new mood of resistance. Protesters march on the Pentagon to protest the expansion of war and occupation under the Obama administration. BARACK OBAMA, the winner of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, is in command of the world's most powerful war machine--and it has been kicked into overdrive, with escalating wars abroad and greater repression at home.

Ecuador asks US ambassador to leave over WikiLeaks row

April 5th, 2011
Categories: News, Politics

Link: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/05/ecuador-us-ambassador-leave-wikileaks

Foreign minister declares Heather Hodges 'persona non grata' after leaked cables signed by her office allege police corruption. Ecuador president Rafael Correa with US ambassador Heather Hodges who has been hit by WikiLeaks row. The Ecuadorean president, Rafael Correa, talks to the US ambassador Heather Hodges in 2008. She has been asked to leave over a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks. Photograph: Rodrigo Buendia/AFP/Getty Images

We are all Gaza

April 5th, 2011
Categories: News, Palestine, Zionism

Link: http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/canadianboattogaza/2011/04/we-are-all-gaza

Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to stop the International Freedom Flotilla ll from sailing to Gaza in May. He claims that the Flotilla has been infiltrated by "radical Islamists bent on violence." He also claims that the ships will be used to attempt to smuggle weapons into Gaza. These ludicrous claims only further illuminate the desperate nature of the Zionist agenda to portray Israel as victim.

The Forgotten Fascist Roots of Humanitarian Interventionism, 100 Years of Bombing Libya

April 5th, 2011
Categories: News, Middle East, War

Link: http://www.counterpunch.org/almond04052011.html

TThe celebrations of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Italian unification in March, 2011, were overshadowed by the crisis in Libya. Coinciding with Italy's birthday, Silvio Berlusconi's government decided to make seven air bases available to NATO allies for the bombing of Colonel Gaddafi's forces. By coincidence, this was one hundred years since the Italians invented aerial bombardment and initiated its practice precisely over Libya. A century later, the bomber returns to the scene of its bloody birth. Clio seems to take a perverse enjoyment in ensuring that history repeats itself, first acting as imperialism then as humanitarian intervention, without even needing to change the stage-set.

How Big Business Gets a Free Ride by Lobbying to Raise Your Taxes

April 5th, 2011
Categories: News, Economic, Politics

Link: http://www.alternet.org/economy/150509/how_big_business_gets_a_free_ride_by_lobbying_to_raise_your_taxes_/

Politicians never actually cut spending, so every time corporate America lobbies for another tax break, they're effectively raising taxes on the rest of us. How can we reconcile the simple fact that Americans are living in one of the least taxed countries in the developed world with the reality that many working people feel they're being “taxed to death”?

Israeli peace activist Juliano Mer Khamis shot dead in Jenin

April 4th, 2011
Categories: News, Palestine, Zionism

Link: http://bellaciao.org/en/spip.php?article20674

Witnesses say actor – who ran a drama project in a Palestinian refugee camp – was shot five times by masked men. An Israeli actor and peace activist who ran a drama project in a Palestinian refugee camp has been shot dead by masked men, metres from the theatre he founded.

'No safe levels' of radiation in Japan

April 4th, 2011
Categories: News, Environment, World, Health

Link: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2011/04/20114219250664111.html

Experts warn that any detectable level of radiation is "too much". According to the US Department of Energy, no level of radiation is so low that it is without health risks. In a nuclear crisis that is becoming increasingly serious, Japan’s Nuclear Safety Agency confirmed that radioactive iodine-131 in seawater samples taken near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex that was seriously damaged by the recent tsunami off the coast of Japan is 4,385 times the level permitted by law. Airborne radiation near the plant has been measured at 4-times government limits. Tokyo Electric Power Company, the company that operates the crippled plant, has begun releasing more than 11,000 tons of radioactive water that was used to cool the fuel rods into the ocean while it attempts to find the source of radioactive leaks. The water being released is about 100 times more radioactive than legal limits.

Goldstone's Gaza

April 4th, 2011
Categories: News, Palestine, Zionism

Link: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/04/20114417579339638.html

Richard Goldstone's second thoughts only matter to those who have consistently defended an indefensible war. Goldstone revised only one of his original findings, saying that Israel did not intentionally kill hundreds of civilians. Defenders of Israel's Gaza onslaught of 2008-9 can barely contain their joy. In a Washington Post op-ed on Friday, Judge Richard Goldstone offered some second thoughts about it that softened his earlier criticism of Israel's actions in Gaza as "war crimes".

Medvedev's Blunder, Russians Have Second Thoughts on Libya

April 4th, 2011
Categories: News, Middle East, War

Link: http://www.counterpunch.org/shamir04042011.html

Russia is different. The Americans, the British, the French by and large approve of their forces’ Libya bombing spree (yes, some doubt whether it’s good value for their tax money). The Russians are flatly against it, without ifs and buts. The Russian Ambassador in Tripoli Vladimir Chamov came back to hero welcome in Moscow. President Dmitri Medvedev dismissed him publicly after the Ambassador had sent him a cable. In the five-points cable leaked to the press, the Ambassador called Medvedev’s response to Libya crisis “betrayal of Russian national interests”. (Later, the two sides climbed down a bit: the Foreign Office said Chamov was not “fired”, just “called back” from Tripoli, and that he retains his ambassadorial rank and salary, while Chamov denies he used the word “betrayal”.)

Hegelian Dialectic

April 3rd, 2011
Categories: News, Economic

Link: http://dont-tread-on.me/hegelian-dialectic/

“When you are aware, you can prepare.” Sons of Liberty Academy. One of the most important weapons the Elite use to enslave humanity is the Hegelian Dialectic. The Hegelian Dialectic is a framework to guide our thoughts and actions to a predetermined solution. Understanding how the Elite manipulate us into their clutches is vital if we are going to be free. When you are aware of how the Elite use this Dialectic to steer societies, you have a pretty powerful tool in staying ahead of not only them but the crowd also.

The delusions of Bashar al-Assad

April 3rd, 2011
Categories: News, Middle East

Link: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/04/20114314059483767.html

The rhetoric of resistance no longer conceals the repressive policies of the Syrian regime.
Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, insists on believing that his support for the ''resistance against Israel'' distinguishes his regime from others in the region and, therefore, makes it immune to the revolutions that have brought down pro-Western presidents in Tunisia and Egypt. His support for Hamas and Hezbollah may make the Syrian president more popular among Arabs, but he is engaged in dangerous delusions if he thinks this makes the killings of peaceful Syrian protesters less reprehensible.

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