Monthly Archives: June, 2010

EPA not keeping it’s promises made about demands on toxic “dispersants” BP uses

Hey EPA: How Are Those Dispersant Tests Going?

A month later, the agency’s quest for a “tough on oil, gentle on the ocean” dispersant continues.

By Kate Sheppard and David Corn, Jun. 23, 2010

During a conference call with reporters on May 24, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, fielding questions about the use of toxic dispersants to break up the oil from the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico, made a clear promise: “We will conduct our own tests to determine the least toxic, most effective dispersant available in the volumes necessary for a crisis of this magnitude.” Jackson said that she was “not satisfied that BP has done an extensive enough analysis of other dispersant options.”

But a month later those tests have not been completed, according to the EPA. In the meantime, the total amount of Corexit—the brand of dispersant chosen by BP and approved by the Coast Guard—that has been dumped into the Gulf has reached more than 1.4 million gallons.

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Right-Wing Groups Use Decline of White Birthrates to Stoke Fear of Homosexuality, Feminism and Abortion

By Bill Berkowitz, AlterNet, June 30, 2010

If you’ve been following the debate over population growth, you’re probably familiar with the argument that it is economically unfeasible for the earth to sustain an unlimited population. You might subscribe to that argument, or you might believe that it isn’t so much a problem of population growth but rather of the inequitable worldwide distribution of resources. Or you might see the two as interrelated.

In recent years, a new wrinkle has been introduced into the debate; a concept called “demographic winter.”

Unlike the term “nuclear winter,” “demographic winter” is relatively new and lesser known. Demographer Philip Longman, a researcher at the New America Foundation, says, “The ongoing global decline in human birthrates is the single most powerful force affecting the fate of nations and the future of society in the 21st century.”

Declining birth rates — and aging populations — is a phenomenon that is of concern to countries around the globe. Conservatives have taken to using “demographic winter” as a catchphrase for turning the discussion into another battle in the culture war. For many on the Right, demographic winter describes a future of economic catastrophes, the decline of Western Civilization, and the destruction of the “natural” family. Embedded within the concept is an argument for a return to adherence to “natural law,” which one conservative writer pointed out “reflects the will of Him whom the Founders referred to obliquely in the Declaration of Independence as ‘Nature’s God.’”

For many conservatives, demographic winter — or “birth dearth” as it is sometimes called — is the ultimate culture war battle, rooted in the rise of feminism, legalized abortion, the acceptance of homosexuality, illegal immigration, and the growth of minority populations. All of this is supposedly the result of a multi-decade campaign by liberals to undermine “natural law” and the “natural” family.

According to Devin Burghart, vice president of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights, an organization that has long tracked and exposed right-wing movements, “Demographic winter is a relatively new phrase that describes the old alarmist ‘birth dearth’ concept — the idea that we’re facing declining birthrates which is supposed to portend all sorts of cataclysmic events.”

“One particular strand of dearthers,” Burghart told AlterNet, “led by folks like Pat Buchanan, focus particularly on the supposed danger of declining birthrates among white people in the United States and Europe, which they argue is leading us toward the impending demise of Western Civilization. Buchanan details the argument in his 2002 book, Death of the West: How Dying Populations and Immigrant Invasions Imperil our Country and Civilization. The concept melds nativism and Islamophobia together with the Christian Right’s infatuation with procreation and heterosexuality.”

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Reagan Introduced the Deregulation Environment that Developed into BP!

SOURCE: ‘Liberals Unite’ Facebook group

Reagan Introduced Deregulation!

This Benefits the Top 1% Solely!

GOP Can’t Alter the Fact That They’ve Traditionally Aided Top !% Solely! as the article “Rand Paul Feels Sorry For Barton, While Limbaugh Doubles Down On Barton’s ‘Shakedown’ Claims” delineates.

The article notes “While Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) has been mostly lampooned for apologizing to BP for the White House’s alleged “shakedown” of the company to create a $20 billion escrow fund, some conservatives have been willing to defend the congressman.

Today, Kentucky Republican Senate nominee Rand Paul — the tea party darling who has himself faced criticism for defending BP — offered his sympathies to Barton, saying he knows “what it is like to be piled on.” While Paul stopped short of endorsing Barton’s point of view, he suggested that the criticism of Barton was “over the top,” and said that Barton “should be given the chance to explain himself”.

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World’s rich countries are repeating an economic policy out of 1930s; cut spending and raise taxes before a recovery is assured — hoping for different outcome

Governments Moving to Cut Spending, in Echo of 1930s

By DAVID LEONHARDT, June 29, 2010

The world’s rich countries are now conducting a dangerous experiment. They are repeating an economic policy out of the 1930s — starting to cut spending and raise taxes before a recovery is assured — and hoping today’s situation is different enough to assure a different outcome.

In effect, policy makers are betting that the private sector can make up for the withdrawal of stimulus over the next couple of years. If they’re right, they will have made a head start on closing their enormous budget deficits. If they’re wrong, they may set off a vicious new cycle, in which public spending cuts weaken the world economy and beget new private spending cuts.

On Tuesday, pessimism seemed the better bet. Stocks fell around the world, over worries about economic growth.

Longer term, though, it’s still impossible to know which prediction will turn out to be right. You can find good evidence to support either one.

The private sector in many rich countries has continued to grow at a fairly good clip in recent months. In the United States, wages, total hours worked, industrial production and corporate profits have all risen significantly. And unlike in the 1930s, developing countries are now big enough that their growth can lift other countries’ economies.

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The Socialist Revolution and the Mass Revolutionary Party

By Dave Holmes
Today humanity faces a global crisis stemming from the incredible rapacity of the capitalist system.

In the first place, there is catastrophic climate change which threatens to end life on our planet, then there is endemic war and conflict, mass poverty in the Third World and neoliberalism’s ever more ruthless assault on working people everywhere.

The only way out is the abolition of capitalism and its replacement by socialism.

And the only means to do this is anti-imperialist revolutions in the Third World and proletarian socialist revolutions in the advanced capitalist countries.

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GOP senators are enlisting three veterans to paint Kagan as “an anti-military zealot.” But who are these vets, really?

Meet Kagan’s Astroturf Military Attackers

Adam Weinstein, Tue Jun. 29, 2010

When witnesses are called before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan this week, the minority party will deploy a heavy military offensive against her: Republican senators plan to call three former officers who will likely testify that Kagan is a pro-gay, anti-troops, anti-American extremist who barred military recruiters from campus when she was the dean of Harvard Law School.

All lean, clean-cut, and articulate, the three men look to be part of America’s best and brightest. But these witnesses aren’t typical rank-and-file soldiers: They’re paid professional conservative activists.

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Southern States use Bible to Support bringing back Corporal Punishment in Schools

(NOTE: Even if it was ok to spank a child in any school, it would be wise that the teacher pick on only the smaller, weaker, less liked children, because the bigger, more popular ones are more likely to take a swing at the teacher, knife or shoot them. So….what we would have is teachers bullying the weak….talk about stupid people used a stupid book, the bible, the do something stupid)

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Bill to Ban Corporal Punishment in Schools Hits Washington

Paddling Targets Minorities, Children With Disabilities, U.S. Reps. Carolyn McCarthy and Bobby Scott Say

By SARAH NETTER, June 29, 2010
The debate on corporal punishment reached Washington today where a New York congresswoman introduced legislation to remove paddles from U.S. schools.

While the idea of taking a paddle to a student’s backside may seem archaic, even barbaric, it’s still a well-regarded form of discipline in some corners of the country, mostly in the South.

U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., said she’s hoping to get her bill folded into a larger education package that could be debated later this year. She told ABCNews.com that she sees corporal punishment as a school safety issue that breeds more problems than it solves.

“We know that children that are paddled end up being more aggressive,” she said. “They learned that conflict is handled by striking out and hitting.”

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RELATED:

In 2002-03 school year, over 300,000 students received blows from paddles in this country. Some of the paddles have holes cut in them for more sting. 70% of the 300,000 reside in:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Mississippi
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

“While the American Academy of Pediatrics have come out against the practice, James C. Dobson, the child psychologist , author and founder of Focus on the Family, supports it.” – Corporal Punishment Returning? – Most states have outlawed physical punishment but some schools are returning to it.

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“American teachers who use corporal punishment are almost alone in the world. Among developed countries, only Canada and Australia allow paddling, and entire provinces in both those nations have abolished it; even England, home of the fabled stern, switch-carrying headmaster, abolished corporal punishment six years ago. China, Japan, South Africa, and the Soviet Union–none of them known for their lax school discipline–have all banned corporal punishment……. According to historian Philip Greven, some believers are convinced that God provided the buttocks as a strategic body part for punishment because of their ample cushion and sensitive nerve endings(http://www.customessaymeister.com/customessays/Issues/5275.htm)

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World Corporal Punishment Research - 3,000 pages of factual documentation and resources on corporal punishment around the world, updated from time to timeThe next update is scheduled for 14 July 2010

Protestant Fundamentalism and Support of Corporal Punishment

Corporal Punishment in Schools

Spanking is Just A Euphamism for Hitting

How human rights advocates investigating torture ended up snooping on the CIA—and in hot water with the feds

Spy Vs…Lawyer?

By Nick Baumann and Daniel Schulman

The CIA probably doesn’t want you to know this, but unmasking its covert operatives isn’t as hard as you’d think. Just ask John Sifton. During a six-year stint at Human Rights Watch, the attorney and investigator was hot on the trail of the CIA and some of its most sensitive Bush-era counterterrorism programs, including extraordinary rendition, secret Eastern European detention sites, and the legally dubious and brutal methods used to extract information from detainees. “Even deep-cover CIA officers are real people, with mortgages and credit reports,” Sifton once told CQ Politics. For researchers with a trained eye for the hallmarks of a CIA alias, there are obvious giveaways: “A brand new Social Security number, a single P.O. box in Reston, Virginia. You disregard those and focus on the real persons who lie behind, and you can find them.”

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Dozens of U.S. Citizens on Assassination List, White House Adviser Hints

National Security Adviser says there’s ‘dozens of U.S. persons who are in different parts of the world, and they are very concerning.’

Raw Story, By Muriel Kane, June 29, 2010

When it was confirmed last winter by then-Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair that the Obama administration had authorized the assassination of American citizens working with terrorist groups overseas, it appeared that no more than three Americans were being targeted in this manner.

In an interview last week with the Washington Times, however, Deputy White House National Security Adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John O. Brennan suggested the number might actually amount to “dozens.”

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Country Struggles With Unemployment — But Not Wall Street!

By johncole On June 29, 2010

This post first appeared on Balloon Juice.

You have this:

Leverage is back on Wall Street—and this time it’s the bankers who have it.Firms are adding jobs for the first time in two years, rebuilding businesses cut during the financial crisis and offering guaranteed payouts to lure top bankers. In New York, 6,800 financial-industry positions were added from the end of February through May, the largest three-month increase since 2008, according to the New York State Department of Labor.

Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc. are among banks that are hiring to replenish their ranks, while Nomura Holdings Inc. and Jefferies Group Inc. have been recruiting talent from larger firms in a bid to increase their standing on Wall Street.

I think it is time to break out the foam fingers again, everyone! USA! USA!

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