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 History/Culture: Samhain/Halloween 2014

HolidaysBy Blue1Moon

I’ve compiled some interesting AlienLove Halloween/Samhain reads for your enjoyment.

A reminder: Daylight Savings Time (DST) was extended in the U.S in 2007. We get a reprieve again this fall, with DST not to end until November 2nd! It begins again on March 8th, 2015, allowing us almost an extra month of increased evening light since the extension - hurrah!

First observed during World Wars I & II, Daylight Savings Time’s purpose was to save energy by giving us more light during the evenings.

So don't forget: Sunday morning, November 2, 2014, clocks are set back one hour at 2:00 a.m. local daylight time, which becomes 1:00 a.m. local standard time - though not all places in the United States observe DST, Hawaii and most of Arizona do not reset clocks. While we lose evening light, as the clocks "Fall Back" we will at least get an extra hour's sleep that night (which doesn't quite make up for it, by a long shot, in my mind).

Enjoy these spooky and interesting articles....

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, October 23 @ 20:48:57 EDT (12 reads)
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 Going Green: ‘Leave’ Them Alone

Environment
Each fall, trees offer homeowners a bounty of free mulch.

By Jill Richardson

This time of year, your trees are sending you a message.

Although I grew up in the Midwest, I’m experiencing it anew. After spending eight blissful years in California, I’ve returned to a state where people wear hats shaped like cheese and where leaves turn colors and drop off the trees.

I’m not completely ignorant of the weather here in Wisconsin. I remember having to pick a Halloween costume that could fit over a heavy jacket when I was a kid, and I know to expect the first snowflakes around the first week of November.

I’m also well aware that I need to purchase an ice scraper and a brush for my car’s windshield rather soon — and that I’ll have to use them regularly until at least March.

But my childhood experiences in the frigid north had little to do with yard work. Except for the times I was forced — very much against my will — to mow the lawn, I got off scot-free. The leaves fell from the trees, then the leaves went away. Someone else got rid of them — grown-ups, I suspect — and I didn’t know where they went.

Playing in leaf piles was something I did as a kid. Raking leaves was not.

As an adult, I now see the bounty of leaves the trees are heaping on my street through a gardener’s eyes. These leaves are a gift. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, October 21 @ 17:40:01 EDT (16 reads)
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 Opinion: Dickensian US Working Conditions Almost Guarantee Ebola Catastrophe

Healthby: Dave Lindorff

Ebola is coming! Ebola is coming! America is doomed!

That, in essence, is the message of the US corporate news media, always on the lookout for the next sensational story with which to stir up hysteria among the public in the interest of higher ratings.

But the thing is, this time, unlike Saddam Hussein’s supposed nuclear weapons and poison-gas-spewing drone aircraft, Al Qaeda’s non-existent “sleeper cells,” and now ISIS and its supposed army of infiltrators coming to separate our heads from our shoulders, the threat is real.

True to form though, the threat is not what the media are claiming it is.

Ebola is a certainly terrible scourge in poor countries in Africa, where a handful of doctors are expected to provide care to thousands of people and to keep persons who contract the disease isolated so that the infection doesn’t spread. Ebola has spread so rapidly in the war-ravaged little nation of Sierra Leone that doctors there have decided they have to surrender the high ground of bringing all infected people into medical facilities for treatment, and to fall back to advising families who have a member who contracts Ebola to treat them at home as best as they can.

In the US, we have plenty of doctors, and plenty of hospitals with the ability to initiate steps to avoid the spread of disease.

But we do not have universal access to health care -- especially to the kind of front-line health care that an epidemic calls for: access to a physician at the first sign of illness, access to affordable medication to treat disease, and even in many cases access to an emergency room. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, October 13 @ 20:17:50 EDT (111 reads)
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 Truth To Power: Boston Police Data Shows Widespread Racial Bias

The News
in Street Encounters with Civilians

ACLU study details stop-and-frisk problem in Boston, urges reforms to ensure fair and effective policing


From: aclu.org

BOSTON -- Boston Police Department (BPD) officers have engaged in widespread racially biased street encounters with civilians, according to a study of four years of BPD police-civilian encounter records summarized in a report released today by the American Civil Liberties Union(ACLU) and ACLU of Massachusetts.

"This data from the Boston Police Department is clear and compelling: Boston needs to adopt reforms to ensure fair and effective policing," said Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts.

The findings confirm what many people have long suspected: Boston police officers targeted both communities of color and people of color at far greater rates than white communities or white people.

Preliminary analysis by a BPD-selected researcher of more than 204,000 department reports of police-civilian encounters from 2007 to 2010 found that blacks were subjected to 63 percent of these encounters, even though they made up just 24 percent of Boston's population. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, October 10 @ 17:36:01 EDT (132 reads)
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 International: An Open Letter By Peter Drew

Opinion
British PM David Cameron: “Non-Violent Extremists” Including “9/11 Truthers” and “Conspiracy Theorists” are Just as Dangerous as ISIL Terrorists

Dear Mr Cameron

I write this open letter to you in response to your recent speech at the United Nations calling for military intervention in Iraq and Syria over the threat of ISIL. In particular I would like to make mention of your reference to the so called threat to society of what you have termed ‘non-violent extremists’, including those who are attempting to bring forward information and evidence about 9/11 which contradicts the official version of events.

Putting aside the direct issue of ISIL for a moment, I find this position on 9/11 evidence to be quite incredible. It is a position that is either extremely ignorant, or it is a position that goes against freedom and democracy in British society to such an extent that it is scarcely believable. Huge numbers of extremely credible and professional people across the world are now bringing forward incontrovertible facts and evidence showing us that the events of 9/11 have been systematically covered up, and that the public has been deceived and manipulated on this issue at a quite incredible level. Just like the public was deceived and manipulated about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

While you are labelling these people who bring this evidence forward about 9/11 as ‘non-violent extremists’, are you aware of what is currently happening in New York City regarding 9/11? ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, October 02 @ 00:28:30 EDT (228 reads)
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 Going Green: Some Serious Potty Talk

Environment

Composting toilets would save water and, uh, resources.

By Jill Richardson

There’s a photo-word montage on the Internet in which a little boy, presumably from Africa, looks skeptically at a woman who is apparently from somewhere else. The boy asks, “You mean to tell me you have so much clean water, that you (poop) in it?”

Umm…yeah. Yeah, we do. But why?

This probably isn’t a question you often ask, because as the wastewater treatment industry says, we have a “flush it and forget it” attitude as a nation. Number ones and number twos disgust us, and we don’t want to see, smell, touch, or God forbid, deal with our pee and poop.

Flush toilets magically make all that human waste vanish in an instant, so we can go on with our day in blissful denial that anything unpleasant-smelling ever came out of our bodies at all.

What’s the cost for that modern convenience? An awful lot of water. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, September 26 @ 15:21:04 EDT (324 reads)
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 Opinion: The Anti-Empire Report #132 - September 2014

PoliticsBy William Blum

Ukraine and neo-Nazis

Ever since serious protest broke out in Ukraine in February the Western mainstream media, particularly in the United States, has seriously downplayed the fact that the usual suspects – the US/European Union/NATO triumvirate – have been on the same side as the neo-Nazis. In the US it’s been virtually unmentionable. I’m sure that a poll taken in the United States on this issue would reveal near universal ignorance of the numerous neo-Nazi actions, including publicly calling for death to “Russians, Communists and Jews”. But in the past week the dirty little secret has somehow poked its head out from behind the curtain a bit.

On September 9 NBCnews.com reported that “German TV shows Nazi symbols on helmets of Ukraine soldiers”. The German station showed pictures of a soldier wearing a combat helmet with the “SS runes” of Hitler’s infamous black-uniformed elite corps. (Runes are the letters of an alphabet used by ancient Germanic peoples.) A second soldier was shown with a swastika on his helmet. [1]

On the 13th, the Washington Post showed a photo of the sleeping quarter of a member of the Azov Battalion, one of the Ukrainian paramilitary units fighting the pro-Russian separatists. On the wall above the bed is a large swastika. Not to worry, the Post quoted the platoon leader stating that the soldiers embrace symbols and espouse extremist notions as part of some kind of “romantic” idea.

Yet, it is Russian president Vladimir Putin who is compared to Adolf Hitler by everyone from Prince Charles to Princess Hillary because of the incorporation of Crimea as part of Russia. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, September 19 @ 20:01:54 EDT (372 reads)
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 Truth To Power: PA City Agrees to Repeal Law that Jeopardizes Safety

The News of Domestic Violence Survivors

Norristown Will Pay $495,000 to Settle Case on Behalf of Woman Threatened with Eviction for Calling Police

From: aclu.org

NORRISTOWN, Pa. – The city of Norristown voted to repeal a municipal ordinance that punishes innocent tenants and their landlords for requesting police assistance as part of a settlement announced today. The American Civil LibertiesUnion, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, and the law firm of Pepper Hamilton LLP, filed a federal lawsuit challenging the ordinance last year on behalf of a domestic violence victim, Lakisha Briggs, who faced eviction from her home after requesting police protection from an abusive ex-boyfriend. Norristown will also pay $495,000 to Briggs and her lawyers.

The ordinance encouraged landlords to evict tenants when the police are called to a property three times in four months for "disorderly behavior," including for incidents of domestic violence. ...


Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, September 11 @ 09:23:17 EDT (476 reads)
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 Screwed Again: Golden Weapons of Destruction Take Aim at El Salvador

Business News
Why do companies have the right to sue countries over environmental protection measures?

By John Cavanagh and Robin Broad

An obscure tribunal housed at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. will soon decide the fate of millions of people.

At issue is whether a government should be punished for refusing to let a foreign mining company operate because it wants to protect its main source of water.

The case pits El Salvador’s government against a Canadian gold-mining company that recently became part of a larger Australian-based corporation. When OceanaGold bought Pacific Rim last year, it identified the Salvadoran mining prospects as a key asset even though gold prices have sunk by more than a third from their 2011 high of more than $1,900 an ounce.

The case’s implications are chilling. If the company wins, this small country will have to either let the company mine or pay hundreds of millions of dollars. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Sunday, September 07 @ 16:33:47 EDT (534 reads)
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 Business/Economy: Labor Day Blues

HolidaysBy: Rosemarie Jackowski

We celebrate those who work - as opposed to those who inherit family wealth and those whose financial investments work so they don't have to. Outsourcing and increasing unemployment have caused some workers to experience hostility in the workplace. Below are typical statements made by bosses to their employees - just another day in the life of American workers under the corporate fist.

1. Look, it doesn't matter if the fumes are making you sick. OSHA says everything is OK.

2. I already told you that you couldn’t have the morning off. Your Father's funeral can wait till the weekend.

3. Union, did I just hear somebody say, "Union"? Fire that damn Commie !

4. You want a raise........hahhhhahhhahahahhhah. ....

Posted by Blue1moon on Sunday, August 31 @ 10:35:13 EDT (584 reads)
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 Screwed Again: Ferguson Exposes the Creeping Militarization of Police Forces

Action Alert
Your town and mine are being militarized, just like Ferguson.

By Jim Hightower

The tragedies unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri, are doubly infuriating.

First, there is the obvious outrage of yet another unarmed black teenager being stopped by one of the town’s white police officers as he was walking to his grandmother’s home.

A scuffle ensued, and officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Michael Brown (six times, including twice in the head, according to an autopsy report). The young man’s corpse was then left lying in the street for hours, during which time the police didn’t even bother to notify his family. Understandably, furious citizens have erupted in protest.

Outrage No. 2 is that Ferguson’s police, practically all of whom are white in a town that’s two-thirds black, responded to the public outcry like an occupying army. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, August 23 @ 17:42:46 EDT (671 reads)
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 Politics: The Anti-Empire Report #131 - August 2014

OpinionBy William Blum

Cold War Two

During Cold War One those of us in the American radical left were often placed in the position where we had to defend the SovietUnion because the US government was using that country as a battering ram against us. Now we sometimes have to defend Russia because it may be the last best hope of stopping TETATW (The Empire That Ate The World). Yes, during Cold War One we knew enough about Stalin, the show trials, and the gulags. But we also knew about US foreign policy.

E-mail sent to the Washington Post July 23, 2014 about the destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17:

Dear Editor,

Your July 22 editorial was headed: “Russia’s barbarism. The West needs a strategy to contain the world’s newest rogue state.”

Pretty strong language. Vicious, even. Not one word of hard evidence in the editorial to back it up. Then, the next day, the Associated Press reported:


Senior U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Russia was responsible for ‘creating the conditions’ that led to the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, but they offered no evidence of direct Russian government involvement. … the U.S. had no direct evidence that the missile used to shoot down the passenger jet came from Russia.

Where were these words in the Post? You people are behaving like a rogue newspaper.

– William Blum


I don’t have to tell you whether the Post printed my letter. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, August 15 @ 22:27:52 EDT (865 reads)
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 Truth To Power: India: Selling Out To Monsanto. GMOs and the Bigger Picture

InternationalBy Colin Todhunter

On 15 August, India will mark its 67th anniversary of independence from Britain. It may seem strange to some that a nation would publicly celebrate its independence while at the same time it less publicly cedes it to outsiders. The gleaming façade of flags and fly-pasts will belie the fact that national security and independence do not depend on military might and patriotic speeches. Eye-catching celebrations will take place in Delhi and much of the media will mouth platitudes about the strength of the nation and its independence. The reality is, however, an ongoing, concerted attempt to undermine and destroy the very foundation and security of the country.

The bedrock of any society is its agriculture. Without food there can be no life. Without food security, there can be no genuine independence. A recent report by the organisation GRAIN revealed that small farms produce most of the world’s food and are more productively efficient than large farms [1]. Facilitated by an appropriate policy framework, small farmers could easily feed the global population. But small farmers are currently squeezed onto less than a quarter of the world’s farmland and the world is fast losing farms and farmers through the concentration of land into the hands big agribusiness and the rich and powerful. If nothing is done to reverse this trend, the world will lose its capacity to feed itself.

By definition, peasant agriculture prioritises food production for local and national markets as well as for farmers’ own families. Corporations take over scarce fertile land and prioritise non-food commodities or export crops for profit and markets far away that cater for the needs of the affluent. This process impoverishes local communities and brings about food insecurity. GRAIN concludes that the concentration of fertile agricultural land in fewer and fewer hands is directly related to the increasing number of people going hungry every day. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Sunday, August 10 @ 10:19:42 EDT (914 reads)
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 Truth To Power: Whoops! What crisis?

Politics
Time to Go on the Offensive to Improve, Not Just Save Social Security and Medicare

by: Dave Lindorff

The wind has suddenly been knocked out of sails of those critics of Social Security and Medicare in Washington -- Republican and Democrat -- who have for years been warning direly that the two programs were going bust. Suddenly their favored “rescue” plans for these crucial programs -- turning to a stingier way of calculating the annual inflation adjustment, raising the retirement age, and even reducing benefits for Social Security, and cutting benefits for Medicare -- don’t make sense to anyone.

Thanks to an improved jobs picture, a marked slowdown in health care cost inflation and other factors, the latest annual Trustees Report from the Social Security Administration paints a picture of a much improved situation. As things stand now, this report says the Trust Fund that was built up, starting back in the early 1980s, to cover the anticipated increase in benefit payments to the wave of Baby Boomer retirees, will not be exhausted until 2033, which happens to be about the time that the last Baby Boomers born in 1964 will be retiring, and when the wave of 78 million Boomer retirees will be starting to shrink as early boomers born in the late 1940s and 1950s begin to die off (the oldest Boomers, born in 1946, will be 87 in 2033).

The Medicare Trust Fund, too, is looking much better. As recently as last year, it was being projected to run out in 2026, but now it looks like it will still have a positive balance in 2030. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Sunday, August 03 @ 20:49:40 EDT (913 reads)
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 Opinion: Washington Is Escalating the Orchestrated Ukrainian “Crisis” to War

War NewsBy Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Despite the conclusion by US intelligence that there is no evidence of Russian involvement in the destruction of the Malaysian airliner and all lives onboard, Washington is escalating the crisis and shepherding the World toward war.

Twenty-two US senators have introduced into the 113th Congress, Second Session, a bill, S.2277, “To prevent further Russian aggression toward Ukraine and other sovereign states in Europe and Eurasia, and for other purposes.” The bill is before the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Note that prior to any evidence of any Russian aggression, there are already 22 senators lined up in behalf of preventing further Russian aggression.

Accompanying this preparatory propaganda move to create a framework for war, hot or cold with Russia, NATO commander General Philip Breedlove announced his plan for a deployment of massive military means in Eastern Europe that would permit lightening responses against Russia in order to protect Europe from Russian aggression.

There we have it again: Russian Aggression. Repeat it enough and it becomes real. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Sunday, July 27 @ 11:27:38 EDT (934 reads)
(Read More... | 12965 bytes more | Comments? | Opinion | Score: 5)


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