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“If a man has an apartment stacked to the ceiling with newspapers we call him crazy. If a woman has a trailer house full of cats we call her nuts. But when people pathologically hoard so much cash that they impoverish the entire nation, we put them on the cover of Fortune magazine and pretend that they are role models.”
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 Health News: Cargill’s Integrity-Free Soybean Oil

Business News

By huge margins, consumers don't want Frankenfoods on their tables.

By Jim Hightower

Can you have your hypocrisy and eat it, too?

I don’t think so. But Cargill Inc. is doing its damndest to invalidate the old admonition that eating your cake today means not having it tomorrow.

As a leading producer and user of ingredients that contain genetically manipulated organisms, the food conglomerate with $136.7 billion in yearly sales faces a marketing problem: By huge margins, consumers here and around the world don’t want Frankenfoods on their families’ tables.

So Cargill, the largest privately held company in our country, ferociously opposes every state law and ballot initiative that would mandate the labeling of any product containing these genetically modified foods....


Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, July 19 @ 19:43:01 EDT (101 reads)
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 Opinion: The Anti-Empire Report #130 - July 2014

PoliticsBy William Blum

What would a psychiatrist call this? Delusions of grandeur?

US Secretary of State John Kerry, July 8, 2014:
“In my travels as secretary of state, I have seen as never before the thirst for American leadership in the world.”

President Barack Obama, May 28, 2014:
“Here’s my bottom line, America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will.”

Nicholas Burns, former US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, May 8, 2014:
“Where is American power and leadership when the world needs it most?”

Mitt Romney, Republican Party candidate for President, September 13, 2012:
“The world needs American leadership. The Middle East needs American leadership and I intend to be a president that provides the leadership that America respects and keep us admired throughout the world.”

Paul Ryan, Congressman, Republican Party candidate for Vice President, September 12, 2012:
“We need to be reminded that the world needs American leadership.”

John McCain, Senator, September 9, 2012:
“The situation in Syria and elsewhere ‘cries out for American leadership’.” ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, July 14 @ 21:16:42 EDT (156 reads)
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 Politics: Lawsuit Challenges Government’s ‘Suspicious Activity Report’ Program

Press ReleaseFBI Created Counterterrorism Files for Plaintiffs’ Innocuous Activities

From: aclu.org

SAN FRANCISCO – Civil rights groups filed a lawsuit today challenging the legality of the federal government’s controversial Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) program. The lawsuit, filed by the American Civil LibertiesUnion of California, the national ACLU, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, was brought on behalf of five Americans who had their information entered into law enforcement databases for innocent things like taking pictures, buying computers, or standing in a train station, and were then subjected to investigation.

“This domestic surveillance program wrongly targets First Amendment-protected activities, encourages racial and religious profiling, and violates federal law,” said Linda Lye, staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California. “The Justice Department’s own rules say that there should be reasonable suspicion before creating a record on someone, but the government’s instructions to local police are that they should write up SARs even if there’s no valid reason to suspect a person of doing anything wrong.”

A Justice Department regulation dating to 1978 prohibits the collection and dissemination of “criminal intelligence information” unless there is “reasonable suspicion” of criminal activity. However, the Justice Department’s standard for SARs doesn’t require reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing, only behavior that “may be indicative” of terrorism planning “or other illicit intention.”

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit have learned that such a low bar can cover virtually anything. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, July 10 @ 21:42:43 EDT (213 reads)
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 Screwed Again: What is this Country about Anymore?

Holidays
When Congress cut off long-term unemployment aid, it left more than 3 million people in the lurch.

By Katherine McFate

Meet Mark. He’s a 58 year old, college-educated veteran who lives in Oregon.

He was laid off last September and has been unable to find work since. Mark’s state unemployment benefits ran out in May. Since funding for the federal Emergency Unemployment Compensation program was cut last December, Mark and more than three million other Americans, including nearly 300,000 veterans, have been denied access to a second six months of support — a vital financial lifeline in this tough economy. Mark is way behind in his rent, is selling everything of value he owns, and fears he will be homeless soon.

“We spend trillions bailing out banks, and provide Wall Street bonuses for those that created this challenging economy, but for a highly skilled worker, a veteran with a family, this country has nothing,” writes Mark. “What is this country about anymore? Our military service personnel risk their lives to save and protect the freedoms of our country and this land, but when we need help there isn’t enough?” ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, July 03 @ 18:47:19 EDT (306 reads)
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 Politics: Bracing for an Attack by Veterans

War News
The Pentagon's transfer of war equipment to local police forces lacks a rational explanation.

By Jim Hightower

From 1776 forward, Americans have opposed having soldiers do police work on our soil. But in recent years, Pentagon chiefs have teamed up with police chiefs to circumvent that prohibition.

How? By militarizing police departments.

Through the little-known “military transfer program,” the Pentagon now ships massive amounts of surplus war equipment to local cops. This reflects a fundamental rewiring of the mindset now guiding neighborhood policing.

Police chiefs today commonly send out squads brandishing heavy arms and garbed in riot gear for peaceful situations. Recruiting videos now feature clips of SWAT-team officers dressed in black, hurling flash grenades into a home, then storming the house, firing automatic weapons. Who wants anyone enticed by that video working their neighborhood? ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, June 26 @ 08:26:34 EDT (397 reads)
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 The News: Court Rules No Fly List Process Is Unconstitutional

Press Release and Must Be Reformed

Court Orders Government to Give Plaintiffs in ACLU Lawsuit a Chance to Clear Their Names


From: aclu.org

PORTLAND, Ore. – In a landmark ruling, a federal judge struck down as unconstitutional the government’s procedures for people on the No Fly List to challenge their inclusion. The decision came in an American Civil LibertiesUnion lawsuit brought on behalf of 13 Americans who found themselves on the list without any notice, reasons, or meaningful way to get off it.

The judge ordered the government to create a new process that remedies these shortcomings, calling the current process “wholly ineffective” and a violation of the Fifth Amendment's guarantee of due process. The ruling also granted a key request in the lawsuit, ordering the government to tell the ACLU’s clients why they are on the No Fly List and give them the opportunity to challenge their inclusion on the list before the judge.

“For years, in the name of national security the government has argued for blanket secrecy and judicial deference to its profoundly unfair No Fly List procedures, and those arguments have now been resoundingly rejected by the court,” said ACLU National Security Project Director Hina Shamsi, one of the attorneys who argued the case. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Tuesday, June 24 @ 17:45:49 EDT (435 reads)
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 Peace News: The Golden Rule’s Resurgence

History / Culture
A dedicated group of volunteers is making the original peace boat seaworthy again.

By Arnold Oliver

Back in the 1950s, the U.S. military made the Marshall Islands the primary site for its nuclear weapons testing. As you might expect, those tests in the middle of the Pacific Ocean wreaked havoc on the environment and human health. In 1958, a Quaker-inspired voyage of nonviolent protest set out from California for the Marshall Islands in a little sailing ketch called the Golden Rule to do something about it.

The Golden Rule and its crew never made it to their intended destination. The Coast Guard stopped the vessel in Hawaii and arrested everybody on board. But the publicity surrounding the crew’s trial and imprisonment helped ignite worldwide public outrage against atmospheric tests.

By 1963, the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom signed the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The pact banned nuclear tests in the atmosphere, underwater, and outer space. No nuclear tests took place in the Marshall Islands after 1958.

The Golden Rule was the forebear of all the peace and environmental protest boats that followed, from the Sea Shepherds to Free Gaza. The connection to Greenpeace is direct. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Monday, June 23 @ 18:18:11 EDT (474 reads)
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 History/Culture: Some Call It Litha - Midsummer/Summer Solstice

HolidaysBlue1Moon
AlienLove Editor

Litha (pronounced LITH-ah) occupies the opposite place on the wheel of the year from Yule. It is celebrated on the Summer Solstice, which falls between June 20th and June 23rd, when the Sun enters zero degrees Cancer. It is also celebrated on the fixed date of June 25th or Old Litha. It is thought that the ancients began holding Druidic celebrations of Summer Solstice at Stonehenge around 2183 BCE.

Litha is a time of abundance, and energy abounds! Can you feel it in the air? Midsummer marks the time of year when the day is longest and the night is shortest. Light is triumphant - take time to absorb some of the Sun’s warming rays. Be joyful and enjoy the fullness of the Earth and her bounty, for after this the sun once again begins slowly to wane – yet there are still many days of long light ahead before thoughts of winter return.

In Pagan tradition, it is the time when the Sun God has reached the pinnacle of his strength. He is often pictured as the Lord of the Forest, wearing masks of leaves and foilage, or perhaps sitting upon his Greenwood Throne. At this time of year the Goddess is with child, having conceived at Beltane. Her body is nurturing the future King, just as the Earth is nurturing the crops that will feed us through the coming winter. So, Litha is much related to nurturing and love. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, June 20 @ 17:45:24 EDT (539 reads)
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 Screwed Again: How NSA Can Secretly Aid Criminal Cases

The NewsBy Ray McGovern

Rarely do you get a chance to ask a just-retired FBI director whether he had “any legal qualms” about what, in football, is called “illegal procedure,” but at the Justice Department is called “parallel construction.”

Government wordsmiths have given us this pleasant euphemism to describe the use of the National Security Agency’s illegal eavesdropping on Americans as an investigative tool to pass on tips to law enforcement agencies which then hide the source of the original suspicion and “construct” a case using “parallel” evidence to prosecute the likes of you and me.

For those interested in “quaint” things like the protections that used to be afforded us by the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution, information about this “parallel construction” has been in the public domain, including the “mainstream media,” for at least a year or so.

So, I welcomed the chance to expose this artful practice to still more people with cameras rolling at a large conference on “Ethos & Profession of Intelligence” at Georgetown University on Wednesday, during the Q & A after former FBI Director Robert Mueller spoke.

Mueller ducked my question regarding whether he had any “legal qualms” about this “parallel construction” arrangement. He launched into a discursive reply in which he described the various ”authorities” enjoyed by the FBI (and the CIA), which left the clear impression not only that he was without qualms but that he considered the practice of concealing the provenance of illegally acquired tip-off information somehow within those professed “authorities.”

Bottom line? Beware, those of you who think you have “nothing to hide” when the NSA scoops up your personal information. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, June 14 @ 20:47:45 EDT (684 reads)
(Read More... | 16134 bytes more | Comments? | Screwed Again | Score: 5)

 Environment: A Field Day for Fracking

InternationalA transatlantic trade deal would eliminate restrictions on U.S. exports of fracked gas to the EU.

By Wenonah Hauter

U.S. and EU negotiators recently began a new round of negotiations on the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement. Because the talks are happening behind closed doors, the public is left largely in the dark about the nature of the discussions over a deal also known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

So what, exactly, do we know?

Officially, not much. But an EU negotiation position “on raw materials and energy” was leaked to the Huffington Post in May. The text amounts to a wish list of demands from Big Oil and Gas that would lock in any of their investments in fossil fuels in general, and shale gas and fracking in particular. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, June 12 @ 21:03:01 EDT (643 reads)
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 Opinion: Memo to Potential Whistleblowers: If You See Something, Say Something

The NewsBy Norman Solomon, Global Research

Blowing the whistle on wrongdoing creates a moral frequency that vast numbers of people are eager to hear. We don’t want our lives, communities, country and world continually damaged by the deadening silences of fear and conformity.

I’ve met many whistleblowers over the years, and they’ve been extraordinarily ordinary. None were applying for halos or sainthood. All experienced anguish before deciding that continuous inaction had a price that was too high. All suffered negative consequences as well as relief after they spoke up and took action. All made the world better with their courage.

Whistleblowers don’t sign up to be whistleblowers. Almost always, they begin their work as true believers in the system that conscience later compels them to challenge.

“It took years of involvement with a mendacious war policy, evidence of which was apparent to me as early as 2003, before I found the courage to follow my conscience,” Matthew Hoh recalled this week.“It is not an easy or light decision for anyone to make, but we need members of our military, development, diplomatic and intelligence community to speak out if we are ever to have a just and sound foreign policy.” ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Saturday, June 07 @ 17:36:45 EDT (651 reads)
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 History/Culture: Therapy Benefits Us All

Health
Getting help isn't just for those with psychiatric problems — it's for anyone who is human.

By Jill Richardson

In 2008, I went to therapy. By then, I’d needed it for a long time. I had a terribly difficult, incurable condition — one I’d had for 28 years without treatment.

My condition? Being human.

Like many “normal” people, I felt I didn’t need therapy when I went. But my brother had just died unexpectedly at the age of 23. And on the morning of his funeral, I had a vision of myself in old age: still single, surrounded by cats. The neighbors murmured to one another, “She never got over the death of her brother.”

“All right, I’ll get therapy,” I thought. Just in case.

Nowadays, with mental health in the news — particularly following the horrific killing spree in Isla Vista, California — I see plenty of advice aimed at those with common mental health problems like anxiety. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Wednesday, June 04 @ 17:21:23 EDT (658 reads)
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 The News: After Running from Anti-War Past Kerry Tells Snowden to ‘Man Up’ and Face Trial

Politicsby: Dave Lindorff, thiscantbehappening.net

Our prissy Secretary of State John Kerry, hair carefully coiffed for his interview, told NBC’s Brian Williams last week that fugitive National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden should “man up” and return to the US to “stand in our system of justice and make his case.”

The supposedly “manly” Kerry (whose claim to “courage” is having employed the high-calibre machine gun mounted on his Mekong River gunboat to blow away unarmed fishermen and lightly armed Viet Cong freedom fighters, or having called in air strikes on them) has been hiding his later youthful history of standing up against the Vietnam War, and of condemning American war crimes there. He surely knows from his carefully buried past as a critic of the Vietnam War plenty of fellow American veterans, as well as Vietnam-era deserters and also draft resisters, who did just that -- they “made their case” in “our system of justice.” And Kerry also surely knows what happened to them: most ended up getting shuffled off to jail by an American “justice” system that, particularly when it comes to national security and opposition to the state, operates on the Lewis Carroll principle of “verdict first, trial afterwards.”

Yet Kerry, in that same NBC interview with Williams, forged right on and, as the fourth man in line under the US Constitution to assume the Presidency if something were to happen to the president, vice president and speaker of the House, declared that Snowden is guilty as charged, saying, “This is a man who has betrayed his country.”

Um…What trial decided that, Mr. Secretary? The one you want him to come submit to?

And Kerry is not alone in convicting Snowden in absentia and without a trial. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Friday, May 30 @ 21:54:39 EDT (686 reads)
(Read More... | 7809 bytes more | Comments? | The News | Score: 5)

 Business/Economy: A New Front in the CEO Pay Wars

The News
State lawmakers are starting to say no to executive excess.

By Sam Pizzigati

Have you heard about Domino’s Pizza CEO J. Patrick Doyle? He pocketed $43 million over the last three years running an operation that stiffs low-wage workers and rakes in taxpayer subsidies.

That news prompted the New York Post to open its coverage with a rather brilliant quip: “Hey, J. Patrick Doyle, save some dough for the pizzas.”

Almost every day, the headlines remind us how outrageous CEO pay in America has become. Will these outrages ever end?

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers in Congress give us no particular cause for optimism. But at the state level we actually may be in for a pleasant political surprise. Two new imaginative state proposals are now seeking to leverage the power of the public purse against executive excess. In California, lawmakers are zeroing in on how government taxes. New legislation pending in Rhode Island targets how government spends. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, May 29 @ 21:23:51 EDT (649 reads)
(Read More... | 6361 bytes more | Comments? | Business/Economy | Score: 0)

 The News: An American Banking Revolution Awaits

Vermont
These tough economic times require creative alternatives to Wall Street, including more state banks.

By William A. Collins

Vermonters aren’t like the rest of us: They live in a small state with a flinty history and a legendary suspicion of outsiders.

That independent streak gained luster when 15 Vermont towns voted earlier this year to reinforce this independent tradition by approving a proposal to create a state bank.

The Vermont Economic Development Authority would get a license to do what private banks normally do — only with a mandate to serve the public interest no matter what.

This isn’t unprecedented. North Dakota has enjoyed a flourishing state banking system for nearly a century. ...

Posted by Blue1moon on Thursday, May 22 @ 18:59:59 EDT (690 reads)
(Read More... | 4810 bytes more | Comments? | The News | Score: 0)


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