Archive | May 3, 2013

Craigslist Proved My Innocence Against A Felony Charge

In 2011, Westpoint Graduate and Iraq Veteran Antonio Buehler was arrested for taking pictures of two cops abusing a woman they had pulled over in Austin, TX. He was accused of spitting in one of the cop’s face and charged with a felony. Luckily for him, there was someone filming the whole incident from across the street and showed that it was actually the cops who were the aggressors. Since that incident, Antonio has launched the Peaceful Streets Program which aims to bring accountability to police and their actions and to encourage people to flex their rights by filming the police.

Via WeAreChange

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Study Reveals Thirty Toxic Chemicals at High Levels at Exxon Arkansas Tar Sands Pipeline Spill Site

Pic PD.

Pic PD.

Steve Horn writes at DeSmogBlog:

An independent study co-published by the Faulkner County Citizens Advisory Group and Global Community Monitor reveals that, in the aftermath of ExxonMobil’s Pegasus tar sands pipeline spill of over 500,000 gallons of diluted bitumen (dilbit) into Mayflower, AR, air quality in the area surrounding the spill has been affected by high levels of cancer-causing chemicals.

Roughly four weeks after the spill took place, many basic details are still unknown to the public, according to recent reporting by InsideClimate News. Questions include what exactly caused the spill, how big was the spill exactly, and how long did it take for emergency responders to react to the spill, to name a few.

But one thing is certain according to the new study: For the residents of Mayflower, quality of life has been changed forever.

The chemicals found in the samples include benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, n-hexane, and xylenes. Breathing in both ethylbenzene and benzene can cause cancer and reproductive effects, while breathing in n-hexane can damage the nervous system and usher in numbness in the extremities, muscular weakness, blurred vision, headaches, and fatigue.

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How Terrorism is Better Than War

Richard_Reid_explosive_shoeFred Reed writes at LewRockwell.com:

In recent years, I have seen terrorism denounced as a despicable crime. I wonder whether it shouldn’t be accepted frankly as a form of war. I am not sure why blowing up ten people in a restaurant in, say, London is more despicable than blowing up ten children in Afghanistan by a drone. (They are both despicable.) Some terrorists, such as the Unabomber, are merely freelance criminal psychopaths. Others, such as bin Laden, engage in terrorism for the same reason why militaries attack countries: to make the other side do what the attacker wants.

From the point of view of cost and benefit, terrorism is a brilliantly effective form of warfare, especially against heavily armed countries of the First World. The reasons are several. First, terrorism offers no target to the basically World War Two militaries of advanced countries. If five Saudis, two Pakis, a Russian and a disaffected American blow up a building in Chicago, against whom does the US seek revenge?

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U.S. News and World Reports Spins, Greg Palast Explains It Clearly: Who is Penny Pritzker?

FE_DA130502pritzker620x413These days there seems to be a trend for political heavyweights to seem to materialize out of thin air.  I mean, Bill Clinton was no one we knew about, then suddenly he was the Democratic candidate for our lands highest office.  Similarly, Barack Obama went from a no one in the Illinois State Senate, to the Illinois Senate – neat trick when you are from Chicago – to the Oval Office almost overnight.

In President Obama’s case now there is another example of this, his new tap for Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker.  (Who?)

Well, let’s take a little look, shall we?

First, we will go to the U.S. News and World Report website where Danielle Kurtzleben has been explaining just why Penny is so qualified.

Danielle first quotes the President;

“Penny is one of our country’s most distinguished business leaders,” Obama said on Thursday, speaking from the Rose Garden. “She knows that what we can do is to give every business and ever worker the best possible chance to succeed by making America a magnet for good jobs.”

After which she delineates some of Penny’s qualifications.  This one caught my eye.… Read the rest

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Materialism is a Prison

rainbowpentagramservitor2At some point we’re going to have to acknowledge that scientific reductionism as we practice it is no longer an adequate means of explaining reality. In fact, it’s actually sort of becoming a threat to the entire psychic eco system. There’s nowhere to turn but in my friends, but I don’t see a whole fuck of a lot of that sentiment going mainstream anytime soon. People love to shop for useless crap, but when do we start addressing issues of quality over quantity in regards to human consciousness? Where did this expansionary agenda of rampant breeding stem from in the first place? Why exactly did we feel the need to procreate out of control so rapidly? The answer lies in materialist philosophy, quite possibly implanted into our collective brainstems from afar like a catalyst. If you only believe in outwardly repeatable phenomenon, you’re probably ignoring the vast majority of your inner life.… Read the rest

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Is Following The News Bad For You?

too much newsAs they say, the medium is the message, and the 24-hour breaking news cycle may be degrading your mind and your life. Via the Guardian, Rolf Dobelli argues thus:

News is bad for your health. It leads to fear and aggression, and hinders your creativity and ability to think deeply.

News misleads. News leads us to walk around with the completely wrong risk map in our heads. So terrorism is over-rated. Chronic stress is under-rated. Astronauts are over-rated. Nurses are under-rated.

News works like a drug. As stories develop, we want to know how they continue. With hundreds of arbitrary storylines in our heads, this craving is increasingly compelling and hard to ignore. The more news we consume, the more we exercise the neural circuits devoted to skimming and multitasking while ignoring those used for reading deeply and thinking with profound focus. The physical structure of the brain changes.

News makes us passive.

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Homegrown Terrorism: How I’ve Lived Through This Before

guidoTerrorism spreads quickly, and is viciously efficient: it takes very little to do a lot of harm. The knowledge of how it developed recently elsewhere, and how it was eventually defeated, can only be of help.

It’s orientation day for foreign students at the University of Southern California, late August 1980. I am assigned a room in a dorm to share with a fellow international student, a Palestinian 300-pounder whose father is “not as powerful as President Carter, but almost.” The first night in the dorm he keeps me up playing “beautiful Arabic tunes” on a recorder because “I like Italians, they’re very nice people; we train them in our camps, you know, the Red Brigades, and others.”

Back to the present.

The Boston Marathon bombings and the events following them have made the prospect of homegrown terrorism become a reality. Although the 21st century has begun with multiple acts of terrorism on an unprecedented scale, it has been perceived all along as a threat that comes from the outside.… Read the rest

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European Union To Ban Pesticides Linked To Mass Bee Deaths

bee deaths

Via the BBC:

The European Commission will restrict the use of pesticides linked to bee deaths by researchers, despite a split among EU states on the issue. Neonicotinoid chemicals in pesticides are believed to harm bees and the European Commission says they should be restricted to crops not attractive to bees and other pollinators.

There is great concern across Europe about the collapse of bee populations. A report published by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) in January concluded that the pesticides posed a “high acute risk” to pollinators, including honeybees.

There was ferocious lobbying both for and against in the run-up to Monday’s vote. Nearly three million signatures were collected in support of a ban. Chemical companies and pesticide manufacturers have been lobbying hard – they argue that the science is inconclusive, and that a ban would harm food production.

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Yearly Ancient Egyptian Festival Of Ritual Binge Drinking And Public Sex Uncovered

festival of ritual

The debaucherous activities were considered a means for individuals to directly voice themselves to the gods, in what seems like a scary, society-wide version of Woodstock 99. Via the Los Angeles Times:

Since 2001, Johns Hopkins University archaeologist Betsy Bryan has led the excavation of the temple complex of the Egyptian goddess Mut in modern-day Luxor, the site of the city of Thebes in ancient Egypt. And the ritual she has uncovered, which centers on binge drinking, thumping music and orgiastic public sex, probably makes “Jersey Shore” look pretty tame.

Bryan, a specialist in Egypt’s New Kingdom (roughly 1600 to 1000 BC), has painstakingly pieced together the details of the Festivals of Drunkenness, which took place in homes, at temples and in makeshift desert shrines throughout ancient Egypt at least once a year.

Bryan [explains], “What’s really distinctive about these rituals is their communal nature, their participatory aspect. The people in attendance were everybody from the highest elites to groups of far more modest members of society.

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