Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gaza - The Doctors' Response

Well worth linking to is this letter in The Lancet

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)61044-8/fulltext

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Global Warming

The American West is locked in what’s likely to be recorded as the worst drought in U.S. history as farmers and industry from Texas to California despair over conditions so severe that California is expected to introduce statewide mandatory water restrictions for the first time ever.

But the U.S. isn’t alone. In South America, a drought in northeastern Brazil has wreaked havoc among coffee growers and spiked coffee prices around the world. Severe drought conditions are also plaguing Australia and some regions in Africa, threatening to cause food shortages in some of the poorest nations on earth and higher prices across the world.

Ethiopia: An estimated 8 million of Ethiopia's 60 million people are at immediate risk due to drought. UNICEF estimates that 1.4 million of those at risk are children under five.

Eritrea: Successive years of drought, combined with the border war with Ethiopia, has created major food shortages. Nearly 1.3 million people are at risk.

Somalia: Due to seven consecutive poor harvests coupled with chronic insecurity in some regions, food stability is deteriorating, affecting as many as 1 million people, including 300,000 children aged under 5 years.

Sudan: An estimated 2.8 million people in the south face food insecurity in the coming months.

Uganda: About 550,000 people face food insecurity.

Morocco: The worst drought for a decade. About 70 percent of the country's arable land has been affected.

Afghanistan: Large parts of the south are severely affected, where 60 to 80 percent of livestock have died. Almost 2.5 million people, or 10 percent of the population, are at risk.

China: In the northern Shanxi province, nearly 3 million people don't have enough water. About one-third of the province's wheat crop has been hit by the drought and more than 60 percent of its soil lacks water.

India: Madhya Pradesh, along with the western states of Rajasthan and Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh in the south, are in the grip of a severe drought following the failure of last year's monsoon rains. Nearly 130 million people living in 12 states have been seriously affected by what some officials call the worst drought in 100 years.

Pakistan: Government officials estimate that nearly 3 million people - mostly villagers - face possible starvation. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled Pakistan's southern Thar Desert. The drought has devastated crops and livestock in the desert, home to 1 million people, sparking fears of a massive humanitarian crisis.

http://www.ibtimes.com/global-drought-conditions-are-drying-out-several-regions-sparking-food-production-concerns-1628770

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Rise of the Right

A spokesman said police had been called to "reports of a disturbance" but no arrests had been made.
He added: “The incident is being investigated by detectives from Bexley Community Safety Unit to establish whether any offences have been committed.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britain-first-battalion-invades-mosque-demanding-removal-of-sexist-entrance-signs-9607978.html

I can name one offence...Public Order Offence 1936 - the wearing of political uniform in public places



 

Thursday, July 03, 2014

The Scottish Poor

The number of people living in poverty in Scotland increased to 820,000 last year, Scottish government-published figures have said.

The 2012-13 figure, which accounts for 16% of the population, was 110,000 more than in the previous year.

The number of children in poverty rose by 30,000 to 180,000. 15% of pensioners (150,000) were living in relative poverty in 2012-13, 10,000 more than the previous year

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-28106456

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

right wing terrorists

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-27767197

 Fox News will chose to either:
1) ignore the events in Las Vegas;
2) highlight those tragic events as an example for why concealed carry gun laws should be the rule of the land;
3) that it is Barack Obama's fault;
4) advance a lazy, intellectually bankrupt, and morally empty deflection: black people in Chicago shoot each other all the time!;
5) argue that these people are "sick" and "crazy", so why are we even talking about their politics?;
6) lie and commit an intellectually rapacious and craven assault on the historical record by suggesting that white supremacist Nazis are in fact really "liberals".

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

War and Peace

The United States has roughly 5% of the world’s population and 50% of the world’s military spending. The U.S. military swallows 55.2 percent of federal discretionary spending, according to the National Priorities Project. No other nation spends remotely comparable funds on militarism. The U.S. spend SEVERAL TIMES what any other nation spends on war and war preparation. Military spending produces fewer jobs than spending on education or infrastructure, or even on tax cuts for working people, according to studies by the Political Economy Research Institute. It is the ethics of a sociopath to justify killing for economic gain, but of a fool to do so for economic loss. The military is the top consumer of petroleum.

 Foreign aid is $23 billion now.  It would cost very little to make the U.S. the most beloved rather than most feared nation on earth. It would cost about $30 billion per year to end starvation and hunger around the world.  It would cost about $11 billion per year to provide the world with clean water. Round up to $50 billion per year to provide the world with both food and water. That’s 5 percent of the roughly $1 trillion the U.S. wastes every year on militarism.

 Instead a WIN/Gallup poll of 65 nations at the end of 2013 found the U.S. far ahead of any other as the nation people believed was the greatest threat to peace in the world.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/05/honestly-war.html

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Fight Big Mac

Chanting “Hey McDonald’s, You Can’t Hide, We Can See Your Greedy Side,” and “No Big Macs, No French Fries, Make our Wage Supersize,” protesters blocked the entrance to McDonald’s Hamburger University training facility in Oakbrook. Thousands of McDonald's workers demanding higher wages and the right to form a union without retaliation. Protesters want the fast food giant pay a minimum wage of $15 per hour. According to organizers, more than 100 McDonald's workers  and supporters were arrested.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/05/21/363631/100-mcdonalds-workers-arrested-in-us/

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

workers are better people

1. The Poor Don't Cheat As Much

An analysis of seven different psychological studies found that "upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals." A series of experiments showed that upper-class individuals were more likely to break traffic laws, take valued goods from others, lie in a negotiation, and cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize.

And this doesn't even begin to examine the many, many significant  cases of fraudulent behavior in the banking industry. Or private equity firms that cheat their investors over 50 percent of the time. Or the many unscrupulous corporate  tax avoidance strategies.


2. The Poor Care More About Other People

Numerous reputable  sources have concluded that lower class individuals tend to be more generous and trusting and helpful, compared to the upper class. As people gain in wealth, they  depend less on others, and thus they have  less reason to understand the  feelings and needs of the less fortunate. The poor are better at  interpersonal relationships because they need other people.

In addition, careful studies have determined that money pushes people further to the  right, making them  less egalitarian, and less willing, as a practical consequence, to provide broad  educational opportunities to all members of society.

One neuro-imaging  analysis even suggested that the super-wealthy view photos of impoverished people as  things rather than as human beings. They react to the poor not with sympathy, but with contempt.


3. The Rich Focus on Me, Me, Me

The authors of a recent psychological  study argue that rich people are different because they have the  freedom to focus on  self. In support of this, a number of  studies have demonstrated that higher social class is associated with increased  narcissism, even to the point of looking at themselves more frequently in a mirror. The rich feel entitled. They  attribute success to their 'superior' traits, while people from lower economic backgrounds attribute success to societal values, such as educational opportunities.


4. The Poor Give a Greater Percentage of Their Money to Others

Research has shown that low-income Americans spend a much higher percentage of their income on charitable giving.  Results from three studies average out to 4.5% from low-income people, 2.7% from those with high incomes. With respect to helping people in need, the rich give even less. As Robert Reich  notes, about  two-thirds of 'charitable' donations from the rich go to their foundations and alma maters, and to "culture palaces" – operas, art museums, symphonies, and theaters.

Charles Koch said, "I believe my business and non-profit investments are much more beneficial to societal well-being than sending more money to Washington." The well-being of  high society, perhaps.


5. Entrepreneurs are not in the Capitalist Class

The meritorious behavior of job creation comes from the  “middle class”, which is quickly  sliding toward lower-income status. The very rich generally don't risk their money in job-creating startup businesses.  Over 90% of the assets owned by millionaires are held in a combination of low-risk investments (bonds and cash), the stock market, and real estate.

With the demise of the “middle class”,  entrepreneurship is decreasing. According to a Brookings Institute  report, the "firm entry rate," a measure of new firms and thus of entrepreneurial startup activity,  fell by nearly half in the thirty-plus years between 1978 and 2011. America's average entrepreneur is  26 years old, but most of our 26-year-olds are burdened by student loan debt.

 9 out of 10 of the fastest-growing  occupations are considered low-wage, generally not requiring a college degree.

http://www.alternet.org/economy/5-ways-poor-are-more-ethical-rich

Monday, May 19, 2014

Screening Out Poverty

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2631333/Mexico-divided-Stark-photos-urban-wealth-poverty-side.html

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

class war america

Forget the pro-Soviet sympathies and enjoy certain other truths in this video.