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Member since: 2002
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Israel-Gaza conflict: Children make up a fifth of Palestinian deaths

Source: The Independent (UK)

As Israel’s continued air offensive against Gaza saw the Palestinian death toll rise above 200 on Wednesday, a leading human rights organisation has warned a fifth of those who have died in the nine-day conflict are children.

Save the Children has become the latest body to voice its concern over the Palestinian death toll, which rose to 211 on Wednesday afternoon when an Israeli airstrike killed four boys from the Bakr family on a coastal road near a beach in the Gaza Strip. A further seven adults and children were wounded.

Last week, five children from the same family died in a pre-dawn bombardment.

In light of the violence, the group predicts that at least 25,000 children will need psycho-social support to cope with the trauma they have experienced since violence in the region restarted last Tuesday.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israelgaza-conflict-children-make-up-a-fifth-of-palestinian-deaths-9610425.html

She knows damn well the gruesome details of injury & death caused by DWI drivers!

My first job out of law school was working for a small law firm which handled, among other areas, civil suits arising out of auto, truck and motorcycle accidents. In just two years, I had multiple occasions of reviewing accident reports & police photos, autopsy protocols, taking photographers and accident investigators to accident scenes to analyze exactly what happened - not to mention taking depositions of victims of DWI accidents who had been maimed for life, and the grieving survivors of people killed by DWI drivers. This judge has been on the bench FAR longer than 2 years and has EXPLICIT, IN DEPTH knowledge of the human suffering caused when people drive drunk!

Working on DWI cases, I observed that DWI drivers were repeat offenders. If you suspended or revoked their licenses, they drove anyway - not just on limited licenses allowing them to drive to and from work, but during off work hours to get to bars or liquor stores. They're drunks, plain and simple!

I say, throw the friggin' book at her, and the state judicial disciplinary board should toss her off the bench, and the state licensing bureau should strip her of her law license. She likes alcohol so damn much? Let her work as a barmaid the rest of her worthless life!

I myself was nearly killed when I was just 18 and an uninsured, drunk driver crossed the median divider and hit head on the car in which I was a passenger. Between that and my subsequent experience working on the above cases, I have zero tolerance for people who drink and drive. If you need to get drunk to handle life, and you don't have a sober friend to be the designated driver, than just buy your booze, take it home and get drunk by your charming self. Believe me, when you're drunk, no one but another drunk will really enjoy your company.

10 Scientists want Meeting w/ Florida's Governor to explain Climate Change


If you’re not a scientist, presumably you should listen to people who are when grappling with climate change.

That is the logic, at least, of a group of scientists who sent Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) a letter on Tuesday requesting a meeting so they can explain to him the science of climate change. The Tampa Bay Times reported that ten prominent scientists, including professors at the University of Miami, Florida State, Florida International and Eckerd College, signed the letter, which read in part “it is crucial for policymakers, such as yourself, to have a full understanding of the current and future threats to Florida.”

In his initial 2010 campaign, Scott replied “I have not been convinced” when asked if he believes in global warming. And as the letter noted, the Governor has since settled into a common pattern among Republicans whenever pressed on the issue of climate change, simply responding with “I’m not a scientist.”

“We are scientists,” the letter continued. “And we would like the opportunity to explain what is at stake for our state. Those of us signing this letter have spent hundreds of years combined studying this problem, not from any partisan political perspective, but as scientists — seekers of evidence and explanations. As a result, we feel uniquely qualified to assist you in understanding what’s already happening in the climate system so you may make the most effective decisions about what must be done to protect the state, including reducing emissions from fossil fuel burning power plants.”

This is a great idea. The National Academy of Science and all professional associations of scientists whose fields have anything to do with climate change, both in the US and internationally should not wait to be consulted, but should pro-actively seek out and educate both political decision makers and the general public. In the current economy and political mindset, the only parties with the bucks to seek out scientific advice and fund studies on controversial matters are the corporate interests who will either bribe scientists to be hired guns and produce bogus reports, or will fund research within their own corporate interests and bury any results harmful to their marketing plans.

Heard a good line in a futuristic movie the other day where it was noted that Big Pharma put all its efforts into developing hair growth and penis enhancement products. Follow the money,baby!

Not all politicians are so two-faced; HRC even made a deal w/Richard Scaife.

You know, that Richard Scaife whose death provoked an outpouring of hatred and loathing on DU. In 2008 she traveled to tiny little Greensburg, PA, where the headquarters for Scaife's conservative chain of newspapers is located, and sought out an "audience" with him. Following that meeting, despite the horrible things HRC and Scaife had said about each other, he gave her his newspapers' endorsement in the Democratic primary. What was the quid pro quo she promised him in exchange for that endorsement? Sciafe took that secret to his grave with him and I doubt HRC will ever tell.

In 2008, Mrs. Clinton, then a Democratic senator from New York running for president, met Mr. Scaife and editors and reporters of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for an interview. The newspaper endorsed her, and Mr. Scaife, in a commentary, said: “I have a very different impression of Hillary Clinton today. And it’s a very favorable one indeed.”


Yup, when it comes to rich old white conservatives, they're ready for Hillary, because she promises them what they want. As to HRC, I've been involved in politics and every presidential campaign since my college years (always a Democrat, unlike HRC) and that goes back to when I heard JFK speak at my university campus in 1961. If you look at the details of her behavior over the years - from when she got fired from the Watergate investigation staff for unethical behavior, through the years, it is a truly alarming psycho-profile of a person who has always done ANYTHING to win, keeps an enemies list and seeks revenge (according to the memoirs of her closest friend). Add in to that lethal mixture, the sublimated rage any wife would feel at the public humiliation visited upon her by her serially adulterous husband. I've never seen any Democratic politician the likes of her.

Huge, huge difference between gay rights and GMO

Big Money interests made no profit from opposing gay rights. Therefore HRC was totally free to support gays. In fact, as far as the MIC goes, gay cannon fodder is interchangeable with straight cannon fodder, and they need that cannon fodder to operate the weapons from which they profit. So that was a win/win for HRC. Gets credits from pro-gays, and serves the interests of the MIC at the same time.

You must be unfamiliar w/ HRC's voting/speechifying records to say she always made a more liberal choice. The only times she sides with traditional, old fashioned, humanistic Democratic values is when there's no corporate opposition.

Plus, the issues do not balance out on a simplistic one for one ratio. GMO/Keystone Pipeline/ Iraq War/foreign trade agreements/child refugees/war mongering,as in unsuccessfully pushing Obama to go along with British General Sir David Richards' blood-thirsty proposition to arm and train 100,000 Syrian rebels. Each of these issues have more far-reaching impact upon the US (and much of the world) than the few liberal votes she's chosen to make. Sadly, HRC still believes she's got to out macho male politicians when it comes to making war.

Who is the true patriot, Hillary Clinton or Edward Snowden? The question comes up because Clinton has gone all out in attacking Snowden as a means of burnishing her hawkish credentials, eliciting Glenn Greenwald’s comment that she is “like a neocon, practically.”

On Friday in England, Clinton boasted that two years ago she had favored a proposal by a top British General to train 100,000 “moderate” rebels to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria, but Obama had turned her down. The American Thatcher? In that same interview with the Guardian she also managed to get in yet another shot against Snowden for taking refuge in Russia “apparently under Putin’s protection,” unless, she taunted, “he wishes to return knowing he would be held accountable.”

Accountable for telling the truth that Clinton concealed during her tenure as secretary of state in the Obama administration? Did she approve of the systematic spying on the American people as well as of others around the world, including the leaders of Germany and Brazil, or did she first learn of all this from the Snowden revelations?


I'd bet the farm that Big Biotech is covering up its own negative research results.

Back in the 80's - the first law firm I worked for after finishing law school had a section of lawyers specializing in representing asbestos victims. As you all may or may not know, asbestosis or mesothelioma resulting from asbestos typically takes decades to develop. However, lung biopsies proves the presence of asbestos fibers. Once a biopsy revealed asbestos fibers, all the plaintiff's lawyer had to do was negotiate a settlement, because causation was beyond dispute.

The Asbestos Industry Cover-ups

Although it may be unbeknownst to many, the dangers of using asbestos were documented well before the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulated its production and use. In fact, documents show that railroad companies knew as far back as the 1930s that asbestos was dangerous and could cause an array of medical issues, such as lung cancer and asbestosis.

Reasons for Industry Cover-ups

Even though it was established that asbestos was dangerous decades before the EPA’s regulation, companies, as previously mentioned, continued to stifle any information regarding the hazards of the mineral. Even after physicians, scientists, and even asbestos companies provided details of the dangers after conducting studies, companies still wouldn’t scale back on asbestos usage or inform workers of the dangers.

The reason behind the great cover-ups simply comes down to money. If the production of and the use of asbestos was eliminated, many companies would lose the fortune they built. In fact, in another documented statement, when an executive of a corporation that used asbestos was asked if he would let his workers die if it meant continuing to use the mineral, he replied, “ Yes. We save a lot of money that way.” In other words, the profits of the businesses that used asbestos was more important than the lives of the people who helped these businesses survive.

Classic examples of an industry that hid harmful effects of their products from the public are the Asbestos industry and the Tobacco industry. Both industries hid scientific knowledge of known toxic doses from their products for decades. These toxic doses have been the subject of government regulations and litigation. There are other examples of large corporations in the $880 Billion a year pharmaceutical industry as well as in the medical device industry.


A mega corporation like Monsanto has doubtless conducted extensive research on all its products, and deep-sixed that research under the guise of "trade secret". What a convenient place to bury any smoking guns. But hey, you never know when some goddamned whistle blower will come back at them, so better get insurance, guys! Let's put HRC on that!

Hillary Clinton Cheerleads for Biotech and GMOs


Clinton recently attended the BIO International Convention on Wednesday, June 25 and leaked press snippets to confirm what most sustainable food movement supporters already know: she’s pro-GMO much like the other major political candidates that have been bought out by biotech.

At the San Diego convention, basically a promotional stop for all things biotech, she spoke for 65 minutes on the importance of GMO – despite the fact that she and her husband and former president have Celiac’s disease, which GE foods have been linked to (along with digestive issues).

Clinton also remarked that the “benefits” of GMOs should be better explained in order to counteract the massive grassroots tide against the lab-created crops, saying that “Frankensteinish” depictions should be met with a stronger, more positive spin from GMO companies. Notice the word ‘spin.’ You don’t have to ‘spin’ facts. That’s a public relations game. Hundreds of scientists have warned the world about the effects of biotech’s creations, but perhaps Mrs. Clinton hasn’t heard of those studies.

Many companies, including Monsanto, have already been stepping up the PR efforts, launching sites like GMO Answers in an attempt to change the narrative. They had tried to bamboozle Europe with PR deception campaigns, but largely failed, and now have turned their sights on other countries like the U.S.

Amazon: Send in the Drones (and the Lobbyists)

Kindly read the entire link for details as to where and when Amazon is testing these, and a video showing one.


Amazon says its remote-control drones can fly 50 miles an hour and carry a five-pound package. It promises the system will deliver packages in 30 minutes or less. In December, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told CBS News that tiny octo-copters could be delivering packages for Amazon within four or five years.

Federal rules now under review don’t allow the commercial use of drones. Amazon has hired lobbyists to try to change that. Congress has instructed the FAA to integrate drones into the nation’s airspace by September 2015.

The FAA approved the nation’s first overland use of commercial drones in June to fly over oil fields on Alaska’s remote north slope, where privacy and safety concerns are small. And last fall, the FAA allowed drones to fly over oil exploration areas in the Arctic Ocean.

Amazon did not respond to KUOW’s requests for an interview. The company’s lobbying efforts were revealed in a legally required disclosure form filed in June with the U.S. Congress.

Chevron admits Oil Shale Will Use Huge Amounts of Western Water.

One of the largest oil companies in the world has been forced in court to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth about one of the key environmental impacts of developing oil shale in the arid West. Namely, it will consume an enormous amount of water in a region where drought and climate change are already stressing available water supplies.

Chevron USA, in legal filings in a case brought by the conservation group Western Resource Advocates, has admitted that to meet a goal of developing a half million barrels of oil from sedimentary rock in northwest Colorado it would need 120,000 acre feet of water a year. That’s enough to meet the needs of 1 million people per year.

Chevron and Western Resource Advocates reached a settlement agreement and filed it last week with the Colorado water court. Under the agreement Chevron is allowed to keep its water rights for six years and then must go back to court to keep them beyond that period. It also agreed to provide Western Resource Advocates with five documents that detail how much water it would need for oil shale development and how the water would be used.

That’s how the truth came out. “This legal case puts to bed the argument of whether current oil shale plans will use large quantities of water,” said David Abelson, a policy advisor to Western Resource Advocates. “Now the debate for decision makers is whether allowing oil shale development to use enormous quantities of water in a strained Colorado River Basin is acceptable.”


It's demeaning to Thatcher to refer to HRC as "The American Thatcher".

Powerful article. When I first read the reference to HRC as an American Thatcher, I thought - right! she's so conservative. But upon reflection, I decided it was a disservice to Maggie Thatcher to identify her with HRC. I have never agreed with Thatcher's political positions/philosophy, but she did have the courage of her convictions, had a long and loving marriage, and succeeded in breaking through the glass ceiling on her own efforts. Here's some history.

1. Margaret Thatcher was a lifelong conservative. What you saw was what you got. She didn't flip-flop from Barry Goldwater Girl/president of Young College Republicans over to supporting McGovern and end up as a 3rd Way/corporatist/pro-war/Big Bank enabler. Y'all remember George McGovern's objections to Vietnam? One assumes HRC was familiar with them when she campaigned for him:
"It doesn't require any particular bravery to stand on the floor of the Senate and urge our boys in Vietnam to fight harder. And if this war mushrooms into a major conflict and a hundred thousand young Americans are killed, it won't be U.S. Senators who die. It will be American soldiers who are too young to qualify for the Senate." And also, "I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."

I remember him saying that because I had the privilege to hear him speak when I campaigned for him. I'm still anti-war. HRC? not so much.

"On Friday in England, Clinton boasted that two years ago she had favored a proposal by a top British General to train 100,000 “moderate” rebels to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria, but Obama had turned her down. The American Thatcher?" http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/hillary_clinton_flaunts_her_surveillance_state_baggage_20140707

2. Thatcher had a solid, 50+ year marriage, with not a whiff of scandal, betrayal or adultery. "Sir Denis Thatcher died of heart failure on 26 June 2003 and was cremated on 3 July. She had paid tribute to him in The Downing Street Years, writing "Being Prime Minister is a lonely job. In a sense, it ought to be: you cannot lead from the crowd. But with Denis there I was never alone. What a man. What a husband. What a friend."

3. Thatcher made it politically on her own - not on her husband's influence, connections or coat tails, and she started at the bottom and hung in through several initial defeats. She ran for Member of Parliament as a Conservative for a safe Labour seat. That's called flying the flag for your party, when there's no chance of victory, but you get your party's point of view out there. It's called paying your dues and working your way up. She was defeated in 1950, 51 and 54. She was finally elected an MP in 1959. From 1970 to 1974 she served as Secretary of State for Education & Science. From 1975 to 1979, she served as Conservative party leader, i.e., Leader of the Opposition. Finally, after 29 years directly serving her party - on her own, not as first spouse - she ran for and was elected Prime Minister, where she served from 1979 to 1990.
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