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Home country: Canada
Member since: Sat Jul 9, 2005, 11:46 PM
Number of posts: 9,182
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Wednesday, 06 November 2013 10:53
By David Krieger, Truthout | Opinion
Copyright, Truthout. May not be reprinted without permission.
We have a responsibility as individuals and globally to pass this planet on 'intact' to future generations and nuclear weapons are the absolute anti-thesis to this. The author deconstructs the many examples of legitimization for these weapons and the importance of working now to abolish them. I agree with every word of it, and wish I could post the article, because it is a good read, imho.
Posted by polly7 | Thu Nov 7, 2013, 12:30 PM (1 replies)
The Nation / By Martin A. Lee
The discovery of pot’s astonishing medical potential is the most compelling new reason for legalizing the plant.
November 6, 2013
For many years, the federal government has subsidized studies designed to prove the negative effects of marijuana, while blocking inquiry into its potential benefits. Ironically, the government’s steadfast search for harm has yielded remarkable scientific insights that explain why cannabis is such a versatile remedy and why it is the most sought-after illicit substance on the planet.
Some highlights from the exploding field of cannabinoid science:
1. THC and other plant cannabinoids are not only effective for the management of cancer symptoms (pain, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue, etc.); they also confer a direct anti-tumoral effect, according to peer-reviewed studies by scientists at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco and Complutense University in Madrid, Spain.
2. Investigators at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, found that THC inhibits an enzyme involved in the accumulation of beta amyloid plaque that disrupts communication between brain cells, the hallmark of Alzheimer’s-related dementia.
3. According to researchers at Kings College in London, cannabinoid receptor signaling choreographs neurogenesis (the creation of new brain cells) in adult mammals and also regulates the migration and differentiation of stem cells.
Full article: http://www.alternet.org/marijuana-miracle-5-exciting-new-discoveries-about-pot?paging=off¤t_page=1#bookmark
Posted by polly7 | Thu Nov 7, 2013, 12:14 PM (4 replies)
By Medea Benjamin
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
On October 29, the Rehman family—a father with his two children—came all the way from the Pakistani tribal territory of North Waziristan to the US Capitol to tell the heart-wrenching story of the death of the children’s beloved 67-year-old grandmother. And while the briefing, organized by Congressman Alan Grayson, was only attended by four other congresspeople, it was packed with media.
Watching the beautiful 9-year-old Nabila relate how her grandmother was blown to bits while outside picking okra softened the hearts of even the most hardened DC politicos. From the Congressmen to the translator to the media, tears flowed. Even the satirical journalist Dana Milbank, who normally pokes fun at everything and everyone in his Washington Post column, Example: covered the family’s tragedy with genuine sympathy.
The visit by the Rehman family was timed for the release of the groundbreaking new documentary Example Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars by Robert Greenwald of Brave New Foundation. The emotion-packed film is filled with victims’ stories, including that of 16-year-old Tariq Aziz, a peace-loving, soccer-playing teenager obliterated three days after attending an anti-drone conference in Islamabad. Lawyers in the firm pose the critical question: If Tariq was a threat, why didn’t they capture him at the meeting and give him the right to a fair trial? Another just released documentary is Wounds of Waziristan, a well-crafted, 20-minute piece by Pakistani filmmaker Madiha Tahir that explains how drone attacks rip apart communities and terrorize entire populations.
Just as the visit and the films have put real faces on drone victims, a plethora of new reports by prestigious institutions—five in total—have exposed new dimensions of the drone wars.
Full article and more on the Global Drone Summit November 16-17 in Washington DC: http://www.zcommunications.org/drones-have-come-out-of-the-shadows-by-medea-benjamin.html
Human Rights Watch
License to Kill, released by the Geneva-based group Al Karama
Adding to these well-researched reports by non-governmental organizations are two documents commissioned by the United Nations. One is by Christof Heyns, the UN's special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. The other is by Ben Emmerson, the special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism.
Cease deadly drone strikes that kill civilians in Pakistan.
"Real people are suffering real harm" but these civilian deaths by drones are being mostly ignored by governmental oversight agencies and also by the news media according to James Cavallaro of Stanford University, one of the authors of a study by Stanford and NYU in the report, "Living Under Drones". The results of this recent study reported on Sept. 25, 2012 concludes that only about 2% of drone casualties are top militant leaders. Up to 884 civilians, including 176 children have been killed in Pakistan since 2004 due to drone strikes.
Posted by polly7 | Tue Nov 5, 2013, 10:52 AM (1 replies)
CounterPunch / By John LaForge
80,000 gallons per day of radioactive water, for 942 straight days, dumped into the Pacific — and counting.
October 25, 2013 |
Distracting the public from the 300 tons of highly radioactive water (80,000 gallons) spreading into the Pacific Ocean every day from the triple reactor melt-through at Fukushima-Daiichi, is news of the plan to build an underground “ice wall” to damn up the poisoned water before it leaks to the sea. The project is reportedly a better plan than the failed concrete wall that Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) first decided to build.
This frozen finger-in-the-dike won’t be completed until 2015, and it will then fail. Even if it were to work as planned, there is a risk of reversing the water flow, forcing highly radioactive water to seep out from the reactor buildings to the aquifer. Meanwhile, nothing is slowing the relentless radioactive contamination of the Pacific — the world’s largest ocean which covers about a third of Earth.
What we’re being distracted from is the threat to the fishery caused by Fukushima’s ongoing radioactive gusher. At least 300 tons of cesium- and strontium-contaminated water is still spewing into the Pacific every day. Tepco admitted in August that this massive carcinogenic hemorrhage has been going on since March 11, 2011. It amounts to about 85 million gallons — 80,000 gal. per day, for 942 days, dumped into the Pacific — and counting.
The radiation dumped by Fukushima into the environment has exceeded that of the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe, so we may stop calling it the second worst nuclear power disaster in history. Total atmospheric releases from Fukushima so far are between 5.6 and 8.1 times that of Chernobyl, according to the 2013 World Nuclear Industry Status Report. Prof. Komei Hosokawa, who wrote the Fukushima section, told London’s Channel 4 News, “The situation is not under control. Almost every day new things happen, and there is no sign that they will control the situation in the next few months or years.”
Full article: http://www.alternet.org/environment/fukushimas-radiation-gusher-could-entire-pacific-fishery-be-tainted?akid=11104.44541.UzFhMy&rd=1&src=newsletter918685&t=23
Posted by polly7 | Sun Nov 3, 2013, 10:00 AM (36 replies)
Men write about domestic violence experienced by women they know, in a weekly compilation of letters from the #31forMarissa project.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com/Panna Studio
October 30, 2013 |
Editor's Note: A nationwide, month-long letter-writing campaign called #31forMarissa has finished its fourth week. The campaign encourages men to write about domestic violence, sharing stories that deal with the action, reaction and inaction of men in their family or community, and the legacy of that behavior. The campaign has attracted men of all races and backgrounds. Every single day throughout October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, #31forMarissa will publish these letters of support to Marissa Alexander. The letters will then be sent to Alexander, a Florida woman who was sentenced to 20 years in jail after firing a warning shot at a wall near her abusive husband. She neither hit nor hurt anyone. On Sept. 25, a judge ordered a new trial for Alexander.Below is a compilation of excerpts from this past week’s letters. AlterNet will publish a weekly compilation of the letters. Click here for more information on the campaign and to read the first full letter.
All the letters from the #31forMarissa campaign can be read on theSWAGspot, a space created by Esther Armah's Emotional Justice Unplugged, for men by men to challenge issues around masculinity, rage, violence, fear, anger, forgiveness, emotionality and love. It uses letters, words, stories, poems and quotes as its form of communication.
Full article: http://www.alternet.org/activism/men-domestic-violence-i-dont-want-be-frozen-silent-when-i-witness-violence?akid=11104.44541.UzFhMy&rd=1&src=newsletter918685&t=19&paging=off¤t_page=1#bookmark
There were so many places to put this, I couldn't decide where ... so my apologies and will move if it's in the wrong forum. The letters are interesting and mostly very supportive.
Posted by polly7 | Sun Nov 3, 2013, 09:48 AM (2 replies)
I have family in Edmonton and Sylvan Lake ..... when I mention the damage from the tar sands and the legitimacy of protests by indigenous groups, they look at me like I have two heads. I realize that millions of people there have livelihoods at stake, tied directly or indirectly, to the tar sands, but surely they can see there have got to be huge improvements made and that in the end, they'll be some of the first to suffer. I read years ago that one day of fresh water usage to extract that crap oil would sustain all of the city of Calgary for a day. Not a peep about it, other than a few well hidden and forgotten headlines. We need change ...... now.
Chomsky is right, here:
But indigenous peoples in Canada blocking fossil fuel developments are taking the lead in combatting climate change, he said. Chomsky highlighted indigenous opposition to the Alberta tar sands, the oil deposit that is Canada's fastest growing source of carbon emissions and is slated for massive expansion despite attracting international criticism and protest.
"It is pretty ironic that the so-called 'least advanced' people are the ones taking the lead in trying to protect all of us, while the richest and most powerful among us are the ones who are trying to drive the society to destruction," said Chomsky.
Chomsky expressed concern about an indigenous community in New Brunswick whose encampment blockading shale gas exploration was raided by a heavily armed Canadian police force two weeks ago.
Those protests come on the heels of the indigenous-led Idle No More movement that sprang up in late 2012 in response to the Harper government's repeal of numerous environmental protections and aggressive promotion of resource projects, often on indigenous lands
Posted by polly7 | Sun Nov 3, 2013, 09:31 AM (1 replies)
Think women are taking over the world while men are failing? Think again.
October 15, 2013 |
The following is an adapted excerpt from The New Soft War on Women: How the Myth of Female Ascendance is Hurting Women, Men — and Our Economy. Copyright © 2013 by Caryl Rivers and Rosalind C. Barnett, Ph.D., Reprinted with permission of Tarcher/Penguin, New York, NY.
Myth 1: Women are the workforce winners these days.
It's true that men got hit hard in 2008 when manufacturing and construction took a nosedive, giving rise to the term "Mancession." But in the last two years, as a recovery slowly moved ahead, men fared much better than women — the so-called Mancovery.
Now, the 2008 situation has reversed, thanks to the heavy toll of the weak economy on public sector workers. According to a National Women's Law Center report published in September, recent jobs data show that public sector layoffs wiped away 45 percent of job gains for women over the course of the recovery.
Myth 2: Because women outnumber men in college classrooms, they will replace men in the "broad striving middle class" that "defines society and provides leaders.”
This is Hanna Rosin’s argument in "The End of Men.” But numbers alone aren't decisive; there is a real question about whether women will ever attain leadership positions in the areas for which they have been trained.
A report from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation found that so far, women's earnings have not kept up with their gains in educational attainment. Even though women earn more advanced degrees than men, their wages still trail far behind. Catalyst reports that female MBAs earn, on average, $4,600 less than male MBAs in their first job out of business school. Women financial analysts take in 35 percent less, and female chief executives one-quarter less. Salary gains that female managers acquired in the 1980s and 1990s have dropped off, and men's salaries are pulling far ahead once again. Women start behind and never catch up.
Full article: http://www.alternet.org/gender/6-myths-about-female-ascendance-workplace?paging=off¤t_page=1#bookmark
Posted by polly7 | Sun Nov 3, 2013, 09:23 AM (2 replies)
Big Oil is spending millions of dollars to try to greenwash the tar sands, Canada’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution. A new report, Reality Check: Water and the Tar Sands, sets the record straight on industry claims that misrepresent the tar sands industry’s use of the Athabasca River.
The report counters claims by industry and industry-affiliated groups about the use of freshwater from the Athabasca River, the toxicity of tailings, the amount of tailings leaking into the watershed, and the willingness of industry to monitor water-related impacts of development.
Tar sands companies used approximately 170 million cubic metres of water in 2011 to extract bitumen – that’s the same as the residential water usage of 1.7 million Canadians. And 95 per cent of the water used in tar sands mining is so polluted it has to be stored in toxic sludge pits. The tailings lakes are so big they can be seen from space.
This is the first in a series of six reports that will counter Big Oil’s claims that the tar sands’ impacts are under control. The reports offer a reality check about the failure of the oil and gas industry to live up to its promises to prevent irreversible damage to our water, our air, our communities and our wildlife. It’s time to look past Big Oil’s slick PR, and focus on the truth about the tar sands. It’s time to stand up and demand the clean, safe and renewable energy future we deserve.
Posted by polly7 | Sun Nov 3, 2013, 09:16 AM (6 replies)
By Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Sunday, November 03, 2013
The second phase of a national project to renovate and beautify Venezuela's barrios will improve the lives of one million Venezuelans, according to President Nicolas Maduro.
Yesterday Maduro announced that from 2 November, plan Barrio Nuevo, Barrio Tricolor will enter its second stage, which will have a greater focus on sustainable development, including urban agriculture.
Thirdly, the programme will continue to promote decent living conditions through the renovation of houses in the barrios, along with providing drinking water, sewerage and electricity. Maduro stated that around 10% of Venezuela's communities still do not have all those basic services, and called on community organisations to continue to engage in the mission.
The fourth and fifth points call for the military to provide greater support, and for better logistical management. The sixth point is to make communities more productive, including through the promotion of urban agriculture.
The final two points call for greater political organisation and the establishment of community assemblies that will be involved in the implementation of the mission.
Full article: http://www.zcommunications.org/second-phase-of-venezuelas-barrio-nuevo-barrio-tricolor-to-promote-sustainable-development-by-ryan-mallett-outtrim.html
Posted by polly7 | Sun Nov 3, 2013, 08:56 AM (6 replies)
By Jon Queally
Source: Common Dreams
Sunday, November 03, 2013
A draft of a global scientific review on how human and natural systems are expected to respond to the growing threat of climate change has been leaked and its contents—though not wholly unexpected to those who have followed climate science news in recent years—are nonetheless both alarming and devastating.
Titled, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, the leaked document is the draft version of the second installment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's latest review of the global scientific consensus on the global warming and climate change.
The IPCC's first installment, released in September, focused on assessing the global scientific community's combined research on the causes, pace, and evidence of planetary climate change. As the title of the leaked draft suggests, the next installment takes a more focused looked at the way the projected climate impacts will play on a variety of the Earth's systems both in the natural world, including the oceans and natural habitats, and those, like agricultural and economic systems, built by human society.
Focusing on what the draft report says about the future of world agriculture and food security, the New York Times reports:
Full article: http://www.zcommunications.org/climate-impacts-poised-to-decimate-human-and-earth-systems-says-leaked-ipcc-draft-by-jon-queally.html
Posted by polly7 | Sun Nov 3, 2013, 08:52 AM (0 replies)