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Member since: Wed Feb 10, 2010, 01:12 PM
Number of posts: 4,899

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Truthout: High Levels of Toxins Found in Bodies of People Living Near Fracking Sites


Posted by proverbialwisdom | Wed Jun 29, 2016, 04:37 PM (2 replies)

James Steele: Who Is Getting Rich Off the $1.3 Trillion Student Debt Crisis?


Who Is Getting Rich Off the $1.3 Trillion Student Debt Crisis?
June 29, 2016


Topics: Student Debt

Guests: James Steele, veteran investigative reporter and Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist. His recent article for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting is titled "Who Got Rich Off the Student Debt Crisis."

We continue our conversation looking at student debt. A stunning 42 million people now owe $1.3 trillion in student debt. A new investigative report published by Center for Investigative Reporting peels back the layers on this trillion-dollar industry. The article, titled "Who Got Rich Off the Student Debt Crisis," follows what happened after the federal government relinquished direct control of the student loan program and opened it up to banks and profit-making corporations. We speak to Pulitzer-Prize-winning journalist James Steele and Saul Newton, who was profiled in the article. Saul dropped out of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point because of rising costs and student debt.

Please check back later for full transcript.


Who got rich off the student debt crisis?

42 million people owe $1.3 trillion in student debt.
It’s a profit center for Wall Street and the government. Here’s how we got into this mess.

A generation ago, Congress privatized a student loan program intended to give more Americans access to higher education.

In its place, lawmakers created another profit center for Wall Street and a system of college finance that has fed the nation’s cycle of inequality. Step by step, Congress has enacted one law after another to make student debt the worst kind of debt for Americans – and the best kind for banks and debt collectors.

Today, just about everyone involved in the student loan industry makes money off students – the banks, private investors, even the federal government.

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Wed Jun 29, 2016, 11:54 AM (9 replies)

OMG x2


Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar perform ‘FREEDOM’ from her latest album, LEMONADE!
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Mon Jun 27, 2016, 11:53 AM (1 replies)



The obscure legal system that lets corporations sue countries

Fifty years ago, an international legal system was created to protect the rights of foreign investors. Today, as companies win billions in damages, insiders say it has got dangerously out of control

By Claire Provost and Matt Kennard
Wednesday 10 June 2015 01.00 EDT
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Sun Jun 26, 2016, 01:29 PM (0 replies)

Common Dreams: No Matter the Outcome, Hedge Funds Stand to Profit


Private exit polls, oh my.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Jun 24, 2016, 09:27 PM (0 replies)

"SWEATSHOP: Deadly Fashion" is an important Norwegian online documentary film and reality show.

Documentary film: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/sweatshop and https://www.amazon.com/Sweatshop-Deadly-Fashion-English-Subtitled/dp/B01A45HKXK
TV Season 2 (top), TV Season 1 (below): http://www.aftenposten.no/webtv/#!/kategori/10514/sweatshop-deadly-fashion


We won The Golden Screen!
10. May 2015

“This is also an award for all bad paid textile workers!”

This was Frida’s opening phrase of her speech after we were called out as winners of The Golden Screen for Best Reality 2015 yesterday. In front of a packed Grieg Hall in Bergen and to the entire Norwegian population that followed the show on TV2, Frida continued by thanking Sokty and all the others who helped us to create the series, before she finished to great acclaim from the television elite in the audience: “And thanks to everyone else who fight for a better world!”

Gullruten (“Golden Screen”) is an annual award for the Norwegian TV industry. It is the greatest one can be achieve for a film series in our country. Don’t need to say that we are insanely proud and happy! Such a price gives us the best starting to point to get the plans for a new season going.

Related: http://asia.nikkei.com/magazine/20160303-INDIA-S-STARTUPS-THE-GREAT-DISRUPTORS/Politics-Economy/Asia-s-garment-exporters-brace-for-a-TPP-empowered-Vietnam
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Jun 24, 2016, 02:58 PM (0 replies)

Thank you for the salient excerpts. Unfortunately, these informed views are @ odds with key aspects.

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Fri Jun 24, 2016, 01:09 PM (1 replies)

Yawn, 'cos this hasn't actually been proven to be problematic yet.


Wait, follow-up studies? None that I'm aware of.

Clearly, the work-around still exists (eat organic or Non-GMO Project Verified), but ALL should have the benefit of the Precautionary Principle, not just the well informed and affluent.
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Thu Jun 23, 2016, 05:23 PM (0 replies)

EWG Press Release on 6/14/16: Hundreds of Cancer-Causing Chemicals Pollute Americans’ Bodies


Hundreds of Cancer-Causing Chemicals Pollute Americans’ Bodies

From EWG, First Complete Inventory of Carcinogens in the U.S. Population

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, June 14, 2016

WASHINGTON- Hundreds of cancer-causing chemicals are building up in the bodies of Americans, according to the first comprehensive inventory of the carcinogens that have been measured in people. EWG released the inventory today.

EWG spent almost a year reviewing more than 1,000 biomonitoring studies and other research by leading government agencies and independent scientists in the U.S. and around the world. The nonprofit research group found that up to 420 chemicals known or likely to cause cancer have been detected in blood, urine, hair and other human samples.

Studies of the causes of cancer often focus on tobacco, alcohol and over-exposure to the sun. But the World Health Organization and many other scientists believe nearly 1 in 5 cancers are caused by chemicals and other environmental exposures––not only in the workplaces, but in consumer products, food, water and air.

EWG’s review bolsters the findings and ongoing research of the Halifax Project, a collaboration of more than 300 scientists from around the world who are investigating new ways in which combinations of toxic chemicals in our environment may cause cancer. While most cancer research focuses on treatment, the Halifax Project and EWG’s Rethinking Cancer initiative are looking at prevention by reducing people’s contact with cancer-causing chemicals.

“The presence of a toxic chemical in our bodies does not necessarily mean it will cause harm, but this report details the astounding number of carcinogens we are exposed to in almost every part of life that are building up in our systems,” said Curt DellaValle, author of the report and a senior scientist at EWG. “At any given time some people may harbor dozens or hundreds of cancer-causing chemicals. This troubling truth underscores the need for greater awareness of our everyday exposure to chemicals and how to avoid them.”

EWG estimated that a small subset of the chemicals inventoried in the report were measured at levels high enough to pose significant cancer risks in most Americans ––risks that generally exceed Environmental Protection Agency safety standards. But those estimates are only for individual chemicals and do not account for a question scientists and doctors are increasingly concerned about––how combined exposures to multiple chemicals may increase risk?

EWG’s inventory comes at an auspicious moment for the issue of cancer and chemicals. Last week Congress passed the first reform in 40 years of the nation’s woefully weak toxic chemical regulations, which President Obama is expected to sign soon. In January, the president announced the establishment of the National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, a $1 billion program led by Vice President Joe Biden, “to eliminate cancer as we know it.”

But the law to overhaul the Toxic Substances Control Act falls far short of giving the Environmental Protection Agency the resources and authority to quickly restrict or ban chemicals known to cause cancer. And the only concrete agenda related to prevention in the Moonshot Initiative is for screening and vaccination. As demonstrated by the success of antismoking efforts, which have cut the rate of lung cancer by more than 25 percent in the last 25 years, to prevent and defeat cancer it is necessary to understand the environmental causes.

It is not clear how, or if, the new chemicals law will protect Americans from the hundreds of industrial chemicals that cause cancer.

“Many of the carcinogens this study documents in people find their way into our bodies through food, air, water and consumer products every day. Dozens of them show up in human umbilical cord blood—which means Americans are exposed to carcinogens before they’ve left the womb,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “We should focus on preventing cancer by preventing human exposure to these chemicals.”

Cook said the report should trigger outrage among Americans and urgent action by public health and elected officials. EWG called for the cancer “Moonshot Initiative” announced by President Obama in his state of the union address in January to include federal funding for investigation of the environmental causes of cancer and the development of prevention initiatives.

EWG has also published multiple health guides and online consumer tools to help people avoid toxic cancer-causing chemicals in their day to day lives.


EWG is a nonprofit research organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action.

Posted by proverbialwisdom | Wed Jun 22, 2016, 06:07 PM (0 replies)

IMPACT REPORT: 100 Examples of President Obama’s Leadership in Science, Technology, and Innovation

Source: The White House Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
June 21, 2016

“We’ll restore science to its rightful place."
President Obama’s Inaugural Address, 2009

On January 20, 2009, President Obama issued a simple and powerful pledge: to restore science to its rightful place. Coming into office, the President was committed to reinvigorating the American scientific enterprise through a strong commitment to basic and applied research, innovation, and education; to restoring integrity to science policy; and most importantly, to making decisions on the basis of evidence, rather than ideology.

In a speech at the National Academy of Sciences in April 2009, the President called for expanded investments in research and development and a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education. He noted that science, technology, and innovation are essential to sustaining economic growth, enabling Americans to lead longer and healthier lives, limiting the harm from climate change, and providing U.S. armed forces and homeland defenders with the tools they need to succeed in every contingency.

Today, the Administration is releasing a list of 100 examples of the profound impact that the President’s leadership has had in building U.S. capacity in science, technology, and innovation and bringing that capacity to bear on national goals. The release of this list marks the milestone of Dr. John Holdren becoming, on June 18, 2016, the longest-serving President’s Science Advisor since Vannevar Bush pioneered a similar role while serving Presidents Roosevelt and Truman during and after World War II.



4. Elevated transparency, openness, and scientific integrity as guiding principles for Federal agencies. On the first day of his Administration, the President issued a Presidential Memorandum calling on all the agencies in the Federal Government to work together to create “an unprecedented level of openness” in government and to “establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.” An Open Government Directive and a plan for implementing those goals were issued in December 2009. In March 2009, the Transparency and Open Government Presidential Memorandum was followed by a Presidential Memorandum on Scientific Integrity, stating in part that:

The public must be able to trust the science and scientific process informing public-policy decisions. Political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions. If scientific and technological information is developed and used by the Federal Government, it should ordinarily be made available to the public.

This Presidential Memorandum called for all agencies to embed these principles in appropriate policies and procedures and charged the OSTP Director with overseeing the development and ensuring the adequacy of the agency plans. Detailed guidance concerning the content of the plans was developed by OSTP in consultation with the agencies over the next 20 months, and 22 agencies subsequently produced and published their scientific integrity plans. Read more, more, and more.

Read more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/06/21/impact-report-100-examples-president-obamas-leadership-science

More: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2016/06/21/100-examples-putting-science-its-rightful-place
Posted by proverbialwisdom | Wed Jun 22, 2016, 02:19 PM (4 replies)
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