A new scientific report took into account 1,779 policy issues as well as many variables and found that the people of the United States have little, if any, say in the policies that impact them. You won’t believe the rest.
2.5 million outraged public comments and one honest state (Nebraska) — the Administration is, for the very first time, feeling the weight of collective intelligence both individual and state. Is fracking next?
The Obama administration is putting off its decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, likely until after the November elections, by extending its review of the controversial project indefinitely.
In a surprise announcement Friday as Washington was winding down for Easter, the State Department said federal agencies will have more time to weigh in on the politically fraught decision — but declined to say how much longer. Officials said the decision will have to wait for the dust to settle in Nebraska, where a judge in February overturned a state law that allowed the pipeline’s path through the state.
“In addition, during this time we will review and appropriately consider the unprecedented number of new public comments, approximately 2.5 million, received during the public comment period that closed on March 7, 2014,” the State Department said.
RIP: Michael Ruppert, A Warrior for the Truth
Mike Ruppert, a former LA police officer, was best known for his book, Crossing the Rubicon: The Decline of the American Empire at the End of the Age of Oil, which is about 9-11, peak oil and related issues. When one reads up on his life, what he fought against and went through, it is without a doubt evident he stimulated push-back from dark forces with no interest in seeing his information commonly available. From all the articles below, one can see it is very likely that he did indeed kill himself, no other people were involved, he was not “suicided.” War always entails casualties and deaths, and warring against the dark side can take its toll on the psyche or spirit and lead to suicide, another type of war casualty.
By Ann Jones, TomDispatch
This piece first appeared at TomDispatch. Read Tom Engelhardt’s introduction here.
After an argument about a leave denied, Specialist Ivan Lopez pulled out a .45-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and began a shooting spree at Fort Hood, America’s biggest stateside base, that left three soldiers dead and 16 wounded. When he did so, he also pulled America’s fading wars out of the closet. This time, a Fort Hood mass killing, the second in four and a half years, was committed by a man who was neither a religious nor a political “extremist.” He seems to have been merely one of America’s injured and troubled veterans who now number in the hundreds of thousands.
Some 2.6 million men and women have been dispatched, often repeatedly, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and according to a recent survey of veterans of those wars conducted by the Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly one-third say that their mental health is worse than it was before they left, and nearly half say the same of their physical condition. Almost half say they give way to sudden outbursts of anger. Only 12% of the surveyed veterans claim they are now “better” mentally or physically than they were before they went to war.
The media coverage that followed Lopez’s rampage was, of course, 24/7 and there was much discussion of PTSD, the all-purpose (if little understood) label now used to explain just about anything unpleasant that happens to or is caused by current or former military men and women. Amid the barrage of coverage, however, something was missing: evidence that has been in plain sight for years of how the violence of America’s distant wars comes back to haunt the “homeland” as the troops return. In that context, Lopez’s killings, while on a scale not often matched, are one more marker on a bloody trail of death that leads from Iraq and Afghanistan into the American heartland, to bases and backyards nationwide. It’s a story with a body count that should not be ignored.
War Comes Home
During the last 12 years, many veterans who had grown “worse” while at war could be found on and around bases here at home, waiting to be deployed again, and sometimes doing serious damage to themselves and others. The organization Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) has campaigned for years for a soldier’s “right to heal” between deployments. Next month it will release its own report on a common practice at Fort Hood of sending damaged and heavily medicated soldiers back to combat zones against both doctors’ orders and official base regulations. Such soldiers can’t be expected to survive in great shape.
Immediately after the Lopez rampage, President Obama spoke of those soldiers who have served multiple tours in the wars and “need to feel safe” on their home base. But what the president called “that sense of safety… broken once again” at Fort Hood has, in fact, already been shattered again and again on bases and in towns across post-9/11 America—ever since misused, misled, and mistreated soldiers began bringing war home with them.
Since 2002, soldiers and veterans have been committing murder individually and in groups, killing wives, girlfriends, children, fellow soldiers, friends, acquaintances, complete strangers, and—in appalling numbers—themselves. Most of these killings haven’t been on a mass scale, but they add up, even if no one is doing the math. To date, they have never been fully counted.
Michel Bauwens: Towards the Democratization of the Means of Monetization – The Three Competing Value Models Present Within Cognitive Capitalism
The Problematic: the value crisis
In the 19th century, the counter-hegemonic forces of labour focused on the democratisation of the state as well as focusing on the redistribution of the surplus value created by labour. Both tasks are by no means obsolete given the evolution towards market state models which have hollowed out popular democracy, as well ans the increased role of debt in human exploitation1. However, what is now needed in addition, for and by 21st century social movements, is the democratisation of the means of monetization. In a contributive economy, use value becomes key, and undermines mechanisms based on labor value alone; value must therefore become pluralistic and diverse, and so must monetary means; while undoubtedly, demonetization will be a good thing in many sectors under a regime of civic domination, we will also need new forms of monetization, and restore the feedback loop between value creation and value capture. As we will argue, the current value regime, which we call ‘cognitive capitalism under the emergence of netarchical capitalism’ (see infra), is unable to redistribute value in a fair way, and is creating not just a crisis of social reproduction for working people, but also a crisis of accumulation of capital. In our article, value and money regimes are placed in the context of the evolution of the overall political economy toward an increasing importance of models based on peer production. We will look at what kind of social system and policy transition, that can solve this crisis of value.
If you read either the daily SR or the monthly version you know my thinking on why I believe that there will be two major migrations, one away from the coasts, the other out of the Southwest and Great Plains. The first because of too much water, the second because of too little. Here is a good representation of the reasons why I think this.
Climate Change Drying Out Southwest Now, With Worse To Come For A Third Of The Planet
JOE ROMM – Climate Progress
Phi Beta Iota: The federal government — which should not own any land at all — owns most of the west. States should be giving serious thought to ending federal ownership of land at the same time that they begin nullifying insane federal policies that are clearly inimical to society. What the west needs is a Manhattan Project to desalinate massive amounts of water and bring them from the sea inland using solar power, while creating hydroponics industries and ending all fracking and all contamination of groundwater from any source including mega-agricultural fertilizers and toxins.
Fearing for their safety as armed protesters gathered in the Nevada back country, federal officials on Saturday suddenly ended a controversial effort to seize hundreds of cattle that a rancher has kept illegally on public land.
The cattle ranch’s owner, Cliven Bundy, and hundreds of armed supporters had threatened to forcefully keep Bureau of Land Management employees from rounding up the approximately 900 cattle. Nearly 400 of the cattle had been seized during the past week. They were being held nearby and could be sent to Utah, authorities said.
Owl: Is Nevada the New Waco or Bunker Hill? 5,000 Militia Swarm to Confront Federal “Gestapo” Abuse of 67 Year Old Land Grazer – Are Corporate Interests Behind This?
Bunkerville, Nevada: the 21rst Century Lexington, MA?
The Feds may have bit off more than they can chew if the number of militia members – 5,000, outnumbering by a wide margin the number of federal law enforcers – in article and video is correct. This might be the place where the Second American Revolution against the 1% starts, unless Obama’s BLM storm troopers back off:
“An area just outside of the little town of Bunkerville, Nevada, with a population of around a thousand people, may go down in history. This little spot in the desert may be compared with Lexington, Massachusetts, the site of the “shot heard round the world” – the first shot fired in the American Revolution. Because it looks like the second American Revolution may start there…and soon.
SchwartzReport: Obesity in Kids Costs Billions – Combination of Corporate & Government Corruption with Social & Cultural Malaise
We reap what we sow as a country. Much of this child obesity arises from toxins and pollutants in the environment. Whatever the source when one tracks it back to fundamentals it always gets down to profit for the few, at the risk of wellness for the many.
Obesity in Kids Costs Billions
SALYNN BOYLES – MedPage Today
Exclusive: The concentration of power in the hands of billionaire “oligarchs” may be most alarming in places like Ukraine but the United States is moving in the same direction as wealth is consolidated at the top — and both elections and media are up for sale, says Robert Parry.
By Robert Parry
The chaos in Ukraine can be viewed, in part, as what happens when a collection of “oligarchs” – sometimes competing, sometime collaborating – take control of a society, buying most of the politicians and owning the media. The political/media classes become corrupted by serving their wealthy patrons and society breaks down into warring factions.
In that sense, Ukraine could be a cautionary tale for the United States and other countries that are veering down a similar path toward vast income inequality, with billionaire “oligarchs” using their money to control politicians and to pay for propaganda through media ventures.
Depending on your point of view, there may be “good oligarchs” and “bad oligarchs,” but the concept of oligarchy is antithetical to democracy, a system in which governance is supposed to be driven by the informed consent of the majority with respect for minority rights. Instead, we’re moving toward a competition among oligarchs with the “people” mostly as bystanders to be manipulated one way or the other.
On Wednesday, a 5-4 majority of the U.S. Supreme Court lifted limits on total amounts that an individual can contribute during a campaign cycle, an extension of the 2010 ruling on Citizens United allowing the rich to spend unlimited sums on political advertising. It was another step toward an American oligarchy where politicians, activists and even journalists compete to satisfy one “oligarch” or another.