SchwartzReport: Syngenta Akss EPA to Raise Tolerance Level for Bee Killing Chemical by 400X — Evil, Shameless, Greedy — and the EPA Might be Corrupt Enough to Agree to Kill Remaining Bees

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

This is the latest in the bee crisis. It is so shameless and greedy it is breath-taking. Monsanto, Syngenta. These are evil corporations.

Please contact the EPA and let them know you are opposed to this. The decision will directly affect your life.

Syngenta Asks EPA to Raise Tolerance Level for ‘Bee-killing’ Chemical
TIFFANY STECKER – E & E Publishing

Seed and crop management company Syngenta Crop Protection LLC has petitioned U.S. EPA to increase the legal tolerance for a neonicotinoid pesticide residue in several crops — in one case increasing the acceptable level by 400 times, according to a notice in today’s Federal Register.

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Sep 14

Yoda: California Goes Dry…

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Irresponsible, government is….

Not One Drop: How Long Will California Survive Life Without Water?

Tony Dokoupil

NBC News,

EXTRACTS

As the California drought approaches its fourth year, Seville’s well is one of hundreds of private water holes coughing up sand and spitting air in the Central Valley, according to Tulare County officials. As many as 100,000 more wells are at risk around the state if the rains don’t come by October.

. . . . . . .

“To shower, I use a cup, just like when I was in ‘Nam,” he said, stepping away from a stream of glistening neighbors, most of them just back from the fields. Some had dust on their ear lobes and deep in their wrinkles. None had a simple way to shower in town that night. “We’re living in a third world country now,” he continued.

. . . . . . .

“Everything was so nice,” admitted Maria. But not anymore. “California is going dry.”

Read full article.

Phi Beta Iota: All of this was understood by Jimmy Carter and his most professional civil servants. Also understood was that he would be assassinated if he tried to do anyting in relation to controlling energy and water use in the public interest and against special interests. We are entering an era in which portions of the USA are going to die and create internal displaced persons. While it is not too late to avert massive national catastrophe on multiple policy fronts, the government lacks both integrity in its electoral and governance systems, and integrity in intelligence (decision-support). Hence, the next decade for the USA is likely to be very grim.

See Also:

Books & Lists of Book Reviews @ Phi Beta Iota

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Sep 13

Jean Lievens: Gerry Mooney on Open Scotland — Hybrid Grassroots Activism Empowered by Social Media

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Social media and grassroots activism have taken Scotland to the brink of independence

Gerry Mooney

The Conversation, 8 September 2014

EXTRACTS

If you wanted an explanation for the momentum that has carried the Yes campaign to the brink of victory in the Scottish referendum, you have to look at what’s happening on the ground. The extent to which the independence referendum has engaged and mobilised people during the campaign is palpable.

. . . . . . .

Yet as tends to be forgotten, the pro-independence movement also includes The Scottish Green Party; The Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament; The Scottish Socialist Party; the socialist party Solidarity; Women For Independence; the artists and creatives group National Collective and the socialist Radical Independence Campaign. Yes Scotland is a loose amalgam and umbrella of different pro-independence groups and individuals. A significant number of front-line activists campaigning under the Yes Scotland banner represent ordinary people with no party political membership. Some have never been involved in political activism before.

. . . . . . .

The demarcation between professional politicians and this grassroots mobilisation of ordinary people appears to be blurred in this contemporary Scottish political landscape. It is evident that a hybrid movement has emerged within the campaign, which according to Tommy Sheridan “dwarfs the anti-poll tax campaign” that he led in the late 1980s.

. . . . . . .

The opportunity to build a new Scotland free from nuclear weapons, austerity and welfare cuts has widespread appeal. It is this concern with social justice and welfare that has galvanised support for Yes.

Read full article.

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Sep 11

Steven Aftergood: US Intelligence Budget Data — PBI: Understated but on the Record

Steven Aftergood

Steven Aftergood

Intelligence Budget Data

On March 4, 2014, the Administration submitted its Fiscal Year 2015 budget request, including a base funding request of $45.6 billion for the National Intelligence Program (NIP), and a base funding request of $13.3 billion for the Military Intelligence Program (MIP). On June 30, the DNI submitted an updated FY2015 budget request of $49.4 billion for the NIP including funding for overseas contingency operations. An updated budget request figure for the MIP has not yet been disclosed.

Phi Beta Iota: We consider these figures to be severely deceptive and roughly 70% of the actual combined total budget for green and black intelligence capabilities that are secret, toxic, and a mix of benignly worthless (standing armies of ignorant analysts, collection that is not processed) and pathologically dangerous (drones, renditions, covert operations, subsidies to foreign intelligence services). Our best guess of the actual total US secret intelligence budget remains US$100 billion per year, inclusive of thousands of private sector “intelligence” capabilities (many of them “open source” and extremely mediocre) that are embedded within acquisition and other contracts, all out of control and of dubious value.

IC Budget Table Cropped

Click on Table to Enlarge

Click to access Office of the Director of National Intelligence Budget Justifications

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Sep 11

Yoda: Scientists Use Gold Substrate to Synthesize Germanene

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Scientists Use Gold Substrate to Synthesize Germanene

Germanene is made of just one layer of germanium atoms. The researchers believe that the material has good electrical and optical properties and can be used in future electronics. The team also believes that the unique properties of the material could also lead to its use in quantum computing.

Wonder material graphene is considered to be an ideal candidate for use in next-generation of electronics. However, other researchers are looking at materials beyond graphene such as “Silicine”, which is made of silicon.

Read full article.

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Sep 10

SchwartzReport: Workers are Poor — This Is Unsustainable

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

I have had a series of emails from readers over the past couple of weeks describing the growing poverty of themselves, and people they know. Mostly they seem to be middle aged not quite senior level businesspeople who were laid off, and have been unable to find work despite years of searching. As this Harvard study points out this is an unsustainable dynamic.

Widening Gap Between US Rich and Poor Is Unsustainable, Says Study
The Guardian (U.K.)

The widening gap between America’s wealthiest and its middle and lower classes is ‘unsustainable”, but is unlikely to improve any time soon, according to a Harvard Business School study released on Monday.

The study, titled An Economy Doing Half its Job, said American companies – particularly big ones – were showing some signs of recovering their competitive edge on the world stage since the financial crisis, but that workers would likely keep struggling to demand better pay and benefits.

 

 

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Sep 9

Owl: Religion is Not to Blame for “Terrorism”

Who?  Who?

Who? Who?

Atheists have It Wrong on Religious Causes of Terrorism and Suicide Bombing

This article dispels all illusions based on the belief that terrorism done by Muslim extremists is to be blamed on their religion, a view much favored by well-known atheist critics of religion such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris.

One of the implied back stories to this insightful article is that big-time atheist writers such as Harris and Christopher Hitchens (who is not mentioned), in blaming religion on terrorism perpetuated by Muslims and others, also happen to favor policies that perpetuate mass killing by larger western governments of large number of civilians in countries where Muslims live. That observation alone is worthy of an article all by itself.

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Sep 8

Yoda: Peer-to-Peer Energy — Distributed, Open, Ethical

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

Got Crowd? BE the Force!

An Airbnb or Uber for the Electricity Grid?

How DERs prepare the power sector to evolve into a sharing economy platform

As Thomas Friedman reported in the New York Times, the shared economy is booming, with companies like Uber and Airbnb continuing to disrupt the incumbent taxi service and hotel sectors. The Ubers and Airbnbs of the world tap the huge value of underutilized assets and create millions of dollars of value for users in the process. Shared economy companies unbundle existing assets and enable value exchange out of those assets, with close to zero marginal capital cost since the users themselves own the actual physical assets, whether a car or a home. Could the electricity grid be next to go the way of a sharing economy?

For more than a century, the electric grid has relied almost exclusively on centralized infrastructure, such as large power plants and long-distance transmissions lines. But distributed energy resources (DERs)—and the customers buying, installing, and using them—are changing the economic landscape for the power sector. Energy efficiency, demand response, distributed generation such as rooftop solar, distributed storage such as batteries, smart thermostats, and more are poised to become the front lines of a sharing economy revolution for the grid. Shared economy solutions will help to increase asset utilization rates and improve consumer and overall system economics, just as they have for other sectors.

Read full article.

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Sep 5

SchwartzReport: BP Gulf Spill “Gross Negligence” – $18 Billion Fine? Does Corporate Accountability Begin Now?

Stephan A. Schwartz

Stephan A. Schwartz

Here is some excellent news about the Gulf oil spill. A major court decision has seriously placed the blame and responsibility where it belongs. And the court also made it clear what it thinks about BP, Transocean, and Halliburton ethics and behavior.

‘Worst Case’ BP Ruling on Gulf Spill Means Billions More in Penalties
MARGARET CRONIN FISK, LAUREL BRUBAKER CALKINS and JEF FEELEY – Bloomberg

BP Plc acted with gross negligence in setting off the biggest offshore oil spill in U.S. history, a federal judge ruled, handing down a long-awaited decision that may force the energy company to pay billions of dollars more for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico disaster.

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Sep 5

Rethinking Economics: Lord Adair Turner

Categories: 03 Economy,YouTube
Tags:

Rethinking EconomicsFor all those who have missed the Rethinking Economics conference held in London this summer, and those of you who came but want a refresher on the need for radical change in the economics curriculum, Lord Adair Turner’s opening keynote speech is now online. Click below to watch and stay tuned for more videos!

See Also:

BOOK: Economics After the Crisis: Objectives and Means (2012)

Event: 12-14 SEP NYC Rethinking Economics

Rethinking Economics @ PhiBetaIota

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Aug 29