Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Ishmael Reed on The BART shooting, Oakland & police



Oakland's Poet Laurette Ishmael Reed took time to share his view on the BART Shooting, Oakland, and police brutality against Black men.






War tax resistance, trailer for 'Death and Taxes'



This war tax resistance video was shot throughout the US through interviews with well known war tax resisters. The 30 min. final film explains why you should resist taxes to war, methods for doing so, and the possible consequences for your actions. Very informative and intended to be used before a discussion on war tax resistance. Post production by Carlos Steward, Asheville NC. Check out the entire film at http://www.nwtrcc.org

US set to discontinue depleted uranium in medium calibre ammunition

It has emerged that the United States is seeking alternatives to depleted uranium for the future development and production of medium calibre bullets for its armed forces, although US government sources have declined to confirm the reasons behind the decision.
15 January 2010 - Dave Cullen

The dramatic change in policy will affect the future development of 25 mm and 30 mm rounds, which at present are used in the Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the A-10 Thunderbolt Aircraft. The A10 Thunderbolt was responsible for the majority of depleted uranium contamination in Iraq, and almost all the contamination in the Balkans.

ICBUW has confirmed with Maneuver Ammunition Systems - the US government body which manages ammunition procurement for the US military - that a strategic decision has been made to move away from uranium in medium calibre rounds. To this end, a $2 million clean-up programme of the facility used to test fire the 25mm M919 DU round for Bradley vehicles is nearing completion. However, another range has been retained for future testing of the 30mm PGU-14/B DU round, which is used in the A10 Thunderbolt.

Any site in the US where radioactive materials are present needs to obtain a Radioactive Material Handling License, usually from the State Government. For ranges where uranium rounds can be tested, licenses are significantly more difficult to obtain than those for handling or manufacturing ammunition. It is not clear whether the capability now remains for either round to be manufactured, or whether the US is confident that it has sufficient stockpiles of them to cover its future requirements. Whatever the answer, the clean-up makes further development of uranium rounds considerably less likely.

~ more... ~

Wikileaks see Iceland as an offshore information center - a 'Switzerland of bits'!



They also discuss U.K. as the world's worst liberal democracy with roughly 200-300 secret gag orders.
Part 4 of 7. View other parts here.

26th Chaos Communication Congress

Expert predicts end to hierarchies and value of money, more ET/UFO disclosure starting July-Nov 2010

Βy Alfred Lambremont Webre, Seattle Exopolitics Examiner

The period Nov. 7, 2009 to Nov. 2, 2010 will be characterized by the collapse of the U.K.-U.S. axis of western domination, the dissolution of hierarchies, and an end to the perceived value of money in its paper and electronic digital formats, predicts Mayan calendar expert Dr. Carl Johan Calleman. These social breakdowns are part of a period of transformation to a new era, characterized by sharing rather than individual ownership, and by higher human universal consciousness. The pace of extraterrestrial disclosure is expected to accelerate after Nov. 2, 2010. Using the time acceleration matrices of the Mayan calendar, Dr. Calleman correctly predicted the first phase of the global financial collapse for the period Nov. 19, 2007 – Nov. 8, 2008.

[ ... ]

Calleman states, “Energetically speaking this time period, July 17- November 3, 2010…. What this revolutionary time period most likely is going to amount to is a corresponding decrease of governmental and national authority (not that of any particular government, but governmental authority as such, something which humanity has inherited from the National Wave Movement and its patriarchal frame of consciousness. Needless to say some would try to take advantage of such a situation). It will seriously come into question what we need governments and national borders for “when no soul shall have power (to do) aught for another.” My vision for the time period from [July 17- November 3, 2010] until the beginning of the [March 8, 2001 – October 28, 2011] period is thus a total overhaul of human civilization. This then would also be a time to make choices of path individually.”

[ ... ]

On Oct. 28, 2011 ..., according to Dr. Calleman, the universal alternating energy wave movements end, and Earth is set on a gradual setting of a potential to reach advanced utopian planet status – a virtual “Garden of Eden”.

Dr. Calleman writes, “human consciousness will continue to be transformed step by step in accordance with this plan until we come to the real end date of the process of creation, October 28, 2011. At this date the highest quantum state of the universe will be attained (13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13.13 13 Ahau in the Mayan Calendar) when the shifts disrupting the harmony will come to an end. Obviously, we are not there yet.”

~ more... ~



Geolibertarianism

From Wikipedia

Geolibertarianism is a political movement that strives to reconcile libertarianism and Georgism (or geoism). Geolibertarians are advocates of geoism, which is the position that all land is a common asset to which all individuals have an equal right to access, and therefore if individuals claim the land as their property they must pay rent to the community for doing so. Rent need not be paid for the mere use of land, but only for the right to exclude others from that land, and for the protection of one's title by government.They simultaneously agree with the libertarian position that each individual has an exclusive right to the fruits of his or her labor as their private property, as opposed to this product being owned collectively by society or the community, and that "one's labor, wages, and the products of labor" should not be taxed. Also, with traditional libertarians they advocate "full civil liberties, with no crimes unless there are victims who have been invaded." Geolibertarians generally advocate distributing the land rent to the community via a land value tax, as proposed by Henry George and others before him. For this reason, they are often called "single taxers". Fred E. Foldvary coined the word "geo-libertarianism" in an article so titled in Land and Liberty. In the case of geoanarchism, the voluntary form of geolibertarianism as described by Foldvary, rent would be collected by private associations with the opportunity to secede from a geocommunity (and not receive the geocommunity's services) if desired.

Geolibertarians are generally influenced by Georgism, but the ideas behind it pre-date Henry George, and can be found in different forms in the writings of John Locke, the French Physiocrats, Thomas Jefferson, Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, James Mill (John Stuart Mill's father), David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer and Thomas Spence. Perhaps the best summary of geolibertarianism is Thomas Paine's assertion that "Men did not make the earth. It is the value of the improvements only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property. Every proprietor owes to the community a ground rent for the land which he holds." On the other hand, Locke wrote that private land ownership should be praised, as long as its product was not left to spoil and there was "enough, and as good left in common for others"; when this Lockean proviso is violated, the land earns rental value. Some would argue that "as good" is unlikely to be achieved in an urban setting because location is paramount, and that therefore Locke's proviso in an urban setting requires the collection and equal distribution of ground rent.

Nobel Prize-winning Austrian School economist Friedrich Hayek expressed an appreciation for the special role of land in an urban setting, in his 1960 work, The Constitution of Liberty (University of Chicago Press, Chapter 22: "Housing and Town Planning," p. 341): "In many respects, the close contiguity of city life invalidates the assumptions underlying any simple division of property rights. In such conditions it is true only to a limited extent that whatever an owner does with his property will affect only him and nobody else. What economists call the 'neighborhood effects,' i.e., the effects of what one does to one's property on that of others, assume major importance. The usefulness of almost any piece of property in a city will in fact depend in part on what one's immediate neighbors do and in part on the communal services without which effective use of the land by separate owners would be nearly impossible. ... The general formulas of private property or freedom of contract do not therefore provide an immediate answer to the complex problems which city life raises. It is probable that, even if there had been no authority with coercive powers, the superior advantages of larger units would have led to the development of new legal institutions—some division of the right of control between the holders of a superior right to determine the character of a large district to be developed and the owners of inferior rights to the use of smaller units, who, within the framework determined by the former, would be free to decide on particular issues. In many respects the functions which the organized municipal corporations are learning to exercise correspond to those of such a superior owner."

~ more... ~

This column will change your life: To be or not to be...

Oliver Burkman writes for The Guardian

Forty-five years ago, the author David Bourland published an essay proposing a radical overhaul of English based on eliminating all forms of the verb "to be". In a world where we all spoke E-Prime, as Bourland called this new language, you couldn't say "Sandra Bullock's latest film is shockingly mediocre"; you'd have to say it "seems mediocre to me". Shakespeare productions would need retooling ("To live or not to live, I ask this question"), as would the Bible ("The Lord functions as my shepherd"). The world, in short, would feel very different – though in E-Prime you couldn't actually say it "was" very different. Unsurprisingly, it proved even less popular than Esperanto, and in fairness Bourland never meant it as a serious replace­ment for English. But in this anniversary year, his eccentric vision deserves celebrating. Because in theory at least, E-Prime aimed at nothing less than using language to make our insane lives a little more sane.

[ ... ]

"I have found repeatedly," wrote the novelist Robert Anton Wilson, an E-Prime advocate, "that when baffled by a problem in science, in philosophy, or in daily life, I gain immediate insight by writing down what I know about the enigma in strict E-Prime." Political debates might benefit, too, since E-Prime renders unyielding dogmatism – "All immigrants are scroungers!", "Taxation is theft!" etcetera – essentially impossible. As George Santayana put it, "The little word 'is' has its tragedies."

~ more... ~

FDA says it's unable to regulate BPA

As 'indirect food additive,' substance is exempt from scrutiny

By Meg Kissinger, Journal Sentinel

U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials say they are powerless to regulate BPA, although they have declared the chemical to be a safety concern for fetuses, babies and young children.

A quirk in the rules allows BPA makers to skirt federal regulation.

"We may have to go after legislation to change it," Joshua Sharfstein, the FDA's principal deputy director, told the Journal Sentinel. The newspaper has been investigating the government's lack of regulation regarding BPA for three years.

FDA officials announced Friday that they had reversed their position that bisphenol A is safe. The chemical, used to line most food and beverage cans, has been found in the urine of 93% of Americans tested.

The agency now considers BPA to be of some concern for effects on the brain, behavior and prostate glands of fetuses and the very young. Scientific studies have raised concerns about the chemical's link to breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, reproductive failures and behavioral problems.

The FDA did not ban the chemical, although top scientists, including Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Toxicology Program, say they consider the safety of BPA to be uncertain. An agency source says some from within the FDA wanted to follow Canada's lead and ban it from baby bottles - or from the lining of infant formula cans - but administration officials have resisted, concerned that babies who rely on bottled formula would be left without healthy alternatives.

"They couldn't take it off the shelves when there aren't substitutes in place," said the source, who asked not to be identified because the issue is so politically charged in the agency.

FDA officials - including Sharfstein; Lynn Goldmann, a consultant to the FDA; and Jesse Goodman, the FDA's acting chief scientist - told the Journal Sentinel they were frustrated by the antiquated framework of the FDA's regulatory process.

Officials say they would like chemical manufacturers to report information about the chemical to them, including how much BPA they produce and where and how it is used.

But because BPA was classified years ago as an indirect food additive, it is not subject to the kind of scrutiny that other chemicals are. Without critical data about BPA, it is impossible to regulate the chemical, officials said.

~ more... ~


See also, FDA reverses ruling after evidence, pressure mounted

Bisphenol A was developed as an estrogen replacement more than 100 years ago but came into wide use to make hard, clear plastic in the 1960s. The chemical, now used to line most food and beverage cans, has increasingly been the subject of safety concerns. Here is a look at key dates:

1998: Patricia Hunt, a scientist at Case Western Reserve University investigating the connection between maternal age and Down syndrome, notices that her untreated laboratory mice, stored in polycarbonate cages, are developing chromosomal abnormalities. Scientists begin to look at the connection between BPA and diseases such as breast and testicular cancers. Subsequent studies link BPA to heart disease, diabetes and behavioral problems in lab animals. ...

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