GOP Launches Brazen Bid to Give Carbon Polluters Free Rein

GOP Launches Brazen Bid to Give Carbon Polluters Free Rein

A.w.N. | Article on the potential of states to opt out of the federal carbon policy. I personally am not sold on carbon as a major pollutant, but the article talks about how this could be a stepping stone to states opting out of other clean air regulations. 

It should also be noted that while the article pats America on the back for its clean air policies, it can't be forgotten that we merely outsourced our pollution to other countries, along with our jobs.

 GOP Launches Brazen Bid to Give Carbon Polluters Free Rein

Congressional Republicans are proposing legislation this week that would allow states simply to "opt out" of the  administration's Clean Power Plan, the pioneering plan to curb carbon pollution from our power plants.

A budget amendment by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and a bill by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY) strike at the heart of the federal Clean Air Act by letting each state simply walk away from national clean air requirements, giving big carbon polluters free rein to foul the air.

This is the McConnell-Boehner Congress's most dangerous and brazen bid to carry out the big polluters' agenda to derail crucial action on climate change.

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The Shut-In Economy

The Shut-In Economy

A.w.N. | This is a thought provoking article on the philosophy of modern life that I am keenly aware of. Anyone looking at the modern lifestyle should be able to find various ways in which it is deeply flawed, and yet it seems nearly impossible to break out of. This is largely because social convention, habit, and institutions are not conscious choices, but facts of life. Altering these facts requires constant and habitual attention. Removing oneself from this lifestyle is the theme of this website, and an Accord with Nature in general. That we should Accord with Nature and not necessarily the conventions of our modern era, is what we suspect is the primary vehicle to a better tomorrow.

This lifestyle is one of the things that prompts me to spend countless hours in my food forest, observing, tending and working. The ability to be free of the modernisation, allows me to get back to where the I belong, not in concrete and plaster, but Nature. 

I highly recommend you read this article and consider ways to help yourself get back to nature.

The Shut-In Economy

In 1998, Carnegie Mellon researchers warned that the internet could make us into hermits. They released a study monitoring the social behavior of 169 people making their first forays online. The web-surfers started talking less with family and friends, and grew more isolated and depressed. “We were surprised to find that what is a social technology has such anti-social consequences,” said one of the researchers at the time. “And these are the same people who, when asked, describe the Internet as a positive thing.”

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The Federal ‘Structuring’ Laws are Smurfin’ Ridiculous

The Federal ‘Structuring’ Laws are Smurfin’ Ridiculous


It seems appropriate that the crime of structuring is also sometimes called smurfing. Generally speaking, structuring is the act of breaking up financial transactions to get around the federal reporting requirements that kick in for transactions over a specific amount of money. The alternate term smurfing is a reference to the children’s cartoon in which a large entity (the Smurf Village) is made up of several smaller ones (the Smurfs themselves).

But if you grew up on the cartoon in the 1980s, or were unfortunate enough to have seen the 2011 movie, you’ll also know that the word smurf itself is rather ambiguous. It can mean whatever the person using the word wants it to mean. And that’s a pretty decent metaphor for how structuring laws function in the hands of federal officials.
First, a little background: Most structuring cases stem from a 1970 law called the Bank Secrecy Act, which requires banks to report any deposits, withdrawals, or transfers of more than $10,000. The law has since been revised several times, but generally it’s intended to make it easier for the government to track tax cheats, money launderers, illegal gambling operations and other criminal enterprises.

But the Bank Secrecy Act also requires banks to report to the federal government any activity from customers that might be construed as structuring deposits to avoid the reporting requirement. So if you have $100,000 to deposit in your bank account, and you deliberately choose to deposit that money in increments of $9,999 so your bank won’t automatically notify the federal government, you’re guilty of structuring. It’s a felony punishable by a fine and/or up to five years in prison.

Your bank is also required to report any suspicious activity by its customers. Moreover, your bank is prohibited from letting you know that it has reported you to the government. Banks that fail to sufficiently police their customers or banks that notify customers that they’ve been reported for suspicious deposits risk financial sanctions. Bank personnel found to have neglected their duties to report suspicious customer behavior can also be criminally charged and sent to prison. So there’s quite a bit of incentive for your bank to give you up, and to cast a wide net around what constitutes “suspicious activity.” There’s lots of risk in under-policing for structuring, and virtually no risk of losing customers due to a policy of over-reporting them to the government. Most customers will never know.
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Woman at Water's Edge by Boho Vibes

Woman at Water's Edge by Boho Vibes

Woman at Water's Edge by boho Vibes xxCat Eyesxx

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Lawren Harris Pine Tree and Red House, Winter City, 1924

Lawren Harris Pine Tree and Red House, Winter City, 1924

Lawren Harris (Canada, 1885 - 1970) Pine Tree and Red House, Winter City, 1924 oil on canvas 81.3 x 96.5 cm

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Shonto Begay Navajo, (1954 - ) Black Mesa Sunrise

Shonto Begay Navajo, (1954 - ) Black Mesa Sunrise

Shonto Begay (Navajo, 1954 -) Black Mesa Sunrise, 2013 acrylic on canvas

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This week I May Be Jailed for Writing a Book on Human Rights Abuses

This week I May Be Jailed for Writing a Book on Human Rights Abuses

This week I may be jailed for writing a book on human rights abuses

My name is Rafael Marques de Morais. I am an Angolan investigative journalist, and this week I may be jailed for a book I wrote in 2011 exposing human rights abuses in Angola’s diamond-rich areas of the Lundas.

Tomorrow seven powerful generals, including the minister of state and head of the intelligence bureau of the president, General Kopelipa, will take turns in testifying against me at the start of my trial on nine charges of defamation.

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Common pesticides Linked to Antibiotic Resistance

Common pesticides Linked to Antibiotic Resistance

 

A.w.N. | This is what I am talking about when I discussed Religion and Science in my recent blog entry. I have faith that the following statement is true, because A) others have found it to be true, and B) it rings true to what I know and believe. The fact that I have not observed it myself leaves doubt, but having the above two criteria makes me confident enough to accept this article at its face. Essentially this article "found that if someone is exposed to both herbicides and antibiotics at the same time, higher doses of antibiotics will likely be needed to kill the offending bacteria."

Many natural things work in this way, and it is also a main failure of science, in that science rarely factors in the synergistic effects that combinations of things can have. 

 

Common pesticides  linked to antibiotic resistance

Antibiotics and herbicides, as it turns out, don’t mix. At least that’s the conclusion of a study published today in mBio, the peer-reviewed journal of the American Society for Microbiology, which found that if someone is exposed to both herbicides and antibiotics at the same time, higher doses of antibiotics will likely be needed to kill the offending bacteria.

It’s the first study of the effect of herbicides on antibiotics, and its findings could have implications for antibiotics resistance. The growing risk of disease from antibiotic-resistant pathogens is a huge public health concern, one that was recently prioritized by both the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control.

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