Showing posts from July 5, 2014

CIA employee’s quest to release information ‘destroyed my entire career’

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[When the Edward Snowden case first came to light, politicians and CIA repeatedly stated that there were proper channels that Snowden should have gone through, rather than becoming a whistleblower. This is what happens when you go through proper channels with the CIA. *RON*]
By Greg Miller, Washington Post, July 4, 2014
His CIA career included assignments in Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq, but the most perilous posting for Jeffrey Scudder turned out to be a two-year stint in a sleepy office that looks after the agency’s historical files.

It was there that Scudder discovered a stack of articles, hundreds of histories of long-dormant conflicts and operations that he concluded were still being stored in secret years after they should have been shared with the public.

To get them released, Scudder submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act — a step that any citizen can take, but one that is highly unusual for a CIA employee. Four years later…

How green cities are better for us physically and psychologically

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["Cities are the main human ecosystem – 60 per cent of us now live in metropolitan areas with more than 100,000 people – but they also make us sick, depressed and anxious. By contrast, being around blue water, green trees and space makes us healthier, more productive, even more generous – a positive effect known as biophilia." *RON*]

Erin Anderssen, The Globe and Mail, Jul. 04 2014

Root Gorelick is cagey about sharing details of his work commute; he doesn’t want a sudden uptick in early-morning traffic scaring off the otters. Or the minks and duck families.

To get to his office in the biology building at Carleton University, Prof. Gorelick rides his bike from his Ottawa home down to the Rideau River, pulling his canoe on a trailer behind him. He then paddles 25 minutes to the university, a route he typically takes each spring when the ice is just breaking up on the river and as late as Christmas Eve, with the snow falling.

“You lose comple…

What the Dietary Supplement Industry Does Not Want You to Know

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[All the ways that taking vitamins may actually do you more harm than good. *RON*]

By Larry Schwartz, AlterNet, 3 July 2014

The nutritional supplement industry is big. Real big. Like $32 billion a year big, according to Forbes Magazine. And that amount, says Forbes, is expected to double by 2021. That ‘s a lot of vitamins. In fact, almost half of the U.S. population takes vitamins. Must be good for what ails you, right? Well, maybe not. Those billions of dollars go very far to enrich the supplement industry, but, according to numerous scientific studies, virtually nowhere to enrich your health. In fact, because your body excretes out many of the vitamins it can’t use, you might say you are literally flushing that money right down the toilet.

A recent study by researchers at Oxford University, and reported in the medical journal The Lancet, tells us that vitamin supplements offer no protection against cancer, stroke, heart disease, indeed …

How EU politics pushed Merkel to lift Germany’s austerity policies

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[The fight between Britain's David Cameron and Germany's Angela Merkel over whether Jean-Claude Junker would become the next head of the European Commission put Italy's Matteo Renzi in a position where it could wring concessions from Merkel over the austerity policy she has pushed so hard down their throats for the last five years -- “a shift to more growth-friendly economic policies was a condition for Italy’s support for the next commission president.”. Also, for future reference, the head of the EC now is well aware that he owes his job to Renzi. *RON*]
By Anatole Kaletsky, Reuters, July 4, 2014

Matteo Renzi, the prime minister of Italy who took the revolving presidency of the European Union this week, seems to be the sort of man that Napoleon was referring to when he reputedly said that the key qualification he sought in recruiting a general was good luck.

Renzi become prime minister without even needing to win an election becaus…

75 questions Rob Ford hasn’t answered

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[I've stayed away from this story, since it is mainly just a Gong Show. However this list of 75 questions for Rob Ford is pretty good. The mayor of Toronto left the city without addressing dozens of questions journalists have tried to get him to answer over the past year. *RON*]

By: Daniel Dale City Hall, Toronto Star, Jun 30 2014
The mayor’s office says he will not be taking any questions after his statement on Monday.

Mayor Rob Ford left the city in May without addressing dozens of questions journalists have tried to get him to answer over the past year.

We count 75 questions outstanding, but the mayor’s office says he will not be taking any questions at all after his statement on Monday, and the Star’s interview requests have gone unanswered. Here’s what we would ask him if we were given the opportunity.

Ford’s bigotry, homophobia and lewd remark about a rival

1. In March, you were caught on tape saying: “I’m the most racist guy around. I…