Showing posts from September 27, 2016

Japan Scrambles Jets After China Makes Show of Force in Key Strait

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[The war-like rumblings continue off the Asian coast. PLA Air Force sends 40 aircraft on ‘routine drill’ to Pacific. Japan defense ministry says 2 jets may have been fighters. *RON*]
Ting ShiIsabel Reynolds, Bloomberg, 26 September 2016

Japan scrambled jets Sunday after a fleet of Chinese aircraft flew into a strategically important strait near disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Japan sent out the jets after eight of the Chinese planes crossed back and forth over waters between Okinawa’s main island and Miyako-jima island near Taiwan, the Defense Ministry in Tokyo said in a statement. Two of the planes may have been fighter jets, the ministry said.

New Study Finds Half of All the Guns in America Are Owned by Just 3 Percent of Population

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[If so few are seriously affected by gun control laws it is important to find out who these people are. Is the strength of the lobby based purely on manufacturers, or, who are these super-owners? *RON*]

By Elliot Hannon, Slate, 19 September 2016
Here’s a term you likely haven’t heard before—“gun super-owner.” The chilling descriptor comes courtesy of the Guardian and its coverage of the new, as of yet unpublished Harvard/Northeastern survey on gun ownership. The 2015 study, conducted by public health researchers, found that the majority of guns in America are concentrated in the hands of a very, very few. In fact, roughly 50 percent of the estimated 265 million guns in the U.S. are owned by just 3 percent of the adult population.

More specifically, the survey showed that the 3 percent owned 133 million guns. Each of these 7.7 million “super-owners” possess between 8 and 140 firearms for an average of 17 guns per person. For some context, most of A…

Nationwide Prison Strike Against 'Slavery in America' Rolls on—Despite Media Blackout

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[This story has legs in the alternate press; nada in the mainstream media. The strike coincides with the anniversary of the 1971 uprising at Attica. *RON*]

By James KilgoreTruthout / AlterNet, 22 September 2016

The first national prison labor strike in US history launched on September 9. Billed as a "Call to Action Against Slavery in America," the spark for the action came from the Free Alabama Movement (FAM), a prison-based organization that has been mobilizing across the state since 2012. Alabama has one of the most overcrowded prison systems in the country.

Reports from FAM's base within Holman Prison indicated a universal refusal of the population to go to work on September 9. Pastor Kenneth Glasgow, the chief outside spokesperson for FAM, speaking to Truthout on the day of the launch, said significant strike action also took place within prisons in South Carolina, Virginia and Ohio.

Campaign Money Magically Makes Lead Paint Safe Again

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["Republican leaders in Wisconsin had benefited from industry money and then acted to try to retroactively block lawsuits by children harmed by lead paint. Jesus, these people…" *RON*]

By Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, 14 September 2016

If I recall, there was some confusion a couple of weeks back on the definition of "pay-to-play." For example, if someone contacts an aide to a prominent politician and asks for something, and then doesn't get it, that's not "pay-to-play," no matter what the "optics" make it look like in the "narrative." Of course, if, say, a state attorney general gets a campaign contribution and then calls off an investigation of a scam that the contributor may have been running, that's a little closer.

And then there's this thing, which comes out of the evidence bomb that The Guardian dropped Wednesday on the head of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, as reported by The…

Chemicals With Unknown Health Effects in America’s Drinking Water

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[The EPA does so little of even the most basic research on environmental health. *RON*]
By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times, 21 September 2016

America has a problem with drinking water pollution. It is not the pollution of old—massive amounts of industrial effluent pouring out of factories. It comes from far more sources, seeping into the water inconspicuously in small amounts, but adding up. And no one knows what its effects on us are.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which regulates drinking water, has identified 126 substances (and counting) that may be pervasive in U.S. drinking water supplies which it calls “contaminants of emerging concern” (CECs) or “emerging contaminants.”

The chemicals found in American drinking water include those used in industrial production, pharmaceutical ingredients, illicit drugs, and numerous substances of modern life with largely unknown health effects.

Sugar industry sought to sugarcoat causes of heart disease

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[Payments revealed to authors of influential 1967 report touting fat and cholesterol as problems. *RON*]
By Laura Beil, Science News, 25 September 2016
Using records unearthed from library storage vaults, researchers recently revealed that the sugar industry paid nutrition experts from Harvard University to downplay studies linking sugar and heart disease. Although the incident happened in the 1960s, it appears to have helped redirect the scientific narrative for decades.

The documents — which include correspondence, symposium programs and annual reports — show that the Sugar Research Foundation (as it was named at the time) paid professors who wrote a two-part review in 1967 in the New England Journal of Medicine. That report was highly skeptical of the evidence linking sugar to cardiovascular problems but accepting of the role of fat. The now-deceased professors’ overall conclusion left “no doubt” that reducing the risk of heart disease was a ma…