Friday, October 29, 2010

How Private Prison Interests Wrote Arizona's SB170

Read NPR's excellent analysis at the link above.

Illegal immigration is a problem and Arizona is a state that has been impacted in many ways by the flood of illegal immigrants triggered by NAFTA. NAFTA hurt small and mid-sized farmers and businesses in Mexico and contributed significantly to the flood of immigrants experienced by AZ in the late 1990s and early 200s.

So, laws such as employer sanctions were passed, but not enforced because illegal immigration has been a kind of corporate welfare for agriculture, construction, and other industries that have exploited their cheap labor.

SB170 was supported in Arizona by a population angered by the failure to address illegal immigration. Some of the anger was xenophobic displacement, but having lived 17 years in the state I do believe that illegal immigration drives down wages for citizens in those industries where illegal immigrants work. It also has been a nightmare for ranchers on the border.

What Arizonans did not know is that SB170 was written by the prison-industrial complex. ANY LAW WRITTEN BY PRIVATE INDUSTRY WILL PROFIT THAT INDUSTRY.

The phrase to describe how government is captured by private interests is "regulatory capture."

Arizonans will now pay--and pay dearly--to house illegal immigrants in private prisons. These prisons will have every incentive to keep the immigrants detained as long as possible in order to rake in the funds.


The employer sanctions law could have solved the illegal immigration problem with little cost if only it had been enforced.

Time for A Revolution

David DeGraw and Max Keiser team up to tell it like it is and to orchestrate resistance against an oligarchic elite that is using finance to destroy opportunity and justice in America.

Resistance is easily co-opted so any resistant movement must break with traditional political affiliations such as Democrats or Republicans and beware any large monetary contributors.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

BPA Exposure Correlated with Low Sperm Count

The Washington Post reports on studies documenting strong correlations between BPA and low sperm count and sexual problems

"In the new study, Li and his colleagues found that those with detectable BPA levels in their urine were two to more than four times as likely to have poor semen quality, including low sperm concentration, low sperm counts, fewer sperm that were alive and more sperm that did not move normally, known as poor sperm motility. BPA was not associated with lower sperm volume or deformed sperm."

How Neo-Feudalism is Consuming America

The link is for an excerpt from Matt Taibbi's new book. I'm ordering it!

Here is a description of how the Great Recession has enabled wholescale pillaging of America's public property (as well as private residential property)

"Matt Taibbi's unsparing and authoritative reporting on the financial crisis has produced a series of memorable Rolling Stone features. He showed us how Goldman Sachs, that "great vampire squid", played a central role in creating not only the housing bubble but four other big speculative booms that filled its coffers while wrecking the American economy. He explained how Wall Street banks cooked up schemes that helped decimate municipal budgets and cost countless jobs, and how Wall Street lobbying led to a financial reform bill that won't prevent another meltdown. Taibbi builds on that eye-opening work in his new book, Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That is Breaking America, due out from Spiegel & Grau on November 2. In this exclusive excerpt, he describes how our cash-strapped country is auctioning off its highways, ports and even parking meters at fire sale prices — and finding eager buyers in the unregulated sovereign wealth funds of oil-rich Middle Eastern countries..."

Read the article at the link:

Why the Gulf Matters....

Readers may wonder about my degree of concern about the ongoing Gulf disaster given that story has disappeared from the mainstream press, altogether.

The ongoing disaster persists despite the absence of media coverage.

This single fact demonstrates that the media are either being censored or are self-censoring.

Moreover, this single fact demonstrates that the government and BP are colluding to suppress information about the extent of the "spill" and the ongoing environmental and public health effects of the spill.

Don't believe that the disaster continues? Here are some links for you to read:

and here is a link to a scary but intriguing hypothesis

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

People are Dying in the Gulf from Chemical Exposure

Apparently the American population is regarded as expandable, literally, by BP and government officials at all levels of government. Here is an excerpt from Florida oil spill law:

Dr. Riki Ott, a toxicologist, marine biologist, and Exxon Valdez survivor:

People are already dying from this… I’m dealing with three autopsy’s right now.

I don’t think we’ll have to wait years to see the effects like we did in Alaska, people are dropping dead now.

I know two people who are down to 4.75 per cent of their lung capacity, their heart has enlarged to make up for that, and their esophagus is disintegrating, and one of them is a 16-year-old boy who went swimming in the Gulf.”

Back to Blogging with Back to the Gulf

Washington's Blog and Florida Oil Spill Law are keeping up the fight to continue to alert people of the disastrous and ongoing oil catastrophe in the Gulf region. Thank you.

Washington's Blog writes:

"To give an example of the ongoing crisis in the Gulf, here's a roundup of some of the top stories from FOSL from the past 3 days:

Toxicologist now dealing with at least three autopsies in Gulf — “People who’s esophaguses are dissolving”

Healthy teenager, 16, hospitalized after swimming in Gulf on AUGUST 30 — “Compromised lung” & “enlarged heart”

Boat captain mentioned on NPR: “Internal bleeding — Very, very sick”

Toxicologist: 4 to 5 MILLION people on Gulf Coast exposed to dangerous levels of oil — Going to have incredible health effect

“We’re starving” — “There are no fish in the waters… and any fish we would see, we would not eat”

Reporter STEPS onto beach, is then forced by private security to be “decontaminated” — “Yes” it’s about dispersants
Boat captain “bleeding from her vagina” — “I’m bleeding from my anus, too… This thing is killing me”
Oct. 19: “A seemingly unrelenting tide of oil” surprises pilot with “countless” flights over Gulf in last 6 months

Report: Homeland Security agents want organizer to “shut up” — Told by BP to “back off”

Captain: Mullet observed eating “dispersant as it gathered along the tide line”
Massive SHELF of tar exposed on beach in Pensacola

Not just the coast to be affected: “It is going to keep going further and further in”

“Still so much oil and dispersant in the environment” says Gulf Restoration Network executive director

“ALL” oyster beds are “dead or dying” says top oysterman — “Very pessimistic”
Local Official: “The oil is not evaporating — it’s not dissipating, it’s sitting there”
Florida woman: Oil found in batch of oysters while eating

Scientists: Acceptable levels of toxic PAH in the Gulf raised simply for the BP disaster
BP admits oil buried “30 inches under ground"

MAJIA HERE: also see Steve Lendman's must-read essay on the Massive Cover Up in the Gulf

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blogging From Basel Switzerland

My posts will be intermittent since I am currently in Switzerland.

The city of Basel is lovely and the bakeries look delectable. In the city square, large tables were set up with amazing assortments of cheese in amazing sizes. Yum. I visited a pharmaceutical museum that was fascinating. I'm amazed Europeans survived their medicine.

On my trip I'm reading the book Cornered which examines monopoly capitalism's dangers for consumers and producers. It is an excellent book so far.

I'm not following news carefully since i have limited access to the internet. My regular posts will return next Tuesday.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Who is Spending?

Gallup Polls reports:

"Lower- and middle-income Americans' self-reported average daily spending in stores, restaurants, gas stations, and online averaged $48 per day during September -- down $6 from August and $16 from July. Consumer discretionary spending by these Americans making less than $90,000 a year is now at its lowest level since Gallup began daily tracking in January 2008, as the recession was just getting underway...."

This drop in lower and middle income consumption no doubt derives from the substantial loss of wages and wealth experienced by these groups.

With 70% of the U.S. economy dependent upon consumption, I am not sure how we can have a "recovery" given this type of data....

See Decline of the Empire for discussion

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Links Today

Just links today

"Top 20 Censored Stories of 2010"

Nanotach particles can Damage DNA
from the story:
"Personal products you may use daily and think are harmless—cosmetics, suntan lotion, socks, and sports clothes—may all contain atom-sized nanotech particles, some of which have been shown to sicken and kill workers in plants using nanotechnology. Known human health risks include severe and permanent lung damage. Cell studies indicate genetic DNA damage. Extremely toxic to aquatic wildlife, nanoparticles pose clear risks to many species and threaten the global food chain.

"Nanotech particles have been embraced by industry as the wonder ingredient in personal hygiene products, food packaging, paints, medical procedures and pharmaceuticals, even tires and auto parts, among burgeoning numbers of other consumer products. Cosmetic companies add titanium dioxide nanoparticles to sun creams to make them transparent on the skin. Sports clothing firms have introduced odor-free garments containing nanosilver particles that are twice as toxic to bacteria than bleach. Auto industry companies have added carbon nanofibers to tires and body panels to strengthen them...."

FINALLY, LISTEN TO GERALD CELENTE WARN ABOUT THE U.S.' TRANSFORMATION INTO A FASCIST STATE. It isn't communism he says clearly. It is fascism, the merger of corporate sphere and the state.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Washington's Blog: On Propaganda!

Title: "The Emporer's Spokesman Has No Clothes"

This is a very appropriate story to follow my previous post on the propagandizing of bee colony collapse in The New York Times.

Washington's Blog has excellent analyses and kindly provides embedded links for his readers to support claims made throughout the article.

One interesting link provided discusses how journalists have been co-opted by the CIA

I have no doubt as to the truth of Washington's arguments. I routinely encounter outright propaganda in my daily readings of the The New York Times and the Washington Post.

Oddly, I see less overt distortions and omissions in The Wall Street Journal, although their editorial pages are so neo-conservative they make me sick. Maybe the WSJ has less obvious distortions because capitalists need to know how to invest and would be less tolerant of obvious bullshit.

Bias in Bee Study?

A New York Times article described the ongoing bee collapse mystery as solved by the collaboration between a university scientist and the U.S. Military.

Since I love honey I follow "bee" news carefully. This story was interesting but it didn't answer a few critical questions.

The story attributes the colony collapse to the combined force of a fungus and a virus. However, the article notes that neither of these two agents alone is capable of killing bees. Here is how the article phrases it:

NYT: "It’s chicken and egg in a sense — we don’t know which came first,” Dr. Bromenshenk said of the virus-fungus combo — nor is it clear, he added, whether one malady weakens the bees enough to be finished off by the second, or whether they somehow compound the other’s destructive power. “They’re co-factors, that’s all we can say at the moment,” he said. “They’re both present in all these collapsed colonies.”

Yet the chicken or the egg conundrum actually simplifies the story inappropriately because, as the article points out, some 3rd factor plays a role because the bees were only vulnerable to the combined impact of the virus and the fungus because their nutrition had been compromised. As the article explains:

NYT "both the virus and the fungus proliferate in cool, damp weather, and both do their dirty work in the bee gut, suggesting that insect nutrition is somehow compromised."

So, what might have compromised the bees' nutrition. The article suggests:

NYT: "Scientists in the project emphasize that their conclusions are not the final word. The pattern, they say, seems clear, but more research is needed to determine, for example, how further outbreaks might be prevented, and how much environmental factors like heat, cold or drought might play a role."

NOWHERE in the article is it mentioned that PESTICIDES may play a role. Guess why? The bee study's lead author received money from the manufacturer of the pesticide implicated by other scientists and bee keepers in the demise of bees.

Here is what the common dreams article by K. Eban reports:

"What the Times article did not explore -- nor did the study disclose -- was the relationship between the study's lead author, Montana bee researcher Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk, and Bayer Crop Science. In recent years Bromenshenk has received a significant research grant from Bayer to study bee pollination. Indeed, before receiving the Bayer funding, Bromenshenk was lined up on the opposite side: He had signed on to serve as an expert witness for beekeepers who brought a class-action lawsuit against Bayer in 2003. He then dropped out and received the grant."

The common dreams article goes on to cite the concerns of other bee scientists who have studied bees and pesticides and found conclusive evidence that pesticides do impact bees adversely.

If we put both stories together we get a clearer understanding of what may be happening. Bees weakened by pesticides are succumbing to fungi and viruses.

The New York Times was once again remiss for biased reporting.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Michael Hudson on Boiler Rooms and Foreclosure Mills

I just discovered there are 2 Michael Hudsons. How wonderful! It was like when my son discovered that he had 2 blankies and was happy about the discovery! (1 was always hidden as an emergency backup, until it was discovered).

One Michael Hudson is a journalist and one is an economist. I like them both very much!

The journalist Michael Hudson has a new book out, which is plugged at the end of this short essay he wrote on the foreclosure crisis.

Here are a few excerpts from the essay by the journalist Michael Hudson:

"On the front end of the process, for example, many mortgage pros used “boiler room” salesmanship to peddle loans to borrowers who didn’t understand what they were getting and couldn’t afford their loans in the long run. To make these deals go through, some workers forged borrowers’ signatures on key documents, pressured real estate appraisers to inflate home values, and created fake W-2 tax forms that exaggerated loan applicants’ earnings.

At Ameriquest Mortgage, one of the companies I focus on in my new book about the subprime mortgage debacle, The Monster, this sort of cut-and-paste document production was so common employees joked that the work was being done in “The Lab” or the “Art Department.”

The economist Michael Hudson also has a new must read work. The economist Michael Hudson's latest essay can be found at Counterpunch and is titled

"Who Needs an Army When You Can Obtain the Usual Objective (Monetary Wealth and Asset Appropriation) Simply by Financial Means?"
Why the U.S. has Launched a New Financial World War -- And How the the Rest of the World Will Fight Back by MICHAEL HUDSON

Both are Exellent reading!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Gallup Finds Underemployment at 18.8%

Dennis Jacobe, Chief Economist at Gallup, reports:

"Gallup Finds U.S. Unemployment at 10.1% in SeptemberUnderemployment, at 18.8%, is up from 18.6% at the end of Augustby Dennis Jacobe, Chief EconomistPRINCETON, NJ --

Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, increased to 10.1% in September -- up sharply from 9.3% in August and 8.9% in July. Much of this increase came during the second half of the month -- the unemployment rate was 9.4% in mid-September -- and therefore is unlikely to be picked up in the government's unemployment report on Friday..."

Economic Inequality Growing: Just Deny It Exists

The Washington Post has a good article about how Republicans' response to economic inequality is to simply deny it exists.

By Steven Pearlstein
Wednesday, October 6, 2010; 2:51 AM

Here is an excerpt:

"As with global warming, Republicans seem to have decided that the best way to deal with this fundamental challenge is to deny it exists."

"If you asked Americans how much of the nation's pretax income goes to the top 10 percent of households, it is unlikely they would come anywhere close to 50 percent, which is where it was just before the bubble burst in 2007. That's according to groundbreaking research by economists Thomas Piketty, of the Paris School of Economics, and Emmanuel Saez, of the University of California at Berkeley, who last week won one of this year's MacArthur Foundation "genius" grants.

"It wasn't always that way. From World War II until 1976, considered by many as the "golden years" for the U.S. economy, the top 10 percent of the population took home less than a third of the income generated by the private economy. But since then, according to Saez and Piketty, virtually all of the benefits of economic growth have gone to households that, in today's terms, earn more than $110,000 a year.

"Even within that top "decile," the distribution is remarkably skewed. By 2007, the top 1 percent of households took home 23 percent of the national income after a 15-year run in which they captured more than half - yes, you read that right, more than half - of the country's economic growth. As Tim Noah noted recently in a wonderful series of articles in Slate, that's the kind of income distribution you'd associate with a banana republic or a sub-Saharan kleptocracy, not the world's oldest democracy and wealthiest market economy"

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Guardian: White House Blocked Scientists From Publiczing Research on BP "Spill" Severity

This story is hardly news for those who have followed this disaster closely and have witnessed the immense cover up by BP and U.S. Government. Here is an excerpt from the Guardian story:

"The White House blocked government scientists from warning the American public of the potential environmental disaster caused by BP's broken well in the Gulf of Mexico, a report released by the national commission investigating the oil spill said yesterday.

The report, produced by a panel appointed by Barack Obama to investigate the spill, said that about two weeks after the BP rig exploded scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) asked the White House for permission to release their models showing their worst case scenarios for the spill.

The White House office of management and budget, which is a traditional clearing house for decisions, turned down the request, the report said, quoting interviews with administration officials.

The report, one of four released today by the commission, provides the most compelling evidence to date of direct attempts by the White House to spin the BP oil spill disaster

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Truth About Terrorism

As I have previously documented, America's too big to fail banks and government have destroyed our economy by:

James Corbett 7 minute video on false flag attacks. Oct 5 2010 at Cryptogon

Washington's Blog: The Enemy is Within!

Washington's blog is my favorite. Today he has an excellent argument that enemies to American well-being and prosperity are not outside (i.e., not China), but rather are internal. Here are a few of his clearly distilled arguments:

Washington: "As I have previously documented, America's too big to fail banks and government have destroyed our economy by:

Failing to prosecute those who committed rampant fraud, thus encouraging them to do it again

Rewarding the gamblers who bet everything on insane speculative deals by bailing them out once they lost their bets
Letting the largest U.S. banks go bankrupt repeatedly due to wild speculation, then blessing the speculation and helping cover up the bankruptcies

Failing to restore trust in the financial system, but instead suspending the few accounting rules which still exist

Blowing bubble after bubble

Refusing to break up the too big to fails, even though virtually all independent economists say that they are a black hole dragging down our economy..."

read the entire excellent artice (link above)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Corporate Re-Education

"In School Outreach, BP and NOAA ‘Dispel Myths’ About Dispersants, Subsurface Oil"
by Marian Wang

"Even as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency calls for more research into the long-term effects of the chemical dispersants [1] BP used in the Gulf, representatives of BP and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have reached out to local schools to “dispel myths” about dispersants and subsurface oil, according to recent reports in the Houma Courier [2] and the Tri-Parish Times [3]. (We first noticed the Tri-Parish Times piece via TreeHugger [4].)"

Majia Here: Dispersants such as corexit are toxic. They are poisonous. Yet, BP is propagandizing in the schools by offering "educational curriculum" that purportedly demonstrates that dispersants are harmless. THIS IS PROPAGANDA!

For example see
ABC news clip:

NBC news

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pesticides from GMO Corn Contaminating U.S. Rivers & Streams

By Rudy Ruitenberg

Sept. 28 (Bloomberg) -- "An insecticide produced by genetically modified corn was found in streams in the U.S. Midwest, according to research by the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

"Samples at 217 stream sites in Indiana found the protein Cry1Ab, the toxin expressed by so-called Bt corn, in water at about a quarter of the locations, the Millbrook, New York-based institute said on its website, citing a study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"The insecticide enters waterways through runoff and when corn stalks, leaves and plant parts are washed into stream channels, the institute said. Indiana grows about 8 percent of the U.S. corn crop, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture...."

MAJIA HERE: And we are eating this stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Gulf Crisis if NOT Over

Oil is still washing up.

Oil is being found under the surface of sand and ocean water.

People are still getting sick from the oil and dispersants.

Sealife is still dying.

The gulf crisis not over, although BP and the government would like you to believe it is...

Friday, October 1, 2010

Its Not Democrats Versus Republicans that Matters: Its Corporations Versus Individuals

Barry Ritholz writes at The Big Picture


• Many of the regulations that govern energy and banking sector were written by Corporations;

• The biggest influence on legislative votes is often Corporate Lobbying;

• Corporate ability to extend copyright far beyond what original protections amounts to a taking of public works for private corporate usage;

• PAC and campaign finance by Corporations has supplanted individual donations to elections;

• The individuals’ right to seek redress in court has been under attack for decades, limiting their options.

• DRM and content protection undercuts the individual’s ability to use purchased content as they see fit;

• Patent protections are continually weakened. Deep pocketed corporations can usurp inventions almost at will;

• The Supreme Court has ruled that Corporations have Free Speech rights equivalent to people; (So much for original intent!)

None of these are Democrat/Republican conflicts, but rather, are corporate vs. individual issues.

Round-Up Produces Birth Defects

Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Produce Teratogenic Effects on Vertebrates by Impairing Retinoic Acid Signaling

Silvia L. Lpez and Andrs E. Carrasco*
Laboratorio de Embriologa Molecular, CONICET-UBA, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Paraguay 2155, 3° piso (1121), Ciudad Autnoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Chem. Res. Toxicol., Article ASAP
DOI: 10.1021/tx1001749
Publication Date (Web): August 9, 2010

The broad spectrum herbicide glyphosate is widely used in agriculture worldwide. There has been ongoing controversy regarding the possible adverse effects of glyphosate on the environment and on human health. Reports of neural defects and craniofacial malformations from regions where glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) are used led us to undertake an embryological approach to explore the effects of low doses of glyphosate in development. Xenopus laevis embryos were incubated with 1/5000 dilutions of a commercial GBH. The treated embryos were highly abnormal with marked alterations in cephalic and neural crest development and shortening of the anterior−posterior (A-P) axis. Alterations on neural crest markers were later correlated with deformities in the cranial cartilages at tadpole stages. Embryos injected with pure glyphosate showed very similar phenotypes. Moreover, GBH produced similar effects in chicken embryos, showing a gradual loss of rhombomere domains, reduction of the optic vesicles, and microcephaly. This suggests that glyphosate itself was responsible for the phenotypes observed, rather than a surfactant or other component of the commercial formulation. A reporter gene assay revealed that GBH treatment increased endogenous retinoic acid (RA) activity in Xenopus embryos and cotreatment with a RA antagonist rescued the teratogenic effects of the GBH. Therefore, we conclude that the phenotypes produced by GBH are mainly a consequence of the increase of endogenous retinoid activity. This is consistent with the decrease of Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling from the embryonic dorsal midline, with the inhibition of otx2 expression and with the disruption of cephalic neural crest development. The direct effect of glyphosate on early mechanisms of morphogenesis in vertebrate embryos opens concerns about the clinical findings from human offspring in populations exposed to GBH in agricultural fields.