Friday, 22 August 2014

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Gray Wolves, Homo Sapiens and Other Endangered Species
Thomas Magstadt, Op-Ed
What you’ll discover is that wolves, like fair-minded Israelis, are an endangered species. By what reckoning do they deserve sudden death after surviving for eons before homo erectus, our early ancestors, appeared on the scene? With 7.3 billion predatory humans now crawling over the length and breadth of the planet, it seems there’s no room for wild animals that eat the tame animals we eat. Not in Russia. Not in Scandinavia. Not in Canada. And, sadly, not for even one lone gray wolf in Kansas.
Private Medicare Plans Drive Up Health Care Costs by Offering Insufficient Coverage
Sy Mukherjee, News Report
Two separate reports by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Health Affairs builds upon earlier research to conclude that private insurance plans under the Medicare Advantage program drive up Medicare spending. Ultimately, those private plans raise health care costs by encouraging seniors to cherry pick their health plans respective to their health, Kaiser Health News reports. Private insurance plans under Medicare Advantage are often able to attract healthier Medicare beneficiaries by offering cheap—but bare-bones—health plans.
The Endgame of Capitalism
Carl Gibson, Op-Ed
In a recent Daily Show appearance, Al Gore made a half-hearted attempt at explaining the idea of “sustainable capitalism” to Jon Stewart. But, even Gore’s description of capitalism as the only economic system that works, sounded incredibly outdated to those of us who weren’t millionaire media moguls or TV personalities. We’re witnessing the endgame of capitalism, where a few wealthy individuals and corporations have accumulated most of the wealth while the rest of us are left to fight for the scraps.
Oklahoma Resident Locks Herself to Equipment to Protest Tar Sands Pipeline
News Report
Early this morning, Norman, Okla. resident Elizabeth Leja locked her neck to equipment used in constructing the Keystone XL pipeline. Citing concerns for Oklahoma’s waterways and their importance for the health of future generations, her actions have halted construction at the site on Highway 62, just North of the North Canadian River, for the day. From Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast, tar sands industry disproportionately affects indigenous and traditionally marginalized communities of color, poisoning the land base and water supply that rural communities rely on.
Robert Reich | Today, an Anniversary of America’s First Progressive Revolution
Robert Reich, Op-Ed
Exactly a century ago, on Feb. 3, 1913, the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, authorizing a federal income tax. Congress turned it into a graduated tax, based on “capacity to pay.” By 1909 Democrats and progressive Republicans had swept many state elections, subsequently establishing the 40-hour work week and other reforms that would later be the foundation stones for the new deal. A progressive backlash against concentrated wealth and power occurred a century ago in America.
4 Fast Food Ingredients Way Worse than Horse Meat
Anthony Gucciardi, News Report
It may seem like old news to some, but the reality is that even “healthy” fast food items are filled with toxic ingredients. Remember, it’s not about the food itself (salad, for example), but what it contains. Until we realize that lettuce may contain more than the eye can perceive, such as pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, preservatives, flavor enhancers, sweeteners, and more, it will be impossible to establish what “health” really means.
Keystone XL the ‘Lynchpin’ for Tar Sands Growth
Kevin Grandia, Video Report
A new video featuring four energy experts, outlines the issues surrounding the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, the Alberta tar sands and climate change. The video describes the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline as a “lynchpin enabling the climate intensive tar sands industry to grow unimpeded.” On February 17, tens of thousands of people are expected to turn out for the Forward on Climate Rally that will call on President Barack Obama to “move forward on climate action.”
Corpocrisy: The Systematic Betrayal of American Workers
Paul Buchheit , Op-Ed
Free market idealists argue that capitalism works for anyone with a little initiative and a willingness to work hard. That might be true if job opportunities were available to everyone. But the facts reveal a lack of opportunity, largely because the very system of capitalism that’s supposed to work for everyone is betraying its most productive members. It’s a step-by-step process of hypocrisy disguised as free enterprise.
Links? We Don’t Do No Stinkin’ Links: Cognitive Dissonance at the New York Times
Dave Lindorff, News Analysis
For a masterpiece in cognitive dissonance, just look to the foreign editors and the managing editor of the New York Times, who managed to run two closely related stories making opposite points in Saturday’s paper without referencing each other at all. We’re instead given by the New York Times two disjointed and poorly written pieces that add little to the readers’ understanding of these latest hotspots in the Middle East. And yet, incredibly, one offers an example of what can go wrong when a government—Algeria—cozies up with a bloodthirsty killer and religious fanatic, while the other tells how the U.S. government is in the process of doing exactly the same thing in Syria.
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