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I have been doing SR every day since 1991, except for very infrequent breaks when it was impossible to get on line. That’s 23 years. In all that time except for a few much appreciated contributions, I have borne all the costs. Now SR needs some support to go forward. So I am asking each of you -- some of you have been subscribers for two decades -- to make a contribution. I would suggest $25 or more if you can do it, less if $25 is too much for your budget. It will help me keep SR going and I thank you in advance.

I want to thank those of you who have already made a contribution. I very much appreciate it and it will help to keep SR up and running. I see this sort of tangible support as a vote telling me SR is valued and that I should continue

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Meditation for Modern Minds
By Stephan A. Schwartz

Amongst many other benefits, meditation teaches you focus. And the success of opening to the transcendental part of yourself is strongly affected by your ability to focus. Regular practice of meditation has also been scientifically proven to change your brain chemistry, lower blood pressure, make you sleep better, feel less stressed and much more. The difficulty for most people living in today’s modern world is that traditional meditation methods were developed in an age very different to today’s fast-paced rhythm. Meditation for Modern Minds was specifically designed with scientifically proven meditation techniques to help a person effectively and efficiently deal with issues of a modern life.

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Glimpse Consciousness (Stephan A. Schwartz) From Wake Up - A Documentary

 

 Wednesday, 03 September 2014

Halliburton to Pay $1.1 Billion to Settle Spill Lawsuits

Here is what looks like some good news from the BP-Halliburton Gulf catastrophe, although it is not quite settled. The amount is still not enough, but at least it is a serious amount of money they are being penalized.

DAVID WETHE, MARGARET CRONIN FISK and LAUREL CALKINS - Bloomberg

Halliburton Co. agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a majority of lawsuits brought over its role in the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

The agreement is subject to court approval and includes legal fees, the Houston-based company said in a statement today. Halliburton was accused by spill victims and BP Plc of doing defective cementing work on the Macondo well before the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Halliburton blamed the incident on decisions by BP, which owned the well.

The settlement comes as the judge overseeing oil-spill cases weighs fault for the disaster. An agreement now averts the company’s risk of a more costly judgment for some spill victims and removes much of the uncertainty that has plagued Halliburton for the past four years as investors waited to see the payout tally. With its biggest piece of liability resolved, Halliburton can refocus its ...

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5 Terrifying Facts From the Leaked UN Climate Report

The next IPCC report has been leaked. I will let it speak for itself.

JAMES WEST - Mother Jones

How many synonyms for "grim" can I pack into one article? I had to consult the thesaurus: ghastly, horrid, awful, shocking, grisly, gruesome.

This week, a big report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was leaked before publication, and it confirmed, yet again, the grim-dire, frightful-reality the we face if we don't slash our global greenhouse gas emissions, and slash them fast.

This "Synthesis Report," to be released in November following a UN conference in Copenhagen, is still subject to revision. It is intended to summarize three previous UN climate publications and to "provide an integrated view" to the world's governments of the risks they face from runaway carbon pollution, along with possible policy solutions.

As expected, the document contains a lot of what had already been reported after the three underpinning reports were released at global summits over the past year. It's a long ...

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Homeland Security Was Built to Fend Off Terrorists. Why's it So Busy Arming Cops to Fight Average Americans?

Here is a prominent and respected British newspaper's take on the American police state. If you travel outside the U.S. you know that the respect and admiration in which America was once held has largely dissipated like a morning mist. Now our international image is quite unpleasant and negative. Sophisticated people in other countries at dinner parties or other private events ask you, "What happened to the United States?" I am never quite sure how to answer.

TREVOR TIMM - The Guardian (U.K.)

or three weeks and counting, America has raged against the appalling behavior of the local police in Ferguson, Missouri, and for good reason: automatic rifles pointed at protesters, tank-like armored trucks blocking marches, the teargassing and arresting of reporters, tactics unfit even for war zones – it was all enough to make you wonder whether this was America at all. But as Congress returns to Washington this week, the ire of a nation should also be focused on the federal government agency that has enabled the rise of military police, and so much more: the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The 240,000-employee, Bush-invented bureaucratic behemoth that didn’t even exist 15 years ago has been the primary arms dealer for out-of-control local cops in Ferguson and beyond, handing out tens of billions of dollars in grants for military equipment in the last decade with little to no oversight and even ...

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Fukushima Crisis Continues, Was Worse Than First Reported

Here is the latest on Fukushima. It is a nasty tragic story, and what most people don't seem to yet realize it will probably be going on for the rest of our lives.

WILLIAM BOARDMAN - Reader Supported News

obody in the world knows how to dispose of radioactive waste safely and permanently. That's a given. The Japanese central government is presumably aware that anything it does with still the unmeasured but vast amount of radioactive waste from Fukushima's six nuclear power generators will be temporary. Leaving it in place is not an option. So Tokyo announced on August 29 that the Fukushima waste would be stored for 30 years in Fukushima prefect, in an "interim facility" to be built probably in nearby Okuma or Futaba (now evacuated).

"We've screened and confirmed safety and regional promotion measures as offered by the state," Fukushima prefect governor Yuhei Sato said when announcing the decision. The temporary plan was proposed by the environment minister in late 2013, an offer few thought the Fukushima officials could refuse.

The negotiated terms of the plan include a government lease of about 4,000 acres ...

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 Tuesday, 02 September 2014

Awaiting a New Darwin

One of my physicist readers sent me this second take on the Thomas Nagel book, an important work worth your attention.

Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False
by Thomas Nagel
Oxford University Press, 130 pp., $24.95


H. ALLEN ORR - New York Review of Books

1.

The history of science is partly the history of an idea that is by now so familiar that it no longer astounds: the universe, including our own existence, can be explained by the interactions of little bits of matter. We scientists are in the business of discovering the laws that characterize this matter. We do so, to some extent at least, by a kind of reduction. The stuff of biology, for instance, can be reduced to chemistry and the stuff of chemistry can be reduced to physics.

Thomas Nagel has never been at ease with this view. Nagel, University Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University, is one of our most distinguished philosophers. He is perhaps best known for his 1974 paper, 'What Is It Like to Be a Bat?,” a modern classic in the philosophy of mind. In that paper, Nagel argued that reductionist, ...

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Climate Change Will Ruin Hawaii, New Study Suggests

This is the latest climate change information, and it is tragic. Particularly when one realizes that the Republicans in Congress have denied human mediated climate change exists, and have said they will stop any money being spent on it. But it is not just the Congress, millions of Americans will vote Republican in November, signing a death warrant to the world we know.

Click through to see the animated map that illustrates what is going to happen to Hawaii.

JAMES CAVE - The Huffington Post

Climate change has its sights on its next victim, and it's one of America's favorite vacation spots.

Hawaii is known for its near perfect weather, but a new report from the University of Hawaii's Sea Grant program states that islands in the Pacific might be unrecognizable in the coming years as climate change makes them hotter, arid, stormy and even disease-ridden.

According to "Climate Change Impacts In Hawaii: A Summary Of Climate Change And Its Impacts To Hawaii’s Ecosystems And Communities," which was paid for by Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), the oceans, rainfall, ecosystems and immunity of people who live on islands in the Pacific are all at peril. But what’s more, tourism -- an industry responsible for most of the state’s annual revenue -- might all but vanish.
Amongst the doom and gloom, the study projects:

Higher average temperatures, stressing native animals ...

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Marijuana Compound May Halt Alzheimer's Disease – Study

These marijuana research reports just keep coming. As they do I keep thinking: how much misery and death might have been avoided if we had had a compassionate and life-affirming policy concerning marijuana instead of this horrible Prohibition structure that has destroyed the lives of millions.

RT

Extremely low levels of THC compound, a chemical found in marijuana, may slow down or halt the progression of Alzheimer's disease, US neuroscientists have found, thus laying the ground for the development of effective treatment in the future.

In recent research published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, scientists from University of South Florida revealed their findings, that may shed light on controversial therapeutic qualities of marijuana.

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common dementia types in people over 65. It develops alongside malfunctioning or death of nerve cells in the brain, which usually results in changes in one’s memory, behavior, and ability to think clearly. Its history dates back to over a century, but its origins remain largely unknown. Alzheimer’s disease tends to progress from mild forms to moderate and severe cases at different rates, eventually leading to death.

As the ...

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US Telecoms Giants Call on FCC to Block Cities' Expansion of High-Speed Internet

We are in our own way a developing world. Here you see the naked greed of aging infrastructure corporations attempting to block new technology owned by the public.

DOMINIC RUSHE - Reader Supported News

The US telecoms industry called on the Federal Communications Commission on Friday to block two cities’ plans to expand high-speed internet services to their residents.

USTelecom, which represents telecoms giants Verizon, AT&T and others, wants the FCC to block expansion of two popular municipally owned high-speed internet networks, one in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the other in Wilson, North Carolina.

'The success of public broadband is a mixed record, with numerous examples of failures,” USTelecom said in a blogpost. 'With state taxpayers on the financial hook when a municipal broadband network goes under, it is entirely reasonable for state legislatures to be cautious in limiting or even prohibiting that activity.”

Chattanooga has the largest high-speed internet service in the US, offering customers access to speeds of 1 gigabit per second – about 50 times faster than the US average. The service, provided by municipally owned EPB, has sparked ...

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Why Isn't The US Mentioned In The Bible? Because So Many Americans Will Be Raptured In The End Times

Here is a taste of what I read in the Theocratic Right bubble. This kind of discourse is why I see the Great Schism Trend as gaining momentum.

MIRANDA BLUE - Right Wing Watch

On Tuesday, VCY America’s 'Crosstalk” hosted End Times prophet Ed Hindson to discuss the impact of the End Times and the Rapture on the United States.

'The United States would be incredibly impacted by the Rapture because there are more professing Christians here than perhaps any other place on the planet,” Hindson predicted.

'What would happen, I think, in the United States is the sudden Rapture of believers would leave this country totally secularist, totally atheist, totally in the hands of anti-Christian forces, and it would decimate the economy, the banking system, even the military, the police system. It would throw this country into chaos overnight. Now, it would throw any country into chaos, but the larger percentage of born-again believers, the larger percentage of the chaos.”

But why, Hindson asked, is the United States not mentioned in the Book of Revelation? Because, he explains, so many ...

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 Monday, 01 September 2014

The American Dream Is an Illusion

Here is a very impressive essay on the American dream and immigration. I think Clark nails it.

We have got to stop lying to ourselves. And we need to speak out against politicians who do it. You cannot learn what you will not see; whether as an individual or a society.

GREGORY CLARK - Foreign Affairs

A combination of cheap transportation and enormous disparities in income across countries has inspired unprecedented numbers of people to uproot: there are now 230 million people around the world living outside the country of their birth, 46 million of them in the United States. Not surprisingly, immigration tends to flow from poor places to rich ones: in the world’s 18 richest countries, immigrants constitute 16 percent of the population. If one includes those who are descendants of recent immigrants, that percentage is significantly larger and is certain to grow, since immigrants generally have more children than domestic populations. Consider that, in 2010, 13 percent of the U.S. population was born outside the country, yet 24 percent of those younger than 18 had foreign-born parents.

Policymakers in rich countries have tended to treat immigration as a challenge, but a surmountable one. Previous eras of mass migration produced good outcomes, for ...

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12 Ecologically Sustainable Countries and Why They Should Be Admired

Because we are controlled by carbon interests we rank 33rd on the Environmental Performance Index. Other countries not as encumbered have already begun to move to sustainability. In the coming decades they are going to prosper, we are going to suffer increasing decline until we change our social policies to reflect wellness as the first priority.

JODIE GUMMOW

With last week [3]'s news that Earth’s resources have slipped into an "ecological deficit" for the rest of 2014, many countries around the world have come under scrutiny for taking more from nature then their own ecosystems can supply.

What exactly is this ecological debt? Essentially, it means we have used up all the planet’s natural resources available for an entire year-think deforestation, soil erosion and carbon dioxide emissions-so now we’re running a deficit. In other words, human consumption has exceeded our planet’s capacity to regenerate. The calculations are based on dividing the amount of ecological resources the planet is able to provide in a year by humanity’s demand and multiplying it by 365.

It is now estimated that 86% [4] of the world's population live in countries that require more from nature than their ecosystems can provide. According to the Global Footprint Network [4], if everybody were ...

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In Swing States, Is Obamacare an Asset?

Sam Wang, and the Princeton Election Consortium, are doing some of the best assessment work of current political trends. Here is an example, a very good databased look at the gubernatorial races. These elections matter, governors can really screw with people's lives, or support and nurture them. Who gets chosen makes a difference, as Wisconsinites have learned to their peril.

SAM WANG, Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Molecular Biology at Princeton University - The New Yorker

Scott Walker, the Governor of Wisconsin, is in electoral jeopardy. This may come as a surprise, because for most of 2014 he was considered an odds-on favorite for reëlection against his Democratic challenger, Mary Burke. Recent surveys show that his median lead over Burke has narrowed from seven points, at its peak, to just half a point. The Princeton Election Consortium model (of which I’m a founder)* estimates that Walker’s probability for reëlection is fifty-five per cent, which is barely better than even odds.

Walker achieved prominence in both Republican and Democratic circles when he took away collective-bargaining power from government-employee unions. This was met with angry backlash, leading to massive protests and a recall election, in 2011, which Walker survived, making him a hero to Republicans and leading some to tout him as a potential Presidential candidate. This year, Burke, the C.E.O. of Trek Bicycle Corporation, has run ...

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How Australia Perfected Solar Power and Then Went Back to Coal

The story of Australia is one of the most perverse stories of recent time, and ought to be read as a cautionary tale. Obviously it is being duplicated in some aspects in the U.S.

Note the comments at the end about the grid/local relationship. If a game changer technology like LENR doesn't come along this is what I think is going to happen in both countries. The grid will eventually wither away because the cost of maintenance isn't worth it -- 50 years.

JULIAN MORGANS - Vice News

There was a time in the 1980s when Australia led the world in solar technology. To begin with, Australia receives more solar radiation per square foot than anywhere on the planet, and that presents an obvious advantage. But the true catalyst was geography: two thirds of the country consists of uninhabited desert. This posed problems for engineers tasked with constructing a national telephone network in the early 1970s. The solution was to build remote relay stations powered with solar energy, which at the time was a fledgling, expensive technology. Yet by 1978 the national provider, Telecom, had developed reliable solar cells that could be installed affordably across the country and be infrequently maintained. International recognition came in 1983 when Perth was tapped with hosting the Solar World Congress.

Fast-forward to 2014 and Australian solar power is in a very different place. This week a proposed solar farm with 2,000 ...

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The U.S. Christian Right and the Attack on Gays in Africa

I recently had the great pleasure of meeting and listening to a wonderful young Ugandan musician who is building a significant international reputation, Kinobe. After his concert I spent a good part of the evening talking with him about the role of the American Theocratic Right in his homeland. That conversation is vouchsafed by this essay. This is a very evil trend.

KAPYA KAOMA - Political Research Associates

The Uganda Story

For two days in early March 2009, Ugandans flocked to the Kampala Triangle Hotel for the Family Life Network's "Seminar on Exposing the Homosexuals' Agenda." The seminar's very title revealed its claim: LGBT people and activists are engaged in a well thought-out plan to take over the world. The U.S. culture wars had come to Africa with a vengeance.

To put on the conference, the Uganda-based Family Life Network – led by Stephen Langa with the goal of "restoring" traditional family values and morals in Uganda – teamed with two U.S. hatemongers from the Christian Right, Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively and Dan Schmierer of the ex-gay group Exodus International.[1] Vocal opposition in international circles did not stop the country's high profile religious leaders, parliamentarians, police officers, teachers, and concerned parents from attending. Indeed, parliamentary action to wage war on gays was on the conference agenda. ...

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