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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.

Available Now!! Click here for details and ordering information.

 


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

 

 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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 Sunday, 31 August 2014

Why Doctors Are Sick of Their Profession

The American Illness Profit System is deeply flawed. Anyone can see this who actually looks at the data. But what doesn't get a lot of coverage is how the physicians themselves view the system. I began writing about this four years ago (See: Where Can I Find a Family Doctor? An Unintended Consequence of Health Reform. http://www.explorejournal.com/article/S1550-8307%2810%2900097-2/fulltext) and the situation just keeps getting worse.

Listen to what the doctors have to say to see my point come to life.

SANDEEP JAUHAR, MD, Director of the Heart Failure Program at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center - The Wall Street Journal

All too often these days, I find myself fidgeting by the doorway to my exam room, trying to conclude an office visit with one of my patients. When I look at my career at midlife, I realize that in many ways I have become the kind of doctor I never thought I'd be: impatient, occasionally indifferent, at times dismissive or paternalistic. Many of my colleagues are similarly struggling with the loss of their professional ideals.

It could be just a midlife crisis, but it occurs to me that my profession is in a sort of midlife crisis of its own. In the past four decades, American doctors have lost the status they used to enjoy. In the mid-20th century, physicians were the pillars of any community. If you were smart and sincere and ambitious, at the top of your class, there was nothing nobler or more rewarding that you ...

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Enforcement of Gun Laws Hinges on Local Sheriffs' Interpretation of Second Amendment

Most of us never think about sheriffs. Few realize they are a holdover from ancient British common law, and an anomaly in our justice system: Sheriffs are elected, not hired or appointed. As this report details they are becoming a force in our society's Gun Psychosis Trend, in a way individual police are not. Indeed, they are often in opposition to police on the gun issue.

Marlena Chertock, The Center for Public Integrity - Reader Supported News

his project was produced by News21, a national investigative reporting project involving top college journalism students across the country and headquartered at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University

Sheriff Mike Lewis considers himself the last man standing for the people of Wicomico County.

'State police and highway patrol get their orders from the governor,” the Maryland sheriff said. 'I get my orders from the citizens in this county.”

With more states passing stronger gun control laws, rural sheriffs across the country are taking the meaning of their age-old role as defenders of the Constitution to a new level by protesting such restrictions, News21 found.

Some are refusing to enforce the laws altogether.

Sheriffs in states like New York, Colorado and Maryland argue that some gun control laws defy the Second Amendment and threaten rural culture, for which gun ...

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U.N. Urges U.S. to Stop Police Brutality After Missouri Shooting

This is what national shame looks like.

STEPHANIE NEBEHAY - Reuters

GENEVA -- The U.N. racism watchdog urged the United States on Friday to halt the excessive use of force by police after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman touched off riots in Ferguson, Missouri.

Minorities, particularly African Americans, are victims of disparities, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) said after examining the U.S. record.

"Racial and ethnic discrimination remains a serious and persistent problem in all areas of life from de facto school segregation, access to health care and housing," Noureddine Amir, CERD committee vice chairman, told a news briefing.

Teenager Michael Brown was shot dead by a white police officer on Aug. 9, triggering violent protests that rocked Ferguson - a St. Louis suburb - and shone a global spotlight on the state of race relations in America.

"The excessive use of force by law ...

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5 Reasons to Suspect Jesus Never Existed

Here is a very good assessment of the Jesus Controversy Trend. What it doesn't say is that in a real sense it doesn't matter if a physical person existed, or not, or was a composite. When billions of people across millennia express focused intense awareness of something it exists.

VALERIE TARICO - AlterNet (U.S.)

Most antiquities scholars think that the New Testament gospels are 'mythologized history.” In other words, they think that around the start of the first century a controversial Jewish rabbi named Yeshua ben Yosef gathered a following and his life and teachings provided the seed that grew into Christianity.

At the same time, these scholars acknowledge that many Bible stories like the virgin birth, miracles, resurrection, and women at the tomb borrow and rework mythic themes [3] that were common in the Ancient Near East, much the way that screenwriters base new movies on old familiar tropes or plot elements. In this view, a 'historical Jesus” became mythologized [4].

For over 200 years, a wide ranging array of theologians and historians-most of them Christian-analyzed ancient texts, both those that made it into the Bible and those that didn’t, in attempts to excavate the man behind the myth. ...

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 Saturday, 30 August 2014

Obesity Is Now So Normal That Many Parents Can’t See If Their Child Is Too Fat: Study

Obesity is the new normal. I notice this all the time, and it has very bad long term health consequences. I am old enough now to recognize the role my health choices have had in my well-being, and it seems tragic when I look at a 10 year old girl who is 40 pounds over weight. You just know it is going to be the shaping trend of her life if it continues. I have often wondered: This didn't happen in a day, surely her parents could have made different choices? I'm far from the only one who has noticed this, and a study has just come out directly addressing it.

JANE OGDEN, Professor of Health Psychology at University of Surrey - The Conversation

We’ve all heard those phrases that denote a certain blindness to the passage of time. 'She looks as young as the day I met her” husbands say of their wives 50 years into married life, or 'haven’t they grown”, people tell me of my children. How about 'it wasn’t even hot” said the frog, realising too late that he had sat unawares in the pot while the water slowly crept up to boiling point.

The thing is, we don’t tend to notice change if it’s gradual. And according to a recent study from Georgia Southern University and published in Paediatrics, parents don’t recognise when their children have become obese.

Slow changes over time in anything we see every day become invisible and can be ignored – which is great for the ageing wives among us but not so helpful for frogs or children whose parents who should be ...

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East Porterville Residents Without Water As Wells Go Dry During California Drought

This is what the future looks like for much of the Southwest and Central U.S. How would you like to live with only bottled water for drinking? How long would you do it? You can see why I talk of migrations.

CBS Sacramento

EAST PORTERVILLE, CALIFORNIA -- Hundreds of people in a California town have no water after wells ran dry during the state’s drought.

The small town of East Porterville in Tulare County has about 7,300 residents, and at least 300 homes have been without water for weeks.

'We can’t shower. We’re wearing dirty clothes. My kids had to wear dirty clothes to school this morning,” said Elizabeth Baker. 'I had to go across the street last night to get water for my kids from the fire department.”

The county set up a 5,000-gallon water tank for residents to help with flushing toilets and irrigation, but now drinking water is the problem. They had to distribute more than 15,000 gallons of drinking water last week.

There are fears the problem could be even worse as people believe some people aren’t reporting their wells have gone dry out of ...

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The Feds Are Incapable of Telling Truth About Pot

I think this essay is stating the truth. I have read stuff coming out from the government on the subject of marijuana so flagrantly wrong that it has to be deliberate. Nobody speaking truthfully about the present state of research could possible make those statements.

PAUL ARMENTANO - AlterNet (U.S.)

In her latest blog post [3], US National Institute on Drug Abuse director Nora Volkow claims that 'science should guide marijuana policy.” But if the nation’s top anti-drug doc truly believes that facts, not ideological rhetoric, ought to shape America’s drug policies, why does she feel the need to keep distorting the truth about pot?

Writes Volkow: 'Besides being addictive, marijuana is cognitively impairing even beyond the phase of acute intoxication and regular use during adolescence may cause a significant, possibly permanent IQ loss.”

Or, more than likely, it may not. In fact, the very study Volkow relies on to make this questionable claim was publically repudiated in a 2012 review [4] published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That review suggests that socioeconomic differences, not pot use, are responsible for dissimilarities found among former teen marijuana users and non-users. In fact, once economic ...

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The Extreme Partisanship of John Roberts's Supreme Court

Supreme Court Justices, I think it can be argued, are the most powerful figures in government today. Citizens United and Hobby Lobby make the case. This is a good assessment essay as to what that has meant, and why the Great Schism Trend manifesting in the court is horrible prospect.

Garrett Epps - The Atlantic

'Politics are closely divided,” John Roberts told scholar Jeffrey Rosen after his first term as chief justice. 'The same with the Congress. There ought to be some sense of some stability, if the government is not going to polarize completely. It’s a high priority to keep any kind of partisan divide out of the judiciary as well.”

No one who observes the chief justice would doubt he was sincere in his wish for greater unanimity, greater judicial modesty, a widely respected Supreme Court quietly calling 'balls and strikes.” But human beings are capable of wishing for mutually incompatible things-commitment and freedom, for example, or safety and excitement. In his desire for harmony, acclaim, and legitimate hegemony, the chief was fighting himself. As he enters his 10th term, his quest for a non-partisan Court seems in retrospect like the impossible dream.

The Supreme Court’s 2013 term began with oral ...

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