Erin Currier: Art Is a Necessary Element of Every Revolution...

Jul 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By Dahr Jamail, Truthout | Interview Erin Currier. (Photo: D’Nelle Garcia, Blue Rain Gallery)Erin Currier’s simple art studio, located within an unassuming adobe compound in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is not what one would expect for the first artist (and US citizen) to have had a solo show at the Embassy Republica Bolivaria de Venezuela in Washington, DC. Nor would one guess that her work was included in the collections of the likes of the late President Hugo Chavez, Lisa Bonet, John and Joan Cusack, Julia Roberts and Carlos Santana. Currier’s eyes, that are simultaneously exploring and absorbing, are fitting for someone as knowledgeable and confident, yet humble, as she is. Her work, which is also an important part of her political activism, is obviously well known in the art sphere by...

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Does NASA’s Data Show Doomsday for New York City?...

Jul 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By The Daily Take Team, The Thom Hartmann Program | Op-Ed The view of Hudson River sea level beyond the Lincoln Tunnel in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. (Photo: Joisey Showaa / Flickr) If we don’t do something quick to stop global warming, some of the biggest cities in America could go the way of Atlantis in just a matter of decades. Sam Carana over at Arctic News has taken the time to analyze the latest data from NASA, and what’s he’s projecting from that data is startling. Sam suggests that global sea levels may rise rapidly over the next few decades; so rapidly, in fact, that we could see more than 2.5 meters of seal level rise by 2040, which is just 26 years from now. And because, as Sam Carana...

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9 Most Horrifying Chain Restaurant Concoctions...

Jul 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   Food   Salon / By Lindsay Abrams The Xtreme Eating Awards ‘honored’ such food as ‘A1 Peppercorn Burger with Bottomless Steak Fries’ and ‘The Big Slab.’ It’s an honor that no restaurant wants to win. (Although, if we’re being honest, most probably take perverse pleasure in receiving it.) Awarded annually by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Xtreme Eating Awards single out the biggest and baddest of unhealthy menu items — entrees, platters and desserts that can top 3,000 calories, and which come packed with enough fat, sodium and sugar to (arguably) kill you outright. In a way, the “winners” seem to be almost unfairly singled out — it’s not like anyone who orders Red Robin’s A1 Peppercorn Burger with Bottomless Steak Fries and a Monster Salted Caramel Milkshake doesn’t know...

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10 Reasons to Be Hopeful that We Will Overcome Climate Change...

Jul 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Environment   The Guardian / By Karl Mathiesen Action in China, falling solar costs and rising electric car sales, for starters. July 31, 2014  | For the last few months, carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmospherehave been at record levels unseen in over 800,000 years. The chairman of the IPCC, an international panel of the world’s top climate scientists, warned earlier this year that “nobody on this planet is going to be untouched by the impacts of climate change”. Future generations will no doubt wonder at our response, given the scale of the threat. It’s known that death, poverty and suffering await millions, and yet governments still vacillate. But solutions are available. Here are ten reasons to be hopeful that humans will rise to the challenge of climate change. 1) Barack Obama has made it one...

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A Venerable Jewish Voice for Peace...

Jul 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] By Amy Goodman   TRUTHDIG The Israeli assault on the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip has entered its fourth week. This military attack, waged by land, sea and air, has been going on longer than the devastating assault in 2008/2009, which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians. The death toll in this current attack is at least 1,300, overwhelmingly civilians. As this column was being written, the United Nations confirmed that a U.N. school in Gaza, where thousands of civilians were seeking shelter, was bombed by the Israeli Defense Forces, killing at least 20 people. The United Nations said it reported the exact coordinates of the shelter to the Israeli military 17 times. Henry Siegman, a venerable dean of American Jewish thought and president of the U.S./Middle East Project, sat down for an interview...

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Federal Toxic Pollution Website Down for Months, Leaving Eco-Groups in the Dark...

Jul 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]  By Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report Every day in the United States, toxic pollutants from industrial facilities like petrochemical plants, mines and oil drilling fields are illegally released into the environment. (Photo: AFGE / Flickr)With a federal website listing thousands of toxic pollution reports scrapped due to a security breach, environmental watchdogs are without a crucial tool for holding polluters and government regulators accountable. The federal website that hosted a searchable database of thousands of toxic pollution reports has been offline since it suffered a security breach in February, leaving environmental watchdog groups without a crucial tool for tracking pollution and holding polluters accountable. Every day in the United States, toxic pollutants from industrial facilities like petrochemical plants, mines and oil drilling fields are illegally released into the environment. Whether it’s a major oil...

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Is the Conflict in South Sudan the Opening Salvo in the Battle for a Continent?...

Jul 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]  By Nick Turse, TomDispatch | News Analysis Smoke trails from burning homes in Abyei, the main town of the disputed Abyei area on the border of Sudan and newly independent South Sudan. (Photo: Stuart Price / UN Photos) This story was reported in partnership with the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute. Additional funding was provided through the generosity of Adelaide Gomer. Juba, South Sudan – Is this country the first hot battlefield in a new cold war?  Is the conflict tearing this new nation apart actually a proxy fight between the world’s two top economic and military powers?  That’s the way South Sudan’s Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth tells it.  After “midwifing” South Sudan into existence with billions of dollars in assistance, aid, infrastructure projects, and military support, the U.S. has watched...

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Q&A: Renzo Piano: BUILDINGS SHOULD TALK TO ONE ANOTHER...

Jul 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] The METROPOLIS Blog Paul Clemence Photography by Paul Clemence There’s a reason why Renzo Piano is known as the master of museum design. The architect has designed 25 of them, 14 in the U.S. alone. Few architects understand as well as Piano—along with his practice, the Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW)—what board directors, curators, and even the visiting public needs and wants in a cultural institution like a museum. When I spoke with Donna de Salvo, chief curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art, whose new downtown digs were authored by RPBW she remarked on the how the curators’ input was often incorporated into the final building design. “Our curators and the architects had an ongoing dialogue throughout the design of this building,” de Salvo says. “The physical needs of the art were a priority...

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DELAYING CLIMATE ACTION COULD COST US ECONOMY $150 BILLION A YEAR – REPORT...

Jul 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   This March 13, 2014 file photo shows cracks in the dry bed of the Stevens Creek Reservoir in Cupertino, Calif. CREDIT: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez The White House’s Council of Economic Advisors (CEA) released a sweeping report Tuesday on the monetary costs of delaying action on climate change, and it had one glaring conclusion: the longer America waits to act, the more money will be stripped from the U.S. economy. The report, titled “The Cost of Delaying Action to Stem Climate Change,” looks at climate change policy as a form of insurance — that is, a form of self-protection against various forms of risk. As with insurance, the report found that paying money over time to mitigate the risks of sea level rise, severe weather, drought, and other potential impacts of global...

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The U.S. cities with the worst climate change-related flooding...

Jul 31, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Amy McGovern Annapolis, Md. What’s the most pernicious climate-change threat facing the U.S. in the years to come? It might not be lung-scorching air pollution, less-nutritious crops, or super-fueled wildfires, but rising sea levels repeatedly swamping coastal cities, according to a new NOAA report. The number of “nuisance flooding” days in the U.S. has shot up markedly since the middle of last century, by as much as 925 percent in Annapolis and 922 percent in Baltimore. And as the oceans continue to swell – a byproduct of melting glaciers and the heat expansion of water — we can expect these waterlogged days to become yet more common, especially on the East Coast, says the report’s lead author, William Sweet. “Flooding now occurs with high tides in many locations due to climate-related sea-level rise, land subsidence and the loss of natural barriers,”...

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Darrell Issa’s ridiculous IRS plan: Let all “dark money” groups flourish!...

Jul 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] The witch-hunting congressman has a plan to fix the IRS! It involves stripping the IRS of important powers Jim Newell  SALON.COM Darrell Issa (Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite) After a brisk year-and-a-half of hearings and reviewing of hundreds of thousands of pages of documents, Rep. Darrell Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has come forth with a recommended overhaul of the agency. Oh, sure, “the Committee’s fact-finding is not yet complete,” according to the proposal released yesterday — Barack Obama is still president, and we’re not at the midterms yet, so there’s got to be more to come. But Issa has, at least, determined that his his creative mind has had enough time to ferment, and his team has arrived at fifteen (15) recommendations. You will not be surprised to learn that Issa’s...

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Russell Brand: “Terrorism is coming from” Sean Hannity...

Jul 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] The comedian rips apart the ignorance and inherent bias in Hannity’s segment on Israel and Gaza VIDEO Prachi Gupta  SALON.COM In his web series “The Trews,” this week comedian Russell Brand watched “Hannity” so that you didn’t have to, and ripped apart Fox News host Sean Hannity for extremely “childish” and biased coverage of the incredibly complicated Israel-Gaza conflict. In response to a totally reasonable press release by the Council on American–Islamic Relations, which asked that American taxpayer funds not go towards killing innocent people in Gaza, Hannity wondered, “Why is America’s largest Muslim so-called civil rights group showing sympathy to terrorists? Let’s have a debate.” The debate, which is already not really a debate as Brand points out, then devolved into Hannity shouting at his guest from the Jerusalem Fund & Palestine...

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Federal Government Still Spending Billions To Subsidize Fossil Fuels...

Jul 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Kate Sheppard  HUFFINGTON POST WASHINGTON – Over the past five years, the Obama administration has repeatedly called for cutting fossil fuel subsidies in the form of tax breaks and other incentives. But the amount of money the federal government forfeits through subsidies has increased steadily over that time period, reaching $18.5 billion last year, according to a new report from the environmental group Oil Change International. That total is up from $12.7 billion in 2009, largely because oil and gas production has increased in the United States. Next year, domestic oil production is expected to reach the highest level since 1972. The Obama administration regularly touts its “all of the above” energy strategy, which includes increased oil and gas production. The Oil Change report includes a variety of subsidies in its accounting, including...

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What’s Behind George Lucas’s MAD Choice?...

Jul 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Point of View The METROPOLIS Blog Martin C. Pedersen Not a sandcrawler: MAD Architects’ Ordos Art & City Museum seems to channel the Dark Side. Courtesy Shu He With the recent selection of architects for his proposed lakefront museum in Chicago, filmmaker George Lucas has proven to possess remarkably flexible taste. His aesthetics could best be described as “situational.” You’ll recall: his rejected proposal in San Francisco, a lumbering Beaux Arts knockoff, had fans of contemporary architecture in the Bay Area rolling their eyes. But now, as opposition to Lucas’s Museum of Narrative Art begins to stir in Chicago, the Star Wars creator has taken a sharp aesthetic turn, hiring Ma Yansong of the Beijing-based MAD Architects to design the proposed building, and homegrown MacArthur Genius Jeanne Gang to envision the landscape. Gang will...

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A Patch of Blue

Jul 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Metropolis Magazine / July-August 2014 / A Patch of Blue Metropolis’s editor-in-chief questions how we can connect healthcare design and nature. Susan S. Szenasy Courtesy photogramma1 on Flickr under Creative Commons The Florida firmament was luminous, a flawless blue on that day in May. But the sky’s reassuring beauty could not be seen from inside the gray hospital room with its whirring and clicking machines. The bed was turned from the window, and all the patient could see at the foot of her bed was a mysterious chart and a transparent cabinet filled with sponges, gauze, and other low-tech aids. My sister was in that bed. She was dying an agonizing death from stage-four pancreatic cancer, literally wasting away. In a morphine stupor for most of her last days on earth, she emerged for a few moments...

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What I learned from six months of GMO research: None of it matters...

Jul 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By Nathanael Johnson  GRIST Grist / Shutterstock / Giuseppe Arcimboldo About a third of the way through this series on GMOs, after a particularly angry conflagration broke out on Twitter, I asked my wife, Beth, if I could tell her what had happened. I was hoping to exorcise those digital voices from my head. Someone had probably accused me of crimes against humanity, shoddy journalism, and stealing teddy bears from children — I forget the details, thank goodness. But I remember Beth’s response. “No offense,” she said, “but who cares?” It’s a little awkward to admit this, after devoting so much time to this project, but I think Beth was right. The most astonishing thing about the vicious public brawl over GMOs is that the stakes are so low. I know that...

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Obama’s coal-leasing program is costing taxpayers more than $50 billion...

Jul 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   Ouch By Ben Adler  GRIST Shutterstock It is common for the coal industry and its conservative allies in politics and media to complain that President Obama is waging a “war on coal.” It is certainly true that the share of American energy that comes from coal is declining. Obama doesn’t actually deserve much of the credit for that. It’s mostly due to the natural gas boom, helped along by the rise of solar and grassroots organizing efforts such as the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign. Still, Obama is trying to move the energy sector further away from coal in the years ahead through his proposed CO2 regulations for power plants. But coal extraction keeps chugging along, with much of the coal being exported to Asian countries that are hungry for energy to...

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Oil refinery threatened by sea-level rise, asks government to fix problem...

Jul 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   Irony much? By Ben Adler  GRIST Shutterstock I pointed out last week that the major oil companies are actually much more willing than Republican politicians to admit the reality of climate change. I offered a few explanations as to why, but left out an important one: If you’re in business, you simply cannot afford to ignore the effects of climate change. The oil industry in particular builds expensive infrastructure, and its scientists and engineers use the best available science to design, situate, and manage that infrastructure. After all, you cannot make smart plans to exploit newly accessible Arctic oil if you don’t admit that the polar ice cap is melting. Here’s an ironic case in point, via the Sierra Club’s blog: An oil refinery in Delaware is asking taxpayers to pay for protecting...

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Not even Jesus is going to save California from this drought...

Jul 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]  By Samantha Larson  GRIST Shutterstock California is looking pretty thirsty these days, having gotten less than half the historical average rainfall over the past year. But a few months ago the state began think that a great wet hope might step in to save them: El Niño, the weather system named after Jesus himself. Now the forecasts have changed, however, and it looks like Californians are SOL. Back in April, scientists said there was a close-to-80 percent chance that an El Niño would form this year. Some believed that all of the pieces were in place for a particularly strong one. And while this would’ve raised certain flavors of meteorological hell, at least the boy would have brought copious amounts of much-needed rainfall. But over the past few months the probability of an El...

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Washington State Is Gearing Up A System To Cut Its Carbon Emissions...

Jul 30, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   by Jeff Spross CLIMATE...

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The Architecture Of The Future Is Far More Spectacular Than You Could Imagine...

Jul 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] The Huffington Post  | By Katherine Brooks “Every great architect is — necessarily — a great poet. He must be a great original interpreter of his time, his day, his age.” Those are the words of one undeniably great architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, whose visions of harmonious design and innovating urban planning amounted to his own brand of organic architecture. We’d argue that Wright wasn’t just an interpreter of his time — he was able to foresee the needs and desires of ages ahead of him. The architect is — necessarily — a visionary capable of seeing into the future. In the spirit of architecture’s fortune telling abilities, we’ve put together a list of our favorite contemporary designs that shed light on the future of our visual world. Behold, 14 designs that show the...

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18 Green Artists Who Are Making Climate Change And Conservation A Priority...

Jul 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] The Huffington Post  | By Katherine Brooks “The quality of place, the reaction to immediate contact with earth and growing things that have a fugal relationship with mountains and sky, is essential to the integrity of our existence on this planet,” the famous American photographer Ansel Adams wrote in his autobiography. From the romantic painters of the late 18th century to Adams to contemporary figures like Pedro Reyes and Agnes Denes, artists have long had a fascination — and deep respect — for the planet on which we exist. With the words “global warming” and “climate change” never far from the headlines, artists like Adams and co. are more relevant than ever. Tying together the scientific and creative worlds in acts of beauty and activism, sculptors, painters, photographers and more have the power to...

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#BECAUSE LOVE

Jul 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] David_Goldstein Become a fanScreenwriter #BecauseLove Huffington Post Anybody who has lived with cats or dogs knows this and knows it for certain: Cats and dogs think deeply. They feel deeply. They bond deeply. They love deeply. When my stubborn, huge-hearted dog Spike was getting old and sick, I tended to him as if he was one of the family — because he was. For weeks before he ended up dying on my bedroom floor from a seemingly endless seizure (in reality, it probably lasted less than a minute), I would carry him outside, cradling his 50-pound body, because he was too weak to walk. Sure, I strained my back a little. I would have practically broken my back for him — #becausedogs, #becauselove. The Obama administration has just authorized the use of “sonic...

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WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF NUCLEAR POWER?...

Jul 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] Global Nuclear Power Supply At Lowest Level Since 1980s, Three Years After Fukushima Disaster Reuters By Aaron Sheldrick TOKYO, July 29 (Reuters) – Atomic power’s share of global electricity supply is at the lowest level since the 1980s following the shutdown of Japan’s reactors after the Fukushima disaster, and may fall further without major new plant construction. The forecast is one of the main conclusions of the World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2014, a draft copy of which was passed to Reuters before general release later on Tuesday. The report paints a bleak picture of the industry more than three years after three reactors melted down at Tokyo Electric Power Co’s Fukushima Daiichi station north of the Japanese capital after an earthquake and tsunami. Rising costs, construction delays, public opposition and aging fleets...

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All the Blood in Your Body

Jul 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] TRUTHOUT By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed For the first time in West Africa, a case of Ebola was confirmed on March 21, three weeks after the first alert of a possible viral hemorrhagic fever emerged from Guinea’s Forest region. Animals such as fruit bats, rodents and monkeys, abundant in the adjacent rain forest, are believed to have served as “reservoir” for the virus. However, once it passed from an infected animal to a human-being, the virus is now ready for human-to-human transmission. (Photo: European Commission DG ECHO / Flickr) A pestilence isn’t a thing made to man’s measure; therefore we tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogy of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away. – Albert Camus, “The Plague”   It begins with symptoms analogous to influenza:...

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GAO Report: Drinking Water at Risk from Underground Fracking Waste Injection...

Jul 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   Fracking   EcoWatch  VIA ALTERNET The watchdog agency criticizes the EPA for being inconsistent in its oversight of fracking operations. Photo Credit: Paffy/Shutterstock July 28, 2014  | The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) publicly released its  report today finding that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is “not consistently conducting two key oversight and enforcement activities for class II programs” for underground fluid injection wells associated with oil and gas production. The report shows that the EPA’s program to protect drinking water sources from underground injection of fracking waste needs improvement. According to the report, “The U.S. EPA does not consistently conduct annual on-site state program evaluations as directed in guidance because, according to some EPA officials, the agency does not have the resources to do so.” The report also found that “to enforce state class...

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BP Oil Spill Is Much Worse Than People Think, Scientists Say...

Jul 29, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   by Emily Atkin CLIMATE PROGRESS Marine reef ecologist Scott Porter holds coral samples he removed from an oil rig in waters, Monday, June 7, 2010, in the Gulf of Mexico south of Venice, La. CREDIT: AP Photo/Eric Gay Scientists at Penn State University have discovered two new coral reefs near the site of BP’s historic 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and the impacts to those reefs from the spill have been greater than expected, according to research released Monday. The two additional reefs found by the PSU team were both farther away and deeper than the one coral reef that had previously been found to have been impacted by the spill. That indicates not only that marine ecosystems may be more greatly affected, but that some of the 210...

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The Smarter, Simpler Smartphone...

Jul 28, 2014 Posted by

[Translate] David Friedlander LIFE EDITED If you’re like me, you have a somewhat conflicted relationship with your smartphone. Features like GPS, email, basic web browsing and ebook reading have become indispensable. But I also find myself looking at screens filled with apps I’ll never use. And while I appreciate the Retina display on my iPhone, I don’t use it for watching movies or playing games–things that might justify its extreme energy sucking tendencies. In fact, I find myself constantly charging my phone with even the most moderate use. I would love a simple–but not too simple–smartphone that retains basic functionality but uses far less power than my iPhone. I want an E-PHONE by New York design consultancy FormNation. The basic idea behind the concept phone is to retain most of the smartphone functionality, but use an e-ink display, which consumes a fraction of...

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Borderland Deaths of Migrants Quietly Reach Crisis Numbers...

Jul 28, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]   By Bethania Palma Markus, Truthout | Report Undocumented migrants pass a boy between two cars on a moving northbound freight train known as “The Beast,” because of rampant accidents and violent crime, as it passes through Tenosique, Mexico, July 2, 2014. (Photo: Meridith Kohut / The New York Times) The sun-bleached bones of a human skeleton lay in disarray: the skull rolled on its crown, an S-curved spinal column about two feet away. Leg bones were in a haphazard pile. There were personal items too – a wallet, pair of walking shoes and a dirt-caked T-shirt. They belonged to a man, most likely a migrant who had faced off with the Sonoran Desert in an attempt to come north. While most attention on immigration has been directed recently at the human drama...

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John Oliver: America Is a Useless Nuclear Weapon ‘Hoarder’ and Nobody Cares...

Jul 28, 2014 Posted by

[Translate]    TRUTHDIG Posted on Jul 28, pills  2014 Screen shot/YouTube Utter indifference to the fact that the United States has in its (extremely haphazard) control enough warheads to destroy humanity is the reason we’ll spend $355 billion over the next decade to maintain our nukes. And if you’re thinking, order “Oh well, at least they’re in good hands,” the “Last Week Tonight” host will make you think again by providing recent examples of the inept hands watching over these missiles. By the way, we’ve almost accidentally caused an apocalypse at least a couple of times. As John Oliver points out, it’s not Iran or North Korea we have to worry about; it’s America.   —Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata  ...

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