Tuesday, January 24, 2012

If You Are A Blue Collar Worker In America You Are An Endangered Species

Have you ever heard of the dodo bird? Once upon a time, dodo birds lived on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. But if you go there today you won't find any because they are extinct. Well, if you are a blue collar worker in America today it looks like you are headed for a similar fate.

Blue collar workers are truly becoming an "endangered species" in the United States. In the old days, the balance of power between business owners and labor was more even because they both needed each other.

But today that has all changed. Thanks to robotics, automation and computers there is simply not as much of a need for physical laborers anymore and nothing is going to reverse that trend. Big employers will continue to look for ways to replace men with machines, and there is nothing wrong with that. But there is another major trend that is also destroying blue collar jobs in America that we should do something about.

Right now, it is perfectly legal for big corporations to shut down manufacturing facilities in the United States and send the jobs over to nations on the other side of the globe where it is legal to pay slave labor wages and where there are barely any regulations. As you will see later on this article, this has been the biggest reason for the shocking blue collar job losses in America over the past decade.

The big corporations don't care that you need to pay the mortgage and put food on the table for your families. All they care about it the bottom line, and if dramatic changes are not made soon, the number of blue collar jobs leaving the United States will continue to increase.

Once upon a time, almost everyone who wanted a job in America could get one. If you go back a few decades, you will find that about 95 percent of all men between the ages of 25 and 54 had a job. Today that figure is struggling to stay above 80 percent. Read More

Stuxnet weapon has at least 4 cousins: researchers

The Stuxnet virus that last year damaged Iran's nuclear program was likely one of at least five cyber weapons developed on a single platform whose roots trace back to 2007, according to new research from Russian computer security firm Kaspersky Lab.

Security experts widely believe that the United States and Israel were behind Stuxnet, though the two nations have officially declined to comment on the matter.
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A Pentagon spokesman on Wednesday declined comment on Kaspersky's research, which did not address who was behind Stuxnet.

Stuxnet has already been linked to another virus, the Duqu data-stealing trojan, but Kaspersky's research suggests the cyber weapons program that targeted Iran may be far more sophisticated than previously known.

Kaspersky's director of global research & analysis, Costin Raiu, told Reuters on Wednesday that his team has gathered evidence that shows the same platform that was used to build Stuxnet and Duqu was also used to create at least three other pieces of malware. Read More

The End of Free Will?

The field of neuroscience evolved so rapidly in the past twenty years that it will pose unprecedented challenges to the legal system in the decades to come, changing the way we understand crime and punishment, says neuro-pioneer Joy Hirsch, director of the Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Center at Columbia.

Functional imaging, for instance, has given scientists the ability to identify which specific areas of the brain are active during specific tasks. It's a development that Hirsch compares to manna from heaven.

“I was at Kettering in 1991, when the blood oxygen level dependent signal - the primary signal of functional imaging - was discovered,” she says. “I had a feeling that this was going to change the course of neuroscience, because if that signal was real then it meant that we would actually be able to observe, physiologically, the function of the brain that we had made inferences about from more or less the black box system of study.”

By 2005, a technique utilizing this knowledge had been adopted by the AMA, resulting in widespread use in research and community hospitals across the country. Over the course of about five years, the way surgeons plan and execute operations was entirely revised. Read More

Census: Number of U.S. youth shrinks

The bad economy and slowdown in immigration is shrinking the nation's youthful population for the first time in a generation, according to Census data released today.

The number of people under 18 stood at 73.9 million on July 1, 2011, a decline of more than 260,000 from the previous year.

The last drop in the child population was in the 1970s, when most of the 77 million Baby Boomers had reached adulthood. Before that, it was during the Great Depression.

Overall, the U.S. population is growing at its slowest rate since the mid-1940s.

"I don't foresee a youth boom anytime soon," says William Frey, demographer at the Brookings Institution, who analyzed the new estimates. Read More

THE issue of our time: Genetic Armageddon

An arrogant scientific elite has divorced themselves from common sense, morality, and the rest of the human species in their quest for full spectrum scientific domination.

While the vast majority of the population is consuming endless supplies of entertainment, a revolution is taking place right under their noses. The very genetic code of the planet’s biosphere is being tampered with; The ultimate goal being the ability to manipulate and program at will - as if working with a word processor – the biological processes of life. Read More

Magnesium Deficiency: The Source of Most Modern Chronic Illness?

To be in good health is a true blessing, and without proper nutrition a foundation for health cannot be built. I found this out the hard way.

For several years I experienced severe fatigue daily, along with muscle spasms, weak teeth, shortness of breath, anxiety and generally not feeling well. I started to conduct research on the unpleasant assortment of symptoms that I was experiencing, and I repeatedly came across information on the essential element called magnesium.

It turns out that the majority of Americans (80% or more) are magnesium deficient due to poor diet and soil depletion. Every symptom that I had was a sign of magnesium deficiency. Upon further research I discovered magnesium oil, which is easily absorbed – more so than pill form – through the skin via Transdermal Magnesium Therapy. After using the oil for several months, all of the symptoms have disappeared.

If i had gone to a doctor, instead of doing my own research, I likely would have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome or some other illness that would be “treated” with drugs dispensed from the Medical-Industrial Complex, masking the underlying nutritional deficiency. In my research I have found that nearly every symptom of magnesium deficiency has a specific corresponding pharmaceutical drug to “treat” it. The monetary impact to drug companies – in the event that widespread attention was given to Transdermal Magnesium Therapy – would be monumental. Read More

NY Times Public Editor Asks If Paper Should Publish Uncorrected Lies or Be a “Truth Vigilante.” Seriously.

No, this absurd piece is not (intentional) satire. But the “headline could just as well be found at the Onion,” as one of the many exasperated New York Times readers puts it.

Obviously any paper, but most especially the New York Times, has little value to society if it knowingly prints lies — or if it fails to do the minimal investigative reporting and fact-checking needed to determine if a statement by a newsmaker or, say, a global warming denier, is false.

The public editor is “the readers’ representative,” which is to say he has no power whatsoever except the public platform to shame the paper of record. That in theory makes him the “conscience” of the paper, but by not clearly stating the obvious here he has mostly provided cover for journalists to continue doing the lousy job they are doing.

This is not an abstract question. We’ve seen the media described as “stenographers” by one of the country’s leading journalists in a major Harvard study — see How the press bungles its coverage of climate economics — “The media’s decision to play the stenographer role helped opponents of climate action stifle progress.” The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank has harshly slammed his fawning, stenographic colleagues in his piece, “Rotten to the press corps”: Read More

Nome Fuel Delivery Exposes Serious Concerns for Arctic Drilling

If We Have Trouble Delivering Fuel on Land, How Would We Handle a Winter Oil Spill in the Arctic Ocean?

Today the Russian tanker Renda, escorted by the United States’ only operating icebreaking vessel, will attempt to make its final push in delivering much-needed fuel to the remote, icebound community of Nome, Alaska. The ships’ progress has been impeded by high winds, strong currents, brutal cold, and thick sea ice. They moved just 50 feet on Tuesday and slowed even further on Wednesday. With a 25-foot ice ridge still blocking access to the harbor, the tanker will be forced to attempt offloading its cargo through a mile-long hose to shore.

Ordinarily, the last delivery is made prior to the ice closing in, but this year it was delayed by a “monster storm” that hit Alaska in early November covering an area twice the size of Texas. The tempest produced hurricane-force winds, blizzard conditions, coastal flooding, and spurred evacuations of many coastal communities. The 3,500 residents of Nome, a city located on the western coast of Alaska, rely on tanker barges to deliver home heating oil, gasoline, and diesel for the winter months. The village has enough fuel to last until March, but ice in the Bering Sea won’t clear until midsummer. Read More

Climate Cartoon of the Week

Seven National All-Time Heat Records Set in 2011

The year 2011 was the tenth warmest year on record for the globe, but the warmest year on record when a La NiƱa event was present (Ricky Rood has a discussion of this in his lastest post.) Seven nations and one territory broke all-time hottest temperature records.

This is a far cry from 2010 (which tied for the warmest year on record), when twenty nations (plus one UK territory) set all-time hottest temperature records. One all-time coldest temperature record was set in 2011; this was the first time since 2009 one of these records was set.

The all-time cold record occurred in Zambia, which ironically also set an all-time hottest temperature record in 2011. Here, then, are the most most notable extreme temperatures globally in 2011, courtesy of weather records researcher Maximiliano Herrera:

Hottest temperature in the world in 2011: 53.3°C (127.9°F) in Mitrabah, Kuwait, August 3
Coldest temperature in the world in 2011: -80.2°C (-112.4°F) at Dome Fuji, Antarctica, September 18
Hottest temperature in the Southern Hemisphere: 49.4°C (120.9°F) at Roebourne, Australia, on December 21
Coldest temperature in the Northern Hemisphere: -67.2°C (-89°F) at Summit, Greenland, March 18. This is also the coldest March temperature ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere.
Hottest undisputed 24-hour minimum temperature in world history: A minimum temperature of 41.7°C (107°F) measured at Khasab Airport in Oman on June 27

New country hottest temperature records set in 2011

Iraq recorded its hottest temperature on record on August 3, 2011 in Tallil (Ali military airbase), when the mercury hit 53°C (127.4°F). The previous record was 52.3°C recorded at Diwanya FOB airbase a few days before. Read More

Germany installs twice as much solar power as the US, at a fraction of the price

In the lead up to another 15% reduction in Germany’s feed-in tariff (the price paid for solar electricity fed into the grid), the German solar industry finished 2011 off with a bang — installing 3,000 megawatts of solar photovoltaic systems in December.

Let’s put those figures in perspective: In just one month, Germany installed almost twice as many megawatts of solar than the entire U.S. developed during all of 2011. Preliminary figures show Germany ended the year with roughly 7,500 MW of installations; the U.S. ended up with about 1,700 megawatts, according to GTM Research.

Oh, and I should probably mention that the Germans installed all of that solar at almost half the price. The average price of an installed solar system in Germany came to $2.80 in the third quarter of 2011. In the U.S., it was about $5.20 in the third quarter.

Why the disparity? The Germans have a much more mature solar market. The country’s simple, long-term feed-in tariff makes financing projects less expensive, and has created a sophisticated supply chain that allows companies to source product, generate leads and get systems on rooftops efficiently. Read More

24 Statistics To Show To Anyone Who Believes That America Has A Bright Economic Future

Beware of bubbles of false hope. Right now there is a lot of talk about how the U.S. economy is improving, but it is all a lie. The mainstream media can be very seductive. When you sit down to watch television your brain tends to go into a very relaxed mode. In such a state, it becomes easy to slip thoughts and ideas past your defenses.

Sometimes when I am watching television I realize what the media is trying to do and yet I can still feel it happening to me. In this day and age, it is absolutely critical that we all think for ourselves. When you look at the long-term trends and the long-term numbers, a much different picture of the U.S economy emerges than the one that is painted for us on television.

Over the long-term, the number of good jobs in America has been steadily going down. Over the long-term, the number of Americans living in poverty and living on food stamps has been steadily going up. Over the past couple of decades, tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of our national wealth have gone out of the country.

Our debt is nearly 15 times larger than it was 30 years ago, and U.S. consumer debt has soared by 1700% over the past 40 years. Year after year the rate of inflation goes up faster than our incomes do, and this is absolutely devastating the middle class. Anyone who believes that we can keep doing the same things that we have been doing and yet America will still have a bright economic future is delusional. Until the long-term trends which are taking the U.S. economy straight into the toilet are reversed, any talk of a bright economic future is absolute nonsense.

In America today, we have such a short-term focus. We are all so caught up with what is happening right now. Our attention spans seem to get shorter every single year. At this point it would not be hard to argue that kittens have longer attention spans than most of us do. (If you have ever owned a kitten you know how short their attention spans can be.) Things have gotten so bad that most of our high school students cannot even answer the most basic questions about our history. If people are not talking about it on Facebook or Twitter it is almost as if it does not even matter.

But any serious student of history knows that is is absolutely crucial to examine long-term trends. And when you look at the long-term trends, it rapidly becomes apparent that the U.S. economy is in the midst of a nightmarish long-term decline.

The following are 24 statistics to show to anyone who believes that America has a bright economic future....

#1 Inflation is a silent tax that steals wealth from all of us. Read More