You are browsing the archive for 2013 September 17.

Avatar of admin

by admin

Naval Yard Massacre Hard Reality: Two Million Returned Vets Includes Many Criminals and PTSD Sufferers

September 17, 2013 in Blogs

By Matt Kennard, The Guardian

The story of Aaron Alexis is still obscure. But effects of an over-taxed US military are painfully visible among 2 million veterans


The details are gradually emerging, there is much we don't know about the navy yard shooter Aaron Alexis. Yet, the shooting rampage of the navy veteran who retained a contractor's pass to the navy yard inWashington DC has a context: a stressed and over-extended US military, exhausted by more than a decade of “war on terror” tours of duty, and a huge population of veterans who bear the mental and physical scars of their service and often struggle to reintegrate.

Aaron Alexis served for four years, from 2007 to 2011, as an aviation electrician in the US navy. A reservist, he did not serve in a foreign theater but was decorated with two of the most respected medals bestowed by the US military. But alongside these worthy elements of his resume, it is also reported that he was arrested twice on firearms offences, in 2004, before he signed up to the navy, and in 2010. Neither incident resulted in a criminal conviction, though the latter one apparently precipitated his discharge from the service. The Associated Press has also now reported that he had recently been receiving treatment from the Veterans Administration for mental health problems.

We have no insight, as yet, into Alexis's possible motive, but according to a statement provided by Seattle police, Alexis's father told detectives his son had “anger management problems” associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is estimated to afflict upwards of 30% of veterans, and while resources have been added, treatment for psychological ailments is sorely lacking. The greatest threat by far posed by traumatized veterans is not to others, but to themselves: it is estimated that 22 veterans in the US are committing suicide every day.

The PTSD epidemic is just one of many problems faced by the US military as it deals with the fallout from over …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Guess How Many Calories Sex Burns? Almost None!

September 17, 2013 in Blogs

By Katie McDonough, Salon

The average sex session burns 21 calories.


Bad news for those of you who thought you could bang your way out of a gym membership: standard coitus is a pretty poor substitute for regular exercise, like that CrossFit business all the nice young fascists are getting into these days.

According to a study from the New England Journal of Medicine, the average sex session lasts six minutes and burns approximately 21 calories, the equivalent of two navel orange segments. Thirty minutes of sex burns between 85 – 100 calories, the equivalent of 16 – 20 Skittles.

Here is a researcher from the New England Journal of Medicine explaining more about these very important findings:

h/t Jezebel

Related Stories

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Four Reasons Not To Worry About The Fed's Taper

September 17, 2013 in Economics

By Alan Reynolds

Alan Reynolds

At Wednesday’s Federal Reserve announcement, policymakers are widely expected to begin to scale back (taper) monthly purchases of Treasury and agency bonds from $85 billion to perhaps $70 billion or so.

Such a change would be minuscule compared to the huge stock of outstanding Treasury and agency bonds or to daily trading volume. Yet many analysts fear that even so trivial a change must be ominous for stockholders, even though the Fed pledges to keep short-term rates near zero.

As one financial columnist recently put it, “worries focus on what will happen to stocks as that stimulus begins to shrink.”

Worries about the taper are hugely overblown for at least four reasons:

1. It’s old news.

Traders have been discounting an end to the Fed’s bond-buying spree for months, with 10-year Treasury yields rising from an unsustainably low 1.65% last November to nearly 3% lately.

This is not simply because Fed officials said they will slow the pace of bond buying, but because sensible global investors have long feared that holding U.S. bonds with a coupon below 2% was inherently hazardous.

The Fed ended two prior quantitative easing (QE) schemes, after all, with no memorable effect. If Wednesday presented a serious threat to stocks, the market would not have been rising so smartly just before that date.

2. A steeper yield curve is not a “tighter” policy.

The spread between interest rates on 10-year and three-month Treasuries is one of the most reliable indicators of future economic activity. When that spread virtually vanished in 2000 and again in 2006-2007, that signaled trouble ahead. Conversely, the economy recovered as the spread widened to 2.39 percentage points in 2009 and 3.08 points in 2010.

Banks make money by borrowing short and lending long. They naturally become more cautious and selective about lending when three QE experiments deliberately flattened the yield curve after late 2010.

Gentle euthanasia of the Fed’s quixotic efforts to flatten the yield curve is likely to prove the least of our concerns.”

Bank lending for real estate and consumers shrank in 2011, and nonfinancial credit rose just 3.7%. As the yield curve steepened in recent months, by contrast, financial stocks have outperformed because lending is becoming more attractive.

The indisputable fact that flatter yield curves are the opposite of “stimulus” may explain why valiant Fed economists have struggled in vain to prove the quantitative easing boosted economic growth. In fact, growth was faster in the …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Sen. Paul Responds to Eastern Kentucky Mine Closures

September 17, 2013 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul today released the following statement regarding the announcement by James River Coal Company that they are shutting down coal production at operations in Pike, Floyd, Leslie, Harlan and Laurel counties and are laying off 525 coal miners:

‘President Obama and his Administration have declared a war on coal, and thus declared a war on Kentucky jobs and our economy. In the past few years, thousands of Kentucky coal miners have lost their jobs at the hands of an overzealous EPA. Now, another 525 Kentucky families are facing the same devastating news,’ Sen. Paul said.

‘Kentuckians are deeply frustrated and they have a right to be. Coal miners are worried about providing for their families, while all families are worried about a future devoid of abundant, affordable and reliable energy. I will continue to fight for Kentucky’s coal industry and for the jobs and livelihoods it provides. If President Obama attempts ‎to kill coal jobs with new regulations, I will organize resistance in the Senate through the Congressional Review Act to stop him.’

###
…read more

Source: RAND PAUL

Avatar of admin

by admin

On Constitution Day, Remember the Anti-Federalists

September 17, 2013 in Economics

By Trevor Burrus

Trevor Burrus

On September 14, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention got a little rowdy. Joining a group of elite militiamen who staged a party in honor of George Washington, the 55 men, delegates and militiamen together, drank 54 bottles of Madeira, 60 bottles of claret, 50 bottles of “old stock,” and ample amounts of other spirits. The final bill included an additional fee for “breakage.”

They certainly had something to celebrate. In three days they would sign the Constitution. Today is the 226th anniversary of the signing, and it is a good time to reflect on the document and the men who created it.

Yet, if we want to understand that monumental event, we should not reflect on it using the myths that have sprung up around the convention or that have been manufactured by leftist historians. The Constitution’s existence and ratification was not foreordained, and to think so is to eschew a deeper understanding of the times.

Constitution Day is always a good day to reflect on our founding document. But don’t forget the wisdom of those who opposed it.”

In particular, we should remember the Anti-Federalists. Those men, the opponents of the Constitution, are generally demonized by leftist historians who view centralization as synonymous with progress. The resisters to the Constitution are generally regarded as knuckle-dragging philistines who doggedly held onto antiquated ideas and resisted “modernity,” an epithet with which modern conservatives should sympathize.

But the Anti-Federalists were far from obstructionist cavemen. In fact, they offered some of the best and most prophetic critiques of the Constitution. To see why, however, we must remember the context in which the Constitution was written.

By the fall of 1786, when James Madison and others met in Annapolis, Maryland and decided that a convention would be held in Philadelphia beginning in May of the next year, many people believed that the newly formed United States teetered on the edge of anarchy. The Articles of Confederation were unworkable, they believed, and a stronger, more energetic central government was needed.

To understand late-Eighteenth century America and the Articles of Confederation, it is useful to look at Europe. The Articles of Confederation were more a treaty than a constitution. Treaties preserve the sovereignty of every individual member, treat every signatory country as one unit regardless of population, and hold no power over members without their consent. Treaties, such as the Treaty of Rome that created the initial European Economic …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Nina Davuluri Is America's Future

September 17, 2013 in Blogs

By Andrew Lam, New America Media

Davuluri, has shrugged off the haters. “I have to rise above that,” she said. “I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”


 

Nina Davuluri is the first Indian-American to hold the title of Miss America and it should be something for all Americans to celebrate. Her story, after all, is one of the more optimistic news about immigration in recent times. Alas, it's a victory marred by waves of racist backlash in social media. Davuluri is called a “terrorist,” and derogatory references to convenient stores – “Miss 7-11″ — and Muslims are mentioned. But the biggest complain? Miss America should be more “American.”

Perhaps what the haters resent is that immigration and diversity have irrevocably changed who is an American these days. The U.S. demographic is shifting toward a reality where non-white groups are emerging as majorities, undermining what we traditionally held as majority vs. minority, mainstream vs. ethnic. By 2050, demographers tell us, whites will be under 50 percent while minorities will reach 54 percent, an astonishing shift.

But diversity is nothing new. What is new is at the dawn of the 21st century, many of us have finally overcame our xenophobia, our fear and distrust of “the other” to embrace and celebrate our complexity in an epic and historic way.

After all, we elected Barack Obama, the first black U.S. president, and his is a global biography — Muslim father from Kenya, white mother, raised in Hawaii and Indonesia with a half-sister who is part Indonesian and married to a Chinese, half-siblings and a grandmother in Kenya and relatives in Kansas. Obama, arguably the most well known figure of the 21st century, has opened the door wide to that growing public space in which other Americans can celebrate their own diversity and claim their own centrality. Obama gives all of us license to embrace our various inheritances and still call ourselves Americans.

In San Francisco, where I live, the year 2050 has already arrived. Ed Lee, San Francisco's mayor, is Chinese American. The population is so diverse here that no one group constitutes more than 50 percent, and more …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

The Administration's Indefensible Hike in the "Social Cost of Carbon"

September 17, 2013 in Economics

The Administration recently raised the “Social Cost of Carbon” (SCC), an estimate of the net damages caused by a hypothetical ton of dreaded carbon dioxide emissions, in complete contravention to a plethora of recent scientific findings on global warming. In response, Landmark Legal Foundation petitioned for reconsideration, and Cato scientists have filed an extensive commentary in support. We found that up-to-date science would result in a lower, and probably inconsequential, social cost.

…read more

Source: CATO HEADLINES

Avatar of admin

by admin

He Was a Buddhist? 5 Things You Should Know About Aaron Alexis, the Man Who Killed 12 at the D.C. Navy Yard

September 17, 2013 in Blogs

By Alex Kane, AlterNet

Here’s what we know already about the man behind the latest mass shooting.


Washington, D.C. is still reeling from the worst attack on a military base since the Fort Hood shootings in 2009, but attention is now turning to the perpetrator of the attack. 12 people were killed and dozens were injured yesterday by 34-year-old Aaron Alexis.

Alexis, who opened fire from a building overlooking the cafeteria at the Navy Yard in D.C., was killed after engaging in a firefight with police. It was unclear whether he killed himself or was shot by police, though.

Law enforcement authorities are still investigating why Alexis would have turned his guns on innocent people. Here’s what we know already about the man behind the latest mass shooting.

1. Prior Arrests

Aaron Alexis was no stranger to law enforcement. He had been arrested twice before.

In 2004, Alexis was booked by Seattle police on charges of “malicious mischief.” The reason? He shot out the tires of a car owned by construction workers. According to the Seattle Police, Alexis had been staring at construction workers at a site near where he was staying. Angry at the parking situation near his home, Alexis shot out the tires of a Honda. Alexis told law enforcement authorities that it was an anger-fueled “blackout” and that he couldn’t remember firing his gun until an hour after he did so.

And in 2010, Alexis was arrested in Texas for discharging his gun. He told police he did so accidentally; no charges were filed. But the gun incident came after he confronted an upstairs neighbor in a parking lot about making too much noise.

2. Alexis Was a Contractor

The 34-year-old worked for a subsidiary of Hewlett Packard called The Experts, an information technology and telecommunications company. The business is contracted by the Navy to work on its Intranet network (a term meaning a collection of private computer networks within one organization). He was reportedly upset about a payment dispute with his employer.

His ID …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Libertarians Want to Make World Better for Everyone

September 17, 2013 in Economics

By Aaron Ross Powell

Aaron Ross Powell

If you believe Nick Hanauer and Eric Liu, libertarians are nuts. In a recent commentary, they gave a litany of reasons for “Why libertarian society is doomed to fail” (Sept. 11 Kansas.com). The trouble is, they’ve managed not only to misunderstand libertarianism, but also to ignore the very problems libertarians see in the authors’ own preferred big government solutions.

Hanauer and Liu attack “radical libertarianism,” which they define as “the ideology that holds that individual liberty trumps all other values.” Yet this isn’t quite right, whether we’re talking about moderate or radical libertarianism. Liberty isn’t the ultimate value. But it is the ultimate political value. It holds this status not because we shouldn’t care about other values, but because a state that aims at liberty will enable us to realize much more of what we value than one that aims at something else. Whether the goal is wealth, happiness, health, culture or any other value we hold dear, political liberty will bring us more of it than officious government.

Defenders of the status quo are always quick to label as unreasonable those who advocate for a different and better world.”

The authors then call out libertarians for our “defective” theory of human nature. They tell us libertarians believe “humans are wired only to be selfish, when in fact cooperation is the height of human evolution.” But libertarians embrace free markets and voluntary association, which both require and encourage cooperation. What libertarians are skeptical of is not cooperation, but the use of, and threat of, force to coerce people into taking part in schemes they don’t approve of, or that harm them, or that aren’t as efficient or effective as other means. Is it “cooperation” when the state forces poor, minority children into failing schools? Is it “cooperation” when politically connected businesses get regulators and legislators to craft rules in their favor? Is it “cooperation” when politicians send young men and women to die in unnecessary wars? Cooperation, far from being anathema to libertarianism, is in fact a core libertarian value.

Hanauer and Liu tell us that libertarians believe “societies are efficient mechanisms requiring no rules or enforcers.” Yet no libertarian thinks society can function without codes of conduct and methods for enforcing them. Libertarians believe strongly in the rule of law — much more so, in fact, than many on the left and right who would …read more

Source: OP-EDS

Avatar of admin

by admin

Watch: Christian Prophet Claims She Healed Massive Satan-Induced Tumor

September 17, 2013 in Blogs

By Kyle Mantyla, Right Wing Watch

The “grapefruit size tumor” had allegedly been caused because “Satan had wounded me as a woman.”


“Respected Prophet” Cindy Jacobs recently posted a new video in her on-going “Ten Minute Prayer School” series in which she recounted how she once not only regrew an entire cheek bone of a woman injured in a car accident but also healed herself of a massive tumor cause by Satan.

In the first instance, Jacobs was preaching when she called out to someone in the audience whose face had been deformed in an accident; when Jacobs had her rub her hand over the injury, her entire cheek bone was miraculously regrown. 

Later, Jacobs recounted how she had once had “a grapefruit size tumor” that had been caused because “Satan had wounded me as a woman.”  The spiritual pain eventually grew into a tumor, but once she was able to forgive those who were responsible “I got totally healed”:

 

Related Stories

…read more

Source: ALTERNET