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Member since: 2002
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Here's What I Would Like To Know...

If the ASSAD Regime used chemical weapons in Syria...

Why don't we know this already...

I mean... if we are virtually listening to EVERYBODY...

Why are we weak kneed on this one?

Or... could it be that the 3 Dimesional Chess is aimed at defeating us, and promoting more war?

Ladies And Gentlemen... The Great Satchmo !!! (I Can't Give You Anything But Love)

Study Finds Wealth Gives Rise To A Sense Of Entitlement And Narcissistic Behaviors - RawStory

Study finds wealth gives rise to a sense of entitlement and narcissistic behaviors
By Eric W. Dolan - RawStory
Sunday, August 25, 2013 12:14 EDT


Climbing the economic ladder can influence basic psychological processes within an individual.

According to a new study published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin this month, wealth tends to increase a person’s sense of entitlement, which in turn can lead to narcissistic behaviors.

Study Here: http://psp.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/08/19/0146167213501699.abstract

Paul Piff of the University of California at Berkeley told PsyPost “there is something about wealth that gives rise to a sense of entitlement, a sense that one deserves more good things in life than others, which in turn gives rise to an increased or inflated sense of self-importance, vanity, grandiosity, and omnipotence (narcissism).”

“Narcissism is a multi-faceted and complex construct, but that wealth is specifically associated with it suggests that as a person’s level of privilege rises, that person becomes increasingly self-focused – in a sense, becoming the center of their own world and worldview,” he explained.

“The studies in the paper measure narcissism in a whole host of ways, including measuring how likely someone is to stare at their reflection in a mirror (wealthier people do that more often). Even students who come from wealth, but have done little to create their own wealth (yet), report more entitlement. This suggests that wealth shapes an ideology of self-interest and entitlement that’s transferred culturally from one generation to the next.”

Piff conducted five experiments to investigate the associations between social class, entitlement, and narcissism.

The first experiment consisted of...


More: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/08/25/study-finds-wealth-gives-rise-to-a-sense-of-entitlement-and-narcissistic-behaviors/

Latest Radioactive Leak At Fukushima: How Is It Different? - NatGeo

Latest Radioactive Leak at Fukushima: How Is It Different?
Patrick J. Kiger - National Geographic
Published August 21, 2013


In the latest crisis to strike the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan, operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) has discovered that 300 tons (nearly 72,000 gallons) of highly radioactive water has leaked from a holding tank into the ground over the past month.

The development comes on top of TEPCO's admission last month that an estimated 300 tons of radioactive groundwater, which picks up small amounts of contamination when it flows through the damaged reactor buildings, has been leaking into the Pacific Ocean every day. (See related story: "Fukushima's Radioactive Water Leak: What You Should Know."

The new storage tank leak presents a different and potentially more serious problem than the ongoing groundwater flow leaks. The water from the leaking tank is so heavily contaminated with strontium-90, cesium-137, and other radioactive substances that a person standing less than two feet away would receive, in an hour's time, a radiation dose equivalent to five times the acceptable exposure for nuclear workers, Reuters reported. Within ten hours, the exposed person would develop radiation sickness, with symptoms such as nausea and a drop in white blood cells.

A More Hazardous Leak

The latest leak comes from one of the massive array of 1,000 above-ground storage tanks built inside the plant by TEPCO, which store water that deliberately has been pumped into the damaged reactors in an effort to cool the nuclear fuel inside and prevent a meltdown. Such water is heavily contaminated and dangerous compared with the larger radioactive groundwater flow problem, which scientists say does not pose an immediate health hazard to humans (though it has made some types of fish from the area unsafe for consumption).

The Japanese government's Nuclear Regulation Authority is calling the leak a "serious accident" and wants to raise the official threat level from 1 to 3 on the International Nuclear and Radiological Event Scale—the highest level since the level 7 rating given when the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami severely damaged the facility. (See related "Pictures: The Nuclear Cleanup Struggle at Fukushima."

While about two-thirds of Fukushima's storage tanks are welded steel vessels, the leaking tank is one of about 350 improvised temporary tanks that TEPCO has employed to augment its capacity. The temporary tanks are made of steel plates bolted together with plastic packing materials to seal the seams, and apparently are more vulnerable to leaks. A TEPCO official told The Japan Times, an English-language daily, that there have been four previous leaks in the temporary tanks. Unlike the previous ones, this leak somehow went undetected by plant workers for as long as a month. During that time, it leaked an estimated ten tons (about 2,400 gallons) of highly radioactive water per day. (See related photos: "A Rare Look Inside Fukushima Daiichi."

TEPCO hasn't yet found the precise leakage spot or spots on the faulty tank, which according to Reuters is located just 550 yards from the ocean. But the company said that workers have pumped all of the water from inside a small concrete containment area where the leaking tank is located. In the event of rain, they plan to continue running the pump, which they say is powerful enough to keep rainwater from flowing out of the containment.

"We apologize again for creating anxiety among the public," TEPCO executive Masayuki Ono told reporters on Tuesday...


Much More: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2013/08/130821-fukushima-latest-leak-how-is-it-different/

Jeff Bezos’ Newspaper Runs Joke Front Page Story on Deficit - Dean Baker/FDL

Jeff Bezos’ Newspaper Runs Joke Front Page Story on Deficit
By: Dean Baker - FDL
Sunday August 25, 2013 5:44 am


Those who hoped that Jeff Bezos takeover of the Washington Post would lead to a quick improvement in the quality of its budget reporting will be seriously disappointed by the paper’s lead story today. The story bemoaned the fact that, “after six budget showdowns, big government is mostly unchanged <the article's headline>.”

The article uses four metrics to measure the size of government, none of which would inform readers of anything. Its lead metric is spending in nominal dollars, which it tells us will be $3.455 trillion in fiscal 2013. It tells us that this is down by only a small amount from a “whopping $3.457 trillion” spent in 2010.

Incredibly, the article does not even adjust this spending amount for inflation. (The piece does briefly note later that this is a 5 percent decline adjusted for inflation.) Of course a serious analysis would have expressed spending as a share of GDP, which shows that spending dropped from 24.1 percent of GDP in 2010 to 21.5 percent of GDP in 2013. This decline in spending of 2.6 percentage points of GDP would be the equivalent of roughly $420 billion in today’s economy.

Assuming a multipler of 1.5, this reduction in spending has cost the economy more than $600 billion in annual output since there is no plausible story by which cuts in government spending lead to addition private sector demand in the current economic situation. (To be fair, there is a lot of vigorous handwaving on this topic by proponents of spending cuts.) That would translate into more than 5 million fewer jobs.

The piece goes on to tell us that Bezos’ paper does not like government spending in general and in particular dislikes Social Security and Medicare. In terms of government spending the piece tells readers:

“But even now, the government still spends a vast amount of money.

“This year’s projected spending will be more than in any year of the George W. Bush administration. And more than 30 percent higher (accounting for inflation) than the last year of President Clinton’s term.”

Those who are interested in serious historical analysis...


More: http://my.firedoglake.com/deanbaker/2013/08/25/jeff-bezos-newspaper-runs-joke-front-page-story-on-deficit/

A Future for the Middle Class - By: masaccio - FDL

A Future for the Middle Class
By: masaccio - FDL
Sunday August 25, 2013 11:00 am


Politicians of both parties talk a lot about their dedication to the Middle Class. Both parties say that the Middle Class is the backbone of our society. Both parties say that the policies they support will help the Middle Class. But these politicians and the people they appoint to high positions are not themselves members of this Middle Class. They are the prime examples of people who have escaped the pedestrian bonds of house, car and vacation to ascend to the right hand of the rich, where they feed on the same delicacies and talk to the same people and lose contact with the lives of the people actually occupy the medians of wealth and income. These politicians are presiding over the end of the Middle Class they love so much every election.

Every politician who represents people in those median families tells voters that their policies will make those families safe and secure. And apparently, enough of those families believe those politicians. They say that if their set of brilliant saints were allowed to run things, all would be good, but those damfool devils from the other party make that impossible. Neither party believes that the government should try to do what the majority wants; that would be too much like democracy to suit their oligarchic patrons.

The Republicans believe the government should disappear, and the Democrats believe in government but just a little. The Democrats say they are good because of their stands on social issues, and the Republicans say they are good because of their stands on social issues. If politicians are good in this sense, their economic policies must be good too. That makes no sense, but there we are.

All political discussions take place in a cloud of lies and deceit furnished by paid hacks for the rich. There are people in the business of providing lies to politicians and talking heads and reporters that obfuscate and distort reality for short-term profits. These zombie lies about economics don’t die, and return at the worst possible times to destroy any hope. Austerity is a perfect example. As Mark Blyth shows in Austerity, The History of a Dangerous Idea http://fdlbooksalon.com/2013/08/18/fdl-book-salon-welcomes-mark-blyth/ one of our Book Salon books, there is neither intellectual or empirical support for this ridiculous idea, but policy makers here and in Europe just love it and are wrecking societies by following it.

We cannot expect to change things directly through politics.

There is no coherent Middle Class, no enormous group of people in the center of the wealth and income distribution which thinks of itself as a group, with common interests. It seems impossible for people to see themselves as a group when there are enormous social and educational differences among them. Connections like these may seem obvious to an outsider, but they are invisible to the people in those groups.

1. They are dependent for their survival on jobs.
2. They don’t have the means to create jobs for themselves.
3. They have to pay to acquire the skills they need to qualify for those jobs.
4. They do not play any part in deciding the economic policies that control their lives.
5. They do not understand the way economic policy is made in the political labyrinth.
6. They are all subject to being fired for no reason.
7. They are all at risk of becoming permanently unemployable.
8. They are not aware of these facts about their own lives.

How does this change? One way is that enough people get hurt by the current system that we have some sort of radical change. That doesn’t bode well for progressives. The history of repression of leftists in this country is long and painful. The rich have made it clear that they will not tolerate socialism or communism or even a regime of progressive laws for any extended period. Think about Eugene Debs, or the Wobblies, or Occupy.

We can’t have change from any of the usual sources...


More: http://firedoglake.com/2013/08/25/a-future-for-the-middle-class/

This Might Come In Handy... ZDNet's Weekly Round-Up Of NSA Stories:

ZDNetGovWeek: Don't tell me you thought we'd be done with NSA stories
Summary: The NSA story just gets more and more out of control, Assange phones it in to the Wikileaks party, Manning gets sentenced, and oh so much more. If this stuff weren't true, you'd think it would be in a bad Bruce Willis movie.

By David Gewirtz for ZDNet Government
August 25, 2013 -- 17:39 GMT (10:39 PDT)


ZDNet's worldwide team provides global 24/7 technology news and analysis. In addition to my own coverage analysis here in the ZDNet Government column and on ZDNet's DIY-IT, every week I'll bring you a selection of the best government-related articles posted by our intrepid reporters and analysts. Here are some of the most interesting from the last week.

Top stories this week:

Much More (lotsa links): http://www.zdnet.com/zdnetgovweek-dont-tell-me-you-thought-wed-be-done-with-nsa-stories-7000019824/

LOL... This Guy Is A RW Douchebag, Yet...

Attention Women: Don’t Date an NSA Analyst
Rick Moran - PJMedia
August 24, 2013 - 10:52 am

Link: http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/08/24/attention-women-dont-date-an-nsa-analyst/

In Case You've Missed This... Or Never Heard Of It... Journalist Mark Twain Accused Of... Reporting

The Truth.

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Leopold's_Soliloquy

Link: http://msuweb.montclair.edu/~furrg/i2l/kls.html

More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Leopold's_Soliloquy

Anthony Bourdain... Does It Again...

More: http://www.cnn.com/video/shows/anthony-bourdain-parts-unknown/episode8


More on King Leopold:

Blister the meddlesome missionaries! They write tons of these things. They seem to be always around, always spying, always eye-witnessing the happenings; and everything they see they commit to paper. They are always prowling from place to place; the natives consider them their only friends; they go to them with their sorrows; they show them their scars and their wounds, inflicted by my soldier police; they hold up the stumps of their arms and lament because their hands have been chopped off, as punishment for not bringing in enough rubber, and as proof to be laid before my officers that the required punishment was well and truly carried out. One of these missionaries saw eighty-one of these hands drying over a fire for transmission to my officials -- and of course he must go and set it down and print it. They travel and travel, they spy and spy! And nothing is too trivial for them to print.


Another madman wants to construct a memorial for the perpetuation of my name, out of my 15,000,000 skulls and skeletons, and is full of vindictive enthusiasm over his strange project. He has it all ciphered out and drawn to scale. Out of the skulls he will build a combined monument and mausoleum to me which shall exactly duplicate the Great Pyramid of Cheops, whose base covers thirteen acres, and whose apex is 451 feet above ground. He desires to stuff me and stand me up in the sky on that apex, robed and crowned, with my "pirate flag" in one hand and a butcher-knife and pendant handcuffs in the other. He will build the pyramid in the center of a depopulated tract, a brooding solitude covered with weeds and the mouldering ruins of burned villages, where the spirits of the starved and murdered dead will voice their laments forever in the whispers of the wandering winds. Radiating from the pyramid, like the spokes of a wheel, there are to be forty grand avenues of approach, each thirty-five miles long, and each fenced on both sides by skulless skeletons standing a yard and a half apart and festooned together in line by short chains stretching from wrist to wrist and attached to tried and true old handcuffs stamped with my private trade-mark, a crucifix and butcher-knife crossed, with motto, "By this sign we prosper"; each osseous fence to consist of 200,000 skeletons on a side, which is 400,000 to each avenue. It is remarked with satisfaction that it aggregates three or four thousand miles (single-ranked) of skeletons -- 15,000,000 all told -- and would stretch across America from New York to San Francisco. It is remarked further, in the hopeful tone of a railroad company forecasting showy extensions of its mileage, that my output is 500,000 corpses a year when my plant is running full time, and that therefore if I am spared ten years longer there will be fresh skulls enough to add 175 feet to the pyramid, making it by a long way the loftiest architectural construction on the earth, and fresh skeletons enough to continue the transcontinental file (on piles) a thousand miles into the Pacific. The cost of gathering the materials from my "widely scattered and innumerable private graveyards," and transporting them, and building the monument and the radiating grand avenues, is duly ciphered out, running into an aggregate of millions of guineas, and then -- why then, (---- ----!! ---- ----!!) this idiot asks me to furnish the money! <Sudden and effusive application of the crucifix> He reminds me that my yearly income from the Congo is millions of guineas, and that "only" 5,000,000 would be required for his enterprise. Every day wild attempts are made upon my purse; they do not affect me, they cost me not a thought. But this one -- this one troubles me, makes me nervous; for there is no telling what an unhinged creature like this may think of next.... If he should think of Carnegie -- but I must banish that thought out of my mind! it worries my days; it troubles my sleep. That way lies madness. <After a pause> There is no other way -- I have got to buy Carnegie.

"My yearly income from the Congo is millions of guineas."

From: http://www.chss.montclair.edu/english/furr/i2l/kls.html

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