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    Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:54 pm

    Thanks Carol for the response, note your husbands work and career is quite admirable indeed Thubs Up
    Again, this story is about taking the sovereign control from the patient and family, and milking a health care system that has been broken way too long.
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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:43 am

    This is a recurring pattern. The U.S. places stability ahead of democratic process, because it is more profitable in the short-term. Then, as always happens, finds itself supporting authoritarian governments, and not managing their inevitable downfall well. It has echoed across the world from Asia, to Latin America, to the Middle East. And each time it unleashes a generation of anti-American sentiment. Do you think it might be a good idea to figure out how to do this better?

    I lived in Egypt for most of two years, and one learns very quickly the Egyptians do not consider themselves Arabs, and take offense at those who don't get that. Also Egypt has been a stable society for most of its multi-thousand year history, with short nasty bouts of violent social change, one of which we now seem to be entering. But Egypt is not inherently a violent culture. If the U.S. can comprehend this and support that which is life-affirming, we may get through this, and even help Egypt to become something more like Turkey, albeit more socially conservative. SR Schwartz


    Egypt unrest: Tough questions if revolution succeeds
    By Yolande Knell BBC News, Cairo



    Pro-democracy protesters have not been won over by President Mubarak's government reshuffle

    he ordered surroundings of the presidential offices where Hosni Mubarak officially appointed Omar Suleiman, his trusted intelligence chief, as his first deputy seemed a far cry from the anger and chaos that was clearly visible on nearby Cairo streets.

    While he no doubt hoped his new government would assure demonstrators of his intentions to embrace political reform, as he announced on state television late on Friday, few were convinced by his efforts.

    "We are not dying so that he can just make changes to his ministers. We want a real democracy with limited presidential terms. He didn't listen to the people," said Mohamed Sadiq who had joined tens of thousands of Egyptians in the crowds in central Tahrir Square.

    A student, Yumla, dismissed the elderly Mr Mubarak as hopelessly out of touch with reality.

    "All people are against this president and his government and its corruption," said Yumla. "It's rubbish. We don't want it any more and we won't go home until he goes."

    In recent years, pro-democracy and human rights rallies have tended to draw small numbers of the same familiar faces onto the streets, usually to be crushed with a heavy-handed security response.

    Now though, as was recently seen in Tunisia, people are finding relative protection in their large numbers.

    What comes next?

    If, as they demand, the president steps down and the government should fall, questions loom large about who and what would follow.

    As the Jasmine Revolution model shows it can be hard to come up with answers that satisfy the masses.

    Years of suppression in Egypt have left a fractious opposition, often divided by personal and ideological rivalries.

    If there were free and fair elections, it is widely expected that the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood would win.

    Officially illegal, but largely tolerated, it is the most well-organised opposition movement with a network of thousands of grassroots members.

    It won one-fifth of the seats in parliamentary elections in 2005 - half of those it contested - with its members running as independents.

    Mr Mubarak has long raised the spectre of an Islamist takeover of Egypt to scare his international allies against criticising his ruling party's political tactics.

    While the Brotherhood has been careful to take a low-key role in the latest protests, this week a senior leader, Essam El Erian, told the BBC, the West should respect Egyptians' religious beliefs and aspirations.

    "Islam is compatible with democracy, it is pro the rotation of power, it is pro equal rights and duties for all citizens," he asserted. "Islam wants a moderate democratic state. You must listen to the people."
    Political solution

    In the past year activists have suggested that the former head of the United Nations nuclear watchdog, Mohamed ElBaradei, could make a suitable, secular transitional leader for Egypt, as he is respected on the world stage.

    His sharp criticisms of the Mubarak government since he returned to his home country last year roused many Egyptians who had previously given up on politics.

    He has declared that the Muslim Brotherhood should be a political party and worked with them as part of his umbrella group, the National Association for Change, to collect a million signatures for a petition demanding constitutional reforms.

    Now watching developments unfold, Mr ElBaradei predicts that the president and his associates will not succeed in hanging on to power.

    "The only solution is to listen to the people. The solution is a political solution. The regime has failed and they need to go," he commented.

    Other ideas for future leaders include the head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, formerly a popular foreign minister.

    There is also the possibility that the new vice-president, General Suleiman, a military man - as all Egypt's leaders have been since the king was ousted in 1952 - could be asked to take the reins of power through a turbulent period.

    He has the support of the armed services and they will be key to the final outcome of this attempt at a 21st century Egyptian revolution.

    Source;
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12317285
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    icecold

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  icecold on Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:54 am

    giovonni wrote:
    icecold wrote:Hi Giovonni,

    Old age Care.

    The western system of hospice care is based upon a foundation of christian ethics. Death is a taboo subject.
    If you are christian death is a finality. If you are an atheist, death is a finality. Western thoughts about death are highly deficient.

    Why are we not educated into a view of death which leads us to a point of natural acceptance of its experience?

    We should think about death open it up and examine it in thought, not hide it away until the end...too late then.

    The freedom of death thought is denied to us. We should be educated to not only accept death, but to initiate the process ourselves by a conscious release of the soul at the time of our choosing.

    We should not desire to be released into any process, heaven, hell, nirvana, incarnation, but accept our death as moving into a complete non existence....oblivion. Oneness.

    Greetings my Friend,
    i have no problem with your statement, but this article is about a financial conflict of interest allowing the US nursing home (industry) system, being given full reign not only of the day to day patient care but (possibly) the final care (say ) of these nursing home patients. Note, it's not in the best interest of the patient and their families, as well as not medically ethical in the current medical over sight system. And i truly doubt whether it would be in the best interest to the U. S. taxpayer pocketbook ~ as well? The two health care provider services ~ i feel should be kept separate.


    This is a comprehensive set of documents related to CORPORATE HEALTH CARE published by a friend.

    Corporate Medicine Web Site

    http://www.bmartin.cc/dissent/documents/health/central.html





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    Carol
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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  Carol on Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:07 am

    I don't know what to think about Egypt gio. One friend pointed out that on one hand Gregg Braden said according to his calculation, events repeat throughout time. 2012 is equivalent to collapse of Egypt's 19th (or 18th?) dynasty. It's still 2011 now, or, will this Egyptian riot get worse?

    I wonder how the world would fare without the US intervention and financial support, which we can ill afford given how much debt we are currently dealing with. I would rather see the military brought home to protect our own Mexican boarders and used to help rebuild our own nation's infastructure. How many cities, towns, schools and roads are falling into ruin because US tax payer money is being spent outside on this nation.


    _________________
    What is life?
    It is the flash of a firefly in the night, the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

    With deepest respect ~ Aloha & Mahalo, Carol
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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:08 pm

    Carol wrote:I don't know what to think about Egypt gio. One friend pointed out that on one hand Gregg Braden said according to his calculation, events repeat throughout time. 2012 is equivalent to collapse of Egypt's 19th (or 18th?) dynasty. It's still 2011 now, or, will this Egyptian riot get worse?

    I wonder how the world would fare without the US intervention and financial support, which we can ill afford given how much debt we are currently dealing with. I would rather see the military brought home to protect our own Mexican boarders and used to help rebuild our own nation's infastructure. How many cities, towns, schools and roads are falling into ruin because US tax payer money is being spent outside on this nation.

    Thanks Carol for your comments and wise insights into this very pressing matter Thubs Up

    This might be a bit long winded... But..i believe you might agree...that the rest of the World can take care of itself without our (lacking) leadership...Saying that...This could be a perfect moment and a wonderful opportunity (with the new reality changes occurring and unfolding upon the world stage), for the U.S. government (the Obama admin) to gracefully begin to back away from our (much) misguided foreign policies of the post WWII era. We finally need to own -up and admit to ~ that We were wrong and that now ~ the US and its People > need to take its place (equally )amongst the other nations of the world. Then We can commence to rebuilding our faltering economy and infrastructures here at home. It would be so much easier if our government, would just release a portion of the technologies...that are most probably hidden?
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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:11 pm



    With the most recent extreme weather hitting the U. S. heartland...the following story warrants serious concerns...

    We are going to see more and more extreme storms in the years to come. If the U.S. wheat crop goes down, following the loss of much of the Russian crop because of drought, the price of wheat is going to become a major factor in world events.

    Thanks to Steve Hovland.


    US winter wheat faces make or break week


    America's parched hard red winter wheat crop may face something of a make or break week, potentially receiving up to 20 inches of snow – which it will need to protect it from a follow-up freeze.

    Weather models have "changed dramatically overnight", placing a "major winter storm" on the agenda for the US Plains early next week, veteran meteorologist David Tolleris said.

    The storm, which "will easily be one of the biggest" of the winter, looks set to dump up to 10-20 inches of snow on a swathe Oklahoma, eastern Colorado, northern Texas and Kansas, America's top wheat-growing state, where a dearth of moisture has set back winter seedlings.

    "I don't know if it is crop-saving moisture, but it will certainly help," Mr Tolleris, head of WxRisk.com, said, estimating the snow at equivalent to some 1-2 inches of rain.

    'Really destroy the crop'

    However, the danger is if the snow does not fall as deeply as weather models suggest, leaving crops exposed to temperatures which could fall below zero degrees Fahrenheit, or in Celsius terms to -18 degrees or more.

    "That would really destroy the crop. It's a really big deal," Mr Tolleris told Agrimoney.com.

    Winter wheat sowings in Kansas and Oklahoma alone totalled 14.2m acres, or more than one-third of the national total, official data earlier this month showed.

    However, the weather prediction, echoed in a forecast from Meteorlogix of "temperatures near to below normal Sunday, below normal Monday, below to well below normal Tuesday" in the central and southern Plains, was deemed overall as likely good news for growers.

    "This is a beneficial development and is pressing wheat lower," broker US Commodities said.

    Wheat for March delivery closed down 2.2% at $9.14 ¼ a bushel in Kansas, which trades the hard red winter variety over which dryness fears have centred.

    In Chicago, which trades soft red winter wheat, the March contract ended 2.4% lower at $8.26 ½ a bushel.

    Source;
    http://www.agrimoney.com/news/us-winter-wheat-faces-make-or-break-week--2761.html

    ***********

    Colossal stom's attack begins in Midwest

    Note the current U.S. weather map below for Feb. 1, 2011


    Current forecast;
    http://www.weather.com/newscenter/nationalforecast/index.html
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    Carol
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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  Carol on Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:51 pm

    This reminds me of the movie The Day After's perfect storm only this one is in Chicago. Is this karma for giving us Obama? I'd call it the 'deep freeze.'


    _________________
    What is life?
    It is the flash of a firefly in the night, the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

    With deepest respect ~ Aloha & Mahalo, Carol
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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:03 pm

    From ~ icecold

    "This is a comprehensive set of documents related to CORPORATE HEALTH CARE published by a friend."

    Corporate Medicine Web Site

    http://www.bmartin.cc/dissent/documents/health/central.htm


    ***********

    Thanks icecold ~ for this excellent analysis and breakdown report Thubs Up

    Note, when dealing with human -social needs ~ profit should never be the fuel that drives the engine (instead) education and preventative measures should always prevail.
    New Zealand seems to have learned that lesson well!

    You and i both realize now ~ the entity called a corporation > is quite flawed Nutbar

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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:07 pm

    Carol wrote:This reminds me of the movie The Day After's perfect storm only this one is in Chicago. Is this karma for giving us Obama? I'd call it the 'deep freeze.'

    Did you see this one Carol

    Chicago this morning Shocked

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    Carol
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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  Carol on Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:32 am

    Wow, no I hadn't but doesn't it remind you of the movie The Day After. Only in the movie it was New York that was in the deep freeze.


    _________________
    What is life?
    It is the flash of a firefly in the night, the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

    With deepest respect ~ Aloha & Mahalo, Carol
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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:28 pm

    Apparently this is a trend that has been going on much too long...pale


    ***********

    Post Mortem

    Death Investigation in America

    The Real ‘CSI’: How America’s Patchwork System of Death Investigations Puts the Living at Risk


    by A.C. Thompson, Mosi Secret, Lowell Bergman and Sandra Bartlett Feb. 1, 2011, 12 a.m.


    Frontline

    story article and video here:
    http://www.propublica.org/article/the-real-csi-americas-patchwork-system-of-death-investigation

    Please note ~ this article story has an excellent pbs frontline documentary program at the end of this article page Thubs Up
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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:14 pm

    Carol wrote:Wow, no I hadn't but doesn't it remind you of the movie The Day After. Only in the movie it was New York that was in the deep freeze.

    here's another! Shocked

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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Thu Feb 03, 2011 12:46 pm

    I think this is an excellent assessment of the situation Israel faces now.

    B.E., Before Egypt. A.E., After Egypt.


    By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
    Published: February 1, 2011


    Rammallah West Bank

    I’m meeting a retired Israeli general at a Tel Aviv hotel. As I take my seat, he begins the conversation with: “Well, everything we thought for the last 30 years is no longer relevant.”

    That pretty much sums up the disorienting sense of shock and awe that the popular uprising in Egypt has inflicted on the psyche of Israel’s establishment. The peace treaty with a stable Egypt was the unspoken foundation for every geopolitical and economic policy in Israel for the last 35 years, and now it’s gone. It’s as if Americans suddenly woke up and found both Mexico and Canada plunged into turmoil on the same day.

    “Everything that once anchored our world is now unmoored,” remarked Mark Heller, a Tel Aviv University strategist. “And it is happening right at a moment when nuclearization of the region hangs in the air.”

    This is a perilous time for Israel, and its anxiety is understandable. But I fear Israel could make its situation even more perilous if it succumbs to the argument one hears from a number of senior Israeli officials today that the events in Egypt prove that Israel can’t make a lasting peace with the Palestinians. It’s wrong and dangerous.

    To be sure, Hosni Mubarak, Israel’s longtime ally, deserves all the wrath being directed at him. The best time to make any big, hard decision is when you are at your maximum strength. You’ll always think and act more clearly. For the last 20 years, President Mubarak has had all the leverage he could ever want to truly reform Egypt’s economy and build a moderate, legitimate political center to fill the void between his authoritarian state and the Muslim Brotherhood. But Mubarak deliberately maintained the political vacuum between himself and the Islamists so that he could always tell the world, “It’s either me or them.” Now he is trying to reform in a panic with no leverage. Too late.

    But Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu of Israel is in danger of becoming the Mubarak of the peace process. Israel has never had more leverage vis-à-vis the Palestinians and never had more responsible Palestinian partners. But Netanyahu has found every excuse for not putting a peace plan on the table. The Americans know it. And thanks to the nasty job that Qatar’s Al Jazeera TV just did in releasing out of context all the Palestinian concessions — to embarrass the Palestinian leadership — it’s now obvious to all how far the Palestinians have come.

    No, I do not know if this Palestinian leadership has the fortitude to close a deal. But I do know this: Israel has an overwhelming interest in going the extra mile to test them.

    Why? With the leaders of both Egypt and Jordan scrambling to shuffle their governments in an effort to stay ahead of the street, two things can be said for sure: Whatever happens in the only two Arab states that have peace treaties with Israel, the moderate secularists who had a monopoly of power will be weaker and the previously confined Muslim Brotherhood will be stronger. How much remains to be seen.

    As such, it is virtually certain that the next Egyptian government will not have the patience or room that Mubarak did to maneuver with Israel. Same with the new Jordanian cabinet. Make no mistake: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has nothing to do with sparking the demonstrations in Egypt and Jordan, but Israeli-Palestinian relations will be impacted by the events in both countries.

    If Israel does not make a concerted effort to strike a deal with the Palestinians, the next Egyptian government will “have to distance itself from Israel because it will not have the stake in maintaining the close relationship that Mubarak had,” said Khalil Shikaki, a Palestinian pollster. With the big political changes in the region, “if Israel remains paranoid and messianic and greedy it will lose all its Arab friends.”

    To put it bluntly, if Israelis tell themselves that Egypt’s unrest proves why Israel cannot make peace with the Palestinian Authority, then they will be talking themselves into becoming an apartheid state — they will be talking themselves into permanently absorbing the West Bank and thereby laying the seeds for an Arab majority ruled by a Jewish minority between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

    What the turmoil in Egypt also demonstrates is how much Israel is surrounded by a huge population of young Arabs and Muslims who have been living outside of history — insulated by oil and autocracy from the great global trends. But that’s over.

    “Today your legitimacy has to be based on what you deliver,” the Palestinian prime minister, Salam Fayyad, explained to me in his Ramallah office. “Gone are the days when you can say, ‘Deal with me because the other guys are worse.’ ”

    I had given up on Netanyahu’s cabinet and urged the U.S. to walk away. But that was B.E. — Before Egypt. Today, I believe President Obama should put his own peace plan on the table, bridging the Israeli and Palestinian positions, and demand that the two sides negotiate on it without any preconditions. It is vital for Israel’s future — at a time when there is already a global campaign to delegitimize the Jewish state — that it disentangle itself from the Arabs’ story as much as possible. There is a huge storm coming, Israel. Get out of the way.

    Source;
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/02/opinion/02friedman.html?_r=2&src=me&ref=general


    Last edited by giovonni on Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:16 pm; edited 2 times in total
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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:00 pm

    A new evolving trend that is signaling and ushering in a new world realty...



    The Arab revolution and Western decline
    By Ari Shavit


    Two huge processes are happening right before our eyes. One is the Arab liberation revolution. After half a century during which tyrants have ruled the Arab world, their control is weakening. After 40 years of decaying stability, the rot is eating into the stability. The Arab masses will no longer accept what they used to accept. The Arab elites will no longer remain silent.

    Processes that have been roiling beneath the surface for about a decade are suddenly bursting out in an intifada of freedom. Modernization, globalization, telecommunications and Islamization have created a critical mass that cannot be stopped. The example of democratic Iraq is awakening others, and Al Jazeera's subversive broadcasts are fanning the flames. And so the Tunisian bastille fell, the Cairo bastille is falling and other Arab bastilles will fall.

    The scenes are similar to the Palestinian intifada of 1987, but the collapse recalls the Soviet collapse in Eastern Europe of 1989. No one knows where the intifada will lead. No one knows whether it will bring democracy, theocracy or a new kind of democracy. But things will never again be the same.

    The old order in the Middle East is crumbling. Just as the officers' revolution in the 1950s brought down the Arab monarchism that had relied on the colonial powers, the 2011 revolution in the square is bringing down the Arab tyrants who were dependent on the United States.

    The second process is the acceleration of the decline of the West. For some 60 years the West gave the world imperfect but stable order. It built a kind of post-imperial empire that promised relative quiet and maximum peace. The rise of China, India, Brazil and Russia, like the economic crisis in the United States, has made it clear that the empire is beginning to fade.

    And yet, the West has maintained a sort of international hegemony. Just as no replacement has been found for the dollar, none has been found for North Atlantic leadership. But Western countries' poor handling of the Middle East proves they are no longer leaders. Right before our eyes the superpowers are turning into palaver powers.

    There are no excuses for the contradictions. How can it be that Bush's America understood the problem of repression in the Arab world, but Obama's America ignored it until last week? How can it be that in May 2009, Hosni Mubarak was an esteemed president whom Barack Obama respected, and in January 2011, Mubarak is a dictator whom even Obama is casting aside? How can it be that in June 2009, Obama didn't support the masses who came out against the zealot Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while now he stands by the masses who are coming out against the moderate Mubarak?

    There is one answer: The West's position is not a moral one that reflects a real commitment to human rights. The West's position reflects the adoption of Jimmy Carter's worldview: kowtowing to benighted, strong tyrants while abandoning moderate, weak ones.

    Carter's betrayal of the Shah brought us the ayatollahs, and will soon bring us ayatollahs with nuclear arms. The consequences of the West's betrayal of Mubarak will be no less severe. It's not only a betrayal of a leader who was loyal to the West, served stability and encouraged moderation. It's a betrayal of every ally of the West in the Middle East and the developing world. The message is sharp and clear: The West's word is no word at all; an alliance with the West is not an alliance. The West has lost it. The West has stopped being a leading and stabilizing force around the world.

    The Arab liberation revolution will fundamentally change the Middle East. The acceleration of the West's decline will change the world. One outcome will be a surge toward China, Russia and regional powers like Brazil, Turkey and Iran. Another will be a series of international flare-ups stemming from the West's lost deterrence. But the overall outcome will be the collapse of North Atlantic political hegemony not in decades, but in years. When the United States and Europe bury Mubarak now, they are also burying the powers they once were. In Cairo's Tahrir Square, the age of Western hegemony is fading away.


    Source;
    [url]http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/the-arab-revolution-and-western-decline-
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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:11 am

    I am sorry, I just don't think it is o.k. for a Supreme Court Justice to have a spouse who is an activist and extremist, lobbying for issues that will come before them for the highest legal judgment in the nation. Nor do I think it is seemly or appropriate for a Justice to closet with and advise billionaires who have a long history of paying lobbyists to protect their greed and contempt for the larger society. This kind of behavior has not been seen in a century, and I think Justices Thomas, Scalia, and Alito should all be impeached. A democracy based on the fairness of its laws, cannot risk even the appearance, let alone the demonstrable substance of bias, on the part of its supreme justices.

    Justice Thomas’s wife Virginia Thomas now a lobbyist



    She started as a congressional aide in the 1980s, became a midlevel Republican operative, then briefly left politics, reemerging in 2009 as founder of a tea party group before stepping down amid continued questions about whether her actions were appropriate for the spouse of a Supreme Court justice.

    Now, Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, has recast herself yet again, this time as the head of a firm, Liberty Consulting, which boasts on its website using her “experience and connections” to help clients “with “governmental affairs efforts” and political donation strategies.

    Thomas already has met with nearly half of the 99 GOP freshmen in the House and Senate, according to an e-mail she sent last week to congressional chiefs of staff, in which she branded herself “a self-appointed, ambassador to the freshmen class and an ambassador to the tea party movement.”

    But her latest career incarnation is sparking controversy again.

    Thomas’s role as a de facto tea party lobbyist and — until recently — as head of a tea party group that worked to defeat Democrats last November “show a new level of arrogance of just not caring that the court is being politicized and how that undermines the historic image of the Supreme Court as being above the political fray,” said Arn Pearson, a lawyer for Common Cause, the left-leaning government watchdog group.

    “It raises additional questions about whether Justice Thomas can be unbiased and appear to be unbiased in cases dealing with the repeal of the health care reform law or corporate political spending when his wife is working to elect members of the tea party and also advocating for their policies.”

    Even among congressional Republicans, with whom Thomas boasts she has close ties, the reaction to the entreaties from her new firm, Liberty Consulting ranged from puzzlement to annoyance, with a senior House Republican aide who provided Thomas’s e-mail to POLITICO, blasting her for trying to “cash in” on her ties to the tea party movement.

    Freshman Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) — who courted tea party activists and who was endorsed by Liberty Central, the tea party nonprofit group she headed until December — was unaware of Thomas’s new effort.

    “This is the spouse of Justice Thomas?” he said, when asked by POLITICO on Tuesday about her outreach. “No, I’ve never met her. It’s not something I’ve heard about. And I hang out with a lot of freshman,” he said.

    While Thomas was well-known in conservative circles as an aide to former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, as a midlevel staffer at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and at The Heritage Foundation and as the spouse of one of the court's most conservative justices, she did not draw much attention until 2009, when she started speaking at tea party rallies.

    Late that year, she established Liberty Central, a group she envisioned as forming a bridge between the conservative establishment and the anti-establishment tea party movement. It was a new role and a new measure of prominence for Thomas, and it marked the beginning of a string of headaches for her and her husband.

    Legal ethicists asserted that Thomas’s role could compromise her husband’s impartiality, especially since the group is not required to report its donors and could have benefitted from the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling last year in which Justice Thomas sided with the majority in a decision that allowed corporations to fund campaign ads, often without disclosing their contributions.

    To be sure, other federal judges have politically active spouses, including federal appeals court Judge Marjorie Rendell, whose husband is former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, and 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Reinhardt, whose wife, Ramona Ripston, will step down this month after decades running the Southern California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union.

    Rendell’s political committees were required to reveal all donations. But the ACLU is registered under sections of the tax code that do not require public disclosure of donors, as is Liberty Central — and Common Cause, for that matter.

    But the Thomases came under particular scrutiny after POLITICO revealed that, while the Supreme Court was deliberating over the Citizens United case, Liberty Central had received a $550,000 anonymous contribution.

    Common Cause, in a letter to the Justice Department, suggested that Thomas should have recused himself from the case and charged that “the complete lack of transparency of Liberty Central’s finances makes it difficult to assess the full scope of the ethics issues raised by Ms. Thomas’s role in founding and leading the group.”

    In addition, in a letter to the Judicial Conference, Common Cause pointed out that Justice Thomas had failed to report on his disclosure filings his wife’s income over the past decade, prompting the judge to amend 13 years of reports to indicate sources — though not amounts — of his wife’s income.

    At first, it didn’t seem that the attention affected Thomas’s efforts to build Liberty Central. She assembled an impressive staff and board, while circulating among major conservative establishment donors with whom she and her husband had long, close relationships.

    POLITICO has learned, for instance, that the initial $500,000 contribution came from Dallas real estate investor Harlan Crow, a major GOP donor who held an event for Liberty Central at his home a few months after the group launched. He also once gave Justice Thomas a $19,000 “Frederick Douglass Bible” as a gift and donated $150,000 to build a new wing named for Thomas on a Savannah, Ga., library that Clarence Thomas visited frequently in his youth.

    But Thomas and Liberty Central ran into problems after it was revealed in October that she had left a voice mail, requesting an apology from Anita Hill, the woman who accused her husband of sexual harassment during his confirmation hearings for the high court in 1991. That prompted another surge of attention and — according to a conservative who knows Ginni Thomas and is familiar with her work at Liberty Central — it “spooked” at least one donor.

    About a month later, Thomas stepped down from her leadership post at Liberty Central, and it was announced that the group was merging with another conservative nonprofit group called the Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty. Sources told POLITICO that Thomas essentially put Liberty Central on the block because it was struggling to raise enough money to support its big staff and high overhead.

    Liberty Consulting filed incorporation papers in Virginia only a day after news broke of the changes at Liberty Central.

    Reached by phone on Wednesday, Thomas said she was having trouble with the signal, telling a POLITICO reporter: “I would be happy to talk with you, but I really can’t understand clearly what you’re asking, so maybe this is not a good time to talk.”

    She did not respond to subsequent voice mail or e-mail messages.

    In a December interview with the conservative Daily Caller, though, Thomas said she planned to spend the bulk of her time working as a consultant for Liberty Central and the Patrick Henry Center, and would “help them in any way I can think of, whether it’s lobbying on the Hill or connecting with the grass roots, or helping speak or write or fundraise.”

    But lobbying records show no registrations for Thomas, Liberty Consulting, Liberty Central or the Patrick Henry Center.

    When asked whether Thomas was being paid through Liberty Consulting as a consultant, Liberty Central general counsel Sarah Field did not answer directly. “She was and continues to be the founder of Liberty Central, and we look forward to working with her and with other passionate conservative activists, and that’s all there is to it,” Field said.

    Thomas and her friends reject the suggestion that the call to Anita Hill precipitated Ginni Thomas’s stepping down from Liberty Central — Thomas told The Daily Caller that the story line was “laughable.” She did, however, concede that the call was “probably a mistake on my part,” adding that, if her move to an outside consulting role “has the extra benefit of helping reduce distractions, that’s fine with me.”

    And Leonard Leo, an executive at the conservative Federalist Society who is a longtime friend of the Thomases and sits on Liberty Central’s board, told POLITICO in November that the call had no impact on Liberty Central’s fundraising or on Thomas.

    “The people that were supportive of Liberty Central were supportive of her,” he said, adding, “I don’t think that they were going to pull back from her at a time when she needed support more than anything else.”

    He called the controversy over the Hill call “a nothing burger” for Thomas. “This is a woman who has been through it all. There are few women in Washington who have had to put up with what she has.”

    But the source who knows Thomas and is familiar with her work at Liberty Central said her continuing reinvention of herself — especially so soon after raising big money and assembling a staff for a new nonprofit — has hurt her standing in conservative circles.

    “Ginni’s reputation around town is now even more of a fake entitled woman who is only here because of her husband,” the source said. “Now she has opened her own lobbying shop ... not sure how (the) conservative circle will feel when they find that out, or if they’ll care or not.”

    So far, they don’t.

    Roughly half a dozen aides for new members told POLITICO that their offices received handwritten meeting requests from Thomas the day after they were sworn in, as well as follow-up e-mails requesting a meeting with her — but only one of them had met with her. The rest had no plans to do so.

    Source;
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/48812.html
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    JesterTerrestrial

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  JesterTerrestrial on Sun Feb 06, 2011 4:11 am

    Good stuff Gio! Candle in the Wind

    There really are so many trends that will affect the future! The pace of things has increased so it would seem. The earth appears to be at a tipping point in... well pick a topic of consciousness and its going through what a appears to be "shifts" Big Grin 2

    The directions of style will determine states not yet in existence!


    Double Thumbs Up

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    lindabaker

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  lindabaker on Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:17 am

    The directions of style will determine states not yet in existence! is a fabulous quote! Everyone probably has their own interpretation, but mine is: your direction of style is your personal artistic expression. You are the artist of your life and you determine states not yet in existence. I say, make those states filled with beauty. Walking the Beauty Way is a long tradition on Turtle Island. Thanks for all of the beauty you bring, along with everyone else here. Love to you all from the South East US. I think it's the Day After Tomorrow idea, but in slow motion. The snow is breathtakingly beautiful. Note, however, that I live in the South. Linda
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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:30 pm

    Thank you JT & LB cheers

    i totally agree!

    "The directions of style will determine states not yet in existence"

    But with like minded ~ individuals like yourselves ~
    We all will here ~ will give them something dazzling new ~ too ooh and aah about ~

    A new trend of Unconditioned
    JT

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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:37 pm

    While the public conversation has been arguing over issues like gay marriage, Creationism, and Second Amendment remedies, the planet is changing before our eyes.

    Beware the collapse of the planet's lungs


    Brazilians cross the muddy bottom of the Rio Negro, a major tributary to the Amazon river



    Special report: Catastrophic drought in the Amazon

    Region set to outstrip US as CO2 emitter

    By Steve Connor, Science Editor

    Friday, 4 February 2011

    A widespread drought in the Amazon rainforest last year caused the "lungs of the world" to produce more carbon dioxide than they absorbed, potentially leading to a dangerous acceleration of global warming. Scientists have calculated that the 2010 drought was more intense than the "one-in-100-year" drought of 2005.

    They are predicting it will result in some eight billion tonnes of carbon dioxide being expelled from the Amazon rainforest, which is more than the total annual carbon emissions of the United States. For the second time in less than a decade, the earth's greatest rainforest released more carbon dioxide than it absorbed because many of its trees dried out and died.

    Scientists believe that the highly unusual nature of the two droughts, which occurred in the space of just five years, may be the result of higher sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic, which could also be influenced by global warming caused by the release of man-made emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The Anglo-Brazilian team of researchers has emphasised that there is as yet no proof that the two highly unusual droughts in the Amazon are the direct result of rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, but the scientists have warned that the world is gambling with its future if it fails to curb fossil fuel emissions.

    Simon Lewis of Leeds University, the lead author of the study, said: "If greenhouse gas emissions contribute to Amazon droughts that in turn cause forests to release carbon, this feedback loop would be extremely concerning. Put more starkly, current emissions pathways risk playing Russian roulette with the world's largest rainforest.

    "Two unusual and extreme droughts occurring within a decade may largely offset the carbon absorbed by intact Amazon forests during that time. If events like this happen more often, the Amazon rainforest would reach a point where it shifts from being a valuable carbon sink slowing climate change to a major source of greenhouse gases that could speed it up. Having two events of this magnitude in such close succession is extremely unusual, but is unfortunately consistent with those climate models that project a grim future for Amazonia."

    The study, published in the journal Science, analysed satellite data on rainfall across two million square miles of rainforest during the 2010 dry season. The scientists were able to make a direct comparison with an earlier study of the 2005 drought, which also looked at the effect of the low rainfall on the growth of trees.

    In the 2005 drought, the scientists estimated that the rainforest turned from a net absorber of about two billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to an exporter of some five billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is almost as much as the 5.4 billion tonnes emitted annually by the US.

    However, the drought last year was more widespread and more intense than the earlier drought, with a far bigger impact on the growth and death of trees, which is why the scientists expect the overall release of carbon dioxide from dead and decaying organic matter to reach eight billion tonnes.

    "The extent of the 2010 drought was much larger than in 2005. In 2010, the Rio Negro river, which is the biggest tributary to the Amazon, was at its lowest level since records began at the start of the 20th century, so we have independent evidence of these droughts," Dr Lewis said.

    Normally, the cycle of droughts that hit the Amazon affect northern areas of the region and are associated with the natural el Niño phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean. However, the 2005 and 2010 droughts occurred further south and may be linked with higher sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean, the scientists said.

    "In 2005, the spatial pattern of the drought affecting the south and southwest of the Amazon was very different from the usual droughts that impact the Amazon every five to seven years associated with el Niño events, which tend to affect the north-east. When climatologists investigated why, they associated it with Atlantic sea-surface temperatures," Dr Lewis said.

    "In 2010 we see a drought with a very similar spatial pattern, again affecting the south and the south-west of the Amazon basin, and very similar to 2005, and we know that the Atlantic sea-surface temperatures were anomalously high, but the work has not been done yet to say definitively that that is the cause. Our best hypothesis at the present time is that this 2010 drought was associated with Atlantic sea-surface temperatures, but we have to wait until those scientific papers go through the peer-review process before we can say that more concretely."

    Peter Cox, of Exeter University, who analysed the 2005 drought, said: "The droughts in Amazonia in 2005 and 2010 were both associated with unusually warm ocean temperatures in the tropical North Atlantic. This tends to draw the region of most intense rainfall further north and delays the wet season in Amazonia."

    Source;
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/special-report-catastrophic-drought-in-the-amazon-2203892.html
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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Mon Feb 07, 2011 3:37 am

    This is truly and utterly over the top...

    "The implosion of the Roman Church over financial and sexual issues seems from the outside both tragic and absurd. From the inside it must be unutterably sad. Here is its latest scene. Perhaps because I still have images from Rosemary's Baby in my memories, I just can't get to the place where one's sexuality is so distorted this could take place.

    Father Thomas Euteneuer made a career of being judgmental and condemning of others; yet found it o.k. to look down at a woman he believed to be possessed by demons, in the midst of his carrying out one of the Church's most mysterious rituals, and thought: God, I'd like to have sex with her. What could one say: The devil made me do it."
    Stephen R. Schwartz


    Exorcism - Sex: Father Thomas Euteneuer's controversial confession


    Earlier this week Father Thomas Euteneuer made a confession to a sexual indiscretion during an exorcism. The confession has rocked the Catholic Church and the anti-abortion movement. The Priest had once been an up and coming "rock star" in the Catholic Church and a "superstar" of the international pro-life movement as President of Human Life International.

    A secret scandal in August forced Euteneuer to quietly resign his positions of authority and take a low profile in the church. Until last week, when one of Euteneuer's "exorcism" victims was rushed to a Florida emergency room. At that time the scandal broke wide open, and Euteneuer was forced into making a public confession.

    The former superstar of the international pro-life movement, and exorcist for the Catholic Church, has now confessed to sexually abusing at least one woman under his spiritual care.
    The scandal had been shrouded in secrecy, leaving only rumors and innuendo as concerned members of the Catholic Church and the pro-life movement tried to find answers for Euteneuer's disappearance from the public stage.

    There should be no surprise that the church and Euteneuer tried to make the rumors and allegations of misconduct go away. This is standard operating procedure for the Catholic Church. And for six months they were able to maintain their conspiracy of silence.

    Yet Euteneuer's controversial confession yields more questions than answers. Euteneuer claims:

    My violations of chastity were limited to one person only, an adult woman;
    The violations of chastity happened due to human weakness but did not involve the sexual act;
    The accusation that I “targeted” vulnerable women or otherwise sought them out for spiritual direction is utterly false and a serious defamation of my character and ministry;


    The entire confession rings hollow, and defensive. The fact that he denies his "violation of chastity" did not "involve the sexual act" seems counter intuitive. How can a violation of chastity not involve a sexual act? Also, the fact that his victim was under his spiritual care, and deemed to be possessed by demons, lends little credibility to the claim that he did not target vulnerable women.

    No doubt their is more to the story. Whether or not more details will surface, remains a mystery.


    Source;
    http://www.examiner.com/humanist-in-national/exorcism-sex-father-thomas-euteneuer-s-controversial-confession
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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Tue Feb 08, 2011 4:55 am

    Grid battles...

    The Green Transition is desirable, but it is not going to be easy. Personally for environmental and national security reasons I think a decentralized local and regional energy structure is best.




    ‘Battle of the Grids’, a new Greenpeace report, says that we are fast reaching a showdown between ‘green’ and ‘dirty’ energy. ‘Thousands of wind turbines delivering near free energy were turned off in 2010 to allow polluting and heavily subsidised nuclear and coal plants to carry on business as usual. It is estimated Spain had to ditch around 200GWh of energy last year. The buzz on the lips of industry specialists, lobbyists and in boardrooms is about system clash and the costs of building and running what is increasingly becoming a dual system’.

    It is certainly true that there is a conflict looming as we plan the expand both nuclear and renewables. What happens when there is a lot of wind power available but energy demand is low, as at night in summer. Do we then switch it off or switch off inflexible baseload nuclear plants?

    The Greenpeace report demonstrates the problem on a European scale, and offers suggestions for how it can be resolved. Together with Greenpeace’s 2010 Energy [R]evolution report, it builds on its earlier Renewables 24/7 study, exploring a new system for the EU which it says can deliver 68% renewable energy by 2030 and nearly 100% by 2050, with the use of gas, coal and nuclear then phased out. That’s in line with several other recent ‘100% renewables by 2050’ studies; see my earlier blog.

    But this report goes a further and looks in more detail at how to balance variable renewables and variable demand across the EU

    It’s based on modeling work by Energynautics, covering electricity consumption and production patterns for every hour 365 days a year at 224 nodes of electricity interconnections across all 27 EU countries, plus Norway, Switzerland and the non-EU Balkan states.

    The report calls for the development of a smarter, more efficient EU-wide grid linking up variable renewables and energy storage facilities, which it claims could ‘guarantee supply despite extreme weather conditions, delivering green energy around Europe via efficient, largely below ground DC cables’. High Voltage Direct Current supergrids are much more efficient over long distances than conventional AC grids (with energy losses of perhaps 2% over 1000km compared to up to 10% for AC grids) and it’s claimed that it is easier and cheaper to put DC cables underground.

    In the proposed optimal approach to balanced energy supply, natural gas is phased out by 2030 as are most coal and nuclear plants, and by 2050 it’s almost 100% renewable with wind and solar dominating: ‘even if technical adaptations could enable coal and nuclear plants to become more flexible and ‘fit in’ the renewable mix, they would be needed for only 46% of the year by 2030 and further decreasing afterwards.’

    A key element in their approach is demand side management via an EU-wide interactive smart grid system, which allows loads to be shifted in time to avoid peaks, and can balance inputs from variable renewable across a much wider geographical area – thus avoiding the need for curtailment of excess wind or back ups when there isn’t enough wind locally or regionally.

    That is pretty ambitious. At present wind is usually seen as only having a small capacity credit (i.e. only perhaps 10–15% of the installed capacity can be relied on statistically to meet peak demands, due to natural wind variability). So it’s seen as mainly just a fuel saver, replacing the output of some fossil plants some of the time – these fossil plants then returning to full load when there is no wind. So they are the back-up – they are mostly gas-fired plants that we already have, so there is no extra capital cost. Indeed they are already used to balance the twice daily peaks in demand and to deal with variable supply e.g. when a conventional or nuclear plant goes off line suddenly. Balancing the slower variation in wind (with improved wind forecasting helping to reduce the uncertainty) means that they have to ramp up and down to and from full power a few more times.

    However, that involves operational and economic penalties – these plants are less efficient when running part loaded. That is even more the case with nuclear plants, which are run 24/7 to recoup their large capital costs and can’t ramp up and down quickly or repeatedly. So that is why we are seeing excess wind being dumped and hearing talk of having to build more back-up plants to balance wind. Greenpeace suggests that similar inflexibility problems would also emerge with coal plants fitted with Carbon Capture and storage.

    In the Greenpeace scenario all this is avoided by using a mix of demand side measures (e.g. switching off some loads than can be easy interrupted without problems for a few hours, such as freezer units) and importing green power from other regions via the EU wide supergrid. In addition, their system has inputs from biomass-fired plants and geothermal plants, that can be varied, and from pumped hydro storage, topped up when there is excess wind or other green power somewhere on the system.

    It’s a much more interactive system, with no formal ‘always on’ baseload, although the biomass, geothermal and hydro plants can perform that function.

    What would it cost? They claim that it’s much more expensive to waste valuable wind and other variable renewables than to build balancing supergrid networks. They put losses from curtailing wind at €32bn/p.a. but offer a version of their proposed grid system which they say would cost €74bn between 2030 and 2050.

    This ‘Low Grid’ pathway would seek to produce as much renewable energy close to areas with high electricity demand as possible (i.e. within central EU, e.g. with PV solar). They say: ‘Security of supply relies less on the electricity grid and long distance transmission. Instead the gas pipelines are used more intensively to transfer gasified biomass from one region to the other, thereby optimising the use of biomass as a balancing source’, with former gas plants converted from natural gas to biogas.

    By contrast their ‘High Grid’ approach would install ‘a maximum of renewable-energy sources in areas with the highest output, especially solar power in the south of Europe and interconnections between Europe with North Africa.’ This would minimize generation costs but increase interconnection costs to €581bn between 2030 and 2050. It would give strong security of supply, 24/7, since they say the supergrid capacity exceeds demand. It also balances solar production in the south and wind production in the north of Europe.

    It’s challenging stuff, with some very large capacities being installed, for example, by 2050, in the EU27, PV is at 888–974GW, wind 497–667GW, bioenergy 224–336GW, depending on the scenario, while Hydro is at 163GW, CSP 99, Geothermal 96, and Ocean energy 66GW.

    Source;
    http://environmentalresearchweb.org/blog/2011/02/grid-battles.html

    see original www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/climate/2011/battle of the grids.pdf.
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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:30 pm

    Who could blame them...

    Generation net: The youngsters who prefer their virtual lives to the real world


    Different life: A study has found that children are often more happy with their lives online than they are with reality, as it allows them to be who they want


    By Liz Thomas
    Last updated at 5:29 PM on 8th February 2011

    Children are often happier with their online lives than they are with reality, a survey has revealed.

    They say they can be exactly who they want to be – and as soon as something is no longer fun they can simply hit the quit button.

    The study also shows that, despite concerns about online safety, one in eight young people is in contact with strangers when on the web and often lies about their appearance, age and background.

    Researchers for children’s charity Kidscape assessed the online activities of 2,300 11- to 18-year-olds from across the UK and found that 45 per cent said they were sometimes happier online than in their real lives.

    The report – Virtual Lives: It is more than a game, it is your life – lays bare the attitudes of children today to the internet and includes revealing insights into how they feel when they are on the web.

    One told researchers: ‘It’s easier to be who you want to be, because nobody knows you and if you don’t like the situation you can just exit and it is over.’

    Another said: ‘You can say anything online. You can talk to people that you don’t normally speak to and you can edit your pictures so you look better. It is as if you are a completely different person.’

    One teenager admitted the only place he or she felt comfortable admitting they were gay was on anonymous internet forums.

    Around 47 per cent of children said they behaved differently online than they did in their normal lives with many claiming it made them feel more powerful and confident.

    Psychotherapist Peter Bradley, who is also deputy director of Kidscape, said that the desire for so many to adopt a different identity online was a cause for concern because the children were being divorced from reality.

    He added: ‘These findings suggest that children see cyberspace as detachable from the real world and a place where they explore parts of their behaviour and personality that they possibly would not show in real life. We can’t allow cyberworlds to be happier places than our real communities, otherwise we are creating a generation of young people not functioning adequately in our society.’

    The report found that of those who spoke to strangers online 60 per cent did not tell the truth about their age, and 40 per cent were not honest about personal relationships.

    Around 10 per cent said they changed aspects of their appearance and their personality for their online activity. Mr Bradley warned that children were still taking serious risks with encounters, putting themselves or their friends in danger.

    ‘We were alarmed by the number of risks being taken by teenagers whilst online,’ he said. ‘Safe online behaviour is taught in schools, but teenagers seem to be unable to relate the risks to themselves.

    ‘This research should challenge teenagers, parents and professionals to do their best to make internet safety guidelines meaningful.’

    Xbox boy runs up £1,000 in debts

    A boy of 11 spent more than £1,000 on his mother’s debit card while playing computer games on the family’s Xbox console.

    Dawn Matthews agreed to enter her card details so her son Brendan could play online with friends at a subscription cost of £5.99 a month.


    Angry: Dawn Matthews with her son Brendan Jordan. She blames Microsoft for making it 'too easy' for her son to spend the money

    But, unaware of the implications, he also used the account to buy accessories and new features – racking up a total of £1,082.52 in six months and leaving his mother with an overdraft at Barclays.

    Miss Matthews, 37, from Strood, Kent, has complained to Microsoft, which produces the Xbox LIVE system. The sales executive and part-time singer, who also has a daughter, Abigail, 13, said: ‘I work two jobs just to look after my family and pay the bills, so I cannot afford all these extortionate charges.’

    She blames Microsoft for making it ‘too easy’ for her son to spend the money. ‘It was only when I explained it to him that he realised how much money he had spent. He burst into tears.’

    A spokesman for Microsoft said that if Miss Matthews had used the available parental control setting it would have prevented Brendan from spending her money.


    Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1354702/Children-happier-virtual-lives-real-world.html#ixzz1DQvcr5h6
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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:47 pm

    If you haven't begun this practice... what are you waiting for Flowers

    Long time SR readers know it is my belief that the single most important thing you can do to take control of your life, and to lead a life of wellness, is to develop the discipline of meditation.


    Mindfulness meditation training changes brain structure in 8 weeks
    Mass. General-led study shows changes over time in areas associated with awareness, empathy, stress


    Sue Mcgreevey - Massachusetts General Hospital

    Participating in an 8-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. In a study that will appear in the January 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers report the results of their study, the first to document meditation-produced changes over time in the brain's grey matter.

    "Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day," says Sara Lazar, PhD, of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program, the study's senior author. "This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing."

    Previous studies from Lazar's group and others found structural differences between the brains of experienced mediation practitioners and individuals with no history of meditation, observing thickening of the cerebral cortex in areas associated with attention and emotional integration. But those investigations could not document that those differences were actually produced by meditation.

    For the current study, MR images were take of the brain structure of 16 study participants two weeks before and after they took part in the 8-week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness. In addition to weekly meetings that included practice of mindfulness meditation – which focuses on nonjudgmental awareness of sensations, feelings and state of mind – participants received audio recordings for guided meditation practice and were asked to keep track of how much time they practiced each day. A set of MR brain images were also taken of a control group of non-meditators over a similar time interval.

    Meditation group participants reported spending an average of 27 minutes each day practicing mindfulness exercises, and their responses to a mindfulness questionnaire indicated significant improvements compared with pre-participation responses. The analysis of MR images, which focused on areas where meditation-associated differences were seen in earlier studies, found increased grey-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection. Participant-reported reductions in stress also were correlated with decreased grey-matter density in the amygdala, which is known to play an important role in anxiety and stress. Although no change was seen in a self-awareness-associated structure called the insula, which had been identified in earlier studies, the authors suggest that longer-term meditation practice might be needed to produce changes in that area. None of these changes were seen in the control group, indicating that they had not resulted merely from the passage of time.

    "It is fascinating to see the brain's plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life." says Britta Hölzel, PhD, first author of the paper and a research fellow at MGH and Giessen University in Germany. "Other studies in different patient populations have shown that meditation can make significant improvements in a variety of symptoms, and we are now investigating the underlying mechanisms in the brain that facilitate this change."

    Amishi Jha, PhD, a University of Miami neuroscientist who investigates mindfulness-training's effects on individuals in high-stress situations, says, "These results shed light on the mechanisms of action of mindfulness-based training. They demonstrate that the first-person experience of stress can not only be reduced with an 8-week mindfulness training program but that this experiential change corresponds with structural changes in the amydala, a finding that opens doors to many possibilities for further research on MBSR's potential to protect against stress-related disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder." Jha was not one of the study investigators.

    ###

    James Carmody, PhD, of the Center for Mindfulness at University of Massachusetts Medical School, is one of co-authors of the study, which was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the British Broadcasting Company, and the Mind and Life Institute. More information on the work of Lazar's team is available at http://www.nmr.mgh.harvard.edu/~lazar/.

    Celebrating the 200th anniversary of its founding in 1811, Massachusetts General Hospital is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of nearly $700 million and major research centers in AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, systems biology, transplantation biology and photomedicine.

    Source;
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-01/mgh-mmt012111.php
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    giovonni

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  giovonni on Sat Feb 12, 2011 2:08 pm

    Israelis Divided On How to Respond to Egypt Turmoil...

    The Israelis are going to have to be very supple to move through this enormous transformation in the Middle East, themselves. If they are smart they will support the development of a democratic Egypt. This will lead to the blossoming of a new era in the Middle East. However, if their Right wing prevails they will fail in this by responding, just as the American Right is, from fear and paranoia. It will be one of history's great lost opportunities to everyone's loss. If you want to get a sense of what this worldview looks like spend a hour with Fox News. I spent about two hours today listening to them. It is the Shadow parallel universe.

    Our goal, I believe, as I wrote when the revolution began, is to help Egypt turn into a version of Turkey. A democracy with religious tolerance for all its citizens, a just legal system, and a robust private market. It will be more conservative than Turkey, but if it stabilizes in this way, within three years the Middle East will be transformed. Every other country in the region will see that it can be done, and people will see that radicalization just results in one's country becoming a pariah from most of the world, like Iran.

    I think this democratic Egypt can happen. Not that it will, but that it can. Egypt has three major income streams, tourists, a bit of oil, and the Suez Canal. It is different than Iran. I lived in Egypt for most of two years, and know that every Egyptian understands prosperity flows in part from tourists, and that they will disappear if the country is radicalized, repressive, and violent. Also Egyptians like stability. They see themselves proudly as the heirs of one of humanity's great civilizations. Much will depend on how Israel and Egypt work out their relationship.

    Israelis Divided On How to Respond to Egypt Turmoil

    Critics say Israel's leaders have seemed unprepared to react to the likelihood of a leadership change in Egypt, whose landmark 1979 peace treaty with Israel has been a cornerstone of Israel's stability.



    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking in Tel Aviv, emphasized the 1979 Israel-Egypt peace treaty. In a speech Tuesday to European leaders, Netanyahu sounded an alarm that Egypt could "go the way of Iran." (Ariel Schalit, Associated Press / February 10, 2011)


    By Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times
    February 11, 201

    Reporting from Jerusalem —
    As Israel faces what many fear could turn into its most serious national security threat in decades, fault lines are widening over how it should respond and some critics say the government appears ill prepared.

    With the resignation Friday of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was widely seen as Israel's most predictable Arab ally, a quiet panic is spreading here as Israelis debate their next move.

    "This whole situation is making Israel's hawks more hawkish and the doves more dovish," said Yossi Alpher, a former government peace talks advisor and co-editor of Bitterlemons.net, a Middle East political research firm.

    Critics say Israel's leaders have so far seemed surprisingly unprepared to react to leadership change in Egypt, whose landmark 1979 peace treaty with Israel has long been a cornerstone of Israel's stability.

    Even as late as Thursday, many Israeli officials were still confidently predicting that Mubarak would survive until at least September. An Israeli lawmaker telephoned Mubarak on Thursday afternoon to offer words of encouragement.

    "They allowed themselves to go into denial," said Daniel Levy, a former Israeli Justice Ministry advisor who is now a senior fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington. "Now they've got no strategy and their options just narrowed."

    Levy said Israel had relied heavily on Mubarak to defend its regional policies regarding peace talks with the Palestinians and the security cordon around the Gaza Strip, and now will have difficulties adjusting to a more democratic Egyptian government.

    "You can't be a friend of Arab democracy if you're an enemy of Palestinian freedom," Levy said. "In that sense, they are as out of touch with Middle East reality as Mubarak was."

    Israeli government officials declined to comment Friday evening.

    George Friedman, chief executive of Stratfor, a global political research firm, said, "Israel focused on the Mubarak government as if it were eternal."

    "Israelis have obsessed over lesser threats like Hezbollah [in Lebanon], Hamas [in the Gaza Strip] and the notional threat of Iranian nuclear weapons, but they took for granted the relationship with Egypt, which is a much greater threat to Israel's survival."

    Friedman said Israel has relied too heavily on the United States and the international community to protect its interests. "What is Israel's national strategy to maintain the peace treaty with Egypt?" he said. "There are things they could do, but they don't want to do them."

    In Israel, familiar camps are forming over how the country should act. On one side, many conservatives are pushing Israel to circle the wagons, bolster its defenses and lobby the international community to ensure that Egypt's next government is as friendly toward Israel as the current one.

    Others say that now is the time to try to make friends in the region, by attempting to restore soured relations with Turkey, pursuing a peace deal with Syria and ending the occupation of the West Bank.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing government so far has focused its official statements on warning against an Islamist takeover of Egypt. In a speech Tuesday to European leaders, Netanyahu sounded an alarm that Egypt could "go the way of Iran."

    Behind the scenes, Israeli officials have argued to the United States that, in the volatile Middle East, stability should trump democracy. They advocated that Mubarak's close aides or the military should take power rather than handing control over to a civilian body or opposition coalition. According to a newly released WikiLeaks cable, Israeli officials told U.S. officials in 2008 that they viewed Omar Suleiman, whom Mubarak recently made his vice president, as a suitable replacement for Mubarak.

    Israel seems to be betting that whatever power takes control in Egypt, it probably will opt to honor the 1979 treaty rather than risk resumed hostilities with Israel. Nevertheless, Israel's military is preparing to boost its defenses along its southwestern border with Egypt, accelerating construction of a security fence.

    Regarding stalled U.S.-brokered peace talks, most expect Netanyahu's government to adopt a harder line, particularly when it comes to territorial concessions.

    "The new situation will push Israel to be much more obstinate in demands from Palestinians," said Zvi Mazel, another former Israeli ambassador to Egypt. "We will need a lot of guarantees."

    Israeli President Shimon Peres is among those countering that Israel should move aggressively to reach an agreement on a Palestinian state to bolster its moderate allies in Egypt.

    "These dramatic events increase the necessity of removing the burden of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from the regional agenda," Peres told a gathering of opinion makers at the annual Herzliya Conference.

    Some believe a deal for Palestinian statehood would increase support for moderates in Egypt and Jordan, who have paid a political price in recent years for working with Israel even amid its controversial military offensives in Lebanon and Gaza. Jordan's King Abdullah II, whose country signed a 1994 peace treaty with Israel, recently distanced himself from Netanyahu, citing the lack of progress on peace talks.

    Others suggest that Israel should revisit its rejection of the 2002 Arab League peace initiative, which offered Israel normalized relations with Arab nations in return for an end to the occupation.

    "Rejecting the Arab peace initiative was a grave mistake," said Moshe Maoz, a professor of Islamic and Mideast studies at the Harry S. Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace. "We are becoming much more isolated. This may be our last chance."

    Critics scoff at the notion that resolving the Palestinian problem would suddenly end hostility toward Israel, saying the poor relations are rooted in anti-Semitism or a refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist. After three decades of a "cold peace" with Egypt, Israeli businesses complain that their attempts to bolster trade have been rejected. In 2010, the countries traded about $500 million worth of goods, a relatively small amount considering Egypt's size.

    "We tried everything [to make peace with the Arab world]," former ambassador Mazel said. "They are not ready to accept us."

    Alon Liel, a former director general of Israel's Foreign Ministry, said Israel must decide whether it wants to try to reach out to the Arab world. He said that a decade ago, Israel had diplomatic relations with nine Muslim countries that have all since closed their offices or withdrawn representatives. Egypt, he warned, may be next.

    "Israel has been ousted from the Middle East," Liel said. "The Israeli government seems to be in this mood that says, 'All right, if the Middle East is lost for now, we can do without it.' … Now we have to think about our action plan. We have two choices: accept it, or try to change it."

    Source;
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...552,full.story


    edmund.sanders@latimes.com

    Batsheva Sobelman of The Times' Jerusalem Bureau contributed to this report.

    Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times
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    Mercuriel
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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

    Post  Mercuriel on Sat Feb 12, 2011 11:28 pm

    For the first Time - In the long time since Control was initiated by Them - They're thinking about those Protocols of Zion and wondering...

    "Is My Antigrav Ship ready to go ?"

    "We may need to exit Stage Left - Soon..."


    Note that when I say Them in this case - I mean the Zionists and NO I don't mean the Jews specifically. Zionism is Global in scope and in all of the Races and Governments now. What can be said about Zionism and the Jewish People though is that Israel was a haven for Zionism (Through the Rothschilds) before It was exported en masse after the Land of Canaan / Palestine was made into Israel...

    Musical


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    Namaste...

    Peace, Light, Love, Harmony and Unity...

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    Re: Trends That Will Affect Your Future …

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