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Attention

Effects of Fukushima radiation are ongoing while media omits the news

© Desconocido
It has been over four years since the 9.0 magnitude Tōhoku earthquake and ensuing catastrophic tsunami leveled the Pacific coast of Japan, setting off a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. Radiation has been pouring into the ocean, into the earth below, and into the air for over 1500 days now and there is still zero sense of urgency on the part of the government and world leaders to seriously address this blooming catastrophe. All efforts to stop the meltdown and clean up the radiation have been left in the hands of TEPCO, Japan's energy company that has been proven time and again to be inept and unprepared to confront a disaster of this sort.

The mainstream media, for its part, appears to be complicit in a cover-up of the effects that Fukushima radiation is already having on our environment and on human and animal health, and instead insists on omitting most news on the matter, or seriously dumbing down reports of the fallout.

Comment: To those reading only the mainstream press, Fukushima is 'old news'. The unprecedented rates of cancer, and the ongoing devastating effects on insects, birds and marine life have been effectively hidden from view. It's obvious those in control of the nuclear industry have done their jobs, much to our detriment.


Pistol

124 mentally ill people shot to death by police so far this year

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Police in the United States have fatally shot 124 mentally ill people so far this year, according to The Washington Post.

The Post found that the vast majority of the 124 were armed, but in most cases, the officers weren't responding to reports of a crime, but to calls from relatives, neighbors or others who said a mentally fragile person was behaving erratically, including 50 victims who said they wanted to kill themselves. And many of those who were armed didn't have firearms, but toy guns, knives or other implements that are less lethal than a gun.

The newspaper also found that more than 50% of the 124 were killed by officers whose agencies did not provide the most current training available for dealing with the mentally ill. "And in many cases, officers responded with tactics that quickly made a volatile situation even more dangerous," the Post's Wesley Lowery, Kimberly Kindy and Keith L. Alexander wrote.

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© Dallas Police Department
Image from police body camera of officer killing mentally ill Jason Harrison, 2014.
For instance, police are trained to take control, often through stern, shouted commands, when dealing with an armed suspect, the Post reported. But shouting and drawing weapons is "like pouring gasoline on a fire when you do that with the mentally ill," said Ron Honberg, policy director with the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, an independent research organization devoted to improving policing, said the death toll of mentally ill at the hands of police represents "a national crisis."

"We have to get American police to rethink how they handle encounters with the mentally ill. Training has to change," Wexler told the Post.

The newspaper reported that its research showed there were 462 police shootings in the first six months of 2015. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is supposed to keep track of such things but often has incomplete data, has never recorded 460 shootings in an entire year.


Comment: The stories behind these deaths are absolutely horrific. The Washington Post is such the propaganda rag. If you can stomach it, do read the original 'blaming the victim' article and some of the readers comments. It's disgusting to see the propaganda so effective. Such blatant disregard for victims or the real problem of escalating violence against innocent people in the U.S.

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Attention

Seattle: School-based clinics offer young girls access to birth control implants without parental consent

© BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images
Middle and high school students can't get a Coca-Cola or a candy bar at 13 Seattle public schools, but they can get a taxpayer-funded intrauterine device (IUD) implanted without their parents' consent.

School-based health clinics in at least 13 Seattle-area public high schools and middle schools offer long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), including IUDs and hormonal implants, to students in sixth-grade and above at no cost, according to Washington State officials.

LARCs are associated with serious side effects, such as uterine perforation and infection. IUDs, specifically, can also act as abortifacients by preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg.

Comment: Since when do tween and teenaged girls have the ability to give informed consent regarding medical procedures?
Consent is a voluntary agreement with an action proposed by another. Consent is an act of reason; the person giving consent must be of sufficient mental capacity and be in possession of all essential information in order to give valid consent. A person who is an infant, is mentally incompetent, or is under the influence of drugs is incapable of giving consent. Consent must also be free of coercion or fraud. Informed consent of a patient or other recipient of services is based on the principles of autonomy and privacy; this has become the requirement at the center of morally valid decision making in health care and research. Seven criteria define informed consent: (1) competence to understand and to decide, (2) voluntary decision making, (3) disclosure of material information, (4) recommendation of a plan, (5) comprehension of terms (3) and (4), (6) decision in favor of a plan, and (7) authorization of the plan. A person gives informed consent only if all of these criteria are met. If all of the criteria are met except that the person rejects the plan, that person makes an informed refusal.
It seems the powers that be would like nothing better than to remove all parental influence regarding the care of their children. How accommodating will these clinics be when side effects and complications arise?


USA

Independence Day, twice removed

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© Unknown
Magazine and cannonballs at Battery Rodgers, Alexandria 1863.
I hardly ever go out in the morning, the first 7-8 hours of every single day are taken up by reading and writing. But today I did, to feel the mood in the city. Not sure I got it, though. Everything's quiet. It may not help that I'm staying smack in the middle of the Acropolis tourist area (still haven't figured out why 90% of them are American).

Not sure if many Greeks even really understand what is going on, and who can blame them, they have every reason to be scared more than anything else.

And I'm still trying to wrap my head around the trouble just about everyone seems to have with the simplest and most basic exercise in direct democracy that's taking place right now. The referendum here today has been called manipulative, opaque, some say there's not enough time, others claim Tsipras is merely trying to save face in the face of defeat, courts have been called in to rule on its legality.

USA

Becoming truly independent is the ultimate act of insurrection

It's Independence Day! The 4th of July! Burgers! Picnics! Fireworks!

That's what it's all about, right? Go, America!

Actually, no, there probably weren't any hotdogs cooking on the grill on Independence Day in 1776. When the founding fathers of our nation signed the Declaration of Independence, they probably weren't wondering if the beer was cold yet, if Ben was going to burn the burgers again, or whether Thomas remembered the lighter for the fireworks.

They were thinking about freedom.

The whole purpose of the gesture was that these men were tired of bowing down to someone who did not have their best interests at heart. They were determined to no longer be the subjects of a King who looked at them as a way to make himself wealthy.

And, sadly, here we are a couple hundred years later, dependent yet again.

Our culture is just so incredibly dependent. Freedom is terrifying to most people because it means that they and they alone, are responsible for the actions that they take. An independent person succeeds or fails on his or her own merit. Independence by its very nature means that the possibility of failure exists. It requires a sense of adventure, confidence, and the ability to fail and get right back up again, and it seems like these things are being bred out of the American people.

Comment: The first step towards independence is recognizing that we have been brainwashed since infancy into believing a maelstrom of lies promulgated primarily to enslave us completely. While lifting the veil of these lies can be a long painful process, the rewards are priceless. If we consider the fact that the earth has entered a time of planetary chaos, and that many of the things we take for granted may soon vanish, the sooner we begin the process of trying to see reality as it is and take steps to think and act independently, the better equipped we will be to not only survive the chaos but to thrive and perhaps one day to actually be free.


USA

It's time to re-evaluate Independence Day

The fourth of July. This is the day for Americans to go down to the beach with a picnic basket loaded up with ham sandwiches and to drink more beer than can possibly be recommended during the work week. This is the day to gather with friends and family and to ooh and aah at pyrotechnics dazzling the sky. It is a day, if we stop to think, to be grateful that we are not living in a country which produces lock-step conformity and fear in its citizenry. It is a day, traditionally, to be thankful for our freedoms.

This July 4th, it would be useful to take a look at what we have lost, in terms of freedoms, and what we still stand to lose. Like some other institutions in America, the July 4th celebration of freedom has become something of an obligatory exercise of patriotic fervor. And given the developments of the last few years, it may now be relatively empty of meaning.

For the first time in US history, we have a President who has created—and invoked — the executive privilege of ordering the murders of US citizens without due process. While this has only been exercised a few times (to our knowledge), most notably with the 2011 assassination by drone strike of US born Muslim cleric Anwar al -Awlaki and subsequently of his son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the precedent now exists. This is not a privilege generally granted to a President in a free society. In fact, it is an action that is more redolent of a dictator, a Hitler or a Pol Pot whose purges of not only "enemies of the state," but also of whomever pissed off the dictator, became part of our collective awareness that we, as Americans, were very fortunate not to live under these sorts of rulers.

Comment: Perhaps Independence Day should be reclassified as a day of mourning, rather than a celebration. A day to mourn the freedoms Americans always thought they had and the freedoms to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that this country has snatched from people all over the world.


USA

An open letter to the government on Independence Day

Today I want to openly declare to the current control system what Independence Day means to me and why it is the most important holiday of the year.
Dear controlling (federal) government,

Do you know what today is? That's right. It's the one day of the year where we the little people celebrate Independence from you the larger control system. That is after all at the heart of Independence Day. This is the day when individuals with a conscience, not groups like government and corporations but individual human beings get to reminisce on the idea of freedom. And how can we blame humans for doing that? Freedom, after all is the most prized right to yearn for. It's a right, it's a moral code, it's an expectation and desire that all humans quietly yearn for, hope for and dream of. Freedom from you, the government. Freedom from external control and manipulation. Freedom from coercion, intimidation and forced slavery based on fear of harm, fear of being robbed and fear of being locked up. All three of these threats are the essence of what government does, but you already know that.

Pistol

Celebrating independence? Chicago shootings escalate during 4th of July weekend

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© Flickr/ Ceyhun (Jay) Isik
Five people have been fatally shot and seven others wounded across Chicago since Thursday, as the Fourth of July weekend opens with violence.

On Friday evening, a 17-year-old was shot to death while playing basketball at a Bronzeville park named after slain teen Hadiya Pendleton.

Vonzell Banks, who would have started a summer job on Monday before entering his senior year at Dunbar Vocational High School, was shot in the back. His 19-year-old cousin was shot in the foot.

According to witnesses, a gunman opened fire before jumping into an SUV which sped away.

Comment: Needless violence sending a message?


Stock Down

Record 62% of Japan households facing financial difficulties

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© Bloomberg
The proportion of households facing financial difficulties in Japan hit a record high of 62.4 percent as of July 2014, a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry survey showed Thursday.

The result partly reflects the consumption tax hike from 5 percent to 8 percent in April last year, the ministry said. The previous record high was 61.5 percent in July 2011.

The proportion of households having "severe difficulty" in living came to 29.7 percent, and 32.7 percent said their financial conditions are "somewhat difficult."

Meanwhile, 34.0 percent said their living is "normal." The proportion of households which said they are "somewhat well-off" stood at 3.2 percent, and 0.4 percent said they are "very well-off."

The survey also showed that the average household income in 2013 fell ¥83,000, or 1.5 percent, from the preceding year to ¥5,289,000, the fourth-lowest level since comparable data became available in 1985. The fall is partly due to an increase in nonregular employees, according to the ministry.

The average income fell 2.8 percent to ¥3,005,000 at elderly households, consisting only of people aged 65 or over, or of elderly people and children under 18.

The average income at all households with children under 18 increased 3.4 percent to ¥6,963,000.

Rose

'Selfie with daughter' campaign for gender equality goes viral on twitter

© Unknown
Heartwarming parent-daughter selfies have gone viral on Twitter, thanks to a social media campaign called #SelfieWithDaughter launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an effort to promote gender equality.

During his Sunday radio address, Modi asked parents to tweet photos of themselves with their daughters to highlight the importance of girls and women. The campaign is called "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Yojana" and is roughly translated to "Save Daughters, Educate Daughters." Modi credits the online hit to a local politician in the small Indian village of Haryana. According to a story published in the New York Times, baby boys are valued in Indian society, resulting in nearly 2,000 girls being killed at birth. And while laws exist to prevent expecting couples from using prenatal tests to learn the sex of their unborn baby, per the Wall Street Journal, many parents hold out hope for a son.