Friday, November 13, 2009

Pattie Maes: Unveiling game-changing wearable tech

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Do as we say, not as we do

The Republicans have been making a big stink about the health care bill paying for abortions. But Politico has found that the insurance plan that the Republican National Committee offers to its employees pays for elective abortions. Their health insurance company, Cigna, says that the RNC has the option of not covering abortions, but has covered them since at least 1991

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New Beatles album from a parallel universe where they never broke up


The Beatles

"Everyday Chemistry"  

On Sept. 9, 2009 I experienced something that I still am having trouble believing happened to me. 

I came into the possession of a cassette tape containing a Beatles album that was never released.

I don't expect you to believe what happened to me, I sure wouldn't, but that's why I grabbed the tape as proof that my experience was real.

The Story of the Tape

If you want to download the album use the links to the left or grab the zip file!


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The Festering Fraud behind Food Safety Reform Nicole Johnson

"The general public must recognize that only after the demystification of U.S. agriculture will family farmers, labor, and consumers see beyond corporate agribusiness' manipulations to the point where they will recognize that both their mutual interests and the future of agriculture can be best decided through a system that not only practices political democracy, but economic democracy as well.
-- Ingolf Voegler


Readers of the New York Times were recently treated to a rarely glimpsed view of how the globally-sourced industrial food complex assembles the raw ingredients of the omnipresent hamburger. In his startling expose entitled "E. Coli Path Shows Flaws in Ground Beef Inspection," Michael Moss provides a window from which to witness well-hidden meat industry practices that most people, judging from some six hundred comments left on the New York Times website within 24 hours of the article's publication, find thoroughly repulsive.[1]

Moss's article tracing the processing history of the E. coli-contaminated hamburger consumed by Stephanie Smith, which left her body ravaged and permanently disabled, has much to commend it. While detailing how Cargill shaves costs by scraping together its "American Chef's Selection Angus Beef Patties" from trimmings and mash-like products sold to it by no less than four suppliers, Moss uncovers how the company failed to follow its own safety plans without facing any interference from the USDA until some one got very, very sick.

However, the article leaves out critical information from its analysis that would help us understand why so much is wrong with the meat inspection process today. Filling in these gaps is important if we want to take the correct measures to improve the safety of our meat supply. Furthermore, if we don't gain a fuller understanding of how and why the meat industry's inspection process became an essentially unregulated, privatized affair, we are likely to repeat the same mistake and allow Congress to pass food "safety" legislation that will serve to make the world a safer place for the cartels controlling the global produce trade but do nothing at all for the safety of our food supply.

The vested interests behind the creation of the 2009 Food Safety Enhancement Act and its Senate companion bill S. 510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, are the same vested interests who were behind the earlier deregulation of the meat and poultry inspection process. They aim to minimize the regulatory obstacles faced by transnational corporations engaged in international trade, which is increasingly becoming the movement of goods from one subsidiary affiliate to another subsidiary affiliate. And they're using the issue of food safety to con us into consenting to their wishes.

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What Chinese Currency Manipulation Looks Like

By Eric Lotke

As President Obama packs for China, I thought I'd draw him a picture of how China is manipulating its currency.

Source: Federal Reserve: Yuan, Broad dollar index.

The dollar stays flat against the Chinese Yuan, even as it loses value against other major currencies. The dollar is down to $1.50 per Euro, compared to $1.27 at this time last year (sorry to folks daydreaming about summer in Italy). But the dollar is unchanged against the Yuan (unless one considers 6.836 to 6.827 a drop).
Everyone knows this is happening. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner even used the word "manipulating" with the Senate Finance Committee mere hours before it voted to recommend his confirmation.

The dollar exchange with China "
defies the laws of monetary physics." During this U.S.-led global recession, dollars aren't worth as much as they once were. The natural physics of exchange makes U.S. goods relatively less expensive for others to buy, but makes foreign goods more expensive for Americans to buy. In a free market for currency, that would help bring accounts back into balance.

But China doesn't obey those laws.
China's deliberate policy of pegging the Yuan to the dollar makes American imports of Chinese goods artificially cheap and gives American companies opening factories in China an artificial subsidy. That's good for China but bad for America, and helps explain our soaring trade imbalance with China. An extraordinary 83 percent of America's non-oil trade deficit is with China. During the downturn, our trade deficit with other countries has been shrinking — but not with China.
The wheels of change are starting to turn. The Obama administration stood up to China when it imposed tariffs on Chinese tires and pipes dumped in the U.S. markets. The chattering class called it a trade war, but it's not. It's just applying the same rules of free trade that other countries respect, and that China agreed to when it entered the G-20 and was granted permanent normal trade relations with the US. Obama just blew the whistle.

The G-20 summit in Pittsburgh in September concluded with a
joint statement to seek "more balanced growth as part of the global economic reconstruction." The entire G-20 signed on — including China — but China's name was in bold in the quest for "balance," and everyone knew it.
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