Author Archives: Jim Thorpe

Hillary Clinton Wants to Raise Taxes on Wealthy Heirs

Mother Jones

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Hillary Clinton has proposed an increase in the estate tax:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton would levy a 65% tax on the largest estates….generate $260 billion over the next decade, enough to pay for her plans to simplify small business taxes and expand the child tax credit….The Clinton campaign changed its previous plan—which called for a 45% top rate—by adding three new tax brackets and adopting the structure proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont during the Democratic primaries. She would impose a 50% rate that would apply to estates over $10 million a person, a 55% rate that starts at $50 million a person, and the top rate of 65%, which would affect only those with assets exceeding $500 million for a single person and $1 billion for married couples.

But but but, capital formation! Where will the American economy manage to dredge up any capital if we raise taxes on billion-dollar estates? Plus, as the straight shooters at the Wall Street Journal editorial page point out, there’s inflation. Using current dollars, a decade from now that top rate of 65 percent will apply to married couples with a mere $900 million in taxable assets. Surely we can’t be serious about this?

And how many people does this affect? Well, in 2014 there were a grand total of 223 estates worth $50 million or more. Given the power-curve nature of income, this suggests that there were maybe, oh, five estates worth $500 million. That’s something on the order of a thousand rich kids who will have to pay 15 percent more than the current top rate and maybe a dozen or so who would pay 25 percent more. Those dozen or so would inherit a mere $350 million instead of $600 million. That’s a grim fate, to be sure, but I suppose they’ll manage to soldier on.

As for all those farmers and family businesses who will be devastated? Forget it. There aren’t any—unless you consider the Trump Organization to be a small family business.

As with most policy proposals in this campaign, this is more for show than anything else. A Republican Congress won’t take up the estate tax again. Still, it’s designed to show whose side Hillary Clinton is on, and it does a pretty good job of that.

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Hillary Clinton Wants to Raise Taxes on Wealthy Heirs

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Thanks to Obamacare, Way Fewer Women Have To Pay Extra For Birth Control

Mother Jones

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There’s some good news for women who would rather not pay an arm and a leg to keep from getting pregnant.

The Guttmacher Institute, which tracks reproductive health costs, has been periodically surveying a group of 1,800 privately insured women ages 18-39 about how much they pay out of pocket for various kinds of birth control. The first survey was in the fall of 2012, just before the Affordable Care Act required insurance plans to stop applying co-pays or deductibles to most contraceptives. At the time, only 15 percent of the women said they didn’t have to pay anything over and beyond their monthly premiums. By the spring of 2014, that percentage had more than quadrupled.

It’s not just women who benefit. Given that contraception is far cheaper than the cost of unintended pregnancies, there are also plenty of savings for employers and insurers. So why do roughly one out of three women with private insurance still have to pay extra for the Pill, say, when the ACA supposedly forbids it? According to Judy Waxman, vice president of health and reproductive rights at the National Women’s Law Center, many women are still on plans established before March 2010 that were “grandfathered” into the law, meaning they don’t have to comply with the new rules. If an insurer wants to change a plan significantly, however, it’ll lose the exemption. About a quarter of health plans still have the grandfather status, Waxman says, but they’re disappearing fast.

Then, of course, there’s the Hobby Lobby contingent: employers who say their religious objections to birth control should excuse them from covering some, if not all, forms of it. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, 90 religious challenges are now pending in the federal courts, and judges have allowed many employers to withhold coverage of contraceptives until their cases are resolved. (The ACA already exempts churches, religious colleges, and certain other institutions from its mandate.)

There are a handful of insurers still charging extra for birth control in violation of the law, says Adam Sonfield, a public policy analyst at Guttmacher and an author of the study. Either they don’t understand the rules, haven’t yet updated their billing procedures, or are breaking the law deliberately. “The way insurance is regulated is pretty diffuse,” he says. “We know there are still insurers out there inappropriately interpreting the rules.”

The National Women’s Law Center has a step-by-step guide on its website for women who think they’re being charged when they shouldn’t be. It’s unclear, Waxman says, how many women have convinced their insurers to fix the problems, but the center is applying pressure and working with insurers and state officials when they catch wind of a conflict.

Overall, Sonfield and Waxman see the Guttmacher numbers as a big win. And given how surprisingly expensive it can be just to cover the out-of-pocket costs, the report makes the recent GOP push for over-the-counter contraceptives—leaving women to pay the full price—even less attractive. “This analysis shows that the contraceptive coverage guarantee under the ACA is working as intended,” Sonfield writes. Adds Waxman: “It’s a great improvement.”

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Thanks to Obamacare, Way Fewer Women Have To Pay Extra For Birth Control

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3 Ways the NFL Denied Football’s Concussion Crisis

Mother Jones

Both ESPN the Magazine and Sports Illustrated published excerpts today from Steve Fainaru and Mark Fainaru-Wada’s League of Denial, their much-anticipated investigation into the NFL’s efforts to downplay football’s link to devastating brain trauma. The book, which comes out next Tuesday, takes a look at the Big Tobacco-like tactics the league used over two decades to allay public concerns about concussions and long-term injury.

Here are three ways the Fainaru brothers argue that the NFL attempted to downplay the risks of the game:

1. Cherry-picking data in NFL-sponsored research: At a 2007 concussion summit meant to update new commissioner Roger Goodell, neuropsychologist Bill Barr, who had worked for the New York Jets, blasted the NFL’s Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) committee for using only select data in a study that concluded that NFL players were quick to recover from concussions:

“I said that the data collection is all biased,” Barr said. “And I showed slides of that. Basically I pointed out that we had been obtaining baselines on players for 10 years, and when you look at the study it only included a small amount of data. My calculations were that their published studies only included 15 percent of the available data. Let’s put it this way: There were nearly 5,000 baseline studies that had been obtained in that 10-year period. And only 655 were published in the study.”

2. Co-opting a reputable journal to publish questionable research: After the creation of the MTBI committee, the NFL used the influential medical journal Neurosurgery (whose editor in chief consulted for the New York Giants and whom “some people around the NFL also considered…something of a jock sniffer”) to publish its work:

The league used that journal, which some researchers would come to ridicule as the “Journal of No NFL Concussions,” to publish an unprecedented series of papers, several of which were rejected by peer reviewers and editors and later disavowed even by some of their own authors. The papers portrayed NFL players as superhuman and impervious to brain damage. They included such eye-popping assertions as “Professional football players do not sustain frequent repetitive blows to the brain on a regular basis.”

3. Blasting independent researchers: After neuropathologist Ann McKee (subject of a terrific 2012 Grantland profile) told reporters in 2009 that the brain of a dead 45-year-old ex-NFL player named Tom McHale looked like that of a 72-year-old former boxer—adding, “I have never seen this disease in the general population, only in these athletes”—she got a call from Ira Casson, co-chair of the MTBI committee, who wanted her to travel to the league’s New York City offices to present her work. The meeting was antagonistic:

To many in the room, Casson seemed especially combative. “Casson interrupted the most,” said Colonel Jaffee the national director of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. “He was…at times mocking. These were pretty compelling neuropathological findings, so to outright deny there could be a relationship, I didn’t think Casson was really making an honest assessment of the evidence.”

…McKee had experienced heated debate before, but this, she thought, was almost personal. “I felt like they weren’t really listening,” she said, “like they had their heads in the sand.” Casson, Pellman and others bombarded McKee and Perl with alternative theories: steroids, nutritional supplements, high blood pressure, diabetes. Finally McKee threw up her hands. “You are delusional,” she told them.

A PBS Frontline documentary, also called League of Denial, will air Tuesday at 8 p.m. EDT. (It is the result of a yearlong collaboration between ESPN, where the Fainaru brothers work, and Frontline—a joint project that ESPN recently pulled out of, allegedly due to NFL pressure.) Here’s the trailer:

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3 Ways the NFL Denied Football’s Concussion Crisis

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As climate changes, polar bears switch to polluted food

As climate changes, polar bears switch to polluted food

Visit Greenland

A harp seal and her pup: adorable but chemical-laced prey for polar bears.

A warming world is a cruel world for polar bears. Not only is their terrain melting beneath their feet. Now comes news that climate change is pushing East Greenland’s population to switch prey and increasingly eat types of seals that are loaded with chemical contaminants.

Polar bears living in East Greenland feed mainly on ringed seals, harp seals, and hooded seals. They may all sound the same to inexperienced seal-meat eaters like you and me. But these species of seals have different lifestyles that lead to different levels of chemical pollution in their meat.

Scientists studied the dietary habits of East Greenland’s polar bears from 1984 to 2011 and discovered a 42 percent fall in the amount of relatively clean ringed seal that they ate. In its place, the bears substituted more harp and hooded seals — species whose flesh contain higher levels of long-lived contaminants known as persistent organic pollutants. That’s because these species of seals, which are larger than ringed seals, are higher up in the food chains. It’s also because they are “subarctic” seals — they travel further south, closer to the industrialized world, where they swim and feed in more human-produced filth.

The scientists believe the changing diet is climate-related, in part because the dietary changes were most stark in the warmest years.

“Our results suggest that [East Greenland] bears are using subarctic seals as an increasingly important, albeit more contaminated, food resource,” the researchers wrote in a paper published recently in the journal Global Change Biology. “A shifting diet may have health consequences.”

Yuck, time to get those dirty seals out of your diets, polar bears!

Or not. The good news here is also the bad news. As Arctic sea ice continues to melt, the bears will find it harder to hunt the harp and hooded seals, which use the ice as pup-rearing platforms. And once that contaminated source of food has dried up, it could become frightfully difficult for the bears to find any food at all.

“This additional food source, subsequent to declines in ringed seal in the diet, may only be a temporary one,” the scientists wrote.

John Upton is a science fan and green news boffin who tweets, posts articles to Facebook, and blogs about ecology. He welcomes reader questions, tips, and incoherent rants: this article interesting? Donate now to support our work.Read more: Climate & Energy

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As climate changes, polar bears switch to polluted food

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Needed: Someone to Slog Through Wisconsin’s Obamacare Hokum

Mother Jones

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Yet another Republican commissioner of insurance—this time in Wisconsin—has announced that Obamacare will bring eye-popping increases in insurance rates to the beleaguered residents of his state. Premiums will increase by 50 percent for most people and will double for the least lucky cheeseheads. It’s gonna be a catastrophe.

I don’t have the energy to figure out how the numbers are being cooked this time around, and the announcement rather carefully provides no detail about how the commissioner’s office came up with its startling figures. But it’s certainly remarkable that these skyrocketing rates only seem to affect states with Republican administrations, isn’t it? Just remarkable.

In any case, while we wait for someone to figure out the precise nature of the gameplaying going on in Wisconsin, an actual report done by an organization that’s actually trying to compile accurate information concludes that premiums under Obamacare “are generally lower than expected.” That’s from the Kaiser Family Foundation, which provides several handy charts with expected average rates. Here’s a sample from a few of the states nearest to Wisconsin:

Those seem pretty reasonable. So how did Wisconsin supposedly end up with such high rates? My guess is that they lowballed the current rates; did their comparisons between different kinds of coverage; and cherry picked the buyers to get the worst possible results. But that’s just a guess. I’m sure that eventually someone will dig into this and get us a real answer.

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Needed: Someone to Slog Through Wisconsin’s Obamacare Hokum

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Arctic Warming Could Cost the World $60 Trillion

Mother Jones

This story first appeared in the Guardian and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

Rapid thawing of the Arctic could trigger a catastrophic “economic timebomb” which would cost trillions of dollars and undermine the global financial system, say a group of economists and polar scientists.

Governments and industry have expected the widespread warming of the Arctic region in the past 20 years to be an economic boon, allowing the exploitation of new gas and oilfields and enabling shipping to travel faster between Europe and Asia. But the release of a single giant “pulse” of methane from thawing Arctic permafrost beneath the East Siberian sea “could come with a $60 trillion global price tag,” according to the researchers who have for the first time quantified the effects on the global economy.

Even the slow emission of a much smaller proportion of the vast quantities of methane locked up in the Arctic permafrost and offshore waters could trigger catastrophic climate change and “steep” economic losses, they say.

The Arctic sea ice, which largely melts and reforms each year, is declining at an unprecedented rate. In 2012, it collapsed to under 3.5 million square kilometers by mid-September, just 40 percent of its usual extent in the 1970s. Because the ice is also losing its thickness, some scientists expect the Arctic ocean to be largely free of summer ice by 2020.

The growing fear is that as the ice retreats, the warming of the sea water will allow offshore permafrost to release ever greater quantities of methane. A giant reservoir of the greenhouse gas, in the form of gas hydrates on the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS), could be emitted, either slowly over 50 years or catastrophically fast over a shorter time frame, say the researchers.

The ramifications of vanishing ice will also be felt far from the poles, they say because the region is pivotal to the functioning of Earth systems, such as oceans and climate. “The imminent disappearance of the summer sea ice in the Arctic will have enormous implications for both the acceleration of climate change, and the release of methane from off-shore waters which are now able to warm up in the summer,” said Prof Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar ocean physics group at Cambridge University and one of the authors of the paper published in the journal Nature.

“This massive methane boost will have major implications for global economies and societies. Much of those costs would be borne by developing countries in the form of extreme weather, flooding and impacts on health and agricultural production,” he said.

According to the authors, who using the Stern review, calculated that 80 percent of the extra impacts by value will occur in the poorer economies of Africa, Asia, and South America. “Inundation of low-lying areas, extreme heat stress, droughts and storms are all magnified by the extra methane emissions,” the authors write. They argue that global economic bodies have not taken into account the risks of rapid ice melt and that the only economic downside to the warming of the Arctic they have identified so far has been the possible risk of oil spills.

But, they say, economists are missing the big picture. “Neither the World Economic Forum nor the International Monetary Fund currently recognize the economic danger of Arctic change. They must pay much more attention to this invisible time-bomb. The impacts of just one giant “pulse” of methane approaches the $70 trillion value of the world economy in 2012,” said Prof Gail Whiteman, at the Rotterdam School of Management, and another author.

The Nature report comes as global shipping companies prepare to send a record number of vessels across the north of Russia later in 2013, slashing miles traveled between Asia and Europe by over 35 percent and cutting costs up to 40 percent.

According to Russian authorities, 218 ships from Korea, China, Japan, Norway, Germany, and elsewhere have so far applied for permission to follow the “Northern sea route” (NSR) this year. This route uses the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska and is only open for a few months each year with an icebreaker.

But following 2012’s record collapse of the Arctic sea ice, shipping companies are gaining confidence to use the route. In 2012, only 46 ships sailed its entire length from the Atlantic to Pacific oceans and in 2011 only four. The route can save even medium-sized bulk carrier 10-15 days and hundreds of tons of bunker fuel on a journey between northern Norway and China.

Satellite data collated from the US National snow and ice data center in Boulder, Colorado this week showed ice loss now accelerating and, at 8.2 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles), approaching the same extent as during last year’s record melt. Over 130,000 square kilometers of sea ice melted between July 1 and 15. “Compared to the 1981 to 2010 average, ice extent on July 15 was 1.06 million square kilometers (409,000 square miles) below average,” said a spokesman.

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Arctic Warming Could Cost the World $60 Trillion

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Wisely And Carefully Improving Your Home

Learning to be wise about the way that you are going to care for your home is important. This article describes ways that readers can work on making the necessary home improvements.

This energy is derived from solar panels, which convert sunlight into electrical impulses which can be used to run a wide variety of things. The equipment is made up of cells that collect sunlight and transfer the energy into electricity.

As you are working on improving your home you should be sure that you take the time that you need to determine what is important to you. Make sure that you understand how you are going to be wise about looking for the best way that you can find to make the improvements you want.

In the past, solar panels have been prohibitively expensive and difficult to install. The technology was new and not perfected, leaving its use to those who could afford it, seeing it as a gimmick instead of a reliable source.

However, with technological advancement comes the ability to make the manufacturing process more effective. The cells that are available for commercial use are much more efficient now, making them more viable for the consumer.

The primary benefit to soar panels is the way that they can be installed almost anywhere. They range in size from tiny dots to more inclusive roof facades.

As you are being wise about this process you should make sure that you take time to find a professional that can help you through the process. When you do not know anything about solar panel installation, you will want to have someone that you can consult with to help you.

A professional can also make sure that the elements are securely mounted to the house or construct, so that they do not slip off and break. The best place to have them is somewhere where sunlight can directly shine on them for the longest overall period of time.

Getting recommendations and talking with people that have gone through the process can be very beneficial. Make sure that you take the time that you need to understand how you can work with someone that you know you are going to be able to trust to help you get what you will need.

In this way, people can cut down on their utilities considerably, if not eliminating them altogether. They will no longer need to depend on another entity to give them their main supply, so they can save money quickly.

The money that is saved from the equipment at work can easily pay for the cost of installation and purchases, in a matter of months. It is an investment, but it is one that reflects the desire of the individual to draw less from the main grid. It is also more ecologically friendly to do this action. Since the actions of drawing form the grid have been eliminated, the process is more efficient right at home.

Extraneous parts of the experience are eliminated, leaving the person with a good store while eliminating the middleman. If the process does not involve other organizations, then it will make much less of a carbon footprint on the earth.

Take the time that you need to understand how you are going to start working with professionals to ensure that home improvements are done properly. You want to be sure that home improvements are done well so that you can enjoy them for many years to come.

Saving money and making less of an overall impact on the earth are good reasons to procure the equipment for personal use, but it also is a sound investment. The money that is saved by supplying the home with sunlight stores will pay for the equipment and installation, and may even make the person some money down the road.

There are many people that start one project and then start another before they finish their original project. You should be sure that you are wise about the way that you are going to work to improve your home wisely so you can enjoy the effort that you put into your home.

SimpleRay was founded in 2007 with one goal: simplifying solar for families, business owners, installers and non-profits. We believe in the importance of Siliken solar panels, wind and other renewable energy products to the future of our global community. We offer inexpensive solar panels for sale that will help to save costs on your energy bills.

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The US Surveillance State Dates Back to the 19th Century

Mother Jones

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This story first appeared on the TomDispatch website.

The American surveillance state is now an omnipresent reality, but its deep history is little known and its future little grasped. Edward Snowden’s leaked documents reveal that, in a post-9/11 state of war, the National Security Agency (NSA) was able to create a surveillance system that could secretly monitor the private communications of almost every American in the name of fighting foreign terrorists. The technology used is state of the art; the impulse, it turns out, is nothing new. For well over a century, what might be called “surveillance blowback” from America’s wars has ensured the creation of an ever more massive and omnipresent internal security and surveillance apparatus. Its future (though not ours) looks bright indeed.

In 1898, Washington occupied the Philippines and in the years that followed pacified its rebellious people, in part by fashioning the world’s first full-scale “surveillance state” in a colonial land. The illiberal lessons learned there then migrated homeward, providing the basis for constructing America’s earliest internal security and surveillance apparatus during World War I. A half-century later, as protests mounted during the Vietnam War, the FBI, building on the foundations of that old security structure, launched large-scale illegal counterintelligence operations to harass antiwar activists, while President Richard Nixon’s White House created its own surveillance apparatus to target its domestic enemies.

In the aftermath of those wars, however, reformers pushed back against secret surveillance. Republican privacy advocates abolished much of President Woodrow Wilson’s security apparatus during the 1920s, and Democratic liberals in Congress created the FISA courts in the 1970s in an attempt to prevent any recurrence of President Nixon’s illegal domestic wiretapping.

Today, as Washington withdraws troops from the Greater Middle East, a sophisticated intelligence apparatus built for the pacification of Afghanistan and Iraq has come home to help create a twenty-first century surveillance state of unprecedented scope. But the past pattern that once checked the rise of a US surveillance state seems to be breaking down. Despite talk about ending the war on terror one day, President Obama has left the historic pattern of partisan reforms far behind. In what has become a permanent state of “wartime” at home, the Obama administration is building upon the surveillance systems created in the Bush years to maintain US global dominion in peace or war through a strategic, ever-widening edge in information control. The White House shows no sign—nor does Congress—of cutting back on construction of a powerful, global Panopticon that can surveil domestic dissidents, track terrorists, manipulate allied nations, monitor rival powers, counter hostile cyber strikes, launch preemptive cyberattacks, and protect domestic communications.

Writing for TomDispatch four years ago during Obama’s first months in office, I suggested that the War on Terror has “proven remarkably effective in building a technological template that could be just a few tweaks away from creating a domestic surveillance state—with omnipresent cameras, deep data-mining, nano-second biometric identification, and drone aircraft patrolling ‘the homeland.'”

That prediction has become our present reality—and with stunning speed. Americans now live under the Argus-eyed gaze of a digital surveillance state, while increasing numbers of surveillance drones fill American skies. In addition, the NSA’s net now reaches far beyond our borders, sweeping up the personal messages of many millions of people worldwide and penetrating the confidential official communications of at least 30 allied nations. The past has indeed proven prologue. The future is now.

The Coming of the Information Revolution
The origins of this emerging global surveillance state date back over a century to “America’s first information revolution” for the management of textual, statistical, and analytical data—a set of innovations whose synergy created the technological capacity for mass surveillance.

Here’s a little litany of “progress” to ponder while on the road to today’s every-email-all-the-time version of surveillance.

Within just a few years, the union of Thomas A. Edison’s quadruplex telegraph with Philo Remington’s commercial typewriter, both inventions of 1874, allowed for the accurate transmission of textual data at the unequalled speed of 40 words per minute across America and around the world.

In the mid-1870s as well, librarian Melvil Dewey developed the “Dewey decimal system” to catalog the Amherst College Library, thereby inventing the “smart number” for the reliable encoding and rapid retrieval of limitless information.

The year after engineer Herman Hollerith patented the punch card (1889), the US Census Bureau adopted his Electrical Tabulating machine to count 62,622,250 Americans within weeks—a triumph that later led to the founding of International Business Machines, better known by its acronym IBM.

By 1900, all American cities were wired via the Gamewell Corporation’s innovative telegraphic communications, with over 900 municipal police and fire systems sending 41 million messages in a single year.

A Colonial Laboratory for the Surveillance State
On the eve of empire in 1898, however, the US government was still what scholar Stephen Skowronek has termed a “patchwork” state with a near-zero capacity for domestic security. That, of course, left ample room for the surveillance version of modernization, and it came with surprising speed after Washington conquered and colonized the Philippines.

Facing a decade of determined Filipino resistance, the US Army applied all those American information innovations—rapid telegraphy, photographic files, alpha-numeric coding, and Gamewell police communications—to the creation of a formidable, three-tier colonial security apparatus including the Manila Police, the Philippines Constabulary, and above all the Army’s Division of Military Information.

In early 1901, Captain Ralph Van Deman, later dubbed “the father of US Military Intelligence,” assumed command of this still embryonic division, the Army’s first field intelligence unit in its 100-year history. With a voracious appetite for raw data, Van Deman’s division compiled phenomenally detailed information on thousands of Filipino leaders, including their physical appearance, personal finances, landed property, political loyalties, and kinship networks.

Starting in 1901, the first US governor-general (and future president) William Howard Taft drafted draconian sedition legislation for the islands and established a 5,000-man strong Philippines Constabulary. In the process, he created a colonial surveillance state that ruled, in part, thanks to the agile control of information, releasing damning data about enemies while suppressing scandals about allies.

When the Associated Press’s Manila bureau chief reported critically on these policies, Taft’s allies dug up dirt on this would-be critic and dished it out to the New York press. On the other hand, the Division of Military Information compiled a scandalous report about the rising Filipino politician Manuel Quezon, alleging a premarital abortion by his future first lady. Quezon, however, served the Constabulary as a spy, so this document remained buried in US files, assuring his unchecked ascent to become the first president of the Philippines in 1935.

American Blueprint
During the US conquest of the Philippines, Mark Twain wrote an imagined history of twentieth-century America. In it, he predicted that a “lust for conquest” had already destroyed “the Great American Republic,” because “trampling upon the helpless abroad had taught her, by a natural process, to endure with apathy the like at home.” Indeed, just a decade after Twain wrote those prophetic words, colonial police methods came home to serve as a template for the creation of an American internal security apparatus in wartime.

After the US entered World War I in 1917 without an intelligence service of any sort, Colonel Van Deman brought his Philippine experience to bear, creating the US Army’s Military Intelligence Division (MID) and so laying the institutional foundations for a future internal security state.

In collaboration with the FBI, he also expanded the MID’s reach through a civilian auxiliary organization, the American Protective League, whose 350,000 citizen-operatives amassed more than a million pages of surveillance reports on German-Americans in just 14 months, arguably the world’s most intensive feat of domestic surveillance ever.

After the Armistice in 1918, Military Intelligence joined the FBI in two years of violent repression of the American left marked by the notorious Luster raids in New York City, J. Edgar Hoover’s “Palmer Raids” in cities across the northeast and the suppression of union strikes from New York City to Seattle.

When President Wilson left office in 1921, incoming Republican privacy advocates condemned his internal security regime as intrusive and abusive, forcing the Army and the FBI to cut their ties to patriotic vigilantes. In 1924, Attorney General Harlan Fiske Stone, worrying that “a secret police may become a menace to free government,” announced “the Bureau of Investigation is not concerned with political or other opinions of individuals.” Epitomizing the nation’s retreat from surveillance, Secretary of War Henry Stimson closed the Military Intelligence cipher section in 1929, saying famously, “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.”

After retiring at the rank of major general that same year, Van Deman and his wife continued from their home in San Diego to coordinate an informal intelligence exchange system, compiling files on 250,000 suspected “subversives.” They also took reports from classified government files and slipped them to citizen anti-communist groups for blacklisting. In the 1950 elections, for instance, Representative Richard Nixon reportedly used Van Deman’s files to circulate “pink sheets” at rallies denouncing California Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas, his opponent in a campaign for a Senate seat, launching a victorious Nixon on the path to the presidency.

From retirement, Van Deman, in league with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, also proved crucial at a 1940 closed-door conference that awarded the FBI control over domestic counterintelligence. The Army’s Military Intelligence, and its successors, the CIA and NSA, were restricted to foreign espionage, a division of tasks that would hold, at least in principle, until the post-9/11 years. So armed, during World War II the FBI used warrantless wiretaps, “black bag” break-ins, and surreptitious mail opening to track suspects, while mobilizing more than 300,000 informers to secure defense plants against wartime threats that ultimately proved “negligible.”

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The US Surveillance State Dates Back to the 19th Century

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Harnessing The Power Of The Sun For Renewable Energy

Solar power is one of the best ways to have access to unlimited stores of energy, which may be recharged during any given day. This article discusses the benefits of this energy, and examines how it can supply many things with stores.

Solar panels draw energy from the rays of the sun and convert them into electrical impulse, which can then be used to power any number of things. Such a function has great implications due to the way which people could use such energy.

The rays of the sun are a limitless source of energy which are broadcast to earth every day. A single days’ worth of sunlight has immense potential, and it is something which is going to be guaranteed the next day.

The sun is a very powerful star. It supplies the world and its inhabitants with energy, through a process called nuclear fusion.

The longer that the technology is implemented and studied, the better it will become with every cycle. As such, the capabilities of solar panels have come a long way since their inception, to the point where they have advanced enough to make a real difference.

As manufacturing processes become more effective and efficient, and the technology is perfected, solar panels have become more and more viable for use. The more that is invested in their research, the more that they are able to efficiently catch the sun’s rays without any kind of loss in between.

The process is a fairly simple one, and the proliferation of the technology means that people will be more likely to see these panels in a wide variety of locations. With the spread of this technology, it is possible for there to be more renewable energy and for there to less pollution as a direct result.

Indeed, the technology is a safe and green way to get a lot of power without having to mine or to use any other elements to gain such power. Having a limitless source of fuel is a huge boon to those who utilize these units.

The units are able to passively draw energy from the rays of the sun and then store the electrical impulse in a battery for later. This means that even if people are not actively using anything requiring such power, it can be stored and used later.

The history of this power is very interesting. Solar energy’s first use was documented in 1980-this is when water heaters using this source were first put to use.

As manufacturing process become better, the equipment will also get better at its job, as well as becoming cheaper to make. One of the big drawbacks of new technology is that it is expensive and fairly rare to be found in common situations.

On a small scale, people will most likely come across this technology as it is commonly implemented into flashlights and radios. Users have the ability to utilize these items and get power from the stored charge, and then to recharge these items during the day.

The fact that these items potentially receive an unlimited supply of energy with which to recharge is a highly useful factor. This is especially useful in emergency situations or situations where one might be removed from normal equipment, such as when one is camping.

Right now, the implementation of solar power is fairly small in scale. The units are utilized primarily for supplemental purposes, and more intense options are limited. However, as technology improves and becomes more widespread in nature, then it will become more and more effective and useful. Utilizing such options in order to be a primary source of energy is not that far off.

This will make it so that people are able to enjoy more power without having to worry about the limited resources that the earth has. It is the way of the future, and it is one of the best options available for consideration.

While this is very effective, a cloudy day can shut the entire process down, causing you inconvenience. As more and more research is done, working to improve these complications, you may see more homes and businesses beginning to make this switch.

SimpleRay was founded in 2007 with one goal: simplifying solar for homeowners, business owners, installers and non-profits. We believe in the importance of Siliken solar panels, wind and other renewable energy technology to the future of our global community. We offer inexpensive solar panels for sale that will help to save costs on your energy bills.

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Tips to Conserve Energy Costs this Summer

Liam Dodd


Green Lentil Burgers

14 minutes ago

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Original article:  

Tips to Conserve Energy Costs this Summer

Posted in FF, GE, ONA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Tips to Conserve Energy Costs this Summer