“The minimum wage needs to be a living wage. The business-side discomfort with raising the wage would be more understandable if every sector was hurting. But it isn’t. The rich are richer than ever, corporate profits are at record highs, the stock market is soaring. We don’t need to coddle McDonalds and WalMart by paying their employees less than living wages. But in any case, raising the minimum doesn’t hurt the economy at all. It actually creates more jobs.”—Hullabaloo (via azspot)
“So we don’t have a debt crisis, and never did. Why did everyone important seem to think otherwise? To be fair, there has been some real good news about the long-run fiscal prospect, mainly from health care. But it’s hard to escape the sense that debt panic was promoted because it served a political purpose — that many people were pushing the notion of a debt crisis as a way to attack Social Security and Medicare. And they did immense damage along the way, diverting the nation’s attention from its real problems — crippling unemployment, deteriorating infrastructure and more — for years on end.”—The deficit crisis is fake. (via salon)
Rather than dig only a few feet under the surface to access the consistent temperatures commonly leveraged for residential geothermal systems, an Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) digs thousands of meters into the ground to capture some of the intense heat that escapes from the Earth’s core.
This heat is used to boil water, which creates steam and ultimately drives turbines that generate power. Pretty much the same thing as current power plants except EGSs don’t need fossil fuels or radioactive fuel rods to make it happen.
If implemented successfully, we could generate power 24 hours a day without concerns about the rising costs of fossil fuels or the hazards associated with nuclear power plants.
There are good reasons for any species to think darkly of its own extinction. Ninety-nine percent of the species that have lived on Earth have gone extinct, including more than five tool-using hominids. A quick glance at the fossil record could frighten you into thinking that Earth is growing more dangerous with time. If you carve the planet’s history into nine ages, each spanning five hundred million years, only in the ninth do you find mass extinctions, events that kill off more than two thirds of all species.
But this is deceptive. Earth has always had her hazards; it’s just that for us to see them, she had to fill her fossil beds with variety, so that we could detect discontinuities across time. The tree of life had to fill out before it could be pruned.
“The general public has no idea what is really going on in the world around them. They don’t know about sodium fluoride in the municipal water supplies. They don’t know about estrogen mimickers in the plastic containers. They don’t know about geo engineering projects in which heavy metals are sprayed all over the skies. They don’t know about vaccines which contain mercury. They don’t know about flicker rates on television screens which are designed to alter brain waves into lower states of consciousness. They don’t know about how fiat currency is printed by the Federal Reserve. They don’t know about the depleted uranium used by the military. They don’t know about the radiation contamination from leaking power plants. They don’t know about the collusion of rigged economic markets. They don’t know about who runs the opium out of Afghanistan and the cocaine out of Central America and the marijuana out of Mexico. They don’t know about the United Nations’ Agenda 21 program. They don’t know about the quotas CPS agents have. They don’t know about the Sovietization of the public education system which was implemented decades ago. They don’t know about the genetically modified organisms that are in the processed foods. They don’t know about detoxification and the body’s ability to heal itself from nearly any condition. They don’t know squat.”—
“And how hard is it to land even a minimum-wage job? This year, the Ivy League college admissions acceptance rate was 8.9%. Last year, when Walmart opened its first store in Washington, D.C., there were more than 23,000 applications for 600 jobs, which resulted in an acceptance rate of 2.6%, making the big box store about twice as selective as Harvard and five times as choosy as Cornell. Telling unemployed people to get off their couches (or out of the cars they live in or the shelters where they sleep) and get a job makes as much sense as telling them to go study at Harvard.”—"Why Don’t the Unemployed Get Off Their Couches?" and Eight Other Critical Questions for Americans (via seriouslyamerica)
President Obama said Friday that a Malaysia Airlines plane carrying nearly 300 people, including at least one U.S. citizen, was evidently shot down by an antiaircraft missile fired from an area controlled by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
In an editorial in the Detroit News, entitled “There is no right to free water,” Nolan Finley sets out his case against entitlement lefties who believe that shutting off water service to someting like half of the households in Detroit:
Water is not a human right. It’s a human need.
Ever since Adam and Eve got booted out of Eden, people have devoted most of their energy and labor to meeting the basic needs of food, water, clothing and shelter. It’s the origin of work — you’re hungry, you’re thirsty, you need some decent threads and a roof over your head, you have to get up in the morning and do something constructive.
Water, food, clothing, shelter were never bestowed on us because we exist. It costs money to purify water and deliver it to homes. That’s why early on people began forming communities to share the cost of meeting that common need, and others.
Charitable minded citizens have never objected to helping care for neighbors who are unable to care for themselves. But they understandably don’t have much appetite for carrying on their backs those who choose to indulge their wants before their needs.
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
And here’s a bit more from the UN, specifically about water:
On 28 July 2010, through Resolution 64/292, the United Nations General Assembly explicitly recognized the human right to water and sanitation and acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realisation of all human rights. The Resolution calls upon States and international organisations to provide financial resources, help capacity-building and technology transfer to help countries, in particular developing countries, to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all.
In November 2002, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted General Comment No. 15 on the right to water. Article I.1 states that “The human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity. It is a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights”. Comment No. 15 also defined the right to water as the right of everyone to sufficient, safe, acceptable and physically accessible and affordable water for personal and domestic uses.
But, you see, Finley asserts that no one has a right to water because he thinks people can pay for it but are simply choosing not to. And he’s nominated himself the arbiter of how other people should prioritize their spending:
[I]nstead of using what resources they have to cover their needs, many water customers instead have chosen to service their wants. That’s what happens when people are conditioned to think someone else is responsible for taking care of them….
Since the cut-offs began, more customers are paying up. The overwhelming majority of households hit with a shut-off are settling their debt to get the water flowing again, suggesting they could have been paying all along.
It’s as simple as that, for Finley. These people aren’t really poor; they’re just mooching off the water company and the good people who do pay their bills while they get to enjoy all the other things they want, like cell phones and cable tv.
But Finley has a heart; he’s pleased that the really poor people, those who can’t afford anything, “are being offered a variety of assistance programs to make sure no one who truly can’t pay for water is shut off.”
So there is free water. As long as you meet all the criteria that people like Nolan Finley have set out.
Addressing reporters at a press conference on Sunday, Youssef Abul Resh, undersecretary of the health ministry in Gaza said, “Medical teams have registered injuries consistent with those caused by DIME [dense inert metal explosives] and other banned weapons.”