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30 Jul 2014

Alabama Officials Say Coal is From God, Want Prayer Against Rules to Reduce Pollution

The Alabama coal industry opposes proposed regulations by the EPA that would reduce harmful pollution from coal-fired power plants by 27 percent.
Now, members of Alabama's Public Service Commission (PSC) are jumping on the pro-coal bandwagon and are trying to bring God along for the ride.
PSC President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, Commissioner Jeremy Oden, Commissioner-elect Chip Beeker and Republican National Committeeman Paul Reynolds recently held a press conference in the offices of the Alabama Coal Association, noted AL.com.
They claimed the proposed EPA rules would be "an assault on our way of life" and are an intentional effort by President Obama to kill jobs, but failed to mention the harmful effects of pollution or global warming.
"We will not stand for what they are doing to our way of life in Alabama," said Cavanaugh. "We will take our fight to the EPA. I hope all the citizens of Alabama will be in prayer that the right thing will be done."
"Who has the right to take what God's given a state?" added Beeker. 

- See more at: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/religion/christianity/alabama-officials-say-coal-god-want-prayer-against-rules-reduce-pollution

US unable to account for $626 million worth of weapons in Afghanistan | The Department of Defense cannot account for 747,000 weapons and auxiliary military equipment.

The United States’ Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), in a new report, notes that “747,000 weapons  and auxiliary equipment” given to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) are unaccounted for. The United States has been training and supporting the ANSF to foster self-sufficiency in the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police. The ANSF will take over Afghanistan’s precarious internal security situation once the United States and NATO withdraw from the country at the end of this year. Weapons supplies from the U.S. to the ANSF are one of the main ways in which the United States supports the development of the ANSF. According to SIGAR, the unaccounted weapons “are valued at approximately $626 million.”
Among the unaccounted for arms are rifles, pistols, machine guns, grenade launchers, and shotguns. 465,000 of these small arms are missing according to the SIGAR report. The report additionally finds that the DoD’s ledger systems for recording weapon shipments to Afghanistan have major errors and discrepancies.
The Security Cooperation Information Portal (SCIP) and the Operational Verification of Reliable Logistics Oversight Database (OVERLORD), two systems used by the DoD to keep track of weapon shipments to Afghanistan, were found to have major errors and discrepancies. For example, 43 percent of serial numbers in the OVERLORD system had “missing information and/or duplication.”
Other serial numbers were recorded multiple times and some had no shipping or receiving dates attached to them. In 2010, the DoD was required to implement a weapons registration program for all small arms transferred to the ANSF. According to the SIGAR audit, the poor management of serial number data has seriously impaired U.S. efforts to keep track of where these weapons are ending up in Afghanistan.

Random Facts You Need To Remember (21 pics)




















Random Facts You Need To Remember (21 pics)






















29 Jul 2014

Study shows the middle class is 20 percent poorer than it was in 1984

Nostalgia is just about the only thing the middle class can still afford. That's because median wealth is about 20 percent lower today, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than it was in 1984. 
Now, as you might expect, the middle class has been hit particularly hard by the Great Recession and the not-so-great recovery. It's all about stocks and houses. The middle class doesn't have much of the former, but it does have a lot of the latter. And that's bad news, because, even though the crash decimated both, real estate hasn't come back nearly as much as equities have. So the top 1 percent, who hold more of their wealth in stocks, have made up more of the ground they lost. But, as the Russell Sage Foundation points out, the slow housing recovery means that, in 2013, median households were still 36 percent poorer than they were a decade earlier.
In fact, the housing bust was big enough to erase all the gains the middle class had made the past 30 years—and then some. As you can see below, median households didn't add much wealth between 1984 and 2007. That's what happens when real wages don't increase, and the cost of a middle class lifestyle—housing, healthcare, and higher education—does. So, as Dean Baker points out, when the crisis did come, it devoured these meager gains and left the middle class with 20 percent less wealth than they had when it was "Morning in America."

Connecticut man seeks between $5.4 & $8 million compensation after being incarcerated 21 years for a rape and murder he did not commit.

 A man who was imprisoned 21 years for a rape and murder he did not commit is set to testify at a first-ever Connecticut hearing to determine how much he should be compensated.
Kenneth Ireland, who was imprisoned at the age of 18 and released in 2009 at age 39, after DNA tests, is seeking between $5.4 million and $8 million. The hearing scheduled for Tuesday marks the first time a wrongful imprisonment claim is going to the state claims commissioner, said his lawyer, William Bloss.
Ireland says in his claim that he lost the opportunity to learn a trade, earn a living, get married and raise a family. Labeled a sex offender, Ireland said in his claim he witnessed and experienced prison violence, losing part of a finger.
Attorney General George Jepsen has told Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr. that he does not object to the award compensation sought by Ireland.
Ireland was convicted in 1989 for killing Barbara Pelkey, a mother of four, in 1986.
In 2007, the Connecticut Innocence Project, which looks into potentially wrong convictions, began reviewing the case against Ireland. Following DNA tests, a Superior Court dismissed all charges against him.

A Facebook page calling for the death of Israeli Jews does not violate the social network’s “community standards,” according to multiple messages sent by Facebook in response to user complaints

A Facebook page calling for the death of Israeli Jews does not violate the social network's "community standards," according to multiple messages sent by Facebook in response to user complaints.
The page in question, is named, "Death to zionst baby killer israeli jews." The page, which spells "Zionist" incorrectly, features an Image of Israeli Prime MinisterBenjamin Netanyahu as a vampire with blood dripping down his chin as he feasts on a child. It was started on July 25.
Individuals complaining about the page were greeted with the following message (screen captured below): 
We reviewed your report of Death to zionst baby killer israeli jews. Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the Page you reported for containing hate speech or symbols and found it doesn't violate our Community Standards. 

Israelis in Tel Aviv chanting, “There’s no school tomorrow, there’s no children left in Gaza! Oleh!”

Israelis in Tel Aviv, on 26.7.2014, the 19th day of Israel’s massacres in Gaza, cheer the genocide on: “There’s no school tomorrow, there’s no children left there [in Gaza]! Oleh!”
Every evening, in Tel Aviv, right wing marchers flood the streets, waving Israeli flags and chanting hate-slogans, such as the most common, “death to the Arabs” and many others. Often, these are counter-protests to the anti-war demonstrations that have begun since Israel’s latest onslaught on the Gaza strip, but these are also independent initiatives, which aim to encourage the State of Israel to continue the bombardment with full force.
Israeli activists who oppose the war have become the victims of these rallies, as they turn into full-fledged riots. One of the activists testified that after the rally in the video, “a few of them started kicking and throwing punches, someone tried to beat us with a flag stick, and one rioter in an IDF uniform pepper sprayed me in the face…friends who stayed in the area told me that the cops shook the soldier’s hand.”
The day of this particular rally, OCHA reported: Approximately, 1000 Palestinians have been bombed to death, over 200 of them children. Over 6200 have been injured, 2000 of them children. Over 215,000 displaced people- schools have turned into refugee camps. 130 schools have been bombed.

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