VSF: I have been shifting my point of view lately that now allows me to understand what is occurring. First and foremost: Think EMPIRE. Forget democracy, the Land of the Free, or even a Republic. Our country, the United States of America became an empire back in 2005, as Chalmers Johnson said in his “The Sorrows of Empire”. Either you are part of the empire or not. Those who are allowed to be successful and prosper support the empire. Those who do not are marginalized, ridiculed, and vilified. The corporations, the military, the media, and the universities ALL support the empire, otherwise they would not receive funding and would cease to exist. The empire is ruled through the Federal reserve, the banking system and the Petro dollar. Wars are conducted solely to profit the empire, forget patriotism for country etc. This kind of false understanding is meaningless.
“In Sorrows of Empire, Johnson discusses the roots of American militarism, the rise and extent of the military-industrial complex, and the close ties between arms industry executives and high-level politicians. He also looks closely at how the military has extended the boundaries of what constitutes national security in order to centralize intelligence agencies under their control and how statesmen have been replaced by career soldiers on the front lines of foreign policy–a shift that naturally increases the frequency with which we go to war.”
Nearly 400 military bases must be tested for drinking water contamination — and it will take years
April 21, 2016 / Justine McDaniel & Laura McCrystal
Earlier this year, one South Jersey property owner got a notice: Chemicals from a nearby military base had seeped into the well that supplied drinking water to the site — contaminating it at a level 20 times higher than the federal government considers safe. It’s a familiar story to residents from New York to Colorado, Pennsylvania to Idaho. Contamination from former or current military installations, including in Horsham, Warrington, and Warminster, has ignited a nationwide review of water on or around bases that used a firefighting foam containing toxic chemicals. In the Philadelphia suburbs, about 70,000 residents have contended with tainted water running from their taps. The military is now testing nearly 400 bases and has confirmed water contamination at or near more than three dozen, according to an analysis of data by the Inquirer and Daily News. The new numbers offer the best look to date at the potential scope of the problem. But despite more than $150 million spent on the effort so far, the process has been slow and seemingly disjointed. … Whether the chemicals — which don’t degrade once they’re in groundwater — move quickly or slowly depends on what type of water system they’re in, said William Battaglin, a research hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, based in Colorado.
CHRIS HEDGES: Reign of Idiots
April 30, 2017
The idiots take over in the final days of crumbling civilizations. Idiot generals wage endless, unwinnable wars that bankrupt the nation. Idiot economists call for reducing taxes for the rich and cutting social service programs for the poor, and project economic growth on the basis of myth. Idiot industrialists poison the water, the soil and the air, slash jobs and depress wages. Idiot bankers gamble on self-created financial bubbles and impose crippling debt peonage on the citizens. Idiot journalists and public intellectuals pretend despotism is democracy. Idiot intelligence operatives orchestrate the overthrow of foreign governments to create lawless enclaves that give rise to enraged fanatics. Idiot professors, “experts” and “specialists” busy themselves with unintelligible jargon and arcane theory that buttresses the policies of the rulers. Idiot entertainers and producers create lurid spectacles of sex, gore and fantasy.
There is a familiar checklist for extinction. We are ticking off every item on it.
The idiots know only one word—“more.”
The more the warning signs are palpable—rising temperatures, global financial meltdowns, mass human migrations, endless wars, poisoned ecosystems, rampant corruption among the ruling class—the more we turn to those who chant, either through idiocy or cynicism, the mantra that what worked in the past will work in the future, that progress is inevitable. Factual evidence, since it is an impediment to what we desire, is banished. The taxes of corporations and the rich, who have de-industrialized the country and turned many of our cities into wastelands, are cut, and regulations are slashed to bring back the supposed golden era of the 1950s for white American workers. Public lands are opened up to the oil and gas industry as rising carbon emissions doom our species. Declining crop yields stemming from heat waves and droughts are ignored. War is the principal business of the kleptocratic state.
Island of Newfoundland & Labrador Sea / June 4, 2017 https://go.nasa.gov/2sG2UwO
The Caspian Sea (above) / April 22, 2017 https://go.nasa.gov/2q2Qnls
The Gulf of Alaska / April 14, 2017 https://go.nasa.gov/2ph9j3t
Auckland Island, NZ / Feb. 24, 2017 http://go.nasa.gov/2lWxO4h
Sakhalin Russia & the Sea of Okhotsk / April 14, 2017 https://go.nasa.gov/2pkXBlu
France & Spain Coastal / March 16, 2017 http://go.nasa.gov/2n4RUsZ
The Caspian Sea / March 16, 2017 http://go.nasa.gov/2mALPS1
Sakhalin Russia & the Kuril Islands / April 22, 2017 https://go.nasa.gov/2p8CPrE
Sea of Okhotsk & Sakhalin Russia / April 22, 2017 https://go.nasa.gov/2pffggy
South Sandwich Islands above Antarctica / April 20, 2017 https://go.nasa.gov/2pXs4Fu