Precursor To Civil Unrest: Millions Of Americans Rush To Food Banks (Source globalresearch.ca)
Those that run food banks all over America say that demand for their services just continues to explode. It always amazes me that there are still people out there that insist that an “economic collapse” is not happening. From their air-conditioned homes in their cushy suburban neighborhoods they mock the idea that the U.S. economy is crumbling. But if they would just go down and visit the local food banks in their areas, they would see how much people are hurting. According to Feeding America spokesman Ross Fraser, 46 million Americans got food from a food bank at least one time during 2014. Because the demand has become so overwhelming, some food banks are cutting back on the number of days they operate and the amount of food that is given to each family. As you will see below, many impoverished Americans are lining up at food banks as early as 6:30 in the morning just so that they can be sure to get something before the food runs out. And yet there are still many people out there that have the audacity to say that everything is just fine in America. Shame on them for ignoring the pain of millions upon millions of their fellow citizens. Poverty in America is getting worse, not better. This year, it is being projected that food banks in the United States will give away an all-time record 4 billion pounds of food. And that number would be even higher if food banks had more food to give away. The demand has become so crushing that some food banks have actually reduced the amount of food each family gets. “Food banks across the country are seeing a rising demand for free groceries despite the growing economy, leading some charities to reduce the amount of food they offer each family.” Those in need are starting to realize what is going on, so they are getting to the food banks earlier and earlier. For example, one food bank is now getting long lines of people every single day starting at 6:30 in the morning.
EPA project caused spill in Georgia (Source foxnews.com) In Greensboro, EPA-funded contractors grading a toxic 19th-century cotton mill site struck a water main, sending the deadly sediment into a nearby creek. Though that accident took place five months ago, the hazard continues as heavy storms — one hit the area Tuesday — wash more soil into the creek. The sediment flows carry dangerous mercury, lead, arsenic and chromium downstream to the tourist destination of Lake Oconee, which then feeds into Oconee River — home to many federally and state protected species. Lead in the soil is 20,000 times higher than federal levels established for drinking water, said microbiologist Dave Lewis.
GMO Industry Set To Flood U.S. Food Supply With Toxic Chemicals (Source Natural News)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent approval of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) resistant to new herbicides will soon unleash a flood of new toxic chemicals across the nation’s agricultural heartland, observers have warned. Previously, nearly all GMO crops approved for planting were engineered for resistance to a single herbicide: Monsanto’s blockbuster product Roundup (glyphosate). The widespread adoption of these crops led to an explosion in Roundup use, which in turn spurred the evolution of Roundup resistance in agricultural weeds. In response to the proliferation of Roundup-resistant “superweeds,” GMO companies have turned to engineering multi-herbicide resistance into their crops. Specifically, GMO crops are now available resistant to both Roundup and the Dow herbicide 2,4-D, or Roundup and another herbicide, Dicamba.
But as critics of biotechnology have repeatedly noted, the adoption of these new GMOs will merely exacerbate the problem – encouraging still more herbicide use and the evolution of ever-tougher superweeds. In a recent article, Dr. Jonathan Latham of the Bioscience Resource Project referred to the process as “a vicious cycle that threatens both our environment and our food supply.” The adoption of herbicide-resistant GMOs always leads to an increase in herbicide use, because farmers feel free to spray poison in higher concentrations to kill off more weeds, no longer worried about harming their crop. As weeds start to develop resistance (within a few generations), the herbicide doses needed to kill them begin to increase. Inevitably, residue from these herbicides makes its way into the food supply. Unsurprisingly, chemicals designed to poison plants are not benign for animals, either. Roundup has been linked with endocrine disruption, birth defects and organ failure. An ingredient in the infamous Vietnam War-era defoliant Agent Orange – 2,4-D – has been linked with hypothyroidism, Parkinson’s disease, reproductive problems and suppressed immune function. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has declared both chemicals “probable carcinogens.” According to government documents, Dicamba can cause neurological damage in mammals and is also classified as a “developmental toxin.” This latter effect is particularly troubling given that a recent Environmental Working Group report counted more than 5,600 schools within 200 feet of agricultural fields likely to be planted with the new GMO crops. Both Dicamba and 2,4-D are considered at high risk for environmental contamination, the former in the soil and the latter by drifting through the air.
“Operation Unthinkable”: In Immediate Wake of World War II, US Planned to Wipe Out the Soviet Union with A Massive Nuclear Strike (Source Sputnik News) Just weeks after the Second World War was over and Nazi Germany defeated Soviet Russia’s allies, the United States and Great Britain hastened to develop military plans aimed at dismantling the USSR and wiping out its cities with a massive nuclear strike. Interestingly enough, then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill had ordered the British Armed Forces’ Joint Planning Staff to develop a strategy targeting the USSR months before the end of the Second World War. The first edition of the plan was prepared on May 22, 1945. In accordance with the plan the invasion of Russia-held Europe by the Allied forces was scheduled on July 1, 1945. The plan, dubbed Operation Unthinkable, stated that its primary goal was “to impose upon Russia the will of the United States and the British Empire. Even though ‘the will’ of these two countries may be defined as no more than a square deal for Poland, that does not necessarily limit the military commitment.” The British Armed Forces’ Joint Planning Staff underscored that the Allied Forces would win in the event of 1) the occupation of such metropolitan areas of Russia so that the war making capacity of the country would be reduced to a point to which further resistance would become impossible”; 2) “such a decisive defeat of the Russian forces in the field as to render it impossible for the USSR to continue the war.” British generals warned Churchill that the “total war” would be hazardous to the Allied armed forces. However, after the United States “tested” its nuclear arsenal in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, Churchill and right-wing American policy makers started to persuade the White House to bomb the USSR. A nuclear strike against Soviet Russia, exhausted by the war with Germany, would have led to the defeat of the Kremlin at the same time allowing the Allied Forces to avoid US and British military casualties, Churchill insisted. Needless to say, the former British Prime Minister did not care about the death of tens of thousands of Russian peaceful civilians which were already hit severely by the four-year war nightmare. “He[Churchill] pointed out that if an atomic bomb could be dropped on the Kremlin, wiping it out, it would be a very easy problem to handle the balance of Russia, which would be without direction,” an unclassified note from the FBI archive read.
Global Markets Plunge amid Signs of Deepening Slump (globalresearch.ca) Global stocks plunged Thursday as fears of a world economic slowdown mixed with concerns over a destabilization of global exchange rates and mounting geopolitical tensions. US stocks staged their sharpest one-day selloff since February 2014, hitting six-month lows and wiping out all their gains over the past year. Shares in emerging markets, meanwhile, fell for the fifth day in a row, hitting the lowest levels since 2011. Markets in China led Thursday’s selloff, falling 3.18 percent. This brings total declines since June to 29 percent, despite an extraordinary series of cash injections by the Chinese central bank, which intensified following the country’s currency devaluation last week. The stock market drop has been accompanied by a sharp decline in economic growth. The most immediate trigger for Thursday’s selloff appeared to be a gloomy assessment of the global economy by the US Federal Reserve in the minutes just released for its July 28-29 policy meeting.
In recent years, the ruling class had treated reduced growth predictions by the Fed as a positive sign, signaling further infusions of cash to prop up financial markets.But Thursday’s negative response to the figures may point to fears that, after nine years without a rate increase by the US central bank, global central banks may be running out of ammunition to combat a crisis that is increasingly affecting every corner of the globe.
Markets in the rest of Asia, Europe and North America followed the Chinese markets downward. In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 350 points, closing down by 2 percent. The S&P 500 fell by 2.1 percent, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq plunged by 2.8 percent after the release of negative technology sales figures on both sides of the Pacific. A number of industries have now officially entered stock corrections. Bloomberg reported, “The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index…entered a correction, falling more than 10 percent from a record set a month ago. The Philadelphia Semiconductor Index slid into a bear market, plunging more than 20 percent from a June peak.” The selloff was concentrated in the stocks that have risen most sharply this year, with Netflix Inc. falling 7.8 percent in a single day. One analyst told Bloomberg, “You’re finally starting to see the untouchable stocks—some of the biggest weighting of the market—get touched.”
Feds: We Have a Way to Fix Land After Disasters (Source newser.com) Federal authorities announced a plan today to produce massive quantities of seeds from native plants that can be quickly planted to help land recover from natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes. The program will make landscapes more resilient and healthier, especially Western rangelands where massive wildfires have been an increasing problem, says the US Department of the Interior. “It isn’t as simple as we grab some seed off the shelf and go out there.” Officials hope to create a national network of seed collectors, growers, and storage facilities so enough native seeds are available immediately after disasters to avoid erosion and prevent invasive species from moving in. The window to plant desirable species after a disaster can be less than a week and involve hundreds of square miles.
Russia pulls some US wines from sale (Source AFP) Russia’s consumer protection agency said Monday that some wines from the US state of California have been removed from sale, amid the worse tensions between Moscow and Washington in decades. The country’s consumer watchdog said it found “regulation violations” in wines from three California producers. Tests showed “elevated phthalate content” or “bifenazate pesticide in concentrations higher than the established norm” in some wines from makers Geyser Peak Winery, Crane Lake Cellars and Delicato Family Vineyards, a statement by the watchdog said. “Shipments of said US alcohol products that do not comply with current legislation have been removed from the market,” it said, without elaborating. Bifezanate is used for pest control while phthalate is a substance used in plastics manufacturing. Russia’s consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor regularly points up violations in products from countries with which Moscow is engaged in diplomatic rows. The United States and European Union have imposed biting sanctions against Russia over Moscow’s meddling in Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists are waging a brutal insurgency. In response, Russia has slapped an embargo on most food imported from the West, though alcohol has not yet been included on the list.
Phoenix Is Slowly Sinking (Source newser.com) Researchers say that while there’s no need for residents of Phoenix to panic, parts of their city are slowly and unstoppably sinking into the ground. Land subsidence caused by the extraction of huge quantities of groundwater over the decades is to blame, and the Arizona State University researchers say it’s causing some parts of the metropolitan area to sink by roughly 0.75 inches a year, Sonoran News reports. Residents may not notice much change year to year, the researchers say, but over time, the problem will affect things like canals, utility lines, and sewers and, eventually, the foundations of buildings. The depletion of groundwater has changed the sediment under the area, so the drop is irreversible.
Acoustic Cannon Sales to Police Surge After Black Lives Matter Protests (Source firstlook.org)
During a company conference call with financial analysts last week, Tom Brown, the chief executive of LRAD, a military contractor, informed investors that sales were rolling in, not just from Chinese government agencies and the U.S. Navy, but also from American law enforcement. LRAD manufactures an acoustic cannon that can be used either as a mounted loudspeaker or as a weapon to fire deafening noises at crowds of people. Over the last year, following a wave of protests over officer-involved killings of black Americans, LRAD has seen an uptick in inquiries from police departments around the country.
More explosions have rocked a disaster zone in China (Source AP) New small explosions rocked a disaster zone in the Chinese port of Tianjin on Saturday, as authorities pulled out an additional survivor and began evacuating the area to clean up chemical contamination nearly three days after massive explosions touched off the crisis. Angry relatives of missing firefighters stormed a government news conference to demand any information on their loved ones, who have not been found since a fire and rapid succession of blasts late Wednesday at a warehouse for hazardous chemicals. The death toll in the inferno in a mostly industrial area has climbed to 85, including 21 firefighters — making the disaster the deadliest for Chinese firefighters in more than six decades. An unknown number of firefighters remain missing, and a total of 720 people were injured in the disaster in Tianjin, a key port and petrochemical hub about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of Beijing. The disaster has raised questions about whether dangerous chemicals were being stored too close to residential compounds, and whether firefighters may have triggered the blasts, possibly because they were unaware the warehouse contained chemicals combustible on contact with water. The massive explosions Wednesday happened about 40 minutes after reports of a fire at the warehouse, and after an initial wave of firefighters arrived and, reportedly, doused some of the area with water.
Pentagon Fears It’s Not Ready for a War With Putin (Source thedailybeast.com) The U.S. military has run the numbers on a sustained fight with Moscow, and they do not look good for the American side. A series of classified exercises over the summer has raised concerns inside the Defense Department that its forces are not prepared for a sustained military campaign against Russia, two defense officials told The Daily Beast. Many within the military believe that 15 years of counter-terrorism warfare has left the ground troops ill prepared to maintain logistics or troop levels should Russia make an advance on NATO allies, the officials said. Among the challenges the exercises revealed were that the number of precision-guided munitions available across the force were short of the war plans and it would be difficult to sustain a large troop presence. “Could we probably beat the Russians today [in a sustained battle]? Sure, but it would take everything we had,” one defense official said. “What we are saying is that we are not as ready as we want to be.”