Sunday, April 29, 2012

Nancy Pelosi ways would back plan that cuts Social Security, Medicare !!

Nancy Pelosi ways would back plan that cuts Social Security, Medicare 27 Apr 2012 Two progressive organizations have found themselves in the unusual position of being on the opposite side of House DemocRATic Leader Nancy Pelosi. Over the course of the past two years, the former House Speaker has been the most significant obstacle to the ongoing effort to slash entitlements and cut social spending. But a series of recent comments, and reports that Pelosi was willing to accept draconian cuts as part of a debt-ceiling deal, have liberals worried that their most powerful and passionate defender may be buckling on the issue.

Breaking: Newt Gingrich to end presidential bid on Wednesday, source says 29 Apr 2012 Newt Gingrich will end his bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., a source close to the former House speaker told CNN. Previous reports said Gingrich would likely quit the race on Tuesday. Gingrich is expected to express his support for likely GOP nominee [Rove-bought] Mitt Romney. The decision to make the announcement this week was due to logistical reasons, sources told CNN last week.

Milwaukee Red Cross Told to Prep For Chicago Evacuation During NATO Summit --'Our direction has come from the City of Chicago and the Secret Service.' 25 Apr 2012 Is there a secret plan to evacuate some residents of Chicago in the event of major trouble a false flag during the NATO summit next month? CBS 2 has uncovered some evidence that there is -- from the Milwaukee area branch of the American Red Cross. CBS 2 News has obtained a copy of a Red Cross e-mail sent to volunteers in the Milwaukee area. It said the NATO summit "may create unrest or another national security incident. The American Red Cross in southeastern Wisconsin has been asked to place a number of shelters on standby in the event of evacuation of Chicago."

US police state gone wild: Federal agents to begin 'Operation Red Zone' in Chicago 26 Apr 2012 Starting next week, expect to see a showing of federal law enforcement in "battle" gear, weapons slung, in a highly visible effort to protect a perimeter that encompasses the federally operated buildings in the Loop intimidate protesters. Law enforcement has dubbed their efforts "Operation Red Zone." It's headed by the Federal Protective Service, which is working with state, federal and local law enforcement in anticipation of the NATO Summit in Chicago on May 20 and 21. The Federal Protective Service will deploy additional personnel beginning May 1, bringing in more people from out of town and outfitting them in "battle dress uniform." 

To Joliet Jail for NATO offenders? 29 Apr 2012 Mothballed for a decade, the Joliet Correctional Center could be temporarily reopened to serve as a detention facility for those arrested for serious offenses during the May 20-21 NATO summit. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says his first choice was to use Division 3 at Cook County Jail before the once-empty division had to be filled with detainees [?!?] over the last two months... Dart said the solution that makes the most sense is Joliet, the hulk of a prison facility mothballed in 2002.

UK police state gone wild: Surface-to-air missiles on top of flats to protect Olympics as part of huge security operation --Ministry of Defence confirmed missiles would be deployed within next few days 28 Apr 2012 Ground-to-air missiles are to be sited on the roof of a block of flats near the Olympic site as part of a huge security operation to protect the Games. The Army will station soldiers and high-velocity surface-to-air missiles on the residential block in East London to ward off airborne terror threats. Residents in the private, gated flats in Bow have received a leaflet warning them that a team of ten soldiers and police will be placed at the building - home to 700 people - for the duration of this summer's Games.

The chilling (and balaclava-clad) face of modern British policing: London siege reveals armed-to-the-teeth team preparing for the Olympic Games 27 Apr 2012 Bristling with guns, his face masked, a police officer moves in on a suspected suicide bomber. Just 91 days away from the start of the Olympics, the dramatic scene gave a foretaste of what can be expected this summer after a man threatened to blow himself up in a busy office block. Thousands were evacuated, Tube stations were closed and streets locked down over a wide area of London's West End. Snipers, bomb disposal squads, nuclear biological and chemical warfare specialists and dozens of armed police were scrambled to the building on Tottenham scrambled to an office block on Tottenham Court Road, one of the city's busiest shopping streets.

UK police cordon off central London 27 Apr 2012 British police have closed London's Tottenham Court Road amid reports of a hostage incident. Police have been called to a potential hostage situation after one of the country's busiest shopping streets was closed. Businesses and shoppers were evacuated from Tottenham Court Road in central London at midday. The Huffington Post's UK Executive Editor Stephen Hull, who is in Tottenham Court Road, has tweeted unconfirmed reports that a man wearing "four canisters" threatened to "blow himself up" in a logistics office.

U.S. Amasses Stealth-Jet Armada Near Iran 27 Apr 2012 The U.S. Air Force is quietly assembling the world's most powerful air-to-air fighting team at bases near Iran. Stealthy F-22 Raptors on their first front-line deployment have joined a potent mix of active-duty and Air National Guard F-15 Eagles, including some fitted with the latest advanced radars. The Raptor-Eagle team has been honing special tactics for clearing the air of Iranian fighters in the event of war. The fighters join a growing naval armada that includes Navy carriers, submarines, cruisers and destroyers plus patrol boats and minesweepers enhanced with the latest close-in weaponry.

Lebanon stops ship with Syria-bound weapons --Ship originally from Libya and loaded with arms reportedly destined for Syrian opposition is stopped by Lebanese navy 28 Apr 2012 The Lebanese navy has reportedly intercepted a ship loaded with three containers of weapons destined for Syrian opposition forces. The cargo vessel, which originated from Libya, was found on Saturday. Pictures released by the army showed dozens of crates inside the containers, some of them filled with belts of heavy ammunition and rocket-propelled grenades. A security official said the Sierre Leone-flagged Lutfallah II was bound for members of the Free Syrian Army, an umbrella group of fighters [US-backed terrorists] trying to overthrow the government of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president.

Report: NATO Misleads With 'Afghan-Led' Label 25 Apr 2012 A new report Wednesday by a Kabul-based think tank accuses international forces of misleading the public by calling military operations "Afghan-led" even in cases where NATO or U.S. forces are the only troops on the ground. In the transition [NATO to hand over security to Afghan control], one phrase -- "Afghan-led" -- has become increasingly prevalent in NATO and U.S. news releases describing operations. The report charges alleges that the term has been so loosely applied that it has, in at least once instance, been used for an assault conducted entirely by U.S. troops.

Elite Afghan soldier kills U.S. special forces mentor 28 Apr 2012 An elite Afghan soldier shot dead an American mentor and his translator at a U.S. base, Afghan officials said on Friday. The soldier opened fire at an American military base on Wednesday in Shah Wali Kot district, in Kandahar province, said General Abdul Hamid, the commander of Afghan army forces in the Taliban's southern heartland. At least 18 foreign soldiers have died this year in 11 incidents of so-called green-on-blue shootings.

Images of 'Osama bin Laden' killing not to be released, judge orders --A US federal court has backed the Obama administration in refusing to release pictures or video from military operation [Osama bin Laden died in December 2001.] 26 Apr 2012 A federal judge has refused to order Barack Obama's administration to release pictures and video of the US military operation that [the US claims] killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Pakistan almost a year ago. The government watchdog group, Judicial Watch, had requested that the defence department and Central Intelligence Agency release any pictures or video footage of the operation on 1 May 2011 that killed Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The defence department said it had no pictures or videos sought by the group and the CIA said it had 52 such records, but refused to release them


Failed Equipment, Flawed Designs Plague Lockheed Littoral Combat Ship 23 Apr 2012 POGO sent a letter today to the Senate and House Armed Services Committees recommending that an expensive and severely flawed variant of the Littoral Combat Ship program be eliminated. The letter comes on the heels of POGO's release of Navy documents revealing serious cracking and corrosion problems with the ship--along with evidence of dangerous equipment failures... There are two variants of the LCS: one built by a team led by General Dynamics, which will cost $345.8 million per ship and the other built by a team led by Lockheed Martin, which will cost $357.5 million per ship. As we've reported, the General Dynamics LCS has some problems with corrosion. But the Lockheed Martin version can hardly even make it out of the harbor. As we wrote in our letter, POGO has obtained a number of documents showing that Lockheed Martin's USS Freedom has been "plagued by flawed designs and failed equipment since being commissioned, has at least 17 known cracks, and has repeatedly been beset by engine-related failures." [End welfare for corpora-terrorists Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics!]

Senate probe finds little evidence of effective 'torture' 27 Apr 2012 A nearly three-year-long investigation by Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats is expected to find there is little evidence the harsh "enhanced interrogation techniques" the CIA used on high-value prisoners produced counter-terrorism breakthroughs. People familiar with the inquiry said committee investigators, who have been poring over records from the regime of President [sic] George W. Bush, believe they do not substantiate claims by some Bush supporters that the harsh interrogations led to counter-terrorism coups.

Judge retains the biggest charge in WikiLeaks case 27 Apr 2012 A military judge refused on Thursday to dismiss the most serious charge against an Army private accused in the biggest leak of government secrets in U.S. history. Col. Denise Lind rejected a defense motion to throw out the charge of "aiding the enemy" during a pretrial hearing for Pfc. Bradley Manning. The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. It was one of several motions seeking to dismiss some or all of the charges, but Lind left all 22 counts against Manning in place.

Heads up! FDA approves antibiotic to treat, prevent plague 28 Apr 2012 U.S. regulators have approved use of a powerful Johnson & Johnson antibiotic to treat plague, an extremely rare [except when cultivated in US labs], sometimes-deadly bacterial infection. The Food and Drug Administration also approved Levaquin, known generically as levofloxacin, to reduce risk of people getting plague after exposure to the bacteria that cause it. Called Yersinia pestis, the bacteria are considered a potential bioterrorism agent.

Jellyfish-Like Organisms Shut Down California Power Plant --Salp were clogging traveling screens in intake structure 26 Apr 2012 The workers of the [Pacific Gas & Electric] Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant received a slimy surprise this week when they discovered hoards of jellyfish-like creatures clinging to the structure, leading to the shutdown of the plant. The organisms, called salp, are small sea creatures with a consistency similar to jellyfish. The plant consists of two units. Unit 1 was shut down previously because of refueling and maintenance work and will not be functional for several weeks.

U.S. ban sought on cell phone use while driving 26 Apr 2012 U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called on Thursday for a federal law to ban talking on a cell phone or texting while driving any type of vehicle on any road in the country. Tough federal legislation is the only way to deal with what he called a "national epidemic," he said at a distracted-driving summit in San Antonio, Texas, that drew doctors, advocates and government officials. LaHood has previously criticized behind-the-wheel use of cell phones and other devices, but calling for a federal law prohibiting the practice takes his effort to a new level.

Central, eastern Europe swelter in record heat 28 Apr 2012 Summer came early to central and eastern Europe as unseasonably high temperatures were recorded Saturday in several parts of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. Temperatures "are exceptionally mild for April", Austria's ZAMG meteorological centre said, reporting a record 32 Celsius (90 Fahrenheit) in the northern region of Lower Austria. Prague experienced its hottest April 28 in 212 years, with mercury hitting 27.7 Celsius (82 Fahrenheit) while unusually high temperatures were also recorded in Poland and Slovakia.

Monkeypox fears prompts Delta plane quarantine in Chicago --Plane was met with emergency crews and Chicago Department of Public Health: Chicago Department of Aviation 26 Apr 2012 Fears of a potential monkeypox outbreak led a Delta flight to be quarantined for more than two hours Thursday afternoon in Chicago. Federal health officials later determined there was "very little risk" to passengers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement that "based on the patient's symptoms and photographs of the rash, it does not appear that the signs and symptoms are consistent with a monkeypox infection." The ill passenger, who had been travelling in Africa, was released from the plane before others on board were allowed to disembark. Flight 3163 was coming from Detroit, and landed at Midway International Airport in Chicago at about 3:45 local time.

Jet thought to be struck by monkeypox on lockdown --WBBM Newsradio: Passenger may have been traveling from Ghana and may have had 'sort of rash' or contagious disease 26 Apr 2012 Passengers are being let off a plane that was quarantined after landing in Chicago. The Centers for Disease Control determined there was no threat, and normal operations have resumed at Midway Airport. Aviation officials in Chicago said the city's health department and fire department  responded to a flight that landed at Midway International Airport, but local police and fire officials told Fox News the CDC was handling it. Chicago Aviation Department spokeswoman Karen Pride said a passenger on Delta flight 3163 had a reported medical issue. Television images showed emergency vehicles lined along the aircraft on the tarmac.

Heads up! Major exercise scheduled at Minot Air Force Base 26 Apr 2012 The North American Aerospace Defense Command or NORAD and U.S. Northern Command will conduct a major exercise at Minot Air Force Base focused on defense support of civil authorities May 2-9. The exercise will primarily be a command post exercise, but there will be field-training events within the exercise. Those events will take place in North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Alaska, Connecticut, and Nova Scotia and involves U.S. and Canadian military. In North Dakota, Air Force Global Strike Command will respond to a simulated nuclear weapons accident on Minot AFB. About 150 people will be here for the exercise, base officials said. [Let's hope they don't 'go live,' as they did on 9/11. Also, see CLG's Minot AFB Clandestine Nukes 'Oddities'.]

House Passes Controversial Cybersecurity Measure CISPA 26 Apr 2012 The House on Thursday approved cybersecurity legislation that privacy groups have decried as a threat to civil liberties. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, sponsored by Reps. Mike Rogers (R-MI) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), passed on a vote of 248 to 168. Its goal is a more secure internet, but privacy groups fear the measure breaches Americans' privacy along the way. The White House had weighed in on Wednesday, threatening a veto unless there were significant changes to increase consumer privacy. The bill was amended to provide more privacy protections, but it was not immediately clear whether the Senate or the White House would give the amended bill its blessing. [Yeah, right! Obusha will withdraw the veto threat and cower in the corner five picoseconds after the first Faux News pundit criticizes him.]

Cybersecurity bill passes despite concerns about personal data protection 26 Apr 2012 Ignoring a veto threat from the White House, the House passed legislation Thursday [CISPA] designed to protect communications networks from cyberattacks allow corpora-terrorists and USociopaths to censor the Internet. The vote was 248-168. But even as the House bill moves forward, privacy concerns about granting government agencies access to personal information transmitted on the Internet could prove to be a major obstacle to any new cybersecurity law. The Obama administration, many congressional Democrats, and numerous outside civil liberties advocates... worry the new rules allowing Internet companies to share information with the National Security Agency could give unfettered access by the intelligence community to data about any individual surfing the Web or sending e-mail.

Bradley Manning loses 2 more rounds in motions hearing 26 Apr 2012 Pfc. Bradley Manning's attorneys failed again Thursday in their attempts to persuade a judge to throw out some of the charges against him. Manning is the Army intelligence analyst suspected of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military and State Department documents while serving in Iraq. Many of those documents ended up on the WikiLeaks website. Among the motions filed by Manning's legal team is one addressing what the attorneys call "unreasonable multiplication of charges" in the 16 specifications he is facing for the second charge against him. Each specification carries a 10-year maximum sentence.

Secret Service expands misconduct probe to El Salvador: lawmaker 26 Apr 2012 The U.S. Secret Service is examining a new report of alleged misconduct by agents at an El Salvador strip club ahead of a trip there last year by President Barack Obama, a senior lawmaker said on Thursday. Representative Peter King, a Republican who chairs the House Homeland Security Committee, said in a statement to Reuters that the review is part of an extensive investigation the Secret Service is conducting in the aftermath of an incident involving prostitutes in Columbia. U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters the agency also is looking into the El Salvador allegations, aired Thursday in a report by Seattle channel KIRO-TV.

Latin American indigenous groups join forces to fight dams

When Brazilian indigenous leader Tashka Yawanawa saw the news on television that communities from Peru were campaigning to prevent the construction of dams close to their land, he had no doubt about how he could help.  

He turned on his computer, and using Skype, he contacted indigenous movements involved in the protest to offer both his support and to publicise the cause in Brazil.

"Today, indigenous groups can no longer escape the white man's technology," says Mr Yawanawa.


"We have to update ourselves, and prepare to face this new world." He belongs to the Yawanawa people, who live in the Brazilian Amazon, an area where indigenous communities have also fought many battles against hydroelectric dams.

An aerial view shows rivers converging in the Isiboro Secure indigenous territory and national park (Tipnis) in Beni 19 April 2012

Indigenous land is often rich in resources or lies on a strategic route He leads an organization that seeks to build links with similar movements in other Latin American countries so they can learn from each other's campaigns.


His initiative reflects an unprecedented effort among the region's indigenous groups, as they join forces to resist major projects which they see as damaging to their territories.


It is part of a growing conflict as governments, seeking what they say is badly needed economic growth, build roads and hydro-electric dams, and exploit natural resources such as oil, copper and gold.


At the same time, indigenous groups say they are fighting to ensure that their traditional way of life is preserved.


Skype is one tool they are using to co-ordinate campaigns, alongside more traditional tactics such as adopting a unified position in international organisations including the UN and the Organisation of American States (OAS).


"We are mapping all the achievements of our fellow indigenous peoples in the continent in order to use their experiences here in Brazil," says Marcos Apurina from the Co-ordination of Indigenous Organisations of the Brazilian Amazon (Coiab).


"Our problems are almost identical to the native peoples of other countries."

'Green economy'


This approach has been led by large national indigenous organisations and regional movements such as the Co-ordination of Indigenous Organisations of the Amazon Basin Coica operates across national boundaries, helping groups in Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, French Guiana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.


Coica's work also involves organising meetings and workshops to help indigenous communities learn about international conventions, and also tips on lobbying and dealing with people in positions of power.


These gatherings allow indigenous leaders to discuss ways of putting pressure on governments to demarcate their territories.


They also discuss how international bodies can help guarantee indigenous rights or prevent major economic projects from having a detrimental impact.


"We are concerned about the new form of development known as the 'green economy'. We understand this as an effort to exploit natural resources in indigenous territories," says Rodrigo de la Cruz from Coica.

Several projects in the Brazil-Peru border region aim to expand the economic and transport integration between the two countries in the coming years.

The Inter-Oceanic Highway, connecting the north-west of Brazil to Peruvian ports on the Pacific coast, was inaugurated in 2011. According to indigenous movements, this has brought several problems to the region, such as deforestation and illegal mining. Jaime Corisepa, president of the Native Federation of Madre de Dios River and Tributaries (Fenamad), says that conditions may worsen if other projects go ahead. One is the planned construction of six hydro-electric dams in Peru to supply the Brazilian market.

Protest in Cajamarca in Peru against gold mining project (November 2011)

Mining has been the focus of protests in several countries Protests forced the Peruvian government to suspend this project and to start a process of local consultation.


Using new technology and holding regional summits are ways to co-ordinate protests, but indigenous campaigners are also building on relationships that existed long before national boundaries and laws were established.


Marcela Vecchione, from the Pro-Indian Commission (CPI) in the Brazilian state of Acre, in Brazil, says that in many areas, indigenous communities are divided by artificial boundaries.

That is the case of the Manchineri people, divided by a border in 1904 when Brazil annexed the state of Acre.


"I often visit my family on the other side of the border. For me, travelling from Peru to Brazil means only crossing a river," says Geraldo Manchineri.


But thanks to technology, communication across much longer distances has become easier.

Indigenous leaders hope to take advantage of this new way of co-ordinating and gather 1,200 people in Rio de Janeiro this June when world leaders will come together for the Rio+20 meeting. 

Wind farms affect local weather

Wind turbines and lenticular cloudWind turbines can affect local weather, the study confirms - but not further afield

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Wind farms can affect weather in their immediate locality, raising night-time temperatures on the ground, researchers working in Texas have shown.

They used satellite data to show that land around newly constructed wind farms warmed more than next-door areas.

The result - published in the journal Nature Climate Change - confirms an earlier, smaller study from 2010.

The scientists believe the effect is caused by turbines bringing relatively warm air down to ground level.

They suggest that turbines in other places might not produce the same value of ground temperature change.

The study area, in west-central Texas, saw a major turbine building programme in the middle of the last decade, with the number soaring from 111 in 2003 to 2325 just six years later.

Researchers used data from the Modis instruments on Nasa's Aqua and Terra satellites to measure ground temperatures across the study region and between the beginning and end of the construction boom, defined as as the difference between the average for 2003-5 and that for 2009-11.

The entire region saw a rise, but it was more pronounced around wind farms.

The researchers looked for other factors that could have affected the results, such as changes in vegetation, but found these were too small to produce the observed change.

Limited reach

The change was not identical across all of the wind farms. Having averaged the data, the researchers say the scale of the effect they saw is equivalent to a warming of about 0.72C per decade.

Recognising that this could wrongly be interpreted as suggesting the local temperature will continue to rise, lead researcher Liming Zhou cautioned: "The estimated warming trend only applies to the study region and to the study period, and thus should not be extrapolated linearly into other regions or over longer periods.

Wind turbine and wheat harvestingCould the local weather changes affect farming?

"For a given wind farm, the warming effect would likely reach a limit rather than continue to increase if no new wind turbines are added."

At night, air above ground level tends to be warmer than the ground. Dr Zhou and his colleagues believe the turbine blades are simply stirring up the air, mixing warm and cold, and bringing some of the warmth down to ground level.

"The result in the paper looks pretty solid to me," commented Prof Steven Sherwood from the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

"Daytime temperatures do not appear to be affected. This makes sense, (and) this same strategy is commonly used by fruit growers who fly helicopters over their orchards to combat early morning frosts."

The 2010 study, also from the US, used data from a single location and computer modelling to show that wind turbines could produce local warming.

Dr Zhou, from the State University of New York in Albany, US, now plans to look across bigger scales and to decipher the mechanisms better.

"This article is a first step in exploring the potential of using satellite data to quantity the possible impacts of big wind farms on weather and climate," he told BBC News.

"We are now expanding this approach to other wind farms, and building models to understand the physical processes and mechanisms driving the interactions of wind turbines and the atmospheric boundary layer near the surface."

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Bill bans bosses from wresting your Facebook password !

Some bosses demand that job applicants disclose passwords for their Facebook accounts
A bill that would forbid employers from demanding their potential workers’ social networking login and password has been submitted to the US Congress. The spread of the dubious practice alarmed the public last month.

"We must draw the line somewhere and define what is private," said in a statement Rep. Eliot Engel, who co-sponsored the draft legislation. "No one would feel comfortable going to a public place and giving out their username and passwords to total strangers. They should not be required to do so at work, at school, or while trying to obtain work or an education. This is a matter of personal privacy and makes sense in our digital world.”

If signed into a law, the Social Networking Online Protection Act would have violators fined $10,000 in a civil penalty.

A Senate bill following the same lines is currently in the writing.

While federal legislators are just considering a ban on the controversial practice, some states have already introduced such restrictions. Maryland was the first to forbid such demands earlier in April. The respective bills in the state legislature passed unanimously in the Senate, 49-0, and by a huge margin in the House, 129-8. Illinois, Michigan and California may follow the suit.

Outrage over coercing private data from applicants came after a March report by the Associated Press, which described how some bosses had demanded that job applicants disclosed passwords for their Facebook accounts. The goal was to check private data for embarrassing or damaging information, which could potentially harm the employer.

Other measures employers used to harvest information from social network profiles include friending an HR manager or login in to a company computer during a job interview, so that the manager could take a glimpse on your communications. Such practices are more prevalent among public agencies, especially those seeking to fill law enforcement positions such as police officers or 911 dispatchers, the report said.

Critics said requiring a Facebook password is akin to requiring keys to the applicant’s house, with one law professor interviewed by AP calling it "an egregious privacy violation." Proponents compared it to asking friends and neighbors during a routine background research.

Some applicants who faced surrendering their personal data said they refused to do so and were outraged. Others complied, saying getting a job and being able to feed their families were more important than keeping their wall posts private.

As the publicity fallout hit the Internet, Facebook pledged to engage with policymakers to curb the practice and threatened legal action. The company added it didn’t have any particular employers in mind at the moment.

Two Blue Dog House members fall in Pennsylvania primaries

PA-12, PA-17: The biggest news from Pennsylvania's primaries on Tuesday night may be the losses of two different Blue Dog Democratic House members: Jason Altmire in PA-12 and Tim Holden in PA-17. Altmire lost to fellow member Mark Critz by a 54-46 margin; the two of them were forced into the same southwest Pennsylvania district by a Republican-drawn map. The majority of redrawn PA-12 is on Altmire's turf, but Critz managed to eke out the victory thanks to aggressive labor backing and huge turnout in his own smaller portion of the district (in the Johnstown area). Critz is no liberal either, but is considered more labor-friendly than Altmire.

The other loss was Holden in the 17th, which was redrawn dramatically to be a Democratic vote sink for the cities of northeastern Pennsylvania. Holden has had great success fending off Republican challengers in GOP-leaning districts for the last few decades, but ran out of luck when put into a Dem-leaning district and facing an opponent from the left. (Also a big problem for Holden: less than a quarter of his new constituents were in his old district, so he was effectively a blank slate to most of them. His opponent, Matt Cartwright, is a well-known local trial lawyer in the Scranton area, and may have actually had the name rec advantage despite not having an incumbency advantage.)

Other highlights from last night: Rich guy Tom Smith, as expected, was the winner of the Republican Senate primary. He's a serious underdog against Democratic Sen. Bob Casey Jr. in November. State Rep. Scott Perry won the open seat primary in the safely-GOP PA-04 (vacated by retiring Todd Platts), and is a shoo-in in November. Rep. Tim Murphy easily turned back a tea party-fueled challenge from Evan Feinberg in the GOP primary in PA-18. And in the Democratic primary for the Pennsylvania Attorney General's race, netroots fave and former Rep. Patrick Murphy lost to prosecutor Kathleen Kane, ending his comeback bid.

How Social Media Is Changing Sports

TwitterFacebook and other social media platforms are having a tremendous impact on the sports world for fans, players, teams and sponsors alike. We try to stay on top of that here at Mashable, bringing you stories on greatsports memes, moments of unexpected discovery, sophisticated marketing strategies and more.

But sometimes a stellar infographic is needed to put things in perspective. This one, from the sports medicine company KT Tape, shows the different ways social media has changed sports during the past few years.

More than 80% of sports fans monitor social media sites while watching games on TV, and more than 60% do so while watching live events. Players have capitalized on social media and fueled massive buzz as well. More than 9,000 people per second tweeted about Tim Tebow after he threw an unexpected touchdown pass in last season’s NFL Playoffs. Jeremy Lin gained more than 550,000 followers in a single month while taking the NBA by storm earlier this year. And soccer stars Kaka and Ronaldo have leveraged their sport’s global reach to become Twitter’s two most-followed athletes.

KT Tape pulled research from The Wall Street Journal,, and other sources to compile these facts and much more. Check out the infographic below for the full picture, then tell us in the comments — how is social media changing your sports experience?

War is a Racket

War is a Racket

by General Smedley D. Butler

Published 1935 in the United States of America

This is a first edition printing of one of the most interesting, rare and little known, books of 20th century America. More information about this book and its author can be found on this website here: 


Average profits in the last pre-war year

 Average profits during the four years of war

U. S. Steel



Du Pont



Bethlehem Steel



Anaconda Copper



Utah Copper



American Smelting



Republic Iron and Steel



International Mercantile



Atlas Powder



American and British Man.



Canadian Car & Foundry



Crocker Wheeler



Hercules Powder



Niles, Bement Pond



Scovill Mfg. Co.



General Motors



WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives...

In the World War a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows...

Out of war nations acquire additional territory, if they are victorious. They just take it. This newly acquired territory promptly is exploited by the few – the selfsame few who wrung dollars out of blood in the war. The general public shoulders the bill...

And what is this bill?

This bill renders a horrible accounting. Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds. Broken hearts and homes. Economic instability. Depression and all its attendant miseries. Back-breaking taxation for generations and generations...

...a war that might well cost us tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives of Americans, and many more hundreds of thousands of physically maimed and mentally unbalanced men.

Of course, for this loss, there would be a compensating profit – fortunes would be made. Millions and billions of dollars would be piled up. By a few. Munitions makers. Bankers. Ship builders. Manufacturers. Meat packers. Speculators. They would fare well.

Yes, they are getting ready for another war. Why shouldn't they? It pays high dividends...

The normal profits of a business concern in the United States are six, eight, ten, and sometimes twelve percent. But war-time profits – ah! that is another matter – twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred, and even eighteen hundred per cent – the sky is the limit. All that traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has the money. Let's get it...

Of course, it isn't put that crudely in war time. It is dressed into speeches about patriotism, love of country, and "we must all put our shoulders to the wheel," but the profits jump and leap and skyrocket – and are safely pocketed.

War is a Racket