Sunday, 30 August 2015
Posted by Roberto Abraham Scaruffi at 09:00
- Biden or Sanders may replace Clinton as Democrats are terrified of Trump
- Russia’s angry about NATO military exercises in Georgia
- US Falls Behind Canada, Hong Kong, competes with Mauritius In Human Freedom Index
- UK Migration Reaches Record Levels
- Researchers invent Brain Booster drug that makes you Super Smart
Posted: 29 Aug 2015 04:25 AM PDT
Vice President Joe Biden is more competitive against Republicans than Hillary Clinton.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday shows Biden out performing Clinton and beating Donald Trump by eight points (48 – 40 percent) and Jeb Bush, the former Florida Governor, by six points (45 – 39).
Clinton follows, beating Trump by four points and Bush by two points, according to the poll.
A large majority, 83 percent, favor Biden, while 76 percent view Clinton favorably despite her trust issues and the email scandal. 54 percent say they favor Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
“Note to Biden: They like you, they really like you, or they like you more than the others,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, in a press release.
Biden Responsible for Drug War, Exploding Prison Population, Police State
As previously noted here, Joe Biden played a key role in the disastrous Drug War that enabled the militarization of law enforcement and created a huge prison population of non-violent drug law offenders.
“I am not only the guy who did the crime bill and the drug czar, but I’m also the guy who spent years when I was chairman of the Judiciary Committee and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee trying to change drug policy relative to cocaine, for example, crack and powder,” Biden told Time in 2014.
“Biden has sponsored more damaging drug war legislation than any Democrat in Congress. Hate the way federal prosecutors use RICO laws to take aim at drug offenders? Thank Biden. How about the abomination that is federal asset forfeiture laws? Thank Biden. Think federal prosecutors have too much power in drug cases? Thank Biden. Think the title of a ‘Drug Czar’ is sanctimonious and silly? Thank Biden, who helped create the position (and still considers it an accomplishment worth boasting about),” writes Radley Balko for The Washington Post.
Biden’s handiwork and an escalation of the Drug War throughout the 1990s are directly responsible for the militarized and killer cops now roaming the streets of America.
Despite this, Democrats favor Joe Biden and will vote for him in 2016 if he gains the Democrat nomination. For Democrats and Republicans alike, presidential elections are horse races and issues come in second.
They are incapable of understanding regardless of what candidate handpicked by the oligarchy wins the elections, the same agenda will move forward — the implementation of a high-tech surveillance police state, the destruction of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and endless war that will ultimately destroy America.
Posted: 29 Aug 2015 04:12 AM PDT
The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed strong opposition to the opening of a training center run by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in neighboring Georgia, describing the measure as provocative.
Speaking at a press briefing in the capital, Moscow, on Thursday, the ministry’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, stated that further enhancement of military ties between the Western military alliance and Tbilisi would undermine security in the region.
“The North Atlantic alliance’s placement of that kind of military facility in Georgia will be a serious destabilizing factor for security in the region,” she added.
The remarks came after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg inaugurated a training base in Georgia earlier in the day, pledging that the former Soviet republic could count on its Western allies.
Stoltenberg added that the center would ensure “NATO will be more present and more visible in Georgia,” noting that the facility would offer Georgia higher chances to join the US-led military contingent.
Russian authorities have long opposed NATO’s plans for military expansion in Europe, stating that the expansion of the Western military force into post-Soviet space is a red line for Moscow.
NATO officials, on the other hand, have asserted that the training center and closer military cooperation between the military alliance and Tbilisi are not aimed at Russia and are well calibrated not to stoke tensions in the region.
Earlier this year, Stoltenberg told reporters in the Belgian capital city of Brussels that troopers from NATO, Georgia and other NATO member states would train and exercise at the Tbilisi center.
‘’NATO-Georgia relations are very strong, and they are deepening,” Stoltenberg said, adding, “NATO is committed to help Georgia make its defense more modern, and thereby enable Georgia to move closer to NATO membership.”
Posted: 29 Aug 2015 03:53 AM PDT
The United States lags far behind other developed countries in terms of personal, civil and economic freedoms, according to a study released this month. Its neighbor to the north, for example, ranked 14 spots ahead of the so-called “Land of the Free.”
Three international think tanks, the U.S.-based Cato Institute, Canada’s Fraser Institute, and Germany’s Liberales Institut at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, released the Human Freedom Index earlier this month. In addition to major civil liberties, the study considers safety and rule of law, relative size of government and capitalist values like the soundness of money, property rights, and access to international trade. The authors used a total of 70 data sources ranging from 2008 to 2012, the most recent year for which all necessary data is currently available.
According to the report,
“The top 10 jurisdictions in order were Hong Kong, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Sweden.”
The U.S. ranks 20th, while Myanmar, Congo and Iran round out the bottom of the list of 152 countries.
Commenting on Canada’s high ranking compared to the U.S., Fred McMahon, the editor of the study, told the Toronto Sun:
“Canada doesn’t lead in a single area, but it’s high on all areas, like economic freedom … We have a very strong rule of law, good on safety and security. You can’t really have freedom without safety and security. And of course, in what you might call political freedoms and associations, speech and so on, we’re also top of the class.”
McMahon cited the U.S. war on terror, recent changes to property rights, and the ongoing effects of the 2008 financial crisis for the country’s poor ranking. “The U.S. has declined incredibly over the past decade- and-a-half,” he told the Sun last week, adding:
“The U.S. is known as the ‘Land of liberty’ and Canada is known as ‘The land of good governance,’ so it’s a little surprising that a country whose motto hinges on good government as a motto is well-ahead of a country whose motto hinges on liberty.”
Hong Kong’s high ranking may seem surprising, but the index does not attempt to measure democracy, and this year’s report doesn’t take into account recent pro-democracy protests in the country and the subsequent government crackdown.
This wasn’t the only recent study to take issue with civil liberties in America. In February, Reporters Without Borders announced that the U.S. had dropped three places in its “World Press Freedom Index” as a result of a “‘war on information’ by the Obama administration” and a crackdown on reporters’ abilities to freely report on events like the Ferguson protests, where trespassing charges were recently leveled against two journalists for their work documenting last year’s uprising following the death of Michael Brown.
Posted: 29 Aug 2015 03:25 AM PDT
New official figures show Britain’s net annual migration has hit record level with an overall 94,000 rise in 12 months.
The figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Thursday indicate a 28% rise with an estimated 330,000 migration since March 2014. This is 10,000 above the highest figure recorded for the year ending June 2005.
Accordingly, some 636,000 people immigrated to Britain over the 12-month period, a rise of 84,000, while 307,000 people emigrated, down 9,000.
The report found that 269,000 EU citizens moved to Britain permanently, an increase of 56,000 and a 39,000 rise in those from outside the EU. Polish is the most common non-British nationality, with 853,000 residents. Romanians and Bulgarians, almost double the 28,000 in the previous 12 months.
“The EU citizens are actually moving around to find jobs the same way they move around and establish businesses which is the whole concept of a union all about. From that point of view, there are also people from elsewhere who are actually contributing to the British economy and all these show a positive win-win situation”, Massoud Shadjareh, Head of London-based Islamic Human Rights Commission told Press TV.
However, people arriving from countries outside the EU is still larger, with net migration measured at 196,000, up 39,000. India is the most common non-UK country with 793,000 residents born in India.
Based on the current count, Britain’s foreign-born population has now surpassed eight million, meaning one in eight residents were born abroad, up from one in 11 in 2014.
The figures have shocked policymakers with the immigration minister calling them “deeply disappointing”. “Figures are a wake-up call. Current flows of people across Europe are on a scale we haven’t seen since the end of the Second World War,” James Brokenshire said.
There were similar concerns among opposition members. Keith Vaz, a senior Labour party MP said the figures were shocking. “Broken promises on migration do not build confidence with the public. We need a radically different approach,” he said.
The leader of the UK Independence Party said the figures “reflect borderless Britain and total impotence of the British government”. Nigel Farage has long been a stark opponent to the government’ EU policies.
The immigration issue has been a hot topic in Britain in recent months. Prime Minister David Cameron had vowed to reduce the numbers to less than 100,000 by May of this year. But the new figures and concerns of both ruling and opposition figures seems to ignite the issue further. The impact of the Calais migrant crisis has also driven immigration to the top of voters’ concerns. An Ipsos Mori poll conducted this month showed that more than 50% of voters naming it as a major issue facing the country.
“The fact that the net immigration is growing is quite clear but what is also very important is the rhetoric coming out of the Conservative government and actually showing that this [trend] is a negative phenomena. The reality is that all the figures have shown very clearly that when it comes to finances in Britain, the immigration actually is considered as positive resources as they pay more taxes and create jobs. The reality is that they are beneficial from economic point of views especially the influx from the EU. But, unfortunately, the Conservative government has created a deception saying the immigration is something that’s damaging to our society. This is a false image that has been created for political reasons”, Shadjareh said.
Still, the Home Office has reiterated its commitment to reducing the net immigration but such a policy, according to some think-tanks, could incur negative impacts on the economy.
The Institute of Directors and British Future have called for a “comprehensive immigration review” to establish what policies could be put in place to achieve the tens of thousands target, and what their impact would be on the UK’s economy, culture and society.
Posted: 29 Aug 2015 02:24 AM PDT
A stimulant drug successfully used to help people with sleep disorders stay awake can boost cognitive functions in healthy people, according to a new study. The ‘smart pill’ has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Researchers reviewed 24 studies on the drug modafinil which were carried out between 1990 and 2015 and found that it appeared to improve cognitive function. Some of the studies also showed gains in flexible thinking, increasing ability to combine information or cope with novelty. The drug didn’t seem to influence creativity either way.
However, researchers found that improvement wasn’t seen every time, on every test, or for every person. They also found that the studies failed to show any enhancement in the areas of attention, learning, and memory.
The meta-analysis was recently published in European Neuropsychopharmacology.
“What emerged was that the longer and the more complex the task … the more consistently modafinil showed cognitive benefits,” said Anna-Katharine Brem, a neuropsychologist at Oxford and one of the paper’s authors, in an email to the Atlantic.
Modafinil, like Adderall and Ritalin, is increasingly being used by college students and adults who don’t suffer from ADHD or sleep disorders, but are searching for greater productivity. The drugs work by increasing the brain’s level of dopamine and norepinephrine to boost concentration and alertness.
Studies have found that the number of adults between the ages of 26 to 34 using stimulant medications has doubled, rising from 1.5 percent in 2008 to 2.8 percent in 2013, according to FiveThirtyEight.
The drugs can have negative health consequences, though, especially at large doses. Adderall has been noted to induce psychosis, and emergency room visits associated with the use of stimulants among young adults tripled between 2005 and 2011, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Among the study’s finding was that relatively few healthy people were assessed – about 30 participants per study, on average. Researchers also found that many of the cognitive tests used in the studies were more appropriate for people with neuropsychiatric illness or neurological disorders.
“The problem with this is that healthy people perform very well in them without taking the drug and so improvements in performance on a substance are harder, if not impossible, to detect,” wrote Brem.
Brem and Ruairidh Battleday, another of the study’s authors, said the studies only gave participants the drug once, so long term claims are hard to make. Still, they said the benefits of the drug for enhancing attention, executive functions, learning, and memory appear much stronger.
The study’s authors argue there is a strong case for continuing testing using classical scientific approaches – improved testing regimes, a larger participant pool, and prolonged administration periods. The team also recommended cognitive training and noninvasive brain stimulation during testing.
Posted by Roberto Abraham Scaruffi at 08:37