Just Facts! Russia and the World.

I have been arguing with some in the Russian community who support Putin and his policies. No one changed their opinions. So I decided to list facts. Just the facts about Russia and the European Union. The facts prove in my opinion that not the EU, nor the US is interested in confrontation with Russia.

I have been arguing with some in the Russian community who support Putin and his policies. No one changed their opinions. So I decided to list facts. Just the facts about Russia and the European Union. The facts prove in my opinion that not the EU, nor the US is interested in confrontation with Russia.

EU investment in Russia.

The EU is the most important investor in Russia. It is estimated that up to 75% of Foreign Direct Investment stocks in Russia come from EU Member States (including Cyprus). http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/countries/russia/

NATO-Russia cooperation

Over the past decades, NATO reached out to Russia with a series of partnership initiatives, culminating in the foundation of the NATO-Russia Council in 2002. No other country has such a privileged relationship with NATO. http://www.nato.int/cps/eu/natohq/topics_111767.htm?

Europe’s military spending

A combination of austerity-driven budget cuts and historical wariness of military spending mean that among EU Member States in NATO, only Estonia, Greece and the UK met the alliance’s target of 2% of GDP spent on defense last year. In 2012, EU Member States spent an average of roughly 1.5% of GDP on defense. In real terms, total defense spending has been decreasing in the EU since 2006, dropping about 10% from 2006 to 2011. http://www.debatingeurope.eu/2014/09/24/peaceful-eu-countries-increase-defence-spending/#.VLHqLivF-7I

NATO membership

Leaders in the region, who have reacted to Russia’s occupation of Crimea by expressing fears that they could be next, are now taking solace in their alliances. “Thanks be to God, we are NATO members,” exclaimed Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite last week. This month, Norway is hosting 16,000 NATO soldiers for previously planned cold-weather training exercises on the Russian border, much to the Russians’ displeasure. Among those participating in Operation Cold Response are 1,400 Swedish troops under the Nordic nation’s limited partnership with the alliance. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/03/after-crimea-sweden-flirts-with-joining-nato/284362/

US missile defense system

Two recent editorials from Heritage fellows have criticized the Obama administration for abandoning Eastern European allies. According to the editorials, Obama has given up proposed missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic (sometimes called the “third site”). They argue that this will serve to embolden Russia and increase our vulnerability to Iran’s missile capabilities. http://csis.org/blog/obama-throwing-eastern-europe-under-bus

The situation after the invasion in Ukraine.

Russia is currently engaged in the largest nuclear weapons buildup since the end of the Cold War. It is planning to spend over $55 billion on its missile and air defense systems in the next six years, compared to about $8 billion a year that the U.S. spends on its missile defense programs.

Russia has over 1,400 nuclear warheads deployed on long-range ballistic missiles. These missiles can reach the U.S. within 33 minutes. It is also engaged in ballistic missile modernization and is reportedly developing intermediate-range ballistic missiles that are prohibited under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with the U.S.[3] These missiles are most threatening to allies in the European theater. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2014/03/us-missile-defense-policy-after-russias-actions-in-ukraine

Germany and Russia.

The EU has imposed new sanctions to prevent Vladimir Putin from further escalating the crisis in Ukraine. Berlin has played a leading role in the punitive actions, despite protests from the German business community. There’s no turning back for Merkel.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/germany-to-play-central-but-expensive-role-in-sanctions-against-russia-a-959019.html

Germany would prefer to do business with Russia.

“About 6,200 German companies are engaged in Russia, some of them very strongly,” Anton Boerner, head of the BGA exporters’ body, told the Dortmunder Ruhr Nachrichten newspaper. “For them, economic sanctions would be a real catastrophe.” http://rt.com/business/germany-russia-sanctions-businesses-365/

Investments in Russia.

Russia has been cited as the worst place to invest among the biggest world economies in light of the conflict in Ukraine, according to foreign investors polled by Bloomberg in their quarterly Global Market Investor’s Poll. http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/russia-is-worst-place-for-foreign-investment-poll-says-/500038.html

Crimea under Russia

Since Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula 10 months ago, more than $1 billion in real estate and other assets have been stripped from their former owners, according to estimates from the owners and lawyers. The assets include banks, hotels, shipyards, farms, gas stations, the major bakery, a vital dairy and even the storied lots of Yalta Film Studio, which 50 years ago made this now shabby seaside resort the Hollywood of the Soviet Union. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/world/seizing-assets-in-crimea-from-shipyard-to-film-studio.html?_r=0

Russian soldiers killed in Ukraine.

Eleva Vasilieva, a human rights activist and the group’s founder, says that the total number of deaths of Russian soldiers and mercenaries in Ukraine warfare could be about 4,000.

We don’t know the number of wounded and those who could be killed of wounds as this figure is hidden,” she (Vasilieva) said at a press briefing in Kiev.

Under Ilovaisk on Aug. 25-27, when the Russian troops were deployed, we recorded the first thousand Russian officers (killed) just in two days,” she added. https://medium.com/war-is-boring/the-war-in-ukraine-is-killing-lots-of-russians-cdf321c369

Scandinavia and near Baltic countries.

Throughout 2014, an unprecedented number of air space violations and incidents have required NATO Baltic Air Policing to scramble jets in response. Most significantly, there has been a dramatic increase in Russian military exercises in the area. Such air space violations have been equal-opportunity-bullying, targeting Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania alike. The goal of these increased military activities in or near Nordic/Baltic space is to undo the emergence of a collective defense system in the region. http://www.the-american-interest.com/2014/11/17/putin-targets-the-scandinavians/

Budapest Memorandums on Security Assurances, 1994, that Russia broke.

The Presidents of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United States of America and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom signed three memorandums (UN Document A/49/765) on December 5, 1994, with the accession of Ukraine to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Through this agreement, these countries (later to include China and France in individual statements) gave national security assurances to Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The Joint Declaration by the Russian Federation and the United States of America of December 4, 2009 confirmed their commitment. http://www.cfr.org/nonproliferation-arms-control-and-disarmament/budapest-memorandums-security-assurances-1994/p32484

About freedom of speech in Russia. 56 Journalists Killed in Russia since 1992/Motive Confirmed. https://cpj.org/killed/europe/russia/

So in conclusion I am asking my readers to draw their own conclusions based on facts.

Ignorance is Trendy?

 

Downfall of knowledge.
American crossroads.

More proof that the human brain is shrinking.

“A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation.” http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/14/277058739/1-in-4-americans-think-the-sun-goes-around-the-earth-survey-says

The notion that the Earth revolves around the Sun had been proposed as early as the 3rd century BC by Aristarchus of Samos. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliocentrism

Nicolaus Copernicus published his theory in 1543.  It positioned the Sun near the center of the Universe, motionless, with Earth and the other planets rotating around it in circular paths modified by epicycles and at uniform speeds. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copernican_heliocentrism

Meanwhile 5 centuries later there is a “Flat Earth Society” :

“Welcome to the Flat Earth Wiki, otherwise known as The FEW.  This website is dedicated to unraveling the true mysteries of the universe and demonstrating that the earth is flat and that the Round Earth doctrine is little more than an elaborate hoax.” http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/tiki/tiki-index.php

So my friends welcome to the new Earth that is flat with the sun rotating around this pancake-shaped Earth.

After reading all this I just want to get to the edge of the Earth and jump from it.  For one reason to kill myself but, while I am falling from our flat Earth, I want to see the fool that holds up this stupid planet.

Flat earth society
Wow! I had no idea!

The Coming of the Planet of the Apes

So my message to the rich. If you continue on the path to more riches, the planet of the apes is coming. And you will rule it…until the apes eat you.

A new study from researchers in Europe claims that the average IQ in Western nations dropped by a staggering 14.1 points over the past century.

Humans are getting dumber.
Back to the future.

On average, the general intelligence of those populations measured dropped by 1.23 points per decade.  “These findings strongly indicate that with respect to general intelligence the Victorians were substantially cleverer than modern Western populations,” the study says.

The study had other positive observations about the Victorian era, noting that economic efficiency began to flourish during the period and that the “height of the per capita numbers of significant innovations in science and technology, and also the per capita numbers of scientific geniuses,” occurred during that time, followed by a steady decline.

So why has there been such a steady drop?  As UPI notes, previous research studies have found that women of higher intelligence tend to have fewer children on average, meaning that population growth may be driven by those with a lower IQ.  And over time, the abundance of less intelligent offspring would affect the overall IQ average.

Another theory.

Intelligence and the capacity for abstract thought evolved in our prehistoric ancestors living in Africa between 50,000 and 500,000 years ago, who relied on their wits to build shelters and hunt prey.

People were smarter in the past
Our evolution

But in more civilized times where we no longer need to fight to survive, the selection process which favored the smartest of our ancestors and weeded out the dullards is no longer in force.

“A hunter-gatherer who did not correctly conceive of a solution to providing food or shelter probably died, along with his or her progeny, whereas a modern Wall Street executive that made a similar conceptual mistake would receive a substantial bonus and be a more attractive mate.  Clearly, extreme selection is a thing of the past.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/science-news/9672790/Civilisation-is-making-humanity-less-intelligent-study-claims.html

So are humans getting dumber?  It depends.  The gap between the smartest 1% and the rest is widening and may create a situation where the gap will become unsustainable.

Uneven recovery
Are the 7% really smart?

In America the trend of wealth redistribution continues: “From the end of the recession in 2009 through 2011 (the last year for which Census Bureau wealth data is available), the 8 million households in the U.S. with a net worth above $836,033 saw their aggregate wealth rise by an estimated $5.6 trillion, while the 111 million households with a net worth at or below that level saw their aggregate wealth decline by an estimated $0.6 trillion.http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/04/23/a-rise-in-wealth-for-the-wealthydeclines-for-the-lower-93/

It has been widely observed that the birthrate of countries tends to fall as they become more wealthy.  Most countries in Western Europe now have birthrates below the replacement rate; in the absence of immigration, their populations can be expected to fall in the future.
Putting these two pieces of information together, one might expect that since low IQ countries tend to be less wealthy, they should also be expected to have higher birthrates than countries with a high IQ.  If population IQ and wealth remain constant, the average IQ of the world should then fall over time, since a larger portion of population growth will occur in low IQ countries. http://www.godlikeproductions.com/forum1/message1867279/pg1

—the political backlash against income inequality, both in advanced and emerging economies, could widen. “Governments may use more taxation instruments and globally there may be a further attack on tax havens. Recent governmental and intergovernmental activity in these areas is not a passing phase,” he says.  “It’s going to be a tougher playing field for the rich.” http://thewealthreport.net/economic-trends/rise-of-the-new-rich.aspx

Humanity loosing smarts
Rich self destruction

Normally the most adaptive and successful deviations in species survive while the least successful perish.

There is an opposite trend with humans.  The most educated and the most successful have less kids than the poorest and less educated (with some religious exceptions).

Also the rich are getting richer and the poor multiply.

According to some researchers the IQ divide is growing in tune with the wealth distribution.

So my message to the rich.  If you continue on the path to more riches, the planet of the apes is coming.  And you will rule it…until the apes eat you.

Energy dependence and food waste

Research shows that energy consumption can be reduced by around 50 percent by the adoption of traditional farming and following a healthier diet pattern. The energy required to produce junk and processed foods is much more than what is used to produce staple foods. If Americans reduced their junk food consumption it would affect fuel consumption in a major way and also help in improving their health.

Coming food crisis
Food shortages
Coming global food crisis
World grain reserves are so dangerously low that severe weather in the United States or other food-exporting countries could trigger a major hunger crisis next year, the United Nations has warned.
Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Research Center in Washington, says that the climate is no longer reliable and the demands for food are growing so fast that a breakdown is inevitable, unless urgent action is taken. http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2012/oct/14/un-global-food-crisis-warning

On the one hand, more than a billion people are encouraged to consume too much of the wrong foods and become obese, while on the other hand, there is a scourge of hunger and nearly a billion people are severely malnourished.

We ought to be able to solve this problem.

Billions are starving while some sre getting obese
UN warns of food crisis in 2013

 

Food crisis in 2013

Presently, there is theoretically enough food on the planet to provide each person with 3,500 calories per day, which is 1,000 calories more than necessary. But the problem is distribution:  monumental waste of food that is discarded in the fields or at sea, or is thrown away by rich consumers; the diversion of human food to livestock feed; and the burning of good food as biofuels for cars and so-called ‘green energy’. And all of this industrial commodity production is carried out at the expense of the environment and the livelihoods of people who depend on the land and coastal watershttp://practicalaction.org/global-food-crisis-2 

Drill, baby, drill! 
More energy needed for crop production, storage and delivery.
More fertilizers.
Genetically engineered crops.
increasing water consumption for irrigation--watering the fields.
And all this is going to waste--30% of it!
What can we do to reduce energy consumption in a sensible way?

America’s energy dependence.

Humanity . . . wasted 

Food waste
Colossal food waste in the world

Recent spikes in food prices have led to increasing concern about global food shortages and the apparent need to increase agricultural production. Surprisingly little discussion has been devoted to the issue of food waste. We found that US per capita food waste has progressively increased by ~50% since 1974. Food waste now accounts for more than one quarter of the total freshwater consumption and ~300 million barrels of oil per year. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0007940

A study revealed that Americans throw away 40% of the food supply annually, a 50% increase since the 1970s that totals roughly $165 billion annually. The average American family of four throws away $2,275 each year in food alone. Even a 15% reduction in losses in the US food supply would save enough to feed 25 million Americans a year, and almost 20 million Americans are struggling to put food on the table. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/24/whopping-wastefulness-ame_n_1829137.html

Where is food wasted?

Farms–picking crops

Transportation

Storage

Spoilage

Households

Avoidable food waste

A recent study by the Food and Agriculture Organization (Gustavsson, et al., 2011) reported that one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, amounting to as much as 1.2 billion metric tonnes annually. This also inevitably means that huge amounts of the resources used in food production are used in vain, and that the greenhouse gas emissions caused by production of food that gets lost or wasted are also emissions in vain.

Food shortages and obesity epidemicOverall, on a per capita basis, much more food is wasted in the industrialized world than in developing countries. We estimate that the per capita food waste by consumers in Europe and North America is 95-115 kg/year, while this figure in Sub-Saharan Africa and South/Southeast Asia is only 6-11 kg/year. http://www.fao.org/docrep/014/mb060e/mb060e00.pdf

We have a cheap food policy in America. When things are cheap, people don’t care so much about wasting it.” http://www.aolnews.com/2010/10/02/study-american-food-waste-is-a-huge-energy-drain/

Research shows that energy consumption can be reduced by around 50 percent by the adoption of traditional farming and following a healthier diet pattern. The energy required to produce junk and processed foods is much more than what is used to produce staple foods. If Americans reduced their junk food consumption it would affect fuel consumption in a major way and also help in improving their health.  http://www.ecofriend.com/eating-junk-food-threatens-environment.html 

Producing food locally reduces waste
Local markets

The overall cost of all this loss easily totals hundreds of billions of dollars. Simply thinking more about conserving food could make a big difference. Unlike our ancestors, most of us aren’t involved in producing our own food. We just buy it from the store. That distances us from the work that it takes to make food and, therefore, its value. Many people don’t understand that leftovers can be saved or frozen. A surprising number think it actually goes bad at the end of a meal! Simply adjusting the way we think about food could make us try harder to conserve it. http://sciencenetlinks.com/science-news/science-updates/wasted-food/

A lot of food for thought.

Shame

The nation’s poverty rate rose last year to 15.1 percent, the highest level in 17 years, according to new data from the Census Bureau. The agency’s latest poverty report, released Tuesday, shows that 46 million people were poor, and that the median income dropped last year by more than two percent to about $49,445.

September 13, 2011

The nation’s poverty rate rose last year to 15.1 percent, the highest level in 17 years, according to new data from the Census Bureau.  The agency’s latest poverty report, released Tuesday, shows that 46 million people were poor, and that the median income dropped last year by more than two percent to about $49,445.

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/no-jobs-no-hope-no-future-27-signs-that-americas-poverty-class-is-rapidly-becoming-larger-than-americas-middle-class

Imprisoned and rich

Consequence of greed

 

http://www.npr.org/2011/09/13/140438725/census-2010-saw-poverty-rate-increase-income-drop

The richest country in the world?  Yes

The developed, civilized country?  No

REPUBLICANS: SHUT IT DOWN!

Ever since Obama took office, it has been the singular goal of the Republicans to get him OUT. They continue with every strategy available to make Obama look responsible for our financial crisis. This country has a problem with short-term memory loss.

 

Republican party
See the Debt Ceiling?

Just what will it take for this country to get its head out of its ass?  We are in a financial crisis that, if it remains unsolved by 8/2/11, will effect the poor and hungry citizens of America like never before (except perhaps the Great Depression).  So, “Let Them Eat Cake!!”

During the Bush administration (2000-2008), the “debt ceiling” was raised to pay for the wars, the trumped up wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And now, when the issue of raising the “debt ceiling” again for our Seniors, our unemployed, our homeless, etc., the Republicans, rather Grover Norquist, Rush Limbaugh, the Tea-Baggers*, et al, remind us now of our fiscal responsibility and that we need to cut spending.  What a terrific sense of timing!

 

Rush Limbaugh Obama hater
GOP leader

Ever since Obama took office, it has been the singular goal of the Republicans to get him OUT.  They continue with every strategy available to make Obama look responsible for our financial crisis.  This country has a problem with short-term memory loss.  It’s too bad that we’ve developed early dementia because there is no cure and we just might be headed for an early demise.  So, why the hatred for Obama?  I can see no other reason other than the fact that his tan is too dark!

So, yes, the Republicans will not budge regarding the “debt ceiling”.  They want the government to default on its loans, hold the Social Security checks for Seniors and anyone unfortunate enough to be on disability and to fault Obama with this debacle.  I am one of those individuals who had to turn to the government for disability income at age 63…my work as a nurse as I had practiced came to an end.  I would have happily worked much longer had “the gods” seen fit.  And thank the gods that Social Security Disability was there for me.  So, I will likely not get a check next month.  Oh we’ll be OK for now, but there are millions of Americans who have lost their homes, lost their jobs, lost hope, who will not be OK.

I don’t know what else to say or who to ask for help…not financial help, but help for this country.  We have become a very short-sighted nation, a country of comfort with an eerie lack of empathy for our fellow man…and this may be our undoing.  Sue

 

*I’ll stop using the expression “tea-baggers” when the Republicans stop saying “Obamacare”!

UPSIDE DOWN

In a world that has too many people to feed, too few jobs and a degrading environment, funding these two entities seems like a no -brainer. But, the GOP must placate its irrational base which adheres to the biblical imperative, “Go forth and multiply.” The Republican’s corporate supporters view the EPA as an intrusive regulatory agency that subtracts from the bottom line.

Upside down approach to Government spending
GOP

This is one of those mornings were everything seems upside down.  Our government may close down.  The obstacle preventing a compromise appears to be the GOP’s insistence on defunding Planned Parenthood, and the Environmental Protection Agency.   Planned Parenthood, established in 1916, has over 800 locations and annually provides services to over 5,000,000 women. From its inception, its primary goal has been and continues to be, the improvement of women’s and children’s lives through family planning.   The other target of the Republican Party, the EPA, is our government agency charged with protecting the air and water we need to survive. Continue reading “UPSIDE DOWN”

Iodine Pills and Panic Overdose.

In 1980, 3 million CT scans were performed. The projection for 2011 is 72 million, nearly 20,000 every day. Between 2000 and 2005, Medicare spending on CT scans more than doubled.

This is the reprinted article from my other blog  herbalskincareblog.com

March 17, 2011 | By Cory Franklin
 
The use of CT scans has exploded. In 1980, 3 million CT scans were performed.  The projection for 2011 is 72 million, nearly 20,000 every day.  Between 2000 and 2005, Medicare spending on CT scans more than doubled.  This CT explosion has raised questions in medical circles whether radiation associated with CT scanning may result in increased cancer risk, especially in children.  The typical CT scan exposes a patient to more radiation than chest X-rays, mammograms or airport scanners.  A full-body CT scan for a serious trauma patient delivers an amount approaching the annual dose limit of radiation exposure for radiation workers.
 
There is no good epidemiological data at present, but researchers extrapolating exposure from atomic bomb survivors at Hiroshima and Nagasaki have theorized thousands of people might develop future cancers from CT scan radiation. This is not yet a reason for patients to avoid CT scans, but it is a reason for physicians to be concerned.  It took only one generation for CT scanning to revolutionize medicine, yet its very success has created uncertainty over what its precise role is in patient care.  Answering these questions is paramount to that determination.
Here in the USA reaction to the disaster in Japan:

radiation panic in the US

-High demand for gas masks and pet shelters at RDD USA Military Surplus “getting towards sales levels of 9/11”

-U.S. Surgeon General warns Americans to “be prepared” for harmful radiation from Japan to hit West Coast
-Nukepills.com sells 250,000 potassium iodide pills while Anbex gets three orders a MINUTE instead of per week
-Packs of 14 pills that usually cost $9.99 changing hands on Amazon.com and eBay for $250 to $400
-“Geigercounters.com” begs people not to place any more orders after it sells out of radiation detection gadgets
-Some worried people stocking up on seaweed, red wine, vodka, bread and chili peppers as preventative measures
-Surge in purchases of gas masks and emergency survival kits including food, water and space blankets reported

Panic

Are we stupid here?  Are we so easily frightened?  Are we so afraid for our lives that we are ready to panic at the slightest chance of a problem?  Are we Americans so weak?  Shouldn’t we worry more about the CT scans that we are so ready to use?  Is there any sanity here?  Most likely we are in more danger from our cell phones than from the disaster in Japan.

Nathan