Are ‘We the People’ Useful Idiots In The Digital Age?

In an Orwellian age where war equals peace, surveillance equals safety, and tolerance equals intolerance of uncomfortable truths and politically incorrect ideas, “we the people” have gotten very good at walking freely into the slaughterhouse.

Back in the heyday of the old Soviet Union, a phrase evolved to describe gullible western intellectuals who came to visit Russia and failed to notice the human and other costs of building a communist utopia. The phrase was “useful idiots” and it applied to a good many people who should have known better. I now propose a new, analogous term more

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Weak Oil-Train Regulations Don’t Go Nearly Far Enough, Experts Warn

Proposed rules prioritize industry over community and environmental safety.

Environmental groups say the Obama administration's new crude-by-rail regulations (pdf), proposed Wednesday, don't go nearly far enough to reduce the risk posed by hazardous rail cars carrying oil and ethanol across long distances. The proposed rules, which include a phase-out of older tank cars and new brake controls and speed restrictions,

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Medical Marijuana Group Issues its First Quality Certificates

Just two months after announcing a program to verify the safety and quality of medical marijuana, Americans for Safe Access announced the first two dispensaries to pass the certification process.

Jake Dimmock, co-owner of the Northwest Patient Resource Center medical marijuana dispensary, works with flowering plants in a grow room, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

About two months after the medical marijuana patient advocacy group Americans for Safe Access announced that it would launch a program to verify medical marijuana products sold at licensed businesses, the group announced the certification of the first two dispensaries in the country: Berkeley Patients Group and SPARC of San Francisco. The

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Chemical Spill Shuts Down Much Of W.Va. Capital

The chemical, a foaming agent used in the coal preparation process, leaked from a tank at Freedom Industries, overran a containment area.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Schools and restaurants closed, grocery stores sold out of bottled water, and state legislators who had just started their session canceled the day's business after a chemical spill in the Elk River in Charleston shut down much of the city and surrounding counties even as the cause and extent of the incident remained

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India’s High Court Rules To Protect People “Used As Guinea Pigs” In Drug Trials

Drug companies will now face stricter regulations for clinical trials in India after the Supreme Court’s ruling last month.

After it was discovered earlier this year that thousands of impoverished people living in rural parts of India were being subjected to what many described as “unethical and flat-out inhumane clinical trials” by Big Pharma companies to determine the safety and effectiveness of new drugs, the country’s Supreme Court ruled last month that there needs

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Five Texas Police Departments Ban Tasers

Some communities are sidestepping the debate on Tasers’ safety by simply banning them altogether.

About 16,000 law enforcement agencies internationally use Tasers, but this weekend, five police departments in North Texas -- Mansfield, Richland Hills, Crowley, Murphy and Burleson -- announced they had removed Taser guns from the list of equipment used by officers. While none of the Texas-based police department have explicitly explained why

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