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Tag: American politics

Is The US Involved In 134 Acts Of War Or 0?

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

The United States could be fighting in dozens of conflicts around the world or none at all, depending on how one defines “war” or “conflict.” And despite repeated failures of U.S. military intervention to create global stability, American troops continue to be sent into more nations and more battles, usually without congressional approval.

Timothy McGrath, writing in September for MintPress News, made the claim that the U.S. is fighting between zero and 134 wars, depending on the definition of the word “war.”

The notion that the U.S. is involved in zero acts of war hinges on the premise that the country hasn’t officially declared war — with formal congressional approval — since 1942.

Big Ag Is Big Money For Congress: Monsanto Spends $2.5M Lobbying In 2015

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Monsanto spends millions of its billions of dollars in annual revenue on lobbying and hiring some of Washington’s most notorious firms to ensure that laws continue to favor the agribusiness giant’s profits.

OpenSecrets.org, a project of the Center For Responsive Politics, reported that, as of July 21, Monsanto had already spent over $2.5 million dollars on lobbying this year. The corporation is on track to meet or beat last year’s 2014 spending total, which reached $4,120,000. Yet it doesn’t appear to be on pace to break the record the company set for itself in 2008, when it spent $9 million on lobbying.

At the federal level, Monsanto’s millions are spent to ensure Congress passes laws that work in the company’s favor. The corporation lobbied heavily for the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, better known to food safety activists as the “DARK Act,” which would overrule hundreds of local laws regulating the labelling of foods containing genetically-modified ingredients with a still undeveloped USDA program.

Almost One-Third Of Children Live In Poverty In ‘The Richest Nation In The World’

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

The financial collapse of 2008 and the absence of true economic recovery in the years since has left millions more children in poverty than before the recession. About 22 percent of American children live in poverty, and even that figure may not fully account for all those who are struggling.

According to the annual Kids Count Data Report, which ranks states based on the well-being of children living there, about 3 million more children were impoverished in 2013 than in 2008, an increase of 3 percent that brings the total number of children in poverty to 16,087,000. Following the report’s release, Al-Jazeera America and The Associated Press noted:

Iran Has 0 Nukes While Israel’s 80 Nuclear Weapons Are Real Threat To Peace

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

While the Iran deal is often touted as the only possible solution to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, both U.S. and Israeli intelligence reports suggest that country never intended to build a nuclear weapon. Meanwhile, Israel, one of its regional neighbors, possesses not only 80 functioning nuclear warheads but also the capability to use them.

Israel’s nuclear weapons program probably dates back to the 1950s, when U.S. surveillance flights first detected suspicious activity, according to a report from Bruce Riedel, a columnist with Al-Monitor, a news site offering analysis of events in the Middle East.

“President John F. Kennedy pressed Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion very hard not to proceed with a weapons program, arguing it would precipitate a regional nuclear arms race,” noted Riedel. “Under pressure from Kennedy, Israel agreed to American inspections of its French-supplied Dimona reactor, but then systematically blocked any serious inspection process.”

Despite Support By Experts, Marijuana Still Unavailable To Most Veterans With PTSD

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Thousands of American veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and they’re forced to endure the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs while an effective treatment with few side effects, medical marijuana, remains illegal and inaccessible to most.

A 2012 study from the Veterans Administration estimated that as much as 20 percent of veterans of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD. Among these veterans, the suicide rate is 50 percent higher than the national average and PTSD is a major contributing factor, according to a 2015 study by the National Institute of Mental Health. Nick Wing and Matt Ferner, writing in The Huffington Post, suggested VA doctors typically treat veterans with a combination of therapy and a selection of dozens of pharmaceutical drugs approved for the treatment of the often debilitating condition. Missing from that list, according to their report, is one particular treatment that’s made a difference in many lives: cannabis.

“[T]the government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug with no medical value and explicitly prohibits VA doctors from recommending marijuana,” Wing and Ferner wrote last month. The federal scheduling system is meant to classify dangerous drugs by weighing their risks versus their potential benefit to humanity. Under this system, marijuana, which studies have repeatedly demonstrated to be relatively safe and carry almost no risk of addiction, is considered more dangerous than heroin or amphetamines.

Netanyahu Has A Twitter Meltdown Over Iran Nuclear Deal

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

As Washington and Iran celebrated a nuclear deal that many see as a historic step forward for relations between both countries, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took to social media to repeat what’s becoming an increasingly tired refrain: that peace with Iran spells impending doom for Israel and will lead to widespread suffering in the Middle East.

On Tuesday, world leaders reached an agreement that brings an end to lengthy negotiations with Iran over its controversial nuclear program. The deal seeks to limit Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear bomb for at least the next 15 years while still allowing the country to continue low-level enrichment necessary for nuclear power generation. To uphold the agreement, international inspectors would have increased, but not unlimited, access to Iranian nuclear facilities. In return, Iranians can look forward to a gradual easing of sanctions that have had a brutal effect on their economy.

While Iranians celebrated the deal, Netanyahu took it as an opportunity to repeat a militaristic message that’s been Israel’s main talking point since before the prime minister’s controversial speech to Congress.