Archive: 01/2014

Farm and Food: Not So Fast-Track on Trade Deals

The following article appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star on January 19, 2014. Please contact your 2 U.S. senators and 1 member of Congress urging them to oppose fast-track authorization for the NAFTA-like trans-national trade agreements now being negotiated. The contact information for Nebraska's federal elected officials can be found by clicking HERE.

By Alan Guebert | Columnist
Lincoln Journal Star
January 19, 2014

You wouldn’t order a new pick-up truck without reserving the right to choose how the truck is equipped inside and out. The same goes for a new combine or an operating loan.

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Economic Inequality Continues to Grow in the United States

by Hank Van den Berg
UNL Professor of Economics

In an updated report, the well-known economist Emmanuel Saez of the University of California-Berkeley shows that nearly all of the recent income recovery from the economic recession has been captured by the top 1 percent of income earners. Since the 2007-2009 economic crash, the top 1 percent of income earners have captured 95 percent of the total overall growth in U.S. income over the past four years.

Saez’ estimates are given in the table below. His estimates are based on U.S. national income data, and it is updated for 2012 using IRS data.

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The NSA Is Only the Tip of the Iceberg

THE TOTAL SECURITY STATE
by Loring Wirbel
Citizens for Peace in Space

Rumors have circulated for many years, long before the June 2013 Edward Snowden revelations, that the National Security Agency was capable of intercepting literally all electronic communications on the planet. The rumors gained substance in early October, when the BBC reported that the NSA tried bringing up its massive new storage facility in Bluffdale, Utah, and ended up browning out two power plants that serve the greater Salt Lake City area. At press time, NSA’s Bluffdale facility still had not gone online—foiled by its own massive mission to collect anything of interest going on with allies and adversaries alike.

The only people that seem to have missed the memo that the NSA covers the planet, are the leaders of leading allied nations, including Germany, Spain, Mexico, Greece and Brazil, who all took turns over the course of the summer and early fall expressing shock that the NSA was really probing their cell-phone calls, email addresses and private meetings. Some of this shock has a theatrical spin, for two reasons: proof of the NSA intercepting critical international meetings has been leaked for decades; and every nation has its own ‘signals-intelligence’ (SIGINT) agency which attempts to do the same things the NSA does. Nevertheless, the public anger expressed by the likes of Angela Merkel of Germany and Dilma Rousseff of Brazil helped give the Snowden revelations more shelf life, keeping the NSA in the headlines constantly for five months.

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