Hacking Hastings, Mounting Megafires & Economic Woes: Aug 11, 2015

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Chrysler Recalls Hackable Jeeps, Press Still Not Questioning Cause of Hastings Death
By Russ Baker
In a landmark action, Fiat Chrysler has recalled over a million Jeep Cherokees after tests showed that the cars could be remotely hacked. Despite this confirmation of the dangers lurking in computerized automobiles, the major media have yet to take a closer look at the death of crusading journalist Michael Hastings, who just before his fiery death expressed concerns that someone had tampered with his car.

WHO

The Coddling of the American Mind
The Atlantic explores the growing effort to scrub schools and campuses of “micro-aggressive” words, phrases, ideas and, indeed, anything else that smacks of intellectual confrontation. This war on “micro-aggressions” is producing a generation that cannot think on their feet or deal with cognitive challenges. Interestingly, they’re also becoming ever-more susceptible to mental health issues.

Anti-Iran Lobby Chief Steps Down, Supports Deal
Sheldon Adelson’s pet project—United Against Nuclear Iran—announced that former Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) was joining the well-funded effort to torpedo the Iran Nuclear Deal. Buried in the announcement was the resignation of the group’s long-time President Gary Samore. Why did he leave? Because he supports the deal… unlike former Representative Michele Bachmann (R-WI) who is against it but confusingly also jubilant because she sees the pact as a glorious portent of the End Times.

Black Men: 6% of Population; 40% of Unarmed People Shot to Death by Police This Year
Is there a racial disparity in both policing and the fatal targeting of Black Americans by seemingly trigger-happy cops? It’s really hard to argue with the numbers. Police also shoot one unarmed American every three days.

WHAT

The Collapsing US Economy
On the same day China devalued its currency in a bid to stem the bleeding of its once-mighty economy, former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury Paul Craig Roberts detailed the stark reality behind America’s so-called “Recovery.” Economic confidenceremains low and, according to Roberts, the unease makes sense since the real unemployment rate is near 23%. He thinks the media is ignoring this weakness.

Directed-Energy Weapons: No Longer Science Fiction
Aviation Week & Space Technology shows how the next generation of killer technologies will cook, fry, pierce and disrupt at the cellular level… all without ever firing a bullet. Welcome to the future of war… a future closer than most of us realize.

WHY

Megafires Are Remaking American Forests
Climate-stoked “megafires” are a thing… and they are radically altering vital, fragile ecosystems. California is current fighting an unprecedented spike in super-sized firesand Washington State recently struggled to contain the Carlton Complex Fire as it torched an astounding 3.8 acres per second. Earlier and earlier snow melt has extended the Western fire season by 70 days.

An Ingenious Use for Plastic Bottles
As long as we’re generating all that plastic, we might as well find a good use for it, right? Well, how about this? All over the world, from Africa to Latin America, folks are collecting used bottles and deploying them to build fireproof, bulletproof, environmentally-friendly homes. (Here’s a how-to video from the Peace Corps.) Amazing…for maybe a quarter of what it would cost to construct a traditional home, inventive types are assembling two-bedroom houses–from about 14,000 plastic bottles. Gulp!

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