Russ Baker on Bush, No Love for Snowden & The Cost of War: June 17, 2015

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No Love For Snowden
By Klaus Marre
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs recently praised whistleblowers, though he has been an outspoken opponent of Edward Snowden. Why the double standard when it comes to Snowden?

WhoWhatWhy Media Extras: Russ Baker’s Jeb Bush Analysis
By Russ Baker
WhoWhatWhy Founder and Editor-in-Chief Russ Baker, author of the definitive book on the Bush dynasty, Family of Secrets, offers some insights into Jeb Bush you may not hear elsewhere.

WHO

As Stress Drives Off Drone Operators, Air Force Must Cut Flights
America’s drone war doesn’t produce flag-draped coffins or heart-breaking images of disfigured soldiers struggling to walk on new prosthetics. Instead, it quietly and methodically “burns out” the pilots who remotely control its growing fleet of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). To wit, the Air Force just trimmed its mission tempo from 65 flights per day to 60 because it simply doesn’t have the pilots to fly its armed surveillance drones. BTW… the Air Force is still flying 60 missions per day!

Neil Young, Donald Trump Spar Over ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ Use
When “The Donald” ducked into the GOP’s “clown car” yesterday, he did so to the striking chords of Neil Young’s “Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World.” The funny thing is that he didn’t clear it with Neil, nor did he listen to the song. If his staff had taken the time, they’d have realized that the 1989 song is a sharp indictment of America’s indifference to poverty, its embrace of corporate power and the political bankruptcy of the Reagan Era. Ironically, this kerfuffle has given Neil a nice little boost just has he released his latest album, which is a full-frontal attack on Monsanto.

WHAT

NASA: Aquifers Losing Water at Alarming Rates
According to new NASA satellite data, a staggering 21 of the world’s 37 largest aquifers have passed the tipping point as humans extract water faster than it can be replaced. Another 13 are categorized as “troubled,” which is exactly what people around the world will be when they go to the well and find it’s dry.

Cost of Violence Hits $14 Trillion in Increasingly Divided World
The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) tallied the financial cost of an increasingly war-like world. From Syria to Libya, from the Ukraine to the Horn of Africa and many places in-between, the number of people killed in conflicts has risen sharply since 2010. That year, 49,000 died. By 2014 that number was 180,000. Additionally, costs associated with the growing refugee crisis—now up to 50 million displaced people—has spiked by 267% since 2008 to $128 billion. But it’s the cost of military and police forces that accounts for 68% of the $14.3 trillion spent on war and conflict.

WHY

Robots are Like Immigrants: The More You Know Them, the Better You Like Them
Two studies—one by Oxford University’s Migration Observatory and another by the EU’s Eurobarometer—came to strikingly similar conclusions about immigrants and robots. Both are associated with fear of lost jobs. But both also gain acceptance as people are exposed to them and live with or near them. Neither study addressed the one possible difference—that immigrants are often seen as “taking” jobs, while robots simply eliminate jobs.

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