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spread of the red
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spread of the red
number 181    
Slim Harpo  
Tribute Page
The nation’s critical physical
infrastructure is in a state of acute
disrepair, posing significant health
and safety risks, and requiring an
investment of $2.2 trillion over the
next five years, according to a new
report by the American Society of
Civil Engineers.

The “Report Card for America’s
Infrastructure”, a study updated
every four years by the professional
association, evaluated 15 separate
areas, giving the US an overall grade
of D. The report was published two
months ahead of schedule in an
effort to influence Congressional
debate over the emergency
economic stimulus package
proposed by the Obama
According to the report, the most
deficient areas of US infrastructure
were drinking water, sewage
systems, roads, and inland
waterways, each of which received a
grade of D-. The best grades were a
C+ for solid waste systems and a C
for the nation’s bridges. Even with
this grade, the report found more
than 25 percent of US bridges were
rated “structurally deficient” or
“functionally obsolete” by federal

In a statement, ASCE president D.
Wayne Klotz said, “Crumbling
infrastructure has a direct impact on
our personal and economic health,
and the nation’s infrastructure crisis
is endangering our future prosperity.”
Stephen Flynn, a senior fellow at
the Council on Foreign Relations
Scientific American
magazine, “It’s the kind of report
card you would have expected on
the eve of the collapse of the
Roman Empire.” ASCE
researchers point out that only
about $90 billion of the proposed
$825 billion stimulus package
currently under consideration
would be spent directly on the
kind of infrastructure
improvements the report calls for.

The estimated total cost for
repairs of $2.2 trillion has risen by
more than 70 percent since the
last report card was released in
it's all true
Nation's Decrepit Infrastructure a Crumbling Time Bomb
Chemical compounds commonly
used in a wide range of
household and cosmetic products
may lead to reproductive
difficulties in women, according to
the results of a recent study.
Researchers found that women
with elevated levels of
perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) and
perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)
took significantly longer to get
pregnant. The chemicals are
found in clothing, upholstery,
carpets, and pesticides, as well as
food packaging and personal care
products such as nail polish and
skin moisturizers.

The eight leading makers of the
compounds, known as PFCs,
have been voluntarily phasing
them out at the request of the
EPA, and they are scheduled to
be totally banned by 2015. But
research has shown that traces of
PFCs persist in humans for

3M Corporation, the only
company to manufacture PFC
compounds in the US, agreed in
2001 to phase out the chemicals
after studies confirmed toxic
effects of PFCs in their Scotch
Guard fabric treatment.      
it's all
Toxic Mothers
Difficult to Conceive
A national survey of hospital
emergency room doctors has found
that 97.8 percent reported that they
had personally managed cases in
which they suspected that their
patients had been the victims of
excessive police force. Almost two
thirds of the physicians surveyed
(65.3 percent) said that they treat at
least two cases per year involving
excessive force, according to the
results of the study published in the
January issue of
Medicine Journal
. The vast
majority of the incidents are never
formally investigated; unlike
suspected cases of domestic abuse,
there are no US laws requiring
hospital staff to report police

Most of the injuries alleged or
suspected to have been caused by
excessive force by arresting officers
were blunt force traumas resulting
from being punched or kicked,
according to H. Range Hutson,
assistant professor of emergency
medicine at Harvard, who was the
lead author of the study. More than
90 percent of the doctors surveyed
reported that they knew of no legal or
departmental regulations for cases in
which they suspected excessive force
by law enforcement officers. The
researchers conclude, “National
emergency medicine organizations in
the USA should become involved,
jointly developing and advocating for
guidelines to manage this complex

Fraternal Order of Police executive
director Jim Pasco was sharply
critical of the report, telling
that the emergency room
physicians “have no way of knowing
what amount of force was required”
in the incidents which led to the
injuries they treated. Other law
enforcement organizations were
similarly dismissive of the survey and
its findings. Federal prosecutions of
state and municipal police officers for
physical abuse of suspects remain
relatively rare, with US Attorneys
initiating only 505 such cases since

In a related story, beleaguered
emergency room doctors in California
have filed a class action lawsuit
against the state, alleging that an
intractable funding crisis has left the
state’s emergency health care
system in danger of a total collapse.
The state has among the lowest
Medicaid reimbursement rates in the
nation. California also ranks last for
access to emergency medical
facilities, with only seven per one
million residents, compared to a
national average of 20.                      
it's all true
American Police a Blunt Trauma Force
VERBATIM                                                                    number 35.2
"Less measurable,
but no less profound,
is a sapping of
confidence across
our land...
...a nagging fear that
America's decline is
inevitable, that the next
generation must lower its
          Washington  DC  01.20.09
The US Attorney’s office in Los
Angeles has initiated a grand
jury investigation into one of
the highest-ranking Catholic
officials in California related to
his handling of complaints that
priests under his authority
sexually abused children.  The
US Attorney is exploring the
actions that Cardinal Roger M.
Mahony and other Catholic
Church leaders may have
taken to cover-up allegations
of child abuse.  

Authorities allege that Mahony
and others who manage the
affairs of the church schemed
to “deprive (Catholic
parishioners) of the intangible
right of honest services” when
they responded to allegations
of abuse by transferring
priests to positions where they
still had contact with children.  
The federal statute that is
being applied is usually used
to prosecute public officials for

Mahony was criticized for his
lack of cooperation with
authorities as they investigated
complaints of priest child
abuse earlier this decade.  
Mahony, who contended that
internal church records were
confidential, was eventually
ordered by the courts to turn
over documents to
investigators.  The Los
Angeles County District
Attorney said that church
officials engaged in a “pattern
of obstruction” during the
investigation.   Although the
church has not responded
specifically to the grand jury
investigation, church officials
said that “enormous strides
have been made” in its
handling of abusive
it's all true
A sobering report on the long term
effects of global warming warns that,
even if humans completely stopped
producing carbon dioxide, drastic
changes in climate caused by
are “largely irreversible” and will
effect the planet for hundreds of
years into
the future.

The study, published in the
Proceedings of the National
Academy of Sciences
, found that
because of the interaction between
the atmosphere and the oceans and
the way that carbon dioxide
accumulates in the atmosphere,
when carbon dioxide is at peak levels
patterns develop that can lead to
widespread drought conditions and
“inexorable sea level rise” that will
persist for at least a thousand years.

The study describes what will happen
when carbon dioxide levels reach
450 and 600 parts per million.  
Current levels of carbon dioxide
stand at 385 ppm and scientists
agree that given existing conditions,
rates are expected to soon rise to
450 ppm and reach 600ppm by
2050.  Carbon dioxide levels at the
beginning of the industrial revolution
averaged 280 ppm.

Researchers report that at 450 ppm,
costal areas will be threatened by
rising sea levels and areas in the
Southwestern US, around the
Mediterranean and North Africa, and
in Western Australia will see a 10
percent reduction in precipitation.  
Should carbon dioxide levels rise to
600 ppm the report says that “many
costal and island features would
ultimately become submerged,” and
droughts would cause expanded
desertification, reduced water and
supplies and overall ecosystem

The study said that the planet's
oceans would rise between 1.5
and 3 feet by the year 3000 if
carbon dioxide levels rise to 600
ppm, and if levels rise to 1000
ppm ocean levels will rise by 3 to
six feet, submerging the world's
coastal cities.

The study’s author, Dr. Susan
Solomon of the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration’s
Earth System Research
Laboratory, said that increased
rates of carbon dioxide will lead to
permanent changes and, “there is
no going back.”   Dr. Solomon
said, “It’s essentially an
irreversible change that will last
for more than a thousand
it's all true
A study of an initiative by the Texas
Border Sheriffs Coalition to
broadcast images from video
cameras placed on the border
between the US and Mexico live on
the Internet so members of the public
can monitor illegal entries in to the
country and report them to police has
found that the program has resulted
in 3 arrests since its inception.

El Paso Times reviewed the
program that was conceived of by
Texas Governor Rick Perry and
funded by a $2 million grant from the
federal government.  Perry
announced his intention to place
hundreds of cameras along the
Texas/Mexico border, approximately
one every six miles, and seek the
assistance of citizen vigilantes to
monitor the border and report illegal
activities to authorities.  Perry
envisioned “leveraging advanced
technology and the power of the
World Wide Web (to) make our
border strongerand our nation safer.”

Times reviewed documents that
it received through freedom of
information requests to find that the
Sheriffs Coalition has so far spent
$625, 000 to install 13 cameras.  
Although the website operated by the
Coalition has received millions of hits,
in the first six months that the
program has been operational, only
3 arrests have been made.  
Supporters of the program had
envisioned that the law enforcement/
public citizen surveillance system
would lead to the apprehension of
thousands of migrants as they enter
the US.  The Coalition expected to
receive 4500 reports of suspected
illegal activity from vigilante video
monitors  every year that would result
in 1200 arrests.    
it's all true
Health care spending per
selected countries
$    1000    2000   3000    4000   
Cardinal Flies
Criminal Investigation
Virtual Border is Found to be Virtually
Catastrophic Global Climate Change Just Getting Warmed
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