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Immigrants Offset Population and Workforce Losses in Wisconsin Cities

By: WI Budget Project Monday July 28, 2014 11:11 am

Immigrants are playing a very important role in boosting cities in Wisconsin and across the Midwest, according to a report issued last month.  The recent report, written by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, analyzed 2000 and 2010 decennial census data and found that the arrival of immigrants over the last decade helped reverse a trend of declining populations in cities throughout the Midwest.

Here are some of the highlights of the report, “Growing the Heartland: How Immigrants Offset Population Decline and an Aging Workforce in Midwest Metropolitan Areas,” (.pdf link) pertaining to Midwest metropolitan areas:

  • Over the last decade alone, the region’s foreign born population rose 27.4% (from 3.5 million to 4.5 million).
  • Immigrant population growth accounts for 38% of metropolitan area growth in the Midwest.
  • Only 67% of native-born Midwesterners live in metro-areas, compared to 88% of immigrants.
  • Although this region’s native-born population in the 35-to-44 age group saw a 20.6% decrease between 2000 and 2010, the immigrant population in that age range experienced a 44.2% increase.

The same trends can be seen in the report’s data for Wisconsin cities, shown in the following table.

 
The next table focuses on an especially important part of the workforce, people in the age range of 35 through 44.  It illustrates that Wisconsin cities have had a rapidly shrinking number of people in that age range who were born in the U.S., but the declining native born population is being partially offset by immigrants in that age range.

 
At a time when immigration is still a fairly controversial topic, it is important to note the beneficial roles it plays across the Midwest. Aside from helping to sustain the population, immigration brings young workers into a workforce that is aging quickly. However, in order to fully leverage the benefits of Midwestern immigration, metropolitan areas must work to ease the transition for immigrants into the economy, labor market, and civic processes.

For Wisconsin and its cities to grow and prosper, we need to help immigrants become productive workers, active consumers and engaged citizens.  As the report concludes,

this requires new federal policies and, yes, immigration reform, that fully recognize immigration as an asset, not a burden, to the region.

by Jelicia Diggs and Jon Peacock

 

If We Dislike War Like We Dislike Cancer

By: David Swanson Wednesday June 8, 2011 11:41 am
Cupcakes with pink breast cancer ribbons

What if ending war was became as important as ending cancer?

War and cancer are among our leading causes of human death around the world. They can’t be strictly separated and compared since war is a major cause of cancer, as is war preparation. (And a small fraction of the U.S. budget for war preparations could fund cancer research well beyond all the money raised by public and private funding and by all the 5-K races for a cure and other activities we’ve become familiar with.) War and cancer, by their nature, also can’t be addressed with the same sort of responses.

Cancer prevention, including possibly radical changes in industrial and energy policies, is fairly off-limits, whereas cancer treatment and the search for a cure is almost certainly our most widespread and publicly visible form of altruistic charity and advocacy  When you see athletes or celebrities marked with bright pink, or a public event packed with pink shirts or ribbons, or — alongside a road — a giant pink inflatable anything, you are now less likely to think “WTF is that?” than “We need to help cure breast cancer.”

War prevention, including radical redirection of our resources and economy away from war, re-education away from the propaganda of beneficial violence, support for nonviolent conflict resolution, and promotion of international law and the prosecution of war makers, is likewise fairly off-limits. But war treatment and the search for a cure for war once begun, seems significantly less useful than the search for a cure for cancer. War is indisputably and entirely human-made. Most of its fatal victims die immediately. Halting a war once begun is immensely more difficult than refraining from starting it, as no one party can control a war’s path, and support-the-troops propaganda convinces people that ending a war is more evil than continuing it. Once a war ends, undoing the resentment and hatred and habits of violence, and the environmental destruction (and the cancer epidemics), and the destruction to liberties and democracy, all adds up to an immense — if not impossible — task compared to that of avoiding wars before they’re started.

So, when we compare a public demand to abolish cancer with one to abolish war, the latter seems to require halting our biggest public program, whereas the former allows us to go on driving our SUVs to Wal-Mart as long as we stick a pink ribbon on the back to indicate that doctors and scientists should continue the great march of progress. And of course they should. We should be investing vastly more in curing cancer, not to mention Alzheimer’s which is as big a killer as cancer but opposed by far less funding (and not a particular threat to that favorite of all body parts: the breast).

But abolishing war may be the more pressing demand. Nuclear weapons could be used intentionally or accidentally and destroy us all. The resources dumped into war are badly needed for the work of averting environmental catastrophe (not to mention curing cancer). What if a campaign to abolish war were to learn a few tricks from the campaign to abolish breast cancer?

Following the lead of the Afghan Peace Volunteers, Campaign Nonviolence, World Beyond War, and other peace groups are encouraging everyone to use sky blue scarves and bracelets as symbols of peace and support for ending all wars. What if sky blue symbols became as widespread as pink ones? What would that look like?

Naomi Oreskes: A “Green” Bridge to Hell

By: Tom Engelhardt Sunday July 17, 2011 6:01 pm

This article originally appeared at TomDispatch.com. To receive TomDispatch in your inbox three times a week, click here.

Poster: Male face saying 'Frack' as oil drips down his chin

More fossil fuels won’t cure our fossil fuel crisis.

Call it the energy or global warming news of recent weeks.  No, I’m not referring to the fact this was globally the hottest June on record ever (as May had been before it), or that NASA launched the first space vehicle “dedicated to studying atmospheric carbon dioxide.” Nor do I mean the new report released by a “bipartisan group,” including former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and three former secretaries of the treasury, suggesting that, by 2100, $238 billion to $507 billion worth of American property will be “below sea level”; nor that Virginia’s coastline is already being eaten away by rising seas and storm-surge destruction in such a striking manner that state Democrats and Republicans are leaving global warming denialists in the lurch and forming a climate change task force to figure out what in the world to do.

No, I was referring to the news that the Obama administration has just reopened the eastern seaboard to offshore oil and gas exploration. To the extent that this has been covered, the articles have generally focused on the economic positives — for jobs and national wealth — of finding new deposits of oil and gas in those waters, and the unhappiness of the environmental community over the effect of the sonic booms used in underwater seismic exploration on whales and other sea creatures. Not emphasized has been the way, from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico, not to speak of the shale-gas fracking fields of this country, the Obama administration has had an all-of-the-above policy on fossil fuels.  Our “global warming” president has consistently championed reforms (of a modest sort) to combat climate change.  These, however, fit uncomfortably with his administration’s anything-goes menu of oil and gas exploration and exploitation that is distinctly in the drill-baby-drill mode. Unlike that drill-baby-drill proponent Sarah Palin, however, the president knows what he’s doing and what the long-term effects of such policies are likely to be.

Part of the way he and his officials seem to have squared the circle is by championing their moves to throttle coal use and bring natural gas, touted as the “clean” fossil fuel, to market in a big way.  As it happens, historian of science Naomi Oreskes, an expert on the subject, has news for the president and his advisors: when looked at in a clear-eyed way, natural gas isn’t going to turn out to be the fossil-fuel equivalent of a wonder drug that will cure the latest climate disease.  Quite the opposite: its exploitation will actually increase the global use of fossil fuels and pump more greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, while possibly suppressing the development of actual renewable alternatives.  In a magisterial piece today, she explores every aspect of the crucial question of why natural gas is anything but a panacea for our climate change problems.

This couldn’t be more important.  Science historians Oreskes and Erik Conway have already written a classic book, Merchants of Doubt, on how Big Energy and a tiny group of scientists associated with it sold us a false bill of goods on the nature and impact of its products (as the tobacco industry and essentially the same set of scientists had before it).  Together, they have now produced a little gem of a book on climate change: The Collapse of Western Civilization: a View From the Future.  Written, so the claim goes, in 2393 by a “senior scholar of the Second People’s Republic of China,” it traces the events that led to the Great Collapse of 2090.  You haven’t heard of that grim event yet?  Well, you will as soon as you pick up Oreskes’s and Conway’s “thought-provoking” and gripping work of “science-based fiction” on what our future may have in store for us — if we don’t act to change our world. Tom

Wishful Thinking About Natural Gas
Why Fossil Fuels Can’t Solve the Problems Created by Fossil Fuels
By Naomi Oreskes

Albert Einstein is rumored to have said that one cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that led to it. Yet this is precisely what we are now trying to do with climate change policy.  The Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, many environmental groups, and the oil and gas industry all tell us that the way to solve the problem created by fossil fuels is with more fossils fuels.  We can do this, they claim, by using more natural gas, which is touted as a “clean” fuel — even a “greenfuel.

Like most misleading arguments, this one starts from a kernel of truth.

Over 1100 dead, 3500 wounded in Ukraine Civil War; Drumbeats for War Against Russia Intensifying

By: wendydavis Friday September 21, 2012 1:40 pm

From RT:

Some 1,129 people have been killed and nearly 3,500 wounded in eastern Ukraine since the start of the Kiev’s military operation in April, according to UN estimates.

The report also states that these are the minimum casualty toll estimates by the UN monitoring mission and WHO.

The report says that the cause of the rising death toll is intensified artillery shelling of the civilian residential areas and the so-called “collateral damage” of the armed actions in the heavily-populated areas.

Also, 100,000 people were forcibly displaced in eastern Ukraine.

The Kiev authorities are using heavy weaponry and artillery in strikes on residential areas, while the armed rebels are firing back, the report states.’

On Friday, Human Rights Watch alleged that Kiev is using indiscriminate Grad missiles to attack densely populated areas in Donetsk, which violates international humanitarian law, and also blames the militia for taking cover in the same areas.

This admonition comes from the same HRW that blamed hideous deeds by those groups that had staged a coup against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and have attempted to overthrow Maduro…on the Maduro government.  It is the same organization that received a letter from several Nobel peace prize laureates, and 100 human rights activists, and scholars, urging independence from the US government, so you be the judge.  But from all I’ve read, those folks fleeing the carnage headed for Russia.

The bombing and shelling of citizens in Eastern Ukraine has been bloody and ugly; people have been burned alive in buildings, whether under the uniforms of the Ukrainian military, or Right Sektor/Svoboda nazis.  No matter how you come down on Lugansk and Donetsk declaring their independence from Ukraine, Kyiv’s many atrocities should be tied as war crimes.  But of course they won’t, not least because the US and several deep state NGOs full back, and partially funds these fiends in the name of Democracy for some™, apparently.

From Veterans Today’s Jim Dean, bless his heart: ‘The People of Donbass have something to say: “Why?  What did we do to you to deserve this, America and EU?”

The general use of artillery and bombing attacks on civilian areas has been met with total silence by the Kiev Junta’s Western allies. It gets even worse for the towns captured from the East Ukraine resistance, atrocities and summary executions have take place.

Even the UN says nothing, not even about investigation or having monitors with the Kiev units to stay on top of what they are doing. The Oligarch funded units, formal terror brigades, are fighting behind a Western approved “anti-terror” smokescreen. This stain will never wash off, of them or us, as it has not on all those who have preceded those doing it now.

Videos showing the results of these bloody deeds abound, but are difficult to verify, given language barriers, questions of dates, and the potential for propaganda. The Saker has a team of translators dubbing in English for many of them, and I do hope they are straight up with their translations; given what we’ve seen live-streamed, I tend to credit their translations.

RT’s ‘250 civilians killed in Ukraine’s Lugansk during last two months – OSCE’ highlights the organization’s death toll numbers from June and July, and provides videos that require warnings for the brutal carnage depicted. My guess is that again, actual numbers were higher.

Clearly the teeth-gnashing rhetoric from the US State Department, Obama himself, and the loudest neo-cons in Congress has blamed Russia for the downing of MH 17 from the start, but have provided no evidence, just anonymous ‘intel reports.’

This is the State Department flack Marie Harf on July 22, fielding questions as to the veracity of those claims, and especially as opposed to statements made by Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.  The dialogue is funny on its own, but this op-ed from washingtonsblog.com has great art to go along with it. He characterizes it this way:

NBC Changes Story on Israeli Bombing of Hospital

By: Siun

This morning Israeli forces bombed Al Shifa hospital in Gaza. As reports began to circulate via twitter, several tweets referenced the above tweet from NBC News.

The same account was included on the NBC website report as of 11:04 AM Central time:

The report reads:

The Israel Defense Forces told Haaretz that a “preliminary investigation has found that Israeli army did not fire at the Shifa Hospital, and the fire is believed to have been Hamaz.” The IDF could not immediately be reached to clarify that account on Monday. However, a NBC News journalist witnessed the attack on the hospital and said it had been fired by an Israeli drone.

Israel has been criticized for several strikes which hit hospitals in the Gaza Strip during its recent offensive.

Only about 20 minutes later, NBC had changed its story to delete the mention of the NBC journalist’s report and insert:

Early reports from the ground had said an Israeli drone appeared responsible for the attack.

The story has been changed now once again to include both an IDF statement and a Hamas statement but no mention of their own reporter’s witness though they do mention their presence on the scene:

The explosion near Shifa Hospital around 5 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET) caused some damage to the outpatient clinic, according to witnesses including an NBC News crew on the ground in the area.

No mentions are made in the story or on the site that the report has been changed or updated. The report is now credited to Ayman Mohyeldin, Paul Ziad Nassar and Alexander Smith with contributions from Hasani Gittens and Reuters. Note that Ayman Mohyeldin is the reporter NBC has removed from Gaza for being a bit too truthful and just recently reinstated.

So what’s the real story NBC?

Heartbreaking Eid in Palestine

By: Siun

If you have been following the war on Gaza via twitter, you are probably aware of a new web initiative called Humanize Palestine. It’s a collection of photos and notes about many of the men, women and children who have fallen to Israeli bullets and bombs over the past few days – and it is heartbreaking.

The anonymous site organizers note:

Why is it that when an Israeli goes missing or is killed, the media presents images of them from a happier time? They are usually smiling in these images or posing next to their family and friends. This helps create empathy in our hearts and connect with the person in the image on a deeper, more personal level. But when a Palestinian child is killed, images of their burned and mutilated bodies is circulated, and we immediately connect brown and Palestinian bodies with death and disposability. That person is stripped away from an identity, a family and loved ones, and a story.

Humanize Palestine attempts to honor the deceased as martyrs by bringing them back to life through their pictures, stories, art, and poetry. Humanize Palestine reminds us, that contrary to Western bias, a Palestinian life is no less valuable than the life of another, by giving the life the respect and dignity that it deserves.

Humanize Palestine includes the dead from the West Bank, nine of whom have been killed so far by IDF and by Settlers, as they protest in support of Gaza.

Today is Eid, the day when Muslims finish the fast of Ramadan. It should be a day of celebration but this year, it is a day with so much sorrow. For Eid, Muslims gather together, visit friends and family and share meals and gifts. I hope that today we can take a few moments to honor Eid as well.

There is much we can say, much we want to say about this war on Gaza, about our country’s role in the attack on Gaza and about what must be done. Yet today I hope we can find the time to simply pause and remember each who has died. Take a moment to look at the photos and stories of Humanize Palestine, read and pray or meditate in your own way about the individuals whose eyes greet you in the photos and do not let them be forgotten.

Over Easy: Monday Science

By: BoxTurtle

Venus, as seen by radar

Greetings!

Fukushima Update:

Another scientist moves off the reservation: We must do radiation testing of people outside Fukushima prefecture.   Government official: “I don’t want to discuss the issue.” They then proceed to “analyze” the data based on their intentionally flawed methodology, which has the effect of wildly underestimating the actual impact. Though in their defense, we really don’t know what the impact of this kind of radiation exposure is. But we will.

While officially there is little impact to people, Bad things are happening to our close relatives. Monkey blood in the area is showing abnormalities that could lead to plagues amongst them.

The ice wall ain’t gonna help much, just delay the day of reckoning. And I can make the case that the wall will actually make things worse by reducing cooling to the melts and/or turning the entire worksite into a swamp of radioactive water. Speculate on what the ground inside the wall will do when saturated.

Still, TEPCO seems determined that the laws of physics will not apply when they conflict with the press releases. They seem to think that they can order water to freeze at 5 degrees C.

The JG would really like to restart their NPPs, despite citizen opposition. In hopes of restarting Sendai, they are giving iodine tablets to the local residents. Two each. Which is about a half days supply in the event of an accident.

Since Fukushima, Westinghouse has developed a SFP monitoring system that keeps an eye on water level and temperature and has installed the first one at Watts-Barr in Tennessee. This is good, but it DOES raise the question of why it wasn’t done sooner.

But US Nuclear Energy is safe! This story will tell you what the Nuke industry would like you to believe. Please. Be sure to note that the source of this story is the Nuclear Energy Institute.

There is not a lot of news about WIPP that we don’t already know, but here’s something. I do not put much stock in a criticality event. For that to occur, there would have to be at least 11lbs of weapons grade Pu in the barrel. But that 11lbs assumes a perfect sphere of weapons grade metal. IMO you’d need a LOT more Pu in a barrel to have any chance of starting something.

Now this is scary and stupid all at once. A very simple design flaw that could have had catastrophic consequences. I’m torn between blaming this one of having people design radioactive waste storage who do not understand radiation and radioactives and blaming it on administrators pretending that the radiation will never leak. H/T bgrothus.

We polluted the South Pole before we even got there!

The space station is getting a new clock. It’s a pretty special clock, accurate to 1 second every 300 million years and will enable them to prove/disprove some of Einsteins theories.

Can we terraform Venus? Should we?

We made a sponge that will turn solar energy into steam at 85% efficiency. Somebody explain to me again why we need nukes.

Boxturtle (Trouble is trying to earn getting declawed. On my workbench, with pliers)