Below are Ring of Fire’s top stories from the past week.
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz is known for her rabid, often overdone, aggression toward defendants. Of recent infamy for her overzealous treatment of the would-be prosecution of Reddit co-founder and suspected hacker Aaron Swartz, who was found hanging dead in his Brooklyn apartment earlier this year.
Anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism have become almost epidemic in America. In fact, a talented writer by the name of Susan Jacoby wrote an important book several years ago titled The Age of American Unreason. The only hesitation anyone should have about reading that book is that it is pretty scary stuff.
A new report asserts that the use of the dispersant Corexit during cleanup efforts after the BP oil spill in 2010 caused more damage to human health and the environment than did the spill itself. The report, Deadly Dispersants in the Gulf, is a collaborative investigation of the health effects of dispersant on humans and ecosystems by the Government Accountability Project (GAP) and the non-profit Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN).
Undocumented immigrants are facing new means of deportation, as an increasing number of hospitals across the nation are adopting “medical repatriation”, a process that allows U.S. hospitals to deport an unconscious patient without their consent should they come up as an undocumented immigrant. The process is controversial, and immigrant advocates argue that it could be violating U.S. and international laws by targeting an immigrant while he or she is rendered helpless.
Americans are drawn to products that promise health, beauty, status, and vitality. Flashy packaging and punchy names such as “Monster’, “Rockstar”,“Full Throttle”, and “Jack3d”, promise to deliver a burst of energy to even the most fatigued while providing healthful benefits or significant weight loss. What consumers don’t know is how dangerous a particular ingredient found in these products can be to the body in large quantities. With the recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning against dimethylamylamine (DMAA), an ingredient found in several energy drinks and dietary supplements, the dangers of these products are finally being exposed and manufacturers are being scrutinized for supposedly putting profit over consumer safety.