Baltimore Maryland Lottery Winner Tom Kreft Tricks Media Into Reporting He Won Mega Millions


(Thomas Dishaw) Tom Kreft an aspiring film producer tricks media into reporting that he won the Mega Millions jackpot.

Just a day short of April Fools day  Kreft plays one of the biggest media hoax of 2012. After hearing the winner was from Baltimore County Maryland, Kreft decided to put his Photoshop skills to work and create a winning ticket.tom kreft wins mega millions

First posting the story to Facebook  Kreft received feedback that  the story was a hoax. “They didn’t believe me so I put my picture with the ticket and the power of social media picked it up” Kreft explained. “A friend of a friend who knows an employee at  the Wall Street Journal put it on Twitter, after that it took off like wildfire. My parents were woken by a  reporter at 6 am wanting to talk to me.” said Kreft.

“This is just a further proof you should not trust Twitter as a reliable news source. 140 characters or less is not a news story” Kreft explained.  The London Guardian and The Miami Herald also reported Kreft as the winner.

 

 

Starbucks Admits To Using Beetle Extract In Popular Drink Coloring




(NaturalNews) For being a multinational corporate food and beverage giant, Starbucks has actually been among the most proactive in ridding its offerings of toxic additives and artificial colors, and switching to natural alternatives. But the company’s recent decision to change its Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino blended beverage formula has the vegan community in an uproar, as ground-up beetles now constitute part of the drink’s natural coloring components.

According to reports, Starbucks switched its formula back in January, replacing a formerly-vegan coloring agent with the beetle-derived agent. And a vegan Starbucks barista reportedly captured a photo of the beverage’s ingredients list recently, which is not posted on the Starbucks corporate website, and sent it toThisDishIsVegetarian.com, a vegan news blog devoted to animal rights issues.

You can view a picture of the Strawberries & Creme Frappuccino ingredients list at:http://www.thisdishisvegetarian.com

The ingredient in question is cochineal extract, which is made from the ground-up bodies of cochineal beetles. This primarily South American and Mexican insect naturally produces a substance known as carminic acid that can be extracted, mixed with either aluminum or calcium salts, and turned into carmine dye.


Even though carmine extract is technically considered to be natural, the U.S.Food and Drug Administration(FDA) ruled that the additive must be properly labeled on foods, a mandate that went into effect in early 2011. Prior to that ruling, cochineal extract and other bug-derived additives had to be labeled as either “artificial colors” or “color added,” according to theChicago Sun-Times.

 

Vegans have long enjoyed Strawberries & Creme Frappuccinos precisely because they have always contained only vegan ingredients, which is why there is currently a groundswell of customer backlash. Starbucks says it made the switch as part of ongoing efforts to make its food and beverages healthier, but in the process, it failed to properly disclose this information to the public.

Daelyn Fortney, co-founder ofThisDishIsVegetarian.com, is now pushing for Starbucks to revert back to vegan natural colorings like red beet, black carrots, or purple sweet potatoes, which are commonly used to create red colors in natural foods. Going one step further than this, Michael Jacobson, Executive Director of theCenter for Science in the Public Interest(CSPI), says Starbucks should just use strawberries to color its strawberry beverages.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.suntimes.com

http://www.cnn.com/video/?hpt=hp_c3

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Biden: “We Want To Create A Global Minimum Tax”

(Real Clear Politics)  “For years, American manufacturers have faced one of the highest tax rates in the world. We want to reduce that by over 20%. We want to drop the rate, particularly, for high-tech manufacturers like you, Mr. President, even further than the 20%,” Vice President Joe Biden said at a manufacturing plant in Davenport, Iowa this week.

“We want to create (what’s called) a global minimum tax, because American taxpayers shouldn’t be providing a larger subsidy for investing abroad than investing at home,” Biden said at a campaign event.

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Canada Kills The Penny

(Ottawa)  There may still be pennies from heaven, but they won’t be coming from the mint much longer.

The humble one-cent piece is set to disappear from Canadian pockets, a victim of inflation.

Thursday’s federal budget said the Royal Canadian Mint will strike the last of the little coins this fall.

The budget says the cost of minting a penny has risen to 1.6 cents or $11 million a year. Its purchasing power has fallen to a 20th of its original value.

“Some Canadians consider the penny more of a nuisance than a useful coin,” the budget documents said.


And so the coin will go the way of the old 25-cent shinplaster.

“The penny is a currency without any currency in Canada,” Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said at a news conference.

It’s nothing but a nuisance for business, he added.

Pennies will still be legal tender, but as they slowly vanish from circulation, prices will have to be rounded up or down.

If the customer has the pennies, they can use them. Payments with debit or credit cards or cheques can also be to the penny. But if the customer is paying cash and doesn’t have the pennies, the total will go up or down to the nearest nickel. For example, $1.02 will become $1 and $1.03 will be $1.05.

The budget said experience in other countries that have dropped low-denomination coins suggests that rounding will be fair and there will be no impact on inflation.

As for those jars, boxes and bags of pennies sitting in countless drawers across the country, the government suggests people donate them to charities.

The penny has been under fire for years. New Democrat MP Pat Martin has introduced private member’s bills over the years to kill it.

The disappearing penny will likely have little economic impact, but it may require some cultural adjustments.

Penny candy? A relic of the past. The penny arcade? Already gone.

And some old adages will likely fade away, too.

What are people going to pinch?

Will thoughts now cost a nickel?

See a penny? Leave it.

Penny-wise? Just foolish.

Take care of the nickels and the dollars will take care of themselves?

A penny saved is … not much.

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Controversial Pesticide Linked To Bee Collapse

(Brandon Keim)  A controversial type of pesticide linked to declining global bee populations appears to scramble bees’ sense of direction, making it hard for them to find home. Starved of foragers and the pollen they carry, colonies produce fewer queens, and eventually collapse.

The phenomenon is described in two new studies published March 29 in Science. While they don’t conclusively explain global bee declines, which almost certainly involve a combination of factors, they establish neonicotinoids as a prime suspect.

“It’s pretty damning,” said David Goulson, a bee biologist at Scotland’s University of Stirling. “It’s clear evidence that they’re likely to be having an effect on both honeybees and bumblebees.”


 

Neonicotinoids emerged in the mid-1990s as a relatively less-toxic alternative to human-damaging pesticides. They soon became wildly popular, and were the fastest-growing class of pesticides in modern history. Their effects on non-pest insects, however, were unknown.

In the mid-2000s, beekeepers in the United States and elsewhere started to report sharp and inexplicable declines in honeybee populations. Researchers called the phenomenon colony collapse disorder. It was also found in bumblebees, and in some regions now threatens to extirpate bees altogether.

Many possible causes were suggested, from viruses and mites to industrial beekeeping practices and climate change. Pesticides, in particular neonicotinoids, also came under scrutiny.

Leaked internal reports by the Environmental Protection Agency showed that industry-run studies used to demonstrate some neonicotinoids’ environmental safety were shoddy and unreliable. Other researchers found signs that neonicotinoids, while they didn’t kill bees outright, affected their ability to learn and navigate.

 

‘Anything that makes bees even a little bit worse at navigating or learning could be a disaster.’

Those results came from laboratory situations, with no guarantee of real-world applicability, but they were troubling.

 

“Bees’ ability to navigate is very important. When they leave their nest, they fly miles to gather food. Anything that makes them even a little bit worse at navigating or learning could be a disaster in those circumstances,” said Goulson. “The research suggested effects on their learning ability, but it was all done in confined situations. What we and the French group did is something more natural.”

In the first study, led by biologist Mickaël Henry of INRA, a French agricultural research institute, free-roaming honeybees were tagged with RFID chips that allowed researchers to track their movements. When dosed with a neonicotinoid, bees were more than twice as likely as non-dosed controls to die outside their hives. They seemed to get lost.

When the researchers added their results to computer simulations of honeybee dynamics, the model populations crashed.

Penn State entomologist James Frazier, who was not involved in the study, called it “the best study to date” on neonicotinoids’ real-world effects on foraging.”

The result dovetailed with the findings of Goulson’s group, who exposed developing bumblebees to varying neonicotinoid levels and set them loose to forage in an enclosed field. Measured after six weeks of growth, pesticide-dosed colonies were stunted, weighing about 10 percent less and producing 85 percent fewer queens.

“Nests have annual cycles. They start with a single queen, and the nest grows through the season. If it doesn’t get big enough, it doesn’t have the resources to pour into rearing queens,” Goulson said. “The French study shows that exposure to neonicotinoids make honeybees less likely to find their nest. That’s likely the mechanism that led to our nests growing more slowly.”

However, biologist Jerry Bromenshenk of the University of Montana was critical of the results. Goulson’s results were interesting but the researchers weren’t careful enough in verifying the doses given to their bees, and Henry’s group administered an unrealistically high dose, said Bromenshenk.

The latter’s dosing “is not what I would consider to be a field-relevant, low dose,” wrote Bromenshenk in an email, citing another recent study that used RFIDs to track bees given what he considers a more realistic dose. “At truly field representative, sublethal doses — no effect,” Bromenshenk wrote.

A comparison of bee queen production in colonies treated (middle, right) and untreated (left) with a neonicotinoid pesticide. Image: Whitehorn et al./Science

Both Goulson and Mace Vaughn, pollinator program director at the Xerces Society, an invertebrate conservation group, said neonicotinoids won’t be the only cause of colony collapse disorder.

“If it was as simple as that, the answer would have been discovered a long time ago,” said Goulson. “I’m sure it’s a combination of things. I’m sure that disease is a part of it, and maybe the two interact.” He noted a study in which honeybees exposed to neonicotinoids were especially vulnerable to a common bee parasite. Another study found that neonicotinoids dramatically increase the toxicity of fungicides.

Vaughn raised the issue of industrial-scale beekeeping practices, which have also been linked to bee declines. “We’ve potentially created a situation where behavioral impacts, compounded with a lack of genetic diversity and the food they eat, results in something like colony collapse disorder,” he said.

“My only caution is that farmers use neonicotinoids for a reason,” said Goulson. “If they were banned, farmers would have to use something else. The question is, what would that be? Would it be better? Would it also have harmful effects?”

While it’s unlikely that neonicotinoids will be banned outright in the United States, where they’re now used on more than 100 million crop acres and an unknown area of home gardens and urban vegetation, Vaughn said they could be used differently.

“I would call for a ban on their use without a demonstrated pest threat. If you have corn rootworm, and need to address that, then use neonicotinoid-coated seeds,” he said. “But if it’s a vague threat that you haven’t identified, you shouldn’t be using them. Maybe it makes you a few bucks, and certainly makes the seed companies a lot of money, but it’s potentially killing bees across the country.”

Heather Pilatic of the Pesticide Action Network recommended a return to pest management strategies used widely through the 1990s, when the rise of pesticide-treated seeds and genetically modified crops allowed farmers to change their growing strategies.

“When you plant the same crop, year after year, you’re creating the conditions for a pest infestation,” Pilatic said. “In the mid-1990s, we were doing a really good job of pest management with corn in particular. With the introduction of treated seeds, and in particular of genetically engineered corn, it all unraveled. But we know how to do it. We were doing it 20 years ago.”

Penn State’s Frazier said that the Environmental Protection Agency, which recently received a 1.25 million-signature-strong petition to ban neonicotinoids, is slowly becoming better at risk assessment, though the agency is still heavily influenced by chemical companies and opaque in its workings.

The fundamental problem isn’t neonicotinoids, but our society’s relationship to chemicals, said Frazier. “We’re making ourselves the guinea pigs,” he said. “I don’t think that’s what a rational society should be doing.”

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Department Of Homeland Security Is Buying 450 Million Rounds Of Bullets

(Eloise Lee)  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office is getting an “indefinite delivery” of an “indefinite quantity” of .40 caliber ammunition from defense contractor ATK.

U.S. agents will receive a maximum of 450 million rounds over five years, according to a press release on the deal.


The high performance HST bullets are designed for law enforcement and ATK says they offer “optimum penetration for terminal performance.”

This refers to the the bullet’s hollow-point tip that passes through barriers and expands for a bigger impact without the rest of the bullet getting warped out of shape: “this bullet holds its jacket in the toughest conditions.”

We’ve also learned that the Department has an open bid for a stockpile of rifle ammo. Listed on the federal business opportunities network, they’re looking for up to 175 million rounds of .223 caliber ammo to be exact. The .223 is almost exactly the same round used by NATO forces, the 5.56 x 45mm.

The deadline for earlier this month was extended because the right contractor just hadn’t come along.

Looks like the Department of Homeland Security means business.

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Displaced C.I.A. Spy Uses Twitter To Blast Agency

(Eli Lake0)  The Twitter feed belonging to Lynnae Williams at first glance looks like most Twitter feeds. There are tweets about what she is reading (“Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” “Madame Bovary”); tweets about politics (leans towards the Occupy movement); and tweets about food (tuna casserole, carrot-cake muffins).

But on closer inspection, the feed features something rare for Twitter and even the Internet: detailed disclosures about the CIA. On Tuesday for example, Williams tweeted, “The #Farm is #CIA’s training center near #Williamsburg, Virginia. I think it’s the Kisevalter Center or something.”

In other tweets, Williams, who in 2009 spent nearly four months training to be a CIA spy, details her own experiences with CIA case officers, psychiatrists and the special security division of the agency that serves as the CIA’s police force. In short, Lynnae Williams since late February has been disclosing details of her brief CIA career in 140 characters or less.


 

I caught up with the 35-year-old would-be spy on Wednesday at the Washington mission for the Palestine Liberation Organization. She was interviewing for a job there in government and press relations. “The interview went well,” she said, even though “I don’t have substantial knowledge in the area. I don’t speak the language.” Williams, who does speak Japanese, added, “I don’t know enough about the [Arab-Israeli] conflict, but I hope they resolve it.”

Williams says she began tweeting because she wanted an outlet to tell the world about her disputes with the CIA and what she calls a pattern of corruption at the agency. She also publishes a blog called CIA corrupt. “I wanted to start the Twitter account with my blog to get out my message,” she says.

A spokesman for the CIA declined to comment for this story. Another U.S. intelligence officer, who was not authorized to speak to the press, told The Daily Beast that the agency is aware of the Twitter feed and that Williams is a hot topic on classified social networking, such as the classified intelligence community version of Facebook known as A-Space. Williams has disclosed her official medical records on her blog and other personal documents related to her time in the intelligence community.

 

Lynnae Williams
Lynnae Williams. , Eli Lake

 

 

Williams’s main grievance with the agency revolves around her termination. Williams says that as a trainee in the agency’s national clandestine service, she was sent to Dominion Hospital, a public mental-health facility in northern Virginia. Williams referred to the hospital in the interview and her Twitter feed as the CIA’s “psychological prison.” She said the place had white walls and inedible food, and that doctors there urged her to take Risperdal, a drug commonly prescribed to schizophrenics and Lithium, a drug prescribed to manic depressives.

Williams says she refused and eventually her parents drove up from Atlanta and discharged her. “They wanted to keep me for observation,” she said. “It’s not a nice place, it’s dilapidated. It’s called a hospital, but it’s a prison, you can’t get out unless they let you out.”

All told, by Williams’s account, she spent one night at Dominion Hospital in 2009 and then another five days in the hospital’s outpatient program.

Williams say she first applied to work at the CIA in 2006, while she was earning her masters degree at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. She landed a job instead at the Defense Intelligence Agency as an analyst. At first, Williams says, she worked on counter-terrorism projects, then on studies of China’s leadership. In 2007, she says, she was shipped out to a clandestine facility in Iraq, where she worked as an Arabian Peninsula analyst.

In July 2009, Williams says she was transferred to the CIA’s national clandestine service training program, where she took the “field tradecraft course.” Williams says her life changed permanently on Oct. 27, 2009 when a colleague reported her to CIA security for what she says was “bizarre and inappropriate behavior,” such as looking on classified computers for information about herself and telling colleagues that she was being followed.  She had a meeting with a CIA psychiatrist that day, who ordered her to take a medical exam, with urine samples, and inquired about her self-acknowledged attention deficit disorder. “She asked me about my family’s mental health history,” Williams says of the CIA psychiatrist. “My aunt has schizophrenia, I did not tell her that.” Later that evening, Williams had an auto accident and says she was cited by Washington, D.C. police for leaving the scene. After that, Williams says, the CIA ordered her to Dominion Hospital.

Since her time there, Williams has been fighting a largely losing battle with the agency. In 2010, she says, her security clearance was suspended and the agency stopped paying her salary. She is pursuing legal redress against the CIA for wrongful termination, but her odds don’t look good. On Wednesday, Williams posted on Twitter a response from the American Civil Liberties Union declining to take up her case.

Mark Zaid, a national security attorney who regularly represents intelligence officers in legal actions against the U.S. intelligence community, said, “Based on the current state of the law, unfortunately the judiciary will not adjudicate adverse clearance decisions, no matter how abusive, incorrect or absurd they may have been.”

Zaid says that medical issues at the CIA can at times “be used as weapons,” adding “I have had CIA clients sent to alcohol and drug treatment. The agency has spent thousands of dollars for people to get treatment and then they fire them, which doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Without a security clearance, Williams will not likely be able to find employment with intelligence contractors, as many retired intelligence officers do. Nonetheless, she says she will continue to apply for jobs in foreign affairs. She also intends to continue tweeting. “I did not think of myself as a whistle blower.” But on further reflection, Williams acknowledges, “I suppose it would be an appropriate term.”

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‘KillZimmerman’ Twitter Advocates Violence Against Martin’s Killer

(David Martosko)  On March 24 a “KillZimmerman” Twitter account began publishing calls for violence against George Zimmerman, the self-appointed neighborhood watch captain who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26.

Five days later, the account is still on its crusade to avenge Martin.

The sender’s initial tweets made his or her aims clear: “No Justice No Peace!!!!!!!!!! #KILLZIMMERMAN #KILLZIMMERMAN #KILLZIMMERMAN,” they read.

The account’s image is a photo of gun-sight crosshairs superimposed on Zimmerman’s picture.

“This Page Is 4 Da Ppl Who Believe Zimmerman Should Be Shot Dead In The Street,” the Twitter account’s description reads, “The Same Way TRAYVON Was. No Justice No Peace.”

In response to one tweeted complaint on March 24 that the account “is advocating murder,” the account holder replied: “we should just all get up and #killzimmerman ourselves; fuck the system. #AintNoJustice”

“I Think They Should Shoot Zimmerman Dead In His Head Jail Ain’t Enough,” read another message the same day.

“Don’t get me wrong I would be happy if he go to jail,” another tweet read, “but I rather see a bitch shoot him in his fuckin face.”

On March 27, the account tweeted: “Leave All The Violence Shit To Us Coz If They Don’t Put Em In Jail We Gone Get His Ass.”

“We don’t comment on specific users or the status of accounts for privacy reasons,” Twitter spokesperson Rachael Horwitz told The Daily Caller. She did not indicate whether Twitter intends to take action to suspend the account, but provided TheDC with a Web address where users can report “an abusive user.”


It’s clear from the account’s tweets on Wednesday that some Twitter users are taking advantage of that option.

“All these racist motherfuckers tryin to get me deleted like I did something wrong,” one tweet read. “Bitch zimmerman killed #TRAYVON he the one wrong.”

Calls for violence directed at Trayvon Martin’s killer are not restricted to Twitter alone.

The New Black Panther Party has issued a “dead or alive” bounty for Zimmerman’s capture. Its value was originally $10,000. On Wednesday that amount was increased dramatically — to $1 million.

On Facebook, groups named “I want George Zimmerman dead,” “Kill George Zimmerman bitch azz,” “Kill Zimmerman” and “Kill George Zimmerman” have appeared, some with approximately 100 members.

The “Kill Zimmerman” Twitter profile had 162 followers at 1 p.m. EDT Thursday, a number likely to increase because The Drudge Report posted a link to the page.

George Zimmerman remains in hiding from vigilante threats. Absent a fringe element calling for retaliatory violence, the vast majority of Martin’s supporters seek only Zimmerman’s arrest and prosecution

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Police Can Hack Your Phone In 2 Minutes

(Andy Greenberg)  Set your iPhone to require a four-digit passcode, and it may keep your private information safe from the prying eyes of the taxi driver whose cab you forget it in. But if law enforcement is determined to see the data you’ve stored on your smartphone, those four digits will slow down the process of accessing it by less than two minutes.

Here’s a video posted last week by Micro Systemation, a Stockholm, Sweden-based firm that sells law enforcement and military customers the tools to access the devices of criminal suspects or military detainees and siphon off their personal information.

As the video shows, a Micro Systemation application the firm calls XRY can quickly crack an iOS or Android phone’s passcode, dump its data to a PC, decrypt it, and display information like the user’s GPS location, files, call logs, contacts, messages, even a log of its keystrokes.

Mike Dickinson, the firm’s marketing director and the voice in the videos, says that the company sells products capable of accessing passcode-protected iOS and Android devices in over 60 countries. It supplies 98% of the U.K.’s police departments, for instance, as well as many American police departments and the FBI. Its largest single customer is the U.S. military.  ”When people aren’t wearing uniforms, looking at mobile phones to identify people is quite helpful,” Dickinson says by way of explanation.


With smartphone adoption rocketing around the world, Dickinson says Micro Systemation’s “business is booming.” The small company has grown close to 25% in revenue year-over-year, earned $18 million in revenue in 2010 up from $12 million the year before, and doubled its employees since 2009.

“It’s a massive boom industry, the growth in evidence from mobile phones,” says Dickinson. “After twenty years or so, people understand they shouldn’t do naughty things on their personal computers, but they still don’t understand that about phones. From an evidential point of view, it’s of tremendous value.”

“If they’ve done something wrong,” he adds.

 

XRY works much like the jailbreak hacks that allow users to remove the installation restrictions on their devices, Dickinson says, though he wouldn’t say much about the exact security vulnerability that XRY exploits to gain access to the iPhone. He claims that the company doesn’t use backdoor vulnerabilities in the devices created by the manufacturer, but rather seeks out security flaws in the phone’s software just as jailbreakers do, one reason why half the company’s 75 employees are devoted to research and development. “Every week a new phone comes out with a different operating sytems and we have to reverse engineer them,” he says. “We’re constantly chasing the market.”

After bypassing the iPhone’s security restrictions to run its code on the phone, the tool “brute forces” the phone’s password, guessing every possible combination of numbers to find the correct code, as Dickinson describes it. In the video above, the process takes seconds. (Although admittedly, the phone’s example passcode is “0000″, about the most easily-guessed password possible.)

Dicksinson acknowledges that users who set longer passcodes for devices can in fact make the devices far tougher to crack. “The more complex the password, the longer and harder it’s going to be to access the phone,” he says. “In some cases, it takes so long to brute force that it’s not worth doing it.” That may have been the situation, for instance, in one recent case involving the phone of Dante Dears, a paroled convict accused of running a prostitution ring known as “Pimping Hoes Daily” from his Android phone; The FBI, apparently unable or unwilling to crack the phone, asked Google to help in accessing it.

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Scientists Suggest That Eating Placenta Is Good For You

(Jamie Condliffe)  The entire animal kingdom does it, but most humans become squeamish and pull their faces at the very notion. But now, scientists are suggesting that mothers—and perhaps even fathers—would benefit from eating parts of the placenta following child birth. Yum.


A team of researchers from the University at Buffalo has been studying afterbirth ingestion in other species to work out why they do it—and why it might be beneficial for humans. They point out that eating the placenta provokes an increase in mother-child interaction, promotes hormone release that stimulates caring instincts, attenuates pain—in both sexes— and even increases the possibilities for future fertilization.

Mark Kristal, one of researchers, intends to conduct a full-blown trial to investigate the positive effects of eating afterbirth. Don’t worry, though—the results might mean we can get around the need to eat the stuff. “The outcome of such a quest need not be an exhortation for women to eat afterbirth, but for scientists to isolate and identify the molecule or molecules that produce the beneficial effect and use it to design pharmacological tools,” Kristal explained to EurekAlert!.

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Leaving Your Apartment To Take Out The Trash May Get You Arrested In N.Y.

(Andrew Jones)  The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) filed a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department (NYPD) Wednesday, alleging that in addition to stopping primarily black and Latino residents in public spaces as part of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program, officers are illegally searching people in private buildings.

According to a press release, the NYCLU filed the lawsuit on behalf of residents whose buildings are apart of “Operation Clean Halls,” an agreement by the NYPD and a landlord that grants officers permission to patrol inside a building at any time.


NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman cited how minorities have been largely affected by the NYPD’s program.

“Operation Clean Halls has placed hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, mostly black and Latino, under siege in their own homes,” Lieberman said. “For residents of Clean Halls buildings, taking the garbage out or checking the mail can result in being thrown against the wall and humiliated by police.”

“Untold numbers of people have been wrongly arrested for trespassing because they had the audacity to leave their apartments without IDs or visit friends and family who live in Clean Halls buildings. This aggressive assault on people’s constitutional rights must be stopped.”

The NYCLU is seeking an injunction that would require the NYPD to stop asking people for their ID’s in the Clean Halls building, as well as to stop arresting people for trespassing without establishing whether or not the person is authorized to be there.

The NYPD’s “Operation Clean Halls” has been in effect in some form since 1991 and is currently used in thousands of buildings across the city, including at least 3,895 buildings in Manhattan.

Between 2006 to 2010, the NYPD made 329,446 stops on suspicion of trespassing, representing more than 12 percent of all stops.

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George Zimmerman, Son Of A Retired Judge, Has 3 Closed Arrests

(Rolling Out)That’s the question that’s being asked now that more information on Trayvon Martin’s 28-year-old killer is being revealed. Robert Zimmerman, a former Orange County magistrate judge, recently wrote a letter to The Orlando Sentinel defending his son, who’s been dragged through the mud for shooting the unarmed 17-year-old last month. In the letter, the senior Zimmerman asks people not to jump to conclusions and insists that his son didn’t follow the young boy home as he walked through their gated community.


“He would be the last to discriminate for any reason whatsoever. The media portrayal of George as a racist could not be further from the truth. At no time did George follow or confront Mr. Martin. When the true details of the event became public, and I hope that will be soon, everyone should be outraged by the treatment of George Zimmerman in the media,” wrote Robert Zimmerman.

Now more info is being dug up on his “victimized” son through public records and revealing his checkered past.

According to a records search on George, he was previously arrested for domestic violence, resisting an officer without violence and most shockingly, resisting an officer with violence — a  felony charge that surely could have landed him in prison.

All three of those arrests, however, were mysteriously closed with no semblance of charges for the Florida resident.

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FBI Taught Agents They Could Bend Or Suspend The Law

(Spencer Ackerman)  The FBI taught its agents that they could sometimes “bend or suspend the law” in their hunt for terrorists and criminals. Other FBI instructional material, discovered during a months-long review of FBI counterterrorism training, warned agents against shaking hands with “Asians” and said Arabs were prone to “Jekyll & Hyde temper tantrums.”

These are just some of the disturbing results of the FBI’s six-month review into how the Bureau trained its counterterrorism agents. That review, now complete, did not result in a single disciplinary action for any instructor. Nor did it mandate the retraining of any FBI agent exposed to what the Bureau concedes was inappropriate material. Nor did it look at any intelligence reports that might have been influenced by the training. All that has a powerful senator saying that the review represents a “failure to adequately address” the problem.


“This is not an effective way to protect the United States,” Sen. Richard Durbin, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee overseeing the FBI, tells Danger Room about the inappropriate FBI counterterrorism training. “It’s stunning that these things could be said to members of our FBI in training. It will not make them more effective in their work and won’t make America safer.”

At the least, Durbin adds, “those responsible for some of the worst parts of this should be reassigned. I want FBI agents who were exposed to some of these comments to at least have a chance to be spoken to and given valid, positive information that can help them.”

One FBI PowerPoint — disclosed in a letter Durbin sent to FBI Director Robert Mueller on Tuesday (.PDF) and shared with Danger Room — stated: “Under certain circumstances, the FBI has the ability to bend or suspend the law to impinge on the freedom of others.” An incredulous Durbin told Danger Room, “Time and time again when that is done, it has not made us safer.” Like other excerpts from FBI documents Danger Room reviewed for this story, it was not dated and did not include additional context explaining what those “circumstances” might be.

FBI spokesman Christopher Allen did not dispute the documents’ authenticity. He said he would not share the full documents with Danger Room, and was “unable to provide” additional information about their context, including any indication of how many FBI agents were exposed to them.

“Of the approximately 160,000 pages of training material reviewed, less than one percent contained factually inaccurate or imprecise information or used stereotypes,” Allen told Danger Room. “But mistakes were made, and we are correcting those mistakes. Through this review process, we recognized that we lacked a centralized process to ensure all training materials were reviewed and validated. We are addressing that gap so this does not happen again.”

 

The FBI’s counterterrorism training review was prompted by a Danger Room series revealing the Bureau taught agents that “mainstream” Muslims were “violent“; that Islam made its followers want to commit “genocide“; and that an FBI intelligence analyst compared Islam to the Death Star from Star Wars. The review led the bureau to remove hundreds of pages of documents from its training course.

On Friday, the FBI announced the results of its internal review. After six months of internal inquiry, it released a statement instructing that “training would conform to constitutional principles” and “emphasize the protection of civil rights and civil liberties.” Written materials “must be reviewed carefully by supervisory-level personnel possessing an appropriate level of understanding of relevant topics.”

No one who prepared any of the “factually inaccurate or imprecise” instructional material faced disciplinary action. “All FBI employees who prepared inaccurate, imprecise, or stereotyped materials were interviewed,” Allen said. “It was made clear to them what was wrong with the materials and why they were not acceptable for FBI training.”

That’s left Sen. Durbin dissatisfied.

On Tuesday, Durbin wrote to FBI Director Mueller objecting to the FBI’s plans not to disclose the results of the inquiry; not to discipline those responsible for the offending documents; to exclude “FBI intelligence analyses of Islam and American Muslims” from the inquiry’s purview; and not to retrain agents who were exposed to the shoddy instructional material.

“If the FBI does not identify agents who received inaccurate information and take steps to retrain them, there is a real risk that agents will be operating on false assumptions about Arab Americans and American Muslims,” Durbin wrote to Mueller. “This could harm counterterrorism efforts by leading FBI agents to target individuals based on their religion or ethnicity, rather than suspicion of wrongdoing.”

A sample of that possibly harmful training comes from a document on “Establishing Relationships,” which instructed: “Never attempt to shake hands with an Asian. Never stare at an Asian. Never try to speak to an Arab female prior to approaching the Arab male first.”

Another document, titled “Control and Temper,” contrasted the “Western Mind” with that of the “Arab World.” The “Western” mind possessed an “even keel” and “outbursts” of emotion were “exceptional.” In the “Arab World,” by contrast, “Outburst and Loss of Control [is] Expected.” A bullet point below asked, “What’s wrong with frequent Jekyll & Hyde temper tantrums?”

Many U.S. Muslims have been under government surveillance since 9/11, even without suspicion of a crime. The FBI has created “geo-maps” of where Muslims around the U.S. congregate and do business, untethered to specific criminal investigations. The New York Police Department has performed similar surveillance on Muslim communities in New York City, as an extensive Associated Press inquiry has revealed.

Durbin said he wants to give Mueller, with whom he has a “positive working relationship,” a chance to respond to his letter before taking any further steps with the Judiciary Committee to compel additional FBI action. But he expressed surprise that the FBI could have taught its agents that “bending or suspending” the law was sometimes acceptable.

“I cannot imagine that was actually said,” Durbin said, adding that the FBI provided him no context as to what circumstances might justify acting outside the law. “It creates a license for activity that could on its face be illegal, and certainly inconsistent with our values.”

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7 Things The Obama Administration May Soon Require Everyone To Purchase

(Mike Adams)  The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments this week about Obama’s health care law, which has been challenged by twenty-six states. The crux of the legal arguments center around whether the federal government can mandate private citizens to purchase a product or service they may not even want or need. (I don’t buy health insurance, for example, because I prefer to invest in healthy eating and superfoods.)

If the Supreme Court upholds the constitutionality of Obamacare, it would mean a limitless expansion of federal government authority to dictate to Americans what they must buy — and then to financially penalize Americans who don’t buy those products or services. This is precisely the model for Obamacare, which financially punishes those who fail to buy private health insurance by fining them through the IRS.


I began to wonder: What else might the government force Americans to buy if they are granted this absurd new power by the Supreme Court? I’m sure there all sorts of things the government would want to push for its selected business buddies who profit from Obama’s new consumption mandates. So here are ten more things the Obama administration may soon require people to purchase (or else!).

#1) A Chevy Volt

Since nobody is voluntarily buying Chevy Volts, for the good of the auto industry we must all be forced to buy them! That will keep Detroit in business and create jobs for the economy. Keep America strong!

Chevy dealers will be staffed with military personnel toting M4 rifles, and those rifles will be pointed at customers to make sure they “comply” with Obama’s new economic program. Those who refuse to buy a Chevy Volt will be punished by being forced to buy a Chevy pickup.

#2) Annual flu shots

With so many people figuring out that flu shots are total medical quackery and are intentionally laced with mercury preservatives, it’s no wonder most people don’t want to buy them anymore.

Without public demand for vaccines, the vaccine industry might collapse! And that would be terrible for the fat cat CEOs who run those companies and also sit on the boards of all the other global elite corporations. The answer? Mandate annual flu shots for every person, every year! Get your flu shot, or we’ll throw you in prison and jab you there!

#3) Terrorism insurance

What? You don’t own terrorism insurance? Then how will you keep your family safe with all the countless terrorism attacks happening every day?

Coming soon: Obama’s buddies will set up a whole new insurance scam called “terrorism insurance,” and they’ll use false flag terror attacks to remind people why they need to keep buying insurance policies. All Americans will be forced into buying these terrorism insurance policies, and those who don’t will be called anti-American traitors.

What? You don’t have terrorism insurance? You must be one of those anti-government nuts who also owns gold. Yeah, that’s a sure sign of being a terrorist yourself.

#4) Pink slime

Given that nobody in the country wants to buy pink slime anymore — that’s the new term for “mechanically separated meat” that has suddenly become widely known across the ‘net (http://www.naturalnews.com/035255_pink_slime_USDA_school_lunches.html) — the government may simply force everybody to buy it!

Yep, every month you’ll have your “pink slime quota” that you must meat — er, I mean meet — by purchasing pink slime at the grocery store, filling out twelve pages of documentation describing your purchase, then mailing it off to Washington with proof your purchase to a whole new federal department called “Food Usability for All” or just “F U All” for short.

#5) Air tickets

Given that the TSA has utterly destroyed the U.S. travel economy with its illegal, perverted “hands down your pants” search and seizure protocol, Obama must mandate that everybody buy one air ticket a month, whether you need it or not.

Supporting the travel industry is patriotic, didn’t you know? And if you refuse to buy an air ticket each month, you’ll be visited by TSA agents in your own home who will conduct a crotch-and-anus search of your entire family in lieu of you actually showing up at the airport for the search. This will be called a “pre-search” for the travel you’re supposed to be taking. You can never be too safe in the war on terror, right? Now bend over…

#6) A gun – but you have to carry it into Mexico and sell it to a drug gang member

This might be called the “Eric Holder” program: Every American will be required to buy a firearm at a gun shop in a state bordering Mexico, then walk that gun across the border and deposit it into the hands of the Mexican drug gangs.

Oh, wait… that program already exists. It’s called “Fast & Furious” or “Operation Gunwalker,” and it was dreamed up by Attorney General Eric Holder to cause gun violence by having ATF operatives buy guns in America and sell them to Mexican drug gangs. (http://www.naturalnews.com/032934_ATF_illegal_firearms.html)

#7) Obama Water – with electrolytes!

Coming soon: Obama Water! It’s got electrolytes! And if you drink it, you’ll get free rent for the rest of your life.

Or should I just call it the Obama Kool-Aid?

Either way, the government will make you buy it, and you can bet it will be “enhanced” with government-approved fluoride chemicals. But they can’t actually make you drink it, so flushing always remains an option for getting rid of the stuff.

Tyrants versus entrepreneurs

The difference between tyrants and entrepreneurs is that tyrants always FORCE you to buy things, while entrepreneurs leave it up to you and your free choice.

At the same time tyrants force you to buy their products and services even if you don’t want them, they alsocriminalizeyou buying things they don’t want you to have — such as raw milk, Chinese Medicine herbs or medical marijuana.

So instead of respecting freedom and the free market, the oppressive system of economic dictatorship being practiced by governments everywhere is designed to deny people their free choice and force them to purchase monopoly-priced products that the people don’t even want.

This is how national economies are destroyed. Once government starts telling you what you can and can’t buy, the whole economy becomes distorted at first, and then paralyzed soon thereafter. That’s when governments historically bring in yet more insane economic policies such as price control which almost immediately result in a wipeout of available supplies (store shelves stripped bare).

The bottom line truth in all this is that centrally-planned economies always — ALWAYS — fail! No government, no matter how compassionate or well-meaning, can replace the individual economic decisions and behavior of hundreds of millions of people. That’s why protecting liberty is the only proper role of government. By protecting liberty (and free choice), the government allows the People to make their own decisions about products and services. Government intervention only interferes with good decision making, causing both economic loss andresentmentamong the population.

No one wants to be forced to buy something, especially if that something is supporting the drugs-and-surgery medical industry (which is heavily populated with quacks, criminals, corrupt scientists and fabricated data).

I repeat here that I will REFUSE to buy health insurance mandated by Obama or any other president. No politician has any right to tell me what I can and cannot buy as a free citizen in a (supposedly) free country. And any decision the U.S. Supreme Court renders that stands in gross violation of the Constitution and its Bill of Rights is automatically null and void from the outset. You cannot legislate against natural, God-given rights, and no government has any right whatsoever to force you to buy something you do not wish to buy.

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Cash Mobs Gather To Splurge In Locally Owned Stores

(Reuters)  Flash mobs have been blamed as a factor in looting during urban riots. But now a group of online activists is harnessing social media like Twitter and Facebook to get consumers to spend at locally owned stores in cities around the world in so-called Cash Mobs.

At the first International Cash Mob day on Saturday, wallet- toting activists gathered in as many as 200 mobs in the United States and Europe, with the aim of spending at least $20 a piece in locally owned businesses, according to the concept’s founder, Cleveland lawyer Andrew Samtoy.


“It’s my baby but I’m not a helicopter parent,” Samtoy told a crowd of more than 100 people gathered Saturday at Nature’s Bin, a grocery store that specializes in local and organic food, in Lakewood, an inner ring suburb of Cleveland.

The 32-year-old dreamed up the Cash Mob idea last year after spending time in Britain during summer riots that unleashed looting in cities including London, Manchester and Birmingham. His first Cash Mob, in Cleveland last November, brought around 40 shoppers packing in to the Visible Voice book shop, on a welcome spree in which each of them spent on average $40 within an hour-and-a-half. “We are kind of slow in November so I wasn’t going to turn it down,” said the independent book store’s owner, Dave Ferrante, who estimated he made about eight times his normal take on that day.

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Justice Roberts: Can The Government Make You Buy A Cell Phone?

(Byron Tau)  Opponents of the individual mandate provision of President Obama’s health care law contend that if the government can force you to buy health insurance, its powers of compulsion are virtually unlimited. Chief Justice John Roberts wonders what else Washington can force citizens to buy in this exchange:


 

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Well, the same, it seems to me, would be true say for the market in emergency services: police, fire, ambulance, roadside assistance, whatever. You don’t know when you’re going to need it; you’re not sure that you will. But the same is true for health care. You don’t know if you’re going to need a heart transplant or if you ever will. So there is a market there. To — in some extent, we all participate in it. So can the government require you to buy a cell phone because that would facilitate responding when you need emergency services? You can just dial 911 no matter where you are?

GENERAL VERRILLI: No, Mr. Chief Justice. think that’s different. It’s — We — I don’t think we think of that as a market. This is a market. This is market regulation. And in addition, you have a situation in this market not only where people enter involuntarily as to when they enter and won’t be able to control what they need when they enter but when they —

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: It seems to me that’s the same as in my hypothetical. You don’t know when you’re going to need police assistance. You can’t predict the extent to emergency response that you’ll need. But when you do, and the government provides it.

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Money Moves 5 Doomsayers Are Making Now

(Market Watch)  They are sentries at the stock market’s wall of worry, warning investors to prepare for another epic crash for debt-laden economies.

Yet with U.S. equity markets on a tear since early October, hitting levels not touched in several years, most of Wall Street isn’t seeing much cause for alarm.

But investors should be very afraid, the doomsayers caution.

“Hold cash, and keep it safe,” said Robert Prechter, head of market forecasting firm Elliott Wave International. “There will be another buying opportunity, probably about four years from now.”

Spain is the worry, not Portugal

Markets have been preoccupied with Portugal, but the real linchpin to the success of the euro project in the short term is Spain. Vincent Cignarella explains why on Markets Hub. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Instead, increasingly optimistic buyers have pushed the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -0.03%  above 13,000; the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP +0.28% over 3,000, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index SPX +0.01%  past 1,400.


The gains extend beyond stocks. GoldGCJ2 -0.04% may be off its September 2011 high of $1,907 an ounce, but is still in the respectable mid $1,600s, and oilCLK2 +0.03%  remains above $100 a barrel. Meanwhile, yields on both the 10-year Treasury note 10_YEAR -2.58% and the 30-year bond 30_YEAR -1.08%  are around a percentage point lower from a year ago, boosting bond values.

Also, the greenback is rising. The U.S. Dollar Index DXY +0.13% , a measure of the dollar against six other major currencies, is up sharply over the past 12 months.

It’s enough to make a confirmed pessimist downright gloomy.

After all, what’s a doomsayer to do when it seems everything — even Europe — is rallying? Do you stand your ground in cash, or join the crowd and closely eye the exit?

Party like it’s 2007

Of the five prominent market skeptics interviewed for this article, four are reluctantly going along for the ride. The consensus among this group is that the rally is not sustainable — just another big party before an even bigger hangover. They see stock prices as being artificially inflated by Federal Reserve policies of quantitative easing and low interest rates, and that to put out the fires in Europe, the European Central Bank has gotten in on the act.

But, these strategists say, while these monetary drugs are palliative to markets, they require bigger doses for progressively dwindling results and will eventually fail.

Also, they believe the market’s valuation is stretched beyond what the fundamentals justify. Government policies are encouraging leveraged institutional investors and hedge funds to go long on stocks, they maintain, while cash-flush companies buy back outstanding shares from cash-strapped individual investors.

Individual investors, not incidentally, are engulfed by debt, the doomsayers point out. As they see it, consumers struggling to unwind debt are getting squeezed by higher food and energy costs. Accordingly, they’ll have even less disposable income to sustain corporate profits, the pessimists say. And one outcome these forecasters can all agree on is that the stage is being set for a big, ugly global stock-market crash.

Five shades of gray

1. Peter Schiff

Peter Schiff, chief executive of Euro Pacific Capital, said the worst investment now is bonds, because it’s the one asset that hasn’t been crushed. The second-worst option is cash, because the Fed insists that inflation is not a threat, he said.

Peter Schiff

Schiff is known for having called the 2007 financial crisis, and has been a vocal critic of artificially low interest rates set by the Fed.

Among stocks, Schiff said he’s focusing on multinationals and exporters, areas that have some insulation to a U.S. economy that he believes is heading for a crisis.

Earlier in the month, Euro Pacific’s asset management arm launched its EP Strategic U.S. Equity Fund EPUSX +1.00% , which focuses on U.S. businesses that stand to benefit from increasing sales in overseas markets.

Schiff said the Fed can be in denial about inflation for only so long, and eventually will have to raise interest rates.

“They’ll keep [rates] low until the market forces them,” Schiff said. “It’s like trying to hide it when you’re pregnant, you can only do it for so long.”

He added: “If we get to 2014 and we don’t have a crisis, the Fed will keep rates low but at some point it won’t matter because we won’t have any money because we’ll be paying $30 for a carton of milk.”

2. Harry Dent Jr.

Harry Dent Jr., who heads research and forecasting firm HS Dent, said the recovery in the economy and markets is “artificial” in that it’s being fueled by quantitative easing measures in the U.S. and Europe.

Harry Dent

Dent notes that asset classes are rising in tandem, when normally stocks and bonds have an inverse relationship. If the economy is indeed recovering, then it shouldn’t require the Fed’s help, he said.

In fact, Dent contended, the Fed isn’t about to take the economy off life-support because that would put some $42 trillion in private U.S. debt at risk.

Dent uses demographics to inform his economic and market forecasts. He’s known for a prediction in the 1980s that Japan’s economic slowdown would last more than a decade, based on population trends, and cautions that the U.S. is setting itself up for a similar economic malaise.

Aging baby boomers are no longer fueling U.S. economic growth, he said, and younger generations can’t keep the momentum going.

“The government and most economists are in denial when the largest generation is spending less and paying down their debt,” Dent said.

If you have to be in the stock market, Dent suggests hedging stocks with the CBOE Volatility Index VIX +7.08% . The best way to play a bubble is to realize it’s a bubble and be ready to get out quickly, he said.

For the U.S. market, Dent said he expects a near-term selloff followed by a summertime rally due to another round of quantitative easing that could last until the presidential election. After that, Dent sees a market peak in 2013 or 2014 and then another crash.

3. A. Gary Shilling

Economic consultant A. Gary Shilling said stocks are vulnerable because the U.S. consumer is worn out, and that puts businesses, and the broader economy, on a weak footing.

A. Gary Shilling

Shilling has long predicted that Fed measures to stimulate the economy will fall short and believes that the global economy is in a long period of deleveraging marked by anemic growth.

“If the consumer pulls back, there’s nothing else in the economy that can sustain growth, and if the consumer retrenches we have a recession,” Shilling said.

Corporate profits are not driving earnings and stocks, Shilling said — corporate cutbacks are. Indeed, he added, U.S. businesses are in a tricky spot where they can no longer rely on cost cutting to boost the bottom line.

“U.S. businesses have been doing this since 2000 and you’ve had consumers willing to borrow to support it, but that’s not the case anymore,” he said. “We no longer have a cushion of people willing to borrow to support corporate profits.”

Now, businesses need to hire more people to increase productivity, he said. The only problem with that is that hiring slices into profits.

For stock investors, Shilling recommends a focus on companies that pay a high dividend, particularly in utilities and consumer staples. He also favors North American energy stocks with natural-gas pipeline assets.

Outside of equities, Shilling likes long-term Treasurys for their potential appreciation rather than yield, and the U.S. dollar against the euro and the yen.

4. Charles Biderman

Charles Biderman, who heads TrimTabs Investment Research, said he’s bullish on stocks given that the Fed’s cheap money is levitating prices. But, he added, at some point stocks are going to drop.

Charles Biderman

Biderman, who approaches stock prices as a function of liquidity instead of fundamental value, expects the U.S. market to slow considerably in the second half of the year, and that the Fed will try to stimulate investment with QE3.

A day will come, Biderman said, when the Fed will pull the plug on cheap money. Then he sees the Dow tumbling to financial crisis lows in the 6,000 range. For clues, watch what companies are doing with their cash, he said.

“If buybacks slow,” he said, “that would be the time to start getting out.”

Biderman manages the AdvisorShares TrimTabs Float Shrink ETF TTFS +0.92% . The top five holdings in the $8.3 million fund include mattress maker Tempur-Pedic International Inc. TPX -0.40% , industrial adhesive and coating maker Nordson Corp. NDSN +0.80% , motor home and bus manufacturer Thor Industries Inc. THO +2.75% , Home Depot Inc. HD +0.14% , and hotel chain Wyndham Worldwide Corp. WYN +0.86% . By sector, the ETF is overweight on consumer cyclical, health-care and technology stocks.

5. Robert Prechter

Robert Prechter

Elliot Wave’s Prechter is the most bearish of the five strategists. He said investors should shun every asset class that’s popular now, including stocks, commodities, precious metals and bonds.

Prechter maintains there are parallels between today’s U.S. economy and the Great Depression. This time, a deflationary spiral threatens the nation’s health.

As for stocks, Prechter said individual investors are tapped out and that most of the market activity is driven by institutional investors. The market’s rebound since 2009, he said, is a classic bear market rally.

He added: “When investors are afraid again, and when stocks are cheap again, that will be the time to buy.”

8,131,012 Is The Most Terrifying U.S. Patent Ever Issued

(John Galt)  Imagine that one day some poor sucker was acting weird because he appeared that he had too much to drink and stumbled into a city square with his briefcase in tow. In reality he was just lost and exhausted.

Imagine a computer that observes this individual via a security camera monitoring system used Artificial Intelligence to acquire and observe him.


Imagine the computer uploading photographs to the NSA database, receiving information back profiling the individual and because he was a CCW owner, the computer determined using it’s programming that this person was a threat.

Imagine the computer contacting Federal or local authorities and issuing a terror alert to apprehend this person and automatically notifying other computer security systems in the city that he is a pending threat.

Imagine the individual being picked up without cause beyond a computer alert and detained without due process under the Patriot Act.

Don’t imagine it, the above scenario is real and could happen tomorrow.

One week ago, the head of the National Security Agency strongly denied theWired magazine story by James Bamford titled “The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)“. The video of this denial is below courtesy of Wired and was designed specifically to allay the fears of an American public which is not used to the idea of having their every movement tracked and every word spoken recorded.

The shock effect of the original story and impact beyond the alternative news circuit and blogosphere lasted all of three days. However, a recent patent was issued to Behavioral Recognition Systems (BRS Labs), Number 8,131,012, should send a larger chill down your spine when tied to the massive database being constructed for the NSA. Imagine a world where security cameras record your movements and because a computer program using Artificial Intelligence is able to determine that an individual’s appearance or actions within a monitored section and law enforcement is notified because that individual appeared in a location that a computer determined was irregular.

That technology exists now and is being actively sold and deployed.

The explanation of the precursor to this was demonstrated by BRS Labs’ Isight system as explained in the video below:

The new patent, per an article (click here to read in full) in Government Security News, is described as:

The results of this work — the patented AlSight Behavioral Recognition System — accepts video streams from standard cameras, detects and tracks subjects, characterizes their appearances and properties, classifies them, learns the patterns of behavior they exhibit, remembers those patterns, recognizes behaviors that deviate from those patterns and alerts the user about those events in real time.

“These advancements would not have been possible ten or fifteen years ago because science didn’t adequately understand how the human brain models and manipulates data, and there wasn’t enough computer power to get the job done,” said Dr. Wesley Cobb, chief science officer at BRS Labs. “Now, computers are exponentially faster and we have been successful in developing a method and system for analyzing and learning behavior based on acquired streams of video frames. This was an extremely difficult technical problem to solve, and to our knowledge, no other company has been able to approximate or duplicate what we have done.”

U.S. Patent Number 8,131,012, issued to BRS Labs earlier this month, covers the invention of using artificial intelligence learning modules to recognize behavior patterns in a video stream to identify objects and events that are unusual.

Thus not only are objects and characteristic changes detected, but human behavior and activities are now interpreted by a computer using Artificial Intelligence to determine the threat level and notifying either a monitoring station or authorities if necessary. Obviously this system will be widely deployed by the Federal Government and private industry working for the defense industry initially, but as affordability is achieved via mass production and upgraded versions of the software are issued. What is terrifying is the idea that the U.S. is following in the footsteps of the United Kingdom and ultimately the defunct German Democratic Republic as a nation which spends more times observing its citizens to control their freedoms rather than to protect them.

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U.S.Trial Program Would Spy on Internet Users To Prevent Animal Abuse

(Stephen C. Webster)  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offered an unusual contract (PDF) this month, soliciting bids from private software developers for a trial program that would scour the Internet for detailed information on all animal sales, potential animal welfare abuses and other unlawful economic activities relating to animals within the U.S.

In other words, the U.S. government is preparing to spend taxpayer money to spy on Americans’ Internet use, so that it can better protect animals and ensure their handlers have paid for all the proper licenses.

The program, according to a contract publicly available on FedBizOpps.gov, would see a third party developer creating a system that scours forums, websites, usenet groups, social media — and even live chat rooms — for any information relating to sales of pets, exotic animals, animals used for exhibit, teaching, testing or other experimentation, and, particularly, any and all potentially unlicensed hose shows or auctions.

The contract was offered as a six month pilot project, and it’s not clear how much money the USDA is prepared to put up for it. They also specify: “THE SCAN SHALL BE VIA INTERNET WEB TECHNOLOGY SEARCH ENGINE TOOLS, NOT A HUMAN BEING” — although humans would still have to rifle through the information collected by whatever software is created.


It specifies the realms of its search as: “Global Domain Registrations; World Wide Web; Social Networking Web sites; Web logs (Blogs); IRC/Chat conversations; Message Boards; Public email groups and discussion forums; Usenet Data; Auctions – eBay.com and Yahoo.com Auctions.”

The USDA also appears to acknowledge at least some budgetary restraint on the project, noting that travel costs will not be covered for any contractor. Contractors will also be required to create a web-based login system for USDA employees to monitor animal rights abuses online, and compile bi-weekly reports about aggregated information.

“The report shall provide search results of US Domestic Sites where regulated animals or activities are listed by U.S. companies who are selling to US customers, and shall include any information, if available, on U.S. individuals or businesses that are purchasing these animals,” the contract stipulates.

Information on people buying and selling animals is to include names and addresses, domain registration details, the person’s Internet service provider, and even their Internet protocol (IP) address, it adds.

complicated criteria set out by the Federal Acquisition Institute stipulates that most data about the program be kept on-hand up to a year. Some information, like expense records, policies, practices, account histories and other records collected by or supporting the program, is to be saved for three to four years.

The program appears to be authorized under two specific laws: the Animal Welfare Actand the Horse Protection Act, which requires the USDA to regulate sales of “warm blood” animals and register organizations that sell or use horses. Circuses, ranches and horse auctions are most frequently targeted by regulators operating under these laws, and the Internet surveillance program appears to be a direct extension of those efforts.

“We’re glad to see that USDA is initiating a system to observe those on the Internet who conduct activities that fall under the Animal Welfare Act and Horse Protection Act,” Tracie Letterman, director of regulatory affairs for The Humane Society, told Raw Story. “With the widespread use of the Internet, it is a critical tool for the agency to catch those operating illegally or who may be harming animals protected by the law.”

Several other groups, including Friends of Animals, The Electronic Privacy Information Center, The Club for Growth and Americans for Tax Reform, had no comment on this report.

Update: While the USDA did not respond to a request for comment on this report at press time, a spokesman emailed the following passage shortly after this story’s publication:

“USDA needed an efficient way to identify individuals who are engaged in regulated activities related to the Animal Welfare Act and the Horse Protection Act. The Internet sales search engine will be an efficient way of accomplishing this task. This contract will allow USDA to identify individuals who are using the Internet to engage in the following activities: 1) selling animals that are to be used as pets; and 2) selling horses at horse shows, sales, exhibitions and auctions. During the initial six months of the contract, the vendor will monitor these sales, and then USDA will evaluate the services provided and proceed accordingly.”

The spokesman added that the program would primarily focus on people who are selling animals, and that it would be limited to information already available in the public realm.

Read the whole contract, below…

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USDA to spy on Internet for animal rights abuses

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Made from Genetically Modified Bacteria Waste, Aspartame Risks Public Health

(Andre Evans)  Aspartame is one of the most used artificial sweeteners in the food supply today. It also happens to be one of the most dangerous. Aspartame is used in thousands of products as a substitute to sugar, though consumers would actually be better off eating regular sugar. Specifically, the toxic substance is often found in diet soft drinks and various candies. You should also be aware that aspartame is even present in a number of lesser-known conventional products as well.

Millions either knowingly or unknowingly consume aspartame on a daily basis. However, if the public was aware of the various dangers aspartame poses to individual health, they would stop — or would they?


Aspartame is an addictive substance. Most people who consume diet sodas regularly soon develop a craving for it. This is because of aspartame’s addictive quality. Soon after consuming the ingredient on a normal basis, many people find themselves unable to kick the habit.

This is concerning due to the fact that aspartame has been linked to a number of diseases, can impair the immune system, and is even known to cause cancer. Aspartame has even been found to create tumors in lab rats. One study showed that of 48 rats experimented on, up to 67 percent of all female rats developed tumors roughly the size of golf balls or larger. This is glaringly in contrast to the perceived nature of what a ‘sugar free alternative’ would entail, which is generally thought to be a ‘healthy’ substitute to sugar.

Aspartame works as an excitotoxin, stimulating a response in cells to simulate the effects of sweetness without actually being sweet. Over exertion of these cells leads to the various health conditions that currently wreak havoc on the public.

Excitotoxins have been found to stimulate cancer growth and metastasis. Aspartame, essentially, feeds cancer cells. If this weren’t enough to convince you to drop the diet soda habit, the process by which aspartame is made involves a highly toxic and volatile and genetically engineered form of bacteria waste — hardly something that would be considered safe by a reasonable standard.

And yet, the ‘safe and reasonable’ FDA has approved aspartame for use. Knowing the gamut of health risks that aspartame is responsible for, and knowing the history of FDA approved products, your health becomes your own responsibility. Being aware of its presence in over 6,000 products and counting is essential.

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Michigan D.N.R. Plans To Kill Pigs Based On Their Color

(NaturalNews) The state of Michigan is only days away from engaging in what can only be called true “animal genocide” — the mass murder of ranch animals based on the color of their hair. It’s all part of a shocking new “Invasive Species Order” (ISO) put in place by Michigan’sDepartment of Natural Resources(DNR). This Invasive Species Order suddenly and shockingly defines virtually all open-range pigs raised by small family farms to be illegal “invasive species,” and possession of just one of these animals is now a felony crime in Michigan, punishable by up to four years in prison.

The state has said it will “destroy” these pigs beginning in April, potentially byraiding local farms with government-issued rifles, then shooting the pig herds while arresting the members of the family and charging them with the “crime” of raising pigs with the wrong hair color. This may truly be a state-sponsored serial animal killing spree.

Reality check: You may think this story is some kind of early April Fools prank, but it isn’t. This is factually true and verifiable through the documents, videos and websites linked below. The state of Michigan seriously intends to unleash amass murder spree of pigs of the wrong colorbeginning April 1.

Yet these are the very pigs that farmers and ranchers in Michigan have been raisingfor decades. The state doesn’t seem to care about this, and there are indications thatthis ISO may have been nudged into position by the conventional pork industryas a tactic to wipe out its competition of local, specialty ranching conducted by small families and dedicated farmers who don’t work for the big pork corporations. (The Michigan Pork Grower’s Association.)

Hear the shocking interview and watch the family farm video…

I have recorded an exclusive interview withMark BakerfromBaker’s Green Acres– one of many ranching operations threatened with total destruction by state bureaucrats and this new Invasive Species Order. Listen to that interview here:
http://buzz.naturalnews.com/000025-Michigan-pigs-invasive_species.htm…

The Baker family has also recorded a video explaining their farming operation and how the state of Michigan is threatening to destroy their entire farming operation. Watch that stunning video (and spread the word about it) at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=843yH_0RMIA

Mark Baker, by the way, is a veteran of the United States Air Force. As a veteran of the U.S. armed forces, he served to protect the rights of others, yet he now finds his own rights and freedoms under assault by the state of Michigan. He told NaturalNews he is determined to protect his livelihood at all costs and to take a stand against tyranny in Michigan.

Got the wrong hair color? The state of Michigan will kill you

The state of Michigan has issued a document describing nine “traits” of what they call “feral pigs” which they claim should be destroyed on April 1.

Read the document describing those nine traits at:
http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/MDNR_DECLARATORY_RULING_2011-12…

Those traits includehaving the wrong color on the tip of the hairor evenbeing born with striped hair. The traits are written so that virtually all pigs raised by family ranchers across the state of Michigan will be targeted for destruction by the state of Michigan starting April 1. Farmers who defend their livestock may be arrested as felons and charged with multiple felony crimes by the state.


Michigan to kill all blacks

Here’s some of the language from the Michigan document describing which animals are to be destroyed. Remember: For a pig to qualify as “feral” according to state tyrants, it only has to exhibit ONE of these traits, not all of them:

1) Bristle-tip coloration: exhibit bristle tips that are lighter in color (e.g., white, cream, or buff) than the rest of the hair shaft.

2) Dark point coloration: exhibits “points” (i.e., distal portions of the snout, ears, legs, and tail) that are dark brown to black in coloration, and lack light-colored tips on the bristles.

3) Coat coloration: exhibit a number of coat coloration patterns:solid black, solid red / brown, black and white spotted, black and red / brown spotted.

4) Underfur: exhibit the presence of underfur that is lighter in color (e.g., smoke gray to brown) than the overlying dark brown to black bristles/guard hairs.

5) Juvenile coat pattern: exhibit striped coat patterns — a light grayish-tan to brown base coat, with a dark brown to black spinal stripe and three to four brown irregular longitudinal stripes with dark margins along the length of the body.

6) Skeletal appearance: Structures include skull morphology, dorsal profile, and external body measurements including tail length, head-body length, hind foot length, ear length, snout length, and shoulder height.

7) Tail structure: Straight tails.

8) Ear structure: Erect ear structure.

9) “Other characteristics not currently known to the MDNR that are identified by the scientific community.”

Did you catch that last one? So now the so-called “scientific community” can simply invent whatever trait they want and the state of Michigan will legalize the mass murder of all ranch animals displaying that trait.

The state of Michigan plans to bring guns to destroy local food, local farms

What’s clear from all this is that Michigan bureaucrats plan to bring guns and handcuffs to ranches all across Michigan, shooting their family livestock dead and ruining their farming operations. They then plan to arrest these ranchers as felons and separate them from their families, then charge them with felony crimes.

This is all being done under the mantra of “government is good! Government protects you!” It’s being pushed under the guise of protecting people from “invasive species,” yet what the Michigan bureaucrats don’t tell anyone is that now your local food producers have had their own ranch animals placed on that list!

That’s the trick here: Michigan has declaredfarm animalsto be an invasive species!

An epic battle of truth, freedom and justice is being waged in Michigan

We need your help to defend farm freedom in Michigan and across the country. Here are some actions you can take:

1) SHARE this article.

2) WATCH the video:http://youtu.be/843yH_0RMIA

3) LISTEN to the interview at:
http://buzz.naturalnews.com/000025-Michigan-pigs-invasive_species.htm…

4) SUPPORT the Farm-To-Consumer Legal Defense Fund:
www.FarmToConsumer.org

4) DONATE to help support the legal fees of the Baker family farm. Their website is atwww.BakersGreenAcres.com

5) DEMAND farm freedom in your area! No government has the right to tell us what food we can or cannot grow, eat or trade! It’s as simple as that, and any government bureaucrat, tyrant or local dictator who thinks they can trample on your God-given right to choose what kind of food you wish to produce or consume is in desperate need of having a boot shoved deeply and forcefully up their rear ends.

Give tyrants the boot! Defend local farms. Even if you don’t eat pork (I don’t), this is still a farm freedom issue worth fighting for.

Read more at:
www.farmtoconsumer.org/michigan-dnr-going-hog-wild.htm
www.BakersGreenAcres.com

Source

Nations Cocaine Supply May Be Infected With Flesh Eating Disease

(Katie Moisse) Cocaine cut with the veterinary drug levamisole could be the culprit in a flurry of flesh-eating disease in New York and Los Angeles.

The drug, used to deworm cattle, pigs and sheep, can rot the skin off noses, ears and cheeks. And over 80 percent of the country’s coke supply contains it.

“It’s probably quite a big problem, and we just don’t know yet how big a problem it really is,” said Dr. Noah Craft, a dermatologist with Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute.

In a case study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Craft describes six cocaine users recently plagued by the dark purple patches of dying flesh. And while they happened to hail from the country’s coastlines, the problem is national.


“It’s important for people to know it’s not just in New York and L.A. It’s in the cocaine supply of the entire U.S.,” Craft said.

Craft is one of several doctors across the country who have linked the rotting skin to tainted coke. The gruesome wounds surface days after a hit because of an immune reaction that attacks the blood vessels supplying the skin. Without blood, the skin starves and suffocates.

Eighty-two percent of seized cocaine contains levamisole, according to an April 2011 report by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Why dealers would stretch their stash with levamisole instead of the more traditional fillers, like baking soda, is unclear, although studies in rats suggest the drug acts on the same brain receptors as cocaine. So it might be added to enhance or extend the cocaine’s euphoric effects on the cheap.

Despite the widespread contamination, not all of the country’s cocaine users experience the flesh-rotting reaction. It appears that some are more vulnerable to the tainted cocaine’s effects.

“We don’t know who this is going to happen to,” said Dr. Lindy Fox, the University of California, San Francisco, dermatologist who first connected the gruesome lesions on cocaine users to levamisole. Similarly, some patients have more extreme reactions than others. Fox said she once saw a photo of a man whose entire body, face included, was black with dying flesh.


Once the drug is cleared from the body, the wounds do heal, leaving behind a shiny scar.

Although some people might be more vulnerable to the effects of levamisole, the drug doesn’t discriminate based on race or socioeconomic status.

“Rich or poor, black or white,” anyone who uses cocaine is at risk, Craft said.

As if rotting skin wasn’t enough, levamisole also prevents the bone marrow from producing infection-fighting white blood cells.

“It’s a little bit like having HIV,” said Craft, adding that without medical attention, the condition can be fatal. “About 10 percent of those patients will die from severe infections. They may be walking around like a time bomb.”

Source

Supplement Industry Getting Ready For A Hostile Takeover

(Bill Sardi)  After the Presidential election anticipate what amounts to terrorist attacks upon the dietary supplement industry as regulatory agencies and the news media do the bidding for big business in a predictable industry takeover now that vitamin pills are yielding greater profitability and unit sales growth than the American economy as a whole and drug patent expirations force pharmaceutical companies to search for replacements for their blockbuster drugs.

Proctor & Gamble and Pfizer, two food and drug giants, announced acquisition of two dietary supplement companies, making it clear the vitamin pill business is up for grabs now that it is growing faster than the rest of the economy. One source predicts the supplement industry will grow at the clip of 9% per year during 2011-15. For comparison, the entire US economy is in the doldrums with less than a 2% annual growth rate. This growth is attracting pariahs and predictable pressure from regulatory agencies to rid the industry of competition.


The first part of the strategy has been underway for some time – attack the industry, make false claims products are unsafe, and head off public demand. As big business buys up these supplement companies so they don’t have to pay millions or even billions of dollars for them if sales are hindered by negative publicity. So negative news is generated, unfairly claiming dietary supplements are risky for consumers.

For example, a recent NBC Dateline report, where NBC reporters dug up a 4-year-old case involving a lone derelict company that made a faulty product, was depicted as what is characteristic in the industry. It’s all part of the mud that the news media has been lobbing at the supplement companies for years now.

How big business will swallow the vitamin pill business
It should not be a surprise that big business can get news agencies to do its bidding for them. For example, Proctor & Gamble spends $1 billion a year on advertising. Pfizer spends ~$19 billion a year on marketing and promotion. Ditto for Johnson & Johnson.

These companies have clout and can rub out competition in various ways, including paying off politicians to write legislation that will just make it too difficult for small competitors to survive in the supplement industry.

The New Dietary Ingredient regulations, which the FDA plans to impose, are an example. These regulations require new and existing brands of dietary supplements to undergo costly testing to prove they are safe, even if they have been safely used in the market place for years. Thousands of dietary supplements are likely to disappear from store shelves in the near future due to this requirement.

Another recent example is Rite-Aid drugs stores which hired wellness ambassadors and placed them in white coats to promote the sales of dietary supplements. Apparently drug companies caught wind of this successful strategy that was resulting in consumers purchasing more supplements and fewer drugs. So two US Senators wrote a strong letter to Rite-Aid alleging these wellness ambassadors were wearing white coats, making it appear they are pharmacists. It’s a bogus claim and a clear interference with free trade, but nonetheless any successful strategy to sell dietary supplements instead of drugs is a target for sanctions.

Some attacks against the industry are more direct. Some retail dietary supplement outlets are being raided without justifiable cause and their products confiscated.

As the US becomes less and less of a free market and more of a fascist nation as big business buys off government overseers, the supplement industry can anticipate more pressure from unseen directions.
Big Pharma exerting its will

As a FoxNews report says: “The world’s largest producers of new drugs and medicines are facing an unprecedented time in their history as a record number of patents expire and generic drugs swoop in as more affordable alternatives.” A so-called “patent cliff” has been reached where more and more drug patents are expiring, billions of dollars of blockbuster drugs.

Americans don’t realize the freedoms they have when it comes to dietary supplements. In Europe, dietary supplements are prescription drugs. Once the supplement industry is captured by big business, anticipate legislation that will force vitamin and herbal remedies to be acquired by prescription under the false guise doctors need to monitor use. Many overseas tourists visiting America purchase thousands of dollars of dietary supplements to bring home with them. Foreigners know what it is like for dietary supplements to be restricted.

Why the public continues to take dangerous prescription drugs cannot be easily explained. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more people die from such overdoses than from all illegal drugs combined. Furthermore, accidental prescription drug deaths in the United States each year now outnumber roadway fatalities.

Compare this with the fact there was not a single death associated with a dietary supplement in 2010.

Supplement industry sometimes lives up to its reputation

This is not to say the dietary supplement industry hasn’t gone off in the wrong direction from time to time. The industry has a penchant for selling what is popular, not what works.
Take Sea Silver, a supplement that was avidly purchased by naïve consumers who were desperately searching for natural remedies for a wide array of maladies – 650 of them in all that Sea Silver’s makers said its products cured. The Federal Trade Commission put that company out of business.

Another over-hyped supplement was Coral Calcium, which was no better than a plain calcium carbonate supplement yet it was advertised as a cure-all for many maladies and widely embraced and sold within the dietary supplement industry. Many a health food store posted sidewalk signs outside their establishments saying “Coral Calcium here.” It was an embarrassing moment for the retail supplement industry. For unknown reasons, consumers are susceptible to the most bogus of health claims attached to dietary supplements.

Sleight of hand against supplements

Oftentimes the supplement industry is unfairly accused of selling ineffective products. One of the common sleights of hand is to generate studies that are inherently slanted against supplements. For example, a recent review of the effectiveness of B vitamins and vitamin E showed that randomized clinical trials do not reveal a beneficial effect in reducing cardiovascular disease in humans. But the review also showed that these studies failed to consider confounding factors, that drugs like aspirin and statin drugs reduced or abolished any possibility of observed differences in the number of heart attacks between vitamin pill users and non-users.

Whether you believe supplements are good for you or not, a continued barrage of publicity leads people to believe that supplements are not controlled by the Food and Drug Administration and have the potential to do more harm than good.

The FDA does in fact control the manufacture, labeling, and distribution of supplements. Manufacturers of dietary supplements are subject to legal liability if their products are impure, improperly labeled, result in side effects when properly used or when false or unsubstantiated advertising claims are made. And why is it that the unregulated supplements have a better safety record than the FDA-approved drugs?
You can fool the people only some of the time

You can only fool some of the people some of the time. There is scientific evidence that substantiates the widespread use of supplements that cannot be easily refuted.

The most remarkable is vitamin D, a long overlooked sun-produced hormone/vitamin that is producing striking health benefits, including declines in the risk for cancer and diabetes, as well as a reduction in overall mortality. Vitamin D pills are a 10-cent cure for what ails most people, from the winter blues to osteoporosis and the common cold.

When noted New York Times health reporter Jane E Brody gives vitamin D her blessing (she’s penned a number of negative reports about vitamin supplements in the past), you have really convinced a skeptic.


It doesn’t look like anything can hide the plethora of positive scientific reports now being published about vitamin D. As the public adopts vitamin D pills into their daily health regimens anticipate a measurable improvement in health parameters, a decline in overall mortality that cannot be easily hidden and a revelation that modern medicine has for a long time now been gaming a certain rate of disease into the population by limiting intake of essential nutrients.

The tactics used by big business are not new. A similar consolidation effort was made in the retail gasoline market when California required small independent filling stations to dig out their old underground storage tanks and replace them with double-lined tanks. This was too costly for the independent stations and they folded. Gasoline prices then rose dramatically in California without the price competition. Consumers are surely to lose as the supplement industry is taken over by big business.

Source

Forgetting to Turn Off Cellphone Before Takeoff May Cost You $10,000 or More

(Fox)  The agency that operates the New York City area’s three major airports wants passengers who don’t turn off their cellphones or tablets before takeoff to pay up or go to court.

The executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Monday the agency is considering levying fines that could reach tens of thousands of dollars for behavior that causes flight delays.

“We think that with the economic costs of delays and with the passenger inconvenience and the effect on our airports’ ability to serve 100 million passengers a year, it’s the right thing to do,” Pat Foye said.

The issue of electronic devices on planes received national publicity in December when Alec Baldwin was kicked off a New York-bound flight in Los Angeles for refusing to turn off his cellphone. Baldwin, who stars on NBC’s “30 Rock,” later issued an apology to fellow American Airlines passengers who were delayed but mocked a flight attendant on Twitter.


The use of electronic devices on planes generally is prohibited during takeoffs and landings, and passengers are warned by public announcements. The Port Authority initiative is believed to be the only one of its kind being contemplated at a domestic airport, but it’s unclear whether the agency would have the power to implement it. News of the Port Authority’s plans was first reported in the New York Post.

According to Foye, Port Authority police last year responded to about 400 calls involving passengers who refused to turn off their electronic devices at John F. Kennedy International, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International airports. Foye said he believes for every one of those episodes there may have been dozens more in which police weren’t called but delays may have ensued.

New York has some of the most crowded airspace in the country, and delays at any of its three major airports can cause havoc around the globe, such as in January 2009 when a security breach closed a terminal for six hours. Flight delays caused by storms in New York often have a ripple effect across the rest of the country.

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration announced it is looking at ways to test devices to see if they are safe for passengers to use during critical phases of flights such as takeoffs and landings.

Foye said the fines would be targeted primarily at repeat offenders and egregious behavior that causes lengthy delays. He didn’t give specifics on how the fines would be calculated but said the airlines would receive some reimbursement.

“The Port Authority legal department has been looking at options we have for bringing civil litigation, and we’re prepared to bring that,” he said. “We wanted to put people on notice that that is a potential remedy.”

Attorney David Stempfler, head of the Air Travelers Association advocacy group, said there could be jurisdictional issues because, while the Port Authority polices the airports, federal agencies such as the FBI and the Federal Aviation Administration govern what takes place inside airplanes.


“It seems like the injured party here is the airline, not the Port Authority,” he said. “It’s the airline that needs to be taking action against the passengers for doing this. The concept needs to be fleshed out more.”

United Airlines, Newark Liberty airport’s largest tenant, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Air traveler Jamie Williams, a resident of Portland, Maine, who was typing on his laptop Monday at a Newark Liberty airport coffee shop, said he favored the Port Authority’s plans even though he hadn’t experienced a delay due to an unruly passenger.

“I would have no problem with that,” he said. “I think it’s a good idea.”

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Kim Dotcom: US Government Used Megaupload

(Torrent Freak)  Aside from preparing the cases of the Megaupload defendants, a team of lawyers is working hard to grant the site’s users access to their personal data. The cyberlocker is working out a deal with the Department of Justice to allow users to download their personal files. Interestingly enough, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom reveals that these users include many high-ranking US Government officials.
In the wake of the MegaUpload shutdown many of the site’s userscomplained that their personal files had been lost due to collateral damage.

From work-related data to personal photos, the raid disabled access to hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of files that were clearly not infringing.

With most of the news coverage focusing on Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and the racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering charges, the fate of these users hasn’t received the attention it deserves.


By taking down Megaupload many of the site’s users were directly harmed. To resolve this matter Megaupload has been talking to the Department of Justice.

“Megaupload’s legal team is working hard to reunite our users with their data. We are negotiating with the Department of Justice to allow all Mega users to retrieve their data,” Kim Dotcom told TorrentFreak.

Over the past weeks Megaupload has been looking into the various options they have to grant users temporary access. Interestingly enough, this quest revealed that many accounts are held by US Government officials.

“Guess what – we found a large number of Mega accounts from US Government officials including the Department of Justice and the US Senate.”

“I hope we will soon have permission to give them and the rest of our users access to their files,” Dotcom told us.

Megaupload itself is not the only outfit concerned about the lost data of the site’s users. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) took up the issue as well and launched theMegaRetrieval campaign to make an inventory of disadvantaged users.

Thus far EFF hasn’t made a decision on how to move forward, which will in part depend on the outcome of the negotiations between Megaupload and the Department of Justice.

“EFF continues to identify more people who have lost access to legitimate personal files. Our goal is to help them get their files back as quickly and efficiently as possible,” EFF staff attorney Julie Samuels told TorrentFreak.


Megaupload users who’re missing vital data, including US Government officials, can contact the EFF at [email protected]

Aside from securing user data, EFF is extremely worried about the consequences the Megaupload case has on other file-hosting services.

“In general we are very concerned about the implications the ‘Mega conspiracy’ indictment has for the future of cloud computing and file-hosting services, and innovation more generally. It’s hard to imagine how the nature in which this went down won’t have a chilling effect going forward. We hope to come up with processes for future cases that will counteract that,” Samuels said.

It is expected that in the coming week more news will come out about an eventual resurrection of Megaupload, so users can download their personal files.

Source

Turkish TV Ad Uses Hitler To Sell Shampoo

(Spiegel)  A Turkish cosmetics company is under fire for featuring Adolf Hitler in a television advert for men’s shampoo, but it continues to run on the country’s state television network despite widespread outrage.

The 12-second commercial shows black-and-white footage of Hitler delivering an impassioned speech, dubbed with a high-pitched voice screaming the following words in clipped Turkish:

“Why are you using woman’s shampoo if you’re not wearing a woman’s dress? Now there’s the hundred percent men’s shampoo Biomen. A real man uses Biomen.”

Media reports said that Turkish state television has so far declined to remove the commercial, despite criticism from Jewish groups in Turkey and abroad. The US-based Anti-Defamation League released a statement saying it was “repulsed” at the commercial.

“The use of images of the violently anti-Semitic dictator who was responsible for the mass murder of 6 million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust to sell shampoo is a disgusting and deplorable marketing ploy,” Abraham Foxman, the ADL’s national director, said in a statement.

 

“It is an insult to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust, those who survived, and those who fought to defeat the Nazis. This video is just the latest example of the use of Holocaust imagery in some countries to sell commercial products, which has contributed to the trivialization of and desensitization to the unparalleled horrors of the Holocaust,” it continued.

“There can never be any justifiable purpose for using the images of Hitler, Nazis or any other depiction of the Nazi killing machine to sell products or services.”

Not the First Example

Meanwhile, Turkish newspaper Hürriyet described the advert as irresponsible and tasteless. There have been numerous instances of Hitler and the Nazi era being used in advertizing campaigns in recent years, though.


Earlier this year, a gym in Dubai ran a promotional campaign for fitness classes using an image of Auschwitz under the caption: “Kiss your calories goodbye.” After a storm of protest, it stopped the online campaign and donated money to charity.

In 2011, an Austrian entrepreneur came under investigation for selling “Hitler Schnaps” with a photo of the dictator on the label.

In 2010, a clothing store in Sicily was criticized for showing a photo montage of Hitler dressed in pink with the caption: “Change your style. Don’t follow yor leader.”

And in 2009, a controversial German health education campaign focused on the prevention of HIV/AIDS by featuring Hitler having sex.

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10 Cults On Facebook

 (Melaine Slaugh)  If your taste in religion or spirituality tends to lean toward the more unconventional side, or if perhaps you’ve misplaced an impressionable, quasi-delusional uncle over the holidays who is likely to get wrapped up in one cult or another, you may be interested in gathering a list of the cults making their presence known in social media so that you know exactly what it is that you’re up against. Hang in there, Uncle Elwood, help is on the way. Here’s a list of ten examples of cults using Facebook:


    1. Scientology – Tom Cruise may beg to differ on this one, but then we aren’t proclaiming Scientology to be a cult while jumping up and down on Oprah’s couch either, so there’s that. Anyway, this group has been brainwashingauditing heads since 1953; all in hopes of helping you remember your true nature.
    2. Heaven’s Gate – We thought this cult had died off (ba-dum-bump), but apparently reports of  its demise were grossly exaggerated and it hasn’t quite kicked the bucket yet. Instead it’s still encouraging members to learn and rise to the next stage of existence. Not surprisingly, its Facebook profile lists the TV show UFO Hunters among its likes.
    3. Unification Church –  Sun Myung Moon’s version of Christianity, this church began in Korea back in the 1940′s. One of the tenets of the Divine Principle for Moonies states that Lord of the second coming must be Korean-born, circa early 20th century.
    4. Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints  (FLDS) – This group splintered from the Mormon church due to its holding to the belief in polygamy, a practice which the Mormon church officially suspended.
    5. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints  (LDS) – The official Facebook profile for the Mormon church, a religious movement that began based on visions of Joseph Smith in Upstate New York. This one is very much alive and thriving. The church’s headquarters reside in Salt Lake City, Utah now, but there are locations worldwide for believers to attend.


  1. Desteni – Destonians, as they refer to themselves, are a group that believes there will one day be a world financial collapse. At that time, they will rise to power, and institute an “equal money system”.
  2. Israelite Church of God and Jesus Christ – A religious sect, also known as Black Hebrew Israelites. They claim to be the true Biblical Jews, and to be racially superior to Caucasians, having divine inspiration and destiny.
  3. Ordo Templi Orientis – Let’s be clear, this links to the unofficial fan page of the organization founded in the early 20th century. Aleister Crowley, the English author and proclaimed Satanist, was a member. “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law” is the group’s credo.
  4. Creativity Movement – A white supremacist cult who believe in racial eugenics and deny the Holocaust ever happening. Some members have been involved in terrorist plots against Black and Jewish landmarks in Boston, and murder plots against judicial figures.
  5. Hare Krishna – ISKCON – You may remember this group for their ubiquity at airports across the nation back in the 70′s. Yellow-robed, shaved head devotees of Krishna chanting blissfully while panhandling for their god, Krishna.

Top Secret Visa Data Center Banks On Security, Even Has Moat

(Jon Swartz)  Prisons are easier to enter than Visa’s top-secret Operations Center East, its biggest, newest and most advanced U.S. data center.

The 8-acre facility looks like any other industrial park in a sleepy suburb. But the serene setting masks hundreds of cameras and a crack team of former military personnel. Hydraulic bollards beneath the road leading to the OCE can be quickly raised to stop an intruding car going 50 mph. Any speed faster, and the car can’t navigate a hairpin turn, sending it into a drainage pond that functions as a modern-day moat.


The data center resembles a fortress, with dogged attention to detail. It can withstand earthquakes and hurricane-force winds of up to 170 mph. A 1.5-million-gallon storage tank cools the system. Diesel generators onsite have enough power, in the event of an outage, to keep the center running for nine days. They generate enough electricity for 25,000 households.

Once you get clearance from a guard station, get an OK from a roving security guy in a golf cart, and surrender a photo and fingerprint inside, the adventure begins.

There are plenty of reasons for the airtight security. Billions, in fact.

In an era when mobile purchases on smartphones and tablets are expected to grow 73% to $11.6 billion in the U.S. this year, security is a necessary obsession at OCE — and an acknowledgment of the perils posed by profit-minded hackers.

Mobile payments are just a trickle of the more than 200 million daily transactions processed here and at one other Visa data center in North America.

“We’re at the forefront of data centers,” says Rick Knight, head of global systems operations and engineering. “Now everyone has to do it.”

The fortress is home to the facility’s 130 workers, who are entrusted with the arduous task of keeping hackers out and the network up.

OCE is a “Tier 4″ center, a certification from data center research organization Uptime Institute that requires that every mainframe, air conditioner and battery have a backup.

To meet such lofty standards, Visa has poured hundreds of millions of dollars annually into developing state-of-the-art risk-management technology. VisaNet’s services include transaction risk scoring, data encryption and transaction alerts. It all adds up to highly accurate models to identify and address potential fraudulent deals before they’re concluded. That has contributed in great part to global fraud rates of just 6 cents per $100 spent, according to Visa.


Visa’s core-transaction network is private, immune — the company says — from Internet dangers such as denial-of-service attacks by the likes of Anonymous. When hackers took down Visa’s corporate website in 2010, for example, it had no impact on the core network.

Data about data centers

More than half of the world’s 13,000 large data centers are in the U.S., according to market researcher Gartner. It estimates $22 billion will be spent on new centers worldwide this year, after growth sputtered during the recession.

Data centers are increasingly in vogue as demand for digital data explodes with the popularity of cloud computing, tablets and smartphones. Google, Facebook and Apple are among the large tech companies that built their data centers in rural areas to save on land and power.

“Physical security is the foundation where you start,” says John Thielens, chief security officer of Axway, a business-software vendor. “If you can afford it, build a data center. The big guys build their own.”

At the same time, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and others have plunged into the business of managing data centers for corporate clients, says Philip Russom, a research director for The Data Warehousing Institute. Amazon.com says it offers cloud-based “data centers for rent.”

“The growth in data center construction is very much tied to the growth in the amount of data which needs to be stored and delivered to businesses and consumers,” says Rakesh Shah, director of product marketing and strategy at data-security firm Arbor Networks.

Visa is loath to say how much it spent to build its data center, but a conservative estimate is probably hundreds of millions of dollars, based on construction costs and equipment housed at the facility.

Once inside, visitors encounter a “mantrap” portal, which requires a badge and biometric image of the right index finger to gain access to the data center. The digital image is necessary to pass through a phalanx of shatter-resistant glass doors.

A NASA-like command center, with a 40×20-foot wall of screens and 42 firewalls, monitors the company’s worldwide network, which Visa says processes 2,500 transactions per second.

Inside the fortress

The data center’s main corridor is about three football fields long, connecting seven 20,000-square-foot rooms called pods.

Two pods contain Visa’s core network, a third its corporate networks, and the fourth, development work. A fifth pod handles Visa’s new mobile platforms, such as the recently acquired Fundamo, a mobile financial services platform. Two dormant pods await expansion.


Pods 4 and 5 are the brains of the network, a blur of hard drives spinning and fans whirring amid rows of IBM mainframes, Cisco Systems switches and EMC and Hitachi storage arrays. They’re all connected by 3,000 miles of cable — enough to traverse the country.

“Yeah, this place is pretty impressive, but there’s a lot at stake (in terms of security),” Knight says. “We need to keep things safe.”

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Another Teen Allegedly Shot, Killed By Apartment Security Guards In Atlanta

(WSBTV) DeKalb police are investigating the overnight shooting of an 18-year-old allegedly killed by apartment security guards.

The family of Ervin Jefferson said they don’t believe their loved one was killed by the guards at a nearby apartment complex because the teen was not only shot, but he was run over by a car, Channel 2’s Sophia Choi reported from the scene.

The guards, who were on duty at The Village at Wesley Chapel Apartments, told police they were checking out a suspicious car at about 10:30 p.m. when they heard gunfire coming from Jefferson’s home on Pleasant Wood Drive, just a short distance away from the complex.


The guards told police they saw Jefferson exit the home, and walk toward them aggressively, while making threats to kill.  That’s when the guards drew their weapons and fired at the teen, hitting him in the chest, police said.

The guards told police they heard more gunfire coming from the house, so they ran back to the complex, where they met police.

Investigators are still interviewing those guards, but the victim’s family insists that the so-called shooters did not kill the teen, whose family said was unarmed when the incident occurred. The family said if the guards actually did kill Jefferson, they are lying about what happened.


“For one thing, the car was completely on top of him covered,” Jefferson’s uncle, Dana Davis said.  “His whole body was covered.  We have yet to see his body.  No body.”

Return for updates at WSBTV.com and Channel 2 Action News Sunday.

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Bar Code’s Used To Tattoo Prostitutes In Spain

(Harold Heckle)  Spanish police have arrested 22 alleged pimps in connection with a prostitution ring in Madrid — and some even allegedlytattooed their prostitutes as a sign of “ownership,” the Associated Press reports.

The Daily Mail notes one 19-year-old woman held against her will had a bar code and an amount of money tattooed on her wrist by her pimp. Sex workers were allegedly inked with the distinct marks after escape attempts to denote their “owners” and how much money they owed their pimps, the paper writes. The freed woman claims to have been whipped, chained to a radiator and having had her hair and eyebrows shaved off as punishment from her illicit proprietor, according to the AP.


Police are referring to the gang as the “bar code pimps,” according to reports, and 22 suspected pimps have been arrested, all of Romanian nationality. In addition to the arrests, police seized more than $185,000 in cash, illegal firearms, swords, machetes, gold jewelry and luxury vehicles, CNN notes.

One of the ring leaders, by the name of Iancu T., was also wanted in his country for crimes related to prostitution, La Razón reports. Iancu allegedly made false promises of legitimate work to women to ensnare them, only to force the women into prostitution in various clubs throughout the community of Madrid as well as along Calle Montera, a street in central Madrid. According to Spanish newspaper ABCCalle Montera holds an infamous reputation for hosting dozens of prostitutes at all hours in the heart of Spain’s capital.

Iancu and the two clans implicated in the bust often called their sex slaves “packages,” “suitcases” and “bicycles,” according to CNN. The pimps monitored their “packages” on Calle Montera from a number of apartments they owned and used for turning tricks, La Razón notes.


AP reports sex trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry in Spain, where the legalities of prostitution fall into a legal grey area. Pimping is outlawed, while prostitution is not regulated. Most of Spain’s sex laborers are poor immigrants from South America, Africa and Eastern Europe.

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Facebook Issues ID Cards For Users


(Cyriaque Lamar)   Given how absurdly ubiquitous Facebook has become (and how they ultimately give fuck-all about your privacy in the grand scheme of things), the folks at FB Bureau have gone ahead and begun printing Facebook identification cards. Quick, jump on the bandwagon before the Like Police come a-knocking!

Facebook ID Card
Facebook ID Card

Explains FB Bureau:

With more than 800 million users Facebook is the dominant identity system on the web. When signing-up for new services around the open web it’s quite common to use Facebook Connect instead of creating a new user account. People stop ranting on blog comments because they only allow comments connected to your “real name” aka “Facebook Identity” (till the end of time). For the good or bad we are losing anonymity and Facebook Inc. is establishing order in this “world wild web” (for profit, not necessarily for the good of society).

 

Governments like Germany have released new passports that offer online identity checks as well, but they will likely never succeed with their technologies given the already existing structure of Facebook, powered by laziness (or convenience). The other way around though – A future where a Facebook Identity becomes more important than any governments’ doesn’t seem unrealistic.

You can pick these up in Berlin on March 2 and Amsterdam on March 16.

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Google Wants To Listen To Your Phone Calls To Promote Ads

(Drew Olanoff)  Just when you think that we’re pretty tech savvy, companies like Google and Nokia file outlandish “forward-thinking” patents that make you feel like we’re all in a Star Trek episode. In the case of Google’s latest patent, it makes us feel like we’re in a police state.

The patent discusses the technology to analyze the background noise during your phone call and serve up ads for you based on the environmental conditions Google picks up on. Yeah, that’s creepy.


While Google isn’t technically “listening” to your calls, meaning there isn’t someone on the other line listening to your conversation, the fact that the company could unleash technology that monitors our calls in real-time is weird. Here’s some of the information on the patent, titled “Advertising based on environmental conditions”

Information about an environmental condition of a remote device is received, the environmental condition being determined based on a signal output from a sensor of the remote device or a sensor coupled to the remote device. An advertisement is identified based on the environmental condition, and the advertisement is provided to the remote device.

A pretty basic example of what Google could do with this technology is that it could serve you ads if you’re making a phone call in a place where there’s inclement weather. If Google were to pick up on rain in the background of your call, they could serve you ads for umbrellas.

In addition to this patent including the background noises of phone calls, it also talks about the backgrounds of photos and videos you’ve taken as well. So if you took a picture in the snow, you might be shown ads for snow shovels. That’s not as creepy sounding as the phone call portion, though:


A computer-implemented method comprising: receiving, from a computing device, a search request comprising (i) information about a first environmental condition of the computing device, and (ii) one or more search terms; parsing the search request; selecting, from the search request based on parsing, the information about the first environmental condition; identifying an advertisement based on the first environmental condition and at least one of the one or more search terms; providing the advertisement to the computing device; receiving one or more of an audio signal, an image signal, or a video signal from a sensor of the computing device; and determining a second environmental condition based on the one or more of the audio signal, the image signal, or the video signal.

As you know, submitting patents doesn’t necessarily mean that the company will do anything with the technology, however, Google is the undisputed king of online advertising, so I wouldn’t put it past them.

What do you think? Is Google taking our privacy too lightly? Let us know what you think about all of this in the comments.

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Blood Money-U.S. Reportedly Paid $50,000 To Families Of Afghanistan Shooting Victims

(Heidi Vogt)  The U.S. paid $50,000 in compensation for each villager killed and $11,000 for each person wounded in a shooting rampage allegedly carried out by a rogue American soldier in southern Afghanistan, Afghan officials said Sunday.

The families were told that the money came from President Barack Obama. The unusually large payouts were the latest move by the White House to mend relations with the Afghan people after the killings threatened to shatter already tense relations.

Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales is accused of sneaking off his base on March 11, then creeping into houses in two nearby villages and opening fire on families as they slept.

The killings came as tensions between the U.S. and Afghanistan were strained following the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base in February. That act – which U.S. officials have acknowledged was a mistake – sparked riots and attacks that killed more than 30 people, including six American soldiers.

There have been no violent protests following the March 11 shootings in Kandahar province’s Panjwai district, but demands for justice on Afghan terms have been getting louder since Bales was flown out of the country to a U.S. military prison. Many Afghans in Kandahar have continued to argue that there must have been multiple gunmen and accused the U.S. government of using Bales as a scapegoat.



U.S. investigators believe the gunman returned to his base after the first attack and later slipped away to kill again.

That would seem to support the U.S. government’s assertion that the shooter acted alone, since the killings would have been perpetrated over a longer period of time than assumed when Bales was detained outside his base in Kandahar province’s Panjwai district.

But it also raises new questions about how the suspect could have carried out the pre-dawn attacks without drawing attention from any Americans on the base.

Bales has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and other crimes and could face the death penalty if convicted.

The families of the dead received the money Saturday at the governor’s office, said Kandahar provincial council member Agha Lalai. He and community elder Jan Agha confirmed the payout amounts.

Survivors previously had received smaller compensation payments from Afghan officials – $2,000 for each death and $1,000 for each person wounded.

Two U.S. officials confirmed that compensation had been paid but declined to discuss exact amounts, saying only that the payments reflected the devastating nature of the incident. The officials spoke anonymously because of the sensitivity of the subject.

A spokesman for NATO and U.S. forces, Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, said only that coalition members often make compensation payments, but they are usually kept private.

“As the settlement of claims is in most cases a sensitive topic for those who have suffered loss, it is usually a matter of agreement that the terms of the settlement remain confidential,” Cummings said.

However, civilian death compensations are occasionally made public. In 2010, U.S. troops in Helmand province said they paid $1,500 to $2,000 if a civilian was killed in a military operation and $600 to $1,500 for a serious injury. The Panjwai shootings are different because they were not part of a sanctioned operation, but it is a distinction lost on many Afghans who see any civilian deaths as criminal.


The provided compensation figures would mean that at least $866,000 was paid out in all. Afghan officials and villagers have counted 16 dead – 12 in the village of Balandi and four in neighboring Alkozai – and six wounded. The U.S. military has charged Bales with 17 murders without explaining the discrepancy.

The 38-year-old soldier, who is from Lake Tapps, Wash., is accused of using his 9mm pistol and M-4 rifle to kill four men, four women, two boys and seven girls, then burning some of the bodies. The ages of the children were not disclosed in the charge sheet.

Bales is being held in a military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. The mandatory minimum sentence if he is convicted is life imprisonment with the chance of parole. He could also receive the death penalty.

Families of the dead declined to comment on any payments by U.S. officials on Sunday, but some said previously that they were more concerned about seeing the perpetrator punished than money.

Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban and remains a dangerous area despite several offensives.

In the latest violence, a bomb struck a joint NATO-Afghan foot patrol in Kandahar’s Arghandab district late Saturday, killing nine Afghans and one international service member, according to Shah Mohammad, the district administrator.

Arghandab is a farming region just outside Kandahar city that has long provided refuge for Taliban insurgents. It was one of a number of communities around Kandahar city that were targeted in a 2010 sweep to oust the insurgency from the area.

The Afghan dead included one soldier, three police officers, four members of the Afghan “local police” – a government-sponsored militia force – and one translator, Mohammad said.

NATO reported earlier Sunday that one of its service members was killed Saturday in a bomb attack in southern Afghanistan but did not provide additional details. It was not clear if this referred to the same incident, as NATO usually waits for individual coalition nations to confirm the details of deaths of their troops.

 

Associated Press Writer Robert Burns contributed to this report from Washington

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Gay Court Case Could Destroy Freedom Of Speech

(Bob Unruh)  One of the nation’s leading legal organizations is defending an evangelical pastor who was sued over his speech by a foreign group under a law that usually is used to target torture, genocide, war crimes and summary executions.

“This lawsuit against Rev. Scott Lively is a gross attempt to use a vague international law to silence, and eventually criminalize, speech by U.S. citizens on homosexuality and moral issues,” said Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel.

Liberty Counsel will represent Lively in the case brought in federal court in Massachusetts by a foreign group called Sexual Minorities of Uganda.

The premise for the lawsuit is the Alien Tort Statute, which provides a cause of action for violations of international laws that are “specific, universal, and obligatory.”

According to Liberty Counsel, courts have found torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment; genocide; war crimes; crimes against humanity; summary execution, prolonged arbitrary detention; and forced disappearance to be actionable under the ATS.

The Ugandans allege that beginning in 2002, Lively preached in Ugandan churches and shared his opinion on homosexuality and pornography.

“It further claims that as a result (albeit a convoluted one), some members of the so-called LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex) community faced discrimination, and one (SMUG Advocacy Director David Kato) was killed on January 26, 2011,” Liberty Counsel reported. “The suit leaves out the fact that the suspected killer is a male prostitute with which Kato had sex and refused to pay.”

Everything you think you know about Nazis and homosexuals is wrong. Read Scott Lively’s controversial bestseller, “The Pink Swastika.”

“This suit should cause everyone to be concerned, because it is a direct threat against freedom of speech,” Staver said.

Liberty Counsel’s announcement said the suit “is a direct attempt to silence Rev. Lively because of his speech about homosexuality and pornography.”

The Supreme Court recently heard Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum on the issue of whether the ATS allows corporations to be sued. Following oral argument, the court ordered a new briefing and will rehear the case in the fall on the broader question of whether and “under what circumstances the Alien Tort Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1350, allows courts to recognize a cause of action for violations of the law of nations occurring within the territory of a sovereign other than the United States.”

Liberty Counsel said the case against Lively “is an example of why the ATS should not be used to allow a foreigner to file suit against a U.S. citizen in the United States, claiming a violation of some vague international norm allegedly committed in the foreigner’s home country.”

“I am an American citizen [being targeted] over the persecution of homosexuals as they define it as a crime against humanity – for speaking the truth of the Bible in a foreign country,” Lively, of Abiding Truth Ministries, told WND shortly after the action was filed.

It was brought by lawyers with the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, which the New York Times described as left-leaning.

The New York lawyers claim Lively contributed to a “conspiracy to persecute LGBTT persons in Uganda.”

The lawyers claim Lively “and co-conspirators, [Ugandans Stephen] Langa, [Martin] Ssempa, Minister of Ethics and Integrity James Buturo and Member of Parliament David Bahail coordinated a dramatic, far-reaching” campaign.

“Frankly, I don’t think this is actionable,” Lively told WND. “They make it clear that this suit is … premised on speeches or writings.

Lively said he spoke to members of Parliament in their assembly hall and advised them to focus on therapy and not punishment for homosexuality.

“What they’re suggesting here is that the duly elected legislative representatives of Uganda, the cream of Ugandan society, cannot be responsible for their own [legislative] actions – that they adopted legislation because a white evangelical came and said something to them,” he said.

An attorney for the Ugandans alleged in an interview with the Times that the case is based on Lively’s conduct, not Lively’s speech. Cited in the case are a number of Lively’s comments and statements.

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Why You Should Avoid Fast Food At All Costs

(Mike Barrett)  It is no secret that the average American diet is in completely in the slumps. Consuming packaged foods, fast food, artificially enhanced products, and especially low quality cheap food is the norm, but is it any wonder that being overweight while also falling victim to a host of illnesses is also the norm. Being raised in this era of poor health makes it difficult to know what is truly healthy and unhealthy. Food has drastically changed since decades ago, and so parents often aren’t aware of the severe decline in food quality. Fast food in particular is one of the primary reasons for the drastic health decline seen today.

 

If you haven’t already, take a couple of hours to watch the documentaries Super Size Me or Fast Food Nation. After watching these films, you can see first hand how fast food causes severe damage to your body – even if you don’t consume it for every meal of every day like in one of the films. Fast food is nothing but a concoction of harmful and health-damaging chemicals which can easily be understood if you were to think for a moment how any restaurant could offer a double cheeseburger for only $1.



Most recently it was uncovered that these $1 cheeseburgers, along with the rest of McDonald’s’ beef and chicken, were actually harnessing ‘pink slime’ scrap meat covered with ammonium hydroxide. Not only does this fake meat provide no nutritional value at all, but it is chemically contaminated from ammonia, the toxic cleaning agent found under the sink. The meat is actually fat trimmings and connective tissue that are separated from the bone – scrap meat that is not fit for human consumption. The ammonia treatment is in response to the danger of contamination from salmonella or E. coli, but the scrap meats themselves are more likely to contain pathogens. Despite the chemical treatment, the meat is still in the line of fire for contamination.

Additionally, McDonald’s McNuggets contain 7 different ingredients making up the ‘meat’, many of which contain sub-ingredients. Instead of using real meat, the ingredient list utilizes sodium phosphate, safflower oil, wheat starch, dextrose, and autolyzed yeast extract – a particularly dangerous substance very similar to the toxic MSG. Along side with these ingredients comes the use of dimethylpolysiloxane, a silicon substance used as an anti-foaming agent and often found in breast implants and silly putty.

Of course the use of these ingredients is not limited only to McDonald’s. In fact, all of the fast food restaurants are guilty of using them. The worst part? They are aware of the destructive nature behind these ingredients, but truly couldn’t care any less. The truth behind such a statement can be exemplified by Taco Bell’s attempt to create a drive-thru diet where individuals would supposed to lose weight by eating fast food. It was only a few years ago when Taco Bell announced the “Drive-Thru Diet”, where they showcased their foods low in fat. But what they don’t tell you is that even if their food has 9 grams of fat, it is still made up of numerous ingredients contributing to the global health decline.

While the reasons for the influx of fast food consumption are many, one primary one is the usage of psychological advertising. Being one of the most powerful tools to reach both the conscious and subconscious, advertising plays a huge role in how society is ran today, and that includes which foods we eat. What’s more, children are much more influenced by what they see and hear, and research proves it. A study conduced late in 2011 showed that 71 percent of children will choose junk food like french fries over apple slices when given coupons for each of them. The number dropped only to 55 percent when parents encouraged children to choose the apple slices. But the desired reach does not stop at direct advertising and influence.


new children’s educational book has recently been launched by the Council for Biotechnology Information, educating young children on the ‘numerous benefits’ of genetically modified food. Of course genetically modified food has time and time again been shown to cause human and environmental harm, but still the attempt to brainwash young children is carelessly made. The advertising for such food is also heavily tied in with fast food, as virtually all fast food is constructed with genetically modified food and ingredients.

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Trinity Broadcasting Network ‘Funds Owners’ Exorbitant Lifestyle’

(Peter Beaumont)  The world’s largest Christian TV channel, the California-based Trinity Broadcasting Network, has become embroiled in a multimillion dollar financial scandal after members of the family that founded it alleged widespread embezzlement.

The claims – by Brittany Koper, whose grandfather Paul Crouch founded TBN, and by Joseph McVeigh, another family member – describe exorbitant spending on mansions in California, Tennessee and Florida, private jets and even a $100,000-mobile home to house the dogs of Crouch’s flamboyant wife, Janice.

The network, which claims to broadcast in every continent except the Antarctic and has 18,000 affiliates, was set up by Crouch in the 1970s and preaches a so-called “prosperity gospel” which promises material rewards to those who give generously.

 

Two years ago it declared a net worth of over $800m (£504m) although in recent years it has faced increasing financial problems.

Details of the claims are contained in cases filed with the California courts by McVeigh, who says he was targeted by the network, and 26-year-old Koper, who was fired in September.

According to the lawsuit, reported in a number of US newspapers, Paul Crouch Sr obtained a $50m luxury jet for his personal use through a “sham loan”, while church funds – many of which come from donations during events like its “Praise-a-thons” – paid for the mobile home housing his wife’s dogs.

The suit filed by Joseph McVeigh makes the most damning allegations claiming: “unlawful and unreported income distributions to Trinity Broadcasting’s directors” including “multiple jet aircraft, including a $50m Global Express luxury jet aircraft purchased for the personal use of the Crouches through a sham loan … as well as an $8m Hawker jet aircraft purchased by Trinity Broadcasting for the personal use of director Janice Crouch.”



It also describes the purchase of “multiple motor vehicles, including a $100,000 motor home purchased by Trinity Broadcasting as a mobile residence for director Janice Crouch’s dogs”.

Directors of the network are also accused of misusing funds to cover up sexual scandals.

The sexual scandals listed in court papers include the alleged “cover-up and destruction of evidence concerning a bloody sexual assault involving Trinity Broadcasting and affiliated Holy Land Experience employees; the cover-up of director Janice Crouch’s affair with a staff member at the Holy Land Experience; the cover-up of director Paul Crouch’s use of Trinity Broadcasting funds to pay for a legal settlement with Enoch Lonnie Ford (a former TBN employee who said he had a homosexual affair with [founder] Paul Crouch).”

Brittany Koper, the network’s former finance director, was fired last autumn – she claims after she discovered the extent of the financial wrongdoing at the network.

Brittany Koper’s lawsuit follows one launched by the church against her – later dismissed – which alleged that Koper and her husband used forged documents to embezzle funds to buy cars, jewellery and a fishing boat.

“She blew the whistle and got terminated,” Koper’s lawyer Tymothy MacLeod, told the LA Times. “Brittany has done the right thing. It’s admirable that someone on the inside of TBN has come forward and is revealing to the world exactly what is going on behind those closed doors.”

“These large ministries, they do become family enterprises … and in many ways that can be a most precarious problem for them,” David E. Harrell, a professor emeritus of American religion at Auburn University, who has written about well-known televangelists told Associated Press. “Business squabbles, if they’re complicated with family squabbles, can get nasty indeed.”

TBN is no stranger to outside scrutiny.

In 1998, the elder Crouch secretly paid an accuser $425,000 to keep quiet about allegations of a homosexual encounter. Crouch Sr has consistently denied the allegations, which were first reported by the Los Angeles Times, and has said he settled only to avoid a costly and embarrassing trial.

In 2000, after a five-year battle, a federal appeals court overturned a ruling by the FCC that found Crouch had created a “sham” minority company to get around limits on the number of TV stations he could own.

The network’s lawyer has denied the allegations calling the McVeigh lawsuit a “tabloid filing” accusing McVeigh and the Kopers of working together to steal from the ministry.

He added that the Crouches travel by private jet because they have had “scores of death threats, more than the president of the United States”.

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Big Brother Facial Recognition System Scans 36 Million Faces A Second

(Madison Ruppert)  A new system has emerged to process surveillance footage for facial recognition, and it makes much of the previous technology seem like it belongs in the Stone Age, further empowering the Big Brother surveillance state.

This is just another front in the rapidly growing surveillance industry which preys upon the fear and paranoia of the American people which has been instilled by the government through the Department of Homeland Security and their allied entities.

Perhaps the only system that can compete with this blazing fast technology is the facial recognition systems being developed for military drones, which incorporate three-dimensional models of the target’s face. This method allows for even less of the target’s face to be visible while still being able to positively identify them.

The novel system developed by Hitachi Kokusai Electric of Japan is able to process video footage faster and more flexibly any previous technology could allow, thus enabling an even faster response to positive identification.

The system was displayed at the Security Show Expo in Japan and it is capable of processing a wide range of information including both still images and video footage.

It is capable of recognizing faces in real-time, or at least as close to real-time as possible, as it is able to compare a target’s face to a stunning 36 million different faces every second.

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Military Wants to Implant Tiny ‘Doctors’ In Soldiers’ Bodies

(Live Science)  Disease has stalked battlefields since the dawn of war and continues to plague even the ranks of the modernU.S. military. That’s why the Pengaton’s scientists want to implant tiny particles inside the bodies of soldiers that could diagnose or even treat illness from within.

The military’s DefenseAdvanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) announced its vision for implantable “nanosensors” on March 15. Such tiny sensors would be based on nanoparticles thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair — a watchful swarm of molecules inside soldiers’ bodies that could monitor their health around the clock and keep them healthy on the most remote battlefields.

Solving the problem of sickness could have a huge impact on the number of soldiers ready to fight, because far more have historically died due to illness rather than combat. Even in modern times, battle injuries have accounted for only 20 percent of medical evacuations from Iraq — the U.S. military had to evacuate four times as many troops because of disease and nonbattle injuries.

The futuristic idea might prove especially helpful for U.S. Special Forces who must operate far from any immediate medical help. Nanosensors could alert Special Forces operators if they become exposed to an infectious disease or simply push their bodies beyond their physical limits.



“For military Special Forces the practical realization of implantable nanosensors capable of monitoring multiple indicators of physiological state could be a truly disruptive innovation,” according to DARPA’s announcement.

This first announcement focuses on creating nanoparticles capable of diagnosing diseases, but DARPA expects to launch a second effort focused on treatment in late 2012. Once it gathers proposals from private companies and academic researchers, it can begin moving forward with animal trials that might eventually lead to human clinical trials.

DARPA’s announcement also emphasizes that any tiny sensors based on nanoparticles must avoid harming their hosts because of any unknown material or particle effects on the human body. That issue of nanoparticle safety and the perils of small stuff are still being studied by researchers.

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Obamacare Regulation Calls For Free Sterilization For All College Women

(NaturalNews)  At the prompting of theInstitute of Medicine(IOM), which has already been exposed as playing a covert role in promoting the interests of the military-medical complex , the U.S.Department of Health and Human Services(HHS) has issued new guidelines mandating that all college-age women have free access to sterilization procedures.

Building upon the agency’s announcement just a few weeks prior that all private insurance companies would be required to provide contraceptive services, including sterilization, to patients as part of Obamacare (http://www.naturalnews.com), the new sterilization guidelines will reportedly apply to all women of college age, regardless of whether or not they are enrolled in college, and to all health plans.

Even private or religious colleges that morally object to providing abortion drugs and procedures, which are also included in the mandate, will be required to provide access to these services under their health insurance plans. According to HHS, forcing this mandate somehow constitutes “consumer protection,” and the agency actually claims that requiring Christian colleges, for instance, to provide health care coverage that includes these questionable services constitutes “religious liberty.”

The mandate, which was published in theFederal Registeron March 21, 2012, was crafted by IOM and reportedly adopted verbatim by HHS. As to the reason for the mandate, HHS has stated that “the HRSA (Health Resources and Services Administration) Guidelines require coverage, without cost sharing, for ‘[a]ll Food and Drug Administration [(FDA)] approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity,’ as prescribed by a provider.”

When questioned about the legitimacy of the mandate at a recent meeting with reporters at the U.S. Capitol, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) claimed ignorance on the matter. In a statement, Hoyer said he did not know anything about the sterilization mandate, but also stated that he did not support such an idea (http://cnsnews.com).

In protest of the mandate, defenders of religious freedom plan to hold simultaneous rallies at 140 cities across the country on March 23, 2012 at noon. The cities involved with thisNationwide Rally for Religious Freedominclude St. Louis, Missouri; Davenport, Iowa; Redding, California; and Las Vegas, Nevada. You can view a complete list of cities here:http://standupforreligiousfreedom.com/locations/

Sources for this article include:

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/03/20120316g.html

http://cnsnews.com

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10 Reasons The Internet Will Never Be Private Again

(American Dream)  The Internet is rapidly being transformed into a Big Brother control grid where privacy rights are being systematically strangled to death.  The control freaks that run things have become absolutely obsessed with watching, tracking, monitoring and recording virtually everything that you do on the Internet.

One thing that you can count on is that nothing you do on the Internet will ever be private again.  In fact, if you are obsessed with privacy then the last place you want to be is on the Internet.  Most Americans have absolutely no idea how far Internet surveillance has advanced in the past few years.

At this point, it would be hard to imagine any place less private than the Internet.  Do not ever put anything on the Internet that you would not want the authorities or your employer to hold you accountable for.  Basically, the Internet is creating a permanent dossier on each one of us, and we contribute to this process by freely posting gigantic volumes of information about ourselves on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.

The Internet is the greatest tool for mass communication that the world has perhaps ever seen, and it gives average citizens the ability to communicate with each other like never before, but there is also a downside to using the Internet.

Everything that we do on the Internet is being watched, monitored and recorded and there is no longer any such thing as Internet privacy.  If you think that you still have any privacy on the Internet, then you are either ignorant of what is going on or you are being delusional.

The following are 10 reasons why nothing you do on the Internet will ever be private again….

#1 The Federal Government Can Now Retain Your Internet Activity For Five Years – Even If You Have No Links To Terrorism

In the past, the National Counterterrorism Center could only retain information about you for 180 days if you did not have any links to terrorism.

Well, that has now completely changed.

Attorney General Eric Holder has signed new guidelines which will now allow the National Counterterrorism Center to hold on to your private information (including your Internet activity) for five years.

But an extra four and a half extra years is no big deal, right?

#2 Potential Employers Are Demanding To See Your Internet Activity

In the past, potential employers would pull up the social media profiles of job candidates in order to get a better idea of who they might be hiring.

But now, many potential employers are actually demanding the passwords to the Facebook accounts of job applicants.

The following comes from a recent CBS News report….

The bad news is that employers are increasingly asking job seekers for their Facebookand other social-media passwords as part of the process of vetting them.

While it’s unclear how widespread that practice is, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that it is happening with increasing frequency, as CBS MoneyWatch’s Suzanne Lucas details. You can, of course, refuse to give a job interviewer your passwords. But expect your employment application to hit the round file, or the trash, if you don’t cooperate.

#3 Law Enforcement Is Watching You

Do you remember the father that posted that “Facebook Parenting for the troubled teen” video that went wildly viral all over the Internet earlier this year?

That video was watched more than 31 million times, but it also resulted in both the police and Child Protective Services officials visiting his home.

So be careful what you post on YouTube.  If you post something that they don’t like, law enforcement personnel may come knocking on your door.

#4 Government Agencies Are Watching You

The FBI, the CIA, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. military and the Federal Reserve have all announced plans to systematically monitor social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.

These agencies have lists of “keywords” that they use to search for posts that they want to look at.

For example, the words “attack”, “exercise” and “epidemic” are just three of the keywords that the Department of Homeland Security is known to use.

So keep that in mind the next time you post something on Facebook or Twitter.

The following is from a recent Salon article….

In 2010, the DHS National Operations Center established a Media Monitoring Capability (MMC).  According to an internal agency document, MMC is tasked with “leveraging news stories, media reports and postings on social media sites… for operationally relevant data, information, analysis, and imagery.”  The definition of operationally relevant data includes “media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities,” “partisan or agenda-driven sites,” and a final category ambiguously labeled “research/studies, etc.”

#5 Barack Obama Is Watching You

The Obama campaign has launched “truth teams” which will be scouring the Internet for any rumors that are “not true” about Barack Obama during the 2012 presidential campaign.

So if you post something on the Internet about Barack Obama that the Obama campaign does not consider to be truthful, there is a good chance that a “truth team” will be examining what you have written.

#6 They Are Monitoring And Recording All Talk Radio (Including Internet Talk Radio)

As I have written about previously, the FBI has hired a company in Virginia to systematically record talk radio programs (including Internet talk radio programs) all over the United States.  The goal of this effort is to collect “potential evidence”, whatever that means.  The following comes from an article by Mark Weaver of WMAL.com….

If you call a radio talk show and get on the air, you might be recorded by the FBI.

The FBI has awarded a $524,927 contract to a Virginia company to record as much radio news and talk programming as it can find on the Internet.

The FBI says it is not playing big brother by policing the airwaves, but rather seeking access to what airs as potential evidence.

#7 Foreign Governments Are Watching You

It isn’t just the U.S. government that is watching you on the Internet.  The truth is that governments all over the world could be monitoring your Internet activity and you may never even know it.

In fact, the level of Internet surveillance in some countries is arguably even greater than it is in the United States.

For example, a new bill that has been introduced in Canada would give government authorities unprecedented power to monitor the Internet activities of Canadians….

The so-called “lawful access” legislation, tabled in the House of Commons Tuesday, will require Internet service providers and cellphone companies to hand over basic customer information — including name, address, phone number, email address, and ISP addresses — to authorities when requested, without the need for a warrant.

Dubbed “online spying” by critics, the bill is also expected to require ISPs and phone companies to install equipment for real-time surveillance and create new police powers designed to obtain access to the surveillance data.

The UK government is going even farther than that.  A recent UK government report calls for ISPs to remove “extremist material” from the Internet.  The following is an excerpt from that report….

The Counter-Terrorism Internet Referral Unit does limited but valuable work in challenging internet service providers to remove violent extremist material where it contravenes the law. We suggest that the Government work with internet service providers in the UK to develop a Code of Conduct committing them to removing violent extremist material, as defined for the purposes of section 3 of the Terrorism Act 2006. Many relevant websites are hosted abroad: the Government should also therefore strive towards greater international cooperation to tackle this issue.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is taking things even farther than that. He recently stated that anyone in France that is caught regularly visiting websites “preaching hatred” will be prosecuted.

So what constitutes “extremist material” and what constitutes “preaching hatred”?

Unfortunately, almost every government on earth has different definitions for those things.

#8 We Are All Being Encouraged To Spy On One Another On The Internet

For the U.S. government, it isn’t enough just to have bureaucrats and spooks spying on you.  Now they want us to spy on one another.

The Department of Homeland Security has been heavily promoting the “See Something, Say Something” campaign.  The idea is that if you see something “suspicious” that you should report it to the authorities.

Unfortunately, the definition of “suspicious activity” has expanded so dramatically in recent years that it could include just about anything.

The paranoia among our leaders has gotten completely out of control.  For example, a while back U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman requested that Google install a “terrorist button” on all Blogger.com blogs so that readers could easily flag “terrorist content” for authorities.

Thankfully nothing like that has been implemented yet, but that is the direction that we are heading as a nation.

#9 Your ISP Is Watching You

Most Americans have not even heard about this yet, but the truth is that starting later on this year your ISP will be spying on you to make sure that you are not downloading any copyrighted material.

SOPA and PIPA may have failed for now, but the Obama administration has brokered a deal between the entertainment industry and the major Internet providers that is absolutely unprecedented.  This deal will go into effect on July 12th.  The following is from a recent Raw Story article….

If you download potentially copyrighted software, videos or music, your Internet service provider (ISP) has been watching, and they’re coming for you.

Specifically, they’re coming for you on Thursday, July 12.

That’s the date when the nation’s largest ISPs will all voluntarily implement a new anti-piracy plan that will engage network operators in the largest digital spying scheme in history, and see some users’ bandwidth completely cut off until they sign an agreement saying they will not download copyrighted materials.

Word of the start date has been largely kept secret since ISPs announced their plans last June. The deal was brokered by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and coordinated by the Obama Administration.

So be careful what you download on the Internet.

Your ISP will be watching.

#10 The NSA Is Watching Everyone And Everything

It is safe to assume that any digital communication that you ever make will be intercepted and monitored by the NSA.

Of course this has been an open secret for years, but now the NSA is taking things to a whole new level.

The NSA has been constructing the largest spy center in the history of the world out in the Utah desert.  The following is howa recent Wired article described this new facility….

Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.”

So please do not assume that anything you do on the Internet will ever be private again.

The online world has now become a world where there is absolutely no privacy.

Some are responding to this new reality by running away from the Internet, but I think that is the wrong approach.

The Internet has broken the monopoly that the elite had on mass communication.  It has given average people the ability to communicate with one another like never before.  A YouTube video or a blog post that you put up today could be seen by tens of millions of people.  Information is power, and the Internet has put a tremendous amount of power into the hands of the general population.

Yes, there will be people watching every single thing you do on the Internet.  So it is important to be very careful.

But the Internet also gives us an opportunity to impact the world that is unlike anything previous generations have ever had.  Something that you post on the Internet today could end up completely changing a life on the other side of the globe tomorrow.  Those in power have begun to recognize how powerful the Internet is, and so they have begun to crack down on it.

It is also important to keep in mind that the Internet allows us to watch them as well.  The Internet is an incredible tool for exposing evil and corruption, and over the past decade we have seen many instances when average people on the Internet have broken major news stories that the mainstream media would not dare touch initially.

In the final analysis, the ability to wake people up and to literally change the world outweighs the risks of being watched.  If the world eventually descends into deep tyranny, you aren’t going to have anywhere to hide even if you are not on the Internet.

Don’t be afraid to stand up for the truth.  It is better to do what is right and to be persecuted for it than to stand aside and do nothing.

The Internet is an awesome tool.  It can be used for great good or for great evil.

If we sit on our hands, we will accomplish nothing.

But if we try, we might just end up changing the world.

Source

Water Wars Between Countries Could Be Right Around The Corner

(Fiona Harvey)  Water wars could be a real prospect in coming years as states struggle with the effects of climate change, growing demand for water and declining resources, the secretary of state for energy and climate change warned on Thursday.

 

Ed Davey told a conference of high-ranking politicians and diplomats from around the world that although water had not been a direct cause of wars in the past, growing pressure on the resource if climate change is allowed to take hold, together with the pressure on food and other resources, could lead to new sources of conflict and the worsening of existing conflicts.

 

“Countries have not tended to go to war over water, but I have a fear for the world that climate instability drives political instability,” he said. “The pressure of that makes conflict more likely.”

 

Even a small temperature rise – far less than the 4C that scientists predict will result from a continuation of business as usual – could lead to lower agricultural yields, he warned, at a time when population growth means that demand for food was likely to be up by 70% by 2060. By the same time, he noted, the number of people living in conditions of serious water stress would have reached 1.8 billion, according to estimates.

 

“Climate change intensifies pressures on states, and between states,” he told the conference, gathered to discuss whether climate change and natural resources should be regarded as a national security issue. “[Its effects] can lead to internal unrest … and exacerbate existing tensions. We have to plan for a world where climate change makes difficult problems even worse.”

 

But Davey recalled previous global catastrophes that had been averted, including the threat of nuclear armageddon during the cold war, and successes such as the elimination of smallpox. He urged governments to work on adapting to climate change as a matter of urgency, as well as striving for an international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

 

His call was echoed by Ali Bongo Ondimba, president of the Gabonese Republic. He told the conference that Africa was the most vulnerable part of the world to climate change, but that African people had been responding to a changing climate for thousands of years – his own Bantu people had been forced, centuries ago, to move around Africa as areas dried out and food became scarcer.

 

Gabon had already started to take action to protect the 88% of its land that is covered by rainforest, and to reduce carbon emissions by its industries, with a view to a “transformation” by 2025.

 

He warned that seeking to lift people out of poverty could not be achieved at the expense of degrading natural resources. He warned that policies for economic growth across the continent must reflect this immediately: “The impact [of degradation] cannot be reversed by policies conceived too late.”

Source

Trayvon Martin Shooter Expelled From Seminole State College

(David Ferguson)  The accused gunman in the shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin has been asked not to return to Seminole State College, where he is currently enrolled, according to a report in the Orlando Sentinel.

The Sentinel quotes college officials as saying, “Due to the highly charged and high-profile controversy involving this student, Seminole State has taken the unusual but necessary step this week to withdraw Mr. Zimmerman from enrollment. This decision is based solely on our responsibility to provide for the safety of our students on campus as well as for Mr. Zimmerman.



Zimmerman has attended classes sporadically at the college since he enrolled in 2003. At the time he was seeking a vocational certificate to work in the insurance industry. He re-enrolled in 2009 in a 4-year general studies degree program.

 

The 28-year-old shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26, but was not arrested. Thousands of people rallied today to demand justice for the slain teenager.

Since the shooting, according to the Sentinel, Zimmerman has “gone into hiding.”

Source

2012 Pole Shift Data Cover Up

(Modern Survival Blog)  The NOAA National Geophysical Data Center has updated (revised – massaged) their magnetic north pole-shift positional data and has projected the location of the pole through 2015. The pole shift, if you will, continues to race along in the same direction since it dramatically accelerated back in the mid 1990′s. But…

NOAA made some significant and apparently linear changes to the pole location data going back to the years 2001 through 2010. The most noticeable result of the changes that they made was an overall linear slow down of the shift during the past decade, although still currently high at 30 miles per year. They have projected positional data through 2015 and have slowed the pace of movement each subsequent year from 30 miles (2012) to 24 miles (2015).

No apparent reason for the change was listed. A 10 year change nonetheless! Given the fact that they suddenly changed their previously posted data of the previous decade to indicate a slower pole-shift progression, they are now able to project a slowing trend through 2015. If it were not for changing their own data, they would not have been able to project this trend through 2015. It is beginning to look like the USGS, who when they change their earthquake magnitude numbers, they always (95% of the time) revise them downward. The revisions made are always in a ‘less alarming’ direction.

The following map shows the position of the magnetic north pole, and its shift since 1977. Read here for the past 400 years of magnetic north pole shift. Clearly it can be seen where the annual pole location begins to spread during the mid 1990′s when the acceleration rapidly increased.
Continue Reading Here

Big Brother Increases Presence On College Campuses

(Salon) Campus spies. Pepper spray. SWAT teams. Twitter trackers. Biometrics. Student security consultants. Professors of homeland security studies. Welcome to Repress U, class of 2012.

Since 9/11, the homeland security state has come to campus just as it has come to America’s towns and cities, its places of work and its houses of worship, its public space and its cyberspace. But the age of (in)security had announced its arrival on campus with considerably less fanfare than elsewhere — until, that is, the “less lethal” weapons were unleashed in the fall of 2011.

Today, from the City University of New York to the University of California, students increasingly find themselves on the frontlines, not of a war on terror, but of a war on “radicalism” and “extremism.” Just about everyone from college administrators and educators to law enforcement personnel and corporate executives seems to have enlisted in this war effort.  Increasingly, American students are in their sights.

In 2008, I laid out seven steps the Bush administration had taken to create a homeland security campus.  Four years and a president later, Repress U has come a long way.  In the Obama years, it has taken seven more steps to make the university safe for plutocracy.  Here is a step-by-step guide to how they did it.

1. Target Occupy

Had there been no UC Davis, no Lt. John Pike, no chemical weapons wielded against peacefully protesting students, and no cameras to broadcast it all, Americans might never have known just how far the homeland security campus has come in its mission to police its students.  In the old days, you might have called in the National Guard.  Nowadays, all you need is an FBI-trained, federally funded and “less lethally” armed campus police department.

The mass pepper-spraying of students at UC Davis was only the most public manifestation of a long-running campus trend in which, for officers of the peace, the pacification of student protest has become part of the job description.  The weapons of choice have sometimes been blunt instruments, such as the extendable batons used to bludgeon the student body at BerkeleyBaruch and the University of Puerto Rico.  At other times, tactical officers have turned to “less-lethal” munitions, like the CS gas, beanbag rounds and pepper pellets fired into crowds at Occupy protests across the University of California system this past winter.

Yet for everything we see of the homeland security campus, there is a good deal more that we miss.  Behind the riot suits, the baton strikes, and the pepper-spray cannons stands a sprawling infrastructure made possible by multimillion-dollar federal grants, “memoranda of understanding” and “mutual aid” agreements among law enforcement agencies, counter-terrorism training, an FBI-sponsored “Academic Alliance” and 103 Joint Terrorism Task Forces (which provide “one-stop shopping” for counterterrorism operations to more than 50 federal and 600 state and local agencies).

“We have to go where terrorism takes us, so we often have to go onto campuses,” FBI Special Agent Jennifer Gant told Campus Safety Magazine in an interview last year.  To that end, campus administrators and campus police chiefs are now known to coordinate their operations with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “special advisors,” FBI “campus liaison agents,” an FBI-led National Security Advisory Board and a Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, which instructs local law enforcement in everything from “physical techniques” to “behavioral science.” More than half of campus police forces already have “intelligence-sharing agreements” with these and other government agencies in place.

2. Get a SWAT team

Since 2007, campus police forces have decisively escalated their tactics, expanded their arsenals, and trained ever more of their officers in SWAT-style paramilitary policing. Many agencies acquire their arms directly from the Department of Defense through a surplus weapons sales program known as “1033,” which offers, among other things, “used grenade launchers (for the deployment of less lethal weapons)… for a significantly reduced cost.”

According to the most recent federal data available, nine out of 10 campus agencies with sworn police officers now deploy armed patrols authorized to use deadly force.  Nine in 10 also authorize the use of chemical munitions, while one in five make regular use of Tasers.  Last August, an 18-year old student athlete died after being tased at the University of Cincinnati.

Meanwhile, many campus police squads have been educated in the art of war through regular special weapons training sessions by “tactical officers’ associations” which run a kind of SWAT university.  In October, UC Berkeley played host to an “Urban Shield” SWAT training exercise involving local and campus agencies, the California National Guard, and special police forces from Israel, Jordan, and Bahrain.  And since 2010, West Texas A&M has played host to paramilitary training programs for police from Mexico.

In October, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte got its very own SWAT team, equipped with MP-15 rifles, M&P 40 sidearms, and Remington shotguns.  “We have integrated SWAT officers into the squads that serve our campus day and night,” boasted UNC Charlotte Chief of Police Jeff Baker.  The following month, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a SWAT team staged an armed raid on an occupied building, pointing assault rifles at the heads of activists, among them UNC students.

3. Spy on Muslims

The long arm of Repress U stretches far beyond the bounds of any one campus or college town. As reported by the Associated Press this winter, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and its hitherto secret “Demographics Unit” sent undercover operatives to spy on members of the Muslim Students Association at more than 20 universities in four states across the Northeast beginning in 2006.



None of the organizations or persons of interest were ever accused of any wrongdoing, but that didn’t stop NYPD detectives from tracking Muslim students through a “Cyber Intelligence Unit,” issuing weekly “MSA Reports” on local chapters of the Muslim Students Association, attending campus meetings and seminars, noting how many times students prayed, or even serving as chaperones for what they described as “militant paintball trips.”  The targeted institutions ran the gamut from community colleges to Columbia and Yale.

According to the AP’s investigation, the intelligence units in question worked closely not only with agencies in other cities, but with an agent on the payroll of the CIA.  Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, facing mounting calls to resign, has issued a spirited defense of the campus surveillance program, as has Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  “If terrorists aren’t limited by borders and boundaries, we can’t be either,” Kelly said in a speech at Fordham Law School.

The NYPD was hardly the only agency conducting covert surveillance of Muslim students on campus.  The FBI has been engaging in such tactics for years.  In 2007, UC Irvine student Yasser Ahmed was assaulted by FBI agents, who followed him as he was on his way to a campus “free speech zone.”  In 2010, Yasir Afifi, a student at Mission College in Santa Clara, California, found a secret GPS tracking device affixed to his car.  A half-dozen agents later knocked on his door to ask for it back.

4. Keep the undocumented out

Foreign students are followed closely by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) through its Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).  As of 2011, the agency was keeping tabs on 1.2 million students and their dependents.  Most recently, as part of a transition to the paperless SEVIS II — which aims to “unify records” — ICE has been linking student files to biometric and employer data collected by DHS and other agencies.

“That information stays forever,” notes Louis Farrell, director of the ICE program.  “And every activity that’s ever been associated with that person will come up.  That’s something that has been asked for by the national security community… [and] the academic community.”

Then there are the more than 360,000 undocumented students and high-school graduates who would qualify for permanent resident status and college admission, were the DREAM Act ever passed.  It would grant conditional permanent residency to undocumented students who were brought to the U.S. as children.  When such students started “coming out” as part of an “undocumented and unafraid” campaign, many received DHS notices to appear for removal proceedings.  Take 24-year old Uriel Alberto, of Lees-McRae College, who recently went on hunger strike in North Carolina’s Wake County jail; he now faces deportation (and separation from his U.S.-born son) for taking part in a protest at the state capitol.

Since 2010, the homeland security campus has been enlisted by the state of Arizona to enforce everything from bans on ethnic studies programs to laws like S.B. 1070, which makes it a crime to appear in public without proof of legal residency and is considered a mandate for police to detain anyone suspected of being undocumented.  Many undocumented students have turned down offers of admission to the University of Arizona since the passage of the law, while others have stopped attending class for fear of being detained and deported.

5. Keep an eye on student spaces and social media

While Muslim and undocumented students are particular targets of surveillance, they are not alone.  Electronic surveillance has expanded beyond traditional closed-circuit TV cameras to next-generation technologies like IQeye HD megapixel cameras, so-called edge devices (cameras that can do their own analytics), and Perceptrak’s video analytics software, which “analyzes video from security cameras 24×7 for events of interest,” and which recently made its debut at Johns Hopkins University and Mount Holyoke College.

At the same time, students’ social media accounts have become a favorite destination for everyone from campus police officers to analysts at the Department of Homeland Security.

In 2010, the DHS National Operations Center established a Media Monitoring Capability (MMC).  According to an internal agency document, MMC is tasked with “leveraging news stories, media reports and postings on social media sites… for operationally relevant data, information, analysis, and imagery.”  The definition of operationally relevant data includes “media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities,” “partisan or agenda-driven sites,” and a final category ambiguously labeled “research/studies, etc.”

With the Occupy movement coming to campus, even university police departments have gotten in on the action.  According to a how-to guide called “Essential Ingredients to Working with Campus Protests” by UC Santa Barbara police chief Dustin Olson, the first step to take is to “monitor social media sites continuously,” both for intelligence about the “leadership and agenda” and “for any messages that speak to violent or criminal behavior.”

6. Coopt the classroom and the laboratory

At a time when entire departments and disciplines are facing the chopping block at America’s universities, the Department of Homeland Security has proven to be the best-funded department of all.  Homeland security studies has become a major growth sector in higher education and now has more than 340 certificate- and degree-granting programs.  Many colleges have joined the Homeland Security and Defense Education Consortium, a spinoff of the U.S. Northern Command (the Department of Defense’s “homeland defense” division), which offers a model curriculum to its members.

This emerging discipline has been directed and funded to the tune of $4 billion over the last five years by DHS.  The goal, according to Dr. Tara O’Toole, DHS Undersecretary of Science & Technology, is to “leverag[e] the investment and expertise of academia… to meet the needs of the department.”  Additional funding is being made available from the Pentagon through its blue-skies research arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the “intelligence community” through its analogous Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity.

At the core of the homeland security-university partnership are DHS’s 12centers of excellence. (A number that has doubled since I first reported on the initiative in 2008.)  The DHS Office of University Programsadvertises the centers of excellence as an “extended consortium of hundreds of universities” which work together “to develop customer-driven research solutions” and “to provide essential training to the next generation of homeland security experts.”

But what kind of research is being carried out at these centers of excellence, with the support of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars each year?  Among the 41 “knowledge products” currently in use by DHS or being evaluated in pilot studies, we find an “extremist crime database,” a “Minorities at Risk for Organizational Behavior” dataset, analytics for aerial surveillance systems along the border, and social media monitoring technologies.  Other research focuses include biometrics, “suspicious behavior detection,” and “violent radicalization.”

7.  Privatize, subsidize and capitalize

Repress U has not only proven a boon to hundreds of cash-starved universities, but also to big corporations as higher education morphs intohired education.  While a majority of the $184 billion in homeland security funding in 2011 came from government agencies like DHS and the Pentagon, private sector funding is expected to make up an increasing share of the total in the coming years, according to the Homeland Security Research Corporation, a consulting firm serving the homeland security industry.

Each DHS Center of Excellence has been founded on private-public partnerships, corporate co-sponsorships, and the leadership of “industry advisory boards” which give big business a direct stake and say in its operations. Corporate giants allied with DHS Centers of Excellence include:

*Lockheed Martin at the Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), based at the University of Maryland at College Park.

*Alcatel-Lucent and AT&T at the Rutgers University-based Command, Control, and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis(CICADA).

*ExxonMobil and Con Edison at the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), based at the University of Southern California.

*Motorola, Boeing and Bank of America at the Purdue University-basedCenter for Visual Analytics for Command, Control, and Interoperability Environments (VACCINE).

*Wal-Mart, Cargill, Kraft and McDonald’s at the National Center for Food Protection and Defense (NCFPD), based at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.

What’s more, universities have struck multimillion-dollar deals with multinational private security firms like Securitas, deploying unsworn, underpaid, often untrained “protection officers” on campus as “extra eyes and ears.”  The University of Wisconsin-Madison, in one report, boasts that police and private partners have been “seamlessly integrated.”

Elsewhere, even students have gotten into the business of security.  The private intelligence firm STRATFOR, for example, recently partnered with the University of Texas to use its students to “essentially parallel the work of… outside consultants” but on campus, offering information on activist groups like the Yes Men.

Step by step, at school after school, the homeland security campus has executed a silent coup in the decade since September 11th.  The university, thus usurped, has increasingly become an instrument not of higher learning, but of intelligence gathering and paramilitary training, of profit-taking on behalf of America’s increasingly embattled “1 percent.”

Yet the next generation may be otherwise occupied.  Since September 2011, a new student movement has swept across the country, making itself felt most recently on March 1st with a national day of action to defend the right to education. This Occupy-inspired wave of on-campus activism is making visible what was once invisible, calling into question what was once beyond question, and counteracting the logic of Repress U with the logic of nonviolence and education for democracy.

For many, the rise of the homeland security campus has provoked some basic questions about the aims and principles of a higher education: Whom does the university serve? Whom does it protect? Who is to speak? Who is to be silenced? To whom does the future belong?

The guardians of Repress U are uninterested in such inquiry. Instead, they cock their weapons.  They lock the gates.  And they prepare to take the next step.

Source

Video- Superstring Theory Breakthrough

(Thomas Dishaw) A very interesting video breaking down the Superstring Theory.This may be way over some readers heads. Please watch this video. It will definitely make you think. We might be living in some kind of Matrix. Somethings we may never know. This planet is such a complex place. I included a few links to accompany this video. Wiki  String Theory

The Giant, Underestimated Earthquake Threat to North America

(Jerry Thompson)  Just over one year ago, a magnitude-9 earthquake hit the Tohoku region of northeastern Japan, triggering one of the most destructive tsunamis in a thousand years. The Japanese—the most earthquake-prepared, seismically savvy people on the planet—were caught off-guard by the Tohoku quake’s savage power. Over 15,000 people died. 

Now scientists are calling attention to a dangerous area on the opposite side of the Ring of Fire, the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a fault that runs parallel to the Pacific coast of North America, from northern California to Vancouver Island. This tectonic time bomb is alarmingly similar to Tohoku, capable of generating a megathrust earthquake at or above magnitude 9, and about as close to Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver as the Tohoku fault is to Japan’s coast. Decades of geological sleuthing recently established that although it appears quiet, this fault has ripped open again and again, sending vast earthquakes throughout the Pacific Northwest and tsunamis that reach across the Pacific. 

What happened in Japan will probably happen in North America. The big question is when.

 

On a foggy spring morning just before sunrise, 27 miles northwest of Cape Mendocino, California, a pimple of rock roughly a dozen miles below the ocean floor finally reaches its breaking point. Two slabs of the Earth’s crust begin to slip and shudder and snap apart.

The first jolt of stress coming out of the rocks sends a shock wave hurtling into Northern California and southern Oregon like a thunderbolt. For a few stunned drivers on the back roads in the predawn gloom, the pulse of energy that tears through the ground looks dimly like a 20-mile wrinkle moving through a carpet of pastures and into thick stands of redwoods.

Telephone poles whip back and forth as if caught in a hurricane. Power lines rip loose in a shower of blue and yellow sparks, falling to the ground where they writhe like snakes, snapping and biting. Lights go out and the telephone system goes down.

Cornices fall, brick walls crack, plate glass shatters. Pavement buckles, cars and trucks veer into ditches and into each other. A bridge across the Eel River is jerked off its foundations, taking a busload of farm workers with it. With computers crashing and cell towers dropping offline, all of Humboldt and Del Norte Counties in California are instantly cut off from the outside world, so nobody beyond the immediate area knows how bad it is here or how widespread the damage.


At the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) lab in Menlo Park, seismometers peg the quake at magnitude 8.1, and the tsunami detection centers in Alaska and Hawaii begin waking up the alarm system with standby alerts all around the Pacific Rim. Early morning commuters emerging from a BART station in San Francisco feel the ground sway beneath their feet and immediately hit the sidewalk in a variety of awkward crouches, a familiar fear chilling their guts.

Then another little rough spot on the bottom of the continent snaps off.

The fault unzips some more.

The outer edge of California snaps free like a steel spring in a juddering lurch—nine feet to the west. The continental shelf heaves upward, lifting a mountain of seawater.

The fault continues to rip all the way to Newport, Oregon, halfway up the state. The magnitude suddenly jumps to 8.6. A power surge blows a breaker somewhere east of town and feeds back through the system, throwing other breakers in a cascade that quickly crashes the entire grid in Oregon, Washington, and parts of California, Idaho, and Nevada. A brownout begins in six more western states. The wire line phone systems crash in lockstep.

Then another fragment of rock deep underneath Newport shears away. The fault unzips the rest of the way to Vancouver Island. The quake now pins seismic needles at magnitude 9.2. High-rise towers in Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria begin to undulate. The shock wave hammers through sandy soil, soft rock, and landfill like the deepest notes on a big string bass. The mushy ground sings harmony and tall buildings hum like so many tuning forks.

On I-5, the main north-south interstate highway, 37 bridges between Sacramento and Bellingham, Washington, collapse or are knocked off their pins. Five more go down between the Canada–United States border and downtown Vancouver. Nineteen railway bridges along the north-south coastal mainline of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway are wrecked as well. The runways of every major coastal airport from Northern California to Vancouver are buckled, cracked, and no longer flyable.

After 50 cycles of harmonic vibration—skyscrapers swaying rhythmically from side to side in giddy wobbles—dozens of tall buildings have shed most of their glass. In some downtown intersections the cascade of broken shards has piled up three feet deep.

Shock waves have been pummeling the Pacific Northwest for four minutes and thirty-five seconds now, and it still isn’t over. After 64 cycles, enough welds have cracked, enough concrete has spalled, enough shear walls have come unstuck that some towers begin to pancake. The same death spiral everyone saw in New York on 9/11 happens all over again. Smaller buildings, but more of them. Dozens of towers go down in the four northernmost of the affected cities.

In the five major urban areas along the fault, tens of thousands of people have been seriously injured. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, are dead. More than a third of the oncoming shift of police, firefighters, paramedics, nurses, and doctors do not show up for work. They are either stranded by collapsed buildings, bridges, and roadways, injured or dead themselves, or have decided to stick close to home to make sure their own families are OK before going to work. People who survive the collapses must do their own search and rescue for family members, friends, and neighbors still trapped in the rubble. Help will come eventually, but who knows when?

People in the United States and Canada, if they think at all about earthquake disasters, probably conjure up theSan Andreas fault in the worst-case scenario. In California, as they wait for “the Big One,” people wonder which city the San Andreas will wreck next—San Francisco or Los Angeles? But if by the Big One they mean the earthquake that will wreak havoc over the widest geographic area, that could destroy the most critical infrastructure, that could send a train of tsunamis across the Pacific causing economic mayhem that would probably last a decade or more—then the seismic demon to blame could not possibly be the San Andreas. It would have to be Cascadia’s fault.

One year after Japan’s devastating Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, scientists are still trying to figure out how the world’s most organized and earthquake-ready nation could have been taken so much by surprise. They were hit by an earthquake roughly 
25 times more powerful than experts thought 
possible in that part of the country. How could the forecast have been so wrong? The short answer is they didn’t look far enough back in geologic time to see that quakes and tsunamis just this big had indeed occurred there before. If they had prepared themselves for a much larger quake and wave, the outcome might have been entirely different.

Read more here

Is Someone Trying To Set Off The New Madrid Fault With Tulsa Super Bolt?

(Dan Potter)  It woke up sleepy Tulsans, set-off car alarms and freaked out the family pet. Many people thought it was an earthquake that hit Tulsa at 3:33 this morning.

Instead, says National Weather Service Meteorologist Steve Amburn, is was a “Super Bolt.” Amburn says a super bolt is a positively-charged cloud-to-ground stroke of lightning.

Computer records indicate a single “super bolt” struck in the heart of South Tulsa just after 3:30.

No damage from the super bolt is reported.

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L.A.Want’s To Shut Down Sexist Slurs On The Radio Dial,What’s Next Gov’t Criticism?


 (CBS)  City Council members were one step closer on Wednesday to becoming the first in the nation to adopt a resolution condemning certain types of speech on public airwaves.

Councilmember Jan Perry introduced legislation this week that would call upon media companies to ensure “on-air hosts do not use and promote racist and sexist slurs” on radio and other broadcasts.

Members of Black Media Alliance, National Hispanic Media Coalition, Korean-American Bar Association, and American Indians in Film and Television were on hand to voice their support for the proposal.

The resolution — which was also supported by Councilmember Bernard Parks and Council President Herb Wesson — called attention to the recent uproar over comments by KFI 640 AM talk show hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou.

Kobylt and Chiampou were suspended after they called the late pop singer Whitney Houston a “crack ho” three days after her death in February.

The proposal cites a “long history of racially offensive comments as well as deplorable sexist remarks, particularly towards women and Black, Latino, and Asian communities” at KFI 640 and calls for parent company Clear Channel Communications and other broadcasters to hire a more diverse workforce to offset the trend.

“It is easy to become desensitized to what other groups find intolerable which ultimately fosters an environment where negative comments can go unchecked and corporate guidelines and policies are no longer being enforced,” the resolution reads.

Remarks from syndicated talk show host Rush Limbaugh referring to Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke as a “slut” and a “prostitute” for testifying on Capitol Hill about women’s access to contraception were also cited in the proposal.

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Sheriff Joe Warns: Tons More Shocking Obama Info


(Joe Kovacs)  “America’s toughest sheriff” says there is “tons” more potentially shocking information on Barack Obama in connection with his probe into the president’s eligibility, and he calls the media’s suppression of his findings of a likely forged presidential birth certificate and Selective Service Card “probably the biggest censorship blackout in the history of the United States.”

“I’m not going after the president to keep him off a ballot or anything else, but that could happen,” Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. “I’m going at it strictly as a law-enforcement guy investigating a possible forgery and fraud. I’m sticking with that, but I’ll tell you one thing. We got tons of other information that could be very shocking, too, but I’m sticking now with just the [forgery] investigation and possible criminal violations.”

The lawman from Maricopa County made the comments March 16 on a national radio show hosted by Roger Hedgecock. (Scroll down for video.)

Help Sheriff Joe blow the lid off Obama’s fraud. Join the Cold Case Posse right now!

As WND reported March 1, Arpaio and his Cold Case Posse announced there is probable cause indicating the documents released by the White House last April purported to be Obama’s original, long-form birth certificate and Selective Service registration card are actually forgeries.

Read the preliminary findings of Sheriff Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse investigation.

He stressed on the radio show his original intent with the posse was to put to rest all the claims suggesting Obama was not meeting the constitutional requirements to hold the presidency.

“I told these guys, ‘I want you to do a good job. I hope we clear the president,’” he explained. “I said give me the microfiche in Hawaii to show that he was born in that hospital. Give us the microfiche. I said that six months ago. And that would clear everything up. But as we went into it with an open mind, now we’re coming to a conclusion that we may have some forged documents revolving around this situation.”

When asked about making an arrest, Arpaio said, “We’re trying to identify any alleged forger. We haven’t done that yet. … I’m not blaming the president, but if they’re forged, someone has to be responsible for doing that.”

The sheriff also said that on Friday, he made a decision about where to send Obama’s Selective Service Card in order to have that agency “help us or do an independent investigation.”

“We have nothing to hide. We’re bringing it to their attention, and see what happens,” Arpaio said. “My problem is, there’s a lot of conflicts out here to get somebody to look into this. [Regarding] the media … this is probably the biggest censorship blackout in the history of the United States. When I go to the toilet, I make it in national news. … I just can’t believe the media, including the cable media blocking this thing out.”

Today, Arpaio issued a statement saying he sent his request for assistance to the U.S. Selective Service System, asking its director, Lawrence Romo, to respond to him within 30 days on whether or not his national office will provide the sheriff with the original document, and if that office will move forward with an investigation of its own.

On Hedgecock’s radio show, Arpaio noted:

“I guess common sense would be to send it to them. The Selective Service director is appointed by the president. … They only have 136 employees in the whole organization. I presume if I did that, what do you think they’re gonna to do with it? The director who was appointed from San Antonio, Texas, eight months into the Obama administration, what do you think he’s gonna do? He’s probably gonna call some guy at the White House if he can get up to the chief of staff to ask some advice, and then what are they gonna do? Give it to the attorney general? I don’t know. … So I’m fighting big battles here.”

Arpaio made special note about the issue of Obama’s possibly forged Selective Service Card.

“We had a press conference. A lot of people came. They were snickering, trying to embarrass me, [saying] this is a pony show trying to get publicity,” he said. “However, when we showed the Selective Service Card on the screen, you could hear a pin drop.”

Because of inconsistencies on the form itself – including an unusually incomplete date stamp – sheriff’s investigators suspect the form, which was allegedly filled out in Honolulu in 1980, may be a forgery.


WND is reporting today that Arpaio is seeking Obama’s original registration card from Selective Service.

Sheriff’s investigators were able to replicate the alleged forgery by obtaining a circa 1980 pica stamp and a circa “2008″ date plug. Investigators were able to clearly demonstrate the “80″ (which should have actually read 1980) in Obama’s Selective Service Registration form resulted from cutting out the “08″ from an authentic “2008″ date plug, and inverting the “08″ to read “80″ when the cut plug was loaded into the year slot on the 1980 pica stamp.

Meanwhile, although Arpaio did not focus on Obama’s Social Security Number at his news conference,WND has also reported the president may be using a fraudulent number, another important piece of information the national news media continue to suppress.


The Arpaio findings are not the only items the media are refusing to cover. As WND reported yesterday, a full-blown cover-up appears to be taking place in connection with WND’s disclosure about a retired U.S. postman who has signed a sworn affidavit suggesting Obama was a foreign-born student who was receiving financial help to go to Harvard from the parents of domestic terrorist Bill Ayers.

 

Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse began its investigation in August after 250 members of the Surprise, Ariz., Tea Party, presented a signed petition asking him to undertake the investigation. The tea partiers indicated if a forged birth certificate had been used to place Obama on the 2012 Arizona presidential ballot, their rights as Maricopa County voters could be compromised.

NOTE: In case you missed the news conference of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s “Cold Case Posse,”you can view it here.

Then last December, Obama’s Justice Department held its own news conference to claim Arpaio’s office committed civil-rights violations against Hispanics, including racial profiling and heavy-handed immigration patrols based on racially charged complaints.

When asked about that during Friday’s radio show, Arpaio said, “They want to control my organization, [imposing] monitors and everything else. I’m not gonna go for that. So I guess they’ll sue me and we’ll go to court and put the real facts out. The real facts that they’re going to have to come up with including all their so-called witnesses that they won’t identify. They won’t give us anything.”

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How The Hunger Games Compare To Today’s World





(Alan Boyle)  The technological divide between the rulers and the ruled is at the heart of “The Hunger Games”: While the good guys struggle to survive, the bad guys employ fictional gee-whiz technologies inspired by real-life frontiers. And just as in real life, technology gets tripped up by unintended consequences.

That’s not to say the post-apocalyptic North America of the book series and the much-anticipated movie, opening Friday, is anything close to real life. On one level, the technologies used by the villainous government of the nation known as Panem, ranging from force fields to extreme genetic engineering, serve as science-fiction plot devices and special effects. But on another level, the contrast between bows and arrows on one side, and death-dealing hovercraft on the other, accentuates the saga’s David vs. Goliath angle — or, in this case, Katniss vs. the Capitol.

What? No cellphones?
Much has been made of the fact that the starving, downtrodden residents of Panem’s districts don’t seem to have access to cellphones or the Internet. Instead, they have to huddle around giant television sets to find out what their overlords in the Capitol want them to see. But if you think of Panem as a fictional tweak of modern-day North Korea, “The Hunger Games” might not be that far off the mark: You’ve got a leadership capable oflong-range missile launches, exercising virtually total control over what its impoverished populace sees and hears. Cellphones were outlawed until 2008, and even today they’re confiscated from international visitors upon arrival. Internet access and international calling are limited to the elite.

The outlook for change is mixed: Today, a million North Koreans are said to be using mobile phones, but the State Department’s Alec Ross told the Korea Times during a recent visit to Seoul that “it will be very difficult for technology to drive change in North Korea, given the extreme measures that North Korea has taken to create a media blackout.” That’s life in Panem … er, Pyongyang.




 

Genetic engineering
The most vivid special effects are connected to genetic engineering of various organisms, including humanized animals. To minimize the plot-spoiler effect, the only “muttation” I’ll mention in detail is the mockingjay, which figures so prominently in the advance publicity and provides the title for the third book in Suzanne Collins’ “Hunger Games” trilogy. The geniuses at the Panem high command created genetically modified birds known as jabberjays that were able to listen in on rebel conversations and report them back to the authorities. When the rebels caught onto this, they started feeding the jays false information. And when the Capitol figured this out, they left the jabberjays to fend for themselves. Male jabberjays mated with female mockingbirds, resulting in birds that couldlearn and repeat musical notes but not human speech.

The twist illustrates a time-honored movie maxim about genetic engineering, enunciated in the first “Jurassic Park” film:“Life will not be contained.”That may be putting it too simply, but the field has certainly raised a lot of questions about how to keep genetic genies in the bottle. This month, more than 100 groups issued a call to hold back on synthetic biology until new guidelines are drawn up.

Cross-species splicing is becoming more common: Jellyfish genes have been used to give a glow tomice and pigs. Other types of transgenic cloning have made cats and dogs glow in the dark. Experimental mice have been given a “humanized” version of a gene linked to speech, and there have been humanized sheep and cows as well. These real-life muttations aren’t as scary as the tracker jackers, but the movie’s genetic-engineering nightmares definitely strike closer to home than, say, vampire nightmares.

Force fields
When competitors fight each other in the Hunger Games, the arena is surrounded by some kind of force field to keep Katniss and the other kids from escaping. The invisible fence pushes back anyone or anything that’s thrown against it. In real life, researchers have looked into building up short-lasting but powerful electromagnetic fields to repel projectiles directed against military vehicles, but they haven’t yet reached the stage where a commander could truly issue the order to raise shields.

It’s more realistic to expect that future spaceship captains will use electromagnetic fields to protect their crews from interplanetary radiation blasts. One such study is being funded at Johnson Space Center as part of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program.

For years, the U.S. military has been looking into another type of force field, known as the Active Denial System or “pain ray.” This non-lethal system can direct a beam of millimeter-wave radiation at a crowd, producing an extreme burning sensation on the skin. The heat ray’s victims instinctively back away from wherever they’re standing to get out of the beam. Wired.com’s Spencer Ackerman was among a group of guinea pigs … er, guests … who got a taste of the pain ray during a recent demonstration at the Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia.

Ackerman’s conclusion was that the system isn’t anywhere near ready for prime time yet, due to lingering concerns about health effects, plus the hours-long buildup time for the beam generator, plus the fact that the system doesn’t really work that well under dusty, rainy or snowy conditions. Bottom line: It might be a while before the odds are ever in the pain ray’s favor.

Hovercraft
The “Hunger Games” aerial hovercraft are like helicopters, only spookier. They transport cargo as well as people, and can be used for combat and covert operations as well. A real-life hovercraft might be something like the fan-driven vehicles that Moller International has been working on for decades, or a scaled-up version of the Martin Jetpack. Or who knows? Maybe the Capitol has perfected thesuperconducting anti-gravity effect that NASA looked into more than a decade ago. (Interest waned when it turned out that the Podkletnov Effect couldn’t be reliably reproduced.)

Surveillance society
The biggest shadow looming over Katniss and the other denizens of the Districts is constant surveillance. That’s what the Hunger Games are all about: a reality-TV fight to the death, on the air 24/7, complete with sponsors and wagering. It’s a popular concept in fiction, popping up in films such as“The Running Man,” “Battle Royale” and “Series 7.”

The Capitol’s surveillance isn’t limited to the games, however. Just as the contestants are being monitored inside the arena, Panem’s citizens have to assume they’re being monitored on the outside. In real life, meanwhile, tens of millions of surveillance cameras are being installed across the United States, and there’s talk about giving domestic duties to camera-carrying robo-planes.

Hmmmm … maybe this part of the science-fiction saga is getting a little less fictional. What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts about the book and the movie, or about real-life parallels, in the comment section below.

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Schools Ban Children Making Best Friends

(Harry Hawkins)  Teachers are banning schoolkids from having best pals — so they don’t get upset by fall-outs.

Instead, the primary pupils are being encouraged to play in large groups.

Educational psychologist Gaynor Sbuttoni said the policy has been used at schools in Kingston, South West London, and Surrey.

She added: “I have noticed that teachers tell children they shouldn’t have a best friend and that everyone should play together.

“They are doing it because they want to save the child the pain of splitting up from their best friend. But it is natural for some children to want a best friend. If they break up, they have to feel the pain because they’re learning to deal with it.”

Russell Hobby, of the National Association of Head Teachers, confirmed some schools were adopting best-friend bans.

He said: “I don’t think it is widespread but it is clearly happening. It seems bizarre.

“I don’t see how you can stop people from forming close friendships. We make and lose friends throughout our lives.” The Campaign for Real Education, which wants more parental choice in state education, said the “ridiculous” policy was robbing children of their childhood.

Spokesman Chris McGovern added: “Children take things very seriously and if you tell them they can’t have a best friend it can be seriously damaging to them. They need to learn about relationships.”

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License Plate Tracking Technology One Step Closer In Connecticut



(Caleb Dishaw) The Activist Post has broken news that the state of  Connecticut has advanced a bill embracing RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips in license plates.

This bill will be a cash cow for the establishment. Enabling  real-time tracking of citizens throughout the state. Origins of this legislation can be traced back to Paul Scully-Power a former astronaut who first proposed this to law makers. Scully-Power  is the CEO of Mikoh Corporation and SensorConnect Inc, both of which sell RFID solutions. Funny, a man who proposes the bill just happens to benefit from this significantly.

The real interest for the bill is to catch people who lapse on their insurance or have an expired registration. Through automated tickets RFID makes photo enforcement systems far more accurate.

I find this to be a horrible idea and one step closer to being followed and tracked 24 hours a day. I am sure many more states will follow if this proves to be profitable and deemed successful. But as we all know this is all part of a bigger plan to control the population through whatever means necessary.

 

911 Audio Of Orlando Trayvon Martin Shooting

(Thomas Dishaw)  As public outcry continues. The recently released 911 tapes have hit the internet. This is one of the most tragic and unusual cases in the past year. With so many questions being raised and not enough answers the public has taken it upon them selves to make this a national case.  Why hasn’t the gunman been arrested yet?  He did murder someone, Correct. Although I do want a fair case for this moron. I think justice for the family is  deserved. What do you think? Leave your comments below.

 

FBI Spied On Visitors To ‘Prepper’ Website


(Paul Joseph Watson)  Visitors to a popular ‘prepper’ website which advises people on how to prepare for potential disasters and civil emergencies were spied on by the FBI by means of a cookie that tracked their web activity, according to an analysis conducted by SurvivalBlog.com.

 

“It has come to my attention that from August of 2011 to November of 2011, the FBI secretly redirected the web traffic of more than 10% of SurvivalBlog’s US visitors through CJIS, their sprawling data center situated on 900 acres, 10 miles from Clarksburg, West Virginia. There, the Feebees surreptitiously collected the IP addresses of my site visitors. In all, 4,906 of 35,494 selected connections ended up going to or through the FBI servers,” states a post on the SurvivalBlog.com website.

 

The analysis performed by the website found that the FBI’s primary source of interest was web users who had visited a video upload website associated with alleged intellectual copyright theft, such as MegaUpload. Once users visited these websites, they were assigned an FBI cookie which allowed the feds to track which websites users visited, including SurvivalBlog.com.

 

However, the analysis also showed that some of the cookies were being assigned to users who had connected directly with the SurvivalBlog website.


“So if they had kept this practice up long enough and if you visited us enough times then the FBI’s computers would have given you a cookie. This has been verified with sniffer software,” states the website.

SurvivalBlog has since switched its primary servers to be hosted in Sweden, preventing the FBI from accessing the data. However, the whole episode proves that the feds are spying on so-called ‘preppers’ by tracking the websites they visit.

Despite being the subject of a major National Geographic series entitledDoomsday Preppers, members of the ‘prepper’ community have been treated with increasing suspicion by US authorities.

Last month we reported on the case of David Sarti, a familiar face in the prepper community who features prominently in the National Geographic show. Sarti was declared mentally defective and put on an FBI list preventing him from purchasing guns after an enforced stay in hospital after Sarti had complained of breathing difficulties.

Sarti was also told that his second amendment rights had been stripped and that he would have to hand in all the guns he currently owns. Sarti is currently fighting to have his name taken off the list that outlaws him from buying guns.

In a related development, under the auspices of its Communities Against Terrorism program, the FBI has characterized the bulk purchase of food, a common trait of the ‘prepper’ community, as a suspicious activity possibly indicative of terrorism.

A flyer aimed at Military Surplus stores encourages owners to report people who “make bulk purchases of items to include….meals ready to eat”. According to the flyer, the FBI advises store owners to demand ID’s from all new customers, as well as asking them questions about their purchase and being aware of “suspicious statements”.

Despite the fact that the federal government itself is purchasing bulk food supplies at record levels, efforts by citizens to do the same are being scrutinuized by authorities.

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California Protesters Shut Down Monsanto Office


(Anthony Gucciardi)  While proposed government regulation, previous legal action, and the threat of agricultural collapse does not seem to affect Monsanto’s daily operations, it appears protesters can and do. Dozens of protesters disrupted Monsanto’s California office in Davis, an area close to Sacramento, through vocal activism and calls to shut down the biotech giant with deep known ties into the United States government. Braving the rain, the dozens of protesters — not thousands — were successful in shutting down the entire office for the day.

The response to the activism presented by the protesters highlights just how powerful of a voice even just a few individuals have. If even a small group of anti-Monsanto grassroots activists can pause the entire business operations of a Monsanto corporation hub for the day, imagine what thousands or millions of concerned citizens could do. Monsanto is afraid of public outrage, which is why they are continually trying to squash labeling initiatives that would visually demonstrate to consumers just how ubiquitous their genetically modified ingredients are throughout the food supply. Many consumers now know and understand the negative effects of Monsanto’s creations, and oftentimes are consuming them unknowingly thanks to a lack of proper labeling guidelines.


“We were successful today in shutting down Monsanto,” said Steve Payan, the event organizer.

These developments have hit the news following two vital stories revealing the true nature of both Monsanto’s GMO crops and best-selling herbicide Roundup. Monsanto’s Roundup and a modified ‘biopesticide’ known as Bt were found to be killing human kidney cells by scientists, actually exhibiting direct toxicity to human biology. In the same vein, a group of 22 expert agricultural scientists warned the EPA that Monsanto’s GMO corn was extremely ineffective despite being toted as a method of increasing crop yields and reducing pesticide usage. Beyond the ineffective nature of the crops, the scientists warned that the GMO crops are developing mutated rootworms. The ‘super’ worms actually threaten the future of corn production as a whole, and could be a wrench in the agricultural wheel of progress.

It’s time for more than just a few dozen to stand up to Monsanto. If a small group can take down their office for a day from some mild protests, a few hundred thousand can take down the entire company — permanently.

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Sweden Moving Towards Cashless Economy


(AP)  Sweden was the first European country to introduce bank notes in 1661. Now it’s come farther than most on the path toward getting rid of them.

 

“I can’t see why we should be printing bank notes at all anymore,” says Bjoern Ulvaeus, former member of 1970’s pop group ABBA, and a vocal proponent for a world without cash.

 

The contours of such a society are starting to take shape in this high-tech nation, frustrating those who prefer coins and bills over digital money.

 

In most Swedish cities, public buses don’t accept cash; tickets are prepaid or purchased with a cell phone text message. A small but growing number of businesses only take cards, and some bank offices — which make money on electronic transactions — have stopped handling cash altogether.

 

“There are towns where it isn’t at all possible anymore to enter a bank and use cash,” complains Curt Persson, chairman of Sweden’s National Pensioners’ Organization.

 

He says that’s a problem for elderly people in rural areas who don’t have credit cards or don’t know how to use them to withdraw cash.

 

The decline of cash is noticeable even in houses of worship, like the Carl Gustaf Church in Karlshamn, southern Sweden, where Vicar Johan Tyrberg recently installed a card reader to make it easier for worshippers to make offerings.

 

“People came up to me several times and said they didn’t have cash but would still like to donate money,” Tyrberg says.

 

Bills and coins represent only 3 percent of Sweden’s economy, compared to an average of 9 percent in the eurozone and 7 percent in the U.S., according to the Bank for International Settlements, an umbrella organization for the world’s central banks.

 

Three percent is still too much if you ask Ulvaeus. A cashless society may seem like an odd cause for someone who made a fortune on “Money, Money, Money” and other ABBA hits, but for Ulvaeus it’s a matter of security.

 

After his son was robbed for the third time he started advocating a faster transition to a fully digital economy, if only to make life harder for thieves.

 

“If there were no cash, what would they do?” says Ulvaeus, 66.

 

The Swedish Bankers’ Association says the shrinkage of the cash economy is already making an impact in crime statistics.


The number of bank robberies in Sweden plunged from 110 in 2008 to 16 in 2011 — the lowest level since it started keeping records 30 years ago. It says robberies of security transports are also down.

 

“Less cash in circulation makes things safer, both for the staff that handle cash, but also of course for the public,” says Par Karlsson, a security expert at the organization.

 

The prevalence of electronic transactions — and the digital trail they generate — also helps explain why Sweden has less of a problem with graft than countries with a stronger cash culture, such as Italy or Greece, says economics professor Friedrich Schneider of the Johannes Kepler University in Austria.

 

“If people use more cards, they are less involved in shadow economy activities,” says Schneider, an expert on underground economies.

 

In Italy — where cash has been a common means of avoiding value-added tax and hiding profits from the taxman — Prime Minister Mario Monti in December put forward measures to limit cash transactions to payments under euro1,000 ($1,300), down from euro2,500 before.

 

The flip side is the risk of cybercrimes. According to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention the number of computerized fraud cases, including skimming, surged to nearly 20,000 in 2011 from 3,304 in 2000.

 

Oscar Swartz, the founder of Sweden’s first Internet provider, Banhof, says a digital economy also raises privacy issues because of the electronic trail of transactions. He supports the idea of phasing out cash, but says other anonymous payment methods need to be introduced instead.

 

“One should be able to send money and donate money to different organizations without being traced every time,” he says.

 

It’s no surprise that Sweden and other Nordic countries are at the forefront of this development, given their emphasis on technology and innovation.

 

For the second year in a row, Sweden ranked first in the Global Information Technology Report released at the World Economic Forum in January. The Economist Intelligence Unit also put Sweden top of its latest digital economy rankings, in 2010. Both rankings measure how far countries have come in integrating information and communication technologies in their economies.

 

Internet startups in Sweden and elsewhere are now hard at work developing payment and banking services for smartphones.

 

Swedish company iZettel has developed a device for small traders, similar to Square in the U.S., that plugs into the back of an iPhone to make it work like a credit card terminal. Sweden’s biggest banks are expected to launch a joint service later this year that allows customers to transfer money between each other’s accounts in real-time with their cell phones.

 

Most experts don’t expect cash to disappear anytime soon, but that its proportion of the economy will continue to decline as such payment options become available. Before retiring as deputy governor of Sweden’s central bank, Lars Nyberg said last year that cash will survive “like the crocodile, even though it may be forced to see its habitat gradually cut back.”

 

Andrea Wramfelt, whose bowling alley in the southern city of Landskrona stopped accepting cash in 2010, makes a bolder prediction: She believes coins and notes will cease to exist in Sweden within 20 years.

 

“Personally I think this is what people should expect in the future,” she says.

 

But there are pockets of resistance. Hanna Celik, whose family owns a newspaper kiosk in a Stockholm shopping mall, says the digital economy is all about banks seeking bigger earnings.

 

Celik says he gets charged about 5 Swedish kronor ($0.80) for every credit card transaction, and a law passed by the Swedish Parliament prevents him from passing on that charge to consumers.

 

“That stinks,” he says. “For them (the banks), this is a very good way to earn a lot of money, that’s what it’s all about. They make huge profits.”

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Woman Fined $6,000 For Planting Flowers In Her Front Yard


(CBS)   Kimberly Bois’ tiny front yard garden isn’t much to look at right now. But in a few weeks, it’ll be in full bloom, and every blossom will cost her dearly.

Even though she says her builder gave her permission to do a little planting, the current condo board now says she’s in violation.

They’re charging the Portsmouth, New Hampshire homeowner $50 a day for being so petal pushy. That fine has reached close to $6,000, plus the board’s legal fees.

“It’s just not a happy place to live anymore for me,” says Bois, who planted the small flower bed with the help of her mother, who has since passed away.

 

She says, “It just feels like we’ve been bullied and really all we wanted to do was have a conversation to figure out how this can benefit all of us.”

A new certified letter arrives every month, ordering Bois to uproot her garden and keeping track of her fines.

It got so bad, she contacted a Realtor friend of hers to talk about just selling the place that she has owned since 2008.

That’s when she got the real shock: the board put a lien on her townhouse for their fines.

Bois says the whole situation has, “gotten out of control.”

She even offered to pull up the flowers and pay part of the board’s legal fees a couple of weeks ago – an offer she says was refused.

The association’s bylaws don’t expressly forbid planting flowers on your property, Bois explains, nor do they explicitly allow it.

Board members have told Bois they just want all the units to look the same.

“Now we’ve gone down a rabbit hole that I just can’t seem to get out of and it’s very sad, and it’s upsetting,” she says.

WBZ reached out to the attorney who represents the condo association, but he did not respond our request for comment.

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Aborted Babies Are Being Chopped Up And Sold To Researchers All Over America


(American Dream)  Did you know that aborted babies are being chopped up and sold to medical researchers all over America?  There is a federal law which is supposed to ban this practice, but it contains a gigantic loophole that abortion clinics are using to sell huge amounts of aborted baby parts to the scientific community.

The loophole in the federal law allows “reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue.”  But there are no guidelines as to what those “reasonable payments” should be and the Obama administration is not about to start prosecuting abortion clinics.

So aborted baby parts from American babies will continue to be very quietly sold for profit to medical researchers and most Americans will never hear anything about it.  But future generations will look back in horror at what we allowed to be done right under our noses.

With the full approval of the Obama administration, one company in the United States has plans to inject aborted baby brain cells into the eyes of patients to see if that will help improve their vision.  The following is from a recent article onLifeNews.com….

Scott Fischbach, the director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life uncovered the information showing a clinical trial approved by the Food and Drug Administration uses brain tissue from aborted unborn babies to treat macular degeneration. StemCells Inc. will inject fetal brain stem cells into the eyes of up to 16 patients to study the cells’ effect on vision.

As Fischbach correctly notes, a fetus must be at a certain stage of development before brain tissue can be harvested for this kind of research….

“StemCells Inc. is not using embryonic stem cells. A five-day-old human being at the embryonic stage does not have a brain, but a fetus at 10 or 20 weeks of development with visible fingers, toes and ears has a functioning brain,” said Fischbach. “Developing human beings in the womb are treated simply as raw material for laboratory experimentation by StemCells Inc. and other companies seeking to monetize aborted unborn children.”

But the harvesting of tissue and organs from aborted babies is definitely not new.  It has been going on for a long time.

For example, a recent article posted on worldmag.com describes the very big business that the Birth Defects Research Laboratory at the University of Washington in Seattle does in aborted baby parts….

It’s known within the research community as a top government distributor of fetal tissue. Last year the Puget Sound Business Journal stated the lab “in 2009 filled more than 4,400 requests for fetal tissue and cell lines.”

The lab’s grant records indicate it received $579,091 from the NIH last year. To date, it has retrieved the products of 22,000 pregnancies. According to a description the lab provided in its most recent grant applications, an increase in nonsurgical abortion methods has “created new obstacles to obtaining sufficient amounts of high quality tissue. To overcome these problems and meet increasing demand, the Laboratory has developed new relationships with both local and distant clinics.”

Once again, it is supposed to be against federal law to buy aborted baby parts from abortion clinics.  But this “problem” is avoided by taking advantage of the loophole that allows for “reasonable payments associated with the transportation, implantation, processing, preservation, quality control, or storage of human fetal tissue.”

An article posted on LifeDynamics.com describes how this system works….

1) A baby parts “wholesaler” enters into a financial agreement with an abortion clinic in which the wholesaler pays a monthly “site fee” to the clinic. For this payment, the wholesaler is allowed to place a retrieval agent inside the clinic where he or she is given access to the corpses of children killed there and a workspace to harvest their parts. In most cases, this retrieval agent is an employee of the wholesaler. In other instances, the retrieval agent is a clinic employee who was trained by the wholesaler.

2) The buyer – usually a researcher working for a medical school, pharmaceutical company, bio-tech company or government agency – supplies the wholesaler with a list of the baby parts wanted.

3) When such orders are received by the wholesaler, they are faxed to the retrieval agent at the clinic who harvests the requested parts and ships them to the buyer via FedEx, Airborne or a similar common carrier.

4) These parts are “donated” by the clinic to the wholesaler who turns around and “donates” them to the buyer. The buyer then “reimburses” the wholesaler for the cost of retrieving the parts.

In the end, nobody is technically “buying or selling” anything but they all get what they want and a lot of money changes hands.

A number of years ago an abortion industry insider came forward with shocking details of how this organ harvesting operation actually functions.  The following is from a very eye-opening InvestigateDaily article….

It was an interview that shocked America. An Insider, spilling the beans on massive malpractice to a reporter on ABC’s 20/20. Only this time, it wasn’t Big Tobacco in the gunsights, it was the US abortion industry, exposed as harvesting the organs from aborted babies. According to former abortion clinic technician Dean Alberty, clinics were harvesting eyes, brains, hearts, limbs, torsos and other body parts for sale to the scientific market: laboratories wanting to test new drugs or procedures, or researchers trying to find the causes of genetic disorders or discover new ways of treating disorders like Parkinsons.

Sometimes babies actually survive the initial abortion procedure and workers actually have to kill the babies themselvesbefore harvesting the organs….

Alberty worked for a Maryland agency called the Anatomic Gift Foundation, which essentially acted as a brokerage between universities and researchers seeking body parts, and the abortion clinics providing the raw material. Alerted by the clinics about the races and gestations of babies due to be aborted each day, AGF technicians would match the offerings with parts orders on their client lists. Alberty and his colleagues would turn up at the abortions that offered the best donor prospects to begin dissecting and extracting what they needed before decay set in.

“We would have a contract with an abortion clinic that would allow us to go in…[to] procure fetal tissue for research. We would get a generated list each day to tell us what tissue researchers, pharmaceuticals and universities were looking for. Then we would go and look at the particular patient charts—we had to screen out anyone who had STDs or fetal anomalies. These had to be the most perfect specimens we could give these researchers for the best value that we could sell for.

“We were taking eyes, livers, brains, thymuses, and especially cardiac blood…even blood from the limbs that we would get from the veins” he said.

Alberty told of seeing babies wounded but alive after abortion procedures, and in one case a set of twins “still moving on the table” when clinicians from AGF began dissecting the children to harvest their organs. The children, he said, were “cuddling each other” and “gasping for breath” when medics moved in for the kill.

You can read the rest of that shocking article right here.

So are you sick to your stomach yet?

This is a hard article to write, but the American people need to be confronted with the truth.  If we ignore the horrors going on right under our noses, then that would make us just like so many of the other nightmarish societies throughout history that we rightly condemn.

Sadly, most Americans don’t even realize that large numbers of consumer products on our supermarket shelves contain ingredients which have been cultivated using aborted human fetal cell lines.

This information is not hard to find.

But people do not like to talk about it.

There are price lists for human fetal tissue all over the Internet.  You can find one example right here.

So does it bother you that aborted babies are being chopped up and sold to researchers all over America?

Or are you perfectly fine with it?

Please feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below….

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Obama’s Latest Executive Order: Martial Law, Confiscation Of Private Property & Forced Labor


(Kurt Nimmo)  On Friday, March 16, Obama issued another unconstitutional executive order. The National Defense Resources Preparedness EO allows the government to confiscate your property without due process under the direction of Janet Napolitano and the Department of Homeland Security.

Obama Il Duce: Executive order permits government and corporations to steal private property.

Obama’s EO allows the president to “take actions necessary to ensure the availability of adequate resources and production capability, including services and critical technology, for national defense requirements” in the event of a “potential threat to the security of the United States.”

Obama’s latest EO demonstrates once again that the executive will continue to violate the Constitution, in particular Article I, Section 1, which states: “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

Any enactment of law by the executive is made in Excess of Jurisdiction and is by definition treason.

Fascist Executive Orders

Obama’s latest EO underscores and reemphasizes Bill Clinton’s EO 12919, signed on June 6, 1994.

Clinton’s 12919 followed a number of earlier executive orders allowing the government to steal your property – and also force you to be a slave laborer – during a vaguely declared “national emergency.” The government has given itself the authority to seize all communication (from television stations to CB radios), confiscate all food resources (including farms and farm equipment), take control of all transportation (including your family car), and compel you at gunpoint “under federal supervision” to work as a slave.

National Defense Resources Preparedness is a textbook example of fascism. It allows the government to steal privately owned property and publicly owned infrastructure and hand it over to its preferred corporate partners under the guise of a national emergency: “(b)  provide for the modification or expansion of privately owned facilities, including the modification or improvement of production processes, when taking actions under sections 301, 302, or 303 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2091, 2092, 2093; and  (c)  sell or otherwise transfer equipment owned by the Federal Government and installed under section 303(e) of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2093(e), to the owners of such plants, factories, or other industrial facilities.”

Fascist philosopher and Italian dictator Benito Mussolini used his principle of a “nation in arms” to steal private property from citizens. Obama’s latest EO declares the right to do the same. Mussolini devised fascist corporatism – the philosophy of the “corporative state” – and Obama under the direction of his Goldman Sachs and transnational corporate and bankster controllers has updated this corporate-statist doctrine, including the ability to steal privately earned and held wealth under the pretense of a national emergency.

Martial Law

Previous administrations installed the groundwork for Obama’s authoritarian move. Under Reagan, executive agencies were granted sweeping emergency powers to not only grab infrastructure and private property, but also round up citizens and put them in concentration camps and force them into slave labor brigades.

During the Iran-Contra hearings in 1987, it was revealed that the program was a secretive “scenario and drill” developed by the federal government to suspend the Constitution, declare martial law, assign military commanders to take over state and local governments, and detain large numbers of American citizens determined by the government to be “national security threats.”

Obama’s NDAA was established to provide the legal mechanism for tasking the military to round up activists and others targeted by the government. Prior to the NDAA, the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act and other related programs, the government devised Rex 84and in particular Operation Garden Plot, an operational plan to use the Army, USAF, Navy, and Marine Corp. in direct support of civil disturbance control operations. It has since added numerous elements under the rubric of Continuity of Government, the overall war on terror, civil disturbance and emergency response.

With the scantily covered National Emergency Centers Establishment Act, the Military Commissions Act, and the recent NDAA sailing through Congress, and a raft of lesser legislation and unconstitutional directives, we are beginning to see the contours of the police state.

Corporate Media Ignores National Defense Resources Preparedness

A Google News search produces virtually no mention of Obama’s latest assault on the Constitution from the establishment media. The alternative media began covering the latest Obama executive order from the moment it was posted on the White House website on Friday, but the corporate media remains silent.

Obama’s EO should be headline news. It is a direct assault on the Constitution and further empowers an executive branch dictatorship and allows it to exploit a “full spectrum of emergencies” and permits it to confiscate private property and turn citizens into slaves.

As John Adams noted, the very basis of the Constitution rests on the concept of private property. “The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God,” Adams wrote, “anarchy and tyranny commence. Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist.”

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The Pirate Bay To Fly Server Drones To Avoid Law Enforcement



(Jason Koebler)  The world’s largest and most resilient BitTorrent site plans to redefine “cloud computing” with a plan to move at least some of its servers onto unmanned drones miles above Sweden.

In a Sunday blog post, The Pirate Bay announced new “Low Orbit Server Stations” that will house the site’s servers and files on unmanned, GPS-controlled, aircraft drones.

[Porn Companies File Mass Piracy Lawsuits]

One of the sites administrators, MrSpock, said with the advent of miniature computers such as the Raspberry Pi, a $35 micro computer the size of a thumb drive that includes a WiFi and SD card slot for storage, the site can take its servers far from any law enforcement.

“We’re going to experiment with sending out some small drones that will float some kilometers up in the air,” MrSpock wrote. “This way our machines will have to be shut down with aeroplanes in order to shut down the system. A real act of war.”

The Swedish site has operated since 2003 by an “anti-copyright organization” and despite numerous raids, remains one of the most popular music and movie pirating sites on the web. The site hosts thousands of “torrent” files—tiny files that allow users to connect to and download files from other users. The system is one of the most popular ways to anonymously share large files and often comes under fire from copyright holders, who argue that the service allows people to easily share copyrighted movies, music, games and software.

[Opinion: Digital Piracy is Still a Problem]

The site has repeatedly mocked American copyright laws and has said that American laws “[do] not apply [in Sweden].” Earlier this year, four of its staffers were sentenced to Swedish prison. Last year, the site apparently moved some of its servers to a mountain cave complex in Sweden.

“Experiencing raids, espionage and death threats, we’re still here,” the site wrote in a blog post last month. “We’ve been through hell and back and it has made us tougher than ever.”

The move to hovering servers could make it nearly impossible for authorities to shut the site down, a fact not lost on the site’s administrators.

“We can’t limit ourselves to hosting things just on land anymore,” MrSpock wrote. “When time comes we will host in all parts of the galaxy, being true to our slogan of being the galaxy’s most resilient system.”

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Are Video Games Just Propaganda And Training Tools For The Military?

(Alex Rainer)  It’s a shadowy and lucrative relationship. But just how close are video-game developers with various military outfits? And how does it affect the games we play?

It’s Monday night, the kids are in bed, and I am trying to kill Osama bin Laden. I stalk through his Abbottabad compound and I aim my rifle at the first person I see, only to discover he’s my brother in arms, aka “OverdoseRocks”. So I walk downstairs into a prayer room, at which point my gun accidentally goes off. Then the mission is over. We were victorious.

Next, I join US servicemen during the 2007 surge in Iraq. For about three minutes I kick about a palm-lined boulevard, strafing apartment buildings. I am ambushed. In my dying moments, I am presented with an advert for a game in which I can embody a cheetah and kill an antelope, but I have had enough bloodshed for one evening.

I have been on the Kuma Games site, an online entertainment developer and, according to reports on Iranian television, an international distributor of military propaganda. Kuma produces a range of games, from second world war air-battle shoot-’em-ups for the History Channel, through to the carnivore-themed I Predator, a tie-in for the cable station Animal Planet. Yet it’s the company’s KumaWar series of topical military games, as well as a more discreet line of Arabic-language first-person shooter games, that have piqued media attention. During a televised confession on Iranian TV, alleged US agent and former marine Amir Mirzai Hekmati said he had worked for Kuma, and it was a CIA front company.

Though his words cannot be regarded as the unvarnished truth, publicly available government documents indicate that Hekmati had been a Kuma employee, while Kuma’s CEO, Keith Halper, admits to taking on military work. If his words are true, KumaWar are only one of a number of bloody titles produced under varying degrees of military aegis.

In 2001 Syria’s Afkar Media published Under Ash, in which players take on the role of Palestinians fighting off an Israeli assault; they followed this in 2005 with Under Siege, and in 2008 non-violent children’s game Road Block Buster, in which players take on the role of “‘Maan’ the boy with a thousand way[s] to get over any barrier or road block implanted by Israeli Defense forces”. In 2003, developers linked to Hezbollah entered the market with a Special Force series, a set of PC war games set in Lebanon.

In 2007, Iran’s Association of Islamic Unions of Students released Special Operation 85: Hostage Rescue; a first-person-shooter game wherein players aim to free two Iranian nuclear scientists kidnapped by the US. The game was published in response to Kuma’s Assault on Iran, which was based around a US assault on an Iranian nuclear facility.

There are also more formal offerings from the world’s leading powers. America’s Army, a free online simulator, was published by the US military in 2002 to aid recruitment. The British army launched their online game Start Thinking Soldier in 2009, to drive interest among 16- to 24-year-olds. Then in May last year, China’s People’s Liberation Army unveiled Glorious Revolution, a Call of Duty-style game for both military and domestic markets.

This is all in addition to numerous game-like training tools, from language apps through to tank-driving tutorials, which are used to educate recruits around the globe.


“For decades the military has been using video-game technology,” says Nina Huntemann, associate professor of communication and journalism at Suffolk University in Boston and a computer games specialist. “Every branch of the US armed forces and many, many police departments are using retooled video games to train their personnel.”

Like much of early computing, nascent digital gaming benefited from military spending. The prototype for the first home video games console, the 1972 Magnavox Odyssey, was developed by Sanders Associates, a US defence contractor. Meanwhile, pre-digital electronic flight simulators, for use in both military and civilian training, date back to at least the second world war.

Later, the games industry began to repay its debts. Many insiders note how instruments in British Challenger 2 tanks, introduced in 1994, look uncannily like the PlayStation’s controllers, one of the most popular consoles of that year. Indeed, warfare’s use of digital war games soared towards the end of the 20th century.

“By the late 1990s,” says Nick Turse, an American journalist, historian and author of The Complex: How the Military Invades Our Everyday Lives, “the [US] army was pouring tens of millions of dollars into a centre at the University of Southern California – the Institute of Creative Technologies – specifically to build partnerships with the gaming industry and Hollywood.”

It’s a toxic relationship in Turse’s opinion, since gaming leads to a reliance on remote-controlled warfare, and this in turn makes combat more palatable.

“Last year,” says Turse, “the US conducted combat missions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. There are a great many factors that led to this astonishing number of simultaneous wars, but the increasing use of drones, and thus a lower number of US military casualties that result, no doubt contributed to it.”

Many closer to the action take a different view. Justin Crump served in the British army for seven years and has been a reservist since the early 90s; he saw active duty in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to enlisting, Crump was also a keen gamer.

“I learned my tactics playing games in the 80s,” he says. “In the recruitment interview I said I’d been flying simulators for a few years.”

While Crump recognises the military’s involvement in early games development, he believes the computer industry has outpaced military simulators.

“With 30-year procurement programmes, you’ll be spec’ing simulators in the 80s and 90s,” he says. Imagine ordering Space Invaders to be played in the Xbox era, and you realise why the British military has had to improve some of its simulated training to keep the attention of new recruits.

Crump laughs when recalling the mechanical tank trainers he used in the early 90s, as well as the Laserdisc system used for training on the Challenger 2 tank, back in 1998. “We asked: ‘Why aren’t these things on CDs or a flash drive?’”

For a taste of how war games and armies might work best, try Steel Beasts. Developed by eSim, an American firm with ex-US and European army personnel, Steel Beasts is perhaps the world’s most successful tank-training simulator. “We wanted to develop a computer game that would be both entertaining and educational,” says Nils Hinrichsen, eSim’s marketing director, “which at the same time would offer a bit of ‘trigger time’, but with accurate procedures and ballistics.”

Hinrichsen admits that Steel Beasts won’t exactly top gamers’ Christmas present lists. Yet it runs on PCs, allows users to edit their maps and layout, and has playback facilities, so players can learn from their mistakes. eSim charges armies a fee for customising the game to suit their vehicles so that it can be used for training. These adaptations are then included in subsequent versions of the game – which means they are available to other armies.

Until now most militaries have bought bespoke simulators tied to particular weaponry, “and woe betide the army that changes specifications in mid-stream,” says Hinrichsen. Instead, Steel Beasts can be fitted to suit any new armoured vehicle. Since its introduction in 2000, the game has been used by the US military and the armies of Australia, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the Canadian air force.

From a certain point of view, any link between the games system in your child’s bedroom and automated killing on the battlefield is grossly distasteful. Yet, if you accept the need for standing armies, and believe in the efficiencies of information technology, then it’s hard to view Steel Beasts as anything other than a canny application of processing power.

It’s quite different from KumaWar games, which Huntemann calls “‘soft propaganda’, in the same way that Top Gun or John Wayne war films are soft propaganda”. She also questions whether glitzy online games really drive gamers towards the frontline. “When you look why people enlist,” she says, “it is overwhelmingly tied to history of military service in the family, socio-economic status and the current state of the economy.”

Crump agrees. “I find some of the modern first-person shooters ridiculous,” he says. “If people joining are expecting that sort of thing they are going to be disappointed.”

He questions whether those drawn to blameless gore even aspire to a life of service. Recalling a trip to a paint-balling range with some army friends, he says: “There were some other really tooled-up guys there, and they didn’t know we were military.” Crump put it to the opposing side that, if they enjoyed firing guns, they should enlist. “They said: ‘No, too dangerous, wouldn’t want to,’” he recalls, quite surprised by their response. Yet he wasn’t so startled by the outcome.

How did those weapons-loving gamers do against him at paintball?

“They lost.”

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Supermodel Elle Macpherson Loves Obama: I’m Socialist What Do You Expect?

(Noel Sheppard)  Supermodel Elle Macpherson told shock jock Howard Stern Tuesday that she’s pulling for Barack Obama to be reelected.

“I’m living in London and I’m socialist,” she told her host. “What do you expect?” (video follows with transcript and commentary):

HOWARD STERN: Who should be the next President of the United States Elle MacPherson, go ahead.

ELLE MACPHERSON: I think Obama’s going to do it.

STERN: You like Obama?

MACPHERSON: Yeah, I’m living in London and I’m socialist. What do you expect?

STERN: And you’re living in London and you sense what other foreigners feel. Do they like him?

MACPHERSON: I think foreigners like him. He’s very popular.

STERN: Don’t we look good having a black president and everything? Makes us kind of cool.

MACPHERSON: I think it’s more about his policy. But you know there are I understand that there are a lot of people who don’t, you know, don’t want change. “We want change. We want change.” And he says, “I’ll implement change,” and you go, “Oh, actually, I don’t bleeping feel like I want change. It’s too difficult.”

And Obama’s media wonder why folks think he’s a socialist.

 

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Racist Anti-Obama Sticker Makes Rounds On Facebook

(Gene Demby)  A photograph of a bumper sticker that features racist, anti-Obama language has gone viral on Facebook and other social networks.

The sticker reads “Don’t Re-Nig In 2012,” in large white type, above smaller text that reads: “Stop repeat offenders. Don’t re-elect Obama!”

The offensive design appears to have originated at a site called Stumpy’s Stickers, where it can be purchased. The site sells variations on the same idea, including another “Don’t Re-Nig” design featuring a caricature of a black man’s face with a missing tooth, a picture of a chimp that reads “Obama 2012,” and another with a drawing of several Ku Klux Klan members that reads “The Original Boys In The Hood.”     Source


 

 

 

 

 

Why Isn’t The NFL Taxed?

(Rick Cohen)  Now that Peyton Manning is leaving the Indianapolis Colts, and now that former New Orleans Saints defensive coach Gregg Williams has been exposed for offering his players bounties for having opposing players carried off the field, we can return to the real business of professional football and join Business Insider to ask, “Why Does the National Football League Deserve Tax-Exempt Status?”

NPQ raised this question in 2008. Back then, the NFL tried to get the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) to get a bill passed that would give a special meaning to the NFL’s tax-exempt status—making them exempt from having to reveal the names of NFL staff members earning six-figure salaries, not to mention the seven-figure and, in the case of commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Network president Steve Bornstein, the eight-figure compensation packages. According to the NFL, complying with the requirement of disclosing high-salaried employees—like every other nonprofit has to do—would violate the employees’ privacy.

Like this Business Insider piece, we questioned the nonprofit provenance of the NFL, suggesting that there was much to make the IRS reconsider the NFL’s status. We contrasted Roger Goodell’s NFL with Bud Selig’s Major League Baseball which is incorporated as a for-profit. Business Insider examined the definition of a 501(c)(6) and concluded, “It seems inconceivable that the NFL is not ‘engag[ing] in a regular business of a kind ordinarily carried on for profit.’”

 

The Insider’s blogger cites a paper by University of Vermont law student Andrew Delaney, who concluded that the NFL was functionally a “glorified tax shelter.” Delaney concluded, “If the NFL isn’t violating the letter of nonprofit status, it’s certainly violating the spirit.”

Our analysis noted that the NFL “has the unusual distinction of not only being a tax-exempt multi-billion dollar corporation…[but] a tax exempt monopoly.” It is a 501(c)(6) monopoly that earned a scant $9 billion in revenue last season. Maybe as the IRS begins to find its oats in questioning the tax-exempt credentials of 501(c)(4) organizations that seem to do a lot of politicking and not a lot of social welfare, it might also take time to look at the 501(c)(6) NFL, which seems to pull in lots of earned revenue with little hint that it deserves to be a nonprofit.

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Andrew Breitbart’s Death: Some Uncomfortable Reality

(Dan Gifford)  No sooner had news of conservative Brentwood political activist Andrew Breitbart‘s shocking death at age 43 of a suspected heart attack been reported, speculation began to circulate that he may have been  murdered (assassinated if that sounds better) in retaliation for his damaging opposition to President Barak Obama’s re-election chances.

Breitbart had announced a forthcoming expose of information about Obama  that his backers and the media had suppressed because they believed it  could have kept him from winning the 2008 election, according to Harvard University Law School professor Charles Ogletree, an ardent Obama supporter and hider of said information.

But how likely is that assassination scenario and would a sitting president or his supporters actually have in place government resources like weapons, plans and  personnel at their disposal to secretly murder someone for political reasons by inducing a heart attack?

The answer to the likelihood question depends on the moral compass of a particular president, his people and the perceived threat to their power or the nation’s security. US Attorney General Eric Holder has already stated that the American government has the right to kill American citizens — allegedly only abroad but stay tuned — it believes are engaged in terrorism. The answer to the resources question is a resounding yes.

If you’re mumbling ‘nutcase conspiracy theory,’ that’s probably because you were too young to notice U.S. Senator Frank Church’s 1975 hearings into the dark corners of the CIA and other government agencies, you’re whistling past a way too scary graveyard or you are dealing with memory loss. Here’s the history, the bogeyman and the refresher, whichever you may need.

Senator Church (D-Idaho) held nationally televised hearings into such things as the secret illegal activities of the American military, FBI and CIA. Those activities included drug smuggling, clandestine U.S.-backed wars, assassinations and spying on U.S. citizens. The Church Committee put some startling revelations into the daylight only because someone didn’t  stuff all the evidence into a shredding machine.

The CIA assassination gun:
CIA Director William Colby was forced to bring a secret pistol his agency had specifically developed to quietly murder human beings with an exotic frozen poison pellet that would cause a heart attack and then melt inside the body of the victim and be undiscoverable by autopsy procedures.

Colby himself died of a possible heart attack in 1996 under mysterious circumstances while canoeing alone. I had met Colby years before and told his son, Brentwood resident Carl Colby, maker of the film “The Man Nobody Knew: In Search of My Father, CIA Spymaster William Colby,” that I’d been told  he was assassinated at least partially because some thought he had assisted me with critical secret information for my Emmy winning and Oscar nominated film “Waco: The Rules of Engagement.”



That information showed the official government story about its actions against the Branch Davidians was a lie. Carl told Vanity Fair his father’s “death was ruled an accident — a stroke or a heart attack — but I think he was done. He didn’t have a lot left to live for.” Perhaps, but we’ll probably never really know.

A government domestic terrorism plot: 

The Church Committee discovered a secret U.S. military plan to carry out  domestic acts of terrorismthat would kill Americans and blame those killings on Fidel Castro as a pretext for invading Cuba. Roll that one and its implications around in your mind when applied to present circumstances.

The secret drugging of human guinea pigs: 

This was a secret CIA operation to give unsuspecting people doses of LSD and other damaging substances in order to see how they reacted. One target is known to have killed himself. Some twenty years later, the secret was exposed and the man’s family sued for damages.

Corruption of the American news media: 

The CIA maintained an operation that paid editors and reporters in most mainstream media outlets to report the CIA’s narrative of events (which may or may not have agreed with the White House version) and suppress contrary information outright or destroy its credibility as conspiracy theory, racist, extremist or the like. That legacy lives on in many of the official media narratives news consumers read and hear on almost any given day that Andrew Breitbart exposed as untrue. Hard to believe?

Investigative journalist Deborah Davis wrote in her 1979 book Katharine the Great: Katharine Graham and Her Washington Post Empire, a book Graham had the power to pull from stores and destroy when first published, that CIA co-founder Allen Dulles made a 1948 deal with the Washington Post to be the ownership front for CIA control of all CBS broadcast outlets in Washington, DC.

Adds investigative reporter Carl Bernstein: “CBS was unquestionably the CIA’s most valuable broadcasting asset … Over the years, the network provided cover for CIA employees …” So when the late Walter Cronkite, “the most trusted man in America,” used CBS News to sell one world government and lie that American military victories in South Vietnam were actually defeats, one has to wonder whether he was a loose cannon with his own agenda or a mouthpiece for known world governance sentiment and Vietnam War policy opposition among the CIA elite. We can only follow the facts.

After serving as Moscow Bureau Chief for United Press, Cronkite turned down a job as spokesman and DC lobbyist for his passion, the World Federalist Society, which advocates a global socialist government, to take a job at CBS. U.S. Army General Frederick C. Weyand maintains Cronkite told him he would lie about American military successes in South Vietnam in order to undermine domestic
support for that war, which he did. 
Whether one believes Weyand or agrees or disagrees with American policy in South Vietnam then, Cronkite’s lies about it and their effectiveness are a matter of record.

That was then.

Covert weapons and tactics today are far more sophisticated simply because of scientific advances, particularly those involving microwaves and other directed energies.

Now people can be made to hear voices in their heads and possibly be motivated by those induced voices to harm themselves or others via various directed energy methods that are constantly evolving. Thoughts can also be induced in the human mind and physical defects such as embolisms or heart conditions can be made to trigger a stroke or heart attack. Those sorts of weapons were secretly tested on the Branch Davidians during its 1993 stand-off with the FBI and special operations military troops from America and Great Britain.

New methods don’t mean old school ones are obsolete or that they have not been used. Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov was murdered by a tiny poison pellet filled with deadly ricin injected from the tip of an umbrella into the back of his leg. It was only by luck during Markov’s autopsy that the ricin pellet was discovered and his death proved a murder instead of a mysterious illness as intended.

Despite the deadly threats Andrew Breitbart told me about receiving, his untimely death probably was due to a known heart condition. On the other hand, given the people he was angering, their access to deadly government resources and the motivation of his threat to their political stakes this year, it bears repeating that earnest people have developed ways to make one’s death appear natural, especially if information contained in one’s medical records can be accessed for exploitation.

But we’ll never know if foul play was involved in Andrew Breitbart’s death unless it was and somebody in the know talks. Most of those talking now are expressing the sort of disbelief his father-in-law, actor-comedian Orson Bean, expressed to me at the post funeral reception: “I’m 83, how could Andrew have died so young?”



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4 Student’s Charged With Thought Crimes At Maryland High School

(Intel Hub)  Students at Northwestern High School in Maryland attempted to organize a walkout at their school but when students attempted to walk out, the doors were locked and attack dogs were used to guard them. Numerous students were also suspended on thought crimes. An interview with two of the students who organized the walkout is posted below.

 

Obama Signs Executive Order Having Authority Over Food,Water & Resources

(Examiner)    On March 16th, President Obama signed a new Executive Order which expands upon a prior order issued in 1950 for Disaster Preparedness, and gives the office of the President complete control over all the resources in the United States in times of war or emergency.

The National Defense Resources Preparedness order gives the Executive Branch the power to control and allocate energy, production, transportation, food, and even water resources by decree under the auspices of national defense and national security.  The order is not limited to wartime implementation, as one of the order’s functions includes the command and control of resources in peacetime determinations.

Section 101.  Purpose.  This order delegates authorities and addresses national defense resource policies and programs under the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended (the “Act”).

(b)  assess on an ongoing basis the capability of the domestic industrial and technological base to satisfy requirements in peacetime and times of national emergency, specifically evaluating the availability of the most critical resource and production sources, including subcontractors and suppliers, materials, skilled labor, and professional and technical personnel; – White House

Additionally, each cabinet under the Executive Branch has been given specific powers when the order is executed, and include the absolute control over food, water, and other resource distributions.

Sec. 201.  Priorities and Allocations Authorities.  (a)  The authority of the President conferred by section 101 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071, to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense, is delegated to the following agency heads:

(1)  the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer;

(2)  the Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy;

(3)  the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources;

(4)  the Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation;

(5)  the Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and

(6)  the Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials.

(e)  “Food resources” means all commodities and products, (simple, mixed, or compound), or complements to such commodities or products, that are capable of being ingested by either human beings or animals, irrespective of other uses to which such commodities or products may be put, at all stages of processing from the raw commodity to the products thereof in vendible form for human or animal consumption.  “Food resources” also means potable water packaged in commercially marketable containers, all starches, sugars, vegetable and animal or marine fats and oils, seed, cotton, hemp, and flax fiber, but does not mean any such material after it loses its identity as an agricultural commodity or agricultural product.

Executive Orders created for national defense and national preparedness are not new in American history, but in each instance they brought about a Constitutional crisis that nearly led standing Presidents to hold dictatorial power over the citizenry.  During the Civil War, President Lincoln halted freedom of speech and freedom of the press, while at the same time revoking Habeas Corpus and the right to a fair trial under the sixth amendment.  During World War I, when Congress refused to grant Woodrow Wilson extended power over resources to help the war effort, he invoked an Executive Order which allowed him complete control over businesses, industry, transportation, food, and other economic policies.

In both cases, it was only after the death of each President that full Constitutional powers were restored to the citizens of the United States.

The economy of the United States is based on the free flow of resources, energy, and the rights of consumers to buy and sell as they see fit.  Any interference in this economic process quickly leads to shortages, rising prices, and civil unrest.  The purpose of President Obama signing this new Executive Order is yet unclear, however, it may coincide with information coming out of Israel yesterday that plans for a tactical or strategic strike on Iran are accelerating.  Oil prices in Europe rose over $3 a barrel for Brent crude after the Israeli actions, and US oil prices rose $2 for WTI.

The Obama administration appears to be preparing for a long drawn out war in the Middle East, or at the very least, an expected crisis that will require the need to override Constitutional authority and claim dominion over all resources in the United States under the guise of national defense.  With the rise in Disaster Preparedness growing for both individuals and states leading up to yesterday’s Executive Order, the mood of the nation points strongly towards some event or disaster that will require massive preparations on a national as well as local scale.

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Video-KONY 2012 Breakdown


(James Corbett)  When oil executives announced the discovery of the largest onshore oil reserves in the Lake Albert region of Uganda in July 2009, the landlocked, oft-neglected East African nation of Uganda went from relative obscurity to a key partner for multi-national oil conglomerates.

Although buoyed by the news, the people of Uganda were naturally cautious, having seen how oil finds in Nigeria and Angola have brought more violence, bloodshed and instability than peace or prosperity.

These worst fears of Ugandans were lent further credence late last year, when President Obama announced he would be deploying US troops on the ground in Uganda, ostensibly to help capture Joseph Kony, the charismatic leader of a small rebel force that has been accused of murders, rapes and kidnaps in Uganda for decades. The timing of the deployment, however, coming at the exact same time as accusations that some of the highest officials in the Ugandan government were guilty of accepting bribes from international oil companies, only further confirmed that the deployment had less to do with Kony, an elusive figure who in fact left Uganda six years ago, and more to do with the securing of American oil interests.

For years, American interests in Africa have been increasingly threatened by China, the resource-hungry fast-growing second-largest economy in the world. America and its allies have noted with increasing dismay China’s growing economic cooperation with Africa, including its vast investment in the infrastructure for oil exploration, drilling and transportation in countries like Libya and Sudan. In recent years, China has been building up its relations with Uganda, and just last month the newly-appointed Chinese ambassador to Uganda, Zhao Yali, announced a series of measures to increase ties with the soon-to-be oil-rich African nation, including the granting of tariff free exports, and investments in transportation projects, power plants, and infrastructure.

But now, just as China makes its overtures toward Uganda to gain a potential toehold in the region and access to the as-yet-untapped oil wealth, anew video about Joseph Kony has suddenly gone viral online, having been viewed 10s of millions of times in just a week, and changing the focus of the American foreign policy debate toward greater US military involvement in oil-rich Uganda. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it suggests that the only way to capture Kony is to maintain an American military presence in the region.

“]

It wasn’t long before Ugandans themselves took to social media to try to inject their own voice into the debate.

But such words of caution have fallen on the deaf ears of a public who believe that the problem of Kony is a simple one requiring an equally simple solution: more American troops. Just this week, a new bill was introduced in Congress that would see an expansion in regional forces in Africa.

What the film’s well-meaning supporters, many of them youth activists rallying behind a political cause for the first time, don’t realize, is that the Kony film, whether wittingly or not, is accomplishing what years of Pentagon propaganda could not muster: public support for an expanded American military role in Africa.

The process of setting up a unified American military command for the continent of Africa began in 2006, with then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld forming a committee to advise on the formation of AFRICOM. Officially established in October 2008, AFRICOM’s mission statement is to “strengthen our security cooperation with Africa and create new opportunities to bolster the capabilities of our partners in Africa.” In reality, this provides a convenient excuse for maintaining and expanding a permanent American military presence in the region.

Libya’s Gaddafi was strongly opposed to the AFRICOM mission, and predicted that China would ultimately have more success wooing the continent with its hands-off approach to trade and investment in Africa. In the early weeks of the Libyan bombing of 2011, AFRICOM took a lead role in the campaign, coordinating warships, aircraft and munitions.

Late last year, I had the chance to talk to former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney about AFRICOM, and how the US is increasingly turning its military attention to Africa in an effort to secure Africa’s resources.

Now, as the gears of the Washington political-military complex grind into action yet again, a bewildered public is asking itself how such a phenomenon as the Kony 2012 video and attendant activist campaign arose so quickly, and what this means for the future of the political process.

The campaign itself was organized around the concept of recruiting celebrities like Rihanna, Tim Tebow and Mark Zuckerberg to promote the video. After receiving significant boosts from tweets by the likes of P. Diddy and Kim Kardashian, and media interviews by Angelina Jolie, the hype surrounding the video seemed to be a spontaneous phenomenon, but was in fact a planned PR rollout.

In the end, perhaps there is something positive that can be taken out of this latest ploy to rally public support for greater military conquest. If nothing else, the Kony phenomenon has shown us that with the right video and the right marketing, any idea–no matter how periphery to the current political debate–can be catapulted into the limelight and become a rallying cry for millions.

Perhaps, then, like-minded activists might be able to organize a campaign around another infamous child-killer, this one responsible not for kidnapping tens of thousands of children, but for killing hundreds of thousands:

Or perhaps a Bush/Cheney/Blair/Rumsfeld 2012 campaign could be mounted to bring to justice the war criminals who launched illegal wars of aggression by lying to the public about Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Or the Obama 2012 campaign could refer not to the ongoing political campaign to re-elect the President, but an alternative campaign to hold him accountable for his moves toward outright dictatorship over America with the signing into law of the NDAA and his self-proclaimed power to assassinate American citizens on command.

Or perhaps a well-made video could rally the public around a Blankflein 2012 campaign to hold Goldman Sachs and its Board of Directors accountable for its crimes against the people of the world, from the US to Greece to the UK and beyond.

No word yet on whether P. Diddy, Kim Kardashian or Angelina Jolie will be on board any of these proposed alternative campaigns.

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Obama Celebrates St.Patrick’s Day 2012 At The Dubliner

(Thomas Dishaw) In great P.R. fashion our fearless leader takes time off  from destroying The Bill of Rights and Constitution to destroying his liver. Obama stopped by The Dubliner in Washington D.C. to drink a pint of Guinness with the common folks. Most of whom are unemployed,underemployed and have watched their net worth decrease by half.  Obama was welcomed by  chants of  “U.S.A, U.S.A and Four more years.” This  just goes to show that no matter what people’s true beliefs or opinion are, they will always  be undermined by the celebrity of a person. Disgusting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15 Potentially Threats To The U.S. Economy

(Economic Collapse)  We live in a world that is becoming increasingly unstable, and the potential for an event that could cause “sudden change” to the U.S. economy is greater than ever. There are dozens of potentially massive threats that could easily push the U.S. economy over the edge during the next 12 months. A war in the Middle East, a financial collapse in Europe, a major derivatives crisis or a horrific natural disaster could all change our economic situation very rapidly.

Most of the time I write about the long-term economic trends that are slowly but surely ripping the U.S. economy to pieces, but the truth is that just a single really bad “black swan event” over the next 12 months could accelerate our economic problems dramatically.

If oil was cut off from the Middle East or a really bad natural disaster suddenly destroyed a major U.S. city, the U.S. economy would be thrown into a state of chaos. Considering how bad the U.S. economy is currently performing, it would be easy to see how a major “shock to the system” could push us into the “next Great Depression” very easily.

Let us hope that none of these things actually happen over the next 12 months, but let us also understand that we live in a world that has become extremely chaotic and extremely unstable.

In the list below, you will find some “sudden change” events that are somewhat likely and some that are quite unlikely. I have tried to include a broad range of potential “black swan events”, but there are certainly dozens more massive threats that could potentially be listed.

The following are 15 potentially massive threats to the U.S. economy over the next 12 months….

#1 War With Syria – U.S. Senator John McCain is now publicly calling for U.S. airstrikes against Syria. A military conflict with Syria becomes more likely with each passing day.

#2 War With Iran – A war in the Middle East involving Iran could literally erupt at any time. The following is from a Reuters news report that was issued on Monday….

President Barack Obama appealed to Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday to give sanctions time to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but the Israeli prime minister offered no sign of backing away from possible military action, saying his country must be the “master of its fate.”

#3 A Disorderly Greek Debt Default – Many reporters in Europe seem to think that this is becoming increasingly likely. So what would a disorderly Greek debt default mean for the global financial system? A leaked report that was authored by the Institute of International Finance says that a disorderly Greek debt default would have some very serious consequences. You can read the full text of that leaked report right here.

#4 An Economic Collapse In Spain – Spain has one of the largest economies in Europe and it is rapidly becoming a basket case. As I have written about previously, the unemployment rate in Spain has hit 19.9 percent, and the unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 is up to 49.9 percent. Unfortunately, the situation in Spain continues to deteriorate. The following is from a recent article by Marc Chandler….

However, the devolution in Spain is particularly troubling. The new fiscal compact had just been signed last week, which includes somewhat more rigorous fiscal rule and enforcement, when Spain’s PM Rajoy revealed that this year’s deficit would come in around 5.8 percent of GDP rather the 4.4 percent target. This of course follows last year’s 8.5 percent overshoot of the 6 percent target.

The problem that for Spain is that the 4.4 percent target was based on forecasts for more than 2 percent growth this year. However, in late February, the EU cuts its forecast to a 1 percent contraction. This still seems optimistic. The IMF forecasts a 1.7 percent contraction, which the Spanish government now accepts.

#5 The Price Of Gasoline – The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States has risen for 27 days in a row and is now up to $3.77. Virtually all forms of economic activity are affected by the price of gasoline, and if the price of gas keeps going up it is eventually going to have dramatic consequences for the U.S. economy.

#6 The Student Loan Debt Bubble – Just like we saw with the housing bubble, the student loan debt bubble just continues to grow and grow and grow. At some point the nearly 1 trillion dollar bubble is going to burst. What effect will it have on our financial system when that finally happens?

#7 State And Local Government Debt Crisis – It is being reported that California is running out of cash again and there are cities all over the country that are on the verge of bankruptcy. Could we see a significant municipal bond crisis in the next 12 months?

#8 The Collapse Of A Major U.S. Bank – A number of top U.S. banks are looking increasingly shaky. In a recent article, David Trainer explained why he has such serious concerns about Bank of America right now….

In my opinion, there are four actions taken by financial services that signal the company is headed to serious
trouble.

1. Management shake-up and major layoffs – lots of layoffs over the past year

2. Exploiting accounting rules to boost earnings – SFAS 159

3. Drawing down reserves to boost earnings: to the tune of $13.3 billion in 2011 and 2012

4. Bilking customers with new fees: tried it before and trying it again

Bank of America has taken all four steps.

#9 A Derivatives Crisis – The International Swaps and Derivatives Association recently ruled that the Greek debt deal will not trigger payouts on credit default swaps. This is seriously shaking confidence in the global market for derivatives. But the global financial system simply cannot afford a major derivatives crisis.

Estimates of the notional value of the worldwide derivatives market range from $600 trillion all the way up to $1.5 quadrillion. The notional value of all derivatives held by Bank of America is approximately $75 trillion. JPMorgan Chase is holding derivatives with a notional value of approximately $79 trillion.

When the derivatives bubble finally bursts it is going to be a financial horror show unlike anything we have ever seen.

#10 The Fall Of The Japanese Economy – The Japanese economy shrank at a 2.3 percent rate during the fourth quarter of 2011. Japan has a debt to GDP ratio of over 200 percent and a major debt crisis involving Japan could erupt at any time.

#11 A “Solar Megastorm” – Scientists tell us that there is a “1 in 8 chance” that a “solar megastorm” will hit the earth by 2014. A recent Daily Mail article detailed what some of the consequences of such an event would be….

‘We live in a cyber cocoon enveloping the Earth. Imagine what the consequences might be,’ Daniel Baker, of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics told National Geographic when asked about a potential ‘megastorm’.

‘Every time you purchase a gallon of gas with your credit card, that’s a satellite transaction.

‘Imagine large cities without power for a week, a month, or a year. The losses could be $1 to $2 trillion, and the effects could be felt for years.

#12 A Major West Coast Earthquake Or Volcanic Eruption – On Monday, there was a 4.0 earthquake in San Francisco and a 6.1 earthquake in Argentina. Is the “Ring of Fire” waking up again?

#13 Tornado Damage To Major U.S. Cities – Last year, the U.S. experienced one of the worst tornado seasons of all time. This year, we have already seen the worst tornado outbreak ever recorded in the United States in the month of March. A couple of towns in Indiana were completely wiped out by that outbreak. So what should we expect when we get to the heart of tornado season this year?

#14 Severe Drought In The United States – Last summer was one of the driest summers on record in the United States, and in many areas there is simply not enough water available for farmers this year. Some are even projecting that we could see “dust bowl conditions” return to some areas of the country eventually.

#15 An Asteroid Strike In 2013 – Although scientists tell us that the probability is extremely low, the truth is that there is a slight chance that a sizeable asteroid could hit the earth in February 2013. The asteroid is estimated to be between 60 and 100 meters wide, and it is projected to pass by our planet “at a distance of under 27,000 km”. If it did hit us (and scientists say that the odds of that happening are very low) it would potentially be as serious an event as the Tunguska Event in Siberia in 1908. Mac Slavo of shtfplan.com recently described how awesome the Tunguska Event really was….

On June 30, 1908 an incoming meteor exploded approximately 5 miles above Siberia. The force of the air burst explosion, estimated at between 15 and 30 megatons, or about 1000 times bigger than the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, was so powerful that it annihilated everything in an 830 square mile area, and reports suggest that that explosion was heard up to 1000 miles away. Because of the remoteness of the impact zone, the Tunguska Event over Siberia had very little effect on the human population in the region, but the destruction of some 80 million trees in the area shows just how powerful a blast was created.

Of course there are so many other “sudden change” events that could potentially happen – a terror event in a major U.S. city, a deadly pandemic, an EMP attack, cyberterrorism or a major political scandal could all possibly cause a stock market crash and an economic collapse in the United States.

In the world that we are living in today, you just never know what is going to happen.

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Obama Approves Pepsi’s Use Of Aborted Fetal Cells


(NaturalNews) The Obama Administration has given its blessing to PepsiCo to continue utilizing the services of a company that produces flavor chemicals for the beverage giant using aborted human fetal tissue. LifeSiteNews.com reports that the Obama Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has decided that PepsiCo’s arrangement with San Diego, Cal.-based Senomyx, which produces flavor enhancing chemicals for Pepsi using human embryonic kidney tissue, simply constitutes “ordinary business operations.”

The issue began in 2011 when the non-profit group Children of God for Life (CGL) first broke the news about Pepsi’s alliance with Senomyx, which led to massive outcry and a worldwide boycott of Pepsi products. At that time, it was revealed that Pepsi had many other options at its disposal to produce flavor chemicals, which is what its competitors do, but had instead chosen to continue using aborted fetal cells — or as Senomyx deceptively puts it, “isolated human taste receptors” (http://www.naturalnews.com).

A few months later, Pepsi’ shareholders filed a resolution petitioning the company to “adopt a corporate policy that recognizes human rights and employs ethical standards which do not involve using the remains of aborted human beings in both private and collaborative research and development agreements.” But the Obama Administration shut down this 36-page proposal, deciding instead that Pepsi’s used of aborted babies to flavor its beverage products is just business as usual, and not a significant concern.

“We’re not talking about what kind of pencils PepsiCo wants to use — we are talking about exploiting the remains of an aborted child for profit,” said Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director of CGL, concerning the SEC decision. “Using human embryonic kidney (HEK-293) to produce flavor enhancers for their beverages is a far cry from routine operations!”

To be clear, the aborted fetal tissue used to make Pepsi’s flavor chemicals does not end up in the final product sold to customers, according to reports — it is used, instead, to evaluate how actual human taste receptors respond to these chemical flavorings. But the fact that Pepsi uses them at all when viable, non-human alternatives are available illustrates the company’s blatant disregard for ethical and moral concerns in the matter.

Back in January, Oklahoma Senator Ralph Shortey proposed legislation to ban the production of aborted fetal cell-derived flavor chemicals in his home state. If passed, S.B. 1418 would also reportedly ban the sale of any products that contain flavor chemicals derived from human fetal tissue, which includes Pepsi products as well as products produced by Kraft and Nestle (http://www.naturalnews.com).

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16 SHTF Barter Items To Stockpile

(Debt Reckoning)  Every good survivalist has a stockpile of things he or she recognizes their family may need to survive a natural or man-made disaster. However, many people forget the value of maintaining a barter store as well.

If things hit the fan, particularly in an economic collapse where the dollar is nearly worthless, a number of non-monetary goods will be more valuable than a fistful of dollar bills.

It’s also important to recognize that we can’t possibly store enough of every item to account for every scenario for an indefinite period of time. However, what we can do is have some items on hand to barter with neighbors to plug gaps in our preparations.

Imagine a neighbor with a large garden and some chickens trading a half dozen eggs and some squash for a box of ammo, or a small bottle of Vodka.

Consider stocking up on the following items, even if you have no plans to use them yourself, for their potential barter value.

16 Things to Stockpile with High Barter Value

Cigarettes. I hate smoking, and can’t stand being around anyone that smokes. Having said that, I recognize that in a SHTF situation many others will be cut off from their access to cigarettes, so there is plenty of barter potential.

Soap. Bars of soap, and even those little cleaning napkins/wipes that you get at the BBQ restaurants could be very valuable in a SHTF scenario. Ever see “The Book of Eli?”

Bullets. Obviously, it’s a good idea to have a decent store of ammo representing all calibers of the weapons you own. However, it is also a good idea to store extra ammo in common calibers (9mm, .22, .38, 12-guage shells, etc.) as a potential barter. After all, a gun without ammo is just an inacurate throwing object.

Alcohol. Alcohol could serve a variety of purposes in a SHTF situation. It is valuable as a potential bartering commodity, and it also has medicinal uses. Did you know Vodka is a great home remedy to counteract the reaction to poison ivy?

MREs. More portable and easier to barter than larger 5-gallon buckets, or even #10 cans of dried foods, MREs are great to have on hand for bartering. Keep a variety of flavors and different kinds of foods because you could be holding something that could complete a meal for a hungry person.

Silver Coins. Keep in mind this doesn’t necessarily mean only silver dollars with a full ounce of silver, but even older, less expensive coins with a high silver component (the 1964 Kennedy half-dollar, for example).

Detergent. Don’t think people are interested in bartering detergent? Check out the story about the recent rash of detergent thefts across the country. Apparently, Tide detergent on the black market is now referred to as “liquid gold.” Interesting.

Water bottles. To someone in bad need of water, a water bottle could be worth its weight in gold. Remember the rule of threes: you can live three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food. Store accordingly.

Matches and lighters. A box of matches is relatively inexpensive, but for someone needing to build a fire a pack of matches or a lighter could be very valuable. Be sure these are stored safely, and if they are not waterproof make them so by storing in a watertight container.

Sugar. My grandfather used to tell stories of things that were in limited supply in the Great Depression. Sugar was something he often mentioned. Imagine how easily you could win over a sweet-tooth with the promise of a bag of sugar in exchange for something you are short on.

Toilet paper. This one is rather self-explanatory, isn’t it? Sure, there are substitutes for Charmin, but who wants to keep using leaves when paper feels so much better.

Water Filters/Purifiers. Water purification drops and filters could mean the difference in offering family members treated water or potentially harmful, bacteria-infested water. Who’d be willing to trade for that?

Bleach. May be used to disinfect water, or keep living quarters and soiled clothing sanitized.

Batteries. Can be used to power up flashlights, radios, and other electronic devices.

Candles. Emergency candles would be a great barter item for those in need of providing some light to their living quarters without electricity.

 

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Assange To Run For Senate

(AFP)  WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is planning to run for election to the Australian Senate, the organisation announced on Twitter.

Assange, an Australian citizen, is on bail awaiting a British court decision on his appeal against extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations.

He strongly denies the claims, saying they are politically motivated and linked to the activities of WikiLeaks, which has published thousands of confidential documents on the Internet.

WikiLeaks said it appeared that the 40-year-old’s current legal situation did not rule him out of running for Australia’s upper house.

“We have discovered that it is possible for Julian Assange to run for the Australian Senate while detained,” WikiLeaks said on Twitter on Saturday.

“Julian has decided to run.”

WikiLeaks said it will also field a candidate to run directly against Prime Minister Julia Gillard in her lower house electorate of Lalor, in Victoria, in the elections, which are due in 2013.

“…the state Julian will run for will be announced at the appropriate time,” WikiLeaks said.

The Australian government has previously blasted WikiLeaks, with Gillard describing its release of US diplomatic cables as “grossly irresponsible”.

 

Gillard’s government ordered Australian police to investigate whether WikiLeaks had broken Australian law, but they reported back in 2010 it had not broken any under their jurisdiction in releasing the cables.

Assange, a former computer hacker, is fighting being sent to Stockholm because he fears it would open the way for his extradition to the US to face charges of spying linked to the leaking of classified military documents by US soldier Bradley Manning.

Manning has been formally charged for allegedly turning over a trove of classified US documents to WikiLeaks in one of the most serious intelligence breaches in US history.

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Why Square Is Still Better Than PayPal In Mobile Arena

(Tim Carmody)  Thinking about Square, PayPal and other innovators in mobile payments, I keep coming back tosomething JP Morgan Chase’s Jack Stephenson told me: “Consumers don’t really have a mobilepayment problem. Ninety-five percent of the time, paying with cash and credit cards actually works pretty well. Consumers have a mobile shopping problem. There’s a difference.”

So when I read that PayPal’s “Here” will process payments for .05 percent less than Square, will scan personal checks, and has a credit card reader that works the same way, but (as ATD’s John Paczkowski said) looks like something that came out of a Happy Meal, I can’t help but think that the PayPal team is thinking about its entry into mobile payments all wrong.

PayPal is basically just porting its utilitarian model for online payments into meatspace. It’s touting features like its advanced security protocols, because that was the main concern with doing transactions with strangers on eBay more than a decade ago. It doesn’t really address the fundamental security problems still built into all mobile operating systems.

Maybe more importantly, it’s not rethinking the mobile shopping experience as much as it is trying to grab a slice. Fair enough — the market is exploding, plenty of share up for grabs. But Square Register and Card Case strike me as having rethought shopping for both customer and merchant in a much more fundamental way.

“At Square, the phrase we use is improving the experience for ‘both sides of the counter,’” Square COO Keith Rabois told Wired in an interview conducted last week, prior to PayPal’s announcement. “For the merchant, we want to help them grow their business. For the customer, we want to make shopping more delightful. That means doing something beyond just reinventing the credit card. It means creating an emotional layer to the experience.”

That means, in part, an Apple-inspired emphasis on elegant design, from the app to the interaction. Remember, this is shopping. It’s an entire industry built around making buying things fun, intuitive, fast, elegant, enjoyable, beautiful. The POS needs to feel the same way.

Watch the demo video for PayPal Here. Now watch the demo for Square Register. Which point-of-sale setup looks better? Which looks easier and more fun to use, for the customer and the merchant? Which looks like something you would want in a store you owned, or in a store where you enjoyed shopping? It’s Square. Merchants place a premium on that kind of experience. They opt fun over fugly, even if it costs them five-hundredths of one percent more.

On the merchant side, too, Square gets that the real issue isn’t payments, but services built around payments. As an iPad app, Register isn’t just a fancy menu; it gives a business the chance to track serious data about what gets sold and when. It’s about data made accessible. That’s what adds value, and that’s what helps a business grow.

“We can show them the fundamentals of how their business is performing, and even helpful hints on how to optimize that in the future,” said Rabois. “For instance, on rainy days, it might be more effective to lower or raise prices, or to offer coupons to preferred customers.”

This isn’t to downplay the importance of simply being able to accept credit cards or electronic payments. Moving from a cash business alone is huge for growth; Rabois cited figures suggesting businesses who accept credit cards can pull in 15-25% more revenue than those who don’t. But that’s a small, bootstrapping piece in an overall strategy to rethink how we shop.

There’s a mildly-famous presentation Jack Dorsey gave to Square employees in 2011 where Dorsey compares his design-centric vision for mobile payments with the Golden Gate Bridge. David Kirkpatrick wrote about the speech in a profile of Dorsey for Vanity Fair:

“We’re the only payments company in the world that’s concerned with design,” the Prada-clad Dorsey begins. He shows a dramatic photo of the bridge taken from atop one of its towers. “This is what I want to build. This is classy. This is inspiring. This is limitless. Every single aspect of this is gorgeous… So your homework this weekend is to cross this bridge, think about that, and also think about how we take those lessons into doing what we do, which is carry every single transaction in the world.”

Sure, that’s the kind of speech any CEO might give to inspire his or her troops. But it’s also the kind of message that a retailer would be ready to receive, or that a consumer, who’s already blown a sizable chunk of change on a sleek smartphone, would be ready to believe. And that’s the edge Square still has.

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C.I.A. Want’s To Spy On You Through Your T.V.

(Rob Waugh)  When people download a film from Netflix to a flatscreen, or turn on web radio, they could be alerting unwanted watchers to exactly what they are doing and where they are.
Spies will no longer have to plant bugs in your home – the rise of ‘connected’ gadgets controlled by apps will mean that people ‘bug’ their own homes, says CIA director David Petraeus.
The CIA claims it will be able to ‘read’ these devices via the internet – and perhaps even via radio waves from outside the home.
Everything from remote controls to clock radios can now be controlled via apps – and chip company ARM recently unveiled low-powered, cheaper chips which will be used in everything from fridges and ovens to doorbells.
The resultant chorus of ‘connected’ gadgets will be able to be read like a book – and even remote-controlled, according to CIA CIA Director David Petraeus, according to a recent report by Wired’s ‘Danger Room’ blog.
Petraeus says that web-connected gadgets will ‘transform’ the art of spying – allowing spies to monitor people automatically without planting bugs, breaking and entering or even donning a tuxedo to infiltrate a dinner party.
‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,’ said Petraeus. Particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft. Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters – all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing.


Petraeus was speaking to a venture capital firm about new technologies which aim to add processors and web connections to previously ‘dumb’ home appliances such as fridges, ovens and lighting systems.
This week, one of the world’s biggest chip companies, ARM, has unveiled a new processor built to work inside ‘connected’ white goods.
The ARM chips are smaller, lower-powered and far cheaper than previous processors – and designed to add the internet to almost every kind of electrical appliance. It’s a concept described as the ‘internet of things’.

Futurists think that one day ‘connected’ devices will tell the internet where they are and what they are doing at all times – and will be mapped by computers as precisely as Google Maps charts the physical landscape now.

Privacy groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation have warned of how information such as geolocation data can be misused – but as more and more devices connect, it’s clear that opportunities for surveillance will multiply.

 

75 Percent Of Honey In Grocery Stores Contains No Honey At All

(NaturalNews) Just because those cute little bear-shaped bottles at the grocery store say “honey” on them does not necessarily mean that they actually contain honey. A comprehensive investigation conducted byFood Safety News(FSN) has found that the vast majority of so-called honey products sold at grocery stores, big box stores, drug stores, and restaurants do not contain any pollen, which means they are not real honey.

For the investigation, Vaughn Bryant, one of the nation’s leading melissopalynologists, or experts in identifying pollen in honey, and director of the Palynology Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University, evaluated more than 60 products labeled as “honey” that had been purchased by FSN from ten states and the District of Columbia.

Bryant found that 76 percent of “honey” samples purchased from major grocery store chains like Kroger and Safeway, and 77 percent of samples purchased from big box chains like Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart, did not contain any pollen. Even worse were “honey” samples taken from drug stores like Walgreens and CVS, and fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and KFC, 100 percent of which were found to contain not a trace of pollen.



The full FSN report with a list of all the pollen-less “honey” brands can be accessed here:
http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/11/tests-show-most-store-honey-isn…

 

So what is all this phony honey made of? It is difficult to say for sure, as pollen is the key to verifying that honey is real. According to FSN, much of this imposter honey is more likely being secretly imported from China, and may even be contaminated with antibiotic drugs and other foreign materials.

Most conventional honey products have been illegally ultra-filtered to hide their true nature

According to FSN, the lack of pollen in most conventional “honey” products is due to these products having been ultra-filtered. This means that they have been intensely heated, forced through extremely tiny filters, and potentially even watered down or adulterated in some way prior to hitting store shelves.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) holds the position that any so-called honey products that have been ultra-filtered are not actually honey. But the agency refuses to do anything to stop this influx of illegitimate “honey” from flooding the North American market. It also continues to stonewall all petitions to establish a national regulatory standard for verifying the integrity of honey.

Ultra-filtering eliminates and destroys all medicinal properties of honey

Assuming that there is any real honey at all in the phony honey products tested by FSN, the removal of pollen and other delicate materials via ultra-filtering renders them medicinally dead. Raw honey is a health-promoting food that can help alleviate stomach problems, anemia, allergies, and other health conditions. Ultra-filtered honey is nothing more than a health-destroying processed sugar in the same vein as white table sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

The good news is that all of the honey products FSN tested from farmers markets, food cooperatives, and “natural” stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, were found to contain pollen and a full array of antioxidants and other nutrients. Local beekeepers are another great source of obtaining raw, unprocessed, real honey.

Report

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Refrigerators Used To Spy On Americans At Home

(Steve Watson)  CIA director David Petraeus has said that the rise of new “smart” gadgets means that Americans are effectively bugging their own homes, saving US spy agencies a job when it identifies any “persons of interest”. Speaking at a summit for In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s technology investment operation, Petraeus made the comments when discussing new technologies which aim to add processors and web connections to previously ‘dumb’ home appliances such as fridges, ovens and lighting systems.

Wired reports the details via its Danger Room Blog:
“‘Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,” Petraeus enthused, “particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft.”
“Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters — all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing,” Petraeus said.
“the latter now going to cloud computing, in many areas greater and greater supercomputing, and, ultimately, heading to quantum computing.” the CIA head added.

Petraeus also stated that such devices within the home “change our notions of secrecy”. Petraeus’ comments come in the same week that one of the biggest microchip companies in the world, ARM, unveiled new processors that are designed to give practically every household appliance an internet connection, in order that they can be remote controlled and operate in tandem with applications. ARM describes the concept as an “internet of things”.

Where will all the information from such devices be sent and analyzed? It can be no coincidence that the NSA is currently building a monolithic heavily fortified $2 billion facility deep in the Utah desert and surrounded by mountains. The facility is set to go fully live in September 2013.

“The Utah data center is the centerpiece of the Global Information Grid, a military project that will handle yottabytes of data, an amount so huge that there is no other data unit after it.” reports Gizmodo.
“This center—with every listening post, spy satellite and NSA datacenter connected to it, will make the NSA the most powerful spy agency in the world.”
Wired reports that the incoming data is being mined by plugging into telecommunications companies’ switches, essentially the same method the NSA infamously uses for warrantless wiretapping of domestic communications, as exposed six years ago.
Former intelligence analyst turned best selling author James Bamford, has penned a lengthy piece on the NSA facility and warns “It is, in some measure, the realization of the ‘total information awareness’ program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.”

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Co-Founder Of Invisible Children Arrested For Public Masturbation

(Sarah Grieco)  A co-founder for Invisible Children was detained in Pacific Beach on Thursday for being drunk in public and masturbating, according to the San Diego Police Department.

Jason Russell, 33,  was allegedly found masturbating in public, vandalizing cars and possibly under the influence of something, according to the SDPD. He was detained at the intersection of Ingraham Street and Riviera Road.

An SDPD spokesperson said the man detained was acting very strange, some may say bizarre.  Video: SDPD statement

“Due to the nature of the detention, he was not arrested,” Lt. Andra Brown said. “During the evaluation we learned we probably needed to take him to a medical facility because of statements he was saying.”

Police said they received several calls Thursday at 11:30 a.m. of a man in various stages of undress, running through traffic and screaming.

Police discuss the incident involving Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell. The well-known filmmaker was detained by police on Thursday for acting irrationally in public.
Police described Russell as “in his underwear.” He allegedly took off his underwear at one point, but it was back on by the time officers arrived, said police.

Several people attempted to calm him down and when officers arrived police said he was cooperative.

“He was no problem for the police department however, during the evaluation we learned that we probably needed to take care of him,” said an SDPD spokesperson. “We determined that medical treatment was a better course of action than arrest.”

Russell was taken to a medical center after the incident.

Police could not determine that he formed a criminal intent. There are no criminal charges pending because it looks like this is more of a medical situation, said an SDPD spokesperson.

Invisible Children’s CEO Ben Keesey released a statement after 1:40 p.m. on Friday saying:

“Jason Russell was unfortunately hospitalized yesterday suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition. He is now receiving medical care and is focused on getting better. The past two weeks have taken a severe emotional toll on all of us, Jason especially, and that toll manifested itself in an unfortunate incident yesterday. Jason’s passion and his work have done so much to help so many, and we are devastated to see him dealing with this personal health issue. We will always love and support Jason, and we ask that you give his entire family privacy during this difficult time.”

Russell is one of the the founders responsible for the “Kony 2012″ video that recently went viral. He is described on the organization’s website as a co-founder and “our grand storyteller and dreamer.” Russell is also described as a Christian and father to two children who wants to have nine more children with his wife he calls his “best friend for over 23 years.”

The video “Kony 2012″ calls for the capture of the Ugandan LRA leader whose fighting tactic involves kidnapping and torturing the country’s innocent children.

Russell spoke with NBCSanDiego explaining how the movement was exploding at the organization’s headquarters in San Diego.
“There are hundreds and thousands of propaganda – posters, stickers, buttons, t-shirts, that we are putting in boxes and are shipping all over the world,” Russell said in a March 8 interview.

 

At the Invisible Children headquarters in San Diego, volunteers and employees have been told not to comment. Workers removed a “Kony 2012″ sign in the lobby and a security guard is at the entrance of the check-in area.

 Source: Invisible Children Co-Founder Detained: SDPD | NBC San Diego