Coca-Cola Caught With High Levels Of Chlorine In China’s Soda Supply


(Agence France-Presse)  Coca-Cola has been ordered to temporarily halt production at a bottling plant in northern China, after media reports of chlorine in its products, according to a government statement.

Shanxi province ordered an investigation after reports that a batch of drinks contained water with chlorine, the province’s quality bureau said in a statement at the weekend.

“An on-site inspection, product testing, consultation of records, interviewing workers and other methods confirmed media reports about the situation were fact,” it said.

But a spokesperson for Coca-Cola said Monday that the production suspension, which was temporary, was unrelated to food safety orchlorine levels, and arose from other issues found by the government inspection.


“The chlorine levels are well below the WHO (World Health Organization), EU, North American and China standards for drinking water,” she said.

Chlorine is commonly used in water treatment to kill bacteria, but high levels can be hazardous to human health.

In a statement, Coca-Cola said it was moving to address the issues related to quality and production but gave no details.

“The quality and production issues being addressed at our bottling plant in Shanxi, China, are isolated to that one location, and the company is moving quickly to resolve them,” said the statement provided to AFP.

“At no time did these issues affect the safety of our products in the market.”

A receptionist at Coca-Cola Shanxi Beverages Co. on Monday confirmed to AFP that the plant had already stopped production.

 The contamination occurred in February when water with small amounts of chlorine accidentally flowed into water used for drinks during maintenance work, the official Xinhua news agency said late Sunday.

An anonymous company whistle-blower told local media that nine batches of products were contaminated, it said.

China has experienced several scares over food safety in recent years, many blamed on lax supervision or producers deliberately cutting corners and deceiving consumers in search of profits.

China is one of Coca-Cola’s most important growth markets, accounting for around seven percent of its global volume last year, according to the US company.

Coca-Cola has said it plans to invest more than $4 billion in China over the next three years starting from 2012.

The company has more than 40 bottling plants in China, where it cooperates with Chinese food giant COFCO and Hong Kong conglomerate Swire Pacific.

Source

Chicago To Welcome Militarized May Day?

(Yana Kunichoff)  If there is going to be a dress rehearsal for the coming NATO summit in Chicago, May Day is it. The first major mobilization of the 99 percent the month of the summit will take place on Tuesday, May 1. It will also, coincidentally or not, be the first day that police in “battle” dress hit the streets to prepare for the summit.

Operation Red Zone, a security perimeter around McCormick Place where the summits will be held and a “vast” area in downtown Chicago where federal and local government offices are located, according to the Sun-Times, will be patrolled by federal law enforcement carrying “non-lethal” guns beginning Tuesday.


The placement of the “red zone” may overlap with the planned route of the May Day march, which will go from Union Park, on Chicago’s near southwest side, to Federal Plaza downtown.

The police force will be “highly visible,” according to Cleophas Bradley, deputy regional director with the Federal Protective Service, “but we will not be preventing anyone from entering the red zone.”

“This is the city showing us their cards,” said Crystal Vance-Guerra, an organizer with Occupy el Barrio, which operates in Chicago’s immigrant neighborhood of Pilsen. “This is how they are going to play it.”

Groups including labor unions, immigrant rights groups and Occupiers are marching under the slogan:

We are Workers. We are Students. We are Documented. We are Undocumented. We are Occupiers.

They are Detaining Us. They are Shutting Down our Clinics. They are Closing our Schools. They are Taking our Wealth. They are Busting our Unions.

Come May 1st, we are on the March! Join Us!

Andy Manos, with Occupy Chicago, told Truthout that organizers hope to have as large and peaceful of a march as possible, despite the expected police presence.

“May Day is the day to celebrate working class consciousness, to demand greater control over the means of production,” said Manos, and they want all members of the working class to be able to participate equally.

May Day, international workers’ day, has an illustrious history in Chicago. It was started in the windy city by immigrants agitating for the eight-hour day against work conditions in which workers with minimal protections worked ten or 11 hours straight.

Then in 2006, half a million immigrants flooded into the streets of Chicago as part of a work strike and economic boycott to protest anti-immigrant legislation that was being considered by Congress.

“The immigrant rights movement of 2006 actually brought back May Day in the United States as a day for workers to express their concerns and their needs within the larger society,” said Democracy Now! journalist Juan Gonzalez in a 2011 interview. “In that sense they had an important impact, as immigrant workers have always had in the United States, in pushing the labor movement forward.”

“The fact that this day is being met with the beginnings of a force that is going to be used in NATO,” said Vance-Guerra, shows an extension of the “extreme militarization of the border, and the huge fear that was created and enforced after the 2006 marches.”

What followed the years since the 2006 marches has been an increase in the militarization of immigration enforcement coupled with an increasing crackdown on immigrants. Programs like Secure Communities and E-Verify used technology to track undocumented immigrants and deport even those who did not have a criminal record, while immigration detention centers became increasingly punitive with the rise of companies like the Corrections Corporation of America.

The lack of immigration legislation on the national front- the much-vaunted DREAM Act died an untimely death in the Senate in December 2010 – and a record number of deportations under President Obama was coupled with a spike in state-level punitive immigration legislation.

Some of the technology and force deployment used in the immigration crackdown will be making their way to Chicago for the NATO summit, reports show.

State troopers are used on the border with Mexico to bolster the presence of the Border Patrol; Chicago is expected to see about 500 state troopers and 600 National Guardsmendeployed for the summit.

The Illinois State Crime Commission also said that it is looking for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to be hired for extra security, Truthout has reported. The US Customs and Border Protection also runs a Veterans Outreach Program, for which they “actively recruit eligible veterans.”

The money pumped into high-tech border protection – including dronesBlackhawk helicopters  and surveillance cameras – lines up eerily with leaked reports of aerial surveillance devicessnipersBlackhawks and sound cannons that the city of Chicago is expected to bring for NATO.

Whether a militarized May Day will dissuade people, or bring more out onto the streets for NATO, is unknown, said Eric Ruder, an organizer with CANG8.

But “if it is militarized, things will become more concrete for a lot of people,” said Ruder. “And it’s “not entirely clear that intimidation and restrictions work,” by keeping people out of the street as the city hopes they will.

The wild card in this year’s May Day is Occupy.

“The first May Day with Occupy brings all of these issues to the fore in a way that it hasn’t been for a long time,” said Manos, with Occupy Chicago. “We are not planning large arrestful direct actions, because of the kind of intensity of Rahm Emanuel’s crackdown that is going to happen during NATO.”

But the space that Occupy opened has allowed labor rank-and-filers to come together with Occupy activists. Manos expects this to bring out a wide layer of people of May Day, regardless of how big the crowd is.

“Occupy allows people to sit in the same room,” said Manos, a member of the Occupy Chicago Labor Working Group. “The greatest thing about the work that I do is the ability to create coalitions and solidarity, and help radicalize the actions.”

“When you look at who have been the major players in the May Day Committee, we have several rank-and-filers. Not just organizers organizing, but rank-and-filers as well,” stressed Manos.

In Occupy Chicago, some people expect “that Rahm will see it [May Day] as an opportunity to try out for the next few weeks.”

The largest Occupy mobilization of 2012 so far, the April 7th Chicago Spring, which brought out between 500 and 700 participants, had a more aggressive police presence than usual, said Ruder.

“At the beginning of April 7 there were police helicopters,” said Ruder, “which struck me as sort of an aggressive move.”

Vance-Guerra, who works regularly with immigrant communities, says that activist concern should be not only on what will happen on May Day or during the NATO summit, but how this will change “the whole strategy of how to deal with protesters and organizers and marches.”

Already the “Shut Up and Sit Down” ordinance changes passed by Emanuel in January, originally sold as only for the NATO summit until the mayor admitted under pressure that they were permanent, have changed the landscape of dissent in Chicago.

“I don’t think we are going to have the number of 2006, but I think we are going to see some growth from last year. The focus of the May Day organizing group and all of those who are participating is to be as open as we can be,” said Vance-Guerra.

“If it’s a day for the 99 percent, we all need to be there. As power and wealth become concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer, and the response against organizing become more and more militarized, we need to see really clearly the connections between all of our struggles.”

Source

Official List Of Words Feds Monitor On Social Networking Sites


(Alexander Higgins)  The Feds have been forced to release their social network monitoring manual, which contains the list of words the government watches on social media and news sites.
Earlier the Huffington Post reported on the Feds have been forced to give up their list of words they monitor on Facebook, Twitter, and comments being posted on news articles so I compiled that list below.
Homeland Security Manual Lists Government Key Words For Monitoring Social Media, News
Ever complain on Facebook that you were feeling “sick?” Told your friends to “watch” a certain TV show? Left a comment on a media website about government “pork?”

If you did any of those things, or tweeted about your recent vacation in “Mexico” or a shopping trip to “Target,” the Department of Homeland Security may have noticed.

In the latest revelation of how the federal government is monitoring social media and online news outlets, the Electronic Privacy Information Center has posted online a 2011 Department of Homeland Security manual that includes hundreds of key words (such as those above) and search terms used to detect possible terrorism, unfolding natural disasters and public health threats. The center, a privacy watchdog group, filed a Freedom of Information Act request and then sued to obtain the release of the documents.

The 39-page “Analyst’s Desktop Binder” used by the department’s National Operations Center includes no-brainer words like “”attack,” “epidemic” and “Al Qaeda” (with various spellings). But the list also includes words that can be interpreted as either menacing or innocent depending on the context, such as “exercise,” “drill,” “wave,” “initiative,” “relief” and “organization.”

These terms and others are “broad, vague and ambiguous” and include “vast amounts of First Amendment protected speech that is entirely unrelated to the Department of Homeland Security mission to protect the public against terrorism and disasters,” stated the Electronic Privacy Information Center in letter to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence.

The manual was released by the center a week after Homeland Security officials were grilled at a House hearing over other documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit that revealed analysts were scrutinizing online comments that “reflect adversely” on the federal government. Mary Ellen Callahan, the chief privacy officer for the Department of Homeland Security, and Richard Chavez, director for the National Operations Center, testified that the released documents were outdated and that social media was monitored strictly to provide situational awareness and not to police disparaging opinions about the federal government. On Friday, Homeland Security officials stuck by that testimony.

A senior Homeland Security official who spoke to The Huffington Post on Friday on condition of anonymity said the testimony of agency officials last week remains “accurate” and the manual “is a starting point, not the endgame” in maintaining situational awareness of natural and man-made threats. The official denied Electronic Privacy Information Center’s charge that the government is monitoring dissent. The manual’s instruction that analysts should identify “media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities” was not aimed at silencing criticism but at spotting and addressing problems, she added.

[…]

Source: The Huffington Post

The Official List – Using these words online will put you in the crosshairs of Big Brother’s multi-billion dollar spy machine

Domestic Security

Assassination
Attack
Domestic security
Drill
Exercise
Cops
Law enforcement
Authorities
Disaster assistance
Disaster management
DNDO (Domestic Nuclear
Detection Office)
National preparedness
Mitigation
Prevention
Response
Recovery
Dirty bomb
Domestic nuclear detection
Emergency management
Emergency response
First responder
Homeland security
Maritime domain awareness
(MDA)
National preparedness
initiative
Militia
Shooting
Shots fired
Evacuation
Deaths
Hostage
Explosion (explosive)
Police
Disaster medical assistance
team (DMAT)
Organized crime
Gangs
National security
State of emergency
Security
Breach
Threat
Standoff
SWAT
Screening
Lockdown
Bomb (squad or threat)
Crash
Looting
Riot
Emergency Landing
Pipe bomb
Incident
Facility

HAZMAT & Nuclear

Hazmat
Nuclear
Chemical spill
Suspicious package/device
Toxic
National laboratory
Nuclear facility
Nuclear threat
Cloud
Plume
Radiation
Radioactive
Leak
Biological infection (or
event)
Chemical
Chemical burn
Biological
Epidemic
Hazardous
Hazardous material incident
Industrial spill
Infection
Powder (white)
Gas
Spillover
Anthrax
Blister agent
Chemical agent
Exposure
Burn
Nerve agent
Ricin
Sarin
North Korea

Health Concern + H1N1

Outbreak
Contamination
Exposure
Virus
Evacuation
Bacteria
Recall
Ebola
Food Poisoning
Foot and Mouth (FMD)
H5N1
Avian
Flu
Strain
Quarantine
H1N1
Vaccine
Salmonella
Small Pox
Plague
Human to human
Human to Animal
Influenza
Center for Disease Control
(CDC)
Drug Administration (FDA)
Public Health
Toxic
Agro Terror
Tuberculosis (TB)
Tamiflu
Norvo Virus
Epidemic
Agriculture
Listeria
Symptoms
Mutation
Resistant
Antiviral
Wave
Pandemic
Infection
Water/air borne
Sick
Swine
Pork World Health Organization
(WHO) (and components)
Viral Hemorrhagic Fever
E. Coli

Infrastructure Security

Infrastructure security
Airport
CIKR (Critical Infrastructure
& Key Resources)
AMTRAK
Collapse
Computer infrastructure
Communications
infrastructure
Telecommunications
Critical infrastructure
National infrastructure
Metro
WMATA
Airplane (and derivatives)
Chemical fire
Subway
BART
MARTA
Port Authority
NBIC (National
Biosurveillance Integration
Center)
Transportation security
Grid
Power
Smart
Body scanner
Electric
Failure or outage
Black out
Brown out
Port
Dock
Bridge
Cancelled
Delays
Service disruption
Power lines

Southwest Border Violence

Drug cartel
Violence
Gang
Drug
Narcotics
Cocaine
Marijuana
Heroin
Border
Mexico
Cartel
Southwest
Juarez
Sinaloa
Tijuana
Torreon
Yuma
Tucson
Decapitated
U.S. Consulate
Consular
El Paso
Fort Hancock
San Diego
Ciudad Juarez
Nogales
Sonora
Colombia
Mara salvatrucha
MS13 or MS-13
Drug war
Mexican army
Methamphetamine
Cartel de Golfo
Gulf Cartel
La Familia
Reynosa
Nuevo Leon
Narcos
Narco banners (Spanish
equivalents)
Los Zetas
Shootout
Execution
Gunfight
Trafficking
Kidnap
Calderon
Reyosa
Bust
Tamaulipas
Meth Lab
Drug trade
Illegal immigrants
Smuggling (smugglers)
Matamoros
Michoacana
Guzman
Arellano-Felix
Beltran-Leyva
Barrio Azteca
Artistic Assassins
Mexicles
New Federation

Terrorism

Terrorism
Al Qaeda (all spellings)
Terror
Attack
Iraq
Afghanistan
Iran
Pakistan
Agro
Environmental terrorist
Eco terrorism
Conventional weapon
Target
Weapons grade
Dirty bomb
Enriched
Nuclear
Chemical weapon
Biological weapon
Ammonium nitrate
Improvised explosive device
IED (Improvised Explosive
Device)
Abu Sayyaf
Hamas
FARC (Armed Revolutionary
Forces Colombia)
IRA (Irish Republican Army)
ETA (Euskadi ta Askatasuna)
Basque Separatists
Hezbollah
Tamil Tigers
PLF (Palestine Liberation
Front)
PLO (Palestine Liberation
Organization
Car bomb
Jihad
Taliban
Weapons cache
Suicide bomber
Suicide attack
Suspicious substance
AQAP (AL Qaeda Arabian
Peninsula)
AQIM (Al Qaeda in the
Islamic Maghreb)
TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban
Pakistan)
Yemen
Pirates
Extremism
Somalia
Nigeria
Radicals
Al-Shabaab
Home grown
Plot
Nationalist
Recruitment
Fundamentalism
Islamist

Weather/Disaster/Emergency

Emergency
Hurricane
Tornado
Twister
Tsunami
Earthquake
Tremor
Flood
Storm
Crest
Temblor
Extreme weather
Forest fire
Brush fire
Ice
Stranded/Stuck
Help
Hail
Wildfire
Tsunami Warning Center
Magnitude
Avalanche
Typhoon
Shelter-in-place
Disaster
Snow
Blizzard
Sleet
Mud slide or Mudslide
Erosion
Power outage
Brown out
Warning
Watch
Lightening
Aid
Relief
Closure
Interstate
Burst
Emergency Broadcast System

Cyber Security

Cyber security
Botnet
DDOS (dedicated denial of
service)
Denial of service
Malware
Virus
Trojan
Keylogger
Cyber Command
2600
Spammer
Phishing
Rootkit
Phreaking
Cain and abel
Brute forcing
Mysql injection
Cyber attack
Cyber terror
Hacker
China
Conficker
Worm
Scammers
Social media

Read the Deparment of Homeland Security Media Monitoring Desktop Reference

Analyst Desktop Binder_REDACTED

 

Watch: Congressional Hearing Department of Homeland Security’s monitoring of social media

 

Video of Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.), chairing a hearing of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence about the Department of Homeland Security’s monitoring of social media.

Source

May Day-Occupy Plans Global Disruption

(Henry Goldman)  Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, whose anti-greed message spread worldwide during an eight-week encampment in Lower Manhattan last year, plan marches across the globe tomorrow calling attention to what they say are abuses of power and wealth.

Organizers say they hope the coordinated events will mark a spring resurgence of the movement after a quiet winter. Calls for a general strike with no work, no school, no banking and no shopping have sprung up on websites in Toronto, BarcelonaLondonKuala Lumpur andSydney, among hundreds of cities in North America, Europe and Asia.


In New York, Occupy Wall Street will join scores of labor organizations observing May 1, traditionally recognized as International Workers’ Day. They plan marches from Union Square to Lower Manhattan and a “pop-up occupation” of Bryant Park on Sixth Avenue, across the street from Bank of America’s Corp.’s 55-story tower.

“We call upon people to refrain from shopping, walk out of class, take the day off of work and other creative forms of resistance disrupting the status quo,” organizers said in an April 26 e-mail.

Occupy groups across the U.S. have protested economic disparity, decrying high foreclosure and unemployment rates that hurt average Americans while bankers and financial executives received bonuses and taxpayer-funded bailouts. In the past six months, similar groups, using social media and other tools, have sprung up in Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Pooling Resources

The Occupy movement in New York has relied on demonstrations and marches around the city since Nov. 15, when police ousted hundreds of protesters from their headquarters in Zuccotti Park near Wall Street, where they had camped since Sept. 17.

Banks have pooled resources and cooperated to gather intelligence after learning of plans to picket 99 institutions and companies, followed by what organizers have described as an 8 p.m. “radical after-party” in an undetermined Financial District location.

“If the banks anticipate outrage from everyday citizens, it’s revealing of their own guilt,” said Shane Patrick, a member of the Occupy Wall Street press team. “If they hadn’t been participating in maneuvers that sent the economy into the ditch, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.”

Police Prepared

New York police can handle picketers, according to Paul Browne, the department’s chief spokesman.

“We’re experienced at accommodating lawful protests and responding appropriately to anyone who engages in unlawful activity, and we’re prepared to do both,” he said in an interview.

About 2,100 Occupy Wall Street protesters in New York have been arrested since the demonstrations began, said Bill Dobbs, a member of the group’s media-relations team.

Organizers describe the May Day events as a coming together of the Occupy movement, with activists also calling for more open immigration laws, expanded labor rights and cheaper financing for higher education. Financial institutions remain a primary target of the protests.

“Four years after the financial crisis, not a single of the too-big-to-fail banks is smaller; in fact, they all continue to grow in size and risk,” the group’s press office said in an April 26 e-mail.

Planning Since January

Five banks — JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Bank of America, Citigroup Inc. (C)Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) together held $8.5 trillion in assets at the end of 2011, equal to 56 percent of the U.S. economy, compared with 43 percent in 2006, according to central bankers at the Federal Reserve.

Occupy Wall Street began planning for May Day in January, meeting in churches and union halls with a decision-making system that avoids a single leader. Instead, participants rely on group “break-out” sessions in which clusters discuss such tasks as crowd-building, logistics and communications.

About 150 attended an April 25 meeting at the Greenwich Village headquarters of the Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union, making last-minute preparations for how to deploy legal and medical help; site selection for picketing; purchasing, production and distribution of protest signs; and how to talk to reporters.

The meeting convened inside the union hall basement, where attendees arranged chairs in a circle as three facilitators asked each of the assembled to identify themselves by first name and gender — he, she or they. Most appeared under age 30, though gray-haired baby boomers also participated. One of the older attendees pulled a ski mask over his head to protest the presence of a photographer from Tokyo.

Raging Musicians

Tomorrow, beginning at 8 a.m. in Bryant Parkscheduled events include teach-ins, art performances and a staging area for “direct action and civil disobedience,” such as bank blockades.

Photobucket
Tom Morello of the Grammy Award-winning rock band Rage Against the Machine along with 1,000 other guitar-playing musicians will accompany a march to Union Square at 2 p.m., according to the maydaynyc.org website. That will be followed by a “unity rally” at Union Square at 4 p.m.; a march from there to Wall Street at 5:30 p.m.; and a walk to a staging area for “evening actions,” which organizers at the April 25 meeting said would be the so-called after-party.

Golden Gate Bridge

Occupy-related events are planned in 115 cities throughout the U.S., from college towns such as Amherst, Massachusetts, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago and Philadelphia.

In San Francisco, demonstrators intend to hold a rally at the toll plaza of the Golden Gate Bridge from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. local time that “will result in the shutdown,” according to their website.

Across the bay in Oakland, protesters said they intend morning marches on banks and the Chamber of Commerce, followed by an afternoon rally and a march downtown.

“We’re looking forward to vigorously asserting our constitutional right to protest and giving a loud outcry about Wall Street and greed,” Dobbs said. “We’re hoping this will make a splash. We hope it will bring a lot of more people into the Occupy movement.”

Source

Stephen King Warns Of A Kingsian Apocalyptic Scenario

(Stephen King)  Chris Christie may be fat, but he ain’t Santa Claus. In fact, he seems unable to decide if he is New Jersey’s governor or its caporegime, and it may be a comment on the coarsening of American discourse that his brash rudeness is often taken for charm.

In February, while discussing New Jersey’s newly amended income-tax law, which allows the rich to pay less (proportionally) than the middle class, Christie was asked about Warren Buffett’s observation that he paid less federal income taxes than his personal secretary, and that wasn’t fair. “He should just write a check and shut up,” Christie responded, with his typical verve. “I’m tired of hearing about it. If he wants to give the government more money, he’s got the ability to write a check—go ahead and write it.”

Heard it all before. At a rally in Florida (to support collective bargaining and to express the socialist view that firing teachers with experience was sort of a bad idea), I pointed out that I was paying taxes of roughly 28 percent on my income. My question was, “How come I’m not paying 50?” The governor of New Jersey did not respond to this radical idea, possibly being too busy at the all-you-can-eat cheese buffet at Applebee’s in Jersey City, but plenty of other people of the Christie persuasion did. Cut a check and shut up, they said. If you want to pay more, pay more, they said.Tired of hearing about it, they said.

Tough shit for you guys, because I’m not tired of talking about it. I’ve known rich people, and why not, since I’m one of them? The majority would rather douse their dicks with lighter fluid, strike a match, and dance around singing “Disco Inferno” than pay one more cent in taxes to Uncle Sugar.

It’s true that some rich folks put at least some of their tax savings into charitable contributions. My wife and I give away roughly $4 million a year to libraries, local fire departments that need updated lifesaving equipment (jaws of life are always a popular request), schools, and a scattering of organizations that underwrite the arts. Warren Buffett does the same; so does Bill Gates; so does Steven Spielberg; so do the Koch brothers; so did the late Steve Jobs. All fine as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough.

What charitable 1-percenters can’t do is assume responsibility—America’s national responsibilities: the care of its sick and its poor, the education of its young, the repair of its failing infrastructure, the repayment of its staggering war debts. Charity from the rich can’t fix global warming or lower the price of gasoline by one single red penny. That kind of salvation does not come from Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Ballmer saying, “Okay, I’ll write a $2 million bonus check to the IRS.” That annoying responsibility stuff comes from three words that are anathema to the Tea Partiers: United American citizenry.

 

more-tax-teaser-new
 

 

And hey, why don’t we get real about this? Most rich folks paying 28 percent taxes do not give out another 28 percent of their income to charity. Most rich folks like to keep their dough.

They don’t strip their bank accounts and investment portfolios, they keep them and then pass them on to their children, their children’s children. And what they do give away is—like the monies my wife and I donate—totally at their own discretion. That’s the rich-guy philosophy in a nutshell: Don’t tell us how to use our money; we’ll tell you.

The Koch brothers are right-wing creepazoids, but they’re giving right-wing creepazoids. Here’s an example: 68 million fine American dollars to Deerfield Academy. Which is great for Deerfield Academy. But it won’t do squat for cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, where food fish are now showing up with black lesions.

It won’t pay for stronger regulations to keep BP (or some other bunch of dipshit oil drillers) from doing it again. It won’t repair the levees surrounding New Orleans. It won’t improve education in Mississippi or Alabama. But what the hell—them li’l crackers ain’t never going to go to Deerfield Academy anyway. F–k em if they can’t take a joke.

Here’s another crock of fresh bullshit delivered by the right wing of the Republican Party (which has become, so far as I can see, the only wing of the Republican Party): the richer rich people get, the more jobs they create. Really? I have a total payroll of about 60 people, most of them working for the two radio stations I own in Bangor, Maine.

If I hit the movie jackpot—as I have, from time to time—and own a piece of a film that grosses $200 million, what am I going to do with it? Buy another radio station? I don’t think so, since I’m losing my shirt on the ones I own already. But suppose I did, and hired on an additional dozen folks. Good for them. Whoopee-ding for the rest of the economy.

Tired of hearing about it, they said. Tough shit for you guys, because I’m not tired of talking about it. I’ve known rich people, and why not, since I’m one ofthem?

At the risk of repeating myself, here’s what rich folks do when they get richer:they invest. A lot of those investments are overseas, thanks to the anti-American business policies of the last four administrations. Don’t think so? Check the tag on that T-shirt or gimme cap you’re wearing.

If it says MADE IN AMERICA, I’ll…well, I won’t say I’ll eat your shorts, because some of that stuff ismade here, but not much of it. And what does get made here doesn’t get made by America’s small cadre of pluted bloatocrats; it’s made, for the most part, in barely-gittin’-by factories in the Deep South, where the only unions people believe in are those solemnized at the altar of the local church (as long as they’re from different sexes, that is).

The U.S. senators and representatives who refuse even to consider raising taxes on the rich—they squall like scalded babies (usually on Fox News) every time the subject comes up—are not, by and large, superrich themselves, although many are millionaires and all have had the equivalent of Obamacare for years.

They simply idolize the rich. Don’t ask me why; I don’t get it either, since most rich people are as boring as old dead dogshit. The Mitch McConnells and John Boehners and Eric Cantors just can’t seem to help themselves. These guys and their right-wing supporters regard deep pockets like Christy Walton and Sheldon Adelson the way the little girls regard Justin Bieber…which is to say, with wide eyes, slack jaws, and the drool of adoration dripping from their chins.

I’ve gotten the same reaction myself, even though I’m only “baby rich” compared to some of these guys, who float serenely over the lives of the struggling middle class like blimps made of thousand-dollar bills.

Photobucket
In America, the rich are hallowed. Even Warren Buffett, who has largely been drummed out of the club for his radical ideas about putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to patriotism, made the front pages when he announced that he had stage 1 prostate cancer. Stage 1, for God’s sake! A hundred clinics can fix him up, and he can put the bill on his American Express black card! But the press made it sound like the pope’s balls had just dropped off and shattered! Because it was cancer? No! Because it was Warren Buffett, he of Berkshire-Hathaway!

I guess some of this mad right-wing love comes from the idea that in America, anyone can become a Rich Guy if he just works hard and saves his pennies.Mitt Romney has said, in effect, “I’m rich and I don’t apologize for it.” Nobody wants you to, Mitt. What some of us want—those who aren’t blinded by a lot of bullshit persiflage thrown up to mask the idea that rich folks want to keep their damn money—is for you to acknowledge that you couldn’t have made it in America without America.

That you were fortunate enough to be born in a country where upward mobility is possible (a subject upon which Barack Obama can speak with the authority of experience), but where the channels making such upward mobility possible are being increasingly clogged. That it’s not fair to ask the middle class to assume a disproportionate amount of the tax burden.

Not fair? It’s un-f–king-American, is what it is. I don’t want you to apologize for being rich; I want you to acknowledge that in America, we all should have to pay our fair share. That our civics classes never taught us that being American means that—sorry, kiddies—you’re on your own.

That those who have received much must be obligated to pay—not to give, not to “cut a check and shut up,” in Gov. Christie’s words, but to pay—in the same proportion. That’s called stepping up and not whining about it. That’s called patriotism, a word the Tea Partiers love to throw around as long as it doesn’t cost their beloved rich folks any money.

This has to happen if America is to remain strong and true to its ideals. It’s a practical necessity and a moral imperative. Last year, during the Occupy movement, the conservatives who oppose tax equality saw the first real ripples of discontent. Their response was either Marie Antoinette (“Let them eat cake”) or Ebeneezer Scrooge (“Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?”). Short-sighted, gentlemen. Very short-sighted. If this situation isn’t fairly addressed, last year’s protests will just be the beginning. Scrooge changed his tune after the ghosts visited him. Marie Antoinette, on the other hand, lost her head.

Think about it.

Milwaukee Red Cross Told To Prep For Chicago Evacuation During NATO Summit

(CBS)   Is there a secret plan to evacuate some residents of Chicago in the event of major trouble during the NATO summit next month? CBS 2 has uncovered some evidence that there is. It comes from the Milwaukee area branch of the American Red Cross.

CBS 2 News has obtained a copy of a Red Cross e-mail sent to volunteers in the Milwaukee area.

It said the NATO summit “may create unrest or another national security incident. The American Red Cross in southeastern Wisconsin has been asked to place a number of shelters on standby in the event of evacuation of Chicago.”


According to a chapter spokesperson, the evacuation plan is not theirs alone.

“Our direction has come from the City of Chicago and the Secret Service,” she said.

Officials at Chicago’s Office of Emergency Management and Communication said the directive did not come from them.

The U.S. Secret Service did not return calls for comment.

Some downtown residents told CBS 2’s Mike Parker that the news has them on edge.

Brad Klein said it is “very unnerving. I feel a little bit unsafe, just a bit more than a little bit. It doesn’t make me feel like I want to be in the city during the NATO conference.”

An executive with the Service Employees International Union, who trains members in preparation for the summit, thinks such a plan might be “over the top.”

Photobucket
SEIU Local 1 training director Tom Dobry said, “This could be a lot like Y2K – a lot of hype and buildup. People will say, ‘that was it?’ Not a big deal.”

Source

The Top 10 Events Leading To Humanity’s Demise

(Activist Post)  Misdirected environmentalism continues to paint humanity as the enemy of itself simply through the natural exhalation of carbon dioxide.  However, there are many other more demonstrable ways indicating that humanity is not heading toward a flourishing, healthy future.

While we believe in the inherent goodness of the vast majority of people, as well as the unlimited potential of each and every individual to bring light into a dark world, we also can’t ignore some very disturbing facts.

We previously have pointed to earth changes as being valid existential threats, while pointing out that some man-made activities such as fracking and HAARP certainly could further exacerbate some of them.


However, any one of the following human creations may send us into an irrevocable tailspin that could wipe us out before any asteroid or mega volcano arrives.  We can also speculate about whether any or all of the below are the work of elite eugenicists, as some of them have indicated such intentions openly.  Regardless, the fact remains that unless we can elevate our mindset to how we can more properly utilize our technological evolution instead of permit developments that threaten our survival whether mistaken or intended, we will continue careening down a very destructive current path.

10. Vaccines — At first it might not seem like vaccines could actually cause the extinction of our entire species, but there are some troubling indicators. The link between vaccines and autism is such that rates have risen to 1 in every 88 children in the U.S. having the disorder, up 2,700 percent in the past 20 years.  Children under the age of 3 are being exposed to 30+ vaccines before their immune systems have even developed. Vaccine horror stories appear across all age groups, as the mounting effects of mercuryaluminum, adjuvants and other hidden surprises build within an ever-greater number of human beings.  The result is neurological disorders, birth defects, and death.  Instead of reversing vaccination policies, despite a mountain of evidence and public outcry, the pharmaceutical industry in tandem with admitted eugenicist, Bill Gates, seeks only to increase the exposure.  In the Third World, villages have been held up literally at gun point, whereas in the First World U.S. the gun is regulatory as children are being given vaccines without their parents’ consent (including outright sterilization in Australia), religious exemptions are under attack, anddoor-to-door vaccine armies are on the move.  Some would still suggest that vaccines can ultimately be avoided based on location and creative resistance. Bill Gates and company have a solution for that as well — a flying vaccine solution — mosquitoes. They already have been released.




9. Chemical additives — The range and volume of chemical additives in our food, air and water is staggering.  Substances like high-fructose corn syrup which contains mercury; sodium fluoride (literally a hazardous waste linked to the #1 cause of death); Aspartame; the excitotoxin monosodium glutamate; BPA; aluminum and other geoengineering fallout, as well as a mountain of chemicals within personal care and cleaning products are leading to everything from increased cancers and debilitating syndromes to sterility. While many of these chemicals can be eradicated through education and better consumer choice, the ubiquitous nature of the poisoning (and sometimes secret nature) is nearly overwhelming . . . and cumulative.

8. Genetic Engineering — GM seeds themselves do not represent life, but actual death, as they are programmed to be “terminator seeds.”  This terminator capability now extends across the spectrum as GMOs interact with human genetics. The interaction already has been linked to weight gain, organ failure, and the negative effects of higher levels of plant estrogens coming from the use of glyphosate found in air, rain and rivers in the United States.  Sterility by the third generation has been shown in a Russian study of GMO-soy-fed hamsters. And this is only the tip of the iceberg in genetic modification, as Dr. Moreau-type experimentation of human/animal hybrids all over the world threatens to completely de-humanize our species. Genetic engineering has so many variables, and has been so thoroughly untested over the long term, that we can only conclude that it holds the potential for extreme lethality.

7. War — War has been a recurring theme for as long as man has been around, and an unfortunate means of wiping out certain populations. With the advent of nuclear weapons, we are theoretically always just one stroke away from total annihilation. War also has been an insidious instrument for slow-kill weapons such as depleted uranium which already has entered the jet stream, affecting people far removed from any actual battlefield. The sad fact is that the weapons and methods of war have only become more widespread and more violent as our history has unfolded. A side effect is that the governments who wage war and impose the control mechanisms to maintain and justify their actions of political repression and genocide have become the #1 cause of unnatural death — the current toll is well over 262 million people. These are the same power-mad people who have enough nuclear warheads at their disposal to destroy the planet many times over.

6. Robotic Replacements — Mankind’s acumen for technological advancement has created new weapons and systems of war which previously only had been imagined in works of science fiction.  Well, that science fiction story is now part of the daily news cycle.  Machine warfare has arrived with drone bombings taking place around the globe.  Beyond simple remote-controlled war,autonomous systems have been developed that are capable of unilateral decision making based on computerized threat assessments.  And they can self-replicate.  What role is there for human beings once robotic systems have either gone awry through malfunction … or have “decided” that humanity is the real threat after all.

5. Runaway Nanotech — The ability to self-replicate takes on even more potentially disastrous consequences in the area of nanotech.  There has been a full commitment given by the U.S. government to fund all areas of nanotech including surveillance and security, which has given birth to micro drones that mimic the insect world, as well as “smart dust” in agriculture and beyond. Nanoparticles have already entered our food, appliances and clothing – again without proper long-term testing, oversight, or consumer knowledge.  Since nanoparticles have been proven to have caused brain damage in aquatic species, and nanotech has the capability to rewire the brain and permit “smart” devices to rewire themselves, we have to wonder what happens when this technology goes rogue.

Photobucket
4. Super Virus — Inexplicably, scientists have reconstructed the genetic code of The Black Plague. This is just one possibility among a host of bioweapons (including mosquitoes) within labs around the planet that could unleash a civilization-ending super virus. Currently, there are over 1360 BSL-3’s (biosafety labs) in the US, and while the CDC insists there are only 6 BSL-4’s, the actual number appears far higher (Source). The BSLs are coded by their containment levels. BSL-4’s handle the most dangerous bugs known to man; those for which there is no known cure. The BSL-3’s deal with slightly less deadly germs, such as anthrax and plague. According to a report tendered by Edward Hammond, director of the now defunct Sunshine Project, there is no one providing oversight as to the type of research going on in these labs (Source). In tandem with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and all manner of fortified diseases, without proper controls — and a whole lot of luck — this could end life as we know it.

3. Bee Colony Collapse — Anything that centrally affects the global food chain has the ability to cascade across all species, rapidly collapsing the dominoes until it reaches the species sitting at the top.  Also known as Colony Collapse Disorder, an increasing body of evidence points to the effects of pesticides as a main culprit leading to bees evacuating their colonies, while genetic engineering also has raised concern among experts such as Jeffrey Smith. In fact, Monsanto has been implicated, and perhaps as a hedge Monsanto has bought one of the leading bee research firms.  However, buying “experts” to deny what is happening is not going to change reality.  The excellent report below summarizes where we stand: 76% of all food production and 84% of plant species rely on bees for pollination to nourish the “food circle of life.”  And it turns out there is a smoking gun:

2. Oil Spills — We have just reached the two-year anniversary of the BP oil disaster and all evidence points to a worsening situation: mutated fish, and a wide range of effects across the ecosystem of the Gulf.  We would do well to remember that although this oil spill is the worst, therehave been others around the world, and there surely will be more.  The global interdependence of the food supply will lead to widespread contamination across the planet.  How much can the environment take of corporate greed that sees true safety measures as being a threat to their bottom line, rather than a threat to all of humanity?

1. Fukushima — This appears to be our most pressing threat, since it is not only far from over, but reactor 4, which has been weakened to a point of near collapse, contains over 1500 fuel rods, any one of which could kill billions if its plutonium is released.  Independent experts are telling us that this will most assuredly lead to a near-extinction event for humanity.  Meanwhile, the amount of radiation that already has been released — on top of what is in our environment due to weapons of war and other reactor leaks — is beginning to lead to physical signs across North America.   Alaskan wildlife is showing signs of radiation poisoning, despite official denial; human cancer rates are spiking, and plant mutations are being recorded in Michigan.  After governments have largely downplayed the situation by ignoring readings and raising radiation safety limits for food, a few are beginning to raise their voices in earnest to tell the world of a coming mass extinction event.  To keep up with the latest about the unfolding Fukushima nightmare, please click here and here.

This is no time to be timid. The above scenarios are grim, but it is imperative that we face these very real threats and learn as much as we can so that we can avert disaster.  Unfortunately, these human-created possibilities are too easily open for denial and self-delusion due to their largely hidden and silent nature, whereas a volcano, meteor, or pole shift cannot be actively ignored.  The good news is that we can minimize or even reverse each and every one of these manufactured threats simply by becoming educated and sharing with others a message of courage, ingenuity and hope that is innate within our species.

Source

U.S.D.A. Owns The Word “Organic”

(Thomas Dishaw) Usually the news I read doesn’t surprise me. I read about 100 articles per day ranging from economics, politics,health  and corruption. So not a lot of things get by me. But this story did and it blew my mind.  The U.S.D.A. owns the word “organic” Let me say that again, the U.S.D.A. owns the word “organic” . This is the same U.S.D.A. that wanted to feed your kids “pink slime” in the school lunch program. But quickly backed away after public outcry.


There also instrumental in helping their little brother Monsanto  by approving G.M.O. crops before they are legitimately evaluate for public consumption.  With trust of government and their agencies at an all time low, I surely don’t trust them with the word organic. Some things are sacred , and the U.S.D.A. owning the word is part of their plan to destroying the meaning.

Over time organic will lose its value ,eventually being  defined as something that was grown naturally. What I mean by naturally is,something grown by a tree, plant or a vine. In the not so distant future labs will be growing our foods. The family farm will be extinct and the government will have control of the food supply.

Corporation Grow will have major food hubs in every state. They won’t need sunlight,soil or clean air this will all be done in under the roof  of  huge grow domes that mass produce chemically designed food that will be cost efficient for the corporations.

We need to make sure this future scenario doesn’t take place. All of us need to step up our fight in protecting  the word organic and fight for G.M.O. labeling. If we don’t, we will see something that was so healthy become destroyed in less than a generation.

Police Departments Wait Anxiously To Fly Drones Over U.S. Cities

(Brian Bennett)  Police departments across the country have bought inexpensive small drone aircraft with cameras to help track drug dealers, find missing children and locate wandering Alzheimer’s patients, but federal rules designed to protect the nation’s airspace have kept them grounded. That is about to change in a dramatic way.


Under a law President Obama signed in February, the Federal Aviation Administration must write rules by May 14 on how it will license police, fire department and other public safety agencies eager to fly lightweight drones at low altitudes.

The FAA also is supposed to develop plans by this year to integrate drones operated by individuals or corporations into U.S. airspace by 2015.

The bottom line: Thousands of remotely piloted aircraft of various shapes, sizes and speeds — at least some carrying high-resolution cameras and sophisticated sensors — may soon be buzzing overhead.

FAA officials have long worried that ground-based pilots of drone aircraft can’t always see or avoid commercial and other aircraft. And civil liberties groups warn that Americans could face unprecedented surveillance from above in violation of privacy rights.

But members of Congress, backed by drone manufacturers, inserted language in the FAA reauthorization bill that requires the agency to move swiftly to license drones. The new rules are supposed to help determine who can fly a drone — and how high and far — without posing a threat.

Advocates say the unmanned planes could be deployed for uses as diverse as dusting crops, selling real estate, giving real-time traffic reports and helping with disaster relief. Some can stay aloft at a fraction of the cost of helicopters and manned aircraft.

Next month’s set of FAA rules will apply only to police and other first-responder drones smaller than 4.4 pounds that are flown in daylight below 400 feet, and that stay within a pilot’s line of sight. They resemble large model planes.

Photobucket

“We want [police] to be able to use the aircraft sooner because there is a public interest,” said Ben Gielow, government relations manager for the Assn. for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, an industry organization that helped draft some of the language in the new law.
Critics say the FAA is moving too quickly to secure privacy and safety.

“I think it is a very quick timeline,” said Jennifer Lynch, a lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based advocacy group that has sued to compel the FAA to release more information about its plans.

“Rushing to push through applications to fly drones doesn’t seem like a good idea,” she said.

At least a dozen police departments have asked the FAA for permission to fly drones.

Police in Gadsden, Ala., used a $150,000 federal grant two years ago to buy a lightweight drone called a WASP III to help in drug investigations. But officers have yet to fly the drone, said Capt. Regina May, a department spokeswoman.

“We’re going to be keeping an eye on what happens” on May 14, she said.

Source

How To Hide From Face-Detection Technology

(John D. Sutter)  If you take Adam Harvey’s advice, here’s what you might wanna wear to a party this weekend: A funny hat, asymmetrical glasses, a tuft of hair that dangles off your nose bridge and, most likely, a black-and-white triangle taped to your cheekbone. Optional: Cubic makeup patterns all around your eyes.


All of these otherworldly fashion accessories – which could leave a person looking kind of like an opulent villain from “The Hunger Games” – have a singular goal: to stop your face from being detected by cameras and computers. Called CV Dazzle (short for “computer vision dazzle;” more on the name later), Harvey’s project is a provocative and largely theoretical response to the rise of surveillance cameras on street corners and face-detecting technology that’s been incorporated into social networking sites like Facebook and Flickr.

If you employ these techniques, Harvey, 30, hopes computers won’t even know you have a face:

I don’t want to be unrealistic about it. It’s a pretty conceptual project but it seems to touch on a subject that people are still trying to figure out, which is how to adapt to living in surveillance societies, where not only are you being watched by government surveillance but by citizen surveillance and social-media-type surveillance.

The face appendages aim to trick face detection software by obscuring computer-readable parts of your face. According to Harvey, the key part of the face that computers can read is the “nose bridge,” or the area between the eyes. If you can obscure that, you have a good chance of tricking computers into thinking you don’t have a face, he said. Another technique is to create an “anit-face,” which is less terrifying than it sounds since it just means inverting your face’s color scheme. So the black-and-white triangles on the cheeks aim to achieve this effect.

Face detection prevention fashion.

Or, you could just sport a popped collar or a hoodie. More from Harvey:

One idea I’m working on is a double flip-up collar. It’s not much different from a hoodie except that you can fold it down and it’s a new style. The hoodie works great, but of course it’s kind of suspicious.

Asymmetry also fools computers, he said, since software first looks for symmetry in a face.

Harvey developed this concept as a grad-student project at New York University starting in 2010. He hopes to soon put out a fashion guide to avoiding face detection and wants to work with fashion designers to create accessories that trick peeping cameras. He’s also working on a computer program that would allow people to draw their own anti-detection fashion, then test it virtually to see if it actually works before they go wandering out of the house with bangs hanging over their noses.

Oh, and the name: “Dazzle” refers to a particular type of camouflage that was used by ships in World War I. The cubist-style pattern on the boats wasn’t meant to blend into the surroundings, exactly, but it did have a confusing effect, he said. “Zebras use dazzle camouflage,” he said. “If they’re all running around it’s increasingly difficult to se how many there are. That’s the advantage to them.”

Photobucket

Harvey said he’s not completely against face detection in all cases, but he thinks the technology “oscillates between cool and freaky.” The public thinking on privacy, has “really turned upside down,” he said. “Anything you do in favor of privacy can raise a lot of suspicion now.”
He doesn’t take things so seriously that he actually wears this stuff to parties, however. He’s actually never tried that himself, he said, but is trying to come up with a hat that will look cool and still could conceal his identity – at least from the computers.

Source

22 Signs That The Collapsing Spanish Economy Is Heading Into A Great Depression

(Economic Collapse)  What happens when debt-fueled false prosperity disappears?  Just look at Spain.  The 4th largest economy in Europe was riding high during the boom years, but now the Spanish economy is collapsing with no end in sight.

When a debt bubble gets interrupted, the consequences can be rather chaotic.  Just like we saw in Greece, austerity is causing the economy to slow down in Spain.  But when the economy slows down, tax revenues fall and that makes it even more difficult to meet budget targets.


So even more austerity measures are needed to keep debt under control and the cycle just keeps going.  Unfortunately, even with all of the recently implemented austerity measures the Spanish government is still not even close to a balanced budget.  Meanwhile, the housing market in Spain is crashing and unemployment is already above 24 percent.

The Spanish banking system is a giant, unregulated mess that is on the verge of a massive implosion, and the Spanish stock market has been declining rapidly.

The Spanish government is going to need a massive bailout and so will the entire Spanish banking system.  But that is going to be a huge problem, because the Spanish economy is almost 5 times as large as the Greek economy.  When the Spanish financial system collapses, the entire globe is going to feel the pain and there will be no easy solution.

So just how bad are things in Spain at this point?

The following are 22 signs that the collapsing Spanish economy is heading into a great depression….

#1 The unemployment rate in Spain has reached 24.4 percent – a new all-time record high.  Back in April 2007, the unemployment rate in Spain was only 7.9 percent.

#2 The unemployment rate in Spain is now higher than the U.S. unemployment rate was during any point during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

#3 According to CNBC, some analysts are projecting that the unemployment rate in Spain is going to go above 30 percent.

#4 The unemployment rate for those under the age of 25 in Spain is now a whopping 52 percent.

#5 There are more than 47 million people living in Spain today.  Only about 17 million of them have jobs.

#6 Retail sales in Spain have declined for 21 months in a row.

#7 The Bank of Spain has officially confirmed that Spain has already entered another recession.

#8 Last week, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services slashed Spain’s credit ratingfrom A to BBB+.

#9 The yield on 10-year Spanish bonds is up around 6 percent again.  That is considered to be very dangerous territory.

#10 Two of Spain’s biggest banks have announced that they are going to stop increasing their holdings of Spanish government debt.

#11 Of all the loans held by Spanish banks, 8.15 percent are considered to be “bad loans”.

#12 The total value of all bad loans in Spain is equivalent to approximately 13 percent of Spanish GDP.

#13 Of all real estate assets held by Spanish banks, more than 50 percent of them are considered to be “troubled” by the Spanish government.

#14 That total amount of money loaned out by Spanish banks is equivalent toapproximately 170 percent of Spanish GDP.

#15 Home prices in Spain fell by 11.2 percent last year, and the number of property repossessions in Spain rose by a staggering 32 percent during 2011.

#16 Spanish housing prices are now down 25 percent from the peak of the housing market and Citibank’s Willem Buiter expects the eventual decline to be somewhere around 60 percent.

Photobucket

#17 It is being projected the the economy of Spain will shrink by 1.7 percentthis year, although there are some analysts that feel that projection is way too optimistic.
#18 The Spanish government has announced a ban on all cash transactionslarger than 2,500 euros.

#19 One key Spanish stock index has already fallen by more than 19 percentso far this year.

#20 The Spanish government recently admitted that its 2011 budget deficit wasmuch larger than originally projected and that it probably will not meet its budget targets for 2012 either.

#21 Spain’s debt to GDP ratio is projected to rise by more than 11 percentduring 2012.

#22 Worldwide exposure to Spanish debt is estimated to be well over a trillion euros.

Spain is going down the exact same road that Greece went down.

Greece is already suffering through a great depression and now Spain is joining them.  The following is from a recent BBC article….

“In Spain today, a cycle similar to Greece is starting to develop,” said HSBC chief economist Stephen King.

“The recession is so deep that when you take one step forward on austerity, it takes you two steps back.”

In Spain right now there is a lot of fear and panic about the economy.  In many areas, it seems like absolutely nobody is hiring right now.  The following is from a recent USA Today article….

“The situation is very bad. There’s no work,” said Enrique Sebastian, a 48-year-old unemployed surgery room assistant as he left one of Madrid’s unemployment offices. “The only future I see is one with wages of €400 ($530) a month for eight-hour days. And that’s if you can find it.”

But Spain is just at the beginning of a downward spiral.  Just wait until they have been through a few years of economic depression.  Once that happens, millions of people begin to lose all hope.  A recent Reuters article discussed the epidemic of suicides that is happening in Greece right now….

On Monday, a 38-year-old geology lecturer hanged himself from a lamp post in Athens and on the same day a 35-year-old priest jumped to his death off his balcony in northern Greece. On Wednesday, a 23-year-old student shot himself in the head.

In a country that has had one of the lowest suicide rates in the world, a surge in the number of suicides in the wake of an economic crisis has shocked and gripped the Mediterranean nation – and its media – before a May 6 election.

And you know what?

The nightmares that we are seeing unfold in Spain and Greece right now are just a preview of what is coming to most of the rest of the world.

The next wave of the economic crisis will soon envelop the United States, Japan and the rest of Europe.

When it strikes, the pain will be immense.

But it won’t be the end – it will only be just the beginning.

The global financial system is starting to crumble.

You better get ready.

Source

Rape Away The Gay-Cleveland D.J. Tells Father “Get One Of Your Friends To Screw Her Straight”

)  A radio personality in Cleveland is facing tremendous backlash after telling a father that he should get one of his male friends to rape his daughter to force her to turn straight.

In response to an email from a father who suspected his daughter was gay after discovering her kissing another girl, DJ Dominic Deiter declared on the air that “You should get one of your friends to screw your daughter straight.”

You read that correctly. An apparently anti-gay radio personality told a father that he should arrange for his daughter to be raped repeatedly until she magically turns straight.


After the disgusting remark, GLAAD received multiple reports about the incident, which was said during ‘Rover’s Morning Glory’ radio program that airs on WWMS 100.7 FM radio station on Clear Channel Communications, which includes radio shows hosted by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and several other right-wing radio shows. Clear Channel is also owned primarily by Bain Capital, the company that Mitt Romney began and is still involved with.

GLAAD’s Director of News & Field Media Aaron McQuade says “It was appalling and dangerous for this show to tell a father that he should have one of his friends rape his daughter.

That’s essentially how Dieter responded to this listener, and this is no laughing matter in a world where people are too often the victims of violence and sexual assault based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation.

And Dieter gave this vile advice to everyone who was listening, including educators, parents and children – sending the message that it’s okay to physically or sexually abuse people who are perceived to be gay.”

Clearly, this disc jockey needs to be fired immediately for his comment. Advocating for rape to change homosexuals into heterosexuals is egregiously wrong on so many levels. Rape is a violent act against women, and to say that a father should have his own daughter raped for any reason is flat out evil.

Photobucket
If Republicans needed a reason why the Violence Against Women Act and the update to include gays and lesbians should be passed, this is precisely why. Without this Act and the crucial updates, measures would not be in place to prevent the kind of violence Deiter is suggesting be used to curb homosexuality. Furthermore, members of the LGBT are human beings who have rights. Nobody deserves to be raped because of who they are.

Unfortunately, many people heard Deiter’s remark. And undoubtedly, many anti-gay activists may indeed harbor similar feelings. Could they switch their strategy from ‘pray away the gay’ to ‘rape away the gay’? I wonder how many of these anti-gay activists will be courageous enough to condemn Deiter’s response. Probably none of them.

Source

Pirate Party Taking Prisoners In German Parliament

(Juergen  Baetz)  Pirates are capturing Germany’s political system.  The party with the outlaw name started as a marginal club of computer nerds and hackers demanding online freedom, but its appeal as an antiestablishment movement has lured many young voters to the ballot boxes, catapulting it into two state parliaments in less than a year.

The all-volunteer Pirates offer little ideology and focus on promoting their flagship policies of near-total transparency and an unrestricted Internet. But polls show them as the country’s third-strongest political force, leapfrogging over more establishedparties.


The tremendous success has doubled the Pirates’ membership to 25,000, but it also has handed them a crucial challenge set to dominate its convention starting Saturday: A party founded as a rebellious upstart must reckon with its new political power and its promise of a voice for all its members.

About 1,500 members gathered in the northern Germany city of Neumuenster to discuss the group’s growth. New polls predicted it would win seats in two more state legislatures in May, with forecasters expecting it to secure about 9 percent of the vote in both states.

“Many vote for the Pirates as a sign of protest. It is not directed against democracy, but it’s based on the unhappiness with the functioning of the established parties,” said Alexander Hensel, a political scientist who studies the Pirates at the Goettingen Institute for Democracy Research.

Analysts say that despite the nation’s robust economy and low unemployment, many Germans are disenchanted with the established parties, fueled by outrage over seeing the government bailing out banks and businesses to save the economy from collapsing in the wake of the financial crisis.

Thousands in Germany took to the streets last year in rallies during the worldwide Occupy movement, but it has now all but fizzled out — with the Pirates appearing to inherit the votes of the disenchanted.

While the mainstream parties in Europe’s biggest economy are struggling to come up with a response to the continent’s debt crisis, the Pirates cheerfully admit they have no answers. Nor do they have a stance on whether German troops should continue to fight in Afghanistan.

But many voters welcome their blunt acknowledgment as a sign of honesty in the political arena. Instead of taking a stand on the pressing issues that more mainstream parties are forced to address, the Pirates speak up against copyright laws, demand free public transportation, and say every citizen should be paid a basic income without having to work.

“The Pirates are elected less because of what they stand for than by disappointment with the established parties and for their unconventional methods,” Hensel said.

The party’s core pledge of transparency and participation — live transmission of all meetings and the online involvement of all party members in its decisions, countless Twitter debates and email chains — is reaching the limit of feasibility as the number of party members has mushroomed.

The question is: Will the Pirates change Germany’s political system, or will the system crack the Pirates?

Hensel said the growing volunteer party will be challenged in its organization and leadership.

Its outgoing managing director, Marina Weisband, 24, collapsed last week between two TV appearances. She was briefly hospitalized, saying she was just heavily overworked. She and other Pirates now advocate having professional party leaders with more say in policy decisions.

But to grassroots Pirates, those calls amount to mutiny.

“The Pirates’ opinion is created by the party members, not dictated by the chairman,” outgoing party leader Sebastian Nerz said. “The individual’s freedom stands at the top.”

Nerz, 28, favored expanding the board from seven to nine members to give it a more professional structure, but wasn’t re-elected Saturday, losing to his deputy, Bernd Schloemer, 41.

Recently the party has been marred by a scandal over how to handle the far-right past of some of its members, with many Pirates refusing to exclude anyone from membership. But on Saturday, party members overwhelmingly approved a motion saying that any effort to deny or minimize the Holocaust would be against the party’s fundamental values, German news agency dapd reported.

Soon the party will need more professional politicians, if pollsters are right: In North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s most populous state with 18 million inhabitants, the Pirates can expect to get 9 percent of the vote in mid-May, according to Emnid, which surveyed 1,001 people for Focus magazine this week.

Another poll for public broadcaster ARD published Friday also found the party securing about 9 percent of the vote in Schleswig-Hollstein state’s May 7 election.

Photobucket
Pirate parties are now present in several European countries, but only in Germany have they skyrocketed to such success. In Sweden, where the movement originated, the party won 7 percent of the vote in European Parliament elections in 2009 but less than 1 percent in national elections the next year, making it a marginal party, albeit with a strong voice on cyber issues.

Germany’s political establishment now sees the Pirates as poised to be in four of the country’s 16 state legislatures within a month.

“They are an interesting appearance. And we don’t know yet how that will develop,” conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel told Saturday’s edition of the daily Leipziger Volkszeitung.

Source

Navy Nears Deal To Help Avoid Cal Power Shortages

(AP)   The Navy is nearing a first-time agreement to reduce electricity use at its sprawling San Diego-area bases, if power runs short in Southern California this summer.

The Navy is San Diego Gas & Electric’s largest customer, and the deal is intended to diminish the threat of blackouts while the San Onofre nuclear plant remains offline.

Photobucket
Under the agreement, the Navy would temporarily reduce its energy consumption if supplies get scarce, in exchange for savings on rates. The utility has similar agreements with large industrial customers that can slash demand for power at critical times.

State officials have warned of rotating blackouts this summer in Southern California if a heat wave hits while the ailing reactors remain dark, though activists say adequate reserves are on hand.

Source

Canadian Police Declare Student Protest Illegal

(Mathaba)  Police in Canada declared a students’ mass demonstration illegal, saying they were bringing in the riot squad because projectiles had been thrown at them and they were asking everyone to leave, but students did not obey their orders.

Students say that it appears that the state security forces have been inserting masked agent-provocateurs into the demonstrations to take violent actions so that the police would have an excuse to crack down on the demonstrations which have brought tens of thousands of young Canadians onto the streets.

Québec Solidaire spokespeople Amir Khadir and Françoise David,  showed their support by marching with them.

Frustrated students didn’t show any signs of fatigue or wavering their resolve as they plowed through downtown on a soggy night to denounce the ongoing battle over tuition hikes and demanding their stake in the future. Over 300,000 students have taken part in protest actions and boycotted classes.


Students may not be solving their immediate tuition crisis with their daily demonstrations, but they are thinking of the future and are determined to keep driving home the message about how unhappy they are with the government’s plan to increase tuition fees by $1,625 over five years, and even more unhappy about how attempts at negotiation have recently collapsed.

They also want to know why it is that in Libya, Africa, students could receive free education with handsome allowances to study abroad, and also how it is that students in Cuba study free of charge without incurring any debt.

They point out that capitalist elites dictating to government demand that they start life in debt, in order to perpetually control them, instead ofseeing education as a national asset and investment in the nation’s future.

They say mobilization is their only weapon in their battle to keep tuition fees frozen.

Students were rebuffed yet again by the government dictatorship’s Education Minister Line Beauchamp on Thursday when she rejected their proposal to resume talks with representatives of the controversial CLASSE – Coalition large de l’association pour une solidarité syndicale étudiante “Mass Coalition of the Association for a Syndicate Student Solidarity” – at the table as part of the delegation.

An unknown number of students are reported to have been arrested by the forces of the state.

CLASSE, considered the most radical of the major student associations by the government dictatorship, denounced violence carried out during the 10-week-old student strike, but refused to condemn civil disobedience or acts of self-defence.

Quebec student demonstrations have been linked to vandalism. However, it is possible that there are police operatives acting as agent provocateurs of violence in the student crowd toward the demonization of student protests. Indeed, the police had been linked to such activitiesduring the G-20 summit which had been held in Toronto in late-June 2010.

More than 5,000 protesters gathered at Place Émilie-Gamelin at around 8:30 p.m. on Thursday before marching through the streets of downtown Montreal. The demonstration remained calm until protesters reached the intersection of Ste. Catherine and Guy. Demonstrators or agent-provocateurs planted in their midst by state security forces overturned garbage bins, smashed bank windows, and hurled rocks at police cars. Riot police intervened at around 10:30 p.m.

This police contingent then assaulted protesters with concussion grenades and tear gas canisters. The protesters were charged by police at the intersection of Ste. Catherine and Metcalfe. CLASSE has publicly stated that it would not look to negotiate with the Quebec government regarding tuition fee increases unless the dictatorship regime’s Minister of Education Line Beauchamp agreed to discuss tuition freezes.

CLASSE has a long term goal for the abolition of tuition fees altogether, in line with natural law as advocated by The Green Book.

Unlike what subservient media report that Quebec students are simply protesting a significant rise in student tuition fees, the students have much greater demands, including real democracy and not the absence of it, which results in dictatorship of a small elite in power.

The students also seek to defend social contract ideas between government and people as members of communities, as a first step toward democracy.

Quebec students through student groups seek to affirm a culture of economic democracy from further assault by capitalism. CLASSE has been the principle champion of this campaign. The ‘Civil Code’ has been instrumental in fostering a context of social responsibility and economic democracy in Quebec which student protesters and organizers seek to defend and re-affirm.

There have been 160 protests in the 11 weeks since students walked out of classes.

The government dictatorship claims one of the student groups, C.L.A.S.S.E., broke the truce by protesting Tuesday and “condoning violence on its website” and booted it from talks Wednesday. Refusing to condemn self-defence of the masses against state violence, is seen as “condoning violence” by the neo-liberal fascist state.

Photobucket
“You can’t play both sides,” the dictatorship regime’s “Education Minister” Line Beauchamp said. “I regret that this (group) has chosen its camp.”

That prompted two other students groups to walk out in solidarity with C.L.A.S.S.E. leading to the street demonstrations and subsequent riot.

The leader of one student group said the talks are suspended until the banned group is invited back to sit at the table again. Young Canadians with their future ahead of them have seen through the divide-and-rule tactics of capitalist stooges and are not fooled, observers note.

Source

Top 10 Recent Conservative Congressmen

(Mike Holme)  In a time in which both Democrats and Republicans are busy condemning each other as radicals, I think it is true that neither parties know what constitutes radical in the grand scale of US politics. I think this list provides some perspective. The ten listed are based on a study conducted by Professors Howard Rosenthal and Keith Poole, titled “Is John Kerry a Liberal?” which lists all Congressmen, Senators, and Presidents that served from 1937 to 2002, from most liberal to most conservative.

10

Wes Cooley
(1932- ), Republican, Oregon, 1995-97.

Bilde-1

Wes Cooley was elected to Oregon’s 2nd Congressional district in the Republican Revolution of 1994 and proved to be its second most conservative freshman. He stood out as a private property rights activist and an advocate of tort reform but got a distinction in US history that no other has attained.


Cooley is the only Congressman to ever be convicted of lying to voters. He lied in a 1994 voter pamphlet that he served in the Korean War. It is a felony in Oregon to lie on a voter pamphlet. He was fined and sentenced to two years probation. Cooley had other issues with the truth as well. According to the Portland Oregonian, Cooley lied about his residency in central Oregon, lied about his marriage (apparently so his wife could keep collecting widow’s benefits from a previous marriage), lied about having been elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and lied about having a law degree. He decided not to run for reelection in 1996. In 2005, Cooley was convicted of bilking investors of more than $2 million in an internet auction company scheme.

9

Virgil H. Goode Jr.
(1946- ), Republican, Virginia, 1997-2009.

Goode Gives Support To Hurt

At one time a Virginia State Senator who had kicked off his career with support for the Equal Rights Amendment, Virgil Goode went from conservative Democrat to Independent to ultra-conservative Republican. Goode stood out in his advocacy for reducing immigration and building a border fence. He was also critical of Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison taking the oath of office on a Koran rather than a Bible. Goode was defeated for reelection in 2008. He is now running for President as the Constitution Party’s candidate.

8

Bob Schaffer
(1962- ), Republican, Colorado, 1997-2003.

Schaffer(1)

This three-term Congressman from Colorado did what few Congressmen do – keep their term limits promise. Schaffer’s Congressional term was marked by his intense social conservatism and often taking the lead in conservative one minute debates in Congress. He was also a staunch advocate of democracy in Ukraine, and publicly supported Viktor Yushchenko’s election in 2004. Schaffer ran for the Senate in 2008, but lost by 10 points in what was a terrible election year for Republicans.

7

William P. Elmer
(1871-1956), Republican, Missouri, 1943-45.

1253998603057152251S500X500Q85

William P. Elmer was a one-hit wonder from Missouri. This Republican’s strong conservatism occasionally resulted in him voting with liberal Democrats for conservative reasons. The greatest example of this was his opposition to the Smith-Connally Act in 1943, which allowed the President to take control of industries vital to national defense in the event of a strike. Elmer was also one of the most extreme isolationists, even going as far as to vote against continuing Lend Lease aid to Britain during World War II. Elmer narrowly lost his bid for reelection in 1944.

6

Frederick C. Smith
(1884-1956), Republican, Ohio, 1939-51.

Frederick%20C%20Smith

Frederick C. Smith was elected to Congress in the anti-Roosevelt backlash of 1938. Smith, an osteopathic doctor, was essentially the Ron Paul of his day. Smith was a staunch opponent of internationalist politics, voted against Lend Lease aid before and during World War II and did not support any foreign aid legislation after the war. Smith was also immovable in his opposition to New Deal programs. Economist Murray Rothbard, an advocate of the Austrian School of Economics, considered Smith to be one of his favorite Congressmen for his adherence to limited government and non-interventionism. However, Smith never achieved the notoriety Ron Paul has and remains an obscure figure in history. Speaker of the House John Boehner currently holds Smith’s old seat in Congress.

5

Steve Stockman
(1956- ), Republican, Texas, 1995-97.

Stockman

Steve Stockman was another one-hit wonder Congressman. Hailing from Texas, Stockman had an epic beginning in national politics by defeating 40-year Democratic incumbent Jack Brooks largely due to backlash from the enactment of the Brady Bill. He was the most conservative freshman of the 1994 Republican Revolution and co-sponsored two notable pieces of legislation during his term from 1995 to 1997, the Defense of Marriage Act and Megan’s Law.

Stockman’s term was even more notable for being mired in the bizarre. He penned an article (likely with a lot of influence from the NRA) in Guns & Ammo in which he suggested the Clinton Administration’s 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, was to justify the Administration’s ban on assault weapons. Only 50 minutes after the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995, his office received a cryptic fax from someone in the militia movement that was turned over to the FBI. His admission of his past as a hobo who had a run-in with the law involving a controlled substance hidden in his underwear did not help his political career. Stockman lost re-election in 1996, and he has since unsuccessfully attempted a number of political comebacks.

4

Jeff Flake
(1962- ), Republican, Arizona, 2001-present.

Flake Jeff

Jeff Flake is currently serving in Congress and has been notable for his libertarian leaning conservatism. He was one of less than a handful of Congressmen to vote against the Sarbanes-Oxley Act passed in the wake of the Enron scandal. Flake has been widely praised as a principled Congressman and did not hesitate to disagree with Republican leadership and the Bush Administration on matters he viewed as a betrayal of conservatism, such as Medicare Part D. He is also fairly pro-gay rights, a very unusual position for someone so far on the right end of the political scale. Naturally, Flake has been a consistent opponent of President Obama’s policies. He is currently running for the Senate. If he wins, this may make him the most conservative Senator in modern history (Kentucky’s Rand Paul, who was not included in the 1937-2002 conservative-liberal study, may be more conservative).

3

John G. Schmitz
(1930-2001), Republican, California, 1970-73.

Jgschmitz-01

After a stint as a State Senator from Orange County, Schmitz was elected to Congress in 1970. There he became notorious for his sometimes witty quotes, his propensity to offend whenever he opened his mouth, his antisemitism, and his extreme (even by Orange County standards) conservatism. He was one of only seven votes in the House against the ABM Treaty in 1972, opposed sex education, viewed Joseph McCarthy as a hero, and strongly opposed the Equal Rights Amendment before abortion was an issue linked to the Amendment.

Photobucket
The one of his many quotes that really got him in political trouble was when he stated that “I have no objection to President Nixon going to China. I just object to his coming back.” This enraged Nixon, whose official residence was in Schmitz’s district. Nixon recruited Orange County tax assessor Andrew Hinshaw to run against Schmitz in the primary and defeated him. Schmitz, angered at his loss, ran on the Independent Party ticket for the Presidency against Nixon, and lost by “a mere 44 million votes.” However, Schmitz had the last laugh, with Nixon’s resigning in shame over the Watergate scandal and Hinshaw being convicted of accepting bribes as tax assessor.

Schmitz returned to the California State Senate in 1978, but soon got into trouble with his pro-life committee hearings that resulted in a costly feud between him and feminist attorney Gloria Allred. In 1982, Schmitz was hit with the ultimate career breaker for Mr. Family Values, the revelation that he had fathered two children with his German mistress. At around this time, he was also kicked out of the ultra-conservative John Birch Society for being too extreme. Schmitz is also the father of Mary Kay Letourneau, who gained infamy for the statutory rape of one of her students.

2

Larry McDonald
(1935-1983), Democrat, Georgia, 1975-83.

220Px-Larry Mcdonald

Wait… what? A Democrat at #2! Say it isn’t so! Elected in the aftermath of Watergate, McDonald’s conservatism went far beyond anything average Southern Democrats were willing to support, or for that matter the Republican Party was willing to support.

McDonald was notable for proposing anti-homosexual amendments to legislation, and even attempting to nominate Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s former deputy and convicted Nazi war criminal, for the Nobel Peace Prize on the grounds “that even a Nazi war criminal was a useful asset in the struggle against Communism.”

He was also an adamant opponent of making Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a holiday based on his belief that King collaborated with communists and was manipulated by them.

McDonald’s extremism made him for the most part an isolated figure in Congress and was one of the most ineffective legislators in history. McDonald didn’t view this as a bad thing, just a sign of his commitment against big government. In 1983, he was named the new Chairman of the ultra-conservative John Birch Society.

However, his time as Chairman was short. On September 1, 1983, McDonald was on flight KAL 007, headed to Seoul for a World Anti-Communist League meeting. This flight was shot down by the Soviets for going over Russian airspace.

The Russians were unaware the flight was a civilian airliner. This means that McDonald, a man who idolized Joseph McCarthy, was the only Congressman to have ever been killed by the Soviets. While many had negative things to say about McDonald, one Congressman had something positive to say about him: Ron Paul stated he was the “most principled member of Congress.”

1

Ron Paul
(1935- ), Republican, Texas, 1976-77, 1979-85, 1997-2013.

Ron-Paul

Yep… Ron Paul is #1! Some of you may be scratching your heads on this one. Isn’t this the guy who voted against the Patriot Act and the Iraq War? Yes he is! Although these votes may detract from his conservative image, in truth, his votes on so many other matters over-weigh the impact of those votes.

His votes against the Patriot Act and the Iraq War have conservative justifications to them and score him points among the paleo-conservative crowd. Ron Paul’s start in Congress was in a special election for Texas’s 22nd district in 1976. As a new Congressman, Paul was one of the first to support Ronald Reagan for the Republican nomination for President. Paul lost his bid for reelection in 1976 but came back in the 1978 midterm elections.

Paul was critical of the expansion of government as well as the military-industrial complex and has always voted against expansions of federal government power.

Contrary to Paul’s insistence that he was a loyalist to Reagan, he temporarily left the Republican Party in 1988 to run for President on the Libertarian Party ticket and apologized to libertarians for supporting Reagan. Since his failure to gain traction in the 1988 election, he learned it was best to operate within one of the major parties.

Thus he rejoined the Republicans and returned to Congress in 1997. As we all know, Paul is an internet sensation as a man of conviction who supports peace and legalizing marijuana. He is without a doubt the most ideologically consistent and conservative man to have served in Congress since 1937, if not in the entire history of the United States.

Source

U.S. City Shuts Off Your Sewer And Water For Unpaid Red Light Tickets

(The Newspaper)  With more and more vehicle owners simply deciding refuse to pay red light camera and speed camera tickets, private, for-profit companies and municipalities are growing increasingly desperate. America’s second-largest city shut down its photo ticketing program last year largely because residents who could not afford the $500 citations did not pay them. On Monday, Las Cruces, New Mexico announced it would shut off the utilities of city residents who refused to pay Redflex Traffic Systems, the Australian company that owns and operates the cameras.


“The city is notifying offenders by mail that they have until the due date stated in the letter to pay the fines or make satisfactory payment arrangements,” a Las Cruces press release warned. “Failure to comply will result in termination of utilities services.”

Las Cruces claims vehicle owners owe $2 million. To encourage payment of the $100 photo fines, the city says it will employ an ordinance the council adopted in 1988 giving itself the right to shut off utility service to residents declared delinquent for any reason.

“The city may decline, fail or cease to furnish utility service to any person who may be in debt to the city for any reason, except ad valorem taxes and special assessments,” city code Section 28-10 states.

The city provides gas, water, sewer and trash services. Ordinarily, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission prevents shutting off the utilities of low-income residents from November 15 to March 15. This is primarily a safety issue as lack of heating during a cold snap — Las Cruces recorded a -10 degree temperature in 1962 — could endanger the elderly. The commission also protects the seriously ill and customers on Medicaid or on assistance from a charitable organization. A spokesman for the commission, however, told TheNewspaper that no such protections apply to utilities run by a municipality. To have service restored, Las Cruces and its private vendor will charge a $48 re-connection fee on top of $125 per ticket.

Photobucket
 

Las Cruces gave Redflex approval to issue speeding and red light tickets three years ago. In January, a local university was unable to prove the program delivered a substantial safety benefit. Last year, a majority of voters in Albuquerque voted for the removal of red light cameras.

Source

Top 10 Worst Moments In Human History

(Flame Horse)  So often we publish lists that praise events in human history – tales of victory over diseases, disastrous situations, and the like. But alas, history is also replete with events that we must remember so as to not repeat them, but we wish had never happened.

This list looks at ten of the worst moments in history when man showed that he can act with utter contempt for the rest of man.

10

Roman-Catholic Sex Abuse

Large

Sexual abuse of the naive and innocent by authority figures is nothing new to human history, but what makes this example of it especially heinous is that it has taken place under the unwatchful eye of the most powerful Christian organization in the world. Child rape and molestation are, in the common view, possibly the vilest, most despicable sin (and felonies) a person can commit, precisely because there can be no excuse for it. Add to that the sin of homosexuality (we speak here in terms of Christianity), and it seems an impossible situation for a child ever to be found in.

Priests ought to understand these sins better than most people, and in Roman-Catholic cultures all over the world, parents highly revere priests as authority figures, second fathers to their children, and excellent teachers of morality. Hence, the question everyone has asked, “How in God’s name could this have happened?”

It’s not just a matter of well kept personal secrets among the guilty parties. The Catholic Church held meetings in the 1950s concerning sexual abuse of minors by priests, and yet, apparently nothing was done to prevent the growing disaster. Those people known to have a history of committing sexual abuse against others were knowingly ordained and sent to priestly duties all over the world, not just in the United States, but in England, Ireland, Canada, Belgium, the Philippines, and many other nations.

The scandal didn’t hit the mainstream media until the 1980s, raising suspicion of Papal cover-ups to protect the image of Christianity. Fortunately, Christianity’s image has not suffered a fraction of the fall-out that the Catholic hierarchy has. Christ will never be torn down because of man’s sin, or it would certainly have happened by now. The priests are, as of this list, still being hunted down, investigated, and dealt with according to man’s law. God’s law will deal with the guilt of every sinner involved, if you believe in Him, but in the meantime, the Roman-Catholic denomination of the man many hold as the absolute greatest good in history has suffered severe damage to its reputation. Whether it is irreparable depends on how long a consecutive series of superlative Popes the Catholic Church can elect, beginning with John Paul II.

9

Great Chinese Famine

4342990517 43F0A16573

From 1958 to 1962, China experienced a monumental famine that killed at least 45 million people. There are generally two causes blamed for it: natural disasters and the communist policies of Mao Zedong. Chairman Mao defined this period of his rule as the “Great Leap Forward,” and implemented economic and social changes with epic consequences. This entry is quite similar to #6 and #3.

Mao intended to turn China from an agrarian economy into a modern, urbanized, industrial giant on par with the U. S. But forcing his Great Leap Forward on the Chinese countryside led to nationwide crop shortages. Then the Yellow River flooded in 1959, drowning or starving 2 million. The next year, 60% of China’s farmland received no rain at all.

Mao’s idea of forcing farmers into industrial careers further destroyed the harvests. The famine became so intolerable that in some areas, people resorted to canniablism. Millions were tortured to death for the crime of stealing food to feed their families. One man, Liu Desheng, was found to have stolen a sweet potato, and he and his wife and son were urinated on, then forced to eat large gulps of human feces. They both died within weeks.

Mao and his officers meanwhile dined on $1,000 French meals and 20 year-old Scotch whisky. Mao is on record as having told his officers that there would be many deaths due to his Great Leap Forward, but that in the end, they would serve a greater good. The famine only ended when the weather improved in 1962. 5% of China starved to death, drowned, or were murdered.

8

Forced Extinction of Species

Black-Rhinoceros-7

Ecologists agree that Earth appears to be experiencing a mass extinction at present. These have happened many times in the past. The extinction of the dinosaurs is believed to have been caused most directly by a comet or asteroid impact. That event was nothing compared to the Permian-Triassic extinction, which may have been caused by a Gamma Ray Burst. That event resulted in 96% of all marine life and 70% of all land life dying.

What has happened to plant and animal species while modern man has been on Earth pales in the shadow of these two events, and yet humanity in general is doing terribly little to maintain critically endangered species. Most humans seem to adore “cuddly” animals. Anything with fur qualifies, and we have many tastes in what animals are beautiful. The tiger is magnificent. In 2005 there were only 250 breeding Siberian tigers in the Russian wild. There are well over 10,000 in captive breeding programs around the world: some people are trying to save species from extinction, while many others willfully poach those endangered animals for the black market.

Tiger penis is considered the ultimate aphrodisiac in some places in China. These magnificent animals are being killed, illegally and at extreme personal risk, for money and sexual gratification. In 2011, the Western Black Rhinoceros was declared officially extinct. They, like so many other gigantic African marvels, had been hunted coldly, and unsympathetically, by humans out for a cheap thrill and what they thought was sport and danger.

Black rhinoceroses are extremely aggressive and have terrible eyesight. They will charge headfirst into trees and termite mounds, thinking they see a territorial challenger. Males weigh an easy 3,000 pounds. The record is 6,380 pounds. There are only about 4,000 left in the African wild as of this list. The reason is two-fold: in 1900 there were several hundred thousand in Africa, but English “hunters” toured Africa to shoot down the Big Five: elephants, rhinoceroses, cape buffaloes, lions, and leopards.

This lister goes hunting now and then for deer, squirrels, rabbits, and doves, and these animals are very bountiful and fairly difficult to outwit in the wild. The hunter must also be a good marksman. But in Africa, elephants and rhinoceroses are too gargantuan to have natural predators except the very occasional lion. So they stand still or charge in the presence of humans. There’s no “hunting” involved. You can drive up to either species in a jeep in the middle of day and take pictures.

And armed with a .700 Nitro Express, which propels a 1000 grain solid bronze bullet at 8900 foot-pounds of force, there’s no skill involved. Some people just enjoy killing these magnificent animals for the empowerment it seems to instill. Also, rhinoceros horns are highly sought after in Chinese “medicine” for their ability to cure disease and impotence, neither of which the horn can do. It is made of pure keratin, and so are your fingernails. Keratin comes from the Greek κέρατος, which means “of the horn.”

There are anywhere from 470,000 to 690,000 African Bush Elephants left in the wild, and they are protected from poachers, but not well. They are poached for their ivory tusks, regardless of the international illegality of buying or selling them. Gorillas are poached for their hands, which are used as ashtrays. Then, of course, there is severe habitat destruction in virtually every ecosystem on the planet, so we can have our diamonds and gold, and build colossal megalopolis.

7

Fanatical Terrorism

77-London-Bombings-No-30--006

Splinter-cell terrorism refers to acts of terror, especially bombings, hijackings, and assassinations, committed by agents of organizations operating all over the world free of direct link to any organization. It is the ultimate example of guerrilla warfare, and as the world has seen in the past 20 years or so, huge, powerful, technologically advanced militaries have extreme difficulty stopping these criminals.

Splinter-cell terrorists are responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks against the United States of America. Before that, the U. S. remained generally aloof to the global war of attrition being waged against these fanatics (lunatics). U. S. embassies were bombed in Africa in 1998, the USS Cole in 2000, and all the while, efforts were underway to find the leader of the primary aggressor against global civilization, al-Qaeda. That leader, Osama bin Laden, could not be found, until after 9/11, when the U. S. began hunting him down in earnest. It took a decade to catch him. In the meantime, other fanatics the world over were perpetrating atrocity after atrocity against innocent, unarmed civilians of dozens of countries, for the avowed purpose of eradicating Jews and Christians from Earth. Stopping each of these terrorists once they make their presence known can never put an end to the problem.

Islamic terrorists are not the only culprits, as Theodore Kaczynski and Timothy McVeigh prove. It is impossible to make these fanatics respect any military might, since to begin with, they are not afraid to die in the process of killing others. How civilized humanity can put a total end to this terrorism is still debatable, of course. Whether it even can be stopped is also debatable.

6

Khmer Rouge Regime

Tumblr L84Xvuf0Wo1Qap9Gno1 500

The Khmer Rouge were members of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, and during their 4-year reign of terror, from 1975 to 1979, they completely destroyed Cambodia, economically, politically, and demographically. They took advantage of the chaos following the Vietnam War to overthrow the Republican government and set up what their leader, Saloth Sar, who named himself Pol Pot, called “agrarian socialism.” It was, in reality, a forced relocation of every single Cambodian citizen from cities to farms where they were forced to farm regardless of skill or health. They were starved to death, beaten to death, overworked to death, and tortured to death.

Anyone deemed “intellectual” was immediately murdered to protect the regime. Anyone wearing glasses was deemed intellectual. These people were taken out into “killing fields” and hacked to pieces with machetes. Every single book that could be found was burned, as was all money. All banks and even hospitals were shut down. The citizens were no longer given more than two bowls of rice soup per day. All religion was banned, and those adhering to any religion were prime targets for murder, including Buddhists, Christians, and Muslims, anyone educated in western universities, and any ethnicity other than Cambodian.

The most notorious details of this sorry moment in human history come from S-21, now the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. It was a high school before it was taken over. The Khmer Rouge guards forced the prisoners to eat the guards’ feces. The prisoners were forbidden from drinking water without permission, and if they did, they were beaten sometimes to death. They were water boarded, raped, their teeth and genitals electrocuted, bled to death, drowned, and castrated with pliers.

The death toll of this regime cannot be accurately calculated, because records were rarely kept well. The most reliable estimate is 2.5 to 3 million murdered. That was 21% of Cambodia’s population. Pol Pot died on 15 April 1998 of what was claimed to be heart failure. He might have been poisoned, or committed suicide, since he was about to be arrested for his crimes.

5

World War One

1807280-60728 050 Ca6992Ff

One of only two wars to make this list, this one does because of the hideous speed at which hostilities escalated in 1914, and because there is no single villain to blame. Humanity in general is to blame for this one. In retrospect, it appears as if every country in Europe was harboring a festering hatred for one another, and everyone was looking for an excuse to invade. The act that touched it off was the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria-Este, by Gavrilo Princip, whose motive was no more complicated than a desire to prove his bravery to the Serbian army, which had rejected him for being too small and weak.

Almost every nation in Europe had a treaty with another nation, and these treaties all said the same thing: if anyone attacks you, we’ve got your back. Austro-Hungary declared war on Serbia, which prompted Russia to declare war on Austro-Hungary, which prompted Germany and Italy to declare war on Russia, which prompted the United Kingdom and France to declare war on Germany and Italy. Spain and, of course, Switzerland stayed out of it.

The United States stayed out of it until Germany waged total war on international unarmed merchant ships, particularly Lusitania, and because of the Zimmermann Telegram which Germany sent to Mexico, urging it to declare war on the U. S. The British intercepted this memo, but Mexico, to its credit, did not dare attack the U. S.

Photobucket

We can all agree that war is the epitome of human stupidity, and as wars go, WWI may be insurmountable in exemplary idiocy. War theory, if we may call it that, had progressed in terms of modern defense, but not attack: both sides were armed with more or less the very same weaponry, especially the Maxim machine gun, the first truly modern machine gun. It is belt-fed, fires the .303 British, the 8mm Mauser, or the 7.62 NATO, at a rate of 450 to 500 rounds per minute, sufficient to cut men in half, which is precisely what it did tens of thousands of times for 4 years.

The British, French, Germans, Russians, and Americans all had them, and for the first 2 and a half years, the trench warfare involved one side charging out across 100 to 1000 yards of no-man’s land, through shell craters, barbed wire, mud and mines, right into the waiting machine gun lines of the enemy trenches. Each time one side was beaten back with severe losses, the other side thought there would be a weakness and charged after them, right into waiting machine gun lines. Kaiser Wilhelm sent a telegram in late 1914 to his cousin, Tsar Nicholas II, that read, in Russian, “Nicky, how can we stop this?”

On the first day of the Battle of the Somme River, 1 July 1916, the middle day of the middle year of the Great War, as it was called before 1939, the British conducted the European Slow March, walking, not running, toward the Germans, on the theory that the slower they advanced, the more difficult they would be to hit, and more fearsome they would be to the enemy. After 12 hours, 19,240 British soldiers lay dead in about 25 square miles. This was the most lethal day in the British military’s history.

The Somme was begun in an attempt to draw men of both sides away from the Battle of Verdun, so a decision there could be attained. Instead, the Somme became an even larger battle in scale, and it and Verdun remain the most epic of the War. 698,000 men died at Verdun, 70,000 per month for 10 months. Over 300,000 died at the Somme. Each battle resulted in over 1 million casualties, the debut of the modern flamethrower at Verdun, and the tank at the Somme.

The Germans opened hostilities at Verdun with a 10-hour cannonade of 808 artillery pieces, firing almost 1 million shells, some as wide as steering wheels. Around the French fortifications, the blackened skeletons of trees were festooned with human and horse intestines. The Germans also used ample supplies of mustard gas in both battles. Mustard gas is essentially aerosol hydrochloric acid. One breath of it can kill a man by internal drowning. It also severely burns and blisters skin and blinds eyes.

Both battles ended in utter stalemate, because mobility had not progressed on par with firepower, and that lack of mobility, especially on the first day of the Somme, displayed more directly than any other action in any war the utter futility and insanity of warfare. Neither side could approach the other, but the Germans found their losses more irreplaceable than the combined French and British. When the Americans showed up, the Germans simply could not cope with the overwhelming enemy men and materiel for much longer. About 15 million, military and civilian, died, unless we include deaths from Spanish influenza, which was itself a direct result of the War. That puts the estimate at about 65 million.

4

The Black Death

Black Death

There is no one cause to blame for the Bubonic plague’s rise to power in 1346 or so, but Europe in general can be criticized strongly for its primitive belief in witches. Because “witches” were hunted down wholesale by reason of an insufferably pervasive fear of the Devil, domestic and feral cats were also killed by the hundreds of thousands, because they were thought to be witches’ “familiars,” that without one, a witch could not adequately cast spells.

So once witch-hunts showed up in full swing and cats started disappearing into the fires, the entire European world was ripe for an epidemic of rats. And the rats showed up in full swing in 1346 in the Crimea, via the Silk Road from China. There were no cats to check the rats stowing away onboard merchant ships, and these rats were infested with fleas. The fleas carried yersinia pests, better known as plague.

Today, this bacteria has been all but eradicated in most places around the world, because cleanliness is next to Godliness. A regular hot bath with soap will rid you of fleas, but such baths were not regular in the Middle Ages. Once bitten by an infected flea, curing yourself is really not difficult at all. Streptomycin prevents the bacteria from replicating, which gives the immune system enough time to tailor an antibody to kill it. Europe didn’t know about antibiotics, and had they, they might have had fair results by eating moldy bread.

Without treatment, plague is one of only three known diseases with a mortality rate of 100%. The other two are rabies encephalitis and HIV. Given the primitive medical knowledge of the Middle Ages, the world didn’t have a chance. Even the best physicians had no clue what to do to protect themselves, much less the populace.

Doctors entered homes only after donning full-body leather armor, helmets and masks shaped like hawk beaks, filled with aromatic herbs, due to the miasmatic theory of diseases. According to this theory, simply “stirring up the vapors” would cure the area of plague, while the doctor would remain safe breathing in his mask. The masks had red glass over the eyeholes, because even looking at an infected person was thought to cause infection.

Ringing bells was thought to stir up the vapors. Or the sick person could stand next to a latrine and inhale the stench. About the only method that actually worked to a small degree was smoking tobacco, because the smoke kept the fleas away. But the most infamous methods for curing the plague were based on the principle that God was very angry with the whole world.

The Flagellants began roaming the countryside by 1349, especially in Germany, and they beat themselves bloody with Roman-style flails, the same kind used to scourge Christ. The idea was that if they suffered enough, God would relent and the plague would stop. It didn’t work.

So, like clockwork, God’s wrath was blamed on the non-Christians throughout Europe, and that mostly meant Jews. In February of 1349, 2,000 Jews were hacked to pieces and burned at the stake in Strasbourg, on the French-German border. But the plague kept coming. It killed 40% of Egypt, 30% of the Middle East, about half of the 100,000 people in Paris. The worst hit area was Mediterranean Europe, including Italy, Spain, and southern France. There, about 75% to 80% died. The Pope, Clement VI, survived by surrounding his throne 24 hours a day with torches burning close to the floor. In the aftermath, his servants found scorched fleas “like pepper” just outside the ring of flame.

England suffered about 20% dead. The total average was about 25% of the whole world, as evidence indicates plague deaths in sub-Saharan Africa, India, and the Orient. As much as 66% of Europe and Asia succumbed. Approximately 100,000,000 people died in 4 years.

3

The Holodomor

Children Affected By Famine In Berdyansk, Ukraine - 1922

Holodomor is the Ukrainian word for “killing by hunger.” It is now the proper term for Josef Stalin’s forced starvation genocide against the Ukraine from 1932 to 1933. The manner by which Stalin forced it on the Ukrainian people is open for discussion, but most historians agree that he knew what was happening in the Ukraine and refused to provide relief of any kind, even ordering food shipments diverted from the Ukraine and what food its population had confiscated, violently whenever necessary. He imposed this particularly cruel death sentence on so many solely out of retaliation for the Ukraine striving for national recognition and independence.

Today, we refer to it as a country, Ukraine, with Kiev as its capital city. But at that time, it was still referred to as “the Ukrainian SSR,” or simply, “the Ukraine,” one of many areas of Russia. The famine was manmade, an imposition directly from Stalin, but whether he premeditated it beforehand is difficult to determine. Most of Russia was experiencing a famine at that time, and Stalin may have seen this a chance to make the Holodomor look, at best, like an accident, at worst, passive justice.

The numbers are the saddest testimony overall in every one of these entries. Records were not well kept during the famine, so the death toll ranges from 1.8 to 12 million. Some scholars have narrowed this down to about 4 to 5 million. The borders were closed by the NKVD, the precursor to the KGB, and anyone attempting to flee to other countries or Russian states was either shot or captured and brought back to starve. 190,000 tried to escape the Ukraine after the first year. Starvation may be the most awful cause of death. The commoners’ despair, agony, and terror led tens of thousands to resort to eating their own children. Many ate their own feet. It did not end until Stalin’s implementation of forced collectivization of grain threatened to destroy all of Russia, not just the Ukraine. Once the police and military stopped stealing everyone’s grain, farmers were able to grow for small communities, as they always had.

2

World War Two

Wcmg2

This war can be blamed mostly on one man, Adolf Hitler. Let us take a brief look at the motives by which he initiated global hostilities in 1939. Whereas, Stalin was patently paranoid that he would lose his power, Hitler was not afraid. He simply carried a fuming rage which, in childhood, he directed against nothing in particular.

He was imprisoned for his failed Beer Hall Putsch, an attempt to overthrow the Kaiser government, in 1923. While serving 8 months, he and Rudolf Hess wrote Mein Kampf, in which Hitler blamed absolutely everything bad that had ever happened to Germany on the Jews, all of them everywhere on Earth. Whether he actually believed this is open to debate, but there is no denying that he saw in Jews an outstanding scapegoat, one against which all non-Jewish Germans would rally.

It worked better than he could possibly have imagined. He emerged from prison a national hero and 10 years later took control of the government. What followed was a nationwide brainwashing: everyone began hating Jews intensely. Many of the Jews saw the trouble coming and left for England or America. Most stayed, hoping they would be saved. They weren’t, until it was too late.

6 years later, Hitler made good on his promise to acquire “lebensraum” for the German people, by invading Poland. Britain and France immediately declared war on Germany. Russia made a pact with Germany because Stalin knew he could not conquer Germany at that time. Hitler bided his time before invading Russia 2 years later, in the knowledge that Russia’s military was woefully inadequate. Japan invaded China for its resources, and in September 1940 Japan, Italy, and Germany became the formal Axis Powers, solely because they understood their identical desires to conquer other countries.

Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in retaliation for the U. S. embargo on oil, iron, and machinery. The U. S. then declared war on Japan, and there were declarations of war all around. Oh, what a merry world it became so quickly. After 6 years, 71 million people were dead. Rome, Paris, Moscow, Leningrad, and London were smoldering. Dresden, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Stalingrad, and Manila were obliterated.

The most infamous aspect of the War will forever remain the Holocaust. It is also referred to as HaShoah, which is Hebrew for “The Catastrophe.” Much has been said about it already on Listverse, so let us briefly examine Hitler’s methods, by which he remorselessly and unsympathetically attempted to eradicate an entire race of humans.

His seething, abiding rage found in Jews the perfect target, and he set about in his political ambitions, surrounding himself with men who agreed, some for power, some out of rage or delight, all out of hatred, that the Jews as a race needed to, and could, be extinguished. The Wehrmacht, for its part, had nothing at all to do with the Holocaust, and had very little idea it was going on. They were an honorable institution, if honor, just as compassion, can be found in war.

The Schutzstaffel, or SS, carried out the murder of 6 million men, women, and children, by poisonous gas, shooting, beating, torturing, “scientific” experiments, systematic starvation, and overwork, on the pretense that “Aryans” were superior humans, and that Jews were no better than cattle, in which terms, the question was asked, “Do we feel bad when we slaughter cows for food?”

1.1 million were murdered at Auschwitz, 700,000 to 800,000 at Treblinka, 600,000 at Belzec, 360,000 at Majdanek, 320,000 at Chelmno, 250,000 at Sobibor. Merely because they were Jewish. Meawhile, at least 750,000 soldiers and civilians died in 199 days in Stalingrad. That was only one battle of the War.

1

The Crusades

Crusades1

Whereas, Stalin never offered any political explanation for, nor a formal admission of, attempting to starve all of Ukraine, and Hitler explained the Holocaust as “a necessary step” in the process of purifying and strengthening the “master race,” the Crusades were undertaken by both the Christians and the Muslims for the openly expressed purpose of exterminating the opposing religion along with all its adherents, solely to glorify God. It remains the blackest moment in the history of all religion.

It lasted from c. 1063 until c. 1434, when handheld gunpowder weapons were first used to good effect in combat. Keep in mind, before you denounce God for allowing or causing it to happen, that doing so is foolishly dismissive. Assuming there is a God, the Crusades were not his fault. They remain humanity’s fault by two causes: first, the refusal to tolerate differences; and second, the active enjoyment derived from hurting things, especially other humans, since they can best voice their disapproval of such actions.

The use of the word “God” in any language to justify one’s actions of violence is but a means to an end, and also sweetens the enjoyment of another person’s pain, since by denouncing that person as an infidel, the malicious party can believe that person is also destined for eternal agony, after the agony s/he is forced to suffer on Earth. Sounds appetizing, doesn’t it? Because we all get angry at other people for various perceived offenses, deep down doesn’t it sound appetizing to believe those people are going to Hell, regardless of how much they suffer in life? No one would ever admit to it, of course, but it’s a primitive passion innate in every human, and precisely the heart of the Crusades.

In 1099, the 1st Crusade ended in “Christian” victory, when knights and soldiers from France, England, Germany, and Apulia (southern Italy) successfully besieged Jerusalem from 7 June to 15 July. They were opposed by the Islamic Fatimid Caliphate of Egypt, under Iftikhar ad-Dawla, who had 400 cavalrymen and a garrison of Muslim and Nubian troops comparable in size to the invaders, about 13,000 for each side. Inside the city there lived over 60,000 unarmed civilians, mostly Muslims and Jews.

Once the city fell, the invaders stormed in, ransacked every building and murdered every single man, woman, and child within the walls. 70,000 people were hacked to pieces “in the name of Christ.” The horses waded in blood up to their knees. Probably half the women were raped, and most of everyone was tortured by varying methods. It was unbridled, bacchanalian sadism. About 500 Jews fought alongside the Muslims, then took refuge in a synagogue. The French burned the synagogue to the ground, with everyone in it.

88 years later, Salah ad-Din successfully took Jerusalem back for Islam and allowed all those inside to return unharmed to their homelands provided they paid a ransom. Those who could not afford it were sold into slavery. Two years later, Richard I of England (the Lionheart) arrived with Phillip II of France and Frederick I of Germany. Richard was not the chivalrous hero he is frequently depicted as in films. He spent barely 6 months of his 10-year regency in England. He lived in France, spoke only Langues d’Oil and Langues d’Oc, two dialects of Old French, did not speak any form of English, and used England as a money machine to finance his conquests. He loved the sport and glory of overpowering other nations. His Crusade, the 3rd, ended in an uneasy stalemate.

There would be 6 more Crusades, with the Holy Land changing hands several times, costing hundreds of thousands of lives, all in the name of one god or another. All the while, both bibles stated, “Love your enemies.”

Source

Video Highlights Of The White House Correspondents’ Dinner 2012

(R.C.P.)  President Obama jokes about eating dogs, the GOP primary and himself at the 2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday, April 28, 2012. Some of Obama’s funnier lines are below.

Obama: “My mother was born in Kansas, my father was born in Kenya, and I was born, of course, in Hawaii.”

Obama: “Four years ago, I was locked in a brutal primary battle with Hillary Clinton. Four years later, she won’t stop drunk-texting me from Cartagena.”


Obama: “What is the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? A pit bull is delicious.”

Obama: “That is pretty rough, but I cannot take it, because my step-father always told me it is a boy-eat-dog world out there.”

Obama on Romney: “We both have degrees from Harvard. I have one, he has two. What a snob.”

 

Full Transcript Of Obama

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Good evening, everybody. Good evening. I could not be more thrilled to be here tonight — (laughter) — at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. This is great crowd. They’re already laughing. It’s terrific.

Chuck Todd — love you, brother. (Laughter.) I’m delighted to see some of the cast members of Glee are here. (Laughter.) And Jimmy Kimmel, it’s an honor, man. (Laughter.) What’s so funny?

My fellow Americans, we gather during a historic anniversary. Last year at this time — in fact, on this very weekend — we finally delivered justice to one of the world’s most notorious individuals. (Applause.) Now, this year, we gather in the midst of a heated election season. And Axelrod tells me I should never miss a chance to reintroduce myself to the American people. So tonight, this is how I’d like to begin: My name is Barack Obama. My mother was born in Kansas. My father was born in Kenya. And I was born, of course, in Hawaii. (Laughter and applause.)

In 2009, I took office in the face of some enormous challenges. Now, some have said I blame too many problems on my predecessor, but let’s not forget that’s a practice that was initiated by George W. Bush. (Laughter.) Since then, Congress and I have certainly had our differences; yet, I’ve tried to be civil, to not take any cheap shots. And that’s why I want to especially thank all the members who took a break from their exhausting schedule of not passing any laws to be here tonight. (Laughter.) Let’s give them a big round of applause. (Applause.)

Despite many obstacles, much has changed during my time in office. Four years ago, I was locked in a brutal primary battle with Hillary Clinton. Four years later, she won’t stop drunk-texting me from Cartagena. (Laughter.)

Four years ago, I was a Washington outsider. Four years later, I’m at this dinner. Four years ago, I looked like this. Today, I look like this. (Laughter.) And four years from now, I will look like this. (Laughter and applause.) That’s not even funny. (Laughter.)

Anyway, it’s great to be here this evening in the vast, magnificent Hilton ballroom — or what Mitt Romney would call a little fixer-upper. (Laughter and applause.) I mean, look at this party. We’ve got men in tuxes, women in gowns, fine wine, first-class entertainment. I was just relieved to learn this was not a GSA conference. (Laughter.) Unbelievable. Not even the mind reader knew what they were thinking. (Laughter.)

Of course, the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is known as the prom of Washington D.C. — a term coined by political reporters who clearly never had the chance to go to an actual prom. (Laughter.)

Our chaperone for the evening is Jimmy Kimmel — (applause) — who is perfect for the job since most of tonight’s audience is in his key demographic — people who fall asleep during Nightline. (Laughter.) Jimmy got his start years ago on The Man Show. In Washington, that’s what we call a congressional hearing on contraception. (Laughter and applause.)

And plenty of journalists are here tonight. I’d be remiss if I didn’t congratulate the Huffington Post on their Pulitzer Prize. (Applause.) You deserve it, Arianna. There’s no one else out there linking to the kinds of hard-hitting journalism that HuffPo is linking to every single day. (Laughter and applause.) Give them a round of applause. And you don’t pay them — it’s a great business model. (Laughter.)

Even Sarah Palin is getting back into the game, guest hosting on The Today Show — which reminds me of an old saying: What’s the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? A pit bull is delicious. (Laughter and applause.) A little soy sauce. (Laughter.)

Now, I know at this point many of you are expecting me to go after my likely opponent, Newt Gingrich. (Laughter.) Newt, there’s still time, man. (Laughter.) But I’m not going to do that — I’m not going to attack any of the Republican candidates. Take Mitt Romney — he and I actually have a lot in common. We both think of our wives as our better halves, and polls show, to a alarmingly insulting extent, the American people agree. (Laughter.) We also both have degrees from Harvard; I have one, he has two. What a snob. (Laughter and applause.)

Of course, we’ve also had our differences. Recently, his campaign criticized me for slow jamming the news with Jimmy Fallon. In fact, I understand Governor Romney was so incensed he asked his staff if he could get some equal time on The Merv Griffin Show. (Laughter.) Still, I guess Governor Romney is feeling pretty good about things because he took a few hours off the other day to see The Hunger Games — some of you have seen it. It’s a movie about people who court wealthy sponsors and then brutally savage each other until only one contestant is left standing. I’m sure this was a really good change of pace for him. (Laughter.) I have not seen The Hunger Games; not enough class warfare for me. (Laughter.)

Of course, I know everybody is predicting a nasty election, and thankfully, we’ve all agreed that families are off limits. Dogs, however, are apparently fair game. (Laughter.) And while both campaigns have had some fun with this, the other day I saw a new ad from one of these outside groups that, frankly, I think crossed the line. I know Governor Romney says he has no control over what his super PACs do, but can we show the ad real quick? (Video is played.) (Applause.)

That’s pretty rough — (laughter) — but I can take it, because my stepfather always told me, it’s a boy-eat-dog world out there. (Laughter.)

Now, if I do win a second term as President, let me just say something to all the — (applause) — let me just say something to all my conspiracy-oriented friends on the right who think I’m planning to unleash some secret agenda: You’re absolutely right. (Laughter.) So allow me to close with a quick preview of the secret agenda you can expect in a second Obama administration.

In my first term, I sang Al Green; in my second term, I’m going with Young Jeezy. (Laughter.)

MRS. OBAMA: Yeah.

THE PRESIDENT: Michelle said, yeah. (Laughter.) I sing that to her sometimes. (Laughter.)

In my first term, we ended the war in Iraq; in my second term, I will win the war on Christmas. (Laughter.) In my first term, we repealed the policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” — (applause) — wait, though; in my second term, we will replace it with a policy known as, it’s raining men. (Laughter.) In my first term, we passed health care reform; in my second term, I guess I’ll pass it again. (Applause.)

I do want to end tonight on a slightly more serious note — whoever takes the oath of office next January will face some great challenges, but he will also inherit traditions that make us greater than the challenges we face. And one of those traditions is represented here tonight: a free press that isn’t afraid to ask questions, to examine and to criticize. And in service of that mission, all of you make sacrifices.

Tonight, we remember journalists such as Anthony Shadid and Marie Colvin — (applause) — who made the ultimate sacrifice as they sought to shine a light on some of the most important stories of our time. So whether you are a blogger or a broadcaster, whether you take on powerful interests here at home or put yourself in harm’s way overseas, I have the greatest respect and admiration for what you do. I know sometimes you like to give me a hard time — and I certainly like to return the favor — (laughter) — but I never forget that our country depends on you. You help protect our freedom, our democracy, and our way of life.

And just to set the record straight, I really do enjoy attending these dinners. In fact, I had a lot more material prepared, but I have to get the Secret Service home in time for their new curfew. (Laughter.)

Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. (Applause.)

13 Year Old Put On Sex Offender List

(John Woods)  Jamie was ten years old when he saw his first pornographic sex scene. During a sleepover, a classmate offered to show him ‘some funny pictures’ on his laptop.

‘At first I found it a bit scary and a bit yucky,’ Jamie told me as he shifted uncomfortably on his chair during our therapy session.

‘I didn’t know it was possible for people to do those sort of things — and there were lots of nasty close-ups. But it gave me funny feelings and the pictures started to stick in my head.’

For the next three years, while his parents assumed he was using his computer for his homework, Jamie visited porn websites for up to two hours a night.


Even when his school performance began to suffer, they had no idea of the murky world their shy, quiet son was inhabiting while upstairs in his bedroom.

While it’s not his real name, Jamie is typical of the young men I meet. He explained: ‘The websites led me to other websites and soon I was looking at even weirder stuff I could never have imagined — animals, children, stabbing and strangling.

‘I stopped leaving my room and seeing my friends because when I was away from the pornography, I was dying to get back to see what else I could find.’

 And it was only when the police came knocking one morning that Jamie’s secret life was exposed.

After identifying that someone in the house was accessing child porn, they took Jamie’s laptop away for examination.  Jamie is only 13 — and he still hasn’t even kissed a girl, let alone had sex.

Though he is only a child himself, the result is that he has been put on the Sex Offender Register, blighting his life for the foreseeable future.

Even with intensive therapy, Jamie still suffers from deep shame — ‘as if it is written across my forehead’ — which has led him to fear he will never be able to form a healthy relationship with a woman.

Unhealthy habit: But Google executive Naomi Gummer claimed the extent of youngsters' exposure to internet porn had been exaggeratedUnhealthy habit: Jamie is only 13 and is a porn addict. There are many teenagers like him (file photo)

As he told me at a recent session: ‘It still makes me think I might never have a proper girlfriend — because the pictures still come back to me sometimes. It make makes me want to shout, “Stop, stop.” But sometimes they still won’t go away.’

Jamie’s story is not unique. He is just one of the growing number of young patients referred by social services, youth offender services and police to the Portman Clinic — where I work as a psychotherapist. I would never normally consider speaking out in this way. But after much thought, I have come to the conclusion this is no longer just a private problem. It is a public health problem.

For the past 70 years our services, which are part of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, have been available to anyone who has committed any kind of offence.

But an increasingly large part of our caseload is taken up with young people whose behaviour has become out of control due, largely, to compulsive internet porn use.

This year alone, this has included 50 referrals of children under 18, and that’s just for North London, where we are based.

Yet even though we are one of the very few units in the country dealing with these issues, funding cuts mean mental health services are having to make drastic efficiency savings that significantly reduce our service.Supervised internet use: Boy and father using laptop together

Supervised internet use: Boy and father using laptop together

Our patients are the young people for whom seeing thousands upon thousands of sexually explicit images is still not enough.

I regularly see boys as young as 12 who have convictions for looking at child porn because they did not realise they had crossed the line.

I also treat children who are so frustrated at being unable to live out their fantasies in everyday life — and so confused by the message of endless sexual availability on the web — that they have committed rapes or sexual assaults.

Another example would be Paul, 12. He has been referred to us because his obsessive sexual viewing habits have now spilled into the real world.

At school, he has been repeatedly exposing himself to teachers and other pupils in lessons.

And, at home, his appalled mother has found him walking around the house naked in a constant state of sexual excitement.

Another case is Andrew, aged 13, who was referred to the clinic because he has been abusing his five-year-old half-sister. Due to his two years of constant porn use, he has built up a complex fantasy world — so it was no big step for him to try to involve her.

Our research at the clinic has found that although the internet doesn’t create these problems, it can release interests which would never have surfaced otherwise.

Without virtual pornography, it’s my belief that Andrew would not have acquired his compulsion to abuse, let alone dreamt up the idea of involving his sister.

One of my regular patients, Jude, was referred to me at the age of 18 by social workers who were concerned that years of web porn use had not only made him socially isolated but a danger to others, too.

Safe: The main mobile phone operators implemented the technology to filter most pornographic and other adult-only content eight years agoSafe: The main mobile phone operators implemented the technology to filter most pornographic and other adult-only content eight years ago

When a girl he liked did not return his feelings, he told me: ‘I feel like stabbing her.’ He also threatened to kill himself because he felt he would never be able to have a normal relationship, and admitted he liked ‘seeing women being hurt’.

A particular scenario he enjoyed thinking about was a man grabbing a woman’s throat and punching her in the face.

Chillingly, he had already taken to following women late at night, and maintained he would become more of a risk to them if he was forced to give up watching porn.

All these cases are only the tip of the iceberg. For every young person who has come to the attention of police or social services, there will be tens of thousands more who manage to keep their habit under wraps — but who still face long-term consequences for their mental and emotional health. After all, we are rearing a guinea pig generation — a generation of boys and young men raised in a world where internet porn is freely on offer at any time.

Of course, critics who oppose restrictions will say pornography has always been with us; young boys have always looked at risque magazines.

Yet the advent of the internet — and particularly broadband over the past decade — means that never in human history has such a vast and relentless amount of it been so easily and freely available to all.

‘Our research at the clinic has found that although the internet doesn’t create these problems, it can release interests which would never have surfaced otherwise.’

According to a cross-party parliamentary report, published last week, the scale of the exposure is so vast that four out of five 16-year-olds  regularly access porn online — while one in three ten-year-olds has seen explicit material.

It means any child who has started to feel vaguely curious about sex can tap that same three-letter word into a search engine, and in a split second  have access to thousands of graphic video clips.

As a therapist, I am convinced that these images can be deeply traumatising to children — not least because a competitive market means that pornographers are trying to outdo each other to come up with the most extreme images.

This contest to push the boundaries means that straight intercourse is considered too boring. Images of brutal anal sex and women being humiliated and degraded by two or more men at any one time are the new norms.

For many young boys, this means their first sexual experience is not a nervously negotiated request for a dance from a girl at the end of the school disco. It is watching  grotesquely degrading images of women, all too often mixed in with violent abuse.

But because most parents are so uncomfortable with a child’s developing sexuality, few warn them about porn before they see it — or can face up to the fact they might be watching it. As a result, children don’t know that pornography is fiction and they naturally assume it’s what grown-ups do. Because it’s freely available, they think it must therefore be OK.

But once these brutal images have formed a child’s first sex lesson, in my experience, they can be difficult to erase. The more hardcore the material, the more intense and long-lasting the effects.

Of course, a lot will depend on the particular vulnerability — and developmental stage — of the child. But, inevitably, some of the kids who regularly see such scenes will become conditioned to being aroused by only the most extreme practices at a critical state of their sexual development.

‘The advent of the internet — and particularly broadband over the past decade — means that never in human history has such a vast and relentless amount of pornography been so easily and freely available to all.’

Instead of seeking out meaningful, romantic relationships, voyeurism may also become their substitute.

Many of the boys I treat stop going out and seeing friends, and drop out of school because life seems easier and more gratifying in front of a computer screen.

I have treated patients who can easily spend up to six hours a day compulsively viewing porn.

Research by the Oxford University neuroscientist and former director of the Royal Institution, psychologist Susan Greenfield, has found that intense internet use alters brain chemistry, encouraging instant gratification and making young people more self-centred.

It has also been linked to mental disorders such as autism, attention deficit disorder and hyperactivity, and, once addiction takes hold, young people’s lives can become seriously derailed.

Evidence has found they become more prone to ‘real world’ violence, and less able to emphathise.

 

What’s more, it is also from porn that boys are forming their views of what women should look like, and how they should behave sexually. I hear young boys routinely refer to girls as ‘bitches’ who need to be dominated.

They bemoan the fact that they can’t go out with ‘real’ girls because they ‘want things’.

In other words, females who exist outside of cyberspace have needs of their own that boys resent having to consider.

But there are also worrying signs that girls’ behaviour is also being affected. Although almost all my patients are young males, one of them is a 15-year-old schoolgirl, who was referred to the clinic after posing for explicit images.

While it is true that children in families with weak parenting and fewer boundaries are more at risk, the therapists at our clinic also see plenty of youngsters from well-off, middle-class families.

In studies, these are the youngsters more likely to have computers in their rooms, who have more advanced skills with which to navigate the internet, and who are most likely to own smartphones — from which internet sex can be easily accessed.

One of my patients, the son of a wealthy businessman, had his A-level year wrecked and only narrowly escaped prison after he felt compulsively drawn to tracking down the most extreme sexual practices he could find.

Again, the family — who had no idea of their son’s activities — received a knock on the door from police who had discovered that child porn images were being accessed by someone in their home. They seized every mobile phone and computer in the house.

With so much pornography use among our children, it may seem astonishing that most parents simply have no idea of what their children are doing.

‘One of my patients, the son of a wealthy businessman, had his A-level year wrecked and only narrowly escaped prison after he felt compulsively drawn to tracking down the most extreme sexual practices he could find.’

Yet most remain in denial, despite the fact that the largest consumer group for internet pornography is  children between 12 and 17.

In my experience, even savvy mums and dads can be terrified of laying a single finger on their child’s computer — for fear of breaking something, ‘messing it up’ or invading their offspring’s privacy.

But the reality is that leaving children to their own devices is no better than letting your child cross the road wearing a blindfold.

In the Seventies and Eighties, parents were urged to ask: ‘Do you know where your child is?’

The urgent question parents should now ask is: ‘Do you know where your child is going online?’ because, in my view, where they wander on the web is potentially more dangerous.

Parents must wake up to the fact that they need to regain their authority — and not be scared of laying down controls.

But it’s never going to be possible to apply filters to every smartphone — or every computer your child uses. This is where the internet service providers must come in.

MP Claire Perry and her parliamentary colleagues want the internet service providers to make porn something you have to opt in for — not something that  is automatically available on  your computer whether you want it or not.

After all, when magazines were the main way for people to access porn, our society never allowed them to be legally sold to minors.

In our culture, drink and cigarettes are also banned from sale to children because we know all too well the harmful effects.

As a therapist, I believe the internet has now been around long enough for us to see the toll that unregulated sexual imagery is having on our children.

Young people may become child-abusers while they are still children themselves.

Boys and young men may come to prefer simulated sexual relationships with porn stars rather than real women.

I have counselled enough damaged children to know that just as our society protects them from booze and smoking by imposing age limits, the time has now come for us to protect them from web pornography, too.

The names of patients in this article have been changed, and their identities disguised.

Source

V.A. Threatens Veteran’s Benefits For Handing Out Bible Tracts & Dvd’s


(Brian D. Hill)  A normal 63 year old veteran, who could never have expected a confrontation with the VA Police, was threatened to lose his VA benefits and would have been possibly charged with a felony. His only crime was giving out Political Documentary DVD’s and biblical literature. This all happened at the Sheridan VA Medical Center.

Richard Thorne, a Wyoming veteran that runs his own YouTube channel with 340 subscribers and 227,958 video views, gives out Alex Jones’s Infowars business cards, along with DVDs of Police State 3 which he clearly gave to other veterans at his visit to the VA, and even bible tracts, was treated as a possible enemy combatant and was threatened by police that he would lose his benefits without ever breaking any law.

“First of all this veteran would have been protected under the first Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. He is even protected under the Wyoming State Constitution as well under Article 1 Section 20 which protects Freedom of Speech.

Even if this veteran was found to be in violation of federal or state code, he was clearly giving out political documentaries to other veterans which is his right under Freedom of Speech and the freedom of the press which guarantees the right to give out informational material and access it without a criminal penalty.

He was clearly within his Constitutional Rights” is my commentary on the situation. It would have been more professional to have a lawyers point of view instead of my own but I just don’t have the luxury of a civil rights attorney freely giving commentary for my articles at the moment.

Now first of all I will go through the entire situation as of what all happened as what he explained to me in an email for this article.

He Passed out several pieces of bible literature with DVDs to other veterans at the VA, he also left some literature in a few waiting areas as well. After he had four teeth pulled he passed out some more literature and then waited for his travel money.

He does receive VA benefits. A few minutes later two VA cops dressed in their black uniforms demanded he come with them. Of course he stepped outside of the VA where there were likely no witnesses, so that camera phones don’t catch the attitude of the police there, the two cops started asking him if he had been passing out bible and anti-government literature, yes you heard that right they said anti-government literature.

Mr. Thorne answered the cops by telling them that he was passing out bible tracts, a Alex Jones business card, and his Police State 3 DVDs. Then out of nowhere the cops asked if he had any weapons and the cops were told no. Of course in any federal building the patrons are subject to search by security teams so it is pretty hard to believe that any visitor at a federal building would carry a weapon nor even conceal carry when federal buildings already prohibit weapons in the first place.

He could hardly talk with the cotton in his mouth and with a surgical mask on. He also walks with a cane because he has arthritis in his ankles and back from a building in 1984. Pretty hard to believe the police would view a 63-year-old veteran, that served his country proudly and honorably, that simply gave out political documentary DVDs, as any kind of enemy combatant.

Well according to research I found that various Government training manuals and documents have all stated that the possible domestic extremists or terrorists are all activities that would not be a violation of any law or would conform within the U.S. Constitution guidelines. This man is on pain and anti-depressant medication.

This is what he got in trouble over! Screenshot from The Alex Jones YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNQ9_PMjZN0&feature=relmfu)Of course this isn’t all of the nightmarish things the VA cops did to the guy. One of the cops confiscated the remaining literature and DVDs he had. Also before he left the police took all of the DVDs that were already given to veterans as if veterans were committing a crime just for accepting a free political documentary DVD from someone who just wanted to educate people and has their own opinion which is their right under the Constitution.

Of course there is no crime for having your own opinion. So yes every veteran that received a copy had their free copies taken away even though they didn’t complain. Of course they threatened him with a Homeland Security visit and that they would take him away. Under the NDAA that is now Public Law, they can snatch & grab anyone who is simply accused of being a terrorist without charge or trial and can be indefinitely detained.

They said to him and I quote “You don’t want Homeland Security to pull up in front of your apartment do you?” according to what I heard on The Alex Jones Show. He was literally crying on air. You can also view another video to which he calls into air to explain his nightmarish situation hoping to bring light to what has happened.

The hell didn’t just stop with Homeland Security threats. He was told that he could be charged with a felony for distributing anti-government material on federal land.

There is no evidence that Police State 3 is anti-government but simply the police and Homeland Security can simply claim it is anti-government and then people go to prison even though they are supposed to be protected under the first amendment. He was terrified of the incident. He had non-threatening literature and felt he had been wrongly interrogated.

He apologized to the police and said it would never happen again. That was when the other cop told him that Homeland Security could show up at his door and take him away. With the passage of the NDAA they could likely disappear this veteran into a black hole. He once again said that he would not bring any literature to the VA again.

Then the cops finally decided not to harass him anymore for that day and dismissed him. Then one of the cops gave a jab that he would be watched from now on when he comes to the VA.

So that means for the rest of his life he will have the police watch his every move, they will look for any minor law or code violation and likely use that against him as if he really deserves prison time for all the fighting he did for the U.S. military and the loyalty he had for this country.

Of course this isn’t the America we had once been familiar with! Ever since 9/11 and the twin towers fell, common sense fell along with it!

We have sent some questions to the VA and will write a followup article if needed and will also ask for comment from the other side as to their justification for why they did what they did to a 63-year-old veteran with a cane.

Source

Comprehensive List Of Companies That Uses Aborted Fetal Cells As Flavor

deadbabypepsi

(KipNews)  Children of God for Life is calling on the public to boycott products of major food companies that are partnering with Senomyx, a biotech company that produces artificial flavor enhancers, unless the company stops using aborted fetal cell lines to test their products.

In 2010, the pro-life organization wrote to Senomyx CEO Kent Snyder, pointing out that moral options for testing their food additives could and should be used.

But when Senomyx ignored their letter, they  wrote to the companies Senomyx listed on their website as “collaborators” warning them of public backlash and threatened boycott.  Food giants Pepsico, Kraft Foods, Campbell Soup, Solae and Nestlé are the primary targets of the boycott, though Senomyx boasts other international partners on their website.

Senomyx website states that “The company’s key flavor programs focus on the discovery and development of savory, sweet and salt flavor ingredients that are intended to allow for the reduction of MSG, sugar and salt in food and beverage products.…Using isolated human taste receptors, we created proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems that provide a biochemical or electronic readout when a flavor ingredient interacts with the receptor.”

Senomyx notes their collaborators provide them research and development funding plus royalties on sales of products using their flavor ingredients.

“What they do not tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 – human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby to produce those receptors”, stated Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director for Children of God for Life, a pro-life watch dog group that has been monitoring the use of aborted fetal material in medical products and cosmetics for years.

“They could have easily chosen COS (monkey) cells, Chinese Hamster Ovary cells, insect cells or other morally obtained human cells expressing the G protein for taste receptors”, Vinnedge added.

In writing to their collaborators, it took three letters before Nestlé finally admitted the truth about their relationship with Senomyx, noting the cell line was “well established in scientific research”.

After hearing Ms Vinnedge speak publicly on the problem, angry consumers began writing the companies. Both Pepsico and Campbell Soup immediately responded.

Shockingly, Pepsico wrote: “We hope you are reassured to learn that our collaboration with Senomyx is strictly limited to creating lower-calorie, great-tasting beverages for consumers. This will help us achieve our commitment to reduce added sugar per serving by 25% in key brands in key markets over the next decade and ultimately help people live healthier lives.”

Campbell Soup was more concerned in their response: “Every effort is made to use the finest ingredients and develop the greatest selection of products, all at a great value. With this in mind, it must be said that the trust we have cultivated and developed over the years with our consumers is not worth compromising to cut costs or increase profit margins.”

While Campbell did not state they would change their methods, still their response, gave Vinnedge hope.

“If enough people voice their outrage and intent to boycott these consumer products, it can be highly effective in convincing Senomyx to change their methods”, she noted.

Click here to read the response letters from PepsicoCampbell Soup and Nestlé letters (Letter 123)

Need proof of Senomyx use of aborted fetal cell lines? 

Following is the link to the on-line article for their patent on sweet receptors (they filed several separate patents for each of the different taste receptors): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC123709/

As it is lengthy and technical, we recommend you simply do a search in the document for HEK-293. 

HEK CELL (Human Embryonic Kidney 293 cells), also often referred to as HEK 293, 293 cells, or less precisely as HEK cells are a specific cell line originally derived from human embryonic kidney cells grown in tissue culture. HEK 293 cells are very easy to grow and transfect very readily and have been widely-used in cell biology research for many years. They are also used by the biotechnology industry to produce therapeutic proteins and viruses for gene therapy.

Below is a list of products that contain HEK cells.

HEK cell Products; http://www.cogforlife.org/fetalproductsall.pdf

Pepsi Beverages on the Boycott

• All Pepsi soft drinks
• Sierra Mist soft drinks
• Mountain Dew soft drinks
• Mug root beer and other soft drinks
• No Fear beverages
• Ocean Spray beverages
• Seattle’s Best Coffee
• Tazo beverages
• AMP Energy beverages
• Aquafina water
• Aquafina flavored beverages
• DoubleShot energy beverages
• Frappuccino beverages
• Lipton tea and other beverages
• Propel beverages
• SoBe beverages
• Gatorade beverages
• Fiesta Miranda beverages
• Tropicana juices and beverages

Other Senomyx Partner Products

  • At this time we are formally boycotting PepsiCo products, however many have asked us for lists of the other companies involved with Senomyx and what products are involved.

Unless we know a certain product or brand name specifically, we intend to boycott all of the company’s products.

Nestles Products
• All coffee creamers
• Maggi Brand instant soups, bouillon cubes, ketchups, sauces, seasoning, instant noodles

Kraft – Cadbury Adams LLC Products:
Gum
• Black Jack chewing gum
• Bubbaloo bubble gum
• Bubblicious bubble gum
• Chiclets
• Clorets
• Dentyne
• Freshen Up Gum
• Sour Cherry Gum (Limited)
• Sour Apple Gum (Limited)
• Stride
• Trident

Cadbury Adams LLC Candies
• Sour Cherry Blasters
• Fruit Mania
• Bassett’s Liquorice All sorts
• Maynards Wine Gum
• Swedish Fish
• Swedish Berries
• Juicy Squirts
• Original Gummies
• Fuzzy Peach
• Sour Chillers
• Sour Patch Kids
• Mini Fruit Gums

Other Cadbury Adams LLC Products
• Certs breath mints
• Halls Cough Drops

Not part of Senomyx – N eocutis Products
This company produces anti wrinkle creams that contain cells from a 14 week gestation aborted malebaby. Following is the list of the creams, but we recommend a full boycott of all Neocutis Products.

Bio-Gel Prevedem Journee
Bio-Serum Lumiere
Bio Restorative Skin Cream

Vaccines Containing HEK Cells And the Manufacturers:
MMR II (Merck)
ProQuad (MMR + Chickenpox – Merck)
Varivax (Chickenpox – Merck)
Pentacel (Polio + DTaP + HiB – Sanofi Pasteur)
Vaqta (Hepatitis-A – Merck)
Havrix (Hepatitis-A – Glaxo SmithKline)
Twinrix (Hepatitis-A and B combo – Glaxo)
Zostavax (Shingles – Merck)
Imovax (Rabies – Sanofi Pasteur)

Other medicines:
Pulmozyme (Cystic Fibrosis – Genetech)
Enbrel (Rheumatoid Arthritis – Amgen)

Note: Moral options exist for Rabies, Polio,
Rheumatoid Arthritis. Separate moral options
currently not available for Measles and Mumps.

source; http://birthofanewearth.blogspot.com viahttp://www.cogforlife.org/

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)
.Biotech company using cell lines from aborted babies in food enhancement testing http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/biotech-company-using-cell-lines-from-aborted-babies-in-food-enhancement-te

Pro-life groups call for Pepsi boycott over aborted fetal cell lines

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/pro-life-groups-call-for-pepsi-boycott-over-aborted-fetal-cell-lines

Oklahoma lawmaker wants to stop Pepsi from using aborted fetus cells in soda flavoring research (NaturalNews)
http://www.naturalnews.com/034777_Pepsi_aborted_fetus_cells_soda_flavoring.html#ixzz1q5FeKEdL

To Contact PepsiCo:

Jamie Caulfield, Sr. VP
PepsiCo, Inc.
700 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577
(914) 253-2000

Edmund M. Carpenter, Chair, Corporate Development
Campbell Soup
1 Campbell Place
Camden, NJ 08103-1701
1-800-257-8443

Pro-life groups joining CGL in the boycott to date are:  Life Issues Institute, American Life League,  Colorado Right to Life, American Right to Life, Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute, ALL Arizona, Central Nebraskans for Life, Pro-Life Waco, Houston Coalition for Life, Mother and Unborn Baby Fox Valley, Womankind, Billboards for Life, Movement for a Better America, Defenders of the Unborn, Focus Pregnancy Help Center, Idaho Chooses Life, EMC Frontline Pregnancy Centers of NY, Four Seasons for Life, CREDO,  Life Choices, STOPP Dallas, CA Right To Life, Human Life Alliance, International Right to Life Federation, Operation Rescue, Pro-Life Nation, LifeNews.com, and Mary’s Outreach for Women.

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.

Origins of HEK 293 Cells

HEK 293 cells were generated in the early 70s by transformation of cultures of normal human embryonic kidney cells with sheared adenovirus 5 DNA in Alex Van der Eb’s laboratory in Leiden, The Netherlands.

The human embryonic kidney cells were obtained from an aborted fetus and originally cultured by Van der Eb himself; the transformation by adenovirus was performed by Frank Graham who published his findings in the late 1970s after he left Leiden for McMaster University in Canada.

They are called HEK for human embryonic kidney, while the number 293 comes from Graham’s habit of numbering his experiments; the original HEK 293 cell clone was simply the product of his 293rd experiment.

Other References:

10 Gorgeous Buildings Made Out of Books

(Emily Temple)  Here at Flavorpill, we’re pretty big book nerds. We’re such big book nerds that what we’d really like, more than anything, is to live in a house made of books — we think it’d totally work as long as we weren’t reading one from the ceiling when it started to rain. Plus, we’ve been known to appreciate books as much — or almost as much — for their aesthetic qualities as for their intellectual ones, so it only makes sense to use them as the grandest form of decor.


Therefore, we bring you our wish list of buildings made out of books that we’d really like to live (or play) in. Click through to check them out, and let us know which one you think would be best to house you, your cozy armchair and a cup of tea.

 

Slovakian artist Matej Kren‘s installation Scanner. See more here.

 

Another work by Matej Kren, the octagonal Book Cell. [via Inhabitat]

 

Home, a self-sustained book igloo designed by Colombian artist Miler Lagos. [via My Modern Met]

 

A building made from 7,000 recycled phone books. [via Inhabitat]

 

The seven-story “Tower of Babel,” masterminded by Marta Minujin and built with 30,000 books donated by readers, libraries and more than 50 embassies. [via The Guardian]

 

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller built this mini house from hundreds of recycled books for Modern Art Oxford and the Fruitmarket Gallery in 2008. [via Inhabitat]

 

Argument #2, by Tom Bendtsen.

 

A perfect playhouse in the children’s room of the Iowa City Public Library. [via]

 

Another gorgeous book fort in the Trondheim library. [via]

 

We know this one is cheating, but we just couldn’t help it. How cool is the Kansas City Public Library? And this is just their parking garage!

Source

Dentist Pulled Out ALL Boyfriend’s Teeth After He Dumped Her

(Simon Tomlinson)  A dentist pulled out all her ex-boyfriend’s teeth after he dumped her for another woman – who has now left him because he is toothless.

Anna Mackowiak, 34, is facing jail after taking her revenge on 45-year-old Marek Olszewski when he turned up at her surgery with toothache just days after breaking up with her.

She gave him a heavy dose of anaesthetic and plucked his teeth out.

She then wrapped his head and jaw in a bandage to stop him opening his mouth and said there had been complications and he would need to see a specialist.

The dentist, who works in Wroclaw, Poland, said: ‘I tried to be professional and detach myself from my emotions.

‘But when I saw him lying there I just thought, “What a b******”.’


Mr Olszewski said: ‘I knew something was wrong because when I woke up I couldn’t feel any teeth and my jaw was strapped up with bandages.

 ‘She told me my mouth was numb and I wouldn’t be able to feel anything for a while and that the bandage was there to protect the gums, but that I would need to see a specialist.

‘I didn’t have any reason to doubt her, I mean I thought she was a professional.

Flipped: Anna Mackowiak (not pictured) is being investigated for medical malpractice and abusing the trust of a patient. She could face three years in jail (image posed by model)

‘But when I got home I looked in the mirror and couldn’t f****** believe it. The b**** had emptied my mouth.

‘The new girlfriend has now left me saying she can’t be with a man without teeth.

‘And I’m going to have to pay a fortune on getting indents or something.’

Mackowiak is being investigated for medical malpractice and abusing the trust of a patient. She could face three years in jail.

Source

Obama’s Jimmy Fallon Appearance Violated Campaign Finance Law

(Ben Shapiro)  Last night, President Obama appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s unwatchable show to “slow-jam the news.” By this, Fallon meant that Obama would read a campaign speech about student loans, Fallon would utter a few lines to back him up every so often, and his lead band singer would warble in support of Obama’s propaganda.

Only one problem, aside from the fact that this was possibly the worst “comedy” segment in the history of mankind: it violated campaign finance law.

The equal time rule states that if a licensee permits a person “who is a legally qualified candidate for any public office to use a broadcasting station, he shall afford equal opportunities to all other such candidates for that office in the use of such broadcasting station.”


There are exceptions to the rule: appearances on (1) a bona fide newscast, (2) a bona fide news interview, (3) a bona fide news documentary, or (4) on-the-spot coverage of bona fide news events.

Only the second provision could be construed as saving NBC from giving Mitt Romney equal time. But this was not a bona fide news interview. In fact, it wasn’t an interview at all – no questions were asked, no answers were given. It was literally Obama reading a campaign speech over a guitar, a horn, a keyboard, and some drums.

Not only was this appearance in violation of equal time law, it was clearly an in-kind contribution by NBC to the Obama campaign. As the Federal Elections Commission states, “A donation of services is … considered an in-kind contribution.” Under applicable law, contribution of broadcast time is considered such a service.

This was a campaign commercial for Obama, and the Obama campaign was not charged for it. A minute of network time can cost up to a couple million dollars; this segment ran a full five minutes. There is no doubt that Obama was given millions of dollars of free advertising time, and the Romney campaign should invoke all available law to make that clear.

NBC should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Mitt Romney should be given equal time, and an equally sycophantic propaganda piece by Fallon. Obama should be ashamed of himself (though, of course, he has no capacity for shame).

Source

Top 10 Evil Human Experiments

Stanford Prison


 

(List Verse) This list contains descriptions and images of human experimentation which may cause offense to some readers. Human experimentation and research ethics evolved over time. On occasion, the subjects of human experimentation have been prisoners, slaves, or even family members. In some notable cases, doctors have performed experiments on themselves when they have been unwilling to risk the lives of others. This is known as self-experimentation. This is a list of the 10 most evil and unethical experiments carried out on humans.

10

Stanford Prison Experiment

The Stanford prison experiment was a psychological study of human responses to captivity and its behavioral effects on both authorities and inmates in prison.

The experiment was conducted in 1971 by a team of researchers led by psychologist Philip Zimbardo at Stanford University. Undergraduate volunteers played the roles of both guards and prisoners living in a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford psychology building.

Prisoners and guards rapidly adapted to their roles, stepping beyond the boundaries of what had been predicted and leading to dangerous and psychologically damaging situations. One-third of the guards were judged to have exhibited “genuine” sadistic tendencies, while many prisoners were emotionally traumatized and two had to be removed from the experiment early. Finally, Zimbardo, alarmed at the increasingly abusive anti-social behavior from his subjects, terminated the entire experiment early.

9

The Monster Study

Stuttering

The Monster Study was a stuttering experiment on 22 orphan children in Davenport, Iowa, in 1939 conducted by Wendell Johnson at the University of Iowa. Johnson chose one of his graduate students, Mary Tudor, to conduct the experiment and he supervised her research. After placing the children in control and experimental groups, Tudor gave positive speech therapy to half of the children, praising the fluency of their speech, and negative speech therapy to the other half, belittling the children for every speech imperfection and telling them they were stutterers. Many of the normal speaking orphan children who received negative therapy in the experiment suffered negative psychological effects and some retained speech problems during the course of their life. Dubbed “The Monster Study” by some of Johnson’s peers who were horrified that he would experiment on orphan children to prove a theory, the experiment was kept hidden for fear Johnson’s reputation would be tarnished in the wake of human experiments conducted by the Nazis during World War II. The University of Iowa publicly apologized for the Monster Study in 2001.

8

Project 4.1

300Px-Project 4.1 Figures

Project 4.1 was the designation for a medical study conducted by the United States of those residents of the Marshall Islands exposed to radioactive fallout from the March 1, 1954 Castle Bravo nuclear test at Bikini Atoll, which had an unexpectedly large yield. For the first decade after the test, the effects were ambiguous and statistically difficult to correlate to radiation exposure: miscarriages and stillbirths among exposed Rongelap women doubled in the first five years after the accident, but then returned to normal; some developmental difficulties and impaired growth appeared in children, but in no clear-cut pattern. In the decades that followed, though, the effects were undeniable. Children began to suffer disproportionately from thyroid cancer (due to exposure to radioiodines), and almost a third of those exposed developed neoplasms by 1974.

As a Department of Energy Committee writing on the human radiation experiments wrote, “It appears to have been almost immediately apparent to the AEC and the Joint Task Force running the Castle series that research on radiation effects could be done in conjunction with the medical treatment of the exposed populations.” The DOE report also concluded that “The dual purpose of what is now a DOE medical program has led to a view by the Marshallese that they were being used as ‘guinea pigs’ in a ‘radiation experiment.’”

7

Project MKULTRA

Cia Lsd

Project MKULTRA, or MK-ULTRA, was the code name for a CIA mind-control research program, run by the Office of Scientific Intelligence, that began in the early 1950s and continued at least through the late 1960s. There is much published evidence that the project involved the surreptitious use of many types of drugs, as well as other methodologies, to manipulate individual mental states and to alter brain function.

Experiments included administering LSD to CIA employees, military personnel, doctors, other government agents, prostitutes, mentally ill patients, and members of the general public in order to study their reactions. LSD and other drugs were usually administered without the subject’s knowledge and informed consent, a violation of the Nuremberg Code that the U.S. agreed to follow after WWII.

Efforts to “recruit” subjects were often illegal, even discounting the fact that drugs were being administered (though actual use of LSD, for example, was legal in the United States until October 6, 1966). In Operation Midnight Climax, the CIA set up several brothels to obtain a selection of men who would be too embarrassed to talk about the events. The men were dosed with LSD, and the brothels were equipped with one-way mirrors and the “sessions” were filmed for later viewing and study.

In 1973, CIA Director Richard Helms ordered all MKULTRA files destroyed. Pursuant to this order, most CIA documents regarding the project were destroyed, making a full investigation of MKULTRA virtually impossible.

6

The Aversion Project

Levine

South Africa’s apartheid army forced white lesbian and gay soldiers to undergo ‘sex-change’ operations in the 1970′s and the 1980′s, and submitted many to chemical castration, electric shock, and other unethical medical experiments. Although the exact number is not known, former apartheid army surgeons estimate that as many as 900 forced ‘sexual reassignment’ operations may have been performed between 1971 and 1989 at military hospitals, as part of a top-secret program to root out homosexuality from the service.

Army psychiatrists aided by chaplains aggressively ferreted out suspected homosexuals from the armed forces, sending them discretely to military psychiatric units, chiefly ward 22 of 1 Military Hospital at Voortrekkerhoogte, near Pretoria. Those who could not be ‘cured’ with drugs, aversion shock therapy, hormone treatment, and other radical ‘psychiatric’ means were chemically castrated or given sex-change operations.

Although several cases of lesbian soldiers abused have been documented so far—including one botched sex-change operation—most of the victims appear to have been young, 16 to 24-year-old white males drafted into the apartheid army.

Dr. Aubrey Levin (the head of the study) is now Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry (Forensic Division) at the University of Calgary’s Medical School. He is also in private practice, as a member in good standing of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta.

 

5
North Korean Experimentation

200403020016 01

There have been many reports of North Korean human experimentation. These reports show human rights abuses similar to those of Nazi and Japanese human experimentation in World War II. These allegations of human rights abuses are denied by the North Korean government, who claim that all prisoners in North Korea are humanely treated.

One former North Korean woman prisoner tells how 50 healthy women prisoners were selected and given poisoned cabbage leaves, which all the women had to eat despite cries of distress from those who had already eaten. All 50 were dead after 20 minutes of vomiting blood and anal bleeding. Refusing to eat would have meant reprisals against them and their families.


Kwon Hyok, a former prison Head of Security at Camp 22, described laboratories equipped respectively for poison gas, suffocation gas and blood experiments, in which 3 or 4 people, normally a family, are the experimental subjects. After undergoing medical checks, the chambers are sealed and poison is injected through a tube, while “scientists” observe from above through glass. Kwon Hyok claims to have watched one family of 2 parents, a son and a daughter die from suffocating gas, with the parents trying to save the children using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for as long as they had the strength.

4

Poison laboratory of the Soviets

Sovietlab

The Poison laboratory of the Soviet secret services, also known as Laboratory 1, Laboratory 12 and “The Chamber”, was a covert poison research and development facility of the Soviet secret police agencies. The Soviets tested a number of deadly poisons on prisoners from the Gulag (“enemies of the people”), including mustard gas, ricin, digitoxin and many others. The goal of the experiments was to find a tasteless, odorless chemical that could not be detected post mortem. Candidate poisons were given to the victims, with a meal or drink, as “medication”.

Finally, a preparation with the desired properties called C-2 was developed. According to witness testimonies, the victim changed physically, became shorter, weakened quickly, became calm and silent and died within fifteen minutes. Mairanovsky brought to the laboratory people of varied physical condition and ages in order to have a more complete picture about the action of each poison.

In addition to human experimentation, Mairanovsky personally executed people with poisons, under the supervision of Pavel Sudoplatov.

3

The Tuskegee Syphilis Study

Event Tuskegee

The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male was a clinical study, conducted between 1932 and 1972 in Tuskegee, Alabama, in which 399 (plus 201 control group without syphilis) poor — and mostly illiterate — African American sharecroppers were denied treatment for Syphilis.

This study became notorious because it was conducted without due care to its subjects, and led to major changes in how patients are protected in clinical studies. Individuals enrolled in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study did not give informed consent and were not informed of their diagnosis; instead they were told they had “bad blood” and could receive free medical treatment, rides to the clinic, meals and burial insurance in case of death in return for participating. In 1932, when the study started, standard treatments for syphilis were toxic, dangerous, and of questionable effectiveness. Part of the original goal of the study was to determine if patients were better off not being treated with these toxic remedies. For many participants, treatment was intentionally denied. Many patients were lied to and given placebo treatments—in order to observe the fatal progression of the disease.

By the end of the study, only 74 of the test subjects were still alive. Twenty-eight of the men had died directly of syphilis, 100 were dead of related complications, 40 of their wives had been infected, and 19 of their children had been born with congenital syphilis.

2

Unit 731

Unit731S

Unit 731 was a covert biological and chemical warfare research and development unit of the Imperial Japanese Army that undertook lethal human experimentation during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) and World War II. It was responsible for some of the most notorious war crimes carried out by Japanese personnel.

Some of the numerous atrocities committed by the commander Shiro Ishii and others under his command in Unit 731 include: vivisection of living people (including pregnant women who were impregnated by the doctors), prisoners had limbs amputated and reattached to other parts of their body, some prisoners had parts of their bodies frozen and thawed to study the resulting untreated gangrene. Humans were also used as living test cases for grenades and flame throwers. Prisoners were injected with strains of diseases, disguised as vaccinations, to study their effects. To study the effects of untreated venereal diseases, male and female prisoners were deliberately infected with syphilis and gonorrhea via rape, then studied. A complete list of these horrors can be found here.

Having been granted immunity by the American Occupation Authorities at the end of the war, Ishii never spent any time in jail for his crimes and died at the age of 67 of throat cancer.

1

Nazi Experiments

Dachautests

Nazi human experimentation was medical experimentation on large numbers of people by the German Nazi regime in its concentration camps during World War II. At Auschwitz, under the direction of Dr. Eduard Wirths, selected inmates were subjected to various experiments which were supposedly designed to help German military personnel in combat situations, to aid in the recovery of military personnel that had been injured, and to advance the racial ideology backed by the Third Reich.

Experiments on twin children in concentration camps were created to show the similarities and differences in the genetics and eugenics of twins, as well as to see if the human body can be unnaturally manipulated. The central leader of the experiments was Dr. Josef Mengele, who performed experiments on over 1,500 sets of imprisoned twins, of which fewer than 200 individuals survived the studies. Dr. Mengele organized the testing of genetics in twins. The twins were arranged by age and sex and kept in barracks in between the test, which ranged from the injection of different chemicals into the eyes of the twins to see if it would change their colors to literally sewing the twins together in hopes of creating conjoined twins.

In 1942 the Luftwaffe conducted experiments to learn how to treat hypothermia. One study forced subjects to endure a tank of ice water for up to three hours (see image above). Another study placed prisoners naked in the open for several hours with temperatures below freezing. The experimenters assessed different ways of rewarming survivors.

From about July 1942 to about September 1943, experiments to investigate the effectiveness of sulfonamide, a synthetic antimicrobial agent, were conducted at Ravensbrück. Wounds inflicted on the subjects were infected with bacteria such as Streptococcus, gas gangrene, and tetanus. Circulation of blood was interrupted by tying off blood vessels at both ends of the wound to create a condition similar to that of a battlefield wound. Infection was aggravated by forcing wood shavings and ground glass into the wounds. The infection was treated with sulfonamide and other drugs to determine their effectiveness.

This article is licensed under the GFDL because it contains text from Wikipedia.

Source

Public Distrust Of The Media At All Time High

(Paul Farhi)  Charges of media bias have been flying like a bloody banner on the campaign trail. Newt Gingrich excoriated the “elite media” in a richly applauded moment during one of the Republican debates. Rick Santorum chewed out a New York Times reporter. Mitt Romney said this month that he faces “an uphill battle” against the press in the general election.

Meanwhile, just about every new poll of public sentiment shows that confidence in the news media has hit a new low. Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed by the Pew Research Center in the fall said the media “tend to favor one side” compared with 53 percent who said so in 1985.

 

But have the media really become more biased? Or is this a case of perception trumping reality?

In fact, there’s little to suggest that over the past few decades news reporting has become more favorable to one party. That’s not to say researchers haven’t found bias in reporting. They have, but they don’t agree that one side is consistently favored or that this favoritism has been growing like a pernicious weed.

On the conservative side, the strongest case might have been made by Tim Groseclose, a political science and economics professor at the University of California at Los Angeles. Groseclose used a three-pronged test to quantify the “slant quotient” of news stories reported by dozens of media sources. He compared these ratings with a statistical analysis of the voting records of various national politicians. In his 2011 book, “Left Turn: How Liberal Bias Distorts the American Mind,” Groseclose concluded that most media organizations aligned with the views of liberal politicians. (Groseclose determined that The Washington Post’s “slant quotient” was less liberal than news coverage in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.)

Even with conservative-leaning sources such as the Drudge Report and the Washington Times factored in, “the aggregate slant is leftward,” said Groseclose, who describes himself as a conservative.

But that’s not the end of the story. A “meta-analysis” of bias studies — that is, a study of studies — shows something different: When all is said and done, left-leaning reporting is balanced by reporting more favorable to conservatives. “The net effect is zero,” said David D’Alessio, a communications sciences professor at the University of Connecticut at Stamford.


D’Alessio drew his conclusion from reviewing 99 studies of campaign news coverage undertaken over six decades for his newly published work, “Media Bias in Presidential Election Coverage 1948-2008: Evaluation via Formal Measurement.” The research, he says, shows that news reporting tends to point toward the middle, “because that’s where the people are, and that’s where the [advertising] money is. . . . There’s nuance there, but when you add it all and subtract it down, you end up with nothing.”

So why the rise in the public’s perception of media bias? A few possibilities:

l  T he media landscape has changed.

There’s more media and more overtly partisan media outlets, too. The Internet has given rise to champions of the left — Huffington Post, Daily Kos, etc. — as well as more conservative organizations such as Drudge and Free Republic. This means your chance of running into “news” that seems biased has increased exponentially, elevating the impression that “bias” is pervasive throughout all parts of the media.

 

“There’s a kind of self-fulfilling perception to it,” said Robert Lichter, a pioneering media-bias researcher who heads the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. “Once people see something they don’t like, they notice things that reinforce the belief that there’s bias” in the media as a whole. There are more watchdog groups focused on rooting out media bias.

Long ago, a few watchdog groups, such as the conservative AIM (Accuracy in Media) and its more liberal counterpart FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), kept an eye on reporters’ work. Nowadays, not just politicians criticize the media for their alleged bias; an entire cottage industry exists to highlight the media’s alleged failings. This includes ideological outfits such as Media Matters for America and the Media Research Center; the satirical “Daily Show” and “Colbert Report”; and blogs by the hundreds.All that scrutiny of the press may suggests an inescapable conclusion: There’s something wrong with the news media. All the time.

Journalists have gotten that message, too. “Reporters have heard the criticism from the right so often that they lean over backwards to be fair to them,” said Eric Alterman, a journalist, college professor and the author of the best-selling “What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News.”

l  In the public’s mind, “the news media” encompasses the kitchen sink.

Few people make a distinction between news reporting — which attempts to play it straight — and opinion-mongering, which is designed to provoke and persuade. Tellingly, when asked what they think of when they hear the phrase “news organization,” the majority of respondents (63 percent) in Pew’s news-bias survey cited “cable news,” and specifically Fox News and CNN. But while cable news networks do some straightforward reporting, their most popular programs, by far, are those in which opinionated hosts ask opinionated guests to sling opinions about the day’s news.

“A big part of the conversation on cable is [people] telling you how the rest of the media is getting the story wrong,” said Mark Jurkowitz, a former press critic and newspaper ombudsman who is now associate director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, a Washington-based research group affiliated with Pew. That, he noted, is likely to sow more doubt about the media’s integrity or accuracy.

Of course, reporters have helped blur the very lines they want the public to respect, Lichter said, by writing up news stories and then appearing on TV or going on social media to tell people what to think about their stories.

“The modern way [for journalists] is to be edgy and opinionated and to call attention to yourself,” Lichter said.

l  We know more and can second-guess.

Thanks to technology, people have more access to more sources of news than before. Which means they can check several accounts of the same event. This can create its own kind of suspicion; savvy readers often ask reporters why they ignored or played down facts that another reporter emphasized.

l  People believe their preferred news sources are objective and fair, while the other guy’s are biased.

Pew’s research suggests that people think the other guy’s media are spreading lies while one’s own are, relatively, a paragon of truth.

A clear majority (66 percent) say news organizations in general are “often inaccurate.” But the figure drops precipitously (to 30 percent) when people are asked the same question about the news organization “you use most.” Jurkowitz said this is the analogue of how people feel about Congress — most give low marks to lawmakers in general, but they vote to reelect their incumbent representative more than 90 percent of the time.

“If you watch the Channel 2 newscast night after night, you trust the people on the air,” he said. “The mere fact that you’re a habituated user makes you think better of them.”

Despite the low esteem the public seems to hold for “the news media,” the good news may be that it’s all relative. Pew found last year that people said they trusted information from the news media more than any other source, including state governments, the Obama administration, federal government agencies, corporations and Congress.

The lowest degree of trust? By far, people named “candidates running for office.”

Source

Video- Meth Lab Explodes In Man’s Pants During Traffic Stop

(AP)  The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says a portable methamphetamine lab exploded in a man’s pants as he tried to run away from a state trooper during a traffic stop.

Tulsa television station KOTV reports the incident happened shortly after midnight Friday in Okmulgee County. Authorities say the man tried to run away when the trooper asked him about a chemical smell.


Trooper Shiloh Hall says the man had an active meth lab in his pants that burst during a struggle with the trooper. The man was checked out by emergency personnel and booked in the Okmulgee County jail on a drug charge.

A portable meth lab is also known as a one-pot lab, where a smaller batch of the drug is manufactured.

 


Source

If You Own A Cell Phone Or A Computer You May Be A Terrorist

(John Pilger)  You are all potential terrorists. It matters not that you live in Britain, the United States, Australia or the Middle East. Citizenship is effectively abolished. Turn on your computer and the US Department of Homeland Security’s National Operations Center may monitor whether you are typing not merely “al-Qaeda,” but “exercise,” “drill,” “wave,” “initiative” and “organization”: all proscribed words.

The British government’s announcement that it intends to spy on every email and phone call is old hat. The satellite vacuum cleaner known as Echelon has been doing this for years. What has changed is that a state of permanent war has been launched by the United States and a police state is consuming Western democracy.

What are you going to do about it?

In Britain, on instructions from the CIA, secret courts are to deal with “terror suspects.” Habeas Corpus is dying. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that five men, including three British citizens, can be extradited to the US even though none except one has been charged with a crime.


All have been imprisoned for years under the 2003 US/UK Extradition Treaty which was signed one month after the criminal invasion of Iraq. The European Court had condemned the treaty as likely to lead to “cruel and unusual punishment.” One of the men, Babar Ahmad, was awarded 63,000 pounds compensation for 73 recorded injuries he sustained in the custody of the Metropolitan Police.

Sexual abuse, the signature of fascism, was high on the list. Another man is a schizophrenic, who has suffered a complete mental collapse and is in Broadmoor secure hospital; another is a suicide risk. To the Land of the Free they go – along with young Richard O’Dwyer, who faces ten years in shackles and an orange jump suit because he allegedly infringed US copyright on the Internet.

As the law is politicized and Americanized, these travesties are not untypical. In upholding the conviction of a London university student, Mohammed Gul, for disseminating “terrorism” on the Internet, appeal court judges in London ruled that “acts … against the armed forces of a state anywhere in the world which sought to influence a government and were made for political purposes” were now crimes. Call to the dock Thomas Paine, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela.

What are you going to do about it?

The prognosis is clear now: the malignancy that Norman Mailer called “pre fascist” has metastasized. The US Attorney General, Eric Holder, defends the “right” of his government to assassinate American citizens. Israel, the protégé, is allowed to aim its nukes at nukeless Iran. In this looking glass world, the lying is panoramic.

The massacre of 17 Afghan civilians on 11 March, including at least nine children and four women, is attributed to a “rogue” American soldier. The “authenticity” of this was vouched by President Obama himself, who had “seen a video” and regarded it as “conclusive proof.”

An independent Afghan parliamentary investigation produced eyewitnesses who give detailed evidence of as many as 20 soldiers, aided by a helicopter, ravaging their villages, killing and raping: a standard, if marginally more murderous, US Special Forces “night raid.”

Take away the videogame technology of killing – America’s contribution to modernity – and the behavior is traditional. Immersed in comic-book righteousness, poorly or brutally trained, frequently racist, obese and led by a corrupt officer class, American forces transfer the homicide of home to faraway places whose impoverished struggles they cannot comprehend.

A nation founded on the genocide of the native population never quite kicks the habit. Vietnam was “Indian country” and its “slits” and “gooks” were to be “blown away.

The blowing away of hundreds of mostly women and children in the Vietnamese village of My Lai in 1968 was also a “rogue” incident and, profanely, an “American tragedy” (the cover headline of Newsweek).

Only one of 26 men prosecuted was convicted and he was let go by President Richard Nixon. My Lai is in Quang Ngai Province where, as I learned as a reporter, an estimated 50,000 people were killed by American troops, mostly in what they called “free fire zones.” This was the model of modern warfare: industrial murder.

Like Iraq and Libya, Afghanistan is a theme park for the beneficiaries of America’s new permanent war: NATO, the armaments and high-tech companies, the media and a “security” industry whose lucrative contamination is a contagion on everyday life. The conquest or “pacification” of territory is unimportant. What matters is the pacification of you, the cultivation of your indifference.

What are you going to do about it?

The descent into totalitarianism has landmarks. Any day now, the Supreme Court in London will decide whether WikiLeaks’ editor, Julian Assange, is to be extradited to Sweden.

Should this final appeal fail, the facilitator of truth-telling on an epic scale, who is charged with no crime, faces solitary confinement and interrogation on ludicrous sex allegations.

Thanks to a secret deal between the US and Sweden, he can be “rendered” to the American gulag at any time. In his own country, Australia, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has conspired with those in Washington she calls her “true mates” to ensure her innocent fellow citizen is fitted for his orange jump suit just in case he should make it home.

In February, her government wrote a “WikiLeaks Amendment” to the extradition treaty between Australia and the US that makes it easier for her “mates” to get their hands on him. She has even given them the power of approval over Freedom of Information searches – so that the world outside can be lied to, as is customary.

What are you going to do about it?

Source

Prison Industries- Don’t Let Society Improve Or We Lose Business

(Dina Rasor)  One out of every 100 people in the United States is imprisoned. Even though we are 5 percent of the world’s population, we have 25 percent of the prisoners in the world.

We are number one in the world in the number of people we imprison – we even beat China. A normal reaction to this situation would be to try to reform our laws, our judicial system – including sentencing – our prison system and our society so that we would not have the disconcerting distinction of being the number-one jailer in the world.

Instead, in the past decade, there has been a movement to privatize more and more of our state and federal prisons to save money (which has not materialized) and ease overcrowding under the pressure of the courts.

This has led to a wide world of influence peddling, self-dealing and lobbying while preying on a captured group of people to fill prison beds. Just as I have feared that privatizing the logistics of war will encourage private war-service industries to lobby for a hot war or long occupation to keep their industries viable, there has emerged a group of prison industries, state and federal legislators, and other players who will continue to benefit from our disgraceful ranking as the world’s largest warden.


There are two very large and influential prison companies in the United States who are manipulating the system to make sure they have plenty of business: The GEO Group (formerly Wackenhut) and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA). In the first part of this two-part series, I will explore The GEO Group’s influence peddling; next week, I will look at CCA.

If you have any doubt in your mind that improving society and lowering the number of prisoners in our country (normally considered a worthy social goal) is a threat to the prison industry business, all you need to do is to read about that concern in The GEO Group’s 2011 annual report:

In particular, the demand for our correctional and detention facilities and services and BI’s [a prison industry company Geo acquired in 2011] services could be adversely affected by changes in existing criminal or immigration laws, crime rates in jurisdictions in which we operate, the relaxation of criminal or immigration enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction, sentencing or deportation practices, and the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by criminal laws or the loosening of immigration laws. For example, any changes with respect to the decriminalization of drugs and controlled substances could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, sentenced and incarcerated, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them. Similarly, reductions in crime rates could lead to reductions in arrests, convictions and sentences requiring incarceration at correctional facilities. Immigration reform laws which are currently a focus for legislators and politicians at the federal, state and local level also could materially adversely impact us.

This is an industry that needs misery, long sentences, rounded-up undocumented immigrants and increasing crime to flourish. In order to keep the prison beds filled, The GEO Group and others have paid out millions of dollars to lobbyists, federal and state legislators, and governors to allow our immigration problem to go unsolved, to make sure that no drugs are decriminalized and that an ineffective War on Drugs continues, and to make certain that long term prison sentences, like California’s three-strikes-and-you’re-imprisoned-for-life laws, keep a steady flow of revenue and profits flowing to their shareholders. They are also hoping that our national drop in crime is just a temporary trend.

According to California-drug-treatment.com: “Justice statistics also show that 47.5 percent of drug arrests in 2007 were for marijuana offenses. Also, almost 60 percent of state prison inmates who are serving time for a drug offense had no history of violence or of any significant selling activity.” One can imagine that The GEO Group and others in the industry would be very concerned about the myriad of legislative bills and ballot initiatives floating around the country that threaten to legalize marijuana and reduce their number of paying “beds.”

And The GEO Group does do a brisk business, mainly through the federal and state governments. According to a thorough report, “Gaming the System,” which was issued last year by the Justice Policy Institute, the “state and federal prison population increased 722 percent between 1970 and 2009,” while as “of 2010, GEO contracts with 13 states, the Federal Bureau of Prison, the U.S. Marshals Service, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In 2010, 66 percent ($842 million) of GEO’s $1.27 billion in revenue was from U.S. corrections contracts. Of the $842 million in revenue, 47 percent came from corrections contracts with 11 states.”

Wells Fargo sees Geo Group and the prison industries as a good investment. According to anarticle by Charles Davis in Salon:

A driving force behind the push for ever-tougher sentences is the for-profit prison industry, in which Wells Fargo is a major investor…. Wells Fargo has been busy expanding its stake in the GEO Group, the second largest private jailer in America. At the end of 2011, Wells Fargo was the company’s second-largest investor, holding 4.3 million sharesvalued at more than $72 million. By March 2012, its stake had grown to more than 4.4 million shares worth $86.7 million.

The GEO Group, which is headquartered in Florida, and other private prison entities have spread plenty of lobbying money around in the Florida legislature to try to further privatize Florida’s prisons. Their first attempt failed after several floor votes, but based on the money they threw around and the money they can make running Florida’s prisons, they will be back to try again.

The Florida Independent reported:

According to the Institute [The National Institute on Money in State Politics], private prison groups have spent a lot of money to influence legislators:

Institute records show that donors from the private prison industry made nearly $1 millionin contributions to Florida campaigns in 2010 – the most the industry has given over the last decade, as illustrated by the Institute’s Industry Influence tool. The majority of the money came from five companies–Geo Group, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), Global Tel* Link, Armor Correctional Health Services, and LCS Corrections Services, Inc.

Since the state’s contribution limits cap corporate donations at $500 per candidate per election, these private prison firms gave most of their money to the state Democratic and Republican parties, which can receive unlimited amounts from corporations. The private prison industry demonstrated a signal preference for the Florida Republican Party, giving $783,494 compared to just $143,000 to the Florida Democratic Party.

In 2009, some members of the Texas legislature tried to stop the march of prison privatization in their state, only to find out just how entrenched The GEO Group was in the Texas political system.

From Texaswatchdog.org:

Two state lawmakers from South Texas have financial ties to a private prison firm that runs facilities for the Texas state prison system – at a time when lawmakers are debating sweeping new measures to clamp down on corrections companies.

State Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, and state Rep. Rene Oliveira, D-Brownsville, havefinancial links to the GEO Group, a Florida-based firm that runs 19 correctional facilities in Texas, including nine under contract for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Zaffirini’s husband, Carlos, is a lawyer and advocate for the firm, formerly known as Wackenhut. In December 2007, the Zaffirinis’ hometown commissioners in rural Webb County considered whether to stop supplying water and sewer lines to a local GEO-owned prison after residents voiced concerns about the company’s track record. The Laredo Morning Times reported that Zaffirini put on a spirited defense of the firm, claiming the complaints against his client were “steeped in emotion and void of logic.”

Oliveira, meanwhile, also has a cozy relationship with the prison company. HisBrownsville law firm serves as its local defense counsel. The House member’s cousin David Oliveira, a partner at the firm, has represented the company on a lawsuit alleging misconduct that one judge described as “reprehensible.”

Texas is still using the private prison industry in their state.

So, according to the people who are pushing for ever-increasing numbers of privatized prisons, this is the right way to deal with prisons – staying away from wasteful and ineffective state and federal governments and turning them over to the cheaper and better-run private companies. Unfortunately for the governments who have turned over more and more of their prisoners to The GEO Group, the outcomes have been abysmal. Some examples:

Just a few days ago, NPR reported that The GEO Group completely pulled out of the state of Mississippi due to horrendous conditions in one of their youth facilities

One month after a federal court ordered sweeping changes at a troubled juvenile prison in rural Mississippi, the private company managing the prison has announced it is pulling out of the state. A report by the Justice Department describes “systemic, egregious and dangerous practices” at the Walnut Grove Youth Correctional Facility.

As those words imply, the official report is scathing.

Federal Judge Carlton Reeves wrote that the youth prison “has allowed a cesspool of unconstitutional and inhuman acts and conditions to germinate, the sum of which places the offenders at substantial ongoing risk.”

Walnut Grove, located an hour’s drive east of Jackson, is a 1,450-bed prison that houses inmates ages 13 to 22 who are minors convicted as adults. It is run by GEO Group of Boca Raton, Fla., the nation’s second-largest for-profit prison corporation, which posted a profit of $284 million last year. The Mississippi Department of Corrections pays GEO to manage the prison …

  • Prison staff had sex with incarcerated youth, which investigators called “among the worst that we’ve seen in any facility anywhere in the nation.”
  • Poorly trained guards brutally beat youth and used excessive pepper spray as a first response.
  • The prison showed “deliberate indifference” to prisoners possessing homemade knives, which were used in gang fights and inmate rapes.
  • Some guards had gang affiliations – a finding confirmed to NPR last year by former inmate Justin Bowling.

“A lot of times, the guards are in the same gang,” Bowling said. “If an inmate wanted something done, they got it. If they wanted a cell popped open to handle some business about some fighting or something like that, it just pretty much happened.” GEO did not give a reason why it was pulling out of Mississippi. Last week, CEO George Zoley said the company was discontinuing its contract at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility that houses inmates with mental illness because the facility had been “financially underperforming.”

Things for The GEO Group aren’t rosier in other countries, either. From a New York Timesarticle last fall:

No country has more completely outsourced immigration enforcement, with more troubled results, than Australia. Under unusually severe mandatory detention laws, the system has been run by a succession of three publicly traded companies since 1998. All three are now major players in the international business of locking up and transporting unwanted foreigners.

The first, the Florida-based prison company GEO Group, lost its Australia contract in 2003 amid a commission’s findings that detained children were subjected to cruel treatment. An Australian government audit reported that the contract had not delivered “value-for-money.” In the United States, GEO controls 7,000 of 32,000 detention beds.

So, who is benefitting the most from The GEO Group’s large financial haul from our state and local prisons? Here are several examples of a current administration official and a campaign staffer who have been through The GEO Group revolving door:

According to “Gaming the System”:

President Obama’s appointed Director of the United States Marshals Service, Stacia Hylton, has strong ties to the private prison industry. In 2010, Hylton started a private prison consulting firm, called Hylton Kirk and Associates, while still working at the Department of Justice as the Federal Detention Trustee. After retiring from the trustee position, Hylton agreed to a consulting contract with The GEO Group worth $112,500. As Director of the U.S. Marshals, Hylton will head an agency that has a long-standing contractual relationship with The GEO Group. In 2010, the U.S. Marshal’s accounted for 19 percent of GEO’s revenue. With Hylton in a position to oversee government contracts with private prisons, the ongoing influence of private prison companies in the public sphere is virtually guaranteed.

Hylton had a long career within the US Marshals Service, went through the revolving door to cash in on the lucrative private prison business and then went back to the top job in the Marshals Service.

According to Open SecretsBroderick Johnson, who worked in the Congress and the Clinton administration, became a lobbyist for The GEO Group. Last year, he joined the Obama re-election team. His career can be tracked by Open Secrets’ effective chart.

But the executives of The GEO Group, several of whom have gone through the federal government’s revolving door, have done very well in their compensation packages, especially since their business has a high percentage of state and federal money that helps to pay for this compensation through overhead formulas calculated per prison bed:

  • George C. Zoley is the founder, chairman of the board and CEO of The GEO Group, with a fiscal 2011 compensation package of $5.7 million.
  • John M. Hurley is the senior vice president and president of GEO Detention & Corrections. After working 26 years in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, he supplemented his government pension with a $1.5 million compensation package of $1.5 million.
  • Norman A. Carlson is on The GEO Group’s board of directors. After 17 years in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, including a stint as the director, he had a compensation package of $173,500 in 2010, as well as his government pension. In case you are worried that he was not making enough, he made $854,484 in 2007, and he did well in other years.
  • Brian R. Evans is the chief financial officer and senior vice president. His compensation package was $1.4 million in 2011.

A worrisome trend for The GEO Group and others in the private prison industry is that crime rates and prison populations in the states are both decreasing. The states who are already strapped for money are also finding ways of dealing with crime through diversion and rehabilitation programs to save the cost of incarceration, but the private prison industry has been working on anti-immigration laws, such as the one in Arizona to help find and imprison immigrants for deportation, which can take years, meanwhile keeping beds filled.

Next week, we will see how CCA ended up in the middle of the immigration debate and related legislation while it hitches up with American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the notorious group responsible for many of the draconian immigration laws, to protect their business and fill their prisons. I will also explore a way to get control of this predatory industry so that it does not continue to corrupt our state and federal prison systems while preying on a group of people who are literally captured – sometimes for life – into the prison industry’s dreadful “bed” system.

Source

25 Statistics About The U.S. Economy That Barack Obama Does Not Want You To Know

(American Dream)  The human capacity for self-delusion truly is remarkable.  Most people out there end up believing exactly what they want to believe even when the truth is staring them right in the face.

Take the U.S. economy for example.  Barack Obama wants to believe that his policies have worked and that the U.S. economy is improving.  So that is what he is telling the American people.  The mainstream media wants to believe that Barack Obama is a good president and that his policies make sense and so they are reporting that we are experiencing an economic recovery.

A very large segment of the U.S. population still fully supports Barack Obama and they want to believe that the economy is getting better so they are buying the propaganda that the mainstream media is feeding them.


But is the U.S. economy really improving?  The truth is that it is not.  The rate of employment among working age Americans is exactly where it was two years ago and household incomes have actually gone down while Obama has been president.

Home ownership levels and home prices continue to decline.  Meanwhile, food and gasoline continue to become even more expensive.  The percentage of Americans that are dependent on the government is at an all-time record high and the U.S. national debt has risen by more than 5 trillion dollars under Obama.

We simply have not seen the type of economic recovery that we have seen after every other economic recession since World War II.

The horrible statistics about the U.S. economy that you are about to read are not talked about much by the mainstream media.  They would rather be “positive” and “upbeat” about the direction that things are headed.

But lying to the American people is not going to help them.  If you are speeding in a car toward a 500 foot cliff, you don’t need someone to cheer you on.  Instead, you need someone to slam on the brakes.

The cold, hard reality of the matter is that the U.S. economy is in far worse shape than it was four or five years ago.

We have never come close to recovering from the last recession and another one will be here soon.

The following are 25 horrible statistics about the U.S. economy that Barack Obama does not want you to know….

#1 The percentage of Americans that own homes is dropping rapidly.  According to Gallup, the current level of homeownership in the United States is the lowest that Gallup has ever measured.

#2 Home prices in the U.S. continue to fall like a rock as well.  They have declined for six months in a row and are now down a total of 35 percent from the peak of the housing bubble.  The last time that home prices in the United States were this low was back in 2002.

#3 Last year, an astounding 53 percent of all U.S. college graduates under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed.

#4 Back in 2007, about 10 percent of all unemployed Americans had been out of work for 52 weeks or longer.  Today, that number is above 30 percent.

#5 When Barack Obama first became president, the number of “long-term unemployed workers” in the United States was 2.6 million.  Today, it is 5.3 million.

#6 The average duration of unemployment in the United States is about three times as long as it was back in the year 2000.

#7 Despite what the mainstream media would have us to believe, the truth is that the percentage of working age Americans that are employed is not increasing.  Back in March 2010, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans were employed.  In March 2011, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans were employed. In March 2012, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans were employed.  So how can Barack Obama and the mainstream media claim that the employment situation in the United States is getting better?  The employment rate is still essentially exactly where it was when the last recession supposedly ended.

#8 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs.  Today, less than 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

#9 In 1962, 28 percent of all jobs in America were manufacturing jobs.  In 2011, only 9 percent of all jobs in America were manufacturing jobs.

#10 In some areas of Detroit, Michigan you can buy a three bedroom home for just $500.

#11 According to one recent survey, approximately one-third of all Americans are not paying their bills on time at this point.

#12 Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the price of gasoline has risen by more than 100 percent.

#13 The student loan debt bubble continues to expand at a very frightening pace.  Recently it was announced that total student loan debt in the United States has passed the one trillion dollar mark.

#14 Incredibly, one out of every four jobs in the United States pays $10 an hour or less at this point.

#15 Household incomes all over the United States continue to fall.  After adjusting for inflation, median household income in America has declined by 7.8 percent since December 2007.

#16 Over the past several decades, government dependence has risen to unprecedented heights in the United States.  The following is how I described the explosive growth of social welfare benefits in one recent article….

Back in 1960, social welfare benefits made up approximately 10 percent of all salaries and wages.  In the year 2000, social welfare benefits made up approximately 21 percent of all salaries and wages.  Today, social welfare benefits make up approximately 35 percent of all salaries and wages.

#17 In November 2008, 30.8 million Americans were on food stamps.  Today, more than 46 million Americans are on food stamps.

#18 Right now, more than 25 percent of all American children are on food stamps.

#19 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, today 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that receives some form of benefits from the federal government.

#20 Over the next 75 years, Medicare is facing unfunded liabilities of more than 38 trillion dollars.  That comes to $328,404for each and every household in the United States.

#21 During the first quarter of 2012, U.S. public debt rose by 359.1 billion dollars.  U.S. GDP only rose by 142.4 billion dollars.

#22 At this point, the U.S. national debt is rising by more than 2 million dollars every single minute.

#23 The U.S. national debt has risen by more than 5 trillion dollars since the day that Barack Obama first took office.  In a little more than 3 years Obama has added more to the national debt than the first 41 presidents combined.

#24 The Federal Reserve bought up approximately 61 percent of all government debt issued by the U.S. Treasury Department during 2011.

#25 The Federal Reserve continues to systematically destroy the value of the U.S. dollar.  Since 1970, the U.S. dollar has lost more than 83 percent of its value.

But the horrible economic statistics only tell part of the story.

In communities all over America there is a feeling that something fundamental has changed.  Businesses that have been around for generations are shutting their doors and there is a lot of fear in the air.  The following is a brief excerpt from a recent interview with Richard Yamarone, the senior economist at Bloomberg Brief….

You have to listen to what the small businesses are telling you and right now they are telling you, ‘Hey, I’m the head of a 3rd or 4th generation, 75 or 100 year old business, and I’ve got to shut the doors’ or ‘I’ve got to let people go. And if I’m hiring anybody back, it’s only on a temporary basis.’

Sometimes they do this through a hiring firm so that they can sidestep paying unemployment benefit insurance. So that’s what’s really going on at the grassroots level of the economy. Very, very, grossly different from what you’re seeing in some of these numbers coming out in earnings releases.”

All over the country, millions of hard working Americans are desperately looking for work.  They have been told that “the recession is over”, but they are still finding it incredibly difficult to find anyone that will hire them.  The following example is from a recent CNN article….

Joann Cotton, a 54-year-old Columbus, Mississippi, resident, was one of those faces of poverty we met on the tour. Unemployed for three years, Joann has gone from making “$60,000 a year to less than $15,000 overnight.” Her husband is disabled and dependent on medicines the couple can no longer afford. They rely on food stamps, which, Joann says, “is depressing as hell.”

Receiving government aid, however, has not been as depressing as her job search. Joann says she has applied for at least 300 jobs. Even though she can barely afford gas, she drives to the interviews only to learn that the employers want to hire younger candidates at low wages.

The experiences have taken a toll: “I’ve aged 10 years in the three years that I’ve been looking for a job,” Joann told us. “I want to get a job so I can just relax and exhale … but I can’t. After a while you just give up.”

Meanwhile, Barack Obama and his family continue to live the high life at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.

Even many Democrats are starting to get very upset about this.  The following is from a recent article by Paul Bedard….

Blue collar Democratic voters, stuck taking depressing “staycations” because they can’t afford gas and hotels, are resentful of the first family’s 17 lavish vacations around the world and don’t want their tax dollars paying for the Obamas’ holidays, according to a new analysis of swing voters.

It simply is not appropriate for the Obamas to be spending millions upon millions upon millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars on luxury vacations when so many Americans are deeply suffering.

But Barack Obama does not want you to know about any of this stuff.

He just wants you to buy his empty propaganda one more time so that he can continue to occupy the White House for another four years.

Source

Secret Service Agent Arthur Huntington Identified As Colombian Prostitute Stiffer

(Larry McShane)  The penny-pinching agent at the heart of the Secret Service sex scandal was identified Friday as the agency announced a worldwide crackdown on his hard-partying colleagues.

Arthur Huntington, 41, who lives in suburban Maryland, was outed by CNN as the john who stiffed a Colombian hooker — paying just $28 of his $800 tab.

There was no hint of the disgraced agent or his wife at his two-story red brick home in Severna Park, with its pink flowers and a small wooden sign reading “The Huntingtons Est. 1993.”

The Secret Service, in a harsh warning to its other agents, issued a new code of conduct barring heavy drinking — even when off duty — and visits to “nonreputable establishments” while on the road.


“All employees have a continuing obligation to confront expected abuses or perceived misconduct,” the agency said in a two-page memo marked “EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.”

“In short, consider your conduct through the lens of the past several weeks.”

Sources told the Daily News the new regulations include a ban on drinking within 10 hours of reporting for duty, along with an order that off-duty agents can only drink “in moderate amounts.”

The old rule reportedly ordered agents to cut off their booze intake eight hours before work.*

“Foreign nationals, excluding hotel staff and official law enforcement counterparts, are prohibited from your hotel room,” the new rulebook states.

And it

specifies that “patronization of non-reputable establishments is prohibited” — including places like Cartegena’s Pley Club, where a dozen agents partied with prostitutes earlier this month.

The mushrooming scandal started before President Obama’s trip to Colombia, with Secret Service members bringing hookers back to their hotel.

The Secret Service guidelines seemed to block further hooker hookups, even in places like Cartegena where prostitution is legal.

“Laws of the United States shall apply to Secret Service personnel while abroad,” the memo advised.

The new rules came as new allegations indicated the sex scandal knows no boundaries.

The probe into the agency’s booze-and-hookers antics expanded to include trips involving former President Bill Clinton to Moscow in 2000 and Buenos Aires in 2009, according to The Washington Post.

The Russian trip involved a nightclub purportedly known for “its sexually charged atmosphere, while the agents reportedly dropped into an Argentine strip club.

Word of the expanded investigation comes one day after a Seattle television station reported on a raunchy romp through an El Salvador strip club in March 2011.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest questioned the validity of the new reports.

“No credible allegations or even uncredible allegations have been made about the conduct of White House staffers in other countries,” he said.
Source

Get Your Rocks Off On Reddit With The Bitcoin Strip Club

(Helen A.S. Popkin)  You can buy guns and drugs with Bitcoin — the untraceable digital currency — so why not sex? Some people do.

BuzzFeed FWD’s Katie Notopoulos reports on a new Reddit forum — or “subreddit” — Girls Gone Bitcoin. In this 18-or-older area, women (and some men) expose and semi-expose their naughty bits for your titillation … and for Bitcoin tips.

“Basically, it’s a strip club without the body glitter and overpriced drinks,” Notopoulos writes. Instead of glitter, the women sparkle via Post-It Notes featuring their Bitcoin accounts, where you can deposit your anonymous appreciation.


What’s all this about Bitcoin, you ask? Bitcoin was created in 2009 as a decentralized currency with no financial or government backing. Its value fluctuates similar to the stock market. Unlike PayPal or credit cards, Bitcoin transactions — which occur via peer-to-peer software — leave almost no record. That’s what makes Bitcoin great for illicit Internet transactions.

That said, on the illicit scale, deals going down in the Girls Gone Bitcoin subreddit are nothing like the transactions involving weapons and everything from marijuana to heroinhappening elsewhere on the Internet. There’s much more pornographic fare out there, even elsewhere on Reddit, if you know where to look. And in those other naughty forums, nobody’s grubbing for Internet bucks. Who knows, maybe the Bitcoin begging is part of the fetish.

There seems to be enough of a Girls Gone Bitcoin audience to create a “confusing power struggle for control of the subreddit between two strip-for-Bitcoin entrepreneurs,” Notopoulos notes, pointing to two separate Bitcoin entrepreneurs who seem to be carrying on some kind of virtual turf war. (For more on that madness, I urge you to read Notopoulos’ story on FWD.)

Whatever. Obviously somebody thinks there’s money in Post-It Note peep shows — at least Internet money, anyway. You might as well try and wrap your head around the personals section of Craigslist.

Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown.

Source

London Olympics Won’t Allow Sharing Of Photos And Video Via Social Networks

(D.L. Cade)  Photographers have already lodged complaints against the security firm that tried to prevent them from taking photos of the Olympic sites from public land, but it seems that even stricter rules will be imposed on ticket holders once the games begin. According to a freelance photographer named Peter Ruck, the Olympic organizing committee Locog intends to prevent attendees from uploading images and videos captured at the games to social networks.

The London 2012 conditions for ticket holders read as follows (see Section 19.6.3):

Images, video and sound recordings of the Games taken by a Ticket Holder cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes and a Ticket Holder may not license, broadcast or publish video and/or sound recordings, including on social networking websites and the internet more generally, and may not exploit images, video and/or sound recordings for commercial purposes under any circumstances, whether on the internet or otherwise, or make them available to third parties for commercial purposes.



It’s still uncertain whether or not uploading stills to Facebook is considered private use (Locog hasn’t responded to the Amateur Photographer’s urgent request for clarification), but the conditions seem to indicate that it’s not. Ruck — and we assume many others — balked at the rules, calling them unenforceable. One thing’s for sure though, forcing that many people to keep their Olympic memories “private” would be a task of olympic proportions indeed.

Source

Delta Flight 3163 CDC Quarantined At Chicago Midway

(CBS)  A suspected medical problem with a passenger on a Delta Airlines flight from Detroit led emergency crews to quarantine the plane at Midway Airport on Thursday.

It turned out to be a false alarm.

Passengers were allowed off the plane after about two hours on the tarmac. The passenger who sparked fears about a potentially contagious disease — 50-year-old Lise Sievers of Red Wing, Minn. — had been visiting Africa before changing planes in Detroit. She was released at about 6 p.m.

“Initially everyone was just covering their mouth just to make sure we were not breathing something weird,” one of the stranded travelers, Apeksha Gulvady, told reporters after getting off the plane.

As paramedics examined the woman and took pictures of her mysterious rash to be sent to federal health officials, tension on board grew. One passenger said he looked up potential illnesses from Uganda on Wikipedia.


Sievers told CBS 2′s Roseanne Tellez she is suffering from scabies, which is a rash caused by a small mite.

It can be spread by direct contact with infected people, and less often by sharing clothing or bedding.

The mites deposit their eggs under the skin. The itchy rash is an allergic response to the mite.

The aircraft, which landed at 3:45 p.m., was identified as Flight 3163 from Detroit. Chicago fire department crews surrounded a Delta airliner near Gate A7 at the airport, according to WBBM Newsradio.

A passenger on the flight, Kayla Maree Sanders, tweeted photos and updates:

Still in quarantine. They say it’s not serious…pffpic.twitter.com/oYNoSQnf

While crews surrounded the plane, passengers remained on the plane for nearly two hours.

The plane was not connected to the gate but sat on the tarmac. Operations continued as normal at the airport, Chopper 780′s Kris Habermehl reported.

A passenger on the plane, David Grover, told CBS 2 that initially “there was a good amount of panic and disbelief.” Then after nearly two hours, as passengers began to realize their situation wasn’t so serious, that panic turned more into humor.

Source

DARPA Creates Virtual Humans, Programmed To Appear Empathetic For Soldiers With PTSD

Katie Drummond)  The Pentagon hasn’t made much progress in solving the PTSD crisis plaguing this generation of soldiers. Now it’s adding new staff members to the therapy teams tasked with spotting the signs of emotional pain and providing therapy to the beleaguered. Only this isn’t a typical hiring boost. The new therapists, Danger Room has learned, will be computer-generated “virtual humans,” used to offer diagnostics, and programmed to appear empathetic.

It’s the latest in a long series of efforts to assuage soaring rates of depression, anxiety and PTSD that afflict today’s troops. Military brass have become increasingly willing to try just about anything, from yoga and reiki to memory-adjustment pills, that holds an iota of promise. They’ve even funded computerized therapy before: In 2010, for example, the military launched an effort to create an online health portal that’d include video chats with therapists.


But this project, funded by Darpa, the Pentagon’s far-out research arm, is way more ambitious. Darpa’s research teams are hoping to combine 3-D rendered simulated therapists — think Sims characters mixed with ELIZA — with sensitive analysis software that can actually detect psychological symptoms “by analyzing facial expressions, body gestures and speech,” Dr. Albert Rizzo, who is leading the project alongside Dr. Louis-Philippe Morency, tells Danger Room. The therapists won’t treat patients, but they will help flesh-and-blood counselors by offering a general diagnosis of what ails soldiers, and how serious the problem is.

For now, the system, called SIM Sensei, is being designed for use at military medical clinics. A soldier could walk into the clinic, enter a private kiosk, and log on to a computer where his or her personal simulated therapist — yes, you can pick from an array of different animated docs — would be waiting. Using Kinect-like hardware for motion sensing, a microphone and a webcam, the computer’s software would take note of how a patient moved and how they spoke.

The video [here] offers a demonstration of what a SIM Sensei would look like, and how they’d interact with a patient. In fact, the video is a demonstration of another Pentagon-funded program, called SIM Coach, upon which SIM Sensei will be based. SIM Coach is meant to be used by soldiers inside their own homes, and doesn’t incorporate analysis tech the way SIM Sensei will.

SIM Sensei won’t replace human clinicians. Instead, it’ll supplement them, and help military clinics prioritize which patients need care most acutely, and which can wait to see a flesh-and-blood doctor. If a soldier talking to the SIM exhibits minor symptoms, the Sensei might help him or her schedule an appointment to see a human therapist in two weeks’ time. But if the Sensei detects “red flags” in an individual’s behavior — vocal patterns that signal depression, for example — the SIM could schedule that patient to see a doctor immediately.

“Let’s say you have a more serious case, where it becomes evident to the Sensei that a patient is exhibiting major depression or might be a suicide risk,” Dr. Rizzo tells Danger Room. “The computer could immediately call for a human doctor to come take over.”

The initiative is a collaborative effort between the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) and Cogito Health, a spin-off company developed by MIT researchers.

ICT has deep experience with virtual therapy. Under Rizzo’s leadership, the institute was the first to develop immersive programs that allowed patients afflicted with PTSD to revisit combat scenarios. The programs have been widely lauded, and are now used by more than 60 military medical clinics across the country.

Cogito’s role, on the other hand, raises something of a red flag. The company was developed out of the lab of MIT scientist Alex Pentland. He’s the number-cruncher whose “reality mining” spurred Darpa to throw millions into a dubious program to mine social data and then yield conclusions about U.S. progress in Afghanistan, known as Nexus 7. The initiative, as Danger Room reported exclusively last year, has been something of a disaster.

Cogito is also grounded in data mining. But the company’s aim is to evaluate a single person’s well-being, rather than an entire community’s. The company will incorporate its bespoke software suite, called “Honest Signals,” into the new Darpa program. It “assesses cues in an individual’s natural speech and social behavior” to spot potential mental health problems, according to a statement that Cogito e-mailed to Danger Room. The company declined to offer studies on the efficacy of “Honest Signals,” but did point to a book — co-written by Pentland — on that very subject.

Rizzo acknowledges that pulling accurate data out of an individual’s face, voice and other such metrics remains a challenge. “We’ve got some heavy lifting ahead of us,” he says. But he’s also extremely confident that Pentland and Cogito are well equipped with data that can turn SIM Sensei into a success. “These guys are bright as hell,” he says. “They’re pioneers in the field, and they’ve got an amazing capacity to detect the smallest problems that pop up in someone’s behavior.”

That said, the SIM Sensei idea is also bogged down by another downside. Computer-based therapy, in comparison to face-to-face treatment, is inevitably impersonal.

Studies on the efficacy of telemedicine (therapy via video chat with a human therapist), where PTSD or depression are concerned, have been mixed. But in aninterview with PBS published last year, Stars and Stripes reporter Megan McCloskey summed up the shortcomings of such therapy for mental health conditions. “Many of those who need more intensive counseling … don’t like the impersonal nature of talking to a TV screen,” she says. “For some, telemedicine doesn’t meet their needs and adds to their sense of isolation.”

Cyber therapy would be even more vicarious. Soldiers will talk to a videogame character, rather than a real person, through their computer screen.

But a robust virtual option would give soldiers, many of whom still shy away from face-to-face mental health treatment, the option to seek solace in a more anonymous alternative. Eventually, Rizzo and his colleagues hope to see SIM Sensei available for soldiers within the comforts of their own home, rather than a military clinic.

“A lot of people still don’t want to stop by the clinic and meet with a real person,” he says. “Technology is ripe for us to leverage. I’m extremely confident that we can use it, leverage it, to help people who otherwise wouldn’t get better.”

Source

Egyptian’s Allowed To Have Farewell Sex With Wives After Death,Branded Complete Nonsense

(Daily Mail)  Alleged proposals to allow Egyptian husbands to legally have sex with their dead wives for up to six hours after their death have been branded a ‘complete nonsense’.

The controversial new ‘farewell intercourse’ law was claimed, in Arab media, to be part of a raft of measures being introduced by the Islamist-dominated parliament.

They reported it would also see the minimum age of marriage lowered to 14 and the ridding of women’s rights of getting education and employment.

 Controversial: The ‘farewell intercourse’ law is ‘a complete nonsense’, according to sources
But sources inside the Egyptian Embassy in London have said the claims were ‘completely false’, ‘forbidden in Islam’ and ‘could never imagine it happening’.

The source said the proposal, if it even existed, had not reached the parliament – although it was also admitted it could be the work of an extremist politician.


Although not officially rebutted, the claims that someone inside Egypt could introduce such a law provoked widespread scepticism.

 

 The initial report, published on reputable English language website alarabiya.net, claimed Egypt’s National Council for Women was reportedly campaigning against the changes.

It said the group said that ‘marginalising and undermining the status of women would negatively affect the country’s human development’.

Dr Mervat al-Talawi, head of the NCW, wrote to the Egyptian People’s Assembly Speaker Dr Saad al-Katatni addressing her concerns.

Outrage: The 'proposals' could have seen Egyptian husbands allowed to have sex with their dead wives (file picture)

Egyptian journalist Amro Abdul Samea reported in the al-Ahram newspaper that Talawi complained about the legislations which are being introduced under ‘alleged religious interpretations’.

The subject of a husband having sex with his dead wife arose in May 2011 when Moroccan cleric Zamzami Abdul Bari said marriage remains valid even after death.

He also said that women have the right to have sex with her dead husband.

TV anchor Jaber al-Qarmouty slammed the notion of letting a husband have sex with his wife after her death under the so-called ‘Farewell Intercourse’ draft law.

He said: ‘This is very serious. Could the panel that will draft the Egyptian constitution possibly discuss such issues? Did Abdul Samea see by his own eyes the text of the message sent by Talawi to Katatni?

‘This is unbelievable. It is a catastrophe to give the husband such a right! Has the Islamic trend reached that far? Is there really a draft law in this regard? Are there people thinking in this manner?’

List Of Representatives Who Voted For CISPA



(Thomas Dishaw) Hold them accountable. Here is the final tally for the aye and no on H.R. 3523 Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. Call your local rep and give them hell.
If we don’t speak up and get this bill trashed say good by to your internet freedom and privacy. The choice is yours!

VOTE PARTY REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT
Alaska
AYE   R Young, Donald “Don” AK
Alabama
AYE   R Bonner, Jo AL 1st
AYE   R Roby, Martha AL 2nd
AYE   R Rogers, Michael “Mike” AL 3rd
AYE   R Aderholt, Robert AL 4th
NO   R Brooks, Mo AL 5th
AYE   R Bachus, Spencer AL 6th
NO   D Sewell, Terri AL 7th
Arkansas
AYE   R Crawford, Rick AR 1st
AYE   R Griffin, Tim AR 2nd
AYE   R Womack, Steve AR 3rd
AYE   D Ross, Mike AR 4th
Arizona
NO   R Gosar, Paul AZ 1st
AYE   R Franks, Trent AZ 2nd
AYE   R Quayle, Ben AZ 3rd
NO   D Pastor, Edward “Ed” AZ 4th
NO   R Schweikert, David AZ 5th
AYE   R Flake, Jeff AZ 6th
NO   D Grijalva, Raul AZ 7th
California
AYE   D Thompson, Michael “Mike” CA 1st
AYE   R Herger, Walter “Wally” CA 2nd
AYE   R Lungren, Daniel CA 3rd
NO   R McClintock, Tom CA 4th
NO   D Matsui, Doris CA 5th
NO   D Woolsey, Lynn CA 6th
NO   D Miller, George CA 7th
NO   D Pelosi, Nancy CA 8th
NO   D Lee, Barbara CA 9th
AYE   D Garamendi, John CA 10th
NO   D McNerney, Jerry CA 11th
NO   D Speier, Jackie CA 12th
NO   D Stark, Fortney “Pete” CA 13th
NO   D Eshoo, Anna CA 14th
NO   D Honda, Michael “Mike” CA 15th
NO   D Lofgren, Zoe CA 16th
NO   D Farr, Sam CA 17th
AYE   D Cardoza, Dennis CA 18th
AYE   R Denham, Jeff CA 19th
AYE   D Costa, Jim CA 20th
AYE   R Nunes, Devin CA 21st
AYE   R McCarthy, Kevin CA 22nd
NO   D Capps, Lois CA 23rd
AYE   R Gallegly, Elton CA 24th
AYE   R McKeon, Howard “Buck” CA 25th
AYE   R Dreier, David CA 26th
NO   D Sherman, Brad CA 27th
NO   D Berman, Howard CA 28th
NO   D Schiff, Adam CA 29th
NO   D Waxman, Henry CA 30th
NO   D Becerra, Xavier CA 31st
NO   D Chu, Judy CA 32nd
NO   D Bass, Karen CA 33rd
NO   D Roybal-Allard, Lucille CA 34th
NO   D Waters, Maxine CA 35th
NO   D Hahn, Janice CA 36th
NO   D Richardson, Laura CA 37th
NO   D Napolitano, Grace CA 38th
NO   D Sánchez, Linda CA 39th
AYE   R Royce, Edward “Ed” CA 40th
AYE   R Lewis, Jerry CA 41st
AYE   R Miller, Gary CA 42nd
NO   D Baca, Joe CA 43rd
AYE   R Calvert, Ken CA 44th
AYE   R Bono Mack, Mary CA 45th
NO   R Rohrabacher, Dana CA 46th
NO   D Sanchez, Loretta CA 47th
AYE   R Campbell, John CA 48th
AYE   R Issa, Darrell CA 49th
AYE   R Bilbray, Brian CA 50th
NO VOTE   D Filner, Bob CA 51st
AYE   R Hunter, Duncan CA 52nd
NO   D Davis, Susan CA 53rd
Colorado
NO   D DeGette, Diana CO 1st
NO   D Polis, Jared CO 2nd
AYE   R Tipton, Scott CO 3rd
AYE   R Gardner, Cory CO 4th
AYE   R Lamborn, Doug CO 5th
AYE   R Coffman, Mike CO 6th
NO   D Perlmutter, Ed CO 7th
Connecticut
NO   D Larson, John CT 1st
NO   D Courtney, Joe CT 2nd
NO   D DeLauro, Rosa CT 3rd
NO   D Himes, James CT 4th
NO   D Murphy, Christopher CT 5th
Delaware
AYE   D Carney, John DE
Florida
AYE   R Miller, Jeff FL 1st
AYE   R Southerland, Steve FL 2nd
NO   D Brown, Corrine FL 3rd
AYE   R Crenshaw, Ander FL 4th
AYE   R Nugent, Richard FL 5th
AYE   R Stearns, Clifford “Cliff” FL 6th
AYE   R Mica, John FL 7th
AYE   R Webster, Daniel FL 8th
AYE   R Bilirakis, Gus FL 9th
AYE   R Young, Bill FL 10th
AYE   D Castor, Kathy FL 11th
AYE   R Ross, Dennis FL 12th
AYE   R Buchanan, Vern FL 13th
NO   R Mack, Connie FL 14th
NO   R Posey, Bill FL 15th
AYE   R Rooney, Thomas FL 16th
NO   D Wilson, Frederica FL 17th
AYE   R Ros-Lehtinen, Ileana FL 18th
NO   D Deutch, Ted FL 19th
NO   D Wasserman Schultz, Debbie FL 20th
AYE   R Diaz-Balart, Mario FL 21st
AYE   R West, Allen FL 22nd
NO   D Hastings, Alcee FL 23rd
AYE   R Adams, Sandy FL 24th
AYE   R Rivera, David FL 25th
Georgia
AYE   R Kingston, Jack GA 1st
AYE   D Bishop, Sanford GA 2nd
AYE   R Westmoreland, Lynn GA 3rd
NO   D Johnson, Henry “Hank” GA 4th
NO   D Lewis, John GA 5th
AYE   R Price, Tom GA 6th
AYE   R Woodall, Rob GA 7th
AYE   R Scott, Austin GA 8th
AYE   R Graves, Tom GA 9th
AYE   R Broun, Paul GA 10th
AYE   R Gingrey, John “Phil” GA 11th
AYE   D Barrow, John GA 12th
AYE   D Scott, David GA 13th
Hawaii
AYE   D Hanabusa, Colleen HI 1st
NO VOTE   D Hirono, Mazie HI 2nd
Iowa
NO   D Braley, Bruce IA 1st
NO   D Loebsack, David IA 2nd
AYE   D Boswell, Leonard IA 3rd
AYE   R Latham, Thomas “Tom” IA 4th
AYE   R King, Steve IA 5th
Idaho
AYE   R Labrador, Raúl ID 1st
NO   R Simpson, Michael “Mike” ID 2nd
Illinois
NO   D Rush, Bobby IL 1st
NO   D Jackson, Jesse IL 2nd
AYE   D Lipinski, Daniel IL 3rd
NO   D Gutiérrez, Luis IL 4th
NO   D Quigley, Mike IL 5th
AYE   R Roskam, Peter IL 6th
NO   D Davis, Danny IL 7th
NO   R Walsh, Joe IL 8th
NO   D Schakowsky, Janice “Jan” IL 9th
AYE   R Dold, Bob IL 10th
AYE   R Kinzinger, Adam IL 11th
NO   D Costello, Jerry IL 12th
AYE   R Biggert, Judy IL 13th
AYE   R Hultgren, Randy IL 14th
NO   R Johnson, Timothy IL 15th
VOTE PARTY REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT
AYE   R Manzullo, Donald IL 16th
AYE   R Schilling, Robert “Bobby” IL 17th
AYE   R Schock, Aaron IL 18th
AYE   R Shimkus, John IL 19th
Indiana
NO   D Visclosky, Peter IN 1st
AYE   D Donnelly, Joe IN 2nd
AYE   R Stutzman, Marlin IN 3rd
AYE   R Rokita, Todd IN 4th
AYE   R Burton, Dan IN 5th
NO VOTE   R Pence, Mike IN 6th
NO   D Carson, André IN 7th
NO VOTE   R Bucshon, Larry IN 8th
AYE   R Young, Todd IN 9th
Kansas
AYE   R Huelskamp, Tim KS 1st
AYE   R Jenkins, Lynn KS 2nd
AYE   R Yoder, Kevin KS 3rd
AYE   R Pompeo, Mike KS 4th
Kentucky
AYE   R Whitfield, Edward “Ed” KY 1st
AYE   R Guthrie, Brett KY 2nd
NO   D Yarmuth, John KY 3rd
NO VOTE   R Davis, Geoff KY 4th
AYE   R Rogers, Harold “Hal” KY 5th
AYE   D Chandler, Ben KY 6th
Louisiana
AYE   R Scalise, Steve LA 1st
NO   D Richmond, Cedric LA 2nd
NO   R Landry, Jeff LA 3rd
NO   R Fleming, John LA 4th
AYE   R Alexander, Rodney LA 5th
AYE   R Cassidy, Bill LA 6th
AYE   R Boustany, Charles LA 7th
Massachusetts
NO   D Olver, John MA 1st
NO   D Neal, Richard MA 2nd
NO   D McGovern, James “Jim” MA 3rd
NO   D Frank, Barney MA 4th
NO   D Tsongas, Niki MA 5th
NO   D Tierney, John MA 6th
NO   D Markey, Edward “Ed” MA 7th
NO   D Capuano, Michael MA 8th
NO   D Lynch, Stephen MA 9th
NO   D Keating, William MA 10th
Maryland
AYE   R Harris, Andy MD 1st
AYE   D Ruppersberger, Dutch MD 2nd
NO   D Sarbanes, John MD 3rd
NO   D Edwards, Donna MD 4th
NO   D Hoyer, Steny MD 5th
AYE   R Bartlett, Roscoe MD 6th
NO   D Cummings, Elijah MD 7th
NO   D Van Hollen, Christopher “Chris” MD 8th
Maine
NO   D Pingree, Chellie ME 1st
NO   D Michaud, Michael ME 2nd
Michigan
AYE   R Benishek, Dan MI 1st
AYE   R Huizenga, Bill MI 2nd
NO   R Amash, Justin MI 3rd
AYE   R Camp, David “Dave” MI 4th
NO   D Kildee, Dale MI 5th
AYE   R Upton, Frederick “Fred” MI 6th
AYE   R Walberg, Timothy MI 7th
AYE   R Rogers, Michael “Mike” MI 8th
NO   D Peters, Gary MI 9th
AYE   R Miller, Candice MI 10th
NO   R McCotter, Thaddeus “Thad” MI 11th
NO   D Levin, Sander MI 12th
NO   D Clarke, Hansen MI 13th
NO   D Conyers, John MI 14th
NO   D Dingell, John MI 15th
Minnesota
NO   D Walz, Timothy MN 1st
AYE   R Kline, John MN 2nd
AYE   R Paulsen, Erik MN 3rd
NO   D McCollum, Betty MN 4th
NO   D Ellison, Keith MN 5th
AYE   R Bachmann, Michele MN 6th
AYE   D Peterson, Collin MN 7th
AYE   R Cravaack, Chip MN 8th
Missouri
NO   D Clay, William MO 1st
NO   R Akin, Todd MO 2nd
NO   D Carnahan, Russ MO 3rd
AYE   R Hartzler, Vicky MO 4th
NO   D Cleaver, Emanuel MO 5th
AYE   R Graves, Samuel “Sam” MO 6th
AYE   R Long, Billy MO 7th
NO   R Emerson, Jo Ann MO 8th
AYE   R Luetkemeyer, Blaine MO 9th
Mississippi
AYE   R Nunnelee, Alan MS 1st
NO   D Thompson, Bennie MS 2nd
AYE   R Harper, Gregg MS 3rd
AYE   R Palazzo, Steven MS 4th
Montana
NO   R Rehberg, Dennis “Denny” MT
North Carolina
AYE   D Butterfield, George “G.K.” NC 1st
AYE   R Ellmers, Renee NC 2nd
NO   R Jones, Walter NC 3rd
NO   D Price, David NC 4th
AYE   R Foxx, Virginia NC 5th
AYE   R Coble, Howard NC 6th
AYE   D McIntyre, Mike NC 7th
AYE   D Kissell, Larry NC 8th
AYE   R Myrick, Sue NC 9th
NO VOTE   R McHenry, Patrick NC 10th
AYE   D Shuler, Heath NC 11th
NO   D Watt, Melvin “Mel” NC 12th
NO   D Miller, Bradley “Brad” NC 13th
North Dakota
AYE   R Berg, Rick ND
Nebraska
AYE   R Fortenberry, Jeffrey NE 1st
AYE   R Terry, Lee NE 2nd
AYE   R Smith, Adrian NE 3rd
New Hampshire
AYE   R Guinta, Frank NH 1st
AYE   R Bass, Charles “Charlie” NH 2nd
New Jersey
NO   D Andrews, Robert “Rob” NJ 1st
AYE   R LoBiondo, Frank NJ 2nd
AYE   R Runyan, Jon NJ 3rd
AYE   R Smith, Christopher “Chris” NJ 4th
AYE   R Garrett, Scott NJ 5th
NO   D Pallone, Frank NJ 6th
AYE   R Lance, Leonard NJ 7th
NO   D Pascrell, William “Bill” NJ 8th
NO   D Rothman, Steven NJ 9th
AYE   R Frelinghuysen, Rodney NJ 11th
NO   D Holt, Rush NJ 12th
NO VOTE   D Sires, Albio NJ 13th
New Mexico
NO   D Heinrich, Martin NM 1st
NO   R Pearce, Steven “Steve” NM 2nd
NO   D Luján, Ben NM 3rd
Nevada
NO   D Berkley, Shelley NV 1st
AYE   R Amodei, Mark NV 2nd
AYE   R Heck, Joe NV 3rd
New York
AYE   D Bishop, Timothy NY 1st
AYE   D Israel, Steve NY 2nd
AYE   R King, Peter “Pete” NY 3rd
AYE   D McCarthy, Carolyn NY 4th
NO   D Ackerman, Gary NY 5th
NO   D Meeks, Gregory NY 6th
NO   D Crowley, Joseph NY 7th
NO   D Nadler, Jerrold NY 8th
AYE   R Turner, Robert NY 9th
AYE   D Towns, Edolphus “Ed” NY 10th
NO   D Clarke, Yvette NY 11th
NO   D Velázquez, Nydia NY 12th
AYE   R Grimm, Michael NY 13th
NO VOTE   D Maloney, Carolyn NY 14th
NO VOTE   D Rangel, Charles NY 15th
NO   D Serrano, José NY 16th
NO   D Engel, Eliot NY 17th
VOTE PARTY REPRESENTATIVE DISTRICT
NO   D Lowey, Nita NY 18th
AYE   R Hayworth, Nan NY 19th
NO   R Gibson, Chris NY 20th
NO   D Tonko, Paul NY 21st
NO   D Hinchey, Maurice NY 22nd
AYE   D Owens, William NY 23rd
AYE   R Hanna, Richard NY 24th
AYE   R Buerkle, Ann Marie NY 25th
AYE   D Hochul, Kathleen NY 26th
NO   D Higgins, Brian NY 27th
NO VOTE   D Slaughter, Louise NY 28th
AYE   R Reed, Tom NY 29th
Ohio
AYE   R Chabot, Steven “Steve” OH 1st
AYE   R Schmidt, Jean OH 2nd
AYE   R Turner, Michael OH 3rd
AYE   R Jordan, Jim OH 4th
AYE   R Latta, Robert OH 5th
AYE   R Johnson, Bill OH 6th
AYE   R Austria, Steve OH 7th
NO   D Kaptur, Marcy OH 9th
NO   D Kucinich, Dennis OH 10th
NO   D Fudge, Marcia OH 11th
AYE   R Tiberi, Patrick “Pat” OH 12th
NO   D Sutton, Betty OH 13th
AYE   R LaTourette, Steven OH 14th
AYE   R Stivers, Steve OH 15th
AYE   R Renacci, Jim OH 16th
NO   D Ryan, Timothy OH 17th
AYE   R Gibbs, Bob OH 18th
Oklahoma
AYE   R Sullivan, John OK 1st
AYE   D Boren, Dan OK 2nd
AYE   R Lucas, Frank OK 3rd
AYE   R Cole, Tom OK 4th
AYE   R Lankford, James OK 5th
Oregon
NO   D Bonamici, Suzanne OR 1st
AYE   R Walden, Greg OR 2nd
NO VOTE   D Blumenauer, Earl OR 3rd
NO   D DeFazio, Peter OR 4th
AYE   D Schrader, Kurt OR 5th
Pennsylvania
NO   D Brady, Robert PA 1st
NO   D Fattah, Chaka PA 2nd
AYE   R Kelly, Mike PA 3rd
AYE   D Altmire, Jason PA 4th
AYE   R Thompson, Glenn PA 5th
AYE   R Gerlach, Jim PA 6th
AYE   R Meehan, Patrick PA 7th
AYE   R Fitzpatrick, Michael PA 8th
AYE   R Shuster, William “Bill” PA 9th
NO VOTE   R Marino, Thomas PA 10th
AYE   R Barletta, Lou PA 11th
AYE   D Critz, Mark PA 12th
NO   D Schwartz, Allyson PA 13th
NO   D Doyle, Michael “Mike” PA 14th
AYE   R Dent, Charles PA 15th
AYE   R Pitts, Joseph PA 16th
NO VOTE   D Holden, Tim PA 17th
AYE   R Murphy, Tim PA 18th
AYE   R Platts, Todd PA 19th
Rhode Island
NO   D Cicilline, David RI 1st
AYE   D Langevin, James “Jim” RI 2nd
South Carolina
AYE   R Scott, Tim SC 1st
AYE   R Wilson, Addison “Joe” SC 2nd
AYE   R Duncan, Jeff SC 3rd
AYE   R Gowdy, Trey SC 4th
AYE   R Mulvaney, Mick SC 5th
AYE   D Clyburn, James “Jim” SC 6th
South Dakota
AYE   R Noem, Kristi SD
Tennessee
AYE   R Roe, Phil TN 1st
AYE   R Duncan, John “Jimmy” TN 2nd
AYE   R Fleischmann, Chuck TN 3rd
AYE   R DesJarlais, Scott TN 4th
AYE   D Cooper, Jim TN 5th
AYE   R Black, Diane TN 6th
AYE   R Blackburn, Marsha TN 7th
AYE   R Fincher, Stephen TN 8th
NO   D Cohen, Steve TN 9th
Texas
NO   R Gohmert, Louis TX 1st
AYE   R Poe, Ted TX 2nd
AYE   R Johnson, Samuel “Sam” TX 3rd
NO   R Hall, Ralph TX 4th
AYE   R Hensarling, Jeb TX 5th
NO   R Barton, Joe TX 6th
AYE   R Culberson, John TX 7th
AYE   R Brady, Kevin TX 8th
NO   D Green, Al TX 9th
AYE   R McCaul, Michael TX 10th
AYE   R Conaway, Michael TX 11th
AYE   R Granger, Kay TX 12th
AYE   R Thornberry, William “Mac” TX 13th
NO VOTE   R Paul, Ronald “Ron” TX 14th
NO   D Hinojosa, Rubén TX 15th
NO   D Reyes, Silvestre TX 16th
AYE   R Flores, Bill TX 17th
NO   D Jackson-Lee, Sheila TX 18th
AYE   R Neugebauer, Randy TX 19th
AYE   D Gonzalez, Charles “Charlie” TX 20th
AYE   R Smith, Lamar TX 21st
AYE   R Olson, Pete TX 22nd
NO VOTE   R Canseco, Francisco “Quico” TX 23rd
NO   R Marchant, Kenny TX 24th
NO   D Doggett, Lloyd TX 25th
AYE   R Burgess, Michael TX 26th
NO   R Farenthold, Blake TX 27th
AYE   D Cuellar, Henry TX 28th
NO   D Green, Raymond “Gene” TX 29th
NO   D Johnson, Eddie TX 30th
AYE   R Carter, John TX 31st
AYE   R Sessions, Peter “Pete” TX 32nd
Utah
NO   R Bishop, Rob UT 1st
AYE   D Matheson, Jim UT 2nd
AYE   R Chaffetz, Jason UT 3rd
Virginia
AYE   R Wittman, Rob VA 1st
NO   R Rigell, Scott VA 2nd
NO   D Scott, Robert “Bobby” VA 3rd
AYE   R Forbes, Randy VA 4th
AYE   R Hurt, Robert VA 5th
AYE   R Goodlatte, Robert “Bob” VA 6th
AYE   R Cantor, Eric VA 7th
AYE   D Moran, James “Jim” VA 8th
AYE   R Griffith, Morgan VA 9th
AYE   R Wolf, Frank VA 10th
AYE   D Connolly, Gerald VA 11th
Vermont
NO   D Welch, Peter VT
Washington
AYE   D Larsen, Rick WA 2nd
AYE   R Herrera Beutler, Jaime WA 3rd
AYE   R Hastings, Doc WA 4th
AYE   R McMorris Rodgers, Cathy WA 5th
AYE   D Dicks, Norman “Norm” WA 6th
NO   D McDermott, James “Jim” WA 7th
AYE   R Reichert, Dave WA 8th
AYE   D Smith, Adam WA 9th
Wisconsin
AYE   R Ryan, Paul WI 1st
NO   D Baldwin, Tammy WI 2nd
NO   D Kind, Ronald “Ron” WI 3rd
NO   D Moore, Gwen WI 4th
NO   R Sensenbrenner, James WI 5th
AYE   R Petri, Thomas “Tom” WI 6th
AYE   R Duffy, Sean WI 7th
AYE   R Ribble, Reid WI 8th
West Virginia
AYE   R McKinley, David WV 1st
AYE   R Capito, Shelley WV 2nd
NO   D Rahall, Nick WV 3rd
Wyoming
AYE   R Lummis, Cynthia WY

Tampa Asks Rick Scott To Ban Guns At RNC Convention

(Paul Joseph Watson)  Tampa’s City Council wants Governor Rick Scott to pass an executive order banning concealed carry rights to coincide with protests at the Republican National Convention later this year.

“The thousands of protesters expected at the Democratic and Republican national conventions can come armed with a lot more than signs and slogans: State law in Florida and North Carolina allows concealed weapons, including guns,” reports the Sacramento Bee.

“The Tampa City Council wants Scott to issue an executive order, preventing people with concealed weapons permits from carrying guns.”

The executive order is required because according to Florida law, local officials are prohibited from pre-empting state gun statutes.


This move represents yet another effort to turn a right into a privilege and creates the pretext that fundamental liberties can be revoked by local bureaucrats when the mood takes them.

We’ve seen a similar assault on free speech rights with protesters being forced to ask the authorities for permits to exercise rights already guaranteed under the First Amendment.

Indeed, authorities in Tampa are already set to designate a “Clean Zone” where protesters are allowed to demonstrate. Although it hasn’t been decided where in relation to the actual RNC event this “Clean Zone” will be located, it’s normally kept well away from the central hub of activity, making it virtually worthless.in terms of generating media attention.

Council member Lisa Montelione’s claim made in a letter to Scott that the gun ban is necessary to “prevent a potential tragedy” is completely at odds with the facts which show Florida’s total violent crime rate has dropped 32% and its homicide rate has dropped 58% since enacting concealed carry, figures mirrored across the rest of the country.

Authorities in Florida are relying on the fallout from the Trayvon Martin case to push their anti-Second Amendment policies despite the fact that evidence clearly indicates George Zimmerman properly exercised his right to self-defense after being attacked.

The use of executive orders to crush constitutional rights and undermine the democratic process is a trend that has emanated from the federal level.

Earlier this week the New York Times reported on how Obama had personally invented the slogan “We Can’t Wait” to characterize his intention to “aggressively use executive power to govern in the face of Congressional obstructionism.” In other words, Obama simply “can’t wait” to bypass Congress and use executive privilege to advance his political agenda.

Source

MIT Researchers Predicts Global Economic Collapse In Less Than 20 Years

(J. D. Heyes)  Don’t look now, but some of the world’s smartest people are even predicting the end of the global economic order as we know it, and they’re saying it’ll happen within the next two decades.

According to agroup of researchersfrom the Jay W. Forrester’s institute at theMassachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT), a computer simulation concluded that the world could suffer a “global economic collapse” coupled by a “precipitous population decline” at current rates of resource consumption.


The research was conducted on behalf of a group known as theThe Club of Rome, which bills itself “as an informal association of independent leading personalities from politics, business and science, men and women who are long-term thinkers interested in contributing in a systemic interdisciplinary and holistic manner to a better world.” Founded in 1968,The Club of Romeaims “to identify the most crucial problems which will determine the future of humanity through integrated and forward-looking analysis; to evaluate alternative scenarios for the future and to assess risks, choices and opportunities,” and to help find solutions to “challenges.”

According to the group’s web site, the research project “took into account the relations between various global developments and produced computer simulations for alternative scenarios.”

“Part of the modeling were different amounts of possibly available resources, different levels of agricultural productivity, birth control or environmental protection,” it said.

World still on course for self-destruction

The recent MIT research builds upon an earlier body of work from the same esteemed institution, dated 1972, that some in the scientific community regardinfamous. According to a report in theSmithsonian Magazine, a team led by researcher Dennis Meadows used computer modeling for the first time in an attempt to answer “a centuries-old question: When will the population outgrow the planet and the natural resources it has to offer?”

That work was later made into a book titledThe Limits to Growthand has since sold over 10 million copies in 37 languages. Essentially it “warned that if current trends in population, industrialization, pollution, food production and resource depletion continued, that dark time — marked by a plummeting population, a contracting economy and environmental collapse — would come within 100 years,” theSmithsonian Magazinereported.

That work was later supported by data presented in the form of a graph designed by Australian physicist Graham Turner, which purports to show how actual data from the 30-year period between 1970 and 2000 matches almost exactly predictions set forth in Meadows’ work.

Meadows, who retired in 2004 after 35 years as a professor at MIT,Dartmouth Collegeand theUniversity of New Hampshire, discussed his original research with the Smithsonian on the 40th anniversary of the publishing ofThe Limits to Growth. He said his team’s “goal was to gather empirical data to test” a theoretical situation showing “the interrelationship of some key global growth factors: population, resources, persistent pollution, food production and industrial activity.”

In describing what he meant by a “collapse,” Meadows said the model assumed a “business-as-usual” approach to pressing issues of overuse and over-consumption.

“In the world model, if you don’t make big changes soon — back in the ’70s or ’80s — then in the period from 2020 to 2050, population, industry, food and the other variables reach their peaks and then start to fall,” he said. “That’s what we call collapse.”

Most of the computer models found steady population and economic growth rates until about 2030. Then, the researchers found, conditions begin to decline, and without “drastic measures for environmental protection,” scenarios began predicting higher likelihoods of population and economic crashes.

But is there a bright spot?

Despite the dire predictions, the research team said not all hope is lost.

The study said “unlimited economic growth” was still very possible, providing governments develop and enact policies and invest in clean- or green-energy technologies that limit the widening of the human ecological footprint.

Others say the situation is not nearly as ominous as the MIT report makes it sound. For instance, the lateYale Universityeconomist Henry Wallich, who served a dozen years as a governor of the Federal Research Board, for a time as its chief international economics expert, said once that any attempts to regulate global growth would be akin to “consigning billions to permanent poverty.”

Still, other experts believe the matching trends of the earlier 1972 study and the most recently completed body of work are telling, in that they show a similar trajectory of demise.

“The issue of global carrying capacity is one that is fraught with all sorts of technical, scientific and philosophical problems,” admits Meadows. But he believes now, as he did four decades ago, that sustainable development is not possible.

“When I use the term sustainable development — which I consider to be an oxymoron actually — I am trying to capture the meaning that most people seem to have,” he said. “Either way you use the term, it is just a fantasy. […] We’re at 150 percent of the global carrying capacity.”

Sources for this article include:

http://www.theburningplatform.com/?p=32713

http://www.clubofrome.org/?p=326

http://www.smithsonianmag.com

http://www.smithsonianmag.com

Source

Labor Dept. Withdraws Farm Child Labor Rule After Daily Caller Report Goes Viral

(Paul Conner)  Under pressure from farming advocates in rural communities, and following a report by The Daily Caller, the Obama administration withdrew a proposed rule Thursday that would have applied child labor laws to family farms.

Critics complained that the regulation would have drastically changed the extent to which children could work on farms owned by family members. The U.S. Department of Labor cited public outcry as the reason for withdrawing the rule.



“The decision to withdraw this rule — including provisions to define the ‘parental exemption’ — was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms,” the Department said in a press release Thursday evening. “To be clear, this regulation will not be pursued for the duration of the Obama administration.”

The rule would have dramatically changed what types of chores children under the age of 16 could perform on and around American farms. It would have prohibited them from working with tobacco, operating almost all types of power-driven equipment and being employed to work with raw farm materials.

“Prohibited places of employment would include country grain elevators, grain bins, silos, feed lots, stockyards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions,” read a press release from last August.

Full article here

North Carolina Man Threatened With Arrest For Not Taking His Health Blog Down

(Mike Adams)  Internet free speech is under assault in America, and a dangerous new trend has surfaced that threatens to throw nutritional bloggers in jail for advocating healthy diets on their blogs or websites. As you read this, a blogger who wrote about using the Paleo diet to overcome diabetes is being threatened with jail time in North Carolina, where the state Board of Dietetics / Nutrition claims his nutritional advocacy is equivalent to the crime of “practicing nutrition without a license.”

His name is Steve Cooksey, and his website ishttp://www.diabetes-warrior.net

He’s being targeted by state “dieticians” (which is another word for “nutritional moron” as you’ll see below) who say that Chapter 90, Article 25 of the North Carolina General Statutes makes it a misdemeanor to “practice dietetics or nutrition.” His website’s advocating of the Paleo diet for individuals who have health challenges is, they claim, a violation of law.

So they’ve threatened him with arrest if he does not take down his website… or at the very least stop advocating the Paleo diet to readers.

Criminalizing health advice

But wait a second. People give nutritional advice on their websites all the time. Millions of websites and blogs, in fact, currently offer advice on fitness, nutrition, disease prevention, natural remedies and more. Are all those people now criminals if they live in North Carolina?

And even worse, could this censorship insanity spread to other states? Might such censorship be pursued at a federal level?

Truth is, such an effort has already taken place. I don’t recall who was behind it, but nearly a decade ago, several U.S. Senators got together and tried to push a bill that would make it a federal crime to offer health advice on the internet. That effort failed, and we never heard anything more about it. But now that the U.S. government has crossed what I call the “threshold of criminality” and has devolved into a police state gang of total thugs (TSA, anyway?), it’s not hard to imagine these people trying to bring back their loony ideas of criminalizing health advice on the web.

The point behind all this, of course, would be to monopolize information while silencing those who freely share the truth about natural cures, vitamin D, cancer prevention and so on. The truth about nutrition quite obviously threatens the power and profits of the pharmaceutical industry — an industry that thrives on nutritional ignorance and highly deceptive marketing of its poisons to the uninformed masses. Merck, in fact, was just fined $321 million for criminal violations in the illegal marketing of Vioxx (http://www.naturalnews.com/035690_Merck_Vioxx_marketing.html).

In North Carolina, monopolistic thuggery and oppression of Free Speech is making the state look pretty ugly from a liberty perspective. As reported in theCarolina Journal: (http://www.carolinajournal.com/exclusives/display_exclusive.html?id=8…)

“Unless Cooksey completely rewrites his 3-year-old blog, he could be sued by the licensing board. If he loses the lawsuit and refuses to take down the blog, he could face up to 120 days in jail. The board’s director says Cooksey has a First Amendment right to blog about his diet, but he can’t encourage others to adopt it unless the state has certified him as a dietitian or nutritionist.”

The key here is found in the phrase, “…can’t encourage others.” Thus, the mere “encouraging” of someone to eat something healthy is now considered a crime in North Carolina.

Thus, the sentence, “Eat more vegetables and less meat” can suddenly land you in jail. Or posting a blog that includes, “You will be healthier if you drink fresh raw veggie juice each day” suddenly turns you into a criminal.

The purpose of licensing boards is to enforce intellectual monopolies

This all comes from the bewildering brain of oneCharla Burill, the director of the North Carolina Board of Dietetics & Nutrition. Like all state licensing boards, the purpose of this board is tocreate a state-run monopoly over a group of professionals. And like any group, it wants to criminalize anyone it can’t control. This is why state medical boards that license M.D.s are also in the business of criminalizing herbal medicine, chiropractic medicine and other forms of therapy they cannot control.

Licensing boards have a poor track record of respecting freedom. In Texas, for example, the medical board has long sought to criminalize cancer research pioneer Dr. Stanislawy Burzynski whose innovative methods have saved countless cancer patients. (http://www.naturalnews.com/032998_Burzynski_cancer_cures.html) Other medical licensing boards around the nation routinely attack and criminalize naturopaths and Chinese Medicine practitioners.

So it’s not necessarily a surprise that North Carolina’s Board of Dietetics / Nutrition wants to criminalize those it cannot control through its licensing monopoly.

What other speech might soon be criminalized?

Charla Burill is a tyrantmuch like any other government tyrant we’ve seen in recent history. She wants to strip private citizens of their First Amendment rights in order to subject them to the onerous licensing requirements (and legal jurisdiction) of the board she controls. This is a blatant and outrageous violation of the fundamental right to Free Speech. And if it is allowed to stand, where else might it lead?

If a person can be criminalized for advocating a specific diet or nutritional approach on a website, then couldn’t the same warped logic be used to criminalize anyone offering relationship advice? Or mental health advice? Financial advice? Political advice? Pet care advice? Advice for raising children?

I supposed in the mind of people like Charla Burill, the state should be in charge of licensing and controlling every single expression of speech on the internet. If you talk about pet care, you’re supposed to apply for (and pay for) a “pet dietician” license. If you talk about relationships, you need a “counseling license.” If you advocate self pleasure on the ‘web, you might even need a “masturbation license,” which I’m sure North Carolina’s pot-bellied government goons are experts at granting.

Under North Carolina’s interpretation of its (false) authority, virtually the entire NaturalNews website is “criminal.” Yep, when we say you should drink some green tea for its antioxidants, well that’s a crime, you see? When we say “get more vitamin D” to help prevent cancer, that’s a violation of North Carolina’s dietician rules!

Dieticians – the lowest sub-class of nutritional grunts

Dieticians, for the record, are the sub-class of processed food grunts who regurgitate government-approved nutritional DIS-information and design school lunch programs, prison food programs and hospital food programs. These are, for the record, the three worst places to get food, as nearly all the food served in these locations will leave you even more diseased than ever.

“Dieticians” are widely discredited in the world of real nutrition, and the dietician community has yet to even acknowledge any qualitative difference between DEAD foods and LIVING foods. Dieticians are all about counting calories, and they couldn’t care less where they come from. These are the morons who actually tell cancer patients to drinkEnsure! (Yeah, seriously…)

I’m not sure why anyone would even want to be labeled a “dietician.” It’s sort of like being called a “retard” in grade school. Because, of course, the nutritional knowledge of dieticians is rather retarded, as in “lacking in development.” It’s basically stuck in the dietary “science” of the 1950’s, when scientists thought there were only 4 vitamins.

But instead of upping their knowledge and entering the 21st century of nutritional wisdom, these state-monopolized dietician groups want to force everybody to stay stuck in the 1950’swhile harassing everyone who dares to offer modern scientific nutritional knowledge on issues like raw foods, phytonutrients, anti-cancer medicinal herbs and other similar topics.

In fact, I would submit that the “North Carolina Board of Dietetics / Nutrition” is misnamed! They’re so far behind on modern nutrition that the name itself is misleading. To be accurate, the board would have to be renamed the “North Carolina Board of Malnutrition.” Because that’s what the board teaches and enforces with its monopolistic (false) authority.

Action item: Tell the North Carolina Board of Dietetics / Nutrition to leave bloggers alone

It’s time to tell this group of malnourished morons to keep their mitts off bloggers who are practicing Free Speech. In fact, I would say that the blogger who overcame diabetes using the Paleo diet probably knows MORE about nutritional principles than the dieticians who run the NC board!

If anything, the NC board should be studying this guy’s blog and learning something useful. After all,type-2 diabetes can be cured with nutrition, but the dieticians groupsneverteach this simple truth. In their minds, food can never treat disease. And that’s a truly idiotic limitation under which they operate.

Join me in CALLING the North Carolina Board of Dietetics / Nutrition and demanding they stop harassing health bloggers:

http://www.ncbdn.org/contact_ncbdn/
North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition
1000 Centre Green Way
Suite 200
Cary, NC 27513

Phone: (919) 228-6391
Toll Free: (800) 849-2936
Fax: (919) 882-1776

Email: [email protected]

This article is MY Free Speech

By the way, this article is an expression of my Free Speech. Will this NC dietician group also threaten me with being thrown in jail for expressing these views about how idiotic and misdirected they are?

Better yet, why don’t they post a big article on their website that attempts to explain why their outdated, minimized “dead” dietician approach is better than the modern, cutting edge nutritional information we teach here at NaturalNews? I’d love to take part in that debate, in fact.

But as you’ll see, tyrants don’t want to debate the facts. They just want to CONTROL everybody and silence any discussion. They are all about asserting force and power rather than allowing the best intellectual ideas to rise to the top. By silencing discussion, terrorizing nutritional advocates and threatening bloggers, they can maintain their own informational monopolies while eliminating competing ideas.

That’s not science, my friends. That’s just brute force thuggery. That’s the North Carolina Board of Dietetics / Nutrition.

Hear the interview with this Paleo diet blogger on the Robert Scott Bell Show

Robert Scott Bell recently interviewed Paleo blogger Steve Cooksey. Find the April 25, 2012 show at:
http://naturalnewsradio.com/Archive-RobertScottBell.asp

Sources include:
http://www.carolinajournal.com/exclusives/display_exclusive.html?id=8…

Source

Unpopular Government, Passes Even More Unpopular CISPA Bill

 )  The House on Thursday approved cybersecurity legislation that privacy groups have decried as a threat to civil liberties.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, sponsored by Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Maryland), passed on a vote of 248 to 168.

Its goal is a more secure internet, but privacy groups fear the measure breaches Americans’ privacy along the way. The White House had weighed in on Wednesday, threatening a veto unless there were significant changes to increase consumer privacy. The bill was amended to provide more privacy protections, but it was not immediately clear whether the Senate or the White House would give the amended bill its blessing.


The measure, which some are calling the Son of SOPA, allows internet service providers to share information with the government, including the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency, about cybersecurity threats it detects on the internet. An ISP is not required to shield any personally identifying data of its customers when it believes it has detected threats, which include attack signatures, malicious code, phishing sites or botnets. In short, the measure seeks to undo privacy laws that generally forbid ISPs from disclosing customer communications with anybody else unless with a court order.

The bill immunizes ISPs from privacy lawsuits for voluntarily disclosing customer information thought to be a security threat. Internet companies are also granted anti-trust protection to immunize them against allegations of colluding on cybersecurity issues. The measure is not solely limited to cybersecurity, and includes the catchall phrase “national security” as a valid reason for turning over the data.

CISPA also allows ISPs to bypass privacy laws and share data with fellow ISPs in a bid to promptly extinguish a cyberattack.

Moments before the vote was taken during a daylong hearing, Rogers urged his colleagues to “stand up for America. Support this bill.” He said those who were opposing the measure — groups that include the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation — were practicing “obfuscation.”

The bill’s supporters include Microsoft, Facebook, AT&T, Verizon, Oracle and many others.

The ACLU quickly blasted the measure’s passage. They and other groups said Americans’ private data should not be shared with the military, and that data sent to the government should be anonymized as much as possible to protect privacy.

“Cybersecurity does not have to mean abdication of Americans’ online privacy. As we’ve seen repeatedly, once the government gets expansive national security authorities, there’s no going back. We encourage the Senate to let this horrible bill fade into obscurity,” said Michelle Richardson, ACLU legislative counsel.

Some last-minute amendments included making non-national-security data subject to the Freedom of Information Act, sunsetting the measure after five years and barring the government (.pdf) from reviewing library, firearms, tax and medical records.

Rep. Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts) during the debate seemingly agreed with the ACLU. “Could the government use that personal information to spy on Americans? Yes,” he said. Rep. Dan Boren (D-Oklahoma) wasn’t convinced: “The government is not the enemy,” he said.

Amendments to remove language allowing the information-sharing in the name of “national security,” and to remove the NSA from the agencies receiving the data, never made it to the House floor.

The measure is now headed for the Senate. If it passes there, it will go to the White House for approval or veto.

Source

Lakota Man Accuses Hospital Of Burning ‘KKK’ Into His Torso





(Stephan C. Webster)  A 68-year-old, blind South Dakota man says after a two week stay in a Rapid City hospital, he returned home with unusual wounds on his abdomen which his caretakers soon discovered appear to spell out the letters “KKK.”

Vernon Traversie, who’s of Lakota descent and lives with the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, claimed in a YouTube video published this week that he believes he was the victim of a hate crime, and a retired nurse that examined a photo of his wounds reportedly claimed that the letters appear to have been burned into his flesh.

Traversie told the Last Real Indians blog that the hospital had claimed his wounds were sustained from surgical tape, but a home nurse who he says examined his torso immediately took the issue up with tribal police. Traversie claimed his former attorney, who he chose not to name, did nothing to help, and even urged him not to pursue claims against Rapid City Regional Hospital.

Evelyn Red Lodge, a writer for Last Real Indians, claims she had retired nurse Joyce Anderson examine a photo of Traversie’s abdomen. She reportedly said that the non-surgical wounds “would seem to be necrotic, meaning the tissue is dead. This could indicate the wounds were burned into his skin.” One of Traversie’s caretakers noticed that too.

“She said, I see the regular surgery stitches, where they cut you, and I also see the drainage holes… But the other thing are these scratches all over, like somebody took a knife and went haywire on you,” he explained on YouTube. “And there’s three letters on your stomach and they’re kind of reddish like they’re trying to bleed a little bit. The two of them are definitely K’s, and the third one is probably a K too.”




That’s when tribal police got involved, Traversie said. “The person who looked and saw it said it looked like someone took a branding iron and branded me,” he explained. “There’s two K’s that look like the only way you could accomplish it is through some sort of a — it wasn’t a knife that was used on me — some sort of a heating instrument. Maybe a little, homemade branding iron or something. It penetrated my three layers of skin and went down into my flesh like a brand would. I’m going to have those marks on my stomach for the rest of my life. I also have those on my spirit.”

“People have respect for their elders here in Cheyenne River,” he added, his voice shaking with emotion. “People have respect for their elders, but there’s… The Ku Klux Klan hate us. Because I’m helpless they took advantage of me. They’re trying to say the tape did it, that I had some kind of infection because I have diabetes, but I never had any infection. The nurses checked me all the time and I never had tape on me when I woke up. And… There’s no tape that can make perfect letter K’s.”

He added that shortly after he’d awoken from surgery, a male nurse “told me to shut my f-u-c-k mouth” because he had asked for pain medication. “If that guy didn’t do it, that male nurse, why… But, it doesn’t matter who did it,” he said. “The Ku Klux Klan has members in high class society, too.”

Traversie’s video has received more than 17,000 views in just over 36 hours. There’s also a Facebook page, Justice for Vern, that’s attracted over 2,000 followers since it launched on Wednesday.

Reached for comment, Red Lodge said that she was not permitted to give out Traversie’s contact information, but that a civil rights attorney has since reached out to offer representation.

Pamela Stillman-Rokusek, a spokesperson for Rapid City Regional Hospital, said they were “unable to comment on a patient’s treatment without consent.”

“In the absence of permission, it is not possible to respond to specific questions,” Stillman-Rokusek explained. “When patients submit complaints, we investigate them thoroughly and fully cooperate with outside regulatory organizations in their investigations. We hope all patients continue to seek the care they need at Rapid City Regional Hospital.”

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Police could not be reached for comment. A tribal council representative was also unavailable.

This video was published to YouTube on April 24, 2012.

Source

Smartphone App Files Official TSA Complaints In Real-Time

(Stephen C. Webster)  A smartphone application set to debut next week looks to bring real-time complaint reporting to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints.

Developed by funding from The Sikh Coalition, a civil rights umbrella group that looks out for people who follow Sikhism, the app asks a series of questions that mirror the complaint reporting document offered on the TSA’s website, then sends the agency an official report, which they claim are always followed-up on.


Amardeep Singh, director of programs for the coalition, told Raw Story that the app should enable people who believe they’ve been profiled to file an official complaint “within minutes” of an incident at a checkpoint.

 

“The application creates a novel marriage between technology and civil rights activism,” The Sikh Coalition said in an advisory. “It is the first and only such application of its kind, allowing users in communities such as the Sikh, Muslim, Latino, or Black communities to document their experience at the airport.”

“For years The Sikh Coalition and the Sikh community has been complaining about profiling by security at airports,” Singh said. “But official complaints filed with the TSA or Homeland Seucrity are notoriously low from our community. For example, for the third quarter of 2011 the TSA reported to Congress that only 11 people had complained of profiling at airports, and of course the complaints we received [about the TSA] are more like in the hundreds.”

The app, he added, should help correct that problem for Sikhs. But more than just his own community, Singh said he hopes this novel use of technology will prompt the TSA to be more proactive and hold more agents accountable for blatant racial profiling, which they’re supposedly forbidden from engaging in.

“We [used the app to send] test reports through their system, so they’ve been showing a willingness to receive reports or complaints of profiling through this application,” he added. “There is also a know your rights section that provides [information] on rights on travelers — the Sikh community in particular — but there’s a separate section for the rights of everyone that links back directly to the TSA’s own articulation of your rights at an airport checkpoint.”

While the app will likely help smartphone owners, there is still no rapid response solution for individuals with older phones or no mobile computing solutions. Worse yet, recent demographic studies have found that 61 percent of U.S. smartphone users are white, so it’s not yet clear what sort of impact the app might have on how TSA agents behave. To their credit, the TSA says that official complaints can also be filed via email.

The app should be available for download on Monday, April 30. Raw Story will update this article with a direct link once the software becomes available.

Source

South Carolina Prepares For United Nations Takeover:Agenda 21


(Brandon Turbeville)  In an example of just how deep the roots of Agenda 21 can reach, it is now obvious that the UN-generated guidelines are making their way through state legislatures as well as the federal branch. Not only that, but such legislation has expanded from inside the boundaries of the usual suspects like California and New York, and is now even reaching into southern states like South Carolina, which have traditionally been opposed to such policies.

For those who are unaware, Agenda 21 (short for United Nations Agenda For The 21st Century) is a road map of guidelines and procedures dictated from the United Nations and implemented by the member states. In the case of the United States, the plans are implemented at the state and local level when Federal support is not adequate to meet the demands set forth by the United Nations and its affiliate NGOs. As Democrats Against Agenda 21 state on their website,

In a nutshell, the plan calls for governments to take control of all land use and not leave any of the decision making in the hands of private property owners.  It is assumed that people are not good stewards of their land and the government will do a better job if they are in control.  Individual rights in general are to give way to the needs of communities as determined by the governing body.  Moreover, people should be rounded up off the land and packed into human settlements, or islands of human habitation, close to employment centers and transportation.  Another program, called the Wildlands Project spells out how most of the land is to be set aside for non-humans.

This definition seems to fit a new resolution in the South Carolina State Congress, entitled theCommercial Center Retrofit Act, or. H.3604. Indeed, much of the bill reads as almost a direct translation of the mission of Agenda 21.

The Commercial Center Retrofit Act, now in Congressional subcommittee, has been introduced under the cover of merely encouraging the South Carolina Council of Governments to adopt ordinances and guidelines that will “enable the retrofitting of shopping malls and shopping centers into dense, walkable, mixed-use town centers.”

Now, let me first say that this idea, in and of itself, is not such a bad thing. Allowing andencouraging the retrofitting of buildings so that they use less energy, have less impact on the environment, and blend in with the rest of the community is actually something that should be encouraged. However, the Commercial Center Retrofit Act is not about encouraging such “green” improvements and environmentally-conscious building. This new resolution is solely dedicated to the implementation of Agenda 21.

It also bears noting that the South Carolina Council of Governments is an unelected body made up of regional “local” governments. Each sub-council within the larger council is made up of a grouping of local governments belonging to a specific region of the state. This body is not accountable to the people of South Carolina, yet they are clearly involved in making very important decisions.

 

With this in mind, it is not surprising that the Commercial Center Retrofit Act contains language right out of the Agenda 21 playbook. For instance, the preamble to the bill reads:

To encourage the South Carolina Council of Governments to adopt ordinances intended to enable the retrofitting of shopping malls and shopping centers into dense, walkable, mixed-use town centers, and to encourage other measures to promote a human habitat that is hospitable and accessible to more South Carolinians while lessening environmental impacts on the state.

Immediately, it is obvious that the scope of the bill extends far beyond simple ordinances for shopping centers. Now the bill includes “other measures,” which are cleverly undefined, that will be used to determine what type of “human habitat” will be allowed in the state. The end goal, at first, appears to be the development of a “human habitat” that lessens the “environmental impact” the future tenants allegedly have.

 

Yet, compared to the rest of the bill, the preamble is really no big deal.

 

Of course, to an individual unfamiliar with Agenda 21, theCommercial Center Retrofit Act might not sound so bad. However, when one is able to decipher the language of “sustainable development” and other such terms, the new resolution sounds much more sinister. Indeed, this piece of legislation represents a threat to both businesses and individuals alike, particularly private property owners.

 

Essentially, this resolution communicates a directive to the South Carolina Council of Governments to begin plans for drafting and administering a society that excludes rural areas, creates centralized and compact “human habitat” areas, and discourages use of vehicles and other equipment that allegedly produce “greenhouse gases.”

 

For instance, the resolution states that “the State of South Carolina aspires to retrofit its inventory of automobile dependent settlement patterns into compact, walkable, diverse, and transit ready communities that are more socially equitable, consume less petroleum, and generate fewer greenhouse gases.”

 

The resolution’s bias against automobiles and citizen independence is then justified by the claim that “the public servicing of automobile dependent settlement patterns disproportionately consumes the tax base of South Carolina municipalities.”

 

This is the blueprint, at first, to evacuate rural areas into the urban districts due to claims of lack of available services, accessibility, and higher taxes. Coercion and force, as evidenced by current actions in Africa, will eventually replace “encouragement” and the gradual approach witnessed at the beginning of plans like the Commercial Center Retrofit Act.

 

Laughably, the resolution pretends it is responding to social demand when it says that “the Millennial Generation, the second largest group and the most important to the future workforce of South Carolina, has show a preference to urban areas” and that “the Baby Boom Generation, the largest demographic group among South Carolina residents, will not be well served by being able to live only in automobile dependent suburban areas.”

 

Of course, young people are streaming into cities in droves not necessarily because they like city life, but because American jobs, particularly those once located in South Carolina, have been shipped overseas by design. Young Americans, if they have any desire to hold a job, have little choice but to relocate to larger cities.

 

As for the Baby Boom Generation, one might ask exactly why they can’t be well-served by living in rural areas? Considering the rate of crime and state of disrepair in most major American cities, one can scarcely see a benefit to living in an urban area at all, particularly for the aged.  Plus, they have been well-served in these areas for many years so one wonders just what kind of services the resolution is referring to?

 

The resolution continues in regard to rural areas by saying, “the existing investment in automobile dependent settlement patterns must not be allowed to become uncompetitive and thereby lose value.” While sounding overly broad and murky at first reading, the fact that this statement is left open to the imagination is no accident. This is because, when it is read through the interpretive lens of Agenda 21, the picture comes into much clearer focus.

 

Because hard definitions are not provided, one must ask what “existing investment” actually means in this context.  Also, who does this investment belong to? The taxpayer? The Government? The NGO’s representing the United Nations and Agenda 21? In addition, why must these areas be kept “competitive” in the first place? Why is it necessary for a rural area, which is only a designation based on demographics, to compete at all? If it is necessary for the area to compete, with whom is the area to engage in competition? What are the goals and what are the signs of winning or losing?

 

Most importantly, however, is the question surrounding just what is to be done regarding these alleged problems. How does the resolution and the plans resulting from it intend to prevent these areas from becoming insolvent investments if they fail to compete? If one is to take a traditional business strategy as a model, then there are only two options for the manager – invest in upgrades or sell off the asset.

 

For all the talk about sustainability and earth-friendly living, one can easily see that Agenda 21-style legislation such as this resolution is not about protecting the environment. For instance, in its attempt to recreate and retrofit shopping malls into “town centers,” the resolution touts a possible benefit to the change by saying that they “may revitalize the housing subdivisions around them that might otherwise become obsolete.”

 

This is ironic considering that subdivisions, aside from major apartment complexes, are one of the most environmentally destructive and unnatural living setups in the United States. Ironic, that is, if the environment were really what this resolution is concerned with. Obviously, subdivisions are, if nothing else, excellent ways of forcing humans to live in neat cookie-cutter housing units where they will grouped according to functional status.

 

As I stated earlier in this article, shopping malls are not the only areas that fall under this resolution; and neither are subdivisions. Indeed, the entire local area – urban and rural alike – falls prey to the locally-introduced Agenda 21-based legislation. This can be seen in the five-point plan which the South Carolina Council of Governments is urged to enact. It is as follows:
  1. Draft policy and corresponding model ordinances intended to enable the retrofitting of shopping malls and shopping centers into dense, walkable, mixed-use town centers;
  2. Establish protocols that encourage the incorporation of the model policy and ordinances into municipal zoning codes and subdivision regulations;
  3.  Incorporate the associated policies into the updates or amendments of local comprehensive plans;
  4. Develop urban complete streets in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Transportation to serve these centers with a balanced, diverse set of travel modes; and 
  5. Develop a set of legal incentives including, but not limited to, permitting by rights, replacing traffic impact exactions, and other state mandated assessments with a fair mobility fee, creating special state taxing districts for public improvements to sites, and funding for design and construction of the parking and transit infrastructure.
As one can see from the sections in bold, this plan is clearly designed to use the power of government to implement Agenda 21. Thus, the plan manifests itself in the form of local zoning regulations, laws, and taxation, unbeknownst to the victims at the bottom. Even the language of the resolution with terms like “human habitat” and “human settlements” directly reflects the nature and semantics of the United Nations.

 

Agenda 21 has long been creeping up on the American people by stealth via organizations like theInternational Council on Local Environmental Initiatives. The ICLEI, also known as Local Governments For Sustainability, is an organization that is made up of over a thousand local governments (the majority being from the United States) who have bypassed Federal and State law as well as the Constitution in order to implement Agenda 21 policies.

 

South Carolina has four major cities on the ICLEI list – Charleston, Columbia, Spartanburg, and Greenville. In addition, Councils of Governments, like the South Carolina Council of Governments, are established worldwide and work with each other through unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats outside of Constitutional process and law.

 

I urge all South Carolinians to contact their State Senators and Representatives and demand that they oppose this bill. States such as Texas and Tennessee have taken recent action to expose the real meaning of Agenda 21 and preserve their local sovereignty.  South Carolina certainly can do the same.

You can find your legislator by using this helpful search engine provided by the South Carolina State House.

Buying Prisons Is Big Business For Corporate Slave Traders


(Glen Ford)  The nation’s largest private prison company, the Corrections Corporation of America, is on a buying spree. With a war chest of $250 million, the corporation, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, this month sent letters to 48 states, offering to buy their prisons outright. To ensure their profitability, the corporation insists that it be guaranteed that the prisons be kept at least 90 percent full. Plus, the corporate jailers demand a 20-year management contract, on top of the profits they expect to extract by spending less money per prisoner.

For the last two years, the number of inmates held in state prisons has declined slightly, largely because the states are short on money. Crime, of course, has declined dramatically in the last 20 years, but that has never dampened the states’ appetites for warehousing ever more Black and brown bodies, and the federal prison system is still growing. However, the Corrections Corporation of America believes the economic crisis has created an historic opportunity to become the landlord, as well as the manager, of a big chunk of the American prison gulag.

The attempted prison grab is also defensive in nature. If private companies can gain both ownership and management of enough prisons, they can set the prices without open-bid competition for prison services, creating a guaranteed cost-plus monopoly like that which exists between the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex.

“If private companies are allowed to own the deeds to prisons, they are a big step closer to owning the people inside them.”


But, for a better analogy, we must go back to the American slave system, a thoroughly capitalist enterprise that reduced human beings to units of labor and sale. The Corrections Corporation of America’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission read very much like the documents of a slave-trader.

Investors are warned that profits would go down if the demand for prisoners declines. That is, if the world’s largest police state shrinks, so does the corporate bottom line.

Dangers to profitability include “relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws.” The corporation spells it out: “any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances or illegal immigration could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them.” At the Corrections Corporation of America, human freedom is a dirty word.

But, there is something even more horrifying than the moral turpitude of the prison capitalists. If private companies are allowed to own the deeds to prisons, they are a big step closer to owning the people inside them.

Many of the same politicians that created the system of mass Black incarceration over the past 40 years, would gladly hand over to private parties all responsibility for the human rights of inmates.

The question of inmates’ rights is hardly raised in the debate over prison privatization. This is a dialogue steeped in slavery and racial oppression. Just as the old slave markets were abolished, so must the Black American Gulag be dismantled – with no compensation to those who traffic in human beings.

Source

Arrest Made In Phylicia Barnes Murder

(Wbal)  Police have arrested a suspect in the disappearance of Phylicia Barnes whose body was found almost exactly one year ago near the Conowingo Dam.

City police are holding Michael Johnson who is said to be the former boyfriend of the victim’s sister.

He was taken into custody last night by Baltimore City Police Warrant Apprehension Task Force just before midnight.

The charges were not made public but a news conference has been announced for this afternoon at 1, according to a release from the State’s Attorney’s office.

Source

Tracking Your Every Step,Indoor Positioning Service

(Gadgetbox)  Many of us rely on GPS to get around unfamiliar cities and neighborhoods, but a new type of location service could be giving you directions from the dairy section to the frozen foods aisle at the grocery store, and tracking every step you take.

It’s called IPS, or indoor positioning service, and it’s not quite as far along as the satellite service we use to find the nearest coffee shop. But the idea is the same: your phone, tablet, or maybe even your Google Glasses would be constantly tracking certain signals in your locale, from Bluetooth signals to ultrasonic beacons.


Broadcom, which makes many of the wireless chips that go in handsets and other devices, hascreated an IPS chip that works on a few different systems, listening for wireless signals but also peeping at your phone’s sensors to track movement and orientation.

Of course one of the first things that comes to mind is privacy. Can you really trust that your location won’t be broadcast to advertisers, curious strangers or the FBI? It’s still in a very early stage, but chances are the service would never be adopted unless there are some serious guarantees that your data will be safe.

It’s at least possible that all this information could be kept private, since it wouldn’t rely on any outside services to determine your position; it’s all done on the device, though the map you’d see would have to be downloaded first. But once the initial data is loaded, the device would be able to tell where it is without communicating with any servers or services at all.

Knowing exactly where you are in a store, mall, airport, or even your home could be very helpful for many, and it brings up many possibilities as well. Depending on how much public information is available, your indoor map could show other people around you with similar interests, or give you a special coupon code for a store you’re about to walk by.

It sounds creepy at first, but it wasn’t long ago that having a GPS unit in your pocket at all times would be considered overkill, or even dangerous. There’s no timeline on IPS devices, but map services have already begun to add indoor locations and there are pilot studies underway. It’s probably safe to say that in a year or two this technology will be making the change from fantasy to coveted feature.

Source

Government Planning To Evacuate Chicago

(Off Grid Survival)  A couple weeks ago we told you about the Urban Warfare training that was going on in Downtown Chicago. Now there are growing fears that those drills were in preparation for major problems during next months NATO Summit and that officials are actually planning to evacuate Chicago in the event of trouble.


As unlikely as it may sound, CBS 2 News in Chicago is reporting that government officials, in the Secret Services and the Department of Homeland Security, are secretly planning for the possibility of having to evacuate Chicago.

CBS 2 News has obtained a copy of an e-mail sent to volunteers from the Milwaukee area branch of the American Red Cross.

The email warns volunteers that the NATO summit “may create unrest or another national security incident. The American Red Cross in southeastern Wisconsin has been asked to place a number of shelters on standby in the event of evacuation of Chicago.”

The Red Cross says that the directive came directly from the “City of Chicago and the Secret Service.”

Continue reading

Expert Warns World Needs To Move Rapidly Toward Population Shrinkage

(John Vidal)  The world’s most renowned population analyst has called for a massive reduction in the number of humans and for natural resources to be redistributed from the rich to the poor.

Paul Ehrlich, Bing professor of population studies at Stanford University in California and author of the best-selling Population Bomb book in 1968, goes much further than the Royal Society in London which this morning said that physical numbers were as important as the amount of natural resources consumed.


The optimum population of Earth – enough to guarantee the minimal physical ingredients of a decent life to everyone – was 1.5 to 2 billion people rather than the 7 billion who are alive today or the 9 billion expected in 2050, said Ehrlich in an interview with the Guardian.

“How many you support depends on lifestyles. We came up with 1.5 to 2 billion because you can have big active cities and wilderness. If you want a battery chicken world where everyone has minimum space and food and everyone is kept just about alive you might be able to support in the long term about 4 or 5 billion people. But you already have 7 billion. So we have to humanely and as rapidly as possible move to population shrinkage.”

“The question is: can you go over the top without a disaster, like a worldwide plague or a nuclear war between India and Pakistan? If we go on at the pace we are there’s going to be various forms of disaster. Some maybe slow motion disasters like people getting more and more hungry, or catastrophic disasters because the more people you have the greater the chance of some weird virus transferring from animal to human populations, there could be a vast die-off.”

Ehrlich, who was described as alarmist in the 1970s but who says most of his predictions have proved correct, says he was gloomy about humanity’s ability to feed over 9 billion people. “We have 1 billion people hungry now and we are going to add 2.5 billion. They are going to have to be fed on more marginal land, from water that is purified more or transported further, we’re going to have disproportionate impacts on how we feed people from the population increase itself,” he said.

“Most of the predictions [in Population Bomb] have proved correct. At that time I wrote about climate change. We did not know then if it was warming or cooling. We thought it was going to be a problem for the end of this century. Now we know it’s warming and a problem for the beginning of the century; we didn’t know about the loss of biodiversity. Things have been coming up worse than was predicted. We have the threats now of vast epidemics”.

“I have a grim view of what is likely to happen to my children and grandchildren. Politicians can control the financial mess we are in but they don’t have control over the systems of the planet that provide us our food, our welfare, those are deteriorating and it will take us a long time to turn it around if we start now. It’s hard to think of anything that will pop up and save us. I hope something will but it really will be a miracle.”

But he agreed with the Royal Society report that said human population and consumption should not be divided. “[They] multiply together. You have to be deal with them together. We have too much consumption among the rich and too little among the poor. That implies that terrible thing that we are going to have to do which is to somehow redistribute access to resources away the rich to the poor. But in the US we have been doing the opposite. The Republican party is wildly in favour of more redistribution, of taking money from the poor and giving it to the rich.”

Source

Anti-Piracy Group Trying To Ban Pirate Bay’s Free Speech

(Torrent Freak)  The Hollywood-backed anti-piracy outfit BREIN is going all out to make The Pirate Bay inaccessible to the Dutch public. After successfully blocking The Pirate Bay through court, and then censoring proxy sites that linked to it, they are now demanding that the Pirate Party should be banned from “discussing” how easily Internet censorship can be circumvented. The political party is baffled by the proposed gag-order and has asked the court to lift all censorship efforts.
The legal battle over Internet censorship is reaching new heights in the Netherlands, as the local anti-piracy group BREIN is now asking the court to gag the Pirate Party.


The lawsuit is the next move in BREIN’s attempt to deny Dutch citizens’ access to The Pirate Bay.

In January, a Dutch court ruled that Ziggo, the largest ISP in the country, and competitor XS4ALL, must block access to The Pirate Bay. As a result hundreds of individuals setup proxy websites allowing subscribers to route around the blockade, effectively rendering the order useless.

In a countering move BREIN obtained an injunction from the court to shut these proxies down, including one operated by the Pirate Party. However, the Pirates are determined to put up a fight and have taken BREIN to court to get the order overthrown.

The case, in which the Pirate Party asked the court to lift all censorship restrictions, was heard by the court yesterday. BREIN, however, did exactly the opposite by submitting a rather broad set of new demands essentially asking the court to gag the political party.

In short BREIN’s demands are as follows.

1. The Pirate Party should be banned from operating a reverse proxy for Pirate Bay

2. The Pirate Party should be banned from operating a generic proxy service

3. The Pirate Party should be banned from linking to third-party proxies

4. The Pirate Party should be banned from listing new IP-addresses / domains Pirate Bay registers

5. The Pirate Party should be banned from encouraging people to circumvent the Pirate Bay blockade

If the Pirate Party violates the above terms BREIN asked for a penalty of €10,000 per day, up to a maximum of €250,000.

Needless to say, the demands of the anti-piracy group are unprecedented for a copyright related case. It is essentially a gag-order to enforce a previously obtained court verdict. If the court sides with BREIN this will have rather far-reaching consequences for people’s freedom of speech. It may also invite other parties to consider making similar demands.

The question is also how far BREIN wants to take this. Should other generic proxy sites be banned as well? And what about VPNs or the TOR network? All of these services allow the public to bypass the court-ordered blockade.

Meanwhile, the popular Dutch weblog Geenstijl is making some noise as well, as they launched a redirection site (FuckTimKuik.org) that forwards people to available proxies. BREIN has yet to respond to this initiative, but it shows that it will be quite difficult to root out all circumvention methods.

The court’s decision in the case between the Pirate Party and BREIN is expected to be published in two weeks. This verdict will coincide with BREIN’s case against two other Dutch Internet providers that are still allowing access to The Pirate Bay.

Source

No Warrant Required: Judge Rules Police Can Subpoena Tweets, Even Deleted Ones

(Mike Flancey)  With more people using social media to post a constant stream of details about their lives, a recent ruling out of New York stresses the need to be careful what you tweet.

According to a recent ruling mentioned on Thompson Reuters, a New York judge ruled that police officers can subpoena all tweets from a Twitter account without the need for a warrant. Equating the tweets to bank account records, criminal court Judge Matthew Sciarrino Jr. ruled that an Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protester couldn’t challenge the third-party subpoena that wanted access to his Twitter account information in addition to a collection of tweets over a specific time period. Malcolm Harris, the Occupy Wall Street protester, was arrested on the Brooklyn Bridge last year and faces slightly more than two weeks in prison for disorderly conduct. Harris plead not guilty to the charges and attempted to block the court from accessing the Twitter records.


During late January 2012, the Twitter offices in San Francisco received a faxed subpoena  from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Twitter forwarded the subpoena to Harris and he subsequently posted it on Twitter for the public to read. The subpoena specifically requested “user information, including email address,” along with three months’ worth of tweets from Harris’s account.

The tweets cover the time period between September 15, 2011,  two days before the Occupy Wall Street movement began, to December 31, 2011. At the time, prosecutors within the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office made no statement in regards to what they were looking for within the requested tweets.

Interestingly, Harris has deleted all tweets prior to February 11 on the public account in question, therefore Twitter will have to supply the deleted tweets. Harris also claims not to operate the Twitter account as of late. In regards to approving the subpoena, Judge Sciarrino Jr. stated “An analogy may be drawn to the bank record cases where courts have consistently held that an individual has no right to challenge a subpoena issued against the third-party bank. Twitter’s license to use the defendant’s tweets means that the tweets the defendant posted were not his.” The judge made no differentiation between public or protected tweets.

As indicated by the recent events of the trial, the prosecutors are seeking evidence that contradicts the Harris’s claim that police officers directed him to step onto the road that leads to the Brooklyn Bridge. This case is just one of over two thousand cases that are related to the Occupy Wall Street movement, most of which involve defendants charged with misdemeanor charges. A special courtroom has been setup to handle all the OWS cases and is being managed by Judge Sciarrino Jr.

Within the direct response to the motion to quash the subpoena, the judge attempted to add a bit of humor with mocking hashtags. He stated “The New York County District Attorney’s Office seeks to obtain the #Twitter records of @destructuremal using a #subpoena. The defendant is alleged to have participated in a #OWS protest march on October 1, 2011. The defendant, Malcolm Harris, along with several hundred other protesters, were charged with Disorderly Conduct after allegedly marching on to the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge. The defendant moved to #quash that subpoena. That motion is #denied.” Martin Stolar, the attorney representing Harris, plans on filing a motion to reargue the motion.

Homeless Mother Who Sent Son To A Better School In The Wrong Town Jailed For 5 Years

(CopCop)  A mother who pleaded guilty to fraudulently enrolling her six-year-old son in the wrong school district has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Tonya McDowell sent her son to an elementary school in Norwalk, Connecticut, instead of her home city of Bridgeport.
The 34-year-old, who was homeless when she was charged with felony larceny last year, said she wanted the best education possible for the boy.
McDowell last week entered her plea at Norwalk Superior Court under the Alford Doctrine, which means she does not admit guilt but concedes the state has enough evidence to convict her.


Authorities told the hearing that she used a babysitter’s address to enroll her son in kindergarten in Norwalk when he should have attended schools in Bridgeport, her last permanent address.
Her case drew national attention and support from civil rights leaders and other advocates who wanted the charge dismissed.
McDowell told police she was living in a van and occasionally slept at a Norwalk shelter or a friend’s Bridgeport apartment when she enrolled her son Norwalk’s Brookside Elementary School.
Police said McDowell stole $15,686 worth of ‘free’ educational services from Norwalk.
She also pleaded guilty to four counts of sale of narcotics, which will be included in her prison sentence.
In a separate case, she pleaded guilty on February 7 to selling drugs.
McDowell’s lawyer, Darnell Crosland, said she agreed to accept a plea bargain rather than continue fighting the charges even though she insists she is not guilty.
Mr Crosland said: ‘You shouldn’t be arrested for stealing a free education. It’s just wrong.’
McDowell was sentenced to 12 years in jail, suspended after she serves five years, and five years probation.

Source

Bankrupt U.S. Gov’t Want To Set Up More Spy Agencies

(Julian Borger)  The Pentagon is to create a new spy service to focus on global strategic threats and the challenges posed by countries including IranNorth Korea and China. The move will bring to 17 the total number of intelligence organisations in the US.


The Defense Clandestine Service is supposed to work closely with its counterpart in the CIA, the National Clandestine Service, recruiting spies from the ranks of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and deploying them globally to boost the flow of intelligence on perceived long-term threats to US national interests.

US military news website Insidedefense said the defence department had asked Congress for authority for spies to work undercover posing as businessmen when conducting covert operations abroad.

The move by the defence secretary, Leon Panetta, emerged in briefings to US journalists.

“You have to do global coverage,” a senior defence official said, according to the Los Angeles Times. The new service would seek to “make sure officers are in the right locations to pursue those requirements”, the Washington Post quoted the official as saying.

The Pentagon argues that the new service is necessary because the DIA spends most of its time and manpower reporting tactical intelligence about battlefields such as Afghanistan, and not enough time looking at strategic issues.

Obama administration officials have said they want to switch US national security focus away from the Middle East to address long-term issues such as China’s rise and nuclear threats in North Korea and Iran. Pentagon sources suggested the new service would also focus on Africa, where al-Qaida affiliates are on the rise.

The new service will be relatively small, increasing in numbers “from several hundred to several more hundred” over the next few years, according to defence department officials.

The US already has 16 different intelligence organisations scattered around the defence, state, justice, homeland security and energy departments, as well as the armed services.

After the attacks of 11 September 2001 revealed a lack of co-operation and intelligence-sharing among them, the Bush administration restructured the “intelligence community”, putting it all under a director of national intelligence.

Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary for most of the Bush era, attempted to increase the Pentagon’s espionage capability dramatically but the attempt was rebuffed by the CIA, which was at loggerheads with Rumsfeld’s defence department over Iraq.

The Pentagon insisted that this time its new clandestine service would be set up in close collaboration with the CIA, which is led by the former military commander General David Petraeus. The fact that Panetta is a former CIA director is also said to have helped smooth co-operation.

Not all intelligence experts are convinced that the creation of a new organisation will help America’s espionage capacity, however. Some argue that the move reflects turf battles and empire-building.

“I’m not sure what they are supposed to achieve that the CIA doesn’t,” Joshua Foust, a former DIA Middle East analyst told the LA Times. “This seems like a territorial thing: ‘Hey, the CIA has this – why don’t we have it, too?’ … I’m pretty sceptical that it’s necessary or good.”

Source

Has Fukushima Fallout Hit Michigan Crops?

(Alexander Higgins)  It’s not just in dandelions but in other flowers, fruits, vegetables, and vegetation  – 3rd plant species found mutated in 3rd location in Michigan.

I just finished reporting on the discovery of mutated strawberries in Michigan which are speculated to be a result of Fukushima nuclear fallout despite certain pro nuclear who have argued that such mutations would not happen this soon after the disaster.

Michigan Plants Mutated Due to Radioactive Fukushima Nuclear Fallout?

A RECENT VIDEO REPORT FROM CHRISTINA CONSOLO DOCUMENTS PLANT MUTATIONS ALLEGEDLY CAUSED BY RADIOACTIVE FALLOUT FROM THE MULTIPLE NUCLEAR MELTDOWNS IN JAPAN.

A recent video report from Christina Consolo (Radchick) documents possible plant mutations caused by fallout from the multiple nuclear meltdowns in Japan.


Despite the fact that the US government claimed that there was no danger posed to the United States due to the Fukushima nuclear disaster, recent NRC documents prove that there was a large scale criminal conspiracy to cover up the dangers.

In the video Christina goes over numerous photos of dandelions that were found mutated in a Michigan parking lot.

Read The Rest And Watch The Video

Now Christina has just posted a third video on my Facebook wall reporting that, for the third time this week, she looked in a different area in Michigan and once again came across plant mutations.

The Third time I’ve looked for mutations in a week, and found them. Since posting 1st vid I have had numerous comments, emails, and photos sent to me about mutations occurring in Canada, the US & Europe found in the past week, some from last summer. And not just in dandelions, but in other flowers, fruits, vegetables, and vegetation.

I used Roundup and other weed control measures for 17 years in my yard and never saw anything like this occurring. What is different now? FUKUSHIMA…

I would suggest fellow youtubers check the playgrounds and schooloyards near you, regardless of where this is coming from the source needs to be identified. This is the EPA’s job, not ours.

We talked about this on Nuked Radio last week, and will continue to do so…

In related news, the Senator from Oregon who has raised the alarm about a potential disaster with global consequences that is just waiting to happen at Fuksuhima nuclear reactor 4, says he is now worried about a lethal risk to Oregon residents if the building were to collapse.

This comes directly from an alarming report from Oregon’s largest newspaper.

Just In: Senator fears US West Coast at ‘lethal risk’ from Fukushima — Another bomb waiting to go off

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden’s recent daylong field trip from Tokyo to the zone of Japan’s nuclear devastation is worth at least a week in the telling. Bunny-suited with a breathing device for protection against radiation exposure, Wyden walked through the ruined Fukushima Dai-ichi complex and saw what few…

Senator Wyden of Oregon says Spent Fuel Pool 4 Could be LETHAL TO OREGON (and U.S. WEST COAST):

“The senator is not typically alarmist. But his field notes, followed by letters to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Energy Secretary Steven Chu, signal alarm. They paint a picture of extreme nuclear vulnerability, especially in Reactor No. 4 […]

Wyden completed his tour by asking Japan, with written urgings for help from Clinton and Chu, to sharply speed up a cleanup expected to take 10 more years.

His fear is that another big seismic event will trigger another disaster before the cleanup is completed — exposing Oregon and the West Coast to potentially lethal risk.”

http://enenews.com/just-in-senator-fears-us-west-coast-at-lethal-risk-from-fukushima-extreme-nuclear-vulnerability-especially-in-reactor-no-4

Source

 

CISPA Amendment Allows DHS To Intercept Tax Returns

(Paul Joseph Watson)  An amendment introduced to the controversial CISPA bill by perennial big government advocate Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee would empower the Department of Homeland Security to intercept online IRS tax returns and any other Internet traffic deemed to transit networks owned by the federal government or operated on its behalf.


“Jackson Lee’s amendment (PDF) is broad enough to sweep in government contractors and university networks such as Internet2 and CENIC, said a telecommunications attorney who did not want to be identified because of client sensitivity. It also appears to cover open Wi-Fi networks run by federal agencies and networks in government-provided housing,” reports CNet’s Declan McCullagh.

Not only would the amendment give Big Sis the power to monitor all government networks, it could also, according to McCullagh and Ryan Radia, associate director of technology studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, “allow Homeland Security to monitor the communications of the federal courts and Congress, and intercept tax returns sent to the IRS.”

Given the fact that the Department of Homeland Security has already identified all kinds of mundane behavior as “suspicious activity” possibly indicative of terrorism, the prospect of the federal agency trawling through Americans’ 1040 forms is nothing less than chilling.

The CISPA bill has already come under attack from all sides of the political spectrum because it states that “notwithstanding any other provision of law,” companies may share information with the government, demolishing fourth amendment privacy protections.

Earlier this week Congressman Ron Paul slammed the legislation as a “Big Brother writ,” writing, “CISPA is essentially an Internet monitoring bill that permits both the federal government and private companies to view your private online communications with no judicial oversight, provided, of course, that they do so in the name of cyber security.”

Targeting Americans for spying and punitive measures through their relationship with the IRS has been a common theme in recent weeks, with a separate bill, the ‘Moving Ahead for cogress in the 21st Century Act’ (MAP-21), giving the IRS the power to revoke passports of Americans merely accused of owing $50,000 or more in back taxes.

Texas Democrat Jackson Lee has aggressively pushed for extra powers for the DHS on a number of different fronts, most recently when she promoted a program that places TSA agents on Houston busesas undercover spies tasked with interrogating passengers and searching bags.

Jackson-Lee also savaged a newly passed law that enables airports to evict TSA screeners and replace them with private security, ludicrously claiming that such changes would cause a new 9/11-style attack.

Jackson-Lee’s amendment will be debated during a House floor hearing tomorrow, with the full CISPA bill expected to face a vote on Friday amidst a crescendo of vocal opposition.

Source

Issa Calls Obama Admin The Most Corrupt Government In History

(Stephen C. Webster)  The Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform thinks that the Obama administration is “the most corrupt in history,” and he’s not afraid to say it.

Speaking to Bloomberg on Tuesday, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) insisted that the president’s political appointees must be held accountable for their actions, citing the recent General Services Administration graft scandal and a failed solar power company, Solyndra, that the Obama administration had invested in.


“If they reported to the White House and the White House did nothing, shame on the White House,” he said. “But even if they didn’t report to the White House, we still have to say, ‘Why weren’t they doing their job of protecting the American people?’ Political appointees cost a lot of money to the taxpayers. If they’re… giving awards for bad behavior, they’ve got to go.”

 

He added: “But again, we’re very busy in Washington with a corrupt government, with a government that I said a year ago, because of the money, because of the TARP and stimulus funds, was going to be the most corrupt government in history, and it is proving to be that.”

In spite of Issa’s allegations, he only cited two specific scandals. According to journalist Haynes Johnson, the “most corrupt” label actually belongs to the administration of President Ronald Reagan. Plagued by dozens of scandals like selling weapons to Iran, rigging federal grants, the savings and loan crisis and other assorted political skullduggery, it all ended with 138 officials having been investigated, indicted or convicted — the most of any U.S. presidency, ever.

This video is from Bloomberg, broadcast Tuesday, April 24, 2012.

Gov’t Thugs Seize Maryland Farmers Bank Account

(Rady Ananda)  Monsanto’s Food and Drug Administration can’t close down small dairies and private food clubs fast enough, bursting on the scene with guns drawn as if the criminalized right to contract for natural foods we’ve consumed for millennia deserves SWAT attention.

Now, Obama has the Dept. of Justice going after small farmers under the post-911 “Bank Secrecy Act” which makes it a crime to deposit less than $10,000 when you earned more than that.

“The level we deposited was what it was and it was about the same every week,” Randy Sowers told Frederick News. The Sowers own and run South Mountain Creamery in Middletown, Maryland.


Admittedly, when the Sowers earned over $10,000 in February, and learned they’d have to fill out paperwork at the bank for such large deposits, they simply rolled the deposits over to keep them below the none-of-your-fucking-business amount, rather than waste time on bureaucratic red tape aimed at flagging terrorism or other illegal activities.

“Structuring,” explains Overlawyered.com, “is the federal criminal offense of splitting up bank deposits so as to keep them under a threshold such as $10,000 above which banks have to report transactions to the government.”

While being questioned, the Sowers were finally presented with a seizure order and advised that the feds had already emptied their bank account of $70,000.  The Dept. of Justice has since sued to keep $63,000 of the Sowers’ money, though they committed no crime other than maintaining their privacy.

Without funds, they will be unable to make purchases for the spring planting.

When a similar action was taken against Taylor’s Produce Stand last year, the feds seized $90,000, dropped the charges and kept $45,000 of the stand’s money.

Knowing that most farms operate on a very thin margin, such abuse of power wipes out a family’s income, and for a bonus, the feds enhance the monopoly power of Monsanto, Big Dairy and their supply chain.

You can just smell attorney Michael Taylor behind all this, Obama’s dairy dog. Who you’ll find, instead, is US district attorney Stefan Cassella. He’s the first to head the DOJ’s Asset Forfeiture & Money Laundering Section, created in 2009, having wrote the books on it. He cut his teeth on seizing $1.2 billion from real money launderer, BCCI. Guess his focus has changed since then.

The Maryland Dept. of Agriculture had no trouble hitting up the Sowers for a recipe in its Buy-Local cookbook; but Cassella must’ve missed that public service, or it’s what drew his attention – “Ah! A small dairy! Let’s rob them of their cash, those evil Big Dairy competitors. They probably sell raw milk under the table. Even if we find no evidence of wrongdoing, we’ll keep their money anyway.” (Cue Curly’s, “yuh, yuh, yuh.”)

City Paper reports that in 2011, “Maryland brought 14 of the nation’s 99 structuring cases, making it the top state for such prosecutions. Nationally, the numbers have been rising; the 2011 figures are up 8.8 percent from the year before and up 57.1 percent from five years ago.”

Funny, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and other criminal banksters are still in operation, despite committing millions of acts of fraud during mortgage reassignations. But DOJ prioritizes squashing family farmers since it’s easier to pick the low-hanging fruit than to do battle with well-financed criminals who’ve illegally seized the homes of millions of US citizens.

Former Maryland assistant U.S. attorney Steven Levin told the paper, “The emphasis is on basically seizing money, whether it is legally or illegally earned. It can lead to financial ruin for business owners, and there’s a potential for abuse here by the government.”

Ya think?

The Bank Secrecy Act was passed after 9/11, another in a long line of Constitutionally-abhorrent laws enacted by officials who cannot prove they were elected to office (given those elections were held on electronic voting systems that can be hacked without leaving evidence of the crime).

With the current Administration’s Agenda 21 focus on destroying the natural food and herb industry, is it not surprising to see Unconstitutional terrorist legislation used on innocent, law abiding citizens?

Source

Cash Ban Spreads Around the World

(A. M. Freyed)  Home Secretary Theresa May announced in January 2012 that the government would ban cash trading for scrap metal dealers under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill. Under the proposals ‘rag and bone’ itinerant collectors who are registered with their local authority to trade scrap metal will still be able to pay cash for scrap. The move has drawn criticism from the BMRA, which claims that itinerant traders are getting ‘special treatment’ from the government. – Let’s Recycle.com

The death of cash is much in the news these days, following Spanish government’s abrupt announcement banning cash transactions over 2,500 euros.

But what is surprising is how far advanced this trend is. Cash is being done away with in both bites and gulps. There have been articles in the alternative media discussing this on occasion but the mechanism is both subtle and overt.

The subtle part comes from the way cash is being whittle away at in certain industries. The US for instance has no overt , national cash bans in place but plenty of businesses are making it harder and harder to pay in cash.


US states have gotten into the act too. Louisiana, for instance, last year banned cash transactions for second-hand merchandise – making flea markets problematic.

In many states, pawn shops are under strict scrutiny when it comes to cash transactions, with a good deal of paper work now demanded.

In some Central and South American countries, finger-printing is required by certain stores and businesses if one pays in cash with US$100 or more. Western Union has certain policies in place that require finger-printing outside the US.

Then there are countries themselves. Mexico, for instance, has restrictions on numerous cash transactions including the purchase of real estate with cash. And there are restrictions on how much cash one can spend on vehicles, boats, airplanes and luxury goods.

Here’s something from the Economic Policy Journal back in February:

It’s Really, Really Getting Crazy: [Bloomberg has reported that] Italians Banned from Cash Transactions of More than 1,000 Euros … “Prime Minister Mario Monti, in office just over a month, wants landlords, plumbers, electricians and small businesses to stop conducting large transactions in cash, which critics say helps them evade taxes. The government on Dec. 4 reduced the maximum allowed cash payment to 1,000 euros from 2,500 euros” … The noose is tightening, everywhere. The elitists and banksters are clearly going for the big play. They want to monitor every transaction you make and they want to monitor you.

Greece, Italy, Spain … The idea, repeated over and over is that cash is for criminal activity and that it is often used to evade taxes.

But these days, so much is being criminalized that one begins to lose track. What is one to think when something that has been legal for centuries is suddenly deemed “criminal?”

In Spain, many are said to pay as much as half of the cost of a house in cash, thus diminishing tax liability a good deal. This is the practice in other high-tax European regions.

The higher the taxes, the more prevalent these gray and black-market transactions become. This is simple logic.

Lawmakers have forgotten (long ago, in fact) that the “best” laws are best applied within the ambit of natural law.

When government continually seeks to go perniciously against the wishes and practices of the governed people, nothing good can result. Inevitably, laws will be broken.

The more unreasonable the laws, the more law- breaking there will be. This becomes a vicious feed-back loop that conditions people to break laws, which leads to contempt for government activities generally.

Lawmakers may believe they are taking stances for “the greater good.” But the more they depart from reasonableness and common sense, the more difficulties they are likely storing up for civil society generally. It cannot end well.

As cash is continually restricted, if indeed it continues to be, people will turn to barter. If their actions are subject to scrutiny, the state will become increasingly intrusive, leading in turn to increased resentment.

The Internet is a factor in this as well, informing people of how others feel about unjust legislation and the moves they are taking to counteract the worst of it.

All of this has a deleterious effect on society. At some point such governmental actions become significantly counterproductive.

The global elites – those shadowy dynastic families behind much of this mischief – may wish to continue this process to consolidate the world government they apparently seek.

They are obviously not averse to provoking violence as it provides an excuse for further crackdowns and overt social and economic control. Time will tell if they are correct or are misjudging.

Source

New Zealand Mulls Charging $100 For Pack Of Cigarettes

(Daniel Macht)  The price alone could kill you.  New Zealand’s Health Ministry has reportedly considered boosting the price of a pack of cigarettes as high as $100 ($81 U.S.) in a bid to make the country smoke free by 2025.

An internal government working paper raised the possibility of upping the cost of a 20-cigarette pack by 30 to 60 percent and tacking on yearly increases of 30 percent, Sky News reported.


With cigarettes now priced at about $16 to $17, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said the $100 suggestion seemed like “an awful lot” and could encourage a black market, Fairfax NZ News reported.

Anti-tobacco activist Ben Youdan said it would be more “realistic” to price smokes at “$30 to $40 a pack” over the course of 10 to 15 years as part of a comprehensive campaign to reduce the number of smokers in the country, now around 650,000, according to Fairfax NZ News.

Source

Domestic Spy Drones Unleashed On America

(Julian Gavaghan)  There are at least 63 active drone sites around the U.S, federal authorities have been forced to reveal following a landmark Freedom of Information lawsuit.

The unmanned planes – some of which may have been designed to kill terror suspects – are being launched from locations in 20 states.

Most of the active drones are deployed from military installations, enforcement agencies and border patrol teams, according to the Federal Aviation Authority.

Exposed: Location of sites where licences have been granted for the use of drones within the U.S.Exposed: Location of sites where licences have been granted for the use of drones within the U.S. There are 63 active sites based in 20 states. Red flags show active sites and blue show those locations where licences have expired since 2006

But, astonishingly, 19 universities and colleges are also registered as owners of what are officially known as unmanned aerial vehicles.

It is thought that many of institutions, which include Cornell, the University of Colorado, Georgia Tech, and Eastern Gateway Community College, are developing drone technology.

 

 

There are also 21 mainstream manufactures, such as General Atomics, who are registered to use drones domestically.

As well as active locations, the FAA also revealed 16 sites where licences to use spy planes have expired and four where authorisations have been disapproved, such as Otter Tail County, Minnesota.

Unusual: The University of Connecticut - one of 19 educational institutions to own spy planes - is the drone site closest to New York CityUnusual: The University of Connecticut – one of 19 educational institutions to own spy planes – is the drone site closest to New York City. The North East is the region with the highest concentration

 

Concentration: The Beltway around Washington DC has the highest concentration of urban and suburban drone sitesConcentration: The Beltway around Washington DC has the highest concentration of urban and suburban drone sites, including the U.S. Marine Corp base as Quantico Station, Virginia

The authority revealed the information after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Its website hosts an interactive map that allows the user to zoom in to the area around where they live to see if any sites are nearby.

However, the FAA is yet to reveal what kinds of drones might be based at any of these locations.

The agency says it will release this data later.

Most of the drones are likely to be small craft, such as the Draganflyer X8, which can carry a payload of only 2.2lb.

Police, border patrols and environmental agencies, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), could use for them effectively.

While few would object to vast open areas being monitored for wildfires, there are fears of privacy violations if drones are used to spy over cities.

Florida: Mostly police and Sheriff departments are registered to use drones in the stateFlorida: Mostly police and Sheriff departments are registered to use drones in the state

Watch out Canada! Border agents are registered to use drone in North Dakota, just a few hundred miles from Winnipeg, ManitobaWatch out Canada! Border agents are registered to use drone in North Dakota, just a few hundred miles from Winnipeg, Manitoba

Remote: The University of Alaska's drones are the most distant from any major urban centres. They are, however, the closest to RussiaRemote: The University of Alaska’s drones are the most distant from any major urban centres. They are, however, the closest to Russia

Hotspot: Texas has one of the highest number of drone sitesHotspot: Texas has one of the highest number of drone sites

West Coast: There are comparatively few drone sites in California and Western statesWest Coast: There are comparatively few drone sites in California and Western states

Other drones – likely to be operated only by the armed forces – might include the MQ-9 Reaper and the MQ-1 Predator, which was used to kill American Al Qaeda boss Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen last September.

The FAA released two lists of public and private entities that have applied for authorisations to fly drones domestically.

Certificates of Authorizations (COAs), issued to public entities like police departments, are active in 42 locations, expired in 16 and disapproved in four.

Special Airworthiness Certificates (SACs), issued to private drone manufacturers, are active in 21 locations and not active in 17.

Among the other unanswered questions, however, are is exactly how many drones each registered user owns.

Killer: Some of the drones owned by the military might be the MQ-9 Reaper, which has been used to target terrorists overseasKiller: Some of the drones owned by the military might be the MQ-9 Reaper, which has been used to target terrorists overseas

 

Draganflyer X8Watching you: Most of the drones are likely to be small craft, such as the Draganflyer X8, which can carry a payload of only 2.2lb. Police, border patrols and environmental agencies, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), could use for them effectively

The FAA has confirmed that there were about 300 active COAs and that the agency has issued about 700-750 authorizations since the program began in 2006.

But this information does not reveal how many are owned, for example, by Miami Dade Police Department.

While the use of drones in the U.S. is little known, American operations overseas have been well documented.

As well as high-profile terrorists, campaigners claim hundreds of innocent civilians have been killed in the border regions of Pakistan, where they are most active.

 

SO WHICH PUBLIC ENTITIES ARE REGISTERED OWNERS OF DRONES? FULL LIST REVEALED HERE

U.S. Air Force                                                                                                                                                                             Mississippi Department of Marine Resources

Arlington Police Department                                                                                                                                                 Mississippi State University

U.S. Army                                                                                                                                                                                       U.S. Navy

City of Herington, Kansas                                                                                                                                                      New Mexico Tech

City of North Little Rock, AR Police Department                                                                               Ogden Police Department

DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency)                                                                 Ohio University

DHS (Department of Homeland Security) / CBP (Customs and Border Protection)                                   Orange County Sheriff’s Office

DHS (Department of Homeland Security) / Science and Technology                                                Polk County Sheriff’s Office

DOE (Department of Energy) – Idaho National Laboratory                                                               Seattle Police Dept

Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service                                                              Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

Department of the Interior – National Business Center/Aviation Management Directorate               Texas A&M University – TEES

Eastern Gateway Community College                                                                                              University of Alaska Fairbanks
Texas State University                                                                                                                      University of Colorado

FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation)                                                                                              University of Connecticut

Gadsden Police Department

Georgia Tech Research Institute                                                                                                                                        University of Florida

Kansas State University                                                                                                                                                          University of North Dakota
USMC (United States Marine Corps)

Mesa County Sheriff’s Office

Miami-Dade Police Department                                                                                                        Utah State University

Middle Tennessee State University                                                                                                  Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

New Mexico State University Physical Sciences Laboratory (NMSU-PSL)                                        Washington State Department of Transportation

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration)

 

Source

D.H.S. Buying Up Enough Ammo To Wage Seven-Year War Against The American People

(Mike Adams)  As we recently reported, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an agency that says its main purpose now is to thwart “homegrown terrorism,” has awarded a contract to ammunition manufacturer ATK for acquiring450 million roundsof .40 caliber hollow point ammo. You can view the announcement of the ammunition purchase at this press release:http://www.marketwatch.com/story/atk-secures-40-caliber-ammunition-co…

Our initial coverage of the story is at:
http://www.naturalnews.com/035607_government_checkpoints_Martial_Law….

Many NaturalNews readers may not know this, but “hollow point” ammunition is never purchased for practice or training. This ammunition is purchased for the sole purpose of being used in active fighting. At the same time,it is a violation of the Geneva Convention to use hollow point ammunition on the battle field.


This is crucial to understand. It means the occupying federal government is acquiring this ammunition to be usedagainst the American people. Furthermore, DHS does not fight wars overseas. It is a domestic agency with domestic responsibilities. Its purchase of .40 ammunition is a clear and obvious indication thatDHS plans to wage war on the American people.

How big of a war? Here’s where this investigation gets really interesting.

A seven-year war with America

How much ammunition is 450 million rounds, exactly? To answer that question, I searched the internet for testimony from U.S. military brass who might give us a glimpse into the number of rounds fired in an active war.

This information was remarkably difficult to find, but I eventually located testimony by Maj. Gen. Buford C. Blount III, given in2004before the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee of the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives. You can read this testimony yourself at this government website:
http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/security/has176250.000/has176250…

This testimony reveals that:

• In active battle operations in Iraq, ammunition is expended at the rate of5.5 million rounds per month.

That’s 66 million rounds in a year. The General’s testimony states that the “past year” in Iraq “resulted in the expenditure of 72 million rounds,” which isn’t too far off from 66 million. I’ll use 70 million as a rough figure for annual ammo usage in an active war zone.

This is 70 million rounds of all types, including rifle rounds such as 5.56, .308, .50, etc. Pistol rounds most likely include 9mm (the common NATO round) and .45. There isn’t much .40 pistol ammo used by soldiers serving overseas, by the way. That round is only popular in the United States. For example, several cops I know prefer to carry the .40 instead of a 9mm. They feel it “stops bad guys” more quickly, meaning it causes more skeletal and tissue damage upon impact.

7+ years of war with the American people?

So if an active shooting WAR between two nations uses roughly 70 million rounds of ammunition a year, if you look at the DHS acquisition of 450 million rounds of .40 ammo, you quickly come to realize this is enough for6.4 years of active warwith the American people. But wait! There’s more…

An active war uses a variety of rounds, not just one type. As war is usually fought with rifles, not pistols, rifle rounds (like 5.56) are actually expended at a much higher rate than pistol rounds (.40), meaning that these 450 million rounds of pistol ammo are more than sufficient to provide the pistol ammo needed fora ten-year war against the American peoplewhen combined with a supply of rifle rounds, too. Because, you see, there are other contracts out there where the government is purchasing large quantities of rifle ammo such as 5.56, 7.62 and .308. In all, thenon-military branchesof the federal occupying government are acquiring enough ammo to wage what can only be called a long-term domestic war.

(I use the term “occupying” because our current federal government has been infiltrated and overrun by Goldman Sachs operatives, non-U.S. citizens with falsified citizenship documents, and agents who openly serve foreign interests such as the United Nations.)

Remember, again, that this is all ammo to be useddomestically, against the American people. None of this ammo goes into the hands of the military fighting wars overseas.

Arming TSA agents

I have no doubt that the ultimate plan here is to arm TSA agents and unleash them across the USA as a new storm trooper force to put in place total tyranny across the country. The military will be kept out of it precisely becausemost soldiers would refuse to participate in tyranny, as they actually have morals and ethics.

TSA agents, on the other hand, are child porn distributors, pimps, drug runners, child molesters, thieves, felons and perverts. They are the security force that has no moral bounds — they will do ANYTHING to another person as long as they get a paycheck. These are the pot-bellied government thugs who will happily torture, rape and murder innocent Americans if they are ordered to do so. They are the “Brownshirts” of Amerika. They are the most pathetic human beings working in government today, and in their hearts and mindsthey are demonic criminalsjust waiting to be given yet more power so they can sexually molest little children, supermodels and elderly grandmothers.

The next logical step in the downward spiral of oppression is to arm these agents and use them to slap down total police state tyranny across America. At the first opportunity — probably after a government-staged false flag attack involving a dirty bomb or a bioweapons release — these TSA goons will be set up on every major road and highway, using their new bulletproof roadway checkpoints and their .40 caliber hollow point ammo to put America into a complete Martial Law clamp down where everybody is considered a possible terrorist, and secret arrests (torture, interrogations, beatings, etc.) are commonplace.

What happens from there is anyone’s guess, but I can’t help but think such a plan might be deliberately designed to start a shooting war with the American people, because at that point armed TSA agents can be unleashed to just kill and rape anyone they want under the banner of “protecting the homeland.” (Hence the name “Homeland Security” which is, of course, intentionally borrowed straight out of Nazi Germany and its term “Heimatland.”)

The ten steps to establishing a dictatorship

Remember, Naomi Wolf talks about all this in her documentaryThe End of America, where she outlines the 10 steps through which all nations establish a dictatorship.

Those steps are:

1. Create an internal/external threat that terrorizes the populace. This has already been accomplished with Oklahoma City (false flag) and 9/11 (another false flag). Get the film “A Noble Lie” fromwww.InfoWars.comto learn the truth about Oklahoma City.

2. Create secret prisons, with torture. Obama did this nicely with the NDAA (as well as keeping GITMO open even after promising he would close it).

3. Create a paramilitary force. This is the TSA.

4. Single out ordinary citizens as ‘troublesome persons.’ This has been accomplished by Janet Napolitano’s “if you see something, say something” propaganda campaign.

5. Establish surveillance of citizens’ groups and ordinary citizens deemed ‘troublesome.’ This is already well under way through surveillance of emails, phone calls, vehicle movements and more.

6. Detain and release citizens without formally charging them with any crime. This has been “legalized” under Obama’s NDAA. (http://www.naturalnews.com/034537_NDAA_Bill_of_Rights_Obama.html)

7. Target key individuals who are well known, popular figures. This has already begun and will likely accelerate. Who do you think killed Andrew Breitbart? Congressman Bono?

8. Restrict the press. Already done. The U.S. government, in fact, essentiallyrunsthe mainstream media today. White House announcements are simply printed as “fact” with zero journalism and zero fact checking taking place.

9. Redefine dissent as treason. This is already happening with figures like Ted Nugent who was recently “visited” by the Secret Service after his anti-Obama rant. All throughout government speeches today, the criminals at the very top proclaim that anyone who questions government is “anti-American” and might be involved in domestic terrorism. The FBI even warns that people who “stockpile food” might be terrorists! (Even though the government itself stockpiles massive quantities of food, guns, ammunition, communications gear, medical supplies and more…)

10. Subvert the rule of law. Already done. Law has been complete abandoned by the ATF, DEA, FDA, USDA and every other federal agency you can think of. The Attorney General Eric Holder actively plots ways to destroy the Bill of Rights, and the government stages false flag terror attacks to undermine constitutional protections.

See this important speech from Wolf at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjALf12PAWc

What does it all mean?

In all, this massive purchasing and stockpiling of ammunition by DHS can only be a red alert warning that Janet Napolitano is planning on waginga massive shooting war with the American people. Why else would DHS purchase to much ammo?

As someone who consistently urges a de-escalation of violence, this concerns me greatly. It almost appears as if the government is getting an itchy trigger finger and can’t wait to start firing away at crowds of innocent American protesters, like the corrupt government in “Running Man.”

That’s the obvious target here: Protesters. Because once the financial debt system implodes, protests will be unleashed nationwide whether we like it or not. As Gerald Celente says, “When people lose everything, and they have nothing left to lose, they lose it!”

DHS almost certainly sees this coming. So they are getting locked and cocked for the coming mass slaughter of anyone who tries to exercise their First Amendment right to engage in public protest. After all, we already saw widespread police brutality against the Occupy Wall Street protesters. In many cities, the police are highly militarized and completely out of control. Add 450 million rounds of hollow point ammo to the equation via DHS, and you have nothing less thana recipe for massive bloodshed across America.

I can only hope and pray that those who believe in liberty, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the rule of law in a free republic may yet achieve the restoration of liberty in this nation before it devolved into regrettable bloodshed at the hands of the government… a government which is increasingly trying to actually pick a fight with the people. It is the government, of course, that actually sets up and stages all the false flag terror attacks. The FBI has been caught red-handed doing so, as has been widely reported even in the mainstream media! Read this story to learn more:
http://www.naturalnews.com/034325_FBI_entrapment_terror_plots.html

and
http://www.naturalnews.com/033751_FBI_terrorism.html

Get prepared NOW with the Health Ranger

I’m hosting a LIVE two-hour preparedness event coming up in just a couple of weeks. It covers serious, hard-core preparedness and self-defense information that I’ve never before made public. It includes a ton of bonus supplemental video information including details from Joe Nobody on how to make your own LEGAL perimeter defense and early alert items, exactly which night vision gear to purchase that’s reliable and rugged, which gear carry item to get now before the collapse, and a whole lot more.

Get details at:www.HealthRangerLIVE.com

If you’re reading this before May 8, 2012, seats are very limited and selling fast. If you’re reading this after May 8, 2012, you can also get the recording of this event and view it instantly. The price of this event is substantially lower to participate LIVE, on May 8th. (We’ve also made it super affordable, as you’ll see.)

All the information presented in this course is designed to be used torestore law and order, protect property and defend livesin a collapse scenario. None of this information is about offense, it’s entirely aboutdefenseagainst looters, invaders, armed gangs, angry rioters, enemy combatants, etc.

Source

Chip Lets Smartphones See Through Walls, Clothes

(AFP)  Researchers at a Texas university have designed a chip that could give smartphones the long-envied ability of comic book her Superman to see through walls, clothes or other objects.

A team at University of Texas at Dallas tuned a small, inexpensive microchip to discern a “terahertz” band of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The design works with chips made using Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor technology behind processors commonly found in personal computers, smartphones, televisions and videogame consoles.

“CMOS is affordable and can be used to make lots of chips,” electrical engineering professor Kenneth O said in a statement Friday.

“The combination of CMOS and terahertz means you could put this chip and a transmitter on the back of a cell phone, turning it into a device carried in your pocket that can see through objects.”

To assuage privacy worries, the professor and his team at the Texas Analogue Center of Excellence are limiting their study to what the chips can make visible at distances of four inches (10 centimeters) or less, according to the university.

The terahertz band has wavelengths that fall between microwaves used for mobile phone signals and infrared that is employed for night vision goggles.

The chip designed by O’s team detects terahertz waves and shows the resulting imagery, perhaps on a smartphone screen.

O’s team highlighted potential medical uses such as enabling doctors to peer easily into patients’ bodies and practical applications along the lines of finding studs in walls.

“We’ve created approaches that open a previously untapped portion of the electromagnetic spectrum for consumer use,” O said.

“There are all kinds of things you could be able to do that we just haven’t yet thought about.”

Source

Record Snow Storm To Hit East Coast

(TWC)  The snow season “that largely wasn’t” in the Northeast will be “bookended” by two destructive winter storms.

A heavy, wet snowstorm in 2011 downed trees and powerlines, knocking out power to over 3 million customers in the Northeast just before Halloweeen 2011, in a storm dubbed “Snowtober”.

Unfortunately, another “Snowtober”-type destructive snowstorm will wreak havoc in parts of the Northeast kicking off this week. Let’s get to the critical details.

Click here to track current power outages
Heavy, wet snow

Low pressure will intensify as it moves up the Eastern Seaboard from North Carolina later Sunday into the interior Northeast Monday. In concert with this surface low, a powerful dip in the jet stream and just enough cold air near the surface will team up to produceheavy, wet snow.


 

The areas of concern are western New York, western Pennsylvania, extreme eastern Ohio, parts of northern West Virginia and extreme western Maryland. The timing of the changeover to snow is shown by the model forecast loop below (denoted by white shadings). Snowfall rates may exceed 1″ per hour Sunday night into early Monday, accompanied by thunder and lightning!

 

NOAA Spring Outlook Flood Drought
Forecast model timing: Animation from 12am Monday through 6am Tuesday illustrating when and where the heaviest snow will fall (denoted in white shading). Heaviest rain shows up in green, yellow, and orange shading.

 

How much snow? Below is our storm total snowfall forecast. No, you’re not seeing things. It may be late April, but we’re expecting significant accumulations in both Buffalo and Pittsburgh, and at least a foot of snow in the Allegheny Plateau and Appalachians!

 

City impacts: See city summaries | Your location

 

NOAA Spring Outlook Flood Drought
Storm total snowfall forecasts: Heaviest snow, 1 foot or more, is denoted by the dark purple shading. | Enlarge snow forecast

 

This would be a noteworthy storm enough, but there’s another factor that will likely make this spring snow destructive!

Wind will whip wet snow

 

Thanks to the intensifying low, strong winds will develop in these same areas late Sunday night, persisting through much of Monday, before slackening off Tuesday.

 

NOAA Spring Outlook Flood Drought
Wind forecast Monday: Strongest sustained winds shown by darker blue shadings. Occasional wind gusts topping 50 mph will be likely, as well.

 

These winds will combine with heavy snow to reduce visibilities, leading to hazardous driving conditions late Sunday night into Monday from western New York to northern West Virginia.

 

However. these reduced visibilities will pale in comparison to the storm’s most significant impact….

 

Widespread power outages, tree damage!

 

One side-effect of the record warmest March for the Lower 48 States was the early green-up of foliage in the Northeast, in some areas 3-4 weeks ahead of schedule.

 

Read article: Record warmest March
The weight of heavy, wet snow, plus the additional force from high winds acting on trees with leaves will likely lead to widespread downed trees and powerlines, leading to numerous power outages, possibly for several days from western New York to northern West Virginia! These downed trees may make roads impassable in some areas! 

NOAA Spring Outlook Flood Drought
Tree Density Map: Darker green shadings show more dense tree cover in the Northeast. Some of the densest tree cover areas (boxed yellow) will be impacted by this April snowstorm.
Source: whrc.org

 

Also important to note: once power outages begin, temperatures may hold in the 30s through Tuesday morning, and may only rise into the 40s, at best, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons!

 

Forecast maps: Mon highs | Tue lows | Wed lows

 

Bottom line: The time to prepare for a power outage is now! Click on this video for tips on how to prepare.
WeatherREADY: Prepare for a power outage

 

So, you may rightly ask…how unusual is this heavy a snowstorm so late in the season in this area?

 

Perspective: How unusual, this late

 

While accumulating snow has fallen well into the month of May in many locations from western New York to West Virginia, snowfall this heavy, so late in the season is rare, but not unprecedented.

 

For instance, in Buffalo, N.Y. there have been 10 calendar days of 1″+ snow after April 22, according to the National Weather Service. However, dating to 1884, there have beenonly 3 calendar days after April 22 with at least 4″ of snow, there, only one of which is since 1909!

 

 

Buffalo: 4″+ snow days later than Apr. 22
April 30, 1908 (4.2″)
May 2, 1909 (5.1″)
May 7, 1989 (7.9″)

 

Similarly, in Pittsburgh, dating to 1880, there have been only 2 calendar days after April 22 with at least 3″ of snow, the last of which occurred almost 46 years ago!

 

 

Pittsburgh: 3″+ snow days later than Apr. 22
April 30, 1908 (4.2″)
May 2, 1909 (5.1″)

 

What about higher elevations, those that could see a foot or more of total snow? InWarren, Pa. (elev. 1200′), dating to 1893, there have been only 2 calendar days after April 22 with at least 6″ of snow, the last of which occurred 45 years ago!

 

 

Warren, PA: 6″+ snow days later than Apr. 22
April 24, 1967 (6.5″)
April 30, 1908 (13″)

Source

Red Alert: Draconian CISPA Bill Picking Up Sponsors Ahead Of Vote Next Week


(Kurt Nimmo)  CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, is picking up sponsors and it looks like the legislation will make it to the House floor for a vote next week. CISPA emerged from the House Intelligence Committee with an overwhelming vote of 17-1.

The bill, authored by Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, is supported by Google, the technology company in bed with the CIA and responsible for building the Great Firewall of China. Google is not alone in supporting CISPA. Corporate sponsors include Facebook, Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Verizon, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others, according to the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, long a champion of rights online, has signed on to two coalition letters urging legislators to drop their support for HR 3523. The coalition behind the privacy letter includes dozens of groups, including the ACLU, the American Library Association, the American Policy Center, the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, and many others, according to the EFF website.

The letter warns:

CISPA creates an exception to all privacy laws to permit companies to share our information with each other and with the government in the name of cybersecurity…. CISPA’s ‘information sharing’ regime allows the transfer of vast amounts of data, including sensitive information like internet use history or the content of emails, to any agency in the government including military and intelligence agencies like the National Security Agency or the Department of Defense Cyber Command. Once in government hands, this information can be used for any non-regulatory purpose so long as one significant purpose is for cybersecurity or to protect national security.

CISPA was pushed through following public outrage over SOPA and PIPA, two sneaky attempts to undermine internet freedom earlier this year under the guise of protecting the copyrights of Hollywood and its transnational “entertainment” corporations.


CISPA is far worse than its forerunners. It would amend the the National Security Act of 1947 – legislation that created the national security state and the CIA – and centralize “information sharing” between government agencies, intelligence agencies, and the Pentagon.

Time Techland admits that, according to the Center for Democracy & Technology, CISPA threatens privacy because it “has a very broad, almost unlimited definition of the information that can be shared with government agencies and it supersedes all other privacy laws,” “is likely to lead to expansion of the government’s role in the monitoring of private communications” and “is likely to shift control of government cybersecurity efforts from civilian agencies to the military.”

In short, it is a dream bill designed specifically for the national security surveillance state. CISPA will put a legal facade on behavior the CIA and NSA have engaged in for decades. It is the culmination of years of cyber psyops and attendant propaganda designed convince the public that they must surrender their privacy.

The transfer of “cybersecurity efforts from civilian agencies to the military” is especially alarming considering the Pentagon’s aggressive response to supposed cyber attacks. In early 2011, the Pentagon said that cyber attacks constitute acts of war and will be responded to with military action.

It is imperative that you contact your representatives immediately and tell them that you strongly oppose this dangerous legislation and demand they vote against it. If CISPA is allowed to pass next week, it will be a victory for the global elite and their ongoing effort to turn the internet into the largest and most comprehensive surveillance and control mechanism in human history.

Source

Google Blacklists Bank Of America Parody Website

(Stephen C. Webster)  Search giant Google blacklisted on Wednesday a website made to look like an outreach campaign by Bank of America, in what turned out to be an activist’s effort to get people talking about how the nation’s largest bank should operate.

Users of the Firefox and Google Chrome browsers were being warned on Wednesday of a “phishing scam” behind YourBofA.com, which Google’s Safe Browsing API is supposed to guard against. Phishing scams are typically criminal websites that masquerade as an official corporate site, in an attempt to steal personal information.


 

An examination of the YourBofA.com site revealed no forms soliciting personal information. A secondary scan using web trust certified tools revealed that no spyware or other malicious software existed on the domain. It’s likely that Bank of America reported the site to Google as a phishing scam, but a representative was unavailable for comment at time of this story’s publication. Other major web services that filter user links, like Facebook and Twitter, were not alerting users to any potential harm from the site.

It does, however, feature messages like, “I want my bank to let grandmas stay in houses they’ve owned their whole lives,” and, “Bank of America will no longer provide financing to the coal industry.” Another interactive page lets users create their own Bank of America advertising slogan, and the site promotes a taxpayer takeover of the bank under federal receivership rules.

“Federal receivership, an age-old practice born of age-old necessity, will save us, and our entire economy, from the worst consequences of collapse — but it will also mean that, moving forward, a new set of eyes, brains, hands, and guts will direct our course: yours,” the site’s “It’s All Yours” page explains.

A press release for the fake Bank of America campaign was emailed to reporters Wednesday morning, but corporate representatives immediately said it was fake. Reached by a reporter atThe Wall Street Journal who called a phone number on the press release, a man calling himself “Bengo Guenther” claimed that he works for “a number of large companies on their campaign to ameliorate their position — their social and spiritual position perhaps you could say.”

No groups have come forward to claim responsibility for the website as of yet, but it has the distinct ring of a “Yes Men” project, especially considering that Bank of America will release its quarterly earnings statement tomorrow.

The Yes Men are media activists who pull hoaxes to help shame corporations into doing the right thing. Some of their previous stunts included a fake edition of The New York Times and a live interview on BBC during which one of their members claimed Dow would spend billions to clean up the Bhopal disaster. That interview was scheduled after a BBC producer fell for a fake website, DowEthics.com, that seems remarkably similar to the YourBofA.com site. Unlike YourBofA.com, DowEthics.com is not blacklisted by Google.

 

A similar problem recently affected The Pirate Bay, a media-sharing website that distributes Torrent files, which enable users to share virtually anything they want. A link to its sister-site, The Promo Bay, where legitimate artists go to promote their work, was added to a blacklist managed by Microsoft’s SmartScreen technology just last month, rendering users of the Microsoft Messenger program incapable of sharing links to the site.

Google says it tries to react quickly to reports of websites that have been improperly blacklisted, however a representative was unavailable to comment on the mistaken categorization. An email to an address listed on YourBofA.com was also returned undelivered.

Update: Shortly after this report was published, Google removed YourBofA.com from its “phishing scams” blacklist

Source

$1K To Shake Obama’s Hand

(WWJ)  Bomb sniffing dogs could be seen around Greenfield Village in Dearborn as officials prepared for President Barack Obama’s visit on Wednesday.

Supporters lined up bright and early to get in the door at The Henry Ford, including Lonnie Peek, who handed over $1,000 to stand in a rope line and shake the President’s hand.

Peek said paying that price will mean a bit of a sacrifice, but it’s worth it.

“A thousand dollars is a lot of money. But other folks are kickin’ in for their candidates, so what you do is you bite the bullet,” Peek said. “You wanna have your conscience good, to feel that this is what I did.


“You know, you go without a couple of meals. We can miss a couple meals,” he said.

Phillip Levy also coughed up the cash for Obama’s fundraiser.

“I’m not a huge supporter as far as monetary input to the Democratic party, but I believe in the President’s principles and I’m really looking forward to just putting a little support behind him today,” he said.

Rodney Sharell, walking his dog in the area, said he was excited to hear Obama would be in town, but he wouldn’t be attending the event.

“No I’m not … Too rich for my blood, (I’m a) retiredChrysler worker … and proud,” he said.

Another Dearborn resident seemed angry about the President’s visit, but declined a request for an interview, telling WWJ Newsradio 950′s Sandra McNeil not to come near him with the microphone.

Following Wednesday evening’s event at the Henry Ford, Obama was scheduled to make an appearance at the Bingham Farms home of Denise Ilitch.

Source

The TSA’s Mission Creep Is Making The US A Police State

(Jennifer Abel)  Ever since 2010, when the Transportation Security Administration startedrequiring that travelers in American airports submit to sexually intrusive gropings based on the apparent anti-terrorism principle that “If we can’t feel your nipples, they must be a bomb”, the agency’s craven apologists have shouted down all constitutional or human rights objections with the mantra “If you don’t like it, don’t fly!”


This callous disregard for travelers’ rights merely paraphrases the words of Homeland Security director Janet Napolitano, who shares, with the president, ultimate responsibility for all TSA travesties since 2009. In November 2010, with the groping policy only a few weeks old, Napolitano dismissed complaints by saying “people [who] want to travel by some other means” have that right. (In other words: if you don’t like it, don’t fly.)

But now TSA is invading travel by other means, too. No surprise, really: as soon as she established groping in airports, Napolitano expressed her desire to expand TSA jurisdiction over all forms of mass transit. In the past year, TSA’s snakelike VIPR (Visual Intermodal Prevention and Response) teams have been slithering into more and more bus and train stations – and even running checkpoints on highways – never in response to actual threats, but apparently more in an attempt to live up to the inspirational motto displayed at the TSA’s air marshal training center since the agency’s inception: “Dominate. Intimidate. Control.”

Anyone who rode the bus in Houston, Texas during the 2-10pm shift last Friday faced random bag checks and sweeps by both drug-sniffing dogs and bomb-sniffing dogs (the latter being only canines necessary if “preventing terrorism” were the actual intent of these raids), all courtesy of a joint effort between TSA VIPR nests and three different local and county-level police departments. The new Napolitano doctrine, then: “Show us your papers, show us everything you’ve got, justify yourself or you’re not allowed to go about your everyday business.”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee praised these violations of her constituents’ rights with an explanation asinine even by congressional standards:

“We’re looking to make sure that the lady I saw walking with a cane … knows that Metro cares as much about her as we do about building the light rail.”

See, if you don’t support the random harassment of ordinary people riding the bus to work, you’re a callous bastard who doesn’t care about little old ladies.

No specific threats or reasons were cited for the raids, as the government no longer even pretends to need any. Vipers bite you just because they can. TSA spokesman Jim Fotenos confirmed this a few days before the Houston raids, when VIPR teams and local police did the same thing to travelers catching trains out of the Amtrak station in Alton, Illinois. Fotenos confirmed that “It was not in response to a specific threat,” and bragged that VIPR teams conduct “thousands” of these operations each year.

Still, apologists can pretend that’s all good, pretend constitutional and human rights somehow don’t apply to mass transit, and twist their minds into the Mobius pretzel shapes necessary to find random searches of everyday travelers compatible with any notion that America is a free country. “Don’t like the new rules for mass transit? Then drive.”

Except even that doesn’t work anymore. Earlier this month, the VIPRs came out again in Virginia and infested the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, also known as the stretch of Interstate 64 connecting the cities of Hampton and Norfolk. Spokesmen admitted again that the exercise was a “routine sweep”, not a response to any specific threat. Official news outlets admitted the checkpoint caused a delay (further exacerbated by a couple of accidents), but didn’t say for how long. Local commenters at the Travel Underground forums reported delays of 90 minutes.

I grew up in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. When I was a kid, my dad crossed the bridge-tunnel every day while commuting to work. When I was in university, I did the same thing. The old conventional wisdom said “Get to the airport at least two hours early, so TSA has time to violate your constitutional rights before boarding.” What’s the new conventional wisdom – “Leave for any destination at least 90 minutes early, so TSA can violate your rights en route”?

Airports, bus terminals, train stations, highways – what’s left? If you don’t like it, walk. And remember to be respectfully submissive to any TSA agents or police you encounter in your travels, especially now that theUS supreme court has ruled mass strip-searches are acceptable for anyone arrested for even the most minor offence in America. If you’re rude to any TSA agent or cops, you risk being arrested on some vague catch-all charge like “disorderly conduct”. Even if the charges are later dropped, you’ll still undergo the ritual humiliation of having to strip, squat, spread ‘em and show your various orifices to be empty.

Can I call America a police state now, without being accused of hyperbole?

Source

Mandatory Big Brother Black Boxes In All New Cars From 2015

(Paul Joseph Watson)  A bill already passed by the Senate and set to be rubber stamped by the House would make it mandatory for all new cars in the United States to be fitted with black box data recorders from 2015 onwards.

Section 31406 of Senate Bill 1813 (known as MAP-21), calls for “Mandatory Event Data Recorders” to be installed in all new automobiles and legislates for civil penalties to be imposed against individuals for failing to do so.

“Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall revise part 563 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to require, beginning with model year 2015, that new passenger motor vehicles sold in the United States be equipped with an event data recorder that meets the requirements under that part,” states the bill.


Although the text of legislation states that such data would remain the property of the owner of the vehicle, the government would have the power to access it in a number of circumstances, including by court order, if the owner consents to make it available, and pursuant to an investigation or inspection conducted by the Secretary of Transportation.

Given the innumerable examples of both government and industry illegally using supposedly privacy-protected information to spy on individuals, this represents the slippery slope to total Big Brother surveillance of every American’s transport habits and location data.

The legislation, which has been given the Orwellian title ‘Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act’, sailed through the Senate after being heavily promoted by Democrats Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer and is also expected to pass the Republican-controlled House.

Given the fact that the same bill also includes a controversial provision that would empower the IRS to revoke passports of citizens merely accused of owing over $50,000 in back taxes, stripping them of their mobility rights, could the mandatory black boxes or a similar technology be used for the same purpose?

Biometric face-recognition and transdermol sensor technology that prevents an inebriated person from driving a car by disabling the automobile has already been developed, in addition to systems that refuse to allow the vehicle to start if the driver is deemed to be overtired.

The ultimate Big Brother scenario would be a system whereby every driver had to get de facto permission from the state to drive each time they get behind the wheel, once it had been determined from an iris scan that they were good citizens who have paid all their taxes and not misbehaved.

The push to pressure car manufacturers to install black box tracking devices in all new cars has been ongoing for over a decade. In 2006, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrationencouraged but did not require automobile manufacturers to install the systems.

However, in February last year NHTSA administrator David Strickland said the government was considering making the technology mandatory in the wake of recalls of millions of Toyota vehicles.

Earlier this year it was reported that the NHTSA would soon formally announce that all new cars would be mandated to have the devices fitted by law, which has now been codified into the MAP-21 bill.

Source

Researchers Claim Sex Robots Will Be Future Of Sex Trade

(Candice Leigh Helfand )  Are robots the future of prostitution and sex tourism? That’s what two Australian researchers claim.

Ian Yeoman, management professor, and Michelle Mars, sexologist, are researchers at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. Their work together revolved around the concept of futuristic sex tourism.

The hypothesis? Sex robots would become the leading ladies of sex-for-profit in the seemingly distant year of 2050.

The paper was called “Robots, Men and Sex Tourism,” a work that made its way into a journal called Futures, according to a report in The Dominion Post.


Part of their research involved the hypothetical creation of an Amsterdam sex club called “Yub-Yum,” where robot women create a land rife with “sexual gods and goddesses of different ethnicities, body shapes, ages, languages and sexual features.”

Dennis Hof, owner of the world-renowned Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Carson City, Nev., said that the plan is destined for failure.

“Those Australian researchers ought to come to the Bunny Ranch to see what real American sex is like – there’s no way to duplicate it,” he told CBS Las Vegas. “At the Bunny Ranch, we say ‘it’s not just the sex, it’s an adventure’ – and often times it’s more about the adventure than it is the sex.”

However, Douglas Hines, founder of the world’s first sex robot company, True Companion LLC in Lincoln Park, N.J., noted the virtual lovers are already growing in popularity.

“Since we’ve launched the initial product … interest has ramped up dramatically in use by people in the U.S. and abroad,” he told CBS Las Vegas. “And the robots can assume any identity virtually … though we just have 18-plus as the age that the robot behaves like.”

The study detailed multiple health-related upsides to the use of robots in such locales.

”Robot sex is safer sex, free from the constraints, precautions and uncertainties of the real deal,” the paper said, adding that the robots would be cleaned of fluids and constructed of a bacteria-resistant material to further diminish the chance of sexually transmitted diseases and infections.

“One of the benefits of sex robots is that they remove exploitation of women from the equation, and the sex trade of underage [partners],” Hines added. “Underage women are exploited to meet the desires of others, whereas with the robots, there is no exploitation of anyone.”

Hof said that there is one element – a crucial one, he says – that the robots will never be able to truly replicate for a man.

“The biggest part of the sex experience … is interaction with a woman,” he noted. “He wants to tell her stories, wants her to listen, wants her to act like she cares – a robot’s not going to do that.”

Source

Obama Eats Dog Meat As A Child

(NYP)  In the latest tit-for-tat in Mitt Romney’s lingering dog problem, aides to the Republican candidate are gleefully pointing out that President Barack Obama ate dog meat as a child.

The tale of Romney’s Irish setter Seamus — who traveled in a crate atop the family’s station wagon on a 1983 trip from Boston to Canada — has dogged the former Massachusetts governor for years.


Romney and his wife were most recently asked about the incident during an interview Monday with ABC’s Diane Sawyer and Ann Romney’s defense that Seamus “loved” traveling on top of the family car drew snickers from some Democrats and dog lovers.

Biting back Tuesday, conservative news site The Daily Caller made note of a passage in Obama’s book “Dreams from My Father,” in which the president recounted some of his adventurous eats while living in Indonesia with his stepfather Lolo Soetoro from age six to 10.

“With Lolo, I learned how to eat small green chili peppers raw with dinner (plenty of rice), and, away from the dinner table, I was introduced to dog meat (tough), snake meat (tougher), and roasted grasshopper (crunchy),” part of the passage reads.

Daily Caller blogger Jim Treacher commented, “Say what you want about Romney, but at least he only put a dog on the roof of his car, not the roof of his mouth.”

Romney’s campaign quickly seized on the anecdote. On Tuesday night, top Romney aide Eric Fehrnstrom re-posted a tweet originally made in January by Obama adviser David Axelrod that showed a picture of the president riding inside a car with his pet Bo, a Portuguese water dog.

In a jab at Romney, Axelrod’s original caption read, “How loving owners transport their dogs.” But Fehrnstrom commented, “In hindsight, a chilling photo.”

Romney spokesman Ryan Williams also linked to an ABC report on the story on Twitter, saying, “Not the headline Team Obama was looking for.”

Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt fired back, tweeting, “What’s the next attack [Fehrnstrom] and the RNC will surface on a 6-10 year old?”

Asked about the back and forth during an interview with Ohio radio station WLW Wednesday, Romney said, “This campaign is going to ultimately become about jobs not dogs.”

Source

Dick Clark Dies Of Massive Heart Attack

Dick Clark  famed TV producer, and “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” host — died from a massive heart attack this morning … TMZ has learned.

Clark’s rep tells TMZ, the TV icon had been in St. John’s hospital in L.A. after undergoing an outpatient procedure last night. Clark suffered the “massive” heart attack following the procedure. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.


Clark was 82.

Clark’s health had been on the decline since he suffered a significant stroke in 2004 — forcing him to retire from his hosting gig at “New Years’ Rockin’ Eve,” which he created in 1972.

Ryan Seacrest took over in 2006. Dick has appeared on the show sporadically ever since.

Before suffering a stroke, Clark told Larry King he also suffered from Type 2 diabetes.

Clark was married 3 times — and has 3 children from his first two marriages. He is survived by his current wife Kari Wigton.

“For now, Dick Clark … so long.”

Source

Escort Recounts Quarrel With Secret Service Agent

(William Neuman)   A Secret Service agent preparing for President Obama’s arrival at an international summit meeting and a single mother from Colombia who makes a living as a high-priced escort faced off in a room at the Hotel Caribe a week ago over how much he owed her for the previous night’s intercourse. “I tell him, ‘Baby, my cash money,’ ” the woman said in her first public comments on a spat that would soon spiral into a full-blown scandal.

The dispute — he offered $30 for services she thought they had agreed were worth 25 times that — triggered a tense early morning struggle in the hallway of the posh hotel involving the woman, another prostitute, Colombian police officers arguing on the women’s behalf and American federal agents who tried but failed to keep the matter — which has shaken the reputation of the Secret Service — from escalating.

Sitting on a couch in her living room wearing a short jean skirt, high-heeled espadrilles and a tight spandex top with a plunging neckline, the woman described how she and a girlfriend were approached by a group of American men at a discotheque. In an account that tracked with the official version of events coming out of Washington, but could not be independently confirmed, she said the men bought a bottle of Absolut vodka for the table and when that was finished bought a second one.

“They never told me they were with Obama,” she said. “They were very discreet.”

A taxi driver who picked up the woman at the Hotel Caribe the morning of the encounter said he heard her and another woman recount the dispute over payment. When approached by The Times, the woman was reluctant to speak about what occurred. As she nervously told her story, a friend gave details that seemed to corroborate her account.

There was a language gap between the 24-year-old woman, who declined to give her full name, and the American man who sat beside her all night and eventually invited her back to his room. She agreed, stopped on the way to buy condoms but told him he would have to give her a gift. He asked how much. Not knowing he worked for President Obama but figuring he was a well-heeled foreigner, she said she told him $800.

The price alone, she said, indicates that she is an escort, not a prostitute. “You have higher rank,” she said. “An escort is someone who a man can take out to dinner. She can dress nicely, wear nice makeup, speak and act like a lady. That’s me.”

By 6:30 the next morning, after being awoken by a telephone call from the hotel front desk reminding her that, under the hotel’s rules for prostitutes, she had to leave, whatever deal the two had agreed on had broken down. She recalled that the man told her he had been drunk when they discussed the price. He countered with an offer of 50,000 pesos, the equivalent of about $30.

Disgusted with such a low offer, she pressed the matter. He became angry, ordered her out of the room and called her an expletive, she said.

She said she was crying at that point and went across the hall, where another escort had spent the night with a second American man from the same group. Both women began trying to get the money.

They knocked on the door but got no response. She threatened to call the police, but the man’s friend begged her not to, saying they did not want trouble. Finally, she said, she left to go home but came across a policeman who was stationed on the hallway and called in an English-speaking colleague.

He accompanied her back to the room and the dispute escalated. Two other Americans from the club emerged from their rooms and stood guard in front of their friend’s locked door. The two Colombian officers tried to argue the woman’s case.

A hotel security officer arrived. Eventually, she lowered her demand to $250, which she said was the amount she has to pay the man who helps find her customers. Eager to resolve the matter fast, the American men eventually gave her a combination of dollars and local currency worth about $225, and she left.

It was only days later, once a friend she had shared her story with called to say that the dispute had made the television news, that she learned that the man had been a Secret Service agent.

She was dismayed, she said, that the news reports have described her as a prostitute as though she walked the streets picking up just anyone.

“It’s the same but it’s different,” she said, indicating that she is much more selective about her clients and charges much more than a streetwalker. “It’s like when you buy a fine rum or a BlackBerry or an iPhone. They have a different price.”

The woman veered between anger and fear as she told of her misadventure. “I’m scared,” she said, indicating she did not want the man she spent the night with to get into any trouble but now feared that he might retaliate against her.

“This is something really big,” she said. “This is the government of the United States. I have nervous attacks. I cry all the time.”

The Secret Service declined to comment on the woman’s account. Among the issues under review is whether the security personnel went out that night looking for prostitutes or whether they encountered them where they had been drinking.

“There was no evidence that these women were seeking these guys out — that they were waiting for Secret Service agents — but all of that is being looked into,” said Representative Peter T. King, the chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Mr. King, who was briefed on the matter on Tuesday by Mark Sullivan, the Secret Service director, said that the Secret Service agents at the hotel had provided conflicting reports about the night’s events.

“Some of them were saying they didn’t know they were prostitutes,” he said. “Some are saying they were women at the bar. I understand that there was quite a bit of drinking.”

When a reporter read the woman’s account to him over the phone on Wednesday, Mr. King said, “Nothing you are telling me contradicts what I have been told.” He said that there was no evidence that the women obtained information about the president’s security, but he added: “That is still be looked at.”

He said that investigators believe the youngest woman involved was 20 years old.

As for cooperating with the American investigators who are seeking to interview as many as 21 different women who they believe may have spent the night with American security officers in advance of Mr. Obama’s arrival, the woman who was involved in the payment dispute said she was not interested in that. She said she was planning to leave Cartagena soon.

Source

Cuffing Our Kids-10 Examples Of Children Being Brutalized

(Michael Snyder)  When did we decide that it was okay to treat very young school children as if they were terror suspects?

When I was growing up, I don’t remember a single time that the police ever came to my school and arrested anyone.  But now police are being called out to public schools at the drop of a hat.  All over America, very young school children are being arrested and marched out of their schools in handcuffs in front of all their friends.


For example, down in Georgia the other day police were called out because a 6-year-old girl was throwing a tantrum.  The police subdued her, slapped handcuffs on her and hauled her off to the police station.  Instead of apologizing for this outrageous incident, the police are defending the actions of the officer involved.  But this is not an isolated incident.  All over the country young kids are being handcuffed and mistreated by police.

The following are 10 more disgusting examples of very young school children being arrested, handcuffed and brutalized by police all over America….

#1 At an elementary school in Baltimore recently, three nine-year-old girls and an eight-year-old boy were arrested for fighting and marched out of their elementary school in handcuffs.  The police department is defending handcuffing these kids….

‘It’s our policy, regardless of the age, when a suspect is arrested by police, they’re handcuffed. And the reason is just not for the suspect’s safety but also for officers’ safety,’ Det. Jeremy Silbert of the Baltimore City Police Department said.


2 In New Haven, Connecticut a 10-year-old boy was actually arrested by police for giving another student “a wedgie” on a school bus.

#3 Just last year, a 5-year-old boy at a public school in Stockton, California was arrested by police and handcuffed with zip ties because he was committing “battery on a police officer“.

Really?

How much damage can a 5-year-old kid really do to a police officer?

The boy was ultimately sent to a hospital and forced to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

#4 A 6-year-old girl down in Florida was “throwing objects, hitting administration personnel and screaming uncontrollably” so police handcuffed the 40-pound little girl and shipped her off to a mental institution for evaluation.

#5 In San Mateo, California a few months ago a 7-year-old special education student was blasted in the face with pepper spray because he would not quit climbing on the furniture.  Police were then able to subdue the boy and he was “committed for a psychiatric evaluation”.

#6 Down in Florida, an 11-year-old student was arrested by police, thrown in jail and charged with a third-degree felony for bringing a plastic butter knife to school.

#7 In Texas, a 12-year-old girl was recently arrested by police for spraying two bursts of perfume on her neck.  She was formally charged with a misdemeanor.

#8 A 13-year-old boy at a public school in Albuquerque, New Mexico was recently arrested by police for burping in class.  The police marched him out of school and hauled him over to a juvenile detention center.

#9 Back in 2010, a 12-year-old girl at a school in Forest Hills, New York wrote “I love my friends Abby and Faith” on her desk.  The police were called out and she was marched out of her school in handcuffs in front of all her friends.

#10 A teenage couple down in Houston, Texas poured milk on each other during a squabble while they were breaking up a while back.  Instead of being sent to see the principal, they were arrested by police and sent to court.

In the old days, if a kid got out of line a school administrator would give that child a little paddling and that would be the end of it. These days, police are called out for even the most minor incidents.  I would say that being arrested by police, put in handcuffs and marched down to the police station is far more traumatic that a couple of whacks with a ruler or a paddle.

But the world has changed and our entire society is becoming one big security state. In our public schools today, even the most minor incident could end up being put on the “permanent record” of your child. This is especially true for anything having to do with sex.  School officials have become hypersensitive when it comes to this area.  The following are just a couple of examples….

-When a very young girl recently kissed a very young boy at one Florida elementary school,  it was considered to be a “possible sex crime” and the police were called out.

-A 6-year-old boy was recently charged with sexual battery for some “inappropriate touching” during a game of tag at one elementary school in the San Francisco area.

Do you want your child to be charged with a “sex crime” if he inadvertently touches another kid the wrong way?

Do you want your child to be thrown to the floor, handcuffed and hauled off to a mental institution for burping in class or doodling on a desk?

If not, you might want to pull you child out of the government schools while you still can. The truth is that U.S. public schools more closely resemble prison camps at this point than they do institutions of learning.

Millions of our children are “graduating” from high school dumb as a rock, but all of them are definitely being prepared to live in a Big Brother police state. If there are weapons or drugs involved in an incident, then it is appropriate for police to be called out to a school.

But for virtually everything else, the administrators and the teachers should be able to handle it. Yes, our children are more out of control today than ever before.  But what did we expect?  The family unit in America has been crumbling for decades and our society has become a cesspool of filth and corruption.  Of course our kids are going to behave horribly.

But there is no excuse for what police are doing in many of our public schools.

Police should not be arresting, handcuffing and brutalizing our young children for minor offenses.

What in the world is happening to this country? 

Source

The Future Of Water, $4 Per Gallon?





(Sarka-Jonae Miller) Four dollars for a gallon of gas is ridiculous enough, but $4 for a gallon of water could someday became a reality, that is if oil tycoons like T. Boone Pickens and water bottling companies have their way. Privatization of water in which companies control the public’s water sources and free water is a thing of the past appears to be what Pickens and corporations such asMonsanto,Royal Dutch Shell,and Nestleare banking on to increase their vast fortunes.

Companies, brokers and billionaires are buying up groundwater rights and aquifers. Groundwater is necessary for agriculture and more water is needed to meet a growing demand for food. Many countries have already over-pumped their groundwater to feed increasing local populations. Combine this with climate changes and an ever-increasing strain on water resources due to a rapidly growing world population and you have got a future where water is called “blue gold” because of its scarcity and high cost.

Bleak future

TheOrganization for Economic Cooperation & Developmentestimates that half the world’s population will reside in areas with significant water stress by 2030. According to a government report entitledGlobal Water Security, the demand for water will be 40 percent above sustainable water supplies with needs around 6,900 billion cubic meters due to population growth. By 2025, the world’s population will likely exceed 8 billion people.




Private corporations already own 5 percent of the world’s fresh water. Australia is an excellent example of a country already suffering from multiple water droughts. Farmers are selling water rights to brokers, unaware of the long-term effects.

The United States is by no means immune to these plots.Royal Dutch Shellowns groundwater rights in Colorado and oil tycoon Pickens is buying up all he can in Texas. He owns more water than any other person in the U.S. His plan is to sell the water owns, around 65 billion gallons annually, to Dallas and other major cities affected by droughts. Pickens hopes to profit off of desperation, saying “There are people who will buy the water when they need it. And the people who have the water want to sell it. That’s the blood, guts, and feathers of the thing.” He also owns a massive wind farm in the area and natural gas resources, but has admitted that he is no environmentalist, only an entrepreneur who goes where the money is.

Stopping the madness

The public might not even be able to rely on the government to do the right thing and protect everyone from private water owners buying up all the water and then selling it for as much as people are able to pay. Lawmakers in most states did not foresee water privatization because water was once plentiful. As such, in some cases the only people who legally have a right to stop water privatization plans are the people who reside on the water property. For Pickens and his land near the Ogallala Aquifer this means that he, his wife and three of his employees are the only people who have a say in his privatization plans, according to EarthFirst.com.

The only way people can fight this despicable process is to refuse to support it. Water districts across the U.S. are refusing to purchase water from private companies. If Pickens,Monsantoand others have no one to sell the water to then they will give up. They are only in it for the money. No buyers means no profit.

Sources for this article include:

Bloomberg Businessweek: There Will Be Water
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_25/b4089040017753.htm
EarthFirst.com: “Blue Gold”: T. Boone Pickens and the Privatization of Water
http://earthfirst.com
Office of the Director of National Intelligence: Global Water Security
http://www.dni.gov/nic/ICA_Global%20Water%20Security.pdf

About the author:
Sarka-Jonae Miller is a health writer and novelist. She was certified as a personal fitness trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. She also worked as a massage therapist, group exercise instructor and assistant martial arts instructor.
Miller’s premiere novel, “Between Boyfriends,” was recently publishedhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006Q6TSCS/ref=cm_cr_mts_prod_img

Source

U.S. Soldiers Posing With Dead Corpses

(David Zucchino)  The paratroopers had their assignment: Check out reports that Afghan police had recovered the mangled remains of an insurgent suicide bomber. Try to get iris scans and fingerprints for identification.

The 82nd Airborne Division soldiers arrived at the police station in Afghanistan’s Zabol province in February 2010. They inspected the body parts. Then the mission turned macabre: The paratroopers posed for photos next to Afghan police, grinning while some held — and others squatted beside — the corpse’s severed legs.


A few months later, the same platoon was dispatched to investigate the remains of three insurgents who Afghan police said had accidentally blown themselves up. After obtaining a few fingerprints, they posed next to the remains, again grinning and mugging for photographs.

the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, along with Afghan police, pose with the mangled corpse of a suicide bomber”

Two soldiers posed holding a dead man’s hand with the middle finger raised. A soldier leaned over the bearded corpse while clutching the man’s hand. Someone placed an unofficial platoon patch reading “Zombie Hunter” next to other remains and took a picture.

The Army launched a criminal investigation after the Los Angeles Times showed officials copies of the photos, which recently were given to the paper by a soldier from the division.

“It is a violation of Army standards to pose with corpses for photographs outside of officially sanctioned purposes,” said George Wright, an Army spokesman. “Such actions fall short of what we expect of our uniformed service members in deployed areas.”

Wright said that after the investigation, the Army would “take appropriate action” against those involved. Most of the soldiers in the photos have been identified, said Lt. Col. Margaret Kageleiry, an Army spokeswoman.

The photos have emerged at a particularly sensitive moment for U.S.-Afghan relations. In January, a video appeared on the Internet showing four U.S. Marines urinating on Afghan corpses. In February, the inadvertent burning of copies of the Koran at a U.S. base triggered riots that left 30 dead and led to the deaths of six Americans. In March, a U.S. Army sergeant went on a nighttime shooting rampage in two Afghan villages, killing 17.

The soldier who provided The Times with a series of 18 photos of soldiers posing with corpses did so on condition of anonymity. He served in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne’s 4th Brigade Combat Team from Ft. Bragg, N.C. He said the photos point to a breakdown in leadership and discipline that he believed compromised the safety of the troops.

He expressed the hope that publication would help ensure that alleged security shortcomings at two U.S. bases in Afghanistan in 2010 were not repeated. The brigade, under new command but with some of the same paratroopers who served in 2010, began another tour in Afghanistan in February.

U.S. military officials asked The Times not to publish any of the pictures.

Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said the conduct depicted “most certainly does not represent the character and the professionalism of the great majority of our troops in Afghanistan…. Nevertheless, this imagery — more than two years old — now has the potential to indict them all in the minds of local Afghans, inciting violence and perhaps causing needless casualties.”

Kirby added, “We have taken the necessary precautions to protect our troops in the event of any backlash.”

Times Editor Davan Maharaj said, “After careful consideration, we decided that publishing a small but representative selection of the photos would fulfill our obligation to readers to report vigorously and impartially on all aspects of the American mission in Afghanistan, including the allegation that the images reflect a breakdown in unit discipline that was endangering U.S. troops.”

The photos were taken during a yearlong deployment of the 3,500-member brigade, which lost 35 men during that time, according to icasualties.org, a website that tracks casualties. At least 23 were killed by homemade bombs or suicide bombers.

Suicide attacks on two bases of the brigade’s 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment killed six U.S. soldiers and four Afghan interpreters. The platoon whose soldiers posed for the photos was part of the battalion.

The soldier who provided the photos, and two other former members of the battalion, said in separate interviews that they and others had complained of inadequate security at the two bases.

An Army investigation into a July 2010 suicide attack in Kandahar that killed four U.S. soldiers found that senior members of the battalion had complained about security. But it concluded that force protection measures were “reasonable and prudent” in the face of limited resources.

Virtually all of the men depicted in the photos had friends who were killed or wounded by homemade bombs or suicide attacks, according to the soldier who provided the images. One paratrooper on the mission wore a bracelet bearing the name of a fallen comrade.

On the first mission, to the police station in the provincial capital of Qalat, Afghan police told the platoon that the severed legs belonged to a suicide bomber whose explosives detonated as he tried to attack a police unit, according to the soldier who provided the photos.

On the second mission, to the morgue in Qalat in late April or early May 2010, Afghan police told the platoon that explosives had detonated as three insurgents were preparing a roadside bomb.

The platoon was able to obtain some fingerprints from the corpses for a database maintained by U.S. forces, the soldier said.

The soldiers felt a sense of triumph and satisfaction, especially after learning that the insurgents had been killed by their own explosives, he said.

“They were frustrated, just pissed off — their buddies had been blown up by IEDs” — improvised explosive devices — the soldier said. “So they sort of just celebrated.”

The Qalat photos were circulated among several members of the platoon, the soldier said, and soldiers often joked about them. Most of the soldiers in the photos were low-ranking — including six specialists or privates.

Col. Brian Drinkwine, then-commander of the 4th Brigade, and Lt. Col. David Oclander, then-commander of the 1st Battalion, said they were not authorized to comment on the photos.

The Pentagon declined a Times request that Army officials contact all active-duty soldiers in the photos to provide an opportunity to comment. The Times sent requests for comment by email and Facebook to seven soldiers in the photos. One, now serving in Afghanistan, declined to comment. The others did not respond.

The photos were taken during a tumultuous period in the brigade’s deployment.

In January 2010, the commander of the brigade’s 2nd Battalion and the battalion’s top noncommissioned officer were relieved of duty and ordered home after slides with racial and sexist overtones were shown during daily PowerPoint briefings.

Separately, an Army investigation criticized Drinkwine for failing to prevent his wife from threatening and harassing some unit officers and their spouses during the deployment.

Ft. Bragg’s commanding general, Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, told the Fayetteville Observer in June 2010 that Drinkwine had created “a dysfunctional situation” in the unit. Drinkwine remained in command until after the deployment ended that August.

Source

3 Girls Expelled From School For Drawing Swastikas In Maple Syrup

(CBS)  Jon Lovitz may have been a comedian since he was 15, but for him, a prank involving maple syrup was no laughing matter.

Lovitz took to his Twitter account to decry swastikas and “Jew” written in maple syrup on the front walkway of a childhood friend’s home in Northridge.

“UPDATE!!!! The three girls who vandalized my friends home with swastikas and dog crap, have been expelled from their school permanently,” he wrote.

The Los Angeles Unified School District, however, said the girls have been disciplined but, according to school policy, will not comment on whether the girls had been transferred to another school.

The prank, which also included feces left on the family’s doorstep and toilet paper on the property’s trees, was discovered April 3 and reportedly directed at a 14-year-old classmate living there.


The family did not want to be identified but the girl’s father spoke out Tuesday:

“The girls need to understand the severity of what they did. This wasn’t a joke. That symbol (a swastika) has a very different meaning here at this house.”

Police say that because the swastikas did not leave permanent damage, it did not rise to the level of a hate crime.

Swastikas are no joke, Lovitz told CBS2/KCAL9′s Kristine Lazar.

“This is the worst thing you could do to terrorize a family, outside of actually harming them,” Lovitz said.

Lovitz says the daughter of his friend, who is the son of Holocaust survivors, has been bullied by the three girls who admitted to the prank. The comedian and actor has tweeted a photo of the three girls, who were photographed making an obscene gesture, with this message: “The 3 girls who are bullying my friend’s daughter. They want to be known. Let them be famous as Jew haters. Pls RT.”

“You’ve got three girls against one,” Lovitz said. ” Well, now you’ve got two against three. And who else is going to join in this?”

Students at Nobel Middle School said they were shocked by the incident.

“This girl feels threatened by these other kids and how do you live like that?” said Morgan Braverman, who goes to temple with the girl who was targeted. “It’s even hard to tell people that you’re Jewish because you don’t know what they’ll think.”

Police are investigating whether the mother of one of the girls may face criminal charges for driving them to the house to pull off the prank in the middle of the night.

Source

Over 800 Corporations,Chamber of Commerce Support Internet Freedom Crushing CISPA

(Madison Ruppert)  It’s quite sad for me to say that over 3 million businesses in the United States represented by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, not to mention 800+ other major corporations (see below list), all have shown their support for thedisturbing legislation known as CISPA, or the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.

This long list includes corporations like Google, Facebook, AT&T, Verizon, Microsoft, IBM, Boeing, Intel, the Financial Services Roundtable, Lockheed Martin, Qualcomm, Northrop Grumman, VeriSign, Symantec, Oracle, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the Internet Security Alliance, the information Technology Industry Council, the Independent Telephone & Telecommunications Alliance, Cyber, the Space & Intelligence Association, CTIA – the Wireless Association, the Business Roundtable and more (all of which are listed below).


Please take a moment out of your day to either share this article or at least the list of corporations behind this legislation in order to help coordinate a boycott effort.

I believe it would also be beneficial to call them repeatedly (inundating their phone lines can be a major headache), shower them with emails, letters, etc. all in an attempt to get them to back away from CISPA.

Widespread protest efforts were quite successful in bringing down the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), but now we have to keep in mind that many of the corporations who were anti-SOPA are actually pro-CISPA.

This means that the public will have to be engaged to a much more significant degree in order to have an impact even remotely comparable to what we saw in opposition to SOPA and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).

The real reason that corporations who were against SOPA and PIPA but are now behind CISPA is because, unlike the previous legislation, it removes all liability from the corporations and shifts the regulatory pressure away from the company.
SOPA actually required private corporations to keep tabs on all of their user activity and made them liable for their users and their activities.

CISPA, on the other hand, shifts that responsibility away from the private corporations completely and hands that role over to a government entity.

This makes it so corporations are protected from lawsuits from a user who has their private information given to the government under CISPA.

Now I’m sure you can see why companies like Google (which protested SOPA in a quite visible manner) and Facebook (which also voiced opposition to SOPA) are champing at the bit to get behind CISPA.

“CISPA would allow ISPs, social networking sites and anyone else handling Internet communications to monitor users and pass information to the government without any judicial oversight,” according to the Activism Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Rainey Reitman. “The language of this bill is dangerously vague, so that personal online activity — from the mundane to the intimate — could be implicated.”

What exactly does “dangerously vague” mean, you ask? Well, the EFF has done a fantastic job of explaining exactly what they mean.

CISPA would allow “access to any information regarding a ‘cyber threat’ is granted to the government, privacy security agencies and private companies.”

CISPA’s definition of a “cyber threat” is as follows:

  • Efforts to disrupt or destroy government or private systems or networks.
  • Theft or misappropriation of private or government information, intellectual property, or personally identifiable information.

In this context, misappropriation means “wrongful borrowing” and intellectual property means anything protected by a copyright including programs like Photoshop and Microsoft Office, MP3s, television shows and movies, and absolutely anything in between.

The purposefully vague language of CISPA leaves room for abuse in the following ways (according tothis informative infographic from the EFF):

  • The government, private security agencies (think HB Gary and many more), and private companies (which arealready being brought into the fold) acting in “good faith” actually means maybe you did it (whatever it allegedly may be).
  • These entities can share “cyber threat information” which, in reality, is your personal information with other private companies, private security agencies and government entities.
  • They can do this all with total anonymity, meaning that they don’t have to tell you what they’re doing or if they’re sending your information to someone or even who they are sending it to.
  • It also gives these entities immunity to legal action, which means that you can’t take action against any of them, even if they made a mistake with your information.

The EFF graphic aptly sums it up by saying, “Privacy policy? LOL.”

“Any existing legal protections of user privacy will be usurped by CISPA. The bill clearly states that the information may be shared ‘notwithstanding any other provision of law,’” they add.

Recently, Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s vice president for U.S. public policy, attempted to reassure users. In my opinion, he failed miserably in attempting to say that it only would allow them to share information about possible cyber attacks while not forcing any new data sharing obligations, adding:

[W]e recognize that a number of privacy and civil liberties groups have raised concerns about the bill – in particular about provisions that enable private companies to voluntarily share cyber threat data with the government. The concern is that companies will share sensitive personal information with the government in the name of protecting cybersecurity. Facebook has no intention of doing this and it is unrelated to the things we liked about HR 3523 in the first place — the additional information it would provide us about specific cyber threats to our systems and users.

EFF shot back in a quite thorough blog post entitled, “What Facebook Wants in Cybersecurity Doesn’t Require Trampling On Our Privacy Rights.”

They note that the government can already share information about supposed cyber threats with corporations like Facebook without “any of the CISPA provisions that allow companies to routinely monitor private communications and share personal user data gleaned from those communications with the government.”

They also make it very clear that they do not trust Facebook’s claims in writing:

But let’s be clear: Internet users don’t want promises from companies not to intercept our private communications and share that data with one another and the government. We want strong laws that make such egregious privacy violations illegal, that require the government to follow legal process (judicial oversight in most case), and that allow us or the government to sue persons who break the law. Ironically, hard-won, long-standing privacy laws—like the Wiretap Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act—already exist, although they are by no means ideal. There are already too many exceptions that allow the government to gain access to sensitive user data. But CISPA would upend these existing legal protections and leave the door wide open to companies handing sensitive personal information to the government without so much as a subpoena, let alone a warrant.

Considered together, this information paints nothing short of a disturbing picture. With Silicon Valley’s data mining capabilities more sophisticated than ever before, and with many peoples’ information being captured without their knowledge or consent, the information that will be readily available is almost incomprehensible in its scope.

The house will be voting on CISPA on April 23 and I highly recommend that you make an effort to put this legislation down before we see even more of our rights trampled on by our tyrannical federal government.

I’d love to hear your opinion, take a look at your story tips, and even your original writing if you would like to get it published. Please email me at [email protected]

Source

List of corporations

15 Year Old Hacks 259 Companies In 90 Days

)  A 15-year-old boy has been arrested for hacking into 259 companies during a 90-day spree. In other words, during the last quarter he successfully attacked an average of three websites per day.

Austrian police have arrested a 15-year-old student suspected of hacking into 259 companies across the span of three months. Authorities allege the suspect scanned the Internet for vulnerabilities and bugs in websites and databases that he could then exploit. As soon as he was questioned, the young boy confessed to the attacks, according to Austria’s Federal Criminal Police Office (BMI).


The boy allegedly stole data and published it publicly after breaching the security infrastructures of 259 firms. He also defaced many company websites and boasted about his accomplishments on Twitter, where he also posted links to his data dumps.

The firms were attacked between January 2012 and March 2012, and they were not limited to just Austria. He didn’t seem to target specific types of industries: everything from sports companies, to tourism services, to adult entertainment, to search services were attacked.

The young man reportedly admitted to being responsible, saying that he was bored and wanted to prove himself. He was described as anti-social, and so looked to the online world for praise and affirmation, possibly being inspired by reports about the hacktivist group Anonymous.

After finding a hacker forum that gave members points for successful attacks, the boy went to work. Three months later, the 15-year-old was in the top 50 hackers of the approximately 2,000 users registered on the forum.

The teenager used various hacking tools widely available on the Internet, including software that helped him remain anonymous. Now and then, he left messages in the systems he hacked, or simply signed them with the hacker name ACK!3STX (a search for the handle on Twitter gave me no results).

Eventually, however, ACK!3STX’s anonymizing software failed him and his IP address was visible to BMI’s C4 (Cyber Crime Competence Centre) unit. C4 had been receiving multiple complaints from companies since the beginning of the year, so they started monitoring the hacker. At the end of last month, the unit traced his location to a residence in Lower Austria, and then obtained a search warrant.

Authorities said they could not detail the damage ACK!3STX caused, because their investigation is still ongoing. Europol is trying to quantify his attacks both at home and abroad.

Source

 

Undercover T.S.A. Spies To Ride Houston Buses

(Paul Joseph Watson)  A new program in Houston will place undercover TSA agents and police officers on buses whose job it will be to perform bag searches, watch for “suspicious activity” and interrogate passengers in order to ‘curb crime and terrorism’.

Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee unveiled the program, labeled Bus Safe, during a press conference on Friday. According to a Metropolitan Transit Authority of Houston (METRO) press release, agencies involved in the scheme will, “ride buses, perform random bag checks, and conduct K-9 sweeps, as well as place uniformed and plainclothes officers at Transit Centers and rail platforms to detect, prevent and address latent criminal activity or behavior.”


“While local law enforcement agencies focus on overall safety measures noted above, representatives with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will also be on hand, lending their counter-terrorism expertise and support during the exercise,” states the press release.

“If you think you’re going to be a bad actor on buses, get ready. You are going to have a short-lived time frame,” Jackson Lee said during the press conference. The Congresswoman is a staunch advocate of the TSA, having recently chastised the passage of a new law that allows airports to evict TSA agents and replace them with private screeners by claiming it would lead to a new 9/11-style attack.

According to KPRC 2 News, METRO refused to disclose on what dates or bus routes the program would be operational. As well as TSA agents, police officers from the Harris County Constable’s Office Precinct 7 will be involved.

According to Phillip Levine of the Houston Free Thinkers blog, shortly after Lee gave her press conference the operation went straight into effect, with DHS and Metro Police officers questioning passengers who were exiting buses about their destinations and their reasons for riding the bus.

“When I arrived at Wheeler I got off the stage and instantly noticed the massive police presence. The police presence consisted of DHS, metro police, HPD, TSA, and Harris county police officers. They were going on to buses searching and stopping people for questions. Apparently Sheila Jackson Lee was there pushing for more security like what I was viewing. I asked the TSA agent if there was gonna be a bigger presence of metro or TSA. He said both,” Levine said in an email.

This is a wake-up call for Americans who had hoped to avoid being harassed by TSA agents by not using airports.

TSA agents are now being used to literally occupy America with an expansion of the 9,000 plus checkpoints that were already operational last year. 12 more TSA VIPR teams (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) will be added to the 25 who are already present at transportation hubs throughout the country.

Back in October we reported on how Tennessee’s Homeland Security Commissioner announced that a raft of new “security checkpoints” would be in place over the Halloween period to “keep roadways safe for trick-or-treaters”. Earlier that same month it was announced that Transportation Security Administration officials would be manning highway checkpoints in Tennessee targeting truck drivers.

TSA agents have been deployed to shake down Americans at everywhere from bus depots, to ferry terminals, to train stations, in one instance conducting pat downs of passengers, including children, who had already completed their journey when arriving in Savannah.

If the mass rollout of the TSA’s occupying army of minimum wage morons is not abated, Americans will have to get used to being interrogated, frisked and treated like criminals by TSA goons on a regular basis, meaning the United States’ transformation into a Soviet-style police state festooned with internal checkpoints will be complete.

Source

 

MegaUpload Close To Multi-Billion Dollar Public Offering Before Raid Report

(Stephen C. Webster)  The cyber locker website MegaUpload was planning to go public with a “multi-billion dollar” IPO when authorities raided their facilities and accused them of a “mega conspiracy” to pirate copyrighted materials, according to a corporate adviser who spoke to a popular tech blog this week.

Torrent Freak, which covers news relating to peer-to-peer media sharing networks, quoted Hong Kong-based corporate adviser Robert Lim in a report Tuesday. He claims to have worked with MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom and the rest of his management team to prepare the company for a top-to-bottom audit by one of the major accounting firms that helps companies go public.


Lim said they were working on an IPO since the beginning of 2011, but it all abruptly died in January 2012 once the U.S. Department of Justice shut them down. MegaUpload had over 150 million users at the time. Lim added that MegaUpload was also speaking with a number of major investment banks about their IPO, and expected that they could hit or exceed the billion dollar mark.

If that’s accurate, MegaUpload could have been one of the largest-ever IPOs for any tech company, but Facebook said in February that it was shooting even higher, aiming to raise $5 billion in an offering that could be valued as much as $75 billion in total. Facebook, however, is exponentially larger than MegaUpload was at its peak — the social network is expected to reach 1 billion users later this year, whereas MegaUpload said it had about 150 million users. Even though the gulf between the two companies’ valuations would have been vast, MegaUpload may yet have achieved the “multi-billion” range, had it been allowed to go public.

“This does not fit with the ‘Mega-Conspiracy’ concept that Megaupload management is accused of, including that they knowingly and secretly conspired to do and hide criminal activities in Megaupload,” Lim said to Torrent Freak.

The case against MegaUpload is fraught with potential to set precedent for how user-created websites operate. Two similar companies, FileSonic and FileServe, have already closed their doors after the enforcement action against MegaUpload, and another, HotFile, is currently in court fighting for its life. Search giant Google recently weighed in on that case, saying if the court agrees with the movie industry’s allegations of rampant piracy behind-the-scenes at these companies, it would have dire implications for the social Internet.

Most user-created websites, like HotFile and MegaUpload along with big traffic pulls like YouTube and Reddit, deal with an influx of copyrighted materials, so by law they must be responsive to requests from content creators to remove access to these materials. MegaUpload claims they offered their accusers access to a content deletion tool and that many studios used it liberally, but still weren’t satisfied.

A judge in the U.S. ruled last week that MegaUpload’s user files should be preserved, ordering the DOJ to work with the site’s operators to return the materials to customers. The defense is currently preparing its official response to the government’s charges, which Dotcom claims will be “entertaining.”

Source

Video-Black Military Helicopters Conduct Covert Exercises Over Chicago

(Steve Watson)  In a repeat of events in LA three months ago, black military helicopters buzzed skyscrapers and high rise buildings in downtown Chicago Monday night, in what has been described as an urban training exercise.

Witnesses reported at least three Blackhawk helicopters flying in close formation, then separately, around offices and residential buildings for several hours.

Several smaller A/MH-6 Little Bird helicopters were also seen circling close to the Chicago River. The choppers are often used by military special forces.

Witnesses described seeing three or four military personnel hanging out of each of the helicopters brandishing automatic weapons.

The following stunning videos show just how close the choppers came to the buildings, literally rattling windows as they flew past:

According to The city’s Office of Emergency Management, Chicago is the site of an urban military exercise all week. In a statement, OMEC added that it was part of routine training and in no way related to the upcoming NATO summit in Chicago in May.

Source

6 Rigged Rules Corporations Use To Dodge Taxes

(Sarah Anderson)  As American families rush to complete their annual tax returns, many will have paid more in federal income taxes than some of America’s largest and most profitable corporations. AT&T, Boeing, Citigroup, Duke Energy and Ford collectively reported more than $20 billion of US pre-tax income last year, yet none of them paid a dime in federal income taxes. Instead, they claimed refunds of more than $1.3 billion from the IRS.

These corporations are not alone in turning tax dodging into a competitive sport. Last year, US corporations paid an effective tax rate of just 12.1 percent, the lowest level in the last forty years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Sixty years ago, when Republican President Dwight Eisenhower lived in the White House, corporations paid 32 percent of federal government’s tax receipts; last year they paid 9 percent.

Below are six examples of how large corporations have rigged the tax rules to ensure that those who have the most get to amass even more, at the expense of everyone else. Figuring out how to unrig them is not rocket science, but it will require strong public pressure on lawmakers to ensure that America’s most prosperous corporations pay their fair share.

Boeing’s Double Dip

In each of the past nine years, Boeing has reported at least $1 billion in pre-tax profits, yet in only one did it pay any US corporate income taxes. In fact, the aerospace giant got so much money in tax subsidies that it had an effective tax rate of -7.8 percent during this period.

One of the main reasons Boeing has avoided the taxman is that the rest of us subsidize their research and development spending. Last year this amounted to $137 million. Congress first passed the research and experimentation tax credit during the 1981 recession, intending to provide a temporary boost to America’s sagging economy. Though it has expired for short periods over the years, it has been renewed thirteen times, and Congress is presently considering making the tax credit permanent.

Government investment in basic research and development can be valuable, but the way the current tax credit is structured, much of the support goes to large well-resourced high-tech firms like Boeing that would have conducted the research anyway as a part of maintaining a vibrant business.

What’s particularly disturbing about the Boeing subsidies, however, is that the company already bills the Pentagon for research costs. The third largest defense contractor, Boeing has landed more than $54 billion in government contracts in the past nine years. So essentially, taxpayers are paying for the company’s research—twice.

GE’s Tax-Free Offshore Profits

General Electric employs 975 people to mine the tax code for every possible deduction. One of their IRS returns ran an awe-inspiring 57,000 pages. As a result, GE paid an effective tax rate of just 2.3 percent on more than $81 billionof US income over the last decade.

One of GE’s most lucrative tax breaks is dubbed “the active financing exception.” Under US tax law income earned from interest anywhere in the world is taxable in the United States. That is because interest is consider a “passive business activity” that is easily transferred from country to country. The active financing exception allows corporation that establish captive foreign finance subsidiaries to exclude interest they earn offshore from their US taxes. The 1997 subsidy was meant as a temporary measure to help US banks and manufacturers compete internationally.

General Electric’s lobbyists, who led the fight to create the subsidy, have made sure the “temporary” part was just a joke. Congress has renewed the exemption multiple times over the last fifteen years. And in the meantime, active financing has allowed GE to legally shift much of its US profits to overseas jurisdictions with lower taxes.

The active financing exception is one of sixty tax breaks, known as “tax extenders,” that expired last year. Congress is actively considering reauthorizing them, even while they also consider dramatic cuts to social programs.

AIG’s Stealth Bailout

In 2008, American International Group’s reckless uncovered bets helped lead the global economy to the brink of collapse. Taxpayers bailed out the rogue insurer to the tune of $182 billion.

Less well-known is a perk the US Treasury made available to AIG that allowed the company to retain its losses to offset against future profits. Tapping these tax losses allowed AIG to report more than $17 billion in tax-free profits in 2011, a move Elizabeth Warren, who chaired the TARP oversight panel, labeled a “stealth bailout.” “When the government bailed out AIG, it should not have allowed the failed insurance giant to duck taxes for years to come,” wrote Warren in a statement co-signed by three other panel members.

“This corporate tax break transfers public money to AIG’s private shareholders and inflates executive pay at AIG—both at the public’s expense,” added Damon Silvers, another member of the oversight panel. At least four of the executives who stand to benefit financially from the tax break were leading the company at the time of the massive failure.

Apple and Facebook’s Double Books

Under current rules, companies can show shareholders and the IRS two different sets of books. In financial statements to shareholders, they’re allowed to estimate the value for their executives’ stock options at the time they’re granted. But when it comes to paying their taxes, they can lower their bill by deducting the full value of the options on the day executives cash them in, which is often a much higher figure. This loophole saved Apple $1.5 billion on its taxes between 2008–10, according to Citizens for Tax Justice, boosting its bottom line and its executive bonuses.

When Facebook becomes a public company later this year, the stock option deduction will save it an estimated $3 billion on taxes, including an immediate $500 million IRS refund of the taxes it has paid during the last two years.

The Ending Excessive Corporate Deductions for Stock Options Act (S. 1375) and the Cut Unjustified Tax Loopholes Act (S. 2075), both introduced by Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) would close this loophole and limit companies to a tax deduction no greater than the expense they report to shareholders.

Pfizer Heaves Domestic Profits Overseas

Pfizer is the largest drug company in the world. It generates 40 percent of its sales in the largest and most lucrative drug market—the United States. And yet Pfizer has reported losses in the US in each of the last four years.

Pfizer’s tax disclosures offer some clues to how the company achieves this puzzling result. First, it operates eighty subsidiaries in offshore tax havens. Second, Pfizer’s 2011 non-US tax rate was a low 14.7 percent, suggesting that they booked a significant portion of overseas profits in tax havens like Luxembourg, Ireland and Jersey, places where Pfizer has at least ten subsidiaries each.

Here’s how these strategies work. A company like Pfizer conducts the bulk of its product and research development in the United States. This work is done by scientists, many of whom were educated in US schools, often using basic research that was funded by US taxpayers. The corporation then takes the patents earned by its US labs and registers them in nations that impose little or no taxes on income from patent royalties. When Pfizer sells a pill, it charges a lot for the use of the patent, telling the IRS that without the intellectual property, the product would be virtually worthless. By doing this, Pfizer transfers much of their profits to the tax haven, while retaining much of the costs of research, advertising and management in the United States. Such shenanigans cost the US Treasury an estimated $100 billion a year.

A pending bill, the Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act, would require that offshore subsidiaries managed from the United States and often little more than a post office box and a brass nameplate be treated as US entities for tax purposes.

Bechtel’s “Mini” Masquerade

Though Bechtel is the world’s largest telecommunications, engineering and construction firm (with $32.9 billion in revenue and 52,700 employees), in terms of corporate structure it is one of America’s largest “small businesses.” That’s because the giant corporation takes advantage of a 1958 law intended to extend limited liability protection to owners of small, family-owned businesses. Companies that qualify for this law’s “S Corporation” status do not have to pay federal corporate income taxes. Instead the company’s profits are reported as personal income by individual owners. While the Bechtel empire was hardly the intended beneficiary, their firm technically qualifies for the S Corporation status because it is family run and has less than 100 shareholders.

At the time the law was enacted, the wide differential between top corporate tax rates (52 percent) and top individual rates (91 percent) was a disincentive for gaming the system to dodge taxes. Fast forward half a century and top tax rates have collapsed to only 35 percent for corporations and individuals, erasing the previous disincentive for big corporations to change their business status. By incorporating as an S Corporation, enormous businesses like Bechtel pay just individual taxes, rather than having their corporation pay taxes on corporate profits and shareholders pay taxes on their dividends.

S Corporations, and other businesses where income is taxed only at the individual level, have become the new tax haven, where large businesses have fled to avoid US corporate income taxes. In 2008, more than 14,000 S Corporation tax returns were filed by firms with more than $50 million in revenue, according to the IRS. These 14,000 firms, with an average profit of $6.4 million each, collectively reported 29 percent of the total profit on nearly 4 million S Corporation tax returns. Preserving S Corporation status for real small businesses can help level the playing field, but closing the loophole that allows giant multinational corporations to avoid the corporate taxes that their peers have to pay is key to bringing more fairness to the tax code and more funds into public coffers.

As the 99% Spring unfolds, restoring fairness to our tax code must be at the center of the debate. As it stands, our tax system rewards those at the top, robbing the rest of us of the public money we need to transform the economy from one that works for the 1 percent to one that works for the 100 percent.

Source

Professor Obama Gets an F

(Ron Paul)  Last week President Obama made some rather shocking comments at a press conference regarding the Supreme Court’s deliberation on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. His comments belie a grasp of constitutional concepts so lacking that perhaps the University of Chicago Law School should offer a refund to any students “taught” constitutional law by then-Professor Obama!

He said, “Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”  It almost sounds as if he believes the test of constitutionally is whether a majority approves of the bill, as opposed to whether the legislation lies within one of the express powers of the federal government. In fact, the very design of the Constitution, with power split amongst two branches of the legislature which write the laws, an executive who administers the laws, and an independent judiciary which resolves disputes regarding meaning of the laws, was designed to thwart popular will and preserve liberty.

President Obama continued in his comments, “For years, what we’ve heard is the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint, that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, there’s a good example, and I’m pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step.”

President Obama seems to misunderstand that the criticism of an activist judiciary is not that it is overturning unconstitutional federal laws, but instead that it is usurping the authority to intervene in areas, such as abortion, where the Constitution reserves authority to the states. In fact, upholding clearly unconstitutional laws such as Obamacare because the justices bowed to the “will of the people” or believed the individual mandate was good social policy could be considered an example of judicial activism.

The founders never intended the judiciary to have the last word on whether or not a law is constitutional. The judiciary is equal to the Congress and the President, not superior. Representatives, senators, presidents, and judges all have an independent duty to determine a law’s constitutionality. The founders would be horrified by the attitude of many lawmakers that they can pass whatever laws they want and federal judges will then determine whether or not the law is constitutional.

Additionally, state governments have the authority to protect their citizens from federal laws that threaten liberty. If the Supreme Court rules that Obamacare is constitutional, I hope state legislators will exercise their powers to pass legislation allowing their citizens to opt-out of the national health care plan.

Unfortunately, even many of my colleagues who correctly argue Obamacare’s unconstitutionality support the President when he asserts the power to send troops into battle without a declaration of war, or have citizens indefinitely detained and even assassinated on little more than his own authority. Other of my colleagues not only cheer the unconstitutional monstrosity of Obamacare, but support the President’s actions to defy the Senate’s appointment powers, and legislate by executive order.

Even worse, some members will only challenge a President’s unconstitutional actions if the President is from a different political party. The defeat of Obamacare in the courts would provide a stark reminder that the limits of government are set by the Constitution, not the will of the President, Congress, or even the Supreme Court. However, the victory would be short lived as long as the legislative branch refuses to do its duty to abide by the Constitutional limits and exercises its powers to ensure the other two branches do likewise.

Source

Facebook Knows Who Your Enemies Are

(Helen A.S. Popkin)  Information on your Facebook profile via the social network’s Download Your Information feature now includes a full list of every person you’ve ever tried to friend – whether that person accepted your offer of Facebook friendship or not. And as Ars Technica points out, knowing who isn’t interested in being your Facebook friend can be just as valuable as knowing who is.

“Friend requests you’ve sent that have never been accepted, or vice versa, are an interesting form of data in and of themselves; they highlight relationship inequalities on a platform where friendship must, by default, be mutual,” writes Ars Technica’s Casey Johnston. “While a never-accepted friend request may just indicate unequal affections, two people with heavily overlapping social circles who are not friends with each other could suggest an active dislike — a piece of data that Facebook could track and use.”

(Facebook has not returned requests for comment.)

As we reported, Facebook announced additions to your available Facebook account history last week, a service it introduced in 2010. Previously, the Download Your Information featured allowed you go access your history of photos, posts, messages and a list of friends and chat conversations. The added info listed on the social network’sFacebook and Privacy page includes IP addresses where you’ve logged on and previous names you’ve used on the site, as as your Facebook friend requests (accepted or not).

“Big deal,” you may be thinking. “Who cares who I’m not friends with?” While Facebook is likely not obsessing on your rejections any more than you probably should be, it is another bit of vital information for Facebook’s social graph — a map of how everyone is connected. Using information on what you do (or don’t do) online, and who you do (or don’t do) it with, Facebook optimizes its service for you, third party developers, and of course, advertisers.

That’s what Sen. Al Franken D-Minn. was talking about in his recent speech for the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section, when he said that “accumulating data about you isn’t just a strange hobby for (Facebook, as well as Google). It’s their whole business model. And you are not their client. You are their product.”

 

Source

 

Texas May Publicize Detailed Information About Abortion Patients

(Emily Deprang)  The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has proposed new rules requiring abortion facilities to collect and report even more information on their patients than they already do.

That may sound familiar, because Republican state Rep. Bill Zedler of Arlington hoped to implement changes like these in the last legislative session—but his proposal died in committee. So Zedler skipped the legislative process and asked DSHS to collect the information anyway. They seem ready to comply.

At an April 5 stakeholder meeting, DSHS heard concerns from “about 20 abortion providers, pro-choice advocates and clinic workers,” as Andrea Grimes reported at the pro-choice blog RH Reality Check. DSHS Health Care Quality Section Director Renee Clack told the crowd that the meeting was mainly about Texas’ new mandatory sonogram law and exclusion of Planned Parenthood from state funding, but also to cover “some amendments the department has included that specifically relate to a request by representative Zedler.”

Carrie Williams, a press officer for DSHS, confirms Zedler’s involvement. “During special session,” she told the Observer, “Representative Zedler offered an amendment to SB 7 that would have added additional reporting requirements for abortion providers. The amendment wasn’t added to the bill, but at the same time, DSHS agreed to look at the additional requirements and determine what elements could possibly be adopted by rule.”

Apparently they found some.

The DSHS already collects information on the age, race, marital status, county, number of previous live births, number of previous abortions, gestational age at the time of abortion, type of abortion, and type of facility where the abortion was performed. The information is aggregated, analyzed, and published in publicly accessible reports on the DSHS website. (Williams avers that, as required by statute, this and all abortion-related data is presented in ways that prevent identification of any patient, doctor, or facility.)

The proposed rule change would add to the collected data the date of the abortion, the patient’s highest level of education, the date of the patient’s last menstrual cycle, the method of pregnancy verification, whether consent was obtained for patients younger than 18, whether the patient viewed the state-provided printed material, whether the sonogram image was shown and described and the heart sounds made audible, and the method used to dispose of fetal tissue and remains.

It would also require a new form to be filled out by abortion-providing doctors that reported, within 20 days of discovery, any complications arising from the abortion itself. As Grimes writes, “DSHS said it would leave the determination of what constitutes a ‘complication’ to individual doctors’ discretion, raising among some gathered providers the question of whether, later on, the lack of direction from DSHS could be used to play ‘gotcha’ with doctors when they don’t report complications the DSHS later determines to be relevant.”

Zedler’s original bill, H.B. 1602, included the new complications form. It also would have added the above, plus the age of the “father of the unborn child”—to use the bill’s own loaded language—the method of (attempted) contraception, the reason for the abortion (the only optional question), the source of the woman’s referral to an abortion-performing physician, and more. That bill specifies its purpose its “protecting the life and health of a pregnant woman seeking an elective abortion and, to the extent constitutionally permissible, the life of the woman’s unborn child.”

Williams was less clear about how the new data would promote patients’ health. “It’s in the patient’s best interest if we have clear information about the facilities where they go get care,” she said. “And it does provide some data for public health trend analysis, a more complete picture of what’s going on.”

Zedler did not return calls for comment.

Oklahoma passed a law like Zedler’s in 2010, requiring details on every abortion to be collected and posted to a public website. It immediately spawned a lawsuit and was vetoed by Gov. Brad Henry, who said laws like it had been declared unconstitutional in the past and that it would probably result in a long, expensive legal battle for the state.

But if Zedler gets his way, DSHS will implement his amendment without it ever being subject to potential veto. DSHS doesn’t plan to present a final draft to its decision-making committee until June 14. As Grimes points out, DSHS Assistant Commissioner for Regulatory Services Kathy Perkins assured the concerned at the meeting: “there’s a lot of opportunity here to provide input.”

Source

New York Bill Give’s Children The Right To Consent To Vaccines

(Alan Phillips)  New York’s A343and S384, if enacted into law, will give children the right to consent to HPV and Hep B vaccines, without the knowledge and consent of their parents. Regardless of your position on vaccines, these bills set a disturbing precedent in violation of the U.S. Constitution. If you live in New York, take or send thisMemorandum of Lawto your state representatives, along with any other concerns you may have, to oppose these bills!

As a starting place, constituents are “one person with one vote.” If your position is one held by a minority, which is usually the case with vaccine freedom-of-choice advocates, legislative activism is an up-hill battle. But legislative activism involves the art of persuasion, since ultimately, legislatures can enact any law they have the votes for, Constitutional or not. So, if you can tell your representative, “I don’t like this bill” and why that can be persuasive, but if you can add to that, “and by the way, youcan’tenact this bill into law because it’s unconstitutional,” you can substantially bolster your “one person, one vote” starting point. Furthermore, a loud minority can often influence legislation considerably, and a compelling legal argument can add considerable “volume” to your position. So, if thisMemorandumrepresents your views, then given a copy to your NY rep today!

Meanwhile, here’s a summary of some of the legal and other problems with NY’s A343 and S384:

1. They are unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court has stated: “Most children, even in adolescence, simply are not able to make sound judgments concerning many decisions, including their need for medical care or treatment. Parents can and must make those judgments.”[1] Giving medical decision-making authority to children violates parents’ 14th Amendment Constitutional due process right to parent their children. When the state takes parental decision-making away from parents, it is essentially saying that the parents are unfit to make those decisions. When the state gives that authority to children, it is saying that kids are fit to make decisions that the parents aren’t fit to make. Rather absurd, isn’t it?!

2. These NY bills violate parents’ First Amendment “free exercise” of religion. Parents, and not children, have the legal authority to exercise a vaccine religious exemption for their children under N.Y. Pub. Health Law § 2164(9). They also violate the NY State Constitution’s religious liberty section, which supports NY parents’ right to refuse vaccines for their children for religious reasons.[2]

3. These bills violate the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which requires “each healthcare provider who administers a vaccine” to “provide to the legal representatives of any child” a copy of information “prior to the administration of the vaccine.”[3] A child can’t consent to the administration of a vaccine without the parent’s knowledge and consent if the person administering the vaccine must first give the parent vaccine information. If healthcare providers administer a vaccine to a child without first giving the required information to parents, they are violating federal law, and in the process, probably violating state medical ethical rules at the same time (because of violating federal law), subjecting themselves to discipline by their state medical, nursing, or other relevant boards.

4. States are not without the right to administer healthcare to children without parental consent absolutely. In emergencies, doctors may treat minors without consulting parents first; and when children are emancipated, they can make decisions for themselves. But absent an emergency or emancipation, there is no need for intervention prior to consulting the parent. In those situations where parents are unfit and can’t or won’t provide proper healthcare for their children, the state can take custody and give parental consent for medical treatment in the place of the parent. So, absent an emergency or other applicable exception, there may never be a need for the state to give medical decision-making authority directly to children at all. But this is only logical, since children, by both medical and legal definitions, are neither developmentally capable nor legally competent to make those decisions.

5. New York legislators take an oath to “support the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the State of New York” before performing the duties of their offices.[4] Since A343 and S384 violate the U.S. and New York Constitutions as explained above, legislators will be violating their oaths if they vote for these bills.

6. Finally, these bills do not explain how a healthcare provider is to determine whether or not a child “has the capacity to consent to the care,” asthe billsrequire. Who gets to decide that? On the basis of what criteria? Subject to what supervision or scrutiny? These are questions that require a combination of therapeutic and legal expertise to answer; physicians are not qualified to make the assessment, especially given the hurried environments in which most of them work.

Other states have enacted laws allowing children to consent to vaccines (see, e.g., Natural News articlesStealth Vaccine Laws Allow Children to Consent to Vaccines), but these laws are subject to court challenges that could result in these laws being stricken. We must vigorously oppose the New York bills, to prevent this from setting a precedent that quickly sweeps the nation. New York residents can quickly contact their reps by joining the NVIC’sAdvocacy Portal. Consider joining thePandemic Response Project’semail list as well!

Source