Tag Archive: lobbyists


Warren Increases the Pain Factor for Choosing Corporate-Friendly Democrats

Unofficial _Sources

Sep. 8 2015, 4:11 p.m.

A little-noticed report on candidates for an open spot on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reaffirms that the reformist wing of the Democratic Party is winning the tactical battle over financial regulatory personnel.

Luis Aguilar, one of three Democratic SEC commissioners on the five-member panel, announced he would step down in May. Initially, the White House floated as a replacement Keir Gumbs, who has passed through the revolving door, from SEC staff to the white-collar corporate law firm Covington & Burling.

Covington & Burling counts most major U.S. banks among its clients, and is the home of former Attorney General Eric Holder and several of his top deputies. While at Covington, Gumbs allegedly gave CEOs tutorials on how to avoid disclosing their corporate political spending. He also represented the American Petroleum Institute before the SEC.

 

Read More Here

Food Safety News

Breaking  News  for  everyone’s  consumption

 

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/05/looks-like-missouri-is-moving-forward-with-ag-gag/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=120501

 

by Dan Flynn | May 01, 2012
A Missouri Senate committee will hear and likely recommend approval of House Bill 1860, the so-called ag-gag bill the lower chamber already approved on a 124-29 vote.

chickenHSUS-350.jpgHSUS image of confined chickens

If that happens, HB 1860 will get a final up or down vote on the floor of the Missouri Senate, possibly before the end of the week.
Sponsored by Rep. Casey Guernsey, who chairs the House Agribusiness Committee, HB 1860 started out as an obscure bill dealing with changes involving grain dealers and vocational education.
But then came amendments Guernsey apparently planned all along to add language making new criminal law. As it left the House, the bill would create two new “agricultural crimes” in Missouri. They are:
Agricultural Production Facility Fraud:  Anyone gaining access to an agriculture facility under false pretenses or by using a falsified employment application, and anyone who helps them, can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor.
– Agricultural Production Facility Interference:   Anyone who records the image or sound of an agricultural operation without the permission of the owner or who distributes the pictures and sound can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. The same charge can be brought against anyone who remains on agricultural premises after being told the area is not open to the public.
The one-two punch of these laws is intended to prevent animal rights groups from gaining access to agricultural facilities to document animal abuse.
A Class A misdemeanor in Missouri carries penalties of up to one year in jail and fines up to $1,000. A Class B misdemeanor can fetch up to six months in jail and fine amounts up to $500.  Missouri’s proposed law makes a repeat offense a Class D felony, a crime that can mean four years in jail and fines up to $5,000.
When an undercover animal rights investigation comes away with evidence it is not unusual for local prosecutors to file animal cruelty charges, and sometimes much more. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) conducted an undercover investigation that shut down a Chino, CA slaughterhouse, which had a big contract for supplying the National School Lunch Program with ground beef.
In some cases, food safety has been improved by undercover animal cruelty investigations.   The Chino facility was forcing non-ambulatory, or “downer,” cows to slaughter using fork lifts.  Animals in such stress are more likely to carry disease.
The Missouri Senate’s Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee has HB 1860 scheduled as one of four bills it will take up Wednesday morning. Republicans control the agricultural committee, 5-2.
The majority members all have strong ties to Missouri’s powerful farm lobby.  A few examples:
Chairman Brian Munzlinger, a farmer and farm educator, is a member of Missouri’s Farm Bureau, Corn Growers Association, Soybean Association and Cattlemen’s Association.
Sen. Michael L. Parson, cattleman from the Bolivar area, is a member of Missouri’s Farm Bureau and Cattlemen’s Association.
– Sen. Dan Brown, a Rolla veterinarian, is a member of the Missouri Farmers Association.
– Sen. Chuck Purgason, from West Plains, is founder and owner of  the Ozark Wings  hatchery and game preserve. He is a four-time winner of the Farm Bureau’s Friend of Agriculture award.
– Sen. Bill Stouffer, the Saline County farmer, is a member of both the Missouri Corn Growers Association and Missouri Soybean Association.
Iowa and Utah passed ag-gag laws earlier this year largely because the main farm groups in those states lobbied hard for them and when they moved it made things happen quickly. Such an effort might now be underway in Missouri.
 
Still, the clock is running down on the 2012 Missouri General Assembly and political disputes over the state’s $24 billion budget and the future of its judiciary are sure to eat up time.   Adjournment is just two weeks ago.
 
That’s why observers think that if ag-gag is going to the floor for a vote it’s more likely to happen in the next week than closer to the May 18 adjournment.
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The industry  claims that  it is  taking  steps  to  insure  humane  treatment  and  care  for  the animals. Then  why   are they  pushing for these  laws. Most of the  negative press that they  have  received  for their  abusive  methods.  has  been through the work of  undercover  investigators.  The  cruelty and  the  misdeeds that they  have  discovered  is  disgusting to  say the least.  If  they  pass this  law  these   poor  animals  will be  tortured and  mistreated.  They  already live only  long enough  to  provide  food  for  humans.  can  we not  try to  insure  that they  at  least   lie a  decent  life in the meantime.  Or  have  we as  human  beings  lost  all  vestige  of  humanity when it  comes  to   the  suffering  of  animals???

Call,  write, email, the people listed  above  and  your  Senators, do  whatever  you  can to  let  them  know  enough is enough!!

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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Politics and Legislation

Deputy PM denies Kremlin cover-up of multi-millions in offshore deals

The Russian Prosecutor’s Office has denied that the earnings of deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov are related to his job in government. ­The accusations came from several international business dailies that disclosed details of multi-million-dollar transactions involving Shuvalov. They said Shuvalov’s offshore company, registered in his wife’s name, has earned millions investing in the projects of Russia’s most powerful enterprises, among them Gazprom, during the last twelve years – while he has been a deputy prime minister. Journalists believe that it was Shuvalov’s post that allowed him access to the best possible deals…..

http://rt.com/news/prime-time/shuvalov-assets-offshore-corruption-692/

Open mic catches Obama asking Russian president for space on missile defense head

Posted by: CNN White House Correspondent Brianna Keilar In a private conversation about the planned U.S.-led NATO missile defense system in Europe, President Obama asked outgoing Russian President Dmitri Medvedev for space on the issue. “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space,” Obama told Medvedev. “Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space,” Medvedev replied. “This is my last election,” Obama said. “After my election I have more flexibility.” “I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir,” Medvedev said, referring to incoming President Vladimir Putin……

http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=world/2012/03/26/dnt-keilar-obama-asks-for-space-on-missile-defense.cnn   http://whitehouse.blogs.cnn.com/2012/03/26/open-mic-catches-obama-asking-russian-president-for-space-on-missile-defense/

Children ‘forced to shout Long Live Sarkozy!’ when French president visited their school

By Peter Allen The French president has caused an outcry after dozens of infant school children were forced to chant ‘Long Live Sarkozy!’ when he visited their school. Parents complained about the youngsters being used as ‘propaganda tools’ after they were made to treat Nicolas Sarkozy as a hero, waving Tricolour flags and constantly shouting his name. Some were even kissed by Mr Sarkozy, who is hugely unpopular and widely expected to lose the presidential election being held in France in the Spring…..

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2101337/Children-forced-shout-Long-Live-Sarkozy-French-president-visited-school.html#ixzz1qRhEm135

38 House Members Filtered Government Money to Relatives and Their Employers

Nearly 40 members of the House of Representatives earmarked $150 million to organizations affiliated with themselves and their family members from 2008 to 2010, according to a government watchdog organization. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) reported that although 24 of the earmarkers were Democrats and only 14 Republicans, the top five representatives who earmarked to organizations affiliated with them or their family members were all Republicans: Kay Granger (R-Texas) earmarked $28.3 million to her son’s project. J.D. Granger is the executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority. Jerry Lewis (R-California) who earmarked a combined $25.5 million to three relatives’ organizations. Bill Young (R-Florida) earmarked a combined $16.6 million to two sons’ employers. In 2008 he herded $4.4 million to defense contractor SAIC’s facility in St. Petersburg, Florida, where son Patrick is a security administrator. Another $8.5 million went to the National Forensic Science Technology Center, where son Billy is a senior consultant. John Mica (R-Florida) earmarked $13 million to his daughter’s client. Mica has five relatives who work as lobbyists, two brothers, a son and a nephew. His daughter, D’Anne, ran a public relations firm whose client, the Central Commuter Rail, received the $13 million. Michael Simpson (R-Idaho) earmarked $12.5 million to his wife’s employer, the Idaho National Laboratory…….

http://www.allgov.com/Where_is_the_Money_Going/ViewNews/38_House_Members_Filtered_Government_Money_to_Relatives_and_Their_Employers_120326

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Economy

British firm discovers oil in Kenya

A British company has announced it has struck oil in Kenya for the first time, beating rivals including China in the race to strike crude. President Mwai Kibaki said it was “the first time Kenya has made such a discovery” and called it a “major breakthrough”. Tullow Oil dug more than 3,000ft into the sand and rock of the country’s northern Turkana region, hitting viable “light crude” samples that suggest Kenya’s oil is of a similar geological provenance as Uganda’s. That country found large deposits, also identified first by Tullow, in 2006 and is expected to begin refining and exports soon. The discovery in Kenya follows more than a decade of exploration across the inhospitable north stretching from the Somali border in the east to the lands around Lake Turkana in the west, where some of the oldest bones of early hominids were found. British, Chinese, Italian and French companies are understood to have been in the race to strike crude first. Tullow Oil was the most recent operator to join the search…..

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/kenya/9167381/British-firm-discovers-oil-in-Kenya.html

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Wars and Rumors of War

US approves $1.3 billion in military aid to Egyptian military dictatorship By Madison Ruppert So much for revolution, and so much for the United States being absolutely and completely broke. Since I wrote the article “Egypt: what revolution?” in July of last year, very little progress has been made. United States Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced that the United States will be giving military aid to Egypt even though there are “concerns that Cairo was not meeting goals in its democratic transition,” according to Azerbaijan’s Trend News Agency. I believe that this is a bit of an understatement, seeing as the democratic transition has yet to occur and, like Libya, the people of Egypt are in many ways worse off than they were before. Instead of addressing the fact that Egypt is being ruled by a military dictatorship, Clinton waived all of the conditions placed by Congress on the $1.3 billion in aid…..

http://EndtheLie.com/2012/03/24/us-approves-1-3-billion-in-military-aid-to-egyptian-military-dictatorship/#ixzz1qRYKkwHI

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Environmental

BP oil spill continues to kill

A can is seen coated with oil that washed ashore from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in Waveland, Mississippi (Joe Raedle/Getty Images/AFP) The infamous oil spoil which gushed for 86 days in the Gulf of Mexico continues to have a rippling effect on the ecosystem. The spill caused by the London based oil giant British Petroleum, is responsible for the deaths of 11 workers aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig which was approximately 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana, and is now being blamed by scientist for the slow death of a brightly colored deep-sea coral community. The laboratory reports which have taken several months have resulted in scientist pointing the finger at one of the most catastrophic oil spills in history. The brown and dull coral which has been left in a state of ruin continues to sway in the gulf which had more than 70,000 barrels of oil pouring into it per day……

http://rt.com/usa/news/bp-oil-spill-contines-612/

Green Climate Fund Wants Immunity from Any Kind of Prosecution

Activist Post

Fox News is reporting that the Green Climate Fund, created by the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is seeking full diplomatic immunity from “any kind of legal process, including civil and criminal prosecution, in the countries where it operates.” The U.N. enacted the legal framework for the private-public fund at the Copenhagen Accord in 2009, but it was ratified last year during COP-17 in Durban, South Africa. The fund, controlled by a 24-nation board of trustees, received $30 billion in start-up money from U.N. member nations. The function of the Green Climate Fund is to be the facilitator of money between countries. According to Wikipedia they will act “as a mechanism to transfer money from the developed to the developing world, in order to assist the developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.” In other words, they are the group that decides where the money gets distributed. Clearly an outfit like this handling such large sums of money would be ripe for corruption. And perhaps that’s why they seek this broad immunity before the wealth transfers begin in earnest. Why else would any organization request immunity if they weren’t anticipating injustices in the actions they take? Their stated objective is to mobilize $100 billion in annual funds. They admit, however, that there’s “a lot of uncertainty where this money would have to come from.” Yet, they have outlined several potential sources of funding that further blends an already dubious relationship between governance and big business….

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/green-climate-fund-wants-immunity-from.html

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Whistle Blowers

US needs Assange under arrest ‘while seeking Manning link’ Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, faces an uncertain future. Pr. Marcello Ferrada-Noli told RT why he thinks it’s convenient for the US to have Assange under arrest in Sweden. ­Even considering the particularities of the Swedish legal system, there is the possibility of questioning Assange by various means, by phone, for instance, noted Ferrada-Noli, a Senior Advisor at Stockholm University. But, he added, there is a political reason why Assange is kept under arrest – and why several players are falling into place to let America get its hands on WikiLeaks’ founder. “In the US, the preparations for the trial [over Assange] are seeking a connection between WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning, trying to make Assange accountable. For that they need time, they need to prepare this material. For that, of course, it’s highly convenient to keep him under arrest.” The professor also mentions the biased image of Assange the media has been carefully drawing.

http://rt.com/news/us-assange-sweden-wikileaks-617/

New Whistleblower Emerges at JPMorgan Chase.

The Rumor Mill News Reading Room

New Whistleblower Emerges at JPMorgan Chase.
Posted By: Lion [Send E-Mail]
Date: Monday, 26-Mar-2012 07:54:05

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Source: Alcin Bramerton
http://alcuinbramerton.blogspot.com/
New whistleblower emerges at JPMorgan Chase.
JPMC actively involved in manipulation of LIBOR and precious metals futures.
JPMC hid client assets from MF Global. Greece holds hidden derivatives in excess of $1 trillion to which JPMC is a substantial counterparty.
Cascading global credit event imminent.
The following letter was originally posted on the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission website in the public comments section.

Read Letter Here 

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Activism

Bakers Green Acres vs. Michigan DNR – Family Farm Under Attack

Uploaded by Kyle Miron on Mar 21, 2012 A family farm in rural Michigan may be shut down by a Government Entity who has passed a law stating that the breed of hogs they are raising are a threat to neighboring croplands. In truth, the Big Pork Industry has been planning this campaign to take down all family farms with hopes to eventually siege complete control of the American Food Supply. This short-film was created with hopes to inspire the public to take action. The Baker Family website is http://www.bakersgreenacres.com and their battle has just begun. Please join in their fight.

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Radiation

Tokyo Soil – Blanketed With Fukushima Radiation – Would Be Considered “Radioactive Waste” In the United States

Tokyo Slammed with Radiation We noted in August that some parts of Tokyo have more radiation than existed in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zones. And see this and this. There are indications that radiation levels are increasing in Tokyo. Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen took 5 random soil samples in Tokyo recently, and found that all 5 were so radioactive that they would be considered radioactive waste in the United States, which would have to be specially disposed of at a facility in Texas: ……

Tokyo Soil Samples Would Be Considered Nuclear Waste In The US from Fairewinds Energy Education on Vimeo.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/03/tokyo-soil-hit-with-fukushima-radiation-would-be-considered-radioactive-waste-in-the-united-states.html

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Psy – Ops

WESTERN PSY-OPS AGAINST SYRIA: When Mrs Assad’s “Shopping” Becomes a “Crime Against Humanity”

by Finian Cunningham

Michelle Obama, the fashion style icon wife of US President Obama, is to have travel sanctions imposed on her by member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, including Russia, China and SCO associate state Iran. Mrs Obama’s annual six-figure budget for designer clothes and accessories is seen as an affront to moral decency at a time when her husband is overseeing foreign wars of aggression, mass murder in several territories using aerial drones, and ordering the assassination of individuals such as nuclear scientists in Iran. The equally fashionista-conscious wives of British and French premiers, David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy, are also reportedly lined up for sanctions in several Middle East and Central Asian countries owing to these leaders supporting the illegal and murderous US-led NATO bombing campaign on Libya. By now, the reader will have spotted the above “report” to be a spoof. However, when it comes to the real world, the European Union is applying such unprecedented measures against the wife of Syria’s President Bashar Al Assad. “EU slaps Sanctions on Assad’s Wife,” read several newspaper headlines after Europe’s foreign ministers banned British born Asma Assad from traveling to EU states, and ordered the freezing of her personal assets. Describing the 36-year-old Syrian First Lady as stylish, glamorous, even sexy, the combined lurid portrayal was aimed at presenting Mrs Assad as an insensitive bimbo in the face of her country’s ongoing violence and misery….. http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29993 The CIA’s War On Human Consciousness The T.V. Kills Your Brain With The CIA’s Mass Mind Control Gun. “From 1950 to 1962, the C.I.A. ran a massive research project, a veritable Manhattan Project of the mind, spending over $1 billion a year to crack the code of human consciousness, from both mass persuasion and the use of coercion in individual interrogation.” – Professor Alfred McCoy, author of “A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror.” This quote is from Prof. McCoy’s interview with Democracy Now on February 17, 2006. “Our brain is domineering when it comes to coping with reality. We sometimes see things not as they really are, sometimes invent categories that do not exist and sometimes fail to see things that are really there. There are people who have never seen or heard of an aircraft and will not be able to imagine it and a real airplane overhead will be distorted in their minds, creating alternative realities. To recognize that what we call reality is only a consensus reality (only what we have agreed to call reality) is to recognize that we can perceive only what we can conceive. Captain Cook’s ship was invisible to the Tahitians because they could not conceive of such a vessel. Joseph Pearce explains this best: “Man’s mind mirrors a universe that mirrors man’s mind.”” – Bharati Sarkar, “Consciousness – Our third eye.” “Remember: those who are at the top of the heap will always take whatever steps are necessary to maintain the status quo. It is obvious that they cannot completely control the propagation of the information……

http://disquietreservations.blogspot.com/2012/03/cias-war-on-human-consciousness.html

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Articles of Interest

Black Panther who posted bounty for Martin’s killer arrested

The New Black Panther Party member behind the call for vigilante justice against Trayvon Martin’s killer has been arrested. ­On Monday Hashim Nzinga was imprisoned for an unrelated weapons charge. According to a Dekalb County Sheriff’s arrest warrant, Nzinga had a FN Herstal 5.7 x 28 handgun which was pawned. Over the weekend Nzinga announced to the media that anyone who was able to capture Zimmerman, “dead or alive” would be handed a reward of $10,000. The New Black Panther Party’s campaign to track and hunt down Martin’s killer was widely promoted with flyers and press conferences all across Sanford, Florida, the location of the black teen’s death. The radical group’s national chief of staff was arrested during a visit to a probation office by his probation officer….. http://rt.com/usa/news/arrest-panther-zimmerman-new-688/ Citing Potential “Hate,” Feds and Race Profiteers Descend on Florida As race-hatred profiteers like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson whip up a frenzy of hysteria over a hypothetical racial element to the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin in Florida last month, the Obama administration’s Justice Department is reportedly investigating whether or not shooter George Zimmerman can be federally prosecuted for a “hate crime.” And experts fear the situation is spiraling quickly out of control. Some observers are even worried a “race war” may erupt as a group of racist blacks — the New Black Panther Party — offered a “bounty” for the “capture” of Zimmerman, who has not been charged with a crime. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” said New Black Panther leader Mikhail Muhammad during a rally in Florida, leading a group of followers chanting “black power.” “It’s time for us, as black men, to take justice in our own hands. If you won’t give us justice, we will have to take justice,” Muhammad told the crowd. “An eye for an eye. A life for a life.” Local officials and law enforcement condemned the incitement to violence and warned that “vigilante justice” could result in criminal charges. But the anti-Semitic black supremacist group has repeatedly called for violence against whites, Jews, and law enforcement. And during the 2008 election, members of the party were caught on film carrying weapons and intimidating voters at polling places….. Post Pic here http://thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/11310-citing-potential-hate-feds-and-race-profiteers-descend-on-florida 14 defining characteristics of fascism: The U.S. in 2012 Gregory Patin BlacklistedNews.com When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross. — Sinclair Lewis, It Can’t Happen Here. (1935) In the spring of 2003, ex-corporate executive and political scientist Lawrence W. Britt published an essay in Free Inquiry magazine entitled “Fascism Anyone?” In his work, Britt examined the traits of the two governments that formed the original historical model for fascism, Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, and five other protofascist regimes that imitated that model, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia. He identified 14 characteristics that were common to all of them. These traits have since been widely accepted as the 14 defining characteristics of fascism. Nearly three generations removed from the horrors of Nazi Germany, all of these regimes have been overthrown, but fascism’s principles can still be found in many nations. History tends to repeat itself because many leaders and nations fail to learn from history, or they draw the wrong conclusions. Sadly, historical amnesia is the norm in the world today….. http://www.blacklistednews.com/14_defining_characteristics_of_fascism%3A_The_U.S._in_2012/18642/0/0/0/Y/M.html TSA bars security guru from perv scanner testimony Last minute excuse blocks Bruce Schneier By Iain Thomson in San Francisco • Get more from this author Posted in Security, 26th March 2012 21:03 GMT Security expert Bruce Schneier was been banned at the last minute from testifying in front of congress on the efficacy – or otherwise – of the US Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) much-maligned perv scanners. Schneier is a long-time critic of the TSA’s policies for screening travelers, and was formally invited to appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearings. However, the TSA objected to his presence because he is currently involved in a legal case over the use of said scanners in US airports. “I was looking forward to sitting next to a TSA person and challenging some of their statements. That would have been interesting,” Schneier told The Register. “The request to appear came from the committee itself, because they’d been reading my stuff on this and thought it would be interesting.”….. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/26/tsa_schneier_congress_block/ THE PENTAGON’S SECRET NUCLEAR AGENDA: “Privatizing Nuclear War” By Sherwood Ross BlacklistedNews.com U.S. corporations that reap billions from making nuclear weapons have “a direct voice” as to “their use and deployment,” according to professor Michel Chossudovsky in a recently released book. What’s more, he says, if nuclear weapons are integrated with conventional armaments, a decision to use nuclear weapons could be made by battlefield generals. On August 6, 2003, on Hiroshima Day, (August 6 1945), a secret meeting was held at U.S. Strategic Command headquarters at the Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, Neb., that brought together more than 150 “senior executives from the nuclear industry and military-industrial complex,” writes Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) in Montreal. “This mingling of defense contractors, scientists and policy-makers was not intended to commemorate Hiroshima”. According to a leaked draft of the agenda, the secret session included discussions on “mini-nukes” and “bunker-buster” bombs with nuclear warheads “for possible use against rogue states,” Chossudovsky writes in his new book, ” The meeting was intended to set the stage for the creation of a new generation of “smaller,” “safer,” and “more usable” nukes for use, in America’s 21st Century “in-theater nuclear wars”, Chossudovsky writes. No members of Congress representing the public were in attendance. Barely a week prior to this meeting, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) disbanded the advisory committee that had “independent oversight” over the U.S. nuclear arsenal, including the testing and/or use of new nuclear devices…..

http://www.blacklistednews.com/THE_PENTAGON%27S_SECRET_NUCLEAR_AGENDA%3A_%22Privatizing_Nuclear_War%22/18665/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Dominique Strauss-Kahn charged in French prostitution case

Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn faced preliminary charges Monday of aggravated pimping, or illegal procurement of prostitutes, in France.

Strauss-Kahn was summoned for eight hours of questioning Monday by French judges investigating an illegal prostitution ring operating out of the northern French city of Lille. The former IMF chief was notified that he was being placed under formal investigation, but allowed to leave after paying 100,000 Euros in bail, and agreeing not to talk to others being investigated in the case, or travel without consulting a judge, the Associated Press reported.

French prosecutors in Lille have been investigating an illegal prostitution ring that is alleged to have brought prostitutes from Belgium to luxury hotels in France and to parties in Washington, D.C., and New York attended by VIP clients, France’s Radio France International reported in October. Eight people have been charged in the case so far, including a police officer in Lille and three directors with the city’s Carlton Hotel, the New York Times reported………

Read More  Here

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MF Global: A New Hope In The Effort To Send A Wall Street Big Shot To Jail

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MF Global exec tied to money transfers clams up

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An MF Global executive, who has emerged as a central figure in the desperate shifting of funds before the brokerage’s collapse, refused to answer questions on Wednesday, frustrating lawmakers probing why more than $1 billion in customer money is missing.

Assistant Treasurer Edith O’Brien and other mid-level MF Global (MFGLQ.PK) executives, people who had operational control over money transfers at the brokerage, were called to testify before the investigations panel of the House Financial Services Committee.

O’Brien, a demure-appearing brunette dressed in a somber black dress suit, was excused after refusing to answer questions. The others remained to take scathing questions from the lawmakers who likened the missing customer funds to a grand heist.

The executives were unable to say why the money is missing, and who was responsible for it, keeping open the mystery nearly five months after MF Global filed for bankruptcy and former Chief Executive Jon Corzine resigned from the firm…..

Read  Full Article Here

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Faulty generator blamed for fatal poisoning of wealthy banker and his wife in remote Estonian forest

  • 55-year-old worked as analyst at shady Moscow investment firm

By Matt Blake

A wealthy British banker and his wife died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a ‘tragic accident’ at their holiday home in Estonia, an inquest has heard.

Philip Townsend, 55, worked for a mysterious Moscow investment company, where he was an analyst in the lucrative but murky Russian telecoms industry.

But he and his wife MaryAnne, 52, were found dead at the converted barn near the town of Valga on February 24.

They are believed to have been killed by fumes from a faulty generator.

Police at the time said they couldn’t work out if the deaths were suspicious or not.

Four years ago another wealthy British-based tycoon involved in the Russian telecoms industry vanished from his opulent holiday villa in Latvia.
Read Full Article Here

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Soros Loses Case Against French Insider-Trading Conviction

Billionaire investor George Soros lost a challenge to his 2002 insider trading conviction, with the European Court of Human Rights saying French market regulations were clear enough to hold him responsible.

France didn’t violate Soros’s rights in punishing him criminally for trading on inside information about Societe Generale SA in spite of the market regulator’s conclusion that its rules were unclear, the Strasbourg, France-based court said.

“Soros was a famous institutional investor, well-known to the business community and a participant in major financial projects,” the court said in a statement about its ruling. “As a result of his status and experience, he could not have been unaware that his decision to invest” risked violating insider- trading laws, and given “there had been no comparable precedent, he should have been particularly prudent.”

Soros, 81, was convicted in 2002 of insider trading and ordered to repay 2.2 million euros ($2.9 million) he’d made from the share purchase and subsequent sale after a Paris court found he’d acted with the knowledge that the bank might be a takeover target. While prosecutors filed criminal charges, French stock market regulators didn’t pursue Soros, saying insider-trading laws were too vague to determine whether he’d broken them…..

Read Full Article Here

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Soros Criminal Conviction Exposes “Human Rights” Scam

Soros leverages “human rights” for personal gain – as does his global NGO empire.

Tony Cartalucci, Contributor
Activist Post 

Bloomberg’s report, “Soros Loses Case Against French Insider-Trading Conviction,” indicates that an appeal based on a “human rights” violation against Wall Street speculator George Soros has been rejected by the “European Court of Human Rights.” Soros, who was convicted and fined for insider trading in 2002 regarding French bank Société Générale shares he bought in 1988, has built an empire out of obfuscating global criminal activity with the cause of “human rights.”
The court’s decision in rejecting the appeal was based on Soros being “a famous institutional investor, well-known to the business community and a participant in major financial projects,” and thus should have been “particularly prudent” regarding insider-trading laws. The contents of Soros’ appeal, based on “human rights” was not heard, and the details of the appeal not yet made public, however, it is an illustrative example of how Soros and global elitists like him leverage the legitimate cause of human rights and freedom as a means to execute and defend both individual and institutional criminal behavior……

Read Full Article Here

Politics and Legislation

GOP Promises of Lower Gas Costs Belied by Dwindling Supply of World’s Oil

Amy Goodman, Video Report:

“Looking at rising fuel costs, one of the major issues raised by the Republican contenders in the 2012 presidential campaign. Since the beginning of the year, the average of price of a gallon of regular gasoline has jumped 16 percent to more than $3.80. Earlier this week, President Obama partially blamed his Republican rivals, saying one reason for the increase is rumors of war with Iran.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/gop-promises-lower-gas-costs-belied-dwindling-supply-world-s-oil-1331743269

Donors to conservative super PAC masked by nonprofit

Super PACs are the perceived demons of the 2012 campaign. But a shadowy sideshow that’s gone largely unnoticed is the set of nonprofits affiliated with them, which often provide money to the cash cows — and they don’t have to publicly disclose their donors. Case in point: FreedomWorks for America.

http://www.iwatchnews.org/2012/03/11/8360/donors-conservative-super-pac-masked-nonprofit

The New York Times: Delegate system gives small states outsize clout at convention

By Michael Cooper

Both Democrats and Republicans have long used formulas that award a state’s delegates based not just on population, but also on party loyalty in previous elections.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/14/us/politics/delegate-system-gives-small-states-clout-at-convention.html?_r=2&ref=politics

France’s Upcoming Election Means Euro Devaluation—and a Pop In Gold

On May 6, France is holding its second round of Presidential elections, where the Socialist François Hollande is fully expected to win.

I’m pretty sure two things will happen immediately following the election: The first is, Carla Bruni will leave Nicolas Sarkozy (because everyone knows that a professional courtesan never stays when the going gets tough for her patron).

http://gonzalolira.blogspot.com/2012/03/frances-upcoming-election-means-euro.html

Economy

10 reasons Wall Street will hit bottom, crash

Commentary: Gambling-addicted banks need a Betty Ford Center

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Yes, Wall Street will crash. Has to. They’re gambling addicts. Dodged the bullet in 2008. But learned nothing. Now killing reforms. Teamed up with the Super Rich, CEOs, lobbyists, and crony politicians. It’s only a matter of time.

Yes, they’ll crash, again. No matter how anemic the recovery. No matter how much more debt they pile on taxpayers. No matter who’s president. Crash.
The Betty Ford Center, Rancho Mirage, Calif.

How do I know Wall Street will hit bottom? First off, most American know somebody who’s trapped in addictive behavior. I got a front-row seat years ago as a professional helping a few hundred addicts, alcoholics and gamblers getting help from the Betty Ford Center and others like it.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/10-reasons-wall-street-will-hit-bottom-crash-2012-03-13?pagenumber=1

The Truth About Gas Prices

Bill Scher, Op-Ed:

Conservatives are betting that a President Obama can’t succeed in talking straight about gas prices the way Candidate Obama did. First, they are exaggerating the price spike itself, saying that under Obama’s presidency, prices have jumped from $1.83 to $3.70 per gallon. That is technically true, but remember, in the summer of 2008 gas was over $4 a gallon. Prices briefly plummeted below $2 per gallon right before Obama’s inauguration because there was this little cataclysmic global economic meltdown that shattered consumer demand.

http://www.nationofchange.org/truth-about-gas-prices-1331731751

Four large US banks fail stress tests

Citigroup was one of four large US banks that flunked stress tests aimed at seeing how they would hold up in a new economic crisis, Federal Reserve data showed Tuesday.

Three others — Ally, Suntrust and MetLife — also failed the tests, while 15 other large bank holding companies passed the exercise, the Fed said.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/citi-ally-suntrust-metlife-fail-stress-tests-205649742.html

Oil price spike on Iran is beyond control: OPEC

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Top exporter Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf producers say surging oil markets are beyond their control and prices could spike higher unless tensions between the West and Iran subside.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and OPEC Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri are expected to focus on high oil prices in their addresses to the International Energy Forum gathering of oil ministers and executives on Wednesday, several OPEC sources said.

http://www.tehrantimes.com/economy-and-business/96366-oil-price-spike-on-iran-is-beyond-control-opec-

Wars and Rumors of War

What A War With Iran Really Means: Proceed

By Barry Rubin

It is quite right to be worried and hesitant about entering a war with Iran. War, as recent events in Iraq and Afghanistan show, is a dangerous, bloody, often dirty mess in which things go wrong, civilians are killed inadvertently, your own side loses people, and goals are not necessarily achieved.

Sometimes war is necessary. That was clearly true in Afghanistan in 2001 but less clear regarding Iraq in 2003. What are the goals? How are they to be gained? In what way can a war be brought to an end? How is victory defined? These are all serious issues.

http://beforeitsnews.com/story/1885/416/NL/What_A_War_With_Iran_Really_Means:_Proceed.html

IDF official: Army ready for ground op in Gaza

The current round of fighting between Israel and Palestinian terror groups could prompt Israel to launch a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, a senior IDF official said Monday.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4201983,00.html

Russia says it won’t stop selling weapons to Syria

MOSCOW: Russia has no intention of curtailing military cooperation with Syria despite calls from the West to stop arming President Bashar Assad’s regime, a senior Russian government official said Tuesday.

Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Russia will abide by existing contracts to deliver weapons to Syria despite Assad’s yearlong crackdown on the opposition, during which the UN says over 7,500 people have been killed.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article587163.ece

Israel sends air force into Gaza

Gaza has been pounded for a second day by Israel’s air strength. In the worst bombing raid in the region for almost a year at least 15 militants have been killed on the Gaza side. Israel has said the air strikes are in retaliation to the firing of more than 100 rockets from the Palestinian side.

http://feeds.bignewsnetwork.com/?sid=204108507

US terror drones kill 30 in southern Somalia

At least 30 people have been killed and a dozen injured in an attack by US assassination drones in southern Somalia, Press TV reports. The unmanned aircraft fired several missiles at al-Shabab positions in the Dayniile district of south Mogadishu on Tuesday. Sheik Ibrahim Jaabar, a senior al-Shabab official, confirmed the attack, saying the aerial strike caused major damage to the group’s positions.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/231562.html

Hague to be sued for aiding US drone attacks in Pakistan

A rights group and a law firm are set to take legal action against British Foreign Secretary William Hague over his alleged the contribution of intelligence in assisting US assassination drone strikes in Pakistan. The London-based charity Reprieve and the law firm Leigh Day & Co. confirmed on Monday that they will issue formal proceedings at the High Court on behalf of Noor Khan, a Pakistani man whose father was killed by a US strike. The law firm says it has credible evidence that Hague oversaw a policy of passing British intelligence to American forces planning attacks in Pakistan. Lawyers claim that civilian staff at Britain’s electronic listening agency (GCHQ) could be liable as “secondary parties to murder” as they provided “locational intelligence” to the CIA in directing its drone attacks.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/231297.html

Environmental

Our New ‘Tough Oil’ World

Michael T. Klare, Op-Ed:

“Oil prices are now higher than they have ever been—except for a few frenzied moments before the global economic meltdown of 2008. Many immediate factors are contributing to this surge, including Iran’s threats to block oil shipping in the Persian Gulf, fears of a new Middle Eastern war and turmoil in energy-rich Nigeria. Some of these pressures could ease in the months ahead, providing temporary relief at the gas pump. But the principal cause of higher prices—a fundamental shift in the structure of the oil industry—cannot be reversed, and so oil prices are destined to remain high for a long time to come.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/our-new-tough-oil-world-1331732593

Senate Rejects Plan to Open Arctic Refuge to Drilling

Sean Cockerham, News Report:

“The Senate on Tuesday resoundingly rejected a sweeping measure to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other protected areas to oil drilling, as well as to approve construction of the Keystone pipeline project. Tuesday’s vote was the first time in four years that the Senate has voted on a measure including ANWR drilling, and it failed miserably. The proposal needed 60 votes to pass; it only received 41 votes in favor, with 57 senators against.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/senate-rejects-plan-open-arctic-refuge-drilling-1331733615

Why Pennsylvania’s Act 13 May Be the Nation’s Worst Corporate Giveaway

Suvendrini Kakuchi, News Report:

“It’s absolutely crushing of local self-government,” said Ben Price, project director for the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund, which has helped a handful of local communities-including the city of Pittsburgh-adopt community rights ordinances that elevate the rights of nature and people to block the drilling. “The state has surrendered over 2,000 municipalities to the industry. It’s a complete capitulation of the rights of the people and their right to self-government. They are handing it over to the industry to let them govern us. It is the corporate state. That is how we look at it.”

http://www.nationofchange.org/why-pennsylvania-s-act-13-may-be-nation-s-worst-corporate-giveaway-1331733276

The shape of things to come

Miami FL (SPX)

When oil started gushing into the Gulf of Mexico in late April 2010, friends asked George Haller whether he was tracking its movement. That’s because the McGill engineering professor has been working for years on ways to better understand patterns in the seemingly chaotic motion of oceans and air. Meanwhile, colleagues of Josefina Olascoaga in Miami were asking the geophysicist a similar questio ..

http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/The_shape_of_things_to_come_999.html

Toxic acid release again draws federal investigators

Again drawn by a leak of toxic hydrofluoric acid, federal investigators are back at a Texas oil refinery they examined three years ago. A Center investigation last year found that 50 refineries use the acid despite the availability of safer alternatives.

http://www.iwatchnews.org/2012/03/08/8354/toxic-acid-release-again-draws-federal-investigators

Activism

Think Locally, Occupy Globally: Our Fight Is The World’s – And Vice Versa

Richard (RJ) Eskow, Op-Ed:

We’ve known for a long time that local protest movements carry an international message. The people here in South Africa gave hope and inspiration to the entire world during their own struggle for political freedom. Then, as now, genuine change seemed like an impossible dream. The apartheid regime had enormous wealth and was backed by some of the world’s most powerful corporate interests. The greatest governments in the world, including our own, were more than willing to ignore the regime’s worst human rights abuses in order to benefit from its trade.

http://www.nationofchange.org/think-locally-occupy-globally-our-fight-world-s-and-vice-versa-1331741531

Cyber Space

Google’s New ‘Spy’ Policy

Robert Jain, News Report:

Google has also made headlines recently regarding its new privacy policy, which Consumer Watchdog reports is a blatant misnomer, and actually describes the new invasive ways Google wants to gather information about individuals internet usage. Many of these techniques include methods for circumventing the privacy policies of Internet browsers such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or Apple’s Safari, which is used on iPhones and iPads around the country

http://www.nationofchange.org/google-s-new-spy-policy-1331740571

Teenager arrested for comments made on Facebook page

A teenager has been arrested for allegedly making comments on Facebook about the deaths of six British soldiers in Afghanistan last week.
According to Sky News, Azhar Ahmed of Ravensthorpe (19) posted comments on his profile page, criticizing the level of attention British soldiers who died in a bomb blast received, compared to that received by Afghan civilians killed in the war.

http://digitaljournal.com/article/321102#ixzz1pAiCFNlL

US wins the extradition of Richard O’Dwyer over UK-based website

Sheffield – A 23-year old UK student is to be extradited to the USA to face trial for operating a UK-based website linking to copyright materials.

http://digitaljournal.com/#ixzz1pAizxCzz

Vatican confirms second Anonymous hack

A Vatican spokesman on Tuesday downplayed the impact of the hack on the Vatican Radio database, saying the hackers had gained access to an old server “shortly after 2pm” on Monday. Anonymous claimed to have hacked Vatican Radio in protest against the Vatican Radio… in a Pastebin post on Monday. AnonOps Communications, a recognised mouthpiece of the hacktivist collective, published a link to the Pastebin post on Tuesday. Comments on the post called for alleged LulzSec members arrested last week by the FBI and international law enforcement to be freed.

http://www.zdnet.co.uk/blogs/security-bullet-in-10000166/vatican-confirms-second-anonymous-hack-10025615/

Radiation

Rense & Dr Blaylock – Radiation What We CAN Do

Uploaded by JRense on Apr 24, 2011

World famous Dr Russell Blaylock gives real advise on how we can protect ourselves from radiation, and a sober assessment of how our governments go for “covering up” the reality.

Misc

Speaking Truth About Power

Jim Hightower, Op-Ed:

A willingness to speak truth to power is an essential civic virtue for the well-being of a democratic-republic. Davis became a whistleblower, daring even to call out Gen. David Petraeus, the former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, who now heads the CIA. Last year, Petraeus had told Congress that the Afghan Taliban’s momentum had been “arrested,” that our progress there was “significant,” and that the mission was “on the right azimuth,” to succeed.

http://www.nationofchange.org/speaking-truth-about-power-1331730900

Fed To Take Propaganda To The Schoolroom: Will Teach Grade 8-12 Students About Constitutionality Of… The Fed

Back in September we noted a peculiar RFP by the Fed which sought to become a secret ‘big brother’ to the social media world, and to “monitor billions of conversations and generate text analytics based on predefined criteria.” The Fed’s desired product should be able to “determine the sentiment of a speaker or writer with respect to some topic or document”… “The solution must be able to gather data from the primary social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Forums and YouTube. It should also be able to aggregate data from various media outlets such as: CNN, WSJ, Factiva etc.” Most importantly, the “Listening Platform” should be able to “Handle crisis situations, Continuously monitor conversations, and Identify and reach out to key bloggers and influencers.”

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/fed-take-propaganda-schoolroom-will-teach-k-8-12-students-about-constitutionality-fed

FBI Urges Coffee Shops To Report Cash-Paying Customers To Authorities

Use of paper money is a terrorist trait — if you don’t want to be considered suspect, the government commands you to use corporate-issued debit and credit cards, rather than its own currency. Via Boing Boing:

According to a set of guidelines sent out by the FBI as part of its Communities Against Terror program, ordinary citizens need to be on the lookout for suspicious characters who follow patterns of behavior of a covert operative.

http://www.disinfo.com/2012/03/fbi-urges-coffee-shops-to-report-cash-paying-customers-to-authorities/

Classified documents contradict FBI on post-9/11 probe of Saudis, ex-senator says

By Anthony Summers and Dan Christensen
Special to msnbc.com

Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham, who co-chaired Congress’ Joint Inquiry into the 9/11 terrorist attacks, has seen two classified FBI documents that he says are at odds with the bureau’s public statements that there was no connection between the hijackers and Saudis then living in Sarasota, Fla.

“There are significant inconsistencies between the public statements of the FBI in September and what I read in the classified documents,” Graham said.

http://openchannel.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/13/10656262-classified-documents-contradict-fbi-on-post-911-probe-of-saudis-ex-senator-says

Broken Promises: Pensions All Over America Are Being Savagely Cut Or Are Vanishing Completely

How would you feel if you worked for a state or local government for 20 or 30 years only to have your pension slashed dramatically or taken away entirely? Well, this exact scenario is playing out from coast to coast and in the years ahead millions of elderly Americans are going to be affected by broken promises and vanishing pensions.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/broken-promises-pensions-all-over-america-are-being-savagely-cut-or-are-vanishing-completely

Bringing Down the Empire: Challenging the Institutions of Domination

“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo

We have come to the point in our history of our species where an increasing amount of people are asking questions, seeking answers, taking action, and waking up to the realities of our world, to the systems, ideas, institutions and individuals who have dominated, oppressed, controlled, and ensnared humanity in their grip of absolute control. As the resistance to these ideas, institutions, and individuals grows and continues toward taking action – locally, nationally, regionally, and globally – it is now more important than ever for the discussion and understanding of our system to grow in accord. Action must be taken, and is being taken, but information must inform action. Without a more comprehensive, global and expansive understanding of our world, those who resist this system will become increasingly divided, more easily co-opted, and have their efforts often undermined.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Bringing_Down_the_Empire%3A_Challenging_the_Institutions_of_Domination/18434/0/0/0/Y/M.html