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Tag Archive: Psy – Ops


Security Researchers Discover Link Between Stuxnet and Flame

By Lucian Constantin, IDG-News-Service:Romania-Bureau

Security researchers from antivirus vendor Kaspersky Labs have found evidence that the development teams behind the Flame and Stuxnet cyberespionage threats collaborated with each other.

The Kaspersky researchers determined that Flame, which is believed to have been created in 2008, and a 2009-version of Stuxnet shared one component that served the same purpose and had similar source code.

Back in October 2010, Kaspersky’s researchers analyzed a sample that had been automatically classified as a Stuxnet variant by the company’s automated systems. At the time, the researchers dismissed the detection as an error because the sample’s code looked nothing like the code in Stuxnet.

However, after Flame was discovered at the end of May, the Kaspersky researchers searched their database for malware samples that might be related to the new threat and found that the sample detected as Stuxnet in 2010 was actually a Flame module. The module uses an autorun.inf trick to infect computers via USB drives.

Upon further research, the Kaspersky analysts determined that Stuxnet.A, which was created in early 2009, uses the same autorun.inf trick to spread via USB drives. In fact, the source code responsible for this is almost identical to the one in the Flame module.

“It looks like the Flame platform was used to kick start the Stuxnet platform,” said Roel Schouwenberg, a senior researcher with Kaspersky Lab’s global research and analysis team, during a conference call with the press.

Same Flaw Targeted

The Kaspersky researchers already knew that Stuxnet and Flame leveraged the same EoP vulnerability, but this wasn’t conclusive proof that their developers collaborated. The exploit could have been created by a third-party that sold it to both teams, Schouwenberg said.

However, the new discovery suggests that the developers of the two malware threats actually shared source code, which is intellectual property and wouldn’t normally be shared between unrelated teams. “We are now 100-percent sure that the Flame and Stuxnet groups worked together,” Schouwenberg said.

The Kaspersky researchers discovered that the Flame module integrated into Stuxnet.A exploited a Windows elevation of privilege (EoP) vulnerability that wasn’t known at the time of the malware’s creation. This would be the fifth zero-day (previously unknown) vulnerability exploited by Stuxnet, Schouwenberg said.

The researchers believe that this vulnerability was one that Microsoft patched in June 2009, a few months after the creation of Stuxnet.A, but they are not yet certain and are still investigating.

Later Stuxnet versions stopped using the Flame module entirely and began exploiting a separate vulnerability that relied on malformed LNK (shortcut) files to propagate via USB drives.

Interestingly, the exploit code from Stuxnet.A’s Flame-borrowed module is very similar to the exploit code for a different EoP vulnerability that’s present in later Stuxnet versions. The researchers believe that both sections of code were written by the same programmer.

Same Source, Different Purposes

When Microsoft patched the EoP vulnerability in 2009 — a few months after the creation of Stuxnet.A — the Stuxnet developers stopped using the Flame module for propagation and began exploiting a new vulnerability, which relied on malformed LNK (shortcut) files.

The theory put forward by the Kaspersky researchers is that Flame and Stuxnet were created by two separate teams as part of two operations funded by the same nation state. Flame was probably used for espionage and Stuxnet used for sabotage, Schouwenberg said.

According to a recent New York Times report that quotes anonymous sources from the Obama administration, Stuxnet was created by the U.S. and Israeli governments as part of a secret operation called Olympic Games with the goal of crippling Iran’s ability to produce weapon-grade nuclear fuel.

Cyberwarfare Gets Political

By Stefan Hammond, cw.com.hk

This year there’s a Summer Olympics, a European football contest, and a U.S. presidential election. The Olympics return to London for the first time since 1948, the Euro Cup comes to Poland and Ukraine, and the U.S. election hinges on only a few states as the USA still uses a colonial-era “electoral college” which supersedes the popular vote.

This year’s Euro Cup features Eastern Europe locations — while Ukraine struggles with its public political image, Poland emerges as a player within the EU. Five years ago, I visited the stadium in Warsaw — it was a derelict, overgrown open-pit with rotting bleachers. Dodgy characters offered to sell me bootleg vodka and pirated CDs. Friends told me that handguns and AK-47s were sometimes on offer.

You’ll see the same stadium (considerably revamped) soon as a centerpiece for Euro Cup matches. Decades ago, Poland distanced itself from what former U.S. president Ronald Reagan called the “evil empire” (the Soviet Union), then the entire “Iron Curtain” came crashing down suddenly as Western newscasters struggled to pronounce the words “glastnost” and “perestroika” . . . and the USA lost its favorite arch-enemy.

But now the Euro Cup graces the former turf of the “evil empire,” and there’s another presidential election Stateside. Former U.S. chief executives could often conjure villains for the electorate — the now-kaput Soviet Union won’t do. What now? What appeals to “Generation Facebook”?

What else? “Cyberwarfare.” Given the rapid rise of personal-computing power, with resultant gaps in public-understanding of technology, the specter of villains lurking online — ready to crash essential systems in a concerted cyberstrike — holds more appeal than comparing Putin to Stalin.

Worm as Warfare

But a new report has wrenched the cyberwarfare-angle. According to the New York Times, the Stuxnet worm (one of the more sophisticated viruses ever found in the wild) is the result of “a joint US and Israeli effort to target Iran’s nuclear program.” IDG journalist Jaikumar Vijayan writes that the Times report “is sure to trigger a sharp increase in state sponsored cyberattacks against American businesses and critical infrastructure targets, security experts warn.”

“Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, said the revelation dramatically alters the cybersecurity landscape,” wrote Vijayan. “‘We are now going to be the target of massive attacks,’ Paller said…’for a long time everything has been under the radar, no one was really sure that the U.S. was practicing this kind of activity. The U.S. has acted like it was an innocent victim’ of state-sponsored attacks by other countries, he said.”

The damning Times article details some pithy moments: “‘Should we shut this thing down?’ Mr Obama asked, according to members of the president’s national security team who were in the room.”

Well, no, Mr. President, that’s not how properly constructed military-specification computer viruses work when they’re in attack-mode. You don’t hit the ‘Like’ button on your friend Mister Antivirus to make it all go away.

Stuxnet, (ironically code-named ‘Olympic Games’ and initiated by the Bush administration in 2006) “was of an entirely different type and sophistication,” according to the Times. “It appears to be the first time the United States has repeatedly used cyberweapons to cripple another country’s infrastructure, achieving, with computer code, what until then could be accomplished only by bombing a country or sending in agents to plant explosives,” said the article.

“Mr. Obama, according to participants in the many Situation Room meetings on Olympic Games, was acutely aware that with every attack he was pushing the United States into new territory, much as his predecessors had with the first use of atomic weapons in the 1940s, of intercontinental missiles in the 1950s and of drones in the past decade. He repeatedly expressed concerns that any American acknowledgment that it was using cyberweapons…could enable other countries, terrorists or hackers to justify their own attacks.”

Ready for Cyberbattle?

And in 2012, as Londoners discover the Ministry of Defense is considering placing surface-to-air missiles on residential flats during the Olympics, the Times article said “another cyberweapon called Flame was recently discovered to have attacked the computers of Iranian officials…American officials say that it was not part of Olympic Games. They have declined to say whether the United States was responsible for the Flame attack.”

The Olympic Flame seems to have acquired an unintentional double-meaning. But among these half-revealed tales of cyberwarfare, who are the real bad guys? Security experts know that malware is in a constant of flux, and actions often provoke reactions — just ask Sony about its experience with Anonymous.

Perhaps the U.S. president was prescient by repeatedly voicing his concern over the U.S. government’s actions. We can only hope that the technological expertise that created Stuxnet was also applied to hardening weak-points that may be attacked — now that the USA has lost the moral high-ground.

No word yet on whether the U.S. presidential candidates plan to make “cyberwarfare” a campaign-issue. Perhaps this particular issue has become too hot for mere politicians to handle.

 

 

 


Flame virus, most sophisticated malicious code ever seen, was developed by U.S. government

By J. D. Heyes, 
(NaturalNews) Anyone who has spent longer than a day on a computer knows how dangerous to your hard drive malware and other malicious code can be. Most of us have fallen victim to one or the other and have cursed the day the hacker who developed it was born. Now, according to reports, some of the most sophisticated malicious code ever developed is a product of the United States government, leaving more than a few tech experts and analysts concerned that maybe now, Washington has become a bigger…

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Environmental

 

Poland Announces Complete Ban on Monsanto’s Genetically Modified Maize

 

Anthony Gucciardi
NaturalSociety

 

Following the anti-Monsanto activism launched by nations like France and Hungary, Poland has announced that it will launch a complete ban on growing Monsanto’s genetically modified strain MON810. The announcement, made by Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki, sets yet another international standard against Monsanto’s genetically modified creations. In addition to being linked to a plethora health ailments, Sawicki says that the pollen originating from this GM strain may actually be devastating the already dwindling bee population.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Cyber Space

 

Expect more online attacks, Anonymous hackers say

 

The hacking group Anonymous says it will launch online attacks every weekend, following claims it disrupted access to the Home Office website.

Anonymous Twitter messages warned of the attack on 4 April, and said: “Expect a DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) every Saturday on the UK Government sites.”

The Home Office site was inaccessible for several hours on Saturday night.

Officials say no sensitive information was lost, and it is now back to normal.

A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack floods a web-server with so many requests that it can no longer respond to legitimate users.

The Home Office website became inaccessible around 21:00 BST on Saturday, and was patchy from 05:00 on Sunday.

It is not clear whether the protest was against email surveillance or extradition, but it could be both.

One message on Twitter said it was a protest against “draconian surveillance proposals”, but another claimed it was over extradition from the UK to the US.

One tweet claiming to be from Anonymous said: “You should not give UK citizens to foreign countries without evidence. If an offense happened in the UK, so should the trial.”

There were also claims on Twitter that the 10 Downing Street website had been targeted as part of the same protest…..

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

LulzSec hacker pleads guilty

Cody Kretsinger, 24, faces jail after admitting in plea bargain to breaching Sony Pictures website and stealing names

 

Reuters
The Guardian,

 

LulzSec hacker Cody Kretsinger has pleaded guilty to charges of taking part in an extensive computer breach against Sony.

Kretsinger, 24, pleaded guilty in a California federal court to one count each of conspiracy and unauthorised impairment of a protected computer in a deal with prosecutors. LulzSec, an offshoot of the international hacking group Anonymous, has taken credit for hacking government and private sector websites.

“I joined LulzSec, your honor, at which point we gained access to the Sony Pictures website,” Kretsinger, who went by the hacking moniker “Recursion,” told the judge after entering his guilty plea.

Kretsinger testified that he gave the information he got from the Sony site to other members of LulzSec, who then posted it onto the group’s website and on Twitter…..

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Survival / Sustainability

 

25 Must Know Skills For Surviving The Coming Nightmare

 

The following article was generously shared with the SHTFplan community by regular contributor ‘Be Informed’ and provides skills that will be essential for surviving any number of catastrophes that may befall us.

Many people nowadays are quite aware that the world they live in is going to the toilet. Aside from the geophysical part that “seems” to be going haywire and could be nothing other than the planet’s cycles, there are plenty of man made catastrophes that loom on the horizon. Never has the planet had as many people as now and the more people there are the more competition there is for resources. More countries seek nuclear devices than ever before and with advancements in technology this is a much easier process than anytime before. Biological and chemical weapons are also much easier to manufacture because of leaps of technology in regards to computers. Oil markets are much tighter because of the countries of China and India and their increasing need of energy to fuel their booming economies, and new finds of oil fields cannot keep up with the demand. The debacle of the world economies needs no introduction. In short, bad times, really bad times could and probably be coming to a neighborhood near you. Unless you and your family take quite seriously this possibility, if and when something extremely horrible happens, you could very well end up one of the large number of statistics…..

 

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Activism

 

Day 203: Live Coverage of the Occupy Movement

 

Special Coverage: As we enter Day 203 of the Occupy movements the protests have spread not only across the country but all over the globe. Thousands of activists have descended on Wall Street these past weeks as part of the #OccupyWallStreet protest organized by several action groups. What follows is a live video stream and live Twitter feed of this event.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Psy – Ops

 

Pupils are recruited to spy on us during our lessons and schools are being ‘run like totalitarian regimes’, say teachers

 

By Sarah Harris

 

Pupils are being ‘actively recruited’ by schools to spy on their teachers in the classroom, a union has warned.

They are being used as ‘management tools’ to carry out covert – and even open – surveillance of members of staff, it was claimed.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, condemned the practice as a ‘form of abuse’ of children.

She told the union’s annual conference in Birmingham on Saturday that ‘debilitating’ monitoring ‘erodes teachers’ self-esteem and gnaws away at their professional confidence’.

She said: ‘Children and teachers are diminished and abused by the use of pupils as management tools to carry out surveillance on their teachers.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Articles of Interest

Autism and Disappearing Bees: A Common Denominator?

 

By Brian Moench
Common Dreams

 

A few days ago the Salt Lake Tribune’s front page headline declared, “Highest rate in the nation, 1 in 32 Utah boys has autism.” This is a national public health emergency, whose epicenter is Utah, Gov. Herbert. A more obscure story on the same day read: “New pesticides linked to bee population collapse.” If you eat food, and hope to do so in the future, this is another national emergency, Pres. Obama. A common denominator may underlie both headlines.

A Stanford University study with 192 pairs of twins, with one twin autistic and one not, found that genetics accounts for 38% of the risk of autism, and environmental factors account for 62%.

Supporting an environmental/genetic tag team are other studies showing autistic children and their mothers have a high rate of a genetic deficiency in the production of glutathione, an anti-oxidant and the body’s primary means of detoxifying heavy metals. High levels of toxic metals in children are strongly correlated with the severity of autism. Low levels of glutathione, coupled with high production of another chemical, homocysteine, increase the chance of a mother having an autistic child to one in three. That autism is four times more common among boys than girls is likely related to a defect in the single male X chromosome contributing to anti-oxidant deficiency……

 

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Operation Midnight Climax : How the CIA Dosed S.F. Citizens with LSD

 

It’s been over 50 years, but Wayne Ritchie says he can still remember how it felt to be dosed with acid.

He was drinking bourbon and soda with other federal officers at a holiday party in 1957 at the U.S. Post Office Building on Seventh and Mission streets. They were cracking jokes and swapping stories when, suddenly, the room began to spin. The red and green lights on the Christmas tree in the corner spiraled wildly. Ritchie’s body temperature rose. His gaze fixed on the dizzying colors around him.

The deputy U.S. marshal excused himself and went upstairs to his office, where he sat down and drank a glass of water. He needed to compose himself. But instead he came unglued. Ritchie feared the other marshals didn’t want him around anymore. Then he obsessed about the probation officers across the hall and how they didn’t like him, either. Everyone was out to get him. Ritchie felt he had to escape.

He fled to his apartment and sought comfort from his live-in girlfriend. It didn’t go as planned. His girlfriend was there, but an argument erupted. She told him she was growing tired of San Francisco and wanted to return to New York City. Ritchie couldn’t handle the situation. Frantic, he ran away again, this time to the Vagabond Bar where he threw back more bourbon and sodas. From he hit a few more bars, further cranking up his buzz. As he drank his way back to Seventh and Mission, Ritchie concocted a plan that would change his life.

 

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Europe’s Austerity Program Spawns ‘Lost Generation’

 

Julio Godoy, News Report:

 

The German economy already suffered a slowdown of 0.2 percent during the last quarter of 2011. Given the OECD forecast, such figures suggest that even Germany, the last standing economic powerhouse in an otherwise lethargic continent, might have fallen into recession – experiencing a negative growth rate for two consecutive quarters. To confirm the crisis, the European Commission’s office for youth announced that youth unemployment across the continent went up to 5.5 million in January 2012, a 37.7 percent growth rate since the spring of 2008, at the beginning of the global financial crisis.

 

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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.]

 

Environmental

 

 

Mexican plan for Gulf deep water wells sparks new worries

 

Tim Johnson

 

MEXICO CITY — Two years after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, Mexico’s state oil company is about to test its hand at drilling at extraordinary depths in the Gulf of Mexico.

If all goes as planned, Petroleos de Mexico, known as Pemex, will deploy two state-of-the-art drilling platforms in May to an area just south of the maritime boundary with the United States. One rig will sink a well in 9,514 feet of water, while another will drill in 8,316 feet of water, then deeper into the substrata.

Pemex has no experience drilling at such depths. Mexico’s oil regulator is sounding alarm bells, saying the huge state oil concern is unprepared for a serious deep water accident or spill. Critics say the company has sharply cut corners on insurance, remiss over potential sky-high liability.

Mexico’s plans come two years after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, the worst oil spill in U.S. history. On April 20, 2010, a semi-submersible rig that the British oil firm BP had contracted to drill a well known as Macondo exploded off the Louisiana coast, killing 11 workers and spewing 4.9 million barrels of oil in the nearly three months it took engineers to stop the spill.

BP has said the tab for the spill — including government fines, cleanup costs and compensation — could climb to $42 billion for the company and its contractors.

Pemex’s plans to sink even deeper offshore wells underscore Mexico’s pressing need to maintain sagging oil production — exports pay for one-third of government operating expenses — along with oil companies’ desire to leverage technology and drill at ever more challenging depths.

Carlos A. Morales, the chief of the Pemex exploration and production arm, which employs 50,000 people, voiced confidence that his company has to the ability to sink wells in ultra-deep water.

“Pemex is ready to undertake the challenge and to do it safely,” Morales said in an interview in his 41st-floor office at Pemex headquarters in this capital city.

“You have to bear one thing in mind,” he said. “Pemex is the biggest operator in the Gulf — including everyone — both in production and in the number of rigs we operate. We are operating more than 80 rigs offshore”.

 

Read Full Article Here:

 

Millions of Pounds of Toxic Poison to Flood US Farmland

 

By Cassandra Anderson

 

The EPA announced that it has completed the first part of its study on dioxin, after more than 25 years of stonewalling.

Dioxin is the most caustic man-made chemical known. Dioxin is a general term for hundreds of chemicals that are produced in industrial processes that use chlorine and burning. Disturbingly, it has a half-life of 100+ years when it is leached into soil or embedded in water systems. Dioxin was the most harmful component in Agent Orange (the recipe for Agent Orange is 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T herbicides).

The EPA says that air emissions of dioxin have decreased by 90% since the 1980’s, but dioxin is dangerous at any level. The study appears to omit any analysis of dioxin transmission in water and land. The danger is growing because Dow AgroScience has received preliminary USDA approval for its 2,4-D herbicide resistant GMO corn. This means that dioxin contaminated 2,4-D herbicide will drench US farm land and pollute water supplies if the crops are widely planted.

EPA Dioxin Assessment Report

The EPA’s press release on dioxin’s health effects trumpeted the lie that current exposure rates “don’t pose significant health risks”. But the EPA does admit that there is a cancer risk, although they are not releasing their study on cancer at this time. Perhaps the delay is due to the fact that 95% of Americans have measurable levels of dioxin in their bodies.

The EPA’s claim that current levels are not a health risk is contradicted by another webpage on the EPA’s own site says that dioxin accumulates over a lifetime, persists for years, is likely to lead to an increased risk of cancer, and that the current exposure levels are “uncomfortably” close to levels that can cause “subtle” non-cancer effects. These so-called subtle effects may include birth defects, reproductive problems and immuno suppression.

There were 500,000 victims of birth defects in Viet Nam that can hardly be considered subtle. Dioxin is bad at any level especially since it accumulates in the body.

Humans are exposed to dioxin primarily through food sources. The EPA’s press release fails to mention that people who eat animal based foods like meat, dairy and eggs will continually increase their dioxin levels.

If dioxin is so safe, why does the Veterans Administration make automatic payments for a wide range of claims that include several types of cancers and leukemia, liver disease, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes? American taxpayers are footing the bill for veterans’ Agent Orange dioxin injuries that are estimated to cost $42 billion over the next 10 years! Monsanto and Dow, the top 2 Agent Orange producers, should pay for all damages — not taxpayers.

While the EPA’s press release does acknowledge “certain industrial activities” as a cause of dioxin pollution, they omit any reference to chemical herbicides and pesticides. The EPA doesn’t mention that herbicide 2,4-D (half of the Agent Orange recipe) is the seventh largest source of dioxin in the US. Dow Chemical is the biggest 2,4-D manufacturer, and Dow is also listed as the #2 and #3 biggest industrial dioxin dumper in the US. Herbicide 2,4-D is polluting groundwater.

Shocking EPA Omission

The most disturbing omission by the EPA is its complete lack of oversight of a specific type of dioxin, 2,7-DCDD, that is one of the most potent kinds of dioxin. It is reported that DCDD is an inevitable by-product of 2,4-D herbicide manufacturing. The EPA doesn’t even regulate or monitor DCDD!

Therefore, the EPA’s report is incomplete and the true levels of dioxin are unknown.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Survival / Sustainability

 

Soccer Mom Prepares for the Unexpected

 

Uploaded by peakmoment

 

 

Peak Moment 203: “I have a ball preserving food with my friends!” And at the same time Kathy Harrison is making sure her kids can eat if storms knock out power or roads. The author of “Just in Case: How to Be Self Sufficient when The Unexpected Happens” gives practical tips on storing food without getting overwhelmed. She looks at dehydrating, canning, and root cellaring; finding and preserving local food, and buying food at discount. For Kathy, preparedness is an empowering, community activity.
++++Because of viewers like you, this show is free to the world on YouTube. Lend your support or subscribe to our email newsletter at http://www.peakmoment.tv

 

 

Container Gardening With Vegetables and Herbs

 

April/May 2012

By Barbara Pleasant
Container Gardening

These are among the best food crops for container gardening: artichoke, arugula, bok choy, celery, chard, cucumber, eggplant, garlic, lettuce, onion, pepper, snap bean, pea, tomato and most herbs. Look for compact varieties that will grow best in a confined space.

The most personal way to forge a connection with delicious food crops — from arugula to tomatoes — is to grow them up close in containers. Special methods are needed to produce high-quality food crops in containers, because most vegetables and herbs grow best when planted in the ground. Stable soil temperatures and constant access to water, nutrients and microscopic soil allies give in-ground crops a clear advantage.

But if growing edibles in the ground is not an option due to a lack of backyard space, destructive pets or homeowner association rules, then growing some crops in containers on your porch, patio or fire escape may be the solution. Also, if you have problems with your site or soil that prevent in-ground gardening, then container gardening may allow you to avoid some of these problems:

• Shade from buildings and trees can be minimized by moving container-grown vegetables to your sunniest spots, which change with the seasons.

• Soil pH barriers can be overcome by using custom soil mixes to grow plants that need more or less acidic soil conditions than are common in your area. For example, containers are a good way to grow acid-loving strawberries or potatoes if your soil is naturally neutral or alkaline.

• Protection from soil borne pests, from nematodes to voles, and greatly reduced weed problems are natural benefits of container gardening. Where soil borne diseases such as tomato Fusarium are common, containers are an easy way to grow lovely ‘Yellow Pear’ tomatoes and other susceptible varieties.

• Contaminated soil from toxic lead in old paint, termite pesticides applied to your home’s foundation, chemicals that have leached from treated wood, and other hazards, should not be a problem as long as you use good quality soil mix. (These concerns are especially relevant on urban and reclaimed lots.)

Then there’s the convenience factor. Although my vegetable garden is right in my backyard, I want containers of sweet peppers, parsley, cherry tomatoes and basil within steps of my kitchen door. If you live in an apartment or condo with no yard, you can still have a summer’s worth of veggies right at your fingertips.

One big difference between in-ground and container-grown vegetables is root temperature. In summer, warm daytime temperatures will cause plant roots in containers to warm up by 15 degrees Fahrenheit or more (this never happens 4 inches below ground). And dark containers accumulate solar heat, which intensifies this effect. Warm roots can be your enemy or your friend, depending on the season and the crop. Eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and okra love warm roots, while onions and celery (a surprisingly successful container plant) need cooler feet. You can’t control the weather, but you can minimize soil temperature swings by using the largest containers possible and choosing light-colored containers when appropriate.

The plants discussed here are easy to grow in containers in most climates, but many other vegetables make challenging container crops. If you’re a new gardener, stick with the container-grown vegetables listed below at first to build on your skills. Remember, plants grown in containers will be totally dependent on you for water, feeding and adequate accommodations for their roots. By midsummer, herbs and vegetables in containers may need water twice a day and liquid fertilizer twice a week. Think of container gardening as an intensive form of the food gardener’s art…..

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Psy – Ops

 

This Is Your Brain on the Department of Defense

The Department of Defense has long had its eyes on emerging neuroscience technologies. Should we be worried?

 

By Azeen Ghorayshi

 

April 04, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — Science and the military have historically made creepy bedfellows, with military curiosity about neuroscience leading the pack. Yet it’s no secret that since the early 1950s, the US military has had a vested interest in harnessing cutting-edge developments in neuroscience to get a leg up on national defense (a la well-publicized failures like Project MK-ULTRA [1]). In 2011, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon’s research arm credited with, among other things, spearheading the invention of the internet [2], had a budget of over $240 million [3] devoted to cognitive neuroscience research alone. From brain-scan-based lie detection to memory-erasure pills, some of the technologies are, at first glance, simply the stuff of sci-fi. But an essay published in the March issue of PLoS Biology [3] tells a cautionary tale of high-tech neuroscience developments on the horizon that “could be deployed before sufficiently validated.”
The two authors, Michael Tennison and Jonathan Moreno, are no strangers to the broader implications of science; both are bioethicists, and Moreno, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has been a part of multiple government advisory bodies, including President Obama’s bioethics commission. “They see me as an honest broker,” says Moreno. “I worry about the ethical questions behind a lot of these technologies, I’m left-leaning, but I’m no pacifist—I have kids, and I think we do have to worry about national security.”

A lot gets said about scientific research that’s so-called “dual-use [4],” e.g., its potential for good is matched or outmatched by its potential to do harm. Case in point: the recent H5N1 hubbub [5], where Dutch and American scientists made a potentially dangerous airborne strain of the already-dangerous bird flu virus, but only in the interest of “preventing a pandemic [6].” Similarly, Moreno runs through recent developments in neuroscience, connecting them to their well-funded, though still highly speculative, DOD research goals—as well as the knotty legal and ethical questions these experimental technologies suggest. “Neuroscientists haven’t had the atom bomb moment that Einstein and Oppenheimer had, they haven’t even had the bird flu moment; but that time is fast-approaching,” Moreno says. Here are some of the top neuroscience developments that Moreno, and DOD, is keeping an eye on—and why he thinks we should care.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Articles of Interest

 

Shady Companies With Ties to Israel Wiretap the U.S. for the NSA

 

By James Bamford

 

Army General Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, is having a busy year — hopping around the country, cutting ribbons at secret bases and bringing to life the agency’s greatly expanded eavesdropping network.

In January he dedicated the new $358 million CAPT Joseph J. Rochefort Building at NSA Hawaii, and in March he unveiled the 604,000-square-foot John Whitelaw Building at NSA Georgia.

Designed to house about 4,000 earphone-clad intercept operators, analysts and other specialists, many of them employed by private contractors, it will have a 2,800-square-foot fitness center open 24/7, 47 conference rooms and VTCs, and “22 caves,” according to an NSA brochure from the event. No television news cameras were allowed within two miles of the ceremony.

Overseas, Menwith Hill, the NSA’s giant satellite listening post in Yorkshire, England that sports 33 giant dome-covered eavesdropping dishes, is also undergoing a multimillion-dollar expansion, with $68 million alone being spent on a generator plant to provide power for new supercomputers. And the number of people employed on the base, many of them employees of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, is due to increase from 1,800 to 2,500 in 2015, according to a study done in Britain. Closer to home, in May, Fort Meade will close its 27-hole golf course to make room for a massive $2 billion, 1.8-million-square-foot expansion of the NSA’s headquarters, including a cyber command complex and a new supercomputer center expected to cost nearly $1 billion.

 

Read Full article Here

 

 

Monsanto’s Top Corporate Secrets Exposed

 

This is an unbelievable resource on the power that Monsanto holds over the world and everything in it. An unprecedented look its web of power over you and me. An absolute gem of a resource I bring to you via its author Kelly Dericks whom I applaud to no end for her dedication and bravery in making this interactive map. spread the word!!

 

Read Full Article Here

 

Invisible Empire A New World Order Defined Full

 

 

 

[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.]

Environmental

Mexican plan for Gulf deepwater wells sparks new worries

Tim Johnson

MEXICO CITY — Two years after the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history, Mexico’s state oil company is about to test its hand at drilling at extraordinary depths in the Gulf of Mexico.

If all goes as planned, Petroleos de Mexico, known as Pemex, will deploy two state-of-the-art drilling platforms in May to an area just south of the maritime boundary with the United States. One rig will sink a well in 9,514 feet of water, while another will drill in 8,316 feet of water, then deeper into the substrata.

Pemex has no experience drilling at such depths. Mexico’s oil regulator is sounding alarm bells, saying the huge state oil concern is unprepared for a serious deepwater accident or spill. Critics say the company has sharply cut corners on insurance, remiss over potential sky-high liability.

Mexico’s plans come two years after the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, the worst oil spill in U.S. history. On April 20, 2010, a semi-submersible rig that the British oil firm BP had contracted to drill a well known as Macondo exploded off the Louisiana coast, killing 11 workers and spewing 4.9 million barrels of oil in the nearly three months it took engineers to stop the spill.

BP has said the tab for the spill — including government fines, cleanup costs and compensation — could climb to $42 billion for the company and its contractors.

Pemex’s plans to sink even deeper offshore wells underscore Mexico’s pressing need to maintain sagging oil production — exports pay for one-third of government operating expenses — along with oil companies’ desire to leverage technology and drill at ever more challenging depths.

Carlos A. Morales, the chief of the Pemex exploration and production arm, which employs 50,000 people, voiced confidence that his company has to the ability to sink wells in ultra-deep water.

“Pemex is ready to undertake the challenge and to do it safely,” Morales said in an interview in his 41st-floor office at Pemex headquarters in this capital city.

“You have to bear one thing in mind,” he said. “Pemex is the biggest operator in the Gulf — including everyone — both in production and in the number of rigs we operate. We are operating more than 80 rigs offshore.”…..

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Millions of Pounds of Toxic Poison to Flood US Farmland

By Cassandra Anderson

The EPA announced that it has completed the first part of its study on dioxin, after more than 25 years of stonewalling.

Dioxin is the most caustic man-made chemical known. Dioxin is a general term for hundreds of chemicals that are produced in industrial processes that use chlorine and burning. Disturbingly, it has a half-life of 100+ years when it is leached into soil or embedded in water systems. Dioxin was the most harmful component in Agent Orange (the recipe for Agent Orange is 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T herbicides).

The EPA says that air emissions of dioxin have decreased by 90% since the 1980’s, but dioxin is dangerous at any level. The study appears to omit any analysis of dioxin transmission in water and land. The danger is growing because Dow AgroScience has received preliminary USDA approval for its 2,4-D herbicide resistant GMO corn. This means that dioxin contaminated 2,4-D herbicide will drench US farm land and pollute water supplies if the crops are widely planted.

EPA Dioxin Assessment Report

The EPA’s press release on dioxin’s health effects trumpeted the lie that current exposure rates “don’t pose significant health risks”. But the EPA does admit that there is a cancer risk, although they are not releasing their study on cancer at this time. Perhaps the delay is due to the fact that 95% of Americans have measurable levels of dioxin in their bodies.

The EPA’s claim that current levels are not a health risk is contradicted by another webpage on the EPA’s own site says that dioxin accumulates over a lifetime, persists for years, is likely to lead to an increased risk of cancer, and that the current exposure levels are “uncomfortably” close to levels that can cause “subtle” non-cancer effects. These so-called subtle effects may include birth defects, reproductive problems and immuno-suppression.

There were 500,000 victims of birth defects in Vietnam that can hardly be considered subtle. Dioxin is bad at any level especially since it accumulates in the body.

Humans are exposed to dioxin primarily through food sources. The EPA’s press release fails to mention that people who eat animal based foods like meat, dairy and eggs will continually increase their dioxin levels.

If dioxin is so safe, why does the Veterans Administration make automatic payments for a wide range of claims that include several types of cancers and leukemia, liver disease, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease and diabetes? American taxpayers are footing the bill for veterans’ Agent Orange dioxin injuries that are estimated to cost $42 billion over the next 10 years! Monsanto and Dow, the top 2 Agent Orange producers, should pay for all damages — not taxpayers.

While the EPA’s press release does acknowledge “certain industrial activities” as a cause of dioxin pollution, they omit any reference to chemical herbicides and pesticides. The EPA doesn’t mention that herbicide 2,4-D (half of the Agent Orange recipe) is the seventh largest source of dioxin in the US. Dow Chemical is the biggest 2,4-D manufacturer, and Dow is also listed as the #2 and #3 biggest industrial dioxin dumper in the US. Herbicide 2,4-D is polluting groundwater.

Shocking EPA Omission

The most disturbing omission by the EPA is its complete lack of oversight of a specific type of dioxin, 2,7-DCDD, that is one of the most potent kinds of dioxin. It is reported that DCDD is an inevitable by-product of 2,4-D herbicide manufacturing. The EPA doesn’t even regulate or monitor DCDD!

Therefore, the EPA’s report is incomplete and the true levels of dioxin are unknown.

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Cyber Space

DHS Looks to Spy on Video Game Consoles in Search of Pedophiles, Terrorists

Tiffany Kaiser

The government is more concerned with the platforms rather than the games themselves, mainly because newer systems like Xbox 360, Wii and PlayStation 3 allow users to communicate with one another via messaging and chat systems

Gamers may want to be careful about what they say when jumping onto their consoles for an innocent bout of slaying dragons or killing zombies — the government will be watching.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Navy have launched a new research initiative that will explore ways of allowing the government to hack into gaming consoles like the Xbox 360, Wii, or PlayStation 3 to obtain information on gamers.

In 2008, a project called “Gaming Systems Monitoring and Analysis Project” was executed when law enforcement became worried about pedophiles using game consoles to talk to children. Later, law enforcement authorities went to DHS’ Science and Technology Directorate in search of help on an instrument that could observe game console data. DHS then went to the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) to find Simson Garfinkel, a NPS computer science professor, to offer a contract to a company that could conduct the research and offer a product.

The U.S. Navy ended up recently awarding the $177,237 contract to Obscure Technologies, which is a computer forensics company based in San Francisco, California. Obscure Technologies will be expected to create new hardware and software capable of extracting data from video game consoles. DHS wants to be able to extract data from both new and used games systems bought on the secondary market as well.

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Psy – Ops

This Is Your Brain on the Department of Defense

The Department of Defense has long had its eyes on emerging neuroscience technologies. Should we be worried?

By Azeen Ghorayshi

April 04, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — Science and the military have historically made creepy bedfellows, with military curiosity about neuroscience leading the pack. Yet it’s no secret that since the early 1950s, the US military has had a vested interest in harnessing cutting-edge developments in neuroscience to get a leg up on national defense (a la well-publicized failures like Project MK-ULTRA [1]). In 2011, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon’s research arm credited with, among other things, spearheading the invention of the internet [2], had a budget of over $240 million [3] devoted to cognitive neuroscience research alone. From brain-scan-based lie detection to memory-erasure pills, some of the technologies are, at first glance, simply the stuff of sci-fi. But an essay published in the March issue of PLoS Biology [3] tells a cautionary tale of high-tech neuroscience developments on the horizon that “could be deployed before sufficiently validated.”
The two authors, Michael Tennison and Jonathan Moreno, are no strangers to the broader implications of science; both are bioethicists, and Moreno, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has been a part of multiple government advisory bodies, including President Obama’s bioethics commission. “They see me as an honest broker,” says Moreno. “I worry about the ethical questions behind a lot of these technologies, I’m left-leaning, but I’m no pacifist—I have kids, and I think we do have to worry about national security.”

A lot gets said about scientific research that’s so-called “dual-use [4],” e.g., its potential for good is matched or outmatched by its potential to do harm. Case in point: the recent H5N1 hubbub [5], where Dutch and American scientists made a potentially dangerous airborne strain of the already-dangerous bird flu virus, but only in the interest of “preventing a pandemic [6].” Similarly, Moreno runs through recent developments in neuroscience, connecting them to their well-funded, though still highly speculative, DoD research goals—as well as the knotty legal and ethical questions these experimental technologies suggest. “Neuroscientists haven’t had the atom bomb moment that Einstein and Oppenheimer had, they haven’t even had the bird flu moment; but that time is fast-approaching,” Moreno says. Here are some of the top neuroscience developments that Moreno, and DoD, is keeping an eye on—and why he thinks we should care.

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Articles of Interest

Shady Companies With Ties to Israel Wiretap the U.S. for the NSA

By James Bamford

Army General Keith Alexander, the director of the NSA, is having a busy year — hopping around the country, cutting ribbons at secret bases and bringing to life the agency’s greatly expanded eavesdropping network.

In January he dedicated the new $358 million CAPT Joseph J. Rochefort Building at NSA Hawaii, and in March he unveiled the 604,000-square-foot John Whitelaw Building at NSA Georgia.

Designed to house about 4,000 earphone-clad intercept operators, analysts and other specialists, many of them employed by private contractors, it will have a 2,800-square-foot fitness center open 24/7, 47 conference rooms and VTCs, and “22 caves,” according to an NSA brochure from the event. No television news cameras were allowed within two miles of the ceremony.

Overseas, Menwith Hill, the NSA’s giant satellite listening post in Yorkshire, England that sports 33 giant dome-covered eavesdropping dishes, is also undergoing a multi-million-dollar expansion, with $68 million alone being spent on a generator plant to provide power for new supercomputers. And the number of people employed on the base, many of them employees of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, is due to increase from 1,800 to 2,500 in 2015, according to a study done in Britain. Closer to home, in May, Fort Meade will close its 27-hole golf course to make room for a massive $2 billion, 1.8-million-square-foot expansion of the NSA’s headquarters, including a cybercommand complex and a new supercomputer center expected to cost nearly $1 billion.

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Monsanto’s Top Corporate Secrets Exposed

This is an unbelieveable resource on the power that Monsanto holds over the world and everything in it. An unprecedented look its web of power over you and me. An absolute gem of a resource I bring to you via its author Kelly Dericks whom I applaud to no end for her dedication and bravery in making this interactive map. spread the word!!

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Invisible Empire A New World Order Defined Full

[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.]

Environmental

Oily substance at North Sea gas leak rig: Greenpeace

By Jonathan Nackstrand (AFP)

ON BOARD THE KOENIGIN JULIANA — An oily sheen has spread around a stricken North Sea gas rig, Greenpeace activists on a ship nearby said Monday, but Total insisted it was formed by gas condensate.

Greenpeace’s Koenigin Juliana research ship arrived on Monday at the edge of an exclusion zone around the abandoned Elgin platform owned by Total, 150 miles (240 kilometres) off Aberdeen in eastern Scotland.

The French energy giant insists there has been little environmental impact since the gas began leaking from the platform on March 25.

But Christian Bussau, a marine expert from Greenpeace who is on board the ship, said a multi-coloured sheen around the platform was spreading and the group was taking air and water samples.

He said he believed the substance to be oil, though he admitted Greenpeace would not be able to analyse its samples until the ship returned to its base in Germany.

“This is a really big accident,” Bussau said from the Koenigin Juliana, which is about three nautical miles from the platform. “Total must immediately start to close the leak, or the pollution won’t stop.”

It says the sheen is caused by gas condensate, or gas that has turned to vapour.

“The light condensate poses no significant threat to seabirds or other wildlife,” a Total spokeswoman told AFP.

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UPDATE 2-Total’s battle to plug gas leak hit by rough seas

By Karolin Schaps and Muriel Boselli

LONDON/PARIS, April 2 (Reuters) – Total faced rough seas and heavy winds on Monday as the oil and gas company prepared to send men and machines to battle a leak at its Elgin platform in the North Sea that has spewed gas into the air for over a week.

The French company, which is spending $1 million per day on efforts to plug the leak, plans to move drilling rigs from two nearby fields, fly staff to the platform if it is deemed safe and send two underwater inspection vehicles to check where best to drill relief wells, Total said on Monday.

“Both (inspection) vessels are currently awaiting optimum sea conditions before they can be deployed,” Total said, raising concerns that relief operations will be delayed as Met Office forecasts showed even stronger wind levels for Monday afternoon.

The company is expected to fly its own staff to the platform within the next few days, industry sources told Reuters.

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L.A. Rain Radiation Over Five Times Normal

A whopping 506% above normal,

Uploaded by EnviroReporter on Mar 31, 2012

An imperfect storm swept into Southern California on, perhaps appropriately enough, April Fools weekend creating the conditions that tested EnviroReporter.com’s scientific hypothesis that radioactive “buckyballs” and other fission radionuclides from the triple Fukushima Japan meltdowns are already impacting the region. Sure enough, a rain composed primarily of sea mist formed over a choppy ocean with high winds tested higher than any other Los Angeles Basin rain since Radiation Station Santa Monica began fallout radiation tests March 15, 2011, four days after the unabated meltdowns began. The rain, not impacted by so-called “natural” radon progeny, came in at a whopping 506% above normal, more than high enough to qualify as a hazardous material situation for the California Highway Patrol. This is the hottest L.A. rain detected with our Inspector Alert nuclear radiation monitor in the over 1,500 radiation tests we’ve taken since last year’s Ides of March.

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Cyber Space

Arizona Legislature Passes Sweeping Electronic Speech Censorship Bill

By Charles Brownstein

Yesterday, the Arizona legislature passed Arizona House Bill 2549, which would update the state’s telephone harassment law to apply to the Internet and other electronic communications. The bill is sweepingly broad, and would make it a crime to communicate via electronic means speech that is intended to “annoy,” “offend,” “harass” or “terrify,” as well as certain sexual speech. Because the bill is not limited to one-to-one communications, H.B. 2549 would apply to the Internet as a whole, thus criminalizing all manner of writing, cartoons, and other protected material the state finds offensive or annoying. The Bill is currently on Governor Jan Brewer’s desk awaiting her decision on whether to veto or sign the bill.

Media Coalition, a trade association protecting the First Amendment rights of content industries, whose membership includes CBLDF, has been active in opposing the bill. On March 14, Media Coalition sent a memo to the Senate Rules Committee regarding constitutional infirmities in H.B. 2549. Yesterday they sent a letter to Governor Brewer urging her to veto the bill.

That letter outlines the constitutional deficiencies in the bill:……

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Harper government monitoring online chats about politics
Correcting what it calls ‘misinformation’

Sheila Scott

OTTAWA (NEWS1130) – The Harper government has been monitoring political messages online, and even correcting what it considers misinformation. One local expert says the government is taking things too far.

Under the pilot program the Harper government paid a media company $75,000 to monitor and respond to online postings about the east coast seal hunt.

UBC Computer Science professor and President of the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, Richard Rosenberg, says it seems unnecessary for the government to be going this far……

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Activism

Class War and the College Crisis: The “Crisis of Democracy” and the Attack on Education

The following is the first part of a series of articles, “Class War and the College Crisis.”

By: Andrew Gavin Marshall

Today, we are witnessing an emerging massive global revolt, led primarily be the educated and unemployed youth of the world, against the institutionalized and established powers which seek to deprive them of a future worth living. In Chile over the past year, a massive student movement and strike has become a powerful force in the country against the increasingly privatized educational system (serving as a model for the rest of the world) with the support of the vast majority of the population; in Quebec, Canada, a student strike has brought hundreds of thousands of youth into the streets to protest against the doubling of tuition fees; students and others are on strike in Spain against austerity measures; protests led by or with heavy participation of the youth in the U.K., Greece, Portugal, France, and in the United States (such as with the Occupy Movement) are developing and growing, struggling against austerity measures, overt corruption by the capitalist class, and government collusion with bankers and corporations. Students and youth led the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt last year which led to the overthrow of the dictators which had ruled those nations for decades.

All around the world, increasingly, the youth are taking to the streets, protesting, agitating, and striking against the abuses of power, the failures of government, the excesses of greed, plundering and poverty. The educated youth in particular are playing an active role, a role which will be increasing dramatically over the coming year and years. The educated youth are graduating into a jobless market with immense debt and few opportunities. Now, just as several decades ago, the youth are turning back to activism. What happened in the intervening period to derail the activism that had been so widespread in the 1960s? How did our educational system get to its present state? What do these implications have for the present and future?

The “Crisis of Democracy”

In the period between the 1950s and the 1970s, the Western world, and especially the United States, experienced a massive wave of resistance, rebellion, protest, activism and direct action by entire sectors of the general population which had for decades, if not centuries, been largely oppressed and ignored by the institutional power structure of society. The Civil Rights movement in the United States, the rise of the New Left – radical and activist – in both Europe and North America, as elsewhere, anti-war activism, largely spurred against the Vietnam War, Liberation Theology in Latin America (and the Philippines), the environmental movement, feminist movement, gay rights movements, and all sorts of other activist and mobilized movements of youth and large sectors of society were organizing and actively agitating for change, reform, or even revolution. The more power resisted their demands, the more the movements became radicalized. The slower power acted, the faster people reacted. The effect, essentially, was that these movements sought to, and in many cases did, empower vast populations who had otherwise been oppressed and ignored, and they generally awakened the mass of society to such injustices as racism, war, and repression.

For the general population, these movements were an enlightening, civilizing, and hopeful phase in our modern history. For elites, they were terrifying. Thus, in the early 1970s there was a discussion taking place among the intellectual elite, most especially in the United States, on what became known as the “Crisis of Democracy.” In 1973, the Trilateral Commission was formed by banker and global oligarch David Rockefeller, and intellectual elitist Zbigniew Brzezinski. The Trilateral Commission brings together elites from North America, Western Europe, and Japan (now including several states in East Asia), from the realms of politics, finance, economics, corporations, international organizations, NGOs, academia, military, intelligence, media, and foreign policy circles. It acts as a major international think tank, designed to coordinate and establish consensus among the dominant imperial powers of the world.

In 1975, the Trilateral Commission issued a major report entitled, “The Crisis of Democracy,” in which the authors lamented against the “democratic surge” of the 1960s and the “overload” this imposed upon the institutions of authority. Samuel Huntington, a political scientist and one of the principal authors of the report, wrote that the 1960s saw a surge in democracy in America, with an upswing in citizen participation, often “in the form of marches, demonstrations, protest movements, and ‘cause’ organizations.” Further, “the 1960s also saw a reassertion of the primacy of equality as a goal in social, economic, and political life.” Of course, for Huntington and the Trilateral Commission, which was founded by Huntington’s friend, Zbigniew Brzezinski, and banker David Rockefeller, the idea of “equality as a goal in social, economic, and political life” is a terrible and frightening prospect. Huntington analyzed how as part of this “democratic surge,” statistics showed that throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s, there was a dramatic increase in the percentage of people who felt the United States was spending too much on defense (from 18% in 1960 to 52% in 1969, largely due to the Vietnam War).[1]

Huntington wrote that the “essence of the democratic surge of the 1960s was a general challenge to existing systems of authority, public and private,” and further: “People no longer felt the same compulsion to obey those whom they had previously considered superior to themselves in age, rank, status, expertise, character, or talents.” He explained that in the 1960s, “hierarchy, expertise, and wealth” had come “under heavy attack.” The use of language here is important, in framing power and wealth as “under attack” which implied that those who were “attacking” were the aggressors, as opposed to the fact that these populations (such as black Americans) had in fact been under attack from power and wealth for centuries, and were just then beginning to fight back. Thus, the self defense of people against power and wealth is referred to as an “attack.” Huntington stated that the three key issues which were central to the increased political participation in the 1960s were:

social issues, such as use of drugs, civil liberties, and the role of women; racial issues, involving integration, busing, government aid to minority groups, and urban riots; military issues, involving primarily, of course, the war in Vietnam but also the draft, military spending, military aid programs, and the role of the military-industrial complex more generally.[2]

Huntington presented these issues, essentially, as the “crisis of democracy,” in that they increased distrust with the government and authority, that they led to social and ideological polarization, and ultimately, to a “decline in the authority, status, influence, and effectiveness of the presidency.” Huntington concluded that many problems of governance in the United States stem from an “excess of democracy,” and that, “the effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups.” Huntington explained that society has always had “marginal groups” which do not participate in politics, and while acknowledging that the existence of “marginality on the part of some groups is inherently undemocratic,” it has also “enabled democracy to function effectively.” Huntington identifies “the blacks” as one such group that had become politically active, posing a “danger of overloading the political system with demands.” Of course, this implies directly an elitist version of “democracy” in which the state retains the democratic aesthetic (voting, separation of powers, rule of law) but remains exclusively in the hands of the wealthy power elite. Huntington, in his conclusion, stated that the vulnerability of democracy – the ‘crisis of democracy’ – comes “from the internal dynamics of democracy itself in a highly educated, mobilized, and participant society,” and that what is needed is “a more balanced existence” in which there are “desirable limits to the indefinite extension of political democracy.”[3] In other words, what is needed is less democracy and more authority.

The Trilateral Commission later explained its views of the “threat” to democracy and thus, the way the system ‘should’ function:

In most of the Trilateral countries [Western Europe, North America, Japan] in the past decade there has been a decline in the confidence and trust which the people have in government… Authority has been challenged not only in government, but in trade unions, business enterprises, schools and universities, professional associations, churches, and civic groups. In the past, those institutions which have played the major role in the indoctrination of the young in their rights and obligations as members of society have been the family, the church, the school, and the army. The effectiveness of all these institutions as a means of socialization has declined severely.(emphasis added)[4]

The “excess of democracy” which this entailed created a supposed “surge of demands” upon the government, just at a time when the government’s authority was being undermined. The Trilateral Commission further sent rampant shivers through the intellectual elite community by discussing the perceived threat of “value-oriented intellectuals” who dare to “assert their disgust with the corruption, materialism, and inefficiency of democracy and with the subservience of democratic government to ‘monopoly capitalism’.” For the members and constituents (elites) of the Trilateral Commission, they did not hold back on the assessment of such a threat, stating that, “this development constitutes a challenge to democratic government which is, potentially at least, as serious as those posed in the past by the aristocratic cliques, fascist movements, and communist parties.”[5] This is a very typical elitist use of rhetoric in which when identifying any perceived threat to elite interests, they are portrayed in near-apocalyptic terms. The implication, therefore, is that intellectuals who challenge authority are presented as much of a threat to democracy as Hitler and fascism were.

The Trilateral Commission report explained – through economic reasoning – how increased democracy is simply unsustainable. The “democratic surge” gave disadvantaged groups new rights and made them politically active (such as blacks), and this resulted in increased demands upon the very system whose legitimacy had been weakened. A terrible scenario for elites! The report explained that as voting decreased throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, active political participation on campuses increased, minority groups were demanding rights (how dare they!), and not only were they demanding basic human rights, but also “opportunities, positions, rewards, and privileges, which they had not considered themselves entitled to before.” That is, unlike the rich, who have considered themselves entitled to everything, always, and forever. Thus, government spending on social welfare and education increased, explained the report: “By the early 1970s Americans were progressively demanding and receiving more benefits from their government and yet having less confidence in their government than they had a decade before.” Most people would refer to that as the achievement of democracy, but for the Trilateral “intellectuals” it was an “excess of democracy,” and indeed, a threat.[6]

Samuel Huntington, naturally, assumed that the decline of confidence in the government was irrational, and had nothing to do with the Vietnam War, police and state repression of protest movements, the Watergate Scandal or other obvious crimes. No, for Huntington, the decline in confidence is tied magically to the “increased expectations” of the population, or, as Jay Peterzell explained in his critique of the report, “the root cause of public disillusionment is consistently traced to unrealistic expectations encouraged by government spending.” Huntington justified this absurd myth on his skewed analysis of the “defense shift” and “welfare shift.” The “defense shift,” which took place in the 1950s, described a period in which 36% of the increase in government spending went to defense (i.e., the military-industrial complex), whereas welfare declined as a proportion of the budget. Then came the “welfare shift” of the 1960s, in which between 1960 and 1971, only a paltry 15% of the increase in spending went to the military-industrial complex, while 84% of the increase went to domestic programs. Thus, for Huntington, the “welfare shift” basically destroyed America and ruined democracy.[7]

In reality, however, Jay Peterzell broke down the numbers to explain the “shifts” in a larger and more rational context. While it was true that the percentages increased and decreased as Huntington displayed them, they were, after all, a percentage of the “increase” in spending, not the overall percentage of spending itself. So, when one looks at the overall government spending in 1950, 1960, and 1972, the percentage on “defense” was 44, to 53, to 37. In those same years, spending on welfare amounted to 4%, 3% and 6%. Thus, between 1960 and 1972, the amount of spending on defense decreased from 53-37% of the total spending of government. In the same years, spending on welfare increased from 3-6% of the total government expenditure. When viewing it as a percentage of the overall, it can hardly be legitimate to claim that the meager increase to 6% of government expenditures for welfare was anywhere near as “threatening” to democracy as was the 37% spent on the military-industrial complex.[8]

So naturally, as a result of such terrifying statistics, the intellectual elite and their financial overlords had to impose more authority and less democracy. It was not simply the Trilateral Commission advocating for such “restraints” upon democracy, but this was a major discussion in elite academic circles in the 1970s. In Britain, this discussion emerged on the “governability thesis” – or the “overload” thesis – of democracy. Samuel Brittan’s “The Economic Contradictions of Democracy” in 1975, explained that, “The temptation to encourage fake expectations among the electorate becomes overwhelming to politicians. The opposition parties are bound to promise to do better and the government party must join in the auction.” Essentially, it was a repetition of the Trilateral thesis that too many promises create too many demands, which then create too much stress for the system, and it would inevitably collapse. Anthony King echoed this in his piece, “Overload: Problems of Governing in the 1970s,” and King explained that governing was becoming “harder” because “at one and the same time, the range of problems that government is expected to deal with has vastly increased and its capacity to deal with problems, even many of the ones it had before, has decreased.” The Italian political scientist Giovanni Sartori asked the question, “Will Democracy Kill Democracy?”

We are pursuing targets which are out of proportion, unduly isolated and pursued blindly, and that are, therefore, in the process of creating… a wholly unmanageable and ominous overload… We are beginning to realize in the prosperous democracies that we are living above our means. But we are equally and more grievously living above and beyond our intelligence, above the understanding of what we are doing.[9]

King explained that, “Political scientists have traditionally been concerned to improve the performance of government.” An obvious mistake, concluded King, who suggested that, “Perhaps over the next few years they should be concerned more with how the number of tasks that government has come to be expected to perform can be reduced.” The “remedy” for all this “overload” of democratic societies was to, first, bring “an end to the politics of ‘promising’,” and second, “attempt to reduce the expectations of voters and consumers” on the political process.[10]

The “threat” of educated youth was especially pronounced. In 1978, the Management Development Institute (a major business school in India) released a report in which it stated:

perhaps the most pernicious trend over the next decade is the growing gap between an increasingly well educated labor force and the number of job openings which can utilize its skills and qualifications… The potential for frustration, alienation and disruption resulting from the disparity between educational attainment and the appropriate job content cannot be overemphasized.[11]

In these commentaries, we are dealing with two diametrically opposed definitions of democracy: popular and elitist. Popular democracy is government of, by, and for the people; elitist democracy is government of, by, and for the rich (but with the outward aesthetic of democracies), channeling popular participation into voting instead of decision-making or active participation. Popular democracy implies the people participating directly in the decisions and functions and maintenance of the ‘nation’ (though not necessarily the State); whereas elitist democracy implies passive participation of the population so much as to allow them to feel as if they play an important role in the direction of society, while the elites control all the important levers and institutions of power which direct and benefit from the actions of the state. These differing definitions are important because when reading reports written and issued by elite interests (such as the Trilateral Commission report), it changes the substance and meaning of the report itself. For example, take the case of Samuel Huntington lamenting at the threat posed to democracy by popular participation: from the logic of popular democracy, this is an absurd statement that doesn’t make sense; from the logic of elitist democracy, the statement is accurate and profoundly important. Elites understand this differentiation, so too must the public.

The Powell Memo: Protecting the Plutocracy

While elites were lamenting over the surge in democracy, particularly in the 1960s, they were not simply complaining about an “excess of democracy” but were actively planning on reducing it. Four years prior to the Trilateral Commission report, in 1971, the infamous and secret ‘Powell Memo’ was issued, written by a corporate lawyer and tobacco company board member, Lewis F. Powell, Jr. (whom President Nixon nominated to the Supreme Court two months later), which was addressed to the Chairman of the Education Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, representing American business interests.

Powell stipulated that “the American economic system is under broad attack,” and that, “the assault on the enterprise system is broadly based and consistently pursued… gaining momentum and converts.” While the ‘sources’ of the ‘attack’ were identified as broad, they included the usual crowd of critics, Communists, the New Left, and “other revolutionaries who would destroy the entire system, both political and economic.” Adding to this was that these “extremists” were increasingly “more welcomed and encouraged by other elements of society, than ever before in our history.” The real “threat,” however, was the “voices joining the chorus of criticism [which] come from perfectly respectable elements of society: from the college campus, the pulpit, the media, the intellectual and literary journals, the arts and sciences, and from politicians.” While acknowledging that in these very sectors, those who speak out against the ‘system’ are still a minority, Powell noted, “these are often the most articulate, the most vocal, the most prolific in their writing and speaking.”[12]

Powell discussed the “paradox” of how the business leaders appear to be participating – or simply tolerating – the attacks on the “free enterprise system,” whether by providing a voice through the media which they own, or through universities, despite the fact that “[t]he boards of trustees of our universities overwhelmingly are composed of men and women who are leaders in the system.” Powell lamented the conclusions of reports indicating that colleges were graduating students who “despise the American political and economic system,” and thus, who would be inclined to move into power and create change, or outright challenge the system head on. This marked an “intellectual warfare” being waged against the system, according to Powell, who then quoted economist Milton Friedman of the University of Chicago (and the ‘father’ of neoliberalism), who stated:

It [is] crystal clear that the foundations of our free society are under wide-ranging and powerful attack – not by Communists or any other conspiracy but by misguided individuals parroting one another and unwittingly serving ends they would never intentionally promote.[13]

Powell even specifically identified Ralph Nader as a “threat” to American business. Powell further deplored the changes and “attack” being made through the courts and legal system, which began targeting corporate tax breaks and loop holes, with the media supporting such initiatives since they help “the poor.” Powell of course referred to the notion of helping “the poor” at the expense of the rich, and the framing of the debate as such, as “political demagoguery or economic illiteracy,” and that the identification of class politics – the rich versus the poor – “is the cheapest and most dangerous kind of politics.” The response from the business world to this “broad attack,” Powell sadly reported, was “appeasement, ineptitude and ignoring the problem.” Powell did, however, explain in sympathy to the ‘ineptitude’ of the corporate and financial elites that, “it must be recognized that businessmen have not been trained or equipped to conduct guerilla warfare with those who propagandize against the system.”[14]

While the “tradition role” of business leaders has been to make profits, “create jobs,” to “improve the standard of living,” and of course, “generally to be good citizens,” they have unfortunately shown “little skill in effective intellectual and philosophical debate.” Thus, stated Powell, businessmen must first “recognize that the ultimate issue may be survival – survival of what we call the free enterprise system, and all that this means for the strength and prosperity of America and the freedom of our people.” As such, “top [corporate] management must be equally concerned with protecting and preserving the system itself,” instead of just focused on profits. Corporations, Powell acknowledged, were long involved in “public relations” and “governmental affairs” (read: propaganda and public policy), however, the ‘counter-attack’ must be more wide-ranging:

But independent and uncoordinated activity by individual corporations, as important as this is, will not be sufficient. Strength lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations.[15]

While the ‘assault’ against the system developed over several decades, Powell elaborated, “there is reason to believe that the campus [university/education] is the single most dynamic source,” as “social science faculties usually include members who are unsympathetic to the enterprise system.” These academics, explained Powell, “need not be in the majority,” as they “are often personally attractive and magnetic; they are stimulating teachers, and their controversy attracts student following; they are prolific writers and lecturers; they author many of the textbooks, and they exert enormous influence – far out of proportion to their numbers – on their colleagues and in the academic world.” Such a situation is, naturally, horrific and deplorable! Imagine that, having magnetic, stimulating and prolific teachers, what horror and despair for the world that would surely bring!

In purporting that political scientists, economists, sociologists and many historians “tend to be liberally oriented,” Powell suggested that “the need for liberal thought is essential to a balanced viewpoint,” but that the ‘balance’ does not exist, with “few [faculty] members being conservatives or [of] moderate persuasion… and being less articulate and aggressive than their crusading colleagues.” Terrified of the prospects of these potentially revolutionary youths entering into positions of power, Powell stated that when they do, “for the most part they quickly discover the fallacies of what they have been taught,” which is, in other words, to say that they quickly become socialized to the structures, hierarchies and institutions of power which demand conformity and subservience to elite interests. However, there were still many who could emerge in “positions of influence where they mold public opinion and often shape governmental action.” Thus, recommended Powell, the Chamber of Commerce should make the “priority task of business” and its related organizations “to address the campus origin of this hostility.” As academic freedom was held as sacrosanct in American society, “It would be fatal to attack this as a principle,” which of course implies that it is to be attacked indirectly. Instead, it would be more effective to use the rhetoric of “academic freedom” itself against the principle of academic freedom, using terms like “openness,” “fairness,” and “balance” as points of critique which would yield “a great opportunity for constructive action.”[16]

Thus, an organization such as the Chamber of Commerce should, recommended Powell, “consider establishing a staff of highly qualified scholars in the social sciences who do believe in the system… [including] several of national reputation whose authorship would be widely respected – even when disagreed with.” The Chamber should also create “a staff of speakers of the highest competency” which “might include the scholars,” and establish a ‘Speaker’s Bureau’ which would “include the ablest and most effective advocates form the top echelons of American business.” This staff of scholars, which Powell emphasized, should be referred to as “independent scholars,” should then engage in a continuing program of evaluating “social science textbooks, especially in economics, political science and sociology.” The objective of this would “be oriented toward restoring the balance essential to genuine academic freedom,” meaning, of course, implanting ideological indoctrination and propaganda from the business world, which Powell described as the “assurance of fair and factual treatment of our system of government and our enterprise system, its accomplishments, its basic relationship to individual rights and freedoms, and comparisons with the systems of socialism, fascism and communism.” Powell lamented that the “civil rights movement insist[ed] on re-writing many of the textbooks in our universities and schools,” and “labor unions likewise insist[ed] that textbooks be fair to the viewpoints of organized labor.” Thus, Powell contended, in the business world attempting to re-write textbooks and education, this process “should be regarded as an aid to genuine academic freedom and not as an intrusion upon it.”[17]

Further, Powell suggested that the business community promote speakers on campuses and lecture tours “who appeared in support of the American system of government and business.” While explaining that student groups and faculty would not likely be willing to give the podium over to the Chamber of Commerce or business leaders to espouse their ideology, the Chamber must “aggressively insist” on being heard, demanding “equal time,” as this would be an effective strategy because “university administrators and the great majority of student groups and committees would not welcome being put in the position publicly of refusing a forum to diverse views.” The two main ingredients for this program, Powell explained, was first, “to have attractive, articulate and well-informed speakers,” and second, “to exert whatever degree of pressure – publicly and privately – may be necessary to assure opportunities to speak.” The objective, Powell wrote, “always must be to inform and enlighten, and not merely to propagandize.”[18]

The biggest problem on campuses, however, was the need to “balance” faculties, meaning simply that the business world must work to implant spokespeople and apologists for the economic and financial elite into the faculties. The need to “correct” this imbalance, wrote Powell, “is indeed a long-range and difficult project,” which “should be undertaken as a part of an overall program,” including the application of pressure “for faculty balance upon university administrators and boards of trustees.” Powell acknowledged that such an effort is a delicate and potentially dangerous process, requiring “careful thought,” as “improper pressure would be counterproductive.” Focusing on the rhetoric of balance, fairness, and ‘truth’ would create a method “difficult to resist, if properly presented to the board of trustees.” Of course, the whole counter-attack of the business world should not simply be addressed to university education, but, as Powell suggested, also “tailored to the high schools.”[19]……

Read Full Article Here

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Psy – Ops

Neighbors Spying on You? New Program Spreading Across the US Takes Neighborhood Watch to Scary New Level

Suspicious Activity Reporting asks citizens to keep an eye out on their neighbors — but the results could be terrible.

Crime in Los Angeles is a gritty enterprise, and donning an LAPD badge has historically involved getting your hands dirty. Long before the New York Police Department was spying on Muslim students, the LAPD was running a large-scale domestic spy operation in the 1970s and ’80s, snooping on and infiltrating more than 200 political, labor and civic organizations including the office of then Mayor Tom Bradley. Today, the LAPD isn’t quite so aggressive, but it still employs a directive titled Special Order 1, which permits police officers to deem what is “suspicious” and then act on it.

SO 1 enables LAPD officers to file Suspicious Activity Reports on observed behaviors or activities. Where things get murky, however, is how SAR guidelines categorize constitutionally protected, non-criminal and commonplace activities such as using binoculars, snapping photographs and taking notes as indicators of terrorism-related activity. The SARs are coupled with the LAPD’s iWatch program, a campaign the police pioneered to encourage regular citizens to report “suspicious” activity, including “a person wearing clothes that are too big or too hot for the weather,” or things that just plain old don’t “look right.”

Read Full Article Here

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Environmental

North Sea Gas Leak/First Acid Rain Warning/UK/Amsterdam

Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Fact Sheet
The Deadliest Manure Gas

Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) is a colorless gas that smells like rotten eggs (from the sulphur). Often referred to
as “sewer gas,” hydrogen sulfide is highly poisonous. Usually, the poisoning caused by hydrogen sulfide is
through inhalation and has a toxicity similar to cyanide.
Rotting manure produces hydrogen sulfide (H2S), methane, ammonia and carbon dioxide. H2S is the most
dangerous.
Manure being moved or stirred up releases H2S. One or two breaths of air, with as little as 600 parts per
million (ppm) H2S, can cause a person to lose consciousness.
Deaths are not uncommon when people enter poorly ventilated spaces such as deep wells, underground
tanks or sewer systems. Since H2S gas is heavier than air, its concentration is highest near the bottom of enclosed
spaces.

Read Fact Sheet Here

National Ocean Policy is an executive power grab

….Just months after President Obama took office he formed a panel of federal bureaucrats and told them to create a “national policy” that would oversee oceans, coastlines, and the Great Lakes. Then, by executive order, the president launched a National Ocean Council which led to nine smaller panels. As the layers of federal bureaucracy pile up, so have the guarantees that the outcome – the president’s National Ocean Policy – will be another top-down, centralized plan that tramples the power of states and the rights of individual citizens.

Perhaps the simplest way to describe this policy and council is to envision a national zoning board for oceans and all of the inland communities and activities that might affect the oceans. You’ve probably dealt with a local zoning board that keeps order between residential neighborhoods and busy commercials areas. You may not always agree with their decisions, but we can all appreciate local control over such matters.

President Obama’s National Ocean Policy takes zoning to a massive scale, giving Washington pencil pushers more power to decide what activities are acceptable in the ocean zones they create. And when federal agencies are authorizing activities, the converse can be assumed: they will close off other activities, and limit authorized activities only to approved zones. The uncertainty that results will further limit economic growth……

Read Full Article Here

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Cyber Space

Google patent application admits existence of spy technology that listens to your ambient noise to target ads

By J. D. Heyes, March 31 2012

(NaturalNews) Despite being labeled as conspiracy nuts, the prediction from a few voices in the wilderness that Google was planning to use the ambient background noise of a person’s environment to direct targeted advertising to them through technology has come to pass. According to Infowars.com, which warned readers about this very development some six years ago, the search engine and ad giant has filed a patent petition for “Advertising based on environmental conditions.” News of the patent…

Read Full Article Here

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Psy – Ops

kids being put on buses and transported from school to “alternate locations” in Terror Drills

Kids All Over America Are Being Put On Buses And Sent To Alternate Locations During School Terror Drills

All over the United States, school children are being taken out of their classrooms, put on buses and sent to “alternate locations” during terror drills. These exercises are often called “evacuation drills” or “relocation drills” and they are more than a little disturbing. Sometimes parents are notified in advance where the kids are being taken and sometimes they are only told that the children are being taken to an “undisclosed location”. In the years since 9/11 and the Columbine school shootings, there has been a concerted effort to make school emergency drills much more “realistic” and much more intense. Unfortunately, the fact that many of these drills are deeply traumatizing many children does not seem to bother too many people. Do we really need to have “active shooter” drills where men point guns at our kids and fire blanks at them? Do we really need to have “relocation drills” where kids are rapidly herded on to buses and told that they must surrender their cell phones because they will not be allowed to call anyone? Our schools more closely resemble prison camps every single day, and it is our children that are suffering because of it.

It is also important to keep in mind that much of the time these drills are not the fault of local school administrators. Often, these drills are being mandated at the state level. Our politicians have become obsessed with “school safety” in recent years, and apparently their idea of “school safety” involves deeply traumatizing our kids.

Earlier today I was doing some research and I came across a forum where a parent was describing a relocation drill that would soon be happening at a school in Oklahoma. Well, I went to public schools all my life and nothing like this ever happened when I was growing up, so I wanted to do a little digging to see if this was actually happening around the country or if it was just an Internet rumor.

Unfortunately, what I found out was quite disturbing.

It turns out that “relocation drills” are being conducted at schools from coast to coast.

For example, the following is an excerpt from a letter to parents about a relocation drill that took place in Woodhaven, Michigan….

Read Full Article Here

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Survival/Sustainable Lifestyle

How Much Food Can I Grow Around My House?

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Articles of Interest

Call of Darkness: Earth Hour casts shadow over globe

Hour by hour, the Earth is plunging into darkness on Saturday. The dimming of lights is a symbolic gesture calling on the people to seek a better balance between humanity’s desire for consumption and the planet’s ability to sustain it.
­This year’s Earth Hour is the sixth consecutive event to take place. What started as a local affair in Sydney back in 2007 now unites 135 countries around the world. This year, the action is dedicated to the Arctic.

Read Full Article Here

Earth Hour 2012 Official Video

Uploaded by earthhour

This Earth Hour 2012: 8.30pm, Saturday 31 March, celebrate your action for the planet with the people of world by switching off your lights for an hour, then go beyond the hour.

From its inception as a single-city initiative — Sydney, Australia – in 2007, Earth Hour has grown into a global symbol of hope and movement for change. Earth Hour 2011 created history as the world’s largest ever voluntary action with people, businesses and governments in 135 countries across every continent coming together to celebrate an unambiguous commitment to the one thing that unites us all — the planet.

IRS wants 4,000 new agents, $300 million budget to enforce Obamacare

By Jonathan Benson,

(NaturalNews) More than quadrupling an estimate it put forth last year for new agents (http://dailycaller.com), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) now says that it will need more than 4,000 new agents to enforce the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. And in addition to these new agents, the IRS is also asking for more than $300 million in new funding to help fortify the infrastructure it will supposedly need to unconstitutionally force Americans to purchase government…

Read Full Article Here

Ninety-six percent of public says Obamacare is unconstitutional – Washington Post poll

By J. D. Heyes,

(NaturalNews) As the U.S. Supreme Court decides the constitutionality of President Obama’s signature healthcare “reform” law, the American public, for the most part, has already decided it isn’t. Granted, this online survey on the Washington Post website isn’t very scientific, but it does provide at least some measure of the law’s continuing unpopularity among the masses. “The court should strike down the law. It is about personal accountability. The system has major flaws that need to be addressed…

Read Full Article

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

——————
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

Mayor’s office buys 8,513 more face shields for NATO summit

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration is buying 8,513 more face shields for Chicago Police officers at a cost of $757,657 — and demanding delivery in time for the May 20-21 NATO summit — to give every officer on the street a shield that fits over a gas mask and prevents them from being blinded by liquids thrown by protesters.

The supplemental purchase from Colorado-based Super Seer Corp. brings to $954,118 the amount of money spent to purchase 11,570 face shields twice as thick as the old ones with a larger surface and air-tight seal to keep liquids out.

The new contract was piggybacked onto an existing Fairfax County, Va. award with a third-distributor to expedite delivery. It makes it clear the Chicago Police Department is not scaling back its protest preparations even though President Barack Obama has shifted the G-8 summit from Chicago to Camp David.

“It’s an urgent thing. They want ’em by May 15th. Their intent is to outfit all of the officers Chicago Police have with the new face shield for the NATO summit,” said Super Seer President Steve Smith, who is hiring a dozen employees to “ramp up” production.

http://www.suntimes.com/11443023-418/mayors-office-buys-8513-more-face-shields-for-nato-summit.html

An Administration Gone Rogue

By Rep. Ron Paul

March 23, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — Have certain parts of the Constitution become irrelevant, as a former Republican leader once told me at a Foreign Affairs Committee hearing? At the time, I was told that demanding a Congressional declaration of war before invading Iraq, as Article I Section 8 of the Constitution requires, was unnecessary and anachronistic. Congress and the president then proceeded without a Constitutional declaration and the disastrous Iraq invasion was the result.

Last week, Obama administration officials made it clear that even the fig leaf of Congressional participation provided by the 2003 “authorization” to use force in Iraq was to be ignored as well. In a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stated clearly and repeatedly that the administration felt it was legally justified to use military force against Syria solely with “international permission”. Such “international permission” could come by way of the United Nations, NATO, or some other international body. Secretary Panetta then told Senator Sessions that depending on the situation, the administration would consider informing Congress of its decision and might even seek authorization after the fact.

While Senator Sessions expressed surprise at the casual audacity of Panetta in making this statement, in reality his was just a bluntly stated explanation of what has been, de facto, the case for many years. When President Obama committed the US military to a pre-emptive war against Libya last year, for example, Congress was kept completely out of the process. Likewise, military action in Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and so on, proceed without a Congressional declaration. In fact, we haven’t had a proper, constitutional declaration of war since 1942, yet the US military has been engaged in Korea, Lebanon, Iraq, Bosnia, Liberia, Haiti, and Libya with only UN resolutions as the authority. Congress’s only role has been authorizing funds, which it always does without question, because one must “support the troops”.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30894.htm

‘Big Government’ Isn’t the Problem, Big Money Is

By Robert Reich

March 23, 2012 “The Nation” — Conservatives love to rail against “big government.” But the surge of cynicism engulfing the nation isn’t about government’s size. It flows from a growing perception that government doesn’t work for average people but for big business, Wall Street and the very rich—who, in effect, have bought it. In a recent Pew poll, 77 percent of respondents said too much power is in the hands of a few rich people and corporations.

That view is understandable. Wall Street got bailed out by taxpayers, but one out of every three homeowners with a mortgage is underwater, caught in the tsunami caused by the Street’s excesses. The bailout wasn’t conditioned on the banks helping these homeowners, and subsequent help has been meager. The recent settlement of claims against the banks is tiny compared with how much homeowners have lost. Millions of people are losing their homes or simply walking away from mortgage payments they can no longer afford.

Homeowners can’t use bankruptcy to reorganize their mortgage loans because the banks have engineered laws to prohibit this. Banks have also made it extremely difficult for young people to use bankruptcy to reorganize their student loans. Yet corporations routinely use bankruptcy to renege on contracts. American Airlines, which is in bankruptcy, plans to fire 13,000 people—
16 percent of its workforce—while cutting back health benefits for current employees. It also intended to terminate its underfunded pension plans, until the government agency charged with picking up the tab screamed so loudly that American backed off and proposed to freeze the plans.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30903.htm

Paul Ryan’s Focus on Dignity

By Greg Kaufmann

March 24, 2012 “The Nation” –“Promoting the natural rights and the inherent dignity of the individual must be the central focus of all government.”

That’s what Congressman Paul Ryan wrote earlier this month in an exclusive commentary for Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity. This week, he revealed exactly where his laser-like focus on dignity would lead this nation. He released his budget proposal, as clear a statement of one’s principles and priorities as there is in politics.

Here are the results, and they’re not pretty. Nation readers with young children should probably ask them to leave the room before reading onward.

Mr. Ryan’s focus on dignity… means a cut in food stamps of $133 billion over ten years, even though 76 percent of participating households include a child, senior or disabled person, nearly half of all recipients are children and 40 percent of single mothers use food stamps to help feed their families. It translates to as many as 2.2 trillion meals lost for low-income people, more kids at risk of being underweight or developmentally delayed, worse educational outcomes and more stressed-out parents.

The congressman would also block-grant the program so it would no longer be able to respond to rising need during times like these—in 2010 alone food stamps kept 3.9 million people out of poverty. If you liked the cash assistance for poor families (TANF) block grant—which resulted in a free-fall from 68 of every 100 poor families receiving help to 27 of every 100—then you will absolutely love the Don’t Worry Ryan Will Feed You block grant.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30904.htm

French President Sarkozy Sees Opportunity for Censorship, Seizes It

In the wake of a horrific rampage, in which Mohamed Merah (now dead after a 32-hour standoff with police) reportedly murdered three French soldiers, three young Jewish schoolchildren, and a rabbi, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has begun calling for criminal penalties for citizens who visit web sites that advocate for terror or hate. “From now on, any person who habitually consults Web sites that advocate terrorism or that call for hatred and violence will be criminally punished,” Sarkozy was reported as saying.

Apart from the obvious flaws in Sarkozy’s plan–users, can, of course, use anonymizing tools to view the material or simply access it from a variety of locations to avoid appearing as “habitual” viewers–there are numerous other reasons to be concerned about criminalizing access to information.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/03/french-president-sarkozy-sees-opportunity-censorship-seizes-it

Economy

Greece is Now Irrelevant. Watch Spain and Germany

Submitted by Phoenix Capital Research

Earlier this month, Spain began “rocking” the EU boat by telling the EU it wasn’t going to meet the new EU fiscal requirements.

Spain’s sovereign thunderclap and the end of Merkel’s Europe

As many readers will already have seen, Premier Mariano Rajoy has refused point blank to comply with the austerity demands of the European Commission and the European Council (hijacked by Merkozy).

Taking what he called a “sovereign decision”, he simply announced that he intends to ignore the EU deficit target of 4.4pc of GDP for this year, setting his own target of 5.8pc instead (down from 8.5pc in 2011)……

http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-12-21/greece-now-irrelevant-watch-spain-and-germany

Bank of America Getting Into the Landlord Business

Bank of America, the nation’s second-largest lender, is launching a pilot program this week that will offer a limited number of customers behind on their mortgages to transition from owner to renter.

The bank, which was saddled with thousands of delinquent loans when it took over mortgage giant Countrywide, says that beginning this week “in targeted hard-hit markets,” it will offer a limited number of mortgage customers who are facing foreclosure an opportunity to remain in their homes, and transition to tenant status. The program is called “Mortgage to Lease.”

“This pilot will help determine whether conversion from homeownership to rental is something our customers, the community and investors will support,” said Ron Sturzenegger, Legacy Asset Servicing executive at Bank of America in a statement. “This program may have the potential to further round out the broad set of solutions we offer our customers in need of assistance.”…….

http://www.cnbc.com/id/46829774

Wars and Rumors of War

JOSEPH KONY, AMERICA’S PRETEXT TO INVADE AFRICA: US Marines Dispatched to Five African Countries

by Michel Chossudovsky

The hidden agenda in Uganda, Central Africa and the Horn of Africa is the conquest of oil and strategic mineral resources. Going after Joseph Kony and protecting Ugandan children is a cynical smokescreen, a pretext for a “humanitarian intervention” in a region where US sponsored “civil wars” (Sudan, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Ethiopia) have in the course of the last 20 years resulted in more than eight million deaths:

“Through AFRICOM, the United States is seeking a foothold in the incredibly resource rich central African block in a further maneuver to aggregate regional hegemony over China. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is one of the world’s largest regions without an effectively functioning government. It contains vast deposits of diamonds, cobalt, copper, uranium, magnesium, and tin while producing over $1 billion in gold each year. It is entirely feasible that the US can considerably increase its presence in the DRC under the pretext of capturing Joseph Kony.” (Nile Bowie, Merchandising and Branding Support for US Military Intervention in Central Africa, Global research, March 14, 2012)

In a recent decision, the Pentagon confirms the sending in of Marine Special Forces to train Ugandan troops in the fight not only against Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) but also against Al Shabab in Somalia. Joseph Kony is being used as a pretext for outright military intervention in five African countries.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29800

New Samsung TVs Have Built-In HD Camera, Microphones, Face and Speech Recognition

Here’s a bit of context that most people won’t consider when purchasing these quasi telescreens:

Avi Rubin – All Your Devices Can Be Hacked:

http://cryptogon.com/?p=28177

Massive EU Weapons Sales to Saudi Arabia Contribute to Fuelling International Aggression and Terrorism in the Middle East

By Julie Lévesque

According to the German magazine Der Spiegel, the European Union is the most important weapons exporter to Saudi Arabia. Of all EU member states, France comes first with Euro2168.6 million of exports in 2010. Italy is in second place with Euro435.3 million, before Great Britain, with Euro328.8 million.

By arming the Saudi kingdom, the member states of the European Union are breaking prevailing EU rules regulating the exports of weapons, notes Der Spiegel. The magazine quotes the relevant section of the legislation on Non-Proliferation and Disarmament titled Security-related export controls II – Military equipment, which states:…….

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Massive_EU_Weapons_Sales_to_Saudi_Arabia_Contribute_to_Fuelling_International_Aggression_and_Terrorism_in_the_Middle_East/18580/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Former Mossad chief: Israel will know before Iran begins producing nuclear weapons

Nuclear talks between Iran, Western powers to begin next month; officials in Jerusalem estimate Israel will allow at least three months for discussions, until oil embargo on Iran comes into full effect in July.
By Barak Ravid, Natasha Mozgovaya and Haim Handwerker

Discussions between Iran and the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program will begin on April 13, senior U.S. and EU officials informed Israel on Tuesday. The talks are likely to take place in Geneva.

Officials in Jerusalem estimate that Israel will allow at least three months for discussions, until the oil embargo on Iran comes into full effect in the beginning of July……

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/former-mossad-chief-israel-will-know-before-iran-begins-producing-nuclear-weapons-1.419978

Japan Prepares to Intercept Possibly Errant N. Korean Missile

The Japanese parliament has approved a resolution condemning North Korea’s planned missile launch, and the country is also preparing contingencies should the missile veer off course and pose a threat to Japan.

Speaking in Tokyo Friday, Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka said the Japanese military will be prepared for any eventuality.

Tanaka says he is ordering officials to prepare deployment of PAC-3 surface-to-air missiles and Aegis destroyers carrying a state-of-the-art anti-missile system that could attempt to shoot down the rocket…..

http://www.voanews.com/tibetan-english/news/Japan-Prepares-to-Intercept-Possibly-Errant-N-Korean-Missile-143976466.html

Palestinian on Hunger Strike “in Mortal Danger”

Uploaded by TheRealNews on Mar 23, 2012

Hanaa Shalabi, a Palestinian prisoner under Administrative Detention without charge or trial enters 36th day of her hunger strike
====
After more than a month on hunger strike, Hanaa Shalabi is in “immediate

mortal danger” and at “risk of coma” according to a Physicians for Human Rights doctor. Shalabi’s strike came at the heels of another high profile campaign by Khader Adnan who survived a 66 day hunger strike before the Israeli authorities decided to release him. Both were arrested under Administrative Detention, a military order that allows Israeli authorities to arrest anyone and hold them indefinitely, without charge or trial. The Real News’ Lia Tarachansky met with the families of the two prisoners and spoke to lawyers Shawan Jabarin for Al Haq and Sahar Francis of Addameer about the mass imprisonment of Palestinians

Inside Story – A coup underway in the West African state of Mali

Uploaded by AlJazeeraEnglish on Mar 23, 2012

Rebel soldiers in the West African state of Mali claim to control the country, ousted the president and suspended the constitution. How powerful are they and can the government sustain its grip on power? Guests: Akli Sh’kka, Baz Lecocq, Adam Thiam.

Terror Management: ‘US losing last credibility in Syria’

Uploaded by RussiaToday on Mar 23, 2012

The EU continues to pursue its strategy of pressure on the Syrian regime to force it out of power. Foreign ministers have agreed to impose a travel ban and asset freeze on the British-born wife of the country’s leader. Asma al-Assad is among 12 officials or family members to be added to a number of figures, including the president, who are already subject to sanctions.

Washington has also threatened to tighten the screws on the Syrian government and isolate it even more if President Assad doesn’t comply with the UN statement appealing for a ceasefire. With violence still raging in the country, the opposition has dismissed international calls on both sides to implement Kofi Annan’s peace plan – as not meeting the needs of the people.

Government consultant Christoph Hoerstel, who’s recently returned from Syria, says he’s deeply concerned that the sanctions may have been a response to recently leaked emails between the Assad family.

Worrisome Security Council Presidential Statement on Syria

By Stephen Lendman

March 23, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — After months of internal wrangling, Security Council members unanimously endorsed efforts to end Syrian violence. Or did they? More on that below.

Presidential statements are non-binding. However, with vague language, they risk potential slippery slope trouble. More on that below as well.

Media reports called unanimity a setback for Assad. The statement’s also characterized as “Western.”

Hillary Clinton called it “a positive step. The council has now spoken with one voice.” She also said Washington is working with Syria’s opposition “to strengthen its preparation to participate in the Syrian-led transition process that the Council has endorsed.” By any other name, she means regime change.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30898.htm

Israel and US Disagree on Timetable for Iran Attack

By Associated Press

March 24, 2012 “Washington Post” — JERUSALEM — Israel and the U.S. disagree on what would be a realistic timetable for stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, Israel’s defense minister said Thursday, but he stopped short of threatening unilateral Israeli action.

Ehud Barak reiterated concerns that Iran is trying to make its suspected nuclear weapons program immune from attack before taking a decision on assembling atomic bombs, and said Israel “cannot afford” to wait in such a situation.

However, Barak told Israel Radio that the Jewish state could hold off for several more months to allow sanctions and negotiations to work. During this period, it would become clear “if the Iranians intend or don’t intend to stop their nuclear weapons program.”

In the interview, Barak argued that superior U.S. military capabilities and Washington’s position as a world power account for its different stance toward perceived Iranian nuclear threats. The U.S. has urged Israel to give sanctions time to work.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30905.htm

Special Report – Intel Shows Iran Not Nuclear “Threat”

By Reuters

March 23, 2012 “Reuters” – The United States, European allies and even Israel generally agree on three things about Iran’s nuclear program: Tehran does not have a bomb, has not decided to build one, and is probably years away from having a deliverable nuclear warhead.

Those conclusions, drawn from extensive interviews with current and former U.S. and European officials with access to intelligence on Iran, contrast starkly with the heated debate surrounding a possible Israeli strike on Tehran’s nuclear facilities.

“They’re keeping the soup warm but they are not cooking it,” a U.S. administration official said.

Reuters has learned that in late 2006 or early 2007, U.S. intelligence intercepted telephone and email communications in which Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a leading figure in Iran’s nuclear program, and other scientists complained that the weaponization program had been stopped.

That led to a bombshell conclusion in a controversial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate: American spy agencies had “high confidence” that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in the fall of 2003.

Current and former U.S. officials say they are confident that Iran has no secret uranium-enrichment site outside the purview of U.N. nuclear inspections.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30900.htm

Nuclear Watchdog Chief Accused of Pro-western Bias Over Iran

Former officials warn of parallels between IAEA approach to Iran and mistakes over Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction

By Julian Borger

March 23, 2012 “The Guardian” – -The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the nuclear watchdog at the heart of the growing Iranian crisis, has been accused by several former senior officials of pro-western bias, over-reliance on unverified intelligence and of sidelining sceptics.

Yukiya Amano, a veteran Japanese diplomat, took command of the IAEA in July 2009. Since then, the west’s confrontation with Iran over its nuclear programme has deepened and threats of military action by Israel and the US have become more frequent.

At the same time, the IAEA’s reports on Iranian behaviour have become steadily more critical. In November, it published an unprecedented volume of intelligence pointing towards past Iranian work on developing a nuclear weapon, deeming it credible.

However, some former IAEA officials are saying that the agency has gone too far. Robert Kelley, a former US weapons scientists who ran the IAEA action team on Iraq at the time of the US-led invasion, said there were worrying parallels between the west’s mistakes over Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction then and the IAEA’s assessment of Iran now.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30899.htm

Kurd militants threaten Turkey if it enters Syria

By Jon Hemming

ANKARA

(Reuters) – Turkish Kurd militants threatened on Thursday to turn all Kurdish populated areas into a “war zone” if Turkish troops entered Syria, a sign the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has allies in Syria may be taking sides in the conflict there.

A renewed alliance between Damascus and the PKK would anger Turkey and could prompt it to take an even stronger line against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over his brutal repression of anti-government protesters.

PKK field commander Murat Karayilan said Turkey was preparing the ground for an intervention in Syria.

“The Turkish state is planning an intervention against our people,” the Europe-based Firat news agency, close to the militants, quoted him as saying.

“Let me state clearly, if the Turkish state intervenes against our people in western Kurdistan, all of Kurdistan will turn into a war zone,” he said.

Western Kurdistan is the term Kurdish nationalists use to describe Kurdish areas of northeast Syria, while by Kurdistan they mean the Kurdish areas of Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said last week that setting up a “safe zone” or a “buffer zone” along the border with Syria to protect civilians from Assad’s forces was among the options being considered should the stream of refugees turn into a flood.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/22/us-syria-turkey-kurds-idUSBRE82L0UH20120322

Environmental

Monsanto ‘Biotechnology Book for Kids’ Caught Brainwashing Children

By Anthony Gucciardi
BlacklistedNews.com

Facing direct opposition from the public, biotechnology giants like Monsanto and Dow are now making a disturbing attempt to brainwash developing minds into accepting their genetically modified foods using blatant lies and propaganda.

In a last ditch effort to potentially sway public opinion, the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI) has launched the “Biotechnology Basics Activity Book” for kids.

With the intent to be used by ‘agriculture and science teachers’, the activity book spreads absurd lies about GMO crops — even going as far as to say that they ‘improve our health’ and ‘help the environment’.

The book can be seen on the organization’s website, and makes it extremely apparent that it is full of misinformation and propaganda that completely ignores scientific research surrounding genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

In fact, let’s examine some claims made by this book that serves as an ‘educational’ tool to be used by teachers.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Monsanto_%E2%80%98Biotechnology_Book_for_Kids%E2%80%99_Caught_Brainwashing_Children_/18585/0/0/0/Y/M.html

Cyber Space

Trapped In The Grid: How Net-Centric Devices And Appliances Provide Voluminous Information To Intelligence Agencies And Their Business Partners

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

In addition to this patent including the background noises of phone calls, it also talks about the backgrounds of photos and videos you’ve taken as well. So if you took a picture in the snow, you might be shown ads for snow shovels.”–Google wants to serve you ads based on the background noise of your phone calls……

Petraeus allowed that these household spy devices “change our notions of secrecy” and prompt a rethink of “our notions of identity and secrecy.” All of which is true — if convenient for a CIA director.”–CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher…….

http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/4827

Inside the Ring: Beijing coup rumors

U.S. intelligence agencies monitoring China’s Internet say that from March 14 to Wednesday bloggers circulated alarming reports of tanks ent
ering Beijing and shots being fired in the city as part of what is said to have been a high-level political battle among party leaders – and even a possible military coup.

The Internet discussions included photos posted online of tanks and other military vehicles moving around Beijing.

The reports followed the ouster last week of senior Politburo member and Chongqing Party Secretary Bo Xilai, who was linked to corruption, but who is said to remain close to China’s increasingly nationalistic military.

Chinese microblogging sites Sina Weibo, QQ Weibo, and the bulletin board of the search engine Baidu all reported “abnormalities” in Beijing on the night of March 19.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/21/inside-the-ring-436080940/

Activism

Activist Outrage Causes Major Supermarkets to Drop ‘Pink Slime’ Meat

Activist Post

We have been reporting on the staggering amount of “pink slime” used in the U.S. food industry over the last few months. Pink slime is a meat filler made from “ammoniated boneless lean beef trimmings or similar products, which are considered unfit for human consumption until ammonia has been added.”

In early March, it was reported by ABC that a shocking 70% of ground beef at supermarkets contained this pink slime. Since this disgusting food additive has been exposed, natural health activists rallied to demand its removal from McDonald’s and school lunches. Now major grocery chains are falling to the pressure of activism.

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/activist-outrage-causes-major.html

Radiation

Escobar on Fukushima email leak: ‘Deleting data a cover-up’

Uploaded by RussiaToday on Mar 23, 2012

It’s emerged that at the height of Japan’s nuclear crisis last March, the authorities in Fukushima concealed radiation data vital to safely evacuate people from that area. Japan has a computer system designed to predict the spread of radioactive releases. But local media reports say the prefecture’s government deleted the e-mails detailing it. RT talks to Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar.

Psy – Ops

Scientists Warn of Ethical Battle Concerning Military Mind Control

Advances in neuroscience are closer than ever to becoming a reality, but scientists are warning the military – along with their peers – that with great power comes great responsibility
A future of brain-controlled tanks, automated attack drones and mind-reading interrogation techniques may arrive sooner than later, but advances in neuroscience that will usher in a new era of combat come with tough ethical implications for both the military and scientists responsible for the technology, according to one of the country’s leading bioethicists.

“Everybody agrees that conflict will be changed as new technologies are coming on,” says Jonathan Moreno, author of Mind Wars: Brain Science and the Military in the 21st Century. “But nobody knows where that technology is going.”

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/03/20/scientists-warn-of-ethical-battle-concerning-military-mind-control

French Terror Attack: All the Hallmarks of an Intelligence Psy-op and False Flag

by Kurt Nimmo

Mohammed Merah, the suspect in the killing of seven people outside a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, fits the pattern of an al-Qaeda intelligence asset. According to the BBC, he was on the radar of French authorities because of visits he made to Afghanistan and the “militant stronghold” of Waziristan in Pakistan.
More specifically, Merah was handled by France’s DCRI intelligence service “for years,” according to Claude Gueant, the interior minister.

Merah, a French citizen of Algerian origin, was arrested on December 19, 2007, and was sentenced to three years in jail for planting bombs in the southern province of Kandahar in Afghanistan.
In April of 2011, the United States admitted it has operated secret military prisons in Afghanistan where suspected terrorists are held and interrogated without charges.

The notorious Bagram airbase detention center is operated by the Joint Special Operations Command and the DIA’s Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center (DCHC)………

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29899

Politics and Legislation

Tennessee Lawmakers Pass Resolution Blasting UN Agenda 21

Legislation attacking the United Nations’ “Agenda 21” agreement as a radical socialist plot at odds with American liberty and values was approved overwhelmingly by members of the Tennessee House of Representatives last Thursday, sparking some criticism by far-left activists but widespread praise by conservative groups and Tea Party organizations across the nation.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/tech-mainmenu-30/environment/11224-tennessee-lawmakers-pass-resolution-blasting-un-agenda-21

New Obama Executive Order Seizes U.S. Infrastructure and Citizens for Military Preparedness

Brandon Turbeville
BlacklistedNews.com

In a stunning move, on March 16, 2012, Barack Obama signed an Executive Order stating that the President and his specifically designated Secretaries now have the authority to commandeer all domestic U.S. resources including food and water. The EO also states that the President and his Secretaries have the authority to seize all transportation, energy, and infrastructure inside the United States as well as forcibly induct/draft American citizens into the military. The EO also contains a vague reference in regards to harnessing American citizens to fulfill “labor requirements” for the purposes of national defense.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/New_Obama_Executive_Order_Seizes_U.S._Infrastructure_and_Citizens_for_Military_Preparedness/18501/0/38/38/Y/M.html

The Vetting – Holder 1995: We Must ‘Brainwash’ People on Guns

by Joel B. Pollak

Breitbart.com has uncovered video from 1995 of then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder announcing a public campaign to “really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.”

Holder was addressing the Woman’s National Democratic Club. In his remarks, broadcast by CSPAN 2, he explained that he intended to use anti-smoking campaigns as his model to “change the hearts and minds of people in Washington, DC” about guns.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/03/18/Holder-Fight-Guns-Like-Cigarettes

Holder’s Brainwashing Against Guns Foreshadowed Operation Fast and Furious

Yesterday, Breitbart.com revealed exclusive video of then-U.S. Attorney Eric Holder speaking to the Woman’s National Democratic Club, stating that he wanted to “brainwash” people against gun ownership.

The video reveals Attorney General Holder’s early, consistent, and strident enthusiasm for gun control legislation. He wanted schools to talk about anti-gun propaganda “every day, every school, and every level.”

Operation Fast and Furious — in which Holder’s Department of Justice (DOJ) smuggled guns illegally to Mexican drug cartels — could finally have provided Holder the material for that anti-gun curriculum.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/03/19/Holders-Brainwashing-Against-Guns-Foreshadowed-Operation-Fast-and-Furious

Economy

Rigged Market Conventional Wisdom

Forecasting Wilting Government and Growing Economies

Wars and Rumors of War

SYRIA: Media Accuses Syrian Government of Collaborating with Al Qaeda. How the Media Refutes its own Lies…

The latest terrorist attack in Damascus is described by the media as yet another government sponsored initiative geared towards killing Syrian civilians.

The CTV-AP report of this tragic event resulting in 27 deaths and some 140 wounded is riddled with contradictions. First it acknowledges that the target of the attacks was government buildings including Air Force Intelligence and National Security buildings in Damascus:

Two explosions rocked the Syrian capital of Damascus Saturday … The twin suicide car bombs were aimed at intelligence and security buildings in the capital. (CTV, March 17, 2012, emphasis added)

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=CHO20120317&articleId=29830

US freezes $7.5M of Hezbollah, Hamas accounts

Treasury submits report showing it has frozen $21.1 billion of terror organizations’ assets in 2011, including $12 million of al-Qaeda’s, $55 million of Iran’s accounts

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4204521,00.html

Narcotic task force and child services steal children from California medical marijuana patients

On the morning of September 29, 2011, around 8 AM, the Butte Interagency Narcotic Task Force (BINTF) out of Butte, California, forced their way into the home of Jayme Walsh and his wife Daisy Bram.

The officers then arrested the two parents and with the help of Child Protective Services (CPS) and the Child Services Division of Butte County, seized their children.

http://EndtheLie.com/2012/03/17/narcotic-task-force-and-child-services-steal-children-from-california-medical-marijuana-patients/#ixzz1pcvSuQJd

WAR PLAN IRAN: Dispelling the Lies, Telling the Truth about Western Aggression in the Persian Gulf

GR ONLINE NEWS READER

by Finian Cunningham and Michel Chossudovsky

The year 2012 may become known as a watershed for humanity – the year when mankind was precipitated into a global conflagration involving nuclear weapons. The signs are indeed grimly ominous as formidable military forces converge on the Persian Gulf in the long-running stand-off between the United States and Iran.

On side with the US are its European allies in NATO, primarily Britain, Washington’s Middle East client states: Israel and the Arab monarchies of the Persian Gulf – all bristling with weapons of mass destruction. Recent naval exercises by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz have also displayed a fierce arsenal of missiles and military capability, and Iran has strategic alliances with Russia and China, both of whom will not stand idly by if their Persian partner is attacked.

As we have consistently analysed on Global Research, the conflict between the US-led powers and Iran has wider ramifications. It is part and parcel of Washington’s bid to engineer the social and political upheavals across the Arab World in order to redraw the region in its strategic interests. It is no coincidence that fresh from NATO’s conquest of and regime change in Libya, the focus has quickly shifted to Syria – a key regional ally of Iran. As Michel Chossudovsky has pointed out “the road to Tehran goes through to Damascus”. Regime change in Syria would serve to isolate Iran. Subjugating Iran and returning it to Western tutelage is the prize that Washington and its allies have been seeking for the past 33 years ever since their client the Shah, Mohammad Rezā Pahlavi, was deposed by the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28675

5 Politicians Pushing the US Closer to a Disastrous War With Iran

President Obama may be pushing back against the “loose talk of war,” but Congress sure isn’t.

Republican candidates for president have made Iran a top issue in their attacks on President Barack Obama. While US and Israeli intelligence have concluded that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapon, Rick Santorum recently suggested that “the issue of the day come this fall” could be the existence of a “nuclear Iran,”

http://www.alternet.org/world/154576/5_politicians_pushing_the_us_closer_to_a_disastrous_war_with_iran/

Global arms trade growth by a quarter is spurred by India

Fears of arms race in Asia as Stockholm peace institute data shows India is now biggest importer

The global arms trade has grown by nearly a quarter over the last four years, with new growth mainly in poorer countries and India now officially the world’s biggest importer of arms, research has revealed.

Statistics published on Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute show that demand from emerging economies – in particular India – drove the volume of worldwide arms transfers between 2007 and 2011 to a level 24% higher than in the previous four years.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/mar/19/arms-sales-grow-24percent

Bombs & Blame: Syria accuses Saudis, Qatar of arming rebels

Uploaded by on Mar 19, 2012

The Syrian regime has pointed the finger at Saudi Arabia and Qatar, saying the Arab states were involved in the chain of weekend terror blasts in Syria’s largest cities. The Gulf nations have been accused by Assad’s government of arming whoever carried out the attacks, which left around thirty people dead and dozens injured.

Sara Marusek, a Beirut-based researcher from Syracuse University talks to RT. She says the Syrian people are falling victim to Saudi Arabi and Qatar’s brutal tactics, to push their political agenda.

Environmental

France Bans GM Corn Amid Mass US Protests against Monsanto

by Rady Ananda

Amid mass US protests against Monsanto in mid-March, France imposed a temporary moratorium on the planting of Monsanto’s genetically modified corn, MON810.

“Due to the proximity of the planting season,” said Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire along with Francois Fillon, Minister for Ecology and Sustainable Development, in a press release on Friday, authorities “decided to take a precautionary measure to temporarily prohibit the cultivation of maize MON810 on the national territory to protect the environment.”

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=29828

Cyber Space

RIAA chief: ISPs to start policing copyright by July 1

Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon are among the ISPs preparing to implement a graduated response to piracy by July, says the music industry’s chief lobbyist.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-57397452-261/riaa-chief-isps-to-start-policing-copyright-by-july-1/

Megaupload Seizure Order “Null and Void” Says High Court

In another astonishing development in the Megaupload saga, a judge in New Zealand’s High Court has declared the order used to seize Kim Dotcom’s assets as “null and void”. The blunder, which occurred because the police applied for the wrong type of court order, means that the Megaupload founder could have his property returned.

Just when it seemed that the handling of the Megaupload case couldn’t get any more controversial, a development from New Zealand has taken things to the next level.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Megaupload_Seizure_Order_%E2%80%9CNull_and_Void%E2%80%9D_Says_High_Court/18512/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Taking A Stand

Texas Mayor Officially Cancels Agenda 21 Membership

The city of Irving, Texas has officially withdrawn its membership from ICLEI — the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. This NGO was established in 1990 and is the action division of the policies laid out under the UN’s Agenda 21 plan — the globalist initiative to usher in a post-industrial world for the 21st century through the creation of local laws and requirements for city planning that essentially erase personal property rights and even steal land under a “sustainable” umbrella.

http://www.activistpost.com/2012/03/texas-mayor-officially-cancels-agenda.html

Radiation

Radiation, Coverups and the Legacy of Fukushima

by grtv

One year on from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in Japan’s northeast, details continue to emerge about how the crisis was much worse than the government and TEPCO originally let on.

Joining us to discuss the legacy of Fukushima is Helen Caldicott, a physician, author and radio host who has spoken out for decades about the deadly effects of nuclear radiation.

http://tv.globalresearch.ca/2012/03/radiation-coverups-and-legacy-fukushima

Psy – Ops

Midnight Climax: CIA’s MK-ULTRA LSD experiments in San Francisco

Newly released documents shed light on the San Francisco edition of the CIA’s notorious MK-ULTRA program (through which people were unwittingly given massive doses of LSD to see if the drug would be useful for brainwashing), which ran from 1953-1964. There’s lots of detail about MK-ULTRA’s work in NYC and Montreal, but the San Francisco operation has been shrouded in mystery.

http://boingboing.net/2012/03/17/midnight-climax-cias-mk-ult.html

Misc

Spies could use your TV to snoop on you, according to CIA director David Petraeus

Spies could now snoop on you through your TV, dispensing with the necessity of planting bugs in your room, according to CIA director David Petraeus.The CIA says it will be able to ‘read’ these devices via the internet – and perhaps even via radio waves from outside the home, Petraeus added. Everything from remote controls to clock radios can now be controlled via apps – and chip company ARM recently unveiled low-powered, cheaper chips which will be used in everything from fridges and ovens to doorbells.

http://stratrisks.com/geostrat/4687

Don’t want to be groped by the TSA or go through a body scanner? Just pay $100!

With their thoroughly reprehensible “grope-down” procedure, not to mention reportedly strip searching multiple elderly women, harassment of elderly terminal cancer patients and the severely mentally challenged, and the potentially dangerous and ludicrously costly naked body scanners (which can be circumvented with shocking ease), the TSA has become a bit of a joke in the United States.

Not to be outdone, they have now introduced a program which allows travelers to pay $100 to take part in a program where they are able to skip the degrading, dehumanizing procedures the rest of us are subjected to every time we’re unfortunate enough to travel by plane.

http://www.blacklistednews.com/Don%E2%80%99t_want_to_be_groped_by_the_TSA_or_go_through_a_body_scanner%3F_Just_pay_%24100!/18519/0/38/38/Y/M.html

Corruption Risk Report Cards Published

The State Integrity Investigation, a partnership between the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International to measure the risk of corruption in every state, released full state report cards today. They include letter grades, reporter comments and research details, as well as each state’s rank among all 50 states.

See How Your State Ranks

The State Integrity Investigation is an unprecedented, data-driven analysis of each state’s laws and practices that deter corruption and promote accountability and openness. Experienced journalists graded each state government on its corruption risk using 330 specific integrity indicators. The Investigation ranked every state from one to 50. Each state received a report card with letter grades in 14 categories, including campaign finance, ethics laws, lobbying regulations, and management of state pension funds.

http://www.stateintegrity.org/your_state

Attack Dogs used on a High School Walkout in MD, Four Students Charged With “Thought Crimes”