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Tag Archive: Survival / Sustainability


Environmental

House clears highway bill with Keystone pipeline mandate, thwarts Obama

By Ben Geman, Russell Berman and Keith Laing

Defying a White House veto threat, the House on Wednesday passed legislation that extends transportation program funding through September and mandates construction of a controversial oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

All but 14 Republicans, with support from 69 Democrats, voted 293-127 for legislation that falls far short of Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) earlier plan to move a sweeping five-year, $260 billion package.

But Boehner’s retreat serves two crucial tactical and political purposes for the Speaker. It sets up talks with the Senate on the highway bill and keeps the Keystone pipeline — a centerpiece of GOP attacks on White House energy policy — front and center ahead of the November election.

Republican leaders hailed the bipartisan vote  as a rebuke of President Obama.  Two senior Democrat leaders, Reps. James Clyburn (S.C.) and John Larson (Conn.), approved the measure.

“The House is on record again in support of the Keystone XL energy pipeline — a project President Obama blocked, personally lobbied against, then tried to take credit for, and now says he’ll veto,” Boehner said in a statement. “There’s no telling where the president stands from one day to the next on Keystone, but he knows the pipeline has broad and bipartisan support in Congress and among the American people.”

Read Full Article Here

EPA finalizes first-ever air pollution rules for natural-gas ‘fracking’

By Andrew Restuccia

The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled first-ever regulations Wednesday aimed at reducing toxic air pollution from the natural-gas drilling practice known as “fracking.”

The regulations — which would also target emissions from compressors, oil storage tanks and other oil-and-gas sector equipment — would cut 95 percent of smog-forming and toxic emissions from wells developed with fracking, EPA said.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves high-pressure injections of sand, water and chemicals that allow natural gas trapped in rock formations to flow.

The final regulations have been the subject of an aggressive public relations and lobbying campaign in recent months, with industry groups arguing they will impose huge burdens on companies, and green groups countering that they are essential to protect public health.

EPA altered the final regulations to offer a key concession to the natural-gas industry, which had raised concerns about being able to comply with the proposed regulations issued last year.

Under the final rules, companies can comply with the standards until 2015 using flaring, which reduces harmful emissions by burning off the gases that would otherwise escape during natural-gas drilling. After 2015, companies will need to install so-called “green completions,” which are technologies that capture harmful emissions.

Read Full Article Here

Earth Day: Give Earth a Hand

Uploaded by on Apr 21, 2010

http://www.greenpeace.org/me2
This fragile Earth deserves a voice. It needs solutions. It needs change. It needs you.

Many, many special thanks to:

Avion postproduction, Barrandov Studios, Enzo Cinne, Panther Prague, Vantage Film Prague, and of course Stillking Films and Juraj Rothenbühler.

Music and sound design by Hecq.

Full credits to be found at http://www.danielbird.net

Two Years After BP Oil Spill: No Ecosystem Funding Yet

On today’s second anniversary of the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon platform, which killed 11 workers and caused the massive BP oil spill, there will be no gifts.

gulf-spill-map-350.jpg

The Resource and Ecosystems Sustainability, Tourism Opportunities and Revived Economy  (RESTORE) of the Gulf Coast Act has been approved by both the House and Senate as an amendment to the mammoth transportation bills Congress takes up every five years or so.
But the RESTORE Act still is not law because the House and Senate have yet to reconcile differing versions of the main bills. And some of those transportation elements are red hot, like the future of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
So, on the day when Gulf residents are looking back at the largest human-caused environmental disaster in U.S. history, they just have to hope the RESTORE Act becomes a reality.
The RESTORE Act establishes a Gulf Coast Restoration Trust Fund, which would collect 80 percent of all the administrative, civil and criminal penalties paid by a “responsible” party in connection with the Deepwater horizon oil spill and any other monies appropriated by Congress.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has both civil and criminal actions going against BP and its drilling partners. Legal experts predict these Oil Pollution Act fines will run into the billions.

Read Full Article Here

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Cyber Space

 

CISPA Illustrates Struggle Between Security and Privacy

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) has admirable goals, but has privacy advocates up in arms. We need to find a balance between security and privacy that works for everyone.

By Tony Bradley, Content Works    Apr 20, 2012 6:33 AM

A new bill is pending on Capitol Hill that has privacy advocates preparing for battle. The backlash for CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) is reminiscent of the uprising against SOPA and PIPA earlier this year. Whether or not CISPA passes, this probably won’t be the last clash between privacy and security.

Broader information sharing–between businesses and the government, as well as between businesses themselves–would help significantly in the war against cybercrime. In an attack, various entities may uncover different tidbits of information about the attack. Those tidbits may not mean much alone, but when combined with the information from other organizations they form a more complete picture that helps all parties understand and respond to the threat faster.

At face value, that seems to be the intent of CISPA. The problem is that the wording is vague or broad in places and ways that could be abused. Privacy advocates would like to fight cybercrime as well–they’re just not willing to surrender personal liberties to make it happen.

With hundreds of millions of individuals providing their exact location with online or mobile check-ins, or over-sharing information in social network status updates, it certainly seems that privacy has lost some of its value. It’s hard to argue for privacy while posting pictures of your kids, or sharing details of some embarrassing thing that happened on the way to work with the general public.

 

Read Full Article Here

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Survival / Sustainability

Food storage strategies

by M.D. Creekmore  

Mr. Creekmore,
What do you think of Freeze-Dried Foods like Mountain House or the MRE’sthat are being marketed as survival food? A lot of preparedness books and web sites suggest these foods for the long term emergency food stockpile, do you think they are a viable solution? John T.

John, it’s easy to imagine ourselves waiting out the collapse of civilization surrounded by boxes of freeze dried foods or MRE’s, M1-A rifle leaning against the wall in the corner of the room, custom 1911 pistol strapped to our side and the 6500 watt diesel generator with electric start humming in the background.

These things are great, I would love to have all this and more, but cannot afford it and never will be able to. Sometimes the truth hurts, but facing it is part of growing up and once we except it we can move on with our preps and the task of doing the best we can with what we have.

Read Full Article Here

 

Long Term Food Storage – Urban Survival

Uploaded by on Feb 7, 2011

How much food do you have on hand for your family in case of an emergency?

Prepping: The Emergency Food & Water Project

Uploaded by on Aug 26, 2010

In this video we look at some emergency food & water stores we have & the project to increase the stores we have. Also looking at making a rotation can storage device that is a ‘first in, first out’ type of rotation system.

Plz submit your comments, ideas, tips & suggestions either in the comment section below &/or make a video response. This will help everyone when it comes to their storage solutions whether they are new to prepping or more experienced.

I hope you enjoy this first vid in a series of vids on emergency food & water preppring.

Take care & God bless,

Steve

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Psy – Ops

Making Monkey of Bird Flu

20Apr2012

By

By John Fletcher
Food Freedom News

Raising chickens in the city is a means to support local organic food systems and to provide food security to any family. Increasing numbers of cities are changing laws to legalize raising chickens.

While these changes in law seem good as they remove conflict between communities and a local government that should be serving their interests, the public should not be “grateful.” They should remember that having one’s own source of food is a human right.

What’s more, it is clear that chickens and other poultry are an excellent means of mosquito and tick control, a large public health boon. That being so, the case for people raising chickens in cities should be settled for good and all. Raising poultry in the city then leaves only issues of doing so in a clean and quiet way but laws to cover neglect or nuisances are already on the books for many activities.

While local governments have stopped people from having this beneficial source of food available to them and a means to control insects, the federal government, without public or scientific input or any hearings, has planned to release genetically engineered mosquitoes in Florida, allegedly to kill off normal mosquitoes that might harbor diseases. Yet the fact that GMO mosquitoes could do vast unknown harm to animal and human life, and there is no way to recall them once there are released, is without doubt.

Keeping chickens which eat mosquitoes thus becomes not just a source of food but a defense against the government’s ill-conceived and involuntary biological experiment on everyone.

Once one begins to realize how beneficial poultry has been to people, and all the diverse varieties they come in, poultry seems quite a wonder. Poultry has lived in close contact with humans for millennia, being fed by people and offering food, pest control, and even company and delight, in return. The story of the goose who laid the golden egg conveys our past understanding of how valuable poultry is to humans.

But the individual raising of poultry was dealt a devastating blow by the Bush administration in its concoction of “avian flu” – a bonanza for the biotech industry and to Rumsfeld and other members of Bush’s administration with ties to it. Industrial ag (Big Pharm) used the hoax of avian flu to slaughter the birds of poor farmers across Asia, removing the competition and wiping out indigenous biodiversity in poultry. Just as they used the threat of swine flu to come in and slaughter the Haitian pigs which were the mainstay of poor Haitians. Just as hoax of swine flu itself was used to sell billions in untested and deadly H1N1 vaccines.

The avian flu hoax was even worse. Using it as the big bugaboo, a threat of the return of a pandemic that could kill millions as Bush said the 1918 flu had done (flu didn’t, a new pharmaceutical industry product did), pandemic laws were pushed through by Bush in the US that are martial law, absent any public health measures, and which can be triggered without any proof. He used a false terror, just as he used the lie of 9/11, to set in place laws for massive control.

This use of disease for totalitarian control is not new.

“Academic medicine has been and is the most important pillar of support of all dictatorships and governments which do not want to submit to written law, to constitutions, to human rights, that is, to the democratically legitimized social contract.” ~ Virologist Dr. Stephan Lanka – Interview 10.27.2005

So it is not only for the truth of the science that one must expose avian flu as a lie but for the sake of democracy, including the seemingly small but actually crucial human right to raise one’s own food (chickens, in this case). It is a right that the US government removed for millions of small farmers across Asia and in Haiti, using disease scares and “public health measures” that were anti-public health.

Read Full Article Here

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Articles of Interest

Russia Stunned After Japanese Plan To Evacuate 40 Million Revealed

Posted by

A new report circulating in the Kremlin today prepared by the Foreign Ministry on the planned re-opening of talks with Japan over the disputed Kuril Islands during the next fortnight states that Russian diplomats were “stunned” after being told by their Japanese counterparts that upwards of 40 million of their peoples were in “extreme danger” of life threatening radiation poisoning and could very well likely be faced with forced evacuations away from their countries eastern most located cities… including the world’s largest one, Tokyo.

The Kuril Islands are located in Russia’s Sakhalin Oblast region and stretch approximately 1,300 km (810 miles) northeast from Hokkaidō, Japan, to Kamchatka, Russia, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific Ocean. There are 56 islands and many more minor rocks. It consists of Greater Kuril Ridge and Lesser Kuril Ridge, all of which were captured by Soviet Forces in the closing days of World War II from the Japanese.

The “extreme danger” facing tens of millions of the Japanese peoples is the result of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster that was a series of equipment failures, nuclear meltdowns, and releases of radioactive materials at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, following the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on 11 March 2011.

According to this report, Japanese diplomats have signaled to their Russian counterparts that the returning of the Kuril Islands to Japan is “critical” as they have no other place to resettle so many people that would, in essence, become the largest migration of human beings since the 1930’s when Soviet leader Stalin forced tens of millions to resettle Russia’s far eastern regions.

Important to note, this report continues, are that Japanese diplomats told their Russian counterparts that they were, also, “seriously considering” an offer by China to relocate tens of millions of their citizens to the Chinese mainland to inhabit what are called the “ghost cities,” built for reasons still unknown and described, in part, by London’s Daily Mail News Service in their 18 December 2010 article titled: “The Ghost Towns Of China: Amazing Satellite Images Show Cities Meant To Be Home To Millions Lying Deserted” that says:

Read Full Article Here

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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.]

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Environmental

Eyeless Shrimp and Fish With Tumors: The Horrific Consequences of BP’s Spill

Despite mounting environmental and health consequences, not to mention the death of 11 workers, no executives have received jail time.
April 18, 2012  |

Marine Photo Bank / Flickr Creative Commons
Photo Credit: Marine Photo Bank / Flickr Creative Commons

Almost two full years after the BP oil spill, a panel of experts gathered at the 17th annual Tulane Environmental Law Summit, to present the continuing impacts of the BP Oil Spill. That spill began with the April 20th, 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling unit used by BP 40 miles off the Louisiana coast. Eleven men lost their lives. The resulting spill of oil into the Gulf of Mexico stands as the largest oil spill in U.S. history and the second largest environmental disaster in this country to date besides the nearly decade-long Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Scientists at the summit presented recent photographs of shrimp with no eyes and fish with cancerous tumors born long after the gulf was declared “safe” for fishing.

Read Full Article Here

Monsanto taking over global agriculture

Published on Apr 18, 2012 by

Monsanto has been on a mission to control US agriculture. With the help of politicians and regulation agencies, the biotechnology company has been putting many farmers out of business. Many critics of the company believe it is the right of the people to know if they are consuming genetically-modified food. Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception, joins us with more on the Monsanto.

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Cyber Space

CISPA gets a rewrite but still threatens Americans’ privacy

Foes of controversial legislation rally before expected vote next week, with scant success so far: latest draft still allows Internet companies to share customer data and communications with the National Security Agency.

by

New revisions to a proposed federal cybersecurity law still would permit Internet companies to hand over confidential customer records and communications to the National Security Agency.

A recent torrent of criticism prompted the politicians behind the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act to circulate a revised version (PDF) of CISPA this evening before an expected floor vote next week. But the authors made only relatively minor tweaks.

The legislation remains so broad that the NSA could vacuum up “all sorts of sensitive information like Internet use information and the contents of e-mails,” ACLU legislative counsel Michelle Richardson told CNET.

CISPA is experiencing a milder form of the same kind of Internet backlash that doomed the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP early this year.

Advocacy groups, including the American Library Association, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the libertarian-leaning TechFreedom, launched a “Stop Cyber Spying” campaign today — complete with a write-your-congresscritter-via-Twitter app — and the bill has now drawn the ire of Anonymous. A letter (PDF) sent today by more than two dozen organizations, including the Republican Liberty Caucus, urges a “no” vote on CISPA, and more than 669,000 people have signed an anti-CISPA Web petition.

Read Full Article Here

Anonymous downs Home Office site for second time

By , ZDNet UK

NEWS

Anonymous has brought down the Home Office website for the second time, even though the department had prior warning of the hacking collective’s campaign of weekend attacks.

Anonymous logo

Hackers connected to Anonymous brought down the Home Office website for the second time in a matter of days. Image credit: Anonymous

A flood of traffic sent to Homeoffice.gov.uk led to intermittent outages on Saturday, but did not compromise internal systems, the government department said on Monday.

“The site was temporarily unavailable,” a Home Office spokeswoman told ZDNet UK. “The site was targeted by a distributed denial-of-service attack, and was flooded by the volume of traffic.”

Last weekend, the Anonymous group launched its Operation Trial at Home (OpTrialatHome) campaign to protest the extradition treaty the UK has with the US. NASA hacker Gary McKinnon, TVShack website operator Stephen O’Dwyer and Christopher Tappin have been affected by the treaty, which critics see as unbalanced.

Those attacks took down the websites run by the prime minister’s office and the Ministry of Justice, as well as the Home Office. Anonymous activists were successful for a second time in a matter of days because they varied their attack, the Home Office said in a statement on Monday.

“DDoS attacks are a difficult problem to tackle,” the government department said. “The threat environment is changing constantly, with hacktivists using different tools and techniques to frustrate existing defences.”

One of the hacktivists behind the UK Anonymous 2012 Twitter feed declined to tell ZDNet UK which attack tools the group had used at the weekend.

Read Full Article Here

April 18, 2012 | By Katitza Rodriguez

The Impending Cybersecurity Power Grab – It’s not just for the United States

EFF, OpenMedia.ca, CIPPIC and a number of civil society organizations have declared this to be ‘Stop Cyber Spying Week’ in protest of several controversial U.S. cybersecurity legislative proposals, including the bill currently before Congress and the Senate called CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing & Protection Act of 2011. While ‘Stop Cyber Spying Week’ is focused on U.S. initiatives, Canadians should be concerned as well as the adoption of a privacy-invasive U.S. cybersecurity strategy is likely to have serious implications for Canadian civil liberties. For this reason, Canadian civil society groups have joined the protest. In general, Canadians would do well to remain vigilant.

Using the guise of ‘cybersecurity’, CISPA aims to mobilize Internet intermediaries to institute a sweeping, privacy-invasive, voluntary information-sharing regime with few safeguards. The U.S. cybersecurity strategy, embodied in CISPA and other legislative proposals, also seeks to empower Internet companies to deploy ill-defined ‘countermeasures’ in order to combat these threats. Use of these powers is purportedly limited to situations addressing ‘cybersecurity’ threats, yet this term is so loosely defined that it can encompass almost anything – even, potentially, to investigate potential breaches of intellectual property rights!

The cornerstone of the privacy-invasive CISPA component is the establishment of private-public partnerships for information sharing. This creates a two-tiered regime that, on the one hand, facilitates the collection of personal Internet data by private Internet companies as well as the sharing of that information with the government and, on the other, allows government agencies to share information with private companies.

Read Full Article Here

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Survival / Sustainability

completed soapIf you have never made your own soap before, this the first of a two-part lesson.It is soap making for the total beginner. I have been making soap for years and recently decided to try to develop a recipe for a reliable batch of soap using ingredients I can easily obtain, instead of ordering exotic oils by mail.I am guessing this would make it easier for other people who are curious about making soap but don’t know how to begin.

Traditionally, people used a combination of wood ash and lard to make soap. The Soap Factory has an interesting account of the history and chemistry of soap making and the traditional methods of rendering fat and obtaining potash from wood ash.  I applaud the homesteader who chooses to make soap using materials at hand and traditional methods.  Those of us who want to make things easier need to purchase their materials. In place of wood ash we can easily find lye at any hardware store.  The oils are more difficult.  Many homemade soap recipes use coconut oil, palm oil and olive oil as the base ingredients. Soap made from these oils is nice and hard, it lathers well and it is soothing to the skin. The problem for me is that it is not that easy to find hydrogenated (solid at room temperature) coconut oil and palm oil where I live. When I am going to make a large quantity of soap, like many batches for holiday gifts, I don’t mind ordering oils by the mail from Columbus Foods.  They have a  “Soaper’s Choice area of their website with just about any exotic oil you could want in quantities as small as 7 pounds.  For smaller and one-time batches, this is not practical.  You can’t store oil for long periods of time because it gets rancid, especially in my very hot (in the summer) Chicago home. I thought maybe other people have avoided making soap due to the difficulty of obtaining supplies. Also, some people do not want to use palm oil because of  environmental concerns.  I decided to develop a very simple and basic soap recipe for the beginner using supplies you can buy easily.   We still want to make a batch of soap that is hard, produces lather and is gentle to the skin, but we are going to use oils that you can find at the grocery store and pharmacy.

For Part 1 of this soap making tutorial you will gather all of your materials. Next week you can combine them into a batch of soap.

Read Full Article  Here

Last week you gathered your materials and supplies. This week you can finally make your soap!

First, I’d like to remind you about safety. This is a project that uses a very dangerous material. Lye is sold in the drain cleaner department with lots of other nasty chemicals because it heats up to a very high temperature when it gets wet and literally burns through the stuff clogging your pipes.  You do not want to get it on your body or in your mouth or eyes.  You should plan on wearing gloves and eye protection when you are around the lye and make sure it is not anywhere where a child or pet can get near it.  Store the unused lye in a safe spot with other dangerous household chemicals.  You will only be using a few tablespoons of lye for this recipe. While caution needs to be exercised you will not have a giant cauldron of boiling lye to work with.  This is another reason why this is a good batch for the beginner.

Step 1

Measure the oils. Use a small lightweight bowl to measure each oil and add it to the cooking pot. (This should be a no-stick or stainless steel pot.) Measure and pour each oil separately.  If you are not sure how high your scale goes, divide the olive oil into two.  Each time you put the empty bowl on the scale make sure to clear the scale so that it starts at zero before you add anything. Wipe the bowl clean between oils. Measure 13 ounces of corn oil, 23 ounces of olive oil, and 2 sticks of cocoa butter (2 ounces total.) Slice up the cocoa butter first for quicker melting. Put the pan containing the oil on the stove to wait for the next step.

Step 2 lye

Following the safety guidelines, take one empty glass jar and put it on the scale and carefully weigh out 4.8 ounces of lye. You should have newspaper under the scale that you can gather up and throw away when you are done, in case any grains pop out of the jar. In another glass jar pour in 12 liquid ounces of water. Let the water sit until it is room temperature. When it is ready, pour the lye into the water and stir it in using a rubber spatula. Never pour the water into the lye. The lye goes into the water. Protect yourself from the fumes. This is the most dangerous part of the soap making process, when the lye water will quickly heat up to a very high temperature. Stir until the lye is dissolved and plan to revisit the lye water periodically to make sure everything is dissolved. Put it somewhere safe to cool down. If lye gets on you, quickly wash it off. It will sting slightly if it gets on your skin but can blind you if it gets in your eyes.

 Read Full Article Here

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Activism

13 Arrests as Occupy New Haven Camp Closes

The protesters, believed to live in one of the last Occupy encampments in New England, have been in a legal battle with the city.

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012
13 Arrests as Occupy New Haven Camp Closes
Audrey Washington, NBC Connecticut

New Haven police have made at least six arrests.

Thirteen Occupy New Haven protesters were arrested as police moved them from their camp on the New Haven Green on Wednesday morning.

The city began cleaning up the green on Wednesday afternoon and officials estimate that the cost for cleanup will be $25,000, while the city expects the whole cost associated with the protest will be around $145,000 in taxpayer money.

The city also plans to assess the property to ensure that the trees are healthy because they have not been properly watered.

The deadline for the protesters to leave was 8 a.m. after the group lost its appeal in federal court in New York on Tuesday.

Occupy signs were gone and most of the tents were down before that.

Read Full Article Here

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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

 

Thawing permafrost may have led to extreme global warming events

 

by Staff Writers
Sheffield UK (SPX)

 


File image: thawing permafrost.

Scientists analysing prehistoric global warming say thawing permafrost released massive amounts of carbon stored in frozen soil of Polar Regions exacerbating climate change through increasing global temperatures and ocean acidification.

Although the amounts of carbon involved in the ancient soil-thaw scenarios was likely much greater than today, the implications of this ground-breaking study are that the long-term future of carbon deposits locked into frozen permafrost of Polar Regions are vulnerable to climate warming caused as humans emit the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuels for energy generation.

Researchers in centres across America, Italy and the University of Sheffield, analyzed a series of sudden, and extreme, global warming events – called hyper thermals – that occurred about 55 million years ago, linked to rising greenhouse gas concentrations and changes in Earth’s orbit, which led to a massive release of carbon into the atmosphere, ocean acidification, and a five degrees Celsius rise in global temperature within just a few thousand years.

It was previously thought that the source of carbon was in the ocean, in the form of frozen methane gas in ocean-floor sediments but now the experts believe the carbon released into the atmosphere millions of years ago came from the Polar Regions.

Professor David Beerling, of the University of Sheffield’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, said: “For the first time, we have linked these past global warming events with a climatically sensitive terrestrial carbon reservoir rather than a marine one. It shows that global warming can be amplified by carbon release from thawing permafrost.”

“The research suggests that carbon stored in permafrost stocks today in the Arctic region is vulnerable to warming. Warming causes permafrost thaw and decomposition of organic matter releasing more greenhouse gases back into the atmosphere.

“This feedback loop could accelerate future warming. It means we must arrest carbon dioxide emissions released by the combustion of fossil fuels if humanity wishes to avoid triggering these sorts of feedbacks in our modern world.”

The breakthrough was made through cross-disciplinary collaborations with climate and vegetation modellers, isotope geochemists and permafrost experts led by Rob DeConto at the University of Massachusetts, in collaboration with the University of Sheffield, Yale, the University of Colorado, Penn State, and the University of Urbino, Italy.

Rob DeConto added: “Similar dynamics are at play today. Global warming is degrading permafrost in the north Polar Regions, unlocking once-frozen carbon and methane and releasing it into the atmosphere. This will only exacerbate future warming in a positive feedback loop.”

The temperature of Earth’s atmosphere is a result of energy input from the sun minus what escapes back into space. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere absorbs and traps heat that would otherwise return to space.

The global warming events were accompanied by a massive input of carbon to the atmosphere plus ocean acidification, and were characterized by a global temperature rise of about five degrees Celsius within a few thousand years.

Until now, scientists have been unable to account for the massive amounts of carbon required to cause such dramatic global warming events and Antarctica, which on today’s Earth is covered by kilometres of ice, has not been appreciated as an important player in such global carbon dynamics.

The research is published in the journal Nature.

 

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Cyber Space

 

Internet can help, not start, democracy

 

by Staff Writers
Columbus, Ohio (UPI)

 


disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

The use of the Internet to promote democracy is most effective in countries already enacting reforms to move in that direction, U.S. researchers say.

The common assumption that the Internet played a major role leading to democratic revolutions in the Arab world and elsewhere is likely an exaggeration, they said.

“Instead of the Internet promoting fundamental political change, it seems to reinforce political change in countries that already have at least some level of democratic freedoms,” researcher Erik Nisbet, a professor of communication at Ohio State University, said.

“Internet use is a less effective means to mobilize citizens for democracy in extremely authoritarian countries,” he said in an OSU release Wednesday.

Demand for democracy is highest in countries where more people are connected to the Internet, the researches said, and in countries where Internet users spend more time on the Web.

“Internet penetration in a country matters in terms of how much people want democratic reforms, but it is even more important that people are spending greater amounts of time on the Internet and that they are connected to other people in their community,” study co-author Elizabeth Stoycheff said.

The researchers analyzed data on 28 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia that evaluated how much the citizens in each country demanded democracy and their frequency of Internet use.

Some countries have the right political and technological mix for the Internet to play a role in social and political change, the researchers said, but countries with highly authoritarian regimes are not likely to see democracy flourishing anytime soon regardless of use of the Internet.

“Our results suggest that the Internet can’t plant the seed of democracy in a country,” Nisbet said. “However, the Internet may help democracy flourish if it has already started to grow.”

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Survival / Sustainability

 

Useful lessons learned from the Great Depression

 

by M.D. Creekmore


This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest  by MtWoman

(Note: the numbers in certain places are references to the links and info provided at the end.)

Recently, there was a discussion here on the SBlog (as I like to call it) about what knowledge and wisdom our parents and grandparents may have to share with us from their experiences during the depression. I decided to “interview” my father on the subject, using the specific questions that Hunker-Down and Bam-Bam proposed, and expanding from there using my own questions.

It was a very good experience for me. My father is a tough German man, and is seldom open to such things, especially because having to ‘think back’ reveals to him how his memory is failing. But I was gentle and patient and this time he opened up quite a bit. I learned a lot about him, other members of our family, and myself. Discussing my family of origin, and what their lives were like has given me a better understanding of how I am, and what life was like ‘back then’…and what I can do to ‘prep’ for my own future. I’ll share with you here what I found out.

First a little history:

It seems that my father, who was born in 1925, making him 4 years old when the market crashed at the start of the Depression, didn’t have a very hard time of it, really.

His parents were German immigrants, who had been “sponsored” (1) by some other family members to come to the US. In those days, immigrants had to be “sponsored” for a year, which meant someone vouched that you would not become a “burden to society” and they would cover your financial needs until a job was found. There were other requirements, like taking the “umlaut” (those two little dots over some letters) off your name if you had one, which my grandparents had to do. My grandfather came over first (1922), and my grandmother came a year later. They were married here in the US in 1924.

When my father was born and through his childhood, my grandfather worked, and my grandmother was a housewife. They had a small house in Minnesota (one of my most favorite places to go in the summer as a kid). It had a couple of bedrooms, a kitchen, a ‘sitting’ room, and – my favorite – a screened in front porch where I would sleep on a cot sometimes in the Summer, and watch the train go by on the tracks just across the street.

There was electricity in the house and running water and ‘flush’ toilets. They had an apple tree, a good garden, and a ‘cellar’…a space under the house with a hardened dirt floor. I remember there being bushel baskets of root vegetables down there and some jars on shelves. My grandfather had some barrels at the corners of the eaves of the garage which gathered rain water. Their house was 1-2 miles from downtown…..

 

Read The  Full Article Here

 

 

How much water is enough?

 

by M.D. Creekmore


This is a guest post by Tom Sciacca of CampingSurvival.com Yes .

If you like food as much as I do, it’s hard to imagine that our body can actually go weeks without food. It wouldn’t be fun, of course, but it can be done. But without water, our bodies can get into serious trouble quickly – just a matter of days before dehydration can set in. So why is it that many people keep lots of extra food stored in their houses, but neglect to store any water?

This subject came to mind recently when my cousin told me about having to endure a power outage with no drinkable water. Since power outages often impact water treatment facilities, tap water can be unsafe for drinking. The situation was made worse by the fact that her child had vomiting and diarrhea, which meant that there was an even greater need for drinking water, as well as water for cleaning, sanitation and hand washing.

For instance, a mixture of water and chlorine bleach would have greatly assisted in sanitizing around her child, helping to ensure that others didn’t also get sick. And obviously, you wouldn’t want to clean up after such a mess without being able to thoroughly wash your hands. (As a dad, I know that’s NOT fun!) Finally, water for food preparation is a supply you’ll need over and above what you plan to drink.

Now if you look at the conventional wisdom out on the internet, you’ll find guidelines such as the following:….

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Activism

 

The Wonderful, Unpredictable Life of the Occupy Movement

 

By Arun Gupta, Truthout

Occupy Wall StreetOccupy Wall Street demonstration on March 15, 2012. (Photo: Sunset Parkerpix)

I met Nomi on a bus in Baltimore. She was from Wisconsin and had been involved with Occupy Wall Street. She was part of Occupy Judaism and fondly recalled the Yom Kippur services she attended at the Wall Street occupation with hundreds of other people. Nomi said that, for the first time, she and her friends felt like they could combine the religious and radical dimensions of Judaism. The conversation fell silent as the bus rolled along. Suddenly she turned to me and excitedly announced that she met her girlfriend at Liberty Plaza. I smiled and responded, “That’s why Occupy Wall Street matters.”

By enabling people to find fulfillment in all parts of their lives, whether romantic, spiritual, political or cultural, the Occupy movement is more than a movement. It is life-changing. People experience themselves as complete social beings, not just as angry, alienated protesters. Nomi said she was no longer involved in the movement, which I thought was more evidence of why the actual occupations were so important.

The emergence of every mass movement makes sense in hindsight, but no one could have predicted hundreds of occupations and thousands of groups would pop up across the United States just weeks after a ragged encampment secured a tenuous foothold on Wall Street last September. Sure, anger was boiling over prior to the takeover of Zuccotti Park in downtown Manhattan, but the occupation crystallized who is to blame for the economic crisis and who are the legitimate people. Anyone could walk into the public space, share their stories, find people with similar grievances and help build micro-societies. Occupy wasn’t just a rejection of Washington and Wall Street. It revealed the failings of liberals, unions and the left. New activists didn’t first have to master volumes of social and cultural theory, attend grueling anti-oppression workshops and learn how to pepper their comments with academic jargon before joining. Nor did the movement require consultants, focus groups or polling to occupy the center of American politics with a radical left message. And the form was not the same old rallies with canned chants, pre-printed protest signs and preaching to the choir.

It’s worth considering why Occupy Wall Street was such a smashing success last fall, as well as where it is headed. While the media lens has shifted away, Occupy has spawned a menagerie of energized movements and ambitious plans. Veteran organizer David Solnit, who is involved with Bay Area Occupy movements, sums up the current state: “The numbers showing up at GAs have dropped. Any movement has its mass mobilization and its in-between times. The organizing a lot of people are doing around housing and education are less visible but go much deeper. We need a better measuring tape than numbers and public space and whether it’s amplified through media owned by the 1 percent.”

Like plants that lay dormant for the winter conserving energy, many occupations are blossoming anew with ambitious plans now that it’s spring. Solnit says in San Francisco the movement is defending a dozen families in foreclosure, and is working toward a citywide moratorium on bank foreclosures and evictions. In Los Angeles, organizers say May Day plans include large-scale marches by immigrants and unions, rolling street blockades and even an attempt to disrupt the main airport. In New York and around the country, a campaign has been launched called “F the Banks” to force the government to dismantle Bank of America, which is still receiving taxpayer subsidies. In Chicago, after the G8 summit set for May was moved to Camp David because of fear of large-scale protests, activists are moving forward with large-scale demonstrations to coincidence with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) meeting the same month.

Challenging the status quo comes with costs. As the Occupy movement struggles to effect radical social change, it faces persistent police attacks and co-optation by Democratic Party forces from the outside and divisions over identity politics, militancy, localism and diffusion from the inside.

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Writer fled China to ‘publish book’ on dissident

by Staff Writers
Hong Kong (AFP) April 6, 2012

 

A Chinese dissident who wrote a book critical of the country’s leadership has said he fled into exile after being warned against publishing a biography of a jailed Nobel laureate.

Yu Jie, a writer who in 2010 published “Wen Jiabao: China’s Best Actor” despite threats of jail time, fled to Washington with his family in January after he was “subjected to torture” and faced restrictions on publishing.

In an interview aired Friday on Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK, Yu said that his decision to flee Beijing was also prompted by his urge to pursue a book project on fellow dissident Liu Xiaobo, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010.

“The secret police told me I will be jailed if the book is published,” he said.

“(I fled)… to make sure the biography can be published overseas,” the 38-year-old told RTHK without saying when the book will be released.

He described the decision to flee as “painful” and said he believed he would not be able to return to Beijing within the next five years.

The writer said he had been warned against criticising the Communist Party or speaking out against China abroad.

Yu has previously said he came under tighter surveillance after Liu won the Nobel Prize.

He has also complained that he was forbidden from publishing or practicing his religion. He is a member of a Protestant church which is not authorised by the Chinese government.

Liu, 56, is the only Nobel Peace Prize winner in prison. He wrote a bold manifesto for democracy called Charter 08 and was jailed for 11 years for subversion on Christmas Day 2009.

Human rights groups frequently voice concern about Chinese dissidents who remain in the country including prominent rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng.

Gao, who has defended some of China’s most vulnerable people including Christians and coal miners, was detained in February 2009 and had been held largely incommunicado by authorities except for a brief release in March 2010.

Gao’s brother said last week that was allowed to meet with him in a remote jail for the first time in nearly two years, allaying fears for his well-being.

China rights couple hear trial verdict on Tuesday
Beijing (AFP) April 7, 2012 – The verdict in the trial of rights activists Ni Yulan and her husband will be announced on Tuesday, a year after the couple were detained amid growing unrest in China, their daughter said Saturday.

Ni and Dong Jiqin, who have long helped victims of government-backed land grabs, were detained in April last year as authorities rounded up scores of activists amid online calls for protests similar to those in the Arab world.

In a brief December trial they were charged with “picking quarrels, provoking trouble and willfully destroying private and public property” — charges lawyers and supporters say were trumped up to silence them.

“Our lawyer told me the verdict will be read by the Beijing Western District court on Tuesday morning,” daughter Dong Xuan, 27, told AFP.

“They are not guilty and should be released, but I fear that my mother will be sentenced to at least three years as a repeat offender. I am hoping that my father will be released for time served.”

The couple’s lawyer last visited them in February, she said. Ni, 51, remains ill and is suffering from fever, a swollen neck and has trouble speaking.

Ni spent much of the trial lying on a bed in the courtroom due to her poor health and needed a respirator to breathe.

The couple have provided legal assistance to numerous families around China who have been forcibly evicted from their homes in government-backed land requisitions, a major cause of unrest in China.

Their battle to oppose the land grabs began in 2001 after their courtyard home in central Beijing was requisitioned and marked for demolition.

Trained as a lawyer, Ni was sentenced to a year in jail in 2002 for “obstructing official business,” and for two years in 2008 for “harming public property” — charges brought against her as she tried to protect her home.

She was also disbarred in 2002.

In January, Dong Xuan was barred by police from leaving China to collect a 100,000-euro (131,000) human rights award for her mother in the Netherlands.

She says she remains under police surveillance.

Ni’s case has been championed by numerous Western governments, including the United States and the European Union, which sent representatives to meet with her during her brief period of freedom in 2010.

Related Links
China News from SinoDaily.com

 

 

Day 207: Live Coverage of the Occupy Movement

Josh Harkinson, Special Coverage:

As we enter Day 207 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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Articles of Interest

 

Bald eagle in crosshairs of US fight over lead bullets

by Staff Writers
Boyce, Virginia (AFP) April 7, 2012

 

The bald eagle that came into wildlife rehabilitator Belinda Burwell’s care last month, just as the hunting season was coming to a close in North America, was a shadow of its former self.

The stiff and wobbly bird clung to life but showed distinct signs of lead poisoning, likely from scavenging the remains of big game left by hunters who killed their prey with lead bullets.

“She couldn’t walk, couldn’t fly,” said Burwell. “If she tried to move, she would fall over, she would stumble.”

Environmental groups say 20 million birds die worldwide each year from eating bits of lead in animal carcasses, because many US hunters use lead ammunition which leaves 3,000 tons of toxic fragments in gut piles and unclaimed kills.

The dangers of lead have been well known for decades, and steps have been taken to prevent human consumption by removing it from paint, gasoline, pipes, children’s jewelry and more.

A ban on hunters’ use of lead shot for killing waterfowl was passed in the United States in the early 1990s because birds were being poisoned by ingesting the pieces that fell into waterways and ponds.

But the question of whether to do the same for hunters on land has thrust the eagle, the national symbol of America, into a fresh political battle over gun rights and environmental protection.

On one side is the powerful US gun lobby, which disputes science on lead poisoning and insists that any measures to regulate lead ammunition would spell a ban on hunting in all its forms, infringe on gun rights and raise costs.

On the other is a dogged but weary wildlife protection movement that is pressing the Environmental Protection Agency to take steps to regulate the use of lead ammunition in order to protect birds and humans against lead poisoning.

Both have adopted the bald eagle as a symbol of their efforts, with the bird featuring on the cover of the Center for Biological Diversity’s petition to the EPA as well as on the web page of the National Rifle Association.

“This is the last unregulated, widespread distribution of toxic lead into the environment,” said Jeff Miller of the Center for Biological Diversity, which is seeking US federal rules to require non-toxic bullets in hunting and shooting sports.

— Gun-grabbers disguised as nature lovers —

“We know it is getting into the food chain. We also know that humans are eating it and there is no safe level of lead in the human body so it is most certainly a human health issue too.”

Miller said 150 groups in 40 states now support the petition, including hunters, scientists, American Indians, conservationists and veterinarians.

The EPA turned down a similar request for a ban on lead bullets in 2010, saying it did not have the authority to regulate ammunition. However, environmental advocates say the EPA does have the right to regulate components of ammunition.

More than a dozen countries in Europe have banned lead ammunition for hunting waterfowl and Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden are among a handful of countries that have totally banned lead bullets.

Germany, Japan and Belgium have passed limited restrictions on their use.

The Peregrine Fund, a nonprofit group in Idaho, has posted online a host of peer-reviewed studies on the effects of lead on wildlife, with some figures showing as many as 10-15 percent of young eagles die each year from lead poisoning.

While the bald eagle is no longer a threatened population in the United States, it and other birds that scavenge like the endangered California Condors, vultures, herons and golden eagles, are among the species most at risk.

One study by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources showed how a lead ballistic tip bullet could fragment into an average of 141 pieces per carcass, reaching as far as 14 inches from the wound (35 cm), indicating a danger for humans who eat meat killed with lead bullets, too.

Pro-gun groups like the National Shooting and Sports Foundation say there is no “sound science” to support a ban.

“If wildlife management decisions become about preventing harm to individuals within a species and not about managing a species itself, then you have essentially made the argument to ban hunting,” said Lawrence Keane, senior vice president of the NSSF.

The NRA has urged Congress to “step in and ensure this restriction never happens,” asserting that the effort is being headed by “gun-grabbers… disguised as nature lovers.”

A House subcommittee in late February approved a bill that would prevent the EPA from taking action on the CBD’s petition, and some senators with ties to sportsmen’s groups are considering the same.

Rick Watson of the Peregrine Fund said switching to copper bullets costs the same as buying a box of premium lead ammunition, about $45 a box, while the cheapest lead ammo can be had for $15.

“Hunters historically and traditionally have been some of the best conservationists this country has had. And given accurate facts we believe the vast majority will choose to use lead-free ammunition because it protects the wildlife they so enjoy,” he said.

Matt Miller, an outdoor writer and hunter, said he switched to copper bullets years ago after learning of the dangers of lead, and is pleased with the results.

“It has not increased the cost of my hunting. The bottom line is if you know your rifle and you shoot it well, a big game hunting trip costs you one bullet.”

Burwell, who has been treating her eagle for three weeks and is ready to release her into the wild on Saturday, said she is not optimistic that the EPA will act.

“With the NRA pushing to prevent any type of regulation, the word on the wildlife side is it will never happen,” she said.

“It depends on who has the most money. Doesn’t it seem sometimes that that is who wins these things?”

Related Links
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com

 

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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

 

Two years later: the oil is still here and so are we

Published on Apr 11, 2012 by

Two years ago the BP drilling disaster began, killing 11 workers and threatening an ecosystem and the unique communities which rely upon it. Musicians, GRN supporters and community members are reminding you that BP’s oil is still affecting the people and places of the Gulf. Despite this fact, neither BP nor DC have taken adequate steps to protect or restore this precious natural resource.

Take action today at http://healthygulf.org

Shot at and around Voodoo Experience 2011 by Greenhouse Collective. See their work at http://www.youtube.com/user/GreenHouseNOLA

Thanks to Portugal. the Man, Dr. John, Ani Difranco, Scott Fujita, Fishbone, Blind Pilot, Bonerama, Honey Island Swamp Band, Zack Smith, Fleur De Tease, Stanton Moore, Sheepdogs, Danny Phillips, John Taylor, Rosina Phillippe, John Michael Rouchel, Helen Gillet, Clint Maedgen, and all who took part.

 

 

The Folly of Big Agriculture:

Why Nature Always Wins

Large-scale industrial agriculture depends on engineering the land to ensure the absence of natural diversity. But as the recent emergence of herbicide-tolerant weeds on U.S. farms has shown, nature ultimately finds a way to subvert uniformity and assert itself.

 

by verlyn klinkenborg

 

In its short, shameless history, big agriculture has had only one big idea: uniformity. The obvious example is corn. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts that American farmers — big farmers — will plant 94 million acres of corn this year. That’s the equivalent of planting corn on every inch of Montana. To do that you’d have to make sure that every inch of Montana fell within corn-growing parameters. That would mean leveling the high spots, irrigating the dry spots, draining the wet spots, fertilizing the infertile spots, and so on. Corn is usually grown where the terrain is less rigorous than it is in Montana. But even in Iowa that has meant leveling, irrigating, draining, fertilizing, and, of course, spraying.

You can argue whether uniformity is the result of efficiency or vice versa. But let’s suppose that efficiency is merely the economic expression of uniformity. The point is this: When you see a Midwestern cornfield, you know you’re looking at nature with one idea superimposed upon it. This is far less confusing, less tangled in variation than the nature you find even in the roadside ditches beside a cornfield or in a last scrap of native prairie growing

Rather than change the earth to suit a crop, a reasonable agriculture would diversify crops to suit the earth.

in a graveyard or along an abandoned railroad right-of-way. Nature is puzzling. Corn is stupefying.

Humans have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the big idea behind nature is. It’s hard to tell, because we live at nature’s pace and within the orb of human abstraction. We barely notice the large-scale differences from year to year, much less the minute ones. But if we could speed up time a little and become a lot more perceptive, we would see that nature’s big idea is to try out life wherever and however it can be tried, which means everywhere and anyhow. The result — over time and at this instant — is diversity, complexity, particularity, and inventiveness to an extent our minds are almost unfitted to conceive.

A reasonable agriculture would do its best to emulate nature. Rather than change the earth to suit a crop — which is what we do with corn and soybeans and a handful of other agricultural commodities — it would diversify its crops to suit the earth. This is not going to happen in big agriculture, because big agriculture is irrational. It’s where we expose — at unimaginable expense — our failure to grasp how nature works. It’s where uniformity is always defeated eventually by diversity and where big agriculture’s ideas of diversity are revealed to be as uniform as ever.

To a uniform crop like corn, farmers have been encouraged to apply a uniform herbicide to kill weeds. Modern corn is genetically engineered to not be killed by the herbicide in ubiquitous use. Mostly, that herbicide has been glyphosate, marketed under the Monsanto trade name Roundup. Farmers have sprayed and over-sprayed billions of gallons of Roundup thanks to an

To broad leaf weeds, Roundup is not the apocalypse. It is simply a modest, temporal challenge.

economic and moral premise: corn good, weeds bad. And yet you can’t help noticing that it has done nothing to stop the endless inventiveness of nature.

To broad leaf weeds and soil microorganisms, Roundup is not the apocalypse. It is simply a modest, temporal challenge, which is why, 15 years after genetically-engineered, Roundup-tolerant crops were widely introduced, it’s no longer working against spontaneous new generations of Roundup-tolerant weeds, especially in cotton fields. This is because research, in nature’s laboratory, never stops. It explores every possibility. It never lacks funding. It is never demoralized by failed experiments. It cannot be lobbied…..

 

 

Read Full Article Here

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Cyber Space

 

ACTA: The State of Play in the US

In the last few weeks, we’ve seen surprising and significant developments with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in both the US and the EU. As we’ve noted before, ACTA is a plurilateral agreement designed to broaden and extend existing intellectual property enforcement laws to the Internet. In both process and in substance, it is a deeply undemocratic initiative that has bypassed checks and balances of existing international IP norm-setting bodies, without any meaningful input from national parliaments, policymakers, or their citizens.

This is the first in a series of posts detailing the current state of play. Today, we’re reviewing recent U.S. developments and what we and others are doing to highlight the illegitimacy of this controversial agreement. In February, EFF submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the U.S. State Department, seeking a copy of the “Circular 175” memorandum for ACTA, and the accompanying Memorandum of Law – key documents regarding the constitutionality of ACTA.  The State Department is due to respond tomorrow.

The U.S. Trade Ambassador, Ronald Kirk, signed ACTA in October 2011 at a much-heralded ceremony in Tokyo. However, that does not necessarily mean that ACTA is a done deal in the U.S. Whether ACTA is now binding on the U.S. government, and whether Congress should have any role in reviewing ACTA, continue to be much-debated questions. Several U.S. Congressional representatives have recently taken action to highlight the unusually secretive process used to negotiate ACTA as compared to other IP agreements, and the particular efforts that were taken to evade normal Congressional review of the agreement.

Since 2008, the U.S. Trade Representative’s Office (USTR) has repeatedly stated that ACTA was negotiated as a “sole executive agreement” under the President’s power to conclude agreements regarding matters delegated to the President under Article II of the U.S. Constitution, and therefore does not need to be put before Congress for review and approval. That view has been criticized by leading U.S. Constitutional Law professors on several occasions (see here, here, and here, and our views).

As Senator Ron Wyden pointed out in his letter to the President last October, the question is not whether ACTA would or would not require changes to U.S. law (which is far from clear), but rather, whether the U.S. Executive Branch (of which the USTR is a part) has constitutional authority to negotiate and enter into an agreement dealing with issues  within the powers delegated exclusively to Congress under the Constitution, like the power to make new IP laws:

 “The statement by the USTR confuses the issue by conflating two separate stages of the process required for binding the U.S. to international agreements: entry and implementation. It may be possible for the U.S. to implement ACTA or any other trade agreement, once validly entered, without legislation if the agreement requires no change in U.S. law. But, regardless of whether the agreement requires changes in U.S. law, a point that is contested with respect to ACTA, the executive branch lacks constitutional authority to enter a binding international agreement covering issues delegated by the Constitution to Congress’ authority, absent congressional approval.”

This is more than just an academic question. If ACTA were characterized as a treaty, it would need approval of two-thirds of the Senate before it could be ratified. As Congressional Representative Darrell Issa stated on March 6, when he posted the text of ACTA on his KeepTheWebOpen platform for public comment, the decision to negotiate ACTA as a sole executive agreement can be seen as a power grab by the U.S. executive branch, to bypass Congress’ constitutional power over international commerce and intellectual property law.

Not satisfied with the response he received last year, in January, Senator Wyden asked the  State Department for its analysis of why the USTR’s negotiation of ACTA complies with US constitutional law. The Legal Advisor to the State Department, Howard Koh, responded to Senator Wyden on March 6. His letter implied that Congress had authorized the Executive to negotiate ACTA in response to the 2008 Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act. …

Read Full Article

 

 

Phone hacking scandal comes to U.S. as lawyer vows to take on Rupert Murdoch – but who were the celebrity targets?

Three lawsuits set to be filed on behalf of unidentified clients, but they are suspected to be David Beckham, a friend of Jude Law’s, and Princess Diana’s butler Paul Burrell

Three civil lawsuits are to be filed in the U.S. over alleged phone hacking by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, the first time the scandal has reached the American courts.

Though the individuals at the center of the lawsuits have not been named, there is speculation that they are Princess Diana’s butler Paul Burrell, football star David Beckham, and someone who is friends with or works with the actor Jude Law.

Mark Lewis, the lawyer for the unnamed trio, did give hints which seem to match up with the suggested names.

Mr Lewis said that one of the alleged victims was connected to Princess Diana and the Royal household whilst a second is linked to the England football team. The third is described as a ‘Hollywood case’ as the person was in touch with a well-known celebrity which made him a target….

Read Full Article Here

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Survival / Sustainability

 

Prepper List : 10 Things To Do Now!

 

by M.D. Creekmore

 

No matter how much I beg, some of you, no doubt haven’t done anything to prepare (you know who you are). I don’t know what else to do. All I can do is give you the information, it’s up to you to act. No one can do it for you.

No doubt some of you are intimidated by my repeated suggestions of storing and using whole grains. If it doesn’t come from the supermarket shelf it’s strange and unfamiliar and you want no part of it. Fair enough.

But you still need to prepare. Here are ten things that you can do right now  that will make you better prepared than probably 90% of the population.

And everything is available at your local shopping center – so it’s easy. You can do all ten steps at once or divide each into a separate week and shopping trip. But you need to get it done as soon as possible.

Keep in mind that this is only a starting point and isn’t presented here as a completed list…..

 

Read Full Article and  See  List  Here

 

 

Top 14 Survival Downloads You Should Have

 

by M.D. Creekmore

 

Here are fourteen free PDF downloads that you might find useful – If you know of others please share with us in the comments below…

  1. It’s the End of the World As We Know It – and I Feel Fine – My free e-book covering, food storage, water, weapons etc. I put this together a few years ago and it received some great reviews, but I will admit it is in need of editing and reformatting. The book was a quick first draft without a lot of thought given to  spelling or grammar. Any volunteer editors?
  2. FM 21-76 US Army Survival Manual – How to find water, food, shelter, build a fire, first aid, navigation and other survival skills necessary to survive on your own in the wild. A must for any survival library.
  3. FM 4-25-11 First Aid – While I suggest everyone take a dedicated first-aid class under qualified instructors, this manual by the U.S. Army is a good start for anyone wanting to learn life saving first aid skills…..

 

See Complete  List Here

 

 

Seeds: How many do you need?

Bloody Butcher Corn-BLOG

Bloody Butcher Corn

As you are planning your garden, what to grow would be the first thing that comes to mind.  Then, of course, the area you have available, which leads to making a garden map.  With the map done, you know how much space you have for each crop.  Next is figuring out how many seeds you need.  If you are just starting out in gardening, the number of seeds in a packet are probably more than you need for the year.  However, as your garden grows and you are more interested in really growing a substantial part of your diet, exactly what to expect from a seed packet is important.

You probably already know that not every seed you have is going to germinate.  There is a minimum legal germination rate that the seed companies have to abide by.  Their seeds can be over that rate, but not under.  You can find the minimum legal germination rate in the Master Charts of How To Grow More Vegetables (HTGMV) by John Jeavons.  If you buy from reputable sources, most often the seeds are well over that rate.  In fact, some companies label the packages with the tested germination rate and when they tested it.  On the other hand, I have heard of companies combining old seed with their new batch, getting rid of the old seed and lowering the germination rate.   All they are concerned about is making sure it meets the minimum legal rate.  Being aware of what the minimum rate is helps you plan.  You might be using seed leftover from a previous year or seed that you have saved yourself.  Since seed loses viability over time, you might want to test the germination rate.  Information on how to do that is available many places, including my video Develop a Sustainable Vegetable Garden Plan.

 

Read Full Article Here

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Activism

Explosive: Monsanto ‘Knowingly Poisoned Workers’ Causing Devastating Birth Defects

Anthony Gucciardi
NaturalSociety

In a developing news piece just unleashed by a courthouse news wire, Monsanto is being brought to court by dozens of  Argentinean tobacco farmers who say that the biotech giant knowingly poisoned them with herbicides and pesticides and subsequently caused ”devastating birth defects” in their children. The farmers are now suing not only Monsanto on behalf of their children, but many big tobacco giants as well. The birth defects that the farmers say occurred as a result are many, and include cerebral palsy, down syndrome, psycho motor retardation, missing fingers, and blindness.

The farmers come from small family-owned farms in Misiones Province and sell their tobacco to many United States distributors. The family farmers say that major tobacco companies like the Philip Morris company asked them to use Monsanto’s herbicides and pesticides, assuring them that the products were safe. Through asserting that the toxic chemicals were safe, the farmers state in their claim that the tobacco companies ”wrongfully caused the parental and infant plaintiffs to be exposed to those chemicals and substances which they both knew, or should have known, would cause the infant offspring of the parental plaintiffs to be born with devastating birth defects.”

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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

 

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…..

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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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……

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

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.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

[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

Monsanto’s Roundup Altering the Physical Shape of Amphibians

 

Mike Barrett, News Analysis:

 

While it wasn’t surprising to see morphological changes take part due to the naturally emitted chemicals from predators, it was rather shocking to find out that Roundup had the same effects — causing the tails of the tadpoles to grow in size. What’s more, the combination of the naturally emitted chemicals and Roundup caused the tadpoles’ tails to grow twice as large. Seeing as tadpoles alter body shape in order to properly survive in its environment, the forced changes from herbicides like Roundup can put the animals at a disadvantage.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

Environmental Groups Sue EPA Over Lack of Coal Ash Regulation

 

Emma Schwartz, News Report:

 

A 2009 investigation by the Center for Public Integrity revealed the havoc that coal ash has wreaked near ponds, landfills, and pits where it is dumped. Even the EPA has identified 63 “proven or potential damage cases” in 23 states where coal ash has tainted groundwater or otherwise harmed the environment. But critics say no meaningful federal regulations have been put in place.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Survival / Sustainability

 

Using Community Gardens to Grow Low-Income Communities Out of Food Deserts

 

Emily Apple, New Deal 2.0:

 

“More than 23 million Americans live in ‘food deserts’: areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food, particularly ones composed of predominantly lower income neighborhoods and communities. Recognizing these problems, Daniel Bowman Simon … has now has moved on to helping low-income individuals and families access healthy foods through his organization SNAP Gardens. Simon encourages SNAP beneficiaries to ‘grow’ their benefits by utilizing a 1973 amendment to the Food Stamp Act that allows food stamp recipients to use their benefits to buy seeds.”

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

The Hidden Food in Your Yard – You May Walk by It Every Day…

 

By Dr. Mercola

 

A major part of achieving optimal health is living in partnership with nature.

Growing your own food is a great way to rekindle this connection with nature.

But have you thought about eating plants that grow wild—perhaps in your own backyard?

Some “weeds” can be delicious if prepared properly, and they are absolutely free.

In an article published earlier this summer, Live Science collected some easy-to-identify healthful weeds, including:

Dandelion: The entire plant is edible, and the leaves contain vitamins A, C and K, along with calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium.
Purslane: Purslane tops the list of plants with omega-3 fats.
Lamb’s-quarters: Lamb’s-quarters are like spinach, except healthier, tastier and easier to grow.
Plantain: Not the better-known banana-like plant with the same name. It has a nutritional profile similar to dandelion.
Stinging Nettles: If you handle them so that you don’t get a painful rash from the tiny, acid-filled needles, these are delicious and nutritious cooked or prepared as a tea.

This is of course how our ancestors ate. They hunted and gathered, and ALL of it was wild. And by all accounts, they were far healthier than we are.

Of course, like anything else, identification and use of wild plants requires spending some time educating yourself, lest you eat something inedible or even poisonous. But with some attention to learning what to look for, you can avail yourself of some of the most highly nutritious, health-promoting plants for FREE—and have a lot of fun doing it. With the availability of the Internet, in addition to a number of excellent printed books and even wild-food foraging classes, this information is now easy to access.

So, grab your favorite weeding tool and a basket, and step outside to see what little gems you can find in your own backyard!

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

 

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Whistle Blowers

 

‘Reluctant Spy’ indicted for leaking US secrets

 

A former CIA officer was indicted Thursday on charges of leaking secrets to journalists, including the name of a covert agent and the role of another CIA employee in classified operations.

John Kiriakou, who had previously revealed the CIA’s use of waterboarding of Al-Qaeda suspects, was charged in January with leaking secrets. The indictment allows the case to proceed to trial without an evidentiary hearing.

The indictment returned by a grand jury in Virginia charged Kiriakou with one count of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act and three counts of violating the Espionage Act.

The indictment also charged him with making false statements to the CIA in an unsuccessful attempt to trick the agency into allowing him to include classified information in his 2010 book, “The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA’s War on Terror.”

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Activism

 

How to Succeed in Reoccupation Without Really Trying

 

Nathan Schneider, Op-Ed:

 

This is a new time; the movement and people’s perspectives on it are in a totally different place than they were last fall. Potential allies expect more from the movement, I’d say, and so they should. People I know who were wholeheartedly behind it a few months ago seem to think it’s over, or it should be. The encampments, which Occupiers know as well as anyone sometimes turned into rather unsafe spaces, lost much public support.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

Corrupt Canadian Banking System.mp4

 

Uploaded by facing42 on Apr 6, 2012

 

This is my daughter. She gave this speech at a business meeting in front of 600 people. Her eyes have been opened to a scam that is being perpetrated upon Canadians and the rest of the world.
I am the owner of this video. Feel free to use it freely without altering the content in a manner that would draw conclusions unintended by the speech but please redirect people back to the original post.

Please also see these great resources for more information and people who are trying their best to enact the necessary change in our country and the world:

http://www.ohcanadamovie.com/

 

 

 

 

More proof activism works: Kraft, Coca-Cola and Pepsi all say they will leave ALEC

 

By Madison Ruppert

 

For those who are unaware, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), is a corporate front group which enables corporate members to help craft “model” legislation which they then give to their allies in state legislatures to put forth as their own.

Essentially, it allows America’s largest corporations to ghostwrite legislation which is later proposed by legislators without the public ever knowing that ALEC had a hand in crafting the bill. They have been linked to many corporations with less-than-admirable intentions, one of the more troubling being Corrections Corporation of America.

A great resource to learn more about the corrupt and deplorable actions of ALEC is ALEC Exposed, a project of the Center for Media and Democracy. They expose ALEC corporations, politicians, state chairmen, who funds ALEC as well as a breakdown of all of the so-called “model bills” they create.

A coalition of citizen groups led by the group Color of Change have begun a campaign to pressure the corporations behind ALEC to quit the group and thus cease providing them with massive funding.

They are arguing that popular consumer corporations should not be backing legislation which, ultimately, is incredibly harmful to the communities which profit off of.

Furthermore, they are directly harming their shareholders and employees as well by damaging their communities as well.

The coalition, made up of Color of Change, Rebuild the Dream, Center for Media and Democracy and the Republic Report, along with private individuals, recently wrote to all 20 corporations sitting on ALEC’s board.

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

Generation Waking Up: The Story of Our Generation

 

 

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Articles of Interest

 

These Are The Prices AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Charge For Cellphone Wiretaps

 

Andy Greenberg, Forbes Staff

 

If Americans aren’t disturbed by phone carriers’ practices of handing over cell phone users’ personal data to law enforcement en masse–in many cases without a warrant–we might at least be interested to learn just how much that service is costing us in tax dollars: often hundreds or thousands per individual snooped.

Earlier this week the American Civil Liberties Union revealed a trove of documents it had obtained through Freedom of Information Requests to more than 200 police departments around the country. They show a pattern of police tracking cell phone locations and gathering other data like call logs without warrants, using devices that impersonate cell towers to intercept cellular signals, and encouraging officers to refrain from speaking about cell-tracking technology to the public, all detailed in a New York Times story.

But at least one document also details the day-to-day business of telecoms’ handing over of data to law enforcement, including a breakdown of every major carrier’s fees for every sort of data request from targeted wiretaps to so-called “tower dumps” that provide information on every user of certain cell tower. The guide, as provided by the Tucson, Arizona police department to the ACLU, is dated July 2009, and the fees it lists may be somewhat outdated. But representatives I reached by email at Verizon and AT&T both declined to detail any changes to the numbers…..

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

[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

Deadly Bacteria Lurk in Deepwater Horizon Tar Balls

 

Stephanie Pappas

 

….Analyses of these samples showed a surprisingly high number of total bacteria in the tar balls – between 5.1 million and 8.3 million colony-forming units per gram, much higher than in sand or seawater. Most alarmingly, V. vulnificus numbers in tar balls were 10 times that in nearby sand and 100 times higher than numbers in seawater samples.

The finding was surprising, Arias said, though it makes sense that bacteria would thrive in carbon-rich tar balls. It’s likely the V. vulnificus live off the byproducts of other carbon-eating bacteria in these oily chunks, she said…..

 

Read Full Article Here

 

 

 

 

Fertilizer use responsible for increase in nitrous oxide in atmosphere

 

Berkeley CA (SPX)

 

University of California, Berkeley, chemists have found a smoking gun proving that increased fertilizer use over the past 50 years is responsible for a dramatic rise in atmospheric nitrous oxide, which is a major greenhouse gas contributing to global climate change. Climate scientists have assumed that the cause of the increased nitrous oxide was nitrogen-based fertilizer, which stimulates …

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Cyber Space

 

China shuts political websites in crackdown

 

Two Chinese political websites say they have been ordered by authorities to shut for a month for criticizing state leaders, the latest move in a broad government crackdown on the Internet.

Officials told the Mao Flag website, named after late leader Mao Zedong, and the Utopia website, also known for a leftist political stance, to close for “rectification”, the websites said in separate announcements.

Authorities said their postings had “maliciously attacked state leaders” and given “absurd views” about politics, according to statements posted on the websites.

Those statements, dated Friday, were later removed. The operators could not be reached for comment and content on the sites was unavailable.

The latest moves come after a surge in groundless online rumors in China, including about a coup led by security chief Zhou Yongkang, following the March dismissal of rising political star Bo Xilai.

Two other sites, China Elections and April Youth, also appeared to be shut on Friday for what the operators claimed was maintenance and staff holidays, they said in separate micro-blog postings…….

 

Read Full Article Here

 

New Brit law allows big brother to spy on all online communication

 

By J. D. Heyes,

 

(NaturalNews) Remember, remember the fifth of November… So goes the opening line of a poem attributed to Englishman Guy Fawkes, a 17th century revolutionary who attempted to blow up the Parliament building on Nov. 5, 1605. The incident became known as the Gunpowder Plot, and Fawkes was caught, tortured and executed for the crime of treason. The premise of his actions was pure, if extreme: Fawkes believed he was working to throw off tyranny in an England that was increasingly being ruled by an iron…

 

Read Full Article Here

 
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Survival / Sustainability

Week 1 of 52: Short Term Emergency Food Supply (List 1)

 

FEMA suggests that each family have a 2 week supply of food and water for their home. Starting a food supply does not have to be a budget breaker. By slowly accumulating emergency supplies, you will not feel the financial “burn” compared to having to pay for everything up front. Therefore, keeping in mind what type of emergencies that you are planning for, if there are any family members with medical needs, how long you want your food supply to last, and so on, will help you make the best choice for your family.

Taking time to read the nutritional information on the back of the food source and knowing other considerations, will help a person make the best choices for their needs. If a person needs to use their stashed food supply, having foods high in vitamins, nutrients, and proteins will provide their body with what it needs for needed energy and mental clarity…..

 

Read Full Article Here

 

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Articles of Interest

 

DHS Preparing For Civil War In The US?

 

Uploaded by alexhiggins732 on Apr 7, 2012

See background links below.

Recent massive ammo purchases by US domestic agencies, Obama’s Executive Order to prepare for martial law and recent anti-protests laws all point to one thing.

The US Department of Homeland Security and the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Office have placed a massive order for ammunition. The two departments are asking for 450 million rounds of bullets to be delivered in a time-frame of five years. The contractor, Alliant Techsystems, was awarded the contract and will produce .40 caliber high-performance bullets to the agencies. The order has many wondering why would DHS and ICE need so many bullets. David Seaman, journalist and host of the DL Show, helps us answer why the order was placed.

But that is only the start. See the following links for a more complete picture.

http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/03/18/prepare-martial-law-executive-ord…
Prepare For Martial Law! Executive Order Issued By Obama

http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/03/16/dhs-order-450-million-rounds-40-c…
Why Did The DHS Just Order 450 Million Rounds of .40 Caliber Ammunition?

http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/03/22/feds-buying-surplus-ammo-ordering…
Feds Buying Up All Surplus Ammo, Ordering Stores To Cease Sales?

http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/04/04/usda-fish-wildlife-order-massive-…
The USDA and US Fish and Wildlife Order Massive Amounts Of Ammo

http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/03/23/ruger-stops-accepting-firearms-or…
Ruger Stops Accepting Firearms Orders Citing Backlog Of 1 Million Orders In Q1

Coming To An Occupy Near You — The Military’s New Microwave Heat Ray Gun
http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/03/14/coming-occupy-militarys-microwave…

http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2011/07/24/pentagon-deploying-20000-troops-u…
Pentagon Deploying 20,000 Troops Within The United States To Prepare For Civil Unrest In Event Of Economic Collapse

http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2011/08/11/martial-law-corporate-media-hints…
Martial Law: Corporate Media Hints At Military Plans To Take On The American People During Domestic Civil Unrest

http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2011/12/06/analyst-mobilizing-army-occupy-ec…
US Army Preparing To Crush #OccupyWallStreet

http://blog.alexanderhiggins.com/2012/02/29/house-passes-trespass-bill-protes…
House Passes “Trespass Bill” That Makes Protests Illegal

 

 

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Collapse Then Crackdown …

 

 

 

 

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Festo – AirJelly

 

http://www.festo.com/cms/en_corp/9771.htm – Gently floating through the air
The first indoor flying object with peristaltic propulsion. Based on the recoil principle, eight tentacles powered by an electric drive let the jellyfish float through the air.

 

 

 

 

[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

 

Colorado farms planning for dry spell losing auction bids for water to fracking projects

Front Range farmers bidding for water to grow crops through the coming hot summer and possible drought face new competition from oil and gas drillers. At Colorado’s premier auction for unallocated water this spring, companies that provide water for hydraulic fracturing at well sites were top bidders on supplies once claimed exclusively by farmers. The prospect of tussling with energy industry giants over water leaves some farmers and environmentalists uneasy.

Read Full Article Here

 

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Cyber Space

SOPA changes name to CISPA

Uploaded by RTAmerica on Apr 3, 2012

The latest attempt by Congress to try to regulate and control the Internet is no longer known as SOPA but CISPA: the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act. The SOPA-like bill would give companies the power to collect information on their subscribers and hand it over to the government and all they have to do is request it. Kendall Burman, senior national security fellow for the Center for Democracy and Technology, joins Liz Wahl to talk about what this means for online freedoms.

 

Data Mining You

How the Intelligence Community Is Creating a New American World

By Tom Engelhardt

I was out of the country only nine days, hardly a blink in time, but time enough, as it happened, for another small, airless room to be added to the American national security labyrinth. On March 22nd, Attorney General Eric Holder and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Jr. signed off on new guidelines allowing the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), a post-9/11 creation, to hold on to information about Americans in no way known to be connected to terrorism — about you and me, that is — for up to five years. (Its previous outer limit was 180 days.) This, Clapper claimed, “will enable NCTC to accomplish its mission more practically and effectively.”

Joseph K., that icon of single-lettered anonymity from Franz Kafka’s novel The Trial, would undoubtedly have felt right at home in Clapper’s Washington. George Orwell would surely have had a few pungent words to say about those anodyne words “practically and effectively,” not to speak of “mission.”

For most Americans, though, it was just life as we’ve known it since September 11, 2001, since we scared ourselves to death and accepted that just about anything goes, as long as it supposedly involves protecting us from terrorists. Basic information or misinformation, possibly about you, is to be stored away for five years — or until some other attorney general and director of national intelligence think it’s even more practical and effective to keep you on file for 10 years, 20 years, or until death do us part — and it hardly made a ripple.

If Americans were to hoist a flag designed for this moment, it might read “Tread on Me” and use that classic illustration of the boa constrictor swallowing an elephant from Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince. That, at least, would catch something of the absurdity of what the National Security Complex has decided to swallow of our American world.

Oh, and in those nine days abroad, a new word surfaced on my horizon, one just eerie and ugly enough for our new reality: yottabyte. Thank National Security Agency (NSA) expert James Bamford for that. He wrote a piece for Wired magazine on a super-secret, $2 billion, one-million-square-foot data center the NSA is building in Bluffdale, Utah. Focused on data mining and code-breaking and five times the size of the U.S. Capitol, it is expected to house information beyond compare, “including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails — parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital ‘pocket litter.’”

The NSA, adds Bamford, “has established listening posts throughout the nation to collect and sift through billions of email messages and phone calls, whether they originate within the country or overseas. It has created a supercomputer of almost unimaginable speed to look for patterns and unscramble codes. Finally, the agency has begun building a place to store all the trillions of words and thoughts and whispers captured in its electronic net.”

Which brings us to yottabyte — which is, Bamford assures us, equivalant to septillion bytes, a number “so large that no one has yet coined a term for the next higher magnitude.” The Utah center will be capable of storing a yottabyte or more of information (on your tax dollar).

Large as it is, that mega-project in Utah is just one of many sprouting like mushrooms in the sunless forest of the U.S. intelligence world. In cost, for example, it barely tops the $1.7 billion headquarters complex in Virginia that the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, with an estimated annual black budget of at least $5 billion, built for its 16,000 employees. Opened in 2011, it’s the third-largest federal building in the Washington area. (And I’ll bet you didn’t even know that your tax dollars paid for such an agency, no less its gleaming new headquarters.) Or what about the 33 post-9/11 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work that were under construction or had already been built when Washington Post reporters Dana Priest and William Arkin wrote their “Top Secret America” series back in 2010?

In these last years, while so many Americans were foreclosed upon or had their homes go “underwater” and the construction industry went to hell, the intelligence housing bubble just continued to grow. And there’s no sign that any of this seems abidingly strange to most Americans.

Read Full Article  Here

 

 

Teacher’s aide fired for refusing to hand over Facebook password

By Tecca

Kimberly Hester, a grade school teacher’s aide in Michigan, was fired for refusing to hand over her Facebook password to her supervisors. Hester posted a picture of a co-workers’ shoes and pants bunched around her ankles on Facebook in April 2011 with the caption, “Thinking of you.” She posted the picture in jest, but a parent [nutjob] who’s on her Facebook friend list saw the image and reported it to Frank Squires Elementary where Hester was employed, prompting the investigation. Teachers have gotten in trouble for Facebook status messages before, but in Hester’s case, it’s her refusal to hand over her password that actually got her fired.

Read Full Article Here

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Radiation

 

Camera that can ‘see’ radiation will assess danger levels at stricken Fukushima nuclear reactor

‘Super-wide Angle Compton Camera’ developed for X-ray observation satellite, ASTRO-H
Scan comes as radiation detected 370 miles from plant

By Ted Thornhill

There are still dangerously high radiation levels at Japan’s crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear reactor – but now the plant’s owner is able to see the normally invisible threat.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has created a prototype ‘Super-wide Angle Compton Camera’ capable of creating images of gamma ray-emitting radioactive particles.

This equipment is based on the gamma ray-observing sensor technology to be added to the agency’s next X-ray observation satellite, ASTRO-H.

It is expected to be able to create visual images of radioactive particles that have collected at high altitudes such as building roofs where it is difficult to conduct measurements with existing equipment.

It can also detect particles that have widely dispersed on the ground and residential houses.

Last month JAXA, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency and the plant’s owner, the Tokyo Electric Power Company conducted a successful field test of the camera at the Kusano area of Iitate village in Fukushima Prefecture.

Read Full Article Here

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Whistle Blowers

 

US Mercenary “Took Part” in Gaddafi Killing; Sent to Assist Syrian opposition

 

By: Yazan al-Saadi

 

US government officials requested that an American private security firm contact Syrian opposition figures in Turkey to see “how they can help in regime change,” the CEO of one of these firms told Stratfor in a company email obtained by WikiLeaks and Al-Akhbar.

James F. Smith, former director of Blackwater, is currently the Chief Executive of SCG International, a private security firm with experience in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. In what appears to be his first email to Stratfor, Smith stated that his “background is CIA” and his company is comprised of “former DOD [Department of Defense], CIA and former law enforcement personnel.”

“We provide services for those same groups in the form of training, security and information collection,” he explained to Stratfor. (doc-id 5441475)

In a 13 December 2011 email to Stratfor’s VP for counter-terrorism Fred Burton, which Burton shared with Stratfor’s briefers, Smith claimed that “[he] and Walid Phares were getting air cover from Congresswoman [Sue] Myrick to engage Syrian opposition in Turkey (non-MB and non-Qatari) on a fact finding mission for Congress.”

Walid Phares, named by the source as part of the “fact finding team,” is a Lebanese-American citizen and currently co-chairs Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Middle East advisory group.

In a profile of Walid Phares published in Salon, As’ad AbuKhalil details Phares’ history with right-wing militias during the Lebanese civil war.

Sue Myrick, who allegedly was providing “air cover” for the “fact finding team”, is a Republican Congresswoman from North Carolina who has a track record of extremist pro-zionist and anti-Islamic views.

These include leading the charge against Dubai Ports World’s attempt to buy major American ports in 2006 – labeling the Islamic Society of North America as a group of “radical jihadists” – and demanding that former President Jimmy Carter’s citizenship be revoked for daring to meet with Hamas leaders in 2008.

Currently, Myrick is a member of the United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, a congressional committee charged with overseeing the American intelligence community, and is also involved with the Department of Defense and the US military.

In his email, the “true mission” for the “fact finding” team, Smith told Burton, was how “they can help in regime change.”……..

Read Full Article Here

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Activism

 

When Bankers Rule the World

How we can call out the myths, restructure the banking system, shut down the con game, and take back America.

 

by David Korten

 

The tell-all defection of Greg Smith, a former Goldman Sachs executive, provided an insider’s view of the moral corruption of the Wall Street banks that control of much of America’s economy and politics. Smith confirms what insightful observers have known for years: the business purpose of Wall Street bankers is to maximize their personal financial take without regard to the consequences for others.
Wall Street’s World of Illusion

Why has the public for so long tolerated Wall Street’s reckless abuses of power and accepted the resulting devastation? The answer lies in a cultural trance induced by deceptive language and misleading indicators backed by flawed economic theory and accounting sleight-of-hand. To shatter the trance we need to recognize that the deception that Wall Street promotes through its well-funded PR machine rests on three false premises.

We best fulfill our individual moral obligation to society by maximizing our personal financial gain.
Money is wealth and making money increases the wealth of the society.
Making money is the proper purpose of the individual enterprise and is the proper measure of prosperity and economic performance.

Wall Street aggressively promotes these fallacies as guiding moral principles. Their embrace by Wall Street insiders helps to explain how they are able to reward themselves with obscene bonuses for their successful use of deception, fraud, speculation, and usury to steal wealth they have had no part in creating and yet still believe, as Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein famously proclaimed, that they are “doing God’s work.”

The devastation created by Wall Street’s failure affirms three truths that are the foundation on which millions of people are at work building a New Economy:

Our individual and collective well-being depends on acting with concern for the well-being of others. We all do better when we look out for one another.
Money is not wealth. It is just numbers. Sacrificing the health and happiness of billions of people to grow numbers on computer hard drives to improve one’s score on the Forbes Magazine list of the world’s richest people is immoral. Managing a society’s economy to facilitate this immoral competition at the expense of people and nature is an act of collective insanity.
The proper purpose of the economy and the enterprises that comprise it is to provide good jobs and quality goods and services beneficial to the health and happiness of people, community and nature. A modest financial profit is essential to a firm’s viability, but is not its proper purpose.

The critical distinction between making money and creating wealth is the key to seeing through Wall Street’s illusions……

David Korten (livingeconomiesforum.org) is the author of Agenda for a New Economy, The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, and the international best seller When Corporations Rule the World. He is board chair of YES! Magazine, co-chair of the New Economy Working Group, and a founding board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.

Read Full Article Here

 

 

Eyes on the Prize: MLK’s Lessons for Occupy

 

At the time of his death, Martin Luther King, Jr. was planning a campaign around economic injustice—including a mass encampment of poor people in Washington, D.C.

 

by Valerie Schloredt

 

When he was assassinated in April, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. had just begun “The Poor People’s Campaign.” This focus on economic injustice, which included plans for a mass encampment of poor people in Washington, D.C., was remarkably similar to that of today’s Occupy movement. The connection is clear to present-day activists Kazu Haga and Jonathan Lewis, who are promoting King’s philosophy of nonviolence to Occupy groups, both for moral guidance and practical strategy.

Both studied “Kingian” nonviolence with Dr. Barnard Lafayette, a civil rights organizer and an associate of King’s in the 1960s. “Kingian nonviolence,” or nonviolence as it was defined by King, is the focus of a training program Lafayette developed with David Jehnsen to institutionalize King’s philosophy at all levels of society. The training’s pay-it-forward ethos encourages participants to spread the word by becoming Kingian nonviolence trainers themselves.

Lewis and Haga have been carrying their own training forward by teaching nonviolence strategies in jails, community groups, and to groups of at-risk youth. They were also involved with Occupy Oakland, where they organized Kingian nonviolence workshops in response to concerns over confrontations between police and protesters. Haga and Lewis spoke to YES! Magazine about the relevance of King’s nonviolence to embattled communities, and the Occupy movement.

Valerie Schloredt: Your work is based on the philosophy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the civil rights movement. I can’t imagine any better legacy for movements in the United States. Sometimes it seems that King is praised, without a meaningful understanding of his beliefs.

Kingian nonviolence workshop, photo courtesy Kazu Haga

Kazu Haga at the Seattle Kingian nonviolence workshop. March 2012

Photo courtesy Kazu Haga

Kazu Haga: We do him, and ourselves, a disservice by not looking into that. Everything he said is so applicable today.

Jonathan Lewis: In his last speech, down in Memphis, he talks about taking your money out of the corporate banks, and into smaller banks.

Haga: We forget about how much of a radical he was. He called America “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world,” and he was calling for an encampment in Washington, D.C. to shut down the city. We forget all that.

Schloredt: It seems very appropriate to be talking about King’s nonviolence right now, when there is great concern over the police response to the case of Trayvon Martin. You work with young people in communities that don’t always get fair treatment by law enforcement. How do you relate King’s nonviolence to that sort of injustice?

Lewis: One thing that Dr. Lafayette tells us about the [civil rights] movement is that it was always about the future. The struggles, the sacrifices, the actions—they aren’t to benefit the present population as much as to prevent future populations from having to deal with the same type of suffering that we’re going through.

Society right now takes out aggression on people. Blaming the folks for their behavior, and whatever it is that’s happening in the world. In contrast, we try to put our compassion towards the people, and we put our aggression towards the conditions. It sounds corny. When I first got started, “keep your eyes on the prize” didn’t mean much to me. But it really is all about that.

Valerie Schloredt wrote this article for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions. Valerie is associate editor at YES!

Read Full Article Here

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Survival  / Sustainability

 

Just In Time: When the Trucks Stop, America Will Stop (With Immediate and Catastrophic Consequences)

Most Americans take for granted the intricate systems that make it possible for us to engage in seemingly mundane day to day tasks like filling up our gas tanks, loading up our shopping carts at the local grocery store, obtaining necessary medications, and even pouring ourselves a clean glass of water. When we wake up each morning we just expect that all of these things will work today the same way they worked yesterday. Very few have considered the complexity involved in the underlying infrastructure that keeps goods, services and commerce in America flowing. Fewer still have ever spent the time to contemplate the fragility of these systems or the consequences on food, water, health care, the financial system, and the economy if they are interrupted.

A report prepared for legislators and business leaders by the American Trucking Associations highlights just how critical our just-in-time inventory and delivery systems are, and assesses the impact on the general population in the event of an emergency or incident of national significance that disrupts the truck transportation systems which are responsible for carrying some ten billion tons of commodities and supplies across the United States each year.

A shut down of truck operations as a result of elevated threat levels, terrorist attacks, or pandemics would, according to the report, have “a swift and devastating impact on the food, healthcare, transportation, waste removal, retail, manufacturing, and financial sectors.”

So too would events such as an EMP attack or a coordinated cyber-attack that could shut down global positioning systems and the computers responsible for inventory control. Another potential scenario that is more likely now than ever before is liquidity problems within the financial system stemming from currency crisis or hyperinflation. All of our just-in-time delivery systems are built upon the unhindered transfer of money and credit, but when credit flow becomes restricted or money becomes worthless, no one will be able to pay for their goods. Likewise, no one will trust the credit worthiness of anyone else. This is exactly the scenario playing out in Greece right now and the consequences on the health care industry in that country have left many without life saving drugs. When there’s no money, no one will be transporting anything.

The effects of a transportation shutdown for any reason would be immediate (in some cases, within hours) and absolutely catastrophic.

Excerpted from the American Truckers Associations report

Food

Significant shortages will occur in as little as three days, especially for perishable items following a national emergency and a ban on truck traffic.
Consumer fear and panic will exacerbate shortages. News of a truck stoppage—whether on the local level, state or regional level, or nationwide—will spur hoarding and drastic increases in consumer purchases of essential goods. Shortages will materialize quickly and could lead to civil unrest. (We’re seeing this in the UK right now)

Read Full Article Here

Rethinking Water: Greywater Guerrillas Workshop

Uploaded by on Mar 14, 2008

We had the privilege of attending a very hands on greywater workshop courtesy of The Greywater Guerrillas, a local Bay Area crew of experts who are passionate about teaching folks to use their water (twice) wisely. Greywater is water that has been used once in your home and only contains a little soap, dirt (from laundry or skin) or kitchen particles like food or grease. Unlike blackwater, which is water that has touched excrement, like toilet water, greywater is safe to use in watering your garden. As Laura Allen, co-editor of the book Dam Nation: Dispatches from the Water Underground, and our amazing instructor points out in this video: You don’t want to put the greywater onto the part of the plant that you’re going to eat…if you get the water going into the ground, there are no more health risks than would be [if you are] going out and eating dirt from your garden. So you want to get the greywater into the ground soaking down to irrigate the roots of your plants.

We were able to do just this in home owner Tara Hui’s backyard. We replaced her kitchen sink pipe with a 3 way valve giving her the choice to send her sink water back to the sewer or out to the greywater system of pipes and mulch basins surrounding four fruit trees. The system was relatively simple and inexpensive. Total price was $200 for all new pipes which included a $60 top of the line 3 way valve, a bunch of 2 way splitters and under a hundred feet of piping. If you live close to a salvage yard or are savvy on Freecycle or Craigslist you can get these materials for way cheaper or even free.

Laura touches on some of the legality of systems like this: California has a greywater code so greywater theoretically is legal…some states have no code so greywater is not legal. In California, you have the potential to do greywater…that said, the code that’s written down for greywater is very, very wasteful, it’s very bad, most people don’t follow it. In California most people have unpermitted systems which are…technically illegal, just as building anything unpermitted is technically illegal.

There are a few states, like Arizona, that encourage safe and resourceful greywater systems like the one we built here. So find out what your state allows before cutting into your pipes. But if you’re like these Californians and your state codes are no good, you’ll want to find some greywater experts to consult and keep in touch with to help change the codes for better.

 

 

[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.]