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9/19/2013  Climate Report Struggles With Temperature Quirks
Scientists working on a landmark U.N. report on climate change are struggling over how to address a wrinkle in the meteorological data that has given ammunition to global-warming skeptics: The heating of Earth's surface appears to have slowed in the past 15 years even though greenhouse gas emissions keep rising. For years, skeptics have touted what looks like a slowdown in surface warming since 1998 to cast doubt on the scientific consensus that humans are cooking the planet by burning coal, oil and natural gas. Scientists and statisticians have dismissed the purported slowdown as a statistical mirage, arguing among other things that it reflects random climate fluctuations and an unusually hot year picked as the starting point for charting temperatures. They also say the data suggests the "missing" heat is simply settling temporarily in the ocean. But as scientists study the issue, the notion of a slowdown has gained more mainstream attention, putting pressure on the authors of the new U.N. report to deal with it. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is expected to assert that global warming is continuing. It is also expected to affirm with greater certainty than ever before the link between global warming and human activity.
(Associated Press)
posted: 9/22/13                   0       14
#201 



9/19/2013  Confirmed: Navy Yard Shooter Was On Anti-Depressant Trazodone -- Drug linked to previous mass shooting despite Washington Post declaring it "safe"
It has been confirmed that Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis was on the anti-depressant drug Trazodone, providing yet another example of a connection between psychiatric drugs and mass shootings. In verifying that Alexis was prescribed Trazodone by the Veterans Affairs Office, the Washington Post published a brief article downplaying the danger of the drug, quoting Miami physician Gabriela Cora who stated (almost too eagerly), Honestly, its a very safe drug to use. However, the drug has been linked to a number of murders, including one mass shooting. Trazodone is sold under the brand names Desyrel, Oleptro, Beneficat, Deprax, Desirel, Molipaxin, Thombran, Trazorel, Trialodine, Trittico, and Mesyrel. Although not strictly a member of the SSRI class of antidepressants, it shares many of the same properties and also serves to increases the amount of serotonin in the brain. Despite the Washington Posts attempts to portray the drug as being safe, it is linked with a whole host of side-effects including suicidal tendencies, panic attacks, depersonalization and anger. Symptoms of Trazodone withdrawal include aggression and violent behavior.
(Prison Planet)
posted: 9/21/13                   0       14
#202 



9/19/2013  Radios failed during Navy Yard attack, emergency responders say
Radios for federal firefighters and police officers failed during Mondays mass shooting at Washingtons Navy Yard, according to union representatives for first responders. Union officials said police and firefighters resorted to using their cellphones and radios from D.C.s emergency responders to communicate with each other during the attack. Anthony Meely, chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police Naval District Washington (NDW) Labor Committee, said police officers who were first on the scene at the Navy Yard had trouble communicating with others in the force via their radios. Initially, officers found that their radios were working. But as they ventured deeper into the building where the shooting took place, their equipment stopped functioning. After the first shootout with the gunman, one officer found his radios battery was dead, while another officer could not receive a signal from his radio and was unable to call for help. That forced them to use an officers cellphone to call others outside the building, according to Meely.
(The Hill)
posted: 9/22/13                   0       13
#203 



9/18/2013  Aaron Alexis Carved 'My ELF Weapon' on the Stock of his Shotgun -- Were ELF waves used to trigger Aaron Alexis to go on a rampage?
Officials involved in the investigation of the Navy Yard shooting, have come forward with new insights on the weapon that was used in the shooting. Alexis had carved the words My ELF weapon on his Remington 870-Express-Tactical shotgun. ELF stands for extremely low frequency, and usually refers to communications or weather.[1] For those who are familiar with this technology, it is well understood that this is used in programs such as H.A.A.R.P. It has also been reported by several government whistle blowers, and even political activists that they suspected a ELF weapon was being used on them. The report about the carvings is most interesting, because it seems to confirm the claim made by Alexis that 3 men were following him using an ELF weapon while he was in his hotel room. He even filed a report to the Newport, Rhode Island Police stating these claims. Aaron stated he had to change his hotel 3 different times because these people were using the microwave machine on him.
(IntelliHub)
posted: 9/22/13                   0       13
#204 



9/18/2013  Navy Yard shooter was on Antidepressant TrazodoneHow many more drug induced shootings until lawmakers wake up?
It took less than 48 hours to learn that Washington Navy Yard shooter, Aaron Alexis, is another in a long line of psychiatric drug-induced perpetrators. The New York Times has reported that while in Providence Rhode Island on August 23, 2013, and again, five days later, in Washington, D.C., Alexis had been prescribed Trazodone, an antidepressant that carries an FDA black box warning for suicide, and is documented to cause mania and violent behavior. Now, twelve innocent people (plus the shooter) are dead at the Washington Navy Yard. Yes, these senseless deaths are sad, tragic, and incomprehensible. And it is time to point the finger at those who are responsible. Because lawmakers, both at the state and federal level, refuse to address the enormous amount of information revealing the connection between violence and prescription psychiatric drugs, mass shootings, like the massacre which occurred at the Washington Navy Yard, will continue. Despite 22 international drug regulatory warnings on psychiatric drugs citing effects of mania, hostility, violence and even homicidal ideation, and dozens of high profile shootings/killings tied to psychiatric drug use, there has yet to be a federal investigation on the link between psychiatric drugs and acts of senseless violence.
(Citizens Commission on Human Rights International)
posted: 9/21/13                   0       16
#205 



9/18/2013  Navy Yard: Swat team 'stood down' at mass shooting scene
One of the first teams of heavily armed police to respond to Monday's shooting in Washington DC was ordered to stand down by superiors, the BBC can reveal. A tactical response team of the Capitol Police, a force that guards the US Capitol complex, was told to leave the scene by a supervisor instead of aiding municipal officers. The Capitol Police department has launched a review into the matter. Aaron Alexis, 34, killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard. "I don't think it's a far stretch to say that some lives may have been saved if we were allowed to intervene," a Capitol Police source familiar with the incident told the BBC.
(BBC)
posted: 9/21/13                   0       12
#206 
keywords: Aaron Alexis, Cathleen Alexis, Chuck Hagel, Gun Control, Gwendolyn Crump, Health Care, Jim Konczos, Kim Dine, Kimberly Schneider, Michael Stenger, Msnbc, Pentagon, Police, Terrorists, Terry Gainer, US Congress, US Department Of Defense, US Navy, US Secret Service, United States, Washington DC, Washington Navy Yard Add New Keyword To Link



9/18/2013  Trazodone antidepressant, used by Aaron Alexis, described as 'very safe'
Trazodone, the drug that officials say Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis was prescribed by Veterans Affairs, is a a generic antidepressant that is seldom used anymore to treat depression but is widely prescribed for insomnia, experts said. We use Trazodone to help people sleep, said Gabriela Cora, a physician and longtime practicing psychiatrist in Miami. The drug is considered safer than many other widely prescribed sleep medicines because it doesnt cause addiction and doesnt require increased dosing over time, said Cora, a former researcher on mood and anxiety disorders at the National Institutes of Health.
(Washington Post)
posted: 9/21/13                   0       12
#207 



9/17/2013  THE FUTURE OF EMPLOYMENT: HOW SUSCEPTIBLE ARE JOBS TO COMPUTERISATION?
Abstract: We examine how susceptible jobs are to computerisation. To as-sess this, we begin by implementing a novel methodology to estimate the probability of computerisation for 702 detailed occupations, using a Gaussian process classifier. Based on these estimates, we examine expected impacts of future computerisation on US labour market outcomes, with the primary objective of analysing the number of jobs at risk and the relationship between an occupations probability of computerisation, wages and educational attainment. According to our estimates, about 47 percent of total US employment is at risk. We further provide evidence that wages and educational attainment exhibit a strong negative relation- ship with an occupations probability of computerisation. Keywords:Occupational Choice, Technological Change, Wage Inequality, Employment, Skill Demand
(Oxford University)
posted: 10/7/13                   0       7
#208 
keywords: Airports, Alternative Energy, Amazon.com, Apple, Art, Artificial Intelligence, Australia, Beijing, Big Oil, California, Cancer, China, DNA, David Cope, Doha, Education, El Dulze, Eli Whitney, Financial Crisis, Ford Motor, Foxconn, Future Advisor, GPS, General Electric, General Motors, Glorious Revolution, Google, Health Care, IBM, Industrial Revolution, Intelligence, International Federation Of Robotics, Internet, Israel, Japan, John Maynard Keynes, Kiva Systems, Lidar, Loebner Prize, Massive Open Online courses, Mcafee, Memorial Sloan-kettering Cancer Center, Nevada, Nissan, O*net, Oxford University, Police, Privacy, Queen Elizabeth I, Rio Tinto, Riots, Robotics, Smartaction, Spain, Symantec, So Paulo, Toyota, Turing Test, UK Parliament, US Bureau Of Labor Statistics, US Department Of Labor, United Kingdom, United Nations, United States, Wall Street, Water, William Lee Add New Keyword To Link



9/17/2013  USDA will not take action in case of GMO alfalfa contamination
The detection of a small amount of genetically modified material in a Washington state farmer's non-GMO alfalfa crop constitutes a "commercial issue" only and does not warrant any government action, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Tuesday. The Washington state farmer had complained in late August to state agricultural officials that his alfalfa hay had been rejected for export sale because of the presence of a genetically modified trait that makes the crop resistant to herbicide. The event triggered a wave of concern from consumer and agricultural groups who have fought the government for nearly a decade to keep biotech alfalfa from contaminating conventional and organic supplies.
(Reuters)
posted: 9/23/13                   0       13
#209 
keywords: Alfalfa, Genetically Modified Organisms, George Kimbrell, Monsanto, Stephanie Greene, The Center For Food Safety, US Department Of Agriculture, United States, Washington Add New Keyword To Link



9/16/2013  Aaron Alexis Had 'Secret Clearance,' Employer Says About Washington Navy Yard Suspect
Aaron Alexis, the 34-year-old suspect in Monday's shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, had "secret" clearance and was assigned to start working there as a civilian contractor with a military-issued ID card, his firm's chief executive told Reuters. "He did have a secret clearance. And he did have a CAC (common access card)," said Thomas Hoshko, CEO of The Experts Inc, which was helping service the Navy Marine Corps Intranet as a subcontractor for HP Enterprise Services, part of Hewlett-Packard Co. Alexis, of Forth Worth, Texas, is suspected of opening fire at the Naval Sea Systems Command building in the Washington Navy Yard in a shooting that left 13 people dead, including the shooter.
(Reuters)
posted: 9/21/13                   0       11
#210 



9/16/2013  DHS internal report: Navy Yard shooting has 'no known connection to terrorism'
[Metropolitan Police are] responding to reports of shots fired at the Washington Navy Yard Base, the DHS report reads. The Base in [sic] on lockdown. It remains an active scene and the subject is not in custody. Multiple units responding including SWAT unit at this time. Subject allegedly has multiple weapons. 3 victims at this time. Shots were reported to be fired in Building 197, the cafeteria, on the base. Additional street closures include the 11th St Bridge and M Street are closed between 2nd and 4th Streets,SE. All outbound flights out of DCA are on hold by FAA as a result of this incident.
(The Daily Caller)
posted: 9/22/13                   0       11
#211 



9/16/2013  DNA Double Take
From biology class to "C.S.I.," we are told again and again that our genome is at the heart of our identity. Read the sequences in the chromosomes of a single cell, and learn everything about a persons genetic information or, as 23andme, a prominent genetic testing company, says on its Web site, "The more you know about your DNA, the more you know about yourself." But scientists are discovering that to a surprising degree we contain genetic multitudes. Not long ago, researchers had thought it was rare for the cells in a single healthy person to differ genetically in a significant way. But scientists are finding that its quite common for an individual to have multiple genomes. Some people, for example, have groups of cells with mutations that are not found in the rest of the body. Some have genomes that came from other people. "There have been whispers in the matrix about this for years, even decades, but only in a very hypothetical sense," said Alexander Urban, a geneticist at Stanford University. Even three years ago, suggesting that there was widespread genetic variation in a single body would have been met with skepticism, he said. "You would have just run against the wall."
(New York Times)
posted: 9/27/13                   0       11
#212 
keywords: Alexander Urban, American Journal Of Medical Genetics, Austria, Baylor University, Boston, Canada, Cancer, Children's Hospital, Christopher Walsh, DNA, Dana-farber Cancer Institute, Erasmus University, Eugen Dhimolea, Health Care, Innsbruck Medical University, James Lupski, Linda Randolph, Los Angeles, Manfred Kayser, Michael Snyder, Nancy Spinner, Nature (journal), Police, Rotterdam, Science (journal), Sexual Abuse, Stanford University, The International Journal Of Cancer, United States, University Of Pennsylvania, Washington Add New Keyword To Link



9/16/2013  IPCC models getting mushy
In the next five years, the global warming paradigm may fall apart if the models prove worthless There has been a lot of talk lately about the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, and whether it will take into account the lack of warming since the 1990s. Everything you need to know about the dilemma the IPCC faces is summed up in one remarkable graph. IPCC IPCCThe above graphic is Figure 1.4 from Chapter 1 of a draft of the Fifth Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The initials at the top represent the First Assessment Report (FAR) in 1990, the Second (SAR) in 1995. Shaded banks show range of predictions from each of the four climate models used for all four reports since 1990. That last report, AR4, was issued in 2007. Model runs after 1992 were tuned to track temporary cooling due to the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption in The Philippines. The black squares, show with uncertainty bars, measure the observed average surface temperatures over the same interval. The range of model runs is syndicated by the vertical bars. The light grey area above and below is not part of the model prediction range. The final version of the new IPCC report, AR5, will be issued later this month.
(Financial Post)
posted: 10/7/13                   0       7
#213 



9/15/2013  Former NSA and CIA director says terrorists love using Gmail
Former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden stood on the pulpit of a church across from the White House on Sunday and declared Gmail the preferred online service of terrorists. As part of an adult education forum at St. Johns Episcopal Church, Hayden gave a wide ranging speech on "the tension between security and liberty." During the speech, he specifically defended Section 702 of the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act (FISA), which provides the legal basis for the PRISM program. In doing so, Hayden claimed "Gmail is the preferred Internet service provider of terrorists worldwide," presumably meaning online service rather than the actual provider of Internet service. He added: "I don't think you're going to see that in a Google commercial, but it's free, it's ubiquitous, so of course it is." - At one point, Hayden expressed a distaste for online anonymity, saying "The problem I have with the Internet is that it's anonymous." But he noted, there is a struggle over that issue even inside government. The issue came to a head during the Arab Spring movement when the State Department was funding technology to protect the anonymity of activists so governments could not track down or repress their voices. "We have a very difficult time with this," Hayden said. He then asked, "is our vision of the World Wide Web the global digital commons -- at this point you should see butterflies flying here and soft background meadow-like music -- or a global free fire zone?" Given that Hayden also compared the Internet to the wild west and Somalia, Hayden clearly leans toward the "global free fire zone" vision of the Internet.
(Washington Post)
posted: 9/23/13                   0       11
#214 



9/15/2013  Withdrawing Consent Means More Than It May Seem
Withdrawing consent to the state means more than this innocuous phrase may suggest. To withdraw consent is far-reaching. It means a divorce from the state insofar as this is possible. It means having no loyalty to the state, seeing the state as fundamentally unfair and a source of continual injustices, being unwilling to help the state in any way, assuming and feeling no responsibility for the states actions, and seeing the state as hostile to peace and society. It means not participating in its rituals and having no appreciation of its symbols or myths. It means a psychological divorce from feeling positive about or approving of its victories. It means working toward the states opposite, that is, living together in freedom, friendship, comity and peace, i.e., in society. It means no longer thinking of oneself as a citizen, and not believing that as a citizen one has obligations toward the state or other citizens. Withdrawing consent from the state means not looking upon oneself as owning the state or influencing its activities or doing a sort of duty for the state. It means viewing the state as a nuisance. It means abandoning all forms of patriotism directed at the state and adherence to its symbols, parades, flags, pledges, songs, anthems and monuments. It means no veneration of any political figure, past, present or future. It means no veneration of the Constitution. It means as much as possible avoiding all interactions with government.
(Lew Rockwell)
posted: 9/23/13                   0       9
#215 
keywords: Military, Natural Law, US Constitution, United States Add New Keyword To Link



9/14/2013  World's top climate scientists confess: Global warming is just QUARTER what we thought -- and computers got the effects of greenhouse gases wrong
Leaked report reveals the world has warmed at quarter the rate claimed by IPCC in 2007 -- Scientists accept their computers may have exaggerated - A leaked copy of the worlds most authoritative climate study reveals scientific forecasts of imminent doom were drastically wrong. The Mail on Sunday has obtained the final draft of a report to be published later this month by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the ultimate watchdog whose massive, six-yearly assessments are accepted by environmentalists, politicians and experts as the gospel of climate science. They are cited worldwide to justify swingeing fossil fuel taxes and subsidies for renewable energy. Yet the leaked report makes the extraordinary concession that over the past 15 years, recorded world temperatures have increased at only a quarter of the rate of IPCC claimed when it published its last assessment in 2007. Back then, it said observed warming over the 15 years from 1990-2005 had taken place at a rate of 0.2C per decade, and it predicted this would continue for the following 20 years, on the basis of forecasts made by computer climate models. But the new report says the observed warming over the more recent 15 years to 2012 was just 0.05C per decade - below almost all computer predictions. The 31-page summary for policymakers is based on a more technical 2,000-page analysis which will be issued at the same time. It also surprisingly reveals: IPCC scientists accept their forecast computers may have exaggerated the effect of increased carbon emissions on world temperatures and not taken enough notice of natural variability.
(UK Daily Mail)
posted: 10/7/13                   0       6
#216 



9/12/2013  Tri-City hockey crowds to be taped for U.S. security research
Hockey fans at the season opener of the Tri-City Americans will have a chance to help the U.S. Department of Homeland Security improve its facial recognition capabilities. Video will be taped by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory at the Sept. 21 game in a portion of the Toyota Center in Kennewick. It is planned to be used by the U.S. government to test the capabilities of facial recognition software that is available or in the prototype stage. Eventually, state-of-the-art facial recognition technologies could be used to identify terrorists and criminals in public areas, according to the national lab in Richland. The Department of Homeland Securitys Science and Technology Directorate works to make technology available to agencies ranging from local police offices to the U.S. Border Patrol, Transportation Security Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
(Tri-City Herald)
posted: 9/23/13                   0       9
#217 



9/11/2013  A Plea for Caution From Russia -- What Putin Has to Say to Americans About Syria
RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies. Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization the United Nations was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again. The United Nations founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with Americas consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades. No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization. The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syrias borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.
(New York Times)
posted: 9/14/13                   0       14
#218 



9/11/2013  Group Of Engineers Believe Controlled Detonations Took Down World Trade Center
There's been a growing movement led by some architects and engineers to take a second look at the collapse of the New York City skyscrapers in the attacks on September 11th 2001. "Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth" focuses primarily on Building 7 of the World Trade Center. Not many people know that a third building fell on 9-11. Tony Szambotti is a mechanical engineer from Blackwood, New Jersey. He says the 47 story skyscraper was not hit by a planeyet collapsed into its own footprint at 5:20 in the afternoon. "It's in absolute freefall. Theres no resistance to it for the first 2.25 seconds and then it slows down a little bit," Szambotti said. "The actual measurements are somewhere around 6.6 to 7 seconds for that 610 foot building to collapse completely to the ground."
(CBS)
posted: 9/21/13                   0       12
#219 
keywords: 9/11, False Flag, New York City, Tony Szambotti, United States, World Trade Center, Wtc 7 Add New Keyword To Link



9/11/2013  House Republicans Push To Include Monsanto Protection Act In New Spending Bill
House Republicans will include an extension of the so-called Monsanto Protection Act in the spending bill designed to avert a government shutdown, according to text of the legislation released Wednesday by House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.). The Monsanto measure was originally enacted into law in March by being slipped into the previous spending resolution, which is now set to expire. Since its quiet passage, the Monsanto Protection Act has become a target of intense opposition. Monsanto is a global seed and herbicide company that specializes in genetically modified crops. The law effectively prevents judges from placing injunctions on genetically modified seeds even if they are deemed unsafe. Monsanto has argued that it is unfair to single out the company in the nickname for the law, which is officially known as the Farmer Assurance Provision, when other major agribusiness players also support it. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) has waged a campaign against the measure and told HuffPost he plans to fight its reenactment. "The proposed House continuing resolution includes an extension of the Monsanto Protection Act, a secret rider slipped into a must-pass spending bill earlier this year," Merkley said. "I will fight the House's efforts to extend this special interest loophole that nullifies court orders that are protecting farmers, the environment, and public health." Colin ONeil, a lobbyist for the Center for Food Safety, said in a statement, "It is extremely disappointing to see the damaging 'Monsanto Protection Act' policy rider extended in the House spending bill. Hundreds of thousands of Americans called their elected officials to voice their frustration and disappointment over the inclusion of the 'Monsanto Protection Act' this past spring. Its inclusion is a slap in the face to the American public and our justice system."
(Huffington Post)
posted: 12/10/13                   0       0
#220 



9/9/2013  U.N. rights team aims to probe chemical weapons in Syria: del Ponte
U.N. human rights investigators hope to get into Syria soon to try to find out who carried out apparent chemical attacks and other war crimes, Carla del Ponte, of the U.N. commission of inquiry on Syria, said on Monday. Del Ponte gave no time frame for a visit but said that the team was in touch with U.N. chemical weapons inspectors and awaited their findings from the scene of an August 21 poison gas attack. She said the rights team's work would continue whether or not the United States carried out mooted punitive military strikes against the Syrian government over the attack. "We are in touch with Syrian authorities to enter and we are on the right track," she told the Swiss Press Club in Geneva. U.N. human rights officials declined to comment on how any air strike might affect a possible visit, but stressed the need for conditions to be right for the team to conduct their work. The commission's confidential list of suspected Syrian war criminals was "getting longer", she said, but gave no details. Del Ponte said Syria had sent a "positive signal" by letting U.N. chemical arms inspectors go to Damascus to collect samples in suburbs allegedly attacked with toxic substances on August 21, which are now being analyzed in European laboratories. The arms inspectors were not mandated to apportion blame for the attack. That would be the job of the human rights investigators, said del Ponte, a former U.N. war crimes prosecutor. The Geneva-based team has more than 20 experts, some of them specialists in military and ballistics issues.
(Reuters)
posted: 9/23/13                   0       9
#221 



9/9/2013  U.S. Attorneys Say Marijuana Memo Won't Affect Their Anti-Pot Work
In my Forbes column last week, I cited reasons to doubt the Justice Department's newfound respect for state marijuana lawsin particular, its fork-tongued record on medical marijuana. Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority notes several recent comments from U.S. attorneys that reinforce the case for skepticism. The gist of their reaction to Deputy Attorney General James Cole's August 29 memo, which was widely interpreted as a green light for legalization in Colorado and Washington, is that they plan to proceed pretty much as before. Here is what a spokeswoman for Melinda Haag, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, had to say (emphasis added here and later): The office is evaluating the new guidelines and for the most part it appears that the cases that have been brought in this district are already in compliance with the guidelines. Therefore, we do not expect a significant change. That is pretty telling, since Haag's crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries has been one of the most aggressive in the country, featuring the closure of city-supported outlets in San Francisco and a forfeiture action aimed at shutting down Oakland's Harborside Health Center, the state's largest dispensary. In a February 2011 letter to Oakland's city attorney, Haag declared, "We will enforce the [Controlled Substances Act] vigorously against individuals and organizations that participate in unlawful manufacturing and distribution activity involving marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law."
(Reason)
posted: 9/23/13                   0       10
#222 



9/8/2013  Science confirms: Politics wrecks your ability to do math
Everybody knows that our political views can sometimes get in the way of thinking clearly. But perhaps we dont realize how bad the problem actually is. According to a new psychology paper, our political passions can even undermine our very basic reasoning skills. More specifically, the study finds that people who are otherwise very good at math may totally flunk a problem that they would otherwise probably be able to solve, simply because giving the right answer goes against their political beliefs. The study, by Yale law professor Dan Kahan and his colleagues, has an ingenious design. At the outset, 1,111 study participants were asked about their political views and also asked a series of questions designed to gauge their numeracy, that is, their mathematical reasoning ability. Participants were then asked to solve a fairly difficult problem that involved interpreting the results of a (fake) scientific study. But here was the trick: While the fake study data that they were supposed to assess remained the same, sometimes the study was described as measuring the effectiveness of a new cream for treating skin rashes. But in other cases, the study was described as involving the effectiveness of a law banning private citizens from carrying concealed handguns in public. The result? Survey respondents performed wildly differently on what was in essence the same basic problem, simply depending upon whether they had been told that it involved guns or whether they had been told that it involved a new skin cream. Whats more, it turns out that highly numerate liberals and conservatives were even more not less susceptible to letting politics skew their reasoning than were those with less mathematical ability.
(grist)
posted: 10/7/13                   0       6
#223 



9/7/2013  Obama administration had restrictions on NSA reversed in 2011
The Obama administration secretly won permission from a surveillance court in 2011 to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agencys use of intercepted phone calls and e-mails, permitting the agency to search deliberately for Americans communications in its massive databases, according to interviews with government officials and recently declassified material. In addition, the court extended the length of time that the NSA is allowed to retain intercepted U.S. communications from five years to six years and more under special circumstances, according to the documents, which include a recently released 2011 opinion by U.S. District Judge John D. Bates, then chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. What had not been previously acknowledged is that the court in 2008 imposed an explicit ban at the governments request on those kinds of searches, that officials in 2011 got the court to lift the bar and that the search authority has been used. Together the permission to search and to keep data longer expanded the NSAs authority in significant ways without public debate or any specific authority from Congress. The administrations assurances rely on legalistic definitions of the term target that can be at odds with ordinary English usage. The enlarged authority is part of a fundamental shift in the governments approach to surveillance: collecting first, and protecting Americans privacy later.
(Washington Post)
posted: 9/9/13                   0       16
#224 



9/5/2013  Kerry portrait of Syria rebels at odds with intelligence reports
Secretary of State John Kerry's public assertions that moderate Syrian opposition groups are growing in influence appear to be at odds with estimates by U.S. and European intelligence sources and nongovernmental experts, who say Islamic extremists remain by far the fiercest and best-organized rebel elements. At congressional hearings this week, while making the case for President Barack Obama's plan for limited military action in Syria, Kerry asserted that the armed opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad "has increasingly become more defined by its moderation, more defined by the breadth of its membership, and more defined by its adherence to some, you know, democratic process and to an all-inclusive, minority-protecting constitution. "And the opposition is getting stronger by the day," Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday.
(Reuters)
posted: 9/9/13                   0       15
#225 



9/5/2013  The US government has betrayed the internet. We need to take it back
The NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract. We engineers built the internet -- and now we have to fix it - Government and industry have betrayed the internet, and us. By subverting the internet at every level to make it a vast, multi-layered and robust surveillance platform, the NSA has undermined a fundamental social contract. The companies that build and manage our internet infrastructure, the companies that create and sell us our hardware and software, or the companies that host our data: we can no longer trust them to be ethical internet stewards. This is not the internet the world needs, or the internet its creators envisioned. We need to take it back. And by we, I mean the engineering community. Yes, this is primarily a political problem, a policy matter that requires political intervention. But this is also an engineering problem, and there are several things engineers can and should do. One, we should expose. If you do not have a security clearance, and if you have not received a National Security Letter, you are not bound by a federal confidentially requirements or a gag order. If you have been contacted by the NSA to subvert a product or protocol, you need to come forward with your story. Your employer obligations don't cover illegal or unethical activity. If you work with classified data and are truly brave, expose what you know. We need whistleblowers.
(London Guardian)
posted: 9/12/13                   0       14
#226 
keywords: Bruce Schneier, China, Government Transparency, International Telecommunications Union, Internet, Internet Engineering Task Force, Iran, National Security Agency, Privacy, Russia, United States, Vancouver, Whistleblowers Add New Keyword To Link



9/4/2013  Fukushima: From Bad to Worse
Bad news emerged from the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japans northeast this week as TEPCO-the Tokyo Electric Power Company that owns and operates the plant-admitted discovering four areas of high radiation near the storage tanks where radioactive water is being held. Although two of the hotspots had already been known, the latest results found that the radiation readings were 18 times higher than previously measured. Headlines in numerous mainstream publications have asserted this is an 1800% jump in radiation at the site, but in fact it may be much worse. The equipment that was used to test the hotspots previously was only capable of measuring up to 100 mSv/hour of radiation, and consequently registered the radioactive areas as being 100 mSv/hr. When equipment was brought in capable of reading up to 10,000 mSv/hour, it was discovered that the areas were actually emitting 1800 mSv/hour of radiation, a dose large enough to kill an exposed human in four hours. It has since risen to a record 2200 mSv/hour. Japanese law limits radiation exposure for nuclear workers to 50 mSv/year. This is only the latest setback for the plant. Since May, levels of radioactive tritium in the seawater surrounding Fukushima have been steadily rising, reaching their highest readings yet in mid-August. Then late last month TEPCO admitted that a storage tank had leaked 300 tons of water that was emitting an unprecedented 80 million Becquerels of radiation per litre, compared to the norm of 150 Bq. Although the Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Authority originally classified the leak a Level One or anomalous event on the International Nuclear Event Scale, they were forced to immediately raise that to Level Three or serious radiation incident when the scale of the leak became apparent.
(Corbett Report)
posted: 9/23/13                   0       12
#227 
keywords: Alternative Media, Earthquakes, Fukushima, Japan, Japanese Nuclear Regulatory Authority, Nuclear Power Plants, Shunichi Tanaka, Tokyo Electric Power CO, Tritium, Tsunamis Add New Keyword To Link



9/4/2013  Ted Cruz: U.S. not 'Al Qaeda's air force'
Sen. Ted Cruz called President Barack Obamas efforts to authorize military intervention in Syria a public relations move, saying the U.S. military shouldnt be Al Qaedas air force. The Texas Republican said Tuesday on TheBlaze that while hes glad the president listened to calls from him and others to bring the issue to Congress, America shouldnt get involved and risk helping terrorists in the rebel forces. We certainly dont have a dog in the fight, Cruz said, calling it a civil war in Syria. We should be focused on defending the United States of America. Thats why young men and women sign up to join the military, not to, as you know, serve as Al Qaedas air force.
(Politico)
posted: 9/9/13                   0       14
#228 



9/3/2013  Forget the NSA; AT&T Helps DEA Collect even more Phone Call Details
As the Edward Snowden controversy has revealed, the National Security Agency (NSA) has been collecting enormous volumes of data regarding Americans communications. But it is another federal agency, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which has managed to access a trove of phone call information that reveals more details to government agents than what the NSA has gathered. With help from AT&T, the DEA has spent the past six years secretly and routinely accessing the companys database containing decades of records of Americans phone calls, The New York Times reported. Known as the Hemisphere Project, the government has paid AT&T to place its employees in drug-fighting units around the U.S., helping DEA agents and local police by supplying them with the phone data from as far back as 1987.
(AllGov)
posted: 9/12/13                   0       14
#229 



9/3/2013  Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government
Dan M. Kahan, Yale University, Law School; Harvard University, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics -- Ellen Peters, Ohio State University, Psychology Department; Decision Research; University of Oregon -- Erica Cantrell Dawson, Cornell University -- Paul Slovic, Decision Research; University of Oregon, Department of Psychology - Abstract: Why does public conflict over societal risks persist in the face of compelling and widely accessible scientific evidence? We conducted an experiment to probe two alternative answers: the Science Comprehension Thesis (SCT), which identifies defects in the publics knowledge and reasoning capacities as the source of such controversies; and the Identity-protective Cognition Thesis (ICT) which treats cultural conflict as disabling the faculties that members of the public use to make sense of decision-relevant science. In our experiment, we presented subjects with a difficult problem that turned on their ability to draw valid causal inferences from empirical data. As expected, subjects highest in Numeracy a measure of the ability and disposition to make use of quantitative information did substantially better than less numerate ones when the data were presented as results from a study of a new skin-rash treatment. Also as expected, subjects responses became politically polarized and even less accurate when the same data were presented as results from the study of a gun-control ban. But contrary to the prediction of SCT, such polarization did not abate among subjects highest in Numeracy; instead, it increased. This outcome supported ICT, which predicted that more Numerate subjects would use their quantitative-reasoning capacity selectively to conform their interpretation of the data to the result most consistent with their political outlooks. We discuss the theoretical and practical significance of these findings.
(Social Science Research Network)
posted: 10/7/13                   0       6
#230 
keywords: Cornell University, Dan Kahan, Ellen Peters, Erica Dawson, Gun Control, Harvard University, Ohio State University, United States, University Of Oregon, Yale University Add New Keyword To Link



8/29/2013  EXCLUSIVE: Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack -- Rebels and local residents in Ghouta accuse Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan of providing chemical weapons to an al-Qaida linked rebel group.
Dale Gavlak assisted in the research and writing process of this article, but was not on the ground in Syria. Reporter Yahya Ababneh, with whom the report was written in collaboration, was the correspondent on the ground in Ghouta who spoke directly with the rebels, their family members, victims of the chemical weapons attacks and local residents. Gavlak is a MintPress News Middle East correspondent who has been freelancing for the AP as a Amman, Jordan correspondent for nearly a decade. This report is not an Associated Press article; rather it is exclusive to MintPress News. Ghouta, Syria As the machinery for a U.S.-led military intervention in Syria gathers pace following last weeks chemical weapons attack, the U.S. and its allies may be targeting the wrong culprit. Interviews with people in Damascus and Ghouta, a suburb of the Syrian capital, where the humanitarian agency Doctors Without Borders said at least 355 people had died last week from what it believed to be a neurotoxic agent, appear to indicate as much. The U.S., Britain, and France as well as the Arab League have accused the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for carrying out the chemical weapons attack, which mainly targeted civilians. U.S. warships are stationed in the Mediterranean Sea to launch military strikes against Syria in punishment for carrying out a massive chemical weapons attack. The U.S. and others are not interested in examining any contrary evidence, with U.S Secretary of State John Kerry saying Monday that Assads guilt was a judgment already clear to the world.
(Mint Press News)
posted: 9/23/13                   0       10
#231 



8/29/2013  The rush to judgment on Syria is a catastrophic and deadly error -- Britain and America show contempt for the lessons of the past in pressing for action
It is more than 10 years since Parliament last voted on whether or not to go to war. This was on March 18 2003, when a stirring speech by Tony Blair convinced many sceptical MPs of the case for military action against Iraq. But Mr Blairs claim that Britain possessed extensive, detailed and authoritative evidence concerning Iraqs weapons of mass destruction turned out to be nonsense, and we invaded the country on the back of a false prospectus. The consequences were terrible: countless Iraqis were killed in the civil war that followed, along with 179 British soldiers. The similarities with todays Commons vote are haunting. The Prime Minister is contemplating an attack on Iraqs near neighbour Syria, also ruled by a Baathist regime. At the heart of the issue are allegations about weapons of mass destruction. Once again, Britain finds herself in alliance with the United States, and without the authority of the United Nations. Many of the same voices are cheering us on. Most zealous of all is Tony Blair, while Alastair Campbell, the New Labour propagandist who spread the stories about WMD in Iraq, said yesterday that it would be irresponsible and incredibly dangerous not to intervene in Syria.
(London Telegraph)
posted: 9/23/13                   0       9
#232 



8/22/2013  The Program (video)
It took me a few days to work up the nerve to phone William Binney. As someone already a target of the United States government, I found it difficult not to worry about the chain of unintended consequences I might unleash by calling Mr. Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency turned whistle-blower. He picked up. I nervously explained I was a documentary filmmaker and wanted to speak to him. To my surprise he replied: Im tired of my government harassing me and violating the Constitution. Yes, Ill talk to you. Two weeks later, driving past the headquarters of the N.S.A. in Maryland, outside Washington, Mr. Binney described details about Stellar Wind, the N.S.A.s top-secret domestic spying program begun after 9/11, which was so controversial that it nearly caused top Justice Department officials to resign in protest, in 2004. The decision must have been made in September 2001, Mr. Binney told me and the cinematographer Kirsten Johnson. Thats when the equipment started coming in. In this Op-Doc, Mr. Binney explains how the program he created for foreign intelligence gathering was turned inward on this country. He resigned over this in 2001 and began speaking out publicly in the last year. He is among a group of N.S.A. whistle-blowers, including Thomas A. Drake, who have each risked everything their freedom, livelihoods and personal relationships to warn Americans about the dangers of N.S.A. domestic spying.
(New York Times)
posted: 9/12/13                   0       12
#233 



8/20/2013  Exclusive: NSA Using Copyright Claims To Crush Free Speech?
Can a government agency block criticism by claiming copyright infringement? Sounds a bit ridiculous but it is happening. The NSA is effectively stopping one small business owner from criticism, claiming that by using its name he has infringed on their copyright. Can they do that? This is a Reality Check you wont see anywhere else. This is a story I had a hard time believing until I looked into it for myself. Here is the backstory. Dan McCall is the owner of a company that makes snarky t-shirts. The company is called Liberty Maniacs. Liberty Maniacs carry a number of t-shirts dealing with lack of privacy and the growing police state. They sell on a site called www.Zazzle.com None of it has been a problemuntil Liberty Maniacs released a shirt called The NSA. The image looks like the NSA logo but has a motto that is clearly a punPeeping while you are sleepingfollowed by the phrase The NSA, the only part of government that actually listens.
(Ben Swann)
posted: 9/12/13                   0       13
#234 
keywords: Adam Hart Davis, American Bar Association, BBC, Ben Swann, Cell Phones, Dan Mccall, Electronic Freedom Foundation, Intellectual Property, Internet, Juli Wilson Marshall, Latham & Watkins Llp, Liberty Maniacs, National Security Agency, Nicholas Siciliano, Police, Prism, Privacy, Skype, US Constitution, US Supreme Court, United Kingdom, United States, Zazzle.com Add New Keyword To Link



8/20/2013  Why Are American Health Care Costs So High?
In which John discusses the complicated reasons why the United States spends so much more on health care than any other country in the world, and along the way reveals some surprising information, including that Americans spend more of their tax dollars on public health care than people in Canada, the UK, or Australia. Who's at fault? Insurance companies? Drug companies? Malpractice lawyers? Hospitals? Or is it more complicated than a simple blame game? (Hint: It's that one.) For a much more thorough examination of health care expenses in America, I recommend this series at The Incidental Economist: http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wor... The Commonwealth Fund's Study of Health Care Prices in the US: http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/med... Some of the stats in this video also come from this New York Times story: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/hea... This is the first part in what will be a periodic series on health care costs and reforms leading up to the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, in 2014.
(Vlog Brothers)
posted: 9/27/13      
            
0       11
#235 



8/19/2013  The Real Neuroscience of Creativity
So yea, you know how the left brain is really realistic, analytical, practical, organized, and logical, and the right brain is so darn creative, passionate, sensual, tasteful, colorful, vivid, and poetic? No. Just no. Stop it. Please. Thoughtful cognitive neuroscientists such as Anna Abraham, Mark Beeman, Adam Bristol, Kalina Christoff, Andreas Fink, Jeremy Gray, Adam Green, Rex Jung, John Kounios, Hikaru Takeuchi, Oshin Vartanian, Darya Zabelina and others are on the forefront of investigating what actually happens in the brain during the creative process. And their findings are overturning conventional notions surrounding the neuroscience of creativity. The latest findings from the real neuroscience of creativity suggest that the right brain/left brain distinction is not the right one when it comes to understanding how creativity is implemented in the brain.* Creativity does not involve a single brain region or single side of the brain. Instead, the entire creative process from preparation to incubation to illumination to verification consists of many interacting cognitive processes and emotions. Depending on the stage of the creative process, and what youre actually attempting to create, different brain regions are recruited to handle the task.
(Scientific American)
posted: 9/23/13                   0       11
#236 
keywords: Adam Bristol, Adam Green, Andreas Fink, Anna Abraham, Darya Zabelina, Health Care, Hikaru Takeuchi, Jeremy Gray, John Kounios, Kalina Christoff, Mark Beeman, Oshin Vartanian, Rex Jung, United States Add New Keyword To Link



8/15/2013  NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds
The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents. Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls. The documents, provided earlier this summer to The Washington Post by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, include a level of detail and analysis that is not routinely shared with Congress or the special court that oversees surveillance. In one of the documents, agency personnel are instructed to remove details and substitute more generic language in reports to the Justice Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. In one instance, the NSA decided that it need not report the unintended surveillance of Americans. A notable example in 2008 was the interception of a large number of calls placed from Washington when a programming error confused the U.S. area code 202 for 20, the international dialing code for Egypt, according to a quality assurance review that was not distributed to the NSAs oversight staff.
(Washington Post)
posted: 10/5/13                   0       7
#237 



8/12/2013  Taken -- Under civil forfeiture, Americans who havent been charged with wrongdoing can be stripped of their cash, cars, and even homes. Is that all were losing?
On a bright Thursday afternoon in 2007, Jennifer Boatright, a waitress at a Houston bar-and-grill, drove with her two young sons and her boyfriend, Ron Henderson, on U.S. 59 toward Linden, Hendersons home town, near the Texas-Louisiana border. They made the trip every April, at the first signs of spring, to walk the local wildflower trails and spend time with Hendersons father. This year, theyd decided to buy a used car in Linden, which had plenty for sale, and so they bundled their cash savings in their cars center console. Just after dusk, they passed a sign that read Welcome to Tenaha: A little town with BIG Potential! They pulled into a mini-mart for snacks. When they returned to the highway ten minutes later, Boatright, a honey-blond Texas redneck from Lubbock, by her own reckoning, and Henderson, who is Latino, noticed something strange. The same police car that their eleven-year-old had admired in the mini-mart parking lot was trailing them. Near the city limits, a tall, bull-shouldered officer named Barry Washington pulled them over. He asked if Henderson knew that hed been driving in the left lane for more than half a mile without passing. No, Henderson replied. He said hed moved into the left lane so that the police car could make its way onto the highway. Were there any drugs in the car? When Henderson and Boatright said no, the officer asked if he and his partner could search the car. The officers found the couples cash and a marbled-glass pipe that Boatright said was a gift for her sister-in-law, and escorted them across town to the police station. In a corner there, two tables were heaped with jewelry, DVD players, cell phones, and the like. According to the police report, Boatright and Henderson fit the profile of drug couriers: they were driving from Houston, a known point for distribution of illegal narcotics, to Linden, a known place to receive illegal narcotics. The report describes their children as possible decoys, meant to distract police as the couple breezed down the road, smoking marijuana. (None was found in the car, although Washington claimed to have smelled it.) The countys district attorney, a fifty-seven-year-old woman with feathered Charlies Angels hair named Lynda K. Russell, arrived an hour later. Russell, who moonlighted locally as a country singer, told Henderson and Boatright that they had two options. They could face felony charges for money laundering and child endangerment, in which case they would go to jail and their children would be handed over to foster care. Or they could sign over their cash to the city of Tenaha, and get back on the road. No criminal charges shall be filed, a waiver she drafted read, and our children shall not be turned over to CPS, or Child Protective Services.
(The New Yorker)
posted: 9/5/13                   0       14
#238 



8/8/2013  Why I changed my mind on weed
Over the last year, I have been working on a new documentary called "Weed." The title "Weed" may sound cavalier, but the content is not. I traveled around the world to interview medical leaders, experts, growers and patients. I spoke candidly to them, asking tough questions. What I found was stunning. Long before I began this project, I had steadily reviewed the scientific literature on medical marijuana from the United States and thought it was fairly unimpressive. Reading these papers five years ago, it was hard to make a case for medicinal marijuana. I even wrote about this in a TIME magazine article, back in 2009, titled "Why I would Vote No on Pot." Well, I am here to apologize. I apologize because I didn't look hard enough, until now. I didn't look far enough. I didn't review papers from smaller labs in other countries doing some remarkable research, and I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis. Instead, I lumped them with the high-visibility malingerers, just looking to get high. I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have "no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse."
(CNN)
posted: 8/8/13                   0       10
#239 
keywords: Alcohol, Anxiety, CNN, Cancer, Cocaine, Colorado, Dilaudid, Drug Enforcement Administration, Fiorello LA Guardia, Heroin, Insomnia, Israel, Lev Meschoulam, Marijuana, Mississippi, Morphine, National Cancer Institute, National Institute For Neurological Disorders, National Institute On Drug Abuse, National Library Of Medicine, Nausea, New York Academy Of Science, New York City, Oxycodone, Ptsd, Roger Egeberg, Sanjay Gupta, Time Magazine, Tobacco, US Department Of Health And Human Services, United States, War On Drugs Add New Keyword To Link



8/7/2013  Exclusive: IRS manual detailed DEA's use of hidden intel evidence
Details of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration program that feeds tips to federal agents and then instructs them to alter the investigative trail were published in a manual used by agents of the Internal Revenue Service for two years. The practice of recreating the investigative trail, highly criticized by former prosecutors and defense lawyers after Reuters reported it this week, is now under review by the Justice Department. Two high-profile Republicans have also raised questions about the procedure. A 350-word entry in the Internal Revenue Manual instructed agents of the U.S. tax agency to omit any reference to tips supplied by the DEA's Special Operations Division, especially from affidavits, court proceedings or investigative files. The entry was published and posted online in 2005 and 2006, and was removed in early 2007. The IRS is among two dozen arms of the government working with the Special Operations Division, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency. An IRS spokesman had no comment on the entry or on why it was removed from the manual. Reuters recovered the previous editions from the archives of the Westlaw legal database, which is owned by Thomson Reuters Corp, the parent of this news agency.
(Reuters)
posted: 8/13/13                   0       8
#240 



8/7/2013  Trail of U.S. Criminal Investigations Altered to Cover up DEA Units Role as Data Source
From a constitutional rights perspective, the latest revelation about the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is even more troubling than whats been reported on National Security Agency (NSA) activities, according to legal experts. An investigation by Reuters found a secretive DEA unit known as the Special Operations Division (SOD) has been helping state and local law enforcement with drug busts by providing information collected from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records. That database, known as DICE, contains roughly a billion records and is accessed by about 10,000 law enforcement agents across the nation. SODs wiretap data usually comes from foreign governments, U.S. intelligence agencies or court-authorized domestic telephone surveillance. But the disturbing part is the DEA requires police who receive the agencys help to cover up the fact that they were given the tipsand not even tell defense lawyers, prosecutors and judges that their investigations began with the DEA.
(AllGov)
posted: 8/13/13                   0       8
#241 



8/1/2013  Administration says it's serious about privacy, defends NSA programs
The Obama administration says it takes privacy criticisms over its surveillance programs seriously while defending them to Congress and the U.S. public. Obama met Thursday with a bipartisan group of lawmakers -- both critics and supporters -- to discuss surveillance activities of the National Security Agency. Also, NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander was on Capitol Hill to answer House lawmakers' questions in a classified briefing before the August recess, The Hill reported. "Today's meeting was constructive and the President committed that he and his team would continue to work closely with the Congress on these matters in the weeks and months ahead," the White House said in a statement. "We will continue to work through the August recess on proposals to improve transparency and strengthen privacy protections to further build the confidence of the American public in our nation's counterterrorism programs," the lawmakers said in a joint statement.
(United Press International)
posted: 10/7/13                   0       6
#242 



8/1/2013  New York woman visited by police after researching pressure cookers online -- Long Island resident said her web search history and 'trying to learn how to cook lentils' prompted a visit from authorities but police say search was prompted by tipoff
A New York woman says her family's interest in the purchase of pressure cookers and backpacks led to a home visit by six police investigators demanding information about her job, her husband's ancestry and the preparation of quinoa. Michele Catalano, who lives in Long Island, New York, said her web searches for pressure cookers, her husband's hunt for backpacks and her "news junkie" son's craving for information on the Boston bombings had combined somewhere in the internet ether to create a "perfect storm of terrorism profiling". Members of what she described as a "joint terrorism task force" descended on Catalano's home on Wednesday. Catalano was at work, but her husband was sitting in the living room as the police arrived. She retold the experience in a post on Medium.com on Thursday. She attributed the raid largely to her hunt for a pressure cooker, an item used devastatingly, allegedly by the two Tsarnaev brothers, in Boston, but also used by millions across the country to prepare vegetables while retaining most of their nutrients. The story later took on a different complexion when police finally explained that the investigation was prompted by searches a family member had made for pressure cooker bombs and backpacks made at his former workplace. The former employer, believing the searches to be suspicious, alerted police. Catalano said the family member was her husband.
(London Guardian)
posted: 8/1/13                   0       10
#243 
keywords: Anarchist Cookbook, Bolivia, Boston, Boston Marathon, Death And Taxes, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Federal Bureau Of Investigation, Internet, Kelly Langmesser, London Guardian, Michele Catalano, New York, Police, Privacy, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Terrorists, Tumblr, United States Add New Keyword To Link



8/1/2013  UN narcotics body warns Uruguay over marijuana bill
The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) says it is concerned by the approval by Uruguayan MPs of a bill which would legalise marijuana. The INCB says the law would "be in complete contravention to the provisions of the international drug treaties to which Uruguay is party". Under the new law, the state would assume control of growing and selling cannabis to registered users. The bill still needs to be passed by Uruguay's senate before becoming law. 'Serious consequences' The INCB is an independent body of experts established by the United Nations to monitor countries' compliance with international drug treaties.
(BBC)
posted: 8/1/13                   0       14
#244 



7/29/2013  D.C. records its first legal pot deal in at least 75 years
The 15-year struggle to legalize medical marijuana in the District ended like this: A 51-year-old Northwest resident entered a North Capitol Street rowhouse Monday evening and emerged 90 minutes later with slightly less than a half-ounce of street-legal, high-grade, D.C.-grown cannabis. Shortly before 6 p.m., Alonzo walked into the high-security sales room of the Capital City Care dispensary with two store employees to consummate the citys first legal marijuana deal in at least 75 years. He purchased about $250 worth of three strains of cannabis. Its a beautiful natural product that is from rain, sun and soil, Alonzo said, wearing a dark T-shirt with a green logo of a cannabis leaf over a medical cross. Mother Nature doesnt make mistakes.
(Washington Post)
posted: 7/30/13                   0       9
#245 



7/29/2013  My Life in Circles: Why Metadata is Incredibly Intimate
One of the most disingenuous arguments in the aftermath of the NSA spying revelations is that the American people shouldn't be concerned about the government hoovering up its sensitive information because it's only metadata--or a fancy way of saying data about the data. "This is just metadata," Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein assured the American people, referring to the NSA's bulk collection of Americans call records. "There is no content involved." President Obama and his national security officials have made similar assurances. Feel better? You shouldn't and here's why. A tool developed by MIT Media Lab proves how intrusive the collection and analysis of metadata is over time, especially for those who are overly reliant on email as their main method of communication. Dubbed "Immersion," the tool analyzes the metadata--From, To, Cc and Timestamp fields-- from a volunteer's Gmail account and visualizes it.
(American Civil Liberties Union)
posted: 8/1/13                   0       10
#246 



7/27/2013  Soldier Writes Suicide Letter About Pain And Being Forced To Commit War Crimes In Iraq
Daniel Somers was a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and served with Task Force Lightning, an intelligence unit. He ran more than 400 combat missions as a machine gunner in the turret of a Humvee and interviewed Iraqis and insurgents alike. When he returned, he had PTSD as well as traumatic brain injury and several other war-related conditions. On June 10, 2013, he wrote the letter below to his family. A heartfelt and heart-breaking account of pain and memories that he could not overcome. He tells his family that I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity. The letter is reproduced in full, below I am sorry that it has come to this. The fact is, for as long as I can remember my motivation for getting up every day has been so that you would not have to bury me. As things have continued to get worse, it has become clear that this alone is not a sufficient reason to carry on. The fact is, I am not getting better, I am not going to get better, and I will most certainly deteriorate further as time goes on. From a logical standpoint, it is better to simply end things quickly and let any repercussions from that play out in the short term than to drag things out into the long term.
(Political Blindspot)
posted: 8/1/13                   0       9
#247 



7/24/2013  Crop Pollination Exposes Honey Bees to Pesticides Which Alters Their Susceptibility to the Gut Pathogen Nosema ceranae
Abstract: Recent declines in honey bee populations and increasing demand for insect-pollinated crops raise concerns about pollinator shortages. Pesticide exposure and pathogens may interact to have strong negative effects on managed honey bee colonies. Such findings are of great concern given the large numbers and high levels of pesticides found in honey bee colonies. Thus it is crucial to determine how field-relevant combinations and loads of pesticides affect bee health. We collected pollen from bee hives in seven major crops to determine 1) what types of pesticides bees are exposed to when rented for pollination of various crops and 2) how field-relevant pesticide blends affect bees susceptibility to the gut parasite Nosema ceranae. Our samples represent pollen collected by foragers for use by the colony, and do not necessarily indicate foragers roles as pollinators. In blueberry, cranberry, cucumber, pumpkin and watermelon bees collected pollen almost exclusively from weeds and wildflowers during our sampling. Thus more attention must be paid to how honey bees are exposed to pesticides outside of the field in which they are placed. We detected 35 different pesticides in the sampled pollen, and found high fungicide loads. The insecticides esfenvalerate and phosmet were at a concentration higher than their median lethal dose in at least one pollen sample. While fungicides are typically seen as fairly safe for honey bees, we found an increased probability of Nosema infection in bees that consumed pollen with a higher fungicide load. Our results highlight a need for research on sub-lethal effects of fungicides and other chemicals that bees placed in an agricultural setting are exposed to.
(PLOS One)
posted: 8/1/13                   0       14
#248 
keywords: Bees, Colony Collapse Disorder, Dennis Van Engelsdorp, Elinor Lichtenberg, Jeffery Pettis, Jennie Stitzinger, Michael Andree, Nosema Ceranae, Pesticides, Robyn Rose Add New Keyword To Link



7/24/2013  Video of Clashes in Brazil Appears to Show Police Infiltrators Among Protesters
Supporters of Brazil's protest movement and the police in Rio de Janeiro spent much of Tuesday arguing online over which side was to blame for violence at a demonstration the night before, at the start of a papal visit. While neither side was able to produce definitive proof of who instigated the clashes on Monday near the governors palace in Rio, shortly after Pope Francis left the area, an examination of video recorded by witnesses, protesters and the police did appear to show undercover officers called infiltrators by the protesters and intelligence agents by the authorities at work. A central piece of evidence in the arguments presented by both sides was 40 seconds of video released by Rios military police that showed a man near the front line between the two sides lighting and then hurling a Molotov cocktail, which exploded with a loud bang near officers in riot gear. Video released by the military police in Rio de Janeiro recorded as a standoff between protesters and officers turned violent on Monday night. Although the police provided the video to the newspaper O Globo, and issued an invitation to the public via Twitter to watch what the department described as images of the protester who started the confrontation by throwing a Molotov cocktail at officers, within hours the clip was mysteriously removed from YouTube.
(New York Times)
posted: 8/1/13                   0       10
#249 
keywords: Brazel, Bruno Ferreira, Cell Phones, Dom Phillips, Esso, Facebook, Felipe Buarque, Filipe Peanha, Independent Journalism And Action Narratives, Intelligence, Internet, Jim Dwyer, Lucio Amorim, Military, Police, Pope Francis, Protests, Rio De Janeiro, Simon Romero, Twitter, Vanessa Andrade, William Neuman, Youtube Add New Keyword To Link



7/20/2013  A Shuffle of Aluminum, but to Banks, Pure Gold
Hundreds of millions of times a day, thirsty Americans open a can of soda, beer or juice. And every time they do it, they pay a fraction of a penny more because of a shrewd maneuver by Goldman Sachs and other financial players that ultimately costs consumers billions of dollars. The story of how this works begins in 27 industrial warehouses in the Detroit area where a Goldman subsidiary stores customers aluminum. Each day, a fleet of trucks shuffles 1,500-pound bars of the metal among the warehouses. Two or three times a day, sometimes more, the drivers make the same circuits. They load in one warehouse. They unload in another. And then they do it again. This industrial dance has been choreographed by Goldman to exploit pricing regulations set up by an overseas commodities exchange, an investigation by The New York Times has found. The back-and-forth lengthens the storage time. And that adds many millions a year to the coffers of Goldman, which owns the warehouses and charges rent to store the metal. It also increases prices paid by manufacturers and consumers across the country. Tyler Clay, a forklift driver who worked at the Goldman warehouses until early this year, called the process a merry-go-round of metal. Only a tenth of a cent or so of an aluminum cans purchase price can be traced back to the strategy. But multiply that amount by the 90 billion aluminum cans consumed in the United States each year and add the tons of aluminum used in things like cars, electronics and house siding and the efforts by Goldman and other financial players has cost American consumers more than $5 billion over the last three years, say former industry executives, analysts and consultants. The inflated aluminum pricing is just one way that Wall Street is flexing its financial muscle and capitalizing on loosened federal regulations to sway a variety of commodities markets, according to financial records, regulatory documents and interviews with people involved in the activities.
(New York Times)
posted: 7/22/13                   0       9
#250 
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