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Emails expose BP's attempts to control research into impact of Gulf oil spill Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show BP officials discussing how to influence the work of scientists - BP officials tried to take control of a $500m fund pledged by the oil company for independent research into the consequences of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, it has emerged.
Documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show BP officials openly discussing how to influence the work of scientists supported by the fund, which was created by the oil company in May last year.
Russell Putt, a BP environmental expert, wrote in an email to colleagues on 24 June 2010: "Can we 'direct' GRI [Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative] funding to a specific study (as we now see the governor's offices trying to do)? What influence do we have over the vessels/equipment driving the studies vs the questions?".
The email was obtained by Greenpeace and shared with the Guardian.
The documents are expected to reinforce fears voiced by scientists that BP has too much leverage over studies into the impact of last year's oil disaster.
Those concerns go far beyond academic interest into the impact of the spill. BP faces billions in fines and penalties, and possible criminal charges arising from the disaster. Its total liability will depend in part on a final account produced by scientists on how much oil entered the gulf from its blown-out well, and the damage done to marine life and coastal areas in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. The oil company disputes the government estimate that 4.1m barrels of oil entered the gulf. (The Guardian)
Proposed SFPD crackdown on clubs gets a hearing A draconian proposal by the San Francisco Police Department to require all visitors to nightclubs in the city to scan their identity cards into a database and go through metal detectors while being filmed by security cameras will be held tomorrow night (Tues/12) by the Entertainment Commission, but an expanding coalition of opponents are rallying against it.
As we reported in December, club owners and nightlife defenders (including the California Music and Culture Association) overwhelmingly oppose the plan, which the American Civil Liberties Union says raises constitutional invasion of privacy issues. In addition, a new coalition of young people called Save the Rave – which turned out hundreds of people for a recent commission hearing on a proposed crackdown on dance parties – is also organizing against the new restrictions. (San Francisco Bay Guardian)
My credit card had a 79.9% APR Toni Riss had a credit card with a 79.9% interest rate.
The 58-year-old woman from Texas thought she struck gold when she found the First Premier card, which is aimed specifically at consumers with poor credit.
"I had an accident on a motorcycle, went through bankruptcy to pay for medical expenses and my credit went to hell in a hand basket, so I was looking for credit cards for people with bad credit" Riss said.
They granted her a card with a $300 limit -- typical for new customers -- and a starting rate of 29.9%, which Riss said she considered decent given her credit score.
But about six months after opening the card -- at the end of 2009 -- she received an unwelcome surprise in the mail.
"I about had a heart attack when I got a disclosure notice saying that my starting rate of 29.9% was going up to 79.9%," said Riss. "It was ludicrous. Talk about a highway robbery."
At that same time, First Premier Bank launched a new credit card with the sky-high 79.9% rate.
The card proved popular with consumers, said First Premier Bankcard CEO Miles Beacom, but the performance was bad: "A lot of the people ran up the card, defaulted and went directly to charge off." (CNN)
Obama's Off Base Maddow:
A Democratic President kicks his base in the teeth on something as fundamental as civil liberties—he puts the nail in the coffin of a civil liberties promise he made on his first full day in office—and he does it on the first day of his re-election effort. And Beltway reaction to that is... huh, good move. That's the difference between Republican politics and Democratic politics. The Republicans may not love their base, but they fear them and play to them. The Democratic Party institutional structures of D.C., and the Beltway press in particular, not only hate the Democratic base—they think it's good politics for Democratic politicians to kick that base publicly whenever possible. Only the base itself will ever change that.
One thing is for certain: right now, the Democratic Party is absolutely correct in its assessment that kicking its base is good politics. Why is that? Because they know that they have inculcated their base with sufficient levels of fear and hatred of the GOP, so that no matter how often the Party kicks its base, no matter how often Party leaders break their promises and betray their ostensible values, the base will loyally and dutifully support the Party and its leaders (at least in presidential elections; there is a good case that the Democrats got crushed in 2010 in large part because their base was so unenthusiastic).
In light of that fact, ask yourself this: if you were a Democratic Party official, wouldn't you also ignore—and, when desirable, step on—the people who you know will support you no matter what you do to them? (The Stranger)
'Exploding UFOs and alien landings' in secret FBI files Secret FBI files have been released detailing how US officials saw a UFO explode over Utah – and aliens land near Roswell in New Mexico. - A declassified document from 1949 tells how three men, on patrols miles apart, each reported seeing a UFO break up over mountains north of Salt Lake City.
The 1950 memo that recounts the discovery of flying saucers and aliens in New Mexico
The 1950 memo that recounts the discovery of flying saucers and aliens in New Mexico
Their extraordinary accounts were sent to Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI, in a memo titled "Flying Discs".
The file said that a policeman, a highway patrolman and an army guard all "saw a silver coloured object high up approaching the mountains at Sardine Canyon" that "appeared to explode in a rash of fire."
"Several residents [reported] seeing what appeared to be two aerial explosions, followed by falling object," it said. (London Telegraph)
America and EU Agree: Raise Radiation Levels for Food On March 28, 2011, I wrote an article entitled EPA to Help Mainstream Media Obscure The Truth About Radiation Exposure to Americans, in which I discussed the changes to the PAGs (Protective Action Guides) being proposed by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) that would raise the acceptable levels of radiation allowed in the environment, food, and even the general public themselves in the event of a nuclear emergency.
Interestingly enough, an article was published on April 3, 2011, by Alexander Higgins citing Kopp Online and Xander News, stating that a similar rule change was occurring in the European Union.
PAGs are policies and guidelines established by the EPA that guide the agency’s response in the event of a radioactive emergency. Specifically, PAGs deal with how the EPA should enforce laws such as the Clean Air and Water Act in relation to the disaster. Although PAGs had already been established by the EPA in 1992, the agency now plans to amend these guidelines to much higher levels of acceptable radiation.
No congressional approval is legally needed to makes such changes, because the EPA is a regulatory agency that sets “policy” and, although these types of agencies can be directed by congress or the president, they often form their own policies. All that is required when agencies such as the EPA wish to change their policy is that they first publish the proposed changes in the Federal Register for a designated period of “public comment.”
However, since public opinion is worth virtually nothing, once a proposed change is published in the Federal Register, it is well on its way to becoming new policy. This is unfortunate considering the fact that, according to PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, the new standards would result in a “nearly 1000-fold increase for exposure to strontium-90, a 3000 to 100,000-fold hike for exposure to iodine-131; and an almost 25,000 rise for exposure to radioactive nickel-63” in drinking water. (Activist Post)
Radiation Detected In Drinking Water In 13 More US Cities, Cesium-137 In Vermont Milk • Unusual Reading At Chatanooga Nuclear Plant
• Milk Contamination At EPA Maximum
• Highest Levels Yet In Boise Rainwater
Radiation from Japan has been detected in drinking water in 13 more American cities, and cesium-137 has been found in American milk—in Montpelier, Vermont—for the first time since the Japan nuclear disaster began, according to data released by the Environmental Protection Agency late Friday.
Milk samples from Phoenix and Los Angeles contained iodine-131 at levels roughly equal to the maximum contaminant level permitted by EPA, the data shows. The Phoenix sample contained 3.2 picoCuries per liter of iodine-131. The Los Angeles sample contained 2.9. The EPA maximum contaminant level is 3.0, but this is a conservative standard designed to minimize exposure over a lifetime, so EPA does not consider these levels to pose a health threat.
The cesium-137 found in milk in Vermont is the first cesium detected in milk since the Fukushima-Daichi nuclear accident occurred last month. The sample contained 1.9 picoCuries per liter of cesium-137, which falls under the same 3.0 standard.
Radioactive isotopes accumulate in milk after they spread through the atmosphere, fall to earth in rain or dust, and settle on vegetation, where they are ingested by grazing cattle. Iodine-131 is known to accumulate in the thyroid gland, where it can cause cancer and other thyroid diseases. Cesium-137 accumulates in the body’s soft tissues, where it increases risk of cancer, according to EPA. (Forbes)
Bruce Fein: Articles of Impeachment for tyrant Obama III.
USURPATION OF THE WAR POWER OVER LIBYA
47. President Barack Obama’s military attacks against Libya constitute acts of war.
48. Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-4) had the following exchange with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates during a March 31, 2011 House Armed Services Committee Hearing on the legality of the present military operation in Libya:
Congressman Forbes: Mr. Secretary, if tomorrow a foreign nation intentionally, for whatever reason, launched a Tomahawk missile into New York City, would that be considered an act of war against the United States?
Secretary Gates: Probably so.
Congressman Forbes: Then I would assume the same laws would apply if we launched a Tomahawk missile at another nation—is that also true?
Secretary Gates: You’re getting into constitutional law here and I am no expert on it.
Congressman Forbes: Mr. Secretary, you’re the Secretary of Defense. You ought to be an expert on what’s an act of war or not. If it’s an act of war to launch a Tomahawk missile on New York City would it not also be an act of war to launch a Tomahawk missile by us at another nation?
Secretary Gates: Presumably.
49. Since the passage of United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 on March 19, 2011, the United States has detonated over 200 tomahawk land attack cruise missiles and 455 precision-guided bombs on Libyan soil.
50. Libya posed no actual or imminent threat to the United States when President Obama unleashed Operation Odyssey Dawn.
51. On March 27, 2011, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated that Libya never posed an “actual or imminent threat to the United States.” He further stated that Libya has never constituted a “vital interest” to the United States.
52. United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 directs an indefinite United States military quagmire in Libya, authorizing “all necessary measures” to protect Libyan civilians, which clearly contemplates removal by force of the murderous regime of Col. Muammar Qadhafi.
53. In a Letter From the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate sent March 21, 2011, President Barack Obama informed Members of Congress that “U.S. forces have targeted the Qadhafi regime’s air defense systems, command and control structures, and other capabilities of Qadhafi’s armed forces used to attack civilians and civilian populated areas. We will seek a rapid, but responsible, transition of operations to coalition, regional, or international organizations that are postured to continue activities as may be necessary to realize the objectives of U.N. Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973.”
54. In his March 21, 2011 letter, President Barack Obama further informed Members of Congress that he opted to take unilateral military action “…in support of international efforts to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster.”
55. President Barack Obama has usurped congressional authority to decide on war or peace with Libya, and has declared he will persist in additional usurpations of the congressional power to commence war whenever he decrees it would advance his idea of the national interest. On March 28, 2011, he declared to Congress and the American people: “I have made it clear that I will never hesitate to use our military swiftly, decisively, and unilaterally when necessary to defend our people, our homeland, our allies, and our core interests” (emphasis added).
56. President Obama’s humanitarian justification for war in Libya establishes a threshold that would justify his initiation of warfare in scores of nations around the globe, including Iran, North Korea, Syria, Sudan, Myanmar, China, Belarus, Zimbabwe, Cuba, and Russia.
57. In Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438 (1928), Justice Louis D. Brandeis wrote on behalf of a majority of the United States Supreme Court:
Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.
58. President Barack Obama has signed an order, euphemistically named a “Presidential Finding,” authorizing covert U.S. government support for rebel forces seeking to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, further entangling the United States in the Libyan conflict, despite earlier promises of restraint. Truth is invariably the first casualty of war.
59. In response to questions by Members of Congress during a classified briefing on March 30, 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicated that the President needs no Congressional authorization for his attack on the Libyan nation, and will ignore any Congressional attempt by resolution or otherwise to constrain or halt United States participation in the Libyan war.
60. On March 30, 2011, by persistent silence or otherwise, Secretary Clinton rebuffed congressional inquiries into President Obama’s view of the constitutionality of the War Powers Resolution of 1973. She failed to cite a single judicial decision in support of President Obama’s recent actions, relying instead on the undisclosed legal opinions of White House attorneys.
61. President Barack Obama, in flagrant violation of his constitutional oath to execute his office as President of the United States and preserve and protect the United States Constitution, has usurped the exclusive authority of Congress to authorize the initiation of war, in that on March 19, 2011 President Obama initiated an offensive military attack against the Republic of Libya without congressional authorization. In so doing, President Obama has arrested the rule of law, and saluted a vandalizing of the Constitution that will occasion ruination of the Republic, the crippling of individual liberty, and a Leviathan government unless the President is impeached by the House of Representatives and removed from office by the Senate.
In all of this, President Barack Obama has acted in a manner contrary to his trust as President and subversive of constitutional government, to the great prejudice of the cause of law and justice and to the manifest injury of the people of the United States. (Prison Planet)
San Francisco Rainwater: Radiation 181 Times Above US Drinking Water Standard Radiation from Japan rained on Berkeley, California, during recent storms at levels that exceeded drinking water standards by 181 times. A rooftop water monitoring program managed by the University of California at Berkeley’s Department of Nuclear Engineering detected substantial spikes in rain-borne iodine-131 during those torrential downpours. The levels exceeded federal drinking water thresholds, known as Maximum Contaminant Levels -- or MCLs -- by as much as 181 times or 18,100%. Iodine-131 is one of the most cancer-causing toxic radioactive isotopes spewed when nuclear power plants are in meltdown. It is being ingested by cows, which have begun passing it through into their milk and radioactivity has been detected. [Multiple Sources]
Specific Scientific Data
The iodine-131 level in the rainwater sample taken on the roof of Etcheverry Hall on the campus of UC Berkeley on March 23rd, 2011, from 9:06-18:00hrs Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) states radioactivity levels at 20.1 Becquerels per Litre (Bq/L) = 543 PicoCuries per Litre (pCi/L). The federal maximum level of iodine-131 allowed in drinking water is 3 pCi/L or 0.111 Becquerels per Litre. The sample exceeded the federal guidelines for drinking water by 181 times. The UC Berkeley researchers also discovered trace levels of iodine-131 and other radioactive isotopes, believed to have originated in Fukushima, in commercially available milk and in a local stream within California. [UC Berkeley] (Business Insider)
Japan: Same Type of Concrete Pumping Trucks Used at Chernobyl Are En-route to Fukushima Via: MSNBC:
Some of the world’s largest cement pumps were en route to Japan’s stricken nuclear plant on Thursday, initially to help douse areas with water but eventually for cement work — including the possibility of entombing the site as was done in Chernobyl.
Operated via remote control, one of the truck-mounted pumps was already at the Fukushima Dai-ichi site and being used to spray water. Four more will be flown in from Germany and the United States, according to the German-manufacturer Putzmeister. The biggest of the five has an arm that extends well over 200 feet.
“Initially, they will probably pump water,” Putzmeister stated. “Later they will be used for any necessary concreting work.”
A construction company in Augusta, Ga., was among those redirecting the pumps to Japan. Its owner said he believes building a concrete sarcophagus will follow.
“Our understanding is they are preparing to go to next phase and it will require a lot of concrete,” Jerry Ashmore told the Augusta Chronicle. (Cryptogon)
Nuclear power perspective There is no question that the events in Japan are ongoing and serious. That said, I believe a lot of people are being misled by much of the news coverage. Take a look at these headlines from the Christian Science Monitor and from Channel News Asia, respectively,
Japan's radiation leak: Shades of Three Mile Island and Chernobyl?
US experts fear 'Chernobyl-like' crisis for Japan
"Three Mile Island" and "Chernobyl" sounds scary, right?
Let me ask a couple of questions? How many were killed by the Three Mile Island incident?
Answer? None. None of the plant workers were killed and no one in the surrounding area. (Meteorological Musings)
Why Fukushima made me stop worrying and love nuclear power Japan's disaster would weigh more heavily if there were less harmful alternatives. Atomic power is part of the mix - You will not be surprised to hear that the events in Japan have changed my view of nuclear power. You will be surprised to hear how they have changed it. As a result of the disaster at Fukushima, I am no longer nuclear-neutral. I now support the technology.
A crappy old plant with inadequate safety features was hit by a monster earthquake and a vast tsunami. The electricity supply failed, knocking out the cooling system. The reactors began to explode and melt down. The disaster exposed a familiar legacy of poor design and corner-cutting. Yet, as far as we know, no one has yet received a lethal dose of radiation.
Some greens have wildly exaggerated the dangers of radioactive pollution. For a clearer view, look at the graphic published by xkcd.com. It shows that the average total dose from the Three Mile Island disaster for someone living within 10 miles of the plant was one 625th of the maximum yearly amount permitted for US radiation workers. This, in turn, is half of the lowest one-year dose clearly linked to an increased cancer risk, which, in its turn, is one 80th of an invariably fatal exposure. I'm not proposing complacency here. I am proposing perspective.
If other forms of energy production caused no damage, these impacts would weigh more heavily. But energy is like medicine: if there are no side-effects, the chances are that it doesn't work. (London Guardian)
Fukushima Reactor No. 3 suffers likely core breach, now leaking water at 10,000 times normal radiation levels The Fukushima situation took a turn for the worse today as two nuclear repair workers stepped into some water at Reactor No. 3 and suffered severe radiation burns requiring immediate hospitalization. The water, it turns out, measures 10,000 times normal radiation levels, and it appears to be leaking from the core of Reactor No. 3.
If confirmed, this can only mean one thing: A containment breach that now risks the spewing of enormous quantities of radiation into the environment, easily dwarfing the releases from Chernobyl in 1986.
Japan's Prime Minister Naoto Kan had some somber words for the world press, saying "The situation today at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant is still very grave and serious. We must remain vigilant. We are not in a position where we can be optimistic. We must treat every development with the utmost care." (http://apnews.myway.com/article/201...)
"Even if there has been encouraging news such as getting some power back to the site, the installation remains in an extremely precarious and very serious situation that has not yet been stabilized" said Thomas Houdre from France's nuclear safety agency (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print...). (Natural News)
Tainted water confirmed to have seeped into sea from nuke plant Water with high levels of radiation has been confirmed to have seeped into the sea from the No. 2 reactor at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, government officials said Saturday, raising wider fears of environmental contamination by the release of radioactivity.
The water has been leaking into the sea from a 20-centimeter crack detected at a pit in the reactor where power cables are stored, the government's nuclear safety agency said.
Tokyo Electric Power Co. took steps to encase the fracture in concrete as an emergency measure but the utility said later that the amount of leakage was unchanged even after the measure was taken.
The utility, known as TEPCO, said the pit is connected to the No. 2 reactor's turbine building and a tunnel-like underground trench, in which highly radioactive water has been spotted so far. (Kyodo News)
Why Fukushima Isn’t Like Chernobyl Despite media hype about the radiation dangers, the Fukushima nuclear crisis won't end like Chernobyl, Alexander Sich tells The Diplomat.
Is the kind of massive radiation release that occurred with Chernobyl possible at the Fukushima plant?
No, it can’t have that kind of massive release. It simply can’t do that. The question is to what extent the zirconium alloy, which clads the fuel pellets, is damaged in the core, and how much of the fuel has failed. And I don’t necessarily mean melted, I mean failed. There’s been an ambiguous use of the word ‘melting’ applied to the core. But when people talk about meltdown, they should be very specific about what they mean by the word. (The Diplomat)
Six Ways Fukushima is Not Chernobyl The crisis at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi has already been dubbed the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, and the situation there continues to worsen.
But along with references to the "ch-word," as one nonproliferation expert put it , experts have been quick to provide reasons why the Daiichi crisis will not be "the next Chernobyl."
Experts have noted several key differences in the design of the reactors in question, as well as in the government's reaction to the crisis:
1. Chernobyl's reactor had no containment structure.
The RBMK reactor at Chernobyl "was regarded as the workhorse of Soviet atomic energy, thrifty and reliable -- and safe enough to be built without an expensive containment building that would prevent the release of radiation in the event of a serious accident," The Guardian's Adam Higginbotham noted .
As a result, when a reactor exploded on April 26, 1986, the radioactive material inside went straight into the atmosphere .
Fukushima's reactors  are surrounded by steel-and-concrete containment structures . However, as the New York Times reported Tuesday, the General Electric Mark 1 reactors at Fukushima have "a comparatively smaller and less expensive containment structure " that has drawn criticism from American regulators. In a 1972 memo , a safety official suggested that the design presented serious risks and should be discontinued. One primary concern, the Times reported, was that in an incident of cooling failure -- the kind Fukushima's reactors are now undergoing -- the containment structures might burst, releasing the radioactive material they are supposed to keep in check. (ProPublica)
Greenpeace radiation team pinpoints need to extend Fukushima evacuation zone Need to protect pregnant women and children - Greenpeace radiation experts have confirmed radiation levels of up to ten micro Sieverts per hour (1) in Iitate village, 40km northwest of the crisis-stricken Fukushima/Daiichi nuclear plant, and 20km (2) beyond the official evacuation zone. These levels are high enough to require evacuation.
“The Japanese authorities are fully aware (3) that high levels of radiation from the stricken Fukushima nuclear plant have spread far beyond the official evacuation zone to places like Iitate, yet are still not taking action to properly protect people or keep them informed them about the risks to their health”, said Greenpeace radiation safety expert Jan van de Putte.
“It is clearly not safe for people to remain in Iitate, especially children and pregnant women, when it could mean receiving the maximum allowed annual dose of radiation in only a few days. When further contamination from possible ingestion or inhalation of radioactive particles is factored in, the risks are even higher.”
“The authorities must stop choosing politics over science and determine evacuation zones around the Fukushima nuclear plant that reflect the radiation levels being found in the environment. In addition to coming clean on the true dangers of the current nuclear crisis, the smartest move for Japan and governments around the world is heavily invest in energy efficiency, and redouble their efforts to harness safe and secure renewable energy sources.” (Greenpeace)
Yearly radiation dosages in Sieverts Yearly dose examples
* Living near a nuclear power station: 0.0001–0.01 mSv/year
* Living near a coal power station: 0.0003 mSv/year
* Sleeping next to a human for 8 hours every night: 0.02 mSv/yr
* Cosmic radiation (from sky) at sea level: 0.24 mSv/year
* Terrestrial radiation (from ground): 0.28 mSv/year
* Natural radiation in the human body: 0.40 mSv/year
* Radiation produced by the granite of the United States Capitol building: 0.85 mSv/year
* Average individual background radiation dose: 2 mSv/year; 1.5 mSv/year for Australians, 3.0 mSv/year for Americans
* Atmospheric sources (mostly radon): 2 mSv/year
* Total average radiation dose for Americans: 6.2 mSv/year
* New York-Tokyo flights for airline crew: 9 mSv/year
* Smoking 1.5 packs/day: 13-60 mSv/year
* Current average limit for nuclear workers: 20 mSv/year
* Background radiation in parts of Iran, India and Europe: 50 mSv/year
* Elevated annual regulatory limit for workers during Fukushima emergency: 250 mSv/year
 Dose limit examples
* Criterion for relocation after Chernobyl disaster: 350 mSv/lifetime
* In most countries the current maximum permissible dose to radiation workers is 20 mSv per year averaged over five years, with a maximum of 50 mSv in any one year. This is over and above background exposure, and excludes medical exposure. The value originates from the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), and is coupled with the requirement to keep exposure as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) – taking into account social and economic factors.
* Public dose limits for exposure from uranium mining or nuclear plants are usually set at 1 mSv/yr above background.
FUKUSHIMA: 1,000 MILLISIEVERTS PER HOUR IN THE AIR INSIDE THE PIT OF REACTOR TWO Update: Japanese Turn to Paper and Sawdust to Plug Fukushima Nuclear Leak [???] - Via: Guardian:
Where concrete has failed to prevent highly radioactive water pouring into the sea, workers at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have shifted hope of plugging the leaks to an absorbent polymer mixed with sawdust and shredded newspaper that expands 50-fold when in contact with water.
Although officials conceded the polymer had made little impact so far, they will wait until Monday before deciding whether to abandon it. “We were hoping the polymers would function like diapers, but we have yet to see a visible effect,” said Hidehiko Nishiyama, spokesman for Japan’s nuclear safety agency.
Officials separately has warned that the nuclear crisis could drag on for months, the first time that they have offered a timescale. Goshi Hosono, an aide to the prime minister, Naoto Kan, said everything possible was being done to contain leaks, which have contaminated the environment and food and water supplies, necessitated mass evacuations, and fomented fear as far away as Tokyo, 150 miles to the south.
I’ve become very hesitant to post any information that originates from the criminals at TEPCO, but this number (1,000 mSv/hour) has remained standing for over a day now.
According to the IAEA, the limit for public radiation exposure is 1 mSv per year:
The dose limits for practices are intended to ensure that no individual is committed to unacceptable risk due to radiation exposure. For the public the limit is 1 mSv in a year, or in special circumstances up to 5 mSv in a single year provided that the average does over five consecutive years does not exceed 1 mSv per year.
At Fukushima, they’re dealing with 1,000 mSv/hour. (Cryptogon)
Nuclear crisis deepens in Japan Tension grows in the Tokyo metropolis. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano has now admitted that a partial meltdown has taken place at one of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors, and this is a cause of the relatively high levels of radiation escaping from the plant.
Critics have been pouncing on the sluggish communications from the government. (Press TV)
Osama's Confession; Osama's Reprieve How Osama was Really Taped Boasting of the 9/11 Attacks; Why the Release of the Tape was as Good as a De Facto Pardon - On September 21, 2001, ten days after 9/11 a sting operation against Osama Bin Laden was launched. It was to be a two-part affair.
Part 1 was the taping of Bin Laden describing the 9/11 attack.
Part 2 was to be his capture or elimination.
On September 26, 2001, ten days prior to military operations in Afghanistan, Part 1 was successfully conducted and we have seen the result; the Bin Laden confessional tape. Part 2 failed due to bad weather on November 2, 2001.
For Part 1, intelligence had about 4 days advance notice of the meeting where the taping took place; about 24 hours advanced notice of its location, and knew that Bin Laden was going to be there for more than 3 hours.
The capture was deferred to Part 2. A person from the sting team was left behind - the sting team was a minimum of 3 - to alert Special Forces of Bin Laden's return to the village where his family and favorite son Hamza were living.
The operation failed because of a simple case of freezing rain.
The release of the tape on December 13, 2001, was the result of world pressure for proof, especially from Muslim countries; the release was 3 days before the end of Ramadan.
The first mention of a sting operation in the press was in a UPI report, August 17, 2001 from Pakistan:
“The U.S. government has requested Pakistan to provide active support for an operation inside Afghanistan to catch terrorism-suspect Osama Bin Laden, a report said Friday. The United States has also discussed with Pakistani officials the possibility of "using U.S. special forces" for a sting operation inside Afghanistan, The News newspaper reported.”
The same UPI report stated that Pakistani authorities dissuaded the U.S. from proceeding for political reasons that were internal to Afghanistan. (Counter Punch)
Osama Gump? The Camera That Couldn't Shoot Straight After days of anticipation, television viewers the world over witnessed the grand premiere of the mystery tape in which, according to British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, "bin Laden confirms his guilt" and consequently "totally vindicates the action that we, the U.S. and the international coalition have taken in Afghanistan."
The tape, the proverbial smoking gun, was found late November in a house in Jalalabad under circumstances enshrouded in mystery. The Pentagon which, apparently, spent two weeks agonizing over its release, proffered the tape to the networks with a translation of the material.
The Pentagon gives us the setting for the tape. "In mid-November, Osama bin Laden spoke to a room of supporters, possibly in Kandahar, Afghanistan."
A paraplegic Sheikh visits bin Laden. "We came from Kabul", he tells his host. "We asked the driver to take us, it was a night with a full moon." Later, he places the conversation in context to "this holy month of Ramadan". The full moon of Ramadan occurred around the 30th of November, not mid-November - exactly around the time the tape was allegedly found.
The transportation service in war-ravaged Afghanistan must be extraordinary. First, the tape moves from Kandahar to Jalalabad at a speed that would make Fedex envious! (Counter Punch)
Mistranslated Osama bin Laden Video -- the German Press Investigates A GERMAN TV show found that the White House's translation of the
"confession" video was not only inaccurate, but even "manipulative".
ON December 20, 2001, German TV channel "Das Erste" broadcast its analysis
of the White House's translation of the OBL video that George Bush has
called a "confession of guilt". On the show Monitor, two independent
translators and an expert on oriental studies found the White House's
translation not only to be inaccurate, but "manipulative".
Arabist Dr. Abdel El M. Husseini, one of the translators, states,
"I have carefully examined the Pentagon's translation. This translation is
very problematic. At the most important places where it is held to prove
the guilt of Bin Laden, it is not identical with the Arabic."
Whereas the White House would have us believe that OBL admits that "We
calculated in advance the number of casualties from the enemy", translator
Dr. Murad Alami finds that:
"'In advance' is not said. The translation is wrong. At least when we look
at the original Arabic, and there are no misunderstandings to allow us to
read it into the original."
At another point, the White House translation reads: "We had notification
since the previous Thursday that the event would take place that
day." Dr. Murad Alami:
"'Previous' is never said. The subsequent statement that this event would
take place on that day cannot be heard in the original Arabic version."
The White House's version also included the sentence "we asked each of
them to go to America", but Alami says the original formulation is in the
passive along the lines of "they were required to go". He also say that
the sentence afterwards - "they didn't know anything about the
operation" - cannot be understood. (WelfareState.com)
Afghanistan: Why it’s impossible to support the war It’s been eight years since the United States invaded Afghanistan. After all these years many Americans have lost sight of the alleged purpose of our invasion – to hunt for Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.
What has also been lost is any government inquiry whatsoever into the accuracy of the “smoking gun” evidence that the Bush Administration presented as the final justification for invading Afghanistan – the peculiar “Osama bin Laden confession video.”
Released on December 13, 2001, the videotape of bin Laden and associates taking pleasure in the 9/11 attack was seen around the world – over and over again. I remember the 24 hour news channels playing the same scenes practically non-stop while the talking heads told their audiences that this was absolute proof that the United States invasion of Afghanistan a few months earlier on October 7, 2001 was the right action. (The Muslim Observer)
The Crime Behind the Criminal Wars! If your first guess is the attacks of September 11, 2001, on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, guess again.
It is a different crime, just as hideous by any legal standard and in any jurisdiction, but this crime, due to its very serious implications, is preferred by many to remain a secret.
It is a crime whose victims are not just the innocent civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq, but also every unsuspecting military personnel who put his or her life on the line in this synthetic war on terror, and you, the reader.
All preventable wars are illegal and criminal. According to the UN charter, “All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.”
Bush and Blair had the evidence that Bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attacks as early as September 26, 2001, but that evidence was only shared with those who were important for the execution of their war, such as NATO and Pakistan (Bush, Blair, and the Terrorism Shell Game), and kept away from those sane entities who were looking for a just and peaceful outcome. (MyDemocracy.net)
Fear Factor The recent release of the new Bin Laden video has sparked some controversy over its authenticity. Collateral takes a look at the old bin laden video and questions it's origins. (Woodshop Films)
Transcript of Bin Laden Videotape Following is a transcript of the videotape released by the Pentagon of Osama bin Laden, that U.S. officials say provides additional evidence that the al Qaeda leader is responsible for the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Source: U.S. Defense Department. - (US Department of Defense)
Taking the fat out of the fat bin Laden confession video For millions of people seeking the truth about September 11,2001, the videotape released by the Department of Defense on December 13, 2001 in which Osama bin Laden confesses to prior knowledge of 9/11 has been a powerful talking point when making the case that the government is covering up what actually happened on that notorious day.
Many in the global movement to discover the truth about 9/ 11 have referred to this video as the fat bin Laden video, including yours truly. When we see frames from the video such as in Figure 1, any person with eyes can look and see that the bin Laden in
the video appears much fatter than any other known image of Osama.
However, when one or even a few frames are taken from a 35-minute segment of video, and those selected frames exploit t he least recognizable images of bin Laden while hundreds of other frames resemble him more closely, it is a misrepresentation of the truth. Clearly,the center frame above is one of those frames in the video that least resembles Osama bin Laden - yet has been picked and published as if the entire video reveals bin Laden in this distorted image, when it does not. - While reading some of the coverage and investigation done by Maher Osseiran on the bin Laden confession tape, and his assertion that the tape is likely actually a tape of bin Laden himself, it occurred to me that since the tape was recorded in the Pakistan region, it was likely recorded in PAL video format. In the United States, we use the NTSC format. The difference is primarily that the standard PAL format has the same spatial resolution horizontally, but vertically it has a higher spatial resolution (720 x 576 for PAL – 720 x 480 for NTSC) than doe NTSC. Many PAL and NTSC converters simply eliminate the extra horizontal lines from the PAL format in order to conform to the NTSC format. This results in an image that appears to be ‘squashed’ along the vertical axis...making people and objects look fatter after the conversion. (Muckraker Report)
Pentagon Releases Bin Laden Videotape: U.S. Officials say Tape Links Him to Sept. 11 Attacks The Pentagon has released a videotape of Osama bin Laden, that it says provides additional evidence that the al Qaeda leader is responsible for the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Administration officials say the tape shows bin Laden had specific knowledge of when and where those attacks would occur before they took place.
Osama bin Laden tape
The videotape -- discovered in a private home in Jalalabad, Afghanistan -- shows a relaxed bin Laden discussing the attacks in Arabic with another man who appears to be a cleric. On the tape, bin Laden says he was pleasantly surprised by the amount of destruction caused at the World Trade Center; he only expected the top portion of the twin towers to collapse.
According to a translated transcript issued by the Pentagon, bin Laden says the attacks on the World Trade Center did more damage than expected. "...we calculated in advance the number of casualties from the enemy, who would be killed based on the position of the tower," he says, according to the transcript. "We calculated that the floors that would be hit would be three or four floors. I was the most optimistic of them all. (...Inaudible...) due to my experience in this field, I was thinking that the fire from the gas in the plane would melt the iron structure of the building and collapse the area where the plane hit and all the floors above it only. This is all that we had hoped for." (National Public Radio)
THE JFK MYTH: Was he assassinated because he opposed the Fed? This is in reply to an e-mail I received pointing out the views of the Christian Common-Law Institute regarding an alleged conflict between JFK and the Federal Reserve. It also suggested that this could have been the reason he was assassinated. On their website, the CCLI stated:
On June 4, 1963, a virtually unknown Presidential decree, Executive Order 11110, was signed with the authority to basically strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at interest. With the stroke of a pen, President Kennedy declared that the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank would soon be out of business. President Kennedy's Executive Order 11110 gave the Treasury Department the explicit authority: "to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the treasury."... Perhaps the assassination of JFK was a warning to all future presidents not to interfere with the private Federal Reserve's control over the creation of money.
This is what I refer to on page 569 of my book, The Creature from Jekyll Island, as "The JFK Rumor." I cannot accept this interpretation of history because of the following facts:
THE EXECUTIVE ORDERS
If you look at a copy of EO 11110 you will find that it does not order the issuance of Silver Certificates. It orders an amendment to EO 10289. If you then look up EO 10289, you will find that it says:
The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby designated and empowered to perform the following-described functions of the President without the approval, ratification, or other action of the President. (Freedom Force International)
What the Malthusians Say The shocking adoption of an official (if secret) policy by the United States, of defining its own national security in terms of the reduction of population of other, poorer nations, represents the predominant influence, but not yet the core worldview, of the neo-Malthusians. Their policies are represented to governments in terms of economic or strategic coercion, the exercise of raw power of empires or superpowers to stop the development of other, competitor nations. But their core objective is sheer racial and class hatred, a desire to eliminate as many brown, black, yellow, or poor human beings as possible. Malthus himself, as a paid writer for the British East India Company, was an out-and-out petty thief, who plagiarized the bulk of his work from eighteenth century Venetian Giammaria Ortes. Using Ortes's assertion that the Earth has a finite ``carrying capacity,'' Malthus wrote in order to abolish the poor laws in the British Isles, causing the death of poor children, and in order to justify a massive increase of looting of India, which led to the famines, drug wars, and population collapse of the nineteenth century on the Indian subcontinent.
``We are bound in justice and honour formally to disdain the Right of the poor to support. ``To this end, I should propose a regulation to be made, declaring that no child born from any marriage taking place after the expiration of a year from the date of the law, and no illegitimate child born two years from the same date, should ever be entitled to parish assistance.... ``The infant is, comparatively speaking, of little value to society, as others will immediately supply its place.'' --Thomas Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population (American Almanac)
Rockefeller on Bilderberg and the Press According to the article “Behind The Bias” (W. N. Grigg, The New American, February 10, 2003, p. 4), “Excerpts from Rockefeller’s opening address were leaked to two independent French publications. They then came to the attention of Hilaire du Berrier, an international correspondent living in Monaco, who published them in his newsletter, HduB Reports.”
According to various internet sources, the French publications were Minute, 19 June 1991, and Lectures Françaises, July/August 1991 and it was the HduB Reports of September, 1991 which republished the quote. (WikiMedia)
Sorry, Andrew Jackson Probably Never Said That "Den Of Thieves" Quote Because Andrew Jackson was a determined opponent of entrenched banking interests, he has become a heroic figure to many who opposed the bailout of our financial system.
Unfortunately, he probably never spoke some of the most famous words attributed to him.
Here's the alleged quote:
Congress in 1836, Jackson closed the second Federal Bank (est. 1816) with these comments:
The bold effort the present (central) bank had made to control the government. . . are but premonitions of the fate that await the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it.
I am one of those who do not believe that a national debt is a national blessing, but rather a curse to a republic; inasmuch as it is calculated to raise around the administration a moneyed aristocracy dangerous to the liberties of the country. (Business Insider)
Jefferson Spurious Quotations: Private Banks Quotation: "If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered...I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies... The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs." - Earliest known appearance in print: 1937 - Status: This quotation is at least partly spurious; see comments below. (The Jefferson Encyclopedia)
Al-Qaida leaders welcome Arab uprisings, says cleric Anwar al-Awlaki uses online magazine to explain why Middle East revolts are not a setback for al-Qaida - Anwar al-Awlaki's article appeared in online magazine Inspire and appears to have been written before the fall of Hosni Mubarak two months ago. Photograph: AP
Senior al-Qaida leaders have welcomed the uprisings in the Arab world in their first comprehensive statement on recent events, published in an internet magazine earlier this week.
Anwar al-Awlaki – the radical preacher who grew up in America but is now a fugitive in Yemen – used a lengthy article in an English-language magazine called Inspire to explain why the revolts sweeping the Middle East were not a setback for al-Qaida.
"Our mujahideen brothers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and the rest of the Muslim world will get a chance to breathe again after three decades of suffocation," Awlaki wrote in an article entitled The Tsunami of Change. (London Guardian)
Inside the Beltway: EXPLOSIVE NEWS A lingering technical question about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks still haunts some, and it has political implications: How did 200,000 tons of steel disintegrate and drop in 11 seconds? A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center.
“In order to bring down this kind of mass in such a short period of time, the material must have been artificially, exploded outwards,” says Richard Gage, a San Francisco architect and founder of the nonprofit Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth.
Mr. Gage, who is a member of the American Institute of Architects, managed to persuade more than 1,000 of his peers to sign a new petition requesting a formal inquiry.
“The official Federal Emergency Management [Agency] and National Institute of Standards and Technology reports provide insufficient, contradictory and fraudulent accounts of the circumstances of the towers’ destruction. We are therefore calling for a grand jury investigation of NIST officials,” Mr. Gage adds. (Washington Times)
Mainstream Media Questions Inaccuracies in 9/11 Story: The Washington Times publishes story questioning official account. The mainstream press is showing interest in a taboo, however glaring subject; the inconsistencies in the Bush White House 9/11 account.
As The Washington Times reports today, "A lingering technical question about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks still haunts some, and it has political implications: How did 200,000 tons of steel disintegrate and drop in 11 seconds? A thousand architects and engineers want to know, and are calling on Congress to order a new investigation into the destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 at the World Trade Center."
The problems with the official federal stories are endless and according to some of the world's top minds, the suggested account is impossible.
When we first began to write about these seemingly pressing questions, our Web Designer Matt Lintz caught the U.S. Air Force attempting to hack into Salem-News.com.
One person who has never let the matter fade away is Richard Gage. He's a San Francisco architect and founder of the nonprofit Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth.
Gage told The Washington Times, "In order to bring down this kind of mass in such a short period of time, the material must have been artificially, exploded outwards."
The federal government wants you to believe that fires brought the buildings to the ground, yet in all recorded history, no fire has ever toppled a skyscraper. They burn to the framework but they don't fall down. (Salem News)
12 Lessons That South Carolina Can Learn From Katrina In 2001, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) ranked the most likely and deadly disasters that could befall the United States.
The top three were:
* a terrorist attack on New York
* an earthquake in San Francisco
* a hurricane in New Orleans
The list was announced at a conference on Sept. 10. The next day was 9/11.
Two of those three uber-disasters now have occurred, and emergency response to the catastrophes is being criticized as inadequate and, in some cases,
”such as housing refugees in New Orleans' Louisiana Superdome” irresponsible.
Friday, President Bush called the federal response to Hurricane Katrina "unacceptable."
(The State Newspaper)
Privacy Groups Cheer FTC's Action Over Google Buzz Privacy advocates cheered on Wednesday in response to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission's crackdown on Google over privacy violations it called deceptive and potentially illegal resulting from the bungled launch of the Buzz social networking and microblogging service.
The only thing that tempered the joy of privacy watchdogs over the slap from the FTC was a desire for a stiffer punishment for Google.
Google deserves what the complaint settlement doles out and more, after trampling roughshod over the privacy of millions of Gmail users with the launch of Buzz in February 2010, according to watchdog groups.
At the time, the outcry was instantaneous, as horrified Gmail users realized that they had been opted into Buzz by default, which meant that sensitive information, such as the people they interacted with the most on Gmail, was shared with other users without their consent. (PC World)
Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush Bruce Bartlett, a domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan and a treasury official for the first President Bush, told me recently that ''if Bush wins, there will be a civil war in the Republican Party starting on Nov. 3.'' The nature of that conflict, as Bartlett sees it? Essentially, the same as the one raging across much of the world: a battle between modernists and fundamentalists, pragmatists and true believers, reason and religion.
''Just in the past few months,'' Bartlett said, ''I think a light has gone off for people who've spent time up close to Bush: that this instinct he's always talking about is this sort of weird, Messianic idea of what he thinks God has told him to do.'' Bartlett, a 53-year-old columnist and self-described libertarian Republican who has lately been a champion for traditional Republicans concerned about Bush's governance, went on to say: ''This is why George W. Bush is so clear-eyed about Al Qaeda and the Islamic fundamentalist enemy. He believes you have to kill them all. They can't be persuaded, that they're extremists, driven by a dark vision. He understands them, because he's just like them. . . .
''This is why he dispenses with people who confront him with inconvenient facts,'' Bartlett went on to say. ''He truly believes he's on a mission from God. Absolute faith like that overwhelms a need for analysis. The whole thing about faith is to believe things for which there is no empirical evidence.'' Bartlett paused, then said, ''But you can't run the world on faith.''
Forty democratic senators were gathered for a lunch in March just off the Senate floor. I was there as a guest speaker. Joe Biden was telling a story, a story about the president. ''I was in the Oval Office a few months after we swept into Baghdad,'' he began, ''and I was telling the president of my many concerns'' -- concerns about growing problems winning the peace, the explosive mix of Shiite and Sunni, the disbanding of the Iraqi Army and problems securing the oil fields. Bush, Biden recalled, just looked at him, unflappably sure that the United States was on the right course and that all was well. '''Mr. President,' I finally said, 'How can you be so sure when you know you don't know the facts?''' (New York Times)
Japan's deadly game of nuclear roulette Of all the places in all the world where no one in their right mind would build scores of nuclear power plants, Japan would be pretty near the top of the list.
The Japanese archipelago is located on the so-called Pacific Rim of Fire, a large active volcanic and tectonic zone ringing North and South America, Asia and island arcs in Southeast Asia. The major earthquakes and active volcanoes occurring there are caused by the westward movement of the Pacific tectonic plate and other plates leading to subduction under Asia.
Japan sits on top of four tectonic plates, at the edge of the subduction zone, and is in one of the most tectonically active regions of the world. It was extreme pressures and temperatures, resulting from the violent plate movements beneath the seafloor, that created the beautiful islands and volcanoes of Japan.
Nonetheless, like many countries around the world -- where General Electric and Westinghouse designs are used in 85 percent of all commercial reactors -- Japan has turned to nuclear power as a major energy source. In fact the three top nuclear-energy countries are the United States, where the existence of 118 reactors was acknowledged by the Department of Energy in 2000, France with 72 and Japan, where 52 active reactors were cited in a December 2003 Cabinet White Paper. (Japan Times)
EXPOSED: Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Political Syndicate (w/ Wayne Madsen) Who is Rahm Emanuel? How did he get into politics? The Emanuel family; just how powerful are they? What influence do they have on lobbying, and power politics? His workings with the Chicago Democratic Machine, how did he get started, is there a shady past he is trying to hide? Is Rahm being blackmailed because of his past with Obama on Chicago's North Side? The Blago trial; why was he and others never questioned about Obama, Valerie Jarret, and Jesse Jackson Jr. What role did he play in the attempt to bring the Olympics to Chicago? What is the connection to key players in Chicago and Washington DC winding up dead? Are there secret video tapes waiting to surface? If he is Mayor, what will the city of Chicago look like? Could he become another Rudy Giuliani? In this exclusive Special Investigation the Reality Report begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting goes deep and digs up the dirt that no Chicago media outlet would dare to report. This is a must see expose for anyone who has questions about Rahm Emanuel but just didn't know who to ask. (Reality Report)
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