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Senators propose granting president emergency Internet power A new U.S. Senate bill would grant the president far-reaching emergency powers to seize control of or even shut down portions of the Internet.
The idea of an Internet "kill switch" that the president could flip is not new. A draft Senate proposal that CNET obtained in August allowed the White House to "declare a cybersecurity emergency," and another from Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) would have explicitly given the government the power to "order the disconnection" of certain networks or Web sites.
On Thursday, both senators lauded Lieberman's bill, which is formally titled the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, or PCNAA. Rockefeller said "I commend" the drafters of the PCNAA. Collins went further, signing up at a co-sponsor and saying at a press conference that "we cannot afford to wait for a cyber 9/11 before our government realizes the importance of protecting our cyber resources." (CNet)
David Rosenberg: You Know You Are In A Depression When... Congress moved to extend jobless benefits seven times, as has been the case
over the past two years, at a time when almost half of the ranks of the
unemployed have been looking for at least a half year.
The unemployment rate for adult males (25-54 years) hit a post-WWII this cycle
and is still above the 1982 recession peak, and the youth unemployment rate is
stuck near 25%. These developments will have profound long-term
consequences – social, economic and political.
The fiscal costs of the depression continue to mount, with the White House on
Friday raising its deficit projection for 2011 to $1.4 trillion from $1.267 trillion.
That gap in the forecast – $133 billion – was close to the size of the entire
budget deficit back in 2002. Amazing.
You also know it is a depression when you find out on the weekend that the FDIC
seized and shuttered another seven banks, making it 103 closures for the year.
What a recovery! - You also know it's a depression when a year into a statistical recovery, the
central bank is still openly contemplating ways to stimulate growth. The Fed was
supposed to have already started the process of shrinking its pregnant balance
sheet four months ago and is now instead thinking of restarting Quantitative
Easing. Of course, we are in this bizarre environment where bank credit
continues to contract – last week alone, bank wide consumer credit outstanding
fell $2.2 billion; real estate lending contracted $9.2 billion; and commercial &
industrial loans slid $5.1 billion.
What did the banks do this past week? They replaced cash with government
securities – the $47.5 billion net buying was the second largest in the past three
years. As the banks find few opportunities to lend – households are either not
creditworthy enough to lend to or are busy paying off debts and companies that
do have any expansion plans have enough cash on their balance sheet to
finance their initiatives – they are likely to use their $1 trillion in excess reserves
buying government and related securities, especially with the yield curve so
steep and the Fed ensuring that it has no intention of taking the 'carry' away for
a long, long time. (Business Insider)
NYT defends publishing leaked military records The White House condemned Sunday night's leak of more than 90,000 secret military records covering the Afghanistan War by WikiLeaks, an organization that posts secret documents online.
National Security Adviser Jim Jones, in a statement, said “the United States strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information by individuals and organizations which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk, and threaten our national security.” - Baquet, along with reporters Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt, went to the White House last week to discuss what they planned on publishing. (Politico’s Glenn Thrush first reported on aspects of the meeting, but did not speak with Baquet.)
“I did in fact go the White House and lay out for them what we had,” Baquet said. “We did it to give them the opportunity to comment and react. They did. They also praised us for the way we handled it, for giving them a chance to discuss it, and for handling the information with care. And for being responsible.”
Jones said that WikiLeaks, unlike the Times, did not contact the U.S. government first.
That's not too surprising, given the recent friction between WikiLeaks and the military. In April, WikiLeaks posted a classified video of a U.S. attack in Baghdad that killed several civilians and Reuters employees. (Yahoo)
New York Times reporters met with White House before publishing WikiLeaks story The administration "praised" New York Times reporters for their handling of leaked Afghan war material - The White House was very upset with WikiLeaks for its decision to publish thousands of pages of classified reports and documents describing our mission in Afghanistan. But according to Yahoo's Michael Calderone, it was very pleased with how the New York Times dealt with its semi-exclusive access to the documents.
Times Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet took reporters Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt to the White House last week to brief the administration on what they planned on publishing. And they all got gold stars.
“I did in fact go the White House and lay out for them what we had,” Baquet said. “We did it to give them the opportunity to comment and react. They did. They also praised us for the way we handled it, for giving them a chance to discuss it, and for handling the information with care. And for being responsible.” (Salon)
Tucker Trumps Trilats Trilateral Commission (TC) members, angry over their failure to establish a world government and the economic crisis they generated, called for war with Iran when they gathered behind closed doors here in Dublin, Ireland May 7-10.
War plans were revealed by Mikhail Slobodovsici, a chief adviser to the Russian leadership, when he strolled off the grounds of the Four Seasons resort, where TC had hunkered down behind armed guards and locked doors. He thought he was talking to a TC colleague when speaking with Alan Keenan, who operates the web site WeAreChange.org.
“We are deciding the future of the world,” Slobodovsici said. “We need a world government,” he said, but, referring to Iran, said “we need to get rid of them.”
Clearly, it was a TC war call. Many of the TC’s billionaires and millionaires are heavily invested in manufacturing, and wars produce huge profits. (American Free Press)
Report: Israel convinces Obama to plan for Iran strike According to a report in Time magazine Israel has managed to convince Washington to put the option of a military strike against Iran's nuclear facilities back on the table.
Israel has long argued that all of the international sanctions against Iran are pointless unless Western powers are prepared to back them up with the threat of force.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been pressing that point since US President Barack Obama pushed through a new package of sanctions at the UN Security Council last month. (Israel Today)
'US psywar plan includes 2 hot wars' Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the United States and Israel plan to attack two countries in the Middle East as part of a conspiracy to apply pressure on Iran.
"We have precise information that the Americans have devised a plot, according to which they seek to launch a psychological war on Iran," Ahmadinejad stated in an exclusive interview with Press TV on Monday.
"They plan to attack at least two countries in the region within the next three months," he added.
He said the US seeks to achieve two main objectives with the scheme. (Press TV)
Charles S. Robb and Charles Wald: U.S. must be prepared to attack Iran When President Barack Obama signed into law tough, new legislative sanctions against Iran last week, he capped a month of new measures against that country’s nuclear program. Earlier in June, the Obama administration achieved a new round of U.N. Security Council sanctions, and the European Union declared plans to adopt additional sanctions in July. This activity, the culmination of months of negotiations, is welcome. Absent a broader and more robust strategy, however, sanctions alone will prove inadequate to halt Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. (Madison)
Obama Is Preparing to Bomb Iran After about two and a half years during which the danger of war between the United States and Iran was at a relatively low level, this threat is now rapidly increasing. A pattern of political and diplomatic events, military deployments, and media chatter now indicates that Anglo-American ruling circles, acting through the troubled Obama administration, are currently gearing up for a campaign of bombing against Iran, combined with special forces incursions designed to stir up rebellions among the non-Persian nationalities of the Islamic Republic. Naturally, the probability of a new fake Gulf of Tonkin incident or false flag terror attack staged by the Anglo-American war party and attributed to Iran or its proxies is also growing rapidly. (Webster Tarpley)
US Special Forces Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces, FM 31.20-3, 2003 Insurgent Strategies.
There are three general strategies of insurgency: foco, mass-oriented, and traditional.
A foco (Spanish word meaning focus or focal point) is a single, armed cell that emerges from hidden strongholds in an atmosphere of disintegrating legitimacy. In theory, this cell is the nucleus around which mass popular support rallies. The insurgents build new institutions and establish control on the basis of that support. For a foco insurgency to succeed, government legitimacy must be near total collapse. Timing is critical. The foco must mature at the same time the government loses legitimacy and before any alternative appears. The most famous foco insurgencies were those led by Castro and Che Guevara. The strategy was quite effective in Cuba because the Batista regime was corrupt and incompetent. The distinguishing characteristics of a foco insurgency are The deliberate avoidance of preparatory organizational work. The rationale is based on the premise that most peasants are intimidated by the authorities and will betray any group that cannot defend itself. The development of rural support as demonstrated by the ability of the foco insurgency to strike against the authorities and survive. The absence of any emphasis on the protracted nature of the conflict.
In 1952, Fidel Castro began his revolutionary movement in Cuba. After an unsuccessful attack of Ft. Moncada, he was imprisoned. Upon release in 1955 he fled to Mexico to train a new group of guerrilla warriors. In 1956, Castro and 82 of his followers returned to Cuba on a yacht. Of this group, only 12 of Castro's followers made their way to the Sierra Maestra mountains. From his remote mountain base, he established a 100to 150-man nucleus. As Castro's organization grew, small unit patrols began hit-and-run type operations. While Castro continued to expand his area of influence, the popularity of the corrupt Batista government waned. In May of 1958, the government launched an attack on the Sierra Maestra stronghold. Castro withdrew deeper into the mountains, while spreading his message on national reform. Batista's continuing repression of the country led to general strikes and continuing growth in popular support for Castro's small cell of revolutionaries. Finally, Batista fled the country on 1 January 1959, and Castro established a junta and became the Prime Minister and President. (US Special Forces)
Tropical Storm Bonnie Forms, Heading for Florida and BP's Gulf Oil Spill Tropical Storm Bonnie has formed south of the Bahamas and is on a track to move across the southern tip of Florida and into the oil-fouled waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
The storm has maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour (64 kilometers), and is expected to build strength as it bears down on the Florida Keys tomorrow, according to a special hurricane center advisory issued at 6:15 p.m. Miami time. (Bloomberg)
US Special Forces counterinsurgency manual analysis "[T]he psychological effectiveness of the CSDF concept starts by reversing the insurgent strategy of making the government the repressor. It forces the insurgents to cross a critical threshold-that of attacking and killing the very class of people they are supposed to be liberating." -- US Special Forces doctrine obtained by Wikileaks - So states the US Special Forces counterinsurgency manual obtained by Wikileaks, Foreign Internal Defense Tactics Techniques and Procedures for Special Forces (1994, 2004). The manual may be critically described as "what the US learned about running death squads and propping up corrupt government in Latin America and how to apply it to other places". Its contents are both history defining for Latin America and, given the continued role of US Special Forces in the suppression of insurgencies, including in Iraq and Afghanistan, history making.
The leaked manual, which has been verified with military sources, is the official US Special Forces doctrine for Foreign Internal Defense or FID.
FID operations are designed to prop up "friendly" governments facing popular revolution or guerilla insurgency. FID interventions are often covert or quasi-covert due to the unpopular nature of the governments being supported ("In formulating a realistic policy for the use of advisors, the commander must carefully gauge the psychological climate of the HN [Host Nation] and the United States.") The manual directly advocates training paramilitaries, pervasive surveillance, censorship, press control and restrictions on labor unions & political parties. It directly advocates warrantless searches, detainment without charge and (under varying circumstances) the suspension of habeas corpus. It directly advocates employing terrorists or prosecuting individuals for terrorism who are not terrorists, running false flag operations and concealing human rights abuses from journalists. And it repeatedly advocates the use of subterfuge and "psychological operations" (propaganda) to make these and other "population & resource control" measures more palatable. (Wiki Leaks)
Ex-CIA chief: Strike on Iran seems more likely now A former CIA director says military action against Iran now seems more likely because no matter what the U.S. does diplomatically, Tehran keeps pushing ahead with its suspected nuclear program.
Michael Hayden, a CIA chief under President George W. Bush, says that during his tenure a strike was "way down the list" of options. But he tells CNN's "State of the Union" that such action now "seems inexorable." (Associated Press)
Hans Rosling shows the best stats you've ever seen About 10 years ago, I took on the task to teach global development to Swedish undergraduate students. That was after having spent about 20 years together with African institutions studying hunger in Africa, so I was sort of expected to know a little about the world. And I started in our medical university, Karolinska Institute, an undergraduate course called Global Health. But when you get that opportunity, you get a little nervous. - I end now with the world. There, the Internet is coming. The number of Internet users are going up like this. This is the GDP per capita. And it's a new technology coming in, but then amazingly, how well it fits to the economy of the countries. That's why the 100 dollar computer will be so important. But it's a nice tendency. It's as if the world is flattening off, isn't it? These countries are lifting more than the economy and will be very interesting to follow this over the year, as I would like you to be able to do with all the publicly funded data. Thank you very much. (Applause) (Ted Talks)
Reinventing Collectivism: The New Social Democracy On every front, collectivism is in retreat. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the idea of state socialism is dead. For many people, the triumph of the market economy has legitimised the ideals of economic self-interest. Throughout the Western world, the traditional role of government is under question: the large, centralised bureaucracies of the welfare state appear to be out-of-step with an increasingly self-reliant electorate. The public’s faith in the public sector is at an all-time low.
So too, we have entered an era of political disengagement. The hierarchies of organised politics have generated enormous public distrust and dissatisfaction. Indeed, it is difficult to think of a government policy that still fosters a strong sense of collective interest and collective responsibility. We are losing the battle for public mutuality.
Not surprisingly, the foundations of community life are also weak. Society is experiencing exclusion at the top as well as the bottom. The trend towards walled housing estates and gated communities erodes social capital, no less than the exclusion of poor neighbourhoods. There is a thing called society but unhappily, we are losing it.
This is the crisis of Left-of-Centre politics: the widespread decline in collective institutions and collective ideals. Unless this crisis is addressed, our hopes for social democracy will hollow out. We will become a cause for power, rather than a cause for a good society. While from time to time we will still win elections, we will not know what to do with our electoral success. - One of the characteristics of Information Age politics is a growing sense of self-reliance. With the spread of mass information and education, the public wants to make more of its own judgements, to take greater control of the decision making process. Across society, institutions that tell people what to do are losing support. This is true of all forms of hierarchy, whether expressed through government agencies, political parties, trade unions or churches. We have entered an era of institutional rebellion.
Left-wing politics is the most prominent victim of this process. Each of our major institutions is in crisis. Trade union membership in Australia , for instance, has fallen to below 25 per cent of the workforce. The union movement has been crippled by an organisational contradiction: while economic activity has become more decentralised, it has gone down the path of amalgamations and centralised super-unions. This is one of the most ill-advised strategies in the history of Australian labour.
Likewise, the old politics of statism is in decline. Contrary to the promise of the welfare state, there is not a government program for every social problem. Indeed, it is difficult to find a section of society that remains enthusiastic about the work of government. At one level, these shortcomings are entirely predictable. The state has adopted the organisational principles of the Industrial Age: hierarchies, mass production and standardisation. It is out of step with the demands of an increasingly diverse and self-reliant electorate. (University of New South Wales)
Community (Communist) Oriented Policing: The consensus (dialectic) process There is a myth that communism is dead and that the cold war is over. Nothing could be further from the truth. The problem is that few people today understand what communism really is and just where the cold war battle lines are actually drawn. Crack open a dictionary and look up the term “Dialectical Materialism.” You should find something like this:
“A philosophy founded by Karl Marx… which forms the basis of Communist doctrine: it combines the materialistic idea of matter over mind with the Hegalian dialectic in which opposing forces are constantly being reunited at a higher level.” --Webster Dictionary
But that definition might beg the question, “What is the Hegelian dialectic?” For modern man, the answer to that question is epic. The Hegelian dialectic has profoundly impacted the world in which you live. - Transformational Marxists such as Kurt Lewin refined their weapon for the new battlefield: Using group dynamics to invade the culture to affect the paradigm shift. The weapon looks like this:
1. A Diverse Group (“Diversity” needed for conflict)
2. Dialoging to Consensus (Dialectic process)
3. Over a Social Issue (Problem/Crisis/Issues)
4. In a Facilitated Meeting (Controlled environment using facilitator/change agent)
5. To a Predetermined Outcome (Paradigm shift)
(News With Views)
New Legislation Authorizes FEMA Camps In U.S.: “National emergency centers” on military bases to house American citizens A new bill introduced in Congress authorizes the Department of Homeland Security to set up a network of FEMA camp facilities to be used to house U.S. citizens in the event of a national emergency.
The National Emergency Centers Act or HR 645 mandates the establishment of “national emergency centers” to be located on military installations for the purpose of to providing “temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster,” according to the bill.
The legislation also states that the camps will be used to “provide centralized locations to improve the coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts of government, private, and not-for-profit entities and faith-based organizations”.
Ominously, the bill also states that the camps can be used to “meet other appropriate needs, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security,” an open ended mandate which many fear could mean the forced detention of American citizens in the event of widespread rioting after a national emergency or total economic collapse.
Many credible forecasters have predicted riots and rebellions in America that will dwarf those already witnessed in countries like Iceland and Greece. (Prison Planet)
Retailers disgruntled about bag tax A central Maine lawmaker is reopening the debate about the use of plastic shopping bags with a proposed 10-cent-per-bag fee on the disposable sacks.
Sen. John Nutting, D-Leeds, has introduced legislation that he says will encourage the switch to reusable bags and keep plastic out of the state's environment and landfills. If the bill passes, Maine shoppers will be charged a dime for each plastic bag they use. The money will go into a state fund to promote recycling.
"In a lot of foreign countries now, they charge you," Nutting said. "Even if these bags are corn-based and may eventually biodegrade, they're taking up valuable landfill space." (Kennebec Journal)
World Bank Carbon Fund to Pay for Protecting Forests The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), announced by the World Bank on Thursday, will be part of UN climate change negotiations in Bali in December to shape a global agreement for when the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.
"A lot will depend on what the global agreement will be, but we think potentially this could yield a lot of money," Joelle Chassard, manager of the World Bank's carbon finance unit, told Reuters in an interview.
Chassard said the new facility would provide financial incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. (Reuters)
Genetically Altered Salmon Get Closer to the Table The Food and Drug Administration is seriously considering whether to approve the first genetically engineered animal that people would eat — salmon that can grow at twice the normal rate. The developer of the salmon has been trying to get approval for a decade. But the company now seems to have submitted most or all of the data the F.D.A. needs to analyze whether the salmon are safe to eat, nutritionally equivalent to other salmon and safe for the environment, according to government and biotechnology industry officials. A public meeting to discuss the salmon may be held as early as this fall.
Some consumer and environmental groups are likely to raise objections to approval. Even within the F.D.A., there has been a debate about whether the salmon should be labeled as genetically engineered (genetically engineered crops are not labeled).
The salmon’s approval would help open a path for companies and academic scientists developing other genetically engineered animals, like cattle resistant to mad cow disease or pigs that could supply healthier bacon. Next in line behind the salmon for possible approval would probably be the “enviropig,” developed at a Canadian university, which has less phosphorus pollution in its manure.
The salmon was developed by a company called AquaBounty Technologies and would be raised in fish farms. It is an Atlantic salmon that contains a growth hormone gene from a Chinook salmon as well as a genetic on-switch from the ocean pout, a distant relative of the salmon. - Virtually all Atlantic salmon now comes from fish farms, not the wild.
The F.D.A. must also decide on the environmental risks from the salmon. Some experts have speculated that fast-growing fish could out-compete wild fish for food or mates.
Mr. Stotish said the salmon would be grown only in inland tanks or other contained facilities, not in ocean pens where they might escape into the wild. And the fish would all be female and sterile, making it impossible for them to mate.
The F.D.A. is expected to hold a public meeting of an advisory committee before deciding whether to approve the salmon. Typically at such advisory committee meetings, much of the data in support of the drug application is made public and there is some time allotted for public comment.
But Gregory Jaffe, biotechnology project director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said such meetings often do not give the public enough time to analyze the data. (New York Times)
GM Salmon Muscle In on Wild Fish When Food Is Scarce The advance of genetically modified crops and farm animals has opened up fears of ecological disaster if the engineered, or transgenic, organisms were to escape the confines of the farm. Assessing the environmental risk posed by transgenic populations requires an understanding of how they would compete with their wild counterparts under such circumstances. To that end, new laboratory research has found that wild salmon tend to experience reduced growth in the company of salmon engineered to attain a large body size. The presence of transgenic fish also increases the likelihood of population collapse when food is in short supply.
The study, published online today by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, involved growth hormone (GH) transgenic coho salmon, which have greater appetites and can grow up to seven times bigger than wild cohos. (Scientific American)
GM goat spins web based future A goat that produces spider's web protein is about to revolutionise the materials industry.
Stronger and more flexible than steel, spider silk offers a lightweight alternative to carbon fibre.
Up to now it has been impossible to produce "spider fibre" on a commercial scale. Unlike silk worms, spiders are too anti-social to farm successfully.
Now a Canadian company claims to be on the verge of producing unlimited quantities of spider silk - in goat's milk.
Using techniques similar to those used to produce Dolly the sheep, scientists at Nexia Biotechnologies in Quebec have bred goats with spider genes. (BBC)
Tonkin Gulf Intelligence "Skewed" According to Official History and Intercepts: Newly Declassified National Security Agency Documents Show Analysts Made "SIGINT fit the claim" of North Vietnamese Attack The largest U.S. intelligence agency, the National Security Agency, today declassified over 140 formerly top secret documents -- histories, chronologies, signals intelligence [SIGINT] reports, and oral history interviews -- on the August 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident. Included in the release is a controversial article by Agency historian Robert J. Hanyok on SIGINT and the Tonkin Gulf which confirms what historians have long argued: that there was no second attack on U.S. ships in Tonkin on August 4, 1964. According to National Security Archive research fellow John Prados, "the American people have long deserved to know the full truth about the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The National Security Agency is to be commended for releasing this piece of the puzzle. The parallels between the faulty intelligence on Tonkin Gulf and the manipulated intelligence used to justify the Iraq War make it all the more worthwhile to re-examine the events of August 1964 in light of new evidence." Last year, Prados edited a National Security Archive briefing book which published for the first time some of the key intercepts from the Gulf of Tonkin crisis. (George Washington University)
National Security Act of 1947 was signed by United States President Harry S. Truman on July 26, 1947, and realigned and reorganized the U.S. Armed Forces, foreign policy, and Intelligence Community apparatus in the aftermath of World War II. The majority of the provisions of the Act took effect on September 18, 1947, the day after the Senate confirmed James Forrestal as the first Secretary of Defense. His power was extremely limited and it was difficult for him to exercise the authority to make his office effective. This was later changed in the amendment to the act in 1949, creating what was to be the Department of Defense.
President Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 onboard this VC-54C Presidential transport, the first aircraft used for the role of Air Force One. (At the time it was not painted with "U.S. Air Force" because it belonged to the USAAF.)
The Act merged the Department of War and the Department of the Navy into the National Military Establishment, headed by the Secretary of Defense. It was also responsible for the creation of a separate Department of the Air Force from the existing Army Air Forces. Initially, each of the three service secretaries maintained quasi-cabinet status, but the act was amended on August 10, 1949, to assure their subordination to the Secretary of Defense. At the same time, the NME was renamed as the Department of Defense. The purpose was to unify the Army, Navy, and what was soon to become the Air Force into a federated structure.
Aside from the military reorganization, the act established the National Security Council, a central place of coordination for national security policy in the executive branch, and the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S.'s first peacetime intelligence agency. The function of the council was to advise the president on domestic, foreign, and military policies so that they may cooperate more tightly and efficiently. Departments in the government were encouraged to voice their opinions to the council in order to make a more sound decision.
The Joint Chiefs of Staff was officially established under Title II, Section 211 of the original National Security Act of 1947 before Sections 209-214 of Title II were repealed by the law enacting Title 10 and Title 32, United States Code (Act of August 10, 1956, 70A Stat. 676) to replace them.
The act and its changes, along with the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan, were major components of the Truman administration's Cold War strategy.
The bill signing took place aboard Truman's VC-54C presidential aircraft Sacred Cow, the first aircraft used for the role of Air Force One. (Wikipedia)
We Are Change Austria's Natascha Koch: Forced Psychotherapy Yesterday, as we have learned this afternoon, Swiss-Austrian blogger Natascha Koch was lured to the local police station under false pretenses and then carried off to the Sigmund Freud Psychiatry Clinic in Graz where she is now being held prisoner without any consent. - She was advised not to deal with „such things“, and that even research about Jan van Helsing would be taboo. She was told that she had major perception problems and was offered pharmaceutical drugs on multiple occasions.
NATASCHA KOCH NEEDS OUR HELP!
We ask our fellow freedom lovers who are located around Graz to become ACTIVE and DEMAND HER IMMEDIATE RELEASE!
Natascha Koch is currently held on Station P22, Room 11 against her will! The repressive actions against her were initiated by a woman named Dr. Beisser. We ask all Austrians who stand up FOR freedom of expression and AGAINST forced psychotherapy to inform the press and television stations!!! (We Are Change)
Oakland Okays Indoor Medical Marijuana Mega-Farms In a marathon session Tuesday night, the Oakland City Council Tuesday approved an historic plan for large-scale indoor marijuana farms, but only after hearing from a cavalcade of medical marijuana patients, growers, and dispensary operators intent on ensuring that small and medium-sized growers are not squeezed out. While the ordinance is aimed at medical marijuana, the council, which has endorsed the Proposition 19 tax and regulate cannabis initiative, clearly sees the potential for tax revenues and jobs under a perhaps not-so-distant marijuana legalization in California.
The council passed a proposal that will authorize city officials to issue permits for four indoor marijuana farms to supply the city's four allowed existing medical marijuana dispensaries. The ordinance sets no size limitations. Some would-be medical marijuana cultivation entrepreneurs have proposed growing operations as large as 100,000 square feet.
Applicants for the four permits would submit proposals to the city. Permit holders would have to pay a $211,000 annual fee, as well as any taxes imposed by the city. The city currently taxes dispensaries at 1.8% and has plans to increase that tax to 8%. The large-scale grows would have a similar tax burden. (Drug War Chronicle)
Obama faces growing credibility crisis Robert Gibbs, Barack Obama’s chief spokesman, got into hot water this week for daring to speak the truth – that the Democrats could lose control of the House of Representatives in November. But it could be even worse than that.
Contrary to pretty much every projection until now, Democratic control of the Senate is also starting to coming into question. While Mr Obama’s approval ratings have continued to fall, and now hover at dangerously close to 40 per cent according an ABC-Washington Post poll published on Tuesday, the fate of his former colleagues in the Senate looks even worse. - “The bottom line here is that Americans don’t believe in President Obama’s leadership,” says Rob Shapiro, another former Clinton official and a supporter of Mr Obama. “He has to find some way between now and November of demonstrating that he is a leader who can command confidence and, short of a 9/11 event or an Oklahoma City bombing, I can’t think of how he could do that.”
In private, informal advisors to Mr Obama are almost as negative. According to one, the US public’s loss of confidence in Mr Obama’s leadership is a factor above and beyond their dissatisfaction over the state of the real economy, which continues to slow as last year’s $787bn stimulus starts to run dry. The adviser, who asked to remain anonymous, said the public did not know what Mr Obama really believed. Examples include his lukewarm support last year for a public option in the healthcare bill and his equally lukewarm support today for a Senate bill that would extend unemployment insurance and aid state governments to keep teachers in their jobs. (Financial Times)
Hearing: Halliburton warned BP 2 days before blast Halliburton Co. warned BP two days before the deadly Deepwater Horizon accident that it could have a severe problem with natural gas escaping from its Macondo well if it stuck with an existing well plan, according to an internal report that emerged in an investigative hearing Tuesday.
The April 18 report was sent to BP officials on land and on board the Deepwater Horizon and made recommendations about the cement job being used to secure pipe-like casing to the walls of the Macondo well.
A faulty cement job by Halliburton has been cited as a possible factor in the April 20 blowout that killed 11 workers, sank the Deepwater Horizon two days later and launched the worst U.S. oil spill.
The emergence of the report, however, suggests that BP may have ignored warning signs about potentially dangerous conditions in the well in the days leading up the accident. - Questions also arose in the hearing over whether BP should have stopped drilling the Macondo well weeks before the accident when it discovered leaks in the blowout preventer on the seafloor.
One of two control pods on the blowout preventer was leaking hydraulic fluid as of mid-March, but Sepulvado said the leaks did not affect the functioning of the blowout preventer, the last line of defense against loss of well control.
Federal offshore drilling regulations state that if control stations or pods on a blowout preventer don’t function properly, drilling operations should be suspended until they’re fixed. (Houston Chronicle)
Senate climate bill drops 'cap and trade' term -- REPUBLICANS LABEL IT A 'MASSIVE ENERGY TAX' Senate Democrats tried out a new catch phrase Wednesday to sell their global warming bill: pollution reduction and investment, or PRI.
But it's just another name for cap and trade, a term derided by Republican critics as "cap and tax" because it will increase energy prices and which Democratic polls have shown faring poorly with voters. - The idea to remake cap and trade into pollution reduction and investment came from Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., author of the bill unveiled Wednesday. He came up with it about a month ago to refocus attention on what the bill would do, not how it goes about doing it.
"Cap and trade doesn't mean anything to people, " Kerry said in an interview, insisting that "this is an actual description of what's happening here."
At a news conference on the bill, cap and trade, the legislation's centerpiece, got nary a mention. Instead, the buzz words were "national security," "economic growth" and "jobs from clean energy development." Kerry and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., the other key sponsor, entitled it The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.
"We are here and we introduced this legislation because of one word -- security," said Kerry. "It is time to reinvent the way Americans use energy."
The words "cap and trade," "global warming" and "climate" also didn't appear in a White House statement responding to the bill's introduction. (Trib.com)
Obama movie debuts in Indonesia A film about US President Barack Obama's childhood days in Indonesia made its debut in Jakarta on Wednesday, promising a very different perspective on the man in the White House.
"Obama Anak Menteng" or "Obama the Menteng Kid", is set in the upscale Jakarta neighbourhood of Menteng, where Obama lived from 1967 to 1971 with his mother and Indonesian stepfather.
Co-director Damien Dematra said it showed the US president in a light that Americans might find strange. - A scene showing Obama, who is a Christian, praying like a Muslim was dropped as it was deemed "too political", Dematra said.
"He was just imitating other kids when they were praying but it didn't mean he wanted to be Muslim. That scene wasn't even shot because I didn't want people to take it out of context and use it against him," he said.
Based on his interviews with Obama's surviving neighbours and friends in the Indonesian capital, Dematra claims the film is "60 percent fact and 40 percent fiction". (Agence France-Presse)
Uncle Sam Wants You to Have an Online ID As our daily interactions and transactions have become increasingly “wired,” we have yet to see any truly comprehensive attempts at securing online identities.
Our complex system of usernames and passwords is astoundingly outdated and increasingly prone to security breaches and theft. Yet, so far it has been mostly up to the individual to protect himself against various forms of identity fraud—with larger corporations taking relatively little responsibility.
But this could change in a big way. Right now the federal government is proposing a new system being referred to as the “Identity Ecosystem”—which was highlighted in the recently-released draft paper, “National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace” [NSTIC]. - The bottom line here is that the White House’s proposal depends on businesses voluntarily agreeing to turn the current e-commerce system upside down, incur massive new costs and collaborate with competitors – a dim possibility, to say the least.
Although the White House should be applauded for this idea, it is doubtful that such a voluntary approach is likely to win over the big companies who will end up footing the bill or passing it on to consumers.
The private industry has been trying to enact this type of online assurance model for some time now, and with little success. It is far more likely that the White House will have to work with Congress to legislate this type of a reform. (FOX)
New evidence of global warming in Earth's past supports greenhouse climate theory Scientists have filled in a key piece of the global climate picture for a period 55 million years ago that is considered one of the most abrupt and extreme episodes of global warming in Earth's history. The new results from an analysis of sediment cores from the ocean floor are consistent with theoretical predictions of how Earth's climate would respond to rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. - "This event is the best example of greenhouse warming in the geologic record, and for the first time we have been able to document the climate response on a relatively broad planetary scale, from the tropics to polar latitudes," Zachos said.
The temperature estimates were derived from chemical analyses of the shells of microscopic plankton preserved in the seafloor sediments. The chemical composition of the plankton's calcite shells reflects the temperature of the water in which they were formed. A key measurement examined in this study was the ratio of magnesium to calcium, which increases exponentially with the temperature at which the shells formed.
"The ratio of magnesium to calcium in seawater is relatively constant over the timescale of this event, so the ratio in the shells is really only sensitive to one variable, the calcification temperature," Zachos said.
ODP Leg 198 and a complementary drilling expedition in the Atlantic earlier this year (ODP Leg 208) were designed to test the leading explanation for the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, which attributes it to a massive release of methane. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, accumulates in frozen deposits known as clathrates found in the deep ocean near continental margins and also in the Arctic tundra. For reasons that remain unclear, the clathrates suddenly began to decompose, releasing an estimated 2,000 gigatons (2 trillion tons) of methane.
Once released, the methane would have reacted with dissolved oxygen in the ocean to produce carbon dioxide, another greenhouse gas. Large amounts of both carbon dioxide and methane would have entered the atmosphere, raising temperatures worldwide. (University of California - Santa Cruz)
Former BP worker speaks out This young man worked for BP clean up for about a month in late June, 2010. He asked to remain anonymous for fear of prosecution. First-hand witness to beach sharks trying to breath. (James C Fox)
Oil/Water samples from Gulf...VERY TOXIC Oil and water samples were taken from both the Shores of Grand Isle and from 20 miles out. The preliminary analysis was done at an academic analytical chemistry laboratory. Looking for the likely pollutants from the deep water Horizon Oil spill. It was focused on the detection of benzene and propylene glycol. Benzene and other highly toxic contaminants were very low however the concentration of propylene glycol was between 360 and 440 parts per million. Just 25 parts per million is know to kill most fish and propylene glycol is just one of many ingredients found in Corexit. In short, the Gulf is being poisoned by BP's usage of the dispersants even after the EPA asked them to stop back in May. We are willing to provide ANY respected/known laboratory these samples or provide them with more. This is very serious to all people and marine life in and around the Gulf. (James C Fox)
Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum The Paleocene/Eocene boundary, 55.8 million years ago, was marked by the most rapid and significant climatic disturbance of the Cenozoic Era. A sudden global warming event, leading to the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, alternatively "Eocene thermal maximum 1" (ETM1), and formerly known as the "Initial Eocene" or "Late Paleocene Thermal Maximum", (IETM/LPTM)), is associated with changes in oceanic and atmospheric circulation, the extinction of numerous deep-sea benthic foraminifera, and a major turnover in mammalian life on land which is coincident with the emergence of many of today's major mammalian orders.
The event saw global temperatures rise by around 6°C (11°F) over 20,000 years, with a corresponding rise in sea level as the whole of the oceans warmed. Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations rose, causing a shallowing of the lysocline. Regional deep water anoxia may have played a part in marine extinctions. The event is linked to a negative excursion in the δ13C isotope record, which occurs in two short (~1,000 year) pulses. These probably represent degassing of clathrates ("methane ice" deposits), which accentuated a pre-existing warming trend. The release of these clathrates, and ultimately the event itself, may have been triggered by a range of causes. However, an alternative mechanism has also been proposed. (Wikipedia)
Granger causality The Granger causality test is a technique for determining whether one time series is useful in forecasting another. Ordinarily, regressions reflect "mere" correlations, but Clive Granger, who won a Nobel Prize in Economics, argued that there is an interpretation of a set of tests as revealing something about causality.
A time series X is said to Granger-cause Y if it can be shown, usually through a series of F-tests on lagged values of X (and with lagged values of Y also known), that those X values provide statistically significant information about future values of Y. (Granger causality)
‘Historically, CO2 never caused temperature change’ -- Not so There are also events in geological history when sharp rises in temperature were initiated and driven by large spikes in greenhouse gases -- not unlike the fossil-fuel-emissions spike today. The Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum is such a case. Roughly 55 million years ago, ocean pH levels dropped drastically and global temperatures rapidly rose over 5oC. The resolution of available proxy records indicates that this occurred in a period of time no longer than 5K years; it's not possible to know if it happened even faster. The likely cause was massive releases of methane from the ocean floors, perhaps due to some smaller warming or changes in sea level. It took over 100K years for the ocean, atmosphere, and temperatures to return to their previous state. The result was a mass extinction event that took millions of years to recover from.
We can also look at the formation of the Deccan Traps. In this case, a massive and sustained volcanic action altered atmospheric chemistry and caused a drastic climate change, one that lead to the extinction of the dinosaurs. And Snowball Earth theories involve the build-up of greenhouse gases as the mechanism by which the earth eventually escaped its frozen state.
In short, it is simply untrue that history lacks precedent for greenhouse-gas-driven warming. The precedents are there, as are the dire warnings. (CO2 Lags Temperature) (Grist)
Milankovitch cycles describes the collective effects of changes in the Earth's movements upon its climate, named after Serbian civil engineer and mathematician Milutin Milanković, who worked on it during First World War internment. Milanković mathematically theorised that variations in eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession of the Earth's orbit determined climatic patterns on Earth. (CO2 Lags Temperature)
The Earth's axis completes one full cycle of precession approximately every 26,000 years. At the same time, the elliptical orbit rotates, more slowly, leading to a 21,000-year cycle between the seasons and the orbit. In addition, the angle between Earth's rotational axis and the normal to the plane of its orbit moves from 22.1 degrees to 24.5 degrees and back again on a 41,000-year cycle; currently, this angle is 23.44 degrees and is decreasing. (Wikipedia)
Greenhouse gases ...are gases in an atmosphere that absorb and emit radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The main greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. In our solar system, the atmospheres of Venus, Mars and Titan also contain gases that cause greenhouse effects. Greenhouse gases greatly affect the temperature of the Earth; without them, Earth's surface would be on average about 33 °C (59 °F) colder than at present.
The burning of fossil fuels since the beginning of the Industrial revolution has substantially increased the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. (Wikipedia)
IPCC List of Greenhouse Gases This is a list of LLGHG (long-lived greenhouse gases) greenhouse gases as used by the IPCC TAR. Gases relevant to radiative forcing only (per IPCC documentation) (Wikipedia)
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