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MEMORANDUM The Monsanto Investigation - "This is an analysis of the failure of EPA to investigate allegations that the Monsanto Company had falsified scientific studies on the carcinogenicity of dioxin." (Environmental Protection Agency)
The CIA And The Media How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up - Some of the journalists working the CIA’s side of the street “were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors-without-portfolio for their country...” (Rolling Stone)
Google Adds to Its Menagerie of Robots BigDog, Cheetah, WildCat and Atlas have joined Google’s growing robot menagerie.
Google confirmed on Friday that it had completed the acquisition of Boston Dynamics, an engineering company that has designed mobile research robots for the Pentagon. The company, based in Waltham, Mass., has gained an international reputation for machines that walk with an uncanny sense of balance and even — cheetahlike — run faster than the fastest humans.
It is the eighth robotics company that Google has acquired in the last half-year. Executives at the Internet giant are circumspect about what exactly they plan to do with their robot collection. But Boston Dynamics and its animal kingdom-themed machines bring significant cachet to Google’s robotic efforts, which are being led by Andy Rubin, the Google executive who spearheaded the development of Android, the world’s most widely used smartphone software. (New York Times)
Congress Just Held a Remarkable Two-Hour Hearing on Aliens In a refreshingly pro-science move, the House Science Committee set aside two hours yesterday to discuss the ongoing search for extraterrestrial life. The ensuing conversation was fascinating, but at times infuriating, with the experts discussing everything from alien biosignatures to the possibility that we're being watched.
The hearing, called "Astrobiology: The Search for Biosignatures in Our Solar System and Beyond," was set up to examine the burgeoning field of astrobiology and the search for biosignatures in our solar system and beyond. To that end, the U.S. House of Representatives brought together three experts, all PhDs: Mary Voytek, Senior Scientist for Astrobiology in the Science Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters; Sara Seager, Professor of Physics and of Planetary Science at M.I.T. (whose work we featured earlier this year); and Steven J. Dick, Baruch S. Blumberg Chair of Astrobiology, Library of Congress (who we've also talked about here at io9).
The Republican-dominated House Committee centered many of their questions on the issue of whether astrobiology could be an inspiration for young people to get involved in science and engineering. The witnesses were even asked how they got into astrobiology.
Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla) even asked the witnesses what they considered to be the greatest danger to life on Earth. Perhaps he was wondering if extraterrestrial intelligences (ETIs) might pose a threat. The panelists' answers included asteroids, overpopulation, and somewhat inexplicably, the quest for energy resources. Regrettably, this subject is outside their area of expertise, and their answers reflected as much. (io9)
Google robots may pose challenge to Amazon drones Google has revealed it has taken over seven robotics companies in the past half a year and has begun hiring staff to develop its own product.
A spokesman confirmed the effort was being headed up by Andy Rubin, who was previously in charge of the Android operating system.
The spokesman was unwilling to discuss what kind of robot was being developed.
But the New York Times reports that at this stage Google does not plan to sell the resulting product to consumers.
Schaft Google has hired a team of Japanese engineers who make humanoid robots
Instead, the newspaper suggests, Google's robots could be paired with its self-driving car research to help automate the delivery of goods to people's doors.
It notes the company has recently begun a same-day grocery delivery service in San Francisco and San Jose, called Google Shopping Express. (BBC)
Waterboarding, prolonged stress positions, placed in a box and subjected to extreme noise: CIA's rendition of two terror suspects in Polish jail revealed Two terror suspects 'were transferred to a prison in Poland and tortured' -- Both men say they were brought to the country in December 2002 -- Allegations include being told their families would be sexually abused -- Poland has been accused of human rights abuses - Lawyers for two terror suspects currently being held by the U.S. in Guantanamo Bay have accused Poland of human rights abuses.
They say they fell victim to the CIA's program to kidnap terror suspects and transfer them to other countries as they allege that they were tortured in a remote Polish prison.
The case marks the first time Europe's role in the CIA's 'extraordinary rendition' of terror suspects has reached European Court of Human Rights.
Lawyers for two terror suspects currently being held by the U.S. in Guantanamo Bay accuse Poland of human rights abuses
Lawyers for two terror suspects currently being held by the U.S. in Guantanamo Bay accuse Poland of human rights abuses
One of the cases concerns 48-year-old Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who currently faces terror charges in the U.S. for allegedly orchestrating the al-Qaeda attack on the USS Cole in 2000, a bombing in the Yemeni port of Aden that killed 17 sailors and wounded 37. (UK Daily Mail)
Will Legal Pot Cost More Than Black-Market Pot? -- High marijuana taxes could derail legalization in Washington and Colorado. When Congress banned marijuana in 1937, it did so in the guise of taxation, imposing a prohibitive levy on cannabis and created criminal penalties for those who failed to pay it. Marijuana taxes also played a prominent role in what may be the beginning of the end for pot prohibition: the legalization measures that voters in Colorado and Washington approved last fall.
Supporters of Washington's I-502 and Colorado’s Amendment 64 emphasized the revenue that the government could reap by recognizing cannabis production and distribution as a legitimate business. The tricky part, as officials in both states will soon discover, is balancing the desire for tax revenue against the desire to eliminate the black market created by prohibition. Or as UCLA drug policy expert Mark Kleiman, an adviser to Washington’s marijuana regulators, puts it: “What if we gave a pot legalization and nobody came?”
The dilemma is especially clear in Washington, where I-502 specified a 25 percent excise tax at three levels: sales between producers and processors, between processors and retailers, and between retailers and consumers. That’s in addition to the standard state sales tax of 8.75 percent.
According to calculations by BOTEC, Kleiman’s consulting firm, these taxes will make the retail cost of cannabis 58 percent higher than it would otherwise be, accounting for 37 percent of the price paid by consumers. One BOTEC projection, based on a production cost of $2 per gram, indicates the after-tax retail price will be $17 per gram, or $482 per ounce. Another projection, based on a production cost of $3 per gram, puts the retail price at $25.50 per gram, or $723 per ounce. (Forbes)
World's top climate scientists confess: Global warming is just QUARTER what we thought -- and computers got the effects of greenhouse gases wrong Leaked report reveals the world has warmed at quarter the rate claimed by IPCC in 2007 -- Scientists accept their computers may have exaggerated - A leaked copy of the world’s most authoritative climate study reveals scientific forecasts of imminent doom were drastically wrong.
The Mail on Sunday has obtained the final draft of a report to be published later this month by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the ultimate watchdog whose massive, six-yearly ‘assessments’ are accepted by environmentalists, politicians and experts as the gospel of climate science.
They are cited worldwide to justify swingeing fossil fuel taxes and subsidies for ‘renewable’ energy.
Yet the leaked report makes the extraordinary concession that over the past 15 years, recorded world temperatures have increased at only a quarter of the rate of IPCC claimed when it published its last assessment in 2007.
Back then, it said observed warming over the 15 years from 1990-2005 had taken place at a rate of 0.2C per decade, and it predicted this would continue for the following 20 years, on the basis of forecasts made by computer climate models.
But the new report says the observed warming over the more recent 15 years to 2012 was just 0.05C per decade - below almost all computer predictions.
The 31-page ‘summary for policymakers’ is based on a more technical 2,000-page analysis which will be issued at the same time. It also surprisingly reveals: IPCC scientists accept their forecast computers may have exaggerated the effect of increased carbon emissions on world temperatures – and not taken enough notice of natural variability. (UK Daily Mail)
Science confirms: Politics wrecks your ability to do math Everybody knows that our political views can sometimes get in the way of thinking clearly. But perhaps we don’t realize how bad the problem actually is. According to a new psychology paper, our political passions can even undermine our very basic reasoning skills. More specifically, the study finds that people who are otherwise very good at math may totally flunk a problem that they would otherwise probably be able to solve, simply because giving the right answer goes against their political beliefs.
The study, by Yale law professor Dan Kahan and his colleagues, has an ingenious design. At the outset, 1,111 study participants were asked about their political views and also asked a series of questions designed to gauge their “numeracy,” that is, their mathematical reasoning ability. Participants were then asked to solve a fairly difficult problem that involved interpreting the results of a (fake) scientific study. But here was the trick: While the fake study data that they were supposed to assess remained the same, sometimes the study was described as measuring the effectiveness of a “new cream for treating skin rashes.” But in other cases, the study was described as involving the effectiveness of “a law banning private citizens from carrying concealed handguns in public.”
The result? Survey respondents performed wildly differently on what was in essence the same basic problem, simply depending upon whether they had been told that it involved guns or whether they had been told that it involved a new skin cream. What’s more, it turns out that highly numerate liberals and conservatives were even more – not less — susceptible to letting politics skew their reasoning than were those with less mathematical ability. (grist)
Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government Dan M. Kahan, Yale University, Law School; Harvard University, Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics -- Ellen Peters, Ohio State University, Psychology Department; Decision Research; University of Oregon -- Erica Cantrell Dawson, Cornell University -- Paul Slovic, Decision Research; University of Oregon, Department of Psychology -
Why does public conflict over societal risks persist in the face of compelling and widely accessible scientific evidence? We conducted an experiment to probe two alternative answers: the “Science Comprehension Thesis” (SCT), which identifies defects in the public’s knowledge and reasoning capacities as the source of such controversies; and the “Identity-protective Cognition Thesis” (ICT) which treats cultural conflict as disabling the faculties that members of the public use to make sense of decision-relevant science. In our experiment, we presented subjects with a difficult problem that turned on their ability to draw valid causal inferences from empirical data. As expected, subjects highest in Numeracy — a measure of the ability and disposition to make use of quantitative information — did substantially better than less numerate ones when the data were presented as results from a study of a new skin-rash treatment. Also as expected, subjects’ responses became politically polarized — and even less accurate — when the same data were presented as results from the study of a gun-control ban. But contrary to the prediction of SCT, such polarization did not abate among subjects highest in Numeracy; instead, it increased. This outcome supported ICT, which predicted that more Numerate subjects would use their quantitative-reasoning capacity selectively to conform their interpretation of the data to the result most consistent with their political outlooks. We discuss the theoretical and practical significance of these findings. (Social Science Research Network)
Administration says it's serious about privacy, defends NSA programs The Obama administration says it takes privacy criticisms over its surveillance programs seriously while defending them to Congress and the U.S. public.
Obama met Thursday with a bipartisan group of lawmakers -- both critics and supporters -- to discuss surveillance activities of the National Security Agency. Also, NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander was on Capitol Hill to answer House lawmakers' questions in a classified briefing before the August recess, The Hill reported.
"Today's meeting was constructive and the President committed that he and his team would continue to work closely with the Congress on these matters in the weeks and months ahead," the White House said in a statement.
"We will continue to work through the August recess on proposals to improve transparency and strengthen privacy protections to further build the confidence of the American public in our nation's counterterrorism programs," the lawmakers said in a joint statement. (United Press International)
The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say) The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze. Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah’s Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. It’s the heart of Mormon country, where religious pioneers first arrived more than 160 years ago. They came to escape the rest of the world, to understand the mysterious words sent down from their god as revealed on buried golden plates, and to practice what has become known as “the principle,” marriage to multiple wives.
Today Bluffdale is home to one of the nation’s largest sects of polygamists, the Apostolic United Brethren, with upwards of 9,000 members. The brethren’s complex includes a chapel, a school, a sports field, and an archive. Membership has doubled since 1978—and the number of plural marriages has tripled—so the sect has recently been looking for ways to purchase more land and expand throughout the town.
But new pioneers have quietly begun moving into the area, secretive outsiders who say little and keep to themselves. Like the pious polygamists, they are focused on deciphering cryptic messages that only they have the power to understand. Just off Beef Hollow Road, less than a mile from brethren headquarters, thousands of hard-hatted construction workers in sweat-soaked T-shirts are laying the groundwork for the newcomers’ own temple and archive, a massive complex so large that it necessitated expanding the town’s boundaries. Once built, it will be more than five times the size of the US Capitol.
Rather than Bibles, prophets, and worshippers, this temple will be filled with servers, computer intelligence experts, and armed guards. And instead of listening for words flowing down from heaven, these newcomers will be secretly capturing, storing, and analyzing vast quantities of words and images hurtling through the world’s telecommunications networks. In the little town of Bluffdale, Big Love and Big Brother have become uneasy neighbors.
The NSA has become the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever. (Wired)
The Informants ~ The FBI has built a massive network of spies to prevent another domestic attack. But are they busting terrorist plots--or leading them? JAMES CROMITIE WAS A MAN of bluster and bigotry. He made up wild stories about his supposed exploits, like the one about firing gas bombs into police precincts using a flare gun, and he ranted about Jews. "The worst brother in the whole Islamic world is better than 10 billion Yahudi," he once said.
A 45-year-old Walmart stocker who'd adopted the name Abdul Rahman after converting to Islam during a prison stint for selling cocaine, Cromitie had lots of worries—convincing his wife he wasn't sleeping around, keeping up with the rent, finding a decent job despite his felony record. But he dreamed of making his mark. He confided as much in a middle-aged Pakistani he knew as Maqsood.
"I'm gonna run into something real big," he'd say. "I just feel it, I'm telling you. I feel it."
Maqsood and Cromitie had met at a mosque in Newburgh, a struggling former Air Force town about an hour north of New York City. They struck up a friendship, talking for hours about the world's problems and how the Jews were to blame.
It was all talk until November 2008, when Maqsood pressed his new friend.
"Do you think you are a better recruiter or a better action man?" Maqsood asked.
"I'm both," Cromitie bragged.
"My people would be very happy to know that, brother. Honestly."
"Who's your people?" Cromitie asked.
Maqsood said he was an agent for the Pakistani terror group, tasked with assembling a team to wage jihad in the United States. He asked Cromitie what he would attack if he had the means. A bridge, Cromitie said. (Mother Jones)
How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs As the violence spread, billions of dollars of cartel cash began to seep into the global financial system. But a special investigation by the Observer reveals how the increasingly frantic warnings of one London whistleblower were ignored - On 10 April 2006, a DC-9 jet landed in the port city of Ciudad del Carmen, on the Gulf of Mexico, as the sun was setting. Mexican soldiers, waiting to intercept it, found 128 cases packed with 5.7 tons of cocaine, valued at $100m. But something else – more important and far-reaching – was discovered in the paper trail behind the purchase of the plane by the Sinaloa narco-trafficking cartel.
During a 22-month investigation by agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and others, it emerged that the cocaine smugglers had bought the plane with money they had laundered through one of the biggest banks in the United States: Wachovia, now part of the giant Wells Fargo.
The authorities uncovered billions of dollars in wire transfers, traveller's cheques and cash shipments through Mexican exchanges into Wachovia accounts. Wachovia was put under immediate investigation for failing to maintain an effective anti-money laundering programme. Of special significance was that the period concerned began in 2004, which coincided with the first escalation of violence along the US-Mexico border that ignited the current drugs war.
Criminal proceedings were brought against Wachovia, though not against any individual, but the case never came to court. In March 2010, Wachovia settled the biggest action brought under the US bank secrecy act, through the US district court in Miami. Now that the year's "deferred prosecution" has expired, the bank is in effect in the clear. It paid federal authorities $110m in forfeiture, for allowing transactions later proved to be connected to drug smuggling, and incurred a $50m fine for failing to monitor cash used to ship 22 tons of cocaine. (London 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)
All-Time Record: Wall Street Compensation Hits $135 Billion Wall Street was on the ropes just 25 months ago. Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Bros., Bank of America, Wachovia, maybe Morgan Stanley; Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Chase were wounded. GE could not role over its commercial paper. European banks required cash infusions from our central bank.
Just in the wake of a report highlighting Wall Street’s narrow, selfish imbecilities, we are treated to the stunning realization that the captains of the sinking liner are today enjoying the all-time record payoff for surviving with massive transfusions. The payout of $135 billion to employees of Wall Street firms in 2010 is equivalent to the total market value of both Bank of America and Citigroup. Imagine– in two years. (Forbes)
Public Funding of Presidential Elections
Published in August 1996 (updated February 2011)
What is Public Funding?
When and How Did it Begin?
How Does Public Funding Work?
Primary Matching Funds
General Election Funding
Expenditure Limits for Publicly Funded Candidates
What is the FEC's Role?
Eligibility for Public Funds
Repayments of Public Funds
How Can I Support My Candidate?
How Can I Obtain Copies of Reports?
How Can I Get More Information?
(Federal Election Commission)
Clinton Ambassador Meeting: Unprecedented Mass Meeting Of Top Envoys Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is convening an unprecedented mass meeting of U.S. ambassadors.
The top envoys from nearly all of America's 260 embassies, consulates and other posts in more than 180 countries will be gathering at the State Department beginning on Monday. Officials say it's the first such global conference.
The gathering comes at a time of crisis in Egypt that could reshape dynamics in the Middle East, fallout from leaked diplomatic documents and congressional calls for sweeping cuts in foreign aid. (Associated Press)
Did The Sun Rise 2 Days Early In Greenland? Global Warming May Be Cause Vampires aren't the only ones who worry about the sun rising. After living in complete darkness for a chunk of winter, one might think Greenland citizens would be happy to finally see sunlight. But instead, the first sight of sun sent residents of Ilulissat, a town on the western coast, into a panic, with good reason -- the sun supposedly rose two days early.
According to LiveScience, Ilulissat is about three degrees north of the Arctic Circle -- where the sun doesn't set during summer solstice, and the sun doesn't rise on winter solstice. In other words, people living near this region experience winters without any sunlight. Ilulissat normally sees its first sunrise on January 13th -- this year, the sun allegedly rose on January 11th instead. (Huffington Post)
Strange Claim: The Sun Rose 2 Days Early in Greenland Residents of a town on the western coast of Greenland may have seen the sun peek over the horizon 48 hours earlier than its usual arrival on Jan. 13, sparking speculation, and disagreements, over possible causes.
The town of Ilulissat sits just above the Arctic Circle, meaning its residents had been without any sunlight for a good chunk of the winter, and traditionally they'd expect to see their "first sunrise" on Jan. 13.
News that the sun had peeked over the horizon on Jan. 11 appeared online in British and German-language publications and it appears to trace back to a story by the Greenland broadcasting company KNR that quotes residents who noticed the change. [Image Gallery: Sunrises and Sunsets]
Of about half a dozen scientists contacted, most were unaware of the report, which was circulating on the Internet. They offered a number of hypothetical explanations, including an illusion caused by an atmospheric effect and conflicting opinions about whether global warming might be to blame for melting along the edges of Greenland's ice sheet. With less ice, Greenland's elevation may take a dip such that the sun would have less distance to travel before appearing over the horizon. (Live Science)
Too much fluoride in water, government says -- High levels causing spots on teeth; recommended limit to be lowered Fluoride in drinking water — credited with dramatically cutting cavities and tooth decay — may now be too much of a good thing. Getting too much of it causes spots on some kids' teeth.
A reported increase in the spotting problem is one reason the federal government will announce Friday it plans to lower the recommended levels for fluoride in water supplies — the first such change in nearly 50 years.
About 2 out of 5 adolescents have tooth streaking or spottiness because of too much fluoride, a surprising government study found recently. In some extreme cases, teeth can even be pitted by the mineral — though many cases are so mild only dentists notice it.
Health officials note that most communities have fluoride in their water supplies, and toothpaste has it too. Some kids are even given fluoride supplements.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is announcing a proposal to change the recommended fluoride level to 0.7 milligrams per liter of water. And the Environmental Protection Agency will review whether the maximum cutoff of 4 milligrams per liter is too high. (Associated Press)
Vaccination Risk Awareness Network homepage Our website is designed to provide you with more information about risks and potential side-effects of vaccines, to get support if you or someone you know may have suffered adverse reactions from vaccines, and to foster a multi-disciplinary approach to child and family health. - VRAN — Vaccination Risk Awareness Network — is a not-for-profit educational society. Formed in response to growing parental concern regarding the safety of current vaccination programs in Canada, VRAN serves as a public information and resource group, and is committed to protecting children from the known risks of vaccines currently in use and those being developed for future use in Canada by informing parents of the components of vaccines, side effects, and possible long-term health effects.
VRAN is a national organization with members across Canada, many of whom have children who have suffered a broad spectrum of vaccine reactions, neuroimmune injuries, including death from vaccine reactions.
VRAN publishes a quarterly, highly informative newsletter with updates of the latest news and research on the vaccine issue from around the world.
VRAN‘s mandate is to empower families to make educated, voluntary, and informed decisions about vaccination, to support people in their right to health freedom, and to maintain and further the individual’s freedom from enforced medication. A growing number of health care practitioners, both physicians and practitioners of alternative medicine, support our mandate to provide parents and legal guardians with full disclosure of the risks associated with vaccines before the decision to vaccinate is made. (Vaccination Risk Awareness Network)
Fugitive Extradited from Mexico to Face Trial: Man Associated with Drug Tunnel Case Fled to Mexico Before 2001 (Press Release) Victor Flores, 51, was extradited to the U.S. from Hermosillo, Mexico and had his initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Marshall on Tuesday, December 14. The defendant will be detained until his trial on February 8, 2011 in front of Chief Judge John Roll.
Flores was to face trial in 2001 on cocaine charges related to a Naco, Ariz. drug tunnel that the defendants used to smuggle 20 tons of cocaine from its inception in 1996 until May 1999 when the tunnel was discovered.
Flores is charged in seven counts of the indictment with a variety of drug and gun violations, and he is alleged to have possessed with intent to distribute over 6,660 lbs of cocaine. An additional count alleges that he possessed three fully automatic machine guns to guard the load.
"The defendant fled to Mexico thinking that he was beyond the reach of this country's justice system and that he would not have to stand trial for his conduct. He was wrong on both counts. This extradition brings a defendant to Arizona to stand trial and marks a significant milestone in dismantling one of the largest border drug schemes in Arizona," said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. "This defendant's extradition is evidence of that the partnerships between the U.S and Mexico are working and that we are together gaining ground against violent drug trafficking organizations." (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
Senate Passes Sweeping Food-Safety Bill After stalling for more than a year, a sweeping food-safety bill passed with bipartisan support in the Senate on Tuesday, paving the way for increased federal inspections and other preventative measures. The vote was 73 to 25.
Though the bill has yet to be reconciled with a previous version passed by the House in July 2009, there has been some indication that the House will adopt the Senate's bill, a senior Democratic aide tells HuffPost.
The Food Safety Modernization Act would strengthen the power of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which oversees 80 percent of the nation's food supply, vastly improving its ability to ensure safety.
The law will focus on the areas of food-borne illness prevention, detection and response. It will also protect American consumers from unsafe food made overseas by subjecting imported foods to the same standards as food produced in the United States.
The bill is thought to be the most significant overhaul of the food-safety system in decades, and, as noted by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) on the Senate floor on Monday, it has attracted uncommonly broad support.
"I realize that the bipartisan road is not always easy to follow, but I can confidently say when we approach legislation in this manner, we often end up with a better, stronger and more responsive law in the end," said Dodd. "I think this bill is an example of just that."
The $1.4 billion measure has the backing of Congressional Democrats and has been touted by the likes of environmental activist Michael Pollan, who, in a New York Times op-ed on Sunday, called the measure "the best opportunity in a generation to improve the safety of the American food supply." (Huffington Post)
Re-Post: Wikileaks, Legitimate Whistleblowers or CointelPro? *I have received multiples tips from our sources that indicate Wikileaks is part of a massive government operation. Rather than posting an article with quotes from sources that must remain unnamed, I have decided to let what we know about Wikileaks speak for itself.*
Wikileaks and their founder, Julian Assange have been the focus of intense media scrutiny for what has been dubbed the “New Pentagon Papers.” With all the attention focused on how they received the information and what it means, most media outlets have overlooked some very important questions. Who is Julian Assange and how has Wikileaks managed to out run both the CIA and NSA? Why has the world elite stood by and let a group fronted by a former hacker release information that is perceived to damage them? Is it possible that Wikileaks has been set up as a shill group, used to spread misinformation on a massive scale?
From its inception, Wikileaks has been hailed as a mysterious entity, capable of exposing government corruption on every level. Even more mysterious, Wikileaks founder and public face, Julian Assange, has been able to out maneuver multiple federal agency’s on his supposed quest for truth. Alternative news outlets across the globe have applauded Wikileaks for its exposure of our disastrous military policies and there implications for the people of Afghanistan. Basically,Wikileaks has been given a free pass within the “truther” community. In our info battle against this so called “New World Order,”[Old World Order] we tend to overlook the shady tendencies of the people and groups we perceive to be allies. Clearly this is the case with Julian Assange and his supposed release of classified material. Could Wikileaks be a well place group of Cointelpro Agents, started not only to take the spotlight off other, more legitimate whistleblowers, but to be used as a pawn in order to demonize all whistleblowers as potential threats to national security? (The Intel Hub)
The Citizens United Effect: 40 percent of outside money made possible by Supreme Court ruling In 2002 former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once flippantly described connections between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda terrorists by saying, "There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns; there are things we do not know we don’t know." Little did Rumsfeld know that his remark would be the most accurate description for a murky midterm election eight years down the road.
The 2010 midterm election is filled with both "known unknowns," outside groups raised and spent $126 million on elections without disclosing the source, and "unknown unknowns," we don't know what those undisclosed donors want. We do know one thing: the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling allowed this election to be the costliest and least transparent midterm in recent history.
The impact of Citizens United can be judged by simply following the money. The $126 million in undisclosed money represents more than a quarter of the total $450 million spent by outside groups. Add the $60 million spent by groups that were allowed to raise unlimited money, but still had to disclose, to the undisclosed money and the total amount of outside money made possible by the Citizens United ruling reaches $186 million or 40 percent of the total spent by outside groups. (Sunlight Foundation)
Are Israeli art students spying in Utah? Is there door-to-door spying by Israelis in Utah?
Some very strange activities are occurring in America. Take the latest activity that came across my radar this morning. Perhaps you have heard about it, but most likely you have not.
In a recent article by Brent Hunsaker for ABC4, online, we find that:
“Sales people working neighborhoods in Northern Utah County have been asking some odd questions that have nothing to do with making the sale. Folks are reporting that they’re asking about the new National Security Agency’s data center that is being built at Camp Williams” (http://www.abc4.com/content/news/slc/story/Door-to-door-spies-in-Utah-County/sjOWsjk_zEqf6QeAfk4ZJw.csp)
The ‘sales’ people say they are Israeli art students and are selling their works to raise money for an art gallery. Some of the ‘art students’ have produced what appear to be legitimate Israeli passports, according to the report by Hunsaker. But we find out that:
“Blogs and even church bulletins are buzzing. One such bulletin sent out to LDS women in Highland said, “This is a scam! These are not art students and federal law enforcement groups are actually investigating their ties to organized crime and terrorist groups.” The note went on, “Part of their mission here is to gain information on the new NSA installation coming to our area” (ibid). (Daily Censored)
Daily Buzz: US Airmen Give Eerie Testimony at UFO Press Conference An interesting development for UFO conspiracy theorists, a group of former US Airmen held a press conference Monday to call the US government to task for saying UFOs don't pose any national security threat.
During the press conference in Washington D.C., seven former air force officers who had been stationed at different nuclear defense bases around the country not only said they witnessed UFOs but that the UFOs were able to disable nuclear weapons.
"Nobody was injured and I don't consider it an attack but it certainly it was a national security incident and something the Air Force said has never happen in their official policy documents," said Robert Salas, a former U.S. Air Force Nuclear Launch Officer. (Woman's Day)
Was San Bruno Explosion a Plane Crash? A number of reports suggest that the "natural gas pipeline explosion" Sept. 9 that killed seven, injured 50 and leveled 40 homes in San Bruno CA may have involved a plane crash or a missile. If so, there is a massive cover-up taking place.
On 09-10-10 at 11:06 A.M. a huge jet, resembling Air force One flew over San Jose. At 11:29 A.M. an F-18 flew over, and at 12:46 P.M. an AC -130 gunship (with the side gun turrets) followed.
The F-18's engines were roaring like a freight train. The F-18 appeared to be carrying large fuel tanks and ordinance. Being shortly before 9-11, I thought, "here comes another false flag incident."
Above is a photo of the F-18 as it flew over. Below is a photo showing the ordinance these jets can carry. It is not unusual to see an F-18 fly overhead here. It is very unusual for them to be heavily laden with weapons. It had its landing gear down, as you can see, and was headed north (towards Moffett Federal air base, Travis Air Force base, and San Francisco). These are all within thirty miles of San Bruno, where the pipeline allegedly exploded. (Henry Makow)
Al-Qaeda likely to try small-scale attacks on U.S., officials say Al-Qaeda and its allies are likely to attempt small-scale, less sophisticated terrorist attacks in the United States, senior Obama administration officials said Wednesday, noting that it's extremely difficult to detect such threats in advance.
"Unlike large-scale, coordinated, catastrophic attacks, executing smaller-scale attacks requires less planning and fewer pre-operational steps," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. "Accordingly, there are fewer opportunities to detect such an attack before it occurs." (Washington Post)
U.S. Nuclear Weapons Have Been Compromised by Unidentified Aerial Objects Ex-military men say unknown intruders have monitored and even tampered with American nuclear missiles. Group to call on U.S. Government to reveal the facts - Witness testimony from more than 120 former or retired military personnel points to an ongoing and alarming intervention by unidentified aerial objects at nuclear weapons sites, as recently as 2003. In some cases, several nuclear missiles simultaneously and inexplicably malfunctioned while a disc-shaped object silently hovered nearby. Six former U.S. Air Force officers and one former enlisted man will break their silence about these events at the National Press Club and urge the government to publicly confirm their reality.
One of them, ICBM launch officer Captain Robert Salas, was on duty during one missile disruption incident at Malmstrom Air Force Base and was ordered to never discuss it. Another participant, retired Col. Charles Halt, observed a disc-shaped object directing beams of light down into the RAF Bentwaters airbase in England and heard on the radio that they landed in the nuclear weapons storage area. Both men will provide stunning details about these events, and reveal how the U.S. military responded. (Reuters)
Cybersecurity bill on list for passage this year Capitol Hill staffers have made progress stitching together cybersecurity proposals into a huge bill, aides said, with Senate leadership putting it on their short list for passage this year.
But stiff industry opposition and partisan tensions still make it unlikely comprehensive legislation will pass in 2010.
The legislation would require companies who sell the government USD 80 billion in hardware and software each year to bake in a certain level of security -- a potentially expensive prospect.
Senate Majority Harry Reid has put the measure on his list of top-priority bills to get through the Senate this year, the sources said.
The bill is a priority because leaps in technology have increased industrial productivity, but also left businesses and the US government vulnerable to foreign spies, such as the 2008 breach of US military computers using a single compromised thumb drive and identity thieves who have stolen untold numbers of consumer credit card numbers. (Reuters)
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