All who enjoy hearing a meaty Marc Faber fire and brimstone sermon, that cuts through the bullshit, will be happy to know that the Gloom, Boom and Doom author conducted a 40 minute interview with the McAlvany Financial Group, which covers all the usual suspects: gold, silver, precious and industrial metals, the “crack up boom”, the future of the Ponzi and capital markets in general and much more. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Faber interview without the requisite soundbite: “I think we are all doomed. I think what will happen is that we are in the midst of a kind of a crack-up boom that is not sustainable, that eventually the economy will deteriorate, that there will be more money-printing, and then you have inflation, and a poor economy, an extreme form of stagflation, and, eventually, in that situation, countries go to war, and, as a whole, derivatives, the market, and everything will collapse, and like a computer when it crashes, you will have to reboot it.” Of course, on a long enough timeline…
Logos are seen in front of Swiss commodities trader Glencore building in Baar near Zurich January 5, 2010. Credit: Reuters/Christian Hartmann
BAAR, SWITZERLAND (Reuters) – On Christmas Eve 2008, in the depths of the global financial crisis, Katanga Mining accepted a lifeline it could not refuse.
The Toronto-listed company had lost 97 percent of its market value over the previous six months and was running out of cash. Needing to finance its mining projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo — a country which has some of the world’s richest reserves of copper and cobalt — Katanga’s executives had sounded the alarm and made a string of calls for help.
Global credit was drying up, the copper market had fallen 70 percent in just five months, and Congo — still struggling to recover from a civil war that killed some five million people – was the last place an investor wanted to be.
One company, though, was interested. Executives in the wealthy Swiss village of Baar, working in the wood-panelled conference rooms in Glencore International’s white metallic headquarters, did their sums and were prepared to make a deal. Their terms were simple.
They wanted control.
For about $500 million in a convertible loan and rights issue, Katanga agreed to issue more than a billion new shares and hand what would become a stake of 74 percent to Glencore, the world’s biggest commodities trading group. Today, with copper prices regularly setting records above $10,000 a tone, Katanga’s stock market value is nearly $3.2 billion.
Nations around the world are moving to freeze the assets of Muammar Gaddafi in an attempt to pressure the Libyan leader to stand down.
Britain on Sunday became the latest country to freeze billions of dollars worth of investments including those of Gaddafi’s children, and lifted his diplomatic immunity.
Tripoli, Libya (CNN) — Embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi seemed increasingly cornered Sunday as security forces defected to the opposition in a town near the capital and the United Nations Security Council voted for tough restrictions on and possible war crimes charges against the Libyan regime.
Former security forces said they had switched sides and joined the opposition in Zawiya, a town about 55 kilometers (35 miles) from the capital, Tripoli. Some buildings in Zawiya showed signs of damage, including a freshly burned-out police station.
CNN’s Nic Robertson, on a government-organized trip to Zawiya, saw armed civilians taking defensive positions on rooftops to prepare for a possible effort by Gadhafi loyalists to retake the town.
About 2,000 people took part in an anti-government protest there, some standing atop tanks or holding anti-aircraft guns. They said they wanted the government overthrown, calling Gadhafi a “bloodsucker.”
It is quite startling to realise that a special room had been set up to receive the dead of the July 7th bombings in a temporary morgue built on army land, the contract for which (see  below) arrived on the contractor’s desk on July 6th, the day before the massacres.
All the bodies of the dead were taken and cryogenically stored here.
Not until the Inquest, five years later, did startled lawyers acting on behalf of the victim-families get to hear, that NO POST MORTEMS had been performed on the dead.
Let us repeat this astonishing statement, the better to realise our own astounded bafflement:
NO POST MORTEMS HAD BEEN PERFORMED ON THE DEAD.
Let’s listen to the bewildered comment from pathologist Dr. Awani Choudhary, one of the first doctors on the scene from the BMA at Tavistock Square, who testified to the Inquest about his attempts to save the life of Gladys Wundowa: Continue reading »
The old faithful chart comparing Fed holdings with those of formerly major foreign holders. The Fed now surpasses China in its Treasury holdings by 37%!
There are two key datapoints to present in this week’s Fed balance sheet update: the surge in excess reserves, and the comparative Treasury holdings between the Fed and other foreign countries. But first the basics: the total Fed balance sheet hit a new all time record of $2.5 trillion. The increase was primarily driven by a $23 billion increase in Treasury holdings as of the week ended February 23 (so add another $5 billion for yesterday’s POMO) to $1.214 trillion.
With rates surging, QE Lite has been put on hibernation and there were no mortgage buybacks by the Fed in the past week: total MBS were $958 billion and Agency debt was also unchanged at $144 billion. The higher rates go, the less the QE Lite mandate of monetization meaning that the Fed will be continuously behind schedule in its combined QE2 expectation to buy up to $900 billion by the end of June.
Yet most notably, as we touched upon yesterday, the Fed’s reserves with banks surged by $73 billion in the past week, as more capital was reallocated from the unwinding SFP program. As noted previously, we expect the total bank reserves held with the Fed to jump from the current record $1.29 trillion to at least $1.7 trillion by June.
Full Fed Balance Sheet:
(Click on images to enlarge.)
Tracking purchases of USTs coupled with dispositions of Agency debt, shows that while the first is accelerating, the second is slowing down dramatically: Continue reading »
CO2 is environmentally friendly and global warming and the carbon hype are a scam. Even IF there would be global warming, then CO2 would have nothing to do with it, because CO2 lags 800 years behind rising temperatures! That is a scientific fact and if you watch ‘An Inconvenient Truth (Lie)’ again, then you will see exactly that relation in Al Gore’s fake hockey stick graph:
And yes, the hockey stick graph is fake and this is so obvious:
And everybody that doesn’t buy this BS invented by the elitists is called a denier!
ONE thing is clear about the carbon tax debate: everything is about to get more expensive – including the Government’s hold on power. There is much argy-bargy about whether or not Julia Gillard’s proposed initial scheme amounts to a tax. Of course it does.
This is the Government’s plan as Ms Gillard has outlined it so far. If this legislation is passed, after negotiations with Greens and independents, Ms Gillard will impose a fixed price on carbon, calculated per tonne of carbon emitted by polluters. That price will take effect on July 1, 2012.
Ultimately, the system will be designed to morph into an emissions trading scheme, where the price of carbon (let’s say it starts at $20 per tonne) is determined by its market value, and everyone can buy and sell carbon permits on that market. So a heavy polluter could buy up permits, thereby allowing it to continue its activities, albeit at a higher cost.
The carbon price will rise or fall like any other tradeable commodity, depending on the level of demand, environmental conditions and the value of other investments such as bonds, currencies and stocks.
This undated 2010 handout photo provided by AquaBounty Technologies shows two same-age salmon, a genetically modified salmon, rear, and a non-genetically modified salmon, foreground. The Agriculture Department approved more genetically engineered crops in the last month, and the Food and Drug Administration could approve modified salmon for consumption in 2011. If the sale of salmon is approved, it will be the first time the government has allowed such modified animals to be marketed for human consumption. (AP Photo/AquaBounty Technologies)
WASHINGTON – You may not want to eat genetically engineered foods. Chances are, you are eating them anyway.
Genetically modified plants grown from seeds engineered in labs now provide much of the food we eat. Most corn, soybean and cotton crops grown in the United States have been genetically modified to resist pesticides or insects, and corn and soy are common food ingredients.
The Agriculture Department has approved three more genetically engineered crops in the past month, and the Food and Drug Administration could approve fast-growing genetically modified salmon for human consumption this year.
According to a first-hand video account from a train station in Savannah, Georgia the Transportation Security Administration is now performing security pat downs and bag searches AFTER passengers disembark from their trips.
First Hand Account as Reported by the Videographer :
The only bad thing on our trip was TSA was at the Savannah train station. There were about 14 agents pulling people inside the building and corralling everyone in a roped area AFTER you got OFF THE TRAIN! This made no sense!!! Poor family in front of us! 9 year old getting patted down and wanded. They groped our people too and were very unprofessional. I am all about security, but when have you ever been harassed and felt up getting OFF a plane? Shouldn’t they be doing that getting ON??? And they wonder why so many people are mad at them.
We realize that this will fall on deaf ears at the TSA, but it’s worth pointing out that there’s this old Constitutional amendment that was designed to protect the American people from this exact type of violation of personal liberty:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution
Libyan leader’s palace outside al-Baida is not just luxurious, but a bunker designed to withstand a nuclear attack.
As pro-democracy demonstrators gain control of more cities in eastern Libya, Muammar Gaddafi’s many properties in the hands of protesters have been ransacked and destroyed.
One such palace sits on the outskirts of al-Baida.
Set in beautifully landscaped gardens, with a covered swimming pool, a sauna and a jacuzzi for Gaddafi and his guests, the palace offers a glimpse into the fortified world of a leader, who, according to US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, suffers from a severe phobia.
The Zionist Story, an independent film by Ronen Berelovich, is the story of ethnic cleansing, colonialism and apartheid to produce a demographically Jewish State.
Ronen successfully combines archival footage with commentary from himself and others such as Ilan Pappe, Terry Boullata, Alan Hart and Jeff Halper.
“I have recently finished an independent documentary, The Zionist Story, in which I aim to present not just the history of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, but also the core reason for it: the Zionist ideology, its goals (past and present) and its firm grip not only on Israeli society, but also, increasingly, on the perception of Middle East issues in Western democracies.
These concepts have already been demonstrated in the excellent ‘Occupation 101′ documentary made by Abdallah Omeish and Sufyan Omeish, but in my documentary I approach the subject from the perspective of an Israeli, ex-reserve soldier and someone who has spent his entire life in the shadow of Zionism.
Scientists, Led by Karolinska Institute’s Olle Johansson, PhD, Recommend Global Governments Adopt New Exposure Guidelines for Electromagnetic Radiation—Pointing to Biological Hazards and Risks to the Genetic Code from Unchecked Proliferation of Wireless Technologies
February 3, 2011. The scientific journal Reviews on Environmental Health has published a report by international scientists calling for greatly reduced exposure limits for electromagnetic radiation from power line and telecommunications technologies, including cell phones and wireless technologies. The statement, called The Seletun Scientific Statement, was written by seven scientists in five countries, based on a large and growing body of science showing biological effects. They saygovernments should take decisive action now to protect biological function as well as the health of future generations.
The Seletun Scientific Statement represents a Consensus Agreement among the scientists including “10 Key Recommendations to Protect Public Health” (see Video of Olle Johansson, PhD of Karolinska Institute, below.) The warnings strongly emphasize the global population is at risk, and that there is serious disruption to biological systems now occurring.
International Scientists Recommend Global Governments Adopt New Exposure Guidelines for Electromagnetic Radiation, Pointing to Biological Hazards and Risks to the Genetic Code from Unchecked Proliferation of Wireless Technologies
Health Effects Occur at Exposure Levels Many Orders of Magnitude Below Existing Public Safety Standards Around the World, Scientists Say
In November 2009, a Scientific Panel comprised of international experts on the biological effects of electromagnetic fields met in Seletun, Norway, for three days of intensive discussion on existing scientific evidence and public health implications of the unprecedented global exposures to artificial electromagnetic fields (EMF) from telecommunications and electric power technologies. This meeting was a direct consequence of on-going discussions already from the mid-90ties, when cellular infrastructure began to rapidly proliferate, and stretching through, among many, the Benevento, Venice and London Resolutions from this decade, and involving important conclusions drawn from the 600-page Bioinitiative Report published August 31, 2007, which was a review of over 2,000 studies showing biological effects from electromagnetic radiation at non-thermal levels of exposure, which partly was published subsequently in the journal Pathophysiology.
From all of the above, it has become obvious that new, biologically-based public exposure standards, taking into account long-term as well as non-thermal exposures, are urgently needed to protect public health world-wide.
Therefore international scientists gathered in Norway with the objective of developing guidance for global governments on this important emerging public health issue. The Seletun Scientific Panel today announces a Consensus Agreement including 10 Key Recommendations to Protect Public Health. The text below is based on the recent paper published in Reviews on Environmental Health 25 (4), 2010. The original paper can be requested via Olle Johansson, Karolinska Institute, firstname.lastname@example.org.
EMF exposures (static to 300 GHz) result from the use of electric power and from wireless telecommunications technologies for voice and data transmission, energy, security, military and radar use in weather and transportation.
The Seletun Scientific Panel recognizes that the body of evidence on EMF requires a new approach to protection of public health; the growth and development of the fetus, and of children; and argues for strong preventative actions. These conclusions are built upon prior scientific and public health reports documenting the following:
1) Low-intensity (non-thermal) bioeffects and adverse health effects are demonstrated at levels significantly below existing exposure standards for telecommunications and power utility technologies in developed and developing countries.
2) ICNIRP and IEEE/FCC public safety limits are inadequate and obsolete with respect to prolonged, low-intensity exposures common today.
3) New, biologically-based public exposure standards are urgently needed to protect public health world-wide.
4) It is not in the public interest to wait. Instead, governments should take decisive action now to protect biological function as well as the health of future generations.
Strong concern has been voiced by the public, and by scientists as well as public health and environmental policy experts, that the deployment of technologies that expose billions of people world-wide to new sources of EMF pose a pervasive risk to public health, and may pose a serious risk to future generations. Such exposures did not exist before the “age of industry and information”. A rapidly accumulating body of scientific evidence of harm to health and well-being constitute warnings that adverse health effects can occur with short-term and prolonged exposures to very low-intensity EMF at biologically active frequencies or frequency combinations.
The Seletun Scientific Panel has adopted a Consensus Agreement that recommends preventative and precautionary actions that are warranted now, given the existing evidence for potential global health risks. We recognize the duty of governments and their health agencies 1) to educate and warn the public, 2) to implement measures balanced in favor of the Precautionary Principle, 3) to monitor compliance with directives promoting alternatives to wireless, and 4) to fund research and policy development geared toward prevention of exposures and development of new public safety measures as well as new, safer communications technologies.
10 Key Points:
1. The Global Population Is At Risk. Global populations are not sufficiently protected from electromagnetic fields (EMF) from emerging communication and data transmission technologies that are being deployed worldwide, affecting billions of people;
2. Sensitive Populations Are Currently Vulnerable. Sensitive populations (for example, the elderly, the ill, the genetically and/or immunologically challenged) and children and fetuses may be additionally vulnerable to health risks; their exposures are largely involuntary and they are less protected by existing public safety standards; and they may amount to 40-50% of the population;
3. Government Actions Are Warranted Now Based on Evidence of Serious Disruption to Biological Systems. The Seletun Scientific Panel urges governments to adopt an explicit statement that “the standard for judging and acting on the scientific evidence shall be based on prudent public health planning principles rather than scientific certainty of effect (causal evidence)”. Actions are warranted based on limited, or weak, scientific evidence, or a sufficiency of evidence – rather than a conclusive scientific evidence (causation or scientific certainty) where the consequence of doing nothing in the short term may cause irreparable public health and economic harm, where the populations potentially at risk are very large, where there are alternatives without similar risks, or where the exposures are largely involuntary;
4. The Burden of Proof for the Safety of Radiation-Emitting Technologies Should Fall on Producers and Providers Not Consumers. The Seletun Scientific Panel urges governments to make explicit that the burden of proof of safety rests with the producers and providers of EMF- producing technologies, not with the users and consumers.
5. EMF Exposures Should Be Reduced in Advance of Complete Understanding of Mechanisms of Action. EMF exposures should be reduced now rather than waiting for proof or understanding of mechanisms of harm before acting. This recommendation is in keeping with traditional public health principles, and is justified now given abundant evidence that biological effects and adverse health effects are occurring at exposure levels many orders of magnitude below existing public safety standards around the world;
6. The Current Accepted Measure of Radiation Risk—the Specific Absorption Rate (‘SAR’)—Is Inadequate, and Misguides on Safety and Risk. SAR is not an adequate approach to predict many important biologic effects in studies that report increased risks for cancer, neurological diseases, impairments to immune function, fertility and reproduction, and neurological function (cognition, behaviour, performance, mood status, disruption of sleep, increased risk for auto collisions, etc);
7. An International Disease Registry Is Needed To Track Time Trends of Illnesses to Correlate Illnesses with Exposures.The Seletun Scientific Panel recommends an international registry be established to track time-trends in incidence and mortality for cancers and neurological and immune diseases. Tracking effects of EMF on children and sensitive EHS populations is a high priority. There should be open access to this information;
8. Pre-Market Health Testing and Safety Demonstration of All Radiation-Emitting Technologies. There is a need for mandatory pre-market assessments of emissions and risks before deployment of new wireless technologies. There should be convincing evidence that products do not cause health harm before marketing;
9. Parity Needed for Occupational Exposure Standards. The Panel discourages use of more lenient public safety standards for workers, as compared to the general public. Separate safety limits are not ethically acceptable. Workers include women of childbearing age and men who wish to retain their fertility;
10. Functional Impairment Designation for Persons with Electrohypersensitivity. The Panel strongly recommends that persons with electrohypersensitivity symptoms (EHS) be classified as functionally impaired rather than with ‘idiopathic environmental disease’ or similar indistinct categories. This terminology accepts responsibility for the environmental cause of the related health challenges and will encourage governments to make adjustments in the living environment to better address social and well-being needs of this subpopulation of highly sensitive members of society.
New Recommended Exposure Standards
The Seletun Scientific Panel recommends global governments adopt the following exposure guidelines to protect public health and the health of future generations
Extremely Low Frequency Fields:
Exposure Limit Recommended. Based on the available evidence, the Seletun Scientific Panel recommends a 0.1 uT (1 mG) exposure limit for extremely low frequency (fields from electrical power) for all new installations, such as powerlines, indoor electric appliances, house-hold items, TVs, radios, computers, and telecommunication devices, based on findings of risk for leukemia, brain tumours, Alzheimer’s, ALS, sperm damage and DNA strand breaks. This exposure limit does not include a safety margin, but starts right at the level where hazardous effects are found. The new recommendation is approx. 1,000 – 10,000 times lower than the current ICNIRP/IEEE standards;
Set-Back Distance. For all newly installed, or newly upgraded electrical power distribution, the Panel recommends a 0.1 uT (1 mG) set-back distance, from residences, hospitals, schools, parks, and playgrounds schools (and similar locations occupied by children) ; this set-back distance easily can amount to 50 meters or more;
Maximum 24-Hour Exposure Limit. For all newly constructed residences, offices, schools (and other facilities with children), and hospitals there shall be a 0.1 uT (1 mG) max. 24 hour average exposure limit;
Radiofrequency and Microwave Radiation:
Regarding radiofrequency/microwave radiation, the present guidelines, such as IEEE, FCC, and ICNIRP, are not adequate to protect humans from harmful effects of chronic EMF exposure. It is now instead recommended that:
• For whole-body (in vivo experiments) or cell culture-based exposure, 33 µW//kg. It is approx. 2,400 times lower than the current ICNIRP/FCC standards. No further safety margin or provision for sensitive populations, such as immune-compromised patients or persons with the functional impairment electrohypersensitivity, is incorporated. This may need to be lowered in the future.
• Based on power density measurements, the Seletun Scientific Panel finds sufficient evidence for a whole-body scientific benchmark for adverse health effect exists down to 0.17 mW/m2 (also 0.000017 mW/cm2 = 0.017 µW/cm2). It is approx. 50,000 – 60,000 times lower than the current ICNIRP/FCC standards.This may need to be lowered in the future.
• The Scientific Panel acknowledges that numeric limits derived here for new biologically-based public exposure standards are still a billion times higher than natural EMF levels at which all life evolved. It is a serious mistake to believe that we have always lived in man-made electromagnetic fields, such as from electrical power, radio, TV, computers, and wireless telecommunication, and therefore should not worry. It was not long ago when people thought that X-rays, radioactivity, strong ultraviolet light and radar were completely without harm. Nowadays we know much better!
“Science is about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It’s about listening to what scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient – especially when it is inconvenient!”
– Barack Obama
President of the United States
The Seletun Scientific Panel is comprised of 7 scientists from 5 countries, including Olle Johansson, PhD, Karolinska Institute, Chair, Adamantia Fragopoulou, Yuri Grigoriev, Lukas Margaritas, Lloyd Morgan, Elihu Richter, and Cindy Sage.
Quotes from Members of the Seletun Scientific Panel:
“Personally, I am very concerned for grave consequences that may ensue if exposure guidelines are not changed by global governments. I therefore urge them to immediately strongly reduce the guidelines for exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RF) and extremely low-frequency electromagnetic1 fields (ELF-EMF) for the reasons given above. It is high time to ask ourselves: What happens when we, 24-hours around the clock, wherever we are, allow ourselves and our children to be used as guinea-pigs, whole-body-irradiated for the rest of our lives?” In not doing so our politicians and health administrators may put us all at stake, since this is the largest human full-scale experiment ever!”
“Current US and ICNIRP standards for radiofrequency and microwave radiation from wireless technologies are entirely inadequate. They never were intended to address the kind of exposures from wireless devices that now affect over 4 billion people.”
Olle Johansson, PhD
Department of Neuroscience
“Pregnant women and children of all ages should avoid using cell and cordless phones given the health effects we are seeing already.”
Professor Yuri Grigoriev
Chairman, Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing
Radiation Protection, a member of WHO’s International Advisory
Committee on “EMF and Health”
“WI-FI routers, DECT phones and other wireless devices like baby monitors produce radio frequency emissions that will affect millions of people and babies in their homes, and should be halted until other, less harmful options are investigated.”
Professor Lukas Margaritas
Director, Department of Cell Biology and Biophysics
University of Athens
“New, biologically-based exposure limits are crucial to guide new technology development toward solutions that are not harmful to health. The global rollout of wireless technologies has outpaced both health studies and calls for more restrictive public safety limits.”
Co-Editor, Bioinitiative Report
“We are already seeing increases in health problems such as cancer and neurobehavioural impairments, even though these wireless technologies are fairly new in the last decades or so for the general public. This finding suggests that the exposures are already too high to protect people from health harm. Evidence suggests there are special risks for persons with occupational exposures to RF/MW as well as ELF.”
Elihu Richter MD MPH
Associate Professor (Retired)
Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Hebrew University-Hadassah School of Public Health and Community Medicine
After protests recently shifted to Korea, they have now migrated to very tightly controlled Vietnam (and some were wondering what the reason for the orchestrated take down of rice in the past week was), in the first public demonstration by unhappy farmer against the controlling regime in many years.
In the meantime, as the media blackout over developments in Korea, Bahrain and just as importantly Algeria continues (not to mention China), keeping in mind that as Nomura predicted, a shut down in Algerian and Libyan oil production is all that is needed for crude to hit $220, we now look forward to Venezuela to join the revolutionary ranks, with the culmination being when Afghanistan and Pakistan, and associated nukes, go in play.
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the mortgage-finance companies operating under U.S. conservatorship, requested another $3.1 billion in Treasury Department aid as they reported quarterly earnings reflecting improving health.
Fannie Mae reported net income of $73 million for the three-month period that ended Dec. 31, the Washington-based company’s first positive results in three years. McLean, Virginia-based Freddie Mac’s quarterly loss narrowed to $113 million from $6.5 billion in the same period a year earlier.
… a former Senate investigator laughed as he polished off his beer.
“Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail,” he said. “That’s your whole story right there. Hell, you don’t even have to write the rest of it. Just write that.”
I put down my notebook. “Just that?”
“That’s right,” he said, signaling to the waitress for the check. “Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail. You can end the piece right there.”
In other words (by a former Obama supporter):
“Change you can believe in?
More like bullshit you can take a bath in, if you ask me.” – Prof. Dr. David Michael Green (Dec.19, 2009)
Barack Obama’s administration is facing allegations that key officials have been furtively meeting with lobbyists, once derided by the President as Washington “influence peddlers.”
Administration officials have evaded public scrutiny by meeting lobbyists away from the White House and so not undermining President Obama Photo: GETTY
As part of his commitment to bring change to Washington, Mr Obama began made logs of visitors to the West Wing public, so anyone could keep track of who was being granted an audience with his aides and when.
But administration officials have evaded public scrutiny by meeting lobbyists away from the White House, where no record will be kept of their meetings – and the President’s pledge to keep them out of the White House will not be undermined.
The favourite locations for the furtive meetings are conference facilities in a government property in Jackson Place, just across Pennsylvania Avenue, nearby branch of Caribou Coffee, as well as other cafés dotted around the capital’s most famous address.
The Homeland Security Department this summer plans to begin testing a DNA analyzer that’s small enough to be easily portable and fast enough to return results in less than an hour.
The analyzer, about the size of a laser printer, initially will be used to determine kinship among refugees and asylum seekers. It also could help establish whether foreigners giving children up for adoption are their parents or other relatives, and help combat child smuggling and human trafficking, said Christopher Miles, biometrics program manager in the DHS Office of Science and Technology.
Only DNA can positively determine family relationships, Miles said Wednesday during a conference on biometrics and national security.
Eventually, the analyzer also could be used to positively identify criminals, illegal immigrants, missing persons and mass casualty victims, he said.
Economists have warned that gas prices have become increasingly unstable due to unrest in the Middle East. (AP)
The complaints that the St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office receives on a daily basis run the gamut from the mundane loud barking dog to the routine reports of speeders, to the make-you-shake-your head-and-say-what? calls about “my child is refusing to go to school.”
But the call that came through on Thursday caught even veteran law enforcement officials off guard and perhaps created a new category: Way out of the ordinary.
But it also may be a sign of the times.
At 2 p.m. on Thursday, the St. John 9-1-1 emergency call center received a report from a motorist who became irate when, he said, a local gas station increased the price of the fuel – while he was filling up his truck.
The unidentified motorist told authorities that when he first pulled into the station at Birdie’s Food and Fuel, located at 901 East Airline Highway in LaPlace, the price on the pump read $3.049 per gallon. But, while he was pumping, the price shot up to $3.189. The motorist confronted the station attendant but got no satisfaction, so he dialed 9-1-1.
“He said he didn’t think it was fair,” said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Dane Clement. “And the store attendant wasn’t very cooperative, so he called the Sheriff’s Office.”
Does a code of ethics still exist in Intelligence firms? Does it disappear behind closed doors, dirty deeds done in the dark and used against the American people who are supposed to be free to express themselves?
Nobody needs a propaganda minister these days
It’s recently been revealed that the U.S. government contracted HBGary Federal for the development of software which could create multiple fake social media profiles to manipulate and sway public opinion on controversial issues by promoting propaganda. It could also be used as surveillance to find public opinions with points of view the powers-that-be didn’t like. It could then potentially have their “fake” people run smear campaigns against those “real” people. As disturbing as this is, it’s not really new for U.S. intelligence or private intelligence firms to do the dirty work behind closed doors.
It’s not a big surprise that the U.S. military also wants to use social media to its benefit. Last year, Public Intelligence published the U.S. Air Force social media guide which gave 10 tips for social media such as, “The enemy is engaged in this battlespace and you must engage there as well.” Number three was “DON’T LIE. Credibility is critical, without it, no one cares what you have to say…it’s also punishable by the UCMJ to give a false statement.” The Air Force used the chart below to show how social media influences public opinion.
Trend forecaster Gerald Celente, of the Trends Research Institute, says that the further expansion of government austerity measures and impoverishment of the majority of the world’s populace will lead to more violence, riots and revolutions.
In his latest Trend Alert® to subscribers, Celente discusses the revolutions breaking out in the middle east and provides a different reasoning than mainstream pundits and politicians for why it is happening and why it will spread to Europe and the US:
As we wrote before Tunisia and Egypt erupted, the outbreaks would go global and the reasons behind the unrest would be more about bread and butter issues than politics. As economies decline, unemployment rises, taxes are raised and services cut – while those at the top get richer and most everyone else gets poorer – revolutions will continue to spread.
But that’s not the way it’s being represented by the same people who didn’t see it coming. The media, pundits and politicians have misrepresented the historic geopolitical events that have occupied the news since the onset of the New Year. Virtually overnight, the revolutions have been glorified as courageous fights for freedom and liberty by democracy-hungry-masses.
But it is not hunger for democracy that drives them. Democracy, autocracy, theocracy, monarchy – right, center, left – it is mostly a gut issue…an empty gut issue. When the money stops flowing down to the man in the street, the blood starts flowing in the streets. It’s a simple equation. A few at the top have too much, and too many others have too little.
Why is it that the US and NATO don’t give a damn about any humanitarian crisis unless it involves oil, gas, rare earth elements, drugs or all of them combined?
It’s all about ‘national security’.
After 10 days of protest, Moammar Gadhafi has lost control of the eastern portion of Libya.
(CNN) — If the U.S. military were to intervene in an increasingly chaotic Libya, it would most likely be part of a NATO action in which Libyan bloodshed has reached a humanitarian crisis, analysts said Thursday.
As reports emerged Thursday about deadly clashes between leader Moammar Gadhafi’s forces and anti-government protesters in the town of Zawiya near Tunisia, analysts highlighted how Gadhafi has already pledged to fight a rebellion to martyrdom.
Military intervention “is something which I hope doesn’t happen, but it looks as though at some point that it should happen,” said Simon Henderson, senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Companies that genetically engineer crops have a lock on what we know about their safety and benefits.
Soybeans, corn, cotton and canola — most of the acres planted in these crops in the United States are genetically altered. “Transgenic” seeds reduce the use of some insecticides. But herbicide use is higher, and respected experts argue that some genetically engineered crops may also pose serious health and environmental risks. The benefits of genetically engineered crops may be overstated.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday, February 17, 2011 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 19 Editorial Desk 1 inches; 32 words Type of Material: Correction
Seeds: In a Feb. 13 Op-Ed about seed-company barriers to independent research on genetically modified crops, the owner of the seed company Pioneer was incorrectly identified as Dow Chemical. DuPont owns Pioneer.
We don’t have the complete picture. That’s no accident. Multibillion-dollar agricultural corporations, including Monsanto and Syngenta, have restricted independent research on their genetically engineered crops. They have often refused to provide independent scientists with seeds, or they’ve set restrictive conditions that severely limit research options.
This is legal. Under U.S. law, genetically engineered crops are patentable inventions. Companies have broad power over the use of any patented product, including who can study it and how.
Agricultural companies defend their stonewalling by saying that unrestricted research could make them vulnerable to lawsuits if an experiment somehow leads to harm, or that it could give competitors unfair insight into their products. But it’s likely that the companies fear something else as well: An experiment could reveal that a genetically engineered product is hazardous or doesn’t perform as promised.
I am sure helicopter Ben can’t wait to nuke the US dollar one last time
There was a time when everyone thought CDOs are perfectly safe. That ended up being a tad incorrect. It resulted in AIG blowing up, recording hundreds of billions in losses and almost taking the rest of the financial world with it, leading ultimately to the first iteration of quantitative easing. A few years thereafter, several blogs and fringe elements suggested that munis are the next major cataclysm and will likely require Fed bail outs (some time before Meredith Whitney came on the public scene with her apocalyptic call). It would be only fitting that the same AIG that blew up the world the first time around, end up being the same company that does so in 2011, and with an instrument that just like back then only an occasional voice warned is a weapon of mass destruction: municipal bonds. AIG dropped over 6% today following some very unpleasasnt disclosures about its muni outlook, and corporate liquidity implications arising therefrom: “American International Group Inc., the bailed-out insurer, said it faces increased risk of losses on its $46.6 billion municipal bond portfolio and that defaults could pressure the company’s liquidity.” So how long before we discover that Goldman has been lifting every AIG CDS for the past quarter? And how much longer after that until someone leaks a document that the company’s muni strategy was orchestrated by one Joe Cassano?
The official publication of the first intermediate results of the International Interphone Study from the International Research Centre on Cancer (CIRC) dependent on WHO confirms the increased tumors and cancer cases due to the use of mobile phone
The Use Of Mobile Phone Is Carcinogenic: Here(PDF)
INTERPHONE Results latest update Oct. 08, 2008: Interphone Results Update(PDF)
(Natural News) A new review of more than 100 studies on the safety of mobile phones has concluded that cellular devices are poised to cause an epidemic of brain tumors that will kill more people than smoking or asbestos.
The review was conducted by neurosurgeon Vini Khurana, who has received more than 14 awards in the past 16 years, who made headlines worldwide with his warnings. He called upon the industry to immediately work to reduce people’s exposure to the radiation from mobile phones.
The studies and survey conducted by Australian Health Research Institute indicates that due to billions of times more in volume electromagnetic radiation emitted by billions of mobile phones, internet, intranet and wireless communication data transmission will make almost one-third of world population (about two billions) patient of ear, eye and brain cancer beside other major body disorders like heart ailments, impotency, migraine, epilepsy.
Dr. George Carlo was the leading scientist of the biggest study ever ($28-million)conducted on Cell Phones.
Dr. Carlo was hired as an independent scientist by the industry to prove that cellphones are safe. Yet Dr. George Carlo hissed all red flags possible (incl. cancer)!
German translation: Salford Studie (Vollversion)(PDF) Leif G. Salford,1 Arne E. Brun,2 Jacob L. Eberhardt,3 Lars Malmgren,4 and Bertil R. R. Persson>3 1Department of Neurosurgery, 2Department of Neuropathology, 3Department of Medical Radiation Physics, and 4Department of Applied Electronics, Lund University, The Rausing Laboratory and Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden
They found that mothers who did use the handsets were 54 per cent more likely to have children with behavioural problems and that the likelihood increased with the amount of potential exposure to the radiation. And when the children also later used the phones they were, overall, 80 per cent more likely to suffer from difficulties with behaviour. They were 25 per cent more at risk from emotional problems, 34 per cent more likely to suffer from difficulties relating to their peers, 35 per cent more likely to be hyperactive, and 49 per cent more prone to problems with conduct.
B. Blake Levitt is an award-winning journalist who has specialized in medical and science writing for nearly two decades. She has researched the biological effects of non-ionizing radiation since the late 1970’s. A former New York Times writer, she has written widely on medical issues for both the lay and professional audience. Her work has appeared in numerous national publications.
Study Finds Cellphone Radiation Changes Brain Activity
NEW YORK – A groundbreaking study published today by one of the world’s leading neuroscientists challenges the longstanding conviction that radiation emitted from cellphones is too weak to have an effect on the brain.
You can think of cellphone saturation as one giant, uncontrolled human experiment. There are now 293 million wireless connections in use in the United States, according to the trade group CTIA-The Wireless Association. And Americans log a staggering 2.26 trillion minutes yakking on those mobile devices every year—all at a time when the biological effects of cellphones remain controversial and the research on those effects often of dubious quality.
A study published today by leading researchers in the premiere medical journal JAMA hasn’t found a smoking gun, but it does challenge the longstanding conviction that radiation emitted from cellphones is too weak to have an effect on the brain. It is notable not only for that finding and for appearing in a top journal—it is also turning heads because the lead researcher is Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse and one of the world’s leading brain scientists.
She and colleagues from the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory took brain scans of 47 healthy participants after they held a cellphone to their ears for 50 minutes. Significantly, the phone was muted; that ruled out the possibility that any changes in brain activity reflected listening to or thinking about the incoming speech. Yet with the phone simply “on,” the scientists found a significant change in brain activity in the areas closest to its antenna. The research team “is on the brink of resolving a longstanding dispute with enormous implications for public health,” argues Louis Slesin, who as editor of Microwave News has followed the subject since 1981.
“What’s the impact of a cellphone on a child’s ability to learn? Does it impact cognitive ability?”
We need to throw all Americans into prison to close the budget gaps these days.
Oh, and even that might be not enough.
Inmates at the California Institute for Men at Chino in training to perform underwater welding work.
JAY, Fla. — Before he went to jail, Danny Ivey had barely seen a backyard garden.
But here he was, two years left on his sentence for grand theft, bent over in a field, snapping wide, green collard leaves from their stems. For the rest of the week, Mr. Ivey and his fellow inmates would be eating the greens he picked, and the State of Florida would be saving most of the $2.29 a day it allots for their meals.
Prison labor — making license plates, picking up litter — is nothing new, and nearly all states have such programs. But these days, officials are expanding the practice to combat cuts in federal financing and dwindling tax revenue, using prisoners to paint vehicles, clean courthouses, sweep campsites and perform many other services done before the recession by private contractors or government employees.
In New Jersey, inmates on roadkill patrol clean deer carcasses from highways. Georgia inmates tend municipal graveyards. In Ohio, they paint their own cells. In California, prison officials hope to expand existing programs, including one in which wet-suit-clad inmates repair leaky public water tanks. There are no figures on how many prisoners have been enrolled in new or expanded programs nationwide, but experts in criminal justice have taken note of the increase.
From inside the Wisconsin State Capitol, RAN ally Ryan Harvey reports:
“Hundreds of cops have just marched into the Wisconsin state capitol building to protest the anti-Union bill, to massive applause. They now join up to 600 people who are inside.”
Ryan reported on his Facebook page earlier today:
“Police have just announced to the crowds inside the occupied State Capitol of Wisconsin: ‘We have been ordered by the legislature to kick you all out at 4:00 today. But we know what’s right from wrong. We will not be kicking anyone out, in fact, we will be sleeping here with you!’ Unreal.”
NAPERVILLE, Ill., Feb. 25 (UPI) — Police in Illinois said a man “was in disbelief” when officers told him the online girlfriend to whom he had given $200,000 was not a real person.
Naperville police said the 48-year-old man called investigators Wednesday to say he believed the woman, with whom he had been involved in a 2 1/2-year online relationship, had been kidnapped in London, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday.
The man told police he had wired $200,000 to the woman during the relationship to different bank accounts in Nigeria, Malaysia, England and the United States.
Investigators said the ID card the woman showed the man was a sample driver’s license from Florida.
With gold higher and silver up almost $1.30, King World News today interviewed James Turk out of Spain. Turk had this rather frightening warning about the dollar, “The dollar right now is hanging on the precipice. If we break below 77 on the dollar index, look out below. I don’t think people really appreciate how scary the dollar chart is here, or how ominous the implications really are. There’s no predicting how far the dollar could plunge if confidence breaks.”
“You’ve got civil war breaking out in North Africa and you have rebellions happening in the Middle-East. In this kind of geopolitical situation, in the past the US dollar would always rally, but this time it can’t even bounce. You know Eric the other side of this coin is that if the dollar falls off the edge of a cliff, precious metals are going to skyrocket.”
When asked about silver Turk stated, “During the most illiquid time of the trading day, somebody decided to take out all of the stops in silver. If you were not following during business hours in the Pacific Ocean you missed it. I woke up this morning and looked at the chart and couldn’t believe what happened while I was sleeping.
The important point Eric is that no technical damage was done and in fact the situation has become even more bullish because that little smack down overnight took out all of the weak hands.
With this month’s important options expiry now behind us, I’m looking for higher prices next week. Even though the March/May spread has flattened a little, the backwardation continues to grow to 2015 and has ballooned further to $1.16. The short squeeze is continuing to develop. The shorts are trapped and whether the trap springs this week or in a month or two I don’t know, but we are getting very close.”
Japan’s public pension fund, the world’s largest, said it may become a net seller of bonds to cover payments in the world’s most rapidly aging society.
The Government Pension Investment Fund, which oversees 117.6 trillion yen ($1.4 trillion), in September forecast that it would sell 4 trillion yen in assets in the business year ending March 31 to fund payouts. Sales may be less than that in the year starting April as bonds reach maturity, said Takahiro Mitani, president of the fund, known as GPIF.
“We will likely be a net seller in the market,” Mitani, a former executive director at the Bank of Japan, said in an interview in Tokyo yesterday. “We certainly have to come up with an adequate amount” to pay pensions, he said, declining to elaborate on the amount.
Republican is duped by a caller pretending to be one of the rightwing Koch brothers, some of his wealthiest backers
Scott Walker is currently embroiled in a dispute over public sector pay Photograph: Pool/REUTERS
The Republican governor at the centre of the union-busting protests in the US has been embarrassed by a prank call that he believed was from one of his billionaire backers.
On the recording of the call, which has been released online, the Republican governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker tells a caller impersonating one of the rightwing Koch brothers that he is looking forward to flying to California to celebrate with them once the battle with the unions was won, and jokes about taking a baseball bat to slug Democratic leaders.
Walker is under siege in his office in the state capitol building in Madison, Wisconsin, in a backlash against his proposed legislation to remove unions’ right to collective bargaining and cut public sector workers’ pay.
Ian Murphy, who calls in pretending to be David Koch, suggests planting troublemakers among the protesters, who have been peaceful through 11 successive days of demonstrations. Walker says he has thought about doing that but decided against.
The prankster says: “I’ll tell you what Scott, once you crush these bastards, I’ll fly you out to Cali and really show you a good time.”
Walker replies: “Alright, that would be outstanding. Thanks for all the support and helping us move the cause forward. We appreciate it and we’re doing the just and right thing for the right reasons and it’s all about getting our freedoms back.”
MADISON, WI – FEBRUARY 24: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker speaks to the press outside his office at the state capital Building on February 24, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protestors have occupied the state capital building for the past ten days while the governor has tried to push through a bill that would restrict collective bargaining for most government workers. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
MADISON, Wis. — (AP) The Wisconsin Assembly early Friday passed a bill that would strip most public workers of their collective bargaining rights – the first significant action on the new Republican governor’s plan.
The vote put an end to three straight days of punishing debate, but the political standoff over the bill is far from over. The measure now goes to the Senate, where minority Democrats have been missing for a week, preventing a vote in that chamber.
Opponents of a proposed law to strip public-sector unions of collective-bargaining rights camp out overnight at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison while the state government debates the bill
The showdown over union rights that has paralysed politics in Wisconsin is spreading to other American states, threatening to trigger a national “workers war” of a kind not seen since Ronald Reagan fired air traffic controllers en masse 30 years ago.
The State Capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, was overflowing for the 10th day yesterday by protesters infuriated by legislation being pushed by the newly elected Governor Scott Walker which would strip most collective-bargaining rights from state workers, including teachers and librarians. Governor Walker is serving notice he will begin mass layoffs next week unless Democrats who have fled the state to avoid voting on the law return soon.
In signs that the Wisconsin fever might be contagious, similar legislation has surfaced in at least two other states – Indiana and Ohio – while strong support for Mr Walker has been expressed elsewhere, including by Chris Christie, the pugnacious and popular Governor of New Jersey.
Security in the country is at its lowest level for a decade and two-fifths of the country is off-limits, a departing United Nations official claimed yesterday.
Robert Watkins, a Canadian diplomat and the UN’s deputy special representative in Afghanistan, alleged that security was “at its lowest point since the departure of the Taliban” following the 2001 invasion.
He said the UN could rarely enter 40 per cent of the country, including Kandahar, and that access to areas it wanted to develop had progressively deteriorated over the past 10 years.