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No Agenda 510 - Furtive Movement

By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, May 05, 2013 at 12:33 PM.

Furtive Movement

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By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, May 05, 2013 at 12:33 PM.


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By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, May 05, 2013 at 12:33 PM.

Furtive Movement

Executive Producer: Sir Joshua Dale

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Titles: Sir Joshua Dale -> Baronette / Sir Glenn Riccio -> Baronette of Albemarle County, Virginia

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The Police of the Interwbs

Malware warning

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Sat, 04 May 2013 06:26

Recently someone on twitter complained that Chrome was labeling their site as malware: site blocked by Chrome browser after I wrote negative commentary about Google.

I took a few minutes to compose a reply, so I'll go ahead and post it here:

Just to summarize: Chrome's warning is correct. Your blog is hacked and injecting a malicious iframe on even on error pages.

At the top of the page, the malicious iframe looks like this: .rrfhezo { position:absolute; left:-1012px; top:-681px; }

I would recommend taking your blog down until you can fix the hack and remove the malware. If you verify at then we'll show you the details we know about the malicious code.

We're just the messenger here''this definitely had nothing to do with anything you wrote about Google. In fact, we recently published a website to help site owners recover from a hacked site:

Getting hacked truly sucks though. I hope you're able to get things cleaned up and in good shape. When you think the site is clean, you can file an appeal at for your hacked site and we'll rescan it for malware. When it's clean, we'll remove the warning in Chrome.

Hope that helps,Matt Cutts

I hope no one reading this ever gets hacked, but the truth is that some people will. You can reduce the odds of getting hacked by keeping all of your web server software up to date. If you do get hacked, our site at will walk you through the process of cleaning up your site. I know that some site owners are annoyed when Google flags their site as hacked or serving malware, but we're trying to protect our users as best we can.

Stupid twitter job

Bullying / Taunting


Real IRA connection to Baustin

Someone was in the way of the money shot

possibly other agency guys

Visa, maybe the other 'students' were also assets?

Boston Strong II 05.30.13

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Sat, 04 May 2013 15:35


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Aerosmith, James Taylor to Lead Boston Benefit Show | Music News | Rolling Stone

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Sat, 04 May 2013 15:34

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, James Taylor.

Douglas Mason/WireImage; Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Bostonians Aerosmith and James Taylor will lead a benefit show in their native city on May 30th at the TD Garden. Carole King and Massachusetts rockers the J. Geils Band are also set for "Boston Strong: An Evening of Support and Celebration," which will help raise money for the One Fund Boston, a charity set up by Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick and Boston mayor Thomas Menino to support those affected by the April 15th marathon bombings.

Neil Diamond Donating 'Sweet Caroline' Royalties to Boston Charity

Other artists set for "Boston Strong" include the city's own New Kids on the Block and Boston, fellow Massachusetts bands Godsmack and Extreme, Jimmy Buffett and Jason Aldean. Comedians Dane Cook and Steven Wright, who were both born in nearby Cambridge, will also perform.

Tickets will go on sale on May 6th at 10:00 a.m. EST on Ticketmaster, Live Nation and the TD Garden box office. More artists will be announced soon. For more information, visit the "Boston Strong" website and the One Fund.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Irving Azoff - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sat, 04 May 2013 15:38

Irving Azoff (born December 13, 1947) is an Americanpersonal manager, representing recording artists in the music industry such as Christina Aguilera, Journey, Jewel, the Eagles, X Japan, Bush, REO Speedwagon, Seal, David Archuleta, Alter Bridge, Van Halen, 30 Seconds to Mars, Neil Diamond, New Kids on the Block, Steely Dan and New Edition. Azoff is chairman and founder of Azoff Music Management Group, Inc. In late 2008, he became chairman and CEO of Ticketmaster Entertainment. He was Executive Chairman of Live Nation Entertainment until his resignation on December 31, 2012. He topped Billboard's2012 Power 100 and was named the most powerful person in the music industry.[1] Azoff is also currently on the board of Clear Channel Communications.[2]

[edit]BiographyHe began promoting and booking bands during his college years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has worked as an agent, personal manager, concert promoter, movie producer, independent record label owner, merchandiser, music publisher, and CEO of a record company. He moved to Los Angeles with his first clients, Joe Walsh and Dan Fogelberg. He then joined Geffen Roberts management where he began working with the Eagles. After David Geffen sold Asylum Records to Warner Music, the management company splintered and Azoff left with the Eagles as his own client.

From 1983 to 1989, Azoff headed MCA Records and is credited for saving the company from bankruptcy.[citation needed] Azoff resigned from MCA in 1989 to form his own record label, Giant Records, now defunct (Warner Music Group bought the masters.)

Frederic Dannen's book, Hitmen, includes a chapter titled "The Troika" about Azoff, David Geffen and Walter Yetnikoff, three rival record executives in the 1980s. According to Thomas R. King's book, The Operator, Geffen manipulated Azoff into leaving MCA and going to Warner Music Group where he started Giant Records. King writes that Geffen wanted Azoff out at MCA to clear the way for MCA to buy Geffen Records. So Geffen convinced Mo Ostin at Warner Music to offer Irving Azoff a "dream" label deal. Giant Records operated for much of the 1990s until Azoff decided to return to concentrating on artist management.

Irving co-produced the movies Fast Times at Ridgemont High and "The Inkwell" and has been named "Manager of the Year" by two touring industry's trade publications.

[edit]Business developmentsIn January 2008, it is being reported that Azoff is working with former New Kids on the Block alumni Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Jonathan Knight, Danny Wood and Donnie Wahlberg on a 'reunion' album.

On March 27, 2008, Guns N' Roses frontman Axl Rose announced that Azoff and Andy Gould are the new management for Guns N' Roses.

It was announced on October 1, 2008, that Azoff will be managing English singer Morrissey.[3] On January 6, 2010, Morrissey discontinued his relationship with Azoff and Front Line Management Group.[4]

In October 2008, ticketing and marketing company Ticketmaster announced that they would acquire artist management company Front Line Management Group Inc.. As part of the deal, Irving Azoff, founder and chief executive officer of Front Line, became Chief Executive Officer of Ticketmaster.

In February 2010, Johnny Gill announced that he and the rest of the members of New Edition will sign with Azoff for their second reunion and several solo albums.[5]

Ticketmaster issued restricted stock awards to Mr. Azoff representing approximately 4.5% of Ticketmaster's stock. The deal includes $35 million of restricted Ticketmaster preferred stock that is convertible at Azoff's election into 1.75 million shares of Ticketmaster common stock, and 1 million shares of restricted Ticketmaster common stock.

Ticketmaster also agreed to grant Azoff options to purchase 2 million shares of Ticketmaster common stock at an exercise price of $20 per share.

In May 2010, Guns N' Roses-singer Axl Rose filed a $5 million lawsuit against former manager Azoff, saying that Azoff sabotaged sales of Guns N' Roses' comeback album and lied about a potential ''super tour'' with Van Halen (which Azoff manages) as part of a scheme to force Rose to reunite with his former band members. Rose said in his suit that Azoff failed to promote his 2008 album, ''Chinese Democracy,'' and deliberately mishandled concert dates, ''forcing Rose into a position where he would have no choice but to reunite with the original members of Guns N' Roses for a reunion tour.

In January 2011, it was confirmed that Azoff is now managing The Cab.

In early 2013, it was announced that Azoff is now managing Australian singer-songwriter Delta Goodrem.

[edit]References[edit]External linksPersondataNameAzoff, IrvingAlternative namesShort descriptionDate of birthDecember 13, 1947Place of birthDate of deathPlace of death

Federal Register | In the Matter of the Review of the Designation of Real Irish Republican Army and Other Aliases; As a Foreign Terrorist Organization Pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as Amended

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Fri, 03 May 2013 22:49

Based upon a review of the Administrative Records assembled in these matters pursuant to Section 219(a)(4)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (8 U.S.C. 1189(a)(4)(C)) (''INA''), and in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury, I conclude that the circumstances that were the basis for the 2008 decision to maintain the designation of the aforementioned organization as a foreign terrorist organization has not changed in such a manner as to warrant revocation of the designation and that the national security of the United States does not warrant a revocation of the designation.

Therefore, I hereby determine that the designation of RIRA as foreign terrorist organization, pursuant to Section 219 of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1189), shall be maintained.

This determination shall be published in the Federal Register.

Dated:April 26, 2013.

John F. Kerry,

Secretary of State.

[FR Doc. 2013-10552 Filed 5-2-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4710-10-P Boston Marathon Bombers Tuition Fees

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Sat, 04 May 2013 10:19

Claim: The accused Boston Marathon bombers attended expensive private schools.Example: [Collected via e-mail, April 2013]Can you tell me where the Boston bombers and their families got their monies? There is no indication of a job (other than the father at one time being a US gov't employee) and I'm wondering how they got to an exclusive school and higher private education tuitions?

Origins: A number of inquiries from our readers like the one reproduced above suggests there is a common perception that accused Boston Marathon bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev attended expensive private schools, a perception which has prompted many to raise the question of where the money to fund their educations came from (since the brothers apparently had no obvious substantial source of income). Although detailed information about the Tsarnaevs' finances (and its sources) has not yet been made public, we can dispel the mistaken notion that they received costly private educations.According to various news accounts, the elder brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan (now deceased), attended high school at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and took accounting classes for three semesters between 2006 and 2008 as a part-time student at Bunker Hill Community College. As the school's name indicates, Bunker Hill is a community college (i.e., a

publicly funded two-year institution) with relatively low tuition rates for local residents.The younger brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar, is likewise reported to have attended high school at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School and then studied marine biology at UMass Dartmouth. Although the names of these institutions might suggest otherwise, neither of them is a private school: Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS) is a public high school (part of the Cambridge Public School District) formed from the 1977 merger of Rindge Technical School and Cambridge High and Latin School, and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (or UMass Dartmouth) is one of the five schools that comprise the University of Massachusetts public university system. Altogether, public high school, community college, and the University of Massachusetts is about the cheapest educational path a resident of Massachusetts could follow.

This isn't to say that the Tsarnaevs' educations were either cheap or completely cost-free: the fees at UMass Dartmouth run over $10,000 per year for Massachusetts residents, and even Bunker Hill Community College's tuition costs a local resident $141 per unit. And at least one of the brothers (Tamerlan) is reported to have been receiving welfare benefits at one point However, Dzhokhar won a Cambridge City Scholarship in 2011, and either or both brothers might also have received student loans or other forms of financial aid.

Last updated: 24 April 2013

Urban Legends Reference Pages (C) 1995-2013 by Barbara and David P. Mikkelson.This material may not be reproduced without permission.snopes and the logo are registered service marks of

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's Dark Side, Carefully Masked

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Sun, 05 May 2013 08:30

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. '-- On the day after two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev tapped out an early-afternoon text message to a classmate at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. Want to hang out? he queried. Sure, his friend replied.

In Boston, the police and the F.B.I. were mounting investigations that would end three days later with Mr. Tsarnaev's capture and his brother's death. But on that Tuesday afternoon, he lounged in his friend's apartment for a couple of hours, trying to best him in FIFA Soccer on a PlayStation. That night, he worked out at a campus gym.

On Thursday afternoon, he ate with friends at a dormitory grill. By early Friday, he was the target of the largest dragnet in Massachusetts history.

To even his closest friends, Mr. Tsarnaev was a smart, athletic 19-year-old with a barbed wit and a laid-back demeanor, fond of soccer and parties, all too fond of marijuana. They seldom, if ever, saw his second, almost watertight life: his disintegrating family, his overbearing brother, the gathering blackness in his most private moments.

There were glimpses. But Mr. Tsarnaev was a master of concealment. ''I have had almost two weeks to think about it, and it still makes no more sense than the day I found out it was him,'' Jason Rowe, Mr. Tsarnaev's freshman roommate, said in an interview. ''Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.''

Mr. Tsarnaev now lies in a prison medical facility, charged by federal authorities with using a weapon of mass destruction '-- the bombs, packed with explosives extracted from fireworks '-- that killed three people and wounded more than 260 others on April 15. In the face of compelling evidence, many friends still find it hard to believe that the teenager they knew '-- the ''cool guy,'' the ''great student'' with a ''heart of gold,'' the kid who ''would not provoke violence'' '-- could willfully commit such an atrocity.

But there were oblique signs that the gulf between the private and the public person was widening. Between raunchy jokes and posts about girls and cars on Twitter, Mr. Tsarnaev described terrifying nightmares about murder and destruction. In the last year, he alluded to disaffection with his American life and the American mind-set.

And as the date of the marathon drew close, he dropped cryptic hints of a plan of action, and the righteousness of an unspoken cause.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was born in July 1993 in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, the youngest of four children in a family that roamed for decades across the Caucasus and Central Asia looking for a stable home.

He spoke only broken English in 2002 when his father, Anzor, an ethnic Chechen, brought him to Massachusetts from the mostly Muslim region of Dagestan in Russia, eventually winning asylum by claiming political persecution. But by the time he entered Cambridge Rindge and Latin School in 2007, he spoke with barely a trace of an accent, blending seamlessly into a student body that was a m(C)lange of immigrants and American-born students of all colors.

By all accounts, he thrived there. Jahar, as his fellow students called him '-- the rough pronunciation of his Caucasian name, adopted as his nickname '-- became a star student, winning a $2,500 scholarship upon his graduation in 2011. He loved literature and world history, particularly studies of his former homelands.

In sophomore year, he joined the school's wrestling team as a novice and quickly grew so strong and skillful, one teammate said, that he could take down even coaches. His teammates say they looked up to him as a teacher and motivator. ''We'd be running stairs for hours,'' said another, Zeaed Abu-Rubieh, now 21. ''Every time I'd stop, when I was thinking about leaving, he'd push me forward, physically push me. And he was strong. He'd say: 'Go on. Run. You can do it.' He believed in people.''

His teammates eventually voted him captain. One of the coaches, Peter Payack, said he deserved it. Despite the draining four-hour daily practice and trips at sunrise to weekend meets, he said, Mr. Tsarnaev maintained his academic record and proved a model of good sportsmanship and steady temperament.

Reporting was contributed by Jennifer Preston, Serge F. Kovaleski and Emily Rueb from New York; Richard A. Oppel Jr. and Dina Kraft from Cambridge; Kitty Bennett from St. Petersburg, Fla.; and Leanne Poirier from North Dartmouth, Mass.


Nullification (U.S. Constitution) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The theory of nullification has been rejected repeatedly by the courts. The courts have found that under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution, federal law is superior to state law, and that under Article III of the Constitution, the federal judiciary has the final power to interpret the Constitution. Therefore, the power to make final decisions about the constitutionality of federal laws lies with the federal courts, not the states, and the states do not have the power to nullify federal laws.


Furtive | Define Furtive at

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Sat, 04 May 2013 20:04

Example sentences

Still, here was the author's attempt to allow opposites-peril and bliss, furtive lovers and traditional family-to harmonize.Last season's ending was pyrotechnic, furtive, dramatic and fraught.

Entrapment has long been a factor in the enforcement of vice laws, which seek to punish behavior that is furtive and widespread.These earliest mammals were small, furtive creatures.

And their furtive huddling and divided sympathies do hold some perceptive ironies on human behavior.

The nature of her occupation kept her to furtive corners and the dark side of streets.

Remember, the officer doesn't know who you are at this point and may feel threatened by any furtive movements.

My furtive hour-long expeditions gave way to daylong escapes.

Here, appellant's furtive movements and unwillingness to keep her hand out of her pocket warranted a protective pat-down search.

But that was not why fishermen were giving him furtive, curious glances.

CDC - Tourette Syndrome, Diagnosing Tic Disorders - NCBDDD

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Sat, 04 May 2013 19:08

The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR)1 is used by health professionals to help diagnose tic disorders.

Tics are sudden twitches, movements, or sounds that people do repeatedly. People who have tics cannot stop their body from doing these things. For example, a person with a motor tic might keep blinking over and over again. Or, a person with a vocal tic might make a grunting sound unwillingly.

Four tic disorders are included in the DSM-IV-TR:

Tourette's disorder (also called Tourette Syndrome [TS])Chronic motor or vocal tic disorderTransient tic disorderTic disorder not otherwise specifiedThe tic disorders differ from each other in terms of the type of tic present (motor or vocal, or a combination of both), and how long the symptoms have lasted. People with TS have both motor and vocal tics, and have had tic symptoms for at least 1 year. People with chronic motor or vocal tic disorders have either motor or vocal tics, and have had tic symptoms for at least 1 year. People with transient tic disorders can have motor or vocal tics, or both, but have had their symptoms less than 1 year. Tic disorder not otherwise specified is diagnosed when people have tics that do not meet criteria for one of the other disorders.

The criteria are presented here in modified form to make them more accessible to the general public. They are listed here for information purposes only and should not be used for self-diagnosis. If you are concerned about any of the symptoms listed, you should consult a trained health care provider with experience in diagnosing and treating tic disorders.

Tourette Syndrome (TS)For a person to be diagnosed with TS, he or she must meet the following criteria:

The person must have both motor tics (for example, blinking or shrugging the shoulders) and vocal tics (for example, humming, clearing the throat, or yelling out a word or phrase), although they might not always happen at the same time.The person must have had tics for at least a year. The tics can occur many times a day (usually in bouts) nearly every day, or off and on, but there must not be a single tic-free period of more than 3 months.The person's tics must begin before he or she is 18 years of age.The person's symptoms must not be due to taking medicine or other drugs or to having another medical condition (for example, seizures, Huntington disease, or postviral encephalitis).Chronic Motor or Vocal Tic DisorderFor a person to be diagnosed with a chronic tic disorder, he or she must meet the following criteria:

The person must have one or more motor tics (for example, blinking or shrugging the shoulders) or vocal tics (for example, humming, clearing the throat, or yelling out a word or phrase), but not bothThe person must have tics that occur many times a day nearly every day or on and off throughout a period of more than a year. During this period, there must not be a single tic-free period of more than 3 months.The person's tics must start before he or she is 18 years of age.The person's symptoms must not be due to taking medicine or other drugs or to having a another medical condition (for example, seizures, Huntington disease, or postviral encephalitis).The person must not have been diagnosed with TS.Transient Tic DisorderFor a person to be diagnosed with this disorder, he or she must meet the following criteria:

The person must have one or more motor tics (for example, blinking or shrugging the shoulders) or vocal tics (for example, humming, clearing the throat, or yelling out a word or phrase).The person must have tics that occur many times a day, nearly every day or at least 4 weeks, but for no longer than 12 months in a row.The person's tics must start before he or she is 18 years of age.The person's symptoms must not be due to taking medicine or other drugs or to having another medical condition (for example, Huntington disease or postviral encephalitis).The person must not have been diagnosed with TS or chronic motor or vocal tic disorder.ReferenceAmerican Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed. Washington, DC; 2000.

Bad Actors in Bengahzi

BENGHAZI: Names of 'whistleblower' witnesses revealed

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Sat, 04 May 2013 21:26

Their identities have been a well-guarded secret, known only to their high-powered lawyers and a handful of House lawmakers and staff. But now Fox News has learned the names of the self-described Benghazi ''whistleblowers'' who are set to testify before a widely anticipated congressional hearing on Wednesday.

Appearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will be three career State Department officials: Gregory N. Hicks, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya at the time of the Benghazi terrorist attacks; Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine and now the deputy coordinator for Operations in the agency's Counterterrorism Bureau; and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was the regional security officer in Libya, the top security officer in the country in the months leading up to the attacks.

U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya.

At the time of Stevens's death, Hicks became the highest-ranking American diplomat in Libya.

Nordstrom previously testified before the oversight committee, which is chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., in October 2012. Of the three witnesses, he is the only one who does not consider himself a whistleblower. At last fall's hearing, however, Nordstrom made headlines by detailing for lawmakers the series of requests that he, Ambassador Stevens, and others had made for enhanced security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in the period preceding the attacks, requests mostly rejected by State Department superiors.

"For me the Taliban is on the inside of the [State Department] building," Nordstrom testified, angry over inadequate staffing at a time when the threat environment in Benghazi was deteriorating,

The other two witnesses have not been heard from publicly before.

Hicks is a veteran Foreign Service officer whose overseas postings have also included Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican and committee member, said Hicks was in Tripoli at 9:40 p.m. local time when he received one of Stevens' earliest phone calls amid the crisis.

''We're under attack! We're under attack!'' the ambassador reportedly shouted into his cell phone at Hicks.

Chaffetz, who subsequently debriefed Hicks, also said the deputy ''immediately called into Washington to trigger all the mechanisms'' for an inter-agency response.

''The real-life trauma that [Hicks] went through,'' Chaffetz recalled to Fox News' Greta Van Susteren, ''I mean, I really felt it in his voice. It was hard to listen to. He's gone through a lot, but he did a great job.''

According to the State Department website, Thompson ''advises senior leadership on operational counterterrorism matters, and ensures that the United States can rapidly respond to global terrorism crises.''

Five years before the Benghazi attacks, he lectured at a symposium hosted by the University of Central Florida and titled ''The Global Terrorism Challenge: Answers to Key Questions.''

Joe diGenova, a former U.S. attorney, and wife Victoria Toensing, a former chief counsel to the Senate Intelligence Committee -- Republicans -- disclosed this week that in their private practice in the nation's capital, they now represent pro bono two career State Department employees who regard themselves as ''whistleblowers'' and would be testifying before Issa's committee at its next Benghazi hearing, on May 8.

The lawyers said their clients believe their accounts of Benghazi were spurned by the Accountability Review board (ARB), the official investigative body convened by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to review the terrorist attacks, and that the two employees have faced threats and intimidation from as-yet-unnamed superiors.

''I'm not talking generally, I'm talking specifically about Benghazi -- that people have been threatened,'' Toensing told Fox News on Wednesday. ''And not just the State Department; people have been threatened at the CIA. ... It's frightening. ...They're taking career people and making them well aware that their careers will be over.''

DiGenova told Fox News on Thursday, by way of describing his and Toensing's respective clients: ''There were people who were material witnesses, who wanted to talk to [the ARB], and they were not allowed to talk to them.

''The people that we are representing are career civil servants...people who have served the country overseas' dangerous positions all over the world, have risked their lives and only want to tell the truth.''

Report: Two new witnesses to testify at next week's Benghazi hearing; Whistleblowers ID'd by Fox

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Archived Version

Source: Twitchy » US Politics

Sat, 04 May 2013 09:37

BREAKING: Fox First: Fox has learned identities of 3 figures slated to testify next Wednesday before House Oversight Cmte on #Benghazi.

'--Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) May 04, 2013Fox News's Chad Pergram reports on the identities of three witnesses scheduled to speak at next week's House Oversight Committee hearing on the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. Two of the witnesses have not spoken publicly before.

BREAKING: Fox First: Testifying at next week's #Benghazi hrng: Gregory Hicks, deputy chief of mission at US Embassy in Libya.'--Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) May 04, 2013

BREAKING: Fox First: Testifying at #Benghazi hrng: Mark Thompson, fmr Marine & Dep Coordinator for Ops in State's Cntrrterrorism Bureau'--Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) May 04, 2013

BREAKING: Fox First: Testifying at #Benghazi hrng: Eric Nordstrom, Diplomatic Security officer. Top security officer in Libya prior 2 attack'--Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) May 04, 2013

Eric Nordstrom previously testified before the Oversight Committee in October '12. Other 2 witnesses have never spoken publicly. #Benghazi'--Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) May 04, 2013

At October hrng, Nordstrom detailed requests Amb Stevens made for security in #Benghazi, denied by State Dept.'--Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) May 04, 2013

At October #Benghazi hrng, Nordstrom said bad security in Libya made him think "the Taliban is on the inside of the [State Department]."'--Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) May 04, 2013

Bad security? What difference does it make?


Fox News has posted its report: BENGHAZI: Names of 'whistleblower' witnesses revealed.

EXCLUSIVE: Names of 'whistleblower' witnesses on Libya raid revealed via @ChadPergram @JamesRosenFNC'--Fox News (@FoxNews) May 04, 2013

Follow @twitchyteam

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Was west a Meth Lab?

'Breaking Bad' Season 5: Meth Ingredient Burglary from Fertilizer Plant Similar to Walt and Jesse's Methylamine Heists : Entertainment : Latinos Post

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Sat, 04 May 2013 06:43

By Peter Lesser | First Posted: May 03, 2013 01:55 PM EDT (Photo : AMC)

One thing that makes "Breaking Bad" so unique is its practicality. Well, at least in the first couple seasons. The acting is so spot on and the plot is so strong and well rounded that the show mimics real life. Perhaps now in later seasons some of Walter White's tactics are a bit farfetched, but in the early episodes, his attempt to cook crystal meth in an RV with equipment and chemicals from the local high school, where he worked as a chemistry teacher, is so raw that it feels almost too plausible. That's what makes the show so gritty. That's one key element that attracted fans. Now, a fertilizer plant subject to multiple "Breaking Bad" style heists proves that the show's plotline is all too realistic.

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West Fertilizer in Texas has long been a target for theft from people searching for a rare, key ingredient for making methamphetamine. Following in Walt's footsteps, the thieves periodically ransacked the fertilizer plant in search of the coveted chemicals.

Anhydrous ammonia, a key element in fertilizer production, is a chemical used in the meth cooking process, similar to the methylamine sought after throughout "Breaking Bad." In one instance, burglars stole 150 pounds of anhydrous ammonia over the course of three nights. A year later, the plant manager told police that thieves were siphoning four-to-five gallons every three days.

West Fertilizer exploded two weeks ago, killing 14 people. It's unclear whether the explosion is connected to the burglaries, however police are investigating the cause. Anhydrous ammonia is classified as nonflammable, but ammonia vapor in high concentrations will burn, especially in the presence of oil or other combustible materials. Various reports suggest that the plant was storing more fertilizer than it was allowed to, but there's still no official word from officials.

Although meth chefs may not have caused the explosion, their days of looting West Fertilizer are over. It's time to sit down, watch a few more episodes of "Breaking Bad," and rehash the plan. Walt's a smart guy. He'll figure something out.

(C) 2013 Latinos Post. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

At Texas fertilizer plant, a history of theft, tampering

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Sat, 04 May 2013 06:42

Exclusive: At Texas fertilizer plant, a history of theft, tamperingTop News

Exclusive: At Texas fertilizer plant, a history of theft, tampering

Fri, May 03 11:23 AM EDT

By Selam Gebrekidan and Joshua Schneyer

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Texas fertilizer plant that exploded two weeks ago, killing 14 people and injuring about 200, was a repeat target of theft by intruders who tampered with tanks and caused the release of toxic chemicals, police records reviewed by Reuters show.

Police responded to at least 11 reports of burglaries and five separate ammonia leaks at West Fertilizer Co over the past 12 years, according to 911 dispatch logs and criminal offense reports Reuters obtained from the McLennan County Sheriff's office in Waco, Texas through an Open Records Request.

Some of the leaks, including one reported in October 2012, were linked to theft or interference with tank valves.

According to one 2002 crime report, a plant manager told police that intruders were stealing four to five gallons of anhydrous ammonia every three days. The liquid gas can be used to cook methamphetamine, the addictive and illicit stimulant.

In rural areas across the United States, the thriving meth trade has turned storage facilities like West Fertilizer Co and even unattended tanks in farm fields into frequent targets of theft, according to several government and fertilizer industry reports issued over the past 13 years.

The cause of the April 17 blast at the plant in the town of West is still being probed, and investigators have offered no evidence that security breaches contributed to the deadly incident. There also is no indication that the explosion had anything to do with the theft of materials for drug making. Anhydrous ammonia has been ruled out as a cause because the four storage tanks remained intact after the blast, said Rachel Moreno, a spokeswoman for the Texas Fire Marshal's Office.


Investigators are pursuing about 100 leads, including a call to an arson hotline and a tip that there had been a fire on the property earlier on the day of the explosion, according to Moreno. Authorities have not said whether either tip was credible. About 80 investigators from various state and federal agencies are contributing to the probe. They hope to determine by May 10 what caused the explosion, Texas Fire Marshal Chris Connealy said at a state legislative hearing on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), one of several state and federal agencies that monitor security at chemical plants, declined to answer questions about the breaches of security at West Fertilizer Co. State investigators also declined to comment.

Thefts of anhydrous ammonia are common in McLennan County, where burglars siphon fertilizer from trailer tanks into five-gallon propane containers, said McLennan County Chief Deputy Sheriff Matt Cawthon, who took up the position in January.

After reviewing crime reports from the past 12 years and speaking to deputies who responded to some of the break-ins, Cawthon said security was clearly lax at the plant.

The perimeter was not fenced, and the facility had no burglar alarms or security guards, he said. "It was a hometown-like situation. Everybody trusts everybody."

Chemical safety experts said the recurrent security breaches at West Fertilizer are troubling because they suggest vulnerability to theft, leaks, fires or explosions. Apart from anhydrous ammonia, the company stored tons of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that can be used in bomb-making. No thefts of that substance were reported to police.

"Regardless of what triggered this specific event, the fact that there were lots of burglaries and that they were after ammonia clearly shows this plant was vulnerable to unwanted intruders or even a terrorist attack," said Sam Mannan, a chemical process safety expert at Texas A&M University, who has advised Dow Chemical and others on chemical security.


Owners of West Fertilizer, responding through a representative, declined to answer questions about specific instances of theft or the level of security at the plant. The company has encouraged its employees to share "all they know" with investigators, said Daniel Keeney, a spokesman for the company.

The current owners of West Fertilizer are Donald Adair, 83, and Wanda Adair, 78, who bought it in 2004. Calls to a number listed for previous owner Emil Plasek were not returned.

In a 2006 permit application with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the company reported it would protect ammonia tanks against theft or tampering and conduct daily equipment inspections. A TCEQ spokesman would not comment about security measures. He said the agency's responsibility is to regulate emissions from the plant, not to oversee security.

Documents from the Texas Department of State Health Services show the West plant was storing 540,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate and 54,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia in 2012. Ammonium nitrate was among the ingredients in the bomb used by Timothy McVeigh to blow up the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, killing 168 people.

After that bombing, Congress passed a law requiring facilities that store large amounts of the chemical to report to the DHS and work with the agency to ensure proper security measures are in place to keep it out of criminal hands and protect against such attacks.

West Fertilizer did not report to DHS, despite storing hundreds of times more ammonium nitrate than the amount that would require it do so. Companies are required to report if they store at least 2,000 pounds of fertilizer-grade ammonium nitrate, or 400 pounds of the substance when it's combined with combustible material.

A 2005 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study identified hundreds of cases in 16 states where anhydrous ammonia was stolen for use in meth production. Some illegal labs mix anhydrous ammonia with ephedrine or pseudoephedrine and sodium or lithium to make methamphetamine, the U.S. Department of Justice reported in 2001.

In dozens of instances, the CDC said, the thefts by meth makers siphoning ammonia from tanks caused injuries or forced evacuations because gas was released into the environment. However, cases of ammonia theft have become less frequent since 2006, when new laws restricted the sale of pseudoephedrine, which is found in some common cold drug remedies, according to The Fertilizer Institute, an industry association.

Police records show West Fertilizer began complaining of repeated thefts from the facility in June 2001, when burglars stole 150 pounds of anhydrous ammonia from storage tanks three nights in a row. Nearly a year later, a plant manager told police that thieves were siphoning four-to-five gallons of the liquefied fertilizer every three days.

Randy Plemons, who was chief deputy sheriff during the years when the thefts occurred, declined to discuss specifics of his agency's response to the repeated break-ins.

"Whenever we were notified of the burglaries and thefts we responded to those," he said. "I can't speak to every offense."

Company owners downplayed security risks in documents submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in 2006, saying thefts had dropped to zero over the preceding 20 months as meth makers now had found a substitute for anhydrous ammonia available at garden nurseries or major retailers.


Yet burglars and trespassers continued to target the facility. Following a series of break-ins in late 2008 and early 2009, including one where a trespasser visited pornographic websites on a secretary's computer, police told plant manager Ted Uptmore - who has worked at the company for decades -- to install a surveillance system. Later documents show the company complied. Uptmore did not respond to phone calls seeking comment for this story.

The last record of tampering was in October 2012, when a 911 caller reported an odor "so strong it can burn your eyes." The firm dispatched Cody Dragoo, an employee often sent after hours to shut leaking valves and look into break-ins. That night, he shut off the valve but reported it had been tampered with.

Two weeks ago, Dragoo, 50, was among those killed in the blast while responding to the fire.

(Editing by Janet Roberts, Martin Howell and Leslie Gevirtz)

Exclusive: At Texas fertilizer plant, a history of theft, tamperingTop News

Exclusive: At Texas fertilizer plant, a history of theft, tampering

Fri, May 03 11:23 AM EDT

By Selam Gebrekidan and Joshua Schneyer

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Texas fertilizer plant that exploded two weeks ago, killing 14 people and injuring about 200, was a repeat target of theft by intruders who tampered with tanks and caused the release of toxic chemicals, police records reviewed by Reuters show.

Police responded to at least 11 reports of burglaries and five separate ammonia leaks at West Fertilizer Co over the past 12 years, according to 911 dispatch logs and criminal offense reports Reuters obtained from the McLennan County Sheriff's office in Waco, Texas through an Open Records Request.

Some of the leaks, including one reported in October 2012, were linked to theft or interference with tank valves.

According to one 2002 crime report, a plant manager told police that intruders were stealing four to five gallons of anhydrous ammonia every three days. The liquid gas can be used to cook methamphetamine, the addictive and illicit stimulant.

In rural areas across the United States, the thriving meth trade has turned storage facilities like West Fertilizer Co and even unattended tanks in farm fields into frequent targets of theft, according to several government and fertilizer industry reports issued over the past 13 years.

The cause of the April 17 blast at the plant in the town of West is still being probed, and investigators have offered no evidence that security breaches contributed to the deadly incident. There also is no indication that the explosion had anything to do with the theft of materials for drug making. Anhydrous ammonia has been ruled out as a cause because the four storage tanks remained intact after the blast, said Rachel Moreno, a spokeswoman for the Texas Fire Marshal's Office.


Investigators are pursuing about 100 leads, including a call to an arson hotline and a tip that there had been a fire on the property earlier on the day of the explosion, according to Moreno. Authorities have not said whether either tip was credible. About 80 investigators from various state and federal agencies are contributing to the probe. They hope to determine by May 10 what caused the explosion, Texas Fire Marshal Chris Connealy said at a state legislative hearing on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), one of several state and federal agencies that monitor security at chemical plants, declined to answer questions about the breaches of security at West Fertilizer Co. State investigators also declined to comment.

Thefts of anhydrous ammonia are common in McLennan County, where burglars siphon fertilizer from trailer tanks into five-gallon propane containers, said McLennan County Chief Deputy Sheriff Matt Cawthon, who took up the position in January.

After reviewing crime reports from the past 12 years and speaking to deputies who responded to some of the break-ins, Cawthon said security was clearly lax at the plant.

The perimeter was not fenced, and the facility had no burglar alarms or security guards, he said. "It was a hometown-like situation. Everybody trusts everybody."

Chemical safety experts said the recurrent security breaches at West Fertilizer are troubling because they suggest vulnerability to theft, leaks, fires or explosions. Apart from anhydrous ammonia, the company stored tons of ammonium nitrate, a fertilizer that can be used in bomb-making. No thefts of that substance were reported to police.

"Regardless of what triggered this specific event, the fact that there were lots of burglaries and that they were after ammonia clearly shows this plant was vulnerable to unwanted intruders or even a terrorist attack," said Sam Mannan, a chemical process safety expert at Texas A&M University, who has advised Dow Chemical and others on chemical security.


Owners of West Fertilizer, responding through a representative, declined to answer questions about specific instances of theft or the level of security at the plant. The company has encouraged its employees to share "all they know" with investigators, said Daniel Keeney, a spokesman for the company.

The current owners of West Fertilizer are Donald Adair, 83, and Wanda Adair, 78, who bought it in 2004. Calls to a number listed for previous owner Emil Plasek were not returned.

In a 2006 permit application with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the company reported it would protect ammonia tanks against theft or tampering and conduct daily equipment inspections. A TCEQ spokesman would not comment about security measures. He said the agency's responsibility is to regulate emissions from the plant, not to oversee security.

Documents from the Texas Department of State Health Services show the West plant was storing 540,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate and 54,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia in 2012. Ammonium nitrate was among the ingredients in the bomb used by Timothy McVeigh to blow up the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, killing 168 people.

After that bombing, Congress passed a law requiring facilities that store large amounts of the chemical to report to the DHS and work with the agency to ensure proper security measures are in place to keep it out of criminal hands and protect against such attacks.

West Fertilizer did not report to DHS, despite storing hundreds of times more ammonium nitrate than the amount that would require it do so. Companies are required to report if they store at least 2,000 pounds of fertilizer-grade ammonium nitrate, or 400 pounds of the substance when it's combined with combustible material.

A 2005 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study identified hundreds of cases in 16 states where anhydrous ammonia was stolen for use in meth production. Some illegal labs mix anhydrous ammonia with ephedrine or pseudoephedrine and sodium or lithium to make methamphetamine, the U.S. Department of Justice reported in 2001.

In dozens of instances, the CDC said, the thefts by meth makers siphoning ammonia from tanks caused injuries or forced evacuations because gas was released into the environment. However, cases of ammonia theft have become less frequent since 2006, when new laws restricted the sale of pseudoephedrine, which is found in some common cold drug remedies, according to The Fertilizer Institute, an industry association.

Police records show West Fertilizer began complaining of repeated thefts from the facility in June 2001, when burglars stole 150 pounds of anhydrous ammonia from storage tanks three nights in a row. Nearly a year later, a plant manager told police that thieves were siphoning four-to-five gallons of the liquefied fertilizer every three days.

Randy Plemons, who was chief deputy sheriff during the years when the thefts occurred, declined to discuss specifics of his agency's response to the repeated break-ins.

"Whenever we were notified of the burglaries and thefts we responded to those," he said. "I can't speak to every offense."

Company owners downplayed security risks in documents submitted to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in 2006, saying thefts had dropped to zero over the preceding 20 months as meth makers now had found a substitute for anhydrous ammonia available at garden nurseries or major retailers.


Yet burglars and trespassers continued to target the facility. Following a series of break-ins in late 2008 and early 2009, including one where a trespasser visited pornographic websites on a secretary's computer, police told plant manager Ted Uptmore - who has worked at the company for decades -- to install a surveillance system. Later documents show the company complied. Uptmore did not respond to phone calls seeking comment for this story.

The last record of tampering was in October 2012, when a 911 caller reported an odor "so strong it can burn your eyes." The firm dispatched Cody Dragoo, an employee often sent after hours to shut leaking valves and look into break-ins. That night, he shut off the valve but reported it had been tampered with.

Two weeks ago, Dragoo, 50, was among those killed in the blast while responding to the fire.

(Editing by Janet Roberts, Martin Howell and Leslie Gevirtz)

Methology 101: Old-school meth labs give way to "shake and bake" - Page 1 - News - St. Louis

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Archived Version

Sat, 04 May 2013 06:49

That methamphetamine remains so prevalent in Missouri and other states is due in part to the sheer ingenuity and persistence of meth cooks, despite government restrictions on some of the drug's key ingredients, most notably pseudoephedrine cold medicine (sold as a generic or under the brand name Sudafed). Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.

DetailsRelated ContentMore AboutHere's a quick primer on the two most common meth recipes* and their various explosion hazards, as explained by Jason Grellner, commander of the Franklin County Narcotics Enforcement Unit. To see video of Grellner explaining the processes in more detail, click here.

It should go without saying, but please don't try this at home.Anhydrous Ammonia Also known as the "Nazi method," after the German soldiers who were given meth to stay alert during World War II, the most popular technique gets its more scientific-sounding label from the common nitrogen farm fertilizer that is a key ingredient.

Chemically speaking, pseudoephedrine is just one oxygen atom different from meth, and a skilled cook can transform up to 98 percent of the substance into pure methamphetamine.

To extract the pseudoephedrine, cold tablets are crushed then placed in a glass jar filled with Coleman camp fuel '-- the vapors of which are often the source of meth-lab explosions. The mixture is combined with anhydrous ammonia (inhalation of which wreaks havoc on lung tissue), lithium (gleaned from camera batteries) and ether (in the form of engine starting fluid, a quart of which, Grellner says, "has the explosive power of four sticks of dynamite"). Then hydrogen chloride gas '-- made by combining sulfuric acid with table salt '-- is bubbled through the ether mixture, precipitating out methamphetamine.

The process takes about two hours and produces up to a pound of toxic byproducts per six ounces of meth.

Shake and Bake A new and increasingly widespread technique also known as "one pot," this condenses the anhydrous method's many steps and requires only a plastic soda bottle, the size of which depends on the quantity of meth the cook intends to make. Besides pseudoephedrine, the ingredients are lithium, a small quantity of water, Coleman fuel (or ether) and ammonium nitrate (found in chemical ice packs and a common component of improvised explosive devices such as the one used in the Oklahoma City bombing).

The ammonium nitrate combines with sodium hydroxide (a strong base), and the ensuing chemical reaction produces anhydrous ammonia. Lithium works as a catalyst with the anhydrous ammonia to remove the pseudoephedrine's extra oxygen molecule. As with the anhydrous method, hydrogen chloride gas must bubble through the mixture to produce methamphetamine, which is finally obtained by pouring the liquid through a coffee filter.

The chemical reactions cause pressure to build in the container, the cook must "burp" the bottle, allowing more oxygen in '-- and increasing the likelihood of an explosion, especially given that lithium sparks when it comes in contact with water.

The technique requires only a few packets of cold tablets, takes about 40 minutes from start to finish and leaves a noxious brown residue inside the bottle, which is often discarded along the roadside, as cooks tend to work in cars as they drive from one pharmacy to another, "smurfing" for Sudafed.

Pizza Could Cure Cancer, Study Says - Los Angeles - Restaurants and Dining

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Archived Version

Sat, 04 May 2013 13:43

Can pizza be the cure to cancer? According to a new study by researchers at Long Island University, the herb oregano, a key ingredient in most pizza sauces, can potentially be used to treat prostate cancer."We know that oregano possesses antibacterial as well as anti-inflammatory properties, but its effects on cancer cells really elevate the spice to the level of a super-spice like turmeric," said Dr. Supriya Bavadekar, assistant professor of pharmacology.

Dr. Bavadekar's research shows that carvacrol, a component of oregano, induces apoptosis or "cell suicide." Bavadekar and her team are currently trying to pinpoint exactly how the compound causes this cancer cell suicide.

This isn't the first time the Italian dish has been associated with cancer-curing properties. "Some researchers have previously shown that eating pizza may cut down cancer risk," Bavadekar said. "This effect has been mostly attributed to lycopene, a substance found in tomato sauce, but we now feel that even the oregano seasoning may play a role."

Though the study is at its preliminary stage, Bavadekar believes the compound in oregano has a huge potential in being used as a anti-cancer agent. "If the study continues to yield positive results, this super-spice may represent a very promising therapy for patients with prostate cancer," she said.

More reasons, as if you needed them, to stand in that 800 Degrees line in Westwood.

Domino's Pizza Cures Cancer

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Archived Version

Sat, 04 May 2013 13:44

2003! BBC NEWS | Health | Eating pizza 'cuts cancer risk'

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Archived Version

Sat, 04 May 2013 13:45

Pizzas are covered with a potentially protective tomato sauce

Italian researchers say eating pizza could protect against cancer.Researchers claim eating pizza regularly reduced the risk of developing oesophageal cancer by 59%.

The risk of developing colon cancer also fell by 26% and mouth cancer by 34%, they claimed.

The secret could be lycopene, an antioxidant chemical in tomatoes, which is thought to offer some protection against cancer, and which gives the fruit its traditional red colour.

But some experts cast doubt on the idea that pizza consumption was the explanation for why some people did not develop cancer.They said other foods or dietary habits could play a part.


The researchers looked at 3,300 people who had developed cancer of the mouth, oesophagus, throat or colon and 5,000 people who had not developed cancer.

They were asked about their eating habits, and how often they ate pizza.

Those who ate pizza at least once a week had less chance of developing cancer, they found.

Dr Silvano Gallus, of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmaceutical Research in Milan, who led the research: "We knew that tomato sauce could offer protection against certain tumours, but we did not expect pizza as a complete meal also to offer such protective powers."

Nicola O'Connor, of Cancer Research UK, told BBC News Online: "This study is interesting and the results should probably be looked at in the context of what we already know about the Mediterranean diet and it's association with a lower risk of certain types of cancer.

"But before people start dialling the pizza takeaway, they should consider that pizza can be high in saturated fat, salt and calories.

"In contrast to the classic Italian pizza, UK varieties are often loaded with high fat cheeses and fatty meats, a high intake of which can contribute to obesity, itself a risk factor for cancer.

"Our advice is to enjoy pizza in moderation as part of a balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables and fruit."

Mediterranean diet

And Carlo La Vecchia, a Milan-based epidemiologist said pizza-lovers should not see the research as a licence to indulge their fondness for the food.

"There is nothing to indicate that pizza is the only thing responsible for these results."

He told AFP news agency: "Pizza could simply be indicative of a lifestyle and food habits, in other words the Italian version of a Mediterranean diet."

A Mediterranean diet is rich in olive oil, fibre, vegetables, fruit, flour and freshly cooked food - including non-frozen, home-made pizza.

New Study Shows That Blowjobs Are Healthy Regretful Morning

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Archived Version

Sat, 04 May 2013 16:24

Posted August 23rd, 2012 at 1:25 pm by Jason

Research proves there are benefits to blowing loads into females

A lot of women are having trouble swallowing a new study that shows the positive effects of semen. Let's start by taking a look at why semen is healthy:

Seminal fluid contains chemicals that elevate mood, increase affection, induce sleep and also contain at least three anti-depressants.

Semen contains another of chemicals along with spermatozoa, including cortisol, which is known to increase affection, estrone, which elevates mood and oxytocin, which also elevates mood.

The study goes on to say that women who are having unprotected sex are less depressed than ones who are using condoms. Apparently this is because when a dude fires his baby batter into a girl, his seminal fluids circulate through her body which can have the same positive effects.

Fuckin A I love science.

Ladies, how awesome is it that you can now get cream pied without feeling like a stank ass hoe?

''Damn Becky, you didn't make him wear a rubber?''

''Yea I couldn't afford a wheat grass shot this morning so I went with another natural alternative.''

''You go gurl!''

In all seriousness though, and I've even made a flowchart on this subject before; If a girl doesn't make you wear a condom after you've just met her, go ahead and glove up. Yea, she's pretty hip but so were the 43 dudes who shot loads into her within the last 3 months. Not all unprotected sex has positive results; cough HIV positive. *hi5 to whoever got the South Park reference*

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War on Crazy

National Institute of Mental Health abandoning the DSM Mind Hacks

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Archived Version

Sun, 05 May 2013 08:44

In a potentially seismic move, the National Institute of Mental Health '' the world's biggest mental health research funder, has announced only two weeks before the launch of the DSM-5 diagnostic manual that it will be ''re-orienting its research away from DSM categories''.

In the announcement, NIMH Director Thomas Insel says the DSM lacks validity and that ''patients with mental disorders deserve better''.

This is something that will make very uncomfortable reading for the American Psychiatric Association as they trumpet what they claim is the 'future of psychiatric diagnosis' only two weeks before it hits the shelves.

As a result the NIMH will now be preferentially funding research that does not stick to DSM categories:

Going forward, we will be supporting research projects that look across current categories '' or sub-divide current categories '' to begin to develop a better system. What does this mean for applicants? Clinical trials might study all patients in a mood clinic rather than those meeting strict major depressive disorder criteria. Studies of biomarkers for ''depression'' might begin by looking across many disorders with anhedonia or emotional appraisal bias or psychomotor retardation to understand the circuitry underlying these symptoms. What does this mean for patients? We are committed to new and better treatments, but we feel this will only happen by developing a more precise diagnostic system.

As an alternative approach, Insel suggests the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project, which aims to uncover what it sees as the 'component parts' of psychological dysregulation by understanding difficulties in terms of cognitive, neural and genetic differences.

For example, difficulties with regulating the arousal system might be equally as involved in generating anxiety in PTSD as generating manic states in bipolar disorder.

Of course, this 'component part' approach is already a large part of mental health research but the RDoC project aims to combine this into a system that allows these to be mapped out and integrated.

It's worth saying that this won't be changing how psychiatrists treat their patients any time soon. DSM-style disorders will still be the order of the day, not least because a great deal of the evidence for the effectiveness of medication is based on giving people standard diagnoses.

It is also true to say that RDoC is currently little more than a plan at the moment '' a bit like the Mars mission: you can see how it would be feasible but actually getting there seems a long way off. In fact, until now, the RDoC project has largely been considered to be an experimental project in thinking up alternative approaches.

The project was partly thought to be radical because it has many similarities to the approach taken by scientific critics of mainstream psychiatry who have argued for a symptom-based approach to understanding mental health difficulties that has often been rejected by the 'diagnoses represent distinct diseases' camp.

The NIMH has often been one of the most staunch supporters of the latter view, so the fact that it has put the RDoC front and centre is not only a slap in the face for the American Psychiatric Association and the DSM, it also heralds a massive change in how we might think of mental disorders in decades to come.

Link to NIMH announcement 'Transforming Diagnosis'.

NIMH · Transforming Diagnosis

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Archived Version

Fri, 03 May 2013 11:54

In a few weeks, the American Psychiatric Association will release its new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This volume will tweak several current diagnostic categories, from autism spectrum disorders to mood disorders. While many of these changes have been contentious, the final product involves mostly modest alterations of the previous edition, based on new insights emerging from research since 1990 when DSM-IV was published. Sometimes this research recommended new categories (e.g., mood dysregulation disorder) or that previous categories could be dropped (e.g., Asperger's syndrome).1

The goal of this new manual, as with all previous editions, is to provide a common language for describing psychopathology. While DSM has been described as a ''Bible'' for the field, it is, at best, a dictionary, creating a set of labels and defining each. The strength of each of the editions of DSM has been ''reliability'' '' each edition has ensured that clinicians use the same terms in the same ways. The weakness is its lack of validity. Unlike our definitions of ischemic heart disease, lymphoma, or AIDS, the DSM diagnoses are based on a consensus about clusters of clinical symptoms, not any objective laboratory measure. In the rest of medicine, this would be equivalent to creating diagnostic systems based on the nature of chest pain or the quality of fever. Indeed, symptom-based diagnosis, once common in other areas of medicine, has been largely replaced in the past half century as we have understood that symptoms alone rarely indicate the best choice of treatment.

Patients with mental disorders deserve better. NIMH has launched the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) project to transform diagnosis by incorporating genetics, imaging, cognitive science, and other levels of information to lay the foundation for a new classification system. Through a series of workshops over the past 18 months, we have tried to define several major categories for a new nosology (see below). This approach began with several assumptions:

A diagnostic approach based on the biology as well as the symptoms must not be constrained by the current DSM categories,Mental disorders are biological disorders involving brain circuits that implicate specific domains of cognition, emotion, or behavior,Each level of analysis needs to be understood across a dimension of function,Mapping the cognitive, circuit, and genetic aspects of mental disorders will yield new and better targets for treatment.It became immediately clear that we cannot design a system based on biomarkers or cognitive performance because we lack the data. In this sense, RDoC is a framework for collecting the data needed for a new nosology. But it is critical to realize that we cannot succeed if we use DSM categories as the ''gold standard.''2 The diagnostic system has to be based on the emerging research data, not on the current symptom-based categories. Imagine deciding that EKGs were not useful because many patients with chest pain did not have EKG changes. That is what we have been doing for decades when we reject a biomarker because it does not detect a DSM category. We need to begin collecting the genetic, imaging, physiologic, and cognitive data to see how all the data '' not just the symptoms '' cluster and how these clusters relate to treatment response.

That is why NIMH will be re-orienting its research away from DSM categories. Going forward, we will be supporting research projects that look across current categories '' or sub-divide current categories '' to begin to develop a better system. What does this mean for applicants? Clinical trials might study all patients in a mood clinic rather than those meeting strict major depressive disorder criteria. Studies of biomarkers for ''depression'' might begin by looking across many disorders with anhedonia or emotional appraisal bias or psychomotor retardation to understand the circuitry underlying these symptoms. What does this mean for patients? We are committed to new and better treatments, but we feel this will only happen by developing a more precise diagnostic system. The best reason to develop RDoC is to seek better outcomes.

RDoC, for now, is a research framework, not a clinical tool. This is a decade-long project that is just beginning. Many NIMH researchers, already stressed by budget cuts and tough competition for research funding, will not welcome this change. Some will see RDoC as an academic exercise divorced from clinical practice. But patients and families should welcome this change as a first step towards "precision medicine,'' the movement that has transformed cancer diagnosis and treatment. RDoC is nothing less than a plan to transform clinical practice by bringing a new generation of research to inform how we diagnose and treat mental disorders. As two eminent psychiatric geneticists recently concluded, ''At the end of the 19th century, it was logical to use a simple diagnostic approach that offered reasonable prognostic validity. At the beginning of the 21st century, we must set our sights higher.''3

The major RDoC research domains:

Negative Valence SystemsPositive Valence SystemsCognitive SystemsSystems for Social ProcessesArousal/Modulatory Systems

1Mental health: On the spectrum. Adam D. Nature. 2013 Apr 25;496(7446):416-8. doi: 10.1038/496416a. No abstract available. PMID: 23619674

2Why has it taken so long for biological psychiatry to develop clinical tests and what to do about it? Kapur S, Phillips AG, Insel TR. Mol Psychiatry. 2012 Dec;17(12):1174-9. doi: 10.1038/mp.2012.105. Epub 2012 Aug 7.PMID:22869033

3The Kraepelinian dichotomy - going, going... but still not gone. Craddock N, Owen MJ. Br J Psychiatry. 2010 Feb;196(2):92-5. doi: 10.1192/bjp.bp.109.073429. PMID: 20118450

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NIMH · NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC)

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Fri, 03 May 2013 16:15

Draft 3.1: June, 2011Over the past several decades, an increasingly comprehensive body of research in genetics, neuroscience, and behavioral science has transformed our understanding of how the brain produces adaptive behavior, and the ways in which normal functioning becomes disrupted in various forms of mental disorders. In order to speed the translation of this new knowledge to clinical issues, the NIMH included in its new strategic plan Strategy 1.4: ''Develop, for research purposes, new ways of classifying mental disorders based on dimensions of observable behavior and neurobiological measures.'' (For the full text, see The implementation of this strategy has been named the Research Domain Criteria Project (RDoC). The purpose of this document is to describe the RDoC project in order to acquaint the field with its nature and direction, and to facilitate commentary from scientists and other interested stakeholders regarding both general and specific aspects of the RDoC approach.

BackgroundAcross all areas of medicine, research in genomics, cell biology, and pathophysiology is revolutionizing diagnosis and treatment. In disorders as diverse as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease, the discovery of identifiable subtypes within broad clinical phenotypes has led to more specific, more effective treatments or identification of new targets for prevention. Research in mental disorders is also developing quickly: Novel data about genomic factors and the role of particular brain circuits are reported almost monthly. However, new findings on mental disorders have had limited clinical impact, partly because they map only moderately onto current diagnostic categories for mental illness. Thus, some of the risk genes for psychotic disorders appear to be associated with both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and the same prefrontal region has been implicated in depression and PTSD. In contrast to cancer and heart disease, where research has identified subtypes of common disease, it appears that the biological findings with mental disorders are relatively non-specific; could specificity in fact exist, but not for the currently recognized clinical categories? This question leads to a consideration of how current categories were derived.

Currently, diagnosis in mental disorders is based on clinical observation and patients' phenomenological symptom reports. This system, implemented with the innovative Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-III (DSM-III) in 1980 and refined in the current DSM-IV-TR (Text Revision), has served well to improve diagnostic reliability in both clinical practice and research. The diagnostic categories represented in the DSM-IV and the International Classification of Diseases-10 (ICD-10, containing virtually identical disorder codes) remain the contemporary consensus standard for how mental disorders are diagnosed and treated, and are formally implemented in insurance billing, FDA requirements for drug trials, and many other institutional usages. By default, current diagnoses have also become the predominant standard for reviewing and awarding research grants.

However, in antedating contemporary neuroscience research, the current diagnostic system is not informed by recent breakthroughs in genetics; and molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience. Indeed, it would have been surprising if the clusters of complex behaviors identified clinically were to map on a one-to-one basis onto specific genes or neurobiological systems. As it turns out, most genetic findings and neural circuit maps appear either to link to many different currently recognized syndromes or to distinct subgroups within syndromes. If we assume that the clinical syndromes based on subjective symptoms are unique and unitary disorders, we undercut the power of biology to identify illnesses linked to pathophysiology and we limit the development of more specific treatments. Imagine treating all chest pain as a single syndrome without the advantage of EKG, imaging, and plasma enzymes. In the diagnosis of mental disorders when all we had were subjective complaints (cf. chest pain), a diagnostic system limited to clinical presentation could confer reliability and consistency but not validity. To date, there has been general consensus that the science is not yet well enough developed to permit neuroscience-based classification. However, at some point, it is necessary to instantiate such approaches if the field is ever to reach the point where advances in genomics, pathophysiology, and behavioral science can inform diagnosis in a meaningful way. RDoC represents the beginning of such a long-term project.

RDoC is intended as a framework to guide classification of patients for research studies, not as an immediately useful clinical tool. While the hope is that a new way forward for clinical diagnosis will emerge sooner rather than later, the initial steps must be to build a sufficient research foundation that can eventually inform the best approaches for clinical diagnosis and treatment. It is hoped that by creating a framework that interfaces directly with genomics, neuroscience, and behavioral science, progress in explicating etiology and suggesting new treatments will be markedly facilitated.

MethodRDoC will follow three guiding principles, all diverging from current diagnostic approaches.

First, RDoC is conceived as a dimensional system (reflecting, e.g., circuit-level measurements, behavioral activity, etc.) spanning the range from normal to abnormal. As with dimensions like hypertension or cholesterolemia in other areas of medicine, this approach incurs both the problem and advantage of defining cutpoints for the definition and extent of pathology '' e.g., mild, moderate, and severe. (To the extent that DSM-V introduces dimensions in addition to classes, the crosswalks to RDoC dimensions may be enhanced.)Second, RDoC is agnostic about current disorder categories. The intent is to generate classifications stemming from basic behavioral neuroscience. Rather than starting with an illness definition and seeking its neurobiological underpinnings, RDoC begins with current understandings of behavior-brain relationships and links them to clinical phenomena.Third, RDoC will use several different units of analysis in defining constructs for study (e.g., imaging, physiological activity, behavior, and self-reports of symptoms). Indeed, RDoC, as a research framework, has been developed with the explicit goal of permitting investigators to choose an independent variable from one of several different units of analysis. The details of this approach are explained next.The RDoC research framework can be considered as a matrix whose rows correspond to specified dimensions of function; these are explicitly termed ''Constructs,'' i.e., a concept summarizing data about a specified functional dimension of behavior (and implementing genes and circuits) that is subject to continual refinement with advances in science. Constructs represent the fundamental unit of analysis in this system, and it is anticipated that most studies would focus on one construct (or perhaps compare two constructs on relevant measures). Related constructs are grouped into major Domains of functioning, reflecting contemporary thinking about major aspects of motivation, cognition, and social behavior; the five domains are Negative Valence Systems (i.e., systems for aversive motivation), Positive Valence Systems, Cognitive Systems, Systems for Social Processes, and Arousal/Regulatory Systems. The columns of the matrix represent different classes of variables (or units of analysis) used to study the domains/constructs. Seven such classes have been specified; these are genes, molecules, cells, neural circuits, physiology (e.g. cortisol, heart rate, startle reflex), behaviors, and self-reports. Circuits represent the core aspect of these classes of variables '' both because they are central to the various biological and behavioral levels of analysis, and because they are used to constrain the number of constructs that are defined. Investigators can select any level of analysis to be the independent variable for classification (or multiple levels in some cases, e.g., behavioral functioning stratified by a genetic polymorphism), and dependent variables can be selected from multiple columns. In addition, since constructs are typically studied in the context of particular scientific paradigms, a column for ''paradigms'' has been added; obviously, however, paradigms do not represent units of analysis.

Three criteria guided the selection of the draft list of candidate constructs presented here. First, the inclusion of a construct was constrained by whether a particular brain circuit or area could reasonably be specified that implements that dimension of behavior. Given the complexity of the brain and of behavior, this was more ambiguous in some cases than others; some constructs, such as attention, reflect activity spread relatively diffusely over many brain areas, while attachment behavior may similarly reflect neurotransmitter and hormonal functions (e.g., oxytocin) acting at disparate locations throughout the brain. Second, an attempt was made to maintain a reasonable ''grain size'' that would permit a tractable listing of the major functional dimensions of behavior. While it is recognized that there may be important and meaningful sub-constructs that could be considered (e.g., various types of aggression), an overly specified list could result in an unwieldy and excessively long listing. Third, the constructs are based on current literatures that have provided a neurobehavioral research base for each of the entries.

The draft RDoC matrix is listed in the table below, followed by examples of how the classification system might be used and several points of clarification. Dimensional constructs are listed in the rows. Below the matrix, several constructs are listed to provide examples of brain circuits and/or neurotransmitters that help define and constrain each one, along with a brief indication, where appropriate, of constructs representing the dimension's opposite pole; note that listings of circuit components and neurotransmitters are meant to be illustrative, not exhaustive. Constructs are grouped into five major domain areas as listed above. It is important to emphasize that these particular domains and constructs are simply starting points that are not definitive or set in concrete. We expect these to change dynamically with input from the field, and as future research is conducted. The keys here are the overall framework that we are suggesting, and the process for its development.

Draft Research Domain Criteria MatrixNotes regarding the Units of Analysis''Circuits'' can refer to measurements of particular circuits as studied by neuroimaging techniques, and/or other measures validated by animal models or functional neuroimaging (e.g., emotion-modulated startle, event-related potentials).''Physiology'' refers to measures that are well-established indices of certain constructs, but that do necessarily not tap circuits directly (e.g., heart rate, event-related potentials).''Behavior'' can refer variously to behavioral tasks (e.g., a working memory task), or to behavioral observations.''Self-reports'' refer to interview scales, questionnaires, or other instruments that may encompass normal-range and/or abnormal aspects of the dimension of interest.Examples of Constructs (individual entries) within Domains (boldface)Negative Valence SystemsFear (opposite pole, '' fearlessness): amygdala, hippocampus, interactions with ventromedial PFCPotential threat: HPA axis, BNST, hippocampus; CRF, cortisolPositive Valence SystemsApproach motivation (opposite pole '' anhedonia): mesolimbic dopamine pathwayHabit-based behavior (including OCD spectrum): orbitofrontal cortex, thalamus, dorsal striatumCognitive SystemsWorking memory: dorsolateral PFC, other areas in PFCCognitive (Effortful) control (opposite pole '' impulsivity, disinhibition, externalizing): anterior cingulate gyrus, various areas of medial and lateral PFCSystems for Social ProcessesSocial dominance: distributed cortical activity, mesolimbic dopamine systems; testosterone, serotoninFacial expression recognition: ventral visual stream, fusiform gyrusSelf-representational circuits: dorsal & posterior ACC, insulaArousal/Regulatory ProcessesStress regulation: raphe nuclei circuits; serotoninFacilitated stimulus processing: locus coeruleus circuit; norepinephrineReadiness for stimulus processing and responding: brain resting state networkAbbreviations:PFC: Pre-frontal cortexHPA: hypothalamic-pituitary axisBNST: bed nucleus of the stria terminalisCRF: corticotrophin releasing factorOCD: obsessive-compulsive disorderACC: anterior cingulate cortexGiven that RDoC is a classification framework, how might the scheme work in actual practice, given the goals of (1) permitting widely differing independent variables and (2) implementing a dimensional system that allows variance extending down into what would be regarded as sub-threshold psychopathology? Two general approaches are as follows. The first is to include all patients presenting for treatment at a given type of treatment facility, as in the second example below; the statistical approach then becomes one of regression. The second approach is to specify a particular criterion for selecting multiple groups '' e.g., patients who score more than one standard deviation below the mean on a cognitive task, patients who show significant activation in a specified brain area on a neuroimaging task '' and compare these to other patients not meeting the criterion and/or to a non-clinical control group. In any case, exclusions for co-morbid conditions would be expected to be much less stringent (although the usual exclusions such as other medical or neurological disorders, extreme substance abuse, etc. could still apply). Manuscripts submitted under RDoC will be expected to state how many patients were screened for inclusion in the study, and the reasons for exclusion.

Example StudiesTwo example studies are listed in order to illustrate the types of studies that might be conducted within the RDoC framework. For clarity, the variables used to classify subjects are reiterated at the end of each example.

Recent studies have shown that a number of genes reported to confer risk for schizophrenia, such as DISC1 (''Disrupted in schizophrenia'') and neuregulin, actually appear to be similar in risk for unipolar and bipolar mood disorders. These findings are consistent with a number of recent papers questioning the classical Kraepelinian distinction between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; however, little data are available to evaluate psychotic disorders as a spectrum since studies almost always focus on one or the other, and patients falling short of DSM/ICD criteria are excluded. Thus, in one potential design, inclusion criteria might simply consist of all patients seen for evaluation at a psychotic disorders treatment unit. The independent variable might comprise two groups of patients: One group would be positive and the other negative for one or more risk gene configurations (SNP or CNV), with the groups matched on demographics such as age, sex, and education. Dependent variables could be responses to a set of cognitive paradigms, and clinical status on a variety of symptom measures. Analyses would be conducted to compare the pattern of differences in responses to the cognitive or emotional tasks in patients who are positive and negative for the risk configurations. The results of studies of this type could contribute to knowledge about the particular types and severity of behavioral and/or neurobiological deficits that tend to be associated with a given risk gene; in turn, such results could help build a foundation to study mechanisms by which a particular candidate gene contributes to adverse effects. Eventually such research might lead to redefining how psychotic disorders are conceptualized. Classification variables: In this example, the domain under study is Cognition (possibly comparing two to three constructs such as working memory versus declarative memory). The independent variable for classification is the risk gene configuration(s), and the dependent variables comprise performance on the various cognitive tasks. (It is possible that DSM diagnosis, or some other set of psychiatric symptoms, might serve as a second independent, between-subjects variable; however, an emphasis on studying mechanisms would dictate that the sample not be constrained to patients with only schizophrenia or bipolar disorder '' i.e., inclusion criteria should incorporate those with schizoaffective disorder, delusional disorder, psychotic disorder NOS, etc.)A large number of studies have examined neuroimaging responses to various types of emotional challenges in patients with a particular mood or anxiety disorder, compared to non-clinical controls. Frequently, the conclusion is that disorder X is characterized by an abnormality in task Y '' such as emotion regulation, activation of a particular circuit or brain area (e.g., amygdala, ventromedial PFC), or response to some emotion-related task. However, such abnormal mechanisms appear to be involved in many different disorders, while on the other hand, not all patients with a given diagnosis necessarily show the abnormality '' suggesting that there are fundamental mechanisms in common across these disorders. A design to study fear circuitry might thus have as inclusion criteria all patients presenting at an anxiety disorders clinic. Classification variables: The construct of interest is Fear/extinction, in the domain of Negative Affect. The independent variable for grouping would be the extent of responding to fearful stimuli using a measure such as amygdala response (from fMRI) or fear-potentiated startle (i.e., a circuit-level variable). Dependent variables would be symptom measures on various fear and distress measures, in order to test hypotheses about mechanisms by which hyper-reactivity and hypo-reactivity to threat cues affect the nature and severity of presenting symptoms. As an outcome of such research, these results might generate predictive validity studies leading to improved treatment selection or new pharmacological targets for intervention.Developmental and Environmental AspectsThe RDoC concept is organized around basic neural circuits, their genetic and molecular/cellular building blocks, and the dimensions of functioning that they implement. There are two highly important areas of mental disorders research that are thus not represented in the matrix per se, but are considered to be critical elements in research fostered by RDoC. These two areas are developmental aspects and interactions with the environment. The intent is that the RDoC matrix will enhance the study of both areas by promoting a systematic focus on their relationship to specific circuits and functions.

Developmental aspects. Mental disorders are increasingly viewed as neurodevelopmental disorders in one way or another. Therefore, addressing development issues across various phases of the life span represents a critical consideration that is implicit to the RDoC framework, and might be considered as a third dimension in the matrix. The types of constructs typically found in the child temperament literature are (not coincidentally) similar to the RDoC domains, and many areas of the child psychopathology literature (e.g., broadly addressed to Internalizing or Externalizing problems) serve as a more compatible model for a dimensionally-based approach compared to the highly specified categories of adult psychopathology. Four brief examples might be given of life-span goals that could be addressed within the RDoC framework: (1) Further explicate the longitudinal course of adolescent brain maturation and synaptic pruning to identify genes and circuit development factors associated with departures from normal developmental functioning, and points in prodromal stages where intervention might particularly be targeted; (2) Evaluate the extent to which the recruitment of additional cortical areas during task performance or emotional challenge in elderly subjects predicts resilience against onset or deterioration of course in mental disorders; (3) Generate improved explication of the construct of cognitive control (or effortful control), relative to disentangling current controversies regarding ADHD, juvenile bipolar disorder, conduct disorder, etc.; (4) Specify the mechanisms regarding developmental changes in systems for fear and distress across puberty (including the effects of the social environment), that could explain clinical data indicating that adolescent anxiety disorders often precede depression.

Environmental aspects. The central nervous system is exquisitely sensitive to interactions with various elements of its environment virtually from the moment of conception. The social and physical environment comprises sources of both risk and protection for many different disorders occurring at all points along the life span, and methods for studying such phenomena as gene expression, neural plasticity, and various types of learning are rapidly advancing. As with developmental aspects, environmental influences may thus be considered as another critical dimension of the RDoC matrix. The effects of a particular interaction with the environment, e.g., the effects of early child abuse, may pose risk for a wide variety of disorders. As another example, illicit drug use may cause sensitization of mesolimbic dopamine circuits that generalizes to other drugs of abuse and addictive behaviors. Thus, it is hoped that a research program organized around the relevant circuit-based dimensions that are affected, independent of a particular disorder, will accelerate knowledge regarding such environmental influences along the entire range of analysis from genes to behavior.

DiscussionAs mentioned above, the current organization is focused on (and constrained by) circuit definitions in order to (1) avoid an over-specification and proliferation of constructs, and (2) provide an organizing point that facilitates the integration both of genetic, molecular, and cellular levels of analysis regarding sub-components of circuits, and of behavioral and self-report levels of analysis regarding the kinds of behaviors that circuits implement. The intent is not to arbitrarily exclude constructs, but rather to foster thinking about how constructs are related at various levels of analysis. For example, extraversion is not listed in the draft matrix, but might be considered to represent another aspect of social dominance -- in that they are both typically described in terms of activity in mesolimbic dopamine systems, and thus may reflect different aspects of what is fundamentally the same dimension.The framework is directed toward constructs most germane to mental disorders, and makes no claim to span the entire gamut of functional behavior. For instance, circuits relevant to thermoregulation and reproductive behavior are not included.The number of constructs might well be viewed as sparse by many scientists. The attempt has been to include relatively high-level constructs in order to avoid an over-specification of functions that could become unwieldy and also necessitate unnecessarily frequent revisions to the list as research progresses. However, the framework is meant to foster, not discourage, research that explicates mechanisms within and across the constructs as listed. As stated above, the current framework should be viewed as a starting point and part of a work in progress.The complexity of the brain is such that circuits and constructs will necessarily have considerable overlap, and arbitrary separations are unavoidable. For instance, the basolateral amygdala is well-known to be involved with both threat and appetitive processing. This reflects the hierarchical nature of the nervous system, and the difficulty of creating a system that encompasses various levels in one framework. It should also be noted that some constructs, such as emotional regulation or homeostasis, are not listed here; these are considered superordinate principles of nervous system activity that operate across many different circuits.Research with post-mortem tissue samples may be appropriate for studies within the RDoC framework, where the hypotheses and other variables are conceived in terms of relevant domains and constructs.The RDoC framework is explicitly agnostic with respect to current definitions of disorders. For instance, depression as a clinical syndrome has been related to abnormal activity in the amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, nucleus accumbens, and multiple monoamine systems, while also strongly comorbid with multiple anxiety disorders, eating disorders, etc. The idea is that studying the individual mechanisms may lead to better understanding of current disorders, or perhaps new and novel definitions of disorders, but in either case improved information about treatment choices.As mentioned above, the aim of RDoC is to create a framework for grouping participants in research studies, in order to create a foundational research literature that informs future versions of nosologies based upon genetics and behavioral neuroscience. RDoC is not intended for clinical diagnosis at the current time. In the future, research supported by RDoC could inform diagnostic approaches using new laboratory procedures, behavioral assessments, and novel instruments to provide enhanced treatment and prevention interventions. It is also hoped that RDoC will support enhanced development of new pharmacological and psychosocial interventions based upon neurobiological and behavioral mechanisms.Process and Final ProductThe NIMH intends that the RDoC process be as transparent as possible. An internal NIMH steering group, advised by a small group of external experts, has created the initial RDoC framework and devised the list of candidate domains, constructs, and classes of variables. NIMH issued a companion Request for Information (RFI) in the NIH Guide to seek input about all aspects of this first draft of the RDoC matrix and process. These comments were taken into account in further refining the initial version of the matrix.

A series of workshops is currently in progress as an initial step in defining the specifications for each construct. At a minimum, one workshop will be held for each of the five domains. However, in order to gain experience with the process, the first workshop focused on the construct of working memory. Each workshop involves experts from various areas that span the RDoC's units of analysis. Participants are asked to discuss and decide upon current findings, paradigms, and procedures relevant to each level of analysis, along with critical research questions. Proceedings of each workshop are posted on the RDoC page of the NIMH web site for continuing commentary and suggestions for changes. Depending on the nature and extent of comments, a second workshop may be held to achieve consensus on final specifications.

The final specification for each construct will consist of:

A definition of the construct's functional aspects, summary of relevant circuitry, and relationship to other constructs;A list of current state-of-the art measures, paradigms, and procedures at each level of analysis;Current pressing research questions and issues pertaining to the construct, including one or two salient examples of the groupings of DSM/ICD categories that might be included in studies addressing these questions.The intent of the RDoC is to accelerate the pace of new discoveries by fostering research that translates findings from basic science into new treatments addressing fundamental mechanisms that cut across current diagnostic categories. The research specifications are intended to guide investigators in conducting such integrative research by including cutting-edge variables in research applications. However, since RDoC is a research framework, use of such variables is not required; indeed, one goal is to speed the pace of new information at all levels of analysis. For this reason, RDoC will incorporate a mechanism for continual evaluation of new findings, and inclusion into the domain/construct specifications. While the exact procedures remain to be worked out, it is anticipated that the NIMH steering group will work together with subject-area experts from each of the relevant domains to accept nominations (from the evaluation team or from scientists in the field) for modifications and additional listings.

Although the formal period for commenting under the RFI has terminated, NIMH welcomes continuing commentary regarding any aspect of the RDoC project, including, but not limited to, the following points. Comments may be emailed to

The overall RDoC framework, including the organization of the Domains and Constructs, and the Units of Analysis.Particular constructs that should be added, deleted, merged, or changed.Criteria for determining what constructs should be included or modified.''Grain size'' of the constructs.Criteria for making changes to the domain and construct specifications.NIMH staff look forward to working with all groups of interested stakeholders as the RDoC project is developed.

Shut Up Slave!

Secret US court approved every single domestic spying request in 2012 '-- RT USA

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Fri, 03 May 2013 05:21

The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court quietly rubber stamped nearly 2,000 government requests to search or electronically monitor people in the United States last year, according to a Justice Department report published this week.

The agency, which oversees requests for surveillance warrants against suspected foreign intelligence agents on US soil, released the report to Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada), showing that by approving the 1,856 inquiries ''for foreign intelligence purposes,'' it had granted every single government request in 2012. The FISC's approval rating actually jumped by five per cent from 2011 - when it also approved every application.

The FISC was instituted as part of the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978, expanded under the George W. Bush administration, and then reauthorized by Congress for another five years in December of 2012. The act, commonly referred to act the ''warrantless wiretapping'' law, authorizes the government to monitor US citizens' phone calls and emails without first proving probable cause as long as they're believed to be corresponding with an individual overseas.

''The 1,856 applications include applications made solely for electronic surveillance, applications made solely for physical search, and combined applications requesting authority for electronic surveillance and physical search,'' the report read. ''Of these, 1,789 applications included requests for authority to conduct electronic surveillance.''

David Kris, a former top anti-terrorism attorney at the Justice Department, wrote in the 2012 edition of National Security Investigations and Prosecutions that the FISA Amendments Act also gives the government domestic spying power while stripping away accountability.

''For example, an authorization targeting Al-Qaeda '' which is a non-US person located abroad '' could allow the government to wiretap any telephone that it believes will yield information from or about Al-Qaeda, either because the telephone is registered to a person whom the government believes is affiliated with Al-Qaeda, or because the government believes that the person communicates with others who are affiliated with Al-Qaeda, regardless of the location of the telephone,'' Kris wrote, as quoted by Wired.

In February of this year the American Civil Liberties Union tried to sue the government in a bid to nullify the law. However, the Supreme Court ruled that, because the court proceedings are kept secret and the American Civil Liberties Union has no way to know if it's been targeted by the FISA Act, they had no legal standing to sue.

When the powers under the law were extended last year, the Senate refused to include any amendments that would have prohibited the CIA from reviewing information taken from government surveillance, one of which was proposed by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon).

''The amendment I fought to include would have helped bring the Constitutional principles of security and liberty back into balance and I intend to work with my colleagues to see that the liberties of individual Americans are maintained,'' Wyden said after the vote.

America Is Embracing The Secret Police Culture Of The Nazis

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Sat, 04 May 2013 09:22

Michael SnyderThe TruthMay 4th, 2013Reader Views: 250

Why do so many Americans want us to become more like Nazi Germany? When I was growing up, I was taught that Nazi Germany was the antithesis of everything that America stood for. I truly believed that we were ''the land of the free'' and that we were a bright, shining example for the rest of the world. Unfortunately, over the past couple of decades America has been eagerly embracing the secret police culture of the Nazis. In a desperate attempt to feel ''safe'', we have decided to become much more like our arch-enemies of the past. In fact, in many ways we have already surpassed them. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union never had facial recognition cameras, ''enhanced pat-downs'', automated license plate scanners, voice recognition software, mobile backscatter vans or drones in the skies. In America today, every single form of electronic communication is monitored by shadowy government intelligence agencies. All over the globe, the emerging Big Brother electronic surveillance grid becomes more pervasive with each passing day. Never in the history of the world have citizens been monitored so closely by their own governments. But is all of this surveillance actually keeping us safer? Of course not. Just look at what happened in Boston. But every time another tragedy strikes, our politicians tell us that the answer is to tighten security even more. If this continues, eventually security will become so tight that it will choke all of the life out of this country.

Much has been written about the abuses on the federal level by the TSA and the Department of Homeland Security, but this is not just a phenomenon that is happening on the federal level.

Sadly, the truth is that Americans are embracing the secret police culture of the Nazis in local communities from coast to coast.

For example, just check out what is happening down in Palm Beach County, Florida. The Sheriff is setting up a 24-hour hotline, and he is encouraging people to call that hotline to report on their neighbors. In particular, he wants people to report on anyone that ''hates the government'''...

''We want people to call us if the guy down the street says he hates the government, hates the mayor and he's gonna shoot him,'' Bradshaw said. ''What does it hurt to have somebody knock on a door and ask, 'Hey, is everything OK?'''

This sounds very similar to the ''See Something, Say Something'' program set up by the federal government a few years ago. We are being trained to spy on one another, and nobody seems too concerned that this is exactly the same type of thing that used to happen in East Germany during the Cold War.

Aren't we better than that?

We have become so consumed with fear that we now even consider little girls to be terror threats.

Down in Florida, a 16-year-old girl that always got high grades was recently expelled from school, hauled away in handcuffs and charged with two felonies because her science experiment produced a small explosion'...

The teen is accused of mixing household chemicals in a tiny 8-ounce water bottle, causing the top to pop off, followed by billowing smoke in an small explosion.

Wilmot's friends and classmates said it was ''a science project gone bad, that she never meant to hurt anyone.''

Even the teen's principal said, ''She made a bad choice. Honestly, I don't think she meant to ever hurt anyone. She wanted to see what would happen [when the chemicals mixed] and was shocked by what it did. Her mother is shocked too.''

How bizarre is that?

Everyone involved in treating that precious little girl like that should be absolutely ashamed of themselves.

And in the name of ''security'', we are turning public schools all over the nation into prison camps.

When I was growing up, I never heard of schools holding ''terror drills''. But now they are a regular part of school life. Sometimes teachers are not even told that a drill is happening and they think that it is real. For example, check out what happened the other day during an unplanned drill at a school in Oregon'...

Teachers were shocked and caught off guard when an Oregon school held a school shooting drill.

The Oregonian reports Pine Eagle Charter School in Halfway held the drill last Friday as children were home for an in-service day. Two masked ''gunmen'' burst into a meeting room holding 15 teachers firing blanks. Teachers only realized it wasn't a real shooting when none of them were bleeding.

Can you imagine that?

Can you imagine having armed men storm in and thinking that it is real?

If I was one of those teachers that had blanks fired at them, I would immediately resign.

What kind of nation are we becoming?

We are becoming a global embarrassment.

And how are we supposed to protect our children from all of this?

Even if you don't put your kids in the public schools, the police state may still come and grab them from you. The following is from a recent article by Simon Black'...

In the Land of the Free recently, a California couple had their child kidnapped by the state. At gunpoint.

It all started in mid-April when Anna and Alex Nikolayev took their 5-month old son Sammy to the hospital in Sacramento to be treated for flu symptoms.

The parents didn't particularly care for the treatment that their son was receiving. Doctors were pumping him full of antibiotics and soon began talking about performing surgery.

Anna and Alex argued with the doctors and said that they were going to get a second opinion; they took the baby and went to another hospital where another physician deemed it perfectly safe for the child to return home with his parents without the need for surgery.

The next day, with the family resting comfortably at home, the police showed up with Child Protective Services.

Alex, the father, went outside to talk to them where he was thrown to the ground by police. Officers then relieved him of his house keys and proceeded to let themselves into the house with hands on their pistols.

Then, still with their hands on their pistols, they told the mother ''I'm going to grab your baby, and don't resist and don't fight me'...''

Is this how we want to live?

Do we want to live in constant fear with the government constantly watching every single thing that we do?

Isn't that the exact opposite of what our founding fathers intended?

Even as you read this, the government is watching you. The truth is that governments around the world have Internet surveillance capabilities that are far beyond what most people would ever imagine. In an article entitled ''The Dark Side of the Digital Revolution'', Google's Eric Schmidt explained that all of the technology for ''an incredibly intimidating police state'' is ''commercially available right now'''...

Despite the expense, everything a regime would need to build an incredibly intimidating digital police state'--including software that facilitates data mining and real-time monitoring of citizens'--is commercially available right now. What's more, once one regime builds its surveillance state, it will share what it has learned with others. We know that autocratic governments share information, governance strategies and military hardware, and it's only logical that the configuration that one state designs (if it works) will proliferate among its allies and assorted others. Companies that sell data-mining software, surveillance cameras and other products will flaunt their work with one government to attract new business.

And in fact governments around the world, including the U.S. government, have been caught using such spy software to spy on the Internet behavior of private citizens'...

Mozilla has sent a cease-and-desist letter to a company that sells spyware allegedly disguised as the Firefox browser to governments. The action follows a report by Citizen Lab, which identifies 36 countries (including the US) hosting command and control servers for FinFisher, a type of surveillance software. Also known as FinSpy, the software is sold by UK-based Gamma International to governments, which use it in criminal investigations and allegedly for spying on dissidents.

Mozilla revealed yesterday in its blog that it has sent the cease and desist letter to Gamma ''demanding that these illegal practices stop immediately.'' Gamma's software is ''designed to trick people into thinking it's Mozilla Firefox,'' Mozilla noted.

But we will never see this kind of behavior change until people start demanding it. And even after all of the horrible abuses that have been publicized over the past several years, one recent poll found that 43 percent of all Americans are still answering yes to the following question'...

''Would you be willing to give up some of your personal freedom in order to reduce the threat of terrorism?''

Obviously we still have a long way to go.

Meanwhile, the emerging Big Brother police state gains a little bit more ground with each passing day.

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple

Contributed by Michael Snyder of The Truth.

Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream , The Truth and Economic Collapse Blog.

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Suicide Rate Rises Sharply in U.S. -

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Fri, 03 May 2013 10:25

Suicide rates among middle-aged Americans have risen sharply in the past decade, prompting concern that a generation of baby boomers who have faced years of economic worry and easy access to prescription painkillers may be particularly vulnerable to self-inflicted harm.

More people now die of suicide than in car accidents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which published the findings in Friday's issue of its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. In 2010 there were 33,687 deaths from motor vehicle crashes and 38,364 suicides.

Suicide has typically been viewed as a problem of teenagers and the elderly, and the surge in suicide rates among middle-aged Americans is surprising.

From 1999 to 2010, the suicide rate among Americans ages 35 to 64 rose by nearly 30 percent, to 17.6 deaths per 100,000 people, up from 13.7. Although suicide rates are growing among both middle-aged men and women, far more men take their own lives. The suicide rate for middle-aged men was 27.3 deaths per 100,000, while for women it was 8.1 deaths per 100,000.

The most pronounced increases were seen among men in their 50s, a group in which suicide rates jumped by nearly 50 percent, to about 30 per 100,000. For women, the largest increase was seen in those ages 60 to 64, among whom rates increased by nearly 60 percent, to 7.0 per 100,000.

Suicide rates can be difficult to interpret because of variations in the way local officials report causes of death. But C.D.C. and academic researchers said they were confident that the data documented an actual increase in deaths by suicide and not a statistical anomaly. While reporting of suicides is not always consistent around the country, the current numbers are, if anything, too low.

''It's vastly underreported,'' said Julie Phillips, an associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University who has published research on rising suicide rates. ''We know we're not counting all suicides.''

The reasons for suicide are often complex, and officials and researchers acknowledge that no one can explain with certainty what is behind the rise. But C.D.C. officials cited a number of possible explanations, including that as adolescents people in this generation also posted higher rates of suicide compared with other cohorts.

''It is the baby boomer group where we see the highest rates of suicide,'' said the C.D.C.'s deputy director, Ileana Arias. ''There may be something about that group, and how they think about life issues and their life choices that may make a difference.''

The rise in suicides may also stem from the economic downturn over the past decade. Historically, suicide rates rise during times of financial stress and economic setbacks. ''The increase does coincide with a decrease in financial standing for a lot of families over the same time period,'' Dr. Arias said.

Another factor may be the widespread availability of opioid drugs like OxyContin and oxycodone, which can be particularly deadly in large doses.

Although most suicides are still committed using firearms, officials said there was a marked increase in poisoning deaths, which include intentional overdoses of prescription drugs, and hangings. Poisoning deaths were up 24 percent over all during the 10-year period and hangings were up 81 percent.

Dr. Arias noted that the higher suicide rates might be due to a series of life and financial circumstances that are unique to the baby boomer generation. Men and women in that age group are often coping with the stress of caring for aging parents while still providing financial and emotional support to adult children.

''Their lives are configured a little differently than it has been in the past for that age group,'' Dr. Arias said. ''It may not be that they are more sensitive or that they have a predisposition to suicide, but that they may be dealing with more.''

Preliminary research at Rutgers suggests that the risk for suicide is unlikely to abate for future generations. Changes in marriage, social isolation and family roles mean many of the pressures faced by baby boomers will continue in the next generation, Dr. Phillips said.

''The boomers had great expectations for what their life might look like, but I think perhaps it hasn't panned out that way,'' she said. ''All these conditions the boomers are facing, future cohorts are going to be facing many of these conditions as well.''

Nancy Berliner, a Boston historian, lost her 58-year-old husband to suicide nearly two years ago. She said that while the reasons for his suicide were complex, she would like to see more attention paid to prevention and support for family members who lose someone to suicide.

''One suicide can inspire other people, unfortunately, to view suicide as an option,'' Ms. Berliner said. ''It's important that society becomes more comfortable with discussing it. Then the people left behind will not have this stigma.''

Bayer to Buy Conceptus -

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Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:36

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Conceptus Permanent Birth Control

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Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:36

Founded in 1992, Conceptus is dedicated to the revolutionary design, development, and marketing of innovative solutions to advance women's health.

Our market leading Essure® procedure is the first-ever non-surgicalpermanent birth control method. After a decade on the market,Essure remains the most effective form of permanent birthcontrol* available worldwide. We intend to provide additionalwomen's health solutions for both patients and physicians.

Dumb Ass - by Mark Crislip, MD | Edmund's Page

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Sat, 04 May 2013 16:52

Flu season is here, kinda sorta, it never really went away thanks to H1N1. I was rounding today, lucky me with the three day weekend, when one of my colleagues mentioned a post I had written a year ago at the old blog about the flu vaccine. It was printed and put up in the break room, and he saw it, took it home to his wife, who promptly mailed it to a colleague that is a proud ''I never get the flu vaccine'' kind of guy.

It is like people who are proud of being ignorant of science. I never understand why people brag about being ignorant or stupid. You would think they would be embarrassed, but then they are probably a'... well, let us just see.

Anyway, he read my short rant and evidently changed his mind about getting the flu vaccine this year. Yippee. So what was the powerful, reasoned essay that altered the course of human (well, maybe one human) history?

I give you, slightly rewritten for 2009, a Budget of Dumb Asses. (BTW: budget is an archaic term for a quantity of material, usually written. I do love dem dare archaic words, don't cha know.)

I had my flu shot today. Well, my anti-flu shot. Protected me, my family, and my patients from sickness and death for another year. Whew.

I wonder if you are one of those Dumb Asses who do not get the flu shot each year? Yes. Dumb Ass. Big D, big A. You may be allergic to the vaccine, you may have had Guillain Barre, in which case I will cut you some slack. But if you don't have those conditions and you work in health care and you don't get a vaccine for one of the following reasons, you are a dumb ass.

The vaccine gives me the flu. Dumb ass. It is a killed vaccine. It cannot give you the influenza. It is impossible to get flu from the influenza vaccine.I never get the flu, so I don't need the vaccine. Irresponsible dumb ass. I have never had a head on collision, but I wear my seat belt. And you probably don't use a condom either. So far you have been lucky, and you are a potential winner of a Darwin Award, although since you don't use a condom, you are unfortunately still in the gene pool.Only old people get the flu. Selfish dumb ass. Influenza can infect anyone, and one of the groups who are more likely to die of influenza are the very young. Often those most at risk for dying from influenza are those least able, due to age or underlying diseases, to respond to the vaccine. You can help prevent your old, sickly Grandmother or your newborn daughter from getting influenza by getting the vaccine, so you do not get flu and pass it one to her. Flu, by the way, is highly contagious, with 20 to 50% of contacts with an index case getting the flu. However, Granny may be sitting on a fortune that will come to you, and killing her off with the flu is a great way to get her out of the way and never be caught. That would make a good episode of CSI.I can prevent influenza or treat it by taking echinacea, vitamin C or airborne. Gullible dumb ass cubed then squared. None of these concoctions has any efficacy what so ever against influenza. They neither prevent nor treat influenza. And you can't boost you immune system either. Immunity is not a Jamba Juice. Anyone who says that the immune system can be boosted is also a dumb ass.Flu isn't all that bad a disease. Underestimating dumb ass. Part of the problem with the term flu is that it is used both as a generic term for damn near any viral illness with a fever and is also used for a severe viral pneumonia. Medical people are just as inaccurate about using the term as the general public. The influenza virus directly and indirectly kills 30,000 people and leads to hospitalization of 200,000 in the US each year. Influenza is a nasty lung illness. And what is stomach 'flu'? No such thing, dumb ass.I am not at risk for flu. Denying dumb ass. If you breathe, you are risk for influenza. Here are the groups of people who should not get the flu vaccine (outside of people with severe adverse reactions to the vaccine): Former President Clinton, who evidently doesn't inhale. And people who want to be safe from zombies. If you don't get the vaccine you do not have to worry about the zombie apocalypse, because zombies eat brains.The vaccine is worse than the disease. Dumb ass AND a wimp. What a combination. Your mother must be proud. Unless you think a sore deltoid for a day is too high a price to pay to prevent two weeks of high fevers, severe muscles aches, and intractable cough.I had the vaccine last year, so I do not need it this year. Uneducated dumb ass. Each year new stains of influenza circulate across the world. Last years vaccine at best provides only partial protection. Every year you need a new shot. And we have a new strain this season, H1N1, so you cannot be a parasite on the immunity of others.The vaccine costs too much. Cheap dumb ass. The vaccine costs less than a funeral, less than Tamiflu, less than a week in the hospital.I received the vaccine and I got the flu anyway. Inexact dumb ass. The vaccine is not perfect and you may have indeed had the flu. More likely you called one of the many colds people get each year the flu. Remember there are hundreds of potential causes of a respiratory infection circulating, the vaccine only covers influenza, the virus most likely to kill you and yours.I don't believe in the flu vaccine. Superstitious, premodern, magical thinking dumb ass. What is there to believe in? Belief is what you do when there is no data. Probably don't believe in gravity or germ theory either. Everyone, I suppose, has to believe in something, and I believe I will have a beer.The government puts tracking nanobots in the vaccine as well as RFID chips as part of the mark of the beast, and the vaccine doesn't work since it is part of a big government sponsored conspiracy to line the pockets of big pharma and inject the American sheeple with exotic new infections in an attempt to control population growth and help usher in a New World Order. Well, that excuse is at least reasonable. Paranoid dumb ass.So get the vaccine. And pass this url on to someone else. The life you may save may be your own. Or be a dumb ass.


Pharmaceutical Kickstarter

Orphan diseases < 250k patients


America's Unspoken Civil War - Smedley Butler

EXTENDED WARRATY Federal Register | 36(b)(1) Arms Sales Notification

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Sat, 04 May 2013 16:09

Ms. B. English, DSCA/DBO/CFM, (703) 601-3740.

The following is a copy of a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Transmittals 13-09 with attached transmittal, and policy justification.

Dated: May 1, 2013.

Aaron Siegel,

Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer,Department of Defense.


Transmittal No. 13-09Notice of Proposed Issuance of Letter of Offer Pursuant to Section 36(b)(1) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended(i) Prospective Purchaser: United Kingdom

(ii) TotalEstimated Value:

Major Defense Equipment *$0 millionOther$170 millionTOTAL$170 million(iii) Description and Quantity or Quantities of Articles or Services under Consideration for Purchase: follow-on support for the Tomahawk Weapon System (TWS) including missile modifications, maintenance, spare and repair parts, system and test equipment, engineering support, communications equipment, technical assistance, personnel training/equipment, and other related elements of logistics support.

(iv) Military Department: Navy (FAY).

(v) Prior Related Cases, if any:

FMS Case AGS-$154M-16Oct95

FMS Case AHA-$32M-26Aug99

FMS Case AHE-$36M-14Dec01

FMS Case GWY-$6M-20Jan00

FMS Case GYU-$33M-21Jan02

FMS Case LIS-$49M-18Jan04

FMS Case GXQ-$122M-27Nov00

FMS Case AHJ-$118M-26Mar04

FMS Case GEK-$122M-20Feb08.

(vi) Sales Commission, Fee, etc., Paid, Offered, or Agreed to be Paid: None.

(vii) Sensitivity of Technology Contained in the Defense Article orDefense Services Proposed to be Sold: None.

(viii) Date Report Delivered to Congress: 16 April 2013.

POLICY JUSTIFICATIONUnited Kingdom'--Follow-On Support for Tomahawk Weapon System (TWS)The United Kingdom (UK) has requested a possible sale of follow-on support for the Tomahawk Weapon System (TWS) to include missile modifications, maintenance, spare and repair parts, system and test equipment, engineering support, communications equipment, technical assistance, personnel training/equipment, and other related elements of logistics support. The estimated cost is $170 million.

The United Kingdom is a major political and economic power and a key democratic partner of the U.S. in ensuring peace and stability around the world.

The proposed sale of follow-on support will allow the United Kingdom to continue life cycle support of its TWS and maintain operational effectiveness. The United Kingdom requests support for this capability to provide for the safety of its deployed troops, regional security, and interoperability with the United States. The United Kingdom will have no difficulty absorbing this follow-on support into its armed forces.

The proposed sale of this follow-on support and equipment will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The principal contractors will be Raytheon Missile Systems Company in Tucson, Arizona; Lockheed Martin in Manassas, Virginia, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and Marlton, New Jersey; The Boeing Company in St. Louis, Missouri; BAE North America in San Diego, California; COMGLOBAL in San Jose, California; and SAIC in Springfield, Virginia and Patuxent River, Maryland. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of one (1) U.S. Government and two (2) contractor representatives to the United Kingdom for the duration of this case.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

[FR Doc. 2013-10631 Filed 5-3-13; 8:45 am]


Drone Nation

Tiny Device Will Detect Domestic Drones - US News and World Report

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Fri, 03 May 2013 12:54

The company's founder says he thinks people will attach the Drone Shield to their fences or roofs to protect their home from surveillance.

Worried about drones spying on you? Soon, a device might be able to send you text and email alerts that let you know when a drone is nearby.

[ALSO: Domestic Drone Arrest Database Being Built by Defense Lawyers Group]

A Washington, D.C.-based engineer is working on the "Drone Shield," a small, Wi-Fi-connected device that uses a microphone to detect a drone's "acoustic signatures" (sound frequency and spectrum) when it's within range.

The company's founder, John Franklin, who has been working in aerospace engineering for seven years, says he hopes to start selling the device sometime this year. He is using the Kickstarter-like Indiegogo to finance the project.

The device will cost $69 and will be about the size of a USB thumb drive. It will use Raspberry Pi '' a tiny, $25 computer '' and commercially available microphones to detect drones. He says he imagines that people will attach the Drone Shield to their fences or roofs to protect their home from surveillance.

"People will get the alert and then close their blinds," Franklin says.

[READ: Drone Used in San Francisco Wedding Proposal]

He is currently working on an open-source database of drone sounds that the detector will check what it's hearing against. Other devices with motors, such as lawn mowers and weed-whackers, will also be included to reduce false positives. Drone owners will be asked to record the sound of their drones to be included in the database. When the Drone Shield identifies a drone, it'll flash and send an email and text message alert to a homeowner.

Franklin says that most commercially available drones have to come relatively close to a home in order to spy. More sophisticated drones, such as Predators, would fly too high to detect.

He got the idea for the device after getting into a bit of hot water with his neighbor, which Franklin says alerted him to the reality of people's concerns about drones.

[PHOTOS: May Day Marches and Protests Around the World]

"I bought a [drone] from Amazon and was going to use it to look at my roof. The wind took it and I crashed it into my neighbor's yard. It freaked him out once he noticed it had a camera on it," Franklin says. "It sort of dawned on me that it's so easy to invade someone's privacy with a couple hundred dollar drone."

More News:

UN Report Wants Moratorium on Killer Robots

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Fri, 03 May 2013 22:30

UNITED NATIONS -- Killer robots that can attack targets without any human input "should not have the power of life and death over human beings," a new draft U.N. report says.

The report for the U.N. Human Rights Commission posted online this week deals with legal and philosophical issues involved in giving robots lethal powers over humans, echoing countless science-fiction novels and films. The debate dates to author Isaac Asimov's first rule for robots in the 1942 story "Runaround:" `'A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm."

Report author Christof Heyns, a South African professor of human rights law, calls for a worldwide moratorium on the "testing, production, assembly, transfer, acquisition, deployment and use" of killer robots until an international conference can develop rules for their use.

His findings are due to be debated at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on May 29.

According to the report, the United States, Britain, Israel, South Korea and Japan have developed various types of fully or semi-autonomous weapons.

In the report, Heyns focuses on a new generation of weapons that choose their targets and execute them. He calls them "lethal autonomous robotics," or LARs for short, and says: "Decisions over life and death in armed conflict may require compassion and intuition. Humans - while they are fallible - at least might possess these qualities, whereas robots definitely do not."

He notes the arguments of robot proponents that death-dealing autonomous weapons "will not be susceptible to some of the human shortcomings that may undermine the protection of life. Typically they would not act out of revenge, panic, anger, spite, prejudice or fear. Moreover, unless specifically programmed to do so, robots would not cause intentional suffering on civilian populations, for example through torture. Robots also do not rape."

The report goes beyond the recent debate over drone killings of al-Qaida suspects and nearby civilians who are maimed or killed in the air strikes. Drones do have human oversight. The killer robots are programmed to make autonomous decisions on the spot without orders from humans.

Heyns' report notes the increasing use of drones, which "enable those who control lethal force not to be physically present when it is deployed, but rather to activate it while sitting behind computers in faraway places, and stay out of the line of fire.

"Lethal autonomous robotics (LARs), if added to the arsenals of States, would add a new dimension to this distancing, in that targeting decisions could be taken by the robots themselves. In addition to being physically removed from the kinetic action, humans would also become more detached from decisions to kill -- and their execution," he wrote.

His report cites these examples, among others, of fully or semi-autonomous weapons that have been developed:

-- The U.S. Phalanx system for Aegis-class cruisers, which automatically detects, tracks and engages anti-air warfare threats such as anti-ship missiles and aircraft.

-- Israel's Harpy, a "Fire-and-Forget" autonomous weapon system designed to detect, attack and destroy radar emitters.

-- Britain's Taranis jet-propelled combat drone prototype that can autonomously search, identify and locate enemies but can only engage with a target when authorized by mission command. It also can defend itself against enemy aircraft.

-- The Samsung Techwin surveillance and security guard robots, deployed in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, to detect targets through infrared sensors. They are currently operated by humans but have an "automatic mode."

Current weapons systems are supposed to have some degree of human oversight. But Heyns notes that "the power to override may in reality be limited because the decision-making processes of robots are often measured in nanoseconds and the informational basis of those decisions may not be practically accessible to the supervisor. In such circumstances humans are de facto out of the loop and the machines thus effectively constitute LARs," or killer robots.

Separately, another U.N. expert, British lawyer Ben Emmerson, is preparing a special investigation for the U.N. General Assembly this year on drone warfare and targeted killings.

His probe was requested by Pakistan, which officially opposes the use of U.S. drones on its territory as an infringement on its sovereignty but is believed to have tacitly approved some strikes in the past. Pakistani officials say the drone strikes kill many innocent civilians, which the U.S. has rejected. The other two countries requesting the investigation were two permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Russia and China.

In April, an alliance of activist and humanitarian groups led by Human Rights Watch launched the "Campaign to Stop Killer Robots" to push for a ban on fully autonomous weapons. The group applauded Heyns' draft report in a statement on its web site.


On the Web:

The U.N. draft report:

(C) Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Navy Readies Its First Drone Squadron

Blue helmet drones? UN prepares to send drones over Africa

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Wed, 01 May 2013 15:15

Christian Science Monitor

Blue-helmeted United Nations peacekeepers deployed in African countries may soon have a new tool in their arsenal: the surveillance drone.

Drones are heading to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of an intervention force to root out the rebel groups that have destabilized the region for years. Meanwhile, the UN is mulling the idea of unarmed drones sent to Ivory Coast as the country recovers from nearly a decade of civil unrest.

Experts say unarmed drones could give often-beleaguered peacekeepers an edge in missions where they can be outfoxed by guerrillas, who often have greater numbers and more local knowledge than UN forces possess.

Read more


Guantanamo attorney dead in apparent suicide '-- RT USA

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Fri, 03 May 2013 12:59

An American lawyer representing detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp has been found dead in an apparent suicide.

The body of Andy P. Hart, a 38-year-old US federal public defender, was found last week with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. According to Truthout, an investigative blog, news of the attorney's death came only this Wednesday from an investigator working on Guantanamo detainees' habeas corpus petitions. That investigator requested anonymity.

According to court documents, Hart had previously represented Kahlid Saad Mohammed, a 39-year-old Guantanamo detainee from Saudi Arabia who was transferred back to his home country in 2009 after being identified as having only ''low-level'' terrorist affiliation.

Perhaps most notably, Hart was assigned to defend Mohammed Rahim al-Afghani, one of 16 detainees at Guantanamo which the US government has designated as ''high-value.'' Al-Afghani, thought to be Osama bin Laden's translator, was detained by the CIA and allegedly tortured prior to his arrival in Cuba in 2008.

The location of Hart's death has not been made public, though he left behind a suicide note and a USB storage device, which Truthout believed to contain his case files. The FBI was made aware of his death as Hart worked with sensitive information, though Truthout had not confirmed whether the agency would be investigating further into the matter.

The public defender's death comes at a highly tense time for the Guantanamo Bay detention center, as 40 US Navy medics arrived there a few days ago to cope with a worsening hunger strike which now includes at least 100 of the prison's population of 160.

On Wednesday, the United Nations human rights office declared that the force-feeding of hunger strikers at Guantanamo amounted to torture and a breach of international law.

Andy Hart was one of several lawyers who signed a March letter addressed to Secretary of Defense Charles Hagel urging for immediate action to end the growing hunger strike. He is survived by an 11-year-old daughter.

Limousine Fire on California Bridge Kills Five

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Sun, 05 May 2013 08:27

SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) '-- A limousine traveling on a major bridge in the San Francisco area burst into flames, killing five female passengers who were trapped inside and injuring four others who escaped, authorities said Sunday.

The limo was carrying nine female passengers and a male driver when it caught fire late Saturday on the San Mateo bridge, California Highway Patrol officer Art Montiel told The Associated Press.

Five occupants became trapped, while four others suffered injuries but managed to get out after the vehicle came to a stop on the bridge, the patrol said. The driver escaped uninjured.

Montiel said that the victims were all in their 30s. Authorities said the names of the dead would be released once families have been notified.

The blaze occurred around 10 p.m. on westbound lanes of the bridge, which connects San Mateo and Alameda counties, about 20 miles southeast of San Francisco.

The patrol said that smoke started coming out of the rear of the limo, and the driver pulled over as the vehicle quickly became engulfed in flames. Officers were trying to determine the cause of the blaze, which wasn't the result of an accident.

"We have no idea right now where they were going or where they were coming from," CHP officer Amelia Jack told KGO-TV.

Two of the women who escaped were taken to Stanford Hospital and the two others were taken to Valley Medical Center in San Jose. All four are being treated for smoke inhalation and burns.

The westbound lanes of the bridge were closed as officers investigated the cause of the deadly fire, but the patrol said one lane of traffic reopened early Sunday.

Follow the Pipes / Syria

Israel nukes Syria

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Source: the tap

Sun, 05 May 2013 08:06

All rumor until confirmed true, however, this is the chatter"Israel dropped a nuclear class weapon on Damascus, mushroom cloud so big it sparked it's own lightning. Two Israeli jets shot down, anti aircraft batteries responding" It really appeared to be at least a kiloton class weapon, with a mushroom cloud at least a KM high."earthquake preceeded blast"My comment - Ok, the attack may have been nuclear, because it shook the ground FIRST, and then the "blast" penetrated the surface where it was observed by people on the ground. NOTE - this is not the blast in the video below.RT is reporting a dead journalist, with surviving journalists thus far seeing over 300 dead. If that many dead are seen this soon, the actual count will be in the thousands until the divide by a thousand factor is thrown in by the spin team, official "dead" will likely be fewer than 20.Another round of attacks by Israel is underway. It is now being reported that Syria has been forced to declare war on IsraelIsrael is confirming the loss of two planes, and also confirming they are bombing Syria.Israel has cancelled all schools tomorrow and told all people to stay home from work in case Syria attacks backThe Aleppo airport has been completely obliterated.All power out in the entire Damascus metro area after latest round of Israeli airstrikesSeveral Syrian military divisions completely wiped out, plus a key military airport not in AleppoIf Syria declares war on Israel, in response to being bombed, the U.S. will step in to "defend" Israel's aggression. If Israel bombed FIRST, then America is defending an aggressive nation. That's all there is to it. And if Syria does not respond, Israel will proceed to flatten them. All is fair on the playground I guess, where bullies prevail and World War 3 is sought by the bankers at all costs.I have found a way to totally circumvent Youtube. Please give feedback in the forum if it worked or it did not work.An explanation of the "Allahu Akbar" statements in this video - The blast was so big that the people you can hear did not know if they would be dead when the shock wave arrived so they professed their belief in God before possibly dying. Shills are commenting that Muslims LOVE explosions, so they were praising God because they saw one, but it is obvious that in fact they thought they might be dead.Hit the play button if it appears, or click in the open space below and the video window will probably show up. The server is LOADED right now. I still have to work the bugs out of this, PLEASE DO NOT LINK THIS VIDEO FROM OTHER WEB SITES, my server is nowhere near as robust as Youtube. Link it from there if possible.

Russia Sends Warship to Israel for First Time

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Source: RIA Novosti

Tue, 30 Apr 2013 09:37

MOSCOW, April 30 (RIA Novosti) '' A Russian naval ship will visit Israel for the first time in the country's history, the Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

The Azov, a Ropucha II-class landing ship from Russia's Black Sea Fleet, will call at the port of Haifa from May 1-3, the ministry's press service said.

The visit is timed to coincide with the 68th anniversary of the Allied victory in World War II, a press service representative said.

''The visit is the initiative of veteran organizations in Israel,'' he added.

The program of the visit includes performances by the Black Sea Fleet orchestra for Israeli war veterans and Haifa residents. The warship will also be open to the public for visits.

A reception on board the Azov will be organized for World War II veterans living in Israel.

Is Syria turning our idealistic youth into hardened jihadis?

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Source: no corn syrup's feed

Tue, 30 Apr 2013 09:39

Syrian rebels attend a training session in Maaret Ikhwan, near Idlib. It is estimated there are up tp 200 Australians in Syria, many of whom have gone to fight the regime.Source: AP

CLAIMS by Washington yesterday that President Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria may have used chemical weapons against rebel forces has increased pressure on the West to intervene more directly in that bloody civil war.

But there is another type of Western intervention in the Syrian conflict that is causing deep disquiet, including in Australia.

The war in Syria has energised young Western radicals and idealists to travel overseas to take up the struggle against the Syrian government. Australians have emerged as major players in this. They are fighting for an outcome Australia and its Western allies support: the overthrow of Assad's odious regime.

But Canberra does not see these Australians as brave crusaders for a just cause. Instead, our government fears some of these foreign fighters will return as hardened jihadists who could pose a terror threat to their fellow Australians.

Intelligence agencies estimate that between 150 and 200 Australian citizens are fighting in Syria. This compares with only handful of civilians who fought in Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Of greatest concern is that a sizeable number of these self-selected warriors are suspected of fighting not with the moderate mainstream rebel group, the Free Syrian Army, but with the extremist elements of Syria's rebel movement, including the al-Qa'ida affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, which soon will be formally designated a terror group by Australia.

The topic has gained only modest media attention, partly because it's almost four years since the last major terror plot was uncovered in Australia, and the media caravan has moved on.

But inside Australia's national security agencies, the issue is being viewed with grave concern. It is seen as a potential game changer in counter-terrorism in this country because it promises to nourish a new breed of Australian jihadists.

"The reason for the concern is the knowledge, skills and experience that they get fighting in an armed conflict," Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner Peter Drennan tells Inquirer. "The use of firearms, their potential to learn how to build improvised explosive devices or use rocket-launchers: the list goes on.

"But equally these people are hardened by combat, which is a very different dimension to someone who has aspirations to commit terror offences but has not been tested in the heat of battle. We now have people who potentially know how to make bombs, use firearms and have been tested in the heat of battle - it is a real game changer."

Britain and Europe are also grappling with the Syrian issue. On Wednesday, EU counter-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove said about 500 Europeans were in Syria fighting with the rebels. "Not all of them are radical when they leave, but most likely many of them will be radicalised there, will be trained," he said.

Last month, The Netherlands raised its terror alert to "substantial", citing fears that people returning from Syria could plot attacks, while Belgian police raided 48 homes last week to crack down on networks recruiting fighters for Syria.

It is illegal for Australians to travel to Syria and fight for any side in the civil war, but the real concern in Canberra is that the composition of the rebel movement is changing, with extremist splinter groups increasing their influence in the conflict. This has coincided with an increase in the number of Australians who are going to fight.

"In recent months we have seen that the number of Australians going to Syria has increased," Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus tells Inquirer. "We are concerned about (these) Australians being radicalised in extremist doctrines while participating in the conflict in Syria and returning home with skills that terrorists could use."

As The Australian revealed this month, the number of citizens travelling to fight in Syria is believed to have doubled in the past six months. A large proportion of these are dual-nationality Lebanese Australians, who are drawn to the conflict for a variety of reasons, most commonly entering Syria via northern Lebanon.

"Lebanon connections have been a feature of Australian jihadism for over a decade, so the Syrian conflict has greater relevance for Australia than insurgencies elsewhere, such as Mali or Chechnya," says Andrew Zammit, from the Global Terrorism Research Centre at Melbourne's Monash University. "Many Lebanese Sunnis are trying to fight the (Alawite) Assad regime because they see them as oppressing the people they identify with."

Not all Australians heading for Syria seek to become fighters, says the AFP's Drennan. "When you are looking at the reasons, there are some who are going there to provide humanitarian support; some who are going there for family reasons to help or protect their family; some who are going there to fight with the Free Syrian army; and some, a much smaller group, potentially going to fight with the government forces," he says.

"But the ones who really cause concern are the ones fighting for al-Qa'ida affiliates such as al-Nusra - they are the ones that cause us significant concern."

The emergence of extremist groups such as al-Nusra alongside the FSA has become more pronounced during the past 12 months of the two-year civil war, with Foreign Minister Bob Carr estimating last month that al-Nusra had about 5000 fighters, about 5 per cent of the FSA's total fighting force.

"When the Syrian uprising began in March 2011, the presence of jihadists in the protests was minimal at best," says Aaron Zelin, from the Washington Institute.

"Fighters associated with al-Qa-ida's world view quietly entered the fight in the fall of 2011 (and) announced themselves in January 2012 under the bannner of al-Nusra and (have become) one of the key fighting forces against the Bashar al-Assad regime."

This has greatly complicated the West's efforts to assist the rebel movement, and inside the Gillard government some estimates put the number of Australians fighting with al-Nusra as high as 100.

Authorities admit that it is difficult to know precisely how many Australians have gone to Syria or what they do there. These fighters do not publicly admit they are travelling there to take up arms because it's a crime in Australia, punishable by jail.

So far four Australians have been killed in the conflict and only one, Yusuf Toprakkaya, killed by a sniper in December, has been confirmed as going there to fight.

"People aren't making visa applications to say they are going to fight," says Drennan. "You don't have to go direct; they can go to a number of countries before they get to Syria."

This lack of clarity leaves security agencies vulnerable to the accusation that they are over-egging the problem.

But the history of jihadism in Australia suggests there is good reason to be concerned about the dangers of people returning to Australia after fighting for Islamic causes abroad.

Each of the four main terror plots foiled here has had some connection with people who returned after receiving training with extremist groups in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Somalia.

"I think Australia's security concerns are justified, based on our past history and on the experience of other countries, such as Britain," says Monash University's Zammit. "In the late 1990s, early 2000s, you had some aspiring Australian jihadists travelling to Afghanistan and Pakistan and some of those people subsequently turned up in several terror plots - you had Jack Roche in 2000 and Faheem Lodhi, who conspired with Willie Brigitte in 2003.

"Then in 2005 you had the two (Operation) Pendennis cells (in Melbourne and Sydney), which contained either someone who trained in an al-Qa'ida camp in Afghanistan or a Lashkar-e-Toiba camp in Pakistan."

With the 2009 plot to bomb the Holsworthy army base, there were also connections with the insurgency in Somalia and the extremist movement al-Shabab.

The potential influence of travelling to Islamic hot spots has been highlighted by revelations that one of the alleged Boston Marathon bombers, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, recently visited Chechnya, although he did not engage in fighting. A recent study by Norwegian researcher Thomas Hegghammer found that about one in nine Westerners who trained or fought in a jihadist conflict ended up being involved in terror plots against the West.

"The data points to a veteran effect that makes returnees significantly more effective operatives," he wrote in the February edition of American Political Science Review.

If Hegghammer's thesis is accurate, and we assume that only 100 Australians are involved in active fighting in Syria, then ASIO faces the prospect of more than 10 Australians being radicalised enough by their Syrian experience to consider terror plots at home.

While such estimates are little more than intelligent guesswork, they have energised the government, with the Attorney-General having ordered the release of public fact sheets on Syria that explicitly warn Australians against going to fight, fund, train or recruit in relation to the Syrian conflict.

"Doing so could result in heavy fines or a maximum penalty for an individual of 10 years prison," the fact sheet says.

A handful of citizens suspected of fighting in Syria have returned to Australia but the number of returnees is expected to increase sharply in the next 18 months. Most of those who come back will not pose a threat to domestic security, but the challenge for security agencies will be to decide which returnees need to be monitored and which do not.

"What do we do with these people when they come back?" asks the AFP's Drennan. "If we can't prosecute them for what they have done, the options are limited to the possible use of control orders to ensure these people don't get involved in terrorism here."

Drennan is also concerned that returned fighters can become mentors to others who have not travelled to Syria. "They also bring back with them an allure to people back onshore who are similarly inclined. They could become a rallying cause and reach out to a range of followers and guide them, mentor them, radicalise them."

In January, Julia Gillard said Australia's national security priorities were evolving in a way where more traditional threats would shape thinking, ending an era in which "non-state actors", such as terrorist groups, posed the greatest risk. "We are transitioning from one decade, the decade of 9/11, to a post-9/11 era," the Prime Minister said when releasing her national security policy.

"Since the galvanising events of September 11 and Bali, our partners and Australia have secured some significant successes. Osama bin Laden is dead. Al-Qa'ida's senior leadership is fractured. Jemaah Islamiah has been decimated in our region.

"Here at home, numerous terrorist plots have been thwarted, and 23 convictions have resulted from the prosecution of those who planned such attacks."

Gillard was not saying the terror threat in Australia was over, but that it was unlikely to play such a central role in our thinking.

Yet this month's Boston bombings, and the thwarted Canadian terror plot to blow up a train, have reminded the West of the ongoing threat posed by homegrown Islamic extremists.

If the fears of Canberra's security agencies prove accurate and the Syrian conflict continues to serve as a honeypot for Australian fighters, then the risk of homegrown jihadists will remain a disturbing feature of the post-9/11 era.

Near-miss as two missiles target Russian passenger plane over Syria

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Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:46

File photo

UNIDENTIFIED ASSAILANTS FIRED two land-to-air missiles at a Russian passenger plane carrying over 150 people when it flew over Syria, the Interfax news agency reported, citing an informed source in Moscow.

''The Syrian side informed us that on Monday morning unidentified people had fired two land-to-air missiles which exploded in the immediate proximity of a civilian plane belonging to a Russian airline,'' the source was quoted as saying.

''The crew was able to move the aircraft to the side on time and save the lives of the passengers,'' the source said, adding that it was unclear whether the attackers knew that the plane was Russian.

The plane was returning from a resort in Egypt, a popular destination for Russian tourists.

The federal air transport agency Rosaviation issued a statement today, saying the crew of a charter plane flying from the Egyptian resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh to the Russian city of Kazan had detected ''signs of combat actions'' when it was flying over Syria.

NordWind Airlines

The crew of the A-320 plane, which belongs to NordWind Airlines, believed that those actions threatened the aircraft's safety, said the agency, adding that the plane landed in Kazan on time.

The Russian foreign ministry said in a separate statement that it was taking ''urgent measures'' to clarify the situation and was in contact with the Syrian authorities. It said the plane carried 159 passengers.

Neither the air transport agency nor the foreign ministry made any mention of the missiles.

Russia, one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's staunchest allies, is firmly opposed to foreign intervention in Syria.

- (C) AFP, 2013

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Hagel Urges Restraint on US Action in Syria

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Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:05

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called for restraint Monday in deciding whether the U.S. should take military action in Syria's civil war over the alleged use of chemical weapons by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

''We're continuing to assess what happened,'' Hagel said of the charges by Syrian rebels and several allies that Assad's forces used sarin nerve gas. ''I think we should wait to get the facts.''

At the United Nations, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon renewed his previous appeal to Assad to allow UN chemical weapons experts into the country for on-site inspections to ''establish the facts and clear up all the doubts'' on the alleged use of the banned weapons.

Last month, Assad invited the UN to investigate his claim that the rebels attacked his forces on March 19 near Aleppo with chemical weapons.

The Syrian opposition has charged that Assad's forces used sarin against them in battles in Aleppo, Damascus, and Homs.

Last week the Obama administration told Congress that U.S. intelligence agencies with varying degrees of certainty believe that sarin may have been used by Syrian government forces ''on a small scale.'' The White House added that it could not confirm how the exposure occurred and under what conditions.

President Obama has warned that Assad's use of chemical weapons would be a ''red line'' that, if crossed, would require a U.S. response. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and other Republicans have now been demanding that he take military action.

McCain has called for arming the rebels and airstrikes against Assad's military, but he has stopped short of advocating an intervention by U.S. troops.

''The American people are wary. They don't want boots on the ground. I don't want boots on the ground,'' McCain said Sunday on NBC's ''Meet the Press.'' ''The worst thing the United States could do right now is put boots on the ground in Syria.''

In other developments in Damascus Monday, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halki narrowly escaped a car bomb that targeted his convoy as it moved through an upper-class neighborhood. State television said al-Halki was unharmed in the blast that killed nine people.

(C) Copyright 2013 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The weird obsession with chemical weapons | Tim Black

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Wed, 01 May 2013 09:24

It seems fairly likely, but still uncertain, that the government forces of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad deployed some sort of chemical weapon against rebels in the cities of Aleppo, Homs and Damascus. Intelligence agencies in Israel, UK, France and the US certainly seem convinced. As indeed do politicians. But here's the question few seem to be asking: so what?

That is not to diminish or demean the deaths of the 15 or so alleged to have been killed by some sort of chemical agent. Rather, it is to ask: what makes those deaths so different from the 70,000 others who have lost their lives during the two-year-long Syrian conflict? There certainly seems to be an assumption that these deaths are different, that, in short, a handful of chemically aided fatalities are somehow more morally repugnant than the tens of thousands of non-chemically aided deaths. For some as yet obscure ethical reason, the means of death appear to matter to Western observers. Burning people alive or mangling them to death are, it seems, deemed lesser wrongs than suffocating people using a nerve agent.

Which doesn't really make any sense. Why is there this obsession in Western political circles with the possible use of chemical weapons? No doubt, the potent symbolism of chemical warfare plays a part. Largely invisible, chemical weapons play upon the idea of the unseen enemy, the unseen threat. And as such, in our fearful, hyper-vulnerable times, the idea of unsighted chemical agent wreaking silent destruction resonates in a way an all-too-tangible tank does not. To compound the curious socio-cultural significance of chemical weapons, there is also the myth-bound historical legacy of chemical-weapon use during the First and Second World Wars, despite actual gas-induced fatalities being far outweighed by fantastical fears. In fact, such was the terror of the Germans dropping a chemical payload on Britain during the Second World War that the entire population was provided with a gas mask.

But in the case of Syria, something else is informing the Western obsession with chemical weapons: namely, the political and moral cowardice of the debate around intervention. That is, there should be a political debate about the rights and wrongs of intervention. There should be a debate informed by political and moral principle, by ideas of what one ought, or ought not, to do. But in the case of Syria, just as in the WMD-framed arguments over the war in Iraq, this debate has not taken place. Instead, there is a deathless technical debate about whether, how, and on whose orders, Assad's forces used chemical weapons, just as there was a deathless technical debate about the likelihood of then Iraqi president Saddam Hussein possessing WMDs in the early 2000s. And both those in favour of further, more forceful intervention in Syria and those against are using the arguments about chemical weapons to make their pro-intervention/anti-intervention cases for them. Chemical weapons are standing in for political and moral principles.

In a sense, US president Barack Obama started this principle-dodging. Back in August last year, Obama, who is clearly reluctant to inveigle the US into yet another Middle East escapade, kinda, sorta outlined, with a whole heap of caveats, the conditions in which the US would intervene. 'There would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical-weapons front or the use of chemical weapons', he said at the time. 'That would change my calculations significantly.' Then secretary of state Hillary Clinton echoed Obama: '[Use of a chemical weapon] is a red line for the US. We are currently planning to take action'... in the event of credible evidence that the Assad regime has resorted to using chemical weapons.'

This, the position of the Obama administration, was not, as the more conspiratorially inclined like to believe, an attempt to create a pretext to invade Syria. In fact, it was the opposite. It was an attempt to provide a pretext not to invade Syria. By drawing an arbitrary line in the sand, albeit a bright red one, Obama was trying to justify non-intervention. It's just that he wasn't doing this on moral or political grounds; he was doing it on quasi-legalistic grounds. So, providing Assad didn't use a particular weapon to kill his opponents, Obama could insist that Assad had not actually committed a war crime. And therefore, so Obama's logic ran, the US ought not to involve itself militarily in Syria.

That a profoundly pragmatic reluctance to intervene underpinned Obama's 'red line' position has become clear since Assad's alleged transgression. Because, despite the war-happy urgings of Republicans like senator John McCain, and Democrats like senator Dianne Feinstein, Obama has refused to say whether the red line has been crossed. It is important to know 'when [weapons] were used, how they were used', Obama said on Friday. 'We have to act prudently. We have to make these assessments deliberately.' It's a mess of his own making. Having created the red line in lieu of a principled argument against intervention, Obama is now desperately trying to smudge the red line to avert intervention's necessity.

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Yet just as unprincipled, just as morally and politically bankrupt, are those using chemical weapons to make the case for intervention. These self-righteous sorts, hearts on sleeves, rattling sabres in hand, are not prepared to make this case openly '' the damaging legacies of more recent do-gooding missions in Iraq and Afghanistan still hang heavy round their scrawny necks. Instead, they hope the facts of chemical-weapon use, the evidence of a sarin attack, will automatically justify intervention and make their case for them. Their determination to establish the evidence amounts to a determination to establish a casus belli.

'What is most important now', explains an Observer editorial, 'is the integrity and transparency of any investigation that requires governments that claim they have evidence of use to explain precisely what they know as a fact and the limits of their knowledge.' Another piece by one self-styled left-wing commentator dripped with prim barbarism: 'The use of chemical weapons is a war crime. It is a war crime even if it is committed by a state which, like Syria (or North Korea), is not a signatory to the international chemical weapons convention'... [B]ut the evidence needs to be examined. There undoubtedly needs to be a proper investigation, authorised by the international community, of the sarin allegations.' Does anyone have Hans Blix's phone number?

This obsession with the evidence of chemical weapon usage is best thought of as a form of fetishism. It is as if soil samples, DNA analysis, and YouTube footage of victims frothing at the mouth, have the power to decide what Western powers, led by the US, do next. And in a way, evidence of chemical weapons really does have that power. Not because their deployment really is more morally heinous than shelling people to death, but because political and moral cowards on both sides of the debate, unable to make a case in political and moral terms, have invested chemical weapons with the moral force that ought properly to belong to political and moral argumentation.

And here's what should be the rub for those politically opposed to further, more forceful Western intervention in Syria: even if there is incontrovertible evidence that Assad used chemical weapons to kill his opponents, that still does not in any way justify intervention. That's because the reason to oppose intervention has nothing to with Assad's means of combat, and everything to do with the idea that the only people who can win and exercise freedom in Syria are the Syrian people themselves. To debate intervention, principles are needed, not evidence of chemical weapons.

Tim Black is senior writer at spiked.

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USGS: Earthquake measuring 5.7 strikes northwest Pakistan - Israel News, Ynetnews

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Wed, 01 May 2013 11:56

A shallow earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.7 struck northwest Pakistan on Wednesday, the US Geological Survey said. The quake was only 10 kms (six miles) deep and struck at 6:57 GMT about 140 km (85 miles) northeast of Sialkot in Pakistan, said the USGS. Powerful, shallow quakes are capable of causing extensive damage.

Pakistan bore the brunt of a powerful quake centred in Iran last month, killing at least 35 people in Pakistan and destroying hundreds of houses. (Reuters)

Pakistan stock market plummets over Iran pipeline sanction fearsSialkot Updates | Sialkot Updates

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Wed, 01 May 2013 11:58

KARACHI: Pakistan's main stock market plummeted over 400 points on Monday, the same day as the Pakistani president and his Iranian counterpart inaugurated construction work on a much delayed pipeline between the two countries, despite repeated warnings of sanctions by the United States.

The Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) benchmark 100-index ended 441.62 points, or 2.46 per cent, lower to close at 17,522.56 points.

''There was a panic-like situation in the market as investors fear United States may impose economic sanctions on Pakistan because of the gas pipeline,'' said analyst Mohammad Sohail of Topline Securities.

''The market experienced turmoil all the day. It never recovered till it suspended trading.''

Brokers said selling was witnessed across all stocks.

''Across the board selling was witnessed as investors preferred to reduce their exposure before any negative news,'' said equity dealer Samar Iqbal.

Oil and Gas Development Company was down 4.01 per cent to 196.70 rupees. Foods and Fertilizer Engro Corporation fell 4.59 per cent to 122.11 rupees, while Fauji Fertilizer was down 4.3 per cent to 106.99 rupees.

''The market's future trends depend on what the US State Department says in its next statement about the gas pipeline,'' said Sohail.

Pakistani analysts said a statement from the US State Department was expected later in the evening, which could determine the future course of the market.

US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland has warned if the deal is finalised, it ''would raise serious concerns under our Iran Sanctions Act.''

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari's spokesman said the world should realise the project was being commissioned ''purely to meet economic needs of the country''.

In the currency market, the rupee ended weaker at 97.85/97.90 against the dollar, compared to Friday's close of 97.70/97.75.

Overnight rates in the money market rose to 9.40 per cent form Friday's close of 9 per cent.


sialkot pipeline - Google Search

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Wed, 01 May 2013 11:57

Another gas pipeline between Wazirabad, Sialkot to Cachedbisnuss.jpg SIALKOT, Feb 12 (APP): Federal Minister for Information andBroadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that another sui gas pipeline would belaid ...Pakistan stock market plummets over Iran pipeline... - Sialkot CachedMar 11, 2013 ... KARACHI: Pakistan's main stock market plummeted over 400 points on Monday,the same day as the Pakistani president and his Iranian ...Sialkot Pipeline Welding - Yellow Pages CachedPipeline Welding Sialkot. ...Sialkot Pipeline Welding. Browsing Pakistan >>Punjab >> Sialkot >> Pipes and Fittings >> Pipeline Welding ...SNGPL :: HOME PAGE ::SUI NORTHERN GAS PIPELINES LTD. our. hope. hope for. our hope for. ourhope for a. our hope for a. better. our hope for a. tomorrow. our hope for a better ...Another gas pipeline between Wazirabad, Sialkot to overcome gas,+Sialkot +to+overcome+gas...-a0279930967- CachedFeb 13, 2012 ... Free Online Library: Another gas pipeline between Wazirabad, Sialkot toovercome gas shortage: Dr Firdous. by "The Frontier Star (Northwest ...Sialkot - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaSialkot (Urdu: Ø"ياÙÙƒÙÙ¹'Ž), is a city and capital of Sialkot District located in the north-east of the ..... Planning of the Mangla-Marala Link Canal is in the pipeline.Khawaja Muhammad Safdar Medical College - Wikipedia, the free Cached... still in the pipeline. A temporary project office has been established at AllamaIqbal Memorial Hospital Sialkot which will also be the attached teaching hospital.Gas pipeline plan from Sialkot to EPZ -DAWN - National; November CachedSIALKOT, Nov 5: The Federal government has approved a project of laying thegas pipeline from Sialkot to the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) Sambrial via ...President Asif Ali Zardari to address public meeting in Sialkot on 2nd ... public-meeting-in-sialkot-on-2nd-march/- CachedMar 2, 2013 ... Pakistan will not stop Pak-Iran gas pipeline project at any cost: President ... apublic meeting at KB Chak Bajwat area of Sialkot here on Sunday."Khawaja Muhammad Safdar Medical College, Sialkot" - About Cached"Khawaja Muhammad Safdar Medical College, Sialkot", Sialkot, Pakistan. 827likes · 36 talking about this.

Ministry of Truth

EXPOSED: Dem Party Submits Different Obama Birth Certificate To Alabama Supreme Court Than One He Released At White House Press Conference Pat Dollard

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Fri, 03 May 2013 11:09

Apr 30, 2013Jake Hammer

Would the guy who's in the middle of a Benghazi coverup bigger than Watergate and who dummied up a deportation document for a Saudi really produce a forged birth certificate? Is that of character and modus operandi for someone like that? Nah! Crazy talk in Crazy Town!

Related '' Breitbart: Saudi's Deportation Record Altered

Excerpted from Free Republic: In an unusual rare move, the Alabama Democratic Party has submitted a amicus brief in the McInnish Goode v Chapman Appeal case. The reason being is most likely because the Alabama Supreme Court has Chief Justice Roy Moore presiding over it. He supported Lt. Col. Terry Lakin during his court martial. Another worry for them is another justice named Tom Parker. He once opined in a prior McInnish case:

''McInnish has attached certain documentation to his mandamus petition, which, if presented to the appropriate forum as part of a proper evidentiary presentation, would raise serious questions about the authenticity of both the ''short form'' and the ''long form'' birth certificates of President Barack Hussein Obama that have been made public.''

This has reasons for the Alabama Democratic Party to be alarmed. In the amicus brief, the Alabama Democratic Party attacked the merits of the appeal, calling the evidence submitted by McInnish ''inadmissible and not worthy of belief'' and stated:

''A county sheriff from Arizona is not an ''official source'' of anything in Alabama.''

One thing that stands out in the amicus brief filed, specifically on page 33 is something new. It's a Barack Obama long form birth certificate that has a different backing, something not seen before. It's not the normal security paper backing that the Hawaii Dept. Of Health has been using. It is raising a lot of questions that even has Obama supporters baffled. Click on the link and scroll to page 33 of the brief to see the birth certificate.

Here is the Dem party's amicus brief. For details on the non-matching birth certificate they submitted, see the story below it.

SCOAL 2013-04-24 McInnish|Goode v Chapman APPEAL '' ADP Amicus Brief by Jack Ryan


Eligibility case in Alabama has Barack Obama Long FormBirth Certificate filed with the court with new problems arising

The three different copies obtained are:

1. The PDF copy posted by the obot Jack Ryan (Fogbow) shows a completely different background with a diamond pattern (pg 33) and it opens up with hundreds of layers. This poses numerous problems to be discussed later however the issue of greatest significance is the fact that the document is not secure and can be altered by anybody.

SCOAL 2013-04-24 McInnish|Goode v Chapman APPEAL '' ADP Amicus Brief by Jack Ryan

We asked Adobe expert Mara Zebest for her opinion on the Fogbow version and here is her response:

''The fact that the document displays another permutation of the Obama birth certificate should come as no surprise. In fact, this recent variation actually proves the argument that the layers displayed in the White House PDF released as Obama's ''official'' birth certificate file '-- are in fact '-- a big F***ing deal (to quote Joe Biden). This variation not only proves the point that manipulation occurred to create Obama's PDF, but is further proof that '' due to the layers '-- it is easy for manipulation to continue to occur.'' '-- This here is for Obot eyes.

Additionally, the Fogbow copy does not have a raised seal which is required to be official.

Obama Birth Certificate No Seal '' Alabama Supreme Court '' Fogbow Upload '' 4/24/2013 by ObamaRelease YourRecords

2. The PDF copy e-filed by the Alabama Democratic Party with the Alabama Supreme Court was obtained by Birther Report. The diamond pattern is not found on this e-filing. Pixel Patriot analysis reveals the security paper background extended on the right side farther than the visible area of the PDF copy (clipped/masked version) posted on the White House servers on April 27th, 2011.

McInnish v Chapman '' Amicus Curiae Brief Obtained From Alabama Democratic Party '' 4/23/2013 by ObamaRelease YourRecords

The significance is that there can't be more from a copy than an original.

3. Pixel Patriot has obtained a certified copy from the Alabama Supreme Court of the Amicus Curiae brief filed by the Alabama Democratic Party. More to come'...

Embedded below is the actual e-filing obtained from the Alabama Democratic Party's attorney:

FLASHBACK: AL Supreme Court: Serious Questions About Authenticity of Obama's Birth Certificates '' DETAILS HERE.

McInnish v Chapman '' Amicus Curiae Brief Obtained From Alabama Democratic Party '' 4/23/2013

2006: Obama In Kenya: I Am So Proud To Come Back Home - VIDEO HERE.

2007: Michelle Obama Declares Obama Is Kenyan And America Is Mean - VIDEO HERE.

2008: Michelle Obama Declares Barack Obama's Home Country Is Kenya - VIDEO HERE.

FLASHBACK: Obama Is The Original Birther! Obama In 1991 Stated In His Own Bio He Was Born In Kenya. DETAILS HERE.

AZ Sheriff Arpaio: Obama Birth Cert & Draft Reg Card Are Forged! '' Wash Times Natl Wkly '' 12 Mar 2012 -'...


Federal Register | Stine Seed Farm, Inc.; Extension of a Determination of Nonregulated Status of Corn Genetically Engineered for Herbicide Resistance

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Fri, 03 May 2013 22:52

We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is extending to maize line HCEM485, which has been genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, our determination of nonregulated status of Roundup Ready® corn line GA21. Therefore, APHIS no longer considers maize line HCEM485 to be a regulated article under Agency regulations governing the introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms. Our decision is based on our evaluation of data submitted by Stine Seed Farm, Inc., in its request for an extension of a determination of nonregulated status, an analysis of other scientific data, and comments received from the public in response to a previous notice announcing our preliminary determination. This notice also announces the availability of our written determination, final environmental assessment, plant pest risk assessment, and our finding of no significant impact.

Effective Date: May 3, 2013.

Supporting documents, comments we received on our previous notice announcing our preliminary determination, and our responses to those comments may be viewed at!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0033 or in our reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming. Supporting documents are also available on the APHIS Web site at under APHIS Petition Number 09-063-01p Extension of 97-099-01p.

Dr. Rebecca Stankiewicz Gabel, Chief, Biotechnology Environmental Analysis Branch, Environmental Risk Analysis Programs, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 147, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 851-3927, email: To obtain copies of the supporting documents, contact Ms. Cindy Eck at (301) 851-3885, email:

Under the authority of the plant pest provisions of the Plant Protection Act (PPA) (7 U.S.C. 7701et seq.), the regulations in 7 CFR part 340, ''Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is Reason to Believe Are Plant Pests,'' regulate, among other things, the introduction (importation, interstate movement, or release into the environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant pests. Such genetically engineered (GE) organisms and products are considered ''regulated articles.''

The regulations in § 340.6(a) provide that any person may submit a petition to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) seeking a determination that an article should not be regulated under 7 CFR part 340. Further, the regulations in § 340.6(e)(2) provide that a person may request that APHIS extend a determination of nonregulated status to other organisms. Such a request must include information to establish the similarity of the antecedent organism and the regulated article in question.

In a notice published in the Federal Register on December 5, 1997 (62 FR 64350-64351, Docket No. 97-052-2), APHIS announced our determination of nonregulated status of Roundup Ready® corn line GA21. APHIS received a request for an extension of a determination of nonregulated status (APHIS Number 09-063-01p) of Roundup Ready® corn line GA21 to maize line HCEM485 [1] from Stine Seed Farm, Inc., (Stine Seed) of Research Triangle Park, NC. In its request, Stine Seed stated that this corn is similar to Roundup Ready® corn line GA21 and, based on the similarity to the antecedent organism, is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk and, therefore, should not be a regulated article under APHIS' regulations in 7 CFR part 340.

On February 27, 2013, APHIS published a notice [2] in the Federal Register (78 FR 13303-13304, Docket No. APHIS-2012-0033) announcing the availability of a draft environmental assessment (EA) and plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) for public comment for the Stine Seed extension request. The extension request and APHIS' preliminary decision were also published with that notice. APHIS received three comments on the subject EA and PPRA during the designated 30-day public comment period, which ended March 29, 2013. Issues raised during the comment period included effects of glyphosate, pollen drift, crop diversity, and human health concerns. APHIS has addressed the issues raised during the comment period and has provided responses to these comments as an attachment to the finding of no significant impact (FONSI).

To provide the public with documentation of APHIS' review and analysis of any potential environmental impacts associated with the determination of nonregulated status of maize line HCEM485, an EA has been prepared. The EA was prepared in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321et seq.), (2) regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372). Based on our EA, the response to public comments, and other pertinent scientific data, APHIS has reached a FONSI with regard to the preferred alternative identified in the EA.

Based on APHIS' analysis of field and laboratory data submitted by Stine Seed, references provided in the extension request, peer-reviewed publications, information analyzed in the EA, the similarity of maize line HCEM485 to the antecedent organism, Roundup Ready® corn line GA21, comments provided by the public, and information provided in APHIS' response to those public comments, APHIS has determined that maize line HCEM485 is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk. We are therefore extending the determination of nonregulated status of Roundup Ready® corn line GA21 to maize line HCEM485, whereby maize line HCEM485 is no longer subject to our regulations governing the introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms.

Copies of the signed determination document, as well as copies of the extension request, PPRA, EA, and FONSI and response to comments, are available as indicated in the ADDRESSES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT sections of this notice.

7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

Done in Washington, DC, this 29th day of April 2013.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

[FR Doc. 2013-10510 Filed 5-2-13; 8:45 am]



C-135 aircraft blasts near Kyrgyz-Kazakh border

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Fri, 03 May 2013 09:18

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 3 / Trend V. Zhavoronkova /

C -135 tanker aircraft disappears from radar screens near Kyrgyz-Kazakh border owned by U.S. Manas Transit Center, Interfax reported with reference to Kyrgyz Emergency Situations Ministry Department on Bishkek.

The Ministry confirmed the information about the plane crash.

The citizens of Zhayil region of Chuy oblast say they saw the blast of the aircraft

No dead and injured are reported as the result of the accident.

Rescue workers are sent to the scene.

According to the technical characteristics of the aircraft, the number of its crew members is 5.

Do you have any feedback? Contact our journalist at


Ex-adjunct Kidsweek voor rechter om kinderporno

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Source: VK: Home

Tue, 30 Apr 2013 22:20

Bewerkt door: redactie '' 01/05/13, 03:18 '' bron: ANP

De ontslagen adjunct-hoofdredacteur van kinderkrant Kidsweek moet zich woensdag bij de rechtbank in Utrecht verantwoorden voor het vermeende bezit van kinderporno. Op de computer van Maarten H. zouden 41 foto's en 61 filmpjes zijn gevonden. Ook zijn vriend is aangeklaagd.

Justitie kwam het tweetal op het spoor na een tip van de internationale politieorganisatie Interpol. Hun computer zou zijn gebruikt om kinderpornosites te bezoeken. Ook werden de computer, cd-roms en dvd's onderzocht. Daarbij werd geen enkel bewijs gevonden dat de twee zelf kinderporno hebben gemaakt.

De verdenking tegen H. was voor Kidsweek reden om hem te ontslaan. Het vertrouwen is geschaad, zei directeur Mark Temeer, omdat H. al lang op de hoogte was van de verdenking en daarover niets had losgelaten.

Klaartje Peeperkorn, de advocaat van H., zegt dat de computer slechts 'sporen' van kinderporno bevat. Die zouden per ongeluk zijn binnengehaald bij het bezoeken van reguliere websites. 'Dat was niet de bedoeling en hij heeft het toen grondig verwijderd', aldus Peeperkorn.


Globa: Accelerating technologies will create a global state by 2050 | KurzweilAI

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Tue, 30 Apr 2013 11:51

This essay argues that the exponential rate of technical progress will create within 40 years an Internet that is a trillion times faster than today's, a global media, a global education system, a global language, and a globally homogenized culture, thus establishing the prerequisites for the creation of a global democratic state, ''Globa,'' and ridding the world of war, the arms trade, ignorance, and poverty. Whether Globa can cope with the rise of massively intelligent machines occurring at about the same time is far less certain.

Most readers will have heard of the phenomenon called ''Moore's Law'' (i.e., the trend that the number of transistors that can be crammed onto a chip keeps doubling every 18 months). Less well known is the phenomenon I label ''BRAD'' (Bit Rate Annual Doubling), i.e., the speed of the Internet keeps doubling every 12 months. [Both of these are examples of Ray Kurzweil's law of accelerating returns. - Ed.]The physicists say that there is effectively no theoretical limit to how tiny a substrate can be that is used to convey information, so we can expect the Internet speed to keep doubling for many decades. This means that in 30 years, the Internet will be a billion (230) times faster than it is today (2011). In 40 years, it will be a trillion (240) times faster.

What could one do with such fantastic speeds? One obvious answer is that 3D images could be transmitted that would appear to our eyes as real and as vivid as the objects we see by the light of the sun. It would also mean that everyone on the planet could receive the media of the whole world, i.e., ''everyone gets everything.'' The 3D life-size images transmitted would be so real that they would generate the same emotional impact on the viewer as a normal face-to-face contact in the same room. This will have a huge impact on people's minds and attitudes.

The ''Global Language Snowball Effect''

Imagine you are a very young primary school child in the 2020s and you are watching your ''vid'' (i.e., your 3D video player) in your living room. You notice that about 60% of the programs and the content of the world media you are receiving on your vid is in the world's 1st or 2nd most spoken language, i.e., English. You therefore decide to master this language so that you can understand what most of the world is saying.

Now imagine you are the minister of telecommunications in your little country and you have to decide which languages you will use for the content you will send up to the global Internet satellite system. You note that already 60% of the world Internet content is in English, so you choose to send up your country's content in your country's language, and in English, as well as perhaps several other languages.

A few years later, the percentage has moved up to 70%. Eventually, all countries will be sending up their content in at least two languages '-- their own, and English. A snowball/saturation effect has arisen (i.e., the greater is the proportion of people on the earth who watch a given language, the greater is the number of countries that transmit in that language, and the greater the percentage of content on the global media that is in a given language, the higher the proportion of people who decide to learn and listen to that language), causing English to become the global language.

English today is far and away the planet's most spoken 1st or 2nd language. It will certainly not be Chinese, since the world will utterly reject China's incredibly clumsy and stupid writing system. China is the only country in the world (as far as I know) that does not use an alphabet in its writing. Instead of having to learn an alphabet of some two dozen symbols, the Chinese have to learn thousands of symbols to write their language.

Global Politics

The rise of a global language will have a huge impact on the world. Ideas will be able to flow far more readily across the planet. Billions of people will be influenced by the ''best'' ideas that the planet has to offer. People's minds will be influenced powerfully, so that today's nationalist mentalities will be gradually transformed into tomorrow's globist mentalities. People will be able to compare their own local customs with those of other cultures and reject their own if they feel that other countries customs are superior to their own. People will become more ''multi'' (i.e., multi-cultured) than ''mono'' (i.e., mono-cultured).

Multis will increasingly look down on monos as inferior beings (rather like city-slickers towards country-bumpkins), seeing the monos as limited as individuals by the limitations of the single culture that programs them. Today's governments will no longer be able to brainwash their citizens into the ideologies of their nationalist leaders. Global education systems (''globiversities'') will be established, to educate the poor people of the world. Internet satellites will be able to beam down education programs at all levels, from kindergarten to PhD level research seminars on all topics.

Global Satellite Learning (''GSL'') will rid the world of its last dictatorships (a process called ''dedictation''), as billions of poor people catch on to the idea that they can pull themselves out of poverty by buying a small cheap vid (legally or on the black market) and educating themselves using the programs beamed down by the Internet satellites, the ''edsats'' (education satellites). As billions do this and become ''middle class,'' they will demand a say in their political systems, leading within 40 years (at the rate the world is democratizing '-- two countries per year) to a totally democratic world.

Since democratic countries do not go to war against each other (their voting populations do not allow it), the world will be far more peaceful. The 20th century's diabolical trade in arms can be banished, and so can war. With over a trillion dollars a year freed up from arms spending in the world, this money can be rechanneled into humanitarian pursuits.

Global Cultural Homogenization

With a global language and all countries being democracies, the stage is set for global cultural homogenization. A billion-fold faster Internet will not be the only factor leading to global cultural homogenization. There are many other factors pushing humanity into a ''globist mentality'', e.g., high-speed train networks across countries and continents, space planes that can carry a thousand people from New York to Beijing in a few hours, and greater wealth, which will mean far greater numbers of people becoming international tourists, visiting the beauty spots they can see on their vids in vivid 3D.

Also, a larger global economy will stimulate global trade, the creation of ever more economic and political blocs such as the EU (European Union), SAU (South American Union), AU (African Union), etc. will mean ever more international business people will be traveling to do business and to inspect progress in their various projects, etc. All these influences and more will make the creation of a global cultural homogenization more probable.

When the whole planet can watch the media of the whole world, in a global language, the minds of the world's citizens will be made ''globist,'' not ''nationalist.'' Political leaders of countries whose policies are considered by the majority of the world's citizens to be harmful or stupid will feel enormous moral pressure against them.

World opinion will be overpowering. If the citizens of a given country learn that 95% of other countries are opposed to their country's policies, that will force them to think twice about the wisdom of their own leaders' judgments. That in turn will make their leaders think twice too. All the world's leaders will become sensitive to global opinion.

As the best ideas and customs spread across the planet, and billions of people adopt the same set of ideas (i.e., cultural homogenization), the stage is set for the creation of a global state. This will obviously be an incremental process.

Building Globa, the Global State

There are many routes to the creation of a global state, e.g., the expansion of the EU (European Union) route, the expansion of powers of the U.N. (United Nations) route, the merging of economic/political blocs route, etc. As the size of the economic/political blocs keeps increasing, smaller blocs need to become larger to stay competitive.

For example, in the case of the U.S., if it does not do what the smaller European nations have been doing for half a century, i.e., ceding sovereignty and merging into a much larger whole, then the U.S. will ''not be a player'' in the 21st century, because it will not be a member of the ''billion club,'' whose members include China, India, the EU, etc. The US will need to merge with the 30+ countries of the Americas and/or form an ''Atlantic Union'' with the EU to stay economically competitive and powerful. As blocs merge with other blocs, eventually there will be a single bloc the size of the planet.

There will be many forces that will be opposed to the creation of a global state, e.g., nationalism, national sovereignty, cultural differences, the clash of ideologies, religious differences, charity begins at home attitudes, cultural inertia, cultural alienation, etc. To overcome these formidable barriers that kept nations and mentalities apart in the 20th century, the ''Globists,'' i.e., those people in favor of ''Globism,'' the creation of ''Globa,'' the global state, will need to organize and spread their Globist ideology.

Since the creation of a global democratic state has such huge advantages compared to today's sovereign nation state system, where each state is always spending large amounts of money preparing for the next war, the Globists will be able to muster powerful arguments in their favor. The Globists will need to organize at a local level, at a regional level, a national level, at a continental level, and eventually at a global level. They will need their symbols, their logos, their flag, their ideology, their anthem, their political programs, etc., and will then need to proselytize the world.

Globists could be active in researching and setting up the globiversities, the GSL (Global Satellite Learning), designing cheap smuggle-able vids for the world's poor, pouring scorn on the nationalists (e.g., jeering at national anthems, etc.), making their presence felt all around the globe, pushing towards a grand vision: creation of a global state, riddance of war, banning the arms trade, scrapping nuclear weapons, education of the world's population, and removal of world poverty.

These are magnificent goals and are readily achievable with the technologies that are coming in the next few decades. These technologies will soon make what was earlier seen as ''globaloney'' into Globa.

Globa's Agenda

Once a global state (''Globa'') has been established, it will have its work cut out for it. The first thing it will have to do is set up a slew of new institutions, most of which will be analogous to national institutions as we know them today, e.g., create a global constitution, a global president, a global parliament, global political parties, global laws, a global civil service, global police, a global court, a global military, globiversities, global taxation, global wealth distribution, global resource management, global trade unions, global incomes policy, a global currency unit (the ''Globo''), global health insurance, etc.

Once the establishment of these institutions is well en route, Globa would then need to tackle the planet's major problems, e.g. it would need to create a globist ethics and globist propaganda, to undertake global nuclear disarmament, ban the global arms trade, meet the global environmental challenges, eliminate global poverty, establish a global taxation policy, as well as a global incomes and raw materials policy, global education, global population migration, foster greater global happiness rather than economic wealth, etc.

Globa and the Artilect

The above has argued that a global state ''Globa'' could be established by about the middle of the 21st century. This would be a wonderful thing if it can be achieved. However there is a gathering storm on the horizon, which will be playing itself out over the same time frame, namely the rise of the artilect (artificial intellect, i.e., a godlike massively intelligent machine) with intellectual capacities trillions of trillions of times above the human level.

The rise of the artilect will probably divide humanity bitterly into two major human groups: the ''Cosmists'' (who want to be ''god (i.e., artilect) builders,'' a form of science-based quasi-religion) and the ''Terrans'' (who are bitterly opposed to building artilects, through fear that the artilects may one day decide humans are such inferior pests and wipe them out). There is a third group, the ''Cyborgists'' (who want to add artilectual components to their own brains and become artilect gods themselves).

Since the computational capacity of nanoteched matter is so great (e.g., a grain of sugar with each atom switching in femtoseconds could outperform a human brain by a factor of trillions), the Terrans will lump the Cyborgists into the same ideological camp as the Cosmists (since a cyborg would be indistinguishable from an artilect in artilectual capacities). Since the Terrans will have a limited time window of opportunity within which to oppose the Cosmists/Cyborgists, before the cyborgs and artilects come into being and are then smarter than the Terrans, the Terrans will not be able to wait for too long.

The Terrans will have to ''first strike'' the Cosmists/Cyborgists/cyborgs/artilects before it is too late. The Terrans will be using 21st century weapons that will enable the scale of mass killing to rise from the tens of millions of people of the major wars of the 20th century, to the billions of people of a major 21st century war. The Cosmists/Cyborgists will anticipate this first strike by the Terrans and be prepared for it, also using 21st century weapons.

Thus Globa will have to face its greatest challenge: can it cope with the rise of Cosmism and Cyborgism? Will Globa be able to cope with the passions generated by two murderously opposed, very powerful ideologies (Cosmism and Terranism)? Opinion polls already show that the ''species dominance issue'' (i.e., whether humanity should build godlike artilects this century or not) divides humanity about evenly. Many individuals are ambivalent about the magnificence of building artilect gods, and horrified at the prospect of a ''gigadeath'' ''artilect war.''

It is not at all obvious that a unified global state would be strong enough to withstand the divisive passions of the ''species dominance debate'' that will heat up in the coming decades and may explode into a ''global civil war'' killing billions of people, with 21st century weapons, in the greatest war humanity has ever known, because the stakes have never been so high: the survival of the human species. 20th century wars were largely ''nationalist wars.'' A major 21st century war would be a ''species dominance war.''

The above essay is a summary of the ideas in the author's second book, Multis and Monos : What the Multicultured Can Teach the Monocultured: Towards the Creation of a Global State. The ideas above concerning the rise of the artilect are taken largely from the author's first book, The Artilect War: Cosmists vs. Terrans: A Bitter Controversy Concerning Whether Humanity Should Build Godlike Massively Intelligent Machines. Both books are available at


U.S. Mint Sales of Gold Coins Jump to Highest in Three Years

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Wed, 01 May 2013 15:58

The public is not buying into the MSM fear mongering about gold, such as this Business Insider doozy:No One Can Call Gold A Safe Haven Ever Again

In April, sales of gold coins by the U.S. Mint rose to the highest since December 2009.April sales totaled 209,500 ounces, up from 62,000 ounces in March, data on the mint's website show.

The amount for December 2009 was 231,500 ounces. Silver-coin sales rose to 4.2 million ounces from 3.36 million in March.

''People are flocking to buy physical gold,'' Todd Dutkevitch, a senior account executive at Los Angeles-based American Bullion Inc., said in a phone interview with Bloomberg news. ''The price drop has made it possible for many retail buyers to add gold.''


My Official Withdrawal from the BitcoinATM Project

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Fri, 03 May 2013 05:09

Sometimes things don't always go to plan.

As background, a few months ago I was approached by two young entrepreneurs. They had purchased a semi-workable Bitcoin ATM off of another entrepreneur and were excited about the prospects and approached me to help with marketing to the public and prospective franchisees as well as garnering investment interest.

It was a verbal handshake I had done via Skype from the jungles of Guyana while looking at a gold mining enterprise. I then set off on a month-long media sojourn which had me in all the mainstream media promoting BitcoinATM and had been approached by numerous investors interested in the project.

I then went to San Diego last week to nail down the final specifics with the two young entrepreneurs and flew in my top financial advisor, a past CFO of numerous billion dollar companies who has done business for decades worldwide, and what we uncovered was that this was not going to be as simple as we had hoped.

Specifically, in the US and Europe, there are an incredible amount of banking, money and even telecommunications rules and regulations that would have to be adhered to if the company had any hope of survival. Not least of which was a $25 million "insurance bond" necessary as being deemed a "money transmitter" in the US.

Those who know me know that I despise all government regulation and taxation and see it as being economy destroying. However, to bring in investors, and having to adhere to even more agencies (securities law in the US) it was becoming to look insurmountable. The fascist system in the US has done its job. At threat of force (imprisonment) it had already laid out four agencies that were massive hurdles for putting a BitcoinATM in the US... and Europe, at the very least, almost impossible for a small organization.

I still hadn't given up hope and, as I always profess, I will fight oppression and control over the money, banking and financial system with everything I can.


And then the 23 year old entrepreneur, Evan Rose, who was half-owner of the BitcoinATM notified me a few days ago that my participation was no longer necessary.

That was interesting, I thought, as we had an agreement for my involvement and I had done everything I said I would do. It turned out that once I had put BitcoinATM on the world stage he decided to take all that I had done and dismiss me.

I do not wish to publish dirty laundry... and while the actions of the co-founders of BitcoinATM were incredibly dishonorable, I put it down it to them being much like me I was when I was 23... young, unwise and unaware of what they are even involved with.

But it is my belief that he has no idea what kind of business he is trying to get into and how hard it will be to do without a number of the right pieces in place.


As always, and very unlike Barack Obama, I am very transparent in everything I do so I do wish to announce publicly that I will no longer have any involvement with BitcoinATM.

After a day or two of pondering, however, I have realized that this may truly be a blessing in disguise. The biggest issue with BitcoinATM, and one that I have stated in the past many times, is that it is hardware. Any government, anywhere, can just come and take it away.

It was always the achilles heel of this product.

Can it succeed? Sure, under the right guidance and a massive amount of capital of lawyers to fight off every single country in which the machine is placed. And, even then, there is no guarantee. Just look at Canada which has already begun to shutter bank accounts of anyone even involved in a bitcoin exchange. As I've also stated numerous times in the past few years, there is no real law. Those with the guns do what they want. And, those with the guns are backed by the major money controlling cartels (central banks and those who control them). They don't like a major distruption in their business.


I still am incredibly excited about bitcoin. It will change the world. And the reason it will is that it is decentralized and there is no physical place where the powers that be can shut it down. This is the one very difficult challenge for BitcoinATM. And one that I have always stated but still got behind it because it does have the ability to change the game.

I am now focusing more of my efforts on less physical ventures that will be much harder to be controlled by governments and central banks. Things such as a P2P bitcoin exchange, similar to Mt. Gox, but without any central servers. And many more.

In this vein, if you or anyone you know is one of the top percentile programmers and theorists in P2P protocols please contact us here at TDV.

If there is one thing that my involvement with BitcoinATM has shown me very plainly in the last month is that bitcoin has the direct attention of the governments, central banks and banks. It took them nearly two decades to figure out the internet would be their downfall. In this case, it has only taken them months to realize that bitcoin could end their monopoly on money and banking. The only way for us freedom fighters to defeat them will be to do so much in the same way as bitcoin is and has been doing - by being decentralized and unable to be stopped by guns and regulations.

That is where my focus will now go. This is an incredibly revolutionary environment and mistakes will be made along the way... constantly. I've never been shy about admitting my mistakes and neither have I been shy in promoting the value of things like the internet and bitcoin to unchain humans from slavery.

My involvement with BitcoinATM has turned out to be a mistake. But not one without some positives. I sat front and center in front of the US and world media alerting to the scam of central banking and government controlled money systems. That alone has some value.

And I will be back and the next time smarter and bolder. This is not the last you've heard from me on bitcoin.

Anarcho-Capitalist. Libertarian. Freedom fighter against mankind's two biggest enemies, the State and the Central Banks. Jeff Berwick is the founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast. Jeff is a prominent speaker at many of the world's freedom, investment and gold conferences as well as regularly in the media including CNBC, CNN and Fox Business.

Bogus Cyprus ATM Story - Business Insider

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Fri, 03 May 2013 05:11

There's been a story circulating this week that the first-ever 'Bitcoin ATM' will be installed in Cyprus to capitalize on the country's financial meltdown. We'll spare the names of those who've been sharing and Tweeting this "news"...

But this is not news in anyway. It's just a press release.

The story comes from an announcement from Jeff Berwick, founder of as well as a website called The Dollar Vigilante.

The project premise is based on the notion that Cyprus' banking sector would cease to function and that a Bitcoin ATM would save the day. And yet the Cyprus banking system is functioning again, and ATMs have been functioning the whole time.

Here's the key text:

Upon examination of the marketplace and many discussions with Justin O'Connell (TDV Newsletter & Gold Silver Bitcoin), as well as another key strategic partner of ours, I have decided to move forward with what I believe could be the next multi-billion dollar business venture: Bitcoin ATM.

The Bitcoin ATM page is extremely vague and says it's seeking investors/partners, which means there's no actual product yet.

The announcement continues:

But that isn't all. It is wholly our intention at Bitcoin ATM to put the company in the right position to open its very first ATM in Cyprus. If we did this now, and we are moving quickly to make this so, we would be the only functioning ATM on the island.

Again, that's false.

Berwick also put out a press release that is just as hazy. His Wikipedia page also re-states the Bitcoin ATM claim, but the source links back to the press release.

Another alarm bell for us is that while Berwick boasts of's large market cap at the height of the tech bubble, he says he sold it in 2002.

We've tried calling the number listed at the bottom of The Dollar Vigilante's website for the past two days and have received no response.

A Bitcoin ATM sounds like a cool idea, and we urge Jeff or one of his colleagues to contact us to tell us more about it.

Here's the full press release if you're interested:

Jeff Berwick, founder of and CEO of TDV Media, announced Monday his plans to open the world's first Bitcoin ATM in Cyprus, citing the ongoing bank bailout, bank closures and capital controls now being pushed in that country. According to Berwick, who sold Stockhouse last decade which at the peak of the tech bubble was worth $240 million, Bitcoin ATM has the world's first software enabling a two-way, automated Bitcoin market.

Last Friday, Cyprus announced a new bailout all inclusive of a levy of upwards of 15.26% on all deposits. On Monday, the banks shut down until Thursday, but by week's end uncertainty shrouded the country as to when their ATMs would be back online. Over the weekend, it was announced the bank's second biggest bank would be shutdown.

Interest in Bitcoin has soared, especially in southern Europe. As Yahoo! reports, downloads of Bitcoin-related apps started rising in Spain over the weekend. For instance, Bitcoin Gold spiked in the Spanish iPhone Finance category from 498 to 72, while another app called Bitcoin Ticket zoomed from 526-52 in just one day. Leading service, Bitcoin App, jumped from 194 to 151 from Friday and Sunday while Spaniards took notice of Cyprus.

Fox Business news wrote that Bitcoin ''is emerging as an apparent winner from the drama surrounding the bailout of tiny Cyprus.''

With Bitcoin ATM, Jeff Berwick announced plans to place a bi-directional (bitcoin for cash, cash for bitcoin) dispenser as part of the launch of his latest venture. Over the weekend, he hinted at his venture in his blog for the Dollar Vigilante:

"I've even recently relayed to TDV subscribers that I see bitcoin-related businesses as being the next multi-billion dollar (or multi-million bitcoin) businesses and will be relaying many of my business ideas to them over the coming weeks.

And, to top it off, we have already started some game-changing bitcoin businesses that I think will shock the world. I'll be announcing one of them, related to the crisis in Cyprus, on Monday here at the TDV blog."

According to the website, Bitcoin ATM is seeking investments and licensees to bring their technology to a town or city near you. You can email the company directly at bitcoinatm(at)bitcoinatm(at)com.

BitcoinAtm demo San Diego

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Fri, 03 May 2013 05:17


Republican Congressman Introduces Bill To Require Political Approval Of Scientific Papers | Addicting Info

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Sat, 04 May 2013 23:13

Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas really does not understand science. Not scientific method, not scientific theories or laws, none of it. Which is why he submitted a bill draft titled the ''High Quality Research Act'' which would in effect add a politician into scientific studies.

The bill says that any research done using federal funds (which is the majority of research done in the United States) must have its results and finding approved by the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives. If the findings are not agreed to, the research is taken from the researchers and disposed of by Congress as it sees fit.

Congressman Smith has already landed himself in scientific hot water over his April 25th Letter to the National Science Foundation where he demanded that the NSF conduct an investigaton into five research programs which contradict policies his donors want passed. This is what was expected when the noted anti-science Texan was appointed to the Congressional Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

In response to Congressman Smith's letter to the NSF, fellow committee member, and fellow Texan, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, had this to say according to the LA Times:

Politicians, even a distinguished chairman of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, cannot be 'peers' in any meaningful sense.

Peer in this case referring to the peer review methodology employed by scientists to ensure that their papers are concise, clear, and accurate.

In response to the criticism, Congressman Smith issued his own statement in which he defended the bill by saying:

The draft bill maintains the current peer review process and improves on it by adding a layer of accountability. The intent of the draft legislation is to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent on the highest-quality research possible.

One must ask, how does making peer review accountable to politicians an ''improvement?'' The scientific method has proven itself over centuries. This ''improvement'' is nothing but a way to attempt and strong arm scientists into pushing political agendas, typically those held by whomever donates the most money to a politician during the campaign.

Congressman Lamar Smith is a leading example as to the disconnect within the Republican Party and reality. His ''improvement'' would compromise scientific research, and dismantle what little America has left for integrity. Despite how many other industries have fallen apart across the United States, we as a nation remain the gold standard of scientific research. It appears Lamar Smith will not rest until that too joins our other areas of once excellence, and we surrender to our national collapse.

Nathaniel Downes is the son of a former state representative of New Hampshire, now living in Seattle Washington.

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Related posts:NRA's Worst Fear: Bipartisan Agreement On Universal Background Checks Reached

Grieving Dad Honors His Late Sons By Attending Boston Marathon, Winds Up Helping Bombing Victims

Random Dudes


recent years, Dr. Brown was able to repeat the experiment with

“automatic writing” and go much further with this research. Among other

things, Brown learned that Sirhan had been a ham radio enthusiast, going

on air nearly every evening prior to the assassination—and would often

enter a hypnotic state while doing so. This gave rise to the possibility

that Sirhan received hypnotic suggestions via short wave radio. In a

test, Brown was able to get Sirhan, while in a trance, to write

incriminating things—which he denied writing when out of the trance.


German TV drops show over SS actor

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Archived Version

Source: BBC News - Europe

Thu, 02 May 2013 09:36

2 May 2013Last updated at10:06 ETGerman broadcaster ZDF has dropped repeat showings of a popular detective series after it emerged its late star had hidden his Waffen SS past.

Archives released last month reveal Horst Tappert, who played Derrick in the show of the same name, had served in the Totenkopf panzer division.

Tappert, who died in 2008, had remained tight-lipped about his war record.

According to the archives, the 19-year-old panzer grenadier was wounded on the Eastern Front in 1943.

With its motto "My Honour Is Loyalty", the Totenkopf (German for "death's head") division became one of the toughest units of the Nazi armed forces.

'Shocked and troubled'ZDF, the German public TV broadcaster, said it would not show any more repeats of the 281 episodes of Derrick, which were made between 1974 and 1998.

"ZDF is shocked and troubled by the news that Horst Tappert was a member of the Waffen SS," spokesman Peter Bogenschuetz told AFP news agency.

"We have no plans to broadcast any more reruns."

Continue reading the main storyWe will not honour an actor who has lied over his past''

End QuoteJan SlagterDutch public TV chairmanGenerations of Germans watched the show set in Munich, with its distinctive, baggy-eyed detective.

The series was popular abroad too, shown on TV screens as far afield as Russia, China and South Africa.

Reacting to the revelations, Dutch public television channel Omroep MAX said it had scrapped plans to show around 20 episodes of Derrick from July.

"I was shocked by the news, you don't expect something like that," chairman Jan Slagter told Dutch national broadcaster NOS over the weekend. "We will not honour an actor who has lied over his past."

Bavaria's interior ministry said it was considering stripping the late actor of an honorary chief police inspector title awarded to Tappert in 1980, German media reported.

Tappert himself said of his war record only that he had served as a medic, AFP reports.

It is not the first such scandal in recent years. In 2006, another famous German, the novelist Guenther Grass, caused consternation when he revealed that he had served as a member of the Waffen SS.


Letter -- Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Burma

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Archived Version

Source: White Press Office Feed

Thu, 02 May 2013 16:29

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

May 02, 2013

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency with respect to Burma that was declared on May 20, 1997, is to continue in effect beyond May 20, 2013.

The Government of Burma has made significant progress in a number of critical areas, including releasing hundreds of political prisoners, achieving cease-fire talks with the 11 armed ethnic groups, taking significant steps toward eliminating press censorship, and enabling the participation of opposition parties in the country's political system.

Despite great strides that Burma has made in its reform effort, the situation in the country continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. The political opening is nascent, and concerns persist regarding remaining political prisoners, ongoing conflict and human rights abuses in ethnic minority areas, and the country's continued military relationship with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The United States is committed to supporting and strengthening Burma's reform efforts to ensure that the democratic transition becomes irreversible. For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to Burma.




Air Taxpayer: Chocolate strawberries among extravagant demands by Nancy Pelosi as she travelled world courtesy of US Airforce | Mail Online

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Archived Version

Sat, 04 May 2013 17:36

By Matt BlakeUPDATED: 09:02 EST, 27 January 2011

Jet-setter: Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi travelled over 90,000 miles in foreign trip in nine months courtesy of the US Airforce

If the US Airforce did all airline food, it would be strawberries dipped in dark chocolate and grilled chicken salads all round.

Unfortunately this luxury is reserved for top US politicians alone, as new documents detailing Nancy Pelosi's travel expenses reveal.

The former House Speaker was showered with a cornucopia of gourmet food and alcohol as she travelled over 90,000 miles around the world in just nine months last year - all courtesy of the US Airforce (USAF).

On one overseas excursion, her office even wrote to the USAF asking for strawberries dipped in dark chocolate as a birthday treat.

The documents, uncovered by political corruption watchdog Judicial Watch, reveal that the US taxpayer was billed for $101,429 (£64,000) in Mrs Pelosi's in-flight services over a period of two years.

One internal Air Force email sent on March 25, 2010 said: 'The speaker's office is requesting egg salad sandwiches on wheat toast with fruit (watermelon, etc) for desert [sic].

'It's the speaker's B-Day tomorrow so we're also asking for something like chocolate covered strawberries (dark chocolate preferred)'...'

Another member of the Air Force staff immediately replied: 'Copy all. We'll plan something for the birthday and take care of the meal.'

Another documents revealed an order for six raspberry chocolate cups, costing almost $16 (£10), and one for pasta spinach salad with grilled chicken. There were also orders for a variety of nuts, cranberry juice, raisins, dipping chocolate and spring water.

The revelations were among 2,000 pages documenting Mrs Pelosi's travel expenses, obtained by Judicial Watch.

Of 103 Pelosi-led congressional delegations, 31 trips included members of the House speaker's family.

Another Pelosi-led congressional delegation travelling from Washington, DC, through Tel Aviv, to Baghdad included a shopping list that would be more at home on the fridge at a student party.

Among requests were Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Baileys Irish Cream, Courvoisier cognac, Bacardi Light rum, Dewar's scotch, Jack Daniel's whiskey, and more.

Pelosi even used Air Force aircraft to travel back to her district of California at an average cost of $28,210.51 per flight.

Extravagant: On one overseas excursion, Mrs Pelosi's office even wrote to the USAF asking for strawberries dipped in dark chocolate as a birthday treat

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said: 'Despite the media firestorm over her military travel abuses, Nancy Pelosi continued to use the United States Air Force as her own personal travel agency right up until her final days as House Speaker.

'Nancy Pelosi demonstrated an alarming disregard for the men and women in the U.S. Air Force during her tenure as House Speaker.'

But he added that the use of military travel was not limited only to the Speaker of the house.

He said: 'Through the Speaker's office, other members of the House are able to obtain permission for the use of military luxury travel for congressional delegation trips abroad.

'These trips, known as CODELs, have exploded in number and cost. Speaker Boehner needs to reform this abuse of our military's assets. This is the right thing to do for the U.S. Air Force and for the American taxpayer.'

Judicial Watch earlier uncovered internal Department of Defense (DOD) emails detailing attempts by DOD staff to accommodate Pelosi's many requests for military escorts and aircraft as well as her 'history of cancelling many past requests'.

Democrat Mrs Pelosi became the first female Speaker in US history ion her election in January 2007.

But when the Republican Party took over the House in the 2010 election, Rep. John Boehner took over the mantle.

Since his appointment, Mr Boehner confirmed that he would commute to his Ohio district only on commercial aircraft.

Mr Fitton added: 'We are pleased that Speaker Boehner will not follow Pelosi's corrupt example and will instead fly commercial.'


"People Are Having Trouble! Trouble They Never Had Before" Vice President Biden

U.S. Refueling Tanker Blows Up Over Kyrgyzstan

VIDEO-The HPV Connection - The human papilloma virus related to Oral Cancer

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Archived Version

Sat, 04 May 2013 16:11

The HPV Connection

You are here: Home > Facts > The human papilloma virusOne of the most common virus groups in the world today affecting the skin and mucosal areas of the body, is the human papilloma virus. Over 120 different types/versions of HPV have been identified, and different types are known to infect different parts of the body. The most visible forms of the virus produce warts (papilloma's) on the hands, arms, legs, and other areas of the skin. Most HPV's of this type are very common, harmless, non cancerous, and easily treatable. Genital warts are known technically as condylomata acuminatum and are generally associated with two HPV types, numbers 6 and 11.

HPV transmission can be quite simple with just skin to skin contact transferring the virus. There are other forms of HPV which are sexually transmitted, and some of these are a serious problem. The most common of these are; HPV-16, HPV-18, HPV-31, and HPV-45. These cancer-associated types of HPV's cause growths that usually appear flat and are nearly invisible, as compared with the warts caused by HPV-6 and HPV-11. (A scanning electron microscope image of one human papilloma virus appears at the top of this page.) Two types of genital tract HPV in particular, HPV 16 and HPV 18, are known to cause the vast majority of cervical cancers, and new studies show that one of them, HPV16, is also linked to oral cancer as well. In the oral environment HPV16 manifests itself primarily in the back (posterior) regions such as the base of the tongue, the oropharynx (the back of the throat in the mouth), the tonsils and the tonsillar pillars. These oncogenic or cancer causing versions of HPV are also responsible for other squamous cell carcinomas, particularly of the anus and penis.

It has now been established that the path that brings people to oral cancer contains at least two distinct etiologies; one through tobacco and alcohol, and another via the HPV virus, particularly version 16, though other versions of the virus might be implicated as the research unravels further, though any others identified as of today are considered research data artifacts and not actual causative agents. The anatomical malignancy sites associated with each pathway appear to also be different from each other. In the broadest terms they can be differentiated into these areas; HPV related cancers appear to occur on the tonsillar area, the base of the tongue and the oropharynx, and non-HPV positive tumors tend to involve the anterior tongue, floor of the mouth, the mucosa that covers the inside of the cheeks and alveolar ridges (the ridge area in which the teeth reside). The data on these two distinct etiologies is coming out of researchers more rapidly now, and there are further definitions that seem to be apparent between the two. While these issues are discussed more fully in the PDF readable research articles included in this portion of the web site, in general it appears that HPV positive tumors occur most frequently in a younger group of individuals than tobacco related malignancies. (Tobacco oral cancers occur most frequently in the 5th through the 7th decade of life.) They also occur more in white males, and in non smokers. The HPV positive group is the fastest growing segment of the oral cancer population.

HPV & Oral CancerGeneral information about virusesMisunderstanding commonly results when people group viruses and bacteria into the same category of disease. Bacteria and viruses are two completely different organisms, each functioning in different and unique ways. Bacteria are one-celled organisms capable of living and reproducing independently. The major parts of a bacterium cell are; a cell wall, cytoplasm, and a nucleoid. The cell wall protects the cell and gives it shape. The cytoplasm is the fluid inside the cell where cell growth, replication, and metabolism are carried out. The cytoplasm also contains all the components for these actions such as the nucleoid, ribosomes, and plasmids. The nucleoid is the region in the cytoplasm where the strands of DNA are located. Bacteria cells reproduce through a process called binary fission. In this process, a single bacterium cell grows to twice its normal size and splits into two daughter cells. These two new daughter cells are exact copies of the original cell. When bacteria infect a body, they do so by multiplying inside the organism and producing toxins that infect surrounding cells or tissues. But very few bacteria are harmful. 99% of the bacteria found in the body are helpful, and most are actually necessary for life. Harmful disease-causing bacteria can be eliminated or killed with antibiotics.

Viruses on the other hand, exist and function in an entirely different manner than bacteria. They are not an independent organism. When a virus is alone it is not metabolically active like bacteria; it needs a host cell to function, and in which to reproduce. A virus is composed of only a protein capsule that encloses its DNA or RNA. When a virus comes in contact with a cell, it is capable of inserting its genetic material into that host cell. Once the virus has invaded a host cell, it can go into two phases: lysogenic or lytic. During the lysogenic phase, the virus remains dormant in the cell and does not affect the host cell. The host cell continues to function normally, even though the virus has invaded it. During the lytic phase, the virus takes over the host cell and uses it to reproduce more viruses which will infect mor cells.

How a virus takes control of a cell, and treatment for some virus typesOnce in the lytic phase, the virus's genetic material takes over the cell functions and controls the reproduction process. The viral genetic material orders the host cell to produce proteins and copies of viral DNA or RNA. The viral proteins then assemble into protein coats, and the viral DNA or RNA is packaged inside the coats. This produces many more viruses inside the host cell. When this reproductive process is complete, the host cell dies and the newly produced viruses are released to infect other cells. Unlike bacteria, a virus cannot be destroyed with antibiotics. Although there is currently no medical cure to eliminate a papilloma virus infection, the squamous intraepithelial lesions (SILs) and warts these viruses cause can be treated. Methods used to treat SILs include cold cautery (freezing that destroys tissue), laser treatment (surgery with a high-intensity light), LEEP (loop electrosurgical excision procedure, the removal of tissue using a hot wire loop), as well as conventional surgery. Similar treatments may be used for external genital warts. In addition, two powerful chemicals (podophyllin and trichloroacetic acid) are capable of destroying external genital warts when applied directly to them. Imiquimod cream has also been recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an effective drug treatment. Imiquimod works by stimulating the immune system to fight the virus. Once infected with a virus, it may become part of the organism/individual indefinitely, though it is poorly understood now if HPV enters periods of dormancy perhaps even for decades, or if the immune system destroys it and constant reinfection takes place. While there may not be outward signs of its presence, it can be present. A common example of this is the herpes simplex virus that causes the cold sores on your lip. This virus lives on the ganglion of the nervous system permanently once infected, and only manifests itself occasionally, perhaps as the immune system becomes compromised through stressors or other mechanisms.

General information about the HPV virusThe human papilloma virus is a double-stranded DNA virus that infects the epithelial cells of skin and mucosa. The moist epithelial surfaces (squamous cells) include all areas covered by skin and/or mucosa such as the mouth, throat, tongue, tonsils, vagina, penis, and anus. Transmission of the virus occurs when these areas come into contact with a virus, allowing it to transfer between epithelial cells. While it is established now that sexual contacts, both conventional and oral, are means of transferring the HPV virus, it is still poorly understood what other transfer pathways may exist.

It is not known why certain HPV types target skin on the hands or feet, while others attack the cells lining the mouth, and still others the genitalia of both males and females. The most dangerous HPV's, 16 and 18, are commonly transmitted through sexual contact. These HPV's can produce two kinds of abnormal tissues, condyloma tissue and dysplasia tissue. Condyloma tissues are the wart-like growths. These warts are usually painless, but can cause some irritation, itching, or burning. This tissue appears like a small, cauliflower-type growth on the skin. It can be treated whenever it flares up, and is non malignant. Dysplastic tissue is the presence of abnormal cells on the surface of the skin. Dysplasia is not cancer, but it is a precursor tissue change prior to malignancy. In one example of a cells' transition from normal to cancerous, dysplasia can be detected on the female cervix through a Pap smear test (and the following lab histopathology process), or visually can be seen by using a magnifying glass called a colposcope.

While not everything is known about how HPV's function, scientists know much about the biology of the virus, though we do not completely understand it's full life cycle. The virus has eight genes that are categorized as being either early or late, according to the time of their expression in the HPV life cycle. The early genes E1 and E2 are involved in viral genome replication and transcription control. Transcription is the process of constructing a messenger RNA molecule that holds a copy of the genetic information from the DNA. The role of the E4 gene is still not known, but it is thought to promote the productive phase of the papilloma virus life cycle. The E5 gene enhances the activity of epidermal growth factor. E6 and E7 interfere with the host cell's control of transcription and the cell cycle. The late genes L1 and L2 encode viral capsid proteins used in the construction of new viruses.

Oncogenic versions of the HPV virusThe most dangerous aspect of the human papilloma virus is its potential to cause cancer. A highly studied topic is HPV's ability to cause cervical cancer. Part of the normal cellular life cycle is regulated by two genes, Rb and p53. Rb segregates the transcription factors necessary for progression through the cell cycle. This means that the Rb prevents the cell from dividing until it has isolated enough proteins for cell division. The important protein which Rb segregates is E2F. This makes Rb a tumor suppressor gene/protein. It does not allow the cell cycle to continue until it has accumulated enough proteins, especially the E2F protein. When a cell is infected with HPV, the E7 gene binds to Rb so that the Rb releases E2F and the other proteins. This is a signal for the cell cycle to progress. As long as the E7 stays attached to Rb, the cell cycle will continue to happen, thus causing a cycle of uncontrolled cell reproduction, which is one of the definitions of a malignant cell.

The other gene HPV attacks with oncoprotein E6 is p53. Within a cell, p53 functions in response to DNA damage. When cell DNA is damaged, p53 stops cell division and directs the genes involved in DNA repair to correct the damage. If the DNA cannot be repaired, p53 then induces programmed cell death (apoptosis), ensuring that a damaged cell dies and does not reproduce. In cancerous cells, p53 is often found to be damaged or nonfunctional. This allows cells with damaged, or altered DNA to continue living instead of being destroyed. Viral E6 protein can bind to p53, and make it inactive. This allows the virus to take over the cell and reproduce itself, since the virally inhibited p53 cannot stop it, or begin the process of programmed cell death. The repeated replication of cells with incorrect DNA information is the beginning of malignant tumor formation. Along with blocking the cell's p53, the viral E6 protein activates telomerase, an enzyme that synthesizes the telomere repeat sequences. Activating this enzyme maintains a repeated cell cycle that continues to produce viral cells. This leads to malignancy as the mutant cells continue to reproduce out of control.

The two most harmful and cancer causing human papilloma viruses are HPV 16 and HPV 18, (though 9 in total out of about 130 versions are confirmed oncogenic versions and another 6 are highly suspect of being so). Both of these are genital viruses which are spread through sexual contact. These types of the human papilloma virus have E6 and E7 proteins with very strong binding capabilities. This allows HPV 16 and HPV 18 to reproduce quickly and in great numbers, leading to uncontrolled reproduction of viral cells, and eventually cancer. It is well established that HPV 16 and HPV 18 are causative factors in cervical cancer, and now HPV16 is also an identified cause of oral cancer. A study done by Dr. No-Hee Park showed that the mouth was, at the cellular level, structurally very similar to the vagina and cervix. Both organs have the same type of epithelial cells that are the target of HPV 16. The majority of oral cancers are cancers of epithelial cells, primarily squamous cell carcinomas, not unlike the cancer that affect the cervix. This first step in understanding the similarities of these tissues and the disease that affects them, led to research that was able to link oral cancers to HPV. Dr. Park's study also showed that smoking and drinking alcohol help promote HPV invasion. Alcoholic beverages contain ethanol alcohol, and ethanol is known to inhibit the production of the p53 protein. The carcinogens in tobacco have been shown to damage cell DNA, the precursor event to malignancy. More recent work seems to indicate that the relationships between tobacco alcohol and HPV are additive in their effect as opposed to synergistic. This means that one factor alone (tobacco OR HPV) can be enough to begin the cascade of cellular events that culminate in a cancerous cell. In the oral environment it is HPV16 that we are concerned with.

A study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center furthered the premise that HPV is linked with certain types of oral cancer. Dr. Maura Gillison was the head of a study which tested 253 patients diagnosed with head and neck cancers. In 25% of these cases, the tissue taken from tumors was HPV positive. HPV 16 was present in 90% of the HPV positive tissues. This information helps to confirm that there is a strong link between HPV and oral cancer. Other important information came from these studies.

There is a survival advantage that HPV+ oral cancer patients have over patients that come to the disease from other etiologies. Given that treatments for oral cancers at this time are the same regardless of the etiology which brings a patient to the disease, it seems logical to conclude that this survival advantage has something to do with the HPV positive tumors being more susceptible and vulnerable to the radiation treatments than their tobacco induced counterparts. It is possible that in the future clinical trials will be conducted that will establish some different treatment protocol for HPV+ oral cancers.

The original HPV / Oral cancer article that began the definition of the problem:Evidence for a Causal Association Between Human Papillomavirus and a Subset of Head and Neck Cancers, Gillison et. al. - Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 92, No. 9, May 3, 2000

Read news release on this study published by Dr. Gillison in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 2001

Human Papillomavirus-Associated Carcinomas in Hawaii and the Mainland U.S.- CANCER March 15, 2000 / Volume 88 / Number 6

Role of Mucosal Human Papillomavirus in Non genital CancersMaura L. Gillison, Keerti V. Shah - Journal of the National Cancer Institute Monographs No. 31, 2003

HPV Communication: Review of Existing Research and Recommendations for Patient Education From the Journal Cancer 2004

Listen to Dr. Gillison discuss her current research through the audio link below

Play Dr. Gilison Research

Lack of Association Between Historic Risk Factors and HPV in Oral Cancers Applebaum, Kelsey et. al. - Journal of the National Cancer Institute December 2007

Development of Vaccines for HPV Associated Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Gillison, Devaraj, Wu, Crit. Rev. Oral Biol. Med. 2003

Tongue and Tonsil Carcinoma (Increasing Trends in the U.S. Population Ages 20''44 Years) The American Cancer Society 2006

Clinical implications of HPV in head and neck cancers. Info from the Journal of Clinical Oncology, 2006J Clin Oncol 24:2606-2611.

Papillomavirus and Oral Cancers, Dr. Gillison et. al., Johns HopkinsNew England Journal of Medicine May 2007 (PDF)

An overview of HPV and oral cancer By Dr. Robert Haddad - American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in 2007

Risk factors for head and neck cancer with a focus on HPV - from the Journal of Dental Research, 2007

HPV-Related Head and Neck Cancers (Slides With Transcript), - Dr. Gillison, Medscape CME course. November 2007 Requires free sign up for Medscape online. Same CME course as a PDF

Risk Factor Profiles Related to HPV Status, Dr. Gillison et. al. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, March 2008 (PDF)Incidence trends in HPV related oral cancers in the US, Dr. Gillison, et. al., Johns Hopkins, Journal of Clinical Oncology, February 2008 (PDF)

Human Papillomavirus and Prognosis of Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Implications for Clinical Research - Editorial, Dr. Gillison, Journal of Clinical Oncology December 2008

Oropharyngeal Cancer, Race, and the Human Papillomavirus- Cancer Prev Res 2009;2(9) September 2009

Racial Survival Disparity in Head and Neck Cancer Results from Low Prevalence of Human Papillomavirus Infection in Black Oropharyngeal Cancer Patients.- The Journal of Cancer Prevention Research 2009;2(9) September 2009

E6 and E7 Gene Silencing and Transformed Phenotype of Human Papillomavirus 16 '' Positive Oropharyngeal Cancer Cells, (clinical confirmation of the HPV etiology) Theodore Rampias, Journal of the National Cancer Institute September 2009

Prognostic Implications of HPV in Oropharyngeal Cancer, Gillison, Ang - The New England Journal of Medicine, June 2010

Oropharyngeal Cancer Epidemic and Human Papillomavirus - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, November 2010

Head and Neck Carcinoma in the Young Patient, Alexander Langerman, MD, Elizabeth A Blair, MD, Ezra Cohen, MD, Ibiayi Dagogo-Jack, CME Update from Medscape, November 2010

Incidence and clearance of genital human papillomavirus infection in men, Giuliano MD, et. al. Lancet, March 1, 2011

The rise of HPV since the 1970's and a projection for 2020. Dr. Maura Gillison, Journal of Clinical Oncology, October 3, 2011

Prevalence of Oral HPV Infection in the United States, 2009-2010, Maura L. Gillison, MD, PhD et. Al - Journal of the American Medical Association, Jan 26, 2012

Tobacco Smoking and Increased Risk of Death and Progression for Patients With p16-Positive and p16-Negative Oropharyngeal CancerJournal of Clinical Oncology, May 7th, 2012

Low etiologic fraction for high-risk human papillomavirus in oral cavitysquamous cell carcinomas - Oral Oncology 2012

Human Papillomavirus and Diseases of the Upper Airway: Head and Neck Cancer and Respiratory Papillomatosis - Vaccine 2012

Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975''2009, Featuring the Burden and Trends in Human Papillomavirus (HPV)''Associated Cancers and HPV Vaccination Coverage Levels - Oxford University Press

Audio file of Dr. Gillison explaining the impact of the October 2011 research on the rise of HPV in oral cancers. Play Dr. Gilison Rise in HPV Sound

Audio file Prevalence of Oral HPV Infection Higher Among Men Than Women Play Dr. Gilison HPV Infection Higher In Men Sound

Information about viruses and all types of cancer Oral Cancer Foundation, 2010

HPV Vaccine related articlesIntroduction to HPV vaccine - [PDF-27KB, 7 pages] - Dr. J Englund Lecture

Gardasil Update: Efficacy in women 24 through 45 years old [PDF-1043KB, 25 pages] - Dr. R Haupt (Merck)

HPV Epidemiology adult women 27 through 45 years old [PDF-408KB, 18 pages] - Dr. E Dunne

Cost-Effectiveness of Quadrivalent HPV Vaccination of Adult Women[PDF-124KB, 25 pages] -Dr. H Chesson

Quadrivalent HPV Vaccine Recommendation Options for Adult Women 27 through 45 years old [PDF-64KB, 7 pages] - Dr. L Markowitz

Gardasil Update: Efficacy against intra-anal infections and disease[PDF-80KB, 20 pages] - Dr. R Haupt (Merck)

Quadrivalent HPV Vaccine for males future considerations [PDF-88KB, 10 pages] - Dr. L Markowitz

Low prevalence of Human Papillomavirus in oral cavity carcinomas [Dr. Jerry Machado]

Not vaccinating endangers us all - 2010, editorial

Controversy Undermines Support For State Mandates On The Human Papillomavirus Vaccine - Public Health and Prevention Journal 2010

Tthe Efficacy of Fewer Than Three Doses of a Bivalent HPV16/18 Vaccine- Journal of the National Cancer Institute, July 2011

OCF's opinions and positions***Further research is being conducted into the relationship of HPV with many other cancer types, and with oral cancers in particular. Historically, at least 25% of those diagnosed with oral cancer are non-smokers. From papers dating several decades ago, many organizations, the foundation included, have stated that the other 75% of those diagnosed have used tobacco in some form during their lifetimes. Many years of tobacco use, manifested itself in the later decades of life (with an average occurrence time of about 60 years of age) as oral cancers. Historically this information has been true. As smoking was the number one causative agent in oral cancers for so long, and the relationship of HPV had not yet be definitively established, it was generally felt that we could easily define the high risk population. But today the research into the relationship of HPV16 and oral malignancies gives us clues as to the origin of cancer in those 25% of diagnosed individuals who did not smoke, and also into American's changing behaviors both in tobacco use and sexual practices. All of this is is changing these numbers and ratios.

Given the decline of tobacco use over the last ten years in the US, ( the historic primary cause of the disease) and the stable (or increasing in the 2004 - 2008 period) rate of incidence of oral cancers, particularly those of the posterior mouth, it is likely that the 75% -25% statement which has been made by everyone at least since the Blot paper published in 1988, is no longer an accurate representation of the situation. In the foundation's opinion, HPV is playing a greater role in the incidence rates of the disease, and the now decades old Blot and Mashberg papers which presented these percentages are outdated. We believe these rates no longer are representative of the actual realities of oral cancer etiology in the US today. We predict that publications now being prepared will establish HPV as an equally, if not more important causative agent than tobacco, and its impact will certainly be significantly larger than the 25% of what was previously described as "other causes".The estimates of this HPV percentage of the overall patient population have ranged from 50-65% depending on the source being quoted. Most recently there was a study published in Sweden that looked at their current population of oral cancer patients and in that group 60% were HPV positive.

The foundation, in lectures, news interviews, and in written opinions has often expressed this premise since 2001. We strongly believe that in a younger population of non smoking oral cancer patients, that HPV is presenting itself as the dominant causative factor. Since the historic definition of those who need to be screened is now changed by this newly defined HPV etiology, and is no longer valid, it is NOT POSSIBLE to definitively know who is at risk for the development of the disease, and who is not. Simply stated, today ANYONE OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE ENGAGED IN SEXUAL BEHAVIORS WHICH ARE CAPABLE OF TRANSFERING THIS VERY UBIQUITOUS VIRUS NEEDS TO BE SCREENED ANNUALLY FOR ORAL CANCER. For this reason we are STRONG promoters of OPPORTUNISTIC annual screenings to catch this disease at its earliest possible stages, when it is most vulnerable to EXISTING treatment modalities and survival rates are the highest. We believe that this will bring the oral cancer death rate down as early detection and diagnosis takes place, and will reduce the treatment associated morbidity to patients who do present with oral cancers.

Anecdotally we are hearing from numerous treatment facilities that the incidence of patients with positive neck metastasis and no visible primaries intra orally is becoming increasingly common. Some institutions have adopted a policy of bilateral tonsillectomies in these patients with occult oral environments. At at least one prominent NCI designated institution they are reporting finding approximately 70% of these tonsils to be positive for SCC. The primary lesions have been very small - MANY AS SMALL AS 2mm. We are concerned that data on this experience is not being reported, even though it appears to be an increasingly common presentation. Should it prove that these HPV16/SCC positive tonsils (which appear visually normal in the intra oral environment) are becoming commonplace, this does not bode well for pre-malignant early detection by methods that we are currently using. As of July 2010,No currently available adjunctive device, using tissue auto fluorescence , tissue reflectance, or brush cytology, is capable of assisting in the early discovery of these disease states, as pre-cancers.There is also no evidence that the current swish test to collect exfoliated cells to test for HPV16 has any value in this process.

It is worth mentioning that the new cervical cancer vaccines approved for use in pre sexual individuals for the prevention of cervical cancer being developed and marketed by pharma giants Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, will likely have a positive collateral impact in the world of head and neck / oral cancers in the next couple of decades, as these young, vaccinated individuals do not develop HPV related malignancies in sites far removed from the cervix. The foundation is a strong supporter of the use of the vaccines, and encourages their use in young males as well as females. The foundation has written to the FDA expressing this viewpoint. The manufacturer's, without a long-term definitive clinical trial approved by the FDA, are prohibited from talking about oral and head and neck cancers in relationship to their vaccines, and what impact their vaccines may have on them. OCF strongly believes that elimination of a causative agent (HPV16) by preventing infection from it with a vaccine, will subsequently prevent any disease that agent may have produced in the protected individual. This is simple scientific extrapolation, and a view shared by many in the science community.

Argument against this position from some doctors.

Some doctors, (not the core researchers on this subject) believe that if we eliminate HPV16 as the causative agent through vaccination, that another oncogenic version of HPV will just take its place. In science circles this is referred to as the strongest swimmer theory. It goes like this. Imagine 50,000 sperm swimming towards an egg to fertilize it. Whichever one gets there first, fertilizes the egg and no others can enter. Now imagine that you are able to knock out that strongest swimmer. What would happen is the second strongest swimmer would reach the egg instead, and take care of the job. Ditto, if you take out the second swimmers, the third strongest would and so on. The reason this does not apply to HPV16 and oral cancer in our opinion, is that we have seen no other contenders in the pack. HPV16 is it. Cervical cancers are a different situation, 16 and 18 are the dominant causes about 70% of the time, and we sometimes see other oncogenic HPV's cause cervical cancers in association with them. We do not see this in oropharyngeal cancers. We do not see other oncogenic HPV DNA in oral cancer tissues other than HPV16. So, the other reason we believe in the vaccine, is that in the cervical cancer model, the vaccine DOES NOT protect from the other oncogenic HPV's, such as versions 31,33, 35, 51etc. So while we have knocked out the strongest swimmers (16 and 18) no other secondary tier oncogenic HPV's have jumped in to replace them in the10 years that the vaccine has been in use. If this were happening, the vaccine would be useless, and that is not the case in over a decade of successful protection.

What does the HPV16 etiology mean for opportunistic screening?

We certainly still need to be engaged in opportunistically screening entire patient populations in the dental, ENT, RDH, and general medicine environments. Tobacco is not going away as a cause, and it is still a major problem with many new unknowns entering the marketplace, like dissolvable tobacco products and others marketing themselves as "harm reduction strategies".

But the mechanisms of oral cancer detection need to be altered to some degree, and dental and medical professionals need to not only get up to speed on these new issues, but be increasingly involved. As a primary example, with these occult oral environments common in HPV+ patients, and tissue changes we historically look and feel for not so readily available to us in the examination, what NEW things must we incorporate? Palpation of the neck has never been more important. Unfortunately this is where we are seeing many first presentations, and recognition by the patient, that something is amiss. A hard/firm, enlarged, painless, fixated node in the neck that has been present for over 21 days should be sampled by fine needle aspiration biopsy at minimum. Painless is the keyword here. If this were from a tooth abscess, ear infection etc. draining into cervical nodes, it would be tender to the touch. Another sign is an irregular and asymmetrical trigome (the shape visualized in the posterior of the mouth formed by the base of the tongue, and the tonsillar pillars on each side). Lack of symmetry and swelling on one side, which is simultaneously painless when palpated, is a cause for concern, and is not associated with other disease states. This is frequently associated with a positive finding in the cervical nodes on the same side.

Read October 2007 press release from the foundation on this position.

The foundation also believes that studies that are currently being conducted will better elucidate this apparent survival advantage for individuals with HPV positive disease, and in the next few years this will be likely better defined. As treatment modalities for both types have remained consistent, we believe that the change in the causative etiology will prove to be an influencing factor in this survival advantage. This very point was conclusively proven in a June 2010 article by Ang and Gillison et. al. published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.(NEJM article on survival advantage Editorial related to this study in NEJM) It is possible that if this is true, treatment modalities for HPV vs. tobacco related tumors could be altered. This is strictly speculation at this point. There are also therapeutic vaccines under study which may be able to suppress viral loads and prevent recurrences in patients with HPV positive tumors. The results from these has yet to be published, and we are far from knowing definitively that this is possible.

'''If you are a doctor that wishes to have tissue samples tested for HPV, or a patient that wishes to provide information to your doctor on where this can be done with accuracy; OCF recommends that you have the testing done by Johns Hopkins Medical Laboratories. They have a great deal of expertise and experience. The directions on how to contact them or where to send samples to are located at this link

If you would like to see the current guidelines for vaccination of your children with Guardrails see the article from the highly trusted journal CANCER. Guidelines 2008

Centers for Disease Control HPV monitoring and efforts (link)

Older articles on HPV and oral and oropharyngeal cancers, which even though the data is changing rapidly, we believe still contain some important and useful information or data. Research articles which document the correlation between HPV and oral cancer

Human papilloma virus (HPV) fact sheet by Stressgen Corp.

Changing patterns of tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma in the United States National Cancer Institute 1999

VIDEO-Obama Blames U.S. For Gun Violence In Mexico | RealClearPolitics

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Fri, 03 May 2013 17:47

"Most of the guns used to commit violence here in Mexico come from the United States," President Obama said during a speech at Mexico's Anthropology Museum. "I think many of you know that in America, our Constitution guarantees our individual right to bear arms. And as president, I swore an oath to uphold that right, and I always will."

"But at the same time, as I've said in the United States, I will continue to do everything in my power to pass common-sense reforms that keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous people. That can save lives here in Mexico and back home in the United States. It's the right thing to do," Obama added.

"Someone Sat Them Down And Showed Them How To Make This Bomb" CIA Agent Baer

Drug War Seems To Be Number One Topic Of Discussion For Obama Mexico Trip

California Governor Approves Funds To Seize Guns Held Illegally

Biden: Abused women fear being "raped" by the system - CBS News

Ben Shapiro Gets Piers Morgan to Call for U.S. Handgun Ban

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Source: MRCTV - News & Politics

Fri, 03 May 2013 15:02

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Breitbart's Ben Shapiro goaded CNN's Piers Morgan into admitting that a British-style handgun ban should be tried in the U.S.

"The UK has 40, 50 gun murders a year, America has 12,000. Why don't we try our way?" Morgan suggested on his Thursday show.

VIDEO-Furtive MovementNew York Police Commissioner Defends Racist Tactics Used By NYPD - YouTube

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Sat, 04 May 2013 20:02

On PBS's Charlie Rose Show: 'Obama Will Go Down as One of the Top American Presidents'

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Thu, 02 May 2013 16:29

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On his PBS show Charlie Rose brought on editors of the Financial Times to discuss various topics, including Barack Obama's legacy, and one of them boldly pronounced he could go down in history as one of the best presidents ever. Appearing on Wednesday's Charlie Rose Show, Lionel Barber, the editor of the Financial Times, predicted that if the economy grew at 3.5 percent in 2014 "President Obama will go down as one of the top American presidents."

Crossposted at Newsbusters.

Bilderberg Kingmaker Kissinger 'Jokes' About President Hillary Clinton At Elite Gathering

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Fri, 03 May 2013 05:33

Clinton accepts 'Distinguished Leadership Award' and Lauds 'liberal global order'

(SteveWatson) '' Bilderberg luminary Henry Kissinger 'joked' at an elite dinner party in Washington DC last night that Hillary Clinton should run for president in 2016.

''At least four secretaries of state became president,'' said Kissinger in remarks at an Atlantic Council dinner.

''I want to tell Hillary that when she misses the office, when she looks at the histories of secretaries of state, there might be hope for a fulfilling life afterwards,'' he added.

Kissinger also 'joked' that he had ''thought up all kinds of schemes to get around'' Constitutional protections that prevented him, as a foreign born citizen, from becoming president himself.

''At least four secretaries of state became president. And that sort of started focusing my mind even though there was a constitutional provision that prevented me from doing it,'' said Kissinger, who was born in Germany.

Of course, when Henry Kissinger makes 'jokes', anyone who knows anything about the man knows that they are not actually jokes, primarily because a cold hearted war criminal doesn't joke around.

In recent data dumps by Wikileaks, dubbed the 'Kissinger Cables', the Bilderberg stalwart is quoted as saying, ''Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings, 'The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer'.''

The Atlantic Council, of which Kissinger is a director, is an elite think tank, an offshoot of Bilderberg, populated exclusively by North American and European elites.

At the gathering last night, Kissinger presented Clinton with a 'Distinguished Leadership Award', a direct seal of approval for a Clinton presidential run. Upon accepting the award, Clinton stated:

''When I became secretary of state, I spent a lot of time thinking about my illustrious predecessors '' not primarily the ones who went on to become president,'' she said. ''But about the extraordinary generation of those leaders who were not just present at the creation but leading the creation of a liberal global order that provided unprecedented peace and prosperity along with progress on behalf of the values that we hold in common.''

Kissinger himself has lauded the formation of a ''new world order'', a global force of governance, on innumerable occasions. His regular attendance at the secretive Bilderberg Group and Bohemian Grove meetings with heads of international corporations, banks and political leaders have put such comments into stark contrast.

Clinton's campaign against Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic primaries came to an end when she abruptly announced that she was to concede and suspend her campaign, following a secret meeting held with Obama, which in all likelihood took place at the Bilderberg Group conference in Chantilly, Virginia.

Now, it seems, is Hillary's time, however.

Last December, New Yorker Magazine editor David Remnick dropped a political bombshell after attending a three-day conference at which the Secretary of State was the keynote speaker, categorically stating, ''Hillary Clinton is running for President.''

''Hillary Clinton is running for President,'' wrote Remnick, adding, ''Everyone had a theory of which they were one hundred percent certain. There wasn't much doubt about the ultimate direction. 2007-8 was but a memory and 2016 was within sight. She's running.''

Remnick's prediction is not to be taken lightly given the fact that he has been editor of The New Yorker for the past 14 years and is also a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.

Other groups are beginning to align in backing Clinton. Most notably, Emily's List, a Democratic-aligned group that promotes female political candidates who support abortion rights, is spending six figures on a campaign it calls ''Madam President

The group has produced a cringe inducing politically correct video that it intends to push online, which begins with young girls enacting a presidential campaign and concludes with someone who looks distinctly like Hilary Clinton taking the oath of office.

Kissinger's 'joke' nod to Clinton should be taken as an endorsement that the elite have her back, and that she is their chosen candidate to succeed their last chosen one, Barack Obama.

A Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday revealed that Clinton has the overwhelming support of 65 percent of likely Democratic primary voters, should she decide to run in 2016. Vice President Joe Biden trailed in second place with 13 percent.

A McClatchy-Marist poll released last month showed Clinton winning in theoretical head-to-head match ups against four potential Republican presidential candidates.

Alex Jones recently detailed the media spin that is building around Hillary Clinton:

Further reading '-- Hillary Clinton: Profile of Imperial Arrogance and Lawlessness

Source: Infowars

Reese Witherspoon Crazy Arrest Caught on Tape

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Source: Jacky Jasper's Diary of a Hollywood Street King

Fri, 03 May 2013 05:37

by Jacky JasperReese Witherspoon warned the police officer ''YOU BETTER NOT ARREST ME'' on the night she was busted in Atlanta acting extremely drunk and disorderly.

The video above comes courtesy of the police cruisers dash-cam video obtained by TMZ.

Liberal madness: Winning track team disqualified after one runner points to heaven in gesture of thanks to God

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Fri, 03 May 2013 15:01

MRC TV is an online platform for people to share and view videos, articles and opinions on topics that are important to them -- from news to political issues and rip-roaring humor.

MRC TV is brought to you by the Media Research Center, a 501(c) 3 nonprofit research and education organization. The MRC is located at: 325 South Patrick Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. For information about the MRC, please visit

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Inside Edition: Barack Obama Was Once An Indonesian Muslim Named Barry Soetoro

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Source: The Goodman Chronicle

Sat, 04 May 2013 09:39

For those that don't know, President Barack Obama used to go by the name "Barry Soetoro", while living in Indonesia, and he even registered for school as a INDONESIAN MUSLIM student. Did he renounce his citizenship? When did he change his name back? When did he change his religion? Your being lied to about everything. If there was a movie made about the true story of Barack Obama's origin, we wouldn't believe it. This man is a fraud, a phony, an ACTOR, a CIA asset, and much more, but your FRIEND, he is not!