Click here to show or hide the menubar.

Ready for Huma

A picture named NA-535-Art-SM.jpg

Direct [link] to the mp3 file

The No Agenda News Network-

RSS Podcast Feed

Get the No Agenda News App for your iPhone and iPad

Torrents of each episode via BitLove

New! BitTorrent Sync the No Agenda Show


Art By: MartinJJ

See All The Art in the Generator

Ready for Huma

Executive Producers: Sir Whosoever, Sir Gene Baron de Marriott Sherrif of Texas, Sir Nate Wilson, No Agenda Slave Mart

Associate Executive Producers: Sir William Baughman, Sir P. Sneekes, Todd Brink, Brian House

536 Club Members: Sir Gene Baron de Marriott Sherrif of Texas

Become a member of the 537 Club, support the show here

Knighthoods: Sir Whosoever, Sir Nate Wilson

Art By: MartinJJ

ShowNotes Archive of links and Assets (clips etc)

New: Directory Archive of Shownotes (includes all audio and video assets used)

The No Agenda News Network-

RSS Podcast Feed

Get the No Agenda News App for your iPhone and iPad

Torrents of each episode via BitLove

New! BitTorrent Sync the No Agenda Show



Urban Dictionary: The Book of Knowledge by Mark Carper

IT Producer hits in the mouth

Ron White

to adam

Thanks for what you do. I love the show and over the past 3 years contributed enough for two knight hoods through trading work for a no agenda donation. I am a computer tech (sys admin) and travel to various jobs through tech head hunters. When ever one of the employees asks me to fix there home system I agree on the condition that they will make a donation to NA. This has worked great because some of them have allowed me to hit them in the mouth to find out what they just sent money to.

Keep up the good work, you have changed the way I think and look at the world and in turn influenced those around me.

If you remember, give a karma hit to John and yourself from an Anonymous Knight.

Amsterdam Notes

Rijks Museum

Work week 'deeltjd' - Germans number 1

Marx talk - Pandemic or War is needed

Putin Gays

Russia Gay Propaganda Ban: Speaking in Defense of Gay Rights Now a Crime in Putin's Russia

Link to Article

Archived Version

Thu, 01 Aug 2013 22:27

Russia Gay Propaganda Ban: Speaking in Defense of Gay Rights Now a Crime in Putin's Russia

On Tuesday, Russia's parliament passed a discriminatory new law which bans the spread of "propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations" amongst minors, essentially making it illegal to promote LGBT rights. The bill, which was given preliminary approval in January, passed by a massive 436 votes to 0 in the lower house, with just one abstention. The law would introduce fines for individuals, media organizations, and foreigners found guilty of breaking it. Although Russia decriminalized homosexuality in 1993, many people still oppose the recognition of the LGBT rights and anti-gay sentiment remains strong.

The bill must still pass the Russian senate and be signed by President Vladimir Putin before it becomes law. There is no indication, however, that it will not succeed given that the measure is part of an effort by the Kremlin and the Russian Orthodox Church to "to promote traditional Russian values as opposed to Western liberalism," which they see as "corrupting Russian youth and contributing to the protests against President Vladimir Putin's rule."

The wording of the bill originally read "homosexual propaganda," but was softened to read "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations," which supporters of the measure reportedly defined as "relations not conducive to procreation." Despite the change in wording, however, the target of the law is still clear: anyone seeking to promote LGBT rights and equality. According to the law, 'propaganda' is defined as:

"... spreading the information in order to form non-traditional sexual desires in children, describing such relations as attractive, promoting the distorted understanding of social equality of traditional and non-traditional relations and also unwanted solicitation of information that could provoke interest to such relations."

The BBCreports that following the passing of the bill, there were violent clashes outside parliament between supporters of the ban and LGBT activists. According to police, around 20 people were detained.

Video credit: BBC News

If approved, the law would impose fines of up to 100,000 roubles on individuals who equate straight and homosexual relationships, distribute material on LGBT rights, and/or take part in LGBT pride parades. Media groups would face fines of up to 1 million roubles, and could be shut down for up to 90 days, while foreigners could be fined up to 100,000 roubles, and also be detained for up to 15 days and deported. Graeme Reid, the LGBT rights program director at Human Rights Watch (HRW), has criticized the law and the supposed justification for it, saying "Russia is trying very hard to make discrimination look respectable by calling it 'tradition,' but whatever term is used in the bill, it remains discrimination and a violation of the basic human rights of LGBT people."

LGBT rights activists in Russia said that while the decision was expected, they will continue to fight for equal rights. This will be an uphill battle, however, with the BBCreporting that recent polls have shown that over half of Russians opposed equal rights for LGBT people, while Russia Todayreports that the overwhelming majority of Russians, 88%, support the ban passed on Tuesday.

Coupled with the violent reaction to the recent legalization of same sex marriage in France and other protests against LGBT equality, the bill in Russia is further evidence that despite the progress that has been made in advancing LGBT rights around the world, there is still much to be done to change entrenched prejudice.

Russia says 'gay propaganda' ban stands for Sochi games

Link to Article

Archived Version

Thu, 01 Aug 2013 22:25

Russia says 'gay propaganda' ban stands for Sochi gamesTop News

Russia says 'gay propaganda' ban stands for Sochi games

Thu, Aug 01 14:48 PM EDT

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Foreign competitors and spectators at next year's Sochi Winter Olympics will have to abide by a new Russian law banning "gay propaganda", the host nation's sports minister said on Thursday.

Comments by Vitaly Mutko run against earlier talk that the Games could be exempted from the new rule, which provoked heavy criticism from the West and triggered a growing boycott of Russian vodka in the United States.

"No one is forbidding an athlete with non-traditional sexual orientation from coming to Sochi, but if he goes onto the street and starts propagandizing it, then of course he will be held accountable," Mutko was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.

Foreigners found to have broken the law can be deported from Russia, in addition to being fined up to 100,000 roubles ($3,000) or held for up to 15 days.

The law, as well as a ban on adoptions of children by same-sex couples, are part of a more conservative course taken by President Vladimir Putin on social issues since his return to the Kremlin in May, 2012.

Putin critics say the law is one in a string of repressive measures introduced by the former KGB spy during more than a year of his third presidential term to crack down on dissent.

Putin, who denies clamping down on political opponents, has made Sochi a top priority for Russia to help its image abroad by propagating it as a modern state with top-notch infrastructure.

But the latest controversy only adds to criticism over cost overruns and accusations of widespread corruption marring the February 7-23 games.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Michael Roddy)

Russia says 'gay propaganda' ban stands for Sochi gamesTop News

Russia says 'gay propaganda' ban stands for Sochi games

Thu, Aug 01 14:48 PM EDT

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Foreign competitors and spectators at next year's Sochi Winter Olympics will have to abide by a new Russian law banning "gay propaganda", the host nation's sports minister said on Thursday.

Comments by Vitaly Mutko run against earlier talk that the Games could be exempted from the new rule, which provoked heavy criticism from the West and triggered a growing boycott of Russian vodka in the United States.

"No one is forbidding an athlete with non-traditional sexual orientation from coming to Sochi, but if he goes onto the street and starts propagandizing it, then of course he will be held accountable," Mutko was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.

Foreigners found to have broken the law can be deported from Russia, in addition to being fined up to 100,000 roubles ($3,000) or held for up to 15 days.

The law, as well as a ban on adoptions of children by same-sex couples, are part of a more conservative course taken by President Vladimir Putin on social issues since his return to the Kremlin in May, 2012.

Putin critics say the law is one in a string of repressive measures introduced by the former KGB spy during more than a year of his third presidential term to crack down on dissent.

Putin, who denies clamping down on political opponents, has made Sochi a top priority for Russia to help its image abroad by propagating it as a modern state with top-notch infrastructure.

But the latest controversy only adds to criticism over cost overruns and accusations of widespread corruption marring the February 7-23 games.

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; Editing by Michael Roddy)

Does Russia Hate Gays? | The Faster Times

Link to Article

Archived Version

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 03:36

Well, that might be an overstatement. But let's start with St. Petersburg, the country's intellectual capital.

The local legislature in St. Petersburg is only one, largely formal reading away from passing a law that would outlaw ''homosexual propaganda.'' The fines for violators would reportedly cost up to $150 for individuals and $1,500 for organizations.

But here's the thing: in Russia, it seems that ''propaganda'' is loosely defined. The bill's sponsor, a lawmaker from none other than the ruling United Russia party, argued back in November that, since a ''wave popularizing sexual perversion'' is washing over the city, children need to be protected from ''destructive information'' '' which, in his mind, spans the gamut from literature and events allegedly promoting homosexuality to the mere mention of it on social networks.

Others, frighteningly, have gone even further. Another St. Petersburg lawmaker, from the inappropriately named Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (they're mostly harebrained nationalists), noted that the fines were too low, and rather impressively equated what might otherwise be consensual gay sex with pedophilia while also hinting at an international conspiracy: ''What is a 3,000 ruble fine to a pedophile when they're supported by the international community?'' asked lawmaker Elena Babich, Russian news agency Interfax reported after the bill's first reading in November.

Naturally, rights' groups are up in arms. Yet this is far from the only battle they've had to wage, since St. Petersburg is not the first city to pull such a stunt. Last year, the legislature in the far northern city of Arkhangelsk passed a similar law to reportedly safeguard the moral and physical wellbeing of children (as well as to boost dwindling birthrates), as did the city of Ryazan, a two-hour drive south of Moscow. Not to mention that the capital city itself for nearly 20 years had a mayor who condemned homosexuality as ''satanic'' and regularly banned pride parades from its streets.

But rather than a few, terrible isolated incidents, these moves reflect a broader trend in Russia today. After being illegal in the Soviet Union, homosexuality was decriminalized only in 1993, and much of the country remains firmly in a conservative state of mind. And it's not only the authorities who profess a strict social conservatism; besides the handful of urban centers, the majority of Russia is strung together by a patchwork of far-flung towns, villages and provincial centers '' where the quality of life is lower, educational opportunities are far less prevalent, and the social demographics are far more homogeneous (read: poor, old and dying).

Given the growing protest trend in Moscow and other major Russian cities, though, one might be forgiven for thinking that, with its calls for democracy, rule of law and greater personal freedoms, the burgeoning anti-establishment movement may appear to be a light at the end of the tunnel for Russia's embattled gay population. But on second thought, things are likely less positive than they seem. The St. Petersburg bill passed its second reading nearly unanimously

Dan Peleschuk is a Moscow-based journalist and staff writer at Russia Profile, a current affairs website covering politics, business and culture in Russia and former Soviet Union. He holds a B.A. from more

Gay Pride Versus 'Gay Propaganda' | The Nation

Link to Article

Archived Version

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 03:22

Russian police detain a gay rights activist during a rally outside the mayor's office in Moscow on May 25, 2013. (Reuters/Maxim Shemetov)'‚On the day that the Russian State Duma approved legislation banning the ''propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships among minors,'' Sasha got piss drunk. Speaking in a basement gay bar hidden within a flower shop in downtown Moscow, the 41-year-old gay man, who asked that his last name not be used, said he was distraught not for himself but for gay youth coming of age in an atmosphere of homophobia.

About the AuthorAlec LuhnAlec Luhn is a journalist focusing on global issues of good governance, human rights and activism, especially in...

Also by the AuthorThe anti-corruption activist's mayoral campaign in Moscow is dividing voters, while testing the country's diminished opposition party.

Russian lawmakers claim it would curb US access to Russian Internet data. But the real goal, critics say, would be to enable greater Russian surveillance over online activist activity.

''I got drunk for our teenagers who were born gay. Now by law they are some kind of monsters,'' he said.

Russia's lower house of parliament passed the bill on June 11 in a 436-0 vote with one abstention. Once signed into law as expected, it will impose a fine of up to 5,000 rubles ($150) on individuals for ''spreading information directed toward forming non-traditional sexual orientations among minors,'' as well as for promoting the ''social equivalence of traditional and non-traditional sexual relationships.'' (Earlier versions of the legislation referred to ''homosexual propaganda.'') Discussing LGBT issues in the mass media or online will bring fines of up to 100,000 rubles for individuals and 1,000,000 rubles for organizations.

Much of the Russian population appears ready to take the law at face value, as a way to protect minors from information that ''can harmfully impact their minds and instill distorted conceptions of the relationships between people,'' as Sergei Zheleznyak, one of the bill's authors, put it. But many in Russia's LGBT community fear the legislation will tacitly condone discrimination and violence against sexual minorities. LGBT activists are already regularly beaten here, and two men were gruesomely murdered in separate incidents in May, allegedly for being gay.

''These social consequences are a lot more dangerous than any fines for 5,000 rubles or a ban on public events or something like that, because they are connected with people's individual fates,'' said the well-known lawyer and gay-rights activist Nikolai Alekseyev.

Russia's LGBT community, however, remains conflicted about how to respond to rising homophobia, and attempts to hold gay pride parades and ''kissing rallies'' have drawn criticism from both LGBT people and their opponents.

The gay propaganda law is one of several pieces of recent legislation promoting conservative religious values, a major plank of President Vladimir Putin's political platform, which has come to increasingly resemble the tsarist-era doctrine of ''Orthodoxy, Autocracy and Nationality.'' (The Russian Orthodox Church, whose leader has described homosexuality as a moral threat to Russia, supported the law.) On the same day the gay propaganda bill was passed, the Duma quietly approved a law drafted after the Pussy Riot trial that would punish public activities ''insulting the religious feelings of believers'' with up to three years in prison. One week later, the Duma passed a law banning the adoption of orphans by foreign gay couples and single parents from countries where same-sex marriage is legal.

Meanwhile, LGBT groups have been among those heavily fined under a 2012 law requiring non-governmental organizations to register as ''foreign agents'''--a term for ''spy'' in Russian'--if they receive funding from abroad.

To become law, the three recent bills must be approved by Russia's upper house of parliament and signed by Putin, but these steps are considered a formality. Putin has said that the gay propaganda legislation reflects ''the attitudes of Russian society as a whole,'' pointing to laws that were previously passed in ten Russian regions. Indeed, an April poll by the independent Center found that 45 percent of Russians believe that people ''most often become homosexual as a result of seduction or their own loose conduct,'' and a February Levada poll found that anti-gay sentiment has risen over the past decade.

Yet many see the federal gay propaganda law as a callous attempt to win public support for a regime that has been shaken by last year's mass street protests over tainted elections. Polls have shown a steady worsening in the ruling United Russia party's image, and GDP growth has been falling for over a year, shrinking to 1.6 percent in the first quarter of 2013. As a result, several activists said, lawmakers have turned to gay-bashing to distract voters from looming problems.

''Gays have become the internal enemies of the new empire,'' said Yelena Kostychenko, a journalist at the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta who has become a leader of the LGBT movement. ''We are the perfect internal enemies because we are everywhere, and you can't tell us apart from ordinary people.''

The new legislation casts a wide net over activity the government may find threatening. It lacks a definition of what exactly constitutes ''non-traditional sexual relationships,'' and Duma deputy Yelena Mizulina has even suggested this could also include oral sex. Furthermore, the phrase ''among minors'' has been interpreted under regional gay propaganda laws to apply to essentially any public space.

Alekseyev said that regional gay propaganda laws have been used as tools of political repression, not as safeguards against corrupting children. The activist was himself fined in 2012 under St. Petersburg's law against gay propaganda among minors after he stood in front of city hall holding a sign with a quote from Soviet actress Faina Ranevskaya, ''Homosexuality is not perversion. Perversion is hockey on the grass and ballet on the ice.''

The federal gay propaganda law will hit LGBT activists with stiffer fines, lead to even more arrests at street rallies and possibly exacerbate the beatings they already face at the hands of counter-protesters. For the past eight years, police have broken up annual attempts by Alekseyev and other activists to hold a gay pride parade in Moscow, including an attempt this May that resulted in more than thirty arrests. Most recently, at a June 11 action against the gay propaganda law outside the State Duma building, LGBT activists were pelted with eggs, bundles of nettles and condoms filled with excrement, and several were assaulted by gangs of teenage boys. At one rally, Kostyuchenko was beaten so severely she started to lose her hearing, although she has since recovered it almost entirely, she said.

Even at Kostyuchenko's ''Day of Kisses'' rallies, where LGBT couples and supporters kiss in public, anti-gay protesters have thrown eggs and beaten those locking lips, and several LGBT activists have been arrested.

''Every time, you go out with a sign and wait to get beaten,'' Kostyuchenko said. ''I wanted to think up an action that would be nice to go to. But kisses turned out to be more dangerous than signs.''

Despite the arrests and beatings, Alekseyev says parades and other street actions have raised the issue of LGBT rights in society, attracting support from journalists and opposition leaders and improving the media portrayal of gay people. ''If there weren't gay parades, then this topic wouldn't be talked about,'' he said.

The LGBT community, however, is split over the tactic of holding parades and other high-visibility protests. During a call-in talk show on the Ekho Moskvy radio station in May, one caller named Andrei, who identified himself as gay, blamed protesters for provoking the wrath of mainstream society. ''Alekseyev and those like him have done much more for the discrediting of the LGBT movement than all the homophobes together,'' Andrei said.

Speaking at Nashe Kafe, Sasha called gay pride parades a ''prank meant to annoy people'' and said that most ordinary homosexuals don't approve of Alekseyev and his methods. ''When there's a plague in the country, why do we need a parade? Here and now it's not needed,'' he said.

According to Polina Andrianova, an activist with Coming Out, a St. Petersburg''based LGBT rights organization that was recently fined under the foreign agents law, the majority of Russians view gay pride parades negatively because they lack a clear message. ''It's not enough to just come out on the street and demand our rights,'' Andrianova said. ''They will just see it as we want to show off our sexuality.''

Instead, her group seeks to educate people around specific talking points, she said. At Coming Out's rally for the International Day Against Homophobia on May 17, about 150 LGBT activists and supporters tried to raise awareness of the fact that homosexuality is no longer classified as a mental illness.

Meanwhile, Alekseyev is trying to drum up international political pressure on Russia over LGBT rights. He's brought about twenty-five lawsuits to the European Court of Human Rights against government measures that infringe on LGBT rights, and he plans to eventually file another one over the federal gay propaganda law, he said.

Please support our journalism. Get a digital subscription for just $9.50!

Ultimately, though, LGBT people in Russia must also challenge homophobia by ending their silence, whether by coming out to friends or joining street protests, Kostyuchenko said. In the February Levada poll, only 7 percent of respondents said they personally knew a gay person. Similar polls in the United States have found that number to be over 50 percent.

''People right now are very hateful, and with each new law they get more hateful,'' Kostyuchenko said.

But if the LGBT community ''finally comes out of the closet' will be hard for the government to drive us back in,'' she said. ''It's hard to find something to scare gays and lesbians with now because we've been scared of everything already.''

While Russia continues to criminalize LGBT advocacy, LGBT activists in the US consider what is next for the movement.

Russia's Crackdown On 'Gay Propaganda' And Popular Illiberalism - Forbes

Link to Article

Archived Version

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 03:17

Log in with your social account:Or, you can log in or sign up using Forbes.New PostsMost PopularWhat 20-Year-Olds Don't GetListsAmerica's Top CollegesVideoDigital CarjackersGet 2 FREE Issues of ForbesHelp|Connect

|Sign up|Log in

Gay Parade

Public transport cards-checkin and out

Earon Notes

All products made in USA

Doing bizz

Fake Burger King


U.S. to close some embassies Sunday for security reasons

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Reuters: World News

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 04:05

WASHINGTON | Thu Aug 1, 2013 10:56pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. embassies that would normally be open this Sunday - including those in Abu Dhabi, Baghdad and Cairo - will be closed that day because of unspecified security concerns, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.

CBS News reported that the embassy closings were tied to U.S. intelligence about an al Qaeda plot against U.S. diplomatic posts in the Middle East and other Muslim countries. CBS said the intelligence did not mention a specific location.

"The Department of State has instructed certain U.S. embassies and consulates to remain closed or to suspend operations on Sunday, August 4th," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters at her daily briefing. "Security considerations have led us to take this precautionary step."

Harf declined to detail the "security considerations" or name the embassies and consulates that would be closed, but a senior State Department official told reporters later they were those that would normally have been open on Sunday.

A quick search of the State Department website showed that those included several U.S. missions in the Muslim world, including the embassies in Abu Dhabi, Baghdad and Cairo.

CBS News said U.S. embassies would also be closed in Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

"The department has been apprised of information that, out of an abundance of caution and care for our employees and others who may be visiting our installations ... indicates we should institute these precautionary steps," Harf said. "The department, when conditions warrant, takes steps like this to balance our continued operations with security and safety."

(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Bill Trott and Peter Cooney)

Link thisShare thisDigg thisEmailReprints

Unmasking the embassy threat

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Northeast Intelligence Network

Sun, 04 Aug 2013 09:35

Image courtesy of Canada Free Press

By Douglas J. Hagmann

Please comment on this article at Canada Free Press

3 August 2013: There is one thing certain about the publicized threat to our embassies; it is not what it is presented to be. To accept the official explanation of a nebulous threat from al Qaeda as the reason for closing our embassies across the Middle East and North Africa is being dangerously naive and simplistic. This is much more serious than what we are being told, but not for the reasons we are being given.

We are seeing the consequences of a long running ''Cold War'' on two major fronts of political conflict that could escalate into military engagement with proxy nations of world super powers. The world, and life as we know it, could change in an instant should we awaken one morning to the news of bombs flying across the Middle East. That is a very real possibility, as we are now in a heightened proxy war environment. We are standing in a thick forest of dry tinder, and the smallest of sparks could ignite a conflagration the likes of which we have never before seen.

How we arrived here

''The farther back you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.'' This quote attributed to Winston Churchill is applicable to our current situation as it is a consequence of our policies and actions in the Middle East and north Africa.

First, it is important to understand that the so-called Arab Spring did not start on December 18, 2010 as a spontaneous revolutionary wave of demonstrations by people to rid themselves from the shackles of governmental oppression. It was planned many years ago by the globalist power brokers, with the latest incarnations perhaps sketched out in the bowels of a Saudi mansion or an estate owned by a cabal of central bankers, partly to change the geopolitical power structure of the Middle East, and partly as a ''jobs program'' for the military-industrial complex.

This was confirmed by a 1300 word e-mail dated June 8, 2008, sent by former British Ambassador to Libya Sir Vincent Fean to Tony Blair, just shy of a year after Blair stepped down as prime minister. The e-mail consisted of a briefing on the state of relations between Great Britain and Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in advance of a visit by Blair to see Gaddafi. His June 10, 2008 visit with Gaddafi would be one of six made by Blair after leaving office and just three years before Gaddafi was deposed by the U.S. and UK led interests and ultimately murdered.

Exactly what was the purpose of this meeting as well as the others made by Tony Blair on behalf of the Crown? According to the confidential information obtained by The Telegraph, it was about a prisoner transfer agreement that would be signed once Libya agreed to purchase an air defense system to the tune of about £400 million. The prisoner? Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. Who would provide the air defense system? MBDA, a missile developer and manufacturer with operations in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States. They provide products and services for over 90 militaries worldwide. They are a world leader in missiles and missile systems, and employ about 10,000 people in France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany and the United States, and produced about 3,000 missiles and missile systems last year alone.

It is not merely the military-industrial jobs program alone, however. According to the confidential memo, a key objective of Great Britain was to force Libya to invest its £80? billion sovereign wealth fund through the City of London. Additionally, the Department for International Development was also eyeing another Libyan wealth fund worth £130 million ''to pay for various schemes in Sierra Leone and other poverty-stricken countries.''

Concurrent with the machinations of the UK, former French minister for Foreign Affairs Roland Dumas shed additional light on plans relating to Libya and Syria in an interview with the French TV station LCP:

''I'm going to tell you something. I was in England two years before the violence in Syria on other business. I met with top British officials, who confessed to me that they were preparing something in Syria. This was in Britain not in America. Britain was organizing an invasion of rebels into Syria. They even asked me, although I was no longer minister for foreign affairs, if I would like to participate. Naturally, I refused, I said I'm French, that doesn't interest me.'' [emphasis by this author]

Dumas added: ''The only thing I know [about French Leaders] is that they have gone crazy. President Sarkozy hosted Gaddafi a few months ago at the ‰lys(C)e Palace, with a red carpet and all the grandiose honors. Two months later, Sarkozy is leading a crusader war, at the head of NATO, which has become a pawn serving international politics. This has been going on for a long time.'' He further stated that ''I regret to see my country, to which I belong with spirit, blood, and life, leading an instrument such as NATO to come and destroy an entire people and attack its leaders.'' [emphasis by this author]

Due to the role of Mr. Dumas in the French government, he could not reveal France's role in the British plan as he would be exposing himself to prosecution for revealing state secrets, thus explaining his statement ''I'm French, that doesn't interest me.''

It should be clear that the Arab Spring, including the NATO action taken against Gaddafi's Libya followed by the rebels attacks against Assad, is part of a globalist agenda rather than a spontaneous uprising that has become the official historical narrative for the naive.

Benghazi exposed

It was shortly after the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi that I wrote in explicit detail the actual reason for that attack. Thanks to a highly placed source in the intelligence venue, readers learned the truth ten months before the corporate media finally acknowledged that the compound in Benghazi was the operations center for a large CIA weapons smuggling operation where Libya was being used as a weapons storage depot to arm the anti-Assad ''rebels.''

The attack at Benghazi was described by this administration and the Clinton State Department as a spontaneous protest over an internet video, although that narrative was proven to be a lie. It was a lie they continued to stick with to hide the fact that the U.S., in conjunction with other NATO allies, were actually doing the work of Saudi Arabia. But why '' who benefits? To understand the answer to that question, we must look at what Saudi Arabia is and how the Saudi royals came to power. Much like the U.S., the nation of Saudi Arabia itself is a captured operation, established by a cabal of globalists for the sake of oil. It would be helpful to understand the role Aramco and other oil interests played in the establishment of the Saudi power structure.

As the Obama regime continued forward to advance this Saudi-globalist agenda, Russia's Putin warned the U.S. that the insanity of destabilizing Syria was not in their best interests, and certainly not in ours. When the warnings were not heeded, proxy groups for Russia, Syria and Iran, in the form of Ansar al Sharia and AQIM launched a deadly assault on the CIA operations center in Benghazi.

The continued pressure of possibly exposing the true nature of the activities in Benghazi, from the illegal arms trafficking in violation of international law to the attack itself, became a serious annoyance to the globalist planners and the Obama subjects to the Saudi royals. The assistance to the anti-Assad rebels was interrupted, albeit temporarily, by this exposure. Consequently, the plans for Syria did not go off as intended, and the timetable had to be extended. Now the anti-Assad rebels are ''on the ropes,'' and they are being beaten with every passing day, having lost much of the covert assistance of the CIA.

This is the reason the true account of Benghazi has yet to be told to the American people, and the reason that the official accounts are continually being pushed in place of the truth.


If you have understood how we arrived here by the short summary provided, then you will see that we are standing on the brink of not just a regional war, but a global war. Those in power do not want you to know their plans until there is nothing anyone can do to stop them.

It is vital to understand that the embassy closures are a signal of the rapidly escalated intervention in the region by the US. It is a modern day equivalent to the Bay of Pigs, except Barack Hussein Obama is no John F. Kennedy. Those old enough might recall that the CIA trained and inserted a group of ''freedom fighters'' into Cuba to oust Castro. Exactly like the rebels in Syria, those fighters could never overthrow Castro without direct U.S. military intervention and assistance. The situation is exactly the same in Syria today.

The difference is that Kennedy saw the plan for exactly what it was '' a globalist plan not to defeat communism, but to engage us in a larger war to the benefit of the globalists and the military-industrial complex. He refused to take the bait and in so doing, bought the world time by avoiding World War III.

Unlike Kennedy who became his own man while in office, Obama continues the globalist agenda by supporting the CIA trained and backed anti-Assad rebels, and is now leading us to the brink of World War III.

To say that the threat to our embassies is from some nebulous threat by al Qaeda is like saying that the group at the Bay of Pigs were just a bunch of Cuban locals. Nothing that we are being told even remotely approaches the truth, yet few seem to grasp the seriousness of what is unfolding before our very eyes.

Our involvement in the Middle East and North Africa is so large that it would be difficult not to telegraph our actions in advance. Therefore, is it possible that the unspecified al Qaeda threat is actually a cover story for some anticipated action in the region?

We are watching brinkmanship at multiple levels on a global chess board. We have done much to destabilize whatever relative peace might have existed in the Middle East through our actions at the hands of our globalist power brokers. Russia, Iran, Syria and China are not amused, and are not looking the other way. The time clock for the anti-Assad rebels is quickly running out. This administration and every elected official who has signed on to do the work of the Saudis and their handlers have painted us into a corner from which there is little hope for escape. We cannot trust anything we are being told, and nothing we are being told even remotely approaches the truth.

We are seeing the beginnings of the transformation from a cold war to a hot war at the nation-state level. We are about to see a trigger event, after which nothing will be the same.

Click here to save this article in PDF format

Historical Feb 6 2012:

U.S. Embassy in Syria Closes as Violence Flares -

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sun, 04 Aug 2013 13:30

BEIRUT, Lebanon '-- The United States closed its embassy in Syria on Monday and withdrew its staff in the face of escalating mayhem for which American officials blamed the Syrian government's unbridled repression of an 11-month-old uprising.

The move was another dramatic moment in a week full of them, as the confrontation in Syria turned even more violent and more unpredictable. Diplomatic efforts have largely collapsed, save for a Russian delegation visiting Damascus on Tuesday, and both the Syrian government and its opposition have signaled that each believes that the grinding conflict will be resolved only through force of arms.

For weeks, Western embassies have reduced their staffs, and on Monday Britain also recalled its ambassador for consultations. Echoing a cascade of diplomatic invective, the British foreign secretary, William Hague, described the mounting violence as yet more evidence that President Bashar al-Assad must surrender power.

''This is a doomed regime as well as a murdering regime,'' he told the House of Commons. ''There is no way it can recover its credibility internationally.''

A member of the Free Syrian Army stood guard over a demonstration by opponents of President Bashar al-Assad's government in Idlib on Monday.

Associated Press

Though the government has pressed forward with a crackdown in the suburbs of the capital, Damascus, and in a rugged northern region around the town of Idlib, the city of Homs has witnessed the most pronounced violence. Opposition groups said government forces again shelled the city, despite international condemnations of a similar attack on Friday and Saturday that they said killed more than 200 people.

Another grim toll was reported Monday in the city, Syria's third largest. The Local Coordination Committees, an opposition group that seeks to document the violence, said government forces killed 47 people in the hardest-hit neighborhoods, especially Baba Amr and Khalidya. The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the number at 43. There was no way to independently confirm either number.

''The situation is so miserable,'' said a 40-year-old man who gave his name as Ahmed. ''Gunfire is falling like rain, and all the stores are closed. We keep hearing unbelievably loud explosions that shake the windows every half-hour.''

Explosions could be heard over the phone when speaking with residents in Homs. Videos smuggled out showed a chaotic scene at a clinic, as people rushed past doctors and staff members, shouting ''Oh God!'' In one video, said to document the scene, blood smeared the sidewalk. Another showed bloodied corpses.

The Khalidya neighborhood in Homs is one of the hardest-hit areas in Syria.


The government has flatly denied the tolls quoted by opposition groups. On Saturday, it said Homs was quiet. State-run news media placed blame for the violence Monday on ''armed terrorist groups'' firing mortars within Homs. In a statement, the Interior Ministry said that it was seeking ''to restore security and stability to Homs,'' and that six members of the security forces and ''scores of terrorists'' had been killed.

Clearly laying the blame on Syria's president, the State Department said in a statement that the United States had ''suspended operations of our embassy in Damascus,'' and that Ambassador Robert S. Ford and all American personnel had left the country. It said the closing reflected ''serious concerns that our embassy is not protected from armed attack.''

''The deteriorating security situation that led to the suspension of our diplomatic operations makes clear once more the dangerous path Assad has chosen and the regime's inability to fully control Syria,'' said a spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland. American officials said the embassy staff had relocated temporarily to neighboring Jordan.

The announcement said Ambassador Ford would ''continue his work and engagement with the Syrian people as head of our Syria team in Washington.''

Syrians living in Turkey protested against the Assad regime outside the Syrian consulate in Istanbul on Monday.

Associated Press

It stopped short of a formal break in diplomatic relations with Syria, but was considered a strong signal that Obama administration officials believe there is nothing left to talk about with Mr. Assad. Though more isolated than at any time in the four decades since Mr. Assad's family took power, the government was emboldened by the vetoes of Russia and China on Saturday of a United Nations Security Council resolution backed by Western and Arab states supporting a plan to end the bloodshed. The vetoes appeared to end, for the moment, any concerted diplomatic efforts.

Instead, countries traded barbs. Mr. Hague called the vetoes ''a betrayal of the Syrian people.'' Russia's foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, was scornful of the criticism, saying it was ''perhaps on the verge of hysterical.'' In China, a commentary in the Communist Party newspaper People's Daily argued that the chaos that followed the toppling of governments in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya proved that forced leadership changes only made matters worse. ''Simply backing one side and beating down the other, seemingly helpful, will in fact only sow seeds of future disasters,'' said the article, signed Zhong Sheng, an often-used pseudonym that can be read to mean ''China's voice.''

Throughout the uprising, Homs, near the Lebanese border in western Syria, has served as a barometer of the shifting dynamics. Demonstrations erupted there in the beginning last March, forging a vibrant culture of protest that has taken hold across the country. It has also seen mounting sectarian strife '-- pitting a Sunni Muslim majority against minority Alawites, a heterodox sect that provides much of the leadership of Mr. Assad's government. Lawlessness has mounted, as have vendettas in a city strewn with trash and suffering shortages of food and electricity.

Defectors and their armed allies control some neighborhoods, and the army has resorted to shelling that residents call indiscriminate. Many residents have lamented the violence and hardship, though the opposition to Mr. Assad seems to have broad support among the city's Sunnis.

The American embassy building in Damascus in January, 2011.

Bassem Tellawi / Associated Press

''We are not hiding in shelters, we are home,'' said a resident of the neighborhood of Inshaat who gave his name as Omar. ''My friends share lots of these feelings, I guess. They stay in rooms far from the street, and they sleep in living rooms and kitchens.''

He predicted more bloodshed.

''What is going to happen is more killing and more brutality, this I am sure of. He will not leave unless we kick him out by force,'' he said of Mr. Assad. ''Protests are necessary but not enough. I see no other choice. Negotiation, sharing, politics are useless with such a regime. He came to power by force and won't leave it in any other way.''

While peaceful protests continue, the sense of a gathering armed confrontation is growing, even in citadels of the regime's support, like Damascus and Aleppo, the country's second-largest city. As with the capital's suburbs, fighting has mounted in Aleppo, near the Turkish border.

Video | TimesCast | U.S. Closes Syrian Embassy February 6, 2012 '-- Responding to escalating violence, the United States shutters its Syrian embassy.

''All the young guys are getting armed, even university students,'' said Ammar, a 21-year-old university student there, reached by phone. ''I told them don't, but they said, 'There is no free army to protect us, so we need to protect ourselves on our own.' ''

Government forces have kept up a campaign to retake Damascus' suburbs and the northern region around Idlib. The state-run news agency said gunmen had killed three officers and captured others at a checkpoint in Jabal al-Zawiyah, near Idlib, a rugged region also near the Turkish border. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that insurgents had killed 3 officers and 19 soldiers.

Reporting was contributed by Steven Lee Myers from Washington, Hwaida Saad and an employee of The New York Times from Beirut, John F. Burns from London, Michael Schwirtz from Moscow, Michael Wines from Beijing, and Rick Gladstone from New York.


Update: Now We Know Why Googling 'Pressure Cookers' Gets a Visit from Cops - Philip Bump - The Atlantic Wire

Link to Article

Archived Version

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 07:07

Michele Catalano was looking for information online about pressure cookers. Her husband, in the same time frame, was Googling backpacks. Wednesday morning, six men from a joint terrorism task force showed up at their house to see if they were terrorists. Which prompts the question: How'd the government know what they were Googling?

Update, 7:05 p.m.: Because the Googling happened at work.

The Suffolk County Police Department released a statement this evening that answers the great mystery of the day.

Suffolk County Criminal Intelligence Detectives received a tip from a Bay Shore based computer company regarding suspicious computer searches conducted by a recently released employee. The former employee's computer searches took place on this employee's workplace computer. On that computer, the employee searched the terms ''pressure cooker bombs'' and ''backpacks.''

After interviewing the company representatives, Suffolk County Police Detectives visited the subject's home to ask about the suspicious internet searches. The incident was investigated by Suffolk County Police Department's Criminal Intelligence Detectives and was determined to be non-criminal in nature.

Original article: Catalano (who is a professional writer) describes the tension of that visit.

[T]hey were peppering my husband with questions. Where is he from? Where are his parents from? They asked about me, where was I, where do I work, where do my parents live. Do you have any bombs, they asked. Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked. ...

Have you ever looked up how to make a pressure cooker bomb? My husband, ever the oppositional kind, asked them if they themselves weren't curious as to how a pressure cooker bomb works, if they ever looked it up. Two of them admitted they did.

The men identified themselves as members of the "joint terrorism task force." The composition of such task forces depend on the region of the country, but, as we outlined after the Boston bombings, include a variety of federal agencies. (The photo above is from the door-to-door sweep in Watertown at that time.) Among those agencies: the FBI and Homeland Security.

As of this afternoon, it was still not clear which agency knocked on Catalano's door. The Guardian reported that an FBI spokesperson said that Catalano "was visited by Nassau County police department '... working in conjunction with Suffolk County police department." (Catalano apparently lives on Long Island, most likely in Nassau County.)

Detective Garcia of the Nassau County Police, however, told The Atlantic Wire by phone that his department was "not involved in any way." Similarly, FBI spokesperson Peter Donald confirmed with The Atlantic Wire that his agency wasn't involved in the visit. He also stated that he could not answer whether or not the agency provided information that led to the visit, as he didn't know.

Local and state authorities work jointly with federal officials on terror investigations similar to the one Catalano describes. Both Suffolk and Nassau County's police departments are members of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), Donald confirmed. Suffolk County is also home to a "fusion center," a regionally located locus for terror investigations associated with the Department of Homeland Security. It wasn't the JTTF that led to the visit at Catalano's house, Donald told us. The task force deputizes local authorities as federal marshals, including some in Suffolk and Nassau, who can then act on its behalf. But, Donald said, "officers, agents, or other representatives of the JTTF did not visit that location.

Ever since details of the NSA's surveillance infrastructure were leaked by Edward Snowden, the agency has been insistent on the boundaries of the information it collects. It is not, by law, allowed to spy on Americans '-- although there are exceptions of which it takes advantage. Its PRISM program, under which it collects internet content, does not include information from Americans unless those Americans are connected to terror suspects by no more than two other people. It collects metadata on phone calls made by Americans, but reportedly stopped collecting metadata on Americans' internet use in 2011. So how, then, would the government know what Catalano and her husband were searching for?

It's possible that one of the two of them is tangentially linked to a foreign terror suspect, allowing the government to review their internet activity. After all, that "no more than two other people" ends up covering millions of people. Or perhaps the NSA, as part of its routine collection of as much internet traffic as it can, automatically flags things like Google searches for "pressure cooker" and "backpack" and passes on anything it finds to the FBI.

Or maybe it was something else. On Wednesday, The Guardianreported on XKeyscore, a program eerily similar to Facebook search that could clearly allow an analyst to run a search that picked out people who'd done searches for those items from the same location. How those searches got into the government's database is a question worth asking; how the information got back out seems apparent.

It is also possible that there were other factors that prompted the government's interest in Catalano and her husband. He travels to Asia, she notes in her article. Who knows. Which is largely Catalano's point.

They mentioned that they do this about 100 times a week. And that 99 of those visits turn out to be nothing. I don't know what happens on the other 1% of visits and I'm not sure I want to know what my neighbors are up to.

One hundred times a week, groups of six armed men drive to houses in three black SUVs, conducting consented-if-casual searches of the property perhaps in part because of things people looked up online.

But the NSA doesn't collect data on Americans, so this certainly won't happen to you.

You might also want to read our look at how to hide from the NSA, or a comparison of the NSA's recently revealed search toolwith Facebook's.

Correction: After confirmation from the FBI that its agents weren't involved in the visit, the headline of this piece was changed to "Visit From the Cops" instead of "the Feds."

Photo: Massachusetts police search a home after the Boston bombings.

New York writer claims she was visited by joint terrorism task force for googling pressure cookers - Boing Boing

Link to Article

Archived Version

Thu, 01 Aug 2013 23:15

What the hell, America? Periodic Boing Boing contributor Michelle Catalano claims she was internet-profiled and then "visited" at home by joint terrorism task force investigators who she says found her internet browsing history suspicious, not that anyone's been looking at the internet habits of innocent Americans recently, no, that's definitely not in the zeitgeist.

Is this real? It's apparently not a hoax, though we can't yet verify that her internet search history triggered the authorities' visit. It sounds outrageous, but here's a snip from her account, which she says is absolutely no joke:

It was a confluence of magnificent proportions that led six agents from the joint terrorism task force to knock on my door Wednesday morning. Little did we know our seemingly innocent, if curious to a fault, Googling of certain things was creating a perfect storm of terrorism profiling. Because somewhere out there, someone was watching. Someone whose job it is to piece together the things people do on the internet raised the red flag when they saw our search history. Most of it was innocent enough. I had researched pressure cookers. My husband was looking for a backpack. And maybe in another time those two things together would have seemed innocuous, but we are in ''these times'' now.

Read her full account: "pressure cookers, backpacks and quinoa, oh my!" [Medium]

The Guardian has an update:

Members of what she described as a "joint terrorism task force" descended on Catalano's home on Wednesday. A spokesman for the FBI told to the Guardian on Thursday that its investigators were not involved in the visit, but that "she was visited by Nassau County police department '... They were working in conjunction with Suffolk County police department." The Guardian has contacted the Suffolk County and Nassau County police departments for comment.

We're reaching out to the authorities to try and verify what happened, with whom, under whose order, and why. Was a visit in fact triggered by their internet use history?

It should be noted that Joint Terrorism Task Force operations are by definition joint operations between various law enforcement and intelligence agencies, state, local, and federal--and who's tipping off whom and ordering what is not always readily apparent.

More from Michelle on Twitter:


pressure cookers, backpacks and quinoa, oh my! '-- writing out loud '-- Medium

Link to Article

Archived Version

Thu, 01 Aug 2013 23:25

It was a confluence of magnificent proportions that led six agents from the joint terrorism task force to knock on my door Wednesday morning. Little did we know our seemingly innocent, if curious to a fault, Googling of certain things was creating a perfect storm of terrorism profiling. Because somewhere out there, someone was watching. Someone whose job it is to piece together the things people do on the internet raised the red flag when they saw our search history.

Most of it was innocent enough. I had researched pressure cookers. My husband was looking for a backpack. And maybe in another time those two things together would have seemed innocuous, but we are in ''these times'' now. And in these times, when things like the Boston bombing happen, you spend a lot of time on the internet reading about it and, if you are my exceedingly curious news junkie of a twenty-year-old son, you click a lot of links when you read the myriad of stories. You might just read a CNN piece about how bomb making instructions are readily available on the internet and you will in all probability, if you are that kid, click the link provided.

Which might not raise any red flags. Because who wasn't reading those stories? Who wasn't clicking those links? But my son's reading habits combined with my search for a pressure cooker and my husband's search for a backpack set off an alarm of sorts at the joint terrorism task force headquarters.

That's how I imagine it played out, anyhow. Lots of bells and whistles and a crowd of task force workers huddled around a computer screen looking at our Google history.

This was weeks ago. I don't know what took them so long to get here. Maybe they were waiting for some other devious Google search to show up but ''what the hell do I do with quinoa'' and ''Is A-Rod suspended yet'' didn't fit into the equation so they just moved in based on those older searches.

I was at work when it happened. My husband called me as soon as it was over, almost laughing about it but I wasn't joining in the laughter. His call left me shaken and anxious.

What happened was this: At about 9:00 am, my husband, who happened to be home yesterday, was sitting in the living room with our two dogs when he heard a couple of cars pull up outside. He looked out the window and saw three black SUVs in front of our house; two at the curb in front and one pulled up behind my husband's Jeep in the driveway, as if to block him from leaving.

Six gentleman in casual clothes emerged from the vehicles and spread out as they walked toward the house, two toward the backyard on one side, two on the other side, two toward the front door.

A million things went through my husband's head. None of which were right. He walked outside and the men greeted him by flashing badges. He could see they all had guns holstered in their waistbands.

''Are you [name redacted]?'' one asked while glancing at a clipboard. He affirmed that was indeed him, and was asked if they could come in. Sure, he said.

They asked if they could search the house, though it turned out to be just a cursory search. They walked around the living room, studied the books on the shelf (nope, no bomb making books, no Anarchist Cookbook), looked at all our pictures, glanced into our bedroom, pet our dogs. They asked if they could go in my son's bedroom but when my husband said my son was sleeping in there, they let it be.

Meanwhile, they were peppering my husband with questions. Where is he from? Where are his parents from? They asked about me, where was I, where do I work, where do my parents live. Do you have any bombs, they asked. Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked.

They searched the backyard. They walked around the garage, as much as one could walk around a garage strewn with yardworking equipment and various junk. They went back in the house and asked more questions.

Have you ever looked up how to make a pressure cooker bomb? My husband, ever the oppositional kind, asked them if they themselves weren't curious as to how a pressure cooker bomb works, if they ever looked it up. Two of them admitted they did.

By this point they had realized they were not dealing with terrorists. They asked my husband about his work, his visits to South Korea and China. The tone was conversational.

They never asked to see the computers on which the searches were done. They never opened a drawer or a cabinet. They left two rooms unsearched. I guess we didn't fit the exact profile they were looking for so they were just going through the motions.

They mentioned that they do this about 100 times a week. And that 99 of those visits turn out to be nothing. I don't know what happens on the other 1% of visits and I'm not sure I want to know what my neighbors are up to.

45 minutes later, they shook my husband's hand and left. That's when he called me and relayed the story. That's when I felt a sense of creeping dread take over. What else had I looked up? What kind of searches did I do that alone seemed innocent enough but put together could make someone suspicious? Were they judging me because my house was a mess (Oh my god, the joint terrorism task force was in my house and there were dirty dishes in my sink!). Mostly I felt a great sense of anxiety. This is where we are at. Where you have no expectation of privacy. Where trying to learn how to cook some lentils could possibly land you on a watch list. Where you have to watch every little thing you do because someone else is watching every little thing you do.

All I know is if I'm going to buy a pressure cooker in the near future, I'm not doing it online.

I'm scared. And not of the right things.

Fusion Centers and Joint Terrorism Task Forces | Homeland Security

Link to Article

Archived Version

Thu, 01 Aug 2013 23:28

State and major urban area fusion centers (fusion centers) and the Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs) led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) serve distinct, but complementary roles in securing the homeland. Fusion centers are owned and operated by state and local entities and are uniquely situated to empower front-line law enforcement, public safety, fire service, emergency response, public health, and private sector security personnel to lawfully gather and share threat-related information. The FBI created, coordinates, and manages JTTFs, which primarily focus on terrorism-related investigations. Both rely on expertise and information derived from all levels of government to support their efforts.

Fusion Center OverviewAs described in the National Strategy for Information Sharing1, fusion centers serve as focal points within the state and local environment for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat-related information among federal and state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) partners. They produce actionable intelligence for dissemination, which can aid other law enforcement organizations, including the JTTFs, in their investigative operations.

Owned and operated by state and local entities, fusion centers serve the specific needs of their jurisdictions while supporting the broader homeland security enterprise. Fusion centers overlay national intelligence with local, state, and regional information, enhancing understanding of the threat environment across all levels of government. They augment the federal government's analytic capability and enhance situational awareness in order to protect the nation.

Fusion centers leverage trusted relationships within the SLTT environment to assist law enforcement and homeland security partners in preventing, protecting against, and responding to crime and terrorism. They support the implementation of risk-based, information-driven prevention, response, and consequence management programs within their respective communities. Further, fusion centers across the nation form a National Network bridging jurisdictional boundaries to provide effective communication channels and collaborative opportunities.

FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force OverviewJTTFs are multi-jurisdictional task forces established to conduct terrorism-related investigations. JTTFs focus primarily on terrorism-related issues, with specific regard to terrorism investigations with local, regional, national, and international implications. Investigations conducted by JTTFs are focused on known threat actors or identified individuals who meet the thresholds established in accordance with the Attorney General Guidelines for Domestic FBI Operations2 to initiate assessments or investigations. Using the information derived from FBI Field Office Field Intelligence Groups (FIGs)3 and JTTF operations, the FBI develops intelligence products on significant developments or trends related to terrorism. These intelligence products may be leveraged by SLTT and private sector partners to support their law enforcement and homeland security activities, such as intelligence-led policing efforts, implementing protective measures, or other target hardening initiatives.

Fusion CentersJoint Terrorism Task ForcesManaged by state and local authorities, and include federal, SLTT, and private sector partners from multiple disciplines (including law enforcement, public safety, fire service, emergency response, public health, and critical infrastructure)

Managed by FBI, and include federal and SLTT law enforcement partners

Deal with criminal, public safety, and terrorism matters across multiple disciplines

Deal primarily with terrorism matters and other criminal matters related to various aspects of the counterterrorism mission

Share information across disparate disciplines on topics such as terrorism, criminal activity, and public safety

Work with SLTT partners to share critical infrastructure information with the federal government

Fusion centers add value to their jurisdictional customers by providing a state and local context to threat information and collaborate with the Federal Government to enhance the national threat picture

104 JTTFs investigate terrorism cases across the FBI's 56 field offices and coordinate their efforts via the National Joint Terrorism Task Force, a fusion of local, state, and federal agencies acting as an integrated force to combat terrorism on a national and international scale

Serve as centers of analytic excellence to assess local implications of threat information to (1) produce actionable intelligence for dissemination to law enforcement and homeland security agencies, and (2) perform services in response to customers' needs

Primarily conduct terrorism investigations; however JTTFs share intelligence with law enforcement and homeland security agencies, as appropriate

Collaborative Efforts of Fusion Centers and Joint Terrorism Task ForcesAs partners in the national homeland security enterprise, fusion centers and JTTFs collaborate to add value to their respective primary missions: fusion centers to analyze and share intelligence and JTTFs to conduct investigations. Fusion centers and JTTFs collaboratively leverage their analytic and investigative capabilities to safeguard our homeland and prevent criminal and terrorist activities.

Fusion centers provide all terrorism-related tips and leads to JTTFs for investigation. An example was demonstrated after the attempted bombing of Times Square by Faisal Shahzad on May 1, 2010. Analysts at the Florida Fusion Center discovered Shahzad was associated with two subjects that had resided in their state and passed this information along to JTTFs to further pursue leads, conduct investigations, and support corroboration.

While JTTFs get their information from a variety of sources, fusion centers also aid in the sharing of intelligence and assist the FBI by providing information gathered through combining the knowledge, expertise, and information resident within local law enforcement and homeland security agencies operating throughout the nation. Additionally, the FBI collaborates with fusion center personnel on analyses and recommendations for protective measures or preventive action. The FBI also leverages fusion center staff with appropriate clearances or skills to supplement analytic and/or investigative activities during periods of heightened threat.


1National Strategy for Information Sharing, October 2007

2Attorney General Guidelines for Domestic FBI Operations, Department of Justice, September 2008

3FIGs perform intelligence functions through integrated teams of intelligence analysts, language analysts, physical surveillance specialists, and a dedicated number of special agents. FIGs coordinate, manage, and execute all of the functions of the intelligence cycle in the field in support of the FBI mission.

Other Agencies Clamor for Data N.S.A. Compiles -

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sun, 04 Aug 2013 12:33

WASHINGTON '-- The National Security Agency's dominant role as the nation's spy warehouse has spurred frequent tensions and turf fights with other federal intelligence agencies that want to use its surveillance tools for their own investigations, officials say.

Agencies working to curb drug trafficking, cyberattacks, money laundering, counterfeiting and even copyright infringement complain that their attempts to exploit the security agency's vast resources have often been turned down because their own investigations are not considered a high enough priority, current and former government officials say.

Intelligence officials say they have been careful to limit the use of the security agency's troves of data and eavesdropping spyware for fear they could be misused in ways that violate Americans' privacy rights.

The recent disclosures of agency activities by its former contractor Edward J. Snowden have led to widespread criticism that its surveillance operations go too far and have prompted lawmakers in Washington to talk of reining them in. But out of public view, the intelligence community has been agitated in recent years for the opposite reason: frustrated officials outside the security agency say the spy tools are not used widely enough.

''It's a very common complaint about N.S.A.,'' said Timothy H. Edgar, a former senior intelligence official at the White House and at the office of the director of national intelligence. ''They collect all this information, but it's difficult for the other agencies to get access to what they want.''

''The other agencies feel they should be bigger players,'' said Mr. Edgar, who heard many of the disputes before leaving government this year to become a visiting fellow at Brown University. ''They view the N.S.A. '-- incorrectly, I think '-- as this big pot of data that they could go get if they were just able to pry it out of them.''

Smaller intelligence units within the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Secret Service, the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security have sometimes been given access to the security agency's surveillance tools for particular cases, intelligence officials say.

But more often, their requests have been rejected because the links to terrorism or foreign intelligence, usually required by law or policy, are considered tenuous. Officials at some agencies see another motive '-- protecting the security agency's turf '-- and have grown resentful over what they see as a second-tier status that has undermined their own investigations into security matters.

At the drug agency, for example, officials complained that they were blocked from using the security agency's surveillance tools for several drug-trafficking cases in Latin America, which they said might be connected to financing terrorist groups in the Middle East and elsewhere.

At the Homeland Security Department, officials have repeatedly sought to use the security agency's Internet and telephone databases and other resources to trace cyberattacks on American targets that are believed to have stemmed from China, Russia and Eastern Europe, according to officials. They have often been rebuffed.

Officials at the other agencies, speaking only on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the tensions, say the National Security Agency's reluctance to allow access to data has been particularly frustrating because of post-Sept. 11 measures that were intended to encourage information-sharing among federal agencies.

In fact, a change made in 2008 in the executive order governing intelligence was intended to make it easier for the security agency to share surveillance information with other agencies if it was considered ''relevant'' to their own investigations. It has often been left to the national intelligence director's office to referee the frequent disputes over how and when the security agency's spy tools can be used. The director's office declined to comment for this article.

Typically, the agencies request that the N.S.A. target individuals or groups for surveillance, search its databases for information about them, or share raw intelligence, rather than edited summaries, with them. If those under scrutiny are Americans, approval from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court is required.

The security agency, whose mission is to spy overseas, and the F.B.I., its main partner in surveillance operations, dominate the process as the Justice Department's main ''customers'' in seeking warrants from the intelligence court, with nearly 1,800 approved by the court last year.

In a statement, the security agency said that it ''works closely with all intelligence community partners, and embeds liaison officers and other personnel at those agencies for the express purpose of ensuring N.S.A. is meeting their requirements and providing support to their missions.''

The security agency's spy tools are attractive to other agencies for many reasons. Unlike traditional, narrowly tailored search warrants, those granted by the intelligence court often allow searches through records and data that are vast in scope. The standard of evidence needed to acquire them may be lower than in other courts, and the government may not be required to disclose for years, if ever, that someone was the focus of secret surveillance operations.

Decisions on using the security agency's powers rest on many complicated variables, including a link to terrorism or ''foreign intelligence,'' the type of surveillance or data collection that is being conducted, the involvement of American targets, and the priority of the issue.

''Every agency wants to think that their mission has to be the highest priority,'' said a former senior White House intelligence official involved in recent turf issues.

Other intelligence shops usually have quick access to N.S.A. tools and data on pressing matters of national security, like investigating a terrorism threat, planning battlefield operations or providing security for a presidential trip, officials say. But the conflicts arise during longer-term investigations with unclear foreign connections.

In pressing for greater access, a number of smaller agencies maintain that their cases involve legitimate national security threats and could be helped significantly by the N.S.A.'s ability to trace e-mails and Internet activity or other tools.

Drug agency officials, for instance, have sought a higher place for global drug trafficking on the intelligence community's classified list of surveillance priorities, according to two officials.

Dawn Dearden, a drug agency spokeswoman, said it was comfortable allowing the N.S.A. and the F.B.I. to take the lead in seeking surveillance warrants. ''We don't have the authority, and we don't want it, and that comes from the top down,'' she said.

But privately, intelligence officials at the drug agency and elsewhere have complained that they feel shut out of the process by the N.S.A. and the F.B.I. from start to finish, with little input on what groups are targeted with surveillance and only sporadic access to the classified material that is ultimately collected.

Sometimes, security agency and bureau officials accuse the smaller agencies of exaggerating links to national security threats in their own cases when pushing for access to the security agency's surveillance capabilities. Officials from the other agencies say that if a link to national security is considered legitimate, the F.B.I. will at times simply take over the case itself and work it with the N.S.A.

In one such case, the bureau took control of a Secret Service investigation after a hacker was linked to a foreign government, one law enforcement official said. Similarly, the bureau became more interested in investigating smuggled cigarettes as a means of financing terrorist groups after the case was developed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Mr. Edgar said officials in the national intelligence director's office occasionally allow other agencies a role in identifying surveillance targets and seeing the results when it is relevant to their own inquiries. But more often, he acknowledged, the office has come down on the side of keeping the process held to an ''exclusive club'' at the N.S.A., the F.B.I. and the Justice Department, with help from the Central Intelligence Agency on foreign issues.

Officials in the national intelligence director's office worry about opening the surveillance too widely beyond the security agency and the F.B.I. for fear of abuse, Mr. Edgar said. The two intelligence giants have been ''burned'' by past wiretapping controversies and know the political consequences if they venture too far afield, he added.

''I would have been very uncomfortable if we had let these other agencies get access to the raw N.S.A. data,'' he said.

As furious as the public criticism of the security agency's programs has been in the two months since Mr. Snowden's disclosures, ''it could have been much, much worse, if we had let these other agencies loose and we had real abuses,'' Mr. Edgar said. ''That was the nightmare scenario we were worried about, and that hasn't happened.''

Eric Schmitt contributed reporting.

The FBI Can Remotely Activate Microphones in Android Phones to Record Conversations

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: usfollowme

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 03:54

BBC News - Judge orders arrest of Brazil Google president

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sat, 03 Aug 2013 08:46

25 September 2012Last updated at18:19 ETA regional judge has ordered the arrest of Google's president in Brazil, Fabio Jose Silva Coelho, after the company failed to take down YouTube videos.

Authorities say the videos are slanderous towards a candidate running in a city's election for mayor.

The judge ordered the removal of the videos last week, but Google has refused to remove them and says it is appealing.

It says it is not responsible for the content posted on its site.

According to Brazilian media, the videos in question suggest Alcides Bernal - a mayoral candidate in the city of Campo Grande - is guilty of committing crimes.

Judge Flavio Peren, who sits at a regional electoral court in Mato Grosso do Sul state, ruled the videos violated local election laws.

But his order for the videos to be removed was ignored and on Monday he ordered the arrest of Mr Coelho.

For its part, Google says it is appealing against the ruling, according to a company spokesman quoted by Reuters news agency.

It has previously argued that the internet should be a space for voters freely to express their opinions about candidates for political office.

But Google's responsibility for the content it disseminates has recently come into question in other contexts, such as the case of the anti-Islam video that sparked protests around the Muslim world, say correspondents.


Hacked Bluetooth toilets

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sun, 04 Aug 2013 08:56

Trustwave SpiderLabs Security Advisory TWSL2013-020: Hard-Coded Bluetooth PIN Vulnerability in LIXIL Satis Toilet Published: 08/01/13 Version: 1.0 Vendor: LIXIL Corporation Product: Satis Version affected: Unknown Product description: The Satis is a "smart" toilet. It is controlled using LIXIL's "My Satis" Android application, which communicates with the toilet using Bluetooth. Finding 1: Hard-Coded Bluetooth PIN *****Credit: Daniel Crowley of Trustwave SpiderLabs CVE: CVE-2013-4866 CWE: CWE-259 The "My Satis" Android application has a hard-coded Bluetooth PIN of "0000" as can be seen in the following line of decompiled code from the application: BluetoothDevice localBluetoothDevice = BluetoothManager.getInstance().execPairing(paramString, "0000") As such, any person using the "My Satis" application can control any Satis toilet. An attacker could simply download the "My Satis" application and use it to cause the toilet to repeatedly flush, raising the water usage and therefore utility cost to its owner. Attackers could cause the unit to unexpectedly open/close the lid, activate bidet or air-dry functions, causing discomfort or distress to user. Vendor Response: No response received. Remediation Steps: No patch currently exists for this issue. Revision History: 06/14/13 - Attempt to contact to vendor 07/10/13 - Attempt to contact to vendor 07/12/13 - Attempt to contact to vendor 08/01/13 - Advisory published References 1. About Trustwave: Trustwave is the leading provider of on-demand and subscription-based information security and payment card industry compliance management solutions to businesses and government entities throughout the world. For organizations faced with today's challenging data security and compliance environment, Trustwave provides a unique approach with comprehensive solutions that include its flagship TrustKeeper compliance management software and other proprietary security solutions. Trustwave has helped thousands of organizations--ranging from Fortune 500 businesses and large financial institutions to small and medium-sized retailers--manage compliance and secure their network infrastructure, data communications and critical information assets. Trustwave is headquartered in Chicago with offices throughout North America, South America, Europe, Africa, China and Australia. For more information, visit About Trustwave SpiderLabs: SpiderLabs(R) is the advanced security team at Trustwave focused on application security, incident response, penetration testing, physical security and security research. The team has performed over a thousand incident investigations, thousands of penetration tests and hundreds of application security tests globally. In addition, the SpiderLabs Research team provides intelligence through bleeding-edge research and proof of concept tool development to enhance Trustwave's products and services. Disclaimer: The information provided in this advisory is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Trustwave disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall Trustwave or its suppliers be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits or special damages, even if Trustwave or its suppliers have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages so the foregoing limitation may not apply.

Trustwave SpiderLabs Security Advisory TWSL2013-020: Hard-Coded Bluetooth PIN Vulnerability in LIXIL Satis Toilet Published: 08/01/13 Version: 1.0 Vendor: LIXIL Corporation Product: Satis Version affected: Unknown Product description: The Satis is a "smart" toilet. It is controlled using LIXIL's "My Satis" Android application, which communicates with the toilet using Bluetooth. Finding 1: Hard-Coded Bluetooth PIN *****Credit: Daniel Crowley of Trustwave SpiderLabs CVE: CVE-2013-4866 CWE: CWE-259 The "My Satis" Android application has a hard-coded Bluetooth PIN of "0000" as can be seen in the following line of decompiled code from the application: BluetoothDevice localBluetoothDevice = BluetoothManager.getInstance().execPairing(paramString, "0000") As such, any person using the "My Satis" application can control any Satis toilet. An attacker could simply download the "My Satis" application and use it to cause the toilet to repeatedly flush, raising the water usage and therefore utility cost to its owner. Attackers could cause the unit to unexpectedly open/close the lid, activate bidet or air-dry functions, causing discomfort or distress to user. Vendor Response: No response received. Remediation Steps: No patch currently exists for this issue. Revision History: 06/14/13 - Attempt to contact to vendor 07/10/13 - Attempt to contact to vendor 07/12/13 - Attempt to contact to vendor 08/01/13 - Advisory published References 1. About Trustwave: Trustwave is the leading provider of on-demand and subscription-based information security and payment card industry compliance management solutions to businesses and government entities throughout the world. For organizations faced with today's challenging data security and compliance environment, Trustwave provides a unique approach with comprehensive solutions that include its flagship TrustKeeper compliance management software and other proprietary security solutions. Trustwave has helped thousands of organizations--ranging from Fortune 500 businesses and large financial institutions to small and medium-sized retailers--manage compliance and secure their network infrastructure, data communications and critical information assets. Trustwave is headquartered in Chicago with offices throughout North America, South America, Europe, Africa, China and Australia. For more information, visit About Trustwave SpiderLabs: SpiderLabs(R) is the advanced security team at Trustwave focused on application security, incident response, penetration testing, physical security and security research. The team has performed over a thousand incident investigations, thousands of penetration tests and hundreds of application security tests globally. In addition, the SpiderLabs Research team provides intelligence through bleeding-edge research and proof of concept tool development to enhance Trustwave's products and services. Disclaimer: The information provided in this advisory is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Trustwave disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall Trustwave or its suppliers be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits or special damages, even if Trustwave or its suppliers have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages so the foregoing limitation may not apply.

VIDEO-Use cyber security as insurance against software bugs in medical devices OSCON 2011: Karen Sandler - YouTube

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sun, 04 Aug 2013 11:25


Dozens of CIA operatives on the ground during Benghazi attack

Link to Article

Archived Version


Fri, 02 Aug 2013 04:06

Source: CNN


CNN has uncovered exclusive new information about what is allegedly happening at the CIA, in the wake of the deadly Benghazi terror attack.

Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the assault by armed militants last September 11 in eastern Libya.

Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret.

CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency's Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out.

Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency's missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency's workings.

The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.

It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.

In exclusive communications obtained by CNN, one insider writes, ''You don't jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.''

Another says, ''You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation.''

''Agency employees typically are polygraphed every three to four years. Never more than that,'' said former CIA operative and CNN analyst Robert Baer.

In other words, the rate of the kind of polygraphs alleged by sources is rare.

Read More...Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.


Colin Powell denies affair after emails are hacked by mysterious 'Guccifer' - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Link to Article

Archived Version

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 04:10

Colin Powell on Thursday denied having an extramarital affair with a Romanian diplomat after a hacker exposed personal emails between the two.

''When I was the secretary of State and she was an assistant to the president of Romania, we occasionally attended the same diplomatic and international meetings,'' Powell said in a statement to The Smoking Gun.

''This was a friendship that electronically became very personal and then back to normal,'' he continued. ''Over time the emails became of a very personal nature, but did not result in an affair. Those type of emails ended a few years ago. There was no affair then and there is not one now.''A hacker known as ''Guccifer'' broke into the former secretary of State's personal email account and posted a link to some of the correspondence on Powell's Facebook page.

The correspondence between Powell and Corina Cretu, a Romanian diplomat, ''would leave most readers with the clear impression that the forlorn Cretu is writing about the twilight of a romance,'' according to The Smoking Gun.

''Cretu calls him the love of her life and describes a relationship that spanned more than a decade,'' The Smoking Gun said.

In one of the emails, Powell told Cretu that his account had been breached, ''so best to delete all between us.''

''In light of what was happening it seems obvious to ask Ms. Cretu to delete emails," Powell said in the statement. ''She sent photos on a regular basis. Lots of family photos with her nieces, who she adores, family reunions, formal business sessions, her wedding and some bathing suit photos '... Never anything improper.''

Powell has been married to his wife Alma for 50 years. Cretu just recently got married. Powell said the two ''remain friends and are in touch,'' but have only seen each other ''once or twice'' over the past eight years at ''group conferences'' in Washington, D.C.

''I am pleased that she is having a successful career,'' Powell said. ''I am pleased that she is recently and happily married.''

Guccifer has become notorious for hacking into the personal email accounts of government officials and political figures. The hacker first brought to light former President George W. Bush's fondness for painting in emails released earlier this year.

Obama Nation

Executive Order -- Improving Chemical Facility Safety and Security | The White House

Payrolls Miss 162K vs 185K Expected, June Revised Lower To 188K; Unemployment Rate 7.4%

Link to Article

Archived Version


Sat, 03 Aug 2013 06:31

Zero Hedge

So much for the trends of beats: July nonfarm payrolls +162K missing expectations of 185K; June was revised lower to 188K and the unemployment rate dips from 7.5% to 7.4%. The rate dropped because the civilian labor force declined from 155,835 to 155,798 or 37K, driven by an increase of people not in labor force to 89,957 '' just shy of the all time high. This also means that the labor force participation rate once again ticked down to 63.4% from 63.5%.

Read more

Obamacare Full Frontal: Of 953,000 Jobs Created In 2013, 77%, Or 731,000 Are Part-Time

Link to Article

Archived Version


Sat, 03 Aug 2013 06:32

ZeroHedgeby Tyler Durden

When the payroll report was released last month, the world finally noticed what we had been saying for nearly three years: that the US was slowly being converted to a part-time worker society. This slow conversion accelerated drastically in the last few months, and especially in June, when part time jobs exploded higher by 360K while full time jobs dropped by 240K. In July we are sad to report that America's conversation to a part-time worker society is not ''tapering'': according to the Household Survey, of the 266K jobs created (note this number differs from the establishment survey), only 35% of jobs, or 92K, were full time. The rest were'... not.

What is worse, however, is when one looks at job creation broken down by ''quality'' in all of 2013. The chart below does the bottom line some justice:

But what really shows what is going on in America at least in 2013, is the following summary: of the 953K jobs ''created'' so far in 2013, only 23%, or 222K, were full-time. Part-time jobs? 731K of the 953K total.

Source: Part-Time and Full-Time and BLS

Via ZeroHedge

Obama iPhone ban veto

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sun, 04 Aug 2013 09:00

President Barack Obamavetoed an International Trade Commission (ITC) banon some models of the iPhone and iPad today.The ban started in June and only affected older models like the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2 with cellular data connection. At the time, the ITC said those devices violated patents from Samsung.

Since iPhones and iPads are made overseas, the ITC was able to block them from being imported to the U.S. Obama's veto today means Apple will be able to ship those devices without worry.

Samsung wins import ban ruling

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sun, 04 Aug 2013 09:26


A handful of older Apple devices have been banned from being imported to the US for violating Samsung patents.According to the International Trade Commission (ITC), the import ban affects the AT&T versions of the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 3G, and iPad 2 3G.

The ITC says says the Apple devices infringe on Samsung's patents.

Here's the PDF of the ITC's ruling. Since iPhones are made overseas, the ITC has authority to block them from being imported to the US.

Apple said in a statement to AllThingsD that it will fight to have the ITC's import ban overturned.

Post Office Scam Continues

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Zero Hedge

Sun, 04 Aug 2013 13:15

- The Post Office has to come up with $5.6Bn by September 30 to pay for its share of health and retirement benefits. There's not a chance in hell that this will happen. The PO has just 4 days of operating cash flow left in the till and has no borrowing authority left.

The relevant statement from the PO:

This low level of available cash means that we will be unable to make the $5.6 billion legally mandated prefunding of retiree health benefits due by September 30, 2013.

Add to the $5.6Bn the $11.1 Bn that the PO has already defaulted on in 2011/12 and you get an important institution that is totally bankrupt. The PO has a plan to ''fix'' the problem '' it wants to set up its own health insurance system:

A vital component of the Plan is the requirement that we sponsor our own health care program, independent of the federal health insurance programs.

And I thought Obamacare was going to fix all these problems'....

- The President has been touring the country trying to sell his plan for infrastructure investment. O's plan is to lower corporate tax rates and use a one time gain from companies repatriating cash back home to fund the needed investment. This may sound good to some folks as it's clear that the country needs new ports, bridges etc., but there is zero chance that O's plan will be adopted by Congress.

Rather than creating some new infrastructure bank, the President should focus his efforts on fixing what is in place today for infrastructure. Consider the status of the Highway and Surface Transportation Trust Funds. From the CBO:

The current trajectory of the Highway Trust Fund is unsustainable. Starting in fiscal year 2015 (October 2014), the trust fund will have insufficient resources to meet all of its obligations, resulting in steadily accumulating shortfalls.

This is nothing new. The Highway Trust Fund has been broke since 2008. It has avoided a default by Congress providing a total of $51Bn of transfers from the General Fund of the Treasury. The Highway Trust Fund is living on borrowed time. There are only 14 months before the situation goes critical. There is next to no chance for a fix before the bi-elections.

- The Disability Trust Fund is running out of money. This is a big deal. 11 million people get monthly checks. Those on DI face a 25% cut in benefits as of October 2014. There is no plan at all to deal with this problem. To keep DI alive D.C. will have to rob the coffers of the much larger Social Security Trust Fund. More band aids from DC.

- The Federal Budget is due on 10/1. As of today this deadline will be met with another continuing resolution to keep the government going. The US will go into its fifth year without a budget.

- Sometime in mid-October the debt ceiling will have been breached. I don't expect that this will result in a showdown or a crisis. Washington will gloss this over. A new debt ceiling will be established to keep the music going.

None of the issues I've highlighted have to be a crisis. All of them could be ''fixed'' if only the Administration and Congress get down to the job that they were elected for. But that will not happen. I do wonder where all of this bad leadership will end. I have to assume that the rating agencies are looking at America's inability to deal with its problems and will respond at some point. S&P downgraded the USA in 2011 on the basis that America had lost its ability to govern and confront problems:

the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges

Nothing has changed since 2011. If S&P had any guts it would lower the US another notch. While the economy has stabilized somewhat thanks to cheap money from the Fed, the real issue of America's inability to confront problems and creating kick-the-can solutions remains the same.

On Infrastructure

I went looking for some evidence that D.C. was actually doing something to promote infrastructure investment. I'm pleased to tell you that I did find one good example. A much-needed expansion of electricity capacity has gotten the financial backing from D.C. The commitment to finance a portion of the project will go a long way to insure that this project is completed, and many jobs will be created as a result. Fred Hochberg (newly appointed by Obama) had this to say about the project and the willingness of Washington to provide the necessary loot:

The US would lend as much as allowed under the rules

The tag for the infrastructure investment will come to $10Bn. Hochberg has said he would put up half of the money. This is the kind of ''can do'' attitude that is required to get the much-needed investment completed. Hurray for Fred! Finally, a guy in D.C. that is getting something done. Right?

Well, actually, that's not the case at all. Good old Fred is the boss at the EXIM bank. The $5bn commitment he's made has nothing to do with infrastructure in America. The $5bn of taxpayer money is going to the Czech Republic. The money will be used to expand the Temelin nuclear power plant.


Average:Your rating: None

U.S. Album Sales Hit Historic Lows

Link to Article

Archived Version


Fri, 02 Aug 2013 16:39

Ed Christman 08/02/13

U.S. album sales have hit new historic lows over the last five weeks marking the longest consecutive stretch in the SoundScan era that the industry has gone without scanning more than 5 million units. And, over the last two weeks, album sales hit consecutive record lows. Which begs the question, is it all due to the summer doldrums, streaming's rise, dwindling catalog sales or all three?

For the week ending July 28, U.S. album sales totaled 4.68 million the lowest weekly total since the inception of Nielsen SoundScan in May 1991. The previous record low was only the prior week when sales were 4.71 million units.

The industry had been flirting with the under five million unit album sales weeks since 2010 when, for the week-ending May 30, it dipped beneath that floor for the first time with 4.98 million scans. In 2010, the industry had four weeks under 5 million units, while there were two weeks under that floor in 2011, and three weeks in 2012.

This year already, there are nine weeks under the 5 million units album sales mark, with the last five weeks marking the longest consecutive period the industry has gone without scanning more than 5 million units.

While album sales are down, streaming revenue is up, which begs the question the industry has been wrestling with for the last two years: is streaming is cannibalizing album sales? An issue, until recently, industry data analysts and top executives argued wasn't the case, and some attributed to declining catalog sales.

Others blame the album sales drop on a lousy release schedule this time of year and the general summer months' doldrums. Sales in summer tend to decline because kids are out of school and they tend to spend more time outdoors. Consequently, the release schedule is also lighter because artist and their managers prefer to hold album releases for the fourth quarter, when there is more in-store traffic. The only other time of the year when sales are just as slow is in the first quarter, when releases schedules are weaker.

More recently, some industry executives began changing their tune about the possibility of streaming cannibalization after they saw digital song sales decline more in the second quarter than in the first at the same time that digital album sales slowed (see our mid-year Nielsen SoundScan report). Analysts have not yet found a way to measure cannibalization and are looking for new ways to measure whether or not it is occurring. As one analyst put it, just because he couldn't prove cannibalization through analysis, he couldn't definitively say it's not happening.

While analysts continue reviewing the data, the decline in album sales this year can be attributed at least partially to physical sales' downward trend.

''This is the year that CD sales bottom is falling out'' at Newbury Comics, says the retail chain's CEO Mike Dreese. So far this year, CD sales are down 14.1% to 88.8 million from the 103.3 million scanned in the same time period in the corresponding period last year, according to Nielsen SoundScan. But digital album sales aren't faring too well lately either. In the first four weeks of the second quarter, the digital album growth slowed to a 1.9% increase after growing at a 10.4% pace in the first quarter. So far in the first four weeks of the third quarter, digital album sales are actually down 0.9%.

While that decrease could be attributable to a slow release schedule, industry SoundScan analysts say the real weakness lies in catalog album sales, which year-to-date are down 8.8% to 79.7 million units. One industry label analyst said that if the bottom fell out of anything, it's the $5 CD. Albums at that price point are no longer performing like they did in 2011 and 2012. And there are only so many titles that can generate enough volume to make the lower pricing profitable. He claimed the majors have exhausted that supply of albums and when music fans are looking for that bargain price point at Walmart, Target or Best Buy, they are not finding an new titles they want.

''We haven't refreshed our offering in titles at that price point in months,'' the source says. ''While it's still a formidable amount of units sold, sales of the $5 CD will continue to fall.'' That executive said that at its peak, $5 CDs were accounting for up to 15% of weekly catalog unit sales.

On the good news front, this executive added, at least steaming growth this year continues to be strong '-- all of which depends on your point of view.

Like this:LikeLoading...

This entry was posted on August 2, 2013 at 12:43 pm and is filed under sales. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


Presidential Memorandum -- Delegation of Authority Pursuant to Section 404(c) of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008, as Amended

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: White Press Office Feed

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 21:55

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

August 02, 2013


SUBJECT: Delegation of Authority Pursuant to Section 404(c) of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008, as Amended

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 301 of title 3, United States Code, I hereby delegate to the Secretary of State the authority conferred upon the President by the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (title IV, Public Law 110-457), as amended (the "Act"), to determine, consistent with section 404(c) of the Act, whether to waive the application to Somalia of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the Act and whether such waiver is in the national interest of the United States, for fiscal year 2013.

You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.


The Act for Guns to Somalia


(a) In General.--Subject to subsections (b), (c), and (d), the

authorities contained in section 516 or 541 of the Foreign Assistance

Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2321j or 2347) or section 23 of the Arms Export

Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2763) may not be used to provide assistance to,

and no licenses for direct commercial sales of military equipment may be

issued to, the government of a country that is clearly identified,

pursuant to subsection (b), for the most recent year preceding the

fiscal year in which the authorities or license would have been used or

issued in the absence of a violation of this title, as having

governmental armed forces or government-supported armed groups,

including paramilitaries, militias, or civil defense forces, that

recruit and use child soldiers.

(b) Identification and Notification to Countries in Violation of


(1) Publication of list of foreign governments.--The

Secretary of State shall include a list of the foreign

governments that have violated the standards under this title

and are subject to the prohibition in subsection (a) in the

report required under

Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Libya and UNSCR 2095

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Federal Register Latest Entries

Sun, 04 Aug 2013 12:50

The Department of State is amending the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to update the defense trade policy regarding Libya to reflect resolution 2095 adopted by the United Nations Security Council.

This rule is effective August 5, 2013.

Ms. Sarah J. Heidema, Acting Director, Office of Defense Trade Controls Policy, U.S. Department of State, telephone (202) 663-2809, or email ATTN: Regulatory Change, Libya.

On March 14, 2013, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 2095 (''UNSCR 2095''), which further modified the arms embargo against Libya put in place by the adoption in February and March of 2011 of resolutions 1970 and 1973, respectively, and modified by resolutions 2009 and 2016, adopted in September and October of 2011, respectively (for previous ITAR amendments regarding Libya defense trade policy, see''Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Libya,'' RIN 1400-AC83, 76 FR 30001, and ''Amendment to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Libya and UNSCR 2009,'' RIN 1400-AC97, 76 FR 68313).

UNSCR 2095 removed the requirement for member states to notify the Committee of the Security Council concerning Libya (''the Committee'') of exports of non-lethal military equipment, and the provision of any technical assistance or training, intended solely for security or disarmament assistance to the Libyan government. It also removed the requirement to seek the approval of the Committee for exports of non-lethal military equipment, and related technical assistance or training, for humanitarian and protective use. The Department of State is amending ITAR § 126.1(k) accordingly.

Administrative Procedure ActThe Department of State is of the opinion that controlling the import and export of defense articles and services is a foreign affairs function of the United States Government and that rules implementing this function are exempt from sections 553 (rulemaking) and 554 (adjudications) of the Administrative Procedure Act. Since the Department is of the opinion that this rule is exempt from 5 U.S.C. 553, it is the view of the Department that the provisions of section 553(d) do not apply to this rulemaking. Therefore, this rule is effective upon publication. The Department also finds that, given the national security issues surrounding U.S. policy towards Libya, notice and public procedure on this rule would be impracticable or unnecessary; for this reason also, this rule is effective upon publication.

Regulatory Flexibility ActSince the Department is of the opinion that this rule is exempt from the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553, there is no requirement for an analysis under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995This rulemaking does not involve a mandate that will result in the expenditure by state, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any year and it will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996This rulemaking has been found not to be a major rule within the meaning of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996.

Executive Orders 12372 and 13132This rulemaking will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Order 13132, it is determined that this rulemaking does not have sufficient federalism implications to require consultations or warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact statement. The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do not apply to this rulemaking.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributed impacts, and equity). These executive orders stress the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has been designated a ''significant regulatory action,'' although not economically significant, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Executive Order 12988The Department of State has reviewed this rulemaking in light of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988 to eliminate ambiguity, minimize litigation, establish clear legal standards, and reduce burden.

Executive Order 13175The Department of State has determined that this rulemaking will not have tribal implications, will not impose substantial direct compliance costs on Indian tribal governments, and will not pre-empt tribal law. Accordingly, the requirements of Executive Order 13175 do not apply to this rulemaking.

Paperwork Reduction ActThis rule does not impose any new reporting or recordkeeping requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35.

Accordingly, for the reasons set forth above, Title 22, Chapter I, Subchapter M, part 126 is amended as follows:

begin regulatory text

1. The authority citation for part 126 continues to read as follows:

Authority:Secs. 2, 38, 40, 42, and 71, 90, 90 Stat. 744 (22 U.S.C. 2752, 2778, 2780, 2791, and 2797); 22 U.S.C. 2651a; 22 U.S.C. 287c; E.O. 12918, 59 FR 28205; 3 CFR, 1994 Comp., p. 899; Sec. 1225, Pub. L. 108-375; Sec. 7089, Pub. L. 111-117; Pub. L. 111-266; Sections 7045 and 7046, Pub. L. 112-74; E.O. 13637,78 FR 16129.

2.Section 126.1 is amended by revising paragraph (k) to read as follows:

* * * * *

(k) Libya. It is the policy of the United States to deny licenses or other approvals for exports or imports of defense articles and defense services destined for or originating in Libya, except that a license or other approval may be issued, on a case-by-case basis, for:

(1) Arms and related materiel intended solely for security or disarmament assistance to the Libyan government, notified to the Committee of the Security Council concerning Libya in advance and in the absence of a negative decision by the Committee within five working days of such a notification;

(2) Non-lethal military equipment when intended solely for security or disarmament assistance to the Libyan government;

(3) The provision of any technical assistance or training when intended solely for security or disarmament assistance to the Libyan government;

(4) Small arms, light weapons, and related materiel temporarily exported to Libya for the sole use of United Nations personnel, representatives of the media, and humanitarian and development workers and associated personnel, notified to the Committee of the Security Council concerning Libya in advance and in the absence of a negative decision by the Committee within five working days of such a notification;

(5) Non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, and related technical assistance or training; or

(6) Other sales or supply of arms and related materiel, or provision of assistance or personnel, as approved in advance by the Committee of the Security Council concerning Libya.

* * * * *

end regulatory text

Rose E. Gottemoeller,

Acting Under Secretary, Arms Control and International Security, Department of State.

[FR Doc. 2013-18940 Filed 8-2-13; 8:45 am]


Adam's Email

Baustin Sniper Bullcrap


I know you guys called out the "sniper laser dot" in the Tsarnaev pictures as after

the fact manipulation but I can do you a few better.

As a guy who actually went to Army sniper school I can assure you no "sniper" would

ever put a stupid laser pointer on their weapon, particularly a visible light laser

pointer. Here are a few reasons why not:

1.) lasers go both fucking ways. What is the point of getting your hide set up,

getting a firing position on the target and then sending a laser out to tell anyone

who is watching where you are?

2.) at the kind of ranges you would want to use your rifle (200-1000 yards) the

laser could be anywhere between the size of a quarter up close to the size of a

dinner plate at longer ranges. Nothing says "duck" like seeing a giant red dinner

plate jumping around your location.

3.) No fine adjustment on laser sights. Good high magnification scopes have fine

adjustment controls so that you can adjust for range, elevation, wind speed, wind

direction, humidity, temperature, etc. Lasers do not. Lasers travel in straight

lines whereas bullets have an annoying tendency to follow the laws of physics and

travel in an arch.

Any real shooter will leave the damn laser pointer in the Confrence room. They are

only really useful in CQB situations where the person with the weapon in not highly

practiced at sight acquisition. (ie. my wife's pistol).

In summary I call "eh hemm! BULSHIT!"


Spector 360 Admins

Spector - Con

From Phil

I'm a sysadmin for an IT management company and a few of our clients insist on using Spector. The thing is not only does it not work because of exactly what John said, with just having a bunch of tabs and windows open. So it does not automatically detect "suspicious" behavior like the ad clip you played on the show. But moreover it breaks everything. Network is bogged down from all the video being captured. Systems are bogged down from encoding that video. Then there are all the compatibility issues. The newest Microsoft Office versions won't work if spector is loaded, browsers crash for no reason and then there are three numerous problems with line of business apps.

So because of all this half the people don't have it loaded on their machines. And of course the execs never have it loaded.

Thought I could provide some insight so took the time to write this. Keep up the great work with the recent shows and enjoy your pseudo vacation.

Lastly, I want to send auto check from my bank but I need an account number to set it up? What can I do for that?

In the morning!


Spector - Pro

From Chris

Dear Adam, Listening to you and John talk about Spector spyware/monitoring software. I have some experience with this, I have had to use it a few times to help friends of the family catch cheating spouses, or to keep an eye on those who have wandered before (I know, shady, and every moment I felt horrible doing it, but the guy's were all assholes in the end... ) Anyways to the details :

The software works pretty well, and doesnt slow down systems too much (anything within the last few years you would not notice)

The spector software I used (not 360, they have several tiers/versions) allowed for the recording of keystrokes, entire documents (if you opened a .doc or anything really) website history, click history (X x Y x Time) It has seperate logging forms for web chats, and email, which it keeps categorized and sorted for you conveniently. You can customize the screenshot settings for compression, time between shots(5, 10, 30 seconds, etc) as well as have it snap a picture in customized situations, for instance take a photo on web page load, take a photo on window focus, take a photo on a carriage return, etc. etc. etc.

If someone has physical admin access to your computer a layman can install and set up this software in a hidden startup mode, the most difficult step being getting anti-virus to ignore the software, however once set up all of the tracking information can be emailed directly to their email on whatever schedule they set up.

all this goes for anywhere between 40 and 120 dollars online from various companies that offer this type of software. I'm starting to think physical locks for all data ports on my laptop might be a good idea.

Email about JCD Mossaad

bernard kuban

Aug 2 (2 days ago)

to adam

Hey Adam,

i`m sure you noticed how JCD was very quick to mention,what a great journalist G.Greenwald is..

This is only one of a gazillion of examples debunking this guy as the shill he is.

Let me tell you,it`s time to face the facts-he actually DOES have an agenda...

on top of it it,its a jewish agenda.

i know this show is your sole income source and you don`t want to get too controversial,but i also sense,you are on to what this all is really all about...

So please don`t be fooled by this guy JCD,he is NOT what he claims to be...


ps 911 was a MOSSAD job.

Producer Michael on NYTimes Crossword Code

Hi Adam,

I do the New York Times Sunday crossword puzzle each week. I was shocked and delighted with yesterdays clue for 66 down:

“Congress ____ make no law….”. Because I am a huge no agenda fan, I immediately new the answer was SHALL. After my initial delight however I started to wonder if this is a code or maybe we simply have a no agenda connection with the New York Times crossword editor. Just another example of the value no agenda produces, help with difficult crossword clues.


Amtrack Banned

I hope you are having a good time on your vacation.

I would like to report this to your attention.

While on Amtrak train and I was using the wifi on board I was blocked from getting

to your show. I guess trains are not better than planes.

Egypt/Syria/Lybia/Cuba - Russia

Exclusive: Putin to visit Cairo this week

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: DEBKAFile

Sat, 03 Aug 2013 08:48

Exclusive: Putin to visit Cairo this weekDEBKAfileAugust 3, 2013, 10:29 AM (GMT+02:00)

President Vladimir Putin is set to visit to Cairo '' possibly next Wednesday Aug. 7 '' after Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan told him King Abdullah was in favor of the trip, DEBKAfile reports exclusively. Bandar did not rule out the signing of a large Russian arms sale to Egypt, bankrolled by Riyadh.

Friendly visit': Russian warships dock in Cuba

Link to Article

Archived Version


Sun, 04 Aug 2013 13:28

August 4th, 2013

(RussiaToday) '' A surface combatant squadron of the Russian Navy arrived in Cuba on Saturday for the first time in four years. The Cuban government announced the fleet was there for a ''friendly visit.''

The unit consists of the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet, missile cruiser 'Moscow', the large anti-submarine ship 'Vice Admiral Kulakov' of the Northern Fleet and a number of supply and service ships. The squadron visited the port of Havana to replenish supplies.

The ships were greeted by an artillery salute, a naval band and a few hundred onlookers as they arrived in the Bay of Havana.

Russian diplomats and the foreign military attach(C) accredited in Havana paid a visit to the 'Moscow' missile cruiser. Tourists will also be able to visit the cruiser on Monday, Cuba's government announced.

Source: Russia Today

Tags: dock in cuba, friendly visit, russian warshipsThis entry was posted on Sunday, August 4th, 2013 at 6:06 am and is filed under Dictatorship, Education/Mind Control, Fascism, NWO, Russia, War/Draft, World War III. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.


Investigate Human Abedin

Link to Article

Archived Version

Wed, 31 Jul 2013 16:46

Why Won't the Media Cover Huma Abedin's Ties to Global Jihad Movement?by DIANA WESTJuly 31, 2013Nationalized health care was one of the first programs enacted by the Bolsheviks after they seized power in 1917. Nearly a century later, the U.S. enacted "Obamacare."

Who won the Cold War again? This is one of the questions I work over in my new book, "American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character" (St. Martin's Press). Can we realistically claim liberty and free markets triumphed over collectivism when today there is only a thin Senate line trying to fend off Obamacare's totalitarian intrusions into citizens' lives? We see perhaps a dozen or so patriots led by conservative ace Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, gallantly mustering forces to defund further enforcement of this government behemoth aborning. (Call your senators and ask them to join - or tell you why they didn't at the next town hall.) How can we maintain that the republic endured when a centralized super-state has taken its place?

So, once more, who really won the Cold War? The question is better framed when we realize that the battleground where the Free World met Marx was also psychological. Consciously or not, we struggled against an insidious Marxist ideology that was always, at root, an assault on our nation's character.

The most recent manifestation of victory over the American character shows through the Anthony Weiner-Huma Abedin scandal. This scandal is a paradoxical double whammy of both exposure and cover-up.

Everyone knows (too much) about the exposure part: Anthony Weiner, candidate for mayor of New York City, turns out to be a recidivist pervert. The fatuous conversation that has followed this "news" has turned on the decision of Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, to step forward to try to salvage her husband's bid for public office. The Wall Street Journal's response to Abedin's decision was typical: "Watching the elegant Huma Abedin stand next to her man Tuesday as he explained his latest sexually charged online exchanges was painful for a normal human being to watch."

The media want to know why the "elegant Huma" - Hillary Clinton's longtime aide and former deputy chief of staff - would do such an inelegant thing. Was this couple's therapy writ large? Was it for their child? Was it ... love?

True, the barbs of Huma's ambition - as naked as her husband's dirty pics - have broken through the gauzy chatter. But cut off from context, they, too, end up perpetuating what is, in fact, the great Huma Abedin cover-up.

It is not enough to analyze Huma Abedin as a "political wife." Abedin is also a veritable Muslim Brotherhood princess. As such, the ideological implications of her actions - plus her long and privileged access to U.S. policy-making through Hillary Clinton - must be considered, particularly in the context of national security.

But talk about paradoxes. In an era when the most minute and lurid descriptions of her husband's anatomical and sexual details are common talk, Huma Abedin's familial and professional connections to the world of jihad are unspeakable.

In a nutshell - quoting former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy writing at National Review this week - Huma Abedin "worked for many years at a journal that promotes Islamic supremacist ideology that was founded by a top al-Qaida financier, Abdullah Omar Naseef." That would be for at least seven years (1996-2003), by the way, during which Abedin also worked for Hillary Clinton.

Let this sink in for just a moment. The journal Huma worked for - which promotes Islamic supremacism and was founded by al-Qaida financer Naseef, who also headed the Muslim World League, a leading Muslim Brotherhood organization - is called the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs. It was edited first by Huma's father, Syed Abedin, and now by her mother, Saleha Abedin. Saleha is a member of the Muslim Sisterhood. Mother Abedin also directs an organization (the International Islamic Committee for Woman and Child) that comes under the umbrella of the Union for Good, another U.S.-designated terrorist organization. As McCarthy reminds us, "the Union for Good is led by Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi, the notorious Muslim Brotherhood jurist who has issued fatwas calling for the killing of American military and support personnel in Iraq as well as suicide bombings in Israel."

Given these alarming professional and family associations, it is hard to imagine how Huma Abedin ever received the security clearance necessary to work closely with the secretary of state. But she did, and from her powerful post, she undoubtedly exerted influence over U.S. policy-making. (In his National Review piece, McCarthy lists specific actions that bespeak a shift in U.S. foreign policy to favor the Muslim Brotherhood.)

Isn't the Abedin-Clinton national security story at least as newsworthy as Weiner's private parts?

At this point, only McCarthy's National Review piece reprises these well-documented facts. In other words, it is not only CNN and the New York Times that draw blanks for their readers. Most "conservative" outlets, including Fox News, the New York Post, The Blaze, and Rush Limbaugh, are ignoring this story, too.

If the Abedin-Muslim Brotherhood story rings any bells, it is probably because of Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. Last summer, Bachmann, along with four other House Republicans, raised the issue of Huma Abedin among other examples of possible Muslim Brotherhood penetration of the federal policy-making chain. They asked inspectors general at five departments, including the State Department, to investigate their concerns, but nothing happened - nothing, that is, except that Bachmann was crucified, by Democrats and Republicans alike for asking urgently important questions about national security.

This made the entire subject, already taboo, positively radioactive - with Huma Abedin becoming the poster victim of this supposed "McCarthyism" redux. End of story. Never mind facts. Never mind also that in his day, Sen. Joseph McCarthy was asking urgently important questions about national security, too.

But don't worry. We "won" the Cold War. Obamacare, here we come. At this rate, we'll declare "victory" in the so-called war on terror and, before you know it, become a leading outpost of the caliphate.

Follow me @diana_west_

Diana West is a journalist and columnist whose writing appears in several high profile outlets. She also has a website:

Hillary Clinton Receives the American Patriot Award'...No, Really

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Activist Post

Thu, 01 Aug 2013 07:40

Kimberly PaxtonActivist PostIn a move that could only be topped in irony by President Barack ''Drone-the-Children'' Obama's Nobel Peace Prize, Hillary Rodham Clinton has been honored with the American Patriot Award from the National Defense University Foundation. Lest you think that this is a joke, please check your calendars and note that the date is NOT April 1. This is for real.

Clinton was chosen . . . take a deep breath . . . for her defense of our nation.

The former Secretary of State, who resigned in a flurry of scandal after her alleged involvement in the massacre at the American Embassy in Benghazi, managed to dodge her appearance at a Congressional hearing to answer for her part in the death of four Americans by a rather conveniently timed illness, immediately followed by a fall that resulted in a concussion.

Warning: if you have a weak stomach, reader discretion is advised. Clinton was lauded in a press release:

As First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton tirelessly worked to support and defend our nation and our allies around the world, said Al Zimmerman, chairman of the NDU Foundation Board of Directors, in the release.

Secretary Clinton will be the first woman to receive this award and in doing so joins an outstanding group of Americans who have been honored with the American Patriot Award, our very highest recognition, Zimmerman continued in the release. By honoring Secretary Clinton's exemplary career in public service the NDU Foundation celebrates not only the American spirit of patriotism, but the leadership qualities necessary to preserve and protect that spirit. (source)

Just so we are on the same page, this is the same Hillary Clinton who'...'...asked the grieving families of the Benghazi victims ''What difference does it make?'' why they were killed

'...commented ''we think it's worth it'' when asked about the half million children who died in response to the sanctions against Iran

'...was investigated for abusing off-shore tax shelters to the tune of millions of dollars

'...recommended that Europeans ''never waste a good crisis'' in response to the economic collapse there

' a member of the one-world government organizations such as the Trilateral Group, the Bilderberg Group, and the Council on Foreign Relations

The list could go on and on.

Of course, there is an old saying that ''You are judged by the company you keep.'' If you consider previous stellar recipients of this American Patriot Award, you'll see that the character of former recipients is just as loathsome as Clinton's. Most would not consider it an honor to be added to a group whose members include:

George H.W. BushHenry KissingerDavid PatraeusJohn McCain Caspar WeinbergerJoe LiebermanColin PowellRobert M. GatesIn this case, it looks like Clinton is definitely the right person for this dubious award.Kimberly Paxton, a staff writer for the Daily Sheeple, where this article first appeared, is based out of upstate New York.


NBC Announces Mini-Series on Hillary Clinton -

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sun, 28 Jul 2013 14:12

LOS ANGELES '-- Well in advance of the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Rodham Clinton is a big story.

NBC announced here on Saturday that it was preparing a four-hour mini-series based on the life of Mrs. Clinton and hoped to broadcast it before any possible formal declaration that she was running. That would avoid the possibility of other candidates demanding equal time, said Robert Greenblatt, NBC's top entertainment executive.

Mr. Greenblatt said NBC bought the project even though it had no script yet, though the deal came with a star attached: Diane Lane, who was nominated for an Academy Award in 2003 for her leading role in the film ''Unfaithful.'' The Clinton project will be written and directed by Courtney Hunt, who was nominated for an Oscar for writing the film ''Frozen River.''

NBC's release described the project as a mini-series that would ''recount Clinton's life as a wife, politician and cabinet member from 1998 to present.'' That would include her run for the presidential nomination in 2008.

The NBC release also said, ''The script will begin with Clinton living in the White House as her husband is serving the second of his two terms as president. In the years following, she would eventually become a United States senator, run for president and, ultimately, serve the country as secretary of state.''

Mr. Greenblatt said the project would most likely include aspects that were both critical of Mrs. Clinton and supportive of her.

Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton, said the former secretary of state was unaware of the miniseries. He declined comment otherwise.

''We literally just closed the deal,'' Mr. Greenblatt, the NBC executive, said. But he said he did not expect her to comment on the project. ''I don't think she will endorse it,'' he said.

Michael D. Shear contributed reporting from Washington.

Report: New Sexting Chats From Anthony Weiner Surface, Goes By The Name ''Carlos Danger'''...

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Weasel Zippers

Tue, 23 Jul 2013 18:40

That has to be his porn name.

Via Mediaite:

''Exclusive: Anthony Weiner is a sexual predator luring his victims,'' blares the inflammatory headline at the gossip website, A new set of unverified images from a chat session in which Weiner allegedly engaged in sexually explicit conversations with another woman from last summer threaten to derail Weiner's campaign for mayor of New York City. reached out to the Weiner campaign for comment but, as of this writing, not yet responded to the explosive new claims of impropriety.

''My source is solid,'' the bombshell post at begins. ''She really thought Anthony Weiner and her were in love, they spoke on the phone daily multiple times a day for 6 months. Anthony Weiner played with her emotions and mind. Most calls were phone sex.'' [...]

The images taken from Facebook and the social network Formspring are blurred but are alleged to be Weiner going by the handle ''Carlos Danger.''

Keep reading'...

Update: The key thing to note here is these new texts are from last summer, one year after he resigned from Congress and supposedly cleaned his act up.

Weiner's full statement:

''I said that other texts and photos were likely to come out, and today they have. As I have said in the past, these things that I did were wrong and hurtful to my wife and caused us to go through challenges in our marriage that extended past my resignation from Congress. While some things that have been posted today are true and some are not, there is no question that what I did was wrong. This behavior is behind me. I've apologized to Huma and am grateful that she has worked through these issues with me and for her forgiveness. I want to again say that I am very sorry to anyone who was on the receiving end of these messages and the disruption that this has caused. As my wife and I have said, we are focused on moving forward.''

Huma Puff Piece in New York Post Actually Very Damning

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Patterico's Pontifications

Sat, 03 Aug 2013 06:35

The this New York Post attempts to do a puff piece for Huma Abedin '-- but it ends up showing how cynical and power-hungry she actually is. Just pay close attention to the timing:

The worst moments included a Hamptons vacation 12 months ago when she suffered from painful isolation that put even more stress on their marriage.

''All the parties they had once been invited to, Huma was now invited but Anthony wasn't,'' a family member said. ''It was a difficult time.''

Then it got worse. A month later, according to the couple, Weiner confessed to her that he had continued to text lewd pictures of himself. He said he also told her that he had frequent phone sex with one woman, 22-year-old Sydney Leathers, and sexting sessions with two others under the pseudonym Carlos Danger.

So he confessed to the Sydney Leathers stuff 11 (12 minus 1) months ago. That would be around September 2, 2012. Let's plug that into the timeline I gave you the other day:

July 12, 2012: Weiner starts talking to ''Sydney Leathers'', according to this timeline from the site that broke the latest story. Quoting the girl:

Anthony Weiner And I First started talking July 12, 2012.

July 18, 2012:People Magazine puff piece appears:

''It took a lot of work to get to where are are today, but I want people to know we're a normal family,'' says Abedin, 37.

''Anthony has spent every day since [the scandal] trying to be the best dad and husband he can be,'' she says of her husband, who does all the laundry. ''I'm proud to be married to him.''

If the timeline is accurate, then Huma was praising Weiner days after he admitted to her that he was still sexting.

Now. Let's just assume that the timing is a little off and Weiner confessed to her in late July or August rather than early July. We still have the rest of the timeline:

July 19, 2012: One day after the People Magazine puff piece appears, Weiner finds Sydney Leathers on Formspring.

July 19, 2012 '' November 2012: Anthony Weiner engages in intense sexual discussions with Sydney Leathers. From the timeline:

Things were very intense by August 2012/already talks of the Chicago sex condo and having sexual conversations. We would send naked images to each other and have phone sex. Anthony Weiner would send me penis pictures from his Carlos Danger yahoo email to my Gmail.

And now, we have:

September 2, 2012 or thereabouts:: Weiner confesses to Huma. And then keeps texting for another couple of months:

November 2012: Carlos Danger and Sydney Leathers's relationship ''began to fizzle out,'' according to Leathers.

Today is August 2, 2013. There's no way ''one month'' after their trip 12 months ago is December 2012. And he was sexting clear through November.

So basically, he must have told her: ''Heads up, honey. I'm still sending my pics around and having phone sex and talking dirty to this 22-year-old. I'll be continuing to do so for the next couple months at least, just so's you're aware.''

And after all that, we have this:

April 10, 2013: Puff piece appears online in the New York Times that portrays Weiner's supposed coming clean and being totally honest in June 2011. The article also has Weiner and Abedin portraying their new son as having totally changed Weiner's perspective:

''But in the confines of our home and our relationship and our parenting this child and our love for each other '-- she said she wanted to get through it, she wanted not to conflate the giant international news story with the two people who were involved in it. And a lot of women couldn't do that. And Jordan has given us a lot of perspective. We have to deal with this a lot. It's not behind us. It kind of bubbles around and comes up in different ways. But she's, um. . . .'' Here, he paused and took a deep breath and started to cry. ''She's given. . . .'' He stopped again, could barely get the words out. ''She's given me another chance. And I am very grateful for that. And I'm trying to make sure I get it right.''

Abedin fully participated in that charade. And he wasn't even done, as he went back to Leathers the very next day:

Immediately after April 10, 2013 New York Times puff piece: After the appearance of the New York Times puff piece, Weiner reactivates his Facebook account and asks Sydney Leathers what she thought of it:

We only spoke once in December 2012, and then I didn't hear from Anthony Weiner again until April 11, 2013 when a NYT article about him was released. He reactivated his Facebook and asked me what I thought of it.

So Weiner tells Huma all this. And, for the good of her SON:

May 2013: Weiner enters mayor's race.

And she agrees to it.

She is a disgusting careerist and this article does NOT help her image. As long as you pay attention.

Thanks to JVW for the link.

Shut Up Slave!

Seattle bans words 'citizen' and 'brown bag' - Telegraph

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sun, 04 Aug 2013 10:47

A memo which was circulated within local government in Washington state, before being leaked to local TV station KOMO News, advised state workers that they should refrain from using such phrases in official business.

According to the memo, the word 'citizen' is offensive to those Seattlelites who are residents in the city, but not US citizens.

The phrase 'brown bag' is offensive for its having been used as a verb during racial segregation in the United States. When deciding whether or not a black person was light-skinned enough to enter a private residence, servants would 'brown bag' them: using a paper grocery bag to gauge their skin tone.

The memo's author Elliott Bronstein, who works in the city's Office for Civil Rights, wrote: "Luckily we've got options. For 'citizens', how about 'residents'?''.

''To replace 'brown bag''', he continued, tackling the offensive phrase that employees use to describe their packed lunches, ''we can go with 'lunch-and-learn' or 'sack lunch'''.

The news has gone viral in the United States, receiving more than 5,000 shares on Facebook and as many related tweets. One Twitter user described the news as ''unreal'', while another points out that ''our constitution uses the word 'citizen' 17 times''.

The political correctness debate polarises Americans, a recent example being the 2011 editing of Mark Twain's classic novel 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' to remove a racist term from the text. The ensuing debate caused the novel that Ernest Hemingway described as the ''basis of all modern American literature'' to be removed from many schools' curricula.

Closer to home, the Duchess of Cornwall in 2011 spoke out against political correctness, calling it ''as severe a form of censorship as any''.

Heathrow Is Now Tracking How Late You Are - Gadling

Link to Article

Archived Version

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 03:56

eGuide Travel, FlickrIs your flight in 30 minutes or 45? You don't have time to look at your boarding pass, so you hustle as fast as you can, awkwardly managing your oversized carry-on which you know that you are going to get scolded for. When you get to security, instead of being waved through you are turned right back around and sent off to the check-in gate. You won't be making your plane, and the pilot of your flight knows it.Creepy or helpful?

While it might feel Big Brotherish, Heathrow Airport's new "positive boarding" initiative is intended to help not only keep flights on time, but also ensure that passengers have up to date information to know how much they need to hustle or not.

When a passenger passes through a security checkpoint now, individual information about that passenger will pop up on the screen, showing which flight they are on and whether or not they are going to be able to make it. Passengers who are too late will be turned around, and the information will be passed along to the airline so that they can immediately begin removing the passenger's bag.Although Heathrow claims it's the first technology of its kind, tracking passengers is nothing new. In Italy, a couple of airports track Bluetooth signals, and SITA is a known service that provides real-time tracking software and line management.

This all might sound like an excessive use of technology, but Heathrow claims that in the first week of using its new service, 35,000 passengers used the positive boarding technology as part of their trip. Data shows that of the airlines using the technology, 44% of the flights had passengers who could have delayed the final departure. 10 passengers who were running very late were turned around and told they didn't have the time to make it through security. Those 10 passengers probably weren't too happy, but I'm sure that the passengers on the flights that departed promptly were satisfied. All the more reason to give yourself ample time to get to the airport and board your plane.

Tags:airport, airport lines, airport security, AirportLines, airports, AirportSecurity, Heathrow, mobile, passenger tracking, PassengerTracking, security, technology, tracking, tracking software, TrackingSoftware

$hadow Puppet Theatre

President Obama Announces his Intent to Nominate John Koskinen as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: White Press Office Feed

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 03:44

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

August 01, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC '' Today, President Obama announced his intent to nominate John Koskinen as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.

President Obama said, ''John is an expert at turning around institutions in need of reform. With decades of experience, in both the private and public sectors, John knows how to lead in difficult times, whether that means ensuring new management or implementing new checks and balances. Every part of our government must operate with absolute integrity and that is especially true for the IRS. I am confident that John will do whatever it takes to restore the public's trust in the agency.''

President Obama announced his intent to nominate John Koskinen as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service:

John Koskinen, Nominee for Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service Department of Treasury

John Koskinen served as Non-Executive Chairman of Freddie Mac from 2008 to 2011 and acting CEO in 2009. From 2004 to 2008, Mr. Koskinen was the President of the United States Soccer Foundation. Prior to this, Mr. Koskinen was Deputy Mayor and City Administrator of Washington, D.C. from 2000 to 2003, Assistant to the President and Chair of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion from 1998 to 2000, and Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget from 1994 to 1997. Prior to entering government service, Mr. Koskinen worked for 21 years for the Palmieri Company in a number of leadership positions including, CEO and Chairman, President, and Vice President. Earlier in his career, he served as Administrative Assistant to Senator Abraham Ribicoff, Legislative Assistant to Mayor John Lindsey of New York City, and Assistant to the Deputy Executive Director of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (the "Kerner Commission"). Mr. Koskinen practiced law with the firm of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher and clerked for Judge David Bazelon, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He serves on the boards of AES Corp. and American Capital, Ltd. Mr. Koskinen received a B.A. from Duke University and an L.L.B. and J.D. from Yale University School of Law.

John Koskinen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Link to Article

Archived Version

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 03:44

John A. Koskinen is the former Non-Executive Chairman of Freddie Mac from September, 2008 to December, 2011, retiring from the Board in February 2012. As of August 1, 2013, Koskien is the nominee for the position of IRS commissioner.

Education[edit]Koskinen graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in physics from Duke University in 1961, where he was a Member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and Phi Beta Kappa; graduated with an LLB, cum laude, (JD) from Yale University School of Law in 1964; and did post graduate work in Cambridge University, Cambridge, England from 1964 to 1965.[2] John was later named a Significant Sig by the Sigma Chi Fraternity recognizing his remarkable professional contributions to society.

Koskinen served as President of the U.S. Soccer Foundation from 2004-2008. He previously served as the Deputy Mayor of the District of Columbia, the Deputy Director for Management of the Office of Management and Budget, and Chair of the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion, the Year 2000 problem. He presently also serves on the boards of AES and American Capital, Ltd. On March 11, 2009, he was announced as the interim CEO at Freddie Mac. On April 23, 2009, he became the Principal Financial Officer after the death of Freddie Mac's acting CFO. In August, 2009, with the hiring of a new CEO, he returned to his position as non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Freddie Mac.

Prior to entering government service, Koskinen worked for 21 years for the Palmieri Company as Vice President, President, CEO and Chairman, working on the turnaround of large, failed enterprises such as the Penn Central Transportation Company, Levitt and Sons, the Teamsters Pension Fund and Mutual Benefit. Earlier in his career, Koskinen served as Administrative Assistant to Senator Abraham Ribicoff (D-Conn.) from 1969-73, was Legislative Assistant to Mayor John Lindsey of New York City from 1968-69, served as Assistant to the Deputy Executive Director of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (the "Kerner Commission") from 1967-68, practiced law with the firm of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher from 1966-67 and clerked for Judge David Bazelon, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, from 1965-66.[3]

Koskinen also chaired the Washington, D.C. Host Committee for the 1994 World Cup and the Duke UniversityBoard of Trustees. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.[4]

On August 1, 2013, the White House announced President Obama will nominate Koskinen as the next commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service.[5]

Personal[edit]Koskinen was born June 30, 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio. He is married to Patricia Salz and has a daughter Cheryl and a son Jeffery.[6]

References[edit]PersondataNameKoskinen, JohnAlternative namesShort descriptionDate of birthJune 30, 1939Place of birthCleveland, OhioDate of deathPlace of death


Spain's prime minister in defiant mood and refuses to step down.

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: euronews

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 06:56

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has made a defiant speech to lawmakers, affirming that he is not resigning and not calling elections.

But he did apologise to MP's for mishandling a major corruption scandal, though denied he or his centre-right People's Party accepted illegal payments.

Beyond parliament, investors shrugged of the scandal as it has not destabilised the government and on Thursday Spain sold debt more cheaply than two weeks ago.

But the opposition are pursuing their quarry with intense criticism.

''You have not acted as a Prime Minister of a country in crisis. You have acted as chairman of a party that, according to our knowledge, has grown, has existed and has won elections supported by a system of illegal financing for over 20 years,'' said Alfredo P(C)rez Rubalcaba, the Socialist Party Secretary General

Media outlets have published copies of an SMS message Rajoy sent to the People's Party ex-treasurer Luis Barcenas telling him to him to be strong. Barcenas is at the heart of the corruption scandal and has testified he ran a slush fund for the party hidden from the authorities.

He is in jail pending trial on charges of bribery and tax evasion. Opposition parties had threatened to call a vote of no confidence before Rajoy agreed to make his appearance before lawmakers.

More about:Mariano Rajoy, Political scandal, Spain, Spanish politicsCopyright (C) 2013 euronews

JavaScript is required in order to view this article's accompanying video

Berlusconi-kamp waarschuwt voor 'burgeroorlog' in Itali

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: VK: Home

Sun, 04 Aug 2013 13:16

Bewerkt door: redactie '' 04/08/13, 14:17 '' bron: ANP

(C) epa. De Italiaanse ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi.

De centrumrechtse partij Volk van de Vrijheid (PDL) heeft voor zondagavond opgeroepen tot een betoging in Rome tegen de veroordeling van haar leider Silvio Berlusconi. De ex-premier van Itali was donderdag door de Hoge Raad definitief veroordeeld tot 4 jaar cel wegens belastingfraude.

De PDL oefende sindsdien druk uit op president Giorgio Napolitano om Berlusconi gratie te verlenen. De hoogbejaarde oud-communist wil daar echter niet van weten. PDL-co¶rdinator Sandro Bondi waarschuwde daarop zaterdag voor een 'burgeroorlog' in Itali. Het staatshoofd stelde daarop in een verklaring dat dit soort uitlatingen 'onverantwoord' zijn.

Premier Enrico Letta schoot Napolitano te hulp: centrumrechts moet het staatshoofd niet op een 'ongepaste en afperserige manier' betrekken bij de justitile problemen van Berlusconi. Volgens Italiaanse media proberen Letta en Napolitano echter de spanningen niet al te hoog op te laten lopen. Beiden hechten in het belang van de politieke stabiliteit van het land aan de voortzetting van de brede coalitie, waarin PDL en Letta's centrumlinkse PD de belangrijkste partijen zijn. Die werd na de verkiezingen in februari met veel moeite geformeerd.

Itali gaat gebukt onder een zware economische crisis. Napolitano zit daarom niet te wachten op een situatie waarin hij vervroegde verkiezingen moet uitschrijven.

Curry's Law

Time Warner Cable Removes CBS in 3 Big Markets -

Link to Article

Archived Version

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 21:59

The war between CBS and Time Warner Cable intensified Friday afternoon when the cable company pulled the CBS stations in the New York, Los Angeles and Dallas markets.

CBS suspended the service around 5 p.m. Eastern time. Both sides then issued statements blaming the other for being unreasonable in the negotiations, which were extended from Monday.

The decision means that viewers in those cities that subscribe to Time Warner Cable will not be able to watch CBS programming until a deal is reached. In the past, subscribers have reacted with anger at such suspensions, but generally because they have missed specific programs. In this case, the summer programming roster does not contain many highly popular shows that may drive a settlement. CBS's biggest appeal this summer is from the show ''Under the Dome,'' which will not have a new episode until Monday.

But the network does have the PGA golf championship coming in a week. Further down the road is the NFL season, which would surely stir outrage if viewers were denied access to the games.

CBS called the action ''ill-advised'' and ''injurious not only to our many affected viewers, but also to Time Warner Cable itself.''

Time Warner Cable followed with its own statement, saying, ''CBS has refused to have a productive discussion. It's become clear that no matter how much time we give them, they're not willing to come to reasonable terms.''

CBS also used tough language in its statement, saying the cable company had ''conducted negotiations in a combative and nonproductive spirit, indulging in pointless brinkmanship and distorted public positioning.'' CBS labeled Time Warner Cable's charge that CBS was seeking a 600 percent fee increase as ''fictional and ridiculous.''

Time Warner Cable Suspends Showtime Services Nationwide Despite Network's Offer to Continue Carriage

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: TVbytheNumbers

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 22:03

via press release:


For First Time In Network History, SHOWTIME Is Dropped

NEW YORK, NY (August 2, 2013) '' Showtime Networks' customers nationwide have had their services disrupted by Time Warner Cable today, when for the first time in SHOWTIME history a distributor has chosen to remove the network's programming '' despite the network's authorization to allow carriage while negotiations continue. Our customers chose to subscribe to SHOWTIME, and Time Warner Cable in turn chose to pull our service from the subscribers we both serve. Attempts to reach an extension on negotiations were denied by Time Warner Cable, resulting in SHOWTIME going dark in major markets.

The service interruption is not only completely unnecessary, but totally punitive to our subscribers, and will impact and inconvenience millions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks subscribers in major markets across the country. Major markets affected include New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, Tampa, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, San Diego, Columbus, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Austin and Detroit, among many others.

SHOWTIME has been working in good faith with Time Warner Cable to work out a contract, and is deeply disappointed with Time Warner Cable's decision to pull SHOWTIME channels. Unfortunately, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks subscribers will be denied access to new episodes of the climactic eighth and final season of Dexter, and the most popular freshman series the network has ever had, RAY DONOVAN. Additionally, subscribers will also miss the opportunity to catch up on past seasons of Homeland before the series' fall debut, new episodes of WEB THERAPY and countless movies, specials and documentaries.

SHOWTIME has successfully negotiated a number of deals with all of the other major distributors, including Comcast, DirecTV, Cox, DISH, Verizon FiOS, Cablevision and AT&T U-Verse, among others. Time Warner Cable has taken nearly 50 channels off the air in just the past five years in disputes such as the one involving CBS and SHOWTIME now.

We hope and believe this period of darkness will be short, and we can all get back to the business of providing award-winning original series, hit movies, specials, provocative documentaries, and our hard-hitting sports programming to the Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks customers we both serve. We know our subscribers value their SHOWTIME programming, so we encourage them to call Time Warner Cable directly at 1-888-TW-CABLE and Bright House Networks at 1-855-222-0102 to ask that they restore our services. Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks customers who wish to continue their SHOWTIME subscription, should go to for a list of television providers that currently offer SHOWTIME. We assure our subscribers that we are doing everything we can to restore their SHOWTIME services.

Open Wireless Movement

Link to Article

Archived Version


Fri, 02 Aug 2013 06:58

By Adi Kamdar and Dan AuerbachIn addition to the vast number of open community wireless networks all over the world, there has been a recent uptick in business plans from start-ups and well-established companies that aim to increase wireless Internet access. The Open Wireless Movement encourages free, open, and unrestricted wireless access we welcome private sector participation alongside the work of communities, non-profits, governments, and dedicated individuals, in order to realize this vision.

But not all business plans that promote wireless access are equal. Here are some guiding principles for those who are looking to build or grow solutions that promote wireless Internet access consistent with the Open Wireless Movement:

No captive portals. Unfortunately, captive portals have become a common tool for doling out wireless access, especially in developed areas like San Francisco, where EFF's office is located. But captive portals hinder important security services that require an unfettered connection between the user and the remote origin. Moreover, captive portals are incompatible with browser-less embedded devices and non-browser client software, and are unnecessary for distributing Terms of Service agreements.No authentication required for users.Users should not have to authenticate in order to use the Internet. This factor is crucial to uphold user privacy and anonymity.No configuration required for users. Users should not have to go through a complicated configuration process or install additional software in order to make use of an open wireless access point.No cost barriers for users. We do not want to categorically insist that open wireless must be free of charge, but the important principle is that cost does not create a barrier for people who need to only make small use of an often abundant resource.Universal availability. Open wireless networks should be open to anyone in range with a wireless-capable device, not only to those who fall into a certain category, such as subscribers to a particular Internet service.Peaceful coexistence with existing open wireless networks. Open wireless solutions should not cannibalize other open networks, and users should ideally have a range of open wireless options available to them.In addition, we think open wireless networks of the future should provide meaningful security for users. We also think that the future ecosystem of open wireless networks needs to be sufficiently decentralized so that no single entity stands between a very large set of users and seamless access to the free Internet.With this rubric in mind, we thought we'd take stock of some of the not-quite-open wireless solutions out there that came across our radar to see how they stack up against our principles for truly open wireless. This list is not comprehensive, but it should give a flavor of the strengths and shortcomings of some of these alternative almost-open wireless solutions.

ComcastFonKarmaRuckusNo captive portalFAILFAILFAILFAILNo authenticationFAILFAILFAIL (Facebook required!)?No configurationPASSPASS?PASSNo cost barriersPASSPASS1/2FAILUniversal availabilityFAILFAILPASSPASSPeaceful coexistence1/21/2PASSPASSSecureFAILFAILFAIL1/2

How low-paid workers at 'click farms' create appearance of online popularity - Business Insider

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sun, 04 Aug 2013 11:53

How much do you like courgettes, the green vegetable Americans call zucchini? According to one Facebook page devoted to them, hundreds of people find them delightful enough to click the "like" button '' even with dozens of other pages about courgettes to choose from.There's just one problem: the liking was fake, done by a team of low-paid workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh, whose boss demanded just $15 per thousand "likes" at his "click farm". Workers punching the keys might be on a three-shift system, and be paid as little as $120 a year.

The ease with which a humble vegetable could win approval calls into question the basis on which many modern companies measure success online '' through Facebook likes, YouTube video views and Twitter followers.

Channel 4's Dispatches programme will on Monday reveal the extent to which click farms risk eroding user confidence in what had looked like an objective measure of social online approval.

The disclosures could hurt Facebook as it tries to persuade firms away from advertising on Google and to use its own targeted advertising, and to chase likes as a measure of approval.

That particular Facebook page on courgettes was set up by the programme makers to demonstrate how click farms can give web properties spurious popularity.

"There's a real desire amongst many companies to boost their profile on social media, and find other customers as well as a result," said Graham Cluley, an independent security consultant.

The importance of likes is considerable with consumers: 31% will check ratings and reviews, including likes and Twitter followers, before they choose to buy something, research suggests. That means click farms could play a significant role in potentially misleading consumers.

Dispatches found one boss in Bangladesh who boasted of being "king of Facebook" for his ability to create accounts and then use them to create hundreds or thousands of fake likes.

Click farms have become a growing challenge for companies which rely on social media measurements '' meant to indicate approval by real users '' to estimate the popularity of their products.

For the workers, though, it is miserable work, sitting at screens in dingy rooms facing a blank wall, with windows covered by bars, and sometimes working through the night. For that, they could have to generate 1,000 likes or follow 1,000 people on Twitter to earn a single US dollar.

Sam DeSilva, a lawyer specializing in IT and outsourcing law at Manches LLP in Oxford, says of the fake clicks: "Potentially, a number of laws are being breached '' the consumer protection and unfair trading regulations. Effectively it's misleading the individual consumers."

Dispatches discovered an online casino which had sub licensed the Monopoly brand from its owner, the games company Hasbro, and to which fake likes had been added on its Facebook page.

When contacted, Hasbro contacted Facebook and the page was taken down. In a statement, Hasbro said it was "appalled to hear of what had occurred" and was unaware of the page.

Dhaka-registered, meanwhile, claims to act as a middleman to connect companies seeking to boost their profile on Facebook, Twitter, Google +1, LinkedIn and YouTube.

"We made it as simple as mouse-clicking," the front page of the site says, claiming that it is "a crowd-sourcing platform to help you improve social media presence and search engine ranking FREE".

It adds: "Whenever and wherever you need massive workforce to complete petty tasks, call for Shareyt and get it done like magic! You can't imagine the potentials [sic] until you explore!" It claims to have generated 1.4m Facebook likes and to have 83,000 registered users.

The implication is that the site "crowdsources" clicks '' that lots of people around the world mutually help each other to promote each others' work.

But Sharaf al-Nomani, Shareyt's owner, told Dispatches in an undercover meeting that "around 30% or 40% of the clicks will come from Bangladesh" '' which implies about 25,000 people in Dhaka using computers laboriously and repetitively for hours on end to boost the visibility of specific products to order.

Some companies have used in the course of standard marketing.

Sir Billi, a British cartoon film voiced by Sir Sean Connery, has more than 65,000 Facebook likes '' more than some Hollywood films.

Although it has so far only been released in South Korea, Facebook data suggests the city of Dhaka is the source of the third-largest number of likes. (The Egyptian capital, Cairo, is presently the source of the highest number.)

Tessa Hartmann of Billi Productions, which made the film, said they had been promoting it since 2006, and paid £271.40 to advertise it on in August 2012 for six months as a "very small" part of their marketing campaign. At the time, she says, it already had 40,000 Facebook likes. Her company stopped using the site in February.

A link also appeared on to Coca-Cola's 2010 Super Bowl advertisement "Hard Times", showing the Simpsons' Mr Burns learning to get by on less (but with Coke).

The video's presence on the site is likely to have helped its nearly 6m views. Coke said in a statement that it "did not approve of fake fans"; the video was made private soon afterwards. has now seen Facebook and Twitter prevent links to the site being posted on their networks. Twitter bans "fake followers" or the buying of followers.

Faked internet use has been a bugbear of the burgeoning advertising industry ever since the web went commercial in the mid-1990s and the first banner ad was rolled out in 1996.

The rise of advertising networks and "pay-per-click" advertising '' where an advertiser pays the network when someone clicks on an advert, whether or not it leads to a sale '' also saw a rise in faked clicks which benefited unscrupulous networks.

And it is still a problem. In February, Microsoft and Symantec shut down a "botnet" of up to 1.8m PCs that were being used to create an average of 3m clicks per day, raking in $1m per year since 2009.

But click farms exploit a different sort of computing power altogether: the rise of cheap labour paired with low-cost connectivity to the internet.

"Russell", the manager of the click farm identified by Dispatches, said some of the methods he used were legitimate; he blamed those who commissioned the work if it was seen as immoral.

Dispatches: Celebs, Brands and Fake Fans on Channel 4 at 8pm on Monday

This article originally appeared on

Agenda 21

BBC News - Rise in violence 'linked to climate change'

Link to Article

Archived Version

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 12:44

2 August 2013Last updated at03:18 ETBy Rebecca MorelleScience reporter, BBC World ServiceShifts in climate are strongly linked to increases in violence around the world, a study suggests.

US scientists found that even small changes in temperature or rainfall correlated with a rise in assaults, rapes and murders, as well as group conflicts and war.

The team says with the current projected levels of climate change, the world is likely to become a more violent place.

The study is published in Science.

Marshall Burke, from the University of California, Berkeley, said: "This is a relationship we observe across time and across all major continents around the world. The relationship we find between these climate variables and conflict outcomes are often very large."

The researchers looked at 60 studies from around the world, with data spanning hundreds of years.

They report a "substantial" correlation between climate and conflict.

Their examples include an increase in domestic violence in India during recent droughts, and a spike in assaults, rapes and murders during heatwaves in the US.

The report also suggests rising temperatures correlated with larger conflicts, including ethnic clashes in Europe and civil wars in Africa.

Biological root?Mr Burke said: "We want to be careful, you don't want to attribute any single event to climate in particular, but there are some really interesting results."

Continue reading the main storyIt is a major priority for future research to distinguish between what is going on in each particular situation''

End QuoteMarshall BurkeUniversity of California, BerkeleyThe researchers say they are now trying to understand why this causal relationship exists.

"The literature offers a couple of different hints," explained Mr Burke.

"One of the main mechanisms that seems to be at play is changes in economic conditions. We know that climate affects economic conditions around the world, particularly agrarian parts of the world.

"There is lots of evidence that changes in economic conditions affect people's decisions about whether or not to join a rebellion, for example."

But he said there could also be a physiological basis, because some studies suggest that heat causes people to be prone to aggression.

"It is a major priority for future research to distinguish between what is going on in each particular situation."

The scientists say that with the current projected levels of climate change the world is likely to become a more violent place.

They estimate that a 2C (3.6F) rise in global temperature could see personal crimes increase by about 15%, and group conflicts rise by more than 50% in some regions.

Commenting on the research, Dr Stephan Harrison from the University of Exeter said it was a "timely study".

"What they have found is entirely plausible... For example, we already know that hotter and drier weather causes an increase in urban violence. Likewise, during cooler and wetter weather people tend to stay indoors, and the threat diminishes."

However, other researchers have questioned whether climate breeds conflict.

Work published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggested that this environmental factor was not to blame for civil war in Africa.

Instead, Dr Halvard Buhaug, from the Peace Research Institute Oslo, Norway, concluded that the conflict was linked to other factors such as high infant mortality, proximity to international borders and high local population density.

Commenting on the latest research, he said: "I disagree with the sweeping conclusion (the authors) draw and believe that their strong statement about a general causal link between climate and conflict is unwarranted by the empirical analysis that they provide.

"I was surprised to see not a single reference to a real-world conflict that plausibly would not have occurred in the absence of observed climatic extremes. If the authors wish to claim a strong causal link, providing some form of case validation is critical."

New bill aims to make 'smart' meters mandatory for entire nation

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: the tap

Sat, 03 Aug 2013 06:06

The new bill, as stated in a recent press release posted on Rep. McNerney's website, would require virtually all energy utility companies nationwide to implement so-called "smart grid technologies," which in turn would require the installation of smart meters on customers' homes and businesses. Smart meters, as you may already be aware, contain wireless communication components that are not only a serious threat to human health, but also a monumental detriment to personal privacy.But crafty politicians like Rep. McNerney and Rep. Cartwright are couching the technology as a viable way to help save people money by lowering their electricity bills. This explanation, of course, is meant to divert attention away from the not-so-enticing fact that the technology is really nothing more than a massive, interconnected government spying and control apparatus.

Text of H.R. 2685: Smart Grid Advancement Act of 2013 (Introduced version) -

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sat, 03 Aug 2013 06:08

HR 2685 IH

To incorporate smart grid capability into the Energy Star Program, to reduce peak electric demand, to reauthorize a energy efficiency public information program to include Smart Grid information, and for other purposes.


July 11, 2013

Mr. MCNERNEY (for himself and Mr. CARTWRIGHT) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce

To incorporate smart grid capability into the Energy Star Program, to reduce peak electric demand, to reauthorize a energy efficiency public information program to include Smart Grid information, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.This Act may be cited as the 'Smart Grid Advancement Act of 2013'.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.In this Act:

(1) ADMINISTRATOR- The term 'Administrator' means the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

(2) APPLICABLE BASELINE- The term 'applicable baseline' means the average of the highest three annual peak demands a load-serving entity has experienced during the 5 years immediately prior to the date of enactment of this Act.

(3) COMMISSION- The term 'Commission' means the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

(4) LOAD-SERVING ENTITY- The term 'load-serving entity' means an entity that provides electricity directly to retail consumers with the responsibility to assure power quality and reliability, including such entities that are investor-owned, publicly owned, owned by rural electric cooperatives, or other entities.

(5) PEAK DEMAND- The term 'peak demand' means the highest point of electricity demand, net of any distributed electricity generation or storage from sources on the load-serving entity's customers' premises, during any hour on the system of a load-serving entity during a calendar year, expressed in megawatts (MW), or more than one such high point as a function of seasonal demand changes.

(6) PEAK DEMAND REDUCTION- The term 'peak demand reduction' means the reduction in annual peak demand as compared to a previous baseline year or period, expressed in megawatts (MW), whether accomplished by--

(A) diminishing the end-use requirements for electricity;

(B) use of locally stored energy or generated electricity to meet those requirements from distributed resources on the load-serving entity's customers' premises and without use of high-voltage transmission; or

(C) energy savings from efficient operation of the distribution grid resulting from the use of a Smart Grid.

(7) PEAK DEMAND REDUCTION PLAN- The term 'peak demand reduction plan' means a plan developed by or for a load-serving entity that it will implement to meet its peak demand reduction goals.

(8) PEAK PERIOD- The term 'peak period' means the time period on the system of a load-serving entity relative to peak demand that may warrant special measures or electricity resources to maintain system reliability while meeting peak demand.

(9) SECRETARY- The term 'Secretary' means the Secretary of Energy.

(10) SMART GRID- The term 'Smart Grid' has the meaning provided by section 1301 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17381).

SEC. 3. ASSESSMENT OF SMART GRID COST EFFECTIVENESS IN PRODUCTS.(a) Assessment- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary and the Administrator shall each assess the potential for cost-effective integration of Smart Grid technologies and capabilities in all products that are reviewed by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, respectively, for potential designation as Energy Star products.

(b) Analysis- (1) Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary and the Administrator shall each prepare an analysis of the potential energy savings, greenhouse gas emission reductions, and electricity cost savings that could accrue for each of the products identified by the assessment in subsection (a) in the following optimal circumstances:

(A) The products possessed Smart Grid capability and interoperability that is tested and proven reliable.

(B) The products were utilized in an electricity utility service area which had Smart Grid capability and offered customers rate or program incentives to use the products.

(C) The utility's rates reflected national average costs, including average peak and valley seasonal and daily electricity costs.

(D) Consumers using such products took full advantage of such capability.

(E) The utility avoided incremental investments and rate increases related to such savings.

(2) The analysis under paragraph (1) shall be considered the 'best case' Smart Grid analysis. On the basis of such an analysis for each product, the Secretary and the Administrator shall determine whether the installation of Smart Grid capability for such a product would be cost effective. For purposes of this paragraph, the term 'cost effective' means that the cumulative savings from using the product under the best case Smart Grid circumstances for a period of one-half of the product's expected useful life will be greater than the incremental cost of the Smart Grid features included in the product.

(3) To the extent that including Smart Grid capability in any products analyzed under paragraph (2) is found to be cost effective in the best case, the Secretary and the Administrator shall, not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act take each of the following actions:

(A) Inform the manufacturer of such product of such finding of cost effectiveness.

(B) Assess the potential contributions the development and use of products with Smart Grid technologies bring to reducing peak demand and promoting grid stability.

(C) Assess the potential national energy savings and electricity cost savings that could be realized if Smart Grid potential were installed in the relevant products reviewed by the Energy Star program.

(D) Assess and identify options for providing consumers information on products with Smart Grid capabilities, including the necessary conditions for cost-effective savings.

(E) Submit a report to Congress summarizing the results of the assessment for each class of products, and presenting the potential energy and greenhouse gas savings that could result if Smart Grid capability were installed and utilized on such products.

SEC. 4. INCLUSIONS OF SMART GRID CAPABILITY ON APPLIANCE ENERGY GUIDE LABELS.Section 324(a)(2) of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (42 U.S.C. 6294(a)(2)) is amended by adding the following at the end:

'(J)(i) Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subparagraph, the Federal Trade Commission shall initiate a rulemaking to consider making a special note in a prominent manner on any ENERGY GUIDE label for any product actually including Smart Grid capability that--

'(I) Smart Grid capability is a feature of that product;

'(II) the use and value of that feature depended on the Smart Grid capability of the utility system in which the product was installed and the active utilization of that feature by the customer; and

'(III) on a utility system with Smart Grid capability, the use of the product's Smart Grid capability could reduce the customer's cost of the product's annual operation by an estimated dollar amount range representing the result of incremental energy and electricity cost savings that would result from the customer taking full advantage of such Smart Grid capability.

'(ii) Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this subparagraph, the Commission shall complete the rulemaking initiated under clause (i).'.

SEC. 5. SMART GRID PEAK DEMAND REDUCTION GOALS.(a) Goals- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, each load-serving entity, or, at the option of the State, each State with respect to load-serving entities that the State regulates, shall determine and publish peak demand reduction goals for any load-serving entities that have an applicable baseline in excess of 250 megawatts.

(b) Baselines- (1) The Commission, in consultation with the Secretary and the Administrator, shall develop and publish, after an opportunity for public comment, but not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this section, a methodology to provide for adjustments or normalization to a load-serving entity's applicable baseline over time to reflect changes in the number of customers served, weather conditions, general economic conditions, and any other appropriate factors external to peak demand management, as determined by the Commission.

(2) The Commission shall support load-serving entities (including any load-serving entities with an applicable baseline of less than 250 megawatts that volunteer to participate) in determining their applicable baselines and in developing their peak demand reduction goals.

(3) The Secretary, in consultation with the Commission, the Administrator, and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, shall develop a system and rules for measurement and verification of demand reductions.

(c) Peak Demand Reduction Goals- (1) Peak demand reduction goals may be established for an individual load-serving entity, or, at the determination of a State, tribal, or regional entity, by that State, tribal, or regional entity for a larger region that shares a common system peak demand and for which peak demand reduction measures would offer regional benefit.

(2) A State or regional entity establishing peak demand reduction goals shall cooperate, as necessary and appropriate, with the Commission, the Secretary, State regulatory commissions, State energy offices, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, and other relevant authorities.

(3) In determining the applicable peak demand reduction goals--

(A) States and other jurisdictional entities may utilize the results of the 2009 National Assessment of Demand Response Potential, as authorized by section 571 of the National Energy Conservation Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 8279); and

(B) the relative economics of peak demand reduction and generation required to meet peak demand shall be evaluated in a neutral and objective manner.

(4) The applicable peak demand reduction goals shall provide that--

(A) load-serving entities will reduce or mitigate peak demand by a minimum percentage amount from the applicable baseline to a lower peak demand during calendar year 2015;

(B) load-serving entities will reduce or mitigate peak demand by a minimum percentage greater amount from the applicable baseline to a lower peak demand during calendar year 2018; and

(C) the minimum percentage reductions established as peak demand reduction goals shall be the maximum reductions that are realistically achievable with an aggressive effort to deploy Smart Grid and peak demand reduction technologies and methods, including those listed in subsection (d).

(d) Plan- Each load-serving entity shall prepare a peak demand reduction plan that demonstrates its ability to meet each applicable goal by any or a combination of the following options:

(1) Direct reduction in megawatts of peak demand through--

(A) energy efficiency measures (including efficient transmission wire technologies which significantly reduce line loss compared to traditional wire technology) with reliable and continued application during peak demand periods; or

(B) use of a Smart Grid.

(2) Demonstration that an amount of megawatts equal to a stated portion of the applicable goal is contractually committed to be available for peak reduction through one or more of the following:

(A) Megawatts enrolled in demand response programs.

(B) Megawatts subject to the ability of a load-serving entity to call on demand response programs, smart appliances, smart electricity or energy storage devices, distributed generation resources on the entity's customers' premises, or other measures directly capable of actively, controllably, reliably, and dynamically reducing peak demand ('dynamic peak management control').

(C) Megawatts available from distributed dynamic electricity or energy storage under agreement with the owner of that storage.

(D) Megawatts committed from dispatchable distributed generation demonstrated to be reliable under peak period conditions and in compliance with air quality regulations.

(E) Megawatts available from smart appliances and equipment with Smart Grid capability available for direct control by the utility through agreement with the customer owning the appliances or equipment or with a third party pursuant to such agreements.

(F) Megawatts from a demonstrated and assured minimum of distributed solar electric generation capacity in instances where peak period and peak demand conditions are directly related to solar radiation and accompanying heat.

(3) If any of the methods listed in subparagraph (C), (D), or (E) of paragraph (2) are relied upon to meet its peak demand reduction goals, the load-serving entity must demonstrate this capability by operating a test during the applicable calendar year.

(4) Nothing in this section shall require the publication in peak demand reduction goals or in any peak demand reduction plan of any information that is confidential for competitive or other reasons or that identifies individual customers.

(e) Existing Authority and Requirements- Nothing in this section diminishes or supersedes any authority of a State or political subdivision of a State to adopt or enforce any law or regulation respecting peak demand management, demand response, distributed energy storage, use of distributed generation, or the regulation of load-serving entities. The Commission, in consultation with States and Indian tribes having such peak demand management, demand response, and distributed energy storage programs, shall to the extent practicable, facilitate coordination between the Federal program and such State and tribal programs.

(f) Relief- The Commission may, for good cause, grant relief to load-serving entities from the requirements of this section.

(g) Other Laws- Except as provided in subsections (e) and (f), no law or regulation shall relieve any person of any requirement otherwise applicable under this section.

(h) Compliance- (1) The Commission shall, not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, establish a public Web site where the Commission shall provide information and data demonstrating compliance by States, Indian tribes, regional entities, and load-serving entities with this section, including the success of load-serving entities in meeting applicable peak demand reduction goals.

(2) The Commission shall, by April 1 of each year beginning in 2015, provide a report to Congress on compliance with this section and success in meeting applicable peak demand reduction goals and, as appropriate, shall make recommendations as to how to increase peak demand reduction efforts.

(3) The Commission shall note in each such report any State, political subdivision of a State, or load-serving entity that has failed to comply with this section, or is not a part of any region or group of load-serving entities serving a region that has complied with this section.

(4) The Commission shall have and exercise the authority to take reasonable steps to modify the process of establishing peak demand reduction goals and to accept adjustments to them as appropriate when sought by load-serving entities.

(i) Assistance and Funding-

(1) ASSISTANCE- The Secretary may make grants to States and to other entities with responsibilities to be carried out under the Act to offset any documented costs of carrying out such responsibilities to the extent such costs are deemed burdensome or extraordinary by the Secretary.

(2) FUNDING- There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to the Commission, the Secretary, and the Administrator to carry out the provisions of this Act.

SEC. 6. REAUTHORIZATION OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY PUBLIC INFORMATION PROGRAM TO INCLUDE SMART GRID INFORMATION.(a) In General- Section 134 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15832) is amended as follows:

(1) By amending the section heading to read as follows: 'energy efficiency and smart grid public information initiative'.

(2) In paragraph (1) of subsection (a), by striking 'reduce energy consumption during the 4-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act' and inserting 'increase energy efficiency and to adopt Smart Grid technology and practices'.

(3) In paragraph (2) of subsection (a), by striking 'benefits to consumers of reducing' and inserting 'economic and environmental benefits to consumers and the United States of optimizing'.

(4) In subsection (a), by inserting at the beginning of paragraph (3) 'the effect of energy efficiency and Smart Grid capability in reducing energy and electricity prices throughout the economy, together with'.

(5) In subsection (a)(4), by redesignating subparagraph (D) as subparagraph (E), by striking 'and' at the end of subparagraph (C), and by inserting after subparagraph (C) the following:

'(D) purchasing and utilizing equipment that includes Smart Grid features and capability; and'.

(6) In subsection (c), by striking 'Not later than July 1, 2009,' and inserting, 'For each year when appropriations pursuant to the authorization in this section exceed $10,000,000,'.

(7) In subsection (d) by striking '2010' and inserting '2022'.

(8) In subsection (e) by striking '2010' and inserting '2022'.

(b) Table of Contents- The item relating to section 134 in the table of contents for the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15801 and following) is amended to read as follows:

'Sec. 134. Energy efficiency and Smart Grid public information initiative.'.

SEC. 7. INCLUSION OF SMART GRID FEATURES IN APPLIANCE REBATE PROGRAM.(a) Amendments- Section 124 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15821) is amended as follows:

(1) By amending the section heading to read as follows: 'energy efficient and smart appliance rebate program.'.

(2) By redesignating paragraphs (4) and (5) of subsection (a) as paragraphs (5) and (6), respectively, and inserting after paragraph (3) the following:

'(4) SMART APPLIANCE- The term 'smart appliance' means a product that the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency or the Secretary of Energy has determined qualifies for such a designation in the Energy Star program pursuant to section 3 of the Smart Grid Advancement Act of 2013, or that the Secretary or the Administrator has separately determined includes the relevant Smart Grid capabilities listed in section 1301 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (42 U.S.C. 17381).'.

(3) In subsection (b)(1) by inserting 'and smart' after 'efficient' and by inserting after 'products' the first place it appears ', including products designated as being smart appliances'.

(4) In subsection (b)(3), by inserting 'the administration of' after 'carry out'.

(5) In subsection (d), by inserting 'the administration of' after 'carrying out' and by inserting ', and up to 100 percent of the value of the rebates provided pursuant to this section' before the period at the end.

(6) In subsection (e)(3), by inserting ', with separate consideration as applicable if the product is also a smart appliance,' after 'Energy Star product' the first place it appears and by inserting 'or smart appliance' before the period at the end.

(7) In subsection (f), by striking '$50,000,000' through the period at the end and inserting '$100,000,000 for each fiscal year from 2014 through 2019.'.

(b) Table of Contents- The item relating to section 124 in the table of contents for the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (42 U.S.C. 15801 and following) is amended to read as follows:

'Sec. 124. Energy efficient and smart appliance rebate program.'.

War on Printers

UPS to Offer 3D Printing Services in Select Stores

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: MAKE

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 22:27

UPS Stores announced Wednesday that it will start offering 3D printing services in a select number of its retail stores, making it the first national U.S. retailer to do so. The first store is in San Diego. The company plans to offer the service in a Washington D.C. store next week. There are plans to offer the service at four more stores, but those haven't been determined yet, says Brandon Olson, public relations supervisor for UPS Stores.

The move by UPS is part of a test to see how the service is received by customers and what the right price points are. UPS's decision follows a survey it conducted of small business owners to gauge their interest in the service. Olson said the survey found a ''strong response and desire to use the service.''

In a statement, Michelle Van Slyke, vice president of marketing and small business solutions at The UPS Store, said: ''Start-ups, entrepreneurs and small business owners may not have the capital to purchase a 3D printer on their own, but they may have a need to show prototypes to their current and potential customers. By offering 3D printing capabilities in-center, we're able to help further our small business customers' opportunities for success.''

Here's a video UPS put up about the announcement:

UPS is using the Stratasys uPrint SE Plus printer for the test. According to Stratasys, the uPrint SE Plus 3D printer prints in nine colors and uses fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology ''to build in real ABS plus thermoplastic, creating models and functional prototypes that are durable, stable and pinpoint accurate.'' The printer sells for $20,900.

Olson said UPS will also offer design services to help customers translate ideas into printable design files.

What do you think of the news? Have we entered the era of the corner 3D printing shop? How long until Kinko's gets into the act? If service grows, would it impact your decision to buy a 3D printer?

Like this:LikeLoading...

Oil Cabal

The Nuclear Scare Scam - Galen Winsor | Department of Nuclear Engineering

Galen Winsor asks '' Who owns the plutonium? How much is it worth?

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Atomic Insights

Sat, 27 Jul 2013 09:01

Galen Winsor was a hands-on nuclear expert in the fullest sense of the phrase. Before irrational radiation protection rules were imposed, he and his colleagues directly handled used fuel. They limiting their exposure time and depended on just one of the ''time, distance and shielding'' trifecta of radiation protection. According to his story, Winsor and his colleagues knew enough about the material that they were handling to prevent most skin burns, but they had a job to do and did not allow a desire to lower doses below the level of immediate risk to impede their successful accomplishment.

During his more than 30 years of professional involvement in handling nuclear materials, Winsor stubbornly refused to change his habits. He considered the used fuel pool at the Morris, IL recycling plant to be his personal ''warm swimming hole'', he gave talks during which he licked uranium dioxide off of the palm of his hand and he once filled a two liter bottle from a used fuel pool and kept that water on his office desk for a daily drink.If you pay close attention, you should come away with the impression that Winsor was not foolhardy; he was well aware of the real behavior of the materials that he measured. In Winsor's opinion, imposition of unreasonably tight rules associated with radiation protection has been a cost-increasing strategy akin to the ''feather bedding'' practices of railroad engineers.

Winsor passed away a few years ago. He was in his 80s and his death was apparently from the normal kinds of natural causes that afflict people of a certain age.

Throughout Winsor's talk, he points out the physical value of the irradiated material that some people insist on calling high level waste. He asks the final important questions '' ''Who owns the plutonium?'' and ''How much is it worth?'' He recognizes that using it beneficially threatens a number of powerful interests.

Unfortunately, Winsor's message did not receive widespread attention in the 1980s when he gave his talks. He did not live in the internet era and did not have access to tools like blogs and YouTube. Fortunately for us, someone saved video tapes of his talks and converted them to a digital format. A couple of days ago, an Atomic Insights reader sent me a link to a longer, 1.5 hour compilation video hosted by Liberty in Our Time. That video has been on the web for a year and has been seen by just 25,000 people; that number needs to grow rapidly.

I would be remise if I did not discuss the idea that Winsor's message might have gained some detractors from its overly conspiratorial tone. As a Naval Academy graduate and retired Commander, I'm a card carrying member of ''The Establishment''. I can testify based on a three decade-long career that there is no need to assume that some kind of secretive agreement must exist in order to encourage people with aligned interests to successfully work without any coordination to discredit a common enemy.

There are plenty of people that have long recognized that atomic energy directly threatens their interests by offering a superior product that can permanently capture profitable customers. Their interest in slowing nuclear energy development has been matched by those who have recognized that it is easier to build enormous infrastructures and obtain valuable contracts when people are confused, fearful or purposely kept ignorant through secrecy.

Unnecessarily stringent radiation protection regulations leads to huge contracts for what we used to call ''digging and filling'' on the military bases where I worked for several decades. Both construction contractors and hydrocarbon suppliers continue to be aided by media interests that carry their advertising messages, by financial institutions that make money by lending to gargantuan projects, by transportation industries that carry their massive quantities of daily deliveries, and by politicians that accept political contributions (sometimes bordering on bribes), employee votes and post government employment.

The gradual imposition of ever tighter regulations enforced by the kinds of employment threats that Winsor describes in the above video helped to increase profits and also reinforced the public fear factor by building an ever growing body of compliant workers taught to have a questioning attitude that defaulted to extreme conservatism while blindly following stringent rules, even without any physical evidence of harm.

A large and growing body of documents, personal testimony and anecdotal stories has convinced me that the world has wrongly accepted incorrect information about the relative hazard of atomic radiation compared to many other casually accepted materials and influences. Watching Winsor's talk reminded me of a practically-minded senior chief petty officer named Tess who once demonstrated to me how he would simply wipe his hands on his pants if he found a little contamination. It reminded me of numerous occasions when Ted Rockwell repeated that money spent on radiation protection did not disappear into a rat hole, it disappeared into some rats' pockets.

It also reminded me of my conversations with Ray Haroldsen, the electrical technician who told Atomic Show listeners stories (The Atomic Show #068 '' Ray Haroldsen, Atomic Tinkerer who has tested the limits and The Atomic Show #069 '' Ray Haroldsen, Experimental Breeder Reactor 1 stories) of picking up the pieces from the BORAX destructive test. When I spoke with Ray just two years ago, he was still in good health, even though he was an adult nuclear energy professional in 1951, more than 60 years ago. The risk from moderate doses of radiation or ingestion of radioactive material has been highly exaggerated for very logical, but greed driven reasons.

It is long past time to aggressively fight back and challenge the status quo. My burning desire for more widely distributed prosperity and my need to strive to help reduce the risk of dramatic climate change demands that I promote the truth. Please join me in the effort to tell the world that atomic fission is a great way to boil water to provide useful power to an ever growing number of happy and healthy customers.

On a related note, Jerry Cuttler highly recommended that I share a link to Wade Allison's paper about the Goiania accident and what it should teach us about the minuscule health hazards from the materials released at Fukushima and any future, probably less severe accident. Here is a sample quote:

In the 25 years since 1987 there has been no case of cancer due to radiation among those contaminated '' none at all. This observation is compared with measurements from Fukushima and elsewhere in the Table below. As shown in the third column the lowest measured internal radioactivity for any casualty at Goiania was far more than 1000 times greater than the largest internal radioactivity measurement for any resident in a large survey of those affected in Japan [9]. For children this ratio was even larger. At Goiania one woman, already four months pregnant, got a significant dose and gave birth normally; and another who had received one of the highest internal doses gave birth to a healthy child four years on.

(Emphasis added.)

Please go now and read Allison's footnoted paper. Your comments are always welcome.

Man Eats Uranium, Drinks and Swims In Reactor Water, Ignites Plutonium In His Bare Hand | Libertarian News

Can nuclear energy save Detroit?

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: Atomic Insights

Thu, 25 Jul 2013 12:09

In 1966, the Fermi I nuclear power plant, the only liquid metal cooled breeder reactor that provided commercial electricity in the United States, suffered a partial melt when an internal reactor component moved and partially blocked coolant flow.

Fermi I was repaired by 1970 and restored to operating status for a couple of years, but its performance was not good. As a one of a kind reactor, its costs were not competitive, so it was decommissioned in 1972. (In 1972, power companies could buy oil for $2 per barrel.) The partial melting of the reactor, which was located about 30 miles from Detroit, became the subject of a popular antinuclear book by John Fuller, published by Reader's Digest titled We Almost Lost Detroit.

On Thursday, July 18, 2013, the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy, saddled with $18 billion worth of obligations with few ways of raising the funds required to pay them. The once great industrial city has suffered from several decades worth of massive exodus of both people and businesses; its population is about half of what it was 20 years ago. It is literally withering away.

On Tuesday, July 23, 2013, American Atomics, a company that almost no one has ever heard of, issued a press release offering to come to Detroit and help the city rebuild its former prosperity.

American Atomics is presenting a plan to community leaders in Detroit, Michigan, offering to locate the company's new factory and other operations in that economically strapped city. The plan, claimed to generate between 500,000 and 1 million new jobs in Detroit over the next 10 years, includes building the world's largest factory, as well as guaranteeing to supply Detroit with electricity at a flat rate of 2 per kilowatt-hour for both businesses and residences, beginning in 5 years.

Full details about the somewhat audacious plan are available at An Offer To The City Of Detroit. Interestingly enough, the technology that the company plans to develop into mass produced small nuclear power plants uses liquid metal cooling, something that has not been used in commercial nuclear plants in the United States since Fermi 1. (It has been used in a number of prototype and test reactors including the Fast Flux Test Facility (FFTF) and the Integral Fast Reactor (IFR)).

I'll have more about this later, but I'd like to leave you with a music video with a haunting refrain '' ''We almost lost Detroit '' this time''. I'm sure there are at least some Atomic Insights readers who remember what the city was like when it was a booming manufacturing powerhouse. Perhaps the audacious American Atomics plan will help it recover.

PS '' Audacity is not necessarily a negative word. When big changes are needed, people with audacious ideas and the drive to turn them into reality are often the only ones who can succeed.

Wes Clark 7

Notice -- Regarding the Continuation of the National Emergency with respect to Lebanon

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: White Press Office Feed

Tue, 30 Jul 2013 05:37

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

July 29, 2013


- - - - - - -



On August 1, 2007, by Executive Order 13441, the President declared a national emergency with respect to Lebanon pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the actions of certain persons to undermine Lebanon's legitimate and democratically elected government or democratic institutions; to contribute to the deliberate breakdown in the rule of law in Lebanon, including through politically motivated violence and intimidation; to reassert Syrian control or contribute to Syrian interference in Lebanon; or to infringe upon or undermine Lebanese sovereignty and contribute to political and economic instability in that country and the region.

Certain ongoing activities, such as continuing arms transfers to Hizballah that include increasingly sophisticated weapons systems, serve to undermine Lebanese sovereignty, contribute to political and economic instability in Lebanon, and continue to constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. For this reason, the national emergency declared on August 1, 2007, and the measures adopted on that date to deal with that emergency, must continue in effect beyond August 1, 2013. In accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency with respect to Lebanon declared in Executive Order 13441.

This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress.


THE WHITE HOUSE,July 29, 2013.

Syrian army and Hizballah capture Homs - opening way to Aleppo and decisive Assad victory

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: DEBKAFile

Mon, 29 Jul 2013 05:30

Syrian army and Hizballah capture Homs - opening way to Aleppo and decisive Assad victory

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 29, 2013, 8:08 AM (IDT)

Ravaged Homs falls to Assad's forces

Three months after winning the strategic town of Al Qusayr, the combined Syrian and Hizballah armies have captured the historic Muslim Brotherhood city of Homs, 162 kilometers northeast of the capital Damascus. debkafile's military and intelligence sources report that Sunday, July 28, jeeps with recoilless guns, pick-up trucks with anti air guns - all loaded with defeated rebel Farouq Brigades fighters were to be seen fleeing the city. As they fled, Syrian and Hizballah army tanks facing no resistance rolled into the center of Homs, the old city and the Khladiyeh district and hoisted images of President Bashar Assad.

The fall of Homs, which the rebels designated from the start of the uprising ''capital of the revolution,'' opens the way for Syrian-Hizballah forces to move north on Aleppo, Syria's largest city.

Aleppo's capture would grant Assad a decisive victory in the civil war and confer on the Lebanese Shiite terrorist Hizballah for the first time the standing of an armed force with strategic capabilities, as well as giving the Iran-Syrian-Hizballah alliance a major boost.Early Monday, Syrian ground-to-ground missiles were pounding rebel fortifications Aleppo to soften their resistance, while Syrian air force helicopters struck Kurdish PYG units ranged along the Syrian-Turkish border. Although the helicopters flew over the frontier, they did not run into any interference from the Turkish air force, its artillery emplacements or the NATO Patriot anti-missile batteries deployed there.

The Kurdish units were targeted to prevent them moving into Aleppo in defense of the city's Kurdish quarters against the Syrian army-Hizballah advance.After the fall of Homs and the fast approaching Syrian assault on Aleppo, Washington, Jerusalem and Ankara have run out of time for quibbling whether to step into the Syrian conflict. The critical decision facing them now is whether to save Aleppo from a savage Syrian army-Hizballah onslaught that will determine the final fate of the war, or continue to stand aside.

The various tactics outlined by top US soldier Gen. Martin Dempsey last week for US military intervention at a cost of $1 billion per day have been overtaken by events. The Obama administration must now decide very quickly whether Assad and his Russian and Iranian backers should be allowed to win the Syrian civil war or stopped at Aleppo.


Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: aangirfan

Thu, 25 Jul 2013 12:11

THE TIDE turned in Syria as early as May 2013,when the BBC started criticising the rebels.The CIA and Pentagon would appear to have a new policy.

"You've probably noticed the change in tone of the Atlanticist press on the Syrian issue.

"The 'rebels', these 'champions of Freedom', have suddenly turned into fanatical terrorists who tear each other apart." According to Thierry Meyssan, "Washington has simply abandoned the idea of '‹'‹overthrowing Assad... "Next step: the loss of French influence in the region."'Soon, no more obstacles to the new Sykes-Picot', by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 22 July 2013,

Secretary of State, John Kerry

According to Thierry Meyssan:

"The Atlanticist press has discovered with horror that the armed opposition in Syria is composed of fanatics hated by the vast majority of Syrians...

"The Free Syrian Army and the Al-Nusra Front, instead of fighting against Damascus troops, are waging a merciless war against each other..."


Thierry Meyssan writes:

"What I wrote [1], which was labeled as 'conspiracy theory' by the mainstream press, is becoming obvious ten months later...

"CIA director, John Brennan and Vice President Joe Biden, have convinced Congress behind closed doors that they should not send decisive weapons to Syria...

"The Geneva II Conference, discussed for the past year, is coming into focus."


So, there have been changes of leadership in Qatar, Egypt and Iran.

France and the United Kingdom used to share the Middle East.

After the coming Geneva II Conference:

"The United States and Russia will divide North Africa and the Levant, at the expense of France, dividing the region into zones sub-contracted by the Saudis (Sunni) or the Iranians (Shi'ites)."

''Soon, no more obstacles to the new Sykes-Picot'', by Thierry Meyssan, Voltaire Network, 22 July 2013,

Egypt's Sissi now compared to Nasser, a nationalist. Israel and the CIA would appear to have somewhat different views on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Israel believed that it could use the Muslim Brotherhood to break up Egypt and its neighbours.The CIA believed that it could use the Muslim Brotherhood to control the Islamic World and to destabilise China and Russia.

The CIA now seems to have decided that its original policy of backing Morsi was not working?

Proposed US House bill keeps Egypt military aid, amid steep cuts

The Saudis have backed the toppling of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

We assume that the Saudis are backing the Pentagon?

F. William Engdahl refers to the Saudis' Unprecedented Break with Washington over Egypt.

Second Half of Show [Out There]

Carrington Class: ''The World Escaped an EMP Catastrophe''

Link to Article

Archived Version


Sat, 03 Aug 2013 06:04

SHTFplanby Mac Slavo

According to researchers at EMPact America, an organization dedicated to studying and preparing for the possibility of large-scale electro magnetic pulse threats that can destroy our modern day electrical infrastructure, the earth came dangerously close to a serious destabilization event. A couple of weeks ago the sun emitted a massive CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) that, had it been earth-directed, would likely have wiped out critical portions of the world's power grid and sent developed nations back to the stone age within a matter of seconds.

'The world escaped an EMP catastrophe,' Henry Cooper, who now heads High Frontier, a group pushing for missile defence, told Washington Secrets.

'There had been a near miss about two weeks ago, a Carrington-class coronal mass ejection crossed the orbit of the Earth and basically just missed us,' added Peter Vincent Pry, who served on the Congressional EMP Threat Commission.

'Basically this is a Russian roulette thing,' he said. 'We narrowly escape from a Carrington-class disaster.'

Washington Examiner

It was a ''Carrington-Class'' event, named after the 1859 incident that left telegraphs around the world inoperable and reportedly even lit some of the equipment on fire because of the electric surge.

Solar flares are measured in classes, and though ''Carrington'' is not an official classification on the scale, it refers to a solar emission so powerful that it would send Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights as they are often called, as far down as the equator (as was the case with the 1859 event). This means that the size of the solar flare would be massive, and the charged particles contained within it would be widespread, likely affecting every non-shielded electronic device on the planet.

The original Carrington event is estimated to have been larger than an X10 Class flare '' a super solar flare. The measurements work similar to the earthquake Richter scale, where the next level up is 10 times more powerful than the one before it. An X1 flare, which is the lowest level of the X flares, is capable of disrupting electronic devices like satellites and even mobile communications. And X2 flare, would be ten times as powerful as the X1.

A Carrington Event flare would exceed X10 Class, making it thousands of times more powerful than an X1, with the capability of disrupting, or even rendering inoperable, everything from electric grid transformers and water utility plants, to cell phones and vehicles.

Though such powerful flares as the one that almost hit earth two weeks ago are rare, they happen more often than you may think. In November of 2003 an X28 Class solar flare '' the largest ever recorded '' narrowly missed earth.

Were such a powerful electro magentic pulse to hit hit the earth and wipe out critical infrastructure elements like utilities, satellite positioning systems and transportation, civilization as we know it would devolve into chaos within a matter of hours. Estimates suggest that in such a scenario 90% of America's population would perish within one year's time due to lack of food, clean water, medicine and other critical services currently made possible by on-demand electrical infrastructure.

Former Congressman Roscoe Bartlett has warned that every American should develop an emergency plan for exactly such a scenario:

''We don't really think of those today, because it's so convenient to go to the supermarket,'' he cautions. ''But you know, you're planning because the supermarket may not always be there.''

The electrical grid could fail tomorrow, he frequently warns. Food would disappear from the shelves. Water would no longer flow from the pipes. Money might become worthless. People could turn on each other, and millions would die.


The grid could be crippled at least four different ways, Bartlett says: terrorist assaults on power substations, a cyberattack, a massive solar storm and an electromagnetic pulse attack.

Bartlett has for decades warned of the harm of an EMP attack '-- a nuclear detonation in the atmosphere that could fry computers and anything with an electric circuit '-- in his writings, in legislation and in late-night speeches on the House floor, though experts differ on the seriousness of the threat. Some agree the dangers are real, while others say such an attack is unlikely and the potential effects remain uncertain.


''Whatever level you're concentrating on, being as self-sufficient as you can, as quickly as you can, is going to be the right thing to do,'' he says.

Bartlett has suggested that those with the ability to do so should move their families out of major cities and become as self sufficient as possible:

A solar flare or man-made EMP (in the form of a Super EMP weapon) is an outlier.

Two weeks ago, had the sun spot that emitted the Carrington-like flare been directed just a few degrees in our direction, we'd be living in a different world today. Likewise, ten years ago, the earth took a glancing blow.

We have come close, and one day chances are an earth directed flare will take out our modern day electrical infrastructure.

It could happen a month from now or 10 years from now during the next solar maximum cycle. What we know is that it has happened before, and it will happen again.

It's not impossible to survive such an event. It starts with understanding that the threat is real and then making an effort to take steps that insulate yourself and your family as best as possible should it come to pass:

There are a variety of civilization affecting threats that we face, so preparing for an EMP attack or solar flare will actually ready you for a whole host of other worst-case scenarios.

If you haven't already started, take it upon yourself to begin preparing today, because those who aren't ready when disaster strikes will be destined to a fate of hardship and horrors.

It's better to be prepared a day, a month or a year early, than to be one minute too late.

Via SHTFplan


EPA Documents Show U.S. Goal to Harmonize with Codex Alimentarius

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: The Top Information Post

Mon, 29 Jul 2013 17:25

Brandon TurbevilleActivist Post

In many of the articles I have written regarding Codex Alimentarius, as well as in my book Codex Alimentarius '' The End of Health Freedom, I have mentioned the stated goals of Codex Alimentarius, national governments and, hence, government agencies to harmonize domestic laws, regulations, and policies as the Codex guidelines are established.

Yet, while some may doubt the veracity of this claim, it can be no clearer than the statement provided by the EPA in their own Reregistration for Eligibility Decision documents for pesticides that harmonization with Codex guidelines is the intention of the U.S. government.

Although virtually all of the Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) documents contain essentially the same prescripts and tangential information, one need only to take a look at one of the documents '' the document dealing with Acephate for the purposes of this article '' to locate the statement of purpose to harmonize Codex guidelines and those of the EPA. It says,

The Codex Alimentarius Commission has established several maximum residue limits (MRLs) for residues of acephate in/on various plant and animals commodities. The Codex MRLs are expressed in terms of acephate per se. Harmonization of expression/definition between Codex MRLs and U.S. tolerances will be achieved when the residue definition of the U.S. tolerances is changed from combined residues of acephate and the metabolite methamidophos to acephate per se. A numerical comparison of the Codex MRLs and the corresponding reassessed U.S. tolerances is presented in Table 16. Recommendations for compatibility are based on conclusions following reassessment of U.S. tolerances (see Table 15.)[1]

This statement of intended harmonization with Codex standards is included in virtually every one of the Reregistration for Eligibility Decision (RED) documents.

Interestingly enough, these statements not only openly announce their intentions of harmonization, but clearly state that the U.S. will amend its standards to meet those of Codex Alimentarius. These pesticides are continually reassessed for these reasons.

Indeed, the charts presented in the RED documents contain figures for the ''reassessed'' MRLs in comparison to those of Codex. But while changing scientific conclusions for political purposes is not only unscientific, it is also highly deceptive and unethical. Yet this is what the EPA admits to doing in its own documents.

Obviously, neither the science nor the evidence will change simply because governments have entered into an agreement. However, it appears that the methods used to achieve such conclusions, as well as the conclusions themselves will do just that.

Continuing with Acephate as an example, one can see harmonization in action. When one looks at the MRLs set by Codex and those set by the EPA, two things are readily apparent. First, in this particular case, the MRLs of Codex are set much higher than those of the EPA. Second, many of the ''reassessed'' U.S. MRLs are compatible with those of Codex.

The following values are expressed in ppm. Once converted, ppm is the same value as the mg/kg designation that Codex uses.

Codex and EPA MRLs for AcephateBrussels Sprouts = EPA 3.0/CODEX 5Cattle Fat = EPA TBD/CODEX 0.1Cattle Meat = EPA TBD/CODEX 0.1Cauliflower = EPA 2.0/CODEX 5Cotton Seed = EPA 0.5/CODEX 2Eggs = EPA 0.1/CODEX 0.1Lettuce, Head = EPA 10.0/CODEX 5Milks = EPA TBD/CODEX 0.1Pig Fat = EPA TBD/CODEX 0.1Pig Meat = EPA TBD/CODEX 0.1Poultry Fats = EPA 0.1/CODEX 0.1Poultry Meat = EPA 0.1/CODEX 0.1Soya Bean (dry) = EPA 1.0/CODEX 0.5[2]Here, compatibility exists in three categories (eggs, poultry fats, and poultry meats). With the exception of lettuce, all Codex MRLs are higher than the EPA limits. All of the EPA limits have been ''reassessed'' after the introduction of Codex MRLs. The differences in the upper limits are attributed to ''differences in agricultural practices in the U.S. upon which the residue data were developed.''[3]

This may be true, of course, but it is also a convenient excuse. As stated earlier, it appears that true scientific practice is taking a backseat to political considerations in the arena of pesticide MRLs and Codex harmonization.

Yet even with the stated goal of harmonization, it appears that the levels of ''acceptable'' pesticide residues in food will not go down. That is, at least from the EPA's standpoint. When one observes the MRL list for substances such as Dicofol, a pesticide in which the EPA's tolerances are generally higher than that of Codex's own, the EPA tends to remain resolute in its position.

For instance, Codex sets a Dicofol MRL of 0.1 while the EPA sets an MRL of 0.5.[4] However, whereas the EPA ''reassesses'' its tolerances for substances such as Acephate as demonstrated above, in this case it states, ''Data do not support a lower US tolerance, with field trial residues as great as 0.4 ppm.''

For dry hops, Codex sets the MRL at 50 mg/kg. The EPA sets the value at 65 ppm.[5] In this case as well, the EPA remains firm saying, ''Data indicate that the tolerance cannot be decreased.''[6]

Apparently, the EPA is capable of standing up to Codex when it comes to harmonizing its own standards to higher acceptable levels of contamination, but not for lower ones. As I have discussed in previous articles, this opens the door to the WTO dispute resolution mechanism to address pesticide MRL's. It may be in the WTO ''court'' that the issues of MRLs for pesticide residues are resolved.

While such disregard for the welfare and concerns of consumers is to be expected of Codex, it is nonetheless still hypocritical. This is most evident by examining the procedures being followed for pesticide residues when compared to those used when assessing vitamin and mineral supplements.[7]

However, some telling comments were made by the (Food and Agricultural Organization) FAO on its own website regarding the Revised Guidelines for Predicting Dietary Intake of Pesticide Residues.

In reference to these guidelines it states, ''The use of these guidelines should significantly reduce the number of cases where exposure assessments cause unnecessary concern.''[8] While few would argue that this statement is unreasonable, it is without doubt a completely different mindset than that guiding the Codex Committee on Nutrition and Foods For Special Dietary Uses[9] (CCNFSDU) in regards to natural supplements.

Indeed, it seems that the purpose of the CCNFSDU is to ''cause unnecessary concern'' regarding vitamins and minerals. When it comes to pesticides however, the standards are quite a bit looser.

Again, in regards to the Revised Guidelines for Predicting Dietary Intake of Pesticide Residues, the same document continues by saying,

The Guidelines explicitly state that a worst-case estimate is a gross overestimate of true exposure and that more refined calculations should be performed using other relevant data. However, some Members of CCPR reject MRLs when this additional data is not available. Others rely, for instance, on monitoring data, which may demonstrate that no exposure problems are to be expected.[10]

This statement, taken on its own, might not seem like a reason for consumers to rise up in arms. However, not only does it downplay what it considers to be the worst-case scenario but it also admits to a potential bias toward conclusions that determine there are no exposure problems. It is also quite misleading to suggest that a gross overestimate of true exposure of pesticides is a trivial matter. To overestimate the exposure of populations, such as in the Global Expectable Average Daily Diet[11] for vitamins and minerals,[12] is to overestimate the tolerances (depending on which scientific model is chosen) of those populations, possibly leading to even higher MRL and acceptable tolerances of pesticide residues in foods.

Ultimately, however, whether the acceptable levels of pesticide residue in foods are moved up or down, it cannot be argued that the goal is to harmonize domestic U.S. standards with the international Codex Alimentarius Guidelines. After all, such a goal has been stated by the EPA itself within its own RED documents.

With this in mind, it would be wise for all American consumers to more closely monitor the decisions of their domestic regulatory agencies.

Leave CommentsComments


Exclusive: Dozens of CIA operatives on the ground during Benghazi attack -- The Lead with Jake Tapper - Blogs

FBI Director Robert Mueller Retirement Ceremony

"Al Qaeda Is Perfectly Capable Of Of Terrorist Attacks INSIDE The United States!" CIA Agent Baer

VIDEO- Eisenhower Farewell Address (Full) - YouTube

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sun, 04 Aug 2013 10:39

VIDEO-Obama WH Is Hiding Benghazi Survivors AND CHANGING T | The Gateway Pundit

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sat, 03 Aug 2013 05:54

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) was on with Greta Van Susteren Thursday to discuss the Obama scandals.

This came after Jake Tapper at CNN broke the news that there were ''dozens'' of CIA operatives on the ground in Benghazi on 9-11 when the consulate came under attack and the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret.

Gowdy told Greta the Obama Administration is hiding the survivors, dispersing them around the country, AND changing their names.

''Including changing names, creating aliases. Stop and think what things are most calculated to get at the truth? Talk to people with first-hand knowledge. What creates the appearance and perhaps the reality of a cover-up? Not letting us talk with people who have the most amount of information, dispersing them around the country and changing their names.''

And, at the same time Obama is hiding the survivors around the country he's calling Benghazi a 'phony' scandal.Via Greta Van Susteren:This sounds a bit like criminal behavior, huh?

VIDEO-Source: Major Terror Plot Underway, Team to Carry It Out 'In Place' | Video |

Link to Article

Archived Version

Sun, 04 Aug 2013 11:09

A major terror plot is underway and a team to carry it out ''has been selected and is in place,'' according to CBS News senior correspondent John Miller's sources.

While there is no other information'--date, time, location'--Miller reports that it's the most specific, credible threat data in years.

Which helps explain the State Department's decision Friday to issue a broad global travel alert for U.S. citizens for the entire month of August, as well as the order to close 21 embassies across the Muslim world beginning Sunday because of an unspecified threat.

(Credit: CBS News)

CBS News reports that officials have noted Yemen as a potential target, as it's the home base for al Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula, a.k.a. AQAP, widely considered the most dangerous in the world.

President Obama was briefed Saturday morning on the potential terrorist threat before departing for Camp David, according to CBS News correspondent Jeff Pegues.

August has been an active month for terrorism, CBS News says: 15 years ago this week the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania took more than 200 lives and injured more than 4,000.

CBS News adds that next month is the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador.

''Current information suggests that al-Qa'ida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August,'' the alert posted on the State Department's website stated.

The alert warned of the ''potential for terrorist attacks'' particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and also possibly in the Arabian Peninsula.

''Terrorists may elect to use a variety of means and weapons and target both official and private interests,'' the alert said. ''U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure. Terrorists have targeted and attacked subway and rail systems, as well as aviation and maritime services. U.S. citizens should take every precaution to be aware of their surroundings and to adopt appropriate safety measures to protect themselves when traveling.''

Check out the report from CBS News:

(H/T: Drudge)


VIDEO-The Lead with Jake Tapper

Link to Article

Archived Version

Fri, 02 Aug 2013 04:08

CNN has uncovered exclusive new information about what is allegedly happening at the CIA, in the wake of the deadly Benghazi terror attack.

Four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed in the assault by armed militants last September 11 in eastern Libya.

Sources now tell CNN dozens of people working for the CIA were on the ground that night, and that the agency is going to great lengths to make sure whatever it was doing, remains a secret.

CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency's Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out.Read: Analysis: CIA role in Benghazi underreported

Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency's missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency's workings.

The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.

It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.

In exclusive communications obtained by CNN, one insider writes, "You don't jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well."

Another says, "You have no idea the amount of pressure being brought to bear on anyone with knowledge of this operation."

"Agency employees typically are polygraphed every three to four years. Never more than that," said former CIA operative and CNN analyst Robert Baer.

In other words, the rate of the kind of polygraphs alleged by sources is rare.

"If somebody is being polygraphed every month, or every two months it's called an issue polygraph, and that means that the polygraph division suspects something, or they're looking for something, or they're on a fishing expedition. But it's absolutely not routine at all to be polygraphed monthly, or bi-monthly," said Baer.

CIA spokesman Dean Boyd asserted in a statement that the agency has been open with Congress.

"The CIA has worked closely with its oversight committees to provide them with an extraordinary amount of information related to the attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi," the statement said.

"CIA employees are always free to speak to Congress if they want," the statement continued. "The CIA enabled all officers involved in Benghazi the opportunity to meet with Congress. We are not aware of any CIA employee who has experienced retaliation, including any non-routine security procedures, or who has been prevented from sharing a concern with Congress about the Benghazi incident."

Among the many secrets still yet to be told about the Benghazi mission, is just how many Americans were there the night of the attack.

A source now tells CNN that number was 35, with as many as seven wounded, some seriously.

While it is still not known how many of them were CIA, a source tells CNN that 21 Americans were working in the building known as the annex, believed to be run by the agency.

The lack of information and pressure to silence CIA operatives is disturbing to U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, whose district includes CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

"I think it is a form of a cover-up, and I think it's an attempt to push it under the rug, and I think the American people are feeling the same way," said the Republican.

"We should have the people who were on the scene come in, testify under oath, do it publicly, and lay it out. And there really isn't any national security issue involved with regards to that," he said.

Wolf has repeatedly gone to the House floor, asking for a select committee to be set-up, a Watergate-style probe involving several intelligence committee investigators assigned to get to the bottom of the failures that took place in Benghazi, and find out just what the State Department and CIA were doing there.

More than 150 fellow Republican members of Congress have signed his request, and just this week eight Republicans sent a letter to the new head of the FBI, James Comey, asking that he brief Congress within 30 days.

Read: White House releases 100 pages of Benghazi e-mails

In the aftermath of the attack, Wolf said he was contacted by people closely tied with CIA operatives and contractors who wanted to talk.

Then suddenly, there was silence.

"Initially they were not afraid to come forward. They wanted the opportunity, and they wanted to be subpoenaed, because if you're subpoenaed, it sort of protects you, you're forced to come before Congress. Now that's all changed," said Wolf.

Lawmakers also want to about know the weapons in Libya, and what happened to them.

Speculation on Capitol Hill has included the possibility the U.S. agencies operating in Benghazi were secretly helping to move surface-to-air missiles out of Libya, through Turkey, and into the hands of Syrian rebels.

It is clear that two U.S. agencies were operating in Benghazi, one was the State Department, and the other was the CIA.

The State Department told CNN in an e-mail that it was only helping the new Libyan government destroy weapons deemed "damaged, aged or too unsafe retain," and that it was not involved in any transfer of weapons to other countries.

But the State Department also clearly told CNN, they "can't speak for any other agencies."

The CIA would not comment on whether it was involved in the transfer of any weapons.

Programming note: Was there a political cover up surrounding the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans? Watch a CNN special investigation '-- The Truth About Benghazi, Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET.