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RIP Pat vander Elst - Wife Agnes, via Trevor Murkin
Hola Senor Adam,
Here are some pics of my first attempt at basically a chalk ($10 bag of lime from Home Depot) billboard on a hillside along a busy highway going into Sparks/Reno. It is hard to read in the pic but was easily legible in person while driving. It says No Agenda Show.
I have since found a more upright hillside closer to the road and am going to attempt it again this Monday night. Im hoping that since i can't always donate that hopefully i can get some new listeners from the billboard and make up for my lack of contributing. Thanks for the best podcast in the universe.. Please send a karma shot for a quality billboard and yourselves of course.
I was listening to ESPN's Football Today on 9/13 when Jay Soderberg took a stand for you over Adam Corolla. I made a clip from it. Based off of your previous advice of Audacity, I have never used it before today. For all those that send you whole shows call them out. It only took me 5 min to learn and another 5 to make the clip. Feel free to use it on NA
This is great promotion for the Best Produced Podcast in the Universe, especially coming from the ESPN producer of podcast's!
-Great call by the way on your sources for Kenya with something about to go down on show 547
Need T-Shirts of this!
Fri, 20 Sep 2013 02:07
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 19, 2013
NATIONAL POW/MIA RECOGNITION DAY, 2013
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Our country endures because in every generation, courageous Americans answer the call to serve in our Armed Forces. They represent the very best of the human spirit, stand tall for the values and freedoms we cherish, and uphold peace and security at home and around the globe. Today, we pay tribute to the service members who have not returned from the battlefield, we stand beside their families, and we honor those who are held captive as prisoners of war. We will never forget their sacrifice, nor will we ever abandon our responsibility to do everything in our power to bring them home.
America remains steadfast in our determination to recover our missing patriots. Our work is not finished until our heroes are returned safely to our shores or a full accounting is provided to their loved ones. We must care for the men and women who have served so selflessly in our name, and we must carry forward the legacy of those whose fates are still unknown. Today, and every day, we express our profound appreciation to our service members, our veterans, our military families, and all those who placed themselves in harm's way to sustain the virtues that are the hallmarks of our Union.
On September 20, 2013, the stark black and white banner symbolizing America's Missing in Action and Prisoners of War will be flown over the White House; the United States Capitol; the Departments of State, Defense, and Veterans Affairs; the Selective Service System Headquarters; the World War II Memorial; the Korean War Veterans Memorial; the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; United States post offices; national cemeteries; and other locations across our country. We raise this flag as a solemn reminder of our obligation to always remember the sacrifices made to defend our Nation.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 20, 2013, as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. I urge all Americans to observe this day of honor and remembrance with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.
Sat, 21 Sep 2013 01:18
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 20, 2013
NATIONAL EMPLOYER SUPPORT OF THE GUARD AND RESERVE WEEK, 2013
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Across generations, members of the United States Armed Forces have made America the greatest force for freedom and security the world has ever known. This week, we honor members of the National Guard and Reserve who carry that legacy forward. We thank the employers who support them; and we reaffirm our promise to provide our troops, our veterans, and our military families with the opportunities they have earned.
The men and women of the National Guard and Reserve come from every background, race, and creed, and demonstrate an unfaltering commitment to our Nation. On the field of battle and here at home, they place themselves in harm's way to protect our freedoms, our lives, and our communities. We are grateful to the employers that provide our Reservists and National Guard members extraordinary support and flexibility. We commend the businesses that help service members advance their civilian careers and ease transitions between military and civilian life.
America must pledge our full support to those who serve in our Armed Forces and their families. That is why First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched the Joining Forces initiative -- a program that expands employment opportunities for veterans and military spouses. My Administration has also worked to connect veterans to the workforce through an online Veterans Job Bank and through the Veteran Gold Card program, which provide enhanced services to post-9/11 veterans. I also signed into law tax credits that provide incentives for businesses to hire returning heroes and wounded warriors.
The patriots who serve under our proud flag never lose that sense of service to one another or to country. This week, we pay tribute to these selfless men and women who wear the uniform, to their families, and to their dedicated employers, whose enduring commitment keeps our military strong and our Nation secure.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 22 through September 28, 2013, as National Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Week. I call upon all Americans to join me in expressing our heartfelt thanks to the members of the National Guard and Reserve and their civilian employers. I also call on State and local officials, private organizations, and all military commanders, to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.
Sat, 21 Sep 2013 01:19
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 20, 2013
NATIONAL HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES WEEK, 2013
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Before the Civil War, an education -- much less a college education -- was out of reach for most African Americans. There were few institutions focused on meeting the intellectual curiosity and spurring the academic growth of African American students. But as our Union began to heal from the wounds of war, and the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were signed, a freed people demanded a freed mind, and courageous leaders began expanding what we now know as our Nation's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
More than a century and a half later, we cannot overstate the role HBCUs have played in the narrative of our country. These are the institutions that helped build a middle class and produced some of our Nation's preeminent thinkers and entrepreneurs, doctors and scientists, judges and lawyers, service members and educators. These are the schools where students banded together in open fields and assembly halls as part of a movement that pushed us closer to true freedom and equality for all. And these are the campuses where generations of students not only gained the education and skills necessary for the workforce, but also cultivated an understanding of history and knowledge of self that are necessary in life.
As we move toward our goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020, HBCUs continue to provide pathways of opportunity for students across our country. Ensuring these schools have the resources they need to help students reach their fullest potential remains a top priority for my Administration, and we have taken steps to keep these institutions strong -- from providing funding for infrastructure and technology to increasing our investments in Pell Grants.
During National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week, we pay tribute to the legacies of these proud halls of higher learning. And as we reflect on the past, let us also draw strength from the founders of these institutions and move forward with the work of making sure the doors to a quality education are open to all.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 22 through September 28, 2013, asNational Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week. I call upon educators, public officials, professional organizations, corporations, and all Americans to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that acknowledge the countless contributions these institutions and their alumni have made to our country.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.
I know that:
the Kenyan government was underreporting the casualties. No telling what the true totals are.
there has been a warning for expatriates to avoid that mall for two years.
It was a prime target - Israeli-owned, frequented by affluent Kenyans and ex-pats. I have been there a couple of times - it is/was a nice mall.
Al Shabab is taking credit for it on twitter, payback for Kenyans sending troops into Somalia.
They let the Muslims go. Some were asked the name of their prophet's mother - Aminah - if they did not know, they were shot in the head.
Whether this is the target 'they' were warning about in August I do not know. Anything else I would be parroting from articles read since the attack started.
Safe to say that, as far as the US is concerned, not much will happen on our end. If it happened in the states, they would probably get the survivors to sign an NDA and claim it was the work of a lone gunman who played video games and was off his meds. Seems to be a recurring theme.
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 12:50
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 21, 2013
The United States condemns in the strongest terms the despicable terrorist attack on innocent civilians today at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya.
We extend our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those who have been killed or injured, including the American citizens who were injured and the staff of our Embassy in Kenya who were tragically affected by this attack. We also commend the courageous response by Kenyan security personnel and first responders, including the Kenyan Red Cross, who stepped forward to help their fellow citizens.
The perpetrators of this heinous act must be brought to justice, and we have offered our full support to the Kenyan Government to do so. We will continue to stand with the Kenyan people in their efforts to confront terrorism in all its forms, including the threat posed by al-Shabaab. This cowardly act against innocent civilians will not shake our resolve.
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 12:55
On 21 September 2013, an upscale mall (photo above) became a war zone in Kenya.
Samantha Lewthwaite is linked to the London Tube Bombings of 2005, and to a bombing campaign against tourist hotels in Kenya. Her father was a soldier in the UK military. SAMANTHA OF MI6?Mossad, the CIA and MI6 are heavily involved in Kenya.Kenya has become friendly with China.
A few years ago, the Chinese defence minister agreed to modernise Kenya's armed forces.
(The sound of silence)
China's trade with Kenya has been rising.
The leaders of Kenya's Mau Mau, who fought the British, were given military training in Israel. Kenya has many Israeli businessmen and a Mossad presence. In 1998, the US embassy in Nairobi was bombed. WSWS wondered about links to Mossad (Questions mount in Kenya / Israel and Africa) :In Kenya, the Chinese have invested in mining and offshore oil exploration, plus some big infrastructure projects, such as new bypasses around Nairobi.(The sound of silence)
Kenya is the base for US intelligence operations in East Africa and the Horn of Africa.
(Kenya: post-election violence continues)
Michael Adebolajo released from Kenya, with the help of MI5? The London Woolwich 'terrorist' Michael Adebolajo is thought to have been working for MI5-MI6 for many years.When the police in Kenya arrested Michael in 2010, MI5-MI6 are said to have organised his release. Michael Adebolajo was arrested in ... / ADEBOLAJO WAS PAID BY MI6'There are newly discovered oil reserves in Eastern Congo. The oil is to be brought by pipeline through Kenya to Mombasa on the coast.China is currently involved in major highway projects in Kenya."
Kenya: post-election violence continues
Two Canadians among dead. Currently, a Briton called Jermaine Grant is about to go on trial in Kenya, charged with organising a bombing campaign.The Somalian terrorist group al-Shabaab, which has links to the CIA's Al-Qaeda, has now claimed responsibility for the 21 September 2013 Westlands shopping mall attack in Nairobi, in Kenya.
There are at least 40 people dead and more than 150 injured in the attack.
The "terrorists" stormed the Westgate Mall and sprayed shoppers with bullets. This is similar to the CIA's attacks in Belgium, India...In Belgium, in the mid-80s, hooded gunmen walked into crowded supermarkets and began firing at shoppers.The massacres were later discovered to be linked to Operation Gladio, which was a CIA-NATO enterprise.
"The Supermarket massacres occurred during the period when the U.S. was pushing a plan to base the Euro-Missiles (nuclear-tipped Cruise missiles) in different European countries...
"The Belgian Parliament, which investigated the incidents, felt that they were another attempt to sow confusion and fear among the populace, thereby generating public outcries for a law-and-order government which would be amenable to the Euro-Missles."
http://www.etext.org/Politics/Autonome.Forum/Antifa/gladioThe Mumbai attacks were planned by the American called David Headley, who worked for the USA's Drugs Enforcement Administration.Headley admitted working for the CIA.DAVID HEADLEY - 'DRUG DEALER AND CIA AGENT'
The people who attacked the Kenyan shopping mall are described as follows:"The attacker they arrested was a Kenyan Muslim convert.""They spoke something that seemed like Arabic..."
It looked like an Israeli false flag operation.Before bombings... / Kenyan hotel bombs the work of the security services?
Tyler Hicks/The New York Times
COMMENTS from readers:
1. The photographer Tyler Hicks always seems to be there to capture the moment.
Witness to a Massacre in a Nairobi Mall
That means psyop.
What is the chance that this top notch photographer would be in the mall to "record the event"
Tyler Hicks, who always somehow seems to be at the hottest of hot spots and war zones when things explode, did it again today, improbably being inside the mall in Nairobi when the bomb went off.
Nairobi mall.www.dailymail.co.uk2. "We knew the shopping center is owned by Israelis and renowned as a place where many Israelis hang out," Lopez told Maariv.
"Four of the restaurants there are also owned by Israelis and many Israelis are employed in the place."Israel's Deputy Ambassador to Kenya Yaki Lopez and the embassy's security officer arrived early in the afternoon Saturday at the command center of the local security forces, following the first reports about the attack.
3. Can this destabilization be linked to the recent discovery of a huge underground water reserve?BBC News - Kenya aquifers discovered in dry Turkana region4. Also the killings of Brit Ex-pats linked to the goings on around the election because Kenyatta won.Lots of bad blood there with the UK establishment.5. shirlz007 comments:
A WESTFIELD SHOPPING CENTRE - Owned by none other than Frank Lowy!
'these global shopping centres you own seem to attract a suspiciously unusual amount of terrorist activity Frank!'-11 September 2001: New York, the WTC complex buildings 1, 2, and 7 along with Westfield Hotel were ruined in the 9/11 attacks, and consequently about $5.4 billion went into the pockets of Lowy and Silverstein.
-21 September 2005: Westfield Mall in Perth, Australia, bomb threat.
-17 May 2006: Westfield in Woden, Australia, bomb threat.
-21 July 2007: Court house adjacent Westfield Centre Derby, England, bomb threat, which caused evacuation of Westfield premises.
-01 March 2008: Westfield Old Orchard Mall, Skokie, Illinois, bomb threat.
-20 April 2009: Westfield Hotel Annapolis, bomb threat.
-20 September 2008: Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, bombing.
-17 July 2008: Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, bombing.
-August 2012: London... wait, that one didn't quite happen for ya did it Frank!)
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 13:10
An Israeli security source told Reuters on Sunday that Israeli advisers are helping Kenya formulate a strategy to end the siege at the Nairobi shopping mall, where the Islamist terrorists are holding hostages.
"There are Israeli advisers helping with the negotiating strategy, but no Israelis involved in any imminent storming operation," said the source, who gave no further details and asked not to be identified.
The source said only a "handful" of Israelis, "purely in an advisory role", were on scene at the upscale Westgate shopping centre, which has several Israeli-owned outlets and is frequented by expatriates and Kenyans.
Earlier, a Kenyan security source told AFP that Israeli forces had joined Kenyan efforts to end a deadly siege by Somali terrorists at a Nairobi shopping mall. "The Israelis have just entered and they are rescuing the hostages and the injured," the source told AFP on condition that he not be named. The AFP report could not be confirmed by any other source.
In Israel, foreign ministry spokesman Paul Hirschson refused to confirm or deny that its forces were involved.
"We don't make a habit of commenting on security cooperation of any kind that there may or may not be," he told AFP.
There were conflicting reports from other security sources in Nairobi about the role Israel was playing in the situation.
One Kenyan security source, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters that the Israeli military was involved in the operation, while a private security official also said they were helping comb the mall.
But the Kenyan Interior Minister insisted it was a national operation, despite offers of foreign support.
Saturday's attack on the Westgate shopping center by the Al-Shabaab group, which opposes Kenya's participation in a peacekeeping mission in neighboring Somalia, killed at least 59 people and wounded 200 others. An unknown number of people were still being held hostage.
A volley of gunfire lasting about 30 seconds interrupted a stalemate of several hours, a Reuters witness said, speaking from close to the shopping center which is frequented by expatriates and Kenyans.
Earlier in the day, the Kenyan interior minister said that between 10 and 15 militants were barricaded in the Nairobi mall since Saturday's attack. He said local security forces are doing everything they could to make sure the hostages were safe and would not be affected. He brought the death toll so far to 59. An Israeli source in Nairobi said all Israelis who were in the mall at the time of the attack had made it out safely, with the last three being rescued overnight.
President Shimon Peres Sunday sent condolences to President Uhuru Kenyatta, expressing deep shock and sending sympathies to the families.
At least 10 terrorists are reported to still be in the mall, armed with Kalashnikovs and hand grenades. They announced Saturday that they would not negotiate with the government of Kenya. Security forces continue to surround the mall, and it appears that local forces were able to surround the terrorists in a closed area of the exclusive shopping center.
The attackers, apparently operating from Somalia under the auspices of the Al Qaeda-linked terrorist organization al-Shabab, entered the capital-city mall Saturday afternoon, tossing grenades and spraying gunfire at shoppers and staff. They ordered all Muslims out. Others were shot.
Three Israelis were safely rescued, including Yariv Kedar, a representative of the Amiran company, who has been in Kenya for the past seven years. He said yesterday, "We started to hear the cries and screams of frightened people. Terrorists fired bursts in all directions. At that same second, I hid all the documents that could identify me as an Israeli - my passport and work documents, so that God forbid they did not kidnap me and so that the fact that I am Israeli would not hurt me. My work friend did the same as me. and we stayed under the tables until the lcoal security forces reached us."
Israel's deputy ambassador to Kenya Yaki Lopez, who over the weekend was acting as ambassador, estimated that the attack was not directed against Israelis. "The first instinct is to think that way, but I think it is not necessarily the answer. It does not seem to me at this point, by instinct and through what we are getting, that they sought Israeli targets. According to him, the Israeli population in Kenya regularly spends time at the mall, and even after the event has maintained relative calm. "The Israelis are all relaxed, to my understanding. I do not see any degree of panic."
Foreigners, including two diplomats - one from Canada and another from Ghana - were killed in the attack.
Nairobi's exclusive shopping center has four stories and more than 80 shops, including supermarket, jewelery stalls, and some Israeli-owned stores. Visitors to the area can also enjoy the tropical gardens and artificial water falls.
AFP, Reuters contributed to the report
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Sun, 22 Sep 2013 13:29
TweetShare thisEmailPrintKenya's Deputy President William Ruto reacts in the courtroom before his trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague September 10, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/Michael Kooren
By Thomas Escritt
AMSTERDAM | Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:06am EDT
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Judges at the International Criminal Court will meet on Monday to decide if Kenya's deputy president can return home to deal with the armed occupation at a Nairobi shopping mall in which 59 people have been killed, a person close to events said.
In a filing seen by Reuters, William Ruto's lawyers had asked judges to meet in emergency session on Sunday to adjourn the trial. If it had been granted, Ruto could have left The Hague for Nairobi on Sunday evening.
Ruto and Kenyan president, Uhuru Kenyatta, face charges of crimes against humanity in relation to their role in coordinating a wave of violence that swept Kenya in the aftermath of the country's contested 2007 elections.
In the filing, lawyers said Ruto was needed at home to help with security briefings and consultations. Kenyatta and Ruto are voluntarily complying with court summonses, but have previously asked to be excused from attending every session in view of the responsibilities attached to the high offices they both hold.
"Mr Ruto ... is required to return to Kenya to discharge his ordinary constitutional duties," lawyers wrote in the filing. "Thereafter, Mr Ruto will be required to deal with the aftermath of such a traumatic and tragic event for Kenya."
Gunmen from a Somali Islamist group are in a stand-off with Kenyan security forces after bursting into the Westgate mall on Saturday, killing shoppers and taking hostages.
(Editing by Louise Ireland)
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Sun, 22 Sep 2013 13:28
TweetShare thisEmailPrintKenya's Deputy President William Ruto reacts in the courtroom before his trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague September 10, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/Michael Kooren
AMSTERDAM | Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:05am EDT
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Lawyers for Kenyan deputy president William Ruto asked judges to adjourn his International Criminal Court (ICC) trial to allow him to return home to deal with an armed attack on a Nairobi shopping mall, according to a court filing seen by Reuters on Sunday.
In the filing, lawyers say Ruto, who is in the Hague defending himself against charges of crimes against humanity over his alleged involvement in a wave of violence after the 2007 elections, is needed at home to help with security briefings and consultations.
(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Louise Ireland)
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Sun, 22 Sep 2013 13:30
Via Haaretz, reports are that the special forces are storming the mall and rescuing hostages at this moment:
Israeli forces have reportedly joined efforts to end a deadly siege by Somali militants at a Kenyan shopping mall, a security source told AFP Sunday.
''The Israelis have just entered and they are rescuing the hostages and the injured,'' AFP quoted the sourec as saying on condition he not be named.
The attack by Al-Qaida-linked militants at the Nairobi killed at least 59 people and wounded 175, Kenya's interior cabinet secretary said earlier Sunday.
Multiple barrages of gunfire erupted Sunday morning from inside the building where there is a hostage standoff with Islamic extremists nearly 24 hours after they attacked using grenades and assault rifles.
''The priority is to save as many lives as possible,'' Joseph Lenku said, reassuring the families of the hostages in the upscale Westgate mall. Kenyan forces have already rescued about 1,000 people, he said.
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 14:05
Tyler Hicks (born 9 July1969 in S£o Paulo, Brazil) is an American photojournalist who works as a staff photographer for The New York Times. Based in Kenya, he typically covers foreign affairs, with an emphasis in recent years on conflict and war, but also works at times on assignments across the United States.
Hicks was named the newspaper photographer of the year by the Missouri School of Journalism's Pictures of the Year International contest in 2007. He shared the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting with a team from The New York Times recognized for coverage of Pakistan and Afghanistan, where he works frequently in the field, focusing on the ground-level experience. In 2010, his photographs from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the war correspondence of his colleagues Dexter Filkins and C.J. Chivers, with whom he often works, were selected by New York University as being among the Top Ten Works of Journalism of the Decade. Hicks received a George Polk Award for Foreign Reporting in 2011. 
Hicks was previously a freelance photographer based in Africa and the Balkans, and worked for newspapers in North Carolina and Ohio. He has worked in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iraq, Russia, Bosnia, Lebanon, Israel, Gaza, Chechnya and many countries in Africa including South Sudan during the 2011 referendum. He graduated from Boston University's College of Communication in 1992 with a degree in Journalism. He returned to Boston University in 2011 to deliver the commencement address at the College of Communication.
Hicks was reported missing on March 16, 2011, while covering the revolution in Libya for The New York Times. The New York Times reported on March 18, 2011, Libya had agreed to free Hicks, Anthony Shadid, Lynsey Addario and Stephen Farrell. Hicks and his three colleagues were released on March 21, 2011, six days after being captured by pro-Qaddafi forces.
On February 16, 2012, Anthony Shadid suffered a deadly asthma attack while covering civil unrest in Syria with Hicks. Hicks assisted on carrying Shadid's body across the border into Turkey.
Tyler Hick was present during the deadly attack by terrorists on the Westgate shopping center in Nairobi on 21 September 2013. He was close to the scene taking impressive pictures and followed police as they searched for militants.
^TYLER HICKS PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR^Stephens, Mitchell, "Top Ten Works of Journalism of the Decade. 2000-2009" (http://journalism.nyu.edu/decade/) New York University Arthur I. Carter Journalism Institute. http://journalism.nyu.edu/decade/. Retrieved 18 March 2013.^"LIU announces 2011 George Polk Awards in Journalism" (http://www.liu.edu/About/News/Univ-Ctr-PR/2012/February/Polk-PR_Feb-20-2012.aspx.^"Tyler Hicks shares Iraq pics"^"Times Photographer Honored for '06 Work". The New York Times. February 26, 2007. ^http://blogs.bu.edu/bunow/2011/05/26/new-york-times-photographer-tyler-hicks-addresses-bu-com-graduates/^Peters, Jeremy W. (March 16, 2011). "Four New York Times Journalists Are Missing in Libya". Media Decoder. Retrieved March 22, 2011. ^Kirkpatrick, David (March 18, 2011). "Libya Says It Will Release Times Journalists". New York Times. Retrieved March 18,2011. ^Peters, Jeremy W. (March 21, 2011). "Freed Times Journalists Give Account of Captivity". The New York Times. Retrieved March 21, 2011. ^"At Work in Syria, Times Correspondent Dies", New York Times^http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/21/witness-to-a-massacre-in-a-nairobi-mall/?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=LE_WTA_20130921&_r=1&^http://www.businessinsider.com/ny-times-photo-nairobi-mall-attack-2013-9PersondataNameHicks, TylerAlternative namesShort descriptionAmerican photojournalistDate of birth9 July 1969Place of birthS£o Paulo, BrazilDate of deathPlace of death
Sat, 21 Sep 2013 09:23
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 20, 2013
Today National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice met with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia at the White House. During their meeting, Ambassador Rice and President Hassan Sheikh discussed ways to support Somalia as it seeks to strengthen its democratic institutions and promote economic development. They also reaffirmed both countries' commitment to fighting the scourge of terrorism and expanding security throughout Somalia. The United States will continue to work with the Government of Somalia to promote security, advance development, and help create lasting peace and prosperity for all Somalis.
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 12:21
Once again, antidepressants have been linked to an episode of horrific violence. The New York Times reports that Aaron Alexis, who allegedly shot 12 people to death at a Navy facility in Washington, D.C., earlier this week, received a prescription for the antidepressant trazodone in August.
Aaron Alexis, accused of shooting to death 12 people this week, was reportedly prescribed the antidepressant trazodone in August.
When I first researched antidepressants almost 20 years ago, I encountered claims that they sometimes triggered violent episodes'--for example, a 1989 incident in which a Kentucky man taking fluoxetine (brand name Prozac) shot to death eight co-workers and then himself. I dismissed the claims, reasoning that, because people prescribed psychiatric drugs are disturbed to begin with, it is not surprising that a tiny fraction hurt themselves and/or others.
By 2004, however, in part because of lawsuits that forced pharmaceutical companies to disclose data on adverse effects, the FDA ordered antidepressant manufacturers to include a warning that antidepressants ''increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders.''
Alexis, who was 34, was reportedly seeking treatment for insomnia when he received his prescription for trazodone. Originally marketed as an antidepressant after its approval by the FDA in 1981, trazodone is also prescribed for anxiety and insomnia. Trazodone was a precursor of the extremely popular selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs); like the SSRIs, trazodone boosts levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
A website maintained by the National Institutes of Health states that trazodone and other antidepressants have been associated with ''new or worsening depression; thinking about harming or killing yourself, or planning or trying to do so; extreme worry; agitation; panic attacks; difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep; aggressive behavior; irritability; acting without thinking; severe restlessness; and frenzied abnormal excitement.''
Could trazodone have played some role in the Navy Yard rampage? I put this question to David Healy, a professor of psychiatry at Cardiff University in England and an authority on side effects of psychiatric medications.* He has testified in numerous court cases involving suicides and homicides whose perpetrators were ingesting antidepressants. Healy is not opposed to psychiatric medications''he prescribes them to his own patients'--but he has long been active in pointing out medications' risks. *[Healy and other health-care experts have founded an organization called RxISK to gather data on side effects of drugs. See Postscript.]
Healy responded by email that he ''would need to know much more details'' to judge whether trazodone might have contributed to this week's massacre. Indeed, as the Times reported, Alexis had displayed signs of mental illness and acted violently well before being prescribed trazodone. In 2004 he fired bullets into a car in Seattle, during what he described later as a ''black out'' episode. So far, moreover, there are no reports that he had trazodone in his system during his Navy Yard rampage.
But Healy said that, although data on antidepressants and violence are much more scarce than data on suicide, there is evidence that ''you can put healthy volunteers on these drugs and some will become violent.'' A study by the Drug Safety Research Unit in Southampton of paroxetine (Paxil) and fluoxetine (Prozac) involving more than 25,000 subjects showed that one out of every 250 subjects were involved in ''a violent episode,'' including 31 assaults and one homicide, Healy said.
Another study involving more than 9,000 subjects taking the antidepressant paroxetine (Paxil) for depression and other disorders showed that subjects experienced more than twice as many ''hostility events'' as subjects taking a placebo. Healy added: ''I have had clinical experience of at least one older man, with no prior history of violence, who became homicidal after a week on citalopram where the problem cleared up once treatment had stopped.''
Healy suspects that the main causal factor behind suicide and violence toward others is increased mental and/or physical agitation, which leads about 5 percent of subjects taking antidepressants to drop out of clinical trials, compared to only 0.5 percent of people on placebos.
In their excellent overview ''Antidepressants and Violence: Problems at the Interface of Medicine and Law,'' published in PLoS Medicine in 2006, Healy and two co-authors note that ''serious violence on antidepressants is likely to be very rare.'' But they call for ''more clinical trial and epidemiological data to be made available and for good clinical descriptions of the adverse outcomes of treatment.''
They add: ''Legal systems are likely to continue to be faced with cases of violence associated with the use of psychotropic drugs, and it may fall to the courts to demand access to currently unavailable data. The problem is international and calls for an international response.''
Antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs clearly help alleviate mental illness in some patients. But as I have written previously, such medications may on balance harm patients more than they help. We need better data on the risks that these medications pose not only to patients but also to others.
*Postscript: David Healy and other health-care experts from around the world have formed an organization called RxISK to gather data on adverse effects of pharmaceutical drugs, including violence. The RxISK website calls it ''the first free, independent website where patients, doctors, and pharmacists can research prescription drugs and easily report a drug side effect''identifying problems and possible solutions earlier than is currently happening.'' I hope RxISK succeeds, because we badly need it.
Photo: Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 01:42
By Jia Lynn Yang and Matea Gold, Published: SEPTEMBER 19, 10:25 PM ET Aa USIS, the Falls Church government contractor that handled the background check for National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, said Thursday that it also vetted Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis for his secret-level clearance in 2007.
The company, which is under criminal investigation over whether it misled the government about the thoroughness of its background checks, said earlier this week that it had not handled Alexis's case.
USIS spokesman Ray Howell said the company got new information Thursday.
''Today we were informed that in 2007, USIS conducted a background check of Aaron Alexis'' for the Office of Personnel Management, Howell said in a statement. ''We are contractually prohibited from retaining case information gathered as part of the background checks we conduct for OPM and therefore are unable to comment further on the nature or scope of this or any other background check.''
USIS, which was spun off from the federal government in the 1990s, has become the largest private provider of government background checks. With 7,000 employees, the company handles about 45 percent of all background checks for the OPM, congressional staffers say.
Despite the investigation, there was no indication that USIS did anything improper when it vetted Alexis.
A statement late Thursday by the OPM division that handles security checks for most federal agencies said that the OPM has ''reviewed the 2007 background investigation file for Aaron Alexis, and the agency believes that the file was complete and in compliance with all investigative standards.''
The statement by Merton W. Miller, associate director of OPM's Federal Investigative Services, acknowledged that Alexis's background investigation was carried out ''with support from a Government contractor, USIS.''
''OPM's involvement with matters related to Aaron Alexis' security clearance ended when we submitted the case to the Department of Defense .'.'. for adjudication in December 2007,'' Miller's statement said. The DOD ''did not ask OPM for any additional investigative actions after it received the completed background investigation.''
Government officials said this week that the 2007 background check uncovered an incident in which Alexis shot out the tires of a car. The 2004 incident was characterized as ''malicious mischief.''
Two other run-ins with law enforcement and reports of more serious mental-health issues occurred years after the initial background check.
Lower-level clearances such as the one granted to Alexis typically remain valid for a decade.
The government's security clearance process is not designed to flag people struggling with mental illness, experts said. The aim of the system is to root out individuals at risk of compromising classified information. Mental-health treatment is not a disqualifying factor, and there are few ways to alert security officials when someone with clearance develops mental-health problems, according to analysts and former government security officials.
Federal officials are trying to implement a system that would continuously evaluate personnel with classified security clearance. But with nearly 5 million federal workers holding secret or top-secret security clearance, government officials say they are struggling to keep track of all their cases.
Tom Hamburger contributed to this report.
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Sun, 22 Sep 2013 01:40
Kroll Chairman William Bratton in talks with British government to become an advisor on preventing gang-related violence and creating safer communities
NEW YORK, Aug. 12, 2011 '' Kroll Chairman William J. Bratton is in talks with the British government to become an advisor on preventing gang-related violence and creating safer communities. The discussions began today when Mr. Bratton had a private consultation with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.
Mr. Bratton, because of his leadership expertise in U.S. law enforcement and record of achieving major reductions in violent and gang-related crimes when he led the New York City and Los Angeles Police Departments, has been the subject of recent media speculation about what services and assistance he might be able to provide the British government in the wake of a recent outbreak of gang-related violence in London and several other British cities.
''I am honored to provide my counsel to the Prime Minister in light of the understandable interest of the British people and their government to address the issues of gangs and gang violence,'' said Mr. Bratton. ''I would certainly be in a position to discuss the contemporary American experience and my work in these areas '' in particular the successes that created real reductions in gang-related crime in Boston, New York and most recently in Los Angeles, where we also saw significant improvements in the relations between the police and the city's diverse communities. There are many lessons from these experiences that I believe are relevant to the current situation in England.''
''I fully appreciate the difficulties they are currently facing,'' said Mr. Bratton. ''I support their resolve to seize upon this difficult situation as an opportunity to address the issues of gangs and gang violence and the resulting fear and disorder head-on. I am certain the British people and their government will be successful in meeting these challenges.''
Terms and conditions of the engagement have not been finalized.
Mr. Bratton joined Altegrity, the parent company of Kroll, in November 2009, after serving as Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) for seven years. He is known as one of America's premier police chiefs, the only person to have led two of the largest police forces in the United States, the New York City Police Department and the LAPD. He was named by Security magazine as one of 2010's most influential people in the security industry based on his leadership qualities and the positive impact that his work has made on organizations, colleagues and the general public.
About KrollKroll, the world's leading risk consulting company, provides a broad range of investigative, intelligence, financial, security and technology services to help clients reduce risks, solve problems and capitalize on opportunities. Headquartered in New York with offices in more than 55 cities in 27 countries, Kroll has a multidisciplinary team of approximately 2,800 employees and serves a global clientele of law firms, financial institutions, corporations, non-profit institutions, government agencies and individuals. For more information, please visit www.Kroll.com or www.Altegrity.com
Media Contact: Jack Papp: office 703.245.0867, cell 571.251.3978, Jack.Papp@altegrity.com
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 01:35
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Sun, 22 Sep 2013 01:34
Jerome Hauer is the Chief Executive Officer of The Hauer Group LLC, a consulting firm and has served as a member of the Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals board of directors since June 2004.
Hauer was the Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness (OPHP) within the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). He was appointed by HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson on May 5, 2002 and served until replaced on April 28, 2004. In this role, Mr. Hauer was responsible for coordinating the country's medical and public health preparedness and response to emergencies, including acts of biological, chemical and nuclear terrorism.
He was formerly the director of Office of Emergency Management under New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani from 1996 to 2000. Additionally, he was previously an employee of Kroll Inc. which studied biological terrorism attacks.
Hauer was the Director of the Indiana Department of Emergency Management from 1989 to 1993 during the gubernatorial administration of Evan Bayh. Hauer joined IBM in 1993 to manage programs for Hazardous Materials Response and Crisis Management and Fire Safety. For his production of related training videos he received the International Film and TV Critics of New York Bronze award in 1996. In the early 1990s he received a master's degree in emergency medical services from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health (now known as the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) and later became a member of the Johns Hopkins Working Group on Civilian Bio Defense. He wrote several articles on possible bio terrorist attacks. On April 10, 1998 Hauer attended a "roundtable on genetic engineering and biological weapons" under President Bill Clinton.
On September 11, 2001, Jerome Hauer was a national security advisor with the Dept. of Health and Human Services, a managing director with Kroll Associates, and a guest on national television, because of his background in counter-terror and his specialized knowledge of biological warfare.
Hauer was the first director of Mayor Giuliani's Office of Emergency Management. He directed the agency since 1996, when Giuliani shifted responsibility for the city's emergency preparedness from the Police Department to the new agency '' headed by Hauer. Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Hauer began their relationship in January 1996 when Mr. Hauer was hired to lead the new Office of Emergency Management, created to coordinate the city's response to crises. Mr. Hauer, who was little known before he became a Giuliani aide, had previously run emergency management programs for the State of Indiana and IBM.
Jerome Hauer is best known for being the director of the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) when he made the decision to build a $13 million crisis center on the 23rd floor at 7 World Trade Center. This crisis center was unveiled in June 1999, and became the subject of tension between the agency and the Police Department, whose own command center at 1 Police Plaza had until then been the focus of emergency preparedness operations.
As the first director of the new crisis center, "one of Hauer's first tasks was to find a home for an emergency command center to replace the inadequate facilities at police headquarters," according to the Times. The site selected, was immediately controversial because it was part of the World Trade Center complex (although not in one of the Twin Towers), which had already been the location of a truck bomb attack in 1993. City officials, though, including Mr. Hauer, have long defended their decision, even after the command center had to be evacuated during the 2001 terror attack. The Emergency Operation Center was widely hailed as the finest such facility in the nation, receiving visitors from around the world and serving as a model for others.
The center was destroyed when the 47-story tower collapsed at about 5:25 p.m. on 9-11.
PersondataNameHauer, JeromeAlternative namesShort descriptionDate of birthPlace of birthDate of deathPlace of death
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 01:33
In the coming days I will publish an important article with crucial new information about several highly-placed U.S. government officials and the foreign computer technology that was used to carry out the aerial attacks of 9-11.
To obtain a copy of this forthcoming article, please send a donation to the email or postal address provided at the end of this article.
THE KEY PLAYERS OF 9-11Who is Jerome M. Hauer?
By Christopher Bollynwww.bollyn.com
Yesterday, a reader sent me a document that contained a link to a very interesting 9-minute video clip called "The 9/11 Solution."
This short video, which I recommend, is about how the "9-11 cover story was sold to the public." It shows how '' in the first hour after the attacks '' the controlled media conspired, or was used, to promote the fairy tale that became the official story about why the World Trade Center towers collapsed, i.e. structural failure caused by fire.
The short video is composed of a couple clips taken from network television news on the very morning of 9-11.
The first is a clip of an unknown person in the street who provided a detailed explanation of how and why the towers collapsed. This simple man on the street, wearing a Harley-Davidson shirt, claims that the towers collapsed due to structural failure due to intense fires.
Although this person was not named, his non-expert opinion was echoed by highly-placed experts who were interviewed on the first news shows after the collapses. In hindsight, this video shows how manipulative and effective this "random" interview was in seeding the official explanation of 9-11.
The second clip is even more interesting. This is a Dan Rather interview with Jerome M. Hauer, the first director of the Mayor Rudy Giuliani's Office of Emergency Management (OEM). Not only does Hauer second the opinion that burning jet fuel brought down the towers '' he even goes so far as to put the blame on Osama Bin Laden.
Now wonder they call him a "Terrorism Expert."
This is a very important video clip because it shows how Jerome Hauer, the former director of OEM, was instantly ready to speak to the mass media about the attacks in New York '' from San Diego, I presume.
The buildings had just collapsed but Hauer, from a distance, stated that the "velocity" of the planes and the fuel were responsible for the collapses, which certainly looked explosive to real explosion experts, such as Van Romero of New Mexico Tech.
Hauer then went on to say that the attacks carried the "fingerprints of Osama bin Laden." How could he possibly make such a damning determination of responsibility before any evidence had even been collected?
Hauer did not work in New York on 9-11. He had left his position as head of the director of the OEM in New York City in February 2000. He had then joined Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), a large consulting concern based in San Diego, as a vice president and associate director of its Center for Counterterrorism Technology and Analysis.
Like Benjamin Netanyahu, Jerome Hauer is a Zionist expert on terror.
WHO IS JEROME HAUER?
Jerome Hauer is among the small group of key individuals who are suspected of playing crucial roles is setting the stage for Israeli false-flag terror attacks of 9-11.
Hauer was the first director of Mayor Giuliani's Office of Emergency Management. He directed the agency since 1996, when Giuliani shifted responsibility for the city's emergency preparedness from the Police Department to the new agency '' headed by Hauer, a person he did not even know. How odd.
The New York Times wrote in May 2007:
Mr. Giuliani and Mr. Hauer began their relationship in January 1996 when Mr. Hauer was hired to lead the new Office of Emergency Management, created to coordinate the city's response to crises. Mr. Hauer, who was little known before he became a Giuliani aide, had previously run emergency management programs for the State of Indiana and IBM.
Oddly, the New York Times never mentions Jerome Hauer's deep family roots in the New York Jewish Zionist community. From reading the Times, one might think that Hauer is from Indiana.
This can only be intentional. Hauer's mother, Rose Muscatine Hauer, is the retired Dean of the Beth Israel School of Nursing and the Honorary President of the New York Chapter of Hadassah, the Daughters of Zion movement that is one of the central Zionist organizations involved in the creation and maintenance of the State of Israel.
Jerome Hauer is the son of the late Milton G. Hauer and Rose Muscatine who married April 4, 1949. His mother's parents, Hyman David Muscatine (1881-1964) and Rebecca Bertha (nee Gartner), were Hebrew-speaking Zionists. They both came to the United States in 1908-1909; Hyman from "Russia Poland" in 1908 and Rebecca from the Austrian Empire in 1909.
His father's parents, Moritz and Gussie Hauer, immigrated from Hungary before the turn of the century.
Jerome Hauer, however, is best known for being the director of the OEM when he made the decision to build a $13 million crisis center on the 23rd floor at 7 World Trade Center. This bizarre crisis center was unveiled in June 1999, and became the subject of tension between the agency and the Police Department, whose own command center at 1 Police Plaza had until then been the focus of emergency preparedness operations.
As the first director of the new crisis center, "one of Hauer's first tasks was to find a home for an emergency command center to replace the inadequate facilities at police headquarters," according to the Times.
Reports indicate that the OEM crisis center at the World Trade Center was not being used on 9-11 by the usual personnel. The center had been temporarily relocated to Pier 92 on Manhattan's West Side, due to a FEMA drill which was supposed to begin on the day after 9-11, according to statements made by Mayor Giuliani.
So who was in the OEM center in Larry Silverstein's building on 9-11? That's the question the needs to be answered.
As Mayor Giuliani told the 9-11 Commission:
The reason Pier 92 was selected as a command center was because on the next day, on September 12, Pier 92 was going to have a drill, it had hundreds of people here, from FEMA, from the Federal Government, from the State, from the State Emergency Management Office, and they were getting ready for a drill for biochemical attack. So that was gonna be the place they were going to have the drill. The equipment was already there, so we were able to establish a command center there, within three days, that was two and a half to three times bigger than the command center that we had lost at 7 World Trade Center. And it was from there that the rest of the search and rescue effort was completed.
The OEM crisis center in WTC 7 is suspected as being the control center for the pre-planned demolition of the towers. The center, and all of the evidence of the crime, was destroyed when the 47-story tower was completely demolished at about 5:25 p.m. on 9-11. This blast-proof command and control bunker with its own air and water supply was fortified to withstand incredible forces. What role did it play in the demolition of the World Trade Center?
So, who decided to build the OEM crisis center in the only WTC tower actually owned by Larry Silverstein?
It was Jerome Hauer, of course.
"Mr. Hauer said he decided that offices on the 23rd floor of 7 World Trade Center, next to the twin towers and just a few blocks from City Hall, seemed the best choice," Russ Buettner of the New York Times reported in May 2007.
The site was immediately controversial because it was part of the trade center, which had already been the location of a truck bomb attack in 1993. City officials, though, including Mr. Hauer, have long defended their decision, even after the command center had to be evacuated during the 2001 terror attack.
Last week, in an interview with Fox News, Mr. Giuliani again faced questions about the site. He put responsibility for selecting it on Mr. Hauer.
"Jerry Hauer recommended that as the prime site and the site that would make the most sense," Mr. Giuliani said. "It was largely on his recommendation that that site was selected."
Jerome Hauer clearly belongs to the very small group of people who were involved in setting the stage for 9-11. Like the others, people like Michael Chertoff, Alvin K. Hellerstein, Michael B. Mukasey, Ronald Lauder, Larry Silverstein, Frank Lowy, Rupert Murdoch, Michael Goff, James Rodney Schlesinger, and the Israeli brothers Elad and Amit Yoran, who controlled U.S. cyber-security, Hauer is also a Zionist Jew from a family with strong ties to the State of Israel.
This is, in fact, the one characteristic that is shared by all of the people who played key roles in setting the stage for the most disastrous terror attack in U.S. history '' or covering up the truth afterwards.
This is not to say that these individuals are all necessarily witting accomplices in the crime. It is actually more likely that they were used, almost like mules, and because of their devotion to Israel they were placed in positions where they could be influenced to make decisions that would facilitate the attacks, demolitions, and subsequent destruction of the evidence and obstruction of the discovery and litigation processes to obtain justice for the victims.
Christopher Bollyn is an independent journalist and 9-11 researcher who is working on a book entitled Solving 9-11. Bollyn is dedicated to explaining what really happened and bringing the events of 9-11 into historical perspective.This work to increase understanding and clarity of this critical subject can only be completed with the support of readers and interested citizens.
To support Bollyn's research and writingon this important book project,
To support his efforts, please send a donation by PayPal to:
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
or send a check or money order to:
Christopher Bollyn3 Golf Center, Suite 365Hoffman Estates, IL 60169U. S. A.
Many thanks and best wishes.
Who's Who entries for Jerome and Rose Muscatine Hauer, Marquis 2006
"Jews Launch Plans to Occupy Holy Land '' Zionists at Baltimore Start Movement to be Supported by $100,000,000 Fund" New York Times, December 17,1917
"Rose Muscatine Hauer: A Nursing Visionary,"http://www.futurenursebi.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/page.display/page_id/60/
Buettner, Russ, "Onetime Giuliani Insider Is Now a Critic," New York Times, May 22, 2007
Rashbaum, William K., "Director of Emergency Agency Is Leaving for a Corporate Job," New York Times, February 2, 2000
"The 9-11 Solution - RESTORED: The Video Google Censored," Brasscheck TV, January 3, 2008http://www.sott.net/articles/show/146563-The-9-11-Solution-RESTORED-The-Video-Google-Censored
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 12:43
Information about bombing foreknowledge not exactly forthcoming from U.S. intelligence agencies
By Douglas J. Hagmann
21 September 2013: The truth about the bombing that took place at the Boston Marathon is elusive at best. Facts about what the government knew and when they knew it are being hidden, and the investigation into the event is turning into a whitewash. The latest is delivered to us in the format of a letter obtained by ABC News. A letter dated Thursday, September 19, 2013 '' over five months since the April 15, 2013 bombing that killed three and injured some 260 others is being delayed'... indefinitely. Well, at least until the investigatory body receives information from intelligence agencies about ''what they knew and when they knew it'' about the alleged suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
The letter is signed by four inspectors general and addressed to congressional committees that oversee national security. Based on the contents of the letter, their ''final'' report is being held up until they receive information from various intelligence agencies concerning their foreknowledge of alleged bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. There is sufficient open source and other information that suggests that the bombing is not at all what it appears. Video footage from the finish line shows the presence of assets and operatives from various intelligence agencies in addition to the Tsarnaev brothers. Inconsistencies between the official narrative and the truth are abundant. Of course, we are now facing a delay, exploiting the public's marginal attention span.
Read the letter '' for what it's worth '' by clicking the image (opens as PDF document). We'll be following this matter '' and more '' in the coming days.
Click here to save this article in PDF format
Sat, 21 Sep 2013 01:18
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 20, 2013
MEMORANDUM FOR THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE
SUBJECT: Designation of Officers of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to Act as Director of National Intelligence
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, as amended, 5 U.S.C. 3345 et seq. (the "Act"), it is hereby ordered that:
Section 1. Order of Succession. Subject to the provisions of sections 2 and 3 of this memorandum, and to the limitations set forth in the Act, the following officials of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, in the order listed, shall act as and perform the functions and duties of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) during any period in which the DNI and the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence have died, resigned, or otherwise become unable to perform the functions and duties of the DNI:
(a) Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Intelligence Integration;
(b) Director of the National Counterterrorism Center;
(c) National Counterintelligence Executive; and
(d) Inspector General of the Intelligence Community.
Sec. 2. National Security Act of 1947. This memorandum shall not supersede the authority of the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence to act for, and exercise the powers of, the DNI during the absence or disability of the DNI or during a vacancy in the position of the DNI (National Security Act of 1947, as amended, 50 U.S.C. 3026).
Sec. 3. Exceptions. (a) No individual who is serving in an office listed in section 1(a)-(d) of this memorandum in an acting capacity shall, by virtue of so serving, act as the DNI pursuant to this memorandum.
(b) No individual listed in section 1(a)-(d) of this memorandum shall act as the DNI unless that individual is otherwise eligible to so serve under the Act.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this memorandum, the President retains discretion, to the extent permitted by law, to depart from this memorandum in designating an acting DNI.
(d) In the event that the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center acts as and performs the functions and duties of the DNI pursuant to section 1 of this memorandum, that individual shall not simultaneously serve as Director of the National Counterterrorism Center during that time, in accordance with 50 U.S.C. 3056.
Sec. 4. Revocation. The Presidential Memorandum of March 8, 2011 (Designation of Officers of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to Act as Director of National Intelligence), is hereby revoked.
Sec. 5. Judicial Review. This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
Sec. 6. Publication. You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal Register.
On September 1, 2010, Mr. Robert Cardillo was sworn in as the first Deputy Director for Intelligence Integration, Office of the Director of National Intelligence. -This newly created position facilitates information sharing and collaboration through the integration of collection and analysis. -Prior to this assignment he served as the Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA).- The deputy director is the second-ranking position at DIA and assists the director in both the daily operation and long-term planning for the organization.- Mr. Cardillo also served as the Deputy Director for Analysis, Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Mr. Cardillo began his career with DIA in 1983 as an imagery analyst. In May of 2000 he was selected to the Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service. Throughout his career, he has served in a variety of leadership positions within the Intelligence Community. In the summer of 2009, Mr. Cardillo served as the Acting J2, a first for a civilian, in support of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Other key leadership positions included Director, Analysis and Production and Director, Source Operations and Management at the National-Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA). Mr. Cardillo earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Cornell University and a Master of Arts in National Security Studies from Georgetown University. He is an alumnus of the Council for Excellence in Government, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Capstone Course, and Harvard University's Program for Senior Managers in Government. Mr. Cardillo is the recipient of the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive, Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive, the Vice President's Hammer Award, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and DIA's Analyst of the Year. A runner who has completed five Marine Corps Marathons, Mr. Cardillo resides in Alexandria with his wife. His oldest son graduated from the College of William & Mary, and his youngest son graduated from the University of Virginia.- His daughter attends George Mason University.
Urban Shield has grown into a comprehensive, full-scale regional preparedness exercise assessing the overall Bay Area UASI Region's response capabilities related to multi-discipline planning, policies, procedures, organization, equipment and training. Urban Shield continues to test regional integrated systems for prevention, protection, response and recovery in our high-threat, high-density urban area. The exercise evaluates our existing level of preparedness and capabilities, identifying not only what we do well, but areas in need of improvement. The previous years' After Action Reports are referenced and used to assist in prioritizing upcoming expenditures possible for the region so we may become more prepared for any type of critical event or incident in our area.
Today my class had the displeasure of being "talked to" by a visiting AT&T employee regarding the company's It Can Wait campaign involving texting while driving. To start off the ad, the employee showed us an absolutely terribly produced documentary () and then proceeded to pass out "no text on board" stickers for our cars which, coincidentally almost had bigger AT&T logos on them than the messaging. To my horror, some students were so impacted that they asked for a second sticker. After the sticker fiasco, we were told to pull out our phones and go to AT&T's website where we were supposed to take some retarded online pledge. As if it couldn't get any worse, we were then directed to sign a massive AT&T logo-covered banner to have then be photographed by the employee to "take back to AT&T" (the picture was photographed by her personal iPhone - good one) After the whole ordeal, we were shown more poorly made films smothered with AT&T. What makes me happy I listen to the best podcast in the universe is that at a certain point in the documentaries some girl whispered to me "I'm trying not to cry" - the irony was that I was trying not to laugh.
Sat, 21 Sep 2013 23:22
WASHINGTON '-- The electric grid, as government and private experts describe it, is the glass jaw of American industry. If an adversary lands a knockout blow, they fear, it could black out vast areas of the continent for weeks; interrupt supplies of water, gasoline, diesel fuel and fresh food; shut down communications; and create disruptions of a scale that was only hinted at by Hurricane Sandy and the attacks of Sept. 11.
This is why thousands of utility workers, business executives, National Guard officers, F.B.I. antiterrorism experts and officials from government agencies in the United States, Canada and Mexico are preparing for an emergency drill in November that will simulate physical attacks and cyberattacks that could take down large sections of the power grid.
They will practice for a crisis unlike anything the real grid has ever seen, and more than 150 companies and organizations have signed up to participate.
''This is different from a hurricane that hits X, Y and Z counties in the Southeast and they have a loss of power for three or four days,'' said the official in charge of the drill, Brian M. Harrell of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, known as NERC. ''We really want to go beyond that.''
One goal of the drill, called GridEx II, is to explore how governments would react as the loss of the grid crippled the supply chain for everyday necessities.
''If we fail at electricity, we're going to fail miserably,'' Curt H(C)bert, a former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said at a recent conference held by the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Mr. Harrell said that previous exercises were based on the expectation that electricity ''would be up and running relatively quick'' after an attack.
Now, he said, the goal is to ''educate the federal government on what their expectations should or shouldn't be.'' The industry held a smaller exercise two years ago in which 75 utilities, companies and agencies participated, but this one will be vastly expanded and will be carried out in a more anxious mood.
Most of the participants will join the exercise from their workplaces, with NERC, in Washington, announcing successive failures. One example, organizers say, is a substation break-in that officials initially think is an attempt to steal copper. But instead, the intruder uses a USB drive to upload a virus into a computer network.
The drill is part of a give-and-take in the past few years between the government and utilities that has exposed the difficulties of securing the electric system.
The grid is essential for almost everything, but it is mostly controlled by investor-owned companies or municipal or regional agencies. Ninety-nine percent of military facilities rely on commercial power, according to the White House.
The utilities play down their abilities, in comparison with the government's. ''They have the intelligence operation, the standing army, the three-letter agencies,'' said Scott Aaronson, senior director of national security policy at the Edison Electric Institute, the trade association of investor-owned utilities. ''We have the grid operations expertise.''
That expertise involves running 5,800 major power plants and 450,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines, monitored and controlled by a staggering mix of devices installed over decades. Some utilities use their own antique computer protocols and are probably safe from hacking '-- what the industry calls ''security through obscurity.''
But others rely on Windows-based control systems that are common to many industries. Some of them run on in-house networks, but computer security experts say they are not confident that all the connections to the public Internet have been discovered and secured. Many may be vulnerable to software '-- known as malware '-- that can disable the systems or destroy their ability to communicate, leaving their human operators blind about the positions of switches, the flows of current and other critical parameters. Experts say a sophisticated hacker could also damage hard-to-replace equipment.
In an effort to draw utilities and the government closer, the industry recently established the Electricity Sub-Sector Coordinating Council, made up of high-level executives, to meet with federal officials. The first session is next month.
Preparation for the November drill comes as Congress is debating laws that could impose new standards to protect the grid from cyberattacks, but many in the industry, some of whom would like such rules, doubt that they can pass.
The drill is also being planned as conferences, studies and even works of fiction are raising near-apocalyptic visions of catastrophes involving the grid.
A National Academy of Sciences report last year said that terrorists could cause broad hardship for months with physical attacks on hard-to-replace components. An emerging effort led in part by R. James Woolsey, a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is gearing up to pressure state legislatures to force utilities to protect equipment against an electromagnetic pulse, which could come from solar activity or be caused by small nuclear weapons exploded at low altitude, frying crucial components.
An attack using an electromagnetic pulse is laid out in extensive detail in the novel ''One Second After,'' published in 2009 and endorsed by Newt Gingrich. In another novel, ''Gridlock,'' published this summer and co-written by Byron L. Dorgan, the former senator from North Dakota, a rogue Russian agent working for Venezuela and Iran helps hackers threaten the grid. In the preface, Mr. Dorgan says such an attack could cause 10,000 times as much devastation as the terrorists' strikes on Sept. 11, 2001.
Despite the growing anxiety, the government and the private sector have had trouble coordinating their grid protection efforts. The utility industry argues that the government has extensive information on threats but keeps it classified. Government officials concede the problem, and they have suggested that some utility executives get security clearances. But with hundreds of utilities and thousands of executives, it cannot issue such clearances fast enough. And the industry would like to be instantly warned when the government identifies Internet servers that are known to be sources of malware.
Another problem is that the electric system is so tightly integrated that a collapse in one spot, whether by error or intent, can set off a cascade, as happened in August 2003, when a power failure took a few moments to spread from Detroit to New York.
Sometimes utility engineers and law enforcement officials also seem to speak different languages. In his book ''Protecting Industrial Control Systems From Electronic Threats,'' Joseph Weiss, an engineer and cybersecurity expert, recounted a meeting between electrical engineers and the F.B.I. in 2008. When an F.B.I. official spoke at length about I.E.D.'s, he was referring to improvised explosive devices, but to the engineers the abbreviation meant intelligent electronic devices.
And experts fear government-sponsored hacking. Michael V. Hayden, another former C.I.A. director, speaking at the Bipartisan Policy Center conference, said that the Stuxnet virus, which disabled some of Iran's centrifuges for enriching uranium, might invite retaliation.
''In a time of peace, someone just used a cyberweapon to destroy another nation's critical infrastructure,'' he said. ''Ouch.''
Sat, 21 Sep 2013 23:19
WASHINGTON '-- It's electrifying.
Iran and Venezuela want to destroy the United States, so they conspire with a rogue Russian spy to launch a cyberattack on the North American power grid, beginning by electrocuting a lineman in North Dakota. Their main obstacle is a small-town sheriff in the state's badlands, Nate Osborne, a former Marine Corps lieutenant in Afghanistan whose titanium leg ultimately saves the day.
That is more or less the plot of ''Gridlock,'' co-written by former Senator Byron L. Dorgan, the latest offering in a peculiar Washington genre.
''That's my little niche, North Dakota energy thriller,'' said Mr. Dorgan, a Democrat who represented North Dakota in the Senate and House for more than three decades.
''Gridlock'' imagines a blackout that continues for weeks.
Greg Kahn for The New York Times
But life is increasingly imitating Mr. Dorgan's potboiler. More than 200 utilities and government agencies across the country, from Consolidated Edison to the Department of Homeland Security to Verizon, are now expected to sign up for the largest emergency drill to test the electricity sector's preparation for cyberattack. The drill, scheduled for November, will simulate an attack by an adversary that takes down large sections of the power grid and knocks out vast areas of the continent for weeks.
The drill, organized by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, is to explore how the country would respond to an enormous grid failure that interrupts supplies of water, food and fuel and creates disruptions on a scale far beyond those of Sept. 11, 2001.
Although it's potentially bad news for the country, it's good news for Mr. Dorgan, who has been on an episodic book tour since ''Gridlock,'' written with David Hagberg, was published in July.
''It's entertaining, it's a thriller, but I hope it will get people to think about this some,'' Mr. Dorgan said in a recent interview in his office at a Washington law firm overlooking K Street, the lobbyists' corridor, and decorated with photos of himself with assorted presidents.
An attack on the grid could really happen, Mr. Dorgan said. ''I think that we are vulnerable, and it's not just me, it's the National Science Foundation and a number of people in the energy industry. 'Glass jaw' is a pretty good description of the grid system, honestly.''
The book is a sequel to Mr. Dorgan and Mr. Hagberg's first energy thriller, ''Blowout,'' in which Iran and Venezuela link up with shady hedge-fund types to destroy a supersecret project that uses microbes to turn North Dakota coal into limitless, low-pollution electricity. In both books, many bad guys die, along with a few good ones, but enough survive to preserve the possibility of yet another sequel. Plots vary, but the characters are drawn from a familiar inventory of types, and the story lines have a certain predictability. They read a bit like treatments for action movies, the kind without much heavy dialogue.
''I know they're not Shakespeare,'' said Mr. Hagberg, who said he had written more than 80 novels under his own name and several pseudonyms.
Mr. Dorgan is not completely new to writing either, although his previous offerings have been nonfiction. ''Take This Job and Ship It: How Corporate Greed and Brain-Dead Politics Are Selling Out America,'' was published in 2006, and ''Reckless!,'' on the perils of banking deregulation, was in print three years later.
Out of the blue, his agent came to him with an idea for fiction, and the notion that in a novel, ''you can put important things into the public consciousness.''
A prominent local bookseller, Bradley Graham of Politics & Prose bookstore, put it slightly differently: Former spies and military officers often spin tales out of their experience, so why not legislators? In Mr. Dorgan's case, it would be a former appropriator, since he headed a subcommittee in charge of energy spending.
The two-book collaboration got a boost, said Mr. Hagberg, because his publisher, Forge, which specializes in action titles, was ''keen on more environmental stuff.''
Mr. Dorgan brought local color to both ''Gridlock'' and ''Blowout.'' The North Dakota characters, for example, make fun of characters from South Dakota. (''What does he know, he's from South Dakota,'' one says to another.)
Mr. Dorgan also contributed his knowledge of Washington's energy bureaucracy and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, or Arpa-e, a new organization that finances high-risk energy projects and is modeled after the better-known Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa. In ''Gridlock,'' Arpa-e has provided the money for a top-secret Dakota District Initiative, modeled after the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb.
The idea of giant secret projects are more fiction than readers may recognize. The real Arpa-e puts small sums into dozens of start-ups, and then publicizes the investments.
Mr. Dorgan, 71, said he got the idea of microbes that turn coal into natural gas from Craig Venter, the biologist who was one of the first to sequence the human genome. (Mr. Ventor had a contract with Exxon to research making oil from algae.)
Mr. Dorgan said he started his first book, ''Take This Job and Ship It,'' on a cruise with his extended family, using a 24-page guide to writing a book proposal that he found on the Internet. For the two thrillers, his agent paired him with Mr. Hagberg. (Mr. Hagberg, whose red-white-and-blue heroes tend toward conservative military or small-town types, described himself as a ''raging Republican,'' and called Mr. Dorgan ''my token Democrat.'')
Mr. Dorgan and Mr. Hagberg would not discuss how ''Gridlock'' and ''Blowout'' were selling, although on Tuesday ''Gridlock'' was No. 94,180 on Amazon. Putting the name of a recently retired senator on the cover of a book does not make it sell any better, Mr. Hagberg said.
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 12:47
Click image to watch video
You must not question royalty!
By Douglas J. Hagmann, The Hagmann & Hagmann Report
21 September 2013: The ''re-education of the masses'' is moving quickly now, especially when it involves our children. Enter Common Core, an educational initiative surreptitiously sweeping America. By those who understand it, it is a ''Trojan Horse,'' according Ms. Orlean Koehle, an expert on what Common Core is '' and what it's not, and what it doing to our children from elementary school through high school. Ms. Orlean Koehle was a recent guest on The Hagmann & Hagmann Report and explained the dangers of this deceptive program.
What happens when an informed citizen dares to question the agenda of those pushing Common Core on our children? In one case, Robert Small, an attendee at a meeting of the Baltimore County Schools, became frustrated when his questions were ignored and went unanswered. Rather than settling for the dog-and-pony show, he stood up and demanded answers, only to be physically removed from the meeting and charged with second degree assault of a police officer. For asking questions, Mr. Small now faces up to ten-(10) years in prison. (Click on the image at left to watch the video of Mr. Small getting his questioned answered'... um'... being removed from the meeting for daring to ask ''unapproved and unscripted'' questions.
Prior to his abrupt departure from the room, Mr. Small stated: ''I want to know how many parents here are aware that the goal of the Common Core standards isn't to prepare kids for full-fledged universities, it's to prepare them for community college'.....Parents, take control. We're sick of this. This is not a CNN political game. This is a public town hall'... Listen, don't stand for this. You're sitting here like cattle. You have questions. Confront them. They don't want to do it in public'.... Parents, you need to question these people'.... (emphasis by this author).
The Hagmann & Hagmann Report is committed to confront these petty tyrants wherever and whenever possible, and expose these Marxists exactly for who and what they are.
Listen to the interview with Orlean Koehle describe, in detail, what Common Core is and who (and what) is behind it. Click here to listen (advance to the second hour).
What is Common Core?
''Common Core State Standards Initiative'' is the latest education program coming down from the Obama administration, preparing the way for Obama's ''Race to the Top Assessments,'' which will take place in 2014, when all the computer software is in place to test the minds of the nation's children to see how well Common Core (CC) has been sufficiently taught. The test will be given online, as are most of the lessons preparing for it.
CC pretends to be a benign ''State'' program, State-written and controlled. It is touted as being ''more rigorous'' and will ''better prepare students for college and the workplace.'' However, none of the above is true. CC is really a deceptive Trojan Horse, a national program, written by a national cartel, supported by President Obama and the Federal Department of Education. It is imposing national standards and curriculum on all of the 46 States that have signed onto it. [Texas, Alaska, Nebraska, and Virginia have refused it. Minnesota has adopted the English, but not the math.] READ IT ALL HERE.
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He flies on CU IL96 - Cuban planes need more prior approval?
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Flight Routing Authorization Requirements in United States Territorial Airspace
All aircraft with Cuba registration beginning with CU; aircraft using the ICAO designator of a Cuba company; or aircraft used for Cuba diplomatic flights require FAA routing authorization for flights in United States Territorial Airspace.
Only IFR flights are eligible for FAA routing authorization. See current FAA KFDC NOTAMS for other requirements and information regarding Aircraft that Operate To or From or Within or Transit Territorial Airspace of the United States (US).
FAA routing authorization is in addition to any US State Department (DOS) diplomatic clearance or US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) waiver. To obtain FAA routing authorization, contact the FAA System Operations Support Center at 9-ATOR-HQ-RT-REQ@faa.gov or FAX 202-267-5289 (Attention FAA SOSC), or call 202-267-8115.
Provide the following information:
1. Name and address of company or individual. Include a phone number (in case there are questions concerning your request) and a return E-Mail address. Aircraft Information: Callsign (including ICAO designator if assigned)/type/registration number.
2. General Route Itinerary: Date range. City (ICAO Location Identifier)- City (ICAO Location Identifier)- City (ICAO Location Identifier), etc.
3. Specific route information for each leg of the flight: Callsign, departure point, date/time (UTC), route, destination, date/time (UTC).
4. Purpose: Cargo, Passenger, Diplomatic, etc. for each leg of flight.
Thats weird, the sec. you said "reeling in the years" it slightly shocked me
that's the refrain that was running in my head this week,
wondering what it was doing there, since its old and i dont even like it.
Rammstein is also often in my head, but thats what i play daily.
Have to add, that since i stopped smoking grass a little before you did,
i now rediscovered it. (recreationaly : ) )
However that doesnt explain you hearing it too.
Just a thought or three.
Maybe you were programmed to hook up with Miss Mickey and she's an operative for some agency.
Who planned the Hot Pickets route through Utah where the music started?
The pancakes are one half of a binary trigger.
Ps. John is likely also involved.
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 00:14
Author's note: A covert censorship regime run by a U.S. military contractor apparently is maliciously sabotaging the content and formatting of this article. It even removed the artwork. I have attempted to restore maliciously deleted references to "stroke, heart attack or aneurysm." This article is subject to "black-holing" -- making the content inaccessible -- when readers attempt to access it via a "spoofed" or counterfeited URL address -- censorship via fraud and deception. The comments are not displaying over my obviously intercepted and maliciously hacked connection. This is information fascism and it has no place in a free society. Read about it here: ' Homeland Security- administered fusion center agencies/commands -- chief among them, U.S. Cyber Command -- use a nationwide scalar electromagnetic radiation "directed energy" weapon system to silently torture, impair, subjugate and, over time, slow-kill extra-legally targeted Americans and their families -- an American genocide hiding in plain sight.' Victims' own cell phones may be used to target them.' A government-devised "electromagnetic ghetto."' How a young FBI agent's "I believe you" gave victim the faith to go public.President Obama has told the nation and the world that America does not torture.President Obama is wrong -- and security/military/intel officials in his administration know it.America tortures. Not just Gitmo and Bagram "war on terror" detainees, but its own citizens.Each day, a nationwide scalar electromagnetic radiation "multifunctional" radio frequency directed energy weapon attack system employing phased array cell tower antenna transmitter/receivers and GPS satellites, under the administration of U.S. Cyber Command and military contractor Lockheed Martin, is used to silently and invisibly torture, impair, subjugate, and degrade the physical and neurological health of untold thousands of American citizens who have been extrajudicially "targeted" by a hate- and ideology-driven domestic "disposition matrix" as "dissidents" or "undesirables."Most of these "targeted individuals" have no idea what is making them sick, tired, exhausted, irritable, confused, lethargic; plagued with painful, debilitating head and body aches; sharp, piercing, painful ringing tones audible only to the target; temporary or permanent cognitive impairment; induction of stroke, heart attack, aneurysm, or diseases such as cancer......leaving them unable to function normally and lead a happy, healthy life.Victims of this government-engineered, stealth genocide are robbed of the most basic of human rights -- free will, freedom from external manipulation of their physiological and neurological functions.The weapon system is capable of delivering speed-of-light scalar (longitudinal) electromagnetic wave attacks (as well as other types of radio frequency energy such as microwaves) that are precision tuned to specific brainwave frequencies of each human target. Virtually all of the victims previously have visited a doctor or neurologist seeking treatment for pounding headache, unexplained fatigue, sleep problems, or disturbing symptoms such as cognitive impairment. Those medical visits allow shadow government operatives to harvest medical records, including EEG test results that facilitate "brain mapping" -- how radio frequency weapon torturers are able to mount radio frequency attacks fine-tuned to each unique individual targeted for no-touch torture, impairment, or, over time, slow-kill murder.The scalar waves produced by the radio frequency directed energy weapon (RFDE) are capable of carrying multiple subcarrier radio frequencies that affect human physiology, at variable power levels (or "amplitude"). In effect, the RFDE arms security forces with a "God machine" that can manipulate, disrupt, or destroy the biological processes that govern the functioning of human beings. Scientists describe this effect as "neuromodulation" of the human nervous system -- the remote manipulation of physiological and neurological processes, including alteration of consciousness and mood states. Electromagnetic weapon attack precision-tuned to the brain frequencies of unique individuals can put unknowing victims into an induced state of forced fatigue, involuntary yawning, deep sleep -- or, conversely, forced wakefulness -- within a matter of minutes, according to victim accounts and supporting published literature. Pulsed electromagnetic wave manipulation of brain-controlled physiological functioning has been demonstrated in the Arizona State University laboratory of neuroscientist Dr. William J. Tyler, whose work has been funded by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, according to published articles. Tyler describes the process as "ultrasonic neuromodulation." In his writings, Dr. Tyler discusses the use of phased array electromagnetic antennae to precision-target the desired radio frequency neuromodulation effects on human physiology:A recent Popular Science article cites a quotation from Tyler published on the Department of Defense "Armed with Science" blog:''...(M)y laboratory has engineered a novel technology which implements transcranial pulsed ultrasound to remotely and directly stimulate brain circuits without requiring surgery."Tyler told Wired.com's "Danger Room:""The brain serves all the functions of your body, and if you know the neuroanatomy, then you can start to regulate each one of those functions.''The cell tower radio frequency weapon system also is capable of broadcasting disturbing, torturous sounds, even voices, directly into the head of "targeted individuals," using triangulated electromagnetic waves that make a direct connection to the region of the brain that controls hearing, bypassing the auditory organs to generate sounds that are perceptible only to the target. This technology, sometimes deceptively referred to as "voice to skull" ("V to K") or "microwave hearing", raises the specter of what is commonly known as Orwellian "mind control." Persons who report hearing "voices" in their heads may not be delusional or mentally ill; they could be entrained subjects under a heinous form of high-tech social control that facilitates the remote manipulation of human behavior. This weapon system conceivably could be used by rogue elements to spawn Manchurian candidate- style "patsies," persons unknowingly programmed to commit politically-motivated assassinations and other acts of social chaos:http://my.nowpublic.com/world/u-s-cellular-microwave-weapon-pierces-skull-sonic-tortureBecause the radio frequency attack system can be precision-targeted to triangulate its multiple beams on unique individuals, this silent torture and impairment technology can and is being used by federal and local law enforcement to impose a regimen of extra-legal electromagnetic incarceration -- an "electromagnetic ghetto" imposed upon citizens without benefit of due process under the law.According to victim accounts, "innocent but targeted" persons may be subjected to heightened levels of silent torture or impairment if they dare to venture beyond their immediate neighborhoods -- to go "beyond the pale." Operators of the electromagnetic wave weapon obtain the necessary targeting location coordinates from hidden GPS devices; the victim's cellphone; or infrared laser targeting devices trained upon the victim by law enforcement or "community stalkers" who may be affiliated with town watch or community policing groups.The planning for this electromagnetic ghetto is documented in several federally funded studies, such as a March 2001 report from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service.Government documents describes such weaponry, capable of targeting and delivering a wide array of electromagnetic microwave and other radio frequency energy with extreme precision, as "non-lethal" or "less than lethal." In fact, experts familiar with radiation weaponry say these systems can be used to torture; inflict bodily injury; cause illnesses from cataracts to cancer; induce fatigue, weakness, excruciating pain or loss of consciousness; or to KILL -- "slow kill" or "fast kill," depending on the "amplitude" (signal strength) of the attack.A 2006 video produced by the U.S. Air Force "Directed Energy Directorate" at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico discusses how electromagnetic weaponry is designed to "accurately aim and put this energy on target with surgical precision" -- at the speed of light.http://youtube.com/watch?v=mSGprwJx_zs&NR=1A 2008 article on the Wired.com magazine "Danger Room" blog site discusses a court document said to indicate that the U.S. Secret Service is involved in the development of directed energy weapons technology. The article speculates that the agency may have deployed such devices in the course of its official duties.http://blog.wired.com/defense/2008/11/presidents-secr.htmlAccording to publicly available patents upon which the system is based...[WARNING: The active links, above, are subject to MALICIOUS HACKING and may re-direct readers to a phony, or "spoofed" web page. The writer suspects, but cannot prove, that rogue elements are responsible. If you suspect the freepatentsonline.com pages have been hacked, please use a search engine to locate another site that publishes public patent documents. The last time I checked, the patent numbers themselves -- 7629918 and 4456912 -- were correct. Alternative sites are not given here, to dissuade further malicious hacking by those seeking to cover up the truth.]... this "multi-functional radio frequency directed energy weapon system" generates precision-triangulated "directed" bursts of pulsed electromagnetic energy using the combined power of multiplexed, phased array antenna installations that are configured in a "Delta T" form factor: a metallic triangular base upon which are mounted multiple vertical transmission stanchions.These multiple mast antenna arrays generate various forms of electromagnetic energy, including scalar electromagnetic waves. Scalar waves are "out-of-phase" radio waves that have the unique ability at the precise point of intersection to extract from a near- zero point temperature vacuum state electromagnetic energy of variable amplitude (strength) and radio frequency. The technology has its roots in the pioneering work of the scientist Nikola Tesla, whose "Tesla coil" invention first demonstrated the awesome energy-producing properties of scalar waves.Some scientists believe that scalar wave technology, if exploited for peaceful purposes, could provide a cheap and efficient solution to the world's energy demands. But the companies that hold the patents appear to be withholding the technology exclusively for military and national security applications.The God machine can do even more than allow its military and security state operators to lord over the world's population. The Raytheon patent states that this weapon system can be used to "alter atmospheric conditions." In other words, this scalar wave directed energy weapon system can manipulate the weather -- harnessing the world's climate, turning the weather into a potential military super-weapon.The old adage, "You can't change the weather," no longer is true.The scalar radio frequency weapon system also appears to be capable of inducing "telekinesis" -- the movement of distant objects via an unseen electromagnetic force field spawned by the intersection of triangulated electromagnetic waves. The scientific principle behind the "force beam" is present in some existing technologies, such as the propulsion system that drives so-called "magnetic levitation" or "maglev" trains now in service in Japan, South Korea and China.The covert installation of RFDE antennae everywhere across America explains the profusion of cell towers, and why so many towers are clustered so close together, from urban neighborhoods to expansive rural plains and farmlands.The cover story -- that these are just cell phone towers -- amounts to nothing less than a big government lie.Yet the system is inextricably and ominously linked to consumer cellular communications.It appears that a human target's own cell phone may serve as a covert targeting device for this attack system. Those who are marked for electromagnetic attack could be paying for a telecommunications service that enables their silent torture, impairment and potential injury. (For more on targeting technologies, see the footnote at the bottom of this article.)This cell tower attack network has been deployed under the cover of "national security," apparently as a means to instantly and covertly disable electronic devices that could be used as weapons by terrorists or hostile forces. But the capabilities of the scalar electromagnetic weapon grid extend far beyond mere application of destructive force. It also appears that the weapon literally "hyperjack" (a cyber-era derivative of the term "hijack") any microchip controlled electronic device. The weapon is capable of overriding user commands, and, based on empirical evidence, apparently is capable of reprogramming microchips "on the fly." Because the weapon generates electromagnetic force fields, it also can be used to manipulate or degrade the operations of non-computerized motorized devices, from electric motors to gasoline, diesel or jet engines. The celltower RF weapon grid incorporartes targeting capabilities, and apparently utilizes synthetic aperature radar (SAR) systems capable of precision-targeting as well as wireless video and audio "through the wall" surveillance -- no traditional cameras or microphones needed. The technology requires a continuous radar stream of electromagnetic energy -- meaning that the entire population of the United States is being bathed in radio frequency emissions every minute of every hour of every day. Because the system has been built out only in recent years, no entity has studied the long-term health effects of having a stealth cell tower weapon system clustered in populated areas. Scientists long have known that even non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation has a deleterious effect on human health, although the full extent of the danger remains a subject of debate.Silent assaults directed at a targeted individual can cause "induced dementia" -- symptoms that mimic Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive dysfunction. Cognitive impairment apparently can be arrested if and when the attacks cease -- or if the "amplitude" of the electromagnetic radio frequency is turned down by its clandestine government operatives. Prolonged exposure to these electromagnetic attacks can and does degrade human health, and, as mentioned, can induce both injury and disease leading to premature death."The idea is to make the 'target' look mentally ill or emotionally unstable, so that the person can be shunted into a mental hospital or otherwise marginalized and removed from society," says one alleged victim, who says that the silent attacks rendered him so weak, disoriented and fatigued that he was unable to work for a period of four years.This victim says he slowly regained his full cognitive abilities only after repeated visits to a local FBI office, where he pleaded with agents to intervene on his behalf. But he reports that the attacks have continued, causing chronic fatigue, extreme weakness and sharp sudden pain that he says amounts to torture.He also maintains that his local police chief appears to be aware of the covert attack system, but is powerless to stop the attacks."What kept me going when the attacks were most severe, from the summer of 2004 and into 2008, was when I went down to the FBI and literally begged a young FBI agent to help me, and she looked me directly in the eye and said, 'I believe you.'"When she said that, it gave me the confidence to go public despite my fears that I'd be treated like some kind of a nut case. Now that the truth is getting out, I'm grateful to that young agent for giving me the faith to fight this."By the pervasive deployment of these weapons systems as a tool of torture and enslavement, the U.S. government is denying thousands of its citizens the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.The U.S. government has enabled the "slow kill," torture, or impairment of thousands of its own people while cruelly stripping them of free will -- the very essence of what it is to be human.This classified weapons system functions in every community in America. Some local police officials know about it. Apparently, they have been sworn to secrecy on "national security" grounds. The mainstream media has its collective head in the sand, buying the government propaganda that a new generation of directed energy weapons is "less lethal" and thus "saves lives."This covert torture matrix is every bit as heinous as the death machine of Nazi Germany -- perhaps even more so, because it is silent and invisible.Victims of these silent assaults also are subject to relentless "community stalking" harassment, vandalism and terroristic acts performed by government-enabled "community watch" and policing organizations that have been transmogrified by a secret multi-agency federal program into a vigilante American Gestapo.Victims also say they are subject to financial and career sabotage enabled by government agencies that have deemed them to be "dissidents" or undesirables -- or have slandered them as suspected criminals or "enemies of the state."GESTAPO USA: FED-POLICE FUSION CENTER VIGILANTE NETWORK PERSECUTES CITIZEN TARGETShttp://viclivingston.blogspot.com/2012/01/thugocracy-u.htmlFederal "threat fusion center" agencies and commands and their state and local law enforcement and corporate partners are conducting an ideology- and hate-driven slow-kill domestic genocide under the false flags of the wars on terror and crime -- enabled by the naivety of those who believe "it can't happen here."
President Obama: Wake up. You and other top officials also may be in the cross-hairs -- and this stealth technology, when applied using Pavlovian methodology, can even be used to covertly influence behavior and decision-making -- maybe even your own."These are crimes against humanity and the Constitution, being perpetrated under the cover of national security and 'safe streets' by multiple federal and local agencies and commands -- an American genocide hiding in plain sight, enabled by the naivete of those who think 'it can't happen here.'" --Victor Livingston, former reporter for WTXF-TV Philadelphia, Phila. Bulletin, N.Y. Daily News, St. Petersburg Times; producer/host, MSG Network Sports Business Report; columnist, NowPublic.com/scrivener._____________________________________________________FOOTNOTE: TARGETING SYSTEMSThis cell tower- based radio frequency electromagnetic weapon system apparently can utilize various advanced technologies to target human beings. According to information obtained from unclassified patents, defense industry trade journals, as well as an analysis of victim accounts, it appears that the system incorporates sophisticated "synthetic aperture radar" (SAR) video and audio surveillance capabilities via a constant radar-like sweep -- what has been colloquially referred to as "through the wall surveillance." This surveillance and targeting mode requires no traditional cameras or microphones. Some literature also references a three-dimensional, invisible infrared laser targeting sensor array that can be secreted in or near a target's home or place of business. The advanced targeting capabilities of the system makes possible precision-triangulated electromagnetic frequency attacks, prolonged or sudden and momentary, to specific body parts -- internal or external. It appears that the system is capable of remote, no-touch "radio surgery" or torturous mutilation of human targets; think of a radio frequency "cyberknife" that can be remotely inflicted upon unknowing human targets.The literature states that targeting systems can triangulate on vehicles or any moving target, facilitating precision attacks even if the target is traveling at extremely high rates of speed.
The electromagnetic radio frequency attack system is capable of acquiring targeting coordinates from the intended victim's cell phone or GPS unit. In that case, the targeting is believed to be less precise, but still capable of generating disorienting and painful attacks, such as prolonged and unremitting headache and induced weakness and fatigue.Some victims of this stealth technology now use their cell phones and GPS units only when absolutely necessary, and remove the cell phone's battery to prevent the broadcast of their location coordinates. (Just turning off the unit does not suffice, since a cell phone's power can be turned on by remote control.)
It is believed that the government has equipped certain personnel -- either its own agents, or, some victims believe, local law enforcement or civilian vigilantes -- with portable laser-equipped devices that can "paint the target" from a distance. It is possible that some sworn officers may be under the impression that this technology is used merely for "through the wall surveillance," not to attack citizens they are sworn to protect.
The literature also indicates that the electromagnetic weapon system can engage the target by way of tiny RFID tags covertly placed in or on the target's possessions or clothing, or RF microchips implanted inside their bodies (via injection, or surgery). Film-thin RFID tags are ubiquitous in everyday commerce, used for inventory tracking of many consumer products. "GPS-linked" video surveillance systems, in public areas or inside commercial establishments, also could be used to transmit targeting coordinates to government command centers.
High-powered military satellites are believed to be capable of detecting ground-based tracking devices from low Earth orbit.The article linked below, from the web site of the conservative Heritage Foundation, describes a directed energy weapon system that sounds much like the cell tower- based system described here. The article discusses an electromagnetic wave/laser weapon system capable of both tracking and engaging a speeding target at the speed of light.http://www.heritage.org/Research/BallisticMissileDefense/bg1783.cfm
The Heritage Foundation article describes directed energy weapon systems as "under development," despite the fact that the cell tower- based system is fully operational. Also, sentences referencing the effectiveness of directed energy systems against "human targets" such as "terrorists" apparently have been expunged in recent weeks -- after this author quoted the article in the "comments" section of this web site.JOURNO TO FBI: TAKE CONTROL OF DHS-RUN FUSION CENTERS TO STOP SILENT RADIO FREQUENCY WEAPON ATTACKS ON U.S. CITIZENSOR (if links are corrupted / disabled): http://www.NowPublic.com/scrivener(see links above bio and in "stories" list)
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 00:13
I've seen that look before.The fatigued head-hanging. The constant eye-blinking, as if struggling to stay awake and alert. The absent stares. The scribbling on a notepad in an apparent desperate effort to fight off stupor. Disjointed verbal arguments. An inability to focus. A palpable passivity, malaise, seeming unwillingness -- or inability -- to aggressively engage.
A lack of will.
I have known -- I have experienced -- these symptoms for almost a decade. And while I cannot prove it, in my gut this veteran journalist believes that President Barack Obama's astoundingly weak debate performance on October 3 in Denver likely resulted from the behavior-altering electromagnetic spell of a cell tower radio frequency weapon system that elements of the U.S. military and intelligence apparatus have deployed to covertly attack, "entrain," subjugate and silently torture and impair supposed "dissidents," "undesirables" and "enemies of the state."
This is not the first time I've posited this theory. I wrote about the apparent electromagnetic "entrainment" of President Obama (and Vice President Biden) three years ago, when I first exposed the existence and heinous use of the "Multifunctional Radio Frequency Directed Energy Weapon" (RFDE) system, a publicly patented technology (U.S. Patent 7629918, held by Raytheon) deployed on cell towers everywhere across the United States. As I have reported, this network of "phased array" antennae installations is under the day-to-day operational command and control of Lockheed Martin, the world's largest defense contractor, under the direction of powerful and secretive U.S. government agencies and commands such as the U.S. Air Force Cyber Command, the Secret Service, the National Security Agency, and the Central Intelligence Agency.
As noted in comments to my December 2011 expose, first published at http://NowPublic.com/scrivener, I remarked on President Obama's sudden profusion of facial moles; his weight loss, gaunt appearance, physical signs of premature aging such as rapidly graying hair, balding streaks on his scalp -- and, tellingly, I believe, a teleprompter that literally shattered in mid-air, leaving its stand upright, a phenomenon that was widely reported -- and mocked as an omen -- by right-wing media such as The Drudge Report.
Then came Vice President Biden's serial spells of sudden sleep, loss of consciousness, likely preceded by severe tinnitus (ringing ears), during public events -- again followed by mocking photo coverage by Matt Drudge and his other spoon-fed neo-con cronies. I believed then, and believe now, that what I have termed the "Joe Biden Syndrome" is the product of electromagnetic "neuromodulation," a remotely-induced trance generated by the triangulated intersection of scalar radio waves precision-tuned to the brain waves of the "target" -- frequencies harvested earlier from EEG (electro-encephalogram) medical report data.I've also written about numerous cases of television news reporters, anchors and weathercasters who have been suddenly reduced to incomprehensible gibberish, blank stares and consciousness lapses while on the air. Google the name "Serene Branson" for one notorious and highly publicized example.
This technology is not fantasy. It is documented fact. It also is documented fact that government agencies and commands, ranging from the U.S. Secret Service to the U.S. Air Force Cyber Command, have been developing electromagnetic radio frequency "directed energy" weapon systems, as cited in my reporting, summarized in my article entitled "U.S. Silently Tortures Americans with Cell Tower Weapon System":
So if our nation's top elected leaders are under covert electromagnetic attack, as much forensic, empirical evidence seems to indicate, who are the perpetrators? While an internet search of the term "electromagnetic weapon" might lead a reader to believe that such attacks can be mounted by an individual equipped with a hand-held "ray gun" device, it's much more likely that the source is the nationwide electromagnetic weapon cell tower grid. This weapon system is mounted on proprietary cell towers as well as "co-located" installations shared by cellular telephone providers.
Multiple agencies, commands and corporations have a hand in the operation and control of this weapon system. It is not inconceivable that rogue elements could be making illicit use of the system to further a radical ideological or political agenda.
This reporter does know this: This cell tower weapon grid is being used to attack, impair, harm, subjugate, and, in effect, "slow-kill" untold thousands of extrajudicially "targeted" American citizens -- including this journalist, who has been under electromagnetic attack for at least eight years. It is hardly a stretch for me to believe that a weapon capable of covert behavior alteration might be deployed by geopolitical power-abusers to turn the President of the United States into their electromagnetically entrained puppet -- or to sabotage a president who likely has learned how this weapon system has been turned against American citizens, possibly including himself and members of his administration.
A final word: This journalist has sound reason to believe that both President Obama and Vice President Biden have been made aware of my reporting, and likely have initiated a comprehensive investigation into the past and present use and misuse of America's top secret electromagnetic weapon arsenal.
FOR MORE OF VETERAN JOURNALIST VIC LIVINGSTON'S EXCLUSIVE REPORTING:
http://VicLivingston.blogspot.com (article list in right-hand-column)
http://NowPublic.com/scrivener (click on "stories")
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 13:02
Over 61.8 million people are eligible to vote in Germany's parliamentary elections, with polls stations open until 8pm tonight.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats look set to take the largest chunk of the votes, however to form a government she's going to need to find a partner and that might prove tricky.
Her current coalition partner, the Free Democrats could fail to get enough seats in the Bundestag.
The two biggest political parties have invested a total of '¬43 million in campaigning, but experts fear that many voters may stay at home. In the last elections in 2009 participation stood around 70%, an all time low.
Euronews' correspondent in Berlin,Lena Roche, says Angela Merkel is hoping for a third term. In the polls it is looking good for her, but the outcome will be decided in the voting booths. And it is estimated that around 30% of people will only decide who to vote for at the last minute.
More about:Angela Merkel, German economy, German elections 2013, Parliamentary elections, Peer Steinbr¼ckCopyright (C) 2013 euronews
Sat, 21 Sep 2013 09:36
Stephen Evans explains how the Bundestag election works
Germany's rival parties are in their final day of campaigning ahead of Sunday's parliamentary elections.
Polls suggest Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats will win the biggest share of the vote.
But her current coalition partners, the Free Democrats, may not pass the 5% threshold for winning seats in parliament.
If so, Mrs Merkel may have to consider a coalition with her main rival Peer Steinbrueck's Social Democrats.
Mrs Merkel is holding a large rally in Stralsund and Mr Steinbrueck is due to appear at an event in Frankfurt.
Conservatives rallyAddressing a Christian Democratic Union (CDU) rally in Hanover on Friday, Mrs Merkel asked for votes to continue with her government's policies into 2017.
"Please vote for the CDU on Sunday," she said, "so that we can continue our solid policy for you, for your children, for your families and friends."
"So that in four years we are able to say that people in 2017 are doing better than they did in 2013; more people have jobs; the euro is more stable, Europe is more stable and we have less debt. This is my goal, ladies and gentlemen, and therefore I ask you for your support."
SDP war-cryPeer Steinbrueck - whose opposition SDP party is trying to deny Mrs Merkel a third term - rallied his supporters in the town of Kassel. Mr Steinbrueck has sharpened his attacks on his rival, accusing her of skirting the country's big challenges.
Mr Steinbrueck touched on the crisis in Syria, saying he did not want German involvement in any military action. But he said peacekeeping could not be ruled out.
"Germany will have to, within its alliances and under the conditions of a mandate, take part in peacekeeping and peace securing measures," he said.
The Green Party - who may play some part in an eventual governing coalition - held a rally in Berlin. The party's parliamentary co-chair, Juergen Trittin, criticised Mrs Merkel's government.
"Two parties went into the election campaign saying: 'We will not increase taxes.' Then they started their term with a 3% VAT increase. Then they ended it with the car trade-in rebate scheme that was environmental, industrial and transport policy madness," he said.
Mrs Merkel's current coalition partners, the Free Democrats, rallied for votes in Stuttgart.
The Free Democrats (FDP), whose best-known member is Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, has seen its fortunes decline sharply since the last election in 2009, when it won nearly 15% of the vote.
Analysts say the party, traditionally more liberal than the CDU/CSU, has struggled to stand out from its more powerful coalition partner on economic policy.
If the Free Democrats (FDP) do badly, as expected, the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) may find themselves looking to other small parties to form a broader, more fragile coalition.
ScenariosAccording to an average of opinion polls tweeted by the 'London-based @electionista monitoring site, the CDU/CSU will get 38.6% of the vote to 25.8% for the SPD and 6.4% for the FDP.
Some analysts also see the possibility of a government led by Mrs Merkel which includes the Social Democrats (SPD), whose leader served as finance minister under Mrs Merkel in a previous grand coalition.
Under another scenario, a new party largely formed from disaffected CDU members could get enough votes to be regarded as a different coalition partner. Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD), as it is known, is avowedly anti-euro and could prove a difficult partner.
In a letter sent to five million households, Mrs Merkel, in power since 2005, promised voters they would be in safe hands if she stayed on as chancellor.
"We have achieved a lot together," she wrote. "I also want the next four years to be good."
German coalitions explained in cake
On Berlin's famous Alexanderplatz Square on Thursday evening, Mr Steinbrueck likened Mrs Merkel to a timid driver steering the country around in circles.
"She likes to drive around roundabouts," he said. "That way you don't hit anything... You drive without accidents.
"But the moment you set a direction, the moment you don't just administer this country but also decide its political direction, you also cause offence, you provoke. At least with me you know what you get, in contrast to the last four years."
Dismissing opinion polls, he said: "It's not the pollsters, nor the wishful thinking of politicians... but you voters who decide."
The election is one of the most important in years because of Germany's dominant role in the eurozone.
With the biggest population of any EU state, it enjoys a GDP that far outstrips the economies of its partners and is crucial to decisions on tackling the eurozone's debt crisis.
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 13:14
New Italian Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni attends at the Lower house of the parliament in Rome, April 29, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/ Alessandro Bianchi
By Steve Scherer
ROME | Sun Sep 22, 2013 7:22am EDT
ROME (Reuters) - Italian Economy Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni will resign if the fragile coalition government flouts European Union deficit spending limits in favor of tax cuts, he told Corriere della Sera newspaper on Sunday.
The departure of Saccomanni, a former high ranking Bank of Italy official who is not affiliated to a political party, would be a blow to Italy's credibility with the financial markets as it battles to emerge from its longest recession in six decades.
Italy's accounts are heading toward overshooting the EU deficit limit this year, Saccomanni said on Friday, just months after the country was taken off a black list for running excessive budget gaps in the past.
While the minister said he would do all it takes to keep the deficit below the 3 percent of output ceiling, senior coalition members have pledged to go ahead with tax cuts amid a growing sense that a national election may be just a few months away.
"Promises must be kept, otherwise I'm not staying," Saccomanni was quoting saying in an interview with the Corriere's editor-in-chief. "I must defend my credibility, and I have no political ambitions."
Prime Minister Enrico Letta's government has been in nearly constant turmoil since it was formed five months ago by the country's two biggest parties which have traditionally been bitter rivals.
Letta's Democratic Party (PD) and Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (FI) agreed to govern together after an inconclusive national vote in February, but both sides appear to be mulling an early vote as a way out of the awkward alliance.
"I'm not going to make a desperate search for a billion euros if in February there's going to be a vote," Saccomanni was said to say in the Corriere, explaining that reforms and the management of the public accounts required political stability.
To meet the EU deficit target, Saccomanni needs 1.4 billion euros and he said a one-percentage-point planned increase of the main sales-tax rate of 21 percent on October 1 cannot be canceled without worsening the public accounts.
FI's group leader in the lower house, Renato Brunetta, has said the survival of the government depends on cancelling the value-added tax (VAT) hike, and PD officials have also called for it to be scrapped.
Letta is traveling to the United States and Canada this week, but will return Friday to preside over a cabinet meeting where a decision over the sales-tax increase must be taken.
It would cost about 1 billion euros to cancel the sales-tax hike, but another newspaper, Il Messaggero, estimated on Sunday that Saccomanni needed to find a total of 6 billion euros by the end of the year to meet the deficit target while satisfying all the demands made by the parties in the ruling coalition.
(Editing by Mark Potter)
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Sat, 21 Sep 2013 16:04
Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a sociologist, award-winning author and geopolitical analyst.
The US intelligence community has been put to shame by the dedication and determination of a lone Christian nun. Her modest study of the videos of the Syrian chemical attack shows they were productions involving staged bodies.
Those who take the time to read the report by Mother Agnes and the International Support Team for Mussalaha in Syria (ISTEAMS) will realize that it disgraces the entire US intelligence community for endorsing video footage that is clearly dubious and not credible upon careful study by even a layperson.
No one denies that chemical weapons were used. The US federal government and the mainstream media in the US and countries allied to it have been playing a dirty game of equating the a) rejection of accusations that the Syrian government used chemical weapons with b) an outright denial that chemical weapons were used. The two are deliberately being mixed together to confuse the general public. The question is who used the chemical weapons?
What is the US intelligence community?Before I go any further, it has to be emphasized that the US intelligence community is a monstrous apparatus or network that has immense technological resources, mammoth amounts of funding, and massive manpower. It is a collective of all the intelligence bodies of the US government, which is formed by 16 different intelligence agencies.
Out of the agencies that form the US Intelligence community, one belongs to the US Treasury, one belongs to the US Department of State, two belong to Homeland Security, two belong to the US Department of Justice, one belongs to the US Department of Energy, eight belong to the Pentagon, and finally one of them is the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which is independent from any US government department.
Nonetheless, this gargantuan body could not see what Mother Agnes Mariam has found and submitted to the United Nations. It is job of the agencies of the US intelligence community to examine these videos and to authenticate them. But they failed either to serve US foreign policy, or to show professionalism, or both.
Instead they nominated and endorsed a sample of footage from Syria as a means of proving that (1) the chemical weapons were used in the Damascus suburb of East Ghouta and (2) that the Syrian government was responsible for the diabolical attacks.
Dubious nature of videos selected by US intel communityThe US intelligence community selected or nominated 13 videos that the Obama Administration used in their case against the Syrian government. These videos need to be carefully looked at.
The emphasis that US Secretary of State John Kerry put on the videos in his scripted speech that he read out to reporters on August 30, 2013, came across as ingenious. Kerry notably refers to the footage from Syria and constantly uses the words ''our own eyes'' and ''seeing.'' He even asks that the videos be watched by the general public. He should have been taken to task on this, and he was through the study that Mother Agnes has produced.
Undoubtedly there will be those who will dismiss the fact that there is an almost total absence of adult corpses next to the bodies of the children, nor any parents, especially mothers, coming to claim their children. Where were the parents? From a cultural context, this is strikingly odd. It is highly unlikely that the parents, especially the mothers of all these children, would have left them alone or not rushed to where their bodies were.
If the parents were not killed, then where are they? If the parents, especially the mothers (following the gender script of Syrian society), were with their children, then where are their corpses?
In one video where it is stated that all the bodies are dead, we can see that the some of the corpses are being injected with an unknown liquid. Why?
The report also highlights the fact that there have been no public funerals or announcements about all the dead children. This is outside of both cultural and religious norms.
In the footage of one burial, only eight people are buried and three of them are not even covered in white shrouds, which is a compulsory ritual. Were these people murdered by the insurgents and disrespectfully buried without the proper rituals as a sign of disdain?
Moreover, the identities of the dead have consistently been withheld. There is more to say on this and it should be kept in mind.
Mother Agnes also makes a point of indicating that there is virtually an absence of the sound of ambulances and that in the testimonies that are used the individuals talking claim to have smelled the chemical that was used. Sarin gas, however, is odorless, which raises important questions about the testimonies.
Stage-managed scenes Even if one ignores some of the arguments in the Mother Agnes report, there are some observations in the study that are undeniable. These observations will lead anyone to conclude that the scenes in the footage that the US intelligence community nominated are stage-managed.
Some of the same bodies were planted or recycled in different scenes and makeshift morgues that were supposed to be in different locations. The same bodies of the same children are spotted in different locations.
There is additional footage that either gives a contradictory impression to that of the videos nominated by the US intelligence community for the Obama Administration or shows that children were being arranged and moved around.
A horrible conclusion Many bad things have happened in Syria, including the chemical attack in East Ghouta. Yet there many questions that have to be answered.
There was a massacre in Latakia on August 4, 2013 that went unreported. The mainstream media in the US and the countries allied to it failed to cover this or casually pass it over, obviously because it was inconvenient to change the agenda in Syria.
The study mentions that the relatives of children that were abducted by the US-supported insurgents have begun to come forward to identify their relatives in the videos. It paints an ominous picture that the bodies of these children were prostituted to open the field in Syria for a foreign military intervention.
Regardless of whatever position one takes on Syria, it is their responsibility to analyze the videos from the alleged chemical attack and pay attention to observations of Mother Agnes Mariam's report.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.
Sat, 21 Sep 2013 16:25
1 of 7. Free Syrian Army fighters take cover from snipers by crawling on the front line in Aleppo's Sheikh Saeed neighbourhood September 21, 2013.
Credit: Reuters/Molhem Barakat
By Thomas Escritt
AMSTERDAM | Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:18pm EDT
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Syria has handed over information about its chemical arsenal to a U.N.-backed weapons watchdog, meeting the first deadline of an ambitious disarmament operation that averted the threat of Western air strikes.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said on Saturday it had "received the expected disclosure" from Damascus, 24 hours after saying it had been given a partial document from Syrian authorities.
It said it was reviewing the information, handed over after President Bashar al-Assad agreed to destroy Syria's chemical weapons in the wake of a sarin gas strike in Damascus's suburbs last month - the world's deadliest chemical attack in 25 years.
Washington blamed Assad's forces for the attack, which it said killed more than 1,400 people. Assad blamed rebels battling to overthrow him, saying it made no sense for his forces to use chemical weapons when they were gaining the upper hand and while U.N. chemical inspectors were staying in central Damascus.
The timetable for disarmament was laid down by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov a week ago in Geneva when they set aside sharp differences over Syria to address the chemical weapons issue.
Their plan set a Saturday deadline for Syria to give a full account of the weapons it possesses. Security experts say it has about 1,000 metric tons of mustard gas, VX and sarin - the nerve gas U.N. inspectors found had been used in the August 21 attack.
The U.S. State Department said on Friday, after the OPCW announced Syria's initial declaration, that it was studying the material. "An accurate list is vital to ensure the effective implementation," spokeswoman Marie Harf said.
Once the OPCW executive has voted to follow the Lavrov-Kerry plan in a meeting expected early next week, the Security Council is due to give its endorsement of the arrangements - marking a rare consensus after two years of East-West deadlock over Syria.
However, the two powers are divided over how to ensure compliance with the accord. U.S. President Barack Obama has warned that he is still prepared to attack Syria, even without a U.N. mandate, if Assad reneges on the deal.
Russia, which says it is not clear who was behind the August 21 attack and has a veto in the Security Council, opposes attempts by Western powers to write in an explicit and immediate threat of penalties under what are known as Chapter VII powers.
It wants to discuss ways of forcing Syrian compliance only in the event that Damascus fails to cooperate.
But a senior Russian official suggested on Saturday that if there were clear indications that Assad were not committed to handing over chemical weapons, Moscow may stop supporting him.
"I'm talking theoretically and hypothetically, but if we became sure that Assad is cheating, we could change our position," said Sergei Ivanov, chief of staff for President Vladimir Putin.
Ivanov said it would take two to three months to decide how long it would take to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons, a task that the Kerry-Lavrov agreement aims to complete by mid-2014.
The accord has been welcomed internationally because of its potential to remove a toxic arsenal from Syria's battlefield and possibly revive international efforts to press for a political solution to the civil war.
But it has done nothing in the short term to stem fighting with conventional weapons, which has killed more than 100,000 people, according to the United Nations.
REBEL OFFENSIVE IN ALEPPO
Rebel forces, some of whom accused the West of betrayal when Obama stepped back from air strikes against Assad's forces three weeks ago, seized several villages south of Aleppo on Saturday.
Their offensive was the latest effort to cut Assad's supply lines to Syria's biggest city, preventing reinforcements by road from Damascus to the south.
Video posted on the Internet showed rebels from the Tawhid brigade firing from a tank and a truck-mounted machine gun at army positions near the Sheikh Said suburb south of Aleppo.
Further south, in Hama province, soldiers and pro-Assad militiamen killed at least 15 people, including a woman and two children, in the Sunni Muslim village of Sheikh Hadid, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The British-based group, which monitors violence in Syria through a network of activists and medical and security sources, said the killings followed attacks by rebels on military checkpoints in the area over the previous two days.
It said 26 people - 16 soldiers and 10 members of the pro-Assad National Defence Force - were killed when rebels attacked a nearby checkpoint on Thursday. There was also fighting in the village of Jalma, two miles south of Sheikh Hadid, on Friday, it said.
Syria's civil war, which grew out of a 2011 uprising against four decades of Assad family rule, pits mainly Sunni Muslim rebels against a president whose Alawite faith is an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.
The war has divided the Middle East along sectarian lines, with Shi'ite Iran and Shi'ite fighters from Iraq as well as Lebanon's Hezbollah backing Assad. Sunni Muslim rulers in Turkey and the Gulf support the rebels, who have been joined by Sunni Islamist fighters from across the region.
The opposition Syrian National Coalition rejected an offer by Iran's president Hassan Rouhani to help start talks with the Syrian government, saying Tehran could not mediate while providing political, economic, and military support to Assad.
"If serious, the Iranian government would withdraw its military experts and extremist fighters from Syria before embarking on dialogue proposals," it said in a statement.
(Additional reporting by Dominic Evans in Beirut, Jason Bush in Moscow; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Andrew Heavens)
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Sun, 22 Sep 2013 12:53
As another Lame Cherry exclusive in matter and anti matter by God's Grace..........
There is a conversation taking place in the children of Persia, Egypt and Pakistan in their having not appreciation for the House of Saud, as the House of Saud in all their money has been a conduit for all the machinations of the Berlin order carried out by the Birther Hussein Obama regime.
They have divided the lands and made the rulers pass under the rod, some to humiliation, some to cage, some to murder.
The conspirators have come to a plan to in the next year during conflict to fire a thermo nuclear warhead to decapitate the Saudi leadership.This blog warned that this region has nuclear weapons, as the Saudi's were moved by the weapons sold to Iraq and Iran by the Soviets, to fund the Pakistani bomb, to offset that machination, that now it has graduated to a reality of the use of the Dr. Khan, cone shaped atomic warhead utilized to detonate the hydrogen reaction for a thermo nuclear detonation in Saudi Arabia.
This will be a missile strike and the conspirators are full of suffering the abuse of the cartel at the hands of the Saudi royals. They deem it is justified that removing the dog which bites them in their yards is expedient.
Ground zero will be 21 miles in circumference. It will be a day when a north wind blows and the front will carry the cloud south to the Indian Ocean, so as not to nuclear pollute the Asian powers.
I do not desire the end of the children of Ishmael as they are the brothers of the Anglo Americans. Hagar the Egyptian is their mother and Joseph was give an Egyptian to wife. They are family and this should not be.They should not though trust in that prophet Muhammed nor in that moon deity allah, but come to the God of Abraham their father, as they have played the whore worse than Judah and Israel in fornicating with the world.They have gone down with the Assyrian German and Babylonian Italian, by their Birther goat who bowed to them, and now sons of Egypt, Persia and Ham seek to make a prey of them for the murders the house of Ishmael has paid for.
Now the conspirators seek payment and it is by nuclear flame to vaporize the crescent moon in the sand.
These are the whispers around the lamps of nuclear fire and you have been warned house of Ishmael.
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Fri, 20 Sep 2013 01:15
Flowers's 12-year affair with Bill Clinton was exposed in 1992 during his presidential campaignShe bitterly regrets rejecting him when he last begged to see her and says he's the 'love of her life'Launching a career as a sex columnist she says Clinton taught her everything she knowsBill told her Hillary was 'bisexual' and that he had 'no problem with that'By Laura Collins
PUBLISHED: 19:15 EST, 18 September 2013 | UPDATED: 10:00 EST, 19 September 2013
Their 12-year affair made Gennifer Flowers one of the most high profile mistresses in America. Now, two decades after they split amid scandal, the former news reporter from Little Rock, Arkansas wants to 'sit down and talk' with Bill Clinton.
In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, Gennifer has spoken of her deep regret at turning down Clinton's pleas to talk some eight years ago and revealed her belief that they would still be together today, were it not the birth of Clinton's daughter, Chelsea.
She said: 'We have some unresolved issues that it would be nice to sit down and talk about now. He was the love of my life and I was the love of his life and you don't get over those things.'
'Let's talk:' When he contacted her eight years ago Gennifer Flowers admits she wasn't ready to talk to her former lover, Bill Clinton. Today she longs to
Gennifer thought that speaking out on 27 January 1992 would be the beginning and end of interest in her affair with Clinton. Instead it shaped the Presidential campaign and changed her life forever
As well as speaking candidly about the affair and its ongoing impact on her life, Gennifer has released previously unseen images from her Penthouse shoot to MailOnline. She was featured in the magazine's December 1992 issue.
By then all lines of communication with Clinton had been severed and she had no contact with him for 13 years when he called out of the blue. She said: 'He called me back in 2005 in New Orleans. He wanted to put on the hoodie and jog on over like he used to.
'First I was just shocked. He was so adamant about wanting to sit down and talk to me in person.
'It almost seemed like what I had heard of people who were going through a 12 step program and wanted to atone to people for various things.'
At the time Gennifer, 63, was recently divorced after a ten year marriage.
Baring her soul...and the rest: Gennifer in a previously unseen picture from her Penthouse 1992 shoot
La Vie en Rose: Gennifer says she regrets nothing about the Penthouse shoot that appeared in the magazine in December 1992
She said: 'I was scared. It wasn't that I didn't want to see him in my heart of hearts. I was just afraid. But there's going to be an attachment forever.
'If we had the opportunity to sit down and visit with each other in person, I'm not saying the romance would be rekindled but we will always have something. Whatever you might call it.
'Bill and I would be together today if it wasn't for politics. It was me, Bill and Hillary. Then they had Chelsea and the stakes got too high.'
Trust Me I'm a Politician: Bill Clinton appearing on CBS's '60 Minutes' in January 1992 with Hillary looking on as he denies any affair with Gennifer Flowers
The other 'other' women Clinton denied having 'relations' with: Monica Lewiinsky embraces Clinton at a public rally in 1996
It is 21 years since Gennifer's allegations of a long-running affair with then Democratic candidate Bill Clinton became the most sensational event of the 1992 campaign.
The Madonna of Little Rock, Arkansas: Gennifer Flowers at the time the scandal of her affair with Clinton broke
On 23 January 1992 tabloid, The Star named Gennifer as Clinton's mistress. Three days later he and wife Hillary appeared on 60 minutes, side by side, flat denying the claim.
Six years later Clinton admitted to having sexual relations with Gennifer 'one time' in 1977 in his deposition to lawyers representing former Arkansas State employee Paula Jones in her sexual harassment lawsuit against him.
By then Flowers was already well and truly defined by the scandal which had made both her, and Clinton, household names.
Apparently driven on by the belief that the 'truth will set you free,' she proceeded to tell her story in a best-sellling book and pose for Penthouse magazine.
Penthouse alone reportedly earned her close to $1million in the aftermath of the scandal.
She said: 'I was singing in nightclubs, wearing very sexy outifts and gowns, a very independent liberated woman. I was the Madonna of my day '' in Little Rock.'
On posing for Penthouse Gennifer said: 'I made the decision to do it.
'No-one made me do or asked me to do anything that made me feel uncomfortable.
I knew Bob (Guccione) would be making me look as good as possible and what woman doesn't enjoy that?'
Of the infamous publisher, whose most famous pictures are available to view on the Guccione Collection website boasts his favorite pictures from the Penthouse archives, she said, 'Bob was just a stud.'
But while some might assume that, all these years later, Flowers '' who has established herself as a cabaret singer in New Orleans - would want to shed herself of those associations and of the 'mistress' title, she has chosen instead to embrace them.
She said: 'Why not? I was a mistress for many years.'
And so as part of what she refers to as 'the extended liberation of Gennifer Flowers' her latest incarnation is as a sex advice columnist.
'Mistress Flowers': Sex advice columnist Gennifer says Clinton taught her 'everything she knows' about sex
'Ask Mistress Gennifer' will run daily on Guccionecollection.com'' a site devoted to the archives of Penthouse publisher, Bob Guccione. The haul is part of a treasure trover discovered by businessman Jeremy Frommer after he bought Guccione's archives.
Demonstrating something of the playfulness that saw her snare the then Governor of Arkansas she said: 'I'm going to have to thank Bill for some of the advice I'm going to be giving.
'It will be based on experiences I had with him.
Gennifer in 1996: No longer in Clinton's bed but still in the spotlight in 1996
She added: 'I wish he would write to me.
'He could do it. People don't have to send their name.
'Really he taught me a lot.'
Clinton, now 67, also shared a lot of intimacies regarding his marriage to Hillary.
They left Gennifer in no doubt that the union is far from 'traditional.'
She said: 'What they have is very strong.
'It obviously worked for them but I've never considered theirs a traditional marriage.'
When rumours surfaced recently of an affair between Hillary Clinton and her transition office chief, Huma Abedin, 37, Gennifer was not surprised.
The rumours concerning Huma, wife of disgraced former Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, 49, emerged as she stood by her husband in the wake of his recent 'sexting' scandal.
Revelations that he had sent intimate pictures of himself and steamy messages to 23-year-old Sydney Leathers - a girl he had only ever 'met' online - finally did for his New York Mayoral campaign last week.
Huma Abedin stood by husband, Anthony Weiner, when he was embroiled in a SECOND sexting scandal earlier this year. Prompting many to ask, 'Why?'
Up Close and Personal: Huma Abedin leans in to advise Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State, during an Open Government Partnership event in New York in 2011
The scandal broke almost exactly a year after the shamed congressman suffered a public mauling for the same behaviour. Then, as recently, his wife Huma Abedin stood by him.
This time round Huma's loyalty raised eyebrows and questions over why a woman of such accomplishment would stick by a man so apparently incapable of change.
Gennifer Flowers posing for Penthouse in 1992 - the same year that her affair with Bill Clinton was exposed
Gennifer at her 1992 press conference, left, and pictured in Dallas in 2006, right, when she failed in her attempt to revive a defamation case against Hillary Clinton and two of her fomer aides
Gennifer said: 'I don't know Huma or the Weiners. I just know what Bill told me and that was that he was aware that Hillary was bisexual and he didn't care. He should know.
'He said Hillary had eaten more p***y than he had.'
Yet however much their roles as mistress and wife cast Gennifer and Hillary Clinton as natural rivals Gennifer claimed to feel a sense of solidarity with Hillary, 65, and would support Hillary's candidacy for President.
She said: 'The support I would give Hillary is as a woman. I'm one of those women who in so many aspects of my professional and personal life I've been out there making strides for women and allowing them to go down roads in which they were not welcome.
Clinton in November 1992 and the two great loves against which Gennifer could never compete: Chelsea and Politics
Closing ranks: Clinton is embraced by wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea following the final Presidential debate in October 1992
'I would love to see a woman president.
'And she seems to be the only one that's getting close to it.'
According to Gennifer, the promise of the Presidency for herself one day was what bound Hillary to her faithless husband across the years.
She said: 'Absolutely that was her reason for sticking by him and he's going to stick by her because he owes her that.
'I would have thrown his clothes out on the front lawn but that's just me.'
Reflecting on her affair with Clinton she said: 'The whole experience changed my life forever and everything went in a different direction.
'I don't regret telling the truth. It was a defining moment in American culture absolutely.'
The only difference now, she said, with advances in technology Clinton would have been unable to deny the affair as he did for several years.
She said: 'I had recorded telephone conversations thank God. But if I hadn't had them and Monica [Lewinsky] hadn't had that blue dress we would have been cast out as crazy stalkers.
'I think today Bill and I would have texted every opportunity we got. So I would have had tons of texts from him.'
She also believes that they would be together today were it not for the birth of his daughter, Chelsea, in 1980.
She said: 'for a long time he was able to have it all. Then when they had Cheslea and he became Governor the stakes became higher.'
Today Gennifer is single. She has been engaged 'a couple of times' since her divorce in 2005. She lives in New Orleans and sings regularly, though no longer owns the cabaret club where she used to perform nightly.
'I love singing,' she said. 'It's who I am. That's who I am today I've had the opportunity as time has gone on to put things in their place in my head and move forward.
'But,' she admitted. 'I'm still affected by it, the Clintons in some way every day and every day something happens that sparks a memory.
'It was a defining moment in American culture absolutely and to an extent I paid a high price for my honesty.'
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Fri, 20 Sep 2013 09:41
20/09/13, 10:37 '' bron: Der Spiegel
Volgens documenten van klokkenluider Edward Snowden die het Duitse weekblad Der Spiegel mocht inzien was het niet de NSA, maar de Britse geheime dienst GCHQ die Belgacom gehackt heeft. Het bedrijf diende op 19 juli een klacht in wegens 'het ongeoorloofd toegang verschaffen tot het interne informaticasysteem van het telecombedrijf'.
Na de recente onthullingen van Snowden over de spionageactiviteiten van de Verenigde Staten liet Belgacom een uitgebreid onderzoek uitvoeren door een Nederlandse firma. De firma ontdekte uiterst gesofisticeerde malware op de communicatie-infrastructuur van Belgacom.
De technische complexiteit van de hacking en de schaal waarop dit is gebeurd wijzen in de richting van internationale 'state-sponsored' cyberspionage, zo stelde de firma eerder deze week. Meteen werd de Amerikaanse inlichtingendienst NSA verdacht, maar volgens Der Spiegel zitten dus niet de Amerikanen maar de Britten achter de cyberaanval.
Operatie 'succesvol'Tussen de gelekte documenten van Snowden trof Der Spiegel een presentatie van GCHQ aan over de spionage op Belgacom. Er staat geen datum op de presentatie, maar volgens Der Spiegel is duidelijk dat het telefoonbedrijf al vanaf 2010 werd bespioneerd.
De malware zou op de systemen van Belgacom zijn gezet medewerkers van het bedrijf met 'goede toegang' tot essentile delen van de infrastructuur gericht aan te vallen. In (C)(C)n slide uit de Powerpoint-presentatie wordt de operatie bestempeld als een 'succes'.
AangifteBelgacom heeft aangifte gedaan. De Belgische regering waarschuwde gepaste maatregelen te nemen als een land achter de afluisterpraktijken blijkt te zitten. Belgacom is grotendeels in overheidshanden.
Sat, 21 Sep 2013 01:16
Google's playboyexecutives didn't just land their planes on NASA property and start chugging Pentagon fuel without permission'--first, they had to cozy up with the government.
In these emails, released via FOIA request and provided to Valleywag by California non-profit Humanitarian Air Logistics, show a chummy, chatty relationship between Google and NASA staff. The friendliness extends in both directions: Eric Schmidt and Sergey Brin were sure eager to secure Moffett Federal Airfield to shuttle their mistresses and pals around the world. But cash-strapped NASA seems equally'--if not more!'--desperate to cuddle up with the tech sector.
Although Ken Ambrose, the man in charge of Google's airfield-managing dummy company, told Sen. Chuck Grassley they have "no relationship with [NASA] Director [Pete] Worden other than as a NASA tenant," that's obviously false.
The "tenant relationship" doesn't usually entail requesting private plane rides for Tom Brokaw:
Nor does it entail all the email and phone call back and forth seen and described below. Remember: every minute a government employee spends bargaining with Google so its middle-aged male execs can get their international jet-set fuck on, it's a minute they aren't doing their real jobs.
Sat, 21 Sep 2013 16:20
The National Security Agency sent out a letter to all of its employees and affiliates, including contractors, that could be printed and shared with family, friends and colleagues. It was intended to reassure them that the NSA is not really the abusive and unchecked spying agency engaged in illegal activity that someone reading former NSA contractor Edward Snowden's disclosures might think it happens to be.
The letter, sent on September 13, is signed by NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander and NSA Deputy Director John Inglis, begins, ''We are writing to you, our extended NSA/CSS family, in light of the unauthorized disclosure of classified information by a former contractor employee.''
If anyone was thinking of breaking up with the NSA family, the letter states, ''We want to put the information you are reading and hearing about in the press into context and reassure you that this Agency and its workforce are deserving and appreciative of your support.''
''Some media outlets have sensationalized the leaks to the press in a way that has called into question our motives and wrongly cast doubt on the integrity and commitment of the extraordinary people who work here at NSA/CSS'--your loved one(s),'' the letter suggests. ''It has been discouraging to see how our Agency frequently has been portrayed in the news as more of a rogue element than a national treasure.''
I don't know what press publications the NSA regularly collects, intercepts and analyzes, but most of the press has questioned the motives of Edward Snowden, not the analysts working at the NSA.
This siege mentality seems more indicative of the fact that the NSA has been subject to uncharacteristic scrutiny in the past months that should have occurred when the NSA first began to employ the surveillance programs that have been exposed, like PRISM and the bulk data collection from telephone providers.
''For more than 6 decades, NSA/CSS has been responsible for protecting the United States and its allies through its information assurance and signals intelligence missions. All of the things we do to conduct our mission are lawful,'' except for when the NSA monitored the calls of over a thousand Americans engaged in political activities between 1967 and 1973.
Except for when it was intercepting mail in the 1950s without distinguishing between messages from foreigners and Americans. Except for when it was involved in the 1960s in investigating ''racial matters'' or ''student agitation'' by activists in cooperation with the CIA and military intelligence agencies. Except for when it engaged in warrantless wiretapping, most recently after the September 11th attacks.
In case family members thought their loved one had no sense of what it means to respect privacy and protect civil liberties of US citizens, the directors declare, ''In concert with our mission, NSA/CSS employees are trained from the first day on the job, and regularly thereafter, to respect the privacy and civil liberties of US citizens. We go to great lengths to achieve our goal of no mistakes.''
''However, we are human and, because the environment of law and technology within which we operate is so complex and dynamic, mistakes sometimes do occur.'' Thousands of times per year they sometimes occur. Sometimes these ''mistakes'' involve incidents like adding 16,000 phone numbers improperly to an ''alert list.'' This is according to official documents like audits of the agency. Yet, the directors write, ''Some of those reports have been leaked to the press and have been mischaracterized to portray us as irresponsible and careless; nothing could be further from the truth.''
As both Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Mark Udall have suggested, given the ineptitude of the NSA in being able to understand what it was doing with the bulk data collection program, how does it know if the program even kept Americans safe? Seems like it would be best to just end the program. (Plus, it would help the NSA achieve its goal of ''no mistakes.'')
''There are some in the media who are taking the time to actually study the leaked material, and they have drawn conclusions that are very different from those who are in it for a quick headline,'' the directors concede. Unfortunately, they are not talking about anyone like Marcy Wheeler.
The directors quote Lawfare's editor-in-chief and frequent national security state apologist, Benjamin Wittes, who wrote a post chastising The Washington Post as well as President Barack Obama's administration for how it was handling the leaks.
Shameful as it is that these documents were leaked, they actually should give the public great confidence both in NSA's internal oversight mechanisms and in the executive and judicial oversight mechanisms outside the agency. They show no evidence of any intentional spying on Americans or abuse of civil liberties. They show a low rate of the sort of errors any complex system of technical collection will inevitably yield. They show robust compliance procedures on the part of the NSA. And they show an earnest, ongoing dialog with the FISA Court over the parameters of the agency's legal authority and a commitment both to keeping the court informed of activities and to complying with its judgments on their legality. While it took a criminal act to make this record public, we are deeply proud of this record and make no apologies for it.
The above is what Wittes thought the Obama administration should have been saying about the leaks (though it is not clear in the letter if Alexander and Inglis realize this). So, essentially, this is an expression of how disappointed the NSA is with how the White House has not done enough to shield it from investigative journalists curious about what it really has been doing with its surveillance powers.
The letter cites propaganda the agency has peddled'--that its actions have thwarted ''54 different terrorist plots.'' Inglis admitted during a hearing to Sen. Patrick Leahy that US bulk records phone spying had only been key in stopping one terrorist plot. But, this is about reassuring the family that everything is okay and going to be fine so did you know many American service members could have died without this unbounded surveillance? Some even have died.
''The NSA/CSS Memorial Wall lists the names of 171 cryptologists who have died in the line of duty since the Agency's inception in 1952,'' according to the letter.
What does that even mean? People die while working for us and put their lives on the line every day so don't even think about criticizing our role in government? Or, for the families who are questioning whether their loved one is now a forever disgraced government employee, do not worry because they are working on collecting ''intelligence'' at great risk in some cases?
''More stories will appear,'' the directors note, but rest assured the NSA will be working to ''separate fact from fiction.'' In fact, it appears employees will be coming home with some kind of kits of materials for family members to help them ''understand that our activities are lawful, appropriate and effective.''
It concludes, ''We have weathered storms before and we will weather this one together, as well.''
The entire letter is emblematic of the insular culture of people who have committed their lives to Top Secret America and have placed themselves above criticism by any person, whether they be in the halls of power, a media organization or a civil society group in this country.
It is not the NSA who has engaged in operations that infringe upon privacy with very little discernible proof that the programs have stopped numerous actual terrorist plots, who should be shamed. It is the press, who have convinced many Americans that the NSA is some kind of ''rogue element.''
And, even though the NSA director built a replica of the bridge from starship Enterprise and called it the ''Information Dominance Center'' and that wholly perverts the values of peace and cooperation creator Gene Roddenberry intended to promote, it is not a ''rogue element'' but a ''national treasure'' that we all should shower with honor and praise.
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 02:58
Sep. 19, 2013
During the second portion of a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing about Benghazi Thursday on Capitol Hill, the majority of Democrats on the Committee left the room and refused to listen to the testimony of Patricia Smith and Charles Woods. Ms. Smith is the mother of Sean Smith, an information management officer killed in the 9/11 Benghazi attack. Charles Woods is the father of Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods, who was also killed.
The far side of the room, shown empty in the photo, belongs to the Democrats. The only Democrats who stayed were Ranking Member Elijah Cummings and Rep. Jackie Speier.
UPDATE: It turns out there weren't a whole lot of Republicans in the hearing room for Smith and Wood's testimony either. They should have been there. That being said, here's the difference: Republicans have promised Smith and Woods answers about what happened in Benghazi and their continued efforts to hold hearings, issue subpoenas, etc. prove it. Charles Woods went out of his way during testimony to thank Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz for his help. Democrats have repeatedly called the attack, and it's cover-up, a 'phony scandal' and a political witch hunt.
Fri, 20 Sep 2013 01:31
Brazil is not very happy about all these NSA revelations. As home to Latin America's biggest economy, the country understandably hates the idea that the United States is listening to its phone calls and reading its emails. In fact, Brazil hates it so much that it wants to disconnect itself from the U.S. internet altogether.
This will not a simple task, but there is a real plan in place. And to be frank, it's a pretty aggressive move in the direction of the government taking control of how the internet works. President Dilma Rousseff seems bullish about it, though, and has ordered several specific'--and potentially impossible'--measures to break away from the U.S. internet:
Force Internet companies like Google and Facebook to build servers inside Brazil's borders so that they would be subject to Brazilian privacy laws.Build more internet exchange points in order to route Brazilian traffic around potential spyware.Launch a state-run email service through the postal service to act as an alternative to Gmail, Yahoo Mail and others.Laying a new underwater cable to Europe so that Brazil can connect with those countries directlyRousseff has also demanded a detailed report of the extent of American intelligence gathering in Brazil.
While the move to create an independent internet seems extreme, the idea of pushing U.S. authorities for more transparency is at the very least understandable. In July The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald reported that Brazil is second only to the United States when it comes to the amount of communications subject to NSA surveillance. We don't know specific numbers, but we do know that U.S. spies are watching Brazil, an ally, as closely if not more closely than countries like China and Iran.
Why? Well, as former director of both the CIA and NSA, General Michael Hayden, explained to The New Yorker recently, "That's where the transatlantic cables come ashore." It's true. If you look at a map of the undersea cables, you can clearly see how Brazil is one of the most important telecommunications hubs in the world. This fact also further complicates Brazil's plan to disconnect itself from the U.S. internet, a move that lawmakers aren't even sure is possible.
Difficult as it may be, Rousseff isn't backing away from her plan to make Brazil's internet more independent. She's expected to speak about it more later this month when she address the United Nations General Assembly. Meanwhile, critics warn that Brazil's government intervening in the basic operations of the internet will set a dangerous precedent. It might not even help keep spies away. As one cybersecurity expert told the Associated Press, "It's sort of like a Soviet socialism of computing." And we all know how that's been working out for Russia. [AP]
Update: In a culmination of disapproval over America's spying on her people, Rousseff canceled a planned trip to Washington on Tuesday. Obama tried to talk her out of cancelling on Monday night. He also failed to make a public apology for the spying like she'd asked.
Top image via Submarine Cable Map
The levels of exposure to radiation following the leaks and explosions at the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in 2011 were so low that they led today to this important conclusion from experts convened in Vienna by the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effect of Atomic Radiation: It is unlikely to be able to attribute any health effects in the future among the general public and the vast majority of workers. Scientists had met all week to make final adjustments to a report on Fukushima radiation and health that will be submitted to the United Nations General Assembly later this year.
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 13:00
Published: 22 Sep 2013 11:18 CET | Print versionOnline: http://www.thelocal.de/money/20130922-52035.html
It is already a booming market in the United States, but in Europe, companies are also waking up to the idea of cyber insurance to protect themselves against internet attack.
And insurance companies are projecting strong growth in the coming years.On the other side of the Atlantic, where companies are obliged to inform US authorities of online attacks, the cyber insurance market is already highly developed, totalling $1.3 billion ('¬960 million) per year, according to Christopher Lohmann, head of Germany and central Europe at Allianz Global Corporate and Speciality.
Europe is still a long way off that. "But we project strong growth in the coming years. We see the market amounting to 700-900 million euros by 2018," Lohmann said.
For companies and private individuals, the dangers from the web are very real, ranging from data and identity theft to espionage.
Companies can see their infrastructure paralysed, their computer systems infected with viruses and malware.
But these are not the only risks: human error and internal hiccups can also jam systems and wipe data.
Just last month, mobile phone operator Vodafone was the victim of massive data theft where personal information -- including bank account details -- of around two million people was stolen.
And with the exponential growth of electronic messages, and the increasing transfer of companies' commercial processing and data storage to cloud computing, the dangers are only going to multiply.
In Germany, a total 64,000 acts of cyber crime were officially reported in 2012, representing around 42 million euros worth of damage, an increase of 7.5 percent over the previous year.
And that is just the tip of the iceberg, experts say, because many companies prefer to remain silent over any breaches in their security systems.
"Europe is still very much behind on this," said Nicolas Helenon, founder of the insurance broker NeoTech Assurances.
"Big companies armed themselves against these risks long ago. But most small and mid-sized companies are not insured," Helenon said, arguing that many businesses found cyber risks more difficult to grasp than, say, fire or water damage.
"The threat of cyber crime is primarily a concern for companies who manage a lot of client data," said Philipp Lienau at HDI Gerling.
"In case of an attack by hackers or data theft, it can be they who can be held responsible. But above all, it's a major cost factor. Informing those affected by any cyber attack can be very costly," Lienau said.
And it can also seriously damage a company's reputation.
German's Allianz launched an insurance against all types of online risks to companies in July. And HDI Gerling, a subsidiary of the Talanx group, followed suit, offering tailor-made products to industry since September.
French giant Axa is scheduled to enter the market at the beginning of October, while Zurich Insurance has been offering such policies to SMEs for a year now.
New legislation will come into effect in Europe, requiring companies to report cyber attacks and abide by tougher data protection rules. And that will boost demand for cyber insurance, experts say.
And it is not only companies that are at risk, but the general public too as use of social media, smartphones and online transactions rises exponentially.
In 2011, insurer Swiss Life launched an e-reputation insurance to protect individuals' online reputation.
French group Axa is offering a "complete family protection" package to cover all digital risks.
Nevertheless, "the market is still not mature. Many clients do not sufficiently evaluate the difficulties they may encounter on the Internet.
There's still a lot of educating to do," said a spokesman at Swiss Life.
According to software maker Norton, around 556 million people were the victims of cyber crime in 2012 with the losses estimated at '¬80 billion.
Fri, 20 Sep 2013 09:38
20 September 2013Last updated at03:12 ETHundreds of British children are being blackmailed into performing sex acts online, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre has warned.
Abusers posing online as children talk victims into sexual acts or sharing of images, then threaten to send pictures to the child's family and friends.
Ceop said in 12 cases over two years, 424 children had been blackmailed in this way - 184 of them in the UK.
Deputy chief executive Andy Baker said the abuse "escalates really quickly".
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that it could take as little as four minutes "to go from, 'Hi, do you want to get naked?', to self-harming".
Seven victims have killed themselves, including a 17-year-old in the UK.
Another seven seriously self-harmed, of whom six were from the UK.
Mr Baker said: "We're talking about a very small dark percentage of [the internet] and this is what we need to police".
Daniel Perry, from Dunfermline, Fife, took his own life in the summer after blackmailers demanded thousands of pounds having tricked him into thinking he was chatting with a US girl.
'Slave-like acts'He was told that his video conversations would be spread among friends and family unless he paid cash. Other victims have been told their activities would be shared unless they performed more extreme acts.
Continue reading the main storyAnalysisOf all the recent developments involving the internet this is one of the most disturbing.
The perpetrators are usually calculating, computer-savvy men aged between 20 and 44; some act alone, others as part of an organised network. Their motives are more than just sexual - they want control, and in some cases money.
The victims are girls and boys, unwittingly drawn into the paedophiles' net by the possibility of friendship or consensual sexual contact.
Adolescents are particularly vulnerable as it's natural for them to explore their emerging sexuality or engage in risky behaviour - but few can imagine the dangers that their innocent internet chat may lead to.
As well as catching the offenders, investigators say children and parents must be made aware of the risks.
In the 12 cases highlighted by Ceop, the abusers came from four continents and in five cases the criminals were based in the UK.
Children as young as eight had been forced to perform "slave-like acts", said Mr Baker. As well as the performance of sex acts, the abuse sometimes involved being forced to self-harm and there had been a few attempts to extort money.
Experts highlighted the accessibility of the English language and foreign abusers' perceptions about the liberal nature of UK society as reasons for the targeting of British children.
Mr Baker said thousands of British children could have been approached in attempts to instigate abuse.
While only a handful of children will respond, thousands are exposed to the risk, he said.
Ceop operations manager Stephanie McCourt said: "First of all it's the English language. They are able to threaten the children if they can communicate to them. English is a really popular universal language.
"Second of all, the offenders have actually said that because they perceive the UK as a very free and open and liberal society, they think that they will have more success in targeting UK children."
Continue reading the main story''Start QuoteHe was a happy laddie, not depressed and the last type of person you would think would take their life''
End QuoteDaniel Perry's motherThe biggest case, known as Operation K, involved 322 children around the world being blackmailed, including 96 in the UK.
The victims were mainly boys aged 11 to 15, who were targeted by a gang from a non-European country. The suspects are due to stand trial in the coming weeks.
Fake profilesThe gang used more than 40 fake online profiles and more than 40 different email addresses to carry out their abuse.
The network of abuse was exposed after a social networking site noticed suspicious activity and a British child told their parents.
Set up in 2006 in affiliation with the Serious Organised Crime Agency, Ceop is a police agency dedicated to protecting children from sexual abuse.
Ceop said warning signs that a child was being subjected to online abuse could include them becoming aggressive and withdrawn, as well as self-harming.
But in Daniel Perry's case it appears there were no warning signs.
His mother told reporters after his death: "He was a happy laddie, not depressed and the last type of person you would think would take their life... We're a very close family and I just wished he had come to me and said something."
The apprentice mechanic had been having online conversations with someone he believed to be a girl around his own age.
Just before his death, he was warned by the blackmailers that he would be better off dead if he did not transfer the cash. Less than an hour after replying to the message, he fell from the Forth Road Bridge.
Abuse can be reported to Ceop online atwww.ceop.police.uk, via the NSPCC helpline's on 0800 328 0904, or to police
Fri, 20 Sep 2013 09:40
20 September 2013Last updated at05:32 ETEight men have been arrested in connection with a £1.3m theft by a gang who took control of a Barclays Bank computer.
The money was transferred from the branch in Swiss Cottage in north London in April, a Met Police spokesman said.
Searches are being carried out at addresses across London where property including cash, jewellery, drugs and credit cards has been seized.
The men, aged between 24 and 47, were arrested on Thursday and Friday.
Following the report of the theft, police found a "keyboard video mouse" (KVM) switch attached to one of the branch's computers.
It had had been placed there by a man purporting to be an IT engineer the day before the theft on 5 April.
Infiltrate and exploitA KVM switch, which has a 3G router attached, allows a user to control multiple computers. This enabled the gang to remotely transfer funds to other back accounts.
Barclays said it was able to recover a "significant amount" of the stolen money.
One central London premises which has been searched was described by detectives as the "control" centre for the fraudsters.
"Those responsible for this offence are significant players within a sophisticated and determined organised criminal network, who used considerable technical abilities and traditional criminal know-how to infiltrate and exploit secure banking systems," Det Insp Mark Raymond of the Met's Central e-Crime Unit said.
Sat, 21 Sep 2013 09:32
More than one-third of Libya's oil production has come back on line in recent days after a striking militia opened the valves on a critical pipeline between two major western oil fields and Mediterranean port terminals outside the capital, Tripoli.
Protests and strikes by militant groups that overthrew the Libyan dictator Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi reduced Libya's oil production to 10 percent of its capacity in recent weeks, pushing up global oil prices and threatening to make Prime Minister Ali Zeidan's weak interim government look impotent.
Libyan oil executives said it was not clear whether the lifting of the strike by the Zintan tribal militia was the result of a negotiated settlement with the government or simply a short-term expression of good will or a negotiating tactic. The parliament recently voted to increase the salaries of civil servants, which include oil facility guards, and government officials have threatened to arrest strike leaders.
With the pipeline open, a critical source of oil is flowing again to the global market. But no resolution appears near to the more intractable strikes at export terminals and oil fields on the eastern side of the country, where the remaining two-thirds of the nation's oil production is based.
Oil production was expected to reach 700,000 barrels by the end of the week, up from a low of 150,000 barrels early this month. Normal output is 1.6 million barrels a day.
David L. Goldwyn, the State Department coordinator for international energy affairs in the first Obama administration, said the reopening of the western oil fields represented ''a little bit of success.'' But he said Saudi Arabia, which has been pumping at record levels in recent weeks, could lower its production now to keep prices stable. ''I don't think you are going to get much of a softening of prices.''
Libya, which has Africa's largest proven reserves, is an important source of high quality oil for European refineries. Its production peaked at 3.3 million barrels a day in 1970 and has since shrunk by half. A recovery is possible since much of the country has not been explored and large shale oil fields have not even been tested. But foreign investment and expertise will be needed.
Libyan oil and government officials have tried to reassure nervous foreign oil companies with promises of action to end the strikes. ''We will soon overcome these problems and hiccups,'' Nuri Berruien, the chairman of the national oil company, told an oil conference this week.
Officials have also suggested that they are considering ways to make the country's investment terms more appealing to foreign oil companies to attract bids at an auction for exploration rights. The auction, scheduled for the middle of next year, would be the first since the revolution in 2011.
But there are no guarantees that there will be bidders. Foreign oil company executives have expressed concern over the ability of the government to provide security for their workers when it relies on the very militias that are supporting the strikers. On Tuesday, Exxon Mobil said it was cutting back its staff and operations in the country because of the security situation.
The well-armed Zintan militia, which has been a constant thorn for the central government, has backed strikers demanding back pay for guarding western oil fields and critical pipelines. At a festival on Monday, its leaders promised to open the valves on a critical pipeline connecting the El-Sharara and El-Feel oil fields with the Zawiya and Mellitah export terminals that mostly supply southern Europe.
But oil and security experts say Mr. Zeidan's problems are far from over in the eastern part of the country where militias are demanding virtual self-rule.
''You can more easily take care of the western concerns, which are about jobs and money, than the eastern concerns, which are about politics and regional autonomy,'' said Geoff D. Porter, the head of North Africa Risk Consulting. ''The objective of the east is to change the structure of the government, which the government is not going to do.''
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 01:54
Australia's new Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, who once dismissed evidence of climate change as ''absolute crap'', has disbanded an environmental agency set up to provide independent information to the public, and sacked its head, the internationally renowned scientist and author Tim Flannery.
Mr Abbott's move, on day two of his premiership, horrified environmentalists, academics and many in the wider community. Among developed nations, Australia '' the world's driest inhabited continent '' is regarded as most vulnerable to climate change, with scientists pointing to more frequent and severe bushfires and floods as part of an already visible pattern.
Indeed, Professor Flannery's Climate Commission blamed ''a climate on steroids'' for last summer's record-breaking heatwaves, and warned of ''really frightening'' temperatures to come.
The leader of the Australian Greens, Christine Milne, said Mr Abbott's decision marked ''a black day in the struggle against global warming'' and called him a ''climate criminal '... [who] has demonstrated his contempt for climate science and for the health and wellbeing of future generations''.
The agency's abolition is part of the conservative government's efforts to streamline what it considers a bloated bureaucracy. However, Mr Flannery '' a former visiting professor at Harvard University in the US, and the author of more than 130 scientific papers and numerous books '' said no other organisation was carrying out the commission's role. While Mr Abbott now says he believes ''climate change is real'', he also plans to axe two other bodies: the Climate Change Authority, which provides the government with independent advice on targets for reducing carbon emissions, and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which supports private investment in renewable energy sources.
One of the centrepieces of his election campaign was a promise to axe a ''carbon tax'' on big polluters, introduced by one of his Labor party predecessors, Julia Gillard.
Speaking in Melbourne today, Prof Flannery '' whose research as a field biologist in Papua New Guinea prompted David Attenborough to describe him as one of the world's great explorers '' noted that 123 heat records were broken across Australia last summer. ''We have just seen one of the earliest ever starts to the bushfire season in Sydney,'' he added.
Sat, 21 Sep 2013 15:57
Notice; Request For Comments.
We, (National Park Service), will ask the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve the Information Collection (IC) described below. This collection will consist of a single survey instrument that will be administered through the National Park System. As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, and as part of our continuing efforts to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, we invite the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on this IC. The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) provides that we may not conduct or sponsor and a person is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.
To ensure that your comments on this IC are considered, we must receive them on or before November 22, 2013.
Please send your comments to Phadrea Ponds, Information Collections Coordinator, National Park Service, 1201 Oakridge Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80525 (mail); or firstname.lastname@example.org (email). Please reference Information Collection 1024-NEW, Visitor Perceptions of Climate Change in U.S. National Parks in the subject line.
Angie Richman, Communication Specialist, Climate Change Response Program, at 1201 Oakridge Drive, Suite 200, Fort Collins, CO 80525 (mail) or email@example.com (email).
The National Park Service (NPS) Units are valuable public spaces that serve many purposes including providing recreational opportunities and protecting our nations natural and cultural resources. In order to continue to preserve scenery, natural landscapes, and historic objects, it is important for NPS staff and visitors to understand the various benefits of and challenges to NPS units. Furthermore, it is also important to discuss what can be done within and outside the parks to preserve these benefits for future generations.
As per the NPS Climate Change Action Plan, the NPS is seeking to promote resource stewardship and public understanding of how climate change will impact the National Park units. Data on how to best meet these objectives is needed to ensure public outreach and communication materials are well received and effective. The results of this study will provide NPS staff with recommendations and tools to effectively communicate climate related impacts in national parks and how the NPS is taking action to address these impacts. A questionnaire will be used to assess visitors' responses to climate change messages at thirty parks across the country.
OMB Control Number: XXXX-New.
Title: Visitor Perceptions of Climate Change in US National Parks.
Type of Request: NEW.
Description of Respondents: Individual.
Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.
Frequency of Collection: One time.
Estimated Number of Responses: 9,000. We estimate an average of 300 responses per park, across 30 parks.
Annual Burden Hours: 1,500 hours. We estimate an average of 10 minutes per response.
Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping ''Non-Hour Cost'' Burden: None.
We invite comments concerning this IC on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the agency to perform its duties, including whether the information is useful; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) how to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) how to minimize the burden on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
Please note that the comments submitted in response to this notice are a matter of public record. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask OMB in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that it will be done.
Dated: September 18, 2013.
Madonna L. Baucum,
Information Collection Clearance Officer, National Park Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-23061 Filed 9-20-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-EH-P
Sat, 21 Sep 2013 23:40
Paul Harrison, Chris Kantola, and Jesse Angle, scrounging for bitcoins outside a public library in Pensacola, Florida. Photo: Michael Spooneybarger/WIRED
Jesse Angle is homeless, living on the streets of Pensacola, Florida. Sometimes he spends the night at a local church. Other nights, he sleeps behind a building in the heart of the city, underneath a carport that protects him from the rain.
Each morning, he wakes up, grabs some food, and makes his way to Martin Luther King Plaza, a downtown park built where the trolley tracks used to run. He likes this park because his friends hang out there too, and it's a good place to pick up some spending money. But he doesn't panhandle. He uses the internet.
The park offers free wireless access, and with his laptop, Angle watches YouTube videos in exchange for bitcoins, the world's most popular digital currency.
'Bitcoin beats the shit out of regular money. We've resonated so well with people because it's direct action. There's no chaff between donation and helping people.'
'-- Jason King
For every video he watches, Angle gets 0.00004 bitcoins, or about half a cent, thanks to a service, called BitcoinGet, that shamelessly drives artificial traffic to certain online clips. He can watch up to 12 videos a day, which gets him to about six cents.* And he can beef up this daily take with Bitcoin Tapper, a mobile app that doles out about 0.000133 bitcoins a day '-- a couple of pennies '-- if he just taps on a digital icon over and over again. Like the YouTube service, this app isn't exactly the height of internet sophistication '-- it seeks to capture your attention so it can show you ads '-- but for Angle, it's a good way to keep himself fed.
Angle, 42, is on food stamps, but that never quite gets him through the month. The internet provides the extra money he needs to buy a meal each and every day. Since setting up a bitcoin wallet about three or four months ago, he has earned somewhere between four or five bitcoins '-- about $500 to $630 today '-- through YouTube videos, Bitcoin Tapper, and the occasional donation. And when he does odd jobs for people around Pensacola '-- here in the physical world '-- he still gets paid in bitcoin, just because it's easier and safer. He doesn't have to worry as much about getting robbed.
Jesse Angle isn't your average homeless person. But he shows that bitcoin is changing the world in more ways than you might imagine. Some believe it could provide a major boost to the country's 640,000 homeless, not only in providing extra pocket change for those on the street, but by helping urban homeless shelters more quickly secure donations for hot meals, beds, and blankets.
Angle learned about bitcoin through Sean's Outpost, a Pensacola charity that has raised about $32,000 through a program that solicits donations in bitcoins rather than American dollars. So far, it has received donations from 25 different countries, and this has bought almost 16,000 meals for Pensacola homeless.
''Bitcoin beats the shit out of regular money,'' says Jason King, the founder of Sean's Outpost. ''We've resonated so well with people because it's direct action. There's no chaff between donation and helping people.'' That could change, as regulators in the U.S. put the clamps on the use of bitcoin. But for now, in the world of the homeless, it reduces chaff in more ways than one.
Paul Harrison, after his computer loses battery power in the middle of a video game. Photo: Michael Spooneybarger/WIRED
Bitcoin: The Great EqualizerJesse Angle says bitcoins are harder to come by than spare change shared by people walking down the streets. But there are other reasons for him to go digital.
''It's a lot less embarrassing,'' he says. ''You don't have to put yourself out there.'' And unlike panhandling in Pensacola, using an app like Bitcoin Tapper won't put him on the wrong side of the law. This past May, Pensacola '-- where Angle has lived since April '-- passed an ordinance that bans not only panhandling but camping on city property.
'It's a lot less embarrassing. You don't have to put yourself out there.'
'-- Jesse Angle
Yes, you need a smartphone to earn bitcoins '-- or some other device that gets you onto the internet. But the homeless carry mobile devices more often than you might expect. Angle's homeless friends Chris Kantola and Paul Harrison also have phones, and they aren't unlike people living on the streets in other parts of the country. At San Francisco's Tenderloin Technology Lab '-- a nonprofit that provides the city's poor and homeless access to computers '-- organizers say that many of its clients use personal phones to connect to the net. Android is the mobile platform of choice.
You also need power, but that's not that hard to come by. When Angle and his pals run out of juice for their phones, they walk from Martin Luther King Plaza to the local Pensacola library, where they can plug into outdoor outlets on the side of the wall.
The bitcoin system could become an equalizer for the country's homeless, a place where the stigma of living on the streets isn't as pronounced. ''Homeless people don't like to raise their hands and say they're different,'' says Mark Horvath, an advocate for using the internet and social media to help end homelessness. ''Nobody does.'' In the bitcoin world, they don't have to.
If you're homeless, the great thing about bitcoin is that you can set up a wallet without an ID or a street address. And once you start filling this wallet, there are plenty of ways of converting bitcoins into cash and food and other goods, all without identification.
After earning his money with apps like Bitcoin Tapper, Angle turns to another tool called Gyft, an Android app that converts his bitcoin reserves into gift cards for places like Papa John's pizza. He can then buy a pie online, have it delivered, and share it with Kantola and Harrison.
The next day, his friends might return the favor. They too have their own bitcoin wallets. ''We're kind of the homeless geeks,'' Angle says. ''We all got laptops and smartphones.''
Angle converts bitcoins into a Papa John's e-gift card, which he uses to buy food for himself and his friends. Photo: Michael Spooneybarger/WIRED
Angle gives Kantola a shave in the park, after packing up his computer. Photo: Michael Spooneybarger/WIRED
A Bitcoin Shelter From the StormAngle used to work as a network engineer and a computer repair technician '-- as well as a carpenter and a pool cleaning guy, among other jobs '-- but the work eventually petered out, and he wound up homeless when his roommates moved out of his apartment and he couldn't afford the rent on his own.
After a few months, he got back under a roof, but that didn't last, so he decided to live on the street for a while, rather than yo-yoing between home and homelessness.
He was the first of his group to start using bitcoin. He became a regular at Sean's Outpost, and one day, after Jason King, the organization's founder, mentioned the digital currency, Angle pulled out his Android phone and asked King to help him set up a digital wallet. ''When he left,'' Angle remembers. ''I showed my friends which app to get.''
'Some tech guys and nerds like myself who got into it early now have millions. For that group, it's a very tangible concept to take virtual currencies and help people with it.'
'-- Jason King
King is a longtime fan of bitcoin and its mission to create an online peer-to-peer network for transactions. When he started Sean's Outpost, he didn't set out to help the homeless through the digital currency, but that's what happened. As the value of a bitcoin topped $50, he saw the milestone as an opportunity to prove the nay-sayers wrong, to show them that bitcoin wasn't just the latest geek fad, but something of real value.
In addition to helping people like Angle make their own money through bitcoin, King began soliciting bitcoin donations to Sean's Outpost. ''If you give me one bitcoin,'' he'd say, ''I can feed 40 homeless people in Pensacola. That's proof that it has real value.''
He took to reddit to advertise this new model, promising to put donor names on each bagged lunch made possible through bitcoin donations. Within 12 hours of launching, he had given out 80 meals '-- something he couldn't have done so quickly if he'd raised money through more traditional means. Even Paypal, he says, is a dinosaur compared to Bitcoin because it can take days to set up an account, and it saddles people with fees and restrictions. More recently, he started taking donations in Litecoin, a digital currency not unlike bitcoin.
Using these new-age money systems, King is also tapping into what you might call the digital nouveau riche '-- all those people that jumped on digital currency early, when it was dirt cheap, and quickly amassed fortunes. ''Some tech guys and nerds like myself who got into it early now have millions,'' King says. ''For that group, it's a very tangible concept to take virtual currencies and help people with it.''
Angle mines bitcoins on a park bench. Photo: Michael Spooneybarger/WIRED
Other charity organizations are working along similar lines. Bitcoin100 was started with the sole purpose of encouraging charities to accept bitcoins, and it now counts the Khan Academy and the Virtual Doctor Project among its success stories. A woman named Connie Gallippi has launched the first bitcoin-only charity '-- the BitGive Foundation '-- hoping to build a multi-million dollar fund for environmental and health-related causes. And in San Francisco, Project FEED is using bitcoin to accept donations for hoodies that can clothe the homeless this winter.
Meanwhile, Sean's Outpost has opened something it calls BitHOC, the Bitcoin Homeless Outreach Center, a 1200-square-foot facility that doubles as a storage space and homeless shelter. The lease '' and some of the food it houses '-- is paid in bitcoins through a service called Coinbase. For gas and other supplies, Sean's Outpost taps Gyft, the giftcard app Jesse Angle and his friends use to purchase pizza.
The $90,000 nine-acre plot will span multiple homes for the homeless, dubbed BitHouses.
King has also started recruiting the homeless to build houses for other homeless people to live in, and whenever possible, he's paying them in bitcoin. Just this month, Sean's Outpost announced Satoshi Forest, which King calls a ''sanctuary for the homeless.'' The $90,000 nine-acre plot will contain multiple homes for the homeless, dubbed BitHouses.
In the first 18 hours after the announcement, redditors donated roughly 10 bitcoins, or two months' worth of mortgage payments, and King managed to convince Bob Dale, the property holder, to take the $600 mortgage in bitcoin. This is the only property for which Dale is currently accepting digital currency, but so far, he says, ''it's been a good experience because bitcoins have gone up in value, so it's more than I would have gotten in regular dollars.''
In the long-term, King wants to morph this into a business in the ''buy-one-get-one-free'' spirit of Tom's Shoes, Warby Parker, and rubberit. Jesse Angle and his friends Kantola and Harrison want to help with this new endeavor, but they may have trouble getting to the BitHouse location because they don't own cars. Watching videos on YouTube earns you only so many bitcoins.
But it's better than nothing. Much better than nothing.
Chris Kantola shows his frustration after losing his Wi-Fi connection on a bench in Martin Luther King Plaza. Photo: Michael Spooneybarger/WIRED
Pages:12 View All
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 13:58
Jack Klugman's son Adam has slammed the late Cory Monteith '-- because the Glee star is getting an extended Emmys tribute and his Odd Couple actor dad isn't.
Adam Klugman criticized Emmy organizers for extending a special honor to Monteith, who died in July of heroin and alcohol poisoning at age 31, while putting his father into the routine ''In Memoriam'' reel.
Referring to Monteith's overdose, Adam Klugman said in an Associated Press interview: ''They're celebrating this self-inflicted tragedy instead of celebrating the life of my father, who won three Emmys'.... Cory Monteith never won an Emmy.''
PHOTOS: Celebs Who Have Battled Drinking Problems
Adam, whose Quincy M.E. star father died in December at age 90, said he has nothing against Monteith but ''to compare the contribution he made to the contribution my father made '-- it doesn't compare.
''It's an insult and it really seems typical of this youth-centric culture that has an extremely short attention span and panders to only a very narrow demographic'' of young adults, he said.
This year, for the first time, Emmy organizers have decided to beef up the ''In Memoriam'' section with special tributes to five notable TV figures who died this year. The other honorees are writer-producer Gary David Goldberg, comic legend Jonathan Winters, and actors James Gandolfini and Jean Stapleton.
PHOTOS: Heroin Addicts, Coke Fiends & Celebrity Stoners '-- Hollywood Drug Dealers Tell All!
In addition to leaving Klugman off of the extended tribute list, organizers also aren't doing anything special for Larry Hagman, who played iconic J.R. Ewing on the original ''Dallas.''
In a statement, Emmy executive producer Ken Ehrlich explained, ''To a younger generation, Cory Monteith's portrayal of Finn Hudson [on 'Glee'] was highly admired, and the producers felt that he should be included along with the four other individuals we have singled out.''
Sat, 21 Sep 2013 01:05
By Douglas J. Hagmann
19 September 2013: Patricia Smith, mother of murdered Foreign Service Officer Sean Smith, wants answers '' and deserves them. Not hugs from politicians. Not platitudes. And most assuredly, not lies. It is beyond shameful that her impassioned pleas that the lies stop fall on deaf ears as she speaks before a congressional committee. Click HERE to view the short video '' just over a minute '' that succinctly summarizes her desire for the truth.
The cover-up into the events in Benghazi is by orders of magnitude far greater than any other criminal cover-up by a ''presidential'' administration in modern history. The cover-up is consistent with the deaths that occurred at the Battle of Gangal and Extortion 17.
Related: Interview with Gold Star mother Susan Price and Charles Strange, father of fallen Seal Six Team hero Michael Strange HERE.
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Sat, 21 Sep 2013 23:58
House Republicans voted to stop funding President Barack Obama's health care law, but Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the Senate "will not repeal or defund Obamacare." NBC's Chuck Todd reports.
By Michael O'Brien , Political Reporter, NBC News
President Barack Obama excoriated Congress for being "focused on trying to mess with me," hours after the Republican House approved a stopgap spending measure to continue government operations, but also eliminate funding for "Obamacare."
The president angrily lashed out at lawmakers who voted largely on party-lines hours earlier to take aim at the signature domestic accomplishment of his first term, the GOP's opening gambit in a fiscal standoff with just days to go until the government runs out of money.
Speaking at a Ford Motors plant in Missouri, President Barack Obama says Congress is focused on "trying to mess with me," rather than working for the public good by passing a budget.
"They're focused on politics; they're focused on trying to mess with me," Obama told a crowd at a Ford plant in Kansas City. "They're not focused on you."
The public battles came 10 days before the deadline at which the government will run out of money, causing a myriad of federal services to cease. Republicans were unable to advance legislation to preserve government operations without including the provision to eradicate the Affordable Care Act as a way to entice conservatives.
But the measure faces almost certain doom in the Senate, where Democrats have said they would vote to restore funding for the health care overhaul. And even if they were to fail, Obama has flatly promised to veto the bill.
If no resolution is reached, a shutdown threatens to harm the economy and place scores of government workers out of work for an undetermined period of time. Wall Street appeared unconcerned by the developments, though, expecting lawmakers to reach an 11th-hour accord as they have in virtually every previous showdown.
Complicating matters is the manner in which the fiscal deadline has split Republicans. On one side are conservatives, who wish to use the specter of a shutdown as leverage to force concessions on Obamacare. On the other side is a group of pragmatists, who regard the odds of repealing Obamacare as extremely unfavorable, and fear the political fallout associated with a shutdown.
"Our message to the United States Senate is very simple: the American people don't want the government shut down, and they don't want Obamacare," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told cheering colleagues after the vote.
With no solution on the horizon, the nation's capital braced for a tense series of days as Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress must work to find a workable solution with the badly-divided Republicans.
House Speaker John Boehner speaks at a rally following the House vote to pass a spending bill that temporary prevents a government shutdown and defunds Obamacare, saying "We had a victory today for the American people, and frankly, we had a victory for common sense."
Those internal GOP divisions have spilled into public view in recent days, with barbs directed toward Sen. Ted Cruz, the figurehead of the effort to defund Obamacare, after the Texas Republican conceded he lacked the votes to make good on his threat to stop Obamacare in the Senate.
Cruz only turned up the pressure on the Republican-led House, thereby putting House Republicans in a more difficult position once the legislation inevitably returns to them.
In that sense, Friday's vote was a bid by some Republicans to go through pained motions to demonstrate to the party's conservative grassroots that the strategy favored by Cruz and other hard-liners was doomed, and would risk a government shutdown that could turn politically dangerous for the GOP.
"It's something we have to do. It's a step in the right direction," Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., said ahead of Friday's House vote. "And hopefully it will be a major step in letting people know that Ted Cruz is a fraud and and he'll no longer have any influence in the Republican Party."
As an implicit acknowledgement that its work had not yet wrapped up, the House has canceled a planned recess next week in anticipation of the frenetic work it will take to cobble together a compromise to keep the government open that can win the support of Congress.
More gravely, Congress faces a deadline sometime next month to authorize the government to borrow more money to finance its existing obligations. Even if lawmakers assemble a compromise that averts a shutdown, the prospect of defaulting on the national debt awaits them.
Obama said that if a default were to come to pass, then, "Basically, America becomes a deadbeat."
The terms of that debate are still unclear. Republicans met Friday morning to discuss their strategy in that fight, and have long signaled they might seek a more modest, one-year delay of "Obamacare" in exchange for raising the debt limit.
In the short-term, though, action will next shift to the Senate, where Democrats command a majority of votes. The upper chamber is expected to strip any measure to undermine the Affordable Care Act from the House-passed bill, though that has invited a filibuster threat from some hard-lined conservative senators.
After passing a spending bill, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) promises a rally crowd that the GOP will "leave no stone unturned" in fighting Obamacare.
If history is any guide, several Senate Republicans -- some of whom have openly disparaged the effort to use the threat of a government shutdown as leverage to defund Obamacare -- may work to assemble a compromise spending measure to send back to the House. That could provide the contours of an eventual agreement.
Still, "Obamacare" -- the issue which once united Republicans, and helped fuel the party's victory in the 2010 midterm elections -- has now morphed into somewhat of a boondoggle for the party.
The GOP's strident opposition to "Obamacare" has been well-established for years. The House has voted 40-some times to do away with either part or the entirety of the law since the GOP took power in 2011, each time having seen Senate Democrats dismiss their efforts.
NBC News' Frank Thorp contributed to this report.
This story was originally published on Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:27 AM EDT
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 03:21
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 21, 2013
WASHINGTON, DC'-- In his weekly address, President Obama said that the economy is making progress five years after the worst recession since the Great Depression, but to avoid another crisis, Congress must meet two deadlines in the coming weeks: pass a budget by the end of the month to keep the government open, and raise the debt ceiling so America can pay its bills. Congress should vote to do these now, so that we can keep creating new jobs and expanding opportunity for the middle class.
The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.gov at 6:00 a.m. ET, September 21, 2013.
Remarks of President Barack ObamaWeekly AddressThe White HouseSeptember 21, 2013
Hi, everybody. It was five years ago this week that a financial crisis on Wall Street spread to Main Street, and very nearly turned a recession into a depression.
In a matter of months, millions of Americans were robbed of their jobs, their homes, their savings '' after a decade in which they'd already been working harder and harder to just get by.
It was a crisis from which we're still trying to recover. But thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, we are steadily recovering.
Over the past three and a half years, our businesses have created seven and a half million new jobs. Our housing market is healing. We've become less dependent on foreign oil. Health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years. And in just over a week, millions of Americans without health care will be able to get covered for less than $100 a month.
So our economy is gaining traction. And we're finally tackling threats to middle-class prosperity that Washington neglected for far too long. But as any middle-class family listening right now knows, we've got a long way to go to get to where we need to be. And after five years spent digging out of crisis, the last thing we need is for Washington to manufacture another.
But that's what will happen in the next few weeks if Congress doesn't meet two deadlines.
First: the most basic Constitutional duty Congress has is passing a budget. But if it doesn't pass one before September 30th '' a week from Monday '' the government will shut down. And so will many services the American people expect. Military personnel, including those deployed overseas, won't get their paychecks on time. Federal loans for rural communities, small business owners, and new home buyers will be frozen. Critical research into life-saving discoveries and renewable energy will be immediately halted. All of this will be prevented if Congress just passes a budget.
Second: Congress must authorize the Treasury to pay America's bills. This is done with a simple, usually routine vote to raise what's called the debt ceiling. Since the 1950s, Congress has always passed it, and every President has signed it '' Democrats and Republicans, including President Reagan. And if this Congress doesn't do it within the next few weeks, the United States will default on its obligations and put our entire economy at risk.
This is important: raising the debt ceiling is not the same as approving more spending. It lets us pay for what Congress already spent. It doesn't cost a dime, or add a penny to our deficit. In fact, right now, our deficits are already falling at the fastest rate since the end of World War II. And by the end of this year, we'll have cut our deficits by more than half since I took office.
But reducing our deficits and debt isn't even what the current standoff in Congress is about.
Now, Democrats and some reasonable Republicans are willing to raise the debt ceiling and pass a sensible budget '' one that cuts spending on what we don't need so we can invest in what we do. And I want to work with those Democrats and Republicans on a better bargain for the middle class.
But there's also a faction on the far right of the Republican party who've convinced their leadership to threaten a government shutdown if they can't shut off the Affordable Care Act. Some are actually willing to plunge America into default if they can't defund the Affordable Care Act.
Think about that. They'd actually plunge this country back into recession '' all to deny the basic security of health care to millions of Americans.
Well, that's not happening. And they know it's not happening.
The United States of America is not a deadbeat nation. We are a compassionate nation. We are the world's bedrock investment. And doing anything to threaten that is the height of irresponsibility. That's why I will not negotiate over the full faith and credit of the United States. I will not allow anyone to harm this country's reputation, or threaten to inflict economic pain on millions of our own people, just to make an ideological point.
So, we are running out of time to fix this. But we could fix it tomorrow. Both houses of Congress can take a simple vote to pay our bills on time, then work together to pass a budget on time.
Then we can declare an end to governing by crisis and govern responsibly, by putting our focus back where it should always be '' on creating new jobs, growing our economy, and expanding opportunity not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
Sun, 22 Sep 2013 14:27
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Sun, 22 Sep 2013 14:31
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Raising the debt ceiling doesn't increase the nation's debt, Pres. Obama declared in a speech - See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/mrctv-blog/craig-bannister/obama-raising-debt-ceilingdoes-not-increase-our-debt-though-it-has-over#sthash.ZimieZiY.dpuf