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Clouds of Crisis

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Presidential Proclamation -- National Forest Products Week, 2013

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Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:38

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

October 18, 2013


- - - - - - -



Our Nation's forests are essential to our lasting prosperity and to who we are as a people. These natural wonders provide clean air and water for our communities and abundant habitats for wildlife, as well as building materials for our homes, and jobs and recreation for workers and families across our country. During National Forest Products Week, we celebrate the sustainable uses of America's forests and the important contributions they make to our economy and our national life.

In addition to providing renewable supplies of wood and energy and showing visitors of all ages the value of preserving our natural spaces, forests play a critical role in combatting climate change and protecting the air we breathe through absorption of carbon dioxide emissions. My Administration is committed to cutting carbon pollution in the United States, and safeguarding and restoring our forests will help us fulfill that mission. We also continue to advance community-driven conservation, preservation, and outdoor recreation initiatives that are strengthening local economies and contributing to the well-being of lands, waters, and wildlife. Through the America's Great Outdoors Initiative, we have put the communities that will thrive when lands are healthy and abundant, and when they draw visitors from around the world, at the forefront of shaping conservation agendas across our country.

The strength, diversity, and productivity of our Nation's forests will be vital to our progress in the years ahead. This week, we recommit to collaborating across land ownership and landscapes, and we look to a future where America's forests will enrich our country for generations to come.

To recognize the importance of products from our forests, the Congress, by Public Law 86-753 (36 U.S.C. 123), as amended, has designated the week beginning on the third Sunday in October of each year as "National Forest Products Week" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim October 20 through October 26, 2013, as National Forest Products Week. I call on the people of the United States to join me in recognizing the dedicated individuals who are responsible for the stewardship of our forests and for the preservation, management, and use of these precious natural resources for the benefit of the American people.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of October, 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.


Presidential Proclamation -- National Character Counts Week, 2013

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Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:37

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For Immediate Release

October 18, 2013


- - - - - - -



As Americans, we are bound together by a set of ideals put forth by our Founders -- that we are all created equal, that we possess certain unalienable rights, including the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that, above all, we are one people. During National Character Counts Week, we reflect on the ways we support one another, the ways we come together and seek common ground, and the lessons we teach our children about what citizenship means in the United States of America.

Nowhere is our Nation's strength more evident than in the men and women in uniform who embody the American spirit of selflessness, courage, and sacrifice. Across the globe and here at home, they and their families face challenges most of us will never fully understand so all of us can live in freedom. Our public servants too, and our teachers, nurses, and workers, toil without fanfare so the people of this country can count on a secure homeland and a growing economy, a healthy future, and a chance at success for their children.

The children we raise today are surrounded by proud examples of integrity, and moral courage, but it is our task as parents, community members, and leaders to teach them not only the skills they need to succeed, but also the values that keep our country strong. This week, we reaffirm our commitment to helping our children turn away from bullying, harassment, and discrimination, and to giving them the confidence and integrity to stand up for each other, imagine a brighter future, and realize their dreams.

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 October 20 through October 26, 2013, as National Character Counts Week. I call upon public officials, educators, parents, students, and all Americans to observe this week with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of October, 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.



Why House Stenographer Dianne Reidy Snapped - The Daily Beast

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 05:14

The husband of the 48-year-old woman who is now the most famous stenographer in America knew his wife had been getting up in the middle of the night for the past four weeks.

In this image from House Television, with partial voting totals on the screen, a woman, at the rostrum just below the House presiding officer, seen between the "yea" and "nay" wording, is removed from the House chamber after she began shouting during the vote for the bill to end the partial 16-day government shutdown and to fund the government. (House TV/AP)

But he did not know why until after the Capitol Police had hustled her from the podium at the House of Representatives to a hospital for psychiatric observation.

Only then did Dianne Foster Reidy tell 54-year-old Dan Reidy that she had been repeatedly awakened by the Holy Spirit and urged to deliver a message on the House floor, where she has worked for the past eight years.

She did not have to tell him how torn she must have felt at the prospect of violating congressional decorum.

''That's so out of character,'' he says. ''She so respects the Capitol and the traditions of the House of Representatives.''

She particularly loved the job after working in the court system, amid what her husband terms ''the darkness of murder.'' She had demonstrated her dedication to the House back when she was pregnant with twins and wracked by morning sickness. She had still reported for duty, equipped for any sudden nausea.

''Bringing a bag with her,'' he says.

But she's also a person of deep faith, and she would later tell him there was no question in her mind that it was indeed the Holy Spirit rousing her night after night, even before the shutdown and the looming default.

''Waking several times a night feeling that God's just been pressing on her to open a Bible and get into his word,'' Dan Reidy says. ''Reading a Bible is not foreign to us, but getting up in the middle of the night definitely is. It's just not a part of our life.''

The circumstances were so unusual as to make a command from on high seem all the more real to her.

''If that's not's God's spirit'...'' Dan says.

He goes on, ''What she was finding out was that God was impressing on her heart that He had a message He wanted her to share with the House of Representatives.''

She kept resisting the command only to be woken up by it yet again.

Dianne Foster Reidy and her family (via Facebook )

''If she had told me, 'I think God wants me to get up and say something,' I'd be the first one to say, 'No you don't!'''

''The reason it took four weeks was because of her reluctance and her doubt,'' the husband says. ''She didn't want to do it.''

She continued to resist even as the shutdown made Congress look all the more woefully in need of divine guidance.

''This whole mess has just kind of sickened her to the whole process,'' her husband says. ''The alliances between people who aren't really allies. The finger-pointing on the dais, [then] the arms around each other'... Where are the people being served in this whole deal?''

He recalls, ''She was just like, 'Gosh, this is not what it's about.'''

Another day of serving as a stenographer in an unholy mess would end with another night of being awakened by what she took to be the Holy Spirit. She kept resisting out of a sense of congressional sanctity that the representatives themselves were besmirching.

''That's what my wife was battling, with this late-night wrestling with God,'' the husband says.

But he learned this only later, even though he is a nondenominational Christian pastor and she would not have doubted his faith.

''I knew she was up and I knew God was dealing with her, but she didn't feel she should share everything with me,'' the husband says. ''I didn't know what the outcome would be.''

She would have been right to worry that he would seek to dissuade her.

''If she had told me, 'I think God wants me to get up and say something,' I'd be the first one to say, 'No you don't!''' he reports.

He had no inkling of what was about to happen as she set off for work on Monday, though he was aware that the crisis in Congress was taking more of a toll on her than any murder case in her courthouse days.

''Personally and emotionally,'' he says.

He knew she would be working late as the saner minds in Congress sought to end the crisis.

He tucked in their 7-year-old twin girls and he himself had gone to bed when he became the one to be woken up'--not by the Holy Spirit, but by ringing phone. A caller informed him that his wife had stepped to the podium at the House of Representatives and delivered a message of some kind to the members just as they voted to end the shutdown. She had been taken to George Washington Hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

A friend watched the twins while Dan drove from their Fort Washington, Maryland, home to the hospital. He found his wife in an examination room, where she told him what had been getting her up in the night. She said that the moment she had long resisted had finally just presented itself.

''The big vote, the whole crew was there, and she just felt the Holy Spirit knows the time she was to go up,'' he reports.

She told him that the words she had spoken were not her own, that she had just been the messenger.

''She said she didn't know what she was going to say,'' he reports.

What she had said was playing again and again on television. Many were calling it raving.

''He will not be mocked!'' she had begun. ''The greatest deception here is this is not one nation under God'....''

Now that is was done, she told her husband that she felt greatly relieved.

''She felt like a tremendous weight had been lifted off her shoulders,'' he says.

He recalls, ''I said, 'You know what, honey, this is like when you were pregnant and agonized'...' She was obedient to God and gave birth to His message.''

She had suffered postpartum depression after the birth of the twins. The comparison ended there. The husband did not even consider that she was now suffering from some kind of mental disorder.

A psychiatric resident came in to speak with Dianne and the husband saw he was wearing a yarmulke. The Reidys are devout Christians, but the husband did not feel that a difference in faiths in any way precluded a discussion of faith.

''But he was there to see Dianne on a psychiatric basis,'' the husband says. ''That's why he would say things like religious experience can be very nebulous. I would say, 'No, this is a living God.'''

The resident did not seek to reconcile theology and psychiatry.

''I'm sure he has an opinion, but he didn't share it with me,'' the husband says.

After 45 minutes, the psychiatrist said that Dianne could go.

''He was a wonderful man,'' the husband says of the resident. ''I really enjoyed our time with him. He was very nice.''

Dan drove his wife home, arriving around 5 a.m. She went to bed with no expectation of being roused by the Holy Spirit.

''She feels fine,'' Dan says.

The twins were still asleep and awoke with no sense that anything was amiss beyond the absence of their mother's car, which was still at the Capitol. They began another day in the second grade. There remains the question of whether the mother will be allowed to go back to work.

''Obviously, it is not in the job description to get up and make statements,'' the husband says, adding, ''She wasn't trying to disrupt or disrespect the House in any way. She was just being obedient to what God had placed in her heart.''

The husband figures the message also reflects what most Americans are feeling.

''I think she speaks for a majority who are really fed up with the whole process,'' he says.

In her favor, her co-workers and supervisors at the Capitol have only good things to say about her.

''She's wonderful lady, and I don't just say that because she's my wife,'' he says. ''I'm a very blessed man.''

Dianne Foster Reidy declined to speak to reporters on Thursday.

''She said, 'I don't have anything to say. I said what I said,''' the husband reports.

He says the psychiatric resident did ask her to see her primary-care physician.

''In case of another episode,'' Dan Reidy says. ''Believe me, Dianne is not interested in another episode.''


$hadow Puppet Theatre


New Trier's Rogers talks about U.S. Fleet Cyber Command - Chicago Sun-Times

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Sat, 19 Oct 2013 05:12

By Kimberly Fornek March 27, 2012 2:20PM

New Trier High School alum and U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Michael S. Rogers talks with students at the school March 15 in Winnetka. Rogers has received an alumni achievement award. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media

storyidforme: 27497513tmspicid: 9931444fileheaderid: 4560150

Updated: April 2, 2012 5:07PM

When successful New Trier High School graduates return to their alma mater, they often are invited to talk to students about their experiences. Many who achieve national recognition in their careers were not the leaders of the pack in high school. Vice Adm. Michael S. Rogers, a 1977 graduate and a recipient of New Trier's Alumni Achievement Award this year, who spoke to students in a math class which covers analytic geometry, algorithms and precalculus, is no exception.

In his 30-year career in the U.S. Navy, Rogers moved through the ranks from anti-submarine warfare officer to head of the Computer Network Attack/Defense Branch, to director for intelligence of the U.S. Pacific Command. Vice Adm. Rogers currently serves as commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and commander, U.S. 10th Fleet.

''I was terrible at math,'' Rogers admitted. ''I loved trigonometry and after that I was a total wipeout.''

Rogers was invited to talk to math teacher Peggy Stetsko's class because it includes cryptology, and Rogers' long list of military positions includes fleet cryptologist.

Historically, cryptology has meant code breaking, Rogers said. The job description now calls for specially trained people to decipher and analyze foreign information in every possible form of communication.

''I work with incredibly smart people who love mathematics,'' Rogers said. Their backgrounds commonly include physics, electrical engineering or calculus.

''Calculus is really big for us, differential-based calculus.''

Linguists, specifically those who speak, Mandarin, Persian, Farsi or Arabic are in demand, too.

As a young boy growing up in Wilmette, ''all I ever wanted to do was be a naval officer,'' Rogers said. But reaching that goal involved compromise and some good luck.

Rogers had hoped to attend the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. after high school. His congressman sponsored him, but applicants also had to pass a physical exam and compete to meet the school's academic requirements.

He got through the first two steps, but the third tripped him up.

Academically, he was ''in the middle of the pack at New Trier,'' he said, with no athletic achievements or student leadership activities to shore up his application. At that point, he was not the well-rounded applicant the academy wanted, but he was highly motivated.

''I applied for an ROTC scholarship.'' That did not come through either. ''So I decided okay, I'll go to a school that has an ROTC program.'' and enrolled in Auburn University. He received his commission via the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, although he dropped one of the required calculus courses rather than get a failing grade.

''I told them I'm a can-do guy, but I can't do this.''

Rogers explained how a less than brilliant student was able to become an expert cryptologist and intelligence officer.

''Early in my career I was responsible for placing cryptologists, assigning them around the world,'' Rogers said. He didn't expect them to be experts at the outset, but he wanted people who were ''comfortable with technology.''

''I'm not a computer engineer. I'm not a computer scientist. I'm not a mathematician. But I'm comfortable with it.''

Second, Rogers said, ''As an officer in the military, the thing we prize first and foremost is leadership. I can lead. I can bring groups together. I can motivate people.''

The third factor that contributed to his rise through the ranks, was he was assigned to jobs in different places with a variety of responsibilities. ''I just lucked out and got a broad range of exposure,'' such as when he became assistant to Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

''He told me he hired me to be his thinker,'' Rogers said. ''He told me, 'I want you to think about the things I don't have time to think about. I want you to think about the things I'm not thinking about, but I should be.'''

Rogers traveled all over the world with Pace. After meetings with other officials, Pace liked to talk things out with Rogers.

''He loved to have a dialogue.''

When Rogers was named director of intelligence for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he asked why he was chosen for the position and not an intelligence officer. His superior told him, ''I've heard you like to think strategically and I've heard you like to build teams.''

In the New Trier math class earlier this month, Rogers invited questions from the students. Emma Davis, a junior, asked if Rogers thinks cyber wars will ever replace actual wars. Rogers said no, but cyber warfare ''will continue to grow in importance.'' Already, cyber criminals are stealing information and intellectual property from systems around the world, he said.

Sophomore Kyle Berglund asked if part of the cryptologist's job is breaking into other people's communications systems.

''I really can't get into that,'' Rogers said. But then he added, ''We try to insure we have a wide range of capabilities: operating networks, defending networks and using networks to get insight into other people's networks and systems.''

When a student asked him what percentage of codes they crack, Rogers said, ''We have some measure of success.''

''That's code by the way,'' said Tim Dohrer, the Winnetka campus principal who was listening to Rogers' talk.


Remarks by the President at Nomination of Jeh Johnson to be Secretary of Homeland Security | The White House

THE PRESIDENT:- Good afternoon, everybody.- Please have a seat.- As President, my most solemn responsibility is the safety and security of the American people.- And we've got an outstanding team here of folks who work every single day to make sure that we're doing everything we can to fulfill that responsibility.- And that means that our entire government -- our law enforcement and homeland security professionals, our troops, our diplomats, our intelligence personnel -- are all working together.- It means working with state and local partners to disrupt terrorist attacks, to make our borders more secure, respond to natural disasters, and make our immigration system more effective and fair.

Addressing any one of these challenges is a tall order.- Addressing all of them at once is a monumental task.- But that's what the dedicated men and women of the Department of Homeland Security do every day.- And today I'm proud to announce my choice to lead them -- an outstanding public servant who I've known and trusted for years -- Mr. Jeh Johnson.

We are, of course, enormously grateful to Secretary Janet Napolitano.- Janet couldn't be here today -- she's already made her move to her new position in sunny California, overseeing the higher education system in that great state.- And I know that she's going to do an outstanding job there with the incredible young people that are in our largest state.- But we all deeply appreciate the terrific job that she did over the last four-and-a-half years.- I want to thank Rand Beers for his service and for stepping in as Acting Secretary after Janet left.

Thanks in no small part to Janet's leadership, her team, we've done more to protect our homeland against those who wish to do us harm.- We've strengthened our borders.- We've taken steps to make sure our immigration system better reflects our values.- We've helped thousands of Americans recover from hurricanes and tornados, floods and wildfires.- And we've worked to clean up a massive oil spill in the Gulf as well as address a flu pandemic.-

In Jeh Johnson, we have the right person to continue this important work.- From the moment I took office, Jeh was an absolutely critical member of my national security team, and he demonstrated again and again the qualities that will make him a strong Secretary of Homeland Security.

Jeh has a deep understanding of the threats and challenges facing the United States.- As the Pentagon's top lawyer, he helped design and implement many of the policies that have kept our country safe, including our success in dismantling the core of al Qaeda and in the FATA.-

When I directed my national security team to be more open and transparent about how our policies work and how we make decisions, especially when it comes to preventing terrorist attacks, Jeh was one of the leaders who spoke eloquently about how we meet today's threats in a way that are consistent with our values, including the rule of law.-

Jeh also knows that meeting these threats demands cooperation and coordination across our government.- He's been there in the Situation Room at the table in moments of decision, working with leaders from a host of agencies to make sure everyone is rowing in the same direction.- And he's respected across our government as a team player, somebody who knows how to get folks who don't always agree to work towards a common goal.

Jeh has experience leading large complex organizations.- As a member of the Pentagon's senior management team, first under Bob Gates and then under Leon Panetta, he helped oversee the work of more than 3 million military and civilian personnel across the country and around the world.- And I think it's fair to say that both former secretaries Gates and Panetta will attest to the incredible professionalism that Jeh brings to the job, and the bipartisan approach that, appropriately, he takes when it comes to national security.-

He's also earned a reputation as a cool and calm leader.- Jeh appreciates that any organization's greatest asset is its people, and at the Pentagon he guided the report explaining why allowing our men and women in uniform to serve their country openly would not weaken our military.- Congress ended up using that report that Jeh helped to craft to justify repealing "don't ask, don't tell."- And America and our military are stronger because we did, in part because of Jeh's determined leadership.- I know he will bring that same commitment to our hardworking folks at DHS.

And finally, Jeh believes, in a deep and personal way, that keeping America safe requires us also upholding the values and civil liberties that make America great.- Jeh tells the story of his uncle who was a member of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.- And he and his fellow airmen served with honor, even when their country didn't treat them with the dignity and the respect that they deserved.- And it was a lesson that Jeh never forgot.- "We must adopt legal positions that comport with common sense," Jeh says, "consistent with who we are as Americans."- Jeh is a pretty good lawyer, so he knows what that means.-

And Jeh understands that this country is worth protecting --- not because of what we build or what we own, but because of who we are.- And that's what sets us apart.- That's why, as a nation, we have to keep adapting to changing threats, whether natural or man-made.- We have to stay ready when disaster strikes and help Americans recover in the aftermath.- We've got to fix our broken immigration system in a way that strengthens our borders, and modernizes legal immigration, and makes sure everybody is playing by the same rules.-

And I'm confident that I could not make a better choice in Jeh, somebody who I'm confident is going to be moving not just the agency forward, but helping to move the country forward.

So, Jeh, thank you so much for agreeing to take on this very difficult and extraordinary mission.- You've got a great team over at DHS, and I know that they're looking forward to having you over there.- I urge the Senate to confirm Jeh as soon as possible.- And I thank you, as well as your family, to agreeing to serve.- Your wife, Susan, and your daughter, Natalie, couldn't be here because they're visiting Jeh Jr. out at Occidental College, which, by the way, I went to for two years when I was young.- It's a fine college.- I'm sorry I couldn't be there to say hi to him.- But your son chose well.-

So, ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to invite Jeh Johnson to say a few words, hopefully our next Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.- (Applause.)

MR. JOHNSON:- Thank you very much, Mr. President.

As you noted, my wife and two kids are not here because it's parents' weekend at Occidental, and thanks to the cost of a non-refundable airline ticket -- (laughter) -- they could not be in two places at once.- They wish they could be here.

Thank you for the tremendous honor of this nomination and the trust you have placed in me to carry out this large and important responsibility as Secretary of Homeland Security.- I was not looking for this opportunity -- I had left government at the end of last year and was settling back into private life and private law practice.- But when I received the call, I could not refuse it.

I am a New Yorker, and I was present in Manhattan on 9/11, which happens to be my birthday, when that bright and beautiful day was -- a day something like this -- was shattered by the largest terrorist attack on our homeland in history.- I wandered the streets of New York that day and wondered and asked, what can I do?- Since then, I have tried to devote myself to answering that question.- I love this country.- I care about the safety of our people.- I believe in public service.- And I remain loyal to you, Mr. President.

If confirmed by the Senate, I promise all of my energy, focus, and ability toward the task of safeguarding our nation's national and homeland security.

Thank you again, sir.- (Applause.)

Jeh Johnson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Archived Version

Fri, 18 Oct 2013 21:36

Jeh Charles Johnson (born September 11, 1957)[1] is an American civil, criminal trial lawyer, and General Counsel of the Department of Defense from 2009 to 2012 during the first Obama Administration. Johnson is a graduate of Morehouse College (B.A.) and Columbia Law School (J.D.), and is grandson of noted sociologist and Fisk University president Dr. Charles S. Johnson. Barack Obama will nominate him to the post of Secretary of Homeland Security in October 2013.

Johnson's first name (pronounced ''Jay'') is taken from a Liberian chief, who reportedly saved his grandfather's life while Dr. Johnson was on a League of Nations mission to Liberia in 1930.[2]

Johnson served as Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 1989-1991. From 1998-2001, he was General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force under President Bill Clinton.[3] Prior to his appointment as General Counsel of the Department of Defense, Johnson was a partner at the New York law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP of which he was the first African American to be elected to that firm's partnership and to which he returned after his four years at the Defense Department.[4] He was elected a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2004.[3]

On January 8, 2009, he was named by President Barack Obama to be General Counsel for the Defense Department.[5] In December 2012, he resigned this position effective at the end of the year to return to private practice.[6]

Federal prosecutor[edit]Johnson began his legal career at Paul, Weiss in the mid-1980s. In 1989 he left to serve as an Assistant United States Attorney]] in the Southern District of New York, a position he held until 1991. In that position, Johnson prosecuted public corruption cases.

Air Force General Counsel[edit]Johnson returned to Paul, Weiss in 1992 and was elected partner at the firm in 1994. In 1998, Johnson was appointed General Counsel of the Air Force by President Bill Clinton after confirmation by the U.S. Senate. As General Counsel, Johnson was the senior legal official in the Air Force and Governor of Wake Island, in the Pacific Ocean.[7] His tenure coincided with Operation Allied Force in 1999. He was awarded the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service for his efforts.[3]

Private practice[edit]After his service in the Clinton administration, Johnson returned to Paul, Weiss in 2001, where he was an active trial lawyer of large commercial cases.[3]

Johnson was a member of the Executive Committee of the New York City Bar Association. From 2001 to 2004, he served as chairman of the City Bar's Judiciary Committee, which rates and approves all federal, state and local judges in New York City. In 2007, Johnson was nominated by the New York State Commission on Judicial Nomination to be Chief Judge of New York[8] though the incumbent, Judith Kaye, was ultimately reappointed by former Governor Eliot Spitzer.

Democratic Party involvement[edit]Johnson is active in Democratic Party politics, as a fundraiser and adviser to presidential campaigns. Johnson served as special counsel to John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign,[9] and was an early supporter of Barack Obama's presidential campaign, active as a foreign policy adviser and as a member of his national finance committee.[10][11]

General Counsel of the Department of Defense[edit]On January 8, 2009, President-elect Barack Obama announced Johnson's nomination as Department of Defense General Counsel.[12] On February 9, 2009, he was confirmed by the Senate. [2]

As General Counsel of the Defense Department, Johnson was a major player in certain key priorities of the Obama Administration, and he is considered one of the legal architects of the U.S. military's current counterterrorism policies. In 2009, Johnson was heavily involved in the reform of military commissions, and testified before Congress numerous times in support of the Military Commissions Act of 2009.[13] In February 2010, the Secretary of Defense appointed Johnson to co-chair a working group, along with Army General Carter Ham, to study the potential impact of a repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. In November 2010, following an extensive study, Johnson and General Ham reported that the risk to overall military effectiveness of a repeal would be low. The report was hailed as a thorough and objective analysis.[14] The Washington Post editorial page wrote:

''The report is remarkable not just for its conclusions but for its honest, thorough and respectful handling of a delicate subject. It offers a clear-eyed, careful, conservative approach to implementing policy change. It doesn't play down the hurdles or denigrate the opposition. It is, in short, a document to be taken seriously, especially by those who may have lingering doubts about allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly.''[15]In August 2010, Johnson was part of the public dialogue over the Wikileaks release of classified Pentagon documents known as the Afghan War Diary or The War Logs. ''The Department of Defense will not negotiate some 'minimized' or 'sanitized' version of a release by WikiLeaks of additional U.S. government classified documents,'' he wrote in a letter to Timothy J. Matusheski, a lawyer representing the online whistle-blowing organization pro bono. In August 2012, Johnson also wrote to the former Navy seal who authored the book ''No Easy Day'' and warned him of his material breach of his non-disclosure agreements with the Department of Defense.[16]

In January 2011, Johnson provoked controversy when, according to a Department of Defense news story, he asserted in a speech at the Pentagon that deceased civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. would have supported the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, despite King's outspoken opposition to American interventionism during his lifetime.[17] Johnson argued that American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq were playing the role of the Good Samaritan, consistent with Martin Luther King Jr.'s beliefs, and that they were fighting to establish the peace for which Dr. King hoped.[18][19]Jeremy Scahill called Johnson's remarks "one of the most despicable attempts at revisionist use of Martin Luther King Jr. I've ever seen," while Justin Elliott of argued that based on Dr. King's opposition to the Vietnam War, he would likely have opposed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the covert wars in Pakistan and Yemen.[20] Cynthia Kouril has defended Johnson's remarks, arguing in her blog that his speech has been misinterpreted.[21]

In a February 2011, speech to the New York City Bar Association, Johnson "acknowledged the concerns raised" about the detention of alleged WikiLeaks source Private Bradley Manning and "stated that he had personally traveled to Quantico to conduct an investigation." Human rights attorney and journalist Scott Horton wrote that "Johnson was remarkably unforthcoming about what he discovered and what conclusions he drew from his visit."[22]

Johnson's tenure as General Counsel was also notable for several high-profile speeches he gave on national security. In a speech he delivered at the Heritage Foundation in October 2011, Johnson warned against ''over-militarizing'' the U.S. government's approach to counterterrorism: ''There is risk in permitting and expecting the U.S. military to extend its powerful reach into areas traditionally reserved for civilian law enforcement in this country.'' [23] At a speech at Yale Law School in February 2012, Johnson defended ''targeted killings,''[24] but also stated:

''[A]s a student of history I believe that those who govern today must ask ourselves how we will be judged 10, 20 or 50 years from now. Our applications of law must stand the test of time, because, over the passage of time, what we find tolerable today may be condemned in the permanent pages of history tomorrow.''Finally, at the Oxford Union in England in November 2012, shortly before his resignation, Johnson delivered a widely noted address entitled ''The conflict against al Qaeda and its affiliates: how will it end?''in which he predicted a ''tipping point'' at which the U.S. government's efforts against al Qaeda should no longer be considered an armed conflict, but a more traditional law enforcement effort against individual terrorists. Johnson stated:

'''War' must be regarded as a finite, extraordinary and unnatural state of affairs. War permits one man '' if he is a ''privileged belligerent,'' consistent with the laws of war -- to kill another. War violates the natural order of things, in which children bury their parents; in war parents bury their children. In its 12th year, we must not accept the current conflict, and all that it entails, as the 'new normal.' Peace must be regarded as the norm toward which the human race continually strives.''Johnson's speech at the Oxford Union received wide press attention,[25] and much editorial acclaim as the first such statement coming from an Obama Administration official.[26]

Department of Homeland Security[edit]On October 17, 2013, President Obama nominated Johnson to be U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. The Washington Post reported "Johnson, an African-American, would bring further racial diversity to Obama's Cabinet. The first black U.S. president has been criticized for having a high number of white men in top Cabinet roles."[27]

References[edit]^[1]^Johnson, Charles S., Bitter Canaan: The Story of the Negro Republic Transaction Books (1987), page 1xxiii fn 171^ abcdJeh Johnson Biography Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP. Retrieved on March 13, 2008^Lentz, Philip (1996). "Jeh Johnson '' 1996 40 Under 40 '' Crain's New York Business Rising Stars". Crain's New York Business, Retrieved on March 13, 2008^"Obama names four to top Pentagon posts". Agence France-Presse. January 8, 2009. Retrieved January 8, 2009. [dead link]^Baldor, Lolita C. "Jeh Johnson, Pentagon's Top Lawyer, Resigns"The Huffington Post, December 6, 2012^Cahoon, Ben M. (2000). "Wake Island - Governors (from 1972, U.S. Air Force General Counsels in Washington, D.C.)". World Statesmen. Retrieved May 11, 2009. "1998 - 2001 Jeh Charles Johnson" ^John Caher, "Kaye Heads List of Candidates For Court of Appeals' Top Slot", The New York Law Journal, January 18, 2007^Konigsberg, Eric, "In Clinton's Backyard, It's Open Season as an Obama Fund-Raiser Lines Up Donors", The New York Times, February 24, 2007. Retrieved on March 13, 2008.^Horowitz, Jason, "Clinton Campaign Gets In Gloat Mode With $27 Million", The New York Observer, October 10, 2007. Retrieved on April 14, 2008.^Horowitz,Jason, "The Best Place for the Rule of Law", The Boston Globe, April 12, 2008. Retrieved on April 14, 2008.^Tyson, Ann Scott, "Obama Selects 4 More Senior Defense Officials", The Washington Post, January 9, 2009.^Editorial, ''Undoing the Damage,'' The New York Times, July 12, 2009^Ed O'Keefe and Craig Whitlock, '''Don't Ask' opponents get a boost, The Washington Post, December 1, 2010.^Editorial, ''Ready for Change,'' The Washington Post, December 1, 2010.^Craig Whitlock, ''Author of bin Laden book is warned,'' The Washington Post, August 31, 2012.^^"Pentagon Official: King Would Support Iraq, Afghan Wars", by Amanda Terkel, Huffington Post, January 14, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2012.^"Dr. Jeh Johnson's MLK Day Speech at the Pentagon". Retrieved December 1, 2012.^"Obama official: MLK would love our wars!", by Justin Elliott,, January 13, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2012.^''The Problem is, He Never Said That: The Saga of the DoD MLK Day Speech,''^Horton, Scott (March 7, 2011) Inhumanity at Quantico, Harper's Magazine^Peter Finn, ''Pentagon lawyer warns against over-militarizing anti-terror fight,'' The Washington Post, October 19, 2011.^"Top Pentagon Lawyer Defends Targeted Killings,'' The Wall Street Journal, February 23, 2012.^Julian Barnes, ''Pentagon Lawyer Looks Post Terror, The Wall Street Journal, Dec. 1, 2012; Charlie Savage, Pentagon Counsel Speaks of Post-Qaeda Challenges,'' The New York Times, December 1, 2012; Barney Henderson, ''Al-Qaeda war nearing tipping point, says US,'' The Daily Telegraph, Dec 1, 2012; Nick Hopkins, ''War on al-Qaida drawing to a close, says Obama lawyer,'' the Guardian, Dec 1, 2012; Daniel Klaidman, ''Will Obama End the War on Terror,'' Newsweek Magazine, Dec 24, 2012.^See, e.g., Fareed Zakaria, ''Time to terminate the war on terror,'' Washington Post op-ed, December 6, 2012.^"Obama picks attorney Jeh Johnson for Homeland Security chief" by Jeff Mason, Washington Post, October 17, 2013|, Retreived 2013-10-18External links[edit]

Nominee for secretary of homeland security donated more than $33,000 to Obama's 2008 campaign

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 04:03

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Edward Snowden: public indifference is the real enemy in the NSA affair | World news | The Observer

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 04:18

Edward Snowden's revelations exposed a terrifying level of 'passive acceptance' of surveillance. Photograph: Sergei Grits/AP

One of the most disturbing aspects of the public response to Edward Snowden's revelations about the scale of governmental surveillance is how little public disquiet there appears to be about it. A recent YouGov poll, for example, asked respondents whether the British security services have too many or too few powers to carry out surveillance on ordinary people. Forty-two per cent said that they thought the balance was "about right" and a further 22% thought that the security services did not have enough powers. In another question, respondents were asked whether they thought Snowden's revelations were a good or a bad thing; 43% thought they were bad and only 35% thought they were good.

Writing in these pages a few weeks ago, Henry Porter expressed his own frustration at this public complacency. "Today, apparently," he wrote, "we are at ease with a system of near total intrusion that would have horrified every adult Briton 25 years ago. Back then, western spies acknowledged the importance of freedom by honouring the survivors of those networks; now, they spy on their own people. We have changed, that is obvious, and, to be honest, I wonder whether I, and others who care about privacy and freedom, have been left behind by societies that accept surveillance as a part of the sophisticated world we live in."

I share Henry's bafflement. At one point I thought that the level of public complacency about the revelations was a reflection simply of ignorance. After all, most people who use the internet and mobile phones have no idea about how any of this stuff works and so may be naive about the implications of state agencies being able to scoop up everybody's email metadata, call logs, click streams, friendship networks and so on.

But what is, in a way, more alarming is how relaxed many of my professional peers seem to be about it. Many of them are people who do understand how the stuff works. To them, Snowden's revelations probably just confirm what they had kind of suspected all along. And yet the discovery that in less than three decades our societies have achieved Orwellian levels of surveillance provokes, at most, a wry smile or a resigned shrug. And it is this level of passive acceptance that I find really scary.

What's even more alarming is that the one group of professionals who really ought to be alert to the danger are journalists. After all, these are the people who define news as "something that someone powerful does not want published", who pride themselves on "holding government to account" or sometimes, when they've had a few drinks, on "speaking truth to power". And yet, in their reactions to the rolling scoops published by the Guardian, the Washington Post, the New York Times and Der Spiegel, many of them seem to have succumbed either to a weird kind of spiteful envy, or to a desire to act as the unpaid stenographers to the security services and their political masters.

We've seen this before, of course, notably in the visceral hatred directed towards WikiLeaks by the mainstream media in both this country and the US. As I read the vitriol being heaped on Julian Assange, I wondered how the press would have reacted if Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning had handed his CD downloads to the editor of the Des Moines Register who had then published them. Would that editor have been lauded as a champion of freedom, or vilified as a traitor warranting summary assassination?

Last week in the US, we saw a welcome sign that some people in journalism have woken up to the existential threat posed by the NSA to their profession '' and, by implication, to political freedom. A group of scholars, journalists and researchers from Columbia Journalism School and the MIT Centre for Civic Media submitted a thoughtful paper on "the effects of mass surveillance on the practice of journalism" to the Review Group on Intelligence and Communication Technologies convened by President Obama.

It's a longish (15-page) submission that is worth reading in full. It argues that what the NSA is doing is "incompatible with the existing law and policy protecting the confidentiality of journalist-source communications", that this is not merely an incompatibility in spirit, "but a series of specific and serious discrepancies between the activities of the intelligence community and existing law, policy, and practice in the rest of the government" and '' most importantly '' that the climate of secrecy around mass surveillance is actively harmful to journalism, because "sources cannot know when they might be monitored, or how intercepted information might be used against them". In which case, what happens to the freedom that the NSA is supposedly defending?

Woman Thwarts Mugger By Claiming NSA Will Track Him

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 12:30

We're not NSA-ing this will always work, but...

A Washington, D.C. woman managed to thwart a mugger Monday night by claiming she was an NSA intern, according to the Washington Examiner.

The victim, whose name was not published, told the Examiner she was walking to her Capitol Hill home when a man grabbed her arm and told her to give him her wallet and phone.

She claimed she was an intern with the National Security Agency and, as an intern, had no cash on her. In reality, the woman does not work for the NSA, but is employed by a nonprofit and did have cash on her.

She took her claims a step further. "I told him that the NSA could track the phone within minutes, and it could cause possible problems for him," she told the Examiner.

According to the victim, the mugger then fled without the phone.

The mugger may not have taken the woman's phone, but that same day, the world learned that the NSA has been "harvesting" millions of contact lists from online accounts around the world, many of which belong to American citizens.

Today, the Associated Press reported that documents released by former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden also indicate that the NSA has been "extensively involved in the U.S. government's targeted killing program."

Also on HuffPost:


Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Approves...

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Thu, 17 Oct 2013 14:46

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Approves Government's Application to Renew Telephony Metadata Program

October 11, 2013

As indicated by a declassified court order and amended memorandum opinion published by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court Sept. 17, 2013, the court authorization requiring the production of certain telephony metadata under the ''business records'' provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, 50 U.S.C. Section 1861, expires Oct. 11, 2013.

Previously on several occasions, the Director of National Intelligence declassified certain information about this telephony metadata collection program in order to provide the public with a more thorough and balanced understanding of the program. Consistent with his prior declassification decision and in light of the significant and continuing public interest in the telephony metadata collection program, DNI Clapper has decided to declassify and disclose publicly that the government filed an application with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking renewal of the authority to collect telephony metadata in bulk, and that the court renewed that authority.

The administration is undertaking a declassification review of this most recent court order.

Shawn TurnerDirector of Public AffairsOffice of the Director of National Intelligence


MediaPost Publications Take It Inside: Mobile Fight Moves Indoors 10/17/2013

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Fri, 18 Oct 2013 16:20

How interesting that our earliest ways of conceiving mobile involved getting connected with customers anytime and anywhere. The most intimate medium was envisioned by many of us as the final smash against the crumbling wall of mass media. This was a device that demanded a more fragmented, personalized, situationally aware approach to marketing than any mass medium and even interactive medium of the last century allowed.

Ironically, one of the key battlegrounds among mobile platforms is not over accessing everyone everywhere, but over very specific places and the people moving within them. The indoor location market is suddenly about to boom. ABI Research says that the combined interest of some of the biggest names in mobile and the Internet will help make indoor location mapping and other technologies worth $4 billion by 2018. They foresee that within the next year there will be at least 25,000 local mapping and indoor location technology installations worldwide, and handsets supporting the communications technologies involved will be in the hundreds of millions.

Well, technically, WiFi could be considered an indoor location tech, since access points can triangulate based on signal strength. But Bluetooth LTE seems to be the hot trend for the next year. With Apple rolling out iBeacons and others like Mobiquity and PayPal leveraging the technology, BT is set for a big 2014, ABI says. The iPhone 5s is only starting to penetrate the market. But ABI Practice Director states: ''Apple hasn't made a big marketing deal on indoor with the new iPhone 5s, largely because the ecosystem isn't in place yet. But under the shiny, spotted hood is a hardware platform that is now well placed to support 'always-on' indoor location, sensor fusion, and ambient intelligence.''

Apple, Google and eBay are poised to be major players in this space if they want to be. Google's indoor mapping project is ongoing. eBay's PayPal and Apple already have in-store beacon models planned. And all the major players in the network space like Cicso and Aruba have invested in WiFi to penetrate live places.

In other words, we are laying the infrastructure for those Minority Report moments. Not only will marketers be reaching out to us because we are in a location, but the location itself will personalize as it senses us via our devices. The shopping mall and your grocery store could become very cluttered and annoyingly interactive places.

BellDoing Deep Packet advertising

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Sat, 19 Oct 2013 03:32

Your privacy is an important priority at Bell, and so is providing an experience that best meets your needs. Our Privacy Policy (available at informs you about information we collect and how we use it. Today, we want to tell you about some important updates relating to new uses of information.Starting on November 16, 2013, Bell will begin using certain information about your account and network usage for select purposes, such as continuing to improve network performance and product offers through new business and marketing reports, making some of the ads and marketing partner offers you see more relevant to you, and providing increased levels of fraud detection and prevention. We will not share any information that identifies you personally outside of Bell Canada and its affiliates. If you do not want us to use this information for these purposes, you can let us know by visiting This supplements our Privacy Policy.

What information are we talking about?Bell will use the following categories of information:Network usage information, such as:'Web pages visited from your mobile device or your Internet access at home. This may include search terms that have been used.'Location'App and device feature usage'TV viewing'Calling patternsAccount information:'Information about your use of Bell products and services (such as device type, postal code, payment patterns and language preference)'Demographic information, such as gender or age rangeIs my information shared?No, under these new programs, we will not share any information that identifies you personally outside of Bell Canada and its affiliates.How information will be used.To create business and marketing reports.DescriptionWe will combine network usage information and account information in a way that does not personally identify you. We will use this information to prepare business and marketing reports that we may use ourselves or share with others.ExampleWe may generate a report that shows 5,000 mobile users downloaded a gaming application in a month, and 80% of them were 18-25 years old.For other companies to create business and marketing reports.DescriptionWe may also share information with other companies in a way that does not personally identify you. We will allow these companies to produce limited business and marketing reports.ExampleUsing information from Bell and other mobile carriers, a company may generate a report that shows how many mobile users were active along a certain parade route.To make ads you see more relevant.DescriptionWhen you use the Internet on your mobile device, laptop, computer or TV, you often see unfiltered, random ads on websites and within apps. We would like to use certain network usage information and account information to make the ads you see more relevant to you. These ads may be from Bell or from third parties, however Bell will not share any of your personal information with a third party as part of placing a third party ad.ExampleA hotel chain may want to only advertise their Montr(C)al location to out-of-town mobile users. Bell may exclude Montr(C)al users on the hotel's behalf when delivering the ad (without sharing personal information).Your choices.DescriptionYou will receive unfiltered and random ads whether you participate or not, but under this program, ads may be more relevant to you.If you do not want us to use your information for any of the purposes described above, please let us know at any time by visiting | Visit | Find a store

This email was sent to

Corporate Secretary's Office of Bell Canada and BCE Inc.1 carrefour Alexander-Graham-Bell, Building A-7, Verdun, Qu(C)bec, H3E 3B3

Copyright (C) 2013. Bell Canada. All Rights Reserved.



Bitcoin Climbs To Highest Since April, Led By Chinese Actions

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Source: Zero Hedge

Sun, 20 Oct 2013 04:29

Submitted by Jonathan Stacke via The Genesis Block,

The last week has seen dramatic upwards price action in the bitcoin markets, driven by a series of macro and micro events across the globe. The fallout from Silk Road's closure turned out to be but a blip in bitcoin's price history, with significant gains since then. Turmoil in global financial markets and recent news of leading global websites accepting bitcoin may have bolstered enthusiasm for digital currency, but most interesting may be CNY's definitive recent price leadership.

Compared with prices before the brief Silk Road drop, bitcoin exchange rates have climbed 14% in the last two weeks. At $145/BTC on Bitstamp, bitcoin has reached a level not seen since late April, and the only time that level has been reached on more than three consecutive days was from April 3-11 during the bubble.

Notably, the market has been significantly less volatile leading up to this level recently, compared with April. The 3DMA volatility leading into this level previously was between 13% and 22%, compared with just 4% currently.

US EventsA number of factors may be driving the latest climb. For one, bitcoin price increases are known to often coincide with media coverage. Accordingly, even the Silk Road closure which highlighted bitcoin's use for illicit purposes may have helped drive new participants into the market as a result of the exposure gained. The recent Money 2020 conference in Las Vegas may have similarly driven interest from a number of established financial players.

The global macroeconomic environment may be playing a role as well. As we've noted previously, bitcoin shares a generally inverse relationship with USD, an asset that has been negatively impacted in recent weeks as a result of the US debt ceiling impasse.

Chinese EventsPerhaps most important was the activity out of China. The Chinese government has recently been more vocal in its ongoing campaign to see the dollar removed from global reserve status. While such calls for an international reserve note are generally assumed to refer to Special Drawing Rights issued by the IMF, it may have bolstered enthusiasm for bitcoin's apolitical nature. Also out of China was news that Baidu, the world's fifth largest website, is now accepting bitcoin for certain services.

Perhaps not incidentally, CNY price movement has been a notable leader in the latest rally. Overlaying CNY/BTC and USD/BTC trading history, it becomes clear that USD/BTC trading has been largely responsive to the Chinese markets. The graph below shows bitcoin trading in CNY markets, as well as USD/BTC levels converted to CNY for comparison. Overlaid on top of them is the differential between their prices at any given time. The differential tends to normalize around 2-3% and spikes/sinks periodically with price movement. In reviewing this chart, a consistent pattern becomes clear: CNY price movement occurs first, increasing the differential, with USD catching up much later and eventually sending the differential back down towards 3%.

Average:Your rating: NoneAverage: 4.2(6 votes)

Producer Mike on Ross Williams of SR

Crackhead and Binaural Beats

My good friend Sara grew up with Ross!!

Said he was one of those kids who at age 8 would already be talking about government corruption and state violence.

Sara got an email from Ross' mom asking for money for the bail. They're putting up their home and everything in order to bail out rob cause they dont believe that ross is a terrible person as how he's being portrayed. I would assume that means they believe in his innocence if theyre willing to throw away their home and beg friends and family more money for bail.

He was living in an SF apartment with like 5 other dudes.

Not so lofty for a kid making millions, eh?

Sara said he was always super smart and questioning everything. But was of course open to the idea that it wasnt him.

that's all i got. Not much. Tell micky to get better!

we saw you talking to Pickle boy at the market, but you were too engaged to bother.

Easy Questions Are Boring: Bitcoin as a law enforcement/natsec honeypot: what is the evidence?

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 13:03

Paranoia appears to be the order of the day, given what we know about the NSA and GCHQ thanks to Edward Snowden. Absent from the stories so far is any mention of Bitcoin. I find this odd - Bitcoin is the most cypherpunky of all crypto technologies, after all.I want to make the case, without necessarily endorsing it, that we should be much more suspicious of Bitcoin than we are at present.

1) Bitcoin was almost certainly a team effort. The design has been peer-reviewed and is found to be remarkably secure, complete and well-rounded[1]. I argue that this suggests that a peer-review or quality control process has already been applied. If one individual cryptographer had written Bitcoin, it would contain far more idiosyncracies than it does, not just in the cryptosystem design but also in the C++ code itself. The core protocol itself, which uses a Turing-incomplete programming language, has had only one major vulnerability found in its design and execution.

For comparison, the Amazon AWS API is also a huge team effort that was also (I assume) designed with the help of competent Internet protocol and cryptography experts, and also has suffered from only one major vulnerability, which was found by a certified genius, Colin Percival. Likewise Colin's own one-person-product, the highly secure backup facility Tarsnap has also had only one serious vulnerability to date.

Bitcoin is at least one order of magnitude more complex than Tarsnap, or the crypto used in v1 of the Amazon AWS API. We should have seen far more bugs of varying severities if it was a one man band.2) The author(s) created, maintained and then apparently retired a pseudonym (Satoshi Nakamoto) while staying completely anonymous on the Internet.

As an achievement this is almost as impressive as Bitcoin itself, albeit of a different nature.

Using the Internet anonymously is much harder than one would think. Things like Tor are vital of course, but beyond that there is the practice of operational security to a very high standard. One slip-up is enough to junk the whole identity, e.g. logging on to a pseudononymous account from an insecure location, or even sending a cookie obtained via Tor 'in the clear', is enough.

As a real-world example, the assassination of Rafic Hariri in Lebanon was pinned on Hezbollah because one of their agents made a single phone call to his girlfriend with his dedicated operational phone instead of his personal mobile.

3) Bitcoin is, by design, highly vulnerable to network analysis. Network analysis can be used to comb through large graphs looking for patterns or suspicious behaviour. Because the entire transaction graph of Bitcoin is public, anyone can perform network analysis on the whole Bitcoin network. This is not so significant by itself, but becomes vitally important when combined with the next point.

4) In the absence of good network analysis, the Bitcoin network is not legally attackable at the point where hard currency is converted. Network analysis backed up with law enforcement or hacking, however, could be extremely effective, and this fits the MO for some large three letter agencies: as we have seen with the recent disclosures of NSA attacks against SSL and Tor, the most successful attacks are multi-pronged: they combine, for example, legal strong-arming with technical know-how and hacking.

Obtaining the transaction logs of a currency exchange would give a starting points from which the rest of the transaction graph can be de-anonymised.

5) One single party controls more than 25% of all BTCs in circulation.[2] Someone, somewhere has the ability to destabilise the BTC currency exchange market at will. If you think of BTCs as a commodity instead of a currency, it is obvious that anyone holding large reserves can wreak havoc by dumping their holdings on the market. They could also bankrupt or bleed the exchanges dry of working capital by converting large sums of BTC over a period of time.

6) Whoever wrote Bitcoin must have known that it would attract criminals and wingnuts like flies to a honeypot. After all, look at the history of cyptocash and you can't help but notice Jim Bell's 'assassination politics', or realise the potential for mischief within the combination of hidden servers and cryptocash. Once Bitcoin was established and hidden servers were possible via Tor, Silk Road was inevitable. Even with the demise of Silk Road, Bitcoin is still used for money laundering, paying for skimmed credit card numbers and for 0-day exploits - in this last case, maybe even by the NSA itself.

7) 'Satoshi Nakamoto' is an anagram of 'Ma, I took NSA oath!' :-) But seriously:

To summarise, Bitcoin was apparently designed by good cryptographers and peer-reviewed before it was released. It was almost certainly written by a team of good coders.[1] The entity that did this practiced impeccable operational security. Bitcoin was designed to be difficult to attack by non-state actors, but was also designed to be inherently vulnerable to network analysis, especially so when combined with legal and covert access techniques. A single entity retains the ability to severely disrupt the BTC market through its control of large reserves, and only the most unaware or blinkered recluse could have failed to realise its potential target market mainly consisted of rogues and blackguards.

Whether or not this points to a law enforcement or national security agency as I've suggested, I think it's evident that we cannot assume that the creation of Bitcoin was motivated by altruism, or even by the strain of libertarian cypherpunk ideology that gave Bitcoin such fertile soil in which to grow.

Dan Kaminsky was quoted by Matthew Green as saying "authorship is a better predictor of quality than openness", and likewise, motive is a better predictor of the true purpose of a tool than its quality. The motive of the creators of Bitcoin remains completely unknown.


Corrections and footnotes

[1] As per the HN discussion, apparently the first BitCoin client was quite buggy in the beginning. Only one exploit was used on the network, but see the Bitcoin CVE list here for a more realistic list of the software bugs encountered in Bitcoin. Worth noting is that this is a separate issue to bugs in the design of the cryptosystem. Thanks to nwh on HN for the pointer.

[2] I previously stated that "...and has tried to hide that fact" but this is based on a misreading of the paper. Thanks to mcphilip on HN for pointing that out.

There's an interesting discussion over at Hacker News where some good counterpoints are made.


J.P. Morgan Reaches $13 Billion Deal with Justice Department; Is This a Fair Deal?

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Source: Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

Sun, 20 Oct 2013 04:30

The Wall Street Journal reported today J.P. Morgan Reaches $13 Billion Tentative Deal with Justice Department. However a criminal investigation is not yet closed.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has reached a tentative deal to pay a record $13 billion to the Justice Department to settle a number of outstanding probes of its residential mortgage-backed securities business, according to a person familiar with the decision.

The deal, which was struck Friday night, doesn't resolve a continuing criminal probe of the bank's conduct, which could result in charges against individuals or the bank itself and possibly increase the penalty tab. The two sides continued to disagree over an admission of wrongdoing that would end the criminal probe and decided instead to resolve the civil allegations related to the mortgage securities.

The deal includes $4 billion to settle claims by the Federal Housing Finance Agency that J.P. Morgan misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about the quality of loans it sold them in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis, another $4 billion in consumer relief, and $5 billion in penalties paid by the bank, according to a second person close to the talks. How the consumer relief and penalties get dispersed and distributed is largely up to the government, and those details are still unclear, this person said.

The tentative settlement comes as J.P. Morgan tries to put as many legal woes behind it as possible. Earlier this week, J.P. Morgan agreed to pay $100 million and acknowledge wrongdoing to settle allegations by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission related to its botched ''London whale'' trades. Last month, the bank agreed to pay $920 million to settle similar charges with U.S. and U.K. regulators related to that 2012 trade.

The task force issued a series of subpoenas to various financial companies, seeking internal documents. Those documents held a number of promising leads, one of which was assigned to federal prosecutors in Sacramento.

Investigators in that case discovered an email by a bank employee, warning her higher-ups that the bank was vastly overstating the value of the mortgages being securitized, according to people familiar with the probe. That employee, who has since left the company, has been cooperating with federal prosecutors, who expect to call her as a witness if the case ever goes to trial, according to people familiar with the case.

While the Justice Department considers the evidence in that case to be strong, officials at the bank strongly disagree, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

In late September, as the Justice Department neared its own deadline to file a civil lawsuit in the case, the bank offered $3 billion to settle the case. Attorney General Eric Holder rejected that offer, and government lawyers prepared to file the suit. The bank then offered billions more, if the government was willing to throw into the settlement separate cases, raising the total price and resolving more of the bank's legal headaches.

As the negotiations intensified in September, Mr. Dimon sought a face-to-face meeting with Mr. Holder to try to resolve the remaining sticking points. The two met Sept. 26 at the Justice Department, but the meeting failed to settle the outstanding issues. As talks continued over the remaining weeks, the size of the deal swelled, but the two sides continued to disagree over an admission of wrongdoing that would end the criminal probe.

On Friday night, Mr. Dimon and Mr. Holder decided they were just not going to come to terms on the criminal issue''and take the deal on the terms where they did agree.

Is This a Fair Deal?For starters, I am astonished at the massive settlement. $13 billion sounds huge (and it is compared to the typical whitewashing affairs we see).

However, things could have been much worse.

CNN Money notes JPM held "$23 billion in reserves for potential litigation expenses. In a footnote to its SEC filing, the bank said legal costs could be nearly $6 billion above that figure in a worst case scenario."

Perhaps $23 billion, $40 billion, or any amount that wipes out JP Morgan litigation reserves is "fair".

Clearly "fair" is in the eyes of the beholder. I will consider it "fair" if executives of the largest banks are tried and convicted in criminal court. Don't count on it. As astonished as I was about the amount of the settlement, I will be even more astonished if any bank executives are criminally convicted.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Tentative Deal Hands JPMorgan Chase a Record Penalty

Agenda 21 War on Dudes


Agenda 21 - Chapter 24: Global Action for Women Towards Sustainable and Equitable Development, Earth Summit, 1992

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Sat, 19 Oct 2013 04:47

previous | table of contents | nextChapter 24:Global Action For Women Towards Sustainable And Equitable Development

Programme AreaBasis for action1. The international community has endorsed several plans of action and conventions for the full, equal and beneficial integration of women in all development activities, in particular the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, 1 which emphasize women's participation in national and international ecosystem management and control of environment degradation. Several conventions, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (General Assembly resolution 34/180, annex) and conventions of ILO and UNESCO have also been adopted to end gender-based discrimination and ensure women access to land and other resources, education and safe and equal employment. Also relevant are the 1990 World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children and the Plan of Action for implementing the Declaration (A/45/625, annex). Effective implementation of these programmes will depend on the active involvement of women in economic and political decision-making and will be critical to the successful implementation of Agenda 21.Objectives2. The following objectives are proposed for national Governments:a.To implement the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, particularly with regard to women's participation in national ecosystem management and control of environment degradation;b.To increase the proportion of women decision makers, planners, technical advisers, managers and extension workers in environment and development fields;c.To consider developing and issuing by the year 2000 a strategy of changes necessary to eliminate constitutional, legal, administrative, cultural, behavioural, social and economic obstacles to women's full participation in sustainable development and in public life;d.To establish by the year 1995 mechanisms at the national, regional and international levels to assess the implementation and impact of development and environment policies and programmes on women and to ensure their contributions and benefits;e.To assess, review, revise and implement, where appropriate, curricula and other educational material, with a view to promoting the dissemination to both men and women of gender-relevant knowledge and valuation of women's roles through formal and non-formal education, as well as through training institutions, in collaboration with non-governmental organizations;f.To formulate and implement clear governmental policies and national guidelines, strategies and plans for the achievement of equality in all aspects of society, including the promotion of women's literacy, education, training, nutrition and health and their participation in key decision-making positions and in management of the environment, particularly as it pertains to their access to resources, by facilitating better access to all forms of credit, particularly in the informal sector, taking measures towards ensuring women's access to property rights as well as agricultural inputs and implements;g.To implement, as a matter of urgency, in accordance with country-specific conditions, measures to ensure that women and men have the same right to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and have access to information, education and means, as appropriate, to enable them to exercise this right in keeping with their freedom, dignity and personally held values;h.To consider adopting, strengthening and enforcing legislation prohibiting violence against women and to take all necessary administrative, social and educational measures to eliminate violence against women in all its forms.Activities3. Governments should take active steps to implement the following:a.Measures to review policies and establish plans to increase the proportion of women involved as decision makers, planners, managers, scientists and technical advisers in the design, development and implementation of policies and programmes for sustainable development;b.Measures to strengthen and empower women's bureaux, women's non-governmental organizations and women's groups in enhancing capacity-building for sustainable development;c.Measures to eliminate illiteracy among females and to expand the enrolment of women and girls in educational institutions, to promote the goal of universal access to primary and secondary education for girl children and for women, and to increase educational and training opportunities for women and girls in sciences and technology, particularly at the post-secondary level;d.Programmes to promote the reduction of the heavy workload of women and girl children at home and outside through the establishment of more and affordable nurseries and kindergartens by Governments, local authorities, employers and other relevant organizations and the sharing of household tasks by men and women on an equal basis, and to promote the provision of environmentally sound technologies which have been designed, developed and improved in consultation with women, accessible and clean water, an efficient fuel supply and adequate sanitation facilities;e.Programmes to establish and strengthen preventive and curative health facilities, which include women-centred, women-managed, safe and effective reproductive health care and affordable, accessible, responsible planning of family size and services, as appropriate, in keeping with freedom, dignity and personally held values. Programmes should focus on providing comprehensive health care, including pre-natal care, education and information on health and responsible parenthood, and should provide the opportunity for all women to fully breastfeed at least during the first four months post-partum. Programmes should fully support women's productive and reproductive roles and well-being and should pay special attention to the need to provide equal and improved health care for all children and to reduce the risk of maternal and child mortality and sickness;f.Programmes to support and strengthen equal employment opportunities and equitable remuneration for women in the formal and informal sectors with adequate economic, political and social support systems and services, including child care, particularly day-care facilities and parental leave, and equal access to credit, land and other natural resources;g.Programmes to establish rural banking systems with a view to facilitating and increasing rural women's access to credit and to agricultural inputs and implements;h.Programmes to develop consumer awareness and the active participation of women, emphasizing their crucial role in achieving changes necessary to reduce or eliminate unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, particularly in industrialized countries, in order to encourage investment in environmentally sound productive activities and induce environmentally and socially friendly industrial development;i.Programmes to eliminate persistent negative images, stereotypes, attitudes and prejudices against women through changes in socialization patterns, the media, advertising, and formal and non-formal education;j.Measures to review progress made in these areas, including the preparation of a review and appraisal report which includes recommendations to be submitted to the 1995 world conference on women.4. Governments are urged to ratify all relevant conventions pertaining to women if they have not already done so. Those that have ratified conventions should enforce and establish legal, constitutional and administrative procedures to transform agreed rights into domestic legislation and should adopt measures to implement them in order to strengthen the legal capacity of women for full and equal participation in issues and decisions on sustainable development.5. States parties to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women should review and suggest amendments to it by the year 2000, with a view to strengthening those elements of the Convention related to environment and development, giving special attention to the issue of access and entitlements to natural resources, technology, creative banking facilities and low-cost housing, and the control of pollution and toxicity in the home and workplace. States parties should also clarify the extent of the Convention's scope with respect to the issues of environment and development and request the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women to develop guidelines regarding the nature of reporting such issues, required under particular articles of the Convention.(a) Areas requiring urgent action6. Countries should take urgent measures to avert the ongoing rapid environmental and economic degradation in developing countries that generally affects the lives of women and children in rural areas suffering drought, desertification and deforestation, armed hostilities, natural disasters, toxic waste and the aftermath of the use of unsuitable agro-chemical products.7. In order to reach these goals, women should be fully involved in decision-making and in the implementation of sustainable development activities.(b) Research, data collection and dissemination of information8. Countries should develop gender-sensitive databases, information systems and participatory action-oriented research and policy analyses with the collaboration of academic institutions and local women researchers on the following:a.Knowledge and experience on the part of women of the management and conservation of natural resources for incorporation in the databases and information systems for sustainable development;b.The impact of structural adjustment programmes on women. In research done on structural adjustment programmes, special attention should be given to the differential impact of those programmes on women, especially in terms of cut-backs in social services, education and health and in the removal of subsidies on food and fuel;c.The impact on women of environmental degradation, particularly drought, desertification, toxic chemicals and armed hostilities;d.Analysis of the structural linkages between gender relations, environment and development;e.The integration of the value of unpaid work, including work that is currently designated "domestic", in resource accounting mechanisms in order better to represent the true value of the contribution of women to the economy, using revised guidelines for the United Nations System of National Accounts, to be issued in 1993;f.Measures to develop and include environmental, social and gender impact analyses as an essential step in the development and monitoring of programmes and policies;g.Programmes to create rural and urban training, research and resource centres in developing and developed countries that will serve to disseminate environmentally sound technologies to women.(c) International and regional cooperation and coordination9. The Secretary-General of the United Nations should review the adequacy of all United Nations institutions, including those with a special focus on the role of women, in meeting development and environment objectives, and make recommendations for strengthening their capacities. Institutions that require special attention in this area include the Division for the Advancement of Women (Centre for Social Development and Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations Office at Vienna), the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) and the women's programmes of regional commissions. The review should consider how the environment and development programmes of each body of the United Nations system could be strengthened to implement Agenda 21 and how to incorporate the role of women in programmes and decisions related to sustainable development.10. Each body of the United Nations system should review the number of women in senior policy-level and decision-making posts and, where appropriate, adopt programmes to increase that number, in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1991/17 on the improvement of the status of women in the Secretariat.11. UNIFEM should establish regular consultations with donors in collaboration with UNICEF, with a view to promoting operational programmes and projects on sustainable development that will strengthen the participation of women, especially low-income women, in sustainable development and in decision-making. UNDP should establish a women's focal point on development and environment in each of its resident representative offices to provide information and promote exchange of experience and information in these fields. Bodies of the United Nations system, governments and non-governmental organizations involved in the follow-up to the Conference and the implementation of Agenda 21 should ensure that gender considerations are fully integrated into all the policies, programmes and activities.Means of implementationFinancing and cost evaluation12. The Conference secretariat has estimated the average total annual cost (1993-2000) of implementing the activities of this chapter to be about $40 million from the international community on grant or concessional terms. These are indicative and order-of-magnitude estimates only and have not been reviewed by Governments. Actual costs and financial terms, including any that are non-concessional, will depend upon, inter alia, the specific strategies and programmes Governments decide upon for implementation.Notes1Report of the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women: Equality, Development and Peace, Nairobi, 15-26 July 1985 (United Nations publication, Sales No./E.85.IV.10), chap. I, sect. A. [return]previous | table of contents | next

Home - Femme The Movie

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Help us Share the message of empowerment in FEMME.

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I highly recommend my Friends see FEMME: WOMEN HEALING THE WORLD. It's a NEW film about women around the world transforming and healing global society on a daily basis. You can watch it instantly by clicking this link. Be sure to tell your Friends!

Movie Description:

FEMME is an inspirational voyage about women around the world who are actively transforming and healing global society on a daily basis. Starring Sharon Stone (Casino, Total Recall, Basic Instinct), Jean Houston, Marianne Williamson, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Riane Eisler, Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Shirin Ebadi and Mairead Maguire, Rickie Lee Jones, Gloria Steinem, and more! Influential women discuss religion, science, history, politics and entertainment '' and the solutions to the multiple crisis' we face throughout the world. FEMME focuses on utilizing a feminine approach with nurturing energy to inspire a new hope for the future. Directed By: Emmanuel Itier, Produced By: Amanda Estremera, Andrea Barron, Barbara Lazaroff, Celeste Yarnall, Dawn Zuill, and Sharon Stone.


VIDEO-'–¶ Sharon Stone on 'Femme' - YouTube

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Marianne Williamson :: Contact

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To contact Marianne:

Mailing Address:

8424 Santa Monica Blvd. #A787West Hollywood, CA 90069 USA

We appreciate your interest. Please know that our office receives hundreds of emails each day, and we are not able to respond to each one. Know that Marianne appreciates your interest, and one of us will be in touch with you if we are able.

Marianne wishes all new authors well. Due to the sheer volume of mail she receives, however, she will not be able to endorse unsolicited manuscripts.

For Speaking Engagements Only:

Marianne Williamson is an internationally acclaimed spiritual author and lecturer. Six of her ten published books have been New York Times Bestsellers. Four of these have been #1 New York Times Bestsellers. A Return to Love is considered a must-read of The New Spirituality. A paragraph from that book, beginning "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure..." is considered an anthem for a contemporary generation of seekers.

Marianne's other books include The Age of Miracles, Everyday Grace, A Woman's Worth, Illuminata, Healing the Soul of America, A Course in Weight Loss, The Gift of Change and her newest book, The Law of Divine Compensation.

She has been a popular guest on television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America and Charlie Rose. Marianne is a native of Houston, Texas. In 1989, she founded Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that serves homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area. Today, Project Angel Food serves over 1,000 people daily. Marianne also founded the Department of Peace Campaign, a grass roots campaign to establish a United States Department of Peace.

In December 2006, a NEWSWEEK magazine poll named Marianne Williamson one of the fifty most influential baby boomers. According to Time magazine, "Yoga, the Cabala and Marianne Williamson have been taken up by those seeking a relationship with God that is not strictly tethered to Christianity."

Marianne Williamson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Marianne Williamson (b. July 8, 1952) [1] is a spiritual teacher, author and lecturer. She has published ten books, including four New York Times #1 bestsellers. She is also the founder of Project Angel Food, a meals-on-wheels program that serves homebound people with AIDS in the Los Angeles area, and co-founder of The Peace Alliance, a grass roots campaign supporting legislation to establish a United States Department of Peace. She serves on the Board of Directors of the RESULTS organization, which works to end poverty in the United States and around the world. Williamson is the force behind "Sister Giant" a series of seminars and teaching sessions that seeks to provide women with the information and tools needed to run for office. Through the series of Sister Giant seminars[2] she supports women running for political office and aligning their politics with their spiritual values.

She has been a guest on television programs such as Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America and Charlie Rose. In December 2006, a Newsweek magazine poll named her one of the fifty most influential baby boomers. According to Time magazine, "Yoga, the Cabala and Marianne Williamson have been taken up by those seeking a relationship with God that is not strictly tethered to Christianity." Williamson bases her teaching and writing on a set of books called A Course In Miracles, a self-study program of spiritual psychotherapy, based on universal spiritual themes.

Biography[edit]Williamson was born in Houston, Texas. She attended Pomona College in Claremont, California, where her roommate was film producer Lynda Obst.

Popular culture references[edit]References from Williamson's book A Return To Love have been used in the film, Coach Carter (2005), the film Akeelah and the Bee (2006), and in the novel, Badulina: Return of the Queen by Israeli author Gabi Nitzan.

A passage from Marianne Williamson's book, A Return to Love, has become popular as an inspirational quote:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

The passage has been used, amongst other places, in the 2005 film: Coach Carter. It is often incorrectly attributed to Nelson Mandela. Williamson herself is quoted as saying: "As honored as I would be had President Mandela quoted my words, indeed he did not. I have no idea where that story came from, but I am gratified that the paragraph has come to mean so much to so many people."

Published Works[edit]References[edit]External links[edit]PersondataNameWilliamson, MarianneAlternative namesShort descriptionAmerican writerDate of birthJuly 8, 1952Place of birthHouston, TexasDate of deathPlace of death

Marianne Williamson: Who Is She & Why Do We Need Her Now?


Supreme Court agrees to hear six cases on greenhouse gas regulations | The Raw Story

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By Agence France-PresseTuesday, October 15, 2013 11:38 EDT

The US Supreme Court Tuesday took on six cases related to federal regulation of greenhouse gasses, raising expectations for a much-awaited ruling in the debate over climate change legislation.

The court announced it was combining the six suits from plaintiffs in the chemical industry, the Chamber of Commerce, and the state of Texas, each protesting carbon emissions regulations put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency.

All six cases address just one question: Whether the agency ''permissibly determined that its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from new motor vehicles triggered permitting requirements under the Clean Air Act,'' the court said in announcing it would take the appeal.

The court refused to consider three other appeals on the same issue.

The nation's highest court also agreed to weigh in on whether a gun owner can legally re-sell his firearm to someone else.

However, as it has in the past, the court refused to hear an appeal on a case regarding the right to own a gun, citing protections under the second amendment.

At issue was a Maryland law that aimed to restrict gun purchases to only those individuals seeking a firearm for ''a good and substantial reason.''




At least 400 civilians killed by drone strikes, Pakistan tells UN

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 11:59

Says some 330 drone strikes recorded since 2004

Sunday, October 20, 2013From Print Edition

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has confirmed that of some 2,200 people killed by drone strikes in the past decade, at least 400 were civilians and an additional 200 victims were deemed ''probable non-combatants,'' a UN human rights investigator said on Friday.

Ben Emmerson, UN special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, also urged the United States to release its own data on the number of civilian casualties caused by its drone strikes.

Emmerson said Pakistan's Foreign Ministry told him it had recorded at least 330 drone strikes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Pakistan's largely lawless region bordering Afghanistan, since 2004.

Clearing out militant border sanctuaries is seen by Washington as crucial to bringing stability to Afghanistan, particularly as the US-led combat mission ends in 2014. Most, but not all, attacks with unmanned aerial vehicles have been by the United States. Britain and Israel have also used them.

In an interim report to UN General Assembly released on Friday, Emmerson said Pakistani government records showed that drone strikes had killed at least 2,200 people and seriously wounded at least 600 since 2004.

He said Pakistan had confirmed that ''at least 400 civilians had been killed as a result of remotely piloted aircraft strikes and a further 200 individuals were regarded as probable non-combatants.''

''Officials indicated that, owing to underreporting and obstacles to effective investigation, those figures were likely to be an underestimate'' of civilian deaths, Emmerson said.

Emmerson, who visited Pakistan in March, noted that principal media monitoring organizations had recorded a ''marked drop'' in reported civilians casualties from drone strikes in the tribal areas during 2012 and the first half of 2013.

''The involvement of CIA in lethal counter-terrorism operations in Pakistan and Yemen has created an almost insurmountable obstacle to transparency,'' Emmerson said.

''One consequence is that the United States has to date failed to reveal its own data on the level of civilian casualties inflicted through the use of remotely piloted aircraft in classified operations conducted in Pakistan and elsewhere.''

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US quietly releasing $1.6B in Pakistan assistance

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WASHINGTON (AP) '-- The U.S. has quietly decided to release more than $1.6 billion in military and economic aid to Pakistan that was suspended when relations between the two countries disintegrated over the covert raid that killed Osama bin Laden and deadly U.S. airstrikes against Pakistani soldiers.

Officials and congressional aides said ties have improved enough to allow the money to flow again.

American and NATO supply routes to Afghanistan are open. Controversial U.S. drone strikes are down. The U.S. and Pakistan recently announced the restart of their "strategic dialogue" after a long pause. Pakistan's new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, is traveling to Washington for talks this coming week with President Barack Obama.

But in a summer dominated by foreign policy debates over the coup in Egypt and chemical weapons attacks in Syria, the U.S. hasn't promoted its revamped aid relationship with Pakistan. Neither has Pakistan.

The silence reflects the lingering mutual suspicions between the two.

The Pakistanis do not like being seen as dependent on their heavy-handed partners. The Americans are uncomfortable highlighting the billions provided to a government that is plagued by corruption and perceived as often duplicitous in fighting terrorism.

Congress has cleared most of the money, and it should start moving early next year, officials and congressional aides said.

Over three weeks in July and August, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development informed Congress that it planned to restart a wide range of assistance, mostly dedicated to helping Pakistan fight terrorism. The U.S. sees that effort as essential as it withdraws troops from neighboring Afghanistan next year and tries to leave a stable government behind.

Other funds focus on a range of items, including help for Pakistani law enforcement and a multibillion-dollar dam in disputed territory.

U.S.-Pakistani relations have weathered numerous crises in recent years. There was a months-long legal battle over a CIA contractor who killed two Pakistanis, in addition to the fallout from bin Laden's killing in the Pakistani military town of Abbottabad in May 2011. The Pakistani government was outraged that it received no advance warning of the Navy SEAL raid on bin Laden's compound.

Adding to the mistrust, the U.S. mistakenly killed two dozen Pakistani soldiers in November 2011. Islamabad responded by shutting land supply routes for troops in Afghanistan until it received a U.S. apology seven months later.

The State Department told Congress that the U.S. hadn't conducted any significant military financing for Pakistan since the "challenging and rapidly changing period of U.S.-Pakistan relations" in 2011 and 2012. The department stressed the importance now of enhancing Pakistan's anti-terrorism capabilities through better communications, night vision capabilities, maritime security and precision striking with F16 fighter jets.

The department told Congress on July 25 that it would spend $295 million to help Pakistan's military. Twelve days later it announced $386 million more. A pair of notifications arriving on Aug. 13 and worth $705 million centered on helping Pakistani troops and air forces operating in the militant hotbeds of western Pakistan, and other counterinsurgency efforts.

The administration had until the end of September to provide Congress with "reprogramming" plans at the risk of forfeiting some of the money, which spans federal budgets from 2009-2013.

State Department officials said the renewal of aid wasn't determined by any single event. But they noted a confluence of signs of greater cooperation, from Pakistan's improved commitment to stamping out explosives manufacturing to its recent counterterror offensive in areas bordering Afghanistan that have served as a primary sanctuary for the Taliban.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk publicly about the aid relationship ahead of Sharif's visit. They said the money would start reaching Pakistan in 2014 but take several years to disburse fully.

"Pakistan's long-term stability is of critical national security interest to the U.S., so we remain committed to helping achieve a more secure, democratic and prosperous state, including through continued civilian and military assistance," said Dan Feldman, the State Department's deputy special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said the assistance plan will deliver results for both countries and enhance Pakistan's ability to fight terrorism.

In its notifications to Congress, the department described fighting terrorism as a mutual concern but said little about the will of Pakistan's government, army and intelligence services to crack down on militant groups that often have operated with impunity in Pakistan while wreaking havoc on U.S. and international forces across the border in Afghanistan.

Top American officials have regularly questioned Pakistan's commitment to counterterrorism.

In 2011, Adm. Mike Mullen, then chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the militant Haqqani network as a "veritable arm" of Pakistani intelligence. Lawmakers and administration officials have cited Pakistani support for the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other militant groups.

In September, the administration sent officials from multiple agencies for closed-doors briefings with the House and Senate foreign relations committees, officials and congressional aides said.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee has cleared all of the notifications. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is reviewing a $280 million chunk of military financing, Senate aides said. Aides spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk publicly on the matter.

"The committee held up the projects to get more information and express concerns," said the office of Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., the House panel's chairman. "Though they went forward, the committee continues its close oversight."

While Washington has publicly challenged Islamabad to step up its fight against militant groups, Pakistan's biggest complaint has been the huge surge in drone strikes on terrorist targets, which Pakistanis see as violations of their sovereignty. The number of attacks has dropped dramatically this year.

The countries say they're now moving past the flaps and mishaps that soured their partnership in recent years. During an August trip to Pakistan, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the restart of a high-level "strategic dialogue" with Pakistan on fighting terrorism, controlling borders and fostering investment.

Among the economic aid programs included in the U.S. package, support for the Diamer-Basha dam near Pakistan's unresolved border with India has the potential for controversy and tremendous benefit.

Pakistan's government has been unable to secure money for the project from the World Bank, and the Asian Development Bank is waiting to hear from the United States and India before providing financing to help construction. The dam faces massive funding shortfalls.

In its July 24 notification to Congress, USAID said the project could cost up to $15 billion and take a decade to complete. The agency promised only to provide "financial and technical assistance" for studies, including on environmental and social aspects, while expressing hope the dam could be transformative for a country with chronic power shortages. State Department officials put the bill for the studies at $20 million.

If the dam were ultimately built, USAID wrote, it could provide electricity for 60 million people and 1 million acres of crop land, and provide a ready supply of water for millions more. It noted that Pakistani officials have sought American support at the "highest levels."

Despite amounting to just a small portion of the overall U.S. aid package, congressional aides said Pakistan's government has lobbied particularly hard for the dam money to be unlocked.

Pakistan's embassy in Washington refused to comment on the aid or say if Sharif would bring up any specific programs in talks at the White House.


Washington Beef up the Gulf States with 10,000 Strike Weapons Worth US$10 Billion - Defense Update - Military Technology & Defense News

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SLAM-ER long-range anti-ship / air-to-surface missiles carried on the F-15E variant slated for the Korean F-15K

In another mega weapons sales Washington is equipping Saudi Arabia and the UAE with nearly 10,000 strike weapons '' the JSOW-C standoff-weapon, air-launched Harpoon anti-ship missiles, Standoff Land Attack Missiles-Expanded Response' (SLAM-ER) - a land-attack variant of the Harpoon and and Small Diameter Bombs.

Saudi Arabia is seeking to acquire new strike weapons from the USA, to equip the fleet of new and modernized F-16SA strike fighters. According to notification to congress by the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the total cost of missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support could sum up to US$6.8 billion. In December 2011 Saudi Arabia signed a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) to purchase 84 new and 70 refurbished F-15SA multi-role fighter aircraft and associated weapons. The weapons included in this request are additional to that order. An additional request at a cost of four billion US$ was announced in parallel to the Saudi. This second request came from the United Arab Emirate, pertaining to armament acquisition for its F-16 Block 60 fighters.

According to the agency, the Government of Saudi Arabia has requested 650 AGM-84H electro-optically guided Standoff Land Attack Missile-Expanded Response (SLAM-ER), 973 AGM-154C Joint Stand Off Weapons (JSOW) and and 1000 GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bombs (SDB) GPS guided weapons and 400 AGM-84L Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles . The Saudi Air Force will also get 60 AWW-13 Data Link pods to support the SLAM-ER with 'man in the loop' assisting the electro-optical guidance. To support weapon qualification and the acquisition will also include 40 CATM-84H Captive Air Training Missiles (CATM), 20 ATM-84H SLAM-ER Telemetry Missiles, 4 Dummy Air Training Missiles, 10 JSOW CATMs, 40 Harpoon CATMs, 20 ATM-84L Harpoon Exercise Missiles, 36 SDB Captive Flight and Load Build trainers.

To enhance their F-16 Block 60 Desert Falcons, the Government of the United Arab Emirates has requested up to 5,000 GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bombs (SDB) (with BRU-61 carriage systems), 1,200 AGM-154C Joint StandOff Weapon (JSOW) and 300 AGM-84H Standoff Land Attack Missiles-Expanded Response (SLAM-ER), expanding the fighters' air-to-surface and maritime strike capability. The request also includes 30 AWW-13 Data Link pods. To facilitate the integration of SDB on the Block 60 the UAE will add eight SDB Guided Test Vehicles and 16 SDB Captive Flight vehicles for flight testing verification. SImilar to the Saudi program, the UAE will also receive the necessary hardware to train and support those systems.

The prime contractors associated with those programs are Boeing (GBU-39(B), AGM-84H and AGM-84L) and Raytheon (AGM-154, AWW-13). The two companies also shared the majority of multi-billion orders for the F-15SA and their integral (air/air and air/ground) weapons.

The array of weapons payload carried by the F-15SE '' the Saudi F-15SA variant is based on the SE configuration. Photo: Boeing


Hundreds of U.S. troops will deploy to Romania next year | Army Times |

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Sat, 19 Oct 2013 02:41

The U.S. military will move hundreds of troops to Romania next year and set up a key logistical hub that will effectively replace the air base at Manas in Kyrgyzstan, a Pentagon official said Friday.

The Romanians have agreed to allow a small footprint of U.S. troops to use an existing airfield along the Black Sea coast. The Mihail Kogalniceanu air base in eastern Romania will serve as a major transit hub for the airlift effort to redeploy U.S. troops and cargo out of Afghanistan.

U.S. military officials say removing the roughly 51,000 troops currently deployed in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 will be a major logistical challenge.

The move comes after Kyrgyzstan ordered U.S. troops to leave Manas in 2009 after the U.S. balked at the Kyrgyz government's demand to double the rent. The U.S. lease on the base expires in July 2014.

The deal with Romania was finalized at the Pentagon Friday during a meeting between Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Romanian Defense Minister Mircea Dusa. As a part of the agreement, the U.S. has agreed to give Romania permission to purchase 12 F-16 Fighting Falcons from Portugal. The U.S. will also provide F-16 training for Romanian pilots.

Romania has previously agreed to host an American-made anti-missile interceptor as part of the European missile defense system. That is expected to be operational by 2015.


U.S. Army Hones Antiterror Strategy for Africa, in Kansas -

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FORT RILEY, Kan. '-- Here on the Kansas plains, thousands of soldiers once bound for Iraq or Afghanistan are now gearing up for missions in Africa as part of a new Pentagon strategy to train and advise indigenous forces to tackle emerging terrorist threats and other security risks so that American forces do not have to.

The first-of-its-kind program is drawing on troops from a 3,500-member brigade in the Army's storied First Infantry Division, known as the Big Red One, to conduct more than 100 missions in Africa over the next year. The missions range from a two-man sniper team in Burundi to 350 soldiers conducting airborne and humanitarian exercises in South Africa.

The brigade has also sent a 150-member rapid-response force to Djibouti in the Horn of Africa to protect embassies in emergencies, a direct reply to the attack on the United States Mission in Benghazi, Libya, last year, which killed four Americans.

''Our goal is to help Africans solve African problems, without having a big American presence,'' said Lt. Col. Robert E. Lee Magee, a West Point graduate and third-generation Army officer whose battalion has sent troops to Burundi, Niger and South Africa in the past several months, and whose unit will deploy to Djibouti in December.

In Fort Riley, Kan., last month, soldiers with the United States Army prepared for live-fire training, part of a program to bolster African forces over the next year.

Steve Hebert for The New York Times

The American commando raids this month against terrorist operatives in Libya and Somalia underscore the spreading extremist threat in Africa, and a renewed urgency to choke off insurgent cells before they can grow, according to counterterrorism specialists. Teams from the brigade here have already helped train forces in Kenya and Tanzania, which are battling fighters from the Shabab militant group in Somalia.

President Obama, at a news conference three days after the commando raids, said Africa was one of the places ''that you're seeing some of these groups gather.''

''And we're going to have to continue to go after them,'' he added.

For that reason, it is no surprise that the military's Africa Command is the test case for this new Army program of regionally aligned brigades that will eventually extend to all of the Pentagon's commands worldwide, including in Europe and Latin America next year. These forces will be told in advance that their deployments will focus on parts of the world that do not have Army troops assigned to them now '-- creating a system in which officers and enlisted personnel would develop regional expertise.

Soldiers rearmed their tanks last month after the live-fire exercise at Fort Riley. The Army plans to conduct more than 100 missions in Africa, training indigenous forces to combat terrorism.

Steve Hebert for The New York Times

Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, said in an interview that the goal was to field an Army that could be ''engaged regionally in all the combatant commands to help them shape their theaters, set their theaters, in order to sustain and execute our national security strategy.''

Even as soldiers prepare for tasks as far-ranging as combat casualty care in Chad or radio training in Mauritania, in a recent visit here they were also conducting target practice in their M1A2 battle tanks on a sprawling firing range, to keep their skills sharp for a future land war against an unforeseen foe. Chad and Mauritania are both combating Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, an offshoot of the main terrorist group.

But with the United States military out of Iraq and pulling out of Afghanistan, the Army is looking for new missions around the world. ''As we reduce the rotational requirement to combat areas, we can use these forces to great effect in Africa,'' Gen. David M. Rodriguez, the head of the Africa Command, told Congress this year.

Missions that were once performed largely by Special Operations forces, including the Army's Green Berets, are now falling to regular infantry troops like members of the Second Armored Brigade Combat Team, nicknamed the Dagger Brigade, here at Fort Riley.

This summer, nearly two dozen of the brigade's soldiers deployed to Niger, in West Africa, to help train troops for United Nations peacekeeping duty in neighboring Mali. The Americans set up tents on a government-owned farm two hours north of the capital, Niamey, shooing away the goats, cows and chickens.

For 10 weeks, they weathered sandstorms and temperatures that soared beyond 110 degrees to teach the Nigerien troops marksmanship, patrolling skills and medical care. The troops drilled in the morning, rested from the midday heat and then resumed classes in the evening. Among the worries in Niger is the threat posed by Boko Haram, an Islamic militant group with ties to Al Qaeda.

''We're never going to teach them anything about Boko Haram they don't already know, but we can help them develop their capacity as a military,'' said Maj. Bret Hamilton, 38, an Iraq and Afghan war veteran who led the team in Niger.

The Americans' credibility with their counterparts in Niger was cemented just as the training began. Terrorists using suicide car bombs attacked a Nigerien military compound and a French-operated uranium company in the country's north, not far from the training site. Some diplomats and training forces from other countries retreated to the safety of the capital, but the Americans stayed put and helped the Nigeriens bolster their defenses.

''We're trying to build a rapport and a lasting relationship with them,'' said Sgt. First Class Christopher Bunnell, 31, a platoon leader from Lake Station, Ind.

Before deploying, the troops in Kansas receive six days of cultural training and instruction from Africa-born graduate students at nearby Kansas State University. ''The soldiers trained are able to ask about things not in their books,'' said Daryl Youngman, an associate professor at the university who oversees the instruction.

Some Africa specialists say that if the goal is to build a cadre of regional specialists, this training seems lacking. ''There needs to be a concentrated effort for these forces to have sustained regional language training and expertise,'' said Lesley Anne Warner, an Africa analyst with CNA's Center for Strategic Studies in Alexandria, Va., who has studied the regional brigade concept. ''Not having such training defeats part of the rationale for having regionally aligned forces.''

In a separate three weeks of training in South Africa last summer, 350 brigade soldiers trained with troops there using mock exercises. The soldiers worked together to analyze an enemy and how it would react, and in the end seized a rebel base.

For the South Africans, it was a chance to learn tactics and techniques that American troops refined in Iraq and Afghanistan. For the Americans, it offered an opportunity to gain new insights on African counterinsurgency.

''When the tire meets the tar, that's when you actually learn the most lessons,'' Brig. Gen. Lawrence Reginald Smith, the South Africa force commander there, said in a telephone interview. ''What we bring to the table is knowledge of the indigenous people and the rebels who come from those people, including how they act.''

Thom Shanker contributed reporting from Washington.


Fuel Fix >> Fire rages after another train derails in Canada

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 01:42

GAINFORD, Alberta (AP) '-- Emergency crews battled a massive fire Saturday after a Canadian National tanker train carrying oil and gas derailed west of Edmonton, Alberta, overnight. No injuries have been reported so far.

Canadian National spokesman Louis-Antoine Paquin said 13 cars '-- four carrying petroleum crude oil and nine loaded with liquified petroleum gas '-- came off the tracks around 1 a.m. local time in the hamlet of Gainford, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) from Edmonton. The entire community of roughly 100 people was evacuated.

Paquin says three cars containing gas were leaking and on fire. Local officials feared there could be an explosion and declared a state of emergency.

''It's still a risky situation so we need to contain as much as possible and keep people far away,'' said Carson Mills, spokesman for Parkland County, which includes Gainford.

A resident described hearing a series of crashes moments before a huge fireball shot into the sky.

''The fireball was so big, it shot across both lanes of the Yellowhead (Highway) and now both lanes of the Yellowhead are closed and there's fire on both sides,'' said a witness identified only as Duane.

Regulation: New crude transport rules to boost rail costs

The train was travelling from Edmonton to Vancouver, British Columbia, Paquin said.

The Transportation Safety Board said it is sending investigators to the scene.

Questions about the increasing transport of oil by rail in the U.S. and Canada were raised in July after an unattended train with 72 tankers of oil rolled into the small Quebec town of Lac-Megantic near the Maine border, derailing and triggering explosions that killed 47 people. The town's center was destroyed. The rail company's chairman blamed the train's operator for failing to set enough hand brakes.

Much of that increase is from oil produced in the Bakken region, a rock formation underlying portions of Montana and North Dakota in the U.S., and Saskatchewan and Manitoba in Canada.

The train that crashed in the small Quebec town was carrying oil from North Dakota to a refinery in New Brunswick, Canada.

The train, using DOT-111 railcars, was operated by a U.S. company, the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway.

In the first half of this year, U.S. railroads moved 178,000 carloads of crude oil. That's double the number during the same period last year and 33 times more than during the same period in 2009. The Railway Association of Canada estimates that as many as 140,000 carloads of crude oil will be shipped on Canada's tracks this year, up from 500 carloads in 2009.

Report: Pipelines are safer than trains and trucks

Following the fatal Quebec derailment, Cynthia Quarterman, head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, has said the U.S. agency expects to publish draft regulations requiring that DOT-111 railcars be retrofitted to address safety concerns. The agency's proposal is intended to fix a dangerous design flaw in the rail cars, which are used to haul oil and other hazardous liquids throughout North America.

Canadian officials had said the oil carried by that freight train had been misclassified as a less dangerous type of crude and they urged U.S. and Canadian regulators to ensure dangerous goods are accurately labeled.

Another key issue is whether railroads should be required to employ a minimum of two workers per train. The train that exploded in Quebec had only one engineer, who wasn't with the train at the time of the accident.



VIDEO-Elsipogtog First Nation Sees Violence As RCMP Moves To End Protest (PHOTOS)

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Sat, 19 Oct 2013 03:05

REXTON, N.B. -- The RCMP say dozens of people were arrested after Molotov cocktails were thrown at officers and police vehicles torched Thursday when they began enforcing an injunction to end an ongoing demonstration against shale gas exploration in eastern New Brunswick.

RCMP Const. Jullie Rogers-Marsh said at least five RCMP vehicles were destroyed after they were set ablaze and at least one shot was fired by someone other than a police officer at the site of the protest in Rexton.

"The RCMP has worked diligently with all parties involved in hopes for a peaceful resolution. Those efforts have not been successful," Rogers-Marsh said.

"Tensions were rising and serious criminal acts were and are being committed."

The Mounties said at least 40 people were arrested for firearms offences, threats, intimidation, mischief and violating the court-ordered injunction.

Story continues below photos

The RCMP began enforcing the injunction at around 7:30 a.m. to end a the blockade of a compound where energy company SWN Resources stores exploration equipment. Route 134 at Rexton and Route 11 between Richibucto and Sainte-Anne-de-Kent were closed to traffic and schools in the area were closed early for the day.

The RCMP blocked Route 134 on Sept. 29 after a protest began spilling onto the road. Protesters subsequently cut down trees that were placed across another part of the road, blocking the entrance to the compound.

The protesters, who include members of the Elsipogtog First Nation, want SWN Resources to stop seismic testing and leave the province.

Robert Levi, a councillor with the Elsipogtog First Nation, said he went to the protest site in Rexton early Thursday after hearing the RCMP had moved in to begin enforcing the injunction against the protesters.

Levi said police pepper-sprayed dozens of people after 9:30 a.m. when he arrived with the chief and council.

"They sprayed the crowd that was there,'' he said in an interview. "The chief was manhandled a little bit and all hell broke loose.''

Premier David Alward did not return messages seeking comment, but last week he and Chief Arren Sock agreed to set up a working group to find a resolution. Meetings were held in Fredericton and Moncton.

At the time, Alward said: "I can say that we have a consensus that we're working towards finding a peaceful resolution and we will continue that work.'' He said the working group, which would include members from his government, Elsipogtog and the energy industry, would begin its work immediately.

But Sock said there were still many details to be worked out.

Alward has said he doesn't have control over decisions of the RCMP and SWN Resources.

Assistant commissioner Roger Brown, the commanding officer for the RCMP in New Brunswick, said last week he was disappointed that discussions between the provincial government and the First Nation had failed to resolve the issue. He said the Mounties would take a measured approach to resolving the situation.

Opponents of the shale gas sector say the process used to extract the resource _ hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking -- could pollute drinking water. But proponents of the industry say such concerns are overblown and don't take into account the possibility of replacing coal and oil with cleaner burning natural gas.

Check out more photos from the protest:

A protester displays a welt after an alleged confrontation wth police in Rexton, N.B. as police began enforcing an injunction to end an ongoing demonstration againsration in eastern New Brunswick on Oct.17. Police say at least five RCMP vehicles were destroyed after they were set ablaze and at least one shot was fired by someone other than a police officer at the site of the protest in Rexton.

A police vehicle is seen in Rexton, N.B. as police began enforcing an injunction to end an ongoing demonstration against shale gas exploration in eastern New Brunswick on Oct.17. Police say at least five RCMP vehicles were destroyed after they were set ablaze and at least one shot was fired by someone other than a police officer at the site of the protest in Rexton.

Negotiations between protesters and police in Rexton, N.B. as police began enforcing an injunction to end an ongoing demonstration against shale gas exploration in eastern New Brunswick on Oct.17. Police say at least five RCMP vehicles were destroyed after they were set ablaze and at least one shot was fired by someone other than a police officer at the site of the protest in Rexton.

Protesters face a line of police officers in Rexton, N.B. as police began enforcing an injunction to end an ongoing demonstration against shale gas exploration in eastern New Brunswick on Oct.17. Police say at least five RCMP vehicles were destroyed after they were set ablaze and at least one shot was fired by someone other than a police officer at the site of the protest in Rexton.

Protesters face a line of police officers in Rexton, N.B. as police began enforcing an injunction to end an ongoing demonstration against shale gas exploration in eastern New Brunswick on Oct.17. Police say at least five RCMP vehicles were destroyed after they were set ablaze and at least one shot was fired by someone other than a police officer at the site of the protest in Rexton.

Burned out police vehicles are viewed in Rexton, N.B. as police began enforcing an injunction to end an ongoing demonstration against shale gas exploration in eastern New Brunswick on Oct.17. Police say at least five RCMP vehicles were destroyed after they were set ablaze and at least one shot was fired by someone other than a police officer at the site of the protest in Rexton.

A protester is seen in Rexton, N.B. as police began enforcing an injunction to end an ongoing demonstration against shale gas exploration in eastern New Brunswick on Oct.17. Police say at least five RCMP vehicles were destroyed after they were set ablaze and at least one shot was fired by someone other than a police officer at the site of the protest in Rexton.

Protesters take photos of a burned out police vehicle in Rexton, N.B. as police began enforcing an injunction to end an ongoing demonstration against shale gas exploration in eastern New Brunswick on Oct.17. Police say at least five RCMP vehicles were destroyed after they were set ablaze and at least one shot was fired by someone other than a police officer at the site of the protest in Rexton.

RCMP supported by armed U.S. infiltrators attack First Nations Canadians to cover up Enviroment Canada raid of Irving Oil Canaport | PRESS Core

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 01:36

Posted by Paul W KincaidWorld newsThursday, October 17th, 2013U.S. soldiers, identified by arm patch, engaging in a military operation on Canadian soil '' 10.17.2013

Updated October 18, 2013 '' Progressive Conservative Premier of New Brunswick David Alward (a Crown agent) illegally authorized the RCMP and armed U.S. forces to use force and attack a group of First Nations and New Brunswick Canadian citizens peacefully protesting Irving Oil shale gas fracking operations on Irving Oil owned land just outside of Rexton New Brunswick Canada on Thursday. The RCMP, were supported by armed U.S. military infiltrators when they launched the unprovoked attack against First Nations Canadians. Irving Oil contracted the shale gas operations to U.S. Southwestern Energy (Houston, TX).

Irving Oil solicited the aid (influence peddling and bribery) of NB Premier David Alward to authorize the RCMP to use force against federally (treaty) protected First Nations people, to kill a nationally televised story concerning a raid by Environment Canada investigators of an Irving Oil facility.

Environment Canada officer raided Irving Oil Canaport Thursday morning to search for and collect evidence relating to an investigation of a major toxic gas leak that killed 7,500 migrating songbirds at the Irving Oil's Canaport gas plant in Saint John, New Brunswick. Environment Canada officers arrived at Canaport LNG just before 9 a.m. on Thursday. This Environment Canada (a federal department ) raid of Irving Oil Canaport was reported on CBC and the National News just prior to the RCMP and U.S. military forces assault against the unarmed peaceful protesters protesting the Irving Oil shale gas operations on Irving Oil land.

Until the national news broke about Irving Oil venting toxic and deadly gas into the atmosphere, killing thousands of migrating birds, the RCMP supported the ''lawful'' protests (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms '' freedoms of peaceful assembly and association.) and did not enforce a court injunction that Irving Oil lawyers illegally acquired for the U.S. oil and gas drilling company '' Southwestern Energy (Houston, TX).

The RCMP could not enforce the Irving Oil petitioned court injunction because a court injunction is not a law. Theprovinces do not have the constitutional authority to ''enact'' law. Laws can only be passed or changed with the approval of both houses of Parliament. A court injunction is nothing more than an prejudicial ''administrative ordinance'' based solely on a procedural error (is error within the procedure or steps in the experiment that cause the value received to not be the true one). A court Injunction can never be enforced because it is bias '' prejudice. A court injunction is solicited by a ''corporation''(Irving Oil) to influence the opinion of a Crown (City of London Corporation) judge in favor of the petitioning ''corporation''. Irving Oil violated statute law '' influence peddling and bribery of Judges or members of Parliament or Provincial Legislative.

U.S. snipers were photographed (above image) by various news agencies targeting First Nations and Canadian citizens, with RCMP officers watching. Progressive Conservative David Alward and federal RCMP police officers allowed assault rifle armed foreign soldiers (snipers) to infiltrate Canada and target First Nations and Canadian citizens '' an act of war.

David Alward and the RCMP coordinated with heavily armed members of the United States military forces and engaged in an armed attack against First Nations Canadians. David Alward (representing the Crown a.k.a City of London Corporation) and the RCMP are guilty of high treason and treason '' aiding and abetting another state - when they provided aid and comfort to U.S. infiltration forces in an armed attack against First Nations Canadians peacefully protesting a Irving Oil shale gas confidence scheme that is being perpetrated on Canadian soil.

The RCMP stated at least one shot was fired by someone other than police and that police are also investigating suspected explosive devices at the scene. The single shot fired was from the above sniper '' a U.S. soldier.

Section 46 of the Criminal Code of Canada

High treason

(1) Every one commits high treason who, in Canada,(b) levies war against Canada or does any act preparatory thereto; or(c) assists an enemy at war with Canada, or any armed forces against whom Canadian Forces are engaged in hostilities, whether or not a state of war exists between Canada and the country whose forces they are.

Treason(2) Every one commits treason who, in Canada,(a) uses force or violence for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Canada or a province;(c) conspires with any person to commit high treason or to do anything mentioned in paragraph (a);(d) forms an intention to do anything that is high treason or that is mentioned in paragraph (a) and manifests that intention by an overt act; or(e) conspires with any person to do anything mentioned in paragraph (b) or forms an intention to do anything mentioned in paragraph (b) and manifests that intention by an overt act.''

In Canada the government of Canada derives it authority from the people. All executive authority is understood to derive from the people. The most fundamental concept of democracy is that government only exists to secure the rights of the people and is based on the consent of the governed. For government to be legitimate the authority of a government depends on the consent of the people. Elections gives unequivocal evidence to this fact. The Prime Minister of Canada and all premiers, senators and majors only have legitimacy based on the consent (by vote) of the governed '' the Canadian people. The use of force or violence by the RCMP, with the aid of and in cooperation with armed members of a foreign state '' the United States '' for the purpose of overthrowing the authority and rights of the Canadian people is an overt act of high treason and treason. The RCMP levied war against Canadian for the purpose of overthrowing the government of Canada and a province which both derives it authority from the people. David Alward is also guilty of high treason and treason. He was elected by the people of New Brunswick to govern them not conspire with the military of a foreign state (United States) and levy war against them.

More photographic evidence will be posted in the coming days showing the RCMP conspiring with and providing aid and comfort to armed members of the U.S. military forces. Photos showing U.S. forces dressed in full combat gear, armed with and aiming Canadian law banned assault rifles at protected (Fourth Geneva Convention) Canadian citizens. Any person (including the Prime Minister, Premier, Mayor, RCMP Commissioner) who conspires with and aids and abets a foreign armed militia to infiltrate Canada to levy war against Canada or does any act preparatory thereto is guilty of high treason. Any military force (including the RCMP '' a paramilitary force) who engages in armed attacks against unarmed civilians is also guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Major fraud perpetrated by our elected officials, the Crown, the RCMP and snake oil and gas companies

Shale gas is a confidence game '' a fraudulent scheme, devised by the New Brunswick government (Progressive Conservative Premier David Alward), CanaportLNG (75 per cent owned by Repsol and 25 per cent by Irving Oil Ltd.), shale gas fabricating companies like Southwestern Energy (Houston, TX), Corridor Resources Inc and PetroWorth (headed by former MLA Allan Graham '' father of former Premier of New Brunswick Shawn Graham), and Enbridge Gas (the monopolized natural gas pipeline distributor for New Brunswick) for making a quick profit.

Shale gas companies and their corrupt government accomplices have and are engaging in fraud in marketing a product that doesn't exist in the first place. Shale gas is now being fraudulently marketed by the New Brunswick government because of a law suit and declining revenue for Repsol, Irving Oil Ltd., Corridor Resources Inc PetroWorth and Enbridge Gas. Because of natural gas companies dwindling profits New Brunswickers will be robbed of their life essential and finite supply of potable water and title to their land and poisoned to death from the toxic chemical fracking that forever contaminates their water and air supply.

On April 30, 2012 Enbridge Gas sued the New Brunswick government of David Alward for at least $650 million for what it claims are breaches of agreements and a failure to act in good faith (a.k.a. allow Enbridge Gas to make a profit). 9 months later David Alward formed the Royal District Planning Commission as agents of his government to steal land title and land rights of ''private'' land owners all across New Brunswick. The Royal District Planning Commission was formed by David Alward to seize ''private'' land as eminent domain (expropriation). Private land is being stolen by David Alward and delegated to third parties '' shale gas exploration companies and the Vatican's United Nations Organization (UNO '' Latin word for one '' a.k.a One World Government, a.k.a New World Order). The Royal District Planning Commission is now mapping land for eminent domain for shale gas exploration and at the same time administering an alien (foreign) political agenda '' the United Nations Organizations (UNO) Agenda 21 '' ''Abolition of private property'' '' another ''private'' land ownership theft '' .

The people of New Brunswick are opposed to shale gas as they have seen the devastating effects water fracking has on the water table of the Sussex NB area. Their potable water supply is consumed and rendered not fit for human or animal consumption. Fracking permanently poisons and contaminates the finite supply of fresh water. David Alward is now the Enbridge Gas's paid spokesperson for fake shale gas exploration. Enbridge Gas used a threat of law suit to bribe NB Premier Davaid Alward and his government.

You can't drill a shale gas well and strike a large pocket of shale gas. Shale gas doesn't exist. Shale is dirt '' to be precise a fine-grained, clastic sedimentary rock composed of mud that is a mix of flakes of clay minerals and tiny fragments (silt-sized particles) of other minerals, none of which is gas or oil. Shale contains zero gas and zero oil. They drill and pour a mixture of water and very toxic chemicals into the drilled wells and fabricate a fake gas called shale gas. The very toxic and life threatening chemical reaction underground causes the bond between the water molecules to break and liquid water is converted into its gaseous state '' hydrogen and oxygen.

You can achieve the same effect '' cause water to convert to its gaseous state '' above ground using no chemicals whatsoever. Electrolysis of water does this using no toxic chemicals whatsoever and very little energy. Unlike shale (dirt) fracking, electrolysis of water creates no pollution '' doesn't contaminate the water, the land or the air. Unlike dirt fracking, electrolysis of water doesn't trigger earthquakes nor poison our finite supply of drinking water. Anyone can make their own natural gas using electrolysis. This is the reason why the U.S and Canadian state, federal and provincial government are illegally promoting and selling a fuel that does not exist. Because anyone can produce their own natural gas for free governments are wilfully and deliberately committing fraud. Without oil and gas governments cannot enslave their people. That is why governments are conspiring with oil companies and are coactively committing fraud '' falsely and fraudulently promoting and marketing a product that does not exist '' shale gas.

How can you prove shale gas is a fraud? Cut off the water supply. Turn off the water to shale gas wells and they no longer can ''fabricate'' this very toxic forged gas. Shale gas can only be fabricated (to concoct in order to deceive) by fracturing water (H2O). The end product is mostly H2S (Hydrogen sulfide) a colorless, very poisonous, flammable gas '' a.k.a. shale gas. H2S and oxygen burn with a blue flame but forms and emits sulfur dioxide (SO2) '' a major air pollutant which has significant impacts upon human health.

What shale gas really looks like. What investors are wasting their money on '' dirt.

Apart from the environmental impact posed by the emissions from burning this toxic cocktail of hazardous chemicals there is the intentional, deliberate and illegal dumping of the very toxic and hazardous fracking slurry. In New Brunswick Canada this toxic slurry in dumped directly into the Bay of Fundy. From there it is carried, with the incoming and outgoing tides, to the coastal shores and tide feed rivers all along New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and U.S. East Coast States. Every day toxic shale gas waste is being pushed ashore by the tides where it contaminates and poisons the water supply for coastal cities and towns like Saint John, Moncton, Dieppe, Riverview, Amherst, Digby, Truro, Yarmouth, Windsor, Saint Andrews, Portland Maine and Boston Massachusetts. This spillage is as toxic as if not more toxic than the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This is intentional whereas the BP oil spill was an accident. BP was heavily fined and billed for contaminating the water and shores all along the Gulf of Mexico. BP was forced to clean up their mess. No one is being charged, fined, billed or forced to clean up the Shale Gas toxic waste dumping.

The Canadian Criminal Code is extensive in its coverage of corruption of officials of the governments of Canada and the provinces. The following are the primary offences dealing with the bribery of domestic public officials in Canada.

(1) FRAUDS ON THE GOVERNMENTA bribe made to a public official in Canada to exercise influence or an act of omission in connection with government business is subject to a penalty of up to five years in prison. Section 121 is broad in scope and covers influence peddling. It prohibits bribes to or for the benefit of government officials by or on behalf of those who have dealings with the government. This section does not mention foreign public officials.

(2) BRIBERY OF JUDICIAL OFFICERS, ETC.Everyone who, ''being the holder of a judicial office,'' corruptly accepts or gives or offers any money or other avaluable consideration in respect of anything to be done in his official capacity commits bribery. This offence is punishable by imprisonment for up to fourteen years. Section 119 covers the acceptance by or giving of bribes to holders of judicial offices or members of Parliament or of a provincial legislature.

(3) BRIBERY OF OFFICERSUnder Section 120, anyone who offers or accepts a bribe to a justice, police commissioner, peace officer, public officer, officer of a juvenile court, or employee in the administration of criminal law to facilitate the commission of an offence is guilty of an indictable offence. The punishment is imprisonment for up to fourteen years.

Is it just a coincidence that Enbridge Gas dropped its suit against David Alward's Progressive Conservative New Brunswick government who is now marketing shale gas in New Brunswick for Enbridge Gas or did Enbridge Gas bribe the New Brunswick government and David Alward? If a bribe was offered and Davaid Alward accepted it shouldn't Davaid Alward be arrested for accepting a bribe?

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Posted by Paul W Kincaid on Oct 17 2013. Filed under World news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Salve Training

Man arrested over racist Tube rant

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Source: BBC News - Home

Sun, 20 Oct 2013 13:34

20 October 2013Last updated at08:29 ETA 52-year-old man from Watford has been arrested after a video was released of a Tube passenger using "racist language" on board a train in London.

British Transport Police said the man was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence.

"An investigation was launched after we were made aware of a YouTube clip of a man using racist language on board a Bakerloo line train," police said.

The man was bailed pending further inquiries.

The incident is believed to have happened on Tuesday at about 21:00 BST.

He was bailed to return to a police station on 30 October.

British Transport Police are appealing for witnesses.

Nurse reveals the top 5 regrets people make on their deathbed | Arise India Forum

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 01:54

Author: Bronnie Ware

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives. People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality.

I learnt never to underestimate someone's capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn't work so hard.This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

Source: This article originated from blog of author Bronnie Ware at

Based on this article, Bronnie has released a full-length book. It is a memoir of her own life and how it was transformed based on the regrets of the dying people she cared for. The book is available from her website and major online bookstores and is called 'The Top Five Regrets of the Dying '' A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing'.

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Shut Down

The White House Is Open To Public Tours Again Huh? I Got One Little Bitty Question About That'... - The Ulsterman Report

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 04:01

Celebration! The oh so dark days of the government shut down are finally over and the White House is open for public tours once again! So says a most recent update from the Obama administration. Not to be a downer on such an incredible event, but there's just one glaring question that needs to be asked about this though'...



Ok, I'll keep it real simple.

The Obama administration closed public tours of the White House MONTHS AGO.

This was done, according to them, because of the sequester (cutting govt. spending) agreement with Republicans.

This sequester agreement took place in approximately NINE MONTHS ago. The Obama administration then announced the White House was closed to the public in March of 2013.

So tell me reader, how does ending the government shut down in October of 2013 have ANYTHING to do with the sequester agreement from March?

The answer is that it doesn't.

The White House '' the PEOPLE'S HOUSE, was closed to the American people because the Obama administration was pouting about having to cut a tiny fraction of the rate of growth in the federal budget. Re-opening it now after the government shutdown is proof the White House never had to be closed to the public. The sequester has not gone away '' the sequester has NOTHING to do with the government shutdown. And yet, now the Obama administration indicates some more magic money has been found under the White House mattresses and they will once again allow the public to visit.

Let me put it another way here, and for those who might cringe at the thought of less than adoring descriptions of the current occupants of the People's House, you best stop reading here and move along.

This Obama White House is the most corrupt, calculating, messianic, destructive, demeaning, dishonest, mud wallowing, petulant, ignorant, immature, backstabbing, unqualified, deceptive, secretive, abusive, and dangerous administration this nation has had to endure in its long and sometimes, tumultuous history.

Every word from them is a lie.

Every action is intended to harm those who oppose them.

And their work is far from done'...






Climate Gate

New Study: '2013 ranks as one of the least extreme U.S. weather years ever''' Many bad weather events at 'historically low levels' | Climate Depot

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 04:02

'Whether you're talking about tornadoes, wildfires, extreme heat or hurricanes, the good news is that weather-related disasters in the US are all way down this year compared to recent years and, in some cases, down to historically low levels.'

Tornadoes: 'lowest total in several decades'

Number of wildfires: 'On pace to be the lowest it has been in the past ten years'

Extreme Heat: The number of 100 degree days may 'turn out to be the lowest in about 100 years of records'

Hurricanes: 'We are currently in the longest period (8 years) since the Civil War Era without a major hurricane strike in the US (i.e., category 3, 4 or 5)' ( last major hurricane to strike the US was Hurricane Wilma in 2005)

By: Marc Morano - Climate DepotOctober 18, 2013 12:25 PM with 547 comments

[Also see: Gore still warning of 'extreme' weather, 'increasing storms' and 'other extreme events']

Prof. Roger Pielke Jr.: 'Interesting from @TheSIWeather 2013 ranks as one of the least extreme US weather years ever'

According to the latest analysis of data by the The SI Organization, Inc.

18 OCT/13 FRI

There have been many forecasts in the news in recent years predicting more and more extreme weather-related events in the US, but for 2013 that prediction has been way off the mark. Whether you're talking about tornadoes, wildfires, extreme heat or hurricanes, the good news is that weather-related disasters in the US are all way down this year compared to recent years and, in some cases, down to historically low levels.To begin with, the number of tornadoes in the US this year is on pace to be the lowest total since 2000 and it may turn out to be the lowest total in several decades. The table below lists the number of tornadoes in the US for this year (through 10/17) and also for each year going back to 2000.(Source: NOAA,

Year # of Tornadoes2013 7712012 11192011 18942010 15432009 13052008 16852007 11022006 11172005 12622004 18202003 13742002 9382001 12192000 1072

Second, the number of wildfires across the US so far this year is on pace to be the lowest it has been in the past ten years and the acreage involved is at the second lowest level in that same time period (table below).(Source: National Interagency Fire Center;

2013 Fires: 40,306 Acres: 4,152,3902012 Fires: 67,774 Acres: 9,326,2382011 Fires: 74,126 Acres: 8,711,3672010 Fires: 62,471 Acres: 3,233,4612009 Fires: 78,792 Acres: 5,921,7862008 Fires: 80,094 Acres: 5,254,1092007 Fires: 85,822 Acres: 9,321,3262006 Fires: 96,358 Acres: 9,871,9392005 Fires: 66,552 Acres: 8,686,7532004 Fires: 63,608 Acres: 8,097,880*2013 data through 10/16

In addition to wildfires, extreme heat is also way down across the US this year. In fact, the number of 100 degree days across the country during 2013 is not only down for this year, but it is perhaps going to turn out to be the lowest in about 100 years of records.

(Source: NOAA, USHCN reporting stations; through August)

The five summers with the highest number of 100 degree days across the US are as follows: 1936, 1934, 1954, 1980 and 1930. In addition to the vast reduction in 100 degree days across the US this year, the number of high temperature records (ie hi max and hi min records) is way down compared to a year ago with 22,965 records this year as compared with 56,885 at this same time last year.(Source: NOAA,; through 10/17).

Finally, as far as hurricanes are concerned, there have been only two hurricanes so far this season in the Atlantic Basin (Humberto and Ingrid) and they were both short-lived and weak category 1 storms. Also, the first forming hurricane this year occurred at the second latest date going back to the mid 1940's when hurricane hunters began to fly. Overall, the tropical season in the Atlantic Basin has been generally characterized by short-lived and weak systems.

In addition, this suppressed tropical activity has not been confined to just the Atlantic Ocean. The eastern Pacific Ocean has had no major hurricanes this season meaning there has been no major hurricane in either the Atlantic or eastern Pacific which only occurred one other year in recorded history '' 1968. This is actually quite extraordinary since the two basins are generally out of phase with each other i.e. when one is inactive the other is active.

One of the best ways to measure ''total seasonal activity'' in the tropics is through an index called the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) which is a metric that accounts for both intensity and duration of named tropical storms. Indeed, the ACE for this tropical season so far in the Atlantic Basin is only 29% percent of normal (through 10/17) when compared to the climatological average from 1981-2010 and it is the 7th lowest since 1950. Elsewhere, the ACE across the northern hemisphere is only 58% of normal and global ACE is 62% of normal.(Source: Dr. Ryan Maue at Weather Bell Analytics;

Finally, another interesting stat with respect to hurricanes has to do with the fact that we are currently in the longest period since the Civil War Era without a major hurricane strike in the US (i.e., category 3, 4 or 5). The last major hurricane to strike the US was Hurricane Wilma during late October of that record-breaking year of 2005 '' let's hope this historic stretch continues. By the way, just as a point of comparison, in 1954 the US was hit by 3 major hurricanes in less than 10 weeks.

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Cyber War$


When the Lights Go Out On November 13, 2013 | Dave Hodges '' The Common Sense Show

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 02:10

Dave Hodges

September 7, 2013

There are very dark storm clouds gathering around the country and North America as a whole. Things are about to get dark, very dark in just a few short weeks. In just over two months, on November 13-14, 2013, the lights are about to go out. Will the lights come back on? It depends on who you ask. Given the past behavior of those in power, it would behoove all of us to prepare for the fact that we could be living for an extended time with no electricity.

November's North American Power Grid Take Down DrillWithin most false flag events lies a terror drill which substantively ties together the drill with the terrorist event. The 9/11 attacks and the 7/7 bombings serve as prime examples of hiding a false flag event within a terror drill. This strategy has worked very well before and on so many occasions that it would be naive to not expect this scenario to be played out again when the time is right and the anticipated maximum benefit can be realized from the event.

Along these lines of a coming false flag terror event, theNew York Times is currently reporting that '...''thousands of utility workers, business executives, National Guard officers, F.B.I. anti-terrorism 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 attack and cyber attacks that could take down large sections of the power grid.'' To date, 150 businesses have volunteered to participate in the drill. This is a scheduled two day drill commencing on November 13th.

The Past Is the Best Predictor of the FutureWith the possibility that the upcoming terror drill will turn into a false flag event, it would be in everyone's best interest to examine this event more closely and to prepare accordingly.

This government has recently left a trail of catastrophic doomsday scenarios a mile wide, the most severe of which speaks to an EMP attack. Many of whom are aware of the coming drill, fear an EMP attack which will permanently disable the grid as TV viewers have seen in the popular TV show, Revolution. Personally, I do not expect to see an all-encompassing EMP attack because so many of the police state surveillance grid assets would be impacted (e.g. surveillance cameras, NSA spy grid capabilities, etc.) and so many resources have been used in its development. Yet, given the unlikely event of an EMP attack, it seems that nearly everyone from former DHS director, Janet Napolitano to former CIA director, James Woolsey have discussed the possibility of a grid take down through an EMP attack. Further, the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Commission in their,NERC PowerPoint presentation, stated that one of the possible outcomes of an attack will be a ''prolonged blackout'...''

Although I do not believe that an EMP attack is in our immediate future, it is likely that a false flag terror attack on our power grid, set to coincide with the November North American blackout drill, will take place.

The working scenario that has emerged is that World War III is on the horizon. Syria was to be the flash point. However, with American and international sentiment running so high against American involvement in the Syrian conflict, Obama needs a Plan B in order to get America into war, because it does not appear that Congress is going to give him the authorization that he needs to force our way in Syria culminating in a military stand off between the Russians and the Chinese and the United States. Subsequently, if Obama fails to obtain Congressional support to attack Syria, he could very well turn his attention to the take down of the power grid and he could still achieve his goals in under two months.

If and when the power grid is compromised, this would plunge North America into an abyss of darkness. Some people will undoubtedly anticipate ''three days of darkness'' which will lead to a roll out of draconian martial law. Certainly, some of the recent government preparations speaks to this possibility with FEMA stockpiling massive amounts of food and the acquisition of 2.6 billion rounds of ammunition by DHS. And with the roll out of martial law, the will of the people and of Congress would no longer matter and Obama would be free to prosecute any conflict he would deem necessary. Personally, this would be an attractive option for Obama because he might very well be setting himself up to be King for life.

The Constitutional Kill SwitchI would then expect that the take down of the grid, no matter how temporary, could lead to the imposition of total Federal tyranny and the implementation of the Constitutional kill switch, otherwise known as, Executive Order 13603, in which the government would control every resource in the country including the involuntary conscription of any person for any purpose which would be overseen by the Secretary of Labor. All food and water would be subject to Federal control, whether this would be your family garden, your food stockpiles'...anything'... anybody is subject to confiscation by FEMA and DHS under Executive Order 13603 which is martial law on steroids.This would give those in charge total control over the vast resources of this country.

First, there are some very serious implications which could result from a grid shutdown, but the cost-benefit analysis favors the elite going through with this plot.

Just as the CIA backed al-Qaeda needed a game changing event to bring in the US military to break the Syrian stalemate by staging a false flag chemical weapons attack, the globalists need a game changing event in America. Taking down the grid is a move in that direction, and what better way to accomplish this goal as an embedded event within a terrorist drill.

Bankster Benefits to a Grid ShutdownThere are some tangible benefits to the banksters perpetrating a grid shutdown. In the aftermath of a grid shut down, a shut down that might only last a few days, the internet would go down and the banksters could restore the internet at some point with Chinese types of censorship controls which would effectively silence the truth movement. McCain at one time wanted offensive bloggers fined $300,000. Senator Jay Rockefeller stated that he wished the internet had never been invented. Both men may soon get their way.

A power grid shut down would also allow for the full implementation of a North Korea type of police state apparatus under the guise of keeping order. The NSA would provide the intelligence and DHS would provide enforcement. And I think the beleaguered citizens of the United States would soon discover why FEMA signed the bilateral agreement which allows Russian troops on our soil. Certainly, if the Russians are used to supplement martial law, we could conclude that all the drama over Syria may be very well-orchestrated theater and that Russia and the United States are on the same side and are serving the same ''Gnomes of Zurich'' banksters. Yes, war could still happen between the two super powers, but it would be a contrived war, not a spontaneous event.

An additional benefit to conducting this drill is that it will allow the banksters to test their ability to shut down power to selected communities and/or regions. This would be a useful tool in combating the insurrection that surely will follow the tyranny of what is coming.

In a grid shutdown, the above developments are likely, given the cast of players who are making the grand decisions impacting this country. However, a perpetual state of martial law, extreme internet control and insurrection suppression through denial of power do not represent the final goals in this latest plot against our citizens.

ConclusionIt is completely understandable as to why some people are viewing this terror drill with extreme suspicion. Sometimes, when journalists cover events, they get a feeling for what lies ahead without fully knowing all the facts. I, too, like so many of my colleagues have that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach which is screaming at me that this terror drill will produce some very ominous spin off complications. And as bad as the November 13th terror drill may be, I strongly fear that this event will have a second possibility which contains some very dire consequences in which the resulting effects will be much more devastating than just suffering through a prolonged blackout.

There is a strong possibility that there could be a false flag attack embedded within the false flag attack coming upon our grid and I will address that possibility in the next article in this series.

As Worries Over the Power Grid Rise, a Drill Will Simulate a Knockout Blow -

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 02:10

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.''


Qatar DNS hacked by Syrian Electronic Army -Facebook, Google Defaced Briefly - ArabCrunch

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 14:08

Pro Bashar Al Assad Regime Syrian hacker propagandist group '' Syrian electronic army '' has used ''DNS hijack attack'' and compromise the Qatar Domain registrar '''' The hackers successfully managed to change the DNS records of high profile websites and defaced them for about a day. The list of affected websites includes Government and Military websites, Google Qatar, Facebook Qatar, Vodafone Qatar and more websites.

All defaced sites were restored today. In a talk to E Hacking News, SEA said that they have gained access to the registry administration by hacking '' and decrypting the passwords and then they logged to their emails. -

''All the world know that Qatar is supporting the terrorists in Syria and today was the zero-day for them'' SEA told EHN.

Wondering who the terrorist! Bashar Al Assad regime has killed over 120,000 civilians in Syria many of them are women and children. The regime is currently leading a siege against the country side of the capital Damascus in an area called ''Al Ghota'' where people are starving which led to a Fatwa to be declared to allow Syrian under siege to eat cats, dogs and donkeys to stay alive!

Share and EnjoyCategories: Arab World, Asia, Internet, Security, Tech & PoliticsTags: DNS Hijack, facebook, Google, Hacking, Qatar, SEA, Syria




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Protesters are clashing with police, throwing stones, fire-bombs in Rome, Italy. They are protesting against austerity measures.

More images about the last riots'...

Riots in front of Ministry of Finance Headquarters in Rome.§ionId=87&t=manifestazione-no-tav-violenza-di-fronte-al-ministero-delle-finanze

Now you can see thousands of protesters facing the cops, not 50.§ionId=87&t=corteo-guerriglia-urbana-nelle-strade-dei-ministeri


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War on Crazy

Chief State Medical Examiner Carver Retires - Hartford Courant

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Sat, 19 Oct 2013 03:28

(Brad Horrigan, Hartford'...)

Long-time chief state medical examiner H. Wayne Carver announced Thursday that he is retiring and will be replaced by the deputy medical examiner in New York City.

Carver, who always joked he was aptly named for the job, has been the chief state medical examiner since March 1989 and has worked at the office since July 1, 1982. He took over as chief following the controversial exit of Catherine Galvin, who left after it was revealed she took her pet dog into rooms where autopsies were being conducted.

Mom: Newtown victim shouted for classmates to run

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Sat, 19 Oct 2013 15:36

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) '-- A 6-year-old boy killed in the massacre in Sandy Hook Elementary School shouted for his classmates to run while the gunman paused to reload and was shot moments later, the boy's mother said Friday.

The boy, Jesse Lewis, had just seen his teacher shot and urged the others to flee while the gunman, Adam Lanza, put a new clip into his semi-automatic rifle.

"He yelled, 'Run!' Adam reloaded and shot him in the head," said Scarlett Lewis, who learned details of the events inside the classroom from investigators who gathered accounts from children who survived.

"When I heard he used his last few seconds on earth to try to save his friends, I was not surprised," she said. "I am so incredibly proud of him."

The boy's actions were first reported by The Hartford Courant.

Lanza shot his way into the school on Dec. 14 and killed 20 first-grade children and six women in one of the worst school shootings in U.S. history. He also killed his mother earlier in the day and committed suicide as police arrived at the school building.

A report on the Newtown shooting by investigators is due to be released soon. Investigators have not disclosed a possible motive for the massacre.

In Jesse's classroom, which was led by teacher Victoria Soto, 11 students survived, including some who ran past Lanza when he stopped to reload. In the classroom led by Lauren Rousseau, only one child survived. Both teachers were killed.

Scarlett Lewis said several people emerged as heroes that day, but her understanding is that some of the survivors ran because of what her son did to help them.

Lewis has dedicated herself recently to the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation, which promotes ways for communities to "choose love over anger, gratitude over entitlement, and forgiveness and compassion over bitterness." The foundation was inspired by a message that Jesse had left on their kitchen chalkboard with the words "nurturing," ''healing" and love."


Dick Cheney Was Scared of Getting Assassinated By a Heart Hack

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Sat, 19 Oct 2013 03:14

Though this sounds like a joke, former Vice President Don Cheney and his doctors were legitimately scared about him getting assassinated via terrorists hacking into his defibrillator and causing a heart attack. So they turned off the wireless feature so nobody would kill him via heart hack.

The extra security measure (or is it paranoia?) was revealed in a 60 Minutes interview set to air on Sunday. In a transcript, Dr. Jonathan Reiner said:

''And it seemed to me to be a bad idea for the vice president to have a device that maybe somebody on a rope line or in the next hotel room or downstairs might be able to get into'-- hack into''

Cheney's issues have been poked fun of all over late night television, cracked in the back halls of the government and is a running joke meant to dig at a cold man. If you watch the TV show Homeland, you'd recognize that murdering a public official by hacking the heart was a plot on the show. Apparently it was art mimicking real life because Cheney realized the risk he was running if terrorists could tap into his heart. [Politico]


Emily Dreyfuss - CNET

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Sat, 19 Oct 2013 04:32

If you have a question or comment for Emily, you can submit it here. However, because our editors and writers receive hundreds of requests, we cannot tell you when you may receive a response.

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Big DooDoo

Managing the Deluge of 'Big Data' From Space - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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Sat, 19 Oct 2013 05:13

The center of the Milky Way galaxy imaged by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Image Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech'º Full image and captionOctober 17, 2013

For NASA and its dozens of missions, data pour in every day like rushing rivers. Spacecraft monitor everything from our home planet to faraway galaxies, beaming back images and information to Earth. All those digital records need to be stored, indexed and processed so that spacecraft engineers, scientists and people across the globe can use the data to understand Earth and the universe beyond.

At NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., mission planners and software engineers are coming up with new strategies for managing the ever-increasing flow of such large and complex data streams, referred to in the information technology community as "big data."

How big is big data? For NASA missions, hundreds of terabytes are gathered every hour. Just one terabyte is equivalent to the information printed on 50,000 trees worth of paper.

"Scientists use big data for everything from predicting weather on Earth to monitoring ice caps on Mars to searching for distant galaxies," said Eric De Jong of JPL, principal investigator for NASA's Solar System Visualization project, which converts NASA mission science into visualization products that researchers can use. "We are the keepers of the data, and the users are the astronomers and scientists who need images, mosaics, maps and movies to find patterns and verify theories."

Building Castles of Data

De Jong explains that there are three aspects to wrangling data from space missions: storage, processing and access. The first task, to store or archive the data, is naturally more challenging for larger volumes of data. The Square Kilometer Array (SKA), a planned array of thousands of telescopes in South Africa and Australia, illustrates this problem. Led by the SKA Organization based in England and scheduled to begin construction in 2016, the array will scan the skies for radio waves coming from the earliest galaxies known.

JPL is involved with archiving the array's torrents of images: 700 terabytes of data are expected to rush in every day. That's equivalent to all the data flowing on the Internet every two days. Rather than build more hardware, engineers are busy developing creative software tools to better store the information, such as "cloud computing" techniques and automated programs for extracting data.

"We don't need to reinvent the wheel," said Chris Mattmann, a principal investigator for JPL's big-data initiative. "We can modify open-source computer codes to create faster, cheaper solutions." Software that is shared and free for all to build upon is called open source or open code. JPL has been increasingly bringing open-source software into its fold, creating improved data processing tools for space missions. The JPL tools then go back out into the world for others to use for different applications.

"It's a win-win solution for everybody," said Mattmann.

In Living Color

Archiving isn't the only challenge in working with big data. De Jong and his team develop new ways to visualize the information. Each image from one of the cameras on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, for example, contains 120 megapixels. His team creates movies from data sets like these, in addition to computer graphics and animations that enable scientists and the public to get up close with the Red Planet.

"Data are not just getting bigger but more complex," said De Jong. "We are constantly working on ways to automate the process of creating visualization products, so that scientists and engineers can easily use the data."

Data Served Up to Go

Another big job in the field of big data is making it easy for users to grab what they need from the data archives.

"If you have a giant bookcase of books, you still have to know how to find the book you're looking for," said Steve Groom, manager of NASA's Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. The center archives data for public use from a number of NASA astronomy missions, including the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and the U.S. portion of the European Space Agency's Planck mission.

Sometimes users want to access all the data at once to look for global patterns, a benefit of big data archives. "Astronomers can also browse all the 'books' in our library simultaneously, something that can't be done on their own computers," said Groom.

"No human can sort through that much data," said Andrea Donnellan of JPL, who is charged with a similarly mountainous task for the NASA-funded QuakeSim project, which brings together massive data sets -- space- and Earth-based -- to study earthquake processes.

QuakeSim's images and plots allow researchers to understand how earthquakes occur and develop long-term preventative strategies. The data sets include GPS data for hundreds of locations in California, where thousands of measurements are taken, resulting in millions of data points. Donnellan and her team develop software tools to help users sift through the flood of data.

Ultimately, the tide of big data will continue to swell, and NASA will develop new strategies to manage the flow. As new tools evolve, so will our ability to make sense of our universe and the world.

Whitney Clavin 818-354-4673Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena,


HealthCare Bonanza

Consumer Reports: Stay away from (for another month)

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Source: Twitchy » US Politics

Sun, 20 Oct 2013 04:44

@kausmickey @NolteNC Well. That really inspires confidence.

'--Gina Dalfonzo (@ginadalfonzo) October 19, 2013The Obama administration is anxious to post big Obamacare enrollment numbers as quickly as possible, so it's not going to like Consumer Reports' sage advice to ''stay away from for at least another month if you can'' while the programmers work out the ''glitches'' that have perhaps kept millions from creating accounts.

Protip from Consumer Reports: "Stay away from for at least another month if you can."'...'--Mickey Kaus (@kausmickey) October 19, 2013

Among other advice, Consumer Reports cautions readers to ''immediately try a different name, password, and/or security questions'' if trouble arises while creating a username and password. Some are still reporting that they are unable to log into their own accounts because of a ''name and email address aren't unique'' error.

@HealthCareGov ERROR: "The combination of the first name, last name, and email address arent unique" #ObamaCareSUX'--TPBGirl ' (@TPBGirl) October 17, 2013

@HealthCareGov please tell me this is a joke about my real name and email . Day 19 and this is the response #tcot'--Kevin (@kevinpost) October 19, 2013

@TheFiveFNC Wow, Been told my situation unique, but now my name & email are too similar? #Obamacare'--Lisa Yourman (@lyourman) October 19, 2013

Will these problems finally be ironed out in another month? Can you wait that long?

I promise I will. Just doin my part. @kausmickey @NolteNC'--Downtown Indy (@SSJIndy) October 19, 2013

@kausmickey @jtLOL Until the month of never?'--Sam Valley (@SamValley) October 19, 2013

@kausmickey @jtLOL or forever if possible'--Bill Lingenfelser (@BLingenfelser) October 19, 2013

@kausmickey @instapundit Consumer Reports has been one of the leading supporters of Obamacare. I hope they're impressed with its rollout.'--Dillon (@000Dillon000) October 19, 2013


It 'says I'm dead': Obamacare shoppers thwarted by identity verification process

'So gloriously inept it circles back to amazing': Obamacare website so bad the 'error page has an error'

'Hire a hacker, noobs': 'Improved' Obamacare website 'worse than last week' [screenshots]

Obamacare website functionality held hostage, day 5; The frustration and mockery continues

Follow @twitchyteam


VIDEO-BBC News - Kenya attack: Westgate mall bodies 'probably gunmen'

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Sat, 19 Oct 2013 04:25

18 October 2013Last updated at11:09 ETPlease turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.

The BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse reports that one of the suspects is a Norwegian national

Two charred bodies pulled from Kenya's Westgate shopping centre on Thursday are "highly likely" to be two of the attackers, an MP has told the BBC.

Ndung'u Gethenji, chairman of the committee investigating the attack, said AK47 rifles used by the militants were found next to the bodies.

The authorities will now conduct forensic tests on the bodies.

At least 67 people died when suspected al-Shabab militants stormed the Nairobi shopping centre on 21 September.

The attack sparked a four-day siege in which large parts of the shopping centre were destroyed.

The Kenyan authorities have released the names, or nicknames, of four suspects in the attack, but have given few other details.

Continue reading the main storyAnalysisWill RossBBC News, Nairobi

The questions are being answered at a glacial pace. We have learnt a few more clues about the Westgate puzzle. Three weeks after the heavy lifting machinery arrived at the scene, bodies are still being brought out, with the MP in charge of the parliamentary investigation saying it is highly likely that two of the bodies recovered from the site are those of gunmen. Why has it taken so long?

News that Norwegian investigators believe 23-year-old Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow was one of the gunmen is a rare nugget of information. Given the reach of al-Shabab, it is not a total surprise that the man seen on CCTV footage dressed in black with the bloodied leg was a Norwegian citizen whose family fled Somalia's long war.

The fact that potential jihadis were not prevented from reaching Somalia is one tragedy. But to help prevent another, the security sector needs to move up a gear or four.

The Kenya Red Cross lists 23 people as still missing.

Mr Gethenji said the bodies recovered on Thursday were likely to be militants because the army does not use AK47s.

He said another body recovered from the rubble was likely to be a soldier.

It is still not clear whether some of the attackers might have escaped, or even how many attackers there were.

Officials initially said 10 to 15 gunmen were involved, but CCTV footage appears to show only four militants.

Norwegian connectionThe BBC's Newsnight programme has revealed that one of the suspected attackers is a 23-year-old Somalia-born Norwegian national, Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow.

His family fled to Norway in the 1990s, but he returned to Somalia in 2009 and allegedly joined the Somali militant group.

Sources in al-Shabab have told the BBC Somali Service that Dhuhulow attended a training camp in El Bur in central Somalia, one of the militants' main bases.

Continue reading the main storyHassan Abdi DhuhulowAged 23, born in SomaliaFamily fled Mogadishu to Norway in 1999, when he was 9Returned to Somalia in 2009Attended training camp in El-Bur, according to al-Shabab sourcesPreviously involved in operations in Mogadishu and Kismayo, al-Shabab sayThe sources said Dhuhulow took part in many al-Shabab operations in Mogadishu and Kismayo and was well-known in jihadist circles.

Journalist Zubayr Roble in Oslo told the BBC that Dhuhulow frequented the Towfiq Mosque in the Norwegian capital.

Mr Roble said Somalis at the mosque for Friday prayers were in shock about the revelations and anxious over the possible implications the case could have for the Somali community in Norway.

Martin Bernsen, an officer in Norway's Security Service, told the BBC's World At One programme that Norwegian authorities had opened an investigation into the involvement of a Norwegian citizen in the attack "about one week ago".

"We are trying to find out his role and what his connections are. We don't know if he alive or if he is dead."

When asked if the authorities had previously been aware of any previous similar activity among Somalis in Norway, Mr Bernsen said; "It's not the Somalis we're worried about, it's the criminal element.

"We are aware that there are some activities. We have challenges in Norway regarding both al-Shabab and al-Qaeda. Al-Shabab was first known in Norway in 2007 when we investigated money transfer to al-Shabab".

Mr Bernsen said Norwegian authorities were also concerned about people travelling to "conflict areas", including Syria and Somalia, particularly in the past year.

Continue reading the main storySuspected attackersOn 22 September Somali militant group al-Shabab says it carried out the attackOfficials initially said 10 to 15 attackers were involved, but CCTV shows only four menAuthorities release the names or nicknames of four suspects they say were killed in the siege: Abu Baara al-Sudani, Omar Nabhan, Khattab al-Kene and Umayr.Uganda alertThe BBC's Will Ross in Nairobi says Kenyans still feel there are a lot of unanswered questions, and will be shocked if it turns out that just four gunmen caused such havoc.

The Somali militant group al-Shabab said its members staged the attack in response to Kenya's army carrying out operations on Somali territory.

There are about 4,000 Kenyan troops in the south of Somalia, where they have been fighting the militants since 2011.

Uganda also has troops in Somalia, and the authorities have issued an alert and stepped up security after the US embassy warned of reports of a possible "Westgate-style attack" in Kampala.

The Ugandan police said in a tweet: "Stay alert and watch each other's steps and activities, as we are still threatened by terror."

Al-Shabab has carried out attacks in Kampala before, most notoriously a double suicide-attack that killed more than 70 people in 2010.

Meanwhile, several British Muslims have been put under police protection because of a "credible threat" against them.

Al-Shabab militants apparently singled out Mohammed Ansar and other Muslim commentators in a video that condemned those who spoke out against extremism.

The Islamist group, which is believed to have between 7,000 and 9,000 fighters, controls large parts of Somalia.

Al-Shabab is fighting to create an Islamic state in Somalia and is banned as a terrorist group by both the US and the UK,

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CCTV shows the gunmen around the shopping mall

Crimes of The Times: Nairobi, Kenya Westgate Mall Attack: Here's What The New York Times Does Not Want You To Know

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 04:10

Make no mistake: in the shocking video below, every single one of those looting Kenyan soldiers is wearing (probably Chinese-made) uniforms and carrying (likely Chinese-made) automatic rifles, that were paid for by white people from Europe and the United States.The verminous reality contortionists at the New York Times attempt to use every incident of bestial criminality like the Westgate mall Massacre to further relativize the immutability of the Natural Order, and conceal the Indian caste-like hierarchy of mankind that exists in reality but not in the wishful-thinking minds of the One Worlder competitive compassion athlete pussies at Amerika's Newspaper of Record.

The siege of the Westgate by four skinny 20 year-old Shababs with machine guns only lasted for three full days, because Kenya's rank and file military went on a looting spree of phenomenal proportion.

Here's proof :

Note : the one Kenyan looter soldier that steps in that wide pool of blood right behind the elephant, as he sidles up to an item on display on the counter (which he decided wasn't worth stealing), is walking in the blood of a man whose execution can be seen in the video below.

Presumably, the executed man's body had been dragged away by the time the video footage above recorded the Kenyan army looting spree.

Hillary 2016


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Sat, 19 Oct 2013 15:11

HILLARY CLINTON has blasted Angelina Jolie as a ''fake'' and a ''home-wrecker,'' according to an insider who predicts that the simmering tension between the two powerhouse women will soon explode!

The former first lady is said to have bared her claws at the Holly­wood femme fatale after learning that Angelina wanted to seduce her husband, former president Bill Clinton. And the friction has grown worse in recent years as the two became prominent in international politics '' Angelina as a United Nations goodwill ambassador and Hillary as President Obama's secre­tary of state.

''Not even a world's stage is big enough for these two women,'' de­clared a source. ''Hillary has gotten more and more riled up as she saw Angelina continually trying to steal her thunder.

''The last strawcamewhenHillary heard that Angelina was going to get involved with the 2016 (presidential) election. While she hasn't officially announced her run for the White House, it's pretty clear Hillary sees herself as the leading Democratic candidate, and she doesn't want Angie run­ning off her mouth.''

Last April, when both of them were at the Women in the World summit in New York, an insider says Angelina got word to Hillary that she wanted to meet her privately ''to discuss important mat­ters'' in an empty room at the Lincoln Center.

Added the source: ''Hillary was fit to be tied. 'Why on earth would I want to see HER!' she raged. Hillary made it clear Angelina was not her favorite person and that if they met she would probably end up telling her, 'You're a fake!'''

''Angie was mystified by Hill­ary's cold snub.''

Hillary's animosity stretches back years. Sources say she believes her skirt-chasing husband became infatu­ated with the now 38-year-old ''Salt'' actress in 2007 after Angelina attended an annual meeting for his foundation. And journalist Ian Halperin wrote in his book, ''Brangelina: The Untold Story of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie,'' that the sexpot had stated she wanted to seduce Bill Clinton.

''Hillary believes Angelina encouraged Bill's attention and that's something she will never forget. When it comes to bear­ing a grudge, Hillary has a long memory. She's also described Angie to some of her closest aides as a 'homewrecker' for the way she stole Brad from Jennifer Aniston.

''To Hillary, working in politics is a lot more complex than being a part-time U.N. ambassador in between acting gigs and she firmly believes that Angie should stick to making movies.''

The situation almost came to a head in 2009, when Angelina and Hillary were scheduled to meet at the White House for World Refugee Day. But Hillary suffered a mysterious fall and broke her elbow, forcing her to cancel the meeting. That fall was ''highly suspicious,'' a source told author Halperin at the time.

''So far, Hillary and Angelina's bitter feelings have stayed below the public radar,'' the source noted. ''But it's only a matter of time before the gloves come off.''


FAT SHAMING-Maria Kang, 'fit Facebook mom' accused of fat-shaming with Facebook picture

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 01:28

Originally published: October 19, 2013 11:11 AMUpdated: October 19, 2013 2:56 PMBy SACRAMENTO BEE

Photo credit: Facebook | An undated profile photo posted on Facebook by Maria Kang has led to criticism of the fit mom for what many see as fat-shaming.

Elk Grove, Calif. - Elk Grove, Calif., mother and fitness buff Maria Kang has ignited a firestorm in cyberspace with her "what's your excuse?" Facebook photo, which shows her in a sports bra and short shorts, posing with her three young sons.

Some call it flattering and inspiring, others call it insulting and overly revealing, but Kang's photo has gone viral -- and global -- as media outlets from California to London have covered the controversy.

Posters and bloggers have accused Kang, 32, of "fat shaming," claiming her photo suggests that all women can look like her if they just work hard enough.

BLOG:The Daily Apple | PHOTOS:Dropping LBsDATA:Explore hospital rankings | Narcotics by communityWEIGH IN:Ask your fitness questions

On her blog about motherhood,, Morgan Moss declared: "You, as a woman, should be ashamed that you are furthering the downward spiral of how society views women, and how we women view ourselves. ... Most REAL moms don't look like you, sweetheart."

Kang has been called a hurtful, hateful bully. One online commenter said, "People like you who post pictures like this make me cry because without surgery I will never look like you."

By Saturday afternoon, Kang's Facebook photo had generated 241,972 "likes," 21,836 "shares" and 33,760 comments, and Kang said the international exposure, ranging from CNN to Good Morning America, The New York Daily News and The Daily Mail in Great Britain, has pushed her page views to 1 million.

Kang recently told her critics: "I'm sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I ... had an eating disorder, work full time owning two businesses, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer."

Kang said her Facebook photo, posted to promote her free fitness classes, meant to send the message that women should "make no excuses not to follow through on your fitness action plan."

Kang, who runs two board-and-care homes for the elderly, says she doesn't profit from fitness and just wants to help people get healthy. She runs an unpaid nonprofit, Fitness Without Borders, a free Mom-Me Fit Club that meets in public parks three times a week and free 12-week family fitness boot camps.

''I discovered fitness was my passion because my mom was very sick, had diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure and a stroke at a young age because of her eating habits and lack of exercises," she said.

Kang said she has battled her weight and, from ages 23 to 27, struggled with bulimia. "I was binging and purging three times a day, five times a week for four years straight," she said. Kang, a Catholic, said she turned to prayer and moved from San Francisco back home to Elk Grove to help her mother, who needed dialysis three times a week.

Kang has been a cheerleader, kickboxer, personal trainer and beauty pageant winner, but gained 35 to 40 pounds with each pregnancy. Her sons Christian, Nicholas and Gabriel are now 4, 3 and 1.

She said she started the Mom-Me Fit Club in 2009, using a grant from the First Five Sacramento commission. She said 15 to 20 moms bring their kids to each outdoor session to work out. "We do ab exercises, circuit training, lunges -- it's really inspirational," said Kang, who first posted the "What's your excuse?" photo in September 2012 and reposted it a few weeks ago.

Asked to describe her fitness regimen: Kang said she wakes up at 6 a.m., tries to run 3 miles on her treadmill, and serves her kids raisin bran, sweet potato pancakes, fruit or eggs for breakfast -- "no pop tarts, no sugar cereals." She squeezes in an hour of strength-training at California Family Fitness by taking her children to the gym's child-care center.

Getting in shape "only takes 30 minutes a day" and doesn't require a gym, Kang said. "Wake up an hour earlier, do it at lunch time or after dinner instead of watching TV. Eating is 80percent of your results."

Kang said she thinks walking is the best exercise, and she encourages moms who work out with her in the park to do 20 pushups, squats, crunches and jumping jacks five times in a row without stopping.

At least one Northern California blogger offers Kang grudging respect on her Facebook page. Janelle Hanchett of declares: "Maria Kang, I hate you. But you're right. And now I hate you more. ... I am currently 40 pounds overweight. Why? Because I use food for emotional comfort. Because I'm lazy. Because I put things before my health, Hanchett wrote. "I'm tired of my own excuses."

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Oarfish omen spells earthquake disaster for Japan - Telegraph

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 05:57

The giant oarfish can grow up to five metres in length and is usually to be found at depths of 1,000 metres and very rarely above 200 metres from the surface. Long and slender with a dorsal fin the length of its body, the oarfish resembles a snake.

In recent weeks, 10 specimens have been found either washed ashore or in fishing nets off Ishikawa Prefecture, half-a-dozen have been caught in nets off Toyama Prefecture and others have been reported in Kyoto, Shimane and Nagasaki prefectures, all on the northern coast.

According to traditional Japanese lore, the fish rise to the surface and beach themselves to warn of an impending earthquake - and there are scientific theories that bottom-dwelling fish may very well be susceptible to movements in seismic fault lines and act in uncharacteristic ways in advance of an earthquake - but experts here are placing more faith in their constant high-tech monitoring of the tectonic plates beneath the surface.

"In ancient times Japanese people believed that fish warned of coming earthquakes, particularly catfish," Hiroshi Tajihi, deputy director of the Kobe Earthquake Centre, told the Daily Telegraph.

"But these are just old superstitions and there is no scientific relationship between these sightings and an earthquake," he said.

Oarfish - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 05:53

Oarfish are large, greatly elongated, pelagiclampriform fish and belong to the small familyRegalecidae.[1] Found in all temperate to tropical oceans yet rarely seen, the oarfish family contains four species in two genera. One of these, the giant oarfish (Regalecus glesne), is the longest bony fish alive, at up to 17 metres (56 ft) in length.[2]

The common nameoarfish is presumably in reference to either their highly compressed and elongated bodies, or to the former (but now discredited) belief that the fish "row" themselves through the water with their pelvic fins.[3] The family name Regalecidae is derived from the Latinregalis, meaning "royal". The occasional beachings of oarfish after storms, and their habit of lingering at the surface when sick or dying, make oarfish a probable source of many sea serpent tales.

Although the larger species are considered game fish and are (to a minor extent) fished commercially, oarfish are rarely caught alive; their flesh is not well regarded due to its gelatinous consistency.

Anatomy and morphology[edit]The dorsal fin originates from above the (relatively small) eyes and runs the entire length of the fish. Of the approximately 400 dorsal fin rays, the first 10 to 12 are elongated to varying degrees, forming a trailing crest embellished with reddish spots and flaps of skin at the ray tips. The pelvic fins are similarly elongated and adorned, reduced to 1 to 5 rays each. The pectoral fins are greatly reduced and situated low on the body. The anal fin is completely absent and the caudal fin may be reduced or absent as well, with the body tapering to a fine point. All fins lack true spines. At least one account, from researchers in New Zealand, describes the oarfish as giving off "electric shocks" when touched.[3]

Like other members of its order, the oarfish has a small yet highly protrusible oblique mouth with no visible teeth. The body is scaleless and the skin is covered with easily abraded, silvery guanine. In the streamer fish (Agrostichthys parkeri), the skin is clad with hard tubercles. All species lack gas bladders and the number of gill rakers is variable.

Oarfish coloration is also variable; the flanks are commonly covered with irregular bluish to blackish streaks, black dots, and squiggles. These markings quickly fade following death. The giant oarfish is by far the largest member of the family at a published total length of 11 metres (36 ft) (with unconfirmed reports of 15 metres (49 ft) or more) and 272 kilograms in weight. The streamer fish is known to reach 3 metres (9.8 ft) in length whilst the largest recorded specimen of Regalecus russelii measured just 540 centimetres standard length.

Distribution[edit]The members of the family are known to have a worldwide range. However, specific encounters with live individuals in situ are rare and distribution information is collated from records of oarfishes caught or washed ashore.[3]

Ecology and life history[edit]Rare encounters with divers and accidental catches have supplied what little is known of oarfish behaviour and ecology. Apparently solitary animals, oarfish may frequent significant depths up to 1,000 metres (3,300 ft). An oarfish measuring 3.3 metres (11 ft 4 in) and 63.5 kg (140 lb) was reported to have been caught on 17 February 2003 by Ms Val Fletcher using a fishing rodbaited with squid, at Skinningrove, United Kingdom.[4]

A photograph on display in bars, restaurants, guesthouses and markets around Laos and Thailand that is captioned, "Queen of Nāgas seized by American Army at Mekhong River, Laos Military Base on June 27, 1973 with the length of 7.80 metres," is a hoax. The photograph was taken by Dr. Leo Smith of The Field Museum, of an oarfish found in September 1996 by United States Navy SEAL trainees on the coast of Coronado, California, USA.[5][6]

Behavior[edit]In 2001 an oarfish was filmed alive and in situ: the 1.5 metre (4.9 feet) fish was spotted by a group of U.S. Navy personnel during the inspection of a buoy in the Bahamas.[7] The oarfish was observed to propel itself via an amiiform mode of swimming; that is, rhythmically undulating the dorsal fin whilst keeping the body itself straight. Perhaps indicating a feeding posture, oarfish have been observed swimming in a vertical orientation, with their long axis perpendicular to the ocean surface. In this posture the downstreaming light would silhouette the oarfishes' prey, making them easier to spot.

In July 2008, scientists captured footage of the rare fish swimming in its natural habitat in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the first ever confirmed sighting of an oarfish at depth, as most specimens are discovered dying at the sea surface or washed ashore. The fish was estimated to be between 5 m (16.4 ft) and 10 m (32.8 ft) in length.[8]

As part of the SERPENT Project, five observations of apparently healthy oarfish Regalecus glesne by remotely operated vehicles were reported from the northern Gulf of Mexico between 2008 and 2011 at depths from within the epipelagic and mesopelagic zones.[9] These observations include the deepest verified record of R. glesne (463''492 m (1,519''1,614 ft)) and the first record of an arthropodectoparasite (isopod).[10]

From December 2009 to March 2010, unusual numbers of the slender oarfish Regalecus russelii[11] (ç'宮のä½ã ''RyÅgÅ-No-Tsukai'',) known in Japanesefolklore as the Messenger from the Sea God's Palace, appeared in the waters and on the beaches of Japan; the appearance of which is said to portend earthquakes.[12]

Feeding ecology[edit]Oarfish feed primarily on zooplankton, selectively straining tiny euphausiids, shrimp and other crustaceans from the water. Small fish, jellyfish and squid are also taken. Large open-ocean carnivores are all likely predators of oarfish.

Life history[edit]The oceanodromousRegalecus glesne is recorded as spawning off Mexico from July to December; all species are presumed to be non-guarders and release brightly coloured, buoyant eggs, up to 6 millimetres (0.24 inches) across, which are incorporated into the zooplankton. The eggs hatch after about three weeks into highly active larvae, that feed on other zooplankton. The larvae have little resemblance to the adults, with long dorsal and pelvic fins and extensible mouths.[3] Larvae and juveniles have been observed drifting just below the surface. In contrast, adult oarfish are rarely seen at the surface when not sick or injured.

See also[edit]Bibliography[edit]Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2005). "Regalecidae" in FishBase. February 2005 version.Pete Thomas, Blue Demons, The Los Angeles Times, August 26, 2006.Fishes: An Introduction to ichthyology. Peter B. Moyle and Joseph J. Cech, Jr; p. 338. Printed in 2004. Prentice-Hall, Inc; Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. ISBN 0-13-100847-1References[edit]^Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2007). "Regalecidae" in FishBase. March 2007 version.^Bourton, Jody. Giant bizarre deep sea fish filmed in Gulf of Mexico. BBC Earth News^ abcdOlney, John E. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N., ed. Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. pp. 157''159. ISBN 0-12-547665-5. ^Jenkins, Russell (21 February 2003). "Woman angler lands legendary sea monster". The Times, London. Retrieved 25 February 2010. "The novice angler fishing off the rocks for mackerel thought that she must have hooked a big one. '' Unfortunately the oarfish has been cut up into steaks for the pot." ^Ranges, Trevor (2002 '' 2006). "A Big Fish Tale". p. 2. "We were on our morning physical fitness run when we came across this huge fish lying on the sand." ^JOSN Jojm; photos by LT DeeDee Van Wormer (April 1997). "SEALs and a serpent of the sea" (PDF). ALL HANDS. Naval Media Center. pp. 20''21. "The silvery serpent of the sea '' an oarfish '' was discovered last year by Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) Instructor Signalman 2nd Class (SEAL) Kevin Blake." ^"Sustainability species Identification; Oarfish (Regalecus glesne Ascanius)". NOAA Fisheries service. Retrieved 28 September 2012. ^Bourton, Jody (2010-02-08). "". BBC. Retrieved 2010-02-09. ^^Benfield, M.C. (5 June 2013). "Five in situ observations of live oarfish Regalecus glesne (Regalecidae) by remotely operated vehicles in the oceanic waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico". Journal of Fish Biology. Retrieved 10 June 2013. ^"Regalecus russelii (Cuvier, 1816) species summary". FishBase Consortium. Retrieved 23 Mar 2010. ^Daiki Yamamoto (04 Mar 2010). "Sea serpents' arrival puzzling, or portentous?". Kyodo News. Retrieved 6 Mar 2010. "TOYAMA '-- A rarely seen deep-sea fish regarded as something of a mystery has been giving marine experts food for thought recently after showing up in large numbers along the Sea of Japan coast." External links[edit]

War on Lasers

Laser pointers: Most red, green lasers are more powerful than allowed by law.

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 05:26

You didn't need eyesight to play soccer anyway, right?Photo by Josep Lago/AFP/Getty Images

For all the whining everyone's always doing about jetpacks and other tech of the future, you'd think we'd be more impressed with the teeming abundance and affordability of lasers. In fact, we're so over Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, we've relegated the technology to kitschy beach-shop key chains and board games for nerds. And yet a new study shows a majority of the dinky laser pointers on the market exceed the power level limits set by the Code of Federal Regulations, which means a whole lot of twerps out there wield far more retina-burning power than they should.

That laser pointers are potentially dangerous shouldn't come as any big surprise. However, ubiquity has a way of breeding a lack of respect. And lack of respect leads people to point electromagnetic radiation at the eye holes of rival soccer clubs or helicopter and airplane pilots.

''The human eye is a fantastic optical instrument capable of concentrating light a 100,000 times onto the retina,'' explains Joshua Hadler, physicist and laser safety officer for the National Institute of Standards and Technology Laser Radiometry Project. ''More than a few milliwatts at the cornea can be focused to a spot so small that the power density on the retina can become greater than that generated when staring into the sun.''

Power limits put in place by the CFR cap laser pointers at 5 milliwatts. Anything more powerful than that is technically not a ''laser pointer'''--that is, a handheld laser intended to trick an audience into thinking your PowerPoint slides are even vaguely interesting. Which is why it's concerning that Hadler and his co-authors Marla Dowell and Edna Tobares found some of the laser pointers they tested to be well above the 5 milliwatt output advertised on the labels. One showoff laser pointer clocked in at an absurd 66.5 milliwatts.

Lasers of this magnitude can potentially cause irreparable damage to the human eye. When focused on the retina, they yield more power density than looking at a welding arc.

What's more, green laser pointers in particular fire off a considerable amount of infrared signal in addition to visible light. The human eye is far less sensitive to infrared, which means it can't protect itself by automatically closing like it does with bright, visible lights. Even though you can't ''see'' it, infrared can still mess you up.

''The damage mechanism that occurs is thermal,'' Hadler says. ''The tissue can't dissipate the heat fast enough, and it burns.'' In order to prevent accidental eye scorching, Hadler developed a relatively cheap, easily replicable test bed. He hopes other institutions from universities to corporations will build their own test beds to make sure their lasers are within the appropriate safety thresholds.

The NIST study shows only 26 percent of the laser pointers tested met industry standards. That means you'd do well to avoid drawing the ire of that weird little cousin'--you know the one'--especially if his cat-torturing device is green. A whopping 90 percent of green laser pointers in the study were not in compliance with the CFR regulations, compared to 44 percent of the reds.

''Twenty years ago, the technology required to generate this particular wavelength of laser light was a $30,000 piece of equipment that lived in a laboratory,'' Hadler told me. ''And now for $10 you can put one in your pocket.''

Of course, over-the-counter laser pointers are just the tip of the photonic spear. For $400 and an Internet connection, you could be the proud owner of a 1,250 milliwatt, Class 4 Arctic Laser ''strong enough to burn holes, pop balloons, and start fires from across the room.'' (FYI: Such lasers should not be operated without safety goggles and a healthy respect for retinal burns. Also, beware of the Moscow rave scene.)

So don't be an idiot. Just because you can buy a handheld light cannon and shine it into the heavens doesn't mean you should. In fact, when President Obama signed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, he made it a federal crime to shine a laser beam at or in the flight path of aircraft'--punishable by up to $250,000 in fines and five years imprisonment. But that's probably not as embarrassing as what Yeezy will do to you.


VIDEO- Cool Story Chlo #6: Clever Shirts and Feeling Hurts - YouTube

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Wed, 16 Oct 2013 22:32

VIDEO-Redford: Women, young people must save U.S. from men behaving stupidly -

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Thu, 17 Oct 2013 21:03


President Obama "can't function" now in Washington, Robert Redford saysThe actor says some in Congress are "crippling our whole country"Redford sat down with CNN's Nischelle Turner to talk about his new film, "All Is Lost"He plays a lone sailor struggling to stay alive after his sailboat is crippled by a collision(CNN) -- Robert Redford says bigotry, fear of change and a determination to personally destroy President Barack Obama have paralyzed the U.S. government.

Women and young people are the answer to fixing the gridlock that has partially shut down Washington, the actor told CNN on Tuesday.

"Give them the reins," Redford said. "I think they can do better than we have."

Redford, 77, sat down with CNN's Nischelle Turner to talk about his new film, "All Is Lost," which he agreed could serve as an analogy to the shutdown crisis.

In the movie, Redford plays a lone sailor struggling to stay alive after his sailboat is crippled by a collision with a container ship.

"At a certain point, I think, when things really get awful, when things get really bad and all seems to be lost -- there's no hope, there's no possibility -- then a lot of people quit," Redford said about his character. "They say, 'What's the point?' and they quit. And others keep going for no other reason than that."

Opinion: Men dither while women lead

Redford: 'Why are these people behaving so stupidly?'

The conversation then turned to the drama playing out in Washington, where a standoff between Obama and Republicans in Congress has forced the federal government into a partial shutdown and threatened a default on the U.S. debt.

"It's so divided now with the people that are so narrow and so limited that they would take us back into the past," Redford said. "And I was trying to figure out, why are these people behaving so stupidly? Why are they behaving so horribly that it's crippling our whole country?

"And I think it has to do with fear. I think it's a group of people that are so afraid of change, and they're so narrow-minded that some people -- when they see change coming -- get so threatened by change, they get angry and they get terrorized, and then they get vicious. I think that's who these people are. They're so afraid of change that they're behaving miserably."

Obama is "a compassionate man who can't function" in this political environment, Redford said. It "is so decrepit, it is so paralyzed, and the worst of it is it is paralyzed by intention," he said. "There is a body of congressional people that wants to paralyze the system. I think what sits underneath it, unfortunately, is there's probably some racism involved, which is really awful."

Obama's opponents reject whatever he might propose "because their determination was to destroy this person," Redford said. "They wanted, if it meant destroying the government, anything to keep him from succeeding.

"I think just the idea of giving credit to this President, giving him credit for anything, is abhorrent to them, so they'll go against it. Never mind that it's the better good of the people, never mind that they're supposed to be in office representing the interest of the public. They're representing their own self-interests, which is very narrow and in some cases bigoted."

America's problem: We're too dumb

Redford: All is not lost

But, unlike his latest film title, all is not lost, Redford said. He said "something new" is starting to happen that offers hope.

"Susan Collins, who is a Republican, is saying: 'Enough of this. This is not the job I signed up for. I've got to do something,' " said Redford, referring to the U.S. senator from Maine. "So she's bringing a bipartisan group together of women. I think the future should belong more to women and young people."

Women must save the country "because a lot of men that were in control were behaving stupidly," Redford said. "I mean, sometimes you say: 'Can we actually be this dumbed down, or am I actually hearing what I'm hearing from some of these people? Are they really, is that really happening?' It's sad."

Does this mean Redford is already throwing his support behind Hillary Clinton in a 2016 White House bid?

"No, I wouldn't single out one woman over another," he said. "I think it's time to give more women a chance."

"All Is Lost," which is almost a silent movie, with its sparse dialogue, hits U.S. theaters next week.

Sundance 2013: Redford answers conservative critics

CNN's Doug Ganley contributed to this report.

VIDEO-Senators Question Obama's Pick To Head Department Of Homeland Security - YouTube

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 05:06

VIDEO-Weekly Address: Working Together on Behalf of the American People - YouTube

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 03:52

VIDEO: Inside Greece's two state TV stations

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Source: BBC News - Europe

Sun, 20 Oct 2013 13:37

Greece's old state TV station, which was closed down four months ago by the government, is continuing to broadcast online.

Meanwhile an interim station for the new state broadcaster, which will be smaller and cheaper to run when it starts operations, has been set up - meaning there are two state broadcasters operating simultaneously.

Mark Lowen reports.

VIDEO: JP Morgan 'faces record $13bn fine'

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Source: BBC News - Home

Sun, 20 Oct 2013 13:36

US banking giant JP Morgan is set for a record $13bn (£8bn) fine to settle investigations into its mortgage-backed securities, according to US media reports.

A tentative deal is believed to have been reached in talks with senior US Justice Department officials.

Lisa Hampele reports.

"Some Communities Are Taking Fluoride Out Of Drinking Which To Dentist Is Crazy!"

VIDEO- FBI Issues Warning There's Been Dramatic Increase In "Laser Attacks" On Commercial Airlines - YouTube

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 05:25

VIDEO-558 "The Joke Is He Is Retiring To Spend More Time With His Family & Less Time With Your Family" HA HA - YouTube

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 05:21


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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 05:32

VIDEO-558 Unusual Sea Creatures Turning Up On California Coast - YouTube

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Sun, 20 Oct 2013 05:55

VIDEO-Libya can be the next oil and gas paradise, says Eni CEO

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Sat, 19 Oct 2013 03:53

Wanna be rich? Move to Libya

Paolo Scaroni, CEO of Italian energy giant Eni, says that Libya is likely to have a future where "everyone is going to be wealthy."

Scaroni said he receives daily reports about production and that fluctuations are large on a daily basis. He said he believes it will be many months, if not years, before there is stability in production levels.

"The major goal of [deposed Libyan dictator Moammar] Gadhafi was to destroy every Libyan institution," he said, "so at the end of the revolution, they found themselves with no institutions whatsoever."

That situation is contrary to other countries in the region, Scaroni said. "Tunisia has very strong unions; Egypt a very strong army; Algeria, both army and unions. Libya, nothing," he said. "How to move from nothing to a solid institution? It will take a long time."

(Read more:Shale surge leads US to out-Saudi Mideast: Study)

CNBC spoke with Scaroni the day after news broke about the U.S. capture of suspected bombing mastermind and al-Qaeda leader Abu Anas Al-Libi in Tripoli. He was unfamiliar with the event, yet seemed nonplused.

"I go all the time. '... In my view, Libyans are among the most pacific (people) in the world. Because in a country where every family has at least one weapon, there is no police, no army. '... In total, the situation is pretty calm," he said. "Imagine any other country in a similar situation."

(Watch:How to invest in Egypt)

Still, Scaroni noted a sharp contrast between the Libyan and Egyptian revolutions. "You know we're the largest oil company in Egypt as well. Egypt has troubles. You've seen yesterday 40 casualties, but what is important is a huge difference between Egypt and Libya is that even during the whole revolution, we never lost one barrel of oil production."

"That is, Egyptians have been wise enough to understand that whatever political situation we will end up with, they will need the resources coming from oil and gas," he continued. "So at the end, they've been wise. We'll continue to produce in Egypt. Egypt is probably close to an end of its turmoil. We will see which end, but it's close to the end. But for the time being, everything's fine with our production there."

'--By CNBC's Michelle Caruso-Cabrera. Follow her on Twitter @MCaruso_Cabrera.

VIDEO-29 mins-The 404 1,366: Where we got these Oreos, man (podcast) | The 404 Podcast - CNET Blogs

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Sat, 19 Oct 2013 04:32

Emily Dreyfuss joins us in the studio to debunk that silly Oreo study, celebrate our re-opened government and the return of the Pandacam, and detail a site that maps your genetic history through an at-home DNA test.

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- "South Park" misses deadline for the first time in its history.

- Bad Lip Reading kills it with "Game of Thrones" mashup.

- There's no way that Oreos are as addictive as cocaine.

- 23andme: Testing your genetics at home.

- The best part of the government reopening: Pandacam is back.

Ep. 1366: Where we got these Oreos, manSubscribe:

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Topics:Show notes,The 404 podcastTags:Idaho,pandacam,cocaine,Oreo,23andme,stenographer,San Francisco,Connecticut College,genetic,DNA,addiction,rent,tattoo,debt ceiling,government shutdownJustin YuJustin Yu covers headphones and peripherals for CNET. When he's not wading through Web gulch or challenging colleagues to typing tests, you can find him making fun of technology with Jeff Bakalar every afternoon on The 404 show..

Everything we think we know about the specs, release date, and price of the next iPad