Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

“It’s The Vaccines Stupids!” “It’s The Vaccines Stupids!”

September 9, 2009

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Part I: Evidence Linking Autism Rise in Children to Vaccinations

by F. William Engdahl

The WHO and US Government CDC are escalating a public psychological conditioning to create hysteria and panic among an uninformed public about an alleged “virus” H1N1 Influenza A, aka Swine Flu, whose alleged effects to date appear comparable with a common cold. Before people line up in the streets demanding their vaccinations for their children and themselves, it would be wise to remember, to paraphrase a 1992 campaign statement of Bill Clinton to George H.W. Bush: “It’s the vaccination, Stupid!”

By countless scientific accounts, far more dangerous to human health than any reported incidences of Swine Flu are the dangers of severe health issues including paralysis, brain damage and even death arising from what is added to vaccines by virtually every major vaccine maker. Almost without exception, all commercial vaccines today contain various substances known as adjuvants designed to make the vaccine “work.” These adjuvants are the source of horrendous and sometimes deadly damage.

It has been speculated for some time that there might be a link in the alarming rise in cases of autism among tiny infants and children and massive multiple vaccinations today given routinely to infants and children from the first hours of birth. There is clear and shocking evidence of the link between the two. If you do not have a strong constitution, you are advised not to read further.

A new study shows a direct link between standard childhood vaccination series, MMR, and autism-like symptoms in monkeys. The principal scientist involved in the study, Dr. Laura Hewitson of the University of Pittsburgh, presented the alarming conclusions as an abstract pending publication at the International Meeting for Autism Research. It has been presented at scientific conferences in both London and Seattle, USA.

The study compared vaccinated macaque monkeys with non-vaccinated macaques. No major flaws in the study have been revealed by any attending scientist. The vaccines included the popular MMR series. The study found a marked increase in “gastrointestinal tissue gene expression” and “inflammation issues” with those monkeys which received vaccinations. They are a common symptom of children with regressive autism.

The study also found marked behavior changes and development differences in those monkeys given the vaccines versus those who were not. “Compared with unexposed animals, significant neuro-developmental deficits were evident for exposed animals in survival reflexes, tests of color discrimination and reversal, and learning sets,” the study`s authors reported. “Differences in behaviors were observed between exposed and unexposed animals and within the exposed group before and after MMR vaccination.”

US Government-mandated research approved by Congress was to begin this year, but the funds were rescinded in early January. Claiming “conflict of interest” because of ongoing court cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a long-time supporter of infant vaccinations, withdrew the research plans.

The most shocking of all is the recent and now common medical practice, reinforced by an aggressive pharmaceutical industry, of giving multiple vaccines, often virtually within hours of birth, to infants despite the fact that no study including all of the vaccine series commonly given to children in the US and UK, about 30 in all, has been conducted until now. The practice of newborn multiple vaccinations has become widespread in Germany and other EU countries over the past decade. Significantly there have surfaced reports of dramatically increased instances of autism in newborn and infants in various German hospitals over the past decade, precisely the period multiple vaccinations of newborn and infants has become routine.

US Government coverup

Tragically, the US Government agency theoretically entrusted with guarding public health, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as with the case of health dangers of GMO foods, as well with the dramatic evidence of the link between autism and adjuvants used in typical vaccines, is accepting the argument of big and politically powerful Pharmaceutical companies.

The Food and Drug Administration considers vaccines safe but, just as with GMO, they have done no studies into the effects of multiple vaccinations as given in the common childhood series which started in the 1990s in the USA and spread to the UK and now across the EU.

According to Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., son of the late Attorney General and an attorney active in campaigning to expose mercury (Thimerosal) and other toxicity dangers in vaccines, recently stated, “as autism is a behavioral affliction rather than a precisely defined biological injury — epidemiological studies are critical to establishing its causation. But the greatest source of epidemiological data is the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) — the government maintained medical records of hundreds of thousands of vaccinated children — which Health and Human Services Department has gone to great lengths to keep out of the hands of plaintiffs’ attorneys and independent scientists…The raw data collected in the VSD would undoubtedly provide the epidemiological evidence needed to understand the relationship between vaccines and autism. The absence of such studies makes it easy for judges to say to plaintiffs they have not met their burden of proving causation.”

Autism was virtually unknown in the United States until 1943 when it was diagnosed and identified eleven months after Thimerosal, a mercury-based vaccine “adjuvant” was first added to baby vaccines along with various aluminium compounds in the United States. Thimerosal is often used to stem fungi and bacterial growth in vaccines despite massive evidence of its severe effects as a potent neurotoxin. Following independent studies, Russia, Japan, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Britain have banned Thimersol from childrens’ vaccines. Germany to date has no such ban. The toxin was developed in 1930 by Eli Lilly. Tragically in 1991, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary the US Government’s Center for Disease Control (CDC), the same agency fuelling the current hysteria over the non-proven H1N1 Swine Flu virus danger, recommended that infants be injected with a series of  mercury-containing vaccines in some cases within 24 hours of birth for Hepatitis B and two months for diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis.

Before 1989 US pre-school children received eleven vaccinations—polio, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR). By 1999, because of the various CDC recommendations, the number of vaccinations was twenty two before first grade of school. Parallel with this explosive rise in vaccinations of the very young in the United States, according to Kennedy, the rate of autism among children. The state ofIowa reported a 700% increase in autism in children beginning in the 1990’s and along with California has banned mercury in vaccines. Despite evidence, however the US FDA continues to allow drug makers to include Thimerosal  in numerous over-the-counter non-prescription medications as well as steroids and injected collagen. The US Government ships vaccines preserved with Thimerosal to numerous developing countries as well, where some are reporting sudden explosion of autism rates as well. In China, where autism was unknown before introduction of Thimerosal by US drug makers in 1999, press reports indicate there are almost two million autistic children.

Instances of autism in the US exploded as some 40 million children were injected during the 1990’s with Thimersol-based vaccines, giving them unprecedented accumulations of mercury poison. The level of ethylmercury in a vaccine routinely given then to children of two months age was 99 times greater than the US Government’s daily limit for exposure. As with the current WHO pandemic declaration around H1N1 Swine Flu, the CDC Vaccine Advisory Committee is filled with scientists with close ties to the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Sam Katz, chairman of the committee was a paid consultant to most companies producing the vaccines he “recommended.”

The aluminium danger remains

While vaccines available in the US today exist with no Thimerosal (50% mercury), virtually all vaccines still contain aluminum, which has been linked to impaired neurological development in children. Aluminum has not replaced thimerosal as a vaccine preservative; it has always been used in vaccines.

In the recent past, most US chioldren got exposed to both thimerosal and aluminum simultaneously with the hepatitis B, Hib, DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) and pneumococcal vaccines. Combining mercury with aluminum increases the likelihood that the mercury will damage human tissue.

According to a recent report by Michael Wagnitz, an American chemist, “Currently eight childhood vaccines that contain aluminum ranging from 125 to 850 micrograms (mcg). These vaccines are administered 17 times in the first 18 months of life, an almost six-fold increase compared to the vaccine schedule of the 1980s.”

Wagnitz adds, “According to the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, based on IV feeding solutions, a child should not exceed a maximum daily dose of 5 mcg of aluminum per kilogram of weight per day. That means if a child weighs 11 pounds, the child should not exceed 25 mcg in a day. This level was determined to be the maximum safety limit based on a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine titled “Aluminum Neurotoxicity in Preterm Infants Receiving Intravenous Feeding Solutions.”

The hepatitis B vaccine, administered at birth, contains 250 mcg.

In a 1996 policy statement, “Aluminum Toxicity in Infants and Children,” the American Academy of Pediatrics states, “Aluminum can cause neurological harm. People with kidney disease who build up bloodstream levels of aluminum greater than 100 mcg per liter are at risk of toxicity. The toxic threshold of aluminum in the bloodstream may be lower than 100 mcg per liter.” What level of aluminium toxicity is contained in vaccines routinely given German, French and other children n the EU is not known. It might be time for a public demand for such information to be disclosed, and before governments launch mass vaccination campaigns for untested vaccines against a non-proven H1N1 Swine Flu threat.

F. William Engdahl is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by F. William Engdahl

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=15074

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We are Living in an Artificially Induced State of Consciousness

September 9, 2009

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Nathan Janes
Infowars
September 8, 2009

Since its inception in American homes in the late 1930’s, television has essentially given America it’s culture. Today, television watching is the most popular leisure activity as more and more people are choosing the fantasy world of TV over engaging with others in real communication and experiences. Where people once wanted to explore the wonders of the world and nature, now many explore the world outside their homes only through what they view on television. Once a vast majority is living the same reality through television, then they are more predictable and easily managed. The television does an excellent job placing everyone that watches it on the same page, all sharing the same views, worries, interests, and idols.

Through the television, we are trained from birth to death as to what to believe. Many studies have demonstrated that the young unquestioningly accept whatever reality is presented by television. Impressionable children will often spend hours in front of the television each day as it is used as a trust worthy babysitter. As they sit down for their daily intake of cartoons, children’s programming and commercials, many parents fail to realize what lessons the television is teaching their children. And so culture and norms of behavior are often more strongly influenced by what is on television rather than by what parents are teaching children. The parents of today grew up in front of the television as well and so the television is not often questioned and instead accepted as a part of the family’s daily life. Children who grow up in front of the TV learn to arrange their lives around TV programming and will likely grow up to be adults who get their entertainment, news, and information from it.

Heavy television watching is culturally accepted and expected in our society. In fact, the act of not watching TV can actually offend some people. With the average American adult watching more than 4 hours of television each day, the television plays a major role in continually creating the reality in which we live. Those who create the television programming- the 6 corporations and little over 100 board members who control all American mass media outlets shape this reality. The interests of these corporations and those who lead them are to make money for both the media corporations and those corporations that the board members have special ties to. Rather than creating television shows that engages critical thinking and keeps Americans well informed on topics that may affect their well being, the TV causes us to see ourselves as consumers who need to be entertained. Television is creating a culture of occupied minds- an apathetic and passive population only interested in being entertained by mindless trivia with no interest in analyzing information and instead relying on the TV for all answers.

TV has lead us into a world controlled by science and run by experts. In predicting a “Scientific Dictatorship,” Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World and well known for his studies on the development of new techniques by which to control and direct human behavior, described a world run by experts, which isn’t hard to imagine when we’ve been trained through our television sets to always listen to experts. Major media promotes experts on just about every topic you can imagine while implying that the public is too dumb or uneducated to make their own decisions about such topics as vaccinations, financial management, and medical interventions. In this way, the television is creating in individuals a sense of learned helplessness, leaving us dependent on those given to us as experts to direct our decisions and actions.

The act of watching TV regularly is obedience to those in control. For total control in any system, everyone must be predictable. TV creates a collectivism society, where to be an individual is seen as an enemy to the peace within the collective society. Groupthink is essential in a society where everyone is to be controlled by those in power. Aldous Huxley once said, “It is possible to make people contented with their servitude. I think this can be done. I think it has been done in the past. I think it could be done even more effectively now because you can provide them with bread and circuses and you can provide them with endless amounts of distractions and propaganda.”

http://www.infowars.com/we-are-living-in-an-artificially-induced-state-of-consciousness/

Internet Anonymity: Why It Really Does Matter

September 5, 2009

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Robert X. Cringely, InfoWorld

Over the last few weeks I’ve spent probably too much time thinking and writing about the Liskula Cohen libel case (“Skanks for nothing: Google must identify ‘anonymous’ blogger” and “A skank discussion: Privacy, anonymity, and misogyny.”)

Mostly because a) it’s a lot of fun, and b) it concerns one of my favorite topics, the always lively Internet Anonymity vs. Privacy vs. Personal Responsibility debate. Besides, how often does an IT blogger get to write about catty supermodels, skanky or otherwise?

[ Also on InfoWorld: “A skank discussion: Privacy, anonymity, and misogyny” | Stay up to date on Robert X. Cringely’s musings and observations with InfoWorld’sNotes from the Underground newsletter. ]

Today I’m hitting that topic again, but from the opposite direction.

Despite what some tenacious commenters may have thought, I was not defending the right of the now-not-so-anonymous blogger (better known as 29-year-oldRosemary Port) to anonymously defame. Otherwise, the Internet would be one big slanderfest (or, at least, more of a slanderfest than it already is). There needs to be some disincentive for completely juvenile behavior.

But today brings news of a case where anonymity on the Net absolutely needs to be protected. It too involves a court subpoena ordering Google to turn over private information; in this case, the names of the owners oftcijournal@gmail.com, the e-mail address for The TCI Journal, a muckracking news site based in the Turks & Caicos Islands.

Apparently, people in T&C don’t spend all their time listening to Jimmy Buffet, eating conch, and drinking mojitos out of hollowed-out pineapples with little umbrellas stuck in them. They also spend time exposing people who allegedly bribe government officials.

Attorneys for one of the alleged bribers, developer Dr. Cem Kinay, are now suing The TCI Journal in California in what some are calling a case of “libel tourism.” (Not to be confused with a defamation vacation.) In other words, the developer in T&C chose to sue in a California court because U.S. courts make it easier to demand a company’s records.

Here, nobody is calling anyone a skank. The TCI Journal mostly appears to have been reporting on an inquiry into government corruption and reprinting letters from readers about the topic. Lawyers for the developer wanted the site to redact any mentions of the developer in its reports, which to its credit The TCI Journal declined to do.

According to Wikileaks, which knows a thing or two aboutfloating money laundering operations and whistle-blower anonymity, TCI’s anonymous journalism…

… culminated in a dramatic UK governance takeover of the Islands on August 14. A trail of evidence dug up by the TCI Journal, a UK commission of inquiry, and others, showed that foreign property developers were giving millions in secret loans and payments to senior Islander politicians, including an alleged $500,000 cash payment to the Island’s now former Premier, Michael Misick.

A litigious bunch, these developers also sued the commission and the T&C government to force it to redact the final commission report, blacking out their names. Not to worry, though: Wikileaks got a copy of theunredacted 266-page document and posted it online. The official redacted report is published at tci-inquiry.org. (If you’ve got time, scroll through the unredacted one — it’s a juicy read.)

Attorneys for the big developer have gone after the site’s Web host and domain registrar, managing to take the site offline for a few days. Now they’re attempting to wrest the owner’s information from Google.

According to Marshall Kirkpatrick at Read Write Web, Google sent the Journal a letter warning that unless TCI sends Google a letter asking them to quash the subpoena, they have no choice but to roll over on TCI.

TCI is not the New York Times by any stretch. It’s a tiny volunteer-run organization with cojones the size of coconuts. So in addition to reporting on government corruption, it’s been publishing all the nastygrams it’s received from Kinay’s legal team — which, of course,they also want redacted from the site.

Wait, it gets better. Someone calling him or herself “TCI Controversies” started the TCI Citizen blog at Blogger.com shortly after the unredacted report appeared. The blog’s sole purpose seems to be trashing The TCI Journal. Of course, it’s anonymous.

Someone (probably the same person, judging by the writing style) has also been planting anti-TCI Journal stories on sites like AllVoices, which will publish contributed articles from anyone without any human intervention.

Now I wonder if TCI Journal will sue Google to get the names of the folks behind that defamatory blog. Bet you 20 coconuts the authors have a more-than-casual relationship with those developers.

Attempts at suppressing negative press are hardly unheard of in this country — corporations try to do it all the time (Steve Jobs, your iPhone is buzzing). Few of them pursue it so aggressively, though, or try to stomp out the sources of bad news. Whether The TCI Journal survives probably depends on whether they can afford to pay attorneys to protect them.

So this is why anonymity is important: Not so people can make nasty comments about anyone else just because they feel like it, but to help the little guys who are trying to serve the public and don’t have the resources to protect themselves against corporate or government attacks. If Google can’t or won’t do it, someone else needs to.

Should the right to anonymity be protected? If so, how? E-mail me: robert_cringely@infoworld.com. (Hopefully, cringe@infoworld.com will be working again soon.)

http://www.pcworld.com/article/171204/internet_anonymity_why_it_really_does_matter.html

Japan Wants to Power 300,000 Homes With Wireless Energy From Space

September 5, 2009

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By Adrian Covert

Japan has serious plans to send a solar-panel-equipped satellite into space that could wirelessly beam a gigawatt-strong stream of power down to earth and power nearly 300,000 homes.

The satellite will have a surface area of four square kilometers, and transmit power via microwave to a base station on Earth. Putting solar panels in space bypasses many of the difficulties of installing them on Earth: in orbit, there are no cloudy days, very few zoning laws, and the cold ambient temperature is ideal.

A small test model is scheduled for launch in 2015. To iron out all the kinks and get a fully functional system set up is estimated to take three decades. A major kink, presumably, is coping with the possible dangers when a 1-gigawatt microwave beam aimed at a small spot on Earth misses its target.

The $21 billion project just received major backing from Mitsubishi and designer IHI (in addition to research teams from 14 other countries).

[via Bloomberg via Inhabitat]

http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2009-09/japan-wants-power-300000-homes-wireless-power-space

Why Won’t Healthcare Workers Take The Swine Flu Vaccine?

September 4, 2009

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by Rachel Friedman

Can vaccinations actually fuel pandemics? According to a study released August 26, 2009 by the British Medical Journal, more than half of Hong Kong’s healthcare workers surveyed said they would refuse the H1N1 shot, which is not yet available, because they are afraid of side effects and doubt how safe and effective it will be.

More importantly, the study suggested the trend would be repeated worldwide.

“The truth is that vaccines aren’t effective, generally carry dangerous side effects, and in many cases actually fuel the spread of pandemics,” said Dr. Leonard Horowitz, a Harvard Universitytrained medical researcher who also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health. “The fact is that most healthcare workers know this, and they don’t trust that any swine flu vaccine will do anything but cause more problems and potential harm to the patients they care for.”

In Dr. Horowitz’s view, vaccines do more harm than good, and are little more than a way for the pharmaceutical companies to profit from epidemics and side effects.

“In April, 2009, the swine flu scare placed the world at high alert thanks to gads of suspicious publicity,” Dr. Horowitz said. “Anglo-American officials and Reuters News Service first claimed this was a rapidly spreading combination of the world’s scariest flu’s – swine, avian and Spanish flu viruses. They were all said to be rolled up in this never-before-seen Mexican pathogen.”

The scare, however, seemed to have less substance than volume, as the thousands of U.S. deaths that were predicted never happened, Dr. Horowitz added.

http://www.postchronicle.com/news/original/article_212254207.shtml

Historical facts about the dangers (and failures) of vaccines

August 31, 2009

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Saturday, August 29, 2009 by: Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) Vaccines are the quackery of modern medicine. Mass vaccination programs not only fail to protect the population from infectious disease, they actuallyaccelerate the spread of disease in many cases.

Many website have cropped up over the last few years to counter the pro-vaccine propaganda put out by drug companies (who profit from vaccines) and health regulators (who serve the drug companies). One of those sites iswww.VaccinationDebate.com , which lists the following historical facts about vaccines:

• In the USA in 1960, two virologists discovered that bothpolio vaccines were contaminated with the SV 40 virus which causes cancer in animals as well as changes in human cell tissue cultures. Millions of children had been injected with these vaccines. (Med Jnl of Australia 17/3/1973 p555)

• In 1871-2, England, with 98% of the population aged between 2 and 50 vaccinated against smallpox, it experienced its worst ever smallpox outbreak with 45,000 deaths. During the same period in Germany, with avaccination rate of 96%, there were over 125,000 deaths from smallpox. (http://www.soilandhealth.org/02/020…)
The Hadwen Documents

• In Germany, compulsory mass vaccination against diphtheria commenced in 1940 and by 1945 diphtheria cases were up from 40,000 to 250,000. (Don’t Get Stuck, Hannah Allen)

• In 1967, Ghana was declared measles free by the World Health Organisation after 96% of its population was vaccinated. In 1972, Ghana experienced one of its worst measles outbreaks with its highest ever mortality rate. (Dr H Albonico, MMR Vaccine Campaign in Switzerland, March 1990)

• In 1977, Dr Jonas Salk who developed the first polio vaccine, testified along with other scientists, that mass inoculation against polio was the cause of most polio cases throughout the USA since 1961. (Science 4/4/77 “Abstracts” )

• In the UK between 1970 and 1990, over 200,000 cases of whooping cough occurred in fully vaccinated children. (Community Disease Surveillance Centre, UK)

• In the 1970’s a tuberculosis vaccine trial in India involving 260,000 people revealed that more cases of TB occurred in the vaccinated than the unvaccinated. (The Lancet 12/1/80 p73)

• In 1978, a survey of 30 States in the US revealed that more than half of the children who contracted measles had been adequately vaccinated. (The People’s Doctor, Dr R Mendelsohn)

• The February 1981 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 90% of obstetricians and 66% of pediatricians refused to take the rubella vaccine.

• In 1979, Sweden abandoned the whooping cough vaccine due to its ineffectiveness. Out of 5,140 cases in 1978, it was found that 84% had been vaccinated three times! (BMJ 283:696-697, 1981)

• In the USA, the cost of a single DPT shot had risen from 11 cents in 1982 to $11.40 in 1987. The manufacturers of the vaccine were putting aside $8 per shot to cover legal costs and damages they were paying out to parents of brain damaged children and children who died after vaccination. (The Vine, Issue 7, January 1994, Nambour, Qld)

http://www.naturalnews.com/026940_vaccines_vaccination_health.html

Bill would give president Obama emergency control of Internet

August 29, 2009

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by Declan McCullagh

Internet companies and civil liberties groups were alarmed this spring when a U.S. Senate billproposed handing the White House the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet.

They’re not much happier about a revised version that aides to Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a West Virginia Democrat, have spent months drafting behind closed doors. CNET News has obtained a copy of the 55-page draft of S.773 (excerpt), which still appears to permit the president to seize temporary control of private-sector networks during a so-called cybersecurity emergency.

The new version would allow the president to “declare a cybersecurity emergency” relating to “non-governmental” computer networks and do what’s necessary to respond to the threat. Other sections of the proposal include a federal certification program for “cybersecurity professionals,” and a requirement that certain computer systems and networks in the private sector be managed by people who have been awarded that license.

“I think the redraft, while improved, remains troubling due to its vagueness,” said Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which counts representatives of Verizon, Verisign, Nortel, and Carnegie Mellon University on its board. “It is unclear what authority Sen. Rockefeller thinks is necessary over the private sector. Unless this is clarified, we cannot properly analyze, let alone support the bill.”

Representatives of other large Internet and telecommunications companies expressed concerns about the bill in a teleconference with Rockefeller’s aides this week, but were not immediately available for interviews on Thursday.

A spokesman for Rockefeller also declined to comment on the record Thursday, saying that many people were unavailable because of the summer recess. A Senate source familiar with the bill compared the president’s power to take control of portions of the Internet to what President Bush did when grounding all aircraft on Sept. 11, 2001. The source said that one primary concern was the electrical grid, and what would happen if it were attacked from a broadband connection.

When Rockefeller, the chairman of the Senate Commerce committee, and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) introduced the original bill in April, they claimed it was vital to protect national cybersecurity. “We must protect our critical infrastructure at all costs–from our water to our electricity, to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records,” Rockefeller said.

The Rockefeller proposal plays out against a broader concern in Washington, D.C., about the government’s role in cybersecurity. In May, President Obama acknowledged that the government is “not as prepared” as it should be to respond to disruptions and announced that a new cybersecurity coordinator position would be created inside the White House staff. Three months later, that post remains empty, one top cybersecurity aide has quit, and some wags have begun to wonder why a government that receives failing marks on cybersecurity should be trusted to instruct the private sector what to do.

Rockefeller’s revised legislation seeks to reshuffle the way the federal government addresses the topic. It requires a “cybersecurity workforce plan” from every federal agency, a “dashboard” pilot project, measurements of hiring effectiveness, and the implementation of a “comprehensive national cybersecurity strategy” in six months–even though its mandatory legal review will take a year to complete.

The privacy implications of sweeping changes implemented before the legal review is finished worry Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco. “As soon as you’re saying that the federal government is going to be exercising this kind of power over private networks, it’s going to be a really big issue,” he says.

Probably the most controversial language begins in Section 201, which permits the president to “direct the national response to the cyber threat” if necessary for “the national defense and security.” The White House is supposed to engage in “periodic mapping” of private networks deemed to be critical, and those companies “shall share” requested information with the federal government. (“Cyber” is defined as anything having to do with the Internet, telecommunications, computers, or computer networks.)

“The language has changed but it doesn’t contain any real additional limits,” EFF’s Tien says. “It simply switches the more direct and obvious language they had originally to the more ambiguous (version)…The designation of what is a critical infrastructure system or network as far as I can tell has no specific process. There’s no provision for any administrative process or review. That’s where the problems seem to start. And then you have the amorphous powers that go along with it.”

Translation: If your company is deemed “critical,” a new set of regulations kick in involving who you can hire, what information you must disclose, and when the government would exercise control over your computers or network.

The Internet Security Alliance’s Clinton adds that his group is “supportive of increased federal involvement to enhance cyber security, but we believe that the wrong approach, as embodied in this bill as introduced, will be counterproductive both from an national economic and national secuity perspective.”

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10320096-38.html

New battery could change world, one house at a time

August 28, 2009

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Randy Wright – Daily Herald

In a modest building on the west side of Salt Lake City, a team of specialists in advanced materials and electrochemistry has produced what could be the single most important breakthrough for clean, alternative energy since Socrates first noted solar heating 2,400 years ago.

The prize is the culmination of 10 years of research and testing — a new generation of deep-storage battery that’s small enough, and safe enough, to sit in your basement and power your home.

It promises to nudge the world to a paradigm shift as big as the switch from centralized mainframe computers in the 1980s to personal laptops. But this time the mainframe is America’s antiquated electrical grid; and the switch is to personal power stations in millions of individual homes.

Former energy secretary Bill Richardson once disparaged the U.S. electrical grid as “third world,” and he was painfully close to the mark. It’s an inefficient, aging relic of a century-old approach to energy and a weak link in national security in an age of terrorism.

Taking a load off the grid through electricity production and storage at home would extend the life of the system and avoid the expenditure of tens, or even hundreds, of billions to make it “smart.”

The battery breakthrough comes from a Salt Lake company called Ceramatec, the R&D arm of CoorsTek, a world leader in advanced materials and electrochemical devices. It promises to reduce dependence on the dinosaur by hooking up with the latest generation of personalized power plants that draw from the sun.

Solar energy has been around, of course, but it’s been prohibitively expensive. Now the cost is tumbling, driven by new thin-film chemistry and manufacturing techniques. Leaders in the field include companies like Arizona-based First Solar, which can paint solar cells onto glass; and Konarka, an upstart that purchased a defunct Polaroid film factory in New Bedford, Mass., and now plans to print cells onto rolls of flexible plastic.

The convergence of these two key technologies — solar power and deep-storage batteries — has profound implications for oil-strapped America.

“These batteries switch the whole dialogue to renewables,” said Daniel Nocera, a noted chemist and professor of energy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who sits on Ceramatec’s science advisory board. “They will turn us away from dumb technology, circa 1900 — a 110-year-old approach — and turn us forward.”

Why not just upgrade to a so-called “smart grid” as President Obama has proposed in his economic stimulus package? There are complications, Nocera said.

“First you have to rebuild the grid because the one we have now is a creaky machine from the 1920s, and we keep trying to retrofit it,” he said. “Then you’re going to have computers trying to manage the energy, which brings up issues like security. You have to make it really secure so you don’t have people hacking into things. And then politics. Just wait until you try to run power lines through someone’s backyard.

“I can’t imagine anything more secure than generating my own energy with the sun at my house, and now I’ll have a way to store it. It’s the ultimate in security, and the ultimate in control.”

With small-scale electrical generation taking place at millions of individual homes — as opposed to today’s large-scale power generation from a handful of giant power plants — there would be less worry about what’s called “point failure” on the grid. That’s when a single component gets knocked out and shuts off power to a whole region. California-style rolling blackouts would be history.

The threat of terrorism has heightened the worry. But wide distribution of batteries in homes would virtually eliminate it.

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Volunteers Forum Attacked and Hacked!

August 28, 2009

I just received this Skype message from General Bert:

We have to send out an emergency notice to all of our forums and an emergency Health Freedom Action eAlert blast telling all Health Freedom supporters that our NSCC Yahoo! Forum for Health Freedonm Volunteers has been hacked and attacked – in fact, actually removed from Yahoo! by stealthbecausewhat we are doing is so important! 

Someone realizes that the more hands – and hearts – we have committed to health and freedom, the more powerful we are.  They knew that our Wednesday calls and our volunteer program are dynamic and gaining members all the time. Clearly, we are a significant threat to them.
– ANS”

Volunteers are important  Perhaps we did not realizehowimportant until  now: Natural Solutions Foundation’s Volunteer Forum, NSCC has disappeared from the Internet! None of our other forums has been harmed.. makes one wonder?

You  can see all the forum links (and more) at our Social Networking page:

http://www.healthfreedomusa.org/?p=713

Clearly, the more hands we have to do the work of health freedom, the more effective we will be.  So what better way to attack us than to cut off our communications?

While no one’s private information was jeopardized, the Forum held our contact list of Volunteers, their entries in the Skills Database, the Volunteer Calendar and our accumulated Volunteer Messages. We have emailed Yahoo requesting an investigation.

It’s something that the other side has tried before.  Instead of erasing us from the map, it lets people know just how meaningful their efforts for health freedom are and we come back stronger each time!

Is this a way to make sure that we cannot follow-up with the Emergency FDA “Stop the Shot” Petition?

We need all of you who had joined the NSCC forum to join our new volunteer forum ASAP:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NSF-volunteers/

Like other NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) Natural Solutions depends on the work of volunteers to do all the things we do to make your Push Backpossible – and to make it work! So, it is not surprising that this one forum out of nearly a dozen should be attacked.

General Bert tells me that we need to meet this sort of attack head-on and should consider such attacks to be demonstrations of the strength and increasing ability to impact public affairs. By refusing to be intimidated; by picking ourselves up and rebuilding our Volunteer Communications, we grow even stronger.

Thank you for your continued support!

Ralph Fucetola JD
Foundation Trustee

‘Skanks’ Blogger Unmasked by Google Vows to Sue Company

August 25, 2009

skanks-blog

By Kim Zetter

Wired.com

An anonymous blogger unmasked by Google last week following a court order has vowed to sue the internet giant for violating her privacy.

Rosemary Port, who operated a blog called “Skanks in NYC,” was outed last week after failing in her efforts to quash a subpoena served on Google, whose Blogger service hosted Skanks.

Port’s lawyer, Salvatore Strazzullo, now plans to sue Google for $15 million for breaching its “fiduciary duty to protect her expectation of anonymity.” He told the New York Daily News that he’s prepared to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court.

“Our Founding Fathers wrote ‘The Federalist Papers’ under pseudonyms,” Strazzullo told the Daily News. “Inherent in the First Amendment is the right to speak anonymously. Shouldn’t that right extend to the new public square of the Internet?”

Port, a 29-year-old student at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, launched Skanks last year. It published only five posts, all devoted to attacking model Liskula Cohen, a 37-year-old who has reportedly modeled for Australian Vogue, Georgio Armani and Versace. In the posts, Cohen was called a “psychotic, lying, whoring . . . skank” and an “old hag,” and was depicted as a desperate “fortysomething” who was past her prime.

Cohen then subpoenaed Google in an effort to unmask her critic’s identity with the aim of filing a defamation suit against the blog author once the identity was known. Google provided Port with notice of the subpoena, giving the blogger an opportunity to anonymously challenge the subpoena in court.

Cohen charged that the blog comments harmed her career and caused potential clients to question her suitability to represent their products. Port’s lawyer argued that the posts in question amounted to nothing more than vague insults on par with calling someone a “jerk.”

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Joan Madden ruled that Cohen demonstrated sufficient claims for the defamation lawsuit, and ordered Google to comply with the subpoena. Madden said that the words, posted in conjunction with provocative photos of Cohen, implied that the model was “a sexually promiscuous woman,” belying that the comments were merely opinion or hyperbole.

Google complied with the order, but Port essentially asserts that Google should have defied the court to protect her First Amendment right to call Cohen a skank anonymously.

Port has blamed Cohen for any negative attention the blog might have brought her, telling the Daily News that until Cohen sued Google no one had seen the blog, and that by filing a public suit that brought attention to the matter, Cohen had “defamed herself.”

“Before her suit, there were probably two hits on my website: One from me looking at it, and one from her looking at it,” Port told the paper. “That was before it became a spectacle. I feel my right to privacy has been violated.”

The Daily News reports that the two women were acquainted through Manhattan’s fashion scene and had quarreled after Cohen badmouthed Port to her ex-boyfriend. Cohen told the paper that she has decided not to proceed with filing a $3 million defamation suit against Port and is satisfied that the blogger was identified.

Update: This post has been corrected to properly reflect the legislative history of the case and note that the discovery subpoena against Google was filed prior to a defamation suit being filed.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/08/blogger-unmasked/

CLG Pandemic Action Alerts

August 24, 2009

http://www.legitgov.org/pandemic_action.html

22083152e6fa835053d47b4a4df6c3081

Worldwide battle rages for control of the internet

August 24, 2009

internet filter2

21 August 2009 by Jim Giles

Newscientist.com

WHEN thousands of protestors took to the streets in Iran following this year’s disputed presidential election, Twitter messages sent by activists let the world know about the brutal policing that followed. A few months earlier, campaigners in Moldova used Facebook to organise protests against the country’s communist government, and elsewhere too the internet is playing an increasing role in political dissent.

Now governments are trying to regain control. By reinforcing their efforts to monitor activity online, they hope to deprive dissenters of information and the ability to communicate.

The latest evidence of these clampdowns comes in a report on the Middle East and north Africa by the OpenNet Initiative (ONI), a collaboration of researchers based in the UK and North America. Among the restrictions it reports are clampdowns on Facebook in Syria and the use of hidden cameras in Saudi Arabia’s internet cafes.

Most of these actions are aimed at stifling political debate. “Political filtering is the common denominator,” says Helmi Noman of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society in Boston, who compiled the report. “It’s the main target.”

Noman asked volunteers to check whether roughly 2000 sites covering a range of subjects, including gambling, political news and humour, are accessible in various countries. He also examined government eavesdropping schemes and the actions of local law enforcers.

The survey showed that governments in the Middle East and north Africa routinely block sites that host discussions critical of their policies or that cover human rights issues. Opposition parties’ sites are also censored.

At times entire social networking services, including Twitter, are unavailable, and the same goes for the YouTube video-sharing site. Orkut, a social networking site, is offline in the United Arab Emirates. The BBC Persian site cannot be accessed from Iran. The governments’ task of blocking internet access is made easier because many countries in the region have only a handful of service providers.

Governments also keep tabs on who is using the internet and what they are viewing. In March, newspapers in Saudi Arabia reported that police had started visiting internet cafes to ensure that owners had installed cameras to monitor users, as the country’s law requires. In Jordan, cafe owners have to record their customers’ names and monitor the sites they visit.

Noman says that filtering and monitoring have become more widespread as the internet’s role in political activity has increased. “More activists are going online and more activists are being created online,” he says.

Monitoring has become more widespread as the internet’s role in political activity has increased

Health Care Bill Would Allow Feds To Snoop in Your Checkbook

August 22, 2009

nsa_1984

Congressman John Shadegg calls the language in the healthcare bill “pretty troubling.”

Read Through The ENTIRE Obama Care Bill!

(KFYI News) Half of Congress is in recess, but debate continues over President Obama’s health care program concerning privacy.

Section 163 of the bill states that the government would be allowed real-time access to a person’s bank records – including direct access to bank accounts for electronic fund transfers.

Even-though the bill mentions privacy aspects, the fact remains that if approved, Obama’s health care plan will give the government permission at any time to your personal bank records.

Arizona Congressman John Shadegg says people have the right to be concerned.

“It’s pretty Orwellian, it certainly gets the government pretty darn deeply involved in private matters in our lives.”

http://kfyi.com/cc-common/news/sections/newsarticle.html?feed=118695&article=5824042

The vaccines are far more deadly than the swine flu

August 22, 2009

baby-vac

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins
Global Research
August 21, 2009

The vaccines are far more deadly than the swine flu. Mass vaccinations is a recipe for disaster Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Prof. Joe Cummins

This report has been submitted to Sir Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer of the UK, and to the US Food and Drugs Administration

A swine flu outbreak occurred in Mexico and the United States in April 2009 and spread rapidly around the world by human-to human transmission. The new type A H1N1 influenza virus is unlike any that had been previously isolated [1, 2], judging from the first data released in May.

It is a messy combination of sequences from bird, human and swine flu virus lineages from North America and Eurasia. A senior virologist based in Canberra, Australia, told the press he thought that the virus could have been created in a laboratory and released by accident [3]. Some analysts even suggest, without corroborating evidence, that it was made intentionally as a bioweapon [4], while others blame the intensive livestock industry and extensive trafficking of love animals over long distances, which provide plenty of opportunity for generating exotic recombinants [5].

But what worries the public most is the mass vaccination programmes governments are putting in place to combat the emerging pandemic, which could well be worse than the pandemic itself.

Watchdog opposes fast-track vaccine for school children

The US government is intending to vaccinate all children in September when school re-opens, and the country’s vaccine watchdog National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) has called on the Obama Administration and all state Governors to provide evidence that the move is [6] “necessary and safe”, demanding “strong mechanisms for vaccine safety screening, recording, monitoring, reporting and vaccine injury compensation.”

The US Departments of Health and Homeland Security had declared a national public health emergency in April soon after the swine flu outbreak. As a result, some schools were closed, people quarantined, and drug companies were given contracts worth $7billon to make vaccines that are being fast tracked by the Food and Drugs Administration [7]. That means they will only be tested for a few weeks on several hundred children and adult volunteers before being given to all school children this fall.

Furthermore, under federal legislation passed by Congress since 2001, an Emergency Use Authorization allows drug companies, health officials and anyone administering experimental vaccines to Americans during a declared public health emergency to be protected from liability if people get injured. US Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has granted vaccine makers total legal immunity from any lawsuits that may result from any new swine flu vaccine. And some states may make the vaccination mandatory by law.

The NVIC is asking whether the states are prepared to obey vaccine safety provisions in the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act, which include: 1. Giving parents written information about vaccine benefits and risks before children are vaccinated; 2. Keeping a record of which vaccines the children get, including the manufacturer’s name and lot number; 3. Recording which vaccines were given in the child’s medical record; and 4. Recording serious health problems that develop after vaccination in the child’s medical record and immediately making a report to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System.

NVIC also wants to know if the states are prepared to provide financial compensation to children injured by the swine flu vaccines, whether parents will be given “complete, truthful information about swine flu vaccine risks”, and have the right to say “no” to vaccination.

Co-founder and president of NVIC Barbara Loe Fisher said [6]: “Parents and legislators should be asking themselves right now: Why are children the first to get experimental swine flu vaccines? Are schools equipped to get signed informed consent from parents before vaccination, keep accurate vaccination records and screen out children biologically at high risk for suffering vaccine reactions? Will people giving these vaccines know how to monitor children afterwards and immediately record, report and treat serious health problems that develop? And will states have the financial resources to compensate children who are injured?”

WHO and mass vaccination fever

The mass vaccination order has come from the World Health Organization (WHO) [8]. In early July 2009, a group of vaccination experts concluded that the pandemic is unstoppable, and Marie-Paul Kieny, WHO director on vaccine research said all nations will need access to vaccines, and that a vaccine should be available as early as September.

Critics point out that the ‘vaccination experts’ are dominated by the vaccine makers standing to gain from the enormously lucrative vaccine and antiviral contracts awarded by governments. But the decisive argument against mass vaccinations is that flu shots simply don’t work and are dangerous [9].

Continue Article

Swine flu vaccine linked to deadly breathing disease

August 18, 2009

“If you don’t smell-a-rat then ya need your nose and mind-a fixed.”

-F.F.

article-1206988-0607C200000005DC-256_233x423

By Daily Mail Reporter

Doctors have been put on alert for a deadly disease linked to swine flu jabs.

The Health Protection Agency has told neurologists to look out for a rise in Guillain-Barr Syndrome – in which paralysis of the breathing muscles can cause death by suffocation – when vaccination starts in the next few weeks.

The link was made following a mass immunisation programme in the U.S., in which a swine flu jab was blamed for more deaths than the disease itself.

More than 40million Americans were vaccinated after an outbreak of swine flu at an army base in 1976.

The programme was abandoned after hundreds of cases of GBS were diagnosed and 25 died.

The flu, however, did not spread further than the base and claimed only one life.

In a letter to the Association of British Neurologists, Elizabeth Miller, head of immunisation at the HPA, said: ‘GBS has been identified as a condition needing enhanced surveillance when the swine flu vaccines are rolled out.’

The warning will add to concerns about the safety of the jab, which will be given to more than 13million Britons from October.

Professor Patrick Chinnery, of the Association of British Neurologists, said: ‘This is a belt-and-braces approach to safety and is not something people should be worried about as it’s a rare condition.’

Dr Neil Carman – Alex Jones – Water Fluoridation Part 1/6

August 18, 2009

Kids used to test flu vaccine?

August 17, 2009

Monsanto to Charge as Much as 42% More for New Seeds

August 17, 2009

FvtdL3

By Jack Kaskey

Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) — Monsanto Co., the world’s largest seed maker, plans to charge as much as 42 percent more for new genetically modified seeds next year than older offerings because they increase farmers’ output.

Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans will cost farmers an average of $74 an acre in 2010, and original Roundup Ready soybeans will cost $52 an acre, St. Louis-based Monsanto said today in presentations on its Web site. SmartStax corn seeds, developed with Dow Chemical Co., will cost $130 an acre, 17 percent more than the YieldGard triple-stack seeds they will replace.

“Our pricing has the flexibility built in to ensure the grower captures the greatest return from his seed investment, irrespective of market volatility,” Chief Executive Officer Hugh Grant said today in a statement.

Grant is introducing new modified seeds that boost yields as part of a plan to double gross profit from 2007 to 2012. The new soybeans, which resist Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, produce 7.4 percent more soybeans per acre than the older version. SmartStax kills insects in multiple ways, reducing the amount of conventional corn that must be planted to deter insecticide resistance.

“SmartStax pricing is higher than we initially expected,” Vincent Andrews, a New York-based analyst at Morgan Stanley, said today in a report.

Monsanto rose $1.57, or 1.9 percent, to $84.03 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares have gained 19 percent this year.

Acreage Forecasts

SmartStax corn seed will be planted on as many as 4 million acres in 2010, its first year on the market, with a potential for as many as 65 million acres in the U.S. eventually, the company said. The new seed boosts yields 5 percent to 10 percent compared with other products, partly by reducing the amount of land that must be planted with conventional corn to 5 percent from 20 percent, Monsanto said.

Pricing for SmartStax is at the high end of expectations, Laurence Alexander, a New York-based analyst at Jefferies & Co., said by telephone.

Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybean seeds were planted on 1.5 million acres this year and will be planted on as many as 8 million acres next year in the U.S. with a potential to one day reach 55 million acres, Monsanto said.

The company is pricing its seeds to share the benefit of increased yields with farmers, said Mark Gulley, a New York- based analyst at Soleil Securities. Prices include seed treatments designed to protect seedlings from pests and disease, Monsanto said.

“They are in essence splitting the value of the extra yield 50-50,” Gulley said by telephone.

Monsanto repeated its forecast for earnings in the fiscal year that ends this month at the low end of a range of $4.40 to $4.50 a share. The average estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was for profit of $4.41 a share.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jack Kaskey in New York atjkaskey@bloomberg.net

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aLW8VZBkP3PA

A video with some sensationalized images but the text is pointing to the truth

August 15, 2009

‘Don’t give Tamiflu to children’

August 12, 2009

tamiflu_205061t

By Jane Kirby, Press Association

Children should not be given the anti-viral drug Tamiflu to combat swine flu, Oxford University researchers said today.

They urged the Department of Health to urgently rethink its policy on giving the drugs to youngsters affected by the current flu pandemic.

Some 300,000 people in England, including children and adults, have received courses of Tamiflu through the Government’s National Pandemic Flu Service for England.

Today’s study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), warned that Tamiflu can cause vomiting in some children, which can lead to dehydration and the need for hospital treatment.

The researchers said children should not be given the drug if they have a mild form of the illness although they urged parents and GPs to remain vigilant for signs of complications.

Parents of children with a compromised immune system or a condition like cystic fibrosis should discuss the harms and benefits with their GP, they said.

But overall, the researchers said, children who were otherwise healthy could suffer more harm than benefit from taking Tamiflu or another anti-viral, Relenza.

They found the drugs had little or no effect on asthma flare-ups, ear infections or the likelihood of a youngster needing antibiotics.

The researchers also found that using anti-virals preventatively had little effect – reducing transmission of flu by 8 per cent.

This means 13 children would have to be treated to prevent one additional case of the flu.

However, anti-virals could reduce symptoms by between half a day and one day.

Dr Carl Heneghan, a GP and clinical lecturer at Oxford University, said the current policy of giving Tamiflu for mild illness was an “inappropriate strategy”.

He added: “The downside of the harms outweigh the one-day reduction in symptomatic benefits.”

He and Dr Matthew Thompson, a GP and senior clinical scientist at Oxford University, analysed four studies involving children aged one to 12.

The children were being treated for normal seasonal flu but Dr Thompson said the findings would extend to the current swine flu pandemic.

“I don’t think we have got any reason to think our results would be any different,” he said.

“The current swine flu is generally a mild flu illness…it does not seem that different from current seasonal flu.

“We would be happy to say our results apply to the current swine flu strain.”

He said children with mild symptoms should be treated in the same way as if they had any other mild flu – with drinks to cool high temperatures and rest.

Dr Heneghan said the only benefit found in the study was that children were back to normal half a day to one day earlier if taking Tamiflu or Relenza.

He said his advice to GPs was “not to rely on Tamiflu as a treatment to reduce complications” or to think of it as a “magic bullet”.

And he warned that widespread use of Tamiflu could result in the flu becoming resistant to the drug.

“What is a problem going forward – like with antibiotics – is you run into a resistance issue.

“Going forward we have a treatment which is ineffective because we’ve given it to everybody.”

Both researchers called on the Department of Health to review its current policy.

Dr Thompson said: “It’s possible a more conservative strategy (such as) reserving these anti-viral drugs for people, for children who are more likely to have complications of the illness might be a more sensible strategy.”

Dr Heneghan added: “I think the Government should be looking at this urgently, this week.”

The experts said the studies had been publicly available to the Government before it formulated its current strategy with regard to Tamiflu.

And they said the Government should have demanded more data from the pharmaceutical companies which manufacture the drugs – Roche, which makes Tamiflu, and GlaxoSmithKline, which makes Relenza.

Today’s research was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) and follows two recent studies which found that more than half of children taking Tamiflu suffered side-effects such as nausea, insomnia and nightmares.

Experts from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) found a high proportion of British schoolchildren reporting problems after taking the anti-viral preventatively.

The experts behind one of the studies said that although children may have attributed symptoms which were due to other illnesses to the use of Tamiflu, that was “unlikely to account for all the symptoms experienced”.

That study was carried out in April and May – before the Government decided to stop using Tamiflu preventatively.

Only those with suspected or confirmed swine flu are now getting the drug and are being urged to get access to Tamiflu through the Pandemic Flu Service, which is accessed online or via a telephone helpline.

Children are known to be at high risk of catching the flu, with more than 40% of pre-school children getting the virus and 30% of school-age children doing so, the researchers said.

A Department of Health spokesman dismissed the researchers’ claims that their findings would also apply to swine flu.

“The BMJ review is based on seasonal flu and not swine flu,” he said.

“As the authors note, the extent to which the findings can be applied to the current pandemic is questionable – after all, we already know that swine flu behaves differently to seasonal flu, and past pandemics have hit younger people hardest.

“Whilst there is doubt about how swine flu affects children, we believe a safety-first approach of offering anti-virals to everyone remains a sensible and responsible way forward.”

He said the policy would be kept under review and people with mild symptoms “may find bed rest and over-the-counter flu remedies work for them.

“But for those who experience severe symptoms, the best scientific advice tells us that Tamiflu should still be taken as soon as possible – and to suggest otherwise is potentially dangerous.

“If people are in any doubt about whether to take Tamiflu, they should contact their GP.”

Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb said: “This analysis needs to be taken extremely seriously and demands an immediate response from the Government.

“An urgent review must be carried out into whether the benefits of prescribing certain anti-viral drugs are worth the risks when it comes to our children’s health.”

A total of 36 people in England have died after getting swine flu.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/dont-give-tamiflu-to-children-1770154.html

Amass Opposition to PASS Act

August 11, 2009

Dear 5-11 Campaign Supporters,

We are working on an action alert and national press recourse for a move to increase awareness against the PASS Act and to support continuing repeal efforts in Washington.  Jim Babka,  put together another weekly action alert to continue actions moving on this issue.  I figured we would send it along.  The more the merrier.

Also, please check in for additional updates on BeatTheChip.org.  We added a column for Jim Harper, when he bashes on National ID issues.

We agree wholeheartedly PASS Act is Real ID 2.0 with your permissions. Please write an independent letter to your Congressional leaders today.  For suggestions visit our new PASS Act page on 511Campaign.org.

FIND YOUR FEDERAL CONGRESSIONAL/SENATE LEADERS HERE:

http://www.congress.org/congressorg/directory/congdir.tt

511Campaign.org

FROM DOWNSIZE D.C.

Quote of the Day: “PASS Act is REAL ID 2.0” — Electronic Privacy Information Center

Subject: They haven’t quit, so we won’t quit

The American people don’t want a national ID card. Nevertheless, the REAL ID Act remains on the books, and the PASS Act (S. 1261) is still waiting in the wings to replace it. Here’s the official description of the PASS Act . . .

“A bill to repeal title II of the REAL ID Act of 2005 and amend title II of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to better protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of personally identifiable information collected by States when issuing driver’s licenses and identification documents, and for other purposes.”

That doesn’t really tell you much does it? It sounds like the PASS Act is designed to protect you from identity theft. Some people could also assume that the REAL ID Act is being repealed, but in reality . . .

* The PASS Act is similar to the REAL ID scheme for a national identity card
* The PASS Act could make identity theft easier because of it’s reliance on centralized databases and RFID chips that can be read at a distance

Our politicians are nothing if not tenacious. They don’t quit, so we can’t quit either. We must show them that we have more staying power than they do. It’s time to ask, once again, that Congress repeal the REAL ID Act and kill the PASS Act. You can send a letter to your Congressional employees using our Educate the Powerful System (sm).

Here’s what I’m saying in my personal comments to my House rep., and to my two Senators . . .

“I’ve asked you repeatedly to repeal the READ ID Act. Please be aware that I know you have the power to introduce legislation to accomplish this goal. You do not need permission from anyone to draft and introduce such legislation. Just do it, so that others can follow the banner you raise. Neither I, nor the vast majority of the American people, want either the REAL ID Act or its proposed replacement, the so-called PASS Act. You can earn major brownie points with me by introducing legislation to repeal REAL ID, but you will earn major demerits if you do not introduce such legislation. I am paying attention.”

Use DownsizeDC.org’s “Repeal READ ID” campaign to send your letter to Congress.
http://www.downsizedc.org/etp/campaigns/30.

In addition, if one of your Senators appears in the following list of co-sponsors of the PASS Act (S.1261) please call them and say the following: “I’m disappointed that my Senator is co-sponsoring the PASS Act. I would much prefer that he introduce legislation repeal the REAL ID Act.”

Here’s the list: Sen Alexander, Lamar , Sen Baucus, Max , Sen Burris, Roland , Sen Carper, Thomas R. , Sen Leahy, Patrick J. , Sen Lieberman, Joseph I. , Sen Tester, Jon , Sen Voinovich, George V.

Thank you for being a member of the growing Downsize DC Army. To see how fast we’re growing, as well as the latest member of the Read the Bills Act Coalition, please check out the Keeping Score Report below my signature.

Jim Babka
President
DownsizeDC.org, Inc.

End Dangerous ID

August 11, 2009

August 10, 2009

Dear Friend of Liberty,

Unbelievably, Congress and the Obama administration are currently trying to resurrect the failed REAL ID Act, more accurately named “Dangerous ID.” 

Dangerous ID, which passed in 2005, establishes a de facto National Identification System, and opens the doors for Federal biometric tracking of every American citizen

Fortunately, no state currently complies with the burdensome mandates of the 2005 bill, and twenty-three have passed legislation refusing compliance. 

So what does the Obama Administration want to do? 

You guessed it: “Fix it,” and ram it down states’ throats. 

Well, I say “Repeal it.”  What do you say? 

You see, as Obama Administration Surveillance Czar Janet Napolitano pushes for a revamp of the system to get the invasive federal program up and running, there has never been a better time to for us to push back, and fight for an outright repeal of the original legislation

And although Dangerous ID is a clear attempt to establish a National ID System, the reality might be much worse — an INTERNATIONAL Identification System.  That’s why it is so critical we get that law off the books. 

You see, Dangerous ID actually requires that driver’s license photographs meet United Nation’s biometric format standards.  At this level of sophistication, government software can analyze facial characteristics and generate a unique identification number. 

Think about that for a moment — your identity will be reduced to a single number in an international database that can be tracked globally by one-world government surveillance cameras and facial recognition software

Last month, Senator Daniel Akaka introduced The PASS ID Act to tweak the 2005 Dangerous ID legislation and ram this program into action over state opposition. 

Supporters claim this REAL ID Redux bill softens requirements on states, supposedly making the breach of federalism a little more palatable.  But it is merely a transparent attempt to get the Dangerous ID system implemented in any form, only to be augmented later to meet government’s needs. 

In fact, there is evidence that this reincarnated Dangerous ID bill could wind up being worse than the original. 

Chief among the bill’s supporters is Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, who stands to wield expansive and virtually unchecked power to set standards. 

Under Dangerous ID, Napolitano can unilaterally expand required information on driver’s licenses, potentially to include biometric information such as retinal scans, fingerprints, DNA information, and even Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) radio tracking technology.

If international databases, RFID and biometric identification cards, and constant government surveillance are as alarming to you as they are to me, I hope you’ll click here to sign Campaign for Liberty’s petitionto stop REAL ID Redux and repeal Dangerous ID.

This is an important battle, and one we CAN win.

Just look at all the success stories in states that opted out of the Dangerous ID system.  In many cases, local C4L groups were instrumental in passing that legislation.

If REAL ID Redux passes, the new federal “concessions” may sucker many states into compliance.

That’s why it is so important that we defeat this reincarnation of Dangerous ID at the federal level, and take advantage of this national conversation to repeal the original bill.

So please, click here to sign the petitionurging your Senators and Representative to stop this so-called “PASS ID” and finally repeal the original Dangerous ID legislation. 

And please, make a generous contribution to help Campaign for Liberty spread the word about this important fight. 

In Liberty, 

John F. Tate
President 

P.S. REAL ID (a.k.a. “Dangerous ID”) is back on the move with a revamped version called PASS ID

To stop this move toward a National and International database and biometric ID Card, click here to sign the petitionurging Congress to stop REAL ID Redux and finally repeal Dangerous ID.  And please, make a generous contribution to help Campaign for Liberty spread the word.

Using New Laws for Swine Flu May Create a Perfect Storm

August 10, 2009

141107injection

By Meryl Nass, MD

1. The US government is using laws designed for dealing with a very deadly pandemic or bioterrorism to bring in a mass vaccination program for swine flu, specifically the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act of 2006.

http://www.hhs.gov/disasters/emergency/manmadedisasters/bioterorism/medication-vaccine-qa.html

2. This law removes liability from the manufacturer, medical practitioners who use the product, and from “government program planners” who decided on using the law. A suit can only be brought if the DHHS Secretary allows it, and if there is willful misconduct on the part of the manufacturer.

This law has been invoked for swine flu drugs (tamiflu and relenza)

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-14412.pdf

for swine flu vaccines, and for novel vaccine adjuvants (which may be used in vaccines to stretch the supply and possibly convey broader immunity)

http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/pdf/E9-14948.pdf

3. If testing of these products is very limited, then the manufacturers are unlikely to become aware of their flaws, and specifically their adverse effects. Then there can be no willful misconduct.

4. Due to the fear that swine flu will cause a large outbreak once students return to schools, where the virus might rapidly spread, the US government has stated that vaccine is likely to be available, and used, before clinical trials are completed.

WHO says vaccine will be ready in September. Novartis began testing in humans in late July, and Sanofi-Aventis and Glaxo-Smith Kline are starting now.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i-Qd-q3ALSGUV0tZqwFVoy1GlGfQD99TEJN81

The Europeans are also planning for use before testing is completed, despite warnings by experts about the potential dangers of untested vaccines.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iCajXBnuqbQEUf_cH4_dblpysz_gD99MCRJO1

5. The adjuvants likely to be used to strengthen vaccines and stretch the supply are named MF59 (Novartis) and ASO3 (Glaxo Smith-Kline). Only 3 vaccines using this type of adjuvant (oil-in-water, a.k.a. squalene-containing) have been licensed in Europe, and none have been given a license in the US. Two vaccines using these adjuvants are only used in people above the age of 65 (Fluad-MF59), and those with serious kidney disease (Fendrix-ASO4). Both advanced age and kidney failure weaken the immune system, so more powerful vaccines are needed, but in this population autoimmunity is unlikely to result from powerful immune stimulation. Cervarix is the third European vaccine (using adjuvant ASO4 against HPV) and its safety is controversial.

6. The then-Acting DHHS Secretary issued an Emergency Declaration in response to the swine flu epidemic on April 26, 2009. This allows use of unapproved (unlicensed) medical treatments and tests, or use of approved treatments for unapproved uses.

According to the Congressional Research Service, on April 27, 2009, the Food and Drug Administration issued four Emergency Use Authorizations in response to requests from the CDC to make available certain drugs, diagnostic tests and respiratory protection devices.

http://opencrs.com/document/R40560/

7. Vaccines containing MF59 and ASO3 have not had Emergency Use Authorizations issued for them–yet. However, the government has purchased $698 million dollars’ worth of these adjuvants in recent weeks.

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2009pres/07/20090713b.html

https://www.medicalcountermeasures.gov/BARDA/MCM/panflu/factsheet.aspx

US and WHO officials have indicated the likelihood of their use, which is the only way to achieve adequate amounts of vaccine for the US and world population in the fall.

8. These vaccines have never been demonstrated to be safe in children, pregnant women or young adults. They have not undergone comprehensive testing; for example, MF59 has not and will not be tested for carcinogenicity by the manufacturer.

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/NewsEvents/WorkshopsMeetingsConferences/ucm095708.pdf

See page 391 re MF59 carcinogenicity testing, according to a Novartis scientist.

9. The result of the new bioterrorism laws (passed with the expectation of use for much more dangerous epidemics than the current swine flu), which allow use of untested products AND give manufacturers an incentive to avoid comprehensive testing (to avoid being found guilty of willful misconduct) have combined with the political imperative to provide citizens vaccines in a hurry, yielding a Perfect Storm.

In the 1976 swine flu vaccine program, 40 million people were vaccinated with an inadequately tested vaccine. The government gave the vaccine manufacturers immunity from liability, but created an alternative compensation program. Five thousand people sought benefits for vaccine injuries.

Today, untested vaccines with novel adjuvants that are likely to cause more autoimmune illness than occurred in 1976 will almost certainly be used. The manufacturers have been given liability, as have the government program planners. But no compensation mechanism has been created. And the public has not been informed.


http://www.blacklistednews.com/news-5145-0-22-22–.html

Barack Opharma issues the ultimate bad news during his weekly Friday night bad news dump: Legal immunity set for swine flu vaccine makers

August 10, 2009

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run_d

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hjdCHrP82YTFser5vD6CzTK1az6wD99GH8580

17 Jul 2009 The last time the government embarked on a major vaccine campaign against a new swine flu, thousands filed claims contending they suffered side effects [paralysis, death] from the shots. This time, the government has already taken steps to head that off. Vaccine makers and federal officials will be immune from lawsuits that result from any new swine flu vaccine, under a document signed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, government health officials said Friday. The document signed by Sebelius last month grants immunity to those making a swine flu vaccine, under the provisions of a 2006 law for public health emergencies.

http://www.legitgov.org/baxter_vaccine_oddities.html

Diseased African Monkeys Used to Make Swine Flu Vaccines; Private Military Contractor Holds Key Patents

August 7, 2009

“She’s the only diseased monkey I see here.”

-F.F.

swine-flu-emergency

Wednesday, August 05, 2009 by: Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) To most people, vaccines sound medically harmless. “They’re good for you!” say the doctors and drug companies, but they never really talk about what’s in those vaccines. There’s a good reason for that: If people knew what was really in those vaccines, they would never allow themselves to be injected with them.

Aside from the dangerous ingredients many people already know about (like squalene or thimerosal), one of the key ingredients used in flu vaccines (including the vaccines being prepared for the swine flu pandemic) is the diseased flesh of African Green Monkeys. This is revealed in U.S. patent No. 5911998 – Method of producing a virus vaccine from an African green monkey kidney cell line.(http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5…)

As this patent readily explains, ingredients used in the vaccine are derived from the kidneys of African Green Monkeys who are first infected with the virus, then allowed to fester the disease, and then are killed so that their diseased organs can be used make vaccine ingredients. This is done in a cruel, inhumane “flesh factory” environment where the monkeys are subjected to a process that includes “incubating said inoculated cell line to permit proliferation of said virus.” Then: “harvesting the virus resulting from step (c); and… (ii) preparing a vaccine from the harvested virus.”

Aside from the outrageous cruelty taking place with all this (“incubating” the virus in the kidneys of living monkeys, for example), there’s another disturbing fact that has surfaced in all this: The patent for this process is held not just by the National Institutes of Health, but by another private corporation known as DynCorp.

This, of course, brings up the obvious question: Who is Dyncorp? And why do they hold a patent on live attenuated vaccine production using African Green Monkeys?

What you probably didn’t want to know about Dyncorp

DynCorp, it turns out, is a one of the top private military contractors working for the U.S. government. In addition to allegedly trafficking in under-age sex slaves in Bosnia (http://www.corpwatch.org/article.ph…) and poisoning rural farmers in Ecuador with its aerial spraying of Colombian coca crops (http://www.corpwatch.org/article.ph…), Dyncorp just happens to be paid big dollars by the U.S. government to patrol the U.S. / Mexico border, near where the H1N1 first swine flu virus was originally detected.

DynCorp also happens to be in a position to receive tremendous financial rewards from its patents covering attenuated live viral vaccine harvesting methods, as described in four key patents jointly held by DynCorp and the National Institutes of Health:

(6025182) Method for producing a virus from an African green monkey kidney cell line

(6117667) Method for producing an adapted virus population from an African green monkey kidney cell line (http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6…)

(5911998) Method of producing a virus vaccine from an African green monkey kidney cell line

(5646033) African green monkey kidney cell lines useful for maintaining viruses and for preparation of viral vaccines

Government collusion?

One of the key inventors in these patents now held by DynCorp was Dr. Robert H. Purcell. Who is Dr. Robert Purcell? He’s one of the co-chiefs of the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases operating under the National Institutes of Health of the U.S. government. (http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/labs/abou…)

Read More

Marines Ban Twitter, MySpace, Facebook

August 5, 2009

071214-recon2

  • By Noah Shachtman Email Author
  • August 3, 2009
    Wired.com

The U.S. Marine Corps has banned Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and other social media sites from its networks, effective immediately.

“These internet sites in general are a proven haven for malicious actors and content and are particularly high risk due to information exposure, user generated content and targeting by adversaries,” reads aMarine Corps order, issued Monday. “The very nature of SNS [social network sites] creates a larger attack and exploitation window, exposes unnecessary information to adversaries and provides an easy conduit for information leakage that puts OPSEC [operational security], COMSEC [communications security], [and] personnel… at an elevated risk of compromise.”

The Marines’ ban will last a year. It was drawn up in response to a late July warning from U.S. Strategic Command, which told the rest of the military it was considering a Defense Department-wide ban on the Web 2.0 sites, due to network security concerns. Scams, worms, and Trojans often spread unchecked throughout social media sites, passed along from one online friend to the next. “The mechanisms for social networking were never designed for security and filtering. They make it way too easy for people with bad intentions to push malicious code to unsuspecting users,” a Stratcom source told Danger Room.

Yet many within the Pentagon’s highest ranks find value in the Web 2.0 tools. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has 4,000 followers on Twitter. The Department of Defense is getting ready to unveil a new home page, packed with social media tools. The Army recently ordered all U.S. bases to provide access to Facebook. Top generals now blog from the battlefield.

“OPSEC is paramount. We will have procedures in place to deal with that,” Price Floyd, the Pentagon’s newly-appointed social media czar, told Danger Room. “What we can’t do is let security concerns trump doing business. We have to do business… We need to be everywhere men and women in uniform are and the public is. If that’s MySpace and YouTube, that’s where we need to be, too.”

The Marines say they will issue waivers to the Web 2.0 blockade, if a “mission critical need” can be proven.  And they will continue to allow access to the military’s internal “SNS-like services.” But for most members of the Corps, access to the real, public social networks is now shut off for the next year.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/08/marines-ban-twitter-myspace-facebook/

Obama passing new law to allow searching of PC’s, Laptops, and media devices

August 4, 2009

A cancerous conspiracy to poison your faith in organic food

August 3, 2009

article-0-02071C450000044D-785_468x338

By Joanna Blythman

Despite its obvious benefits for our health and for the environment, organic food continues to be denigrated by the political and corporate establishment in Britain.

The food industry, in alliance with pharmaceutical and big biotechnology companies, has waged a long, often cynical campaign to convince the public that mass-produced, chemically-assisted and intensively-farmed products are just as good as organic foods, despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

The latest assault in this propaganda exercise comes from the Food Standards Agency, the government’s so-called independent watchdog, which has just published a report claiming that there is no nutritional benefit to be gained from eating organic produce.

Those forces bent on promoting GM crops and industrialised production, would have been delighted by the widespread media coverage of the Agency’s report, portraying enthusiasm for organic foods as little more than a fad among neurotic consumers that would pass once the public is given the correct information.

But what is truly misguided is not the increasing popularity of organic goods, but the Food Standards Agency’s determination to halt this trend and instead promote genetic modification.

The new report from the FSA highlights this. For all the publicity it has attracted, the document does not contain any new material.

In fact, it is just an analysis of existing research carried out by other bodies. Moreover, the organisation that conducted this second-hand study, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is not renowned as a leading centre in this field.

Indeed, there is far more significant work currently being done on organic foods by several other bodies, some of it funded by the European Union, though the FSA has chosen to ignore it.

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the FSA has decided to give such loud backing to this report because it can bend the findings to suit its political, pro-GM, anti-organic agenda.

article-0-00EE0C9300000578-468_468x314

Ever since its creation in 2000, the Food Standards Agency has been biased against organic farming. The first chairman, Sir John Krebs, was supportive of the biotechnology lobby and only too keen to promote GM as the future of farming.

In fact, one early review of the FSA’s work, by the Labour peer Baroness Brenda Dean, warned there was a risk of the Agency losing its ‘objectivity’ and ‘rigour’ in its support for GM crops and its opposition to organic production.

The departure of Sir John Krebs has not brought any change in policy, since the Agency is now largely run by plodding bureaucrats all too keen to follow the correct official corporate line.

Yet even in the context of the latest report from the FSA, the spin does not match the reality. For, contrary to all the hype this week, the Agency’s own published research shows that organic foods are clearly far better for the consumer even just in nutritional terms.

According to the FSA’s findings, organic vegetables contain 53.6 per cent more betacarotene – which helps combat cancer and heart disease – than non-organic ones.

Similarly, organic food has 11.3 per cent more zinc, 38.4 per cent more flavonoids and 12.7 per cent more proteins.

In addition, an in-depth study by Newcastle University, far deeper than the one conducted by the FSA, has shown that organic produce contains 40 per cent more antioxidants than non-organic foods, research the FSA appears to have overlooked.

But the concentration solely on nutrition is to play into the hands of the anti-organic, pro-industrial lobby.

As most of the British public understands, but the FSA fails to acknowledge, the benefits of organic food go far beyond this narrow point.

The fact is that organic production is much better for personal health, food quality, the environment and the welfare of livestock.

Organic farming works in tune with the rhythms of the earth, gently harnessing the changing seasons, the natural cultivation of crops or the rearing of animals for our benefit.

In contrast, the vast biotech, processed food industry is at permanent war with nature, continually trying to manipulate, overwhelm and conquer. Organic farming is all about harmony, non-organic about chemicalised ascendancy.

The most obvious way this difference is manifested is in the use of pesticides on crops, banned from organic farming but eagerly promoted by big industry.

Fifty years ago, agro-chemicals hardly existed in British farming, but today they dominate this sector. But their rise has not been without justifiable concerns about the side-effects.

There is now a wealth of evidence to show that pesticides not only poison the soil and harm wildlife, but also promote cancer and a host of other diseases because of their toxicity.

This is, after all, only common sense. Anything that can kill insects is bound to have an impact when consumed by humans.

It has been shown that ordinary pears are sprayed with pesticides no fewer than 17 to 18 times during one seasonal growing cycle. A third of all the food we eat, and no less than half of all our fruit and vegetables, contains such chemicals.

The Government airily dismisses any worries about the risks, but this kind of complacency is based on old, outdated science.

As the agro-chemical industry tightens its grip, the worse the dangers become. Organic farming, however, offers the opportunity to eat without these dangers. All organic food is free from chemical residues and thus the health threats are much lower.

Even the most die-hard GM enthusiast would have to admit that organic meat, fruit and vegetables taste much better than the mass-produced fare turned out by major suppliers.

Tamiflu causes sickness and nightmares in children, study finds

August 1, 2009

Tamiflu_595867aDavid Rose

 

More than half of children taking the swine flu drug Tamiflu experience side-effects such as nausea and nightmares, research suggests.

An estimated 150,000 people with flu symptoms were prescribed the drug through a new hotline and website last week, according to figures revealed yesterday.

Studies of children attending three schools in London and one in the South West showed that 51-53 per cent had one or more side-effects from the medication, which is offered to everyone in England with swine flu symptoms.

The research by the Health Protection Agency emerged as Sir Liam Donaldson, the Chief Medical Officer for England, said that swine flu infections “may have reached a plateau”.

Releasing the latest figures, Sir Liam said that an estimated 110,000 new cases of the H1N1 virus were diagnosed by doctors in the week to Sunday. That did not include those using the new National Pandemic Flu Service for England to obtain antiviral drugs without seeing their GP.

Sir Liam said that the deaths of 27 people in England were confirmed to have been linked to swine flu, compared with 26 last week. As of Wednesday morning 793 people were in hospital in England with the virus, and 81 were in intensive care.

Yesterday Natasha Newman, 16, of Highgate, North London, was seriously ill in hospital in Athens after contracting swine flu while on holiday on the island of Cephalonia. Her parents, Julian Newman and Nikki Boughton, were at her bedside at the Agia Sofia children’s hospital, said a spokeswoman for Mr Newman’s business, J. Newman Textiles. “This is a very distressing and worrying time,” she said.

Peter Holden, the British Medical Association’s lead expert on swine flu, suggested that Tamiflu was being overused and did not need to be offered to everyone with mild symptoms. “The National Pandemic Flu Service has been a great success, and was needed to take the pressure off GPs,” he said. “But the threshold for getting Tamiflu should be quite high.

“For patients who are not in the high-risk groups — such as pregnant women, people with bad asthma or with suppressed immune systems — this virus typically causes mild symptoms and does not require a course of Tamiflu. Patients in the at-risk groups should be referred to their GP, who will use their clinical judgment.”

A total of 103 children took part in the London study, of which 85 were given the drug as a precaution after a classmate received a diagnosis of swine flu. Of those, 45 experienced one or more side-effects. The most common was nausea (29 per cent), followed by stomach pain or cramps (20 per cent) and problems sleeping (12 per cent). Almost one in five had a “neuropsychiatric side-effect”, such as inability to think clearly, nightmares and “behaving strangely”, according to the research, published inEurosurveillance, a journal of disease.

The study was carried out in April and May when the drug was being issued as a preventive measure. The findings were echoed by a study of children at a school in the South West where a pupil had caught the disease in Mexico.

Health officials in Japan have recommended against prescribing Tamiflu to teenagers over fears it causes a rise in “neuropsychiatric events”. The researchers said that clinical trials had shown that about 20 per cent of adults reported side-effects of either nausea or vomiting after taking Tamiflu.

Both the Department of Health and the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory products Agency said that the drug was safe, and that the benefits of treating early symptoms and avoiding potentially serious complications could outweigh the risks of side-effects.

Sir Liam said that despite a 10 per cent rise in the estimated number of cases in the week to Sunday, the latest figures reinforced “a growing impression we have had a peak”. He said that a surge would still be expected in the winter flu season, but added: “I think we are a little more confident we may be seeing a downturn in this flu.”

Scale of the outbreak

— 110,000 new swine flu cases in England last week, based on data from GPs

— 150,000 people obtaining Tamiflu without seeing a GP since last Thursday

— 51% to 53% proportion of children reporting side-effects from taking Tamiflu

— 1 in 158 people in England have contacted their GP with flu-like symptoms since outbreaks began. The rate is 1 in 77 for children aged 1 to 4

Source: Department of Health

 

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/Swine_flu/article6734056.ece

Government’s Swine Flu “Czar” To Become ABC Medical Reporter

August 1, 2009

“Don’t worry people no “connections” here. Keep watching your TV and with butt plug in. Everything is cool. Americans are on some weird fuckin trip to be stomaching this kind of propaganda mind fucking.”

-Fred Face 7/31/09

PH2009073001430

In the latest example of a government official leaving public service for television, the CDC’s Dr. Richard Besser will join ABC News in September as a senior medical editor and correspondent, according to an internal ABC memo obtained by The Eye.

“Dr. Besser’s distinguished background in public health, emergency preparedness, and epidemiology will enhance the leadership of ABC News in reporting and explaining medical issues to our audiences,” ABC News president David Westin said in the memo to staffers.

Besser’s last day at CDC is Aug. 15, according to an agency spokeswoman. He emerged as one of the Obama administration’s lead spokesmen during the initial H1N1 flu outbreak. He served as acting director of the CDC until June and currently serves as director of the agency’s Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response, responsible for the agency’s public health emergency preparedness and emergency response activities. Many observers hoped President Obama would name Besser to the top CDC job, but he instead tapped New York City Health CommissionerThomas R. Frieden.

Besser, who regularly appeared on San Diego TV stations during his time there, will appear on “Good Morning America,” “World News with Charles Gibson” and other ABC News broadcasts. He will join Dr.Timothy Johnson, who becomes the network’s chief medical editor, according to Westin.

Besser joins a growing crop of television news doctors, including Dr.Sanjay Gupta (who was briefly considered for the surgeon general post), Dr. Jennifer Ashtonjoined CBS News in April, and Dr. Nancy Snyderman, who last month launched an MSNBC daytime show about medical issues.

 

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/federal-eye/2009/07/cdcs_besser_joining_abc_news.html?wprss=federal-eye

FOX NEWS MILITARY MASS QUARANTINES

July 31, 2009

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GMO Scandal: The Long Term Effects of Genetically Modified Food on Humans

July 30, 2009

gmo-or-nongmo-corn

 

One of the great mysteries surrounding the spread of GMO plants around the world since the first commercial crops were released in the early 1990’s in the USA and Argentina has been the absence of independent scientific studies of possible long-term effects of a diet of GMO plants on humans or even rats. Now it has come to light the real reason. The GMO agribusiness companies like Monsanto, BASF, Pioneer, Syngenta and others prohibit independent research. 

 

An editorial in the respected American scientific monthly magazine, Scientific American, August 2009 reveals the shocking and alarming reality behind the proliferation of GMO products throughout the food chain of the planet since 1994. There are no independent scientific studies published in any reputed scientific journal in the world for one simple reason. It is impossible to independently verify that GMO crops such as Monsanto Roundup Ready Soybeans or MON8110 GMO maize perform as the company claims, or that, as the company also claims, that they have no harmful side effects because the GMO companies forbid such tests!

 

That’s right. As a precondition to buy seeds, either to plant for crops or to use in research study, Monsanto and the gene giant companies must first sign an End User Agreement with the company. For the past decade, the period when the greatest proliferation of GMO seeds in agriculture has taken place, Monsanto, Pioneer (DuPont) and Syngenta require anyone buying their GMO seeds to sign an agreement that explicitly forbids that the seeds be used for any independent research. Scientists are prohibited from testing a seed to explore under what conditions it flourishes or even fails. They cannot compare any characteristics of the GMO seed with any other GMO or non-GMO seeds from another company. Most alarming, they are prohibited from examining whether the genetically modified crops lead to unintended side-effects either in the environment or in animals or humans.

 

The only research which is permitted to be published in reputable scientific peer-reviewed journals are studies which have been pre-approved by Monsanto and the other industry GMO firms.

 

The entire process by which GMO seeds have been approved in the United States, beginning with the proclamation by then President George H.W. Bush in 1992, on request of Monsanto, that no special Government tests of safety for GMO seeds would be conducted because they were deemed by the President to be “substantially equivalent” to non-GMO seeds, has been riddled with special interest corruption. Former attorneys for Monsanto were appointed responsible in EPA and FDA for rules governing GMO seeds as but one example and no Government tests of GMO seed safety to date have been carried out. All tests are provided to the US Government on GMO safety or performance by the companies themselves such as Monsanto. Little wonder that GMO sounds to positive and that Monsanto and others can falsely claim GMO is the “solution to world hunger.”

 

In the United States a group of twenty four leading university corn insect scientists have written to the US Government Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) demanding the EPA  force a change to the company censorship practice. It is as if Chevrolet or Tata Motors or Fiat tried to censor comparative crash tests of their cars in Consumer Reports or a comparable consumer publication because they did not like the test results. Only this deals with the human and animal food chain. The scientists rightly argue to EPA that food safety and environment protection “depend on making plant products available to regular scientific scrutiny.” We should think twice before we eat that next box of American breakfast cereal of the corn used is GMO or not.


F. William Engdahl
 is author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order. He may be contacted via his website at www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net.

 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=ENG20090729&articleId=14570

Left-Wing Website With Direct Ties To White House Smears Alex Jones

July 30, 2009

AP Obama Think Tank

 

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Wednesday, July 29, 2009

 

As the establishment intensifies its efforts to demonize its political adversaries as extremists and terrorists, an George Soros-funded left-wing website with direct ties to the Obama White House has parroted the months-old debunked smear that Pittsburgh cop killer Richard Poplawski was an Alex Jones fan.

Think Progress claims that it is a “nonpartisan organization,” and yet it’s bankrolled by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a think tank headed by Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff John D. Podesta (pictured top), who was also head of Barack Obama’s presidential transition team after the 2008 election.

According to SourceWatch, “CAP’s Progressive Media project emerged as a major communications war room on behalf of Obama’s domestic and foreign policy agenda and CAP became a strong advocate for escalation in Afghanistan. Progressive Media is run through the Center for American Project Action Fund, the more political 501(c)4 arm of CAP. It coordindates closely with the Common Purpose Project, an effort to create message discipline among the pro-Obama organizations, with a direct tie to the White House.”

Think Progress was vehemently anti-war during the Bush administration, but since Obama took power, bombing brown people in broken-backed third world countries has apparently become a “progressive” and “liberal” virtue.

According to Center for American Progress director Jennifer Palmieri, the organization is focused around “driving the White House’s message and agenda.”

How on earth can “driving the White House’s message and agenda” be deemed “non-partisan”?

Think Progress is nothing more than an echo chamber for Obama administration propaganda – it’s the Free Republic of the left-wing. It’s about as “non-partisan” as the Communist Party propaganda organPravda was during the Cold War.

Though the Center for American Progress is shy about revealing its funders, according to SourceWatch, no less than 58 foundations have donated over $15 million dollars since 2003, as well as corporations and elitist philanthropists such as George Soros, who donated $3 million for “general support” in 2006.

In an article about Rep. Louie Gohmert’s appearance on the Alex Jones Show last week to warn about the health care bill, Think Progress attempts to discredit the subject by referring to host Jones as a “radical conspiracy theorist,” because of his views on the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11.

The editors of Think Progress are apparently lagging far behind in their understanding of public opinion, seemingly unaware of that fact that polls taken over 3 years ago show that an overwhelmingmajority of Americans have doubts about the official story behind 9/11.

The article also calls Jones’ claim that White House science czar John P. Holdren advocated putting sterilants in the water supply a “conspiracy theory,” despite the fact that it is clearly documented in his own 1977 book Ecoscience, excerpts of which have been posted on the Internet.

However, Think Progress’ most egregious smear appears in the last paragraph of the article.

“Despite his outlandish views, Jones’ influence can not be underestimated. Richard Poplawski, the young man who gunned down three Pittsburgh police officers earlier this year after professing a fear that the government would confiscate his guns, was a die-hard fan of Jones. Jones, who rants daily about Obama’s intentions to revoke the 2nd amendment, is also one of the loudest voices for the “birther movement.”

As we repeatedly documented over the course of several weeks, the claim that Poplawski was a Jones fan is completely at odds with the fact that he left comments on the Infowars and Prison Planet website vehemently chastising Jones for not sharing his anti-semitic beliefs.

Indeed, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which Think Progress links to in the article, reported that Poplawski appeared “to agree with another poster who criticized Alex Jones.”

Websites that originally picked up the hoax that Poplawski was a Jones fan, when in fact he was attacking Jones through his comments on the websites, were later forced to issue retractions. Raw Story issued a retraction and removed Jones from their original article and Daily Kos later did the same. Despite this, the New York Times still ran with the debunked smear a day later.

“Based on a correction/retraction on RawStory, I have reason to doubt the information reported by the ADL with respect to Alex Jones and Infowars or PrisonPlanet. In fact, evidence points to the contrary; that Alex Jones has spoken strongly against hate speech similar to that spoken by Richard Poplawski. Therefore, in fairness, I’ve removed any references in this diary with respect to Alex Jones and the websites Infowars or PrisonPlanet,” wrote Daily Kos diarist ‘fcvaguy’.

Why is Think Progress repeating a hoax smear that was debunked and retracted by other websites over four months ago? How could Poplawski have been a “die-hard fan” of Jones when he publicly chastised him?

In addition, the claim that Jones is “one of the loudest voices for the birther movement,” is also a complete fallacy as any regular listener will be able to attest to. Though Jones has recently stated there may be some merit to claims that Obama was not born in the U.S., to translate this into him being “one of the loudest voices” advocating this position is clearly disingenuous. Indeed, when questions about Obama’s birthright first began to surface before the election last year, Jones publicly stated that he thought the subject was at best a distraction and probably erroneous.

Think Progress’ attempts at character assassination and guilt by association are clearly part of an agenda to demonize both Jones and Gohmert because they disagree with their political viewpoints on the health care bill. However, by using fallacious smear attacks and erroneous claims as the foundation of their rebuttal, Think Progress only shoots itself in the foot, exposing this Soros-funded organization for what it is – a partisan, bias agenda-driven propaganda front for the White House.

 

 

http://www.infowars.com/left-wing-website-with-direct-ties-to-white-house-smears-alex-jones/

 

“Vaccinations: Deadly Immunity,” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. investigates the government cover-up of a mercury/autism scandal.

July 26, 2009

john-f-kennedy-jr

 

In June 2000, a group of top government scientists and health officials gathered for a meeting at the isolated Simpsonwood conference center in Norcross, Georgia. Convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the meeting was held at this Methodist retreat center, nestled in wooded farmland next to the Chattahoochee River, to ensure complete secrecy. The agency had issued no public announcement of the session — only private invitations to fifty-two attendees. There were high-level officials from the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, the top vaccine specialist from the World Health Organization in Geneva and representatives of every major vaccine manufacturer, including GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Wyeth and Aventis Pasteur. All of the scientific data under discussion, CDC officials repeatedly reminded the participants, was strictly “embargoed.” There would be no making photocopies of documents, no taking papers with them when they left.

The federal officials and industry representatives had assembled to discuss a disturbing new study that raised alarming questions about the safety of a host of common childhood vaccines administered to infants and young children. According to a CDC epidemiologist named Tom Verstraeten, who had analyzed the agency’s massive database containing the medical records of 100,000 children, a mercury-based preservative in the vaccines — thimerosal — appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and a host of other neurological disorders among children. “I was actually stunned by what I saw,” Verstraeten told those assembled at Simpsonwood, citing the staggering number of earlier studies that indicate a link between thimerosal and speech delays, attention-deficit disorder, hyperactivity and autism. Since 1991, when the CDC and the FDA had recommended that three additional vaccines laced with the preservative be given to extremely young infants — in one case, within hours of birth — the estimated number of cases of autism had increased fifteenfold, from one in every 2,500 children to one in 166 children.

Even for scientists and doctors accustomed to confronting issues of life and death, the findings were frightening. “You can play with this all you want,” Dr. Bill Weil, a consultant for the American Academy of Pediatrics, told the group. The results “are statistically significant.” Dr. Richard Johnston, an immunologist and pediatrician from the University of Colorado whose grandson had been born early on the morning of the meeting’s first day, was even more alarmed. “My gut feeling?” he said. “Forgive this personal comment — I do not want my grandson to get a thimerosal-containing vaccine until we know better what is going on.”

But instead of taking immediate steps to alert the public and rid the vaccine supply of thimerosal, the officials and executives at Simpsonwood spent most of the next two days discussing how to cover up the damaging data. According to transcripts obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, many at the meeting were concerned about how the damaging revelations about thimerosal would affect the vaccine industry’s bottom line. “We are in a bad position from the standpoint of defending any lawsuits,” said Dr. Robert Brent, a pediatrician at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware. “This will be a resource to our very busy plaintiff attorneys in this country.” Dr. Bob Chen, head of vaccine safety for the CDC, expressed relief that “given the sensitivity of the information, we have been able to keep it out of the hands of, let’s say, less responsible hands.” Dr. John Clements, vaccines advisor at the World Health Organization, declared that “perhaps this study should not have been done at all.” He added that “the research results have to be handled,” warning that the study “will be taken by others and will be used in other ways beyond the control of this group.”

In fact, the government has proved to be far more adept at handling the damage than at protecting children’s health. The CDC paid the Institute of Medicine to conduct a new study to whitewash the risks of thimerosal, ordering researchers to “rule out” the chemical’s link to autism. It withheld Verstraeten’s findings, even though they had been slated for immediate publication, and told other scientists that his original data had been “lost” and could not be replicated. And to thwart the Freedom of Information Act, it handed its giant database of vaccine records over to a private company, declaring it off-limits to researchers. By the time Verstraeten finally published his study in 2003, he had gone to work for GlaxoSmithKline and reworked his data to bury the link between thimerosal and autism.

Vaccine manufacturers had already begun to phase thimerosal out of injections given to American infants — but they continued to sell off their mercury-based supplies of vaccines until last year. The CDC and FDA gave them a hand, buying up the tainted vaccines for export to developing countries and allowing drug companies to continue using the preservative in some American vaccines — including several pediatric flu shots as well as tetanus boosters routinely given to eleven-year-olds.

The drug companies are also getting help from powerful lawmakers in Washington. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who has received $873,000 in contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, has been working to immunize vaccine makers from liability in 4,200 lawsuits that have been filed by the parents of injured children. On five separate occasions, Frist has tried to seal all of the government’s vaccine-related documents — including the Simpsonwood transcripts — and shield Eli Lilly, the developer of thimerosal, from subpoenas. In 2002, the day after Frist quietly slipped a rider known as the “Eli Lilly Protection Act” into a homeland security bill, the company contributed $10,000 to his campaign and bought 5,000 copies of his book on bioterrorism. The measure was repealed by Congress in 2003 — but earlier this year, Frist slipped another provision into an anti-terrorism bill that would deny compensation to children suffering from vaccine-related brain disorders. “The lawsuits are of such magnitude that they could put vaccine producers out of business and limit our capacity to deal with a biological attack by terrorists,” says Dean Rosen, health policy adviser to Frist.

Even many conservatives are shocked by the government’s effort to cover up the dangers of thimerosal. Rep. Dan Burton, a Republican from Indiana, oversaw a three-year investigation of thimerosal after his grandson was diagnosed with autism. “Thimerosal used as a preservative in vaccines is directly related to the autism epidemic,” his House Government Reform Committee concluded in its final report. “This epidemic in all probability may have been prevented or curtailed had the FDA not been asleep at the switch regarding a lack of safety data regarding injected thimerosal, a known neurotoxin.” The FDA and other public-health agencies failed to act, the committee added, out of “institutional malfeasance for self protection” and “misplaced protectionism of the pharmaceutical industry.”

The story of how government health agencies colluded with Big Pharma to hide the risks of thimerosal from the public is a chilling case study of institutional arrogance, power and greed. I was drawn into the controversy only reluctantly. As an attorney and environmentalist who has spent years working on issues of mercury toxicity, I frequently met mothers of autistic children who were absolutely convinced that their kids had been injured by vaccines. Privately, I was skeptical.

 

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Microwave weapon will rain pain from the sky

July 25, 2009

“You realize all of this technology is to be used against the American people, no? Eventually, more and more American people are going to wake up to the fact that the U.S. Government is the biggest threat to American families, (not fake CIA bankrolled “brown” terrorists), and people are going to protest for a better way of life… and the government is hoping they have enough technology to suppress that rebellion. 1+1=2, no?”

-Fred Face 7/24/09

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by David Hambling

 

THE Pentagon’s enthusiasm for non-lethal crowd-control weapons appears to have stepped up a gear with its decision to develop a microwave pain-infliction system that can be fired from an aircraft.

The device is an extension of its controversial Active Denial System, which uses microwaves to heat the surface of the skin, creating a painful sensation without burning that strongly motivates the target to flee. The ADS was unveiled in 2001, but it has not been deployed owing to legal issues and safety fears.

Nevertheless, the Pentagon’s Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate (JNLWD)in Quantico, Virginia, has now called for it to be upgraded. The US air force, whose radar technology the ADS is based on, is increasing its annual funding of the system from $2 million to $10 million.

The transmitting antenna on the current system is 2 metres across, produces a single beam of similar width and is steered mechanically, making it cumbersome. At the heart of the new weapon will be a compact airborne antenna, which will be steered electronically and be capable of generating multiple beams, each of which can be aimed while on the move.

 

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20327185.600-microwave-weapon-will-rain-pain-from-the-sky.html

Swine Flu Vaccine Should Not Be Given To Children In Schools

July 24, 2009

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Barbara Loe Fisher
Age of Autism
July 22, 2009

 

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) has issued a statement publicly questioning the necessity and safety of administering experimental H1N1 swine flu vaccines to children in schools. NVIC called on the Obama Administration and state Governors to provide evidence to parents that there are vaccine safety screening, recording, monitoring, reporting and vaccine injury compensation mechanisms in place. (HERE)

On April 26, a national public health emergency was declared by officials in the U.S. Departments of Health and Homeland Security. We were told it was necessary to declare a national emergency because people were getting sick from a new swine flu virus that began in Mexico and might cause a deadly influenza pandemic. So far, the vast majority of people who get sick with swine flu have symptoms that are no worse than the regular flu and recover completely.

The declaration of a national public health emergency last spring set a chain of events in motion: some schools were closed, some people were quarantined and drug companies were given billons of tax dollars to create experimental swine flu vaccines. These new vaccines are being fast tracked by the FDA. We are being told they will only be tested for a few weeks on a few hundred children and adults  before being given to children in schools in October.

Under federal legislation passed by Congress since 2001, an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allows drug companies, health officials and anyone who gives experimental vaccines to Americans during a declared public health emergency, to be protected from liability if people get hurt……….to read more go to NVIC.

 

http://www.ageofautism.com/2009/07/swine-flu-vaccine-should-not-be-given-to-children-in-schools.html

Larry Summers cites Google search as progress

July 19, 2009

“I know Larry Summers is a pig thief and was one of the evil artist in creating our economic depression but is he that stupid to come out with a statement like this one… say it ain’t so bottom feeding parasite? Oh, just kidding Larry, all the informed American people just love that cute little face of yours.”

 

-Fred Face  7/18/09

 

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WRH Commentary:

Is this man “foaming at the mouth mad” to have made such a stupid statement?

With mortgage defaults cascading their way through the economy?

Larry, that statement makes it apparent that you don’t get out much.

You really need to talk to those business owners in depressed areas which have had to close their doors as the economic misery the last and present administrations have left them with has made it impossible for them to continue to do business.

Talk to the single working moms who had their high-paying jobs shipped overseas, working twice as hard for half the money, desperately trying to keep their families together.

Talk to the still-unemployed, skilled people who have worked all their lives, want to work, who can barely find jobs as gas station attendants.

It is only then that you might, possibly (if you are, in fact capable of a rare moment of intellectual honesty) understand just how catastrophically, non-plugged in, inane and insulting that statement was to hurting American workers, those employed, and those who are desperately trying to find work in this economy.

 

http://whatreallyhappened.com/

 

Finally The Story:

 

By EAMON JAVERS

 

Of all the statistics pouring into the White House every day, top economic adviser Larry Summers highlighted one Friday to make his case that theeconomic free-fallhas ended. 

The number of peoplesearchingfor the term “economic depression” on Google is down to normal levels, Summers said.

 Searches for the term were up four-fold when the recession deepened in the earlier part of the year, and the recent shift goes to show consumer confidence is higher, Summers told the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

 Summers continued the administration’s push-back against critics of President Barack Obama’s handling of the recession, defending theeconomic stimulus packageagainstRepublicanswho have tried to paint the program as a failure because it hasn’t stemmed the unemployment rate.

 “We pledged at the time the Recovery Act became law that some of the spending and tax effects would begin almost immediately.,” Summers said in prepared remarks. “We also noted that the impact of the Recovery Act would build up over time, peaking during 2010 with about 70 percent of the total stimulus provided in the first 18 months. Now, five months after the passage, we are on track to meet that timeline. “

 Summers rattled off a list of accomplishments of thestimulus package:

 “More than $43 billion in immediate tax relief has reachedhouseholdsand businesses. Another $64 billion has been channeled into the economy through aid to state and local governments, expansions in social programs, and spending on education,housing, and transportation projects. In addition to the amount that has already been paid out, another $120 billion in spending has been obligated by the federal government and is on track to begin working its way into the economy.”

Read more:http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25083.html#ixzz0LeQejkTz

Air Force Plans for All-Drone Future

July 18, 2009

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  • By David Axe Email Author
  • July 17, 2009
  • Wired.com

Is the day of the hot-shot fighter jock nearly done?

An Air Force study, released without much fanfare on Wednesday, suggests that tomorrow’s dogfighers might not have pilots in the cockpit. The Unmanned Aircraft System Flight Plan. which sketches out possible drone development through the year 2047, comes with plenty of qualifiers. But it envisions a radical future. In an acronym-dense 82 pages, the Air Force explains how ever-larger and more sophisticated flying robots could eventually replace every type of manned aircraft in its inventory — everything from speedy, air-to-air fighters to lumbering bombers and tankers.

Emphasis on “might” and “could.” While revealing how robots can equal the capabilities of traditional planes, the Air Force is careful to emphasize that an all-bot air fleet is not inevitable. Rather, drones will represent “alternatives” to manned planes, in pretty much every mission category.

Some of the missions tapped for possible, future drones are currently considered sacrosanct for human pilots. Namely: dogfighting and nuclear bombing. Drones “are unlikely to replace the manned aircraft for air combat missions in the policy-relevant future,” Manjeet Singh Pardesi wrote in Air & Space Power Journal, just four years ago. Dogfighting was considered too fluid, too fast, for a drone’s narrow “situational awareness.” As for nuclear bombing: “Many aviators, in particular, believe that a ‘man in the loop’ should remain an integral part of the nuclear mission because of the psychological perception that there is a higher degree of accountability and moral certainty with a manned bomber,” Adam Lowther explained in Armed Forces Journal, in June.

Despite this, the Air Force identifies a future “MQ-Mc” Unmanned Aerial System for dogfighting, sometime after 2020. The MQ-Mc will also handle “strategic attack,” a.k.a nuke bombing. Less controversial is the conjectural MQ-L, a huge drone that could fill in for today’s tankers and transports.

But just because a drone could replace a manned plane, doesn’t necessarily mean it definitely will. “We do not envision replacing all Air Force aircraft with UAS,” Col. Eric Mathewson told Danger Room by email. “We do plan on considering UAS as alternatives to traditionally manned aircraft across a broad spectrum of Air Force missions … but certainly not all.” In other words, in coming years drones might be able to do everything today’s manned planes can do — technically speaking. But the Air Force still might find good reasons — moral, financial or otherwise — to keep people in some cockpits.

The Flight Plan represents a new twist in a heated debate raging in Congress over the Pentagon’s 3,000-strong fighter force. The legislature is split over whether to fund more F-22 fighters — a move that could draw a veto from President Barack Obama. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has long favored drone development over buying more manned fighters, and in May Joint Chiefs chair Admiral Mike Mullen predicted Gates’ position would win out, over the long term. “There are those that see [the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter] as the last manned fighter,” Mullen said. “I’m one that’s inclined to believe that.” General Atomics, which makes the popular Predator line of drones, underscored Mullen’s comment by unveiling its new, faster Predator C.

If Flight Plan proves an accurate predictor, it’s not just manned fighters (maybe) headed for extinction, but (maybe) nuclear bombers, transports, tankers … nearly all human-occupied military planes.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/07/air-force-plans-for-all-drone-future/

Mandatory Swine Flu Vaccination Alert

July 15, 2009

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Stephen Lendman
Global Research
July 14, 2009

 

On July 13, a World Health Organization (WHO) Global Alert headlined, “WHO recommendations on pandemic (H1N1) 2009 vaccinations” suggest that universally mandated ones are coming. It stated that on July 7, the pharmaceutical industry-dominated Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization held an “extraordinary meeting in Geneva to discuss issues and make recommendations related to vaccine for the pandemic (H1N1) 2009.”

There’s no pandemic. Yet WHO said the virus “is considered unstoppable,” while admitting little evidence of spread so far, most cases are mild, and many people recover unaided. Nonetheless, all countries will need vaccines and should follow these priorities as initial supplies will be limited:

– immunize health care workers “to protect the essential health care infrastructure;” then

– pregnant women; children over six months of age “with one of several chronic medical conditions;” healthy young adults aged 15 – 49; healthy children; healthy adults aged 50 – 64; and finally healthy adults aged 65 or older.

WTO suggested the risks in stating “new technologies are involved in the production of some pandemic vaccines, which have not yet been extensively evaluated for their safety in certain population groups…” As a result, “post-marketing surveillance” and “post-marketing safety and effectiveness studies” are essential so that countries can adjust their vaccination policies.

WHO “recommendations” are binding on all 194 member countries in case a pandemic emergency is declared under the 2005 International Health Regulations Act and April 2009 WHO pandemic plan.

 

It’s crucial to understand that these vaccines are experimental, untested, toxic and extremely dangerous to the human immune system. They contain squalene-based adjuvants that cause a host of annoying to life-threatening autoimmune diseases. They must be avoided, even if mandated. It’s also known that vaccines don’t protect against diseases they’re designed to prevent and often cause them. They should be banned but proliferate anyway because they’re so profitable, and if globally mandated to the greatest extent ever.

Get ready because that’s precisely what’s coming – universal orders to risk toxic vaccine hazards. In the coming weeks, the dominant media globally will get into high gear fear-mongering mode to convince people voluntarily to submit to jeopardizing their health and well-being. It’s essential to refuse and be safe and international law absolutely protects us.

 

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=14370

DIGITAL STRIP SEARCH

July 13, 2009

Bizzare Shit

July 12, 2009

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/07/robotsmile/

Internet Attack Propaganda Increases as Cyber Bill Approaches

July 11, 2009

Kurt Nimmo

Infowars 
July 10, 2009

 

Earlier this week South Korean intelligence (a creation of U.S. military intelligence) blamed the enfeebled Stalinist regime in North Korea for a series of cyber attacks on the U.S. government and commercial websites. As numerous observers have noted since the attacks, it is unlikely North Korea was behind the attacks. “Some analysts have questioned the North’s involvement, saying it may be the work of industrial spies or pranksters,” reports Reuters.

Instead of North Korea, the Korea Communications Commission now claims the original attacks were based in Germany, Austria, Georgia, the United States and South Korea. The location of the hackers behind the attacks is still unknown, according to the KCC.

 

The cyber attacks will now enter a new phase by attacking personal computers and wiping out hard disks, South Korea claims. South Korean web security firm Ahnlab, which has closely examined the attacks, said the new phase would target data on tens of thousands of infected personal computers. Ahnlab sells antivirus software, online security solutions, and network security appliances such as firewalls.

The new alleged threat and accompanying propaganda comes as Senate Commerce Chairman John (Jay) Rockefeller prepares for a July committee vote on cybersecurity legislation he introduced in April with Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine. One of the bill’s most controversial provisions would give the president the power to effectively shut off the Internet during a cyber crisis similar to the one now threatening PCs, according to South Korea and its U.S. created intelligence agency.

 

http://www.infowars.com/internet-attack-propaganda-increases-as-cyber-bill-approaches/

Robert M. Bowman On Alex Jones

July 9, 2009

“This is a good overview for people who have no idea what is really happening in this country. A “Dot Dot Dot For Dummies” kind of overview of American politics and World politics. This is what is happening. Stop living in denial and stop supporting an administration that used your liberal goodwill by baiting you with the promise of change by ushering in a fake, (corporate shill puppet), black President.

I hate to say it but… wake up people. Your civil liberties will be on the chopping block for good soon, if all you good people do not speak up. Get your confidence back and start standing up for yourselves.”

-Fred Face 7/8/09

 

 

Robert M. Bowman, former Director of Advanced Space Programs Development for the U.S. Air Force in the Ford and Carter administrations, a former United States Air Force Lieutenant Colonel with 101 combat missions, and presidential candidate for the Reform Party in 2000.

 

Blitz of “Cyber Attacks” as Rockefeller Bill Approaches

July 9, 2009

 

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars
July 8, 2009

 

A determined propaganda blitz is well underway as the government sets the stage for the passage of Cybersecurity Act of 2009, introduced in the Senate earlier this year. If passed, it will allow Obama to shut down the internet and private networks. The legislation also calls for the government to have the authority to demand security data from private networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule or policy restricting such access. In other words, the bill allows the government to impose authoritarian control over electronic communications.

Earlier today, the corporate media reported on a “powerful attack that overwhelmed computers at U.S. and South Korean government agencies,” allegedly launched by North Korea. “South Korean intelligence officials believe the attacks were carried out by North Korea or pro-Pyongyang forces,” theAssociated Pressreported.

It should be noted that South Korea’s intelligence apparatus — known as the Korean Central Intelligence Agency — was formed under the auspices of the U.S. Army’s Counter Intelligence Corps during the Korean War and is notorious for intervening in that country’s politics and kidnapping Koreans living abroad and torturing them. In other words, anything South Korean intelligence tells the corporate media should be taken with a large grain of salt.

According to “security experts analyzing the attacks,” Obama’s White House, the Pentagon, the New York Stock Exchange, the National Security Agency, Homeland Security Department, State Department, the Treasury Department, Federal Trade Commission and Secret Service, the Nasdaq stock market and The Washington Post were targeted.

All of this is happening as Senate Commerce Chairman John (Jay) Rockefeller — who has said we’d all be better off if the internet was never invented — plans a committee vote on cybersecurity legislation he introduced in April with Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.

Under Rockefeller’s bill, the White House would be required to create an Office of the National Cybersecurity Adviser within the Executive Office of the President as well as an advisory panel of experts from industry, academia and the globalist NGOs, according to Congress Daily.

In May, Obama pledged to personally select a cyber czar who would report to the National Security Council and National Economic Council.

 

http://www.infowars.com/blitz-of-cyber-attacks-as-rockefeller-bill-approaches/

Big brother is watching: The technologies that keep track of you

July 4, 2009

Read The www.telegraph.co.uk Article

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Ban Blogs From Linking To Newspapers, Says Judge

July 3, 2009

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Nicholas Carlson|Jul. 2, 2009, 8:30 AM

 

Famous and respected New York Judge Richard Posner says maybe we should ban links to save newspapers.

From his blog: Imagine if the New York Times migrated entirely to the World Wide Web. Could it support, out of advertising and subscriber revenues, as large a news-gathering apparatus as it does today? This seems unlikely, because it is much easier to create a web site and free ride on other sites than to create a print newspaper and free ride on other print newspapers, in part because of the lag in print publication; what is staler than last week’s news.

Expanding copyright law to bar online access to copyrighted materials without the copyright holder’s consent, or to bar linking to or paraphrasing copyrighted materials without the copyright holder’s consent, might be necessary to keep free riding on content financed by online newspapers from so impairing the incentive to create costly news-gathering operations that news services like Reuters and the Associated Press would become the only professional, nongovernmental sources of news and opinion.

Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan, who brought the Judge’s argument to our attention, had this to say about it:

The problem: this is America dude, we say what we fucking want, amirite?

You can copyright a news story, but you can’t copyright the news. “The news” just means “things that happen in the world.” What would it mean, in practice, to make it illegal to paraphrase a copyrighted news story? Summing up, for example, political events, or a sports controversy, or even a fashion trend, could be interpreted as paraphrasing copyrighted material. So let’s ban talking about anything. And banning links will help us make our references even more obscure, by making it impossible for anyone to refer to source materials! Good idea, Posner. This gross oversimplification makes you look none too freedom-loving!

What we want to know is what would the Judge do with TV news, which gets all its reporting, facts and story ideas from newspapers? According to Pew, 60% of Americans get their news from TV. By the Judge’s logic, shouldn’t they be forced to read a newspaper to get their news instead?

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/blogs-should-be-barred-from-linking-to-newspapers-says-judge-2009-7

RED ALERT: The Total Takeover Of America Enters Its Final Phase

June 30, 2009

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Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Monday, June 29, 2009

 

The wholesale looting of America and the transfer of wealth and power over to a private banking elite who are setting up a world government, along with the complete obliteration of any remaining freedom to protest, resist, or even speak out against this agenda, is now entering its final phase as numerous different pieces of the jigsaw puzzle fall into place and portray a clear picture of tyranny.

We are about to sound the death knell for the United States if every one of the following attacks on our liberty, free speech, sovereignty, and right to not be ruled over by an unelected banking dictatorship is not fiercely opposed and crushed.

RED ALERT 1

The passage of the “Climate Bill” by the House and its likely approval by the Senate represents the entrée for the complete and total subjugation of any freedoms we had left and the beginning ofnightmare regulation and suffocating control over every aspect of our personal lives by millions of green stasi tasked with enforcing impossible to attain goals of 80% carbon dioxide reduction – all based on the manufactured threat of global warming.

This bill will also sink the economy and create a new great depression, effectively obliterating America’s first world status. It represents a transfer of power and wealth from both the U.S. government and the American taxpayer over to the system of world government and global regulation now being erected by means of the climate change hoax.

This is far worse than just a “new tax” as Republicans are complaining – this is the total takeover of the American economy by private banking interests through the carbon trading system.

As we have attempted to warn, the major beneficiaries of the climate bill will be the elitists who own the carbon trading systems that will be used to handle the ‘cap and trade’ program, namely Al Gore and Maurice Strong, two figures intimately involved with a long standing movement to use the theory of man made global warming as a mechanism for profit and social engineering.

We must rally now to lobby members of Congress who voted for the legislation and demand they change their vote before July 2nd. Failing that, we must demand that the Senate does not rubber stamp this nightmare legislation. Failing that, we must support and organize to craft more legislation based on the example of Arizona, who recently passed state Senate legislation refusing to comply with insane climate laws coming from the federal level.

RED ALERT 2

The seemingly endless economic “bailouts” represent the wholesale looting of the American taxpayer and the grand theft of trillions of dollars by private banking interests who refuse to even disclose where the money went.

Not satisfied with stealing tens of trillions, under the Obama administration’s new regulatory reform plan, the Federal Reserve is now trying to enrich itself with dictator powers that will give it complete control over the U.S. economy, handing them the authority to “regulate” and shut down any company whose activity it believes could threaten the economy and the markets.

We must rally now and lobby more members of Congress to support Ron Paul’s H.R. 1207 bill to audit the Federal Reserve and highlight the fact that Bernanke is spewing financial terrorism when he threatens an economic collapse should the Fed be opened up to scrutiny.

RED ALERT 3

Federal hate crimes legislation, which in reality would criminalize “thought crimes,” has cleared the House and now faces the Senate as S.909, the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act (officially, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act).

S.909 is a direct violation of the First Amendment. It allows the federal government to prosecute people involved in “hate speech” transmitted over television, radio, and the internet. The House version of the bill states:

“Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce [radio, TV, internet] any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. (HR 1966, SEC 3, Sec. 881a)”

In other words, if a talk show host engages in “hostile” speech against a person or persons of the above mentioned federally protected group that talk show host will face federal prosecution and the prospect of a two year prison term.

The Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act would similarly criminalize free speech on the Internet if it can be deemed in any way to have been “harmful” to an individual. This represents the end of political blogging and free speech on the world wide web.

If both bills are not opposed and thrown out then the First Amendment will become nothing more than a relic of a bygone age.

RED ALERT 4

The Senate bill S.787, otherwise known as the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA), would replace language in the regulatory act currently using “navigable waters” with “waters of the United States.”

What this means is that “the government would essentially be able to regulate everything from standing water in floodplains to creeks that run behind business and residences,” according to anEnvironmental Leader report.

This represents a complete takeover of private land and waterways by the federal government, a total assault on private property rights and a complete federalization of America’s land and water.

“In a letter to Senate Environment and Public Works Chair Barbara Boxer and ranking member James Inhofe, the American Farm Bureau Federation said that the proposed law would “extend to all water — anywhere from farm ponds, to storm water retention basins, to roadside ditches, to desert washes, to streets and gutters, even to a puddle of rainwater,” stated the letter. “For the first time in the 36-year history of the act, activities that have no impact on actual rivers and lakes would be subject to full federal regulation.”

If this bill becomes law, it will empower the federal government to seize private property on a whim, using similar powers that Communist China employed during Chairman Mao’s “great leap forward,” where landowners had their property violently confiscated and stolen by the government.

If this bill passes the Senate, private property rights in the United States are effectively null and void and the federal government would legally have the power to bulldoze families from their homes as routinely happens in Communist China.

RED ALERT 5

Amongst the myriad of assaults on the Second Amendment rights of American citizens undertaken by the Obama administration during the course of its first year in office, the one that stands out as the most alarming is the attempt to ban people who appear on the terrorist watch list from buying guns.

But isn’t stopping terrorists from buying guns surely a sensible measure to take? The problem is that the terrorist watch list, sometimes called the no fly list, is not a list of likely terrorists, it is a sprawling database of of innocent people that contains the names of over one million Americans. This is a rise of 32% since 2007 alone.

Members of Congress, nuns, war heroes, reverends, the former assistant attorney general, toddlers and children, the ACLU administrator, people with difficult names and all American names like Robert Johnson and Gary Smith, have become caught in the vast tentacle of this list, documents the ACLU.

Moreover, once a person is included on the terrorist watch list it is virtually impossible to get off it.

The terrorist watch list is an ever-expanding tool with which to deny Americans basic rights as well as to strip them completely of the Fourth Amendment.

Now it is being used to prevent law-abiding citizens from purchasing firearms. Legislation sponsored by the The Government Accountability Office seeks to “close the gap” and prevent victims of the terrorist watch list from being able to purchase firearms.

This represents a new end run around the Second Amendment and a concerted effort on behalf of the federal government to classify millions of innocent Americans as potential terrorists, thus stripping them of their Constitutional right to own firearms.

RED ALERT 6

Our right to protest against any of the egregious assaults on the Constitution that are listed above is itself being removed by new law enforcement and Pentagon training manuals and guidelines that define protesting as domestic terrorism.

Current Department of Defense anti-terrorism training course material states that the exercise of First Amendment rights in the U.S. constitutes terrorist activity.

Over the last few years we have documented countless examples of security assessment reports from the likes of the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, as well as police training manuals, which state that anti-war protesters, gun owners, veterans, Ron Paul supporters and those who merely cite the Constitution should be equated with extremists and domestic terrorists.

The fact that the government is now treating people who merely criticize its conduct as domestic terrorists is the clearest signal possible that the United States has entered a period in history similar to Germany in the early 1930’s and that it can only be a matter of time before the right “emergency” provides the justification for dissidents to be targeted for round-ups and mass imprisonment.

No one can claim now that this is merely a paranoid delusion – the government itself is training its law enforcement and military arms that protesters and people who use their First Amendment rights are domestic terrorists. The last time this happened was under King George shortly before the American Revolution.

ONE MINUTE TO MIDNIGHT

If we don’t stand up in unison and exercise our right to protest and free speech now more than ever before, while pointing out that the real terrorists are those who would seek to destroy the freedoms enshrined in the Bill of Rights, then we may find ourselves doing our protesting behind the barbed wires and the concrete blocks of an internment camp.

The hour is late, the clock stands at one minute to midnight, and the federal government, through all the examples documented above, is on the verge of implementing nothing less than a total environmental, financial and societal dictatorship and killing what once was the United States of America.

Almost identical programs of total enslavement are also being pushed through in almost every other major western country at the same time.

If we don’t stop obsessing about the minutia of life and actually concentrate on the imminent destruction of the very principles of our livelihoods, the bedrock freedoms that allow us to operate in relative comfort on a daily basis and be reasonably secure in our own homes, being able to pay our bills, put food on the table, earn money, and air our grievances when government threatens to impinge on those basic freedoms, then there will be nothing left but a rotten hollow carcass and a memory of what America once strived to be – land of the free, home of the brave – not land of the thief, home of the slave.

 

http://www.infowars.com/red-alert-the-total-takeover-of-america-enters-its-final-phase/

Fighting the New World Order: Information Revolution 2009

June 28, 2009

Filtering Companies Can’t Be Sued By Blacklisted Firms, Court Rules

June 27, 2009

picture-16

 

  • By David Kravets Email Author 
  • June 26, 2009 
    Wired.com

A federal appeals court, in the first decision of its kind, said Thursday that companies providing malware, spyware and adware blocking services are immunized by the Communications Decency Act of 1996 from lawsuits claiming unfair business practices.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the CDA treats security software makers the same as internet service providers when they block material they find objectionable, granting them so-called “good Samaritan” immunity from civil lawsuits.  Like an ISP, such companies provide an “interactive computer service”  because they pull updates from a central server, the San Francisco-based appeals court said.

“We conclude that a provider of access tools that filter, screen, allow, or disallow content that a provider or user considers obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable is protected from liability,” the court ruled. (.pdf)

The case concerned adware-maker Zango, which provided access to online videos, games, music, tools and utilities to web surfers who agreed to view advertisements while surfing the internet. Among other charges, the Washington State company accused Kaspersky Lab of illegally blocking a toolbar program that displayed links to advertisers.

Zango also said Kaspersky users were prevented from installing Zango software altogether, if Kaspersky was already on the computer -– a situation that did not occur with other security software programs.

The court noted that Kaspersky, of Russia, had a good faith belief that it was blocking adware, and that its users could allow pop-ads if they wanted or unlock the toolbar. The court noted that Zango was fined $3 million in 2006 for deceiving web surfers into installing its pop-up software.

Zango contended that immunity was meant to cover only internet service providers, not companies that provide access to tools for filtering content.

But the law, the court noted, “does not limit the definition of ‘interactive computer service’ to services that provide access to the internet.”  Rather, the court said, “its singular requirement is for access by multiple users of a computer server.”

Security software is covered because it ” enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server by providing its customers with online access to its update servers,” the court said.

The ruling could have a dark side, however, potentially opening the door for anti-competitive practices. A browser-maker, for example, could choose to block access to competing websites, or filter out search engine results critical of the company.

That danger was not lost on the court, which wrote that “extending immunity beyond the facts of this case could pose serious problems if providers of blocking software were to be given free license to unilaterally block the dissemination of material by content providers under the literal terms” of the law.

The law might empower a software company to “abuse immunity to block content for anti-competitive purposes or merely at a malicious whim.”

The court urged Congress to clarify the statute.

 

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/06/filteringimmunity/

Kites could power world 100 times over

June 25, 2009

20090619_wind_kites

 

High-flying Kites could harness enough energy to power the world 100 times over, according to a survey of high-altitude winds.

Published in the journal Energies, the study reports that areas well suited to harvesting high altitude winds fall over some of the world’s major cities such as New York and Tokyo.

“The wind energy aloft is phenomenal. Energy densities unthinkable near the ground are common in the upper levels of the atmosphere,” said Cristina Archer, lead author and a meteorologist at California State University in Chico, USA. “It’s like a perpetual source of free energy.”

Fast and furious

“These winds blow much more strongly and steadily than near-surface winds, but you need to go get up miles to get a big advantage. Ideally, you would like to be up near the jet streams, around 30,000 feet,” added coauthor Ken Caldeira, a climate scientist at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology in Stanford, California.

Jet streams are moving belts of furious winds, shifting seasonally at altitudes between 6,000 and 15,000 metres. To get a global picture of the energy these jets hold, the researchers compiled 28-years-worth of data from both the U.S. National Centres for Environmental Prediction and the Department of Energy.

Archer and Caldeira looked at both wind speed and air density at different altitudes, concluding that extraordinary amounts of energy exist above Japan, eastern China, the eastern coast of the U.S., southern Australia and north-eastern Africa.

Kite-driven generators

Average wind power densities in these locales “are greater than 10 kilowatts per square metre. This is unthinkable near the ground, where even the best locations have usually less than one kilowatt per square metre,” said Archer. New York clocked up a whopping wind power density of 16 kilowatts per square metre, the study found.

Kite-driven generators have been suggested as one method of capturing this energy. In principle, they work by using the strong pull of the wind to drive a land-based turbine, tethered to the kite via a cable.

When the cable reaches its full extension, the angle of the kite is shifted so that the wind no longer pulls and the cable can be rolled in again, before the cycle repeats. A prototype kite designed by Dutch former astronaut Wubbo Ockels, now at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, was able to generate 10 kilowatts of power – or enough electricity to supply 10 homes.

“This approach has the advantage that the heavy generator stays on the ground” said Pavel Trivailo, an aerospace engineer from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, in Australia. He said he has recently applied for funding to develop Ockels’ technology further, using radio-controlled gliders.

Like kites, gliders would only be useful on their way out into the wind – whilst winding back in, no electricity is generated. Trivailo imagines paired systems of kites, where one travels out as the other returns, likening the system to the paired action of a piston engine.

Gaps in the grid

He points out that cables capable of safely coping with large forces – such as those generated by wind – already exist, thanks to the ’space tethers’ used to join sections of satellites.

Some challenges of high-altitude wind power are still to be met, however. “While there is enough energy in these high altitude winds to power all of modern civilisation, at any specific location there are still times when the winds do not blow,” said Caldeira.

The study predicts wind may still fail about 5% of the time. “This means that you either need back-up power, massive amounts of energy storage, or a continental or even global scale electricity grid to assure power availability,” he said.

Trivailo agrees much work needs to be done. “How you deploy the gliders or kites at high altitudes is still an open question,” he said.

 

http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/news/2822/kites-could-power-world-100-times-over?page=0%2C1

Deadliest Strike Yet in Pakistan Drone War

June 25, 2009
drones
    • By Nathan Hodge Email Author 
    • June 24, 2009
    Wired.com

    Baitullah Mehsud, the head of Pakistan’s Taliban, may have been the target of a deadly drone strike that claimed dozens of lives at a funeral in northern Pakistan, but details are still emerging about what looks like the most dramatic and deadly employment of drones in the U.S. military’s undeclared war in Pakistan.

    CNN, quoting unnamed Pakistani intelligence officials, says the strikes killed at least 55 people, including three top Taliban commanders. Al Jazeera puts the death toll somewhat higher, saying around 60 people were killed as they dispersed after funeral prayers in the Makeen district of South Waziristan. Reuters, quoting Pakistani intelligence sources, puts the toll at 70.

    The incident is part of an escalating drone war that has sparked serious controversy in both Pakistan and the United States. It also comes as Pakistan readies an offensive against Mehsud: Pakistani newspapers are also reporting the arrest of some of the Taliban leader’s fundraisers in Karachi.

    Pakistan’s The Nation has details on a first strike that preceded the funeral: A drone fired three missiles into a militant stronghold near Makeen village, northeast of Wana, the main town in South Waziristan. Pakistani intelligence officials told The Nation that attack killed six militants and destroyed a compound, a bunker and two vehicles.

    A follow-on strike apparently targeted the funeral service for individuals killed in the first attack. Mehsud — who is suspected of involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and has a$5 million bounty on his head — reportedly paid a visit to the village where the funeral took place, but managed to dodge the strike. The Associated Press quotes two intelligence officials as saying Mehsud left the scene before drone fired the missiles.

     

    Whether Mehsud was the primary target — or the others attending the funeral — is open to question; Agence France-Presse quotes (again, unnamed) Pakistani officials as saying “mostly militants” were killed in the drone strike. Nevertheless, U.S. and Pakistani authorities are also fighting a war of perceptions in parallel with the drone strike. If it emerges that a large number of civilians were also killed or injured, it could have the potential to spark more ire in Pakistan, where public opinion has reportedly begun to shift against the Taliban.

     

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/06/deadliest-strike-yet-in-pakistan-drone-war/

    Privacy May Be a Victim in Cyberdefense Plan

    June 14, 2009
    18obama4a-600
    By THOM SHANKER and DAVID E. SANGER
    Published: June 12, 2009
    WASHINGTON — A plan to create a new Pentagon cybercommand is raising significant privacy and diplomatic concerns, as the Obama administration moves ahead on efforts to protect the nation from cyberattack and to prepare for possible offensive operations against adversaries’ computer networks.

    President Obama has said that the new cyberdefense strategy he unveiled last month will provide protections for personal privacy and civil liberties. But senior Pentagon and military officials say that Mr. Obama’s assurances may be challenging to guarantee in practice, particularly in trying to monitor the thousands of daily attacks on security systems in the United States that have set off a race to develop better cyberweapons.

    Much of the new military command’s work is expected to be carried out by the National Security Agency, whose role in intercepting the domestic end of international calls and e-mail messages after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, under secret orders issued by the Bush administration, has already generated intense controversy.

    There is simply no way, the officials say, to effectively conduct computer operations without entering networks inside the United States, where the military is prohibited from operating, or traveling electronic paths through countries that are not themselves American targets.

    The cybersecurity effort, Mr. Obama said at the White House last month, “will not — I repeat, will not — include monitoring private sector networks or Internet traffic.”

    But foreign adversaries often mount their attacks through computer network hubs inside the United States, and military officials and outside experts say that threat confronts the Pentagon and the administration with difficult questions.

    Military officials say there may be a need to intercept and examine some e-mail messages sent from other countries to guard against computer viruses or potential terrorist action. Advocates say the process could ultimately be accepted as the digital equivalent of customs inspections, in which passengers arriving from overseas consent to have their luggage opened for security, tax and health reasons.

    “The government is in a quandary,” said Maren Leed, a defense expert at the bipartisan Center for Strategic and International Studies who was a Pentagon special assistant on cyberoperations from 2005 to 2008.

    Ms. Leed said a broad debate was needed “about what constitutes an intrusion that violates privacy and, at the other extreme, what is an intrusion that may be acceptable in the face of an act of war.”

    In a recent speech, Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and a chief architect of the new cyberstrategy, acknowledged that a major unresolved issue was how the military — which would include the National Security Agency, where much of the cyberwar expertise resides — could legally set up an early warning system.

    Unlike a missile attack, which would show up on the Pentagon’s screens long before reaching American territory, a cyberattack may be visible only after it has been launched in the United States.

    “How do you understand sovereignty in the cyberdomain?” General Cartwright asked. “It doesn’t tend to pay a lot of attention to geographic boundaries.”

    For example, the daily attacks on the Pentagon’s own computer systems, or probes sent from Russia, China and Eastern Europe seeking chinks in the computer systems of corporations and financial institutions, are rarely seen before their effect is felt inside the United States.

    Some administration officials have begun to discuss whether laws or regulations must be changed to allow law enforcement, the military or intelligence agencies greater access to networks or Internet providers when significant evidence of a national security threat was found.

    Ms. Leed said that while the Defense Department and related intelligence agencies were the only organizations that had the ability to protect against such cyberattacks, “they are not the best suited, from a civil liberties perspective, to take on that responsibility.”

    Under plans being completed at the Pentagon, the new cybercommand will be run by a four-star general, much the way Gen. David H. Petraeus runs the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq from Central Command in Tampa, Fla. But the expectation is that whoever is in charge of the new command will also direct the National Security Agency, an effort to solve the turf war between the spy agency and the military over who is in charge of conducting offensive operations.

    While the N.S.A.’s job is chiefly one of detection and monitoring, the agency also possesses what Michael D. McConnell, the former director of national intelligence, called “the critical skill set” to respond quickly to cyberattacks. Yet the Defense Department views cyberspace as its domain as well, a new battleground after land, sea, air and space.

    The complications are not limited to privacy concerns. The Pentagon is increasingly worried about the diplomatic ramifications of being forced to use the computer networks of many other nations while carrying out digital missions — the computer equivalent of the Vietnam War’s spilling over the Cambodian border in the 1960s. To battle Russian hackers, for example, it might be necessary to act through the virtual cyberterritory of Britain or Germany or any country where the attack was routed.

    General Cartwright said military planners were trying to write rules of engagement for scenarios in which a cyberattack was launched from a neutral country that might have no idea what was going on. But, with time of the essence, it may not be possible, the scenarios show, to ask other nations to act against an attack that is flowing through their computers in milliseconds.

    “If I pass through your country, do I have to talk to the ambassador?” General Cartwright said. “It is very difficult. Those are the questions that are now really starting to emerge vis-à-vis cyber.”

    Frida Berrigan, a longtime peace activist who is a senior program associate at the New America Foundation’s arms and security initiative, expressed concerns about whether the Obama administration would be able to balance its promise to respect privacy in cyberspace even as it appeared to be militarizing cybersecurity.

    “Obama was very deliberate in saying that the U.S. military and the U.S. government would not be looking at our e-mail and not tracking what we do online,” Ms. Berrigan said. “This is not to say there is not a cyberthreat out there or that cyberterrorism is not a significant concern. We should be vigilant and creative. But once again we see the Pentagon being put at the heart of it and at front lines of offering a solution.”

    Ms. Berrigan said that just as the counterinsurgency wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had proved that “there is no front line anymore, and no demilitarized zone anymore, then if the Pentagon and the military services see cyberspace as a battlefield domain, then the lines protecting privacy and our civil liberties get blurred very, very quickly.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/13/us/politics/13cyber.html?_r=1

    Universal ‘Rubik’s Cube’ Could Become Pentagon Shapeshifter

    June 10, 2009
      darpa_origami2
      • By Noah Shachtman Email Author 
      • June 5, 2009 
        Wired.com

      Even by the standards of the Pentagon fringe science arm, this project sounds far-out: “programmable matter” that can be ordered to “self-assemble or alter their shape, perform a function and then disassemble themselves.” But researchers backed by Darpa are actually making progress on this incredible goal, Henry Kenyon at Signal magazine reports.

      One day, that could lead to “morphing aircraft and ground vehicles, uniforms that can alter themselves to be comfortable in any climate, and ’soft’ robots that flow like mercury through small openings to enter caves and bunker complexes.” A soldier could even reach into a can of unformed goop, and order up a custom-made tool or a “universal spare part.”

      One team from Harvard is working on a kind of “generalized Rubik’s Cube” that can fold into all kinds of shapes. Another is trying to order large strands of synthetic DNA to bind together in a “molecular Velcro.” An MIT group is building “self-folding origami” machines that “use specialized sheets of material with built-in actuators and data. These machines use cutting-edge mathematical theorems to fold themselves into virtually any three-dimensional object.”

      The Programmable Matter project is five months into its second phase, which is supposed to wind up early next Spring. When they’re done, the researchers ought to “assemble four or five three-dimensional solids of a specific size and shape from a set of building blocks.”

      Intel, which has done a bunch of programmable matter work on its own, is looking beyond those basic steps. Way, way beyond. The malleable stuff could one day “mimic the shape and appearance of a person or object being imaged in real time, and as the originals moved, so would their replicas,” according to their website. “These 3D models would be physical entities, not holograms. You could touch them and interact with them, just as if the originals were in the room with you. ”

       

      http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/06/universal-rubiks-cube-could-become-pentagon-shapeshifter

      Sony Pictures CEO: “I’m A Guy Who Doesn’t See Anything Good Having Come From The Internet. Period.”

      June 7, 2009

      “Well this power freak obviously has his problems… I mean look at him.”

      -F.F.

      com_lynton-michael_1005071

      Typical.

      The media exec to the right just launched an attack on the Web, saying that he sees “nothing good having come from the Internet. Period.”

      But Michael Lynton is just the latest in a line of old media bosses who see the open Internet as a threat — something they need to control in order to keep prices high, access limited and users in check.

      Those of us who rely upon the Internet every day now have a chance to tell Michael otherwise:

      Make Sure Lynton and His Cronies Don’t Stifle the Internet

      At this very minute, the Federal Communications Commission is crafting America’s first national broadband plan. Whether the plan will give more control over our Internet to the likes of Sony Pictures, Comcast, AT&T, Time Warner Cable and Verizon depends on what we do right now.

      These companies’ well-heeled lobbyists are flooding the FCC’s public docket with comments in support of policies that let them:

      • Tilt the Web’s level playing field to favor the Web sites of corporate partners;
      • Deploy content-sniffing devices that would randomly open and sift through our private Web communications;
      • Impose usage penalties on people who use the Web for more than simple e-mail and Web surfing;
      • Block innovative Web services that compete against their phone, cable and entertainment products; and
      • Disconnect users for any reason or without justification

      Acting FCC chairman Michael Copps has called the creation of the broadband plan “the most formative — indeed, transformative — proceeding ever in the Commission’s history.” He added: “The Commission must act to ensure that the genius of the open Internet is not lost.”

      Copps is right. Michael Lynton is wrong. We need to tell the FCC that a more open open and accessible Internet is a good thing that will revitalize our economy, engage millions more people in our democracy and give new meaning to freedom of speech. And we reject the nonsense that open Internet backers are all conspiring to promote piracy.

      It’s time for the FCC to get behind a people-powered vision of 21st-century media media that’s participatory, open and democratic — and not to hand the keys to the Internet to the old guard.

      Tell the FCC: The Internet Is Good for Democracy. Period.

      Click on the link above and tell the FCC that our national broadband plan must guarantee an open, fast, affordable and people-powered Internet without corporate gatekeepers.

      Thank You,

      Timothy Karr
      Free Press Action Fund
      http://www.freepress.net

      Related Article:

      Sony Pictures CEO: “I’m A Guy Who Doesn’t See Anything Good Having Come From The Internet. Period.”

      The panel was about the future of filmmaking, but that didn’t mean anyone had to like what they saw. “I’m a guy who doesn’t see anything good having come from the Internet,” said Sony Pictures Entertainment chief executive officer Michael Lynton. “Period.”

      At a breakfast cohosted by the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and The New Yorker Thursday, Lynton wasn’t just trying for a laugh: He complained the Internet has “created this notion that anyone can have whatever they want at any given time. It’s as if the stores on Madison Avenue were open 24 hours a day. They feel entitled. They say, ‘Give it to me now,’ and if you don’t give it to them for free, they’ll steal it.”

      Co-panelist Nora Ephron, who started her career in print, said the Internet has had a greater effect on “our beloved print than it’s had on the movie business.” But, she conceded, “We’re in the last days of copyright, if you want to be grim about it….Stop it. I dare you.”

      http://current.com/items/90049647_sony-pictures-ceo-im-a-guy-who-doesnt-see-anything-good-having-come-from-the-internet-period.htm

      Is the Hacking Threat to National Security Overblown?

      June 6, 2009

      mushroom

      • By Ryan Singel Email Author 
      • June 3, 2009
        Wired.com

      Is hacking a real threat to the United States or is it just the latest overblown threat to national security, whose magnitude is being exaggerated to expand government budgets and power?

      That’s the question asked by Threat Level editor Kevin Poulsen at a panel in Computers, Freedom and Privacy in Washington, D.C., Wednesday. And it’s important because the government is spending billions of dollars on computer security, and President Obama is elevating cybersecurity to a national priority, using language that makes even security experts wince.

      Amit Yoran, a former Bush Administration cybersecurity czar, argues the answer is easy.

      “Is hacking a national security threat?” Yoran said. “The one word answer is ‘Yes.’”

      As proof, Yoran pointed to stories about the denial-of-service attacks in Estonia, attacks on government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton and the recently reported breach of defense contractor computers that let hackers get at information on the Joint Strike Fighter.

      “Cyber 9-11 has happened over the last 10 years, but it’s happened slowly so we don’t see it,” Yoran said.

      Poulsen called the threat of cyber-terrorism “preposterous,” citing the long-standing warnings that hackers would attack the power grid — despite the fact that it has never happened. And he argued that calling such intrusions national security threats means information about attacks gets classified unnecessarily.

      “If we can’t publicly share info that the attackers already have — since it’s about them — then we are doing far more harm than good,” Poulsen said, arguing that classification makes it impossible for the security community at large to analyze or prepare defenses for such attacks.

      Moreover, he pointed out the Joint Strike fighter example involved only unclassified information.

      But security expert Bruce Schneier (a Wired.com columnist) said there are going to be cyberattacks that actually affect the real world, even though the risk is currently overblown.

      “Remove the word cyber. It’s just a new theater,” Schneier said. “Of course there is espionage, and as data moves online, there is cyber-espionage. But is it a real threat?”

       

      Schneier’s answer is yes, but not as big a threat to infrastructure as natural disasters or bad code.

      “We have to be robust against hackers and Murphy,” Schneier said, referring to Murphy’s law.

      Dr. Herb Lin, a cyberattack expert at the National Research Council, called the scoffing naive, saying he could imagine hackers getting into classified command-and-control systems, for one.

      But he lamented that much of the current dialogue is about about cyberwar and cyber-terror, when the largest threat is in cyber-espionage — which is not considered an act of war.

      “We can see why the press and government agencies talk about cyber-terror and cyberwar,” Lin said, referring ostensibly to page views and budgets, respectively. “But we don’t consider spies inside the United States to be an attack on the United States.”

      Yoran did admit that cyber-terrorism was improbable, but stuck to his point that there are significant national security threats from hackers.

      Lin says the government needs to think about getting its own cyberattack capability.

      “Passive defenses alone are not sufficient,” Lin said. “You have to impose costs on an attacker and maybe the only way to do that is a cyberattack yourself. The good guys have always had some sort of offense too.”

      Lin was dumbstruck by Poulsen’s dismissal of the examples that the government, including President Obama, have used as evidence that there is a massive cybersecurity threat — specifically Obama’s recent description of a November USB thumb-drive virus attack as one of the biggest cyberattacks against the U.S. military.

      “Why is something that is an obvious threat not considered a threat to national security?” Lin asked.

      “The point is that the way you frame these issues matters,” Schneier explained.

      In fact, they do matter — since now the government is pouring billions of dollars into cybersecurity for its own networks, and possibly the general public’s net — a far change from the government’s relative indifference to such issues until about two years ago.

      Indeed, even Amit Yoran, who quit his post in the Bush Administration as cyber czar in October 2004 after having gotten little support during his one-year tenure, admitted his job might have been easier, and he might not have quit, if cyberattacks had the media attention then that they do now.

       

      http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/06/cyberthreat/

      China Censors: The Tiananmen Square Anniversary Will Not Be Tweeted

      June 3, 2009
        tiananmen-241x300
        • By Kim Zetter Email Author 
        • June 2, 2009
          Wired.com  

        Chinese authorities have instituted censoring measures to block access to several internet sites and services in anticipation of Thursday’s 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protest and massacre.

        The censoring began at 5 p.m. local time on Tuesday as access to sites was blocked, though users could still reportedly reach some of them through proxies, VPNs and third-party desktop clients.

        The blocked sites include Twitter, Flickr and Microsoft’s Hotmail, according to the Telegraph. FoxNews added The Huffington Post, Life Journal and the MSN Spaces blogging tool to the list. BBC viewers in China also saw their screens black out when the news service broadcast stories about the anniversary, and foreign news crews have been barred from filming in the square. Readers of the Financial Times and Economist magazine found stories about Tiananmen ripped from their pages. Authorities also plan to begin cracking down on unapproved internet cafes, according to reports from state media.

        The blocked sites are just a few among thousands that China’s censors have targeted since the beginning of last year as a string of anniversaries is marked, including the 50th anniversary of the Tibet uprising. In April, access to YouTube was blocked after someone posted images of China’s military police beating Tibetan monks.

        Twitter became popular in China after last year’s earthquake in Sichuan when people used it to get out reports of the devastation and signal news of their safety to friends and family members. The Times of London recently noted that Chinese users of Twitter can write terms that are normally blocked if they type them on other websites, such as “6/4″ for the date of the Tiananmen massacre or “Charter 08,” referring to a document published online last year by a group of intellectuals that calls for greater freedom and democracy.

        As a result, the Times says, bloggers have been anticipating the blocking of Twitter.

        “Twitter is a new thing in China. The censors need time to figure out what it is,” blogger Michael Anti told the China-based blog Danwei.org. “So enjoy the last happy days of twittering before the fate of YouTube descends on it one day.”

        He noted that given the nature of the Chinese language, a Chinese tweet could crowd in much more meaning in the 140 characters allowed by Twitter per message, than can English users. “140 Chinese characters can make up all the full elements of a news piece with the ‘5 Ws’ (Who, What, Where, When and HoW),” he said. “But the joy of the Chinese Twitterland is more fragile, and I hope that it will live longer in this country.”

        Photo: A Chinese policeman grabs a protester in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on the 15th anniversary of a bloody military crackdown on democracy protesters, Friday, June 4, 2004. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)

         

        http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/06/china-censors-internet-before-tiananmen-square-anniversary/

        Report: Faulty Communications Imperil President

        May 23, 2009

        cover_obamascream_inside

        • 2:48 pm
          Wired.com

        The U.S. Secret Service is asking for $34 million to help upgrade its communication system, and says that without the money the president’s life could be in danger, according to a news report.

        The agency says that its communication system is incompatible with the White House communication system, resulting in a “dangerous gap” that could “prevent the attainment of the performance target of 100 percent protection.”

        The statements appeared in a 2010 budget request, submitted to Congress this month, according to ABC News. According to the request, the agency’s “degraded” networks and software are “adversely impacting critical operational missions” and could thwart agents communicating in an emergency.

        “USSS’ protective and investigative missions will be functionally unable to respond to the increasing volume of threats without additional investment,” the budget request says.

        The agency also indicated that without the multi-million-dollar upgrade, its system was vulnerable to hacker attacks.

        A spokesman for the agency told ABC News that the agency isn’t currently at risk “at this time.”

        “Despite the challenges we are currently facing with an aging IT infrastructure, this will not interfere with our ability to carry out our protective and investigative missions at this time,” the spokesman said.

        But in testimony to Congress in March (.pdf), Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan said that “the agency’s IT and other mission critical infrastructure cannot sustain the tempo of current operations.” Sullivan also noted that the agency flunked an NSA security audit last year that was intended to detect intrusions and vulnerabilities.

        “While the NSA findings are classified, I can tell you that the results were chilling,” Sullivan testified.

        http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/05/secretservice/

        Google joins Bilderberg cabal

        May 19, 2009

        evil-google-logo

         

        Posted: May 17, 2009
        10:04 pm Eastern

        © 2009 WorldNetDaily

        WASHINGTON – The latest meeting of the secretive, half-century-old Bilderberg Group concluded yesterday outside of Athens with a few arrests, but little news.

        Demonstrators from the political left and right shouted outside the Astir Palace hotel letting some of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world know they weren’t entirely welcome.

        A photographer for the London Guardian was briefly taken into custody while police insisted he delete pictures he took outside the hotel, which was closed to the public during the three-day meeting.

        A police officer told the Associated Press the resort was being protected by hundreds of police, navy commandos, coast guard speedboats and two F-16 fighter planes. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity, in keeping with his department’s regulations.

        Attendees this year reportedly included U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner; Larry Summers, the director of the U.S. National Economic Council; Richard Holbrooke, the Obama administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan; World Bank President Robert Zoellick; European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet and European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.

        Get the inside story of the super-secret group of globalist insiders. Learn from author who penetrated Bilderbergers

        Bilderberg attendance is by invitation only. And if you want an invitation, you’d better be extremely rich or extremely powerful.

        New invitees reportedly include the nouveau riche Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt. Henry Kissinger, a lynchpin of continuity with other secretive internationalist groups including the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission, is a regular attendee, as is Wall Street Journal Editor Paul Gigot.

        Former British cabinet minister, Lord Denis Healey, one of the founders of the group, explained the purpose of the group to Jon Ronson of the Guardian: “Those of us in Bilderberg felt we couldn’t go on forever fighting one another for nothing and killing people and rendering millions homeless. So we felt that a single community throughout the world would be a good thing.”

        Meanwhile, Daniel Estulin, author of “The True Story of the Bilderberg Group,” said before the confab the main topic of the agenda for this meeting was the world economy. He said his sources inside the group told him the movers and shakers would be discussing two options – “either a prolonged, agonizing depression that dooms the world to decades of stagnation, decline, and poverty … or an intense-but-shorter depression that paves the way for a new sustainable economic world order, with less sovereignty but more efficiency.”

        As WND has reported, The Bilderberg Group meets at luxury hotels and resorts throughout the world. Last year’s conference was held at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Va. WND made an effort to gain entry, but was denied. Every four years the conference is held in the U.S. or Canada. The group has an office located in Leiden, South Holland, Netherlands.

        The highly secretive meeting is off limits to press, but past reports from sources that have managed to penetrate the high-security meetings have stated that the meetings emphasize a globalist agenda and dismiss national sovereignty as regressive.

        The BBC declared it to be one of the most influential organizations in the world.

        “It’s officially described as a private gathering,” BBC reported, “but with a guest list including the heads of European and American corporations, political leaders and a few intellectuals, it’s one of the most influential organizations on the planet.”

        Attendees of the Bilderberg conference are not allowed to speak a word of what is discussed in the meeting outside of the group. The group has no website and no minutes are kept of the meetings to ensure secrecy.

        Last year, however, the Bilderberg Group made a press release available listing topics of discussion and providing a general overview of the gathering.

        “Approximately 140 participants will attend, of whom about two-thirds come from Europe and the balance from North America,” the release stated. “About one-third is from government and politics, and two-thirds are from finance, industry, labor, education and communications. The meeting is private in order to encourage frank and open discussion.”

        This year’s event was the 57th annual gathering of the Bilderberg Group, which began meeting in 1954. A scheduled meeting in 1976 was canceled, but if added to the tally, leads some to count this year’s gathering as the 58th.

        http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=98469

        Pentagon Preps Soldier Telepathy Push

        May 17, 2009

        “Nahh. We don’t live in a eugenic nightmare of a country. Eat your mac & cheese and watch you TV cause everything is cool. No need to show outrage or to speak out. That would be displaying your individuality and your human nature. Thats all gone now. We are machines to protect our land from invisible enemies. We are working muscle to pay taxes to our masters. Don’t think we have a chip for that now. Life is grand.”

        -Fred Face 5/16/09

         

        04_smartsensor

        • 10:46 am  
        Wired.com

        Forget the battlefield radios, the combat PDAs or even infantry hand signals. When the soldiers of the future want to communicate, they’ll read each other’s minds.

        At least, that’s the hope of researchers at the Pentagon’s mad-science division Darpa. The agency’s budget for the next fiscal year includes $4 million to start up a program called Silent Talk. The goal is to “allow user-to-user communication on the battlefield without the use of vocalized speech through analysis of neural signals.” That’s on top of the $4 million the Army handed out last year to the University of California to investigate the potential for computer-mediated telepathy.

        Before being vocalized, speech exists as word-specific neural signals in the mind. Darpa wants to develop technology that would detect these signals of  “pre-speech,” analyze them, and then transmit the statement to an intended interlocutor. Darpa plans to use EEG to read the brain waves. It’s a technique they’re also testing in a project to devise mind-reading binoculars that alert soldiers to threats faster the conscious mind can process them.

         

        The project has three major goals, according to Darpa. First, try to map a person’s EEG patterns to his or her individual words. Then, see if those patterns are generalizable — if everyone has similar patterns. Last, “construct a fieldable pre-prototype that would decode the signal and transmit over a limited range.”

        The military has been funding a handful of  mind-tapping technology recently, and already have monkeys capable of telepathic limb control. Telepathy may also have advantages beyond covert battlefield chatter. Last year, the National Research Council and the Defense Intelligence Agency released a report suggesting that neuroscience might also be useful to “make the enemy obey our commands.” The first step, though, may be getting a grunt to obey his officer’s remotely-transmitted thoughts.

        – Katie Drummond and Noah Shachtman

        http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/05/pentagon-preps-soldier-telepathy-push/

        Prison Awaiting Hostile Bloggers

        May 7, 2009
        • 5:12 pm 
        Proposed congressional legislation would demand up to two years in prison for those whose electronic speech is meant to “coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person.”  

        Instead of prison, perhaps we should say gulag.

        The proposal by Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Los Angeles,would never pass First Amendment muster, unless the U.S. Constitution was altered without us knowing. So Sanchez, and the 14 other lawmakers who signed on to the proposal, are grandstanding to show the public they care about children and are opposed to cyberbullying.

        The meaasure, H.R. 1966, is labeled the Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act. It’s designed to target the behavior that led to last year’s suicide of the 13-year-old Meier.

        In response to Meier’s suicide, prosecutors turned to an anti-hacking statute, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and prosecuted Lori Drew. She was accused of violating MySpace’s terms of service agreement in what prosecutors said was a complex conspiracy to harass Meier via a fake MySpace online profile.

        The judge presiding over the case is weighing a motion to nullify the jury’s verdict on allegations the authorities failed to prove Drew knew the MySpace terms of service existed — allegations that would be mooted had Drew been prosecuted under Sanchez’s proposal. Drew’s case was the nation’s first cyberbullying prosecution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

        Sanchez’s bill goes way beyond cyberbullying and comes close to making it a federal offense to log onto the internet or use the telephone. The methods of communication where hostile speech is banned include e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, websites, telephones and text messages.

        We can’t say what we think of Sanchez’s proposal. Doing so would clearly get us two years in solitary confinement.

        The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

        http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/05/prison-awaiting-hostile-bloggers/

        Investigation Ordered Into Virginia Fusion Center Document

        May 1, 2009

        ACLU
        April 30, 200

         

        Following the American Civil Liberties Union’s criticism regarding a controversial Virginia Fusion Center terrorism assessment report, Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine has announced that he will investigate the practices of the secretive center located in Virginia. The ACLU raised constitutional concerns about the report’s focus on First Amendment protected activities when it was made public this month. The document characterized the “diversity” surrounding a Virginia military base and the state’s “historically black” colleges as possible recruiting grounds for terrorists.

        “It’s encouraging to see the governor of Virginia agreed with the ACLU that the Virginia Fusion Center’s Threat Assessment warranted an investigation,” said Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “We are hopeful that the federal government will follow suit and realize how damaging these fusion center reports can be absent strict guidelines and intense oversight. We’re looking forward to working with Congress and the Obama administration to conduct a thorough audit of these centers before more federal money is spent to support their activities.”

        The federal government has facilitated the growth of a network of fusion centers since 9/11 to expand information collection and sharing practices among law enforcement agencies, the private sector and the intelligence community. According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), there were 70 fusion centers in the United States as of February 2009.

        The ACLU has long warned the government about the dangers posed by fusion centers without proper oversight and, in 2007, released a report entitled, “What’s Wrong With Fusion Centers?” The report, which was updated last year, identifies specific concerns with fusion centers, including their ambiguous lines of authority, the troubling role of private corporations, the participation of the military, the use of data mining and their excessive secrecy.

         

        Earlier this month, the ACLU sent five letters to the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties urging investigations into five troubling incidents, several of which have stemmed from DHS-funded fusion centers. From directing local police to investigate non-violent political activists and religious groups in Texas to advocating surveillance of third-party presidential candidate supporters in Missouri, there have been repeated and persistent disclosures of troubling memos and reports from local fusions centers.

        “With any luck, this investigation will shine a light on the murky internal operations of domestic intelligence centers,” said Michael German, ACLU Policy Counsel and former FBI Agent. “This threat assessment isn’t just troubling for its constitutional and racial implications; it also contains wildly misleading information that could lead to unnecessary and wasteful investigations of innocent Americans. It’s important for lawmakers from all levels of government to become engaged with this issue, conduct thorough oversight of fusion centers and enact legislation to protect against unwarranted intelligence activities that threaten our democracy while doing nothing to improve security.”

        To read the ACLU of Virginia’s analysis of the Virginia Fusion Center’s Report, go to: www.acluva.org/publications/VAFusionCenterSummary2009.pdf

        To read the ACLU’s report on fusion centers, go to: www.aclu.org/fusion

        To read the ACLU’s letters to the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, go to:www.aclu.org/privacy

        US: DHS Leftwing Extremists Likely to Increase Use of Cyber Attacks over the Coming Decade

        April 23, 2009

        http://wikileaks.org/leak/us-dhs-leftwing-extremist-cyber-threat.pdf

        ap_obama_napolitano_dhs_081120_mn

        Study: ‘Green’ Training Ammo Carries Cancer Risk

        April 22, 2009

        497145

         

        By David Hambling EmailApril 20, 2009 | 8:59:00 AM

        Wired.com

         

        In the 1990’s the U.S. Army introduced a new set of “green” training ammunition designed to be less toxic and more environmentally friendly than the lead-filled rounds used before. But these new bullets may have left firing ranges contaminated and exposed soldiers to a new health hazard. Soon-to-be-released research suggests that a key element in the new ammo, once thought to be safe, may in fact be carcinogenic. The Army has stopped production of the bullets.

        More than 90 million rounds of the “green” training ammunition has been used in the United States, since its introduction. It relies on a blend of tungsten and nylon, or tungsten and tin. That gives the bullets the same density and firing properties as the original, but without using lead. Tungsten was considered non-toxic. And it was thought to be “non-mobile,” unlikely to dissolve and travel, so it wouldn’t get into the groundwater.

        But new research by University of Arizona Research Professor of Pediatrics Mark Witten points to a different conclusion: Tungsten may elevate the risk for cancer.

        His study — to be presented later this month at the 2009 Experimental Biology Meeting in New Orleans — is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The agency wanted to take a fresh look atleukemia clusters in Fallon, Nevada, and Sierra Vista, Arizona. Nearby tungsten mining appears to have raised tungsten levels in the towns.

        In his research, Witten exposed mouse embryos to both airborne and waterborne tungsten, followed by a common respiratory virus. This was an attempt to replicate events preceding the Fallon leukemia cluster. Four of the six mouse pups showed abnormal leukocytes, a precursor to leukemia.

        It’s a small sample size, to be sure. But Dr. Witten is in no doubt that tungsten is dangerous.

        “I do believe that tungsten has deleterious health effects, and that further work is needed to understand and quantify the cancer risk,” he says.

        Previous research has shown that embedded tungsten alloy shrapnel is carcinogenic. This is the first time, however, that the element has been implicated. Witten’s paper does not prove that tungsten is carcinogenic. But it certainly points to the need for further research.

        The Army is concerned enough about possible risks that it has stopped making the tungsten ammo. “The U.S. Army developed a lead-free 5.56mm round during the mid 1990s with a tungsten-nylon alternate slug materiel. Environmental studies later determined that the tungsten-nylon combo had a possible environmental impact. The Army stopped production of its tungsten-nylon 5.56mm [rounds],” Tonya Townsell, a spokesperson for the Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, tells Danger Room. “The residual inventory of 5.56mm Tungsten-Nylon rounds is still available for use in training at lead-restricted sites as it is deemed safer than lead.”

        In the meantime, several facilities are cutting back their use of tungsten-based training ammo. The rounds are no longer used at Massachusetts Military Reservation after the governor issued a “cease and desist” order. Last September, the Army Ammunition Plant in Missouri reportedly sold 190,000 pounds of tungsten including “bullets in various stages of production” in what one commentator described as “a fire sale”.

        There have been growing concerns about tungsten for some years. An October 2008 Issues Paper from the state and federal waste managers’ group says that the “original position of the scientific community with regard to fate and transport, analytical testing and toxicology” of tungsten has “drastically changed.”

        The report further warns: “Over the past years, soil and groundwater samples collected at certain small arms ranges have demonstrated that tungsten is very mobile and soluble once it is released into the environment. In addition, limited yet important health studies have also revealed that tungsten may pose risks to humans and ecological receptors.”

        The paper notes that many training sites are still using tungsten munitions. Given that airborne tungsten is a potential hazard, anyone using a firing range with the “green” ammunition may have been exposed to a cancer risk.

        There are also other ways in which military tungsten gets into the environment. The only documented case of acute tungsten poisoning in medical literature comes from a French artilleryman who drank wine that had been poured down a gun barrel as part of an initiation ritual. The barrel was a new type incorporating tungsten alloy, and particles were picked up by the wine. The soldier suffered from seizures and kidney failure, but recovered after five months. (His comrades threw up the mixture before they could suffer toxic effects.)

        Cleaning up the firing ranges and checking the possible health effects of the tungsten training rounds will be a big task. Dr. Witten, for one, has no doubt that the tungsten rounds should not be used until further work is carried out: “Maybe lead is not as dangerous as tungsten.”

        But there’s also a bigger task ahead. As well as training rounds, tungsten is used in a huge variety of combat munitions from bombs to missiles to tank shells, and replacing these will be a huge challenge.

        [Photo: Department of Defense]

         

        http://blog.wired.com/defense/2009/04/toxic-tungsten.html

        More FBI Hacking: Feds Crack Wi-Fi to Gather Evidence

        April 18, 2009

        cantenna

        By Kevin Poulsen EmailApril 17, 2009 | 2:52:04 PM

        Wired.com

         

        Buried in the 150 pages of CIPAV spyware-related documents released by the FBI Thursday is a tantalizing nugget that indicates the bureau’s technology experts have more than one way to hack a suspect.

        In early 2007, FBI agents with one of the bureau’s International Terrorism Operations Sections sought hacking help from the FBI’s geek squads. The agents were working a case in Pittsburgh, which is not described in the documents, and wanted to know “if [a] remote computer attack can be conducted against [the] target.”

        The FBI’s Cryptographic and Electronic Analysis Unit, CEAU, responded with two options. One of them was redacted from the released document as a sensitive investigative technique. The other is described this way:  “CEAU advised Pittsburgh that they could assist with a wireless hack to obtain a file tree, but not the hard drive content.”

        Wi-fi hacking has featured prominently in some big cybercrimes, including the attack on TJ Maxx that exposed at least 45 million customer credit card numbers and other data. In that case, Albert “Segvec” Gonzalez and associates allegedly cracked the retailer’s WEP key and used it to gain entry to the corporate network, where he planted packet sniffers to scoop up the data.

        But this is the first evidence that the FBI is using the same tactics. Presumably, suspects using one of the better encryption options — like WPA-2 — are immune.

        It’s not clear why the FBI said it could only obtain a file tree — a hierarchical list of directories and files. It could be to avoid the risk of a judge later ruling that the search warrant was unconstitutionally over-broad, and consequently throwing out the evidence. Or maybe the bureau’s hackers don’t want to consume all of a target’s bandwidth while copying his entire porn directory into the FBI van on the street.

        Homebrew “cantenna” photo courtesy Clicknmiken

         

        http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/04/more-fbi-hackin.html


        Legal Scholar: Obama Breaking Promise for Online Transparency

        April 16, 2009

        By David Kravets EmailApril 14, 2009 | 5:04:43 PM

        Wired.com

         

        President Barack Obama is breaching a key campaign promise of government transparency, according to Jim Harper, the director of information studies at the Cato Institute.

        Harper, in his Monday paper, The Promise that Keeps on Breaking, notes that Obama, as part of his ethics plan, promised during the campaign to post legislation seeking his signature for five days online.

        “He has now signed 11 bills into law and gone, at best, 1 for 11 on his five-day posting promise,” Harper writes.

        The DTV Delay Act was the only piece of legislation to pass the sniff test, according to Harper. The Cato Institute director says legislation the president signed without online visibility included laws surrounding childrens’ health insurance, financial bailouts, the naming of an Illinois post office, immigration, small business, public lands and aviation.

        According to Harper, here’s why transparency is important:

        Members of Congress are highly skilled political risk balancers, and the president’s firm insistence on leaving bills sitting out there, unsigned, after they pass Congress would have a significant effect on congressional behavior. It would threaten to reveal excesses in parochial amendments and earmarks, which could bring down otherwise good bills. Recognizing the negative attention they could draw to themselves, representatives and senators would act with more circumspection, and last-minute add-ons to big bills would recede. A firm five-day rule at the White House would also inspire the House and Senate to implement more transparent and careful processes themselves.

        Does it matter if finished legislation awaiting Obama’s signature is posted? Tell us what you think.

         

        http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2009/04/obama-breaking.html

        Congressman To Introduce Anti-Download Cap Bill

        April 15, 2009

        chart_broadbandstats

        By Ryan Singel EmailApril 14, 2009 | 10:46:35 AM

        Wired.com

         

        Time Warner Cable plans to test its controversial, new scheme to have users pay by the gigabyte in Rochester, New York, but the area’s freshman congressman calls usage caps greedy and plans to introduce legislation to stop it.

        New York Democratic Representative Eric Massa called TWC’s proposal to switch its 8.4 million cable broadband customers to metered internet billing an “outrageous plan to tax the American people.”

        Massa, a longtime blogger at the liberal site DailyKos, says he will be joined by a “legion of activists” and called the fight against usage caps a “national issue of generational consequences.” However, Massa’s fight will not get far without support from powerful House members,including Virginia Democrat Rick Boucher who now controls a key committee on telecoms and the internet.

        Critics say usage caps will cost users more and hurt innovation on the net — especially in new video services, as subscribers begin to calorie-count their internet usage.

        TWC’s new tiered pricing structure for its Roadrunner internet service starts with a $15 for 1GB a month usage plan with a overage charge of $2 per GB. The company say that bandwidth hogs need to pay their fair share and that if the company doesn’t get enough money to build new infrastructure, “internet brownouts” will be inevitable.

        In a conference call with reporters Tuesday, Massa dismissed those arguments, describing TWC as an greedy, unregulated monopoly providing a utility service. His yet-to-be released bill would seek to increase competition among broadband providers and regulate monopolies, he said, though he declined to give specifics.

        “They are providing a utility and frankly you should not be able to impose cascading rate increases without justifying them,” Massa said. “What Time Warner is saying is not true and their own SEC filings show that. This is AIG-style greed.”

        As Wired.com first pointed outTime Warner Cable’s 2008 annual report shows its high-speed data costs actually declined by 12 percent to $146 million. Meanwhile subscribers increased by more than 10 percent to 8.4 million, and high-speed data revenues climbed to more than $4 billion.

        TWC first tested the plans in Beaumont, Texas, and is now collecting usage data in Rochester, NY and the Texas cities San Antonio and Austin, in preparation for an expanded metered billing test later this summer.

        The plan has faced intense criticism since the company announced the changes at the beginning of the month. Hoping to mollify its critics, the company modified its tiers last Thursday, increasing the usage caps for each tier and adding a $150 all-you-can download plan.

        Nearly all U.S. residential broadband providers sell their services based on bandwidth speeds, with no mention of a usage cap. Experts say that’s in part because there’s little data for the companies to base their pricing on, and because if one company offers unlimited data, the others do as well, at least in markets where there is broadband competition. Broadband usage continues to grow, most recently thanks to an explosion in online video services, but the cost of moving those bits also continues to fall.

        Time Warner isn’t alone in its campaign to crack down on heavy net users. AT&T announced last November that it would test monthly bandwidth caps and overage fees. Comcast installed a 250-GB cap last August; Canada’s Rogers enforces a 60 GB limit; and New York-based DSL provider Frontier has a miserly 5-GB limit (though public pressure forced the company not to enforce it).

        Timothy Karr, a campaign director at the consumer advocate group FreePress, argues that TWC is unfairly trying to protect its lucrative cable television business from customers switching over to online video.

        “Charging consumers penalty fees on top of what they are already paying to download a movie or show will cripple online video,” Karr said last week. “This is a win-win situation for Time Warner. Congress must investigate these anti-competitive practices before they become a nationwide problem.”

        TWC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

        A Massa spokesman said the text of the bill would be ready late in the week.

        Graph: Wired.com/Dennis Crothers

        http://blog.wired.com/business/2009/04/congressman-to.html

        Bill Lets Obama Turn Off the Internet

        April 9, 2009

        17

         

        By Jason Lee Miller – Wed, 04/08/2009 – 06:23

         

         

        Two bills introduced giving the President the power to deem a private network part of the nation’s critical infrastructure and shut it down for cybersecurity reasons also gives the Commerce Secretary the power to access network data outside of oversight.

        The Big Brother vibe coming off both is reminiscent of a demanding report submitted before Obama even took office. About a month after Election Day, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) issued a reportcalled Securing Cyberspace for the 44th President.

        Heard of the military-industrial complex? The CSIS is likely where they meet to carpool.

        The recommendations in the report, ignored by the previous administration, are sweeping and demanding. The principle minds behind it hailed from the CIA, the US Navy, Microsoft, Sun, AT&T, ICANN, Lockheed Martin, Cisco, and GE—among a slew of others—and likely those minds felt confident they’d get a more sympathetic ear from the new President. And they were likely right. They’d get that from Congress, too.

        Senators Jay Rockefeller and Olympia Snowe introduced legislation last week echoing much of what the CSIS report was looking for, which is primarily a set of standards network operators are to live up to—more on that in a bit. One bill creates the office of cybersecurity czar, called a National Cybersecurity Adviser, who will oversee national network security. Confirmed by the Senate, the cybersecurity czar will have the highest security clearance necessary to monitor infrastructure networks and will be a party to secret initiatives.

        Thanks to the Cybersecurity Act of 2009, the cybersecurity czar will be advised by a panel stakeholders from government, private, academic, and nonprofit sectors, much like the signatories to CSIS’s report. Also under the longer bill, the President can order the disconnection of any federal or private critical infrastructure network during emergencies or for reasons of national security. “Critical infrastructure” could include the networks attached to financial, power, transportation, medical, communication or any other network deemed critical that could be the target of a cyber attack.

        In short, the President could shut down much of the Internet if he thought necessary. The Secretary of Commerce would also be given “access to all relevant data concerning [critical] networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access” in the event of a cybersecurity emergency.

        The National Institute of Standards and Technology would be charged with developing standards and tests for information networks and software used by federal agencies, contractors, or other private networks deemed part of the critical infrastructure.

        Typically, when legislation affecting, limiting, or dictating major corporations hits Congress, those corporations make big stinks. Watch AT&T and Verizon go mad with anti-regulation fervor whenever Net Neutrality is brought up. All sectors are suspiciously quiet on this front, though. It could be because there’s big money in standardization, especially if your company gets to create the standards, and there’s big money in government contracts, too. Essentially, sometimes a report is a bid for a job.

        While no one would object to the federal government improving its ability to fight off cyber attacks or to updating cybersecurity policies to reflect 21st Century approaches, it seems wise to be wary of handing over so much power to a few people and wary of giving up so much of our digital sovereignty.

         

         

        http://www.webpronews.com/topnews/2009/04/07/bill-lets-obama-turn-off-the-internet

        Pentagon Chief Rips Heart Out of Army’s ‘Future’

        April 7, 2009

        13

        By Noah Shachtman EmailApril 06, 2009 | 4:17:00 PM

        Wired.com

         

        In 2003, the U.S. Army introduced its plan to wage the wars of tomorrow. A fleet of light, networked, electric-powered combat vehicles would speed American forces into battle against another superpower military — and win the fight almost instantly, thanks to its unmatched ability to out-think and out-maneuver any foe. The generals called the effort Future Combat Systems, or FCS, and figured the whole thing might cost $92 billion.

        But, it turns out, just about every assumption the Army had about its future was wrong. America’s wars wound up being against terrorists and insurgents, not other big armies. The enemy weapons of choice in those fights — metal-shredding roadside bombs — made a priority of more armor, not less. The U.S. military-industrial complex’s attempts to make the combat vehicles electric floundered. The projects to provide battlefield bandwidth fizzled. The already-massive budget for FCS grew, by some estimates, to a truly gargantuan $200 billion. And with every added billion and technology flop, the calls to rework or kill off FCS grew louder.

        Now,  Defense Secretary Robert Gates is looking to all-but-end the Army’s Future Combat Systems. In his proposal today to radically overhaul of Pentagon’s arsenal, Gates said he wanted to scrap all eight of the vehicles at the heart of FCS — including a next-gen tank, cannon and infantry carrier. “I have concluded that there are significant unanswered questions concerning the FCS vehicle design strategy. I am also concerned that, despite some adjustments, the FCS vehicles — where lower weight, higher fuel efficiency, and greater informational awareness are expected to compensate for less armor — do not adequately reflect the lessons of counterinsurgency and close-quarters combat in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Gates said.

        When they first launched FCS six years ago, the Army’s top generals made a bet — not just on the coming wars around the globe, but on the politics within the Beltway. Ordinarily, weapons systems are bought one class at a time: one particular tank, one particular network, a single model of a fighter jet. But in the 1990s and early 2000s, the Army saw several of its weapons programs killed off by the Pentagon brass. So the generals made a decision, to package what would ordinarily be dozens of programs — new vehicles, new robots, new networks — into a single effort called “Future Combat Systems.” And they awarded the massive contract for the whole thing to a pair of companies, Boeing and SAIC. The executives and the generals said it was to make sure all the gear worked in concert. Critics countered that, by combining all those programs into one, it made FCS too bloated, too ungainly to ever work right. And by the way, they added, why was there so little government oversight of what Boeing and SAIC did?

        Gates sided with the critics Monday afternoon. “I am troubled by the terms of the current contract, particularly its very unattractive fee structure that gives the government little leverage to promote cost efficiency,” he said. “Because the vehicle part of the FCS program is currently estimated to cost over $87 billion, I believe we must have more confidence in the program strategy, requirements and maturity of the technologies before proceeding further.”

        Bits of FCS will continue. Small ground robots and drones developed under the program will be “spun out” soon to the troops. But, if Gates has his way, the generals’ original vision for Future Combat Systems is over. As one Capitol Hill source put it, “They wanted to make it too big to fail, and in the process, made it a failure.”

         

        http://blog.wired.com/defense/2009/04/gates-rips-hear.html

        Cybersecurity Bill Gives Obama Dictatorial Power Over Internet

        April 7, 2009

        Kurt Nimmo
        Infowars
        April 6, 2009

         

        As we reported on March 22 when Jay Rockefeller was peddling nonsense about a pimple-faced kid in Latvia taking down the power grid in America with a laptop computer, the current wave of fear-mongering about cyber terrorism is just that — unsubstantiated fear-mongering. Critical networks are largely protected and “nightmarish tales of their vulnerability tend to be largely apocryphal,” according to Gabriel Weimann, author of Terror on the Internet. “Psychological, political, and economic forces have combined to promote the fear of cyberterrorism.”

        Indeed, there are political forces are behind Senate bills No. 773 and 778, introduced by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who declared last month that we would all be better off if the internet was never invented. Rockefeller meant the government would be better off if the internet was never invented. If the internet was never invented, the corporate media would dominate news and information and alternative media restricted to print would have a far more difficult time counter balancing government propaganda. Government and the elite behind it are sincerely worried about the fact increasing numbers of people get their news from alternative media sources on the internet and corporate media newspapers are falling like dominoes.

        “If we fail to take swift action, we, regrettably, risk a cyber-Katrina,” said fear-monger Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, who is co-sponsoring the bill. “We must protect our critical infrastructure at all costs – from our water to our electricity, to banking, traffic lights and electronic health records – the list goes on,” added Rockefeller.

        Rockefeller’s bills introduced in the Senate — known as the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 — would create yet another government bureaucracy, the Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor. It would report directly to Obama. Rockefeller’s legislation would grant “the Secretary of Commerce access to all privately owned information networks deemed to be critical to the nation’s infrastructure “without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule or policy restricting such access” (see a  working draft of the legislation here).

        In other words, Obama would have a Cyber Czar in the Commerce Department and the power to shut down the internet.

        The cybersecurity fraud now in motion will grant the Department of Commerce oversight of “critical” networks, such as banking records, would grant the government access to potentially incriminating information obtained without cause or warrant, a violation of the Constitution’s prohibition against unlawful search and seizure, Jennifer Granick, civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told Mother Jones. 

        “The whole thing smells bad to me,” writes Larry Seltzer for eWeek. “I don’t like the chances of the government improving this situation by taking it over generally, and I definitely don’t like the idea of politicizing this authority by putting it in the direct control of the president.”

        Obama’s internet agenda is an extension of his effort to impose government control over the private sector. Republicans call this socialism. In a way it is socialism, but not the kind you were told about in high school — it is a socialism devised by the Trilateralists and Council on Foreign Relations. It is a system of control that will be imposed by the bankers and has nothing to do equality for all individuals or a fair or egalitarian method of compensation for workers. Banker socialism is about serfdom and poverty.

        It should be obvious what is going on here. Not if but when the next false flag attack occurs here in America, the elite will turn off the internet in order to control the flow of information. They will tell us they were forced to do this in order to deny terrorists in caves or driving around with Ron Paul bumper stickers on their cars the ability to sabotage the power grid and banks.

        Senate bills No. 773 and 778 are about controlling information. The bills have nothing to do with mischievous kids with laptops in Latvia.

        http://www.infowars.com/cybersecurity-bill-gives-obama-dictatorial-power-over-internet/

        Obama’s safety net: the TelePrompter

        April 7, 2009

        9

        By  | 3/5/09 1:04 PM EDT

         

        President Barack Obama doesn’t go anywhere without his TelePrompter. 

        The textbook-sized panes of glass holding the president’s prepared remarks follow him wherever he speaks. 

        Resting on top of a tall, narrow pole, they flank his podium during speeches in the White House’s stately parlors. They stood next to him on the floor of a manufacturing plant in Indiana as he pitched his economic stimulus plan. They traveled to the Department of Transportation this week and were in the Capitol Rotunda last month when he paid tribute to Abraham Lincoln in six-minute prepared remarks. 

        Obama’s reliance on the teleprompter is unusual — not only because he is famous for his oratory, but because no other president has used one so consistently and at so many events, large and small. 

        After the teleprompter malfunctioned a few times last summer and Obama delivered some less-than-soaring speeches, reports surfaced that he was training to wean himself off of the device while on vacation in Hawaii. But no such luck. 

        His use of the teleprompter makes work tricky for the television crews and photographers trying to capture an image of the president announcing a new Cabinet secretary or housing plan without a pane of glass blocking his face. And it is a startling sight to see such sleek, modern technology set against the mahogany doors and Bohemian crystal chandeliers in the East Room or the marble columns of the Grand Foyer.

        “It’s just something presidents haven’t done,” said Martha Joynt Kumar, a presidential historian who has held court in the White House since December 1975. “It’s jarring to the eye. In a way, it stands in the middle between the audience and the president because his eye is on the teleprompter.” 

        Just how much of a crutch the teleprompter has become for Obama was on sharp display during his latest commerce secretary announcement. The president spoke from a teleprompter in the ornate Indian Treaty Room for a few minutes. Then Gov. Gary Locke stepped to the podium and pulled out a piece of paper for reference. 

        The president’s teleprompter also elicited some uncomfortable laughter after he announced Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius as his choice for Health and Human Services secretary. “Kathy,” Obama said, turning the podium over to Sebelius, who waited at the microphone for an awkward few seconds while the teleprompters were lowered to the floor and the television cameras rolled. 

        Obama has relied on a teleprompter through even the shortest announcements and when repeating the same lines on his economic stimulus plan that he’s been saying for months — whereas past presidents have mostly worked off of notes on the podium except during major speeches, such as the State of the Union.

        Ari Fleischer, a former spokesman for George W. Bush, said while it’s entirely a matter of personal style, using a teleprompter at these smaller events has its drawbacks. 

        “It removes you from the audience in the room,” Fleischer said. When speaking from notes, Fleischer said, the president can pick up his head and make eye contact with those in the audience, as opposed to focusing on the teleprompter to his left and right. 

        Bush, Fleischer added, “would use the teleprompter for his major big events, but when he would travel around the country or do events, he would almost always work off of large index cards.” 

        The White House says Obama’s point of reference is insignificant. 

        “Whether one uses note cards or a teleprompter, the American people are a lot more concerned about the plans relayed than the method of delivery. This is not always true of the media,” said Bill Burton, deputy press secretary.

        Obama has never tried to hide his use of a teleprompter. It was a mainstay during the final months of his campaign. He brought it to county fairs and campaign rallies alike — and once had it set up in the ring at a rodeo. 

        In a break from his routine, Obama did not use a teleprompter during his pre-Inauguration speech at a factory in Bedford Heights, Ohio — and his delivery seemed to suffer. He paused too long at parts. He accentuated the wrong words. And overall he sounded hesitant and halting as he spoke from the prepared remarks on the podium. 

        As president, the stakes in what he says are higher. Governing is not campaigning, and, as a former first-term senator, Obama has not held a previous elected position where his words carried even close to this level of influence. 

        “In this kind of environment, you don’t want to make mistakes — on the economy you’re talking about doing things that affect the markets,” Kumar said. 

        But be it extra precaution, style or a mental crutch, Obama has shown in the past that he needs the teleprompter. And while he still has his prepared remarks placed on the podium in a leather folder, the White House has shown no sign of trying to wean him off of it. 

        Before Obama entered a room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Wednesday to announce his crackdown on defense contracts, a CNN reporter asked an Obama aide if the teleprompter could be moved further away from the podium or lowered. The answer was an unequivocal ‘no.’ 

        “He uses them to death,” a television crewmember who also covered the White House under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush said of the teleprompter. “The problem is, he never looks at you. He’s looking left, right, left, right — not at the camera. It’s almost like he’s not making eye contact with the American people.” 

        Wednesday’s event posed another scenario photographers and television crews have to work around. Obama had five others join him at the announcement, including Sen. John McCain. The takeaway shot was of Obama and McCain. But the teleprompter on Obama’s left was almost directly in front of McCain. 

        “You couldn’t get a good angle on him with McCain,” said a White House photographer who also covered Bush. “So if there’s someone else important in the frame, it’s hard to get a shot without the teleprompter.”

         

        http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/19663.html

        Wikia Death Proves Google Is Search-Startup Killer

        April 6, 2009

        By Ryan Singel EmailApril 03, 2009 | 6:10:56 PM

        Wired.com

         

        Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales’ open source, human-powered Google killer died a quiet death Tuesday, making Wikia.com the latest object lesson in the futility of trying to unseat Google as the king of search engines.

        Even though the site lasted barely a year, Wales should not feel badly about pulling the plug on his ambitious attempt to harness the power of the crowds to take down Google and force search algorithms to become more transparent.

        In fact, Wikia even managed to force Google to adopt a Wikia-like feature in November that solicits user opinions on whether search results are relevant.

        But, the reality is that no one can kill Google, and its search box is going to rule for many more years. It employs 20,000 of the world’s most intelligent people and rakes in billions yearly. It has a squadron of other products from YouTube to Gmail that insinuate the company’s technology deep into its users’ lives. It runs the net’s best data centers, something that any true competitor would need hundreds of millions to come close to matching.

        While it may be little comfort, Wikia has well-esteemed neighbors in the search engine graveyard.

        Amazon’s attempt to build a successful search engine called A9 failed, and its former head Udi Manber is now a vice president at Google. Yahoo, Microsoft and Ask.com all continue to struggle to maintain what’s left of the search pie after Google grabs its 60-something percent. Technorati, the blog search engine, has been all but abandoned by web users.

        Simply put, Google knows history. Google came marching from Stanford armed with the PageRank algorithm to conquer the search engines of the late 1990s. And after it won, it made sure to become powerful enough that no young upstarts would do to it what it did to Yahoo, AltaVista, HotBot and Ask Jeeves.

        Google, which the feds sometimes suspect has grown into a monopoly, says search is very competitive and that its users will head to Yahoo at the first sign of trouble. It also points to its experiments to show that the company remains innovative and has no lock on users.

        In 2006, Idealab’s Snap.com was hailed as a Google-killer, but it all but ditched its search engine in favor of pop-up-ad bubble technology. Last year’s hyped entrant Cuil may have figured out a smart way to build a deep index of the web without needing millions to build sprawling data centers, but it differs little from any other post-Google search engine — it has little to draw users from Google’s comfortable embrace.

        Ujiko_2 There’s been plenty of attempts to make search smarter — figuring out what a user means is one route.

        That’s the point of 2009’s hyped entrant Wolfram Alpha, which hasn’t even launched yet but is said to know how to answer questions as if it were a sentient computer. Powerset managed to convince Microsoft that its grouping technology was worth $100 million, even though its public search engine only let users explore Wikipedia.

        Others try to make search deeper, by looking into the net’s unplumbed databases — sometimes called the Dark Web. Try DeepDyve. Some are trying to tap into the instant zeitgeist — by searching Twitter microblog posts, but Google will surely take over this category as thoroughly as it did blog search.

        And still others try to make search results look different. The latest visualizer — SearchMe — mimics iTunes’ Cover Flow, while older attempts such as Kartoo and Ujiko bravely tried more futuristic layouts.

        Perhaps the best approach these days is to disavow competition with Google entirely.

        The best new entries on the web are Kosmix, ChaCha and DuckDuckGo.

        DuckDuckGo feels like a search engine for 5th graders doing their homework. That may sound mean, but it’s a compliment.

        ChaCha answers questions you ask by text message, and sends the answer and an ad or two back to your phone.

        Kosmix’s founders scream as loudly as they can that they are not a Google competitor — instead calling what they do exploration, rather than search. The company’s technology works by creating on-the-fly pages about a topic from sources such as Wikipedia, Flickr, AllRecipes, YouTube and yes, Google and Google News.

        For general queries, Kosmix is a refreshing change from the straight list of search results we’ve all grown so accustomed to. And hopefully, its founders are feeling lucky.

        Interested in alternative search engines? Here’s a selection of new and old challengers.

        DuckDuckGo, Wikia, Kosmix, OneRiot, ChaCha, DeepDyve, Powerset, Technorati, Yauba, Hakia, Ixquick, Clusty, Grokker, Kartoo, Ujiko

         

        http://blog.wired.com/business/2009/04/wikipedia-found.html