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No Agenda Episode 430

By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 1:22 PM.

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By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 1:22 PM.

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By Adam Curry. Posted Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 1:22 PM.

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Executive Producers: Sir Lee E Daza, Big Ass Blond, Dennis Stephens

Associate Executive Producers: Joseph Amato, David Daniels. Joshua Paulson, Chris Cowan, Scott Loewen, Renegade Mickey

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Austin Meetup

Mike & Jane produced

Jamaican in Austin

Sgt Fred

Big Ass Blond

Costitution, BF Special Forces

Truck Decorations

Trip to Dallas

Mustang Sally Overheating

Cabinets opening up

106 degrees!

Dallas

Dave Koss + Wife

De-Hitching

Meetup

The Caves

Melody

Sir Gene Nevtuloyev

The Joker

My,My,My.....James Holmes' likely murders overshadow father Robert Holmes' Libor testimony.

Link to Article

Fri, 27 Jul 2012 05:00

THURSDAY, JULY 26, 2012KingCast and Mortgage Movies remain pensive as James Holmes' father, Robert Holmes, is set to provide crippling info. on Libor & other banking scandals.

When I wrote my Dark Night journal entry for the Colorado shooting massacre I had no idea of this.... First of all, the GAO and I told you years ago that Sam Shaulson's scumbag client Citibank laundered money. And now you know that Bank of America launders money and apparently liedin the pending Pennsylvania case of Lorayne Souders v. BOA, watch the movie below.

But what about this new coincidence involving the Libor scandal. Heckas a licensed title insurance producer in New Hampshire I closed Libor Loans all the time ten years ago under the false belief that they were better than the rest, come to find out it was all a complete and utter International scam.

continue : video here

http://mortgagemovies.blogspot.com/2012/07/kingcast-and-mortg...

Breaking: Colorado Massacre Linked To Historic Bank Fraud? YES! and this also follows the Batman Rising (Phoenix) plot perfectly! : Deadline Live With Jack Blood

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Sun, 29 Jul 2012 04:40

Browse > Home / Commentary / Breaking: Colorado Massacre Linked To Historic Bank Fraud? YES! and this also follows the Batman Rising (Phoenix) plot perfectly!

Just when you think this story can't get any crazier'... We may have a primary MOTIVE for the ''inside job'' theory. Disrupt and silence James Holmes father. The rest just seems to be ancillary and falls perfectly in place via ''cost benefit analysis'' (benefit on multiple levels) Robert Holmes is currently the senior lead scientist with the American credit score company FICO'....and will testify soon, to Senate, on LIBOR scandal. Robert Holmes algorithms were said used to discover this massive fraud scheme.

Via Ground Zero Media

According to his LinkedIn profile, James Holmes's father, Dr. Robert Holmes, who received a PhD in Statistics in 1981 from the University of California at Berkeley, worked for San Diego-based HNC Software, Inc. from 2000 to 2002. HNC, known as a ''neural network'' company, and DARPA, beginning in 1998, have worked on developing ''cortronic neural networks,'' which would allow machines to interpret aural and visual stimuli to think like humans.

The cortronic concept was developed by HNC Software's chief scientist and co-founder, Robert Hecht-Nielsen. HNC merged with the Minneapolis-based Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO), a computer analysis and decision-making company. Robert Holmes continues to work at FICO.

Robert Holmes brief bio at linked in states the following: ''My educational background is in Mathematics and Statistics. My experience over the last 10 years at HNC and FICO has been in developing predictive models for financial services; credit & fraud risk models, first and third party application fraud models and internet/online banking fraud models.''

Management Experience: I am currently managing a team building Falcon Fraud Manager Credit card fraud models. I have also managed teams in the Telco and Identity Theft fraud areas.''

How interesting and coincidental is it that in the film The Dark Knight Rises Bane gets his hands on Software that is used to expose the fraud in Wall Street and literally guts the rich?

Robert Holmes is said to have developed computer algorithms that demonstrate predictive models for financial services; credit and fraud risk models, first and third party application fraud models and internet/online banking fraud models.

It is just too coincidental to not be eerily synchronistic. This software has been said to be able trace the Trillions of Dollars that have just vaporized into thin air. All of the spending in theory could be traced to the exact bank accounts of the elite thugs who have stolen it.Now these Software insiders who may have information to nail corrupt officials have always wound up being fingered by intelligence agencies and many have died mysteriously.

Several years ago a system of software was developed called PROMIS, by a company called INSLAW. This was criminal tracking software that was used by the Defense Dept. and other agencies after they stole it from the maker and forced him into Bankruptcy and Jail, where he remains today.

Danny Cassalero was murdered investigating this case shortly after he came up with an ''Octopus'' conspiracy theory of how things operated in the highest circles. This software has been slightly modified by the CIA and secretly ''slipped'' into banking software that was exported out of our country for use by foreign and offshore banks.

The software was modified to track banking transactions instead and the information about the flow of finances throughout the world was now being monitored by the CIA or at least a few agents who wanted to find out where the money was going.

After this rogue CIA group got a hold of the information they then photocopied it and had it hand delivered to each particular congressman, senator or politician along with a note explaining to them that they no longer had their bribe fund and they had 24 hours to turn in their resignation or face public scandal, humiliation and possible criminal charges if they refused.

Just prior to the shooting in Aurora Colorado, where James Holmes the son of Robert Holmes the software developer allegedly killed 12 and injured over 50 others a scandalous report was issued in the United kingdom about the LIBOR scandal where it has been discovered that much of the wealth held by the so called 99 percent is being held in offshore accounts far away from the taxman and that there is software that is now being used to track and expose those who are abusing the system.Makes you wonder if this is part of the PROMIS/INSLAW software or a modified version that is far more accurate and that the future is the exposure of criminal activity that would send the world into global civil unrest. Could it be that Robert Holmes was involved with the creation of such software models and that his son was programmed to kill in order to create a distraction from the fraud scandal that would rock the world?

According to Salon.com Mitt Romney arrived in London July 24th, 2012. He will be attending the the Olympic Games and hold fundraisers, including two with bankers and lobbyists involved in the expanding Libor rate-fixing scandal. London-based bank Barclays paid a $450 million fine earlier this month for manipulating the Libor, a rate that determines trillions of dollars of loans around the globe.

The company's ex-CEO resigned both his post at the company and his hosting duties of a Romney fundraiser, but Barclays lobbyist Patrick Durkin remains a co-chair of the Romney fundraisers, and there are others with ties to the scandal as well. Some involved in the scandal could face jail time in the future.

Once again the chilling Predictive programming does not escape those who are watching the movie ''The Dark Knight Rises.'' Bane the leader of the fictional anarchist mob decides to plant bombs in the Gotham Underground. The final target is a stadium where the Mayor of Gotham attends a sports event. A young boy sings the national anthem that eerily sounds as if it is sung with a British accent. Bane pauses to listen to the distinct voice. He then says ''Let the Games begin.'' The stadium is then bombed and the mayor is killed as his reserved viewing box is bombed.

Is this a strange revelation of the method where the scene in the movie is supposed to be some pretext for what may happen at the London Olympics? According to a blurb posted on Media Monarchy a scenario has already been put forward demonstrating that the motive of any attack on the 2012 Olympics would be to cover up the LIBOR scandal and destroy all the bank records. An attack on the Olympics would be a quick fix to exit the elite's present dilemma.

According to Media Monarchy a retired general sent a chilling memo to Author Steve Quayle connecting the attacks in Cinema number 9 at the Century 16 theaters in Aurora to the LIBOR scandal, Robert Holmes software exposing the elites and how their quick fix would be the bombing of the London Olympics.The general says that the attacks would be the impetus for the construction of the ''New Jerusalem'':

''London Olympic Opening Ceremony Artistic Director Danny Boyle labeled the ceremony a reflection of ''our green and pleasant land'''--a reference to the song 'Jerusalem' '---famously sung in the movies Chariots of Fire and also sung at Prince William's wedding. The song uses the words of William Blake's poem, which suggests the new Jerusalem would be in England'....''

Why is the new Jerusalem so significant? The General points out that

READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE

also:

Mysterious Radio ''Blast'' Before Colorado Massacre Puzzles Scientists

Link to Article

Sat, 28 Jul 2012 13:21

World's Largest English Language News Service with Over 500Articles Updated Daily

"The News You Need Today'...For TheWorld You'll Live In Tomorrow."

July 28, 2012

MysteriousRadio ''Blast'' Before ColoradoMassacre Puzzles Scientists

By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers

A new report prepared by Russian Space Forces (VKO)scientists, who are charged with monitoring radio and other electrical typetransmitted emissions from the United States under provisions outlined in theStrategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), states that atthe ''exact time'' of the 20 July 2012Colorado massacre known as the 2012 Aurora Shootinga ''mysterious blast'' of 10.80 Hz wasbroadcast from a GWEN tower in Pueblo, Colorado 178 kilometers (111 miles) awayfrom Aurora.

The GWEN tower network (GroundWave Emergency Network) was a command and control communications systemintended for use by the United States government to facilitate militarycommunications before, during and after a nuclear war. Specifically, GWEN wasconstructed to survive the effects of a high-altitude nuclear explosionelectromagnetic pulse to insure that the United States President or hissurvivors can give a launching order to strategic nuclear bombers.

GWEN transmitters were placed 200 miles apart across the US to allowspecific frequencies to be tailored to the geomagnetic-field strength in eacharea, allowing the magnetic field to be altered. They operate in the LowFrequency (LF) range, with transmissions between LF 150 and 175 KHz. They alsoemit waves from the upper VHF to the lower UHF range of 225 - 400 MHz. The LFsignals travel by waves that hug the ground rather than radiating into theatmosphere.

A GWEN station transmits in a 360 degree circle up to 300 miles, the signaldropping off sharply with distance. The entire GWEN system consists of from 58to 300 transmitters spread across the US[diagram 2nd left] with thelargest concentration of them being in Coloradoand Pennsylvania.Each tower is 299-500 ft high having 300 ft copper wires in spoke-like fashionfan out from the base of the system underground, interacting with the Earth,like a thin shelled conductor, that radiates radio wave energy for very longdistances through the ground.

The GWEN system was banned by the US Congress in 1994 over fears it could beused for ''mindcontrol'' of the American population though many of its existing towers(including the one in Pueblo, Colorado) still exist and aresaid to be tasked with different missions.

The most outspoken critic of the GWEN system was Dr. Andrija Puharich(1918-1995) [photo bottom left] who as aUS Army officer in the 1950's participated, and frequently oversaw, what areknown as The EdgewoodArsenal Experiments (also known as Project 112) said to be related toor part of CIA mind-control programs after World War II, such as MKULTRA.

American journalist LindaHunt, citing records from the US National Archives, revealed that eightNazi German scientists worked at Edgewood, under Project Paperclip:see "SecretAgenda: the United States Government, Nazi Scientists and Project Paperclip"St. Martin's Press, 1991; ABC PrimeTime Live, Operation Paperclip, 1991,and hearings before the House Judiciary Committee, 1991. The experiments wereperformed at the Edgewood Arsenal, northeast of Baltimore, Maryland,and involved the use of hallucinogens such LSD, THC, and BZ, in addition tobiological and chemical agents.

Dr. Puharich presented to US military and politicalleaders in the early 1960's the potentially catastrophic mental effectsof ELF waves on human minds, but it is said they did not believe him. He thengave this information to certain dignitaries of other Western nations who thenpassed it on to the former Soviet Union who used it against the US Embassy inMoscow on 4 July 1976 when they bombardedit with electromagnetic-waves (known as the ''RussianWoodpecker Incident''), varying the signal, including focusing on the 10Hz range said to cause the most instability in the human mind.

Important to note about Dr. Puharich is that he is credited with startingwhat is now known as the ''psychedelicage'' when during a 1961 broadcast of the popular American televisionprogramme on the paranormal One StepBeyond he conducted an experiment on that shows host John Newland usinghallucinogenic mushrooms. (See video of show: Part1Part 2Part3) In his 1974 book TheSacred Mushroom: Key to the Door of Eternity, Dr. Puharich explainedthat 7.83 Hz (Earth's pulse rate) made a person feel good, producing analtered-state, 10.80 Hz causes riotous behavior and 6.6 Hz causes depression.

This report further states that a review of this mysterious frequency ''blast'' showed it having appeared onlyonce before on 8 January 2011 when the GWEN tower in Phoenix, Arizona was ''activated'' at nearly the same timeJared Loughner killed 6 people and wounded 14 including US Representative GabrielleGiffords.

To if these mysterious ''blasts''can be conclusively tied to these mass shootings this report doesn't say. Whatis important to note, however, and as we noted in our report Colorado Massacre Linked To Historic Bank Fraud, the US government has long beensuspected of using these types of horrific incidents to institute major policyand/or law changes designed to disarm the American people.

As the chief suspect in the Colorado massacre, James Holmes is reported tohave writtenand worked on mind control projects and is presently claimingamnesia as he has no knowledge of his actions, all signs pointing to thisbeing a false flag operation appear to be worth additional investigation..

With the Democrat allies of President Obama slippinga new gun control law into the cybersecurity bill late last night, and dueto be voted on soon, the ''real reason'', perhaps,for this latest shocking massacre may be in plain sight. Unfortunately, and asis always the case, the American people still prefer their simple ''mainstream'' news fictions rather thanthe most always more complicated truth.

July 28, 2012 (C) EU and US all rights reserved.Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition itis linked back to its original source at WhatDoesItMean.Com. Freebase contentlicensed under CC-BYand GFDL.

[Ed. Note: Western governments and theirintelligence services actively campaign against the information found in thesereports so as not to alarm their citizens about the many catastrophic Earthchanges and events to come, a stance that the Sisters of Sorcha Faalstrongly disagrees with in believing that it is every human beings right toknow the truth. Due to our missions conflictswith that of those governments, the responses of their 'agents' against us hasbeen a longstanding misinformation/misdirection campaign designed to discreditand which is addressed in the report ''Who Is Sorcha Faal?''.]

They Are Going To Come For You'...Why Are You Helping Them?

Global Endgame Calls For US CivilWar

Shattered America Falls Into Coma

AsThe End Draws Near, A Nation Cowers In Fear

SilenceFalls Upon America

To Believe A Liar Makes You A LiarToo

Total War Against Human ThoughtDeclared

Special Report from SisterCiara: What Are The Odds?

More Sorcha Faal Reports

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CNN: Preventing Another Theater Shooting! How Do We Know When The Threat Is Over? DUN DUN DUN

Link to Article

Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:26

"Guns Don't Kill People... I DO!" Maryland Man Arrested After Telling Co-Workers He Is "The Joker"

Link to Article

Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:25

Throwback to Obama Joker Posters?

Aurora Massacre Shooting Suspect Was Being Treated By Psychiatrist

Link to Article

Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:23

EXCLUSIVE: 'Dark Knight' shooting suspect James Holmes claims amnesia

Link to Article

Thu, 26 Jul 2012 19:57

The Joker is playing the amnesia card.

Accused mass murderer James Holmes told jailhouse workers that he remains stumped about what landed him in a Colorado lockup, a jail staffer told the Daily News.

''He claims he doesn't know why he's in jail,'' the worker said Thursday. ''He asked, 'Why am I here?'''

Holmes, 24, who is charged with shooting a dozen people to death and wounding 58 more at a screening of the new Batman movie, was also complaining of a stomach ache caused by lousy jail food after his sixth day at the Arapahoe County Detention Center, the worker said.

''He's claiming his belly hurts him,'' the worker said. ''He complained once that he didn't like the food . . . The guy killed 12 people, and he's upset that he's not getting a four-star meal?''

The former California honor student picks at his meals on some days, and doesn't eat at all on others. A typical breakfast would include sausage and grits, while lunch could mean a ham sandwich.

Holmes was arrested in the parking lot of the Century 16 multiplex in Aurora, Colo., within minutes of his bloody rampage early Friday through a showing of ''The Dark Knight Rises.''

Holmes surrendered without incident to police.

The suspect remains under 23-hour lockdown, leaving his cell just once a day. Authorities fear that other inmates could target Holmes and have him wear a bulletproof vest during his daily walk.

The jail worker said most folks inside the county lockup consider Holmes' memory loss a ruse.

''He needs to save his act for the jury because no one here is buying it,'' the worker said. ''Everyone is convinced he is faking it.''

Published reports indicated that Holmes mailed a notebook filled with gruesome sketches and details of his plans for the attack in the crowded theater.

The notebook was in a package sent to a professor at the University of Colorado, where Holmes was a Ph.D. candidate until dropping out of school just prior to the killings.

The FBI snapped up the evidence after school officials notified them that the package was at the university.

In a statement, the university denied a report that the package sat in its mailroom for a week before the shooting spree.

The package was delivered by the U.S. Postal Service on the Monday after the shootings, and forced the evacuation of a campus building for 2 1/2 hours, the statement said.

The notebook and the rest of the contents were turned over to investigators within hours of the package's discovery, the university said.

mlsyiak@nydailynews.com

The REAL Jokers

House Passes Bill to Curb Excessive Regulations

Link to Article

Fri, 27 Jul 2012 14:27

In an effort to curb an array of new regulations, House Republicans passed a bill Thursday that would shackle major federal rules until the national unemployment rate falls to six percent. Authored by Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark., pictured at left), the legislation hones in on excessive or poorly-written rules that could halt job growth and impose burdensome costs on American businesses.

''My bill only deals with regulations that have a $100 million impact on the economy so those are what are called significant or major regulations under President Clinton's executive order from the 90s,'' Griffin said of the legislation. ''What this bill seeks to do is not to repeal any regulations; it doesn't impact current regulations; it just says we need to take a deep breath, we need to have a time-out, and let's let a lot of these job creators catch-up.''

The number of regulations under the Obama White House has exploded, Republicans contended, which is adding to a burdensome regulatory environment that is wounding businesses already drowning under a sluggish economy.

''The Obama administration has issued some 106 rules in its first three years that collectively will cost taxpayers more than $46 billion annually in compliance and lost productivity,'' noted Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif., pictured at right), House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman. ''This is four times the number of major regulations and five times the cost of rules issued in the prior administration's first three years.''

Rep. Griffin and his colleagues cited an catalog of seemingly nonsensical regulations, including one for ''balancing ponies'' and one that requires wheelchair ramps at intersections that have no sidewalks. On March 15, the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design went into effect instituting a slew of new rules, including standards that regulate the height of slopes on miniature golf course holes and a requirement that businesses allow miniature horses on their property as guide animals for the disabled.

In a June 26 article, CNSNews.com reported on other rules included under these ADA standards:

Saunas '-- provision of accessible turning space and an accessible bench.Shooting facilities '-- provision of accessible turning space ''for each different type of firing position.''Golf courses '-- ''an accessible route to connect all accessible elements within the boundary.'' An accessible route must also ''connect golf car rental areas, bag drop areas, teeing grounds, putting greens, and weather shelters.''Gyms '-- at least one of each type of exercise machine must be positioned for use by a person in a wheelchair.Amusement parks '-- any new or altered ride must provide at least one seat for a person in a wheelchair.During a press conference on Tuesday, Griffin and several colleagues unveiled a seven-bill package intended to curb such burdensome rules. At the conference, CNSNews.com asked Griffin if he has investigated the ADA guidelines. ''Yes, I have looked at that,'' he replied, adding that many of the standards implemented by the ADA ''are well intentioned but miss the mark.'' Mr. Griffin recounted:

One of the first most ridiculous regulations that I heard of, when I got here, was a small business owner came to me and she told me that in her convenient stores she has to allow for ponies, small horses, to come in her stores. And I had no idea what she was talking about.

I said, 'Seeing-eye dogs?' And she said, 'No. Small balancing ponies.' And I said, 'I've never heard of a balancing pony.' And she said, 'Yes, this is part of the ADA regulatory structure, you have to make provision for someone who might have a balancing horse.' Apparently some people '-- and I've never heard of this in my 43 years, 44 next month '-- some people use, apparently they use ponies, small Shetland ponies or, certainly they're not quarter horses, to keep their balance. I'd never heard of that.

I started thinking, 'Okay, well if someone needs that, that's fine but do we really need to regulate that? Is it that common?' And a lot of times the problem is, again, folks are well-intentioned but they want to cover every hypothetical that could ever happen in the world '-- and that adds cost.

In another excessive regulatory effort, the ADA recently instituted a standard forcing all public pool owners to install handicapped-accessible ramps and lifts or face a $100,000 fine. The move ignited controversy after an obscurity in the regulation prompted a flurry of questions from the hotel industry. In anticipation of the rule, many pool owners invested in portable lifts, only to find out later they would have to install a permanent lift '-- costing between $3,000 and $10,000 per lift and another $5,000 to $10,000 for installation '-- for every ''water element'' available to the public.

Due to the exorbitant expenses, some hotel and pool owners considered temporarily shutting down their pools altogether. "I'm talking to hotel (representatives) who are thinking about closing their pools until the confusion is settled," Todd Seiders, the risk management director for hotel insurer Petra Risk Solutions, told USA Today. "This is the first time in the past several months that my clients have expressed that closing the pool is an option."

In commenting on the regulatory debacle, Susan Eckerly, senior vice president at the National Federation of Independent Businesses, asserted, ''[A]s the economy continues to sputter, it is important to ensure that the nation's biggest job creators are not strapped with punishing new rules.'' She added, ''Research by the NFIB, as well as the federal government, shows that the cost of complying with federal rules is a huge burden and a top concern for small businesses. These job creators desperately need the help of Congress to cut red tape.''

The Comedy That Is The U.S. House Of Representatives Could It Get More Stupid Than This?

Link to Article

Fri, 27 Jul 2012 14:51

NWO

We skipped terror tribute because it wasn't "tailored for the U.S. audience"

Link to Article

Sun, 29 Jul 2012 04:42

Last night's Olympic opening ceremony included a tribute to all victims of terror--specifically the victims of the bombings that took place in London on July 7, 2005--the day the Olympics were awarded to London. But if you watched it on NBC, you didn't get a chance to see it. Instead, you got treated to a Ryan Seacrest interview with Michael Phelps. Cordyc has a reclisted diary about it here.

Well, NBC gave an explanation a few hours ago--and it's so outrageous that it merits a diary of its own. Apparently the Peacock Network didn't see fit to let us see the tribute here in the States because it "wasn't tailored for the U.S. audience." No, I'm not kidding.

Actually, "coverage" might not be the best term to describe NBC's prime-time Olympic broadcast. NBC is trying to sell the Games that cost $1.18 billion in U.S. TV rights fees '-- and hundreds of millions more to promote and produce.So when it came time in the opening ceremony for something that has been widely interpreted as a tribute to the 52 victims of terrorist attacks in London in 2005, it's not shocking NBC didn't see lingering on that as helping its overall marketing effort. When asked why NBC didn't show the memorial, NBC spokesman Greg Hughes on Saturday said only that "our programming is tailored for the U.S. audience. It's a tribute to (opening ceremony producer) Danny Boyle that it required so little editing."

I didn't think it was possible for NBC to disgrace itself more than it did by deciding not to show the tribute. But they did so in spades with this explanation. Can you imagine the BBC opting to cut out a tribute to 9-11 at a future Olympics held in the States because it wasn't "tailored for a UK audience"? If that happened, suffice to say the switchboards at BBC Broadcasting House would have blown a fuse.I'd already given some thought to not watching the Olympics after NBC's epic fail last night. But this explanation clinches it.

6:13 PM PT: Since this made the rec list, I thought it would be a good idea to let everyone know you can tell NBC what you think on the network's Facebook page.

6:15 PM PT: KayCeSF mentions in the comments that you can email them as well at nbcolympicsfeedback@nbcuni.com.

Germany will get 15 golds, say scientists - The Local

Olympics empty seats row: Locog calls in the army (again) | Sport

Link to Article

Sun, 29 Jul 2012 13:42

Soldiers have been drafted in to fill empty seats at the London 2012 Olympics after prime blocks of seating at the Aquatics Centre and gymnastics arena went unused on the first day of competition.

Troops were despatched to the North Greenwich Arena this morning by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog), to take up seats left empty by accredited officials from Olympic and sporting federations, as well as some sponsors and members of the media. More troops, many of whom had their leave cancelled to provide emergency cover after the organisers failed to find enough security guards, will be issued with last-minute invites to take seats in venues when blocks of seats are found to be empty, the games organisers said this morning.

The culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, said on Saturday the empty seats were "very disappointing" and suggested they could be offered to members of the public. He said the matter was being looked at "very urgently".

At Sunday's first session of the mens basketball at the 12,000 capacity basketball arena, 70% of the lower tier of seats '' which includes those allocated to sponsors, Olympic officials and athletic federations '' was empty. About 15% of the larger upper tier, sold to the public, was empty. In total the Guardian estimated that more than 2,000 seats were empty in the venue to watch Nigeria v Tunisia.

On Saturday, the morning swimming heats, featuring Michael Phelps and his US rival Ryan Lochte, there were an estimated 500 empty seats in one block alone. And at the morning session of the gymnastics, at which Louis Smith and the rest of the British team appeared, there were more than 1,000 empty seats despite prospective ticket buyers being told it was sold out.

Lord Coe, the chairman of the London organising committee, was dismissive of concern that too many seats were being left empty and denied that calling in the military appeared "shambolic".

When asked to identify who should have been sitting in two-and-a half empty blocks of seats at Saturday's gymnastics, Coe initially appeared to be in denial. He said: "Lets put this in perspective. Those venues are stuffed to the gunnels."

He later clarified his position saying: "We take it seriously. I don't want to see swaths of those seats empty."

"If we have the army sitting there on rest periods we can ask them if they want to sit in there and watch it," he said. "It's not mobilising the army to resolve this. I don't think there is a single person out there would thinks it is shambolic, given the way they have stepped up in the last weeks."

Coe said he believed the problem would settle down and said it was a result of representatives of national Olympic committees, sporting federations and some sponsors taking time to "work out the shape of their day" and decide where to go. The organisers said that the empty seats were predominantly left by sporting officials and claimed that sponsors were taking their seats.

Earlier, the British Olympic Association suggested a "30-minute rule" for non-attendees with empty seats to be filled by home fans.

Lord Moynihan, the BOA chairman, said organisers "owe it to the fans" to find a way of filling places.

"We owe it to the British sporting public to give them an opportunity to attend one of the most historic sporting events of their lives," he said.

Coe dismissed the idea of the 30-minute rule saying: "We have got a more considered way of doing that, that judges the situation on an hour by hour basis."

To fill the accredited seats the organisers must find people with existing accreditation to the venues which rules out members of the public.

Up to 150 local school children and school teachers who are already accredited to the park, under a pre-existing scheme meant to fill seats in accredited areas, will be used alongside the soldiers.

Excluding the football, between 100,000 and 120,000 Olympic tickets remain unsold, organisers said today. Some of those are already for sale online and others are the process of being returned by sponsors and public from abroad.

A Wimbledon-style returns system, allowing people already on the Olympic Park to pick up tickets to the last parts of sessions of basketball, hockey, handball and water polo, is now in operation.

Childrens' tickets cost £1 and adult tickets cost £5. Yesterday, 280 were sold. Passes allowing people onto the park, but not into venues, remain on sale.

During the sometimes controversial ticketing process, during which 6.6m of the 8.8m tickets were made available to members of the public, organisers repeatedly highlighted the lengths they were going to make sure there were no empty seats.

They said they wanted to avoid the situation that occurred in Beijing and at other Games, where even at sessions that were officially sold out there were large areas of empty seats '' particularly for morning heats.

The problem tends to be caused by IOC stipulations that retain a certain number of seats for officials, athletes, international federations and other accredited individuals. It can be particularly acute on the morning after the opening ceremony, which finished close to 1am.

In the vast majority of the venues, at least one-fifth of seats are reserved for sponsors, officials, the media and the "Olympic family".

In the most popular sessions, such as the opening ceremony and the 100m final, the proportion is closer to half.

Those thronging the park who had been unable to get into the venues to watch any live action were critical of the empty seats, which can also be highly embarrassing if shown on television.

"I think it's terrible, especially when so many people want a ticket," said Sharon Beers from Portsmouth, "there should be less seats for officials."

How London 2012 was caught in Olympics' empty seats trap | Sport

Link to Article

Sun, 29 Jul 2012 13:38

Empty seats in the North Greenwich Arena for the women's qualifying heats. Photograph: Paul Childs/Action Images

Aside from the stunning venues, the awe-inspiring opening ceremony and a parade of great sporting moments led by Usain Bolt, one of the defining memories of the Beijing Olympics was row upon row of empty seats. Despite official figures showing that venues were virtually sold out, no-shows from members of the public who were unable to travel, sponsors and the Olympic family had a debilitating effect on the atmosphere '' especially in early rounds and heats.

This time, London 2012 organisers insisted, it would be different. Such was the nation's passion for sport that they would fill every venue with noisy, enthusiastic fans who would create a welcome for the world and roar homegrown athletes home to victory. Indeed, they boasted that a "fans in front" policy would ensure that every session in every venue rocked to a vibrant atmosphere.

They were right about the enthusiasm for sport, but appear to have come undone on day 1 in dealing with one of the problems that habitually bedevils Olympic organisers. Namely how to deal with the sometimes dysfunctional "Olympic family".

The problem was perhaps most noticeable in the North Greenwich Arena, where gymnastics fans have scrapped for months to get a ticket only to turn on their television and see Louis Smith and his team-mates competing in front of empty blue seats.

But it was repeated at the volleyball at Earls Court, the tennis at Wimbledon, the beach volleyball at Horse Guards Parade, the dressage at Greenwich Park and even for the swimming heats at the Aquatics Centre. At each there were hundreds of empty seats.

Locog is fairly sure that the majority of empty seats on day 1 of competition were ones intended for accredited members of the "Olympic family" '' international federations, IOC officials and some sponsors (though not their guests, who are ticketed). Often, the seats are in prime positions and easily visible on television.

Then there is a separate category of potential no-shows '' the 1.1m tickets reserved for sponsors. Lord Coe and Locog have been adamant that sponsors must use all their tickets and were initially optimistic due to the fact that many more have been given away in competitions and to staff than used to schmooze corporate clients.

And there is a third reason, less talked about by the press for obvious reasons, in that morning sessions and heats can also have seating intended for the media left empty. There are also rows of seats reserved for athletes '' who are less likely to come and cheer on their compatriots early in the Games when they are still focused on their own competition.

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the public are so keen to attend. Many of those I spoke to at the Olympic Park on Saturday had spent hour upon hour refreshing the sometimes infuriating Ticketmaster website trying in vain to secure tickets '' making the pain of seeing empty seats harder to bear.

It is dangerous for the organisers because it reinforces the perceptions of some that the Games is as much about corporate sponsorship and sporting officials in blazers being chauffeured to venues in Games lanes as a public celebration of the best sportsmen and women in the world. Locog has promised a "full review" but finding a solution will not be easy. IOC rules mandate a certain percentage of tickets for the Olympic family at every venue for every session, yet there is an acknowledgement among organisers and politicians that they can't continue to have a situation where there are hundreds of empty seats visible to members of the public who failed to get tickets.

British Olympic Association chairman Lord Moynihan today suggested a "half-hour rule" where unused seats could be recycled to fans waiting on the Park if they weren't taken up in 30 minutes.

That may work for the Olympic family areas '' yet even here there would be grey areas, even for sponsors. What if one of those sponsors' tickets had been given to a member of the counter staff for loyal service and they and their family were delayed for 40 minutes on the tube? Would it be justifiabe to cancel and redistribute their tickets?

It is a huge challenge '' reconciling the demands of a public who have been relentlessly told this is a once in a lifetime event they can tell their children and grandchildren about with the fact that the Games is also a semi-private event with a host of onerous rules imposed by the organisation that bestows it on the host cities.

Despite the fair wind afforded organisers by the weather, the lack of major transport issues and the feelgood response to Danny Boyle's opening ceremony '' not to mention the positive atmosphere and good organisation at the Park '' how they deal with this issue could be one of the factors that defines perceptions of the opening days of London's Games.

The 'Empty' Olympics. 'Governing Bodies' and 'The Media' Must Know Something?

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Sun, 29 Jul 2012 13:41

Olympic organisers have launched an investigation after fans expressed disappointment at the sight of rows of empty seats on the first day of the London Games.Locog were prompted to act after gaps were visible at a number of venues, including the Aquatics Centre where British medal hope Hannah Miley missed out on a podium place in the 400 metres individual medley final.In contrast, huge crowds lined the streets, where tickets were not required, to watch Mark Cavendish and Team GB compete in the cycling road race.A spokesman for Locog said the majority of the empty seats were believed to belong to accredited groups such as governing bodies and the media.He added that some tickets remained unsold and urged members of the public to check online for availability.

Scientists use light to control monkey brains Set You Free News

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 13:15

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Optogenetics, a brand new field of research in which living, cortical neurons and other cells can be manipulated or controlled with optical technology (namely fiber optic cables), has been heralded as the next big thing for treating such things as heart conditions, paralysis, and even diabetes.

Up until now, however, they've only been able to test this technique on rodents '-- but a recent breakthrough in which scientists were able to control monkeys' brains with light has shown that the concept also applies to humans '-- an important piece of insight that could lead to dramatic new treatments for cognitive disorders.

The concept behind optogenetics is remarkable. The first step in the process is to deliver a gene into brain cells, and this is done by injecting an animal with a special virus. Once delivered, the gene produces a series of light-responsive proteins. These proteins are then either activated or disabled by fiber optic cables that are inserted into the brain.

Scientists, including optogenetics pioneer Ed Boyden, have used the technique to control the behaviors of mice, but they weren't sure if it could work on primates '-- hence the recent initiative by Boyden, Annelles Gerits, Wim Vanduffel, and others to test the procedure on rhesus monkeys.

Writing in Technology Review, Susan Young describes the experiment:

The behavior studied in today's published report is quite subtle: two monkeys were trained to purposefully move their eyes to a target on a screen when given a cue. But when the relevant optogenetically ready modified neurons were stimulated by light from optical fibers inserted into their brains, the neuronal circuit responsible was sped up, and the monkeys were able to complete this task faster.''It's a simple task, but it is a cognitive task,'' says study senior author Wim Vanduffel, who splits his time between Harvard Medical School and the University of Leuven. ''It's a stepping stone,'' he says, one that opens up new research into understanding brain function.

''[Optogenetics] may also become useful in the far future for therapeutic purposes, because if you can activate or deactivate very specific cell types, you can actually target particularly circuitries that are important in different diseases with much more precision than is possible at this moment with drugs or [electrical] stimulation,'' says Vanduffel. ''But there is still a very long way to go before it gets there.''

The scientists claim, that by virtue of their experiment, they were able to induce both behavioral and functional changes in monkeys. The breakthrough will help scientists to better understand advanced cognition and the various ways the tool could be used in a clinical setting.

You can read the entire study at Current Biology.

Cuba

No Libya solution in Cuba, but ready to talk to U.S.: Castro| Reuters

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Thu, 26 Jul 2012 20:11

By Marc Frank

HAVANA | Thu Jul 26, 2012 3:34pm EDT

HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuban President Raul Castro accused the United States on Thursday of seeking an overthrow of the Cuban government similar to Arab Spring countries, while reiterating his government's willingness to negotiate with its decades old foe.

"The day they want (to talk) the table is served," Castro said in a nationally televised address on one of the biggest days in Cuba's political calendar.

"I have already informed them through diplomatic channels. If they want to talk, we will talk ... but as equals ... We are going to talk about the same themes (democracy and human rights) in the United States," he said.

The communist-ruled island was marking the anniversary of the 1953 attack led by Fidel Castro on the Moncada army barracks in the city of Santiago de Cuba that started the Cuban Revolution.

Raul Castro, dressed in military uniform, spoke in eastern Guantanamo province after the official celebration marking the date concluded.

Castro, who took over for his ailing brother in 2008 after serving as defense minister for decades, charged that government opponents on the island, supported by the United States and other western countries, "were creating the conditions and aspiring to one day have happen here, what happened in Libya and what they want to happen in Syria."

Libya's long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi was toppled after a bloody conflict, and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar a-Assad are trying to crush a rebellion seeking to oust him.

Castro's comments followed the death on Sunday of the country's most prominent dissident and civil rights activist, Oswaldo Paya, who was killed in an apparent car accident. Paya led a 2002 petition drive to reform the country's one-party political system, but was also highly critical of U.S. policy toward Cuba, including the 50-year-old economic embargo against the island.

Cuba is undergoing a major economic reform process to shrink its inefficient public administration and state-run business sectors, but has staunchly rejected any suggestions of reform to its political system.

U.S.-Cuban relations have warmed slightly since President Barack Obama took office but progress has come to a virtual halt since American contractor Alan Gross was arrested in Havana in December 2009 and sentenced to 15 years in prison for setting up Internet networks under a semi-covert U.S. program aimed at promoting political change.

Hostile rhetoric between the two governments has heated up in recent months as election cycles in both countries take place, with the White House criticizing Havana for its repression of dissent.

"If they want a confrontation with us let it be only in baseball or some other sport," Castro quipped. "In other areas no. We have no interest in harming anyone, but we will defend our people," he said.

(Additional reporting by Nelson Acosta; Editing by David Adams and Vicki allen)

Russia Plans Military Base Off Coast Of Florida

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Sun, 29 Jul 2012 04:45

In October, it will be 50 years ago we had the Russian missile crisis involving Cuba. NOW, Putin's men don't want to shake the hands of the current US president '' (did you watch that scorn the Russians have toward Obama?) Our allies are weakened by antagonistic steps taken by our current administration & ''leaks'' to the press which are fictional that harm our closest allies '' Britain, Poland, Israel, Columbia,

BUT our national, natural enemies have free reign, thanks to BO. Thanks to Obama's administration every day Hezbollah are crossing our borders after their plane ride from Iran to Venezuela. AGAIN, incredibly illegal aliens are taking flight classes. Do we really need a mass gassing of Americans with WMD?

The Mosques are mostly located in strategic places as armories '' near the Triborough Bridges in Manhattan that can cut off that borough, right against I-75 in Michigan & Ohio, on the road to Miami Airport next to the U of Miami hospitals, etc. The Muslims demanded a Mosque at Ground Zero, which would be a Muslim Fortress in lower Manhattan, where the FBI, the NYPD & the Fire Dept. are headquartered, the Stock Exchanges, our local Ft. Knox, City Hall, bridges, tunnels, the Statue of Liberty are located.

So what difference does it make if Russia has a fort a stone's throw across from the US in Cuba? We are committing national suicide by destroying the Blue Dog (Scoop Jackson's branch) of the Democratic Party, & allowing the leftist thugs like Leo Gerard to become our masters. Putin and the Chinese, as do the Kings & Imams of the Middle East ''disrespect'' this poor excuse for a President, who is in the pocket of the UN.

STILL people will vote for Obama & other Democrats for Congress & the Senate. AMAZING. AND the mass media '' the NY Times, LA Times, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, etc. '' cheers them on.

2TTH

Chick-fil-A's PR chief dies suddenly amid gay-marriage imbroglio - latimes.com

Don Perry, who had worked for the Atlanta company for 29 years and was its vice president for public relations, died unexpectedly Friday, reportedly from a heart attack.

Perry had helmed the chain's official response to the controversy that erupted last week after Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy spoke publicly against gay marriage, saying his company supported "the biblical definition of the family unit."

The statements sparked passionate response from supporters and critics, prompting Perry to tell reporters that the company wanted to "leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena."

Perry emphasized that the chain's policy was to "treat every person with honor, dignity and respect -- regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender."

Chick-fil-A announced Perry's death hours after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a staunch supporter of same-sex marriage, refused to ban the company from opening restaurants in his city.

Syria

Predicting Aleppo

BBC News - Syria: Aleppo 'massacre' feared by US

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Thu, 26 Jul 2012 21:48

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Syria crisis: Assad forces move in on Aleppo - live updates | World news

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:53

A portrait of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, burning during clashes between rebels and Syrian troops near Aleppo. Photograph: Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty Images

1.30pm: Here's a lunch time summary of events so far:

' Syrian government forces are currently battling rebels in the second and most populous city of Aleppo with tanks and helicopters.

' Information is scant from the city though video appears to show that rebels have had some successes in battling back against the air and ground assault.

' It is unclear how many people have been killed as yet though both sides regard this as a crucial battle in the 18-month uprising and so deaths including those of civilians are expected to be high.

' Russian navy chief Vice Adm. Viktor Chirkov said his country may evacuate their Syrian base if it comes under attack.

12.32pm: Sky News Asia correspondent Alex Rossi tweets this:

12.00pm: Russia's state news agency RIA is reporting that the head of the country's navy, Vice Adm. Viktor Chirkov has said that they might evacuate their base in Syria if it comes under attack.

It is not clear whether they expect this. The base in Tartus is not very far from Homs city.

Servicemen may be evacuated from the Russian naval base in Tartus, Syria, if it comes under attack, Navy chief Vice Adm. Viktor Chirkov said on Saturday.

"I am not the one to issue orders: We have the defense minister [for that]," he said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy Radio. "If we have to evacuate the personnel that is currently deployed there, we certainly will."

He stressed that an order by the commander in chief of the Russian Armed Forces (the president) and Russia's top political leadership was required for that.

What makes this more interesting is that the Syrian base is Russia's only existing naval base outside the former Soviet Union and in a crucial warm water location on the Mediterranean.

It also comes a day after a report that Russia is seeking out locations for other bases in foreign countries including Cuba, Vietnam and the Seychelles.

11.47am: This video purports to be footage of a repelled government attack in the Salah Al Din district of Aleppo from earlier today. On the ground are dead government soldiers, the video says.

Separately FSA sources have said that they destroyed a number of tanks in the area so this video may help confirm this.

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11.26am:The Press Association in Scotland is reporting that a group of 24 campaigners have protested outside a Russian embassy to "signify what they say is the number of people dying every day in the Syrian uprising."

Syrians living in Scotland joined with Amnesty International at the embassy in Edinburgh to mark 500 days since the start of the conflict.

The charity said it has the names of more than 12,000 men, women and children who have died since the start of the conflict. It is calling on the international community to bring bloodshed in the country to an end.

11.20am:A video here, published earlier today on YouTube purports to show the fighting in the Salah Al Din area, which the BBC's Ian Pannell reported on this morning (see below).

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11.05am: Two earlier tweets from the BBC's Ian Pannell who is currently in Aleppo, that give an impression of the start of the assault from government forces.

10.41am: Associated Press news wires also reporting that the government is pounding the country's second city, Aleppo, with military helicopters.

Activists said soldiers were targeting rebel-controlled neighborhoods to crush the opposition forces for good. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fierce fighting has erupted inside those neighborhoods.

10.35am: This is Shiv Malik here taking over from David Batty.

9.59am: Here's another video that claims to show shelling of Aleppo by Assad's forces today..

Reuters has this video report about today's clashes. The video, obtained from a social media website, claims to show rebel forces firing on a tank and a military helicopter being shot down.

9.55am: The Associated Press has a report about the impact of the Syrian civil war on the Druse people in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights.

The Druse have been loyal to Assad's family as it has vowed to take back the territory from Israel. But now villagers in the area are divided between supporters of the uprising and those who continue to back the regime. A Druse doctor predicted his people would demand Assad's downfall, while a butcher in a nearby town denounced the Syrian uprising as a foreign conspiracy, AP reports.

9.50am: There are reports on Twitter that more than 40 people have already been killed in clashes today in Syria.

Sumaiyah, who describes himself as a Syrian Turk, writes: "41 dead in #Syria. May I remind you that's it's only 11:46 am there?"

9.43am: The Associated Press has a report about a six-year-old boy who was killed by Syrian troops as he and his family tried to flee into Jordan in the early hours of Friday.

The family crept across farmland under night's cover, heading for the border, when Syrian troops opened fire. Bullets whizzed around them as they broke into a mad dash, survivors say. The 6-year-old boy, holding his mother's hand, broke away and ran ahead. He nearly made it into Jordan when he fell dead, a bullet in his neck.

Bilal el-Lababidi and his parents were in a group of around a dozen Syrians trying to sneak into Jordan just after midnight, the latest of more than 140,000 Syrians who have taken refuge in the kingdom.

"He is a martyr who is now in a better place. I'm sure he is in heaven," said el-Lababidi's mother before the boy's burial later Friday at a cemetery in the northern Jordanian city of Ramtha. She made it across with her two younger sons but her husband fled back amid the shooting.

9.30am: Syrian military helicopters have launched an attack on the central district of Salaheddine in Aleppo, Reuters reports.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement: "Helicopters are participating in clashes at the entrance of Salaheddine district and bombarding it. There are also violent clashes at the entrances to Sakhour district."

This video posted online on Saturday claims to show government forces shelling Aleppo.

9.07am: (all times BST) Welcome to Middle East Live.

Syria's second city and economic hub Aleppo remains the focus of attention today with reports by opposition activists that President Bashar al-Assad's forces are closing in on rebel-held districts.

Here's a round-up of the main developments overnight and this morning:

' Army tanks around Aleppo have begun moving in on south-western areas of the city, while government military jets have intensified their bombardment of rebel-held areas, mounting low altitude raids.

' Both rebels and regime forces have billed the showdown in Syria's most populous city as a key moment in the 18-month uprising, which has now escalated into civil war.

' Assad's forces are on the brink of logistical meltdown and collapse, due to a lack petrol, food and other essential supplies, according to General Mohammad Al-Zobi who has defected to the opposition.

' Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan has called on the international community, including the United Nations and the Arab League, to address the assault on Aleppo and Assad's threat to use chemical weapons against external enemies. "There is a build-up in Aleppo, and the recent statements with respect to the use of weapons of mass destruction are actions that we cannot remain an observer or spectator to," he said at a joint news conference in London with British prime minister David Cameron.

Syria: Aleppo onslaught looms | euronews, world news

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:29

Amid fears of a bloodbath, reports say a battle between rebels and President Assad's troops for Syria's second city of Aleppo is well underway.

Opposition fighters have been striving to defend rebel-held areas, against days of bombardment. And as military aircraft reportedly pound Aleppo again today, government tanks are said to be moving in ahead of a final onslaught aimed at dislodging the rebels.

Keen to show off armoured vehicles they say they have destroyed, the rebels are nonetheless heavily outnumbered and outgunned.

Visiting his British counterpart, Turkey's prime minister called for international steps to address the military assault and Syria's threat to use chemical weapons.

''There is a build-up in Aleppo, and the recent statements with respect to the use of weapons of mass destruction are actions that we cannot remain an observer or spectator to,'' said Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

State TV has broadcast footage of government forces fighting what it called terrorist groups and rebels in Damascus.

As the latest fighting takes place, General Robert Mood, the outgoing head of the UN monitoring mission, said he thought President Assad's days in power were numbered.

More about:Bashar al-Assad, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Syria, Syrian army, TurkeyCopyright (C) 2012 euronews

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SYRIA: A brief heads-up on who's massacring who

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Fri, 27 Jul 2012 13:58

I hear from Sloggers that German intelligence reckons some ninety terror attacks in Syria (for which the Assad regime has been blamed) can be attributed to jihadist groups, over the last six months, perpetrating the atrocities for purely propagandist reasons. The statistic was revealed after the German government responded to a Bundestag member's question.

Have you seen that reported in the UK or US MSM? No, neither have I.

The Merkel government did, however, refuse to give answers to a question on the subject of the May 25 massacre ''by forces loyal to President Assad'' in the Syrian town of Houla. The answer was to remain classified, said a foreig relations spokesman, ''by reason of national interest''. Germany expelled Syria's ambassador immediately after the massacre, maintaining that the Syrian government was 100% responsible for the atrocity. This time, though, three MSM titles '' Die Welt, the FAZ, and Bild '' have run pieces suggesting that the real responsibility for the massacre lies with anti-government rebel forces.

We should not reject this out of hand as bonkers conspiracy theory: for nearly 50 years the Soviet Union blamed the Nazis for the Kataryn mass murder of hundreds of Polish officers during the Second World War. But when the Soviet empire collapsed, the papers pertaining to the incident revealed conclusively that it was a Russian atrocity.

I make no apology for using that particular parallel: the Nazi/Soviet 1939 pact that swallowed up Poland was a grubby, psycho deal betwen two forms of evil. I find it equally hard to choose between Assad's pro-Iranian murder squads, and Jihadist terrorists who use schools as hostages'...and then bleat to the world's media about Israel bombing innocent children. Ethics-free propaganda is not exactly a new phenomenon. The reaction of most reasonable people (ie the Troll-free 90%) is that a plague should descend on both their houses.

In Bild, longtime German war correspondent Jurgen Todenhofer described this anti-Assad ''massacre-marketing strategy'' as being ''among the most disgusting things that I have ever experienced in an armed conflict''

In turn, Alfred Hackensberger of die Welt noted that Taldo, the sub-district of Houla where the massacre occurred, has been controlled by rebel forces since December 2011: so how, he asks '' given a flat plain stretching for dozens of kilometres surrounds the rebel stronghold '' did dozens of Government troops arrive unseen to commit mass murder? And equally important, WTF would the point of such a suicide mission have been? All the victims, it seems were Sunnis: they were killed, local witnesses told Hackensberger, for refusing to support the rebellion.

France, Great Britain, and the US have made it abundantly clear that they want Assad out. As reported here last week, the US State Department under Hillary Clinton has bet the farm on the Muslim Brotherhood. It's a foolish and venal decision aimed at increasing American influence in the region. But The Slog has consistently asked, ''Will Assad's successors be any better?'' I hold no candle for Assad, I hold no candle for jihadists and their fellow travellers. What we are seeing here is a dual-purpose Islamic sect civil war and geopolitical energy race pretending to be the ejection of a dictator in favour of a new democratic dawn. It is complete bollocks.

See also: Milosevic followers regain power in Serbia '' what of the War Crimes Court now?

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US Treasury: Al Qaeda Runs Syrian "Rebellion"

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Fri, 27 Jul 2012 13:57

US fails to sell militants in Syria as "freedom fighters," tells truth for pretext to liquidate monsters of their own creation. by Tony Cartalucci July 27, 2012 - The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in its article, "Al Qaeda's War for Syria," cited officials from the US Treasury Department stating, "Al Qaeda in Syria (often operating as the "Al Nusra Front for the People of the Levant") is using traffickers'--some ideologically aligned, some motivated by money'--to secure routes through Turkey and Iraq for foreign fighters, most of whom are from the Middle East and North Africa. A growing number of donors from the Persian Gulf and Levant appear to be sending financial support."

Photo: The "Free Syrian Army," whose composition consists of not only Syrian sectarian extremists, but Libyan terrorists from the US State Department listed "Libyan Islamic Fighting Group" led by Abdul Hakim Belhaj, is the manifestation of years of US, Saudi, and Israeli aid since at least 2007.

This undercuts the West's year and a half-long narrative that Syria's violence was the result of a so-called "uprising" by the people of Syria. While the WJS attempts to downplay this admission by claiming, "al Qaeda makes up a small part of the resistance movement," it concedes that, "its strength appears to be rising." In reality, it was Al Qaeda militants from the very beginning, and the only aspect of the conflict "rising" is public awareness of this fact.

Since 2007, US Aided and Abetted Al Qaeda Affiliates Against Syria

As early as 2007, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh wrote in his New Yorker article "The Redirection," that:

"To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has co¶perated with Saudi Arabia's government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda." -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007) Hersh's report would also include: "the Saudi government, with Washington's approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations." -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)The 2007 article also warned about the inevitable consequences of arming radical sectarian extremists, with CIA operators in Lebanon warning of mass murder, sectarian violence, and specifically the targeting of Christian minorities across the Levant (the region along the Mediterranean Sea including Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, and Syria):"Robert Baer, a former longtime C.I.A. agent in Lebanon, has been a severe critic of Hezbollah and has warned of its links to Iranian-sponsored terrorism. But now, he told me, ''we've got Sunni Arabs preparing for cataclysmic conflict, and we will need somebody to protect the Christians in Lebanon. It used to be the French and the United States who would do it, and now it's going to be Nasrallah and the Shiites" -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh (2007)Now, demonstratively, we see exactly this feared onslaught manifesting itself in Syria, in particular against Christians as indicated in LA Times' "Church fears 'ethnic cleansing' of Christians in Homs, Syria," and more recently in USA Today's distorted, but still telling, "Christians in Syria live in uneasy alliance with Assad, Alawites." Even the massacre in Houla, seems to echo of this 2007 warning, bearing all the hallmarks of sectarian extremists like Al Qaeda. Not only did the United States government, with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel's aid, knowingly assemble a sectarian extremist front affiliated with Al Qaeda, not from within Syria, but from beyond its borders, it knew well in advance the destructive consequences such a foreign policy would yield.

The US government has since willfully lied to the both the American people and the world regarding the true nature of the violence unfolding in Syria, and with the help of the corporate-media, is attempting to spin the forewarned consequences of their long-planned conspiracy as merely an unfortunate by-product of a spontaneous conflict.

A Foreign Invasion, not a Rebellion

The WSJ's article begins with the sentence, "the United States and its allies should consider opening a second front in the Syrian war. In addition to helping end Bashar Assad's rule, there is a growing need to conduct a covert campaign against al Qaeda and other extremist groups gaining a presence in the country."

In essence, we are being told that the militant extremists the US assembled against Syria have failed to overthrow the government, so the US should intervene on the pretext of liquidating the very terrorists they conspired to send, funded and armed, and have been supporting since the very beginning.

The very logistical "routes" through Turkey the WSJ claims Al Qaeda is using to flood into Syria with militants and weapons, are admittedly organized by the US through its CIA intelligence apparatus. The New York Times article, "C.I.A. Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition," states clearly that:

A small number of C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey, helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers. The NYT continues:The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria's Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the officials said. Likewise, in the Washington Post's article, "Syrian rebels get influx of arms with gulf neighbors' money, U.S. coordination," it is reported:Syrian rebels battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad have begun receiving significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, an effort paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the United States, according to opposition activists and U.S. and foreign officials.We are now expected to forget these admissions, or believe that Al Qaeda is slipping past CIA officers "operating secretly in southern Turkey," and that only by coincidence they are armed with the very weapons and resources the US, Saudis, and Qataris have pledged to supply the so-called "Free Syrian Army" with. Turkey, it should be remembered, is a NATO member - that Al Qaeda is swarming within and along its borders belies 10 years of "War on Terror" mythology. The "Free Syrian Army" does include sectarian extremists from within Syria, mostly drawn from the banned, sectarian Muslim Brotherhood movement which has sought to destroy secular society across the Arab World for decades. But the vast majority of the fighters flowing into Aleppo in the north, and who had recently attempted to overrun Damascus in the south, are foreign fighters, armed by foreign sponsors, invading and conducting armed attacks on populated Syrian cities.

Image: "A lot of them were bald and many had beards. Many wore white sports shoes and army pants," said an alleged "defected officer" of the perpetrators of the "Houla Massacre." An apt description of the NATO-armed sectarian terrorists that ravaged Libya before traveling to Syria (here, here, and here) to continue their campaign of extremist-driven genocide. (click image to enlarge) Reports months ago indicated that Libyan militants had been making their way to Syria by the hundreds, flush with cash and weapons recently received from NATO during their own operation to overrun and destroy Libya. As many as 600 Libyan terrorists were reported to have reached Syria by late 2011.

Now as Western media houses embed their representatives within terrorist bands crossing the Turkish-Syrian border, and as these terrorists find their way into Aleppo and amongst a population capable of revealing their identity to the world, slowly the admissions are trickling out that indeed entire "platoons" of North African fighters are involved in the misleadingly titled, "rebellion."

CNN, whose Ivan Watson accompanied these terrorists over the Turkish-Syrian border and into Aleppo, revealed that indeed foreign fighters were amongst the militants. It was admitted that:

Meanwhile, residents of the village where the Syrian Falcons were headquartered said there were fighters of several North African nationalities also serving with the brigade's ranks. A volunteer Libyan fighter has also told CNN he intends to travel from Turkey to Syria within days to add a "platoon" of Libyan fighters to armed movement. CNN also added:On Wednesday, CNN's crew met a Libyan fighter who had crossed into Syria from Turkey with four other Libyans. The fighter wore full camouflage and was carrying a Kalashnikov rifle. He said more Libyan fighters were on the way.The foreign fighters, some of them are clearly drawn because they see this as '... a jihad. So this is a magnet for jihadists who see this as a fight for Sunni Muslims.

CNN's reports provide bookends to earlier admissions that large numbers of Libyan terrorists flush with NATO cash and weapons had headed to Syria, with notorious terrorist commanders making the arrangements. West Used Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Libya, Is Using Al Qaeda Now in Syria

By all accounts, including admissions by former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, Osama Bin Laden's organization that would become Al Qaeda was created by the West during the Soviet-Afghan war in in the late 70's and throughout the 80's. The US and Saudi funding of these militants did not begin after the Soviet invasion, but actually several years before the invasion. US intervention in Afghanistan by training and arming Afghanistan's Mujaheddin, along with Osama Bin Laden's Arab fighters, is one of the leading factors that led to the murderous and protracted decade-long war, according to the Nation in an article titled, "Blowback, the Prequel."

Photo: Former US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski meeting with Osama Bin Laden, then leading the CIA's Arab legionaries in Afghanistan. Bin Laden's Al Qaeda would later spin off into regional terrorist organizations, covertly armed, trained, and protected by the CIA to this day, including LIFG in Libya, MEK in Iraq and Iran, and Baluchi terrorists in Pakistan.

Since then, Al Qaeda has conveniently provided both a well-armed, capable proxy force, as well as a sufficiently terrifying boogeyman, giving Wall Street and London access to nations it could otherwise never justify intervening in. The very militant leader of the "Tripoli Brigade" who secured Libya's capital just in time for US dignitaries to visit, was Abdul Hakim Belhaj, commander of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), listed on the US State Department's roster of "Foreign Terrorist Organizations" (#28). In fact, several reports out of West Point's Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) illustrated how not only LIFG was actively leading NATO-backed regime change in Libya, but was involved in fighting Western troops and locals in both Afghanistan and Iraq - disrupting legitimate resistance, and providing a continuous pretext to maintain Western occupation.

That Belhaj almost immediately after overthrowing Libya's government, began organizing operations to bring in fighters, weapons, and cash to Syria, indicates that, just as Al Qaeda was used from its very inception by the US and Saudis to fight Soviets in Afghanistan, it is still a valuable tool in executing Western foreign policy.

Essentially, the so-called "War on Terror" is a fraud, the belligerents on both sides fueled by the West as a means of establishing military, economic, and political hegemony in otherwise unapproachable targeted nations. When Al Qaeda cannot sufficiently overrun a targeted nation as a proxy "foreign legion" of Western interests (Libya), its presence, facilitated by the West in the first place, is then cited as a "casus belli" for military intervention (Afghanistan).

Now, it appears that the West's Arab "foreign legion," Al Qaeda, is about to suffer an unprecedented defeat - not at the hands of Western anti-terrorism forces, but at the hands of Syrian troops in the city of Aleppo. In a desperate effort to prevent this, the West is employing a series of desperate strategies ranging from portraying the trapped foreign-fighters committing atrocities inside Aleppo as "pending a certain massacre," to using the very presence of these foreign-fighters as evidence "Al Qaeada" is operating in Syria and must be "stopped" by Western intervention.

It is essential to understand that, as empires have always done, the monolithic corporate-financier interests of the West seek regional hegemony as a step toward global domination, and will say and do anything in order to achieve it. As resistance increases, the West's lies become more difficult to sell, the consistency of their propaganda overtly crumbling. The West, in nearly a single breath, has now claimed FSA fighters are both "Al Qaeda" that need to be eliminated, while also impeding a "massacre" by Syrian forces if something isn't done to save them.

When US President Obama referred to the "depths of depravity" regarding Syrian security operations in Aleppo, he and his script writers do so with the belief that Americans, and the world, are ignorant and disinterested in the truth, and will gladly allow Western foreign policy to once again prey on their emotions and good intentions to sell yet another destructive, self-serving military intervention.

The 3-Step Method to Analyzing Videos from Syria: The Case of Heat-Seeking Missiles

Link to Article

Fri, 27 Jul 2012 04:31

Earlier this week, as fighting in Syria raged, a pair of videos circulated online that appeared to show something new: Syrian opposition fighters in possession of at least one heat-seeking, shoulder-fired antiaircraft missile.

The proliferation of such weapons, known in the popular imagination as weapons of the Stinger class, is one of the enduring worries in counterterrorism and aviation-security circles, and one of this blog's recurring themes. (For background on these weapons and the concerns related to their wide distribution during and after the war in Libya, click here)

There has long been expectation that such weapons would turn up in the conflict in Syria, and when they did, it would be news.

So, full stop. What do the videos show, and what might it all mean?

Let's back up and walk through things methodically. The contest for Syria between forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and the armed opposition seeking his ouster presents a daily stream of amateur videos of the violence and the activities related to it, making this a conflict like almost no other to try to cover thoroughly and thoughtfully. (The New York Times' Watching Syria video feature attempts to put such videos into context.)

That said, analyzing elements of a conflict, through video of often unknown provenance, presents researchers and journalists with particular challenges. Many of these videos are authentic and seem to present honestly generated glimpses of the conflict. But a few are not authentic or present misleading or deceitful scenes, like this one of supposed Syrian opposition fighters, who actually are bearing toy guns.

For the purposes of our journalism, any time we try to assess video from a military analysis or arms-trade point of view (and we are typically asked to assess many videos each day), we do so through at least a three-step process.

First, we try to determine if the footage is actually from Syria and related to the conflict. This can be difficult in some cases; when uncertainty remains, we set the video aside.

Second, we try to identify what is shown in the video, which can be hard, too, and also often causes us to pause.

Last, if a video passes the first two rounds, we ask ourselves what it all means.

In the case of the videos showing missiles in question, step one was easy.

The first video, above, shows a well-known fighting group that operates in Homs and Rastan posing in formation with a typical mix of light-infantry arms. This particular rebel group has had a combat record since last September, according to Joseph Holliday, an analyst covering the conflict and studying the opposition forces for the Institute of the Study of War in Washington. Mr. Holliday further noted that the video of what he called ''this absolutely legitimate unit'' included footage of its commander, Ibrahim Ayub, as well. This gives the video an authentic, sanctioned feel.

Step two was a cinch, too. At about 39 seconds into the first video, the camera pans past a man in blue pants who is holding components of an SA-7 Man-Portable Air-Defense Systems, or Manpads.

This weapon is a widely distributed portable antiaircraft system designed in the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s and circulated through many countries and conflicts in the decades after, including via knockoff production outside of Russia. It is a common system, if rather dated, that poses marginal threats to modern military aircraft with modern countermeasures, but is a potential menace to civilian aircraft.

A second video, above, of the same fighting group, shows another man with a similar set of SA-7 components; it is not easy to determine from the video alone whether these are two different sets of components or the same components being held by a different anti-Assad fighter.

What can be said, however, is that the ''weapon looks like a first-generation SA-7 Manpads or a foreign variant,'' wrote Matthew Schroeder, an analyst covering missile proliferation for the Federation of American Scientists in Washington. Mr. Schroeder added that ''a more definitive assessment of the missile, including the model, age and country of manufacture, would require footage of the markings on the launch tube.'' This means that it is not possible from the video and the rest of the information available about such missiles in Syria to be sure who manufactured these components, and when, and what government possessed them last.

But it does mean that the videos make it through step one (do we believe it is authentic?) and step two (what does it show?). And that leads to step three: what might it all mean?

First, and more important, let's reach for our bucket of cold water, because the video does not establish that the anti-Assad forces possess functional shoulder-fired, heat-seeking missiles. If you were a Syrian air force Mi-24 attack helicopter pilot, and you had a good eye for weapons, you would have reason to be worried by these pictures, but not especially worried. Why? Because the weapon system shown in both videos is incomplete.

A properly functioning SA-7 requires three components '' a missile tube, a battery unit and a grip stock. The grip stock, which holds the trigger, is necessary for the weapon to fire the missile. The photo below shows a Libyan anti-Qaddafi fighter last year, with a complete SA-7 system, including grip stock.

But both recent videos from the Rastan fighters show a missile tube with a battery, but do not show a grip stock. This means that the weapon cannot be fired as designed and probably cannot be fired at all, at least not as seen in these videos. (It remains possible that the fighters have a grip stock but for some reason have not displayed it for the cameras.)

All that these videos allow a careful analyst to say is that it now credibly appears that one fighting group in Syria is two-thirds of the way toward having a complete, if dated, heat-seeking antiaircraft weapon. But as shown thus far, this weapon has no more range than the men holding it could throw it. It is less a danger to aircraft than an intriguing and suggestive movie prop. (Again: assuming there is no grip stock waiting off-camera.)

Second, these video clips beg questions about where each SA-7 tube and battery came from. Many commentators have suggested that loose SA-7's from Libya might have made their way to Syria. That would certainly seem a valid theory, and would be consistent with the workings of the black market arms trade '' if prices for Manpads are high in and near Syria, then Manpads out of state control elsewhere could reasonably be expected to turn up.

In this case, the paint scheme or markings on the face of the battery in Syria do not resemble the common paint scheme or markings on the face of the many SA-7 batteries seen in Libya, though that is hardly definitive proof. (Back to what Mr. Schroeder said: the videos do not offer enough detail to say many important things).

Still, another theory is worth putting on the table. Syria was a longtime importer of Soviet and post-Soviet weaponry, including Manpads. Precise numbers are publicly unknown, but Syria, under the Assad family's long reign, is thought to have imported thousands of shoulder-fired heat-seeking missiles, including SA-7s along with more modern SA-14 and SA-18 systems, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.

The available data is limited and does not distinguish between complete systems (battery, tube and grip stock) and a count of just the missiles themselves. But the information manages to establish, as was the case in Libya, that the unraveling of the government forces in Syria could result in many very dangerous military-grade weapons, including man-portable heat-seeking missiles, leaving secure storage and ending up in the grips of citizens, and eventually finding their way to black markets.

Like the worries over the fate of the Assad chemical-weapons stocks, this is reason to worry about what might follow as the Assad military faces more pressure in a conflict that has seen the momentum shift.

One final note for today: This post has not addressed what the presence of functioning Manpads might mean for the conflict itself. We will take that on separately, soon, as part of a larger look. We're out of space for today, but will venture, as we sign off, that now that these SA-7 components have been seen, and knowing that Syrian state arsenals and perhaps even field units possess many more Manpads, more of this class of weapon will be seen.Background Reading:Experts Fear Looted Libyan Arms May Find Way to TerroristsReading the Refuse: Counting Qaddafi's Heat-Seeking Missiles, and Tracking Them Back to their SourcesExperts Fear Looted Libyan Arms May Find Way to TerroristsIn Libya, Modified Weapon Becomes Less of a ThreatLibya's SA-24 ''Stinger Equivalents.'' A Source of Enduring Confusion.

Cyber War$

Political Correctness

Ophef over speech van Breivik op YouTube - Aanslagen in Noorwegen

Link to Article

Thu, 26 Jul 2012 14:51

26/07/12, 16:31 '' bron: ANP

(C) ANP.

Advocaten van nabestaanden van de aanslagen van Anders Behring Breivik hebben vandaag bij de rechtbank in Oslo geklaagd dat het laatste woord van de massamoordenaar op internetsite YouTube staat. Hij sprak dat uit op de laatste dag van het proces tegen hem op 22 juni.

De rechtbank had het uitzenden van de speech via radio en tv verboden om te voorkomen dat zijn extreme ideen zich te breed zouden verspreiden. Kranten en andere geschreven media mochten er wel over schrijven.

Een Duitse internetgebruiker had geluidsopnames van het laatste woord van Breivik online gezet. Hij zei dat hij de opname had ontvangen van een politicus van de conservatieve politieke partij Fremskrittspartiet, waarvan Breivik enige tijd lid was.

Advocate Mette Yvonne Larsen vindt het onacceptabel dat de ideen van Breivik via een geluidsopname wereldkundig worden gemaakt. Het online zetten ervan duidt volgens haar op minachting van de rechtbank.

De rechtbank zint nu op maatregelen, zei een woordvoerder.

Oxford University changes dress code to meet needs of transgender students | Education

Link to Article

Sun, 29 Jul 2012 12:51

New rules mean that male Oxford University studentswill be able to sit exams in skirts and stockings and women will have the option of wearing suits and ties. Photograph: Martin Argles for the Guardian

Oxford University has rewritten the laws governing its strict academic dress code following concerns that they were unfair towards transgender students.

Under the new regulations, students taking exams or attending formal occasions will no longer have to wear ceremonial clothing that is specific to their gender.

It will mean men will be able to sit tests in skirts and stockings and women will have the option of wearing suits and bow ties.

The laws, which come into force next week, follow a motion put forward by the university's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer society (LGBTQ Soc) was passed by the student union.

Jess Pumphrey, LGBTQ Soc's executive officer, said the change would make a number of students' exam experience significantly less stressful.

She told The Oxford Student newspaper: "In future there will be no need for transgender students to cross-dress to avoid being confronted by invigilators or disciplined during their exam."

Under the old laws on academic clothing '' known as subfusc '' male students were required to wear a dark suit and socks, black shoes, a white bow tie and a plain white shirt and collar under their black gowns.

Female students had to wear a dark skirt or trousers, a white blouse, black stockings and shoes and a black ribbon tied in a bow at the neck.

If a transgender student wanted to wear subfusc of the opposite sex they had to seek special dispensation from university proctors, who had the power to punish those who breached the rules.

Oxford University said: "The regulations have been amended to remove any reference to gender, in response to concerns raised by Oxford University Student Union that the existing regulations did not serve the interests of transgender students."

Simone Webb, president of LGBTQ Soc, said: "This is an extremely positive step, and indeed long overdue."

He told The Oxford Student: "I am of the opinion that it is possible to keep elements of tradition in this way while making them unrestrictive to trans students, genderqueer students, or students who wish to wear a different subfusc to that which they'd be expected to wear."

$hadow Puppet Theatre

BBC News - US justice department faulted for nepotism

Link to Article

Thu, 26 Jul 2012 20:04

26 July 2012Last updated at 13:42 ET Eight high-ranking employees of the US justice department improperly sought to hire relatives, an inquiry has found.

Seven of the employees violated federal law restricting employment of relatives and the eighth broke a federal ethics standard, the report found.

The department's inspector general found two directors in the management division hired each other's children.

It is the third time in eight years that the department has been cited for improper hiring practices.

The investigation began after a former justice department employee brought allegations to a congressman in 2010.

'Multiple false statements'According to the report, the inspector general's office found that human resources assistant director Pamela Cabell-Edelen had tried to get her daughter hired to various positions, including changing a vacancy announcement to improve her chances.

Her daughter was hired as secretary to facilities director Edward Hamilton in November 2009.

The report also charges that Ms Cabell-Edelen, who retired from the department last year, made "multiple false statements" to investigators.

Shortly after, Mr Hamilton began advocating for his son's hiring to a position within the division.

The investigation found two other justice management division employees improperly advocated for the hire of each other's family members.

Several others also discussed hiring family members.

Human resources director Rodney Markham was found "negligent in his duty to exercise effective oversight", especially given the two prior investigations into hiring practices.

Mr Markham was also faulted for improperly trying to get jobs for his cousin and nephew.

Da Bruddahood

Brotherhood's American defenders

Link to Article

Sun, 29 Jul 2012 13:46

(By Caroline Glick from the Jerusalem Post)

On Wednesday, John Brennan, US President Barack Obama's assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism, made a quick trip to Israel to discuss Hezbollah's massacre of Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria last week.

Hopefully it was an instructive meeting for the senior US official, although his Israeli interlocutors were undoubtedly dumbstruck by how difficult it was to communicate with him. Unlike previous US counterterror officials, Brennan does not share Israel's understanding of Middle Eastern terrorism.

Brennan's outlook on this subject was revealed in a speech he gave two years ago in Washington. In that talk, Brennan spoke dreamily about Hezbollah. As he put it, ''Hezbollah is a very interesting organization.''

He claimed it had evolved from a ''purely terrorist organization'' to a militia and then into an organization with members in Lebanon's parliament and serving in Lebanon's cabinet.

Read the rest

EARon

Ministry of Truth

Dennis Kucinich "The Iraq War Was Based On Lies! It Had Nothing To Do With Al Qaeda Or 911!"

Link to Article

Sat, 28 Jul 2012 13:00

Obama White House '' ''Israel Who?''

Link to Article

Fri, 27 Jul 2012 04:17

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/11576#.UBILa0Qrxy6

US PR Firms Assist Arab countries In Selling Terror And Brutality and demonizing Israel.The known firms are:QORVIS, the Washington company hired by Saudi Arabia to salvage that kingdom's reputation abroad after the 9/11 terrorist attack.

Bahrain, which tortures its own citizens, has an awful human rights record and doesn't recognize the existence of Israel, also hired JOE TRIPPI, former campaign manager for Howard Dean's 2004 presidential bid, SANITAS INTERNATIONAL, whose partner CHRISTOPHER HARVIN is a former Bush White House aide.

HARBOUR GROUP, a Washington D.C. lobbying firm, has been hired by the new Libyan Government, As the Hill recently revealed, Harbour recently signed a new $15,000 a month contract with the Libyan Embassy.

PATTON BOGGS, another large K street lobbying group, is also now representing the new Libyan regime.They previously worked with Qaddafi, alongside Cambridge, Massachusetts-based MONITOR GROUP, which held a hefty $250,000-month contract with Tripoli, recruiting prominent American academics to praise the Libyan government.

VOGUE AND ASMA ASSAD: APR firm BROWN LLOYD JAMES worked for Syria to arrange the story at the time.

This same company, BROWN LLOYD JONES, worked in the past to boost the regime of Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi.

FENTON COMMUNICATIONS, a New York City''based PR firm, works with the Arab state of Qatar to develop a campaign to essentially delegitimize Israel by orchestrating an international anti-Israel campaign aimed at breaking the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

FENTON COMMUNICATIONS also works for ''Al Fakhoora,'' a Qatar-based pro-Palestinian initiative that has ''launched an advocacy campaign to file legal charges against Israel and change the public perception in the West about its actions.'' An April 2012 website posting spoke of working with NYC FENTON COMMUNICATIONS to help campaign to help end the blockade in Gaza. They continue to assist terror groups openly.

The PLO Mission in the U.S hired BELL POTTINGER, a leading International PR agency, to provide ''advice on strategic communications, public relations, media relations and congressional affairs.''

U.S. PR giant BURSON''MARSTELLER, in response to Israel's request for a meeting, said: ''We will not deliver tender to such a project'... we are running a commercial venture. If we accept this project, this will create a great amount of negative reactions'...Israel is a particularly controversial project.''

SO THERE YOU ARE ''SOME NAMES. FEEL FREE TO NAME MORE.

NOW BOYCOTT THEM

Israel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

House OKs bill limiting Obama authority Set You Free News

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:50

UPI

Thursday approved a bill that would largely prevent President Barack Obama from creating new federal regulations for the remainder of his term.

The bill would prevent the administration from imposing major new regulations for two years, or until unemployment falls to 6 percent. It would also bar the White House from issuing major new rules between Election Day and Inauguration Day if Obama does not win re-election to a second term, The Hill reported.

Thirteen Democrats joined Republicans in voting for the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act, which passed 245-172.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said during debate on the bill Wednesday the president has issued ''more than 106 major rules costing more than $46 billion.'' House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, cited a poll indicating 85 percent of small businesses are not hiring because they fear new government regulations, The Hill said.

''President Obama has turned America into a regulation nation,'' Smith said.

Read full article

F-Russia

US to Station Forces in Poland for First Time

Link to Article

Sun, 29 Jul 2012 12:52

The Pentagon said Wednesday it plans to send a U.S. Air Force detachment to Poland to support fighter jets and transport planes, marking the first time that U.S. soldiers have been stationed there.

The announcement was made at the end of talks between Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and his Polish counterpart, Tomasz Siemoniak.

The detachment "will arrive this fall to support quarterly F-16 and C-130 deployments beginning in 2013 and will be the first U.S. forces stationed on Polish soil," Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement.

"The arrival of this detachment will mark a new step forward in the relationship between United States and Poland and enable closer military cooperation."

U.S. F-16 fighters and C-130 transport aircraft are to be deployed in Poland on a rotating basis as of next year, the statement said.

The ministers also discussed Poland's contribution to the international force in Afghanistan, where nearly 2,500 Polish troops are stationed in the eastern province of Ghazni, and Warsaw's participation in NATO missile defense.

Poland and Romania are each expected to host a ballistic missile interceptor site by 2018. Turkey is to host an early warning radar system.

(C) Copyright 2012 Agence France-Presse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Drone Nation

Homeland Security to experiment with rescue drones inside the United States - Nextgov.com

Homeland Security currently operates drones to police illicit activity along the nation's northern and southern borders, as well as neighboring seas. But, increasingly, other government agencies are borrowing DHS drones or procuring their own for scouting populated areas -- without the department's supervision, lawmakers complain.

DHS officials on July 19 declined to appear at a House Homeland Security Oversight, Investigations and Management Subcommittee hearing that largely focused on the department's role in protecting citizens from drone abuse. There is wide bipartisan concern that the remotely piloted planes will capture personal data, fall victim to hackers, or worse.

Drones-situational Awareness

Link to Article

Thu, 26 Jul 2012 20:06

DHS spy in the sky to provide ''situational awareness''

Paul Joseph WatsonInfowars.comThursday, July 26, 2012

The Department of Homeland Security is preparing to use surveillance drones for the purposes of ''public safety,'' according to remarks made by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano during a House hearing yesterday.

Asked by the House Committee on Homeland Security why the DHS is not more involved in overseeing the rollout of unmanned drones domestically, Napolitano responded by pointing out that the federal agency is looking at using the technology for ''public safety''.

''With respect to Science and Technology, that directorate, we do have a funded project, I think it's in California, looking at drones that could be utilized to give us situational awareness in a large public safety [matter] or disaster, such as a forest fire, and how they could give us better information,'' she said.

Despite increasing concerns about drones being hacked or used to collect personal information in violation of the Fourth Amendment, DHS officials declined to appear at a July 19 House Homeland Security Oversight, Investigations and Management Subcommittee hearing that sought to establish how the DHS could guarantee privacy rights would be protected.

As we reported earlier this year, the DHS is already using another type of airborne drone surveillance, also utilized to track insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq, for the purposes of ''emergency and non-emergency incidents'' within the United States.

The DHS is seeking four contractors to provide ''aerial remote sensing'' services, using LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) technology fitted to drones or manned aircraft that will provide surveillance capability for ''homeland security missions,'' as well as ''management of emergency incidents by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regional offices, joint field offices and by state and local government.''

A d v e r t i s e m e n tA bill passed in by Congress in February paves the way for the use of surveillance drones in US skies on a widespread basis. The FAA predicts that by 2020 there could be up to 30,000 drones in operation nationwide.

US law enforcement bodies are already using drone technology to spy on Americans. In December last year, aPredator B drone was called in to conduct surveillance over a family farm in North Dakota as part of a SWAT raid on the Brossart family, who were suspects in the egregious crime of stealing six missing cows. Local police in this one area have already used the drone on two dozen occasions since June last year.

Last summer, the Department of Homeland Security gave the green light for police departments in the United States to deploy the ShadowHawk mini drone drone helicopter that has the ability to taze suspects from above as well as carrying 12-gauge shotguns and grenade launchers. The drone, also used against insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq, is already being used by the Montgomery County Sheriff's office in Texas.

*********************

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.

Tags: Domestic Spying, drones

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Taliban commander shot dead in S.Waziristan

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 23:35

PESHAWAR: Gunmen shot dead a Pakistan Taliban commander linked to an attack on a volleyball tournament in northwest Pakistan in 2010 that killed almost 100 people, officials said on Wednesday. Maulana Ashraf Marwat was killed in Pakistan's Shaktoi area of South Waziristan near the Afghan border on Tuesday, said mourners at his funeral.

The identity of the gunmen was unclear. Police blamed Marwat for helping organise the deadly 2010 attack on the Shah Hasankhel village in the northwestern Lakki Marwat district in which a truck packed with explosives was detonated at a volley ball tournament.

Marwat was linked to the Pakistani Taliban, said a leader of a local pro-government militia. The police also say Marwat killed another Taliban commander, Maulana Iftikhar Marwat, reportedly because of his association with the Afghan Taliban.

The dispute between the two men highlighted tensions within the insurgency. Iftikhar Marwat had apparently urged militants from his native Lakki Marwat district to focus their fight on foreign forces in Afghanistan instead of against Pakistani security forces.

Reuters

Follow the Pipes

New battle looms in Tajikistan as rebels dig in| Reuters

Link to Article

Sat, 28 Jul 2012 13:15

By Roman Kozhevnikov

DUSHANBE | Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:42am EDT

DUSHANBE (Reuters) - Rebels in Tajikistan have refused to disarm or hand over a former warlord wanted by the authorities, increasing the chances that the government will launch a new military offensive against them, a senior security source said on Saturday.

Fighters in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region near the Afghan border are locked in a standoff with the government after President Imomali Rakhmon sent troops into the area on Tuesday to look for a former opposition warlord accused of killing a local security chief.

The prosecutor-general said on Saturday that the heavy fighting that followed had killed 17 troops, 30 rebels and one civilian, in violence that has raised concerns about the stability of the majority Muslim nation.

Rakhmon called a ceasefire late on Tuesday, promising to pardon anyone who disarmed, demanding that the rebels hand over Tolib Ayombekov, the wanted former warlord, along with three fighters.

But a security source told Reuters on Saturday that the rebels had refused.

"All chances of a peaceful surrender have been exhausted," said the source, who requested anonymity. "We do not rule out a second phase of the military operation. We are only awaiting an order from the president and will act accordingly."

"There are four groups of them (rebels) left - 30 or 40 people in each gang. No more than 150 people altogether. We have all means (for a new offensive) - around 3,000 military personnel have been concentrated in Gorno-Badakhshan."

The authorities did not know where Ayombekov was hiding, he added. "Maybe he is in Afghanistan, maybe he is here, on our land, but we will do everything to destroy his gang," he said.

SYMBOLIC SHOW OF FORCE?

The government's decision to dispatch helicopter gunships, armored vehicles and thousands of troops to the area was sparked by the killing last Saturday of local GKNB security chief Major-General Abdullo Nazarov, head of the local successor to the Soviet-era KGB.

His agency had accused Ayombekov's gang of smuggling drugs, tobacco and precious stones.

However, Ayombekov, who fought against Rakhmon's troops in a 1992-97 civil war before receiving a government job in the peace deal that ended the conflict, denied any involvement in Nazarov's killing.

Fearing possible infiltration of Taliban-linked fighters who support Ayombekov, Tajikistan has since closed all border crossings with Afghanistan, only allowing trucks carrying cargo for NATO troops there to pass.

Some analysts said that the assault - the first military operation on such a scale in almost two years - was a show of force by Rakhmon, whose control over parts of the Central Asian state remains tenuous 15 years after the end of the civil war.

Separated from Afghanistan by the Pyandzh river, Gorno-Badakhshan is an autonomous region where the authority of the central government is particularly fragile. Most of its 250,000 inhabitants sided with the opposition during the civil war.

Tajikistan is the poorest of 15 former Soviet republics. Tens of thousands died in its civil war, in which Rakhmon's Moscow-backed troops fought a loosely aligned opposition that included many Islamist fighters.

Former imperial master Russia still has 6,000 troops stationed in Tajikistan, its largest military deployment abroad and a bulwark against the threat of Islamist violence spilling across the Afghan border when NATO pulls its troops out in 2014.

(Reporting by Roman Kozhevnikov; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

Pedobear

The War on speech

The Waron Weed

King County Police Make First "Synthetic Marijuana" Bust

Link to Article

Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:26

New internet drug kills 14 young Swedes

Link to Article

Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:48

A new drug sold online has caused the deaths of 14 young men in Sweden since the beginning of July, and the Swedish National Institute of Public Health (Folkh¤lsoinstitutet, FHI) is now attempting a speedy process to ban the drug.

All known victims of the substance 5-IT were men in their twenties, autopsied after the National Board of Forensic Medicine (R¤ttsmedicinalverket) suspected their deaths were caused by overdoses, wrote national newspaper Dagens Nyheter.FHI warns of the dangers associated with online drugs.

''Often several different substances have been mixed into the powder or tablets that people buy, without their knowledge. And on chat forums different dosages are recommended. This makes the online drugs deadly,'' said FHI's investigator Anders Persson to the newspaper.

Despite the dangers, drugs sold over the Internet have exploded in popularity over the past couple of years, and authorities have difficulty keeping up with the constant stream of new ecstasy and amphetamine-type stimulant substances.

Production is mainly based in China, reports Dagens Nyheter, and the legal process to forbid each new substance as it appears takes several months.

According to last year's investigative report from Swedish broadcaster TV4, based on statistics from the National Board of Forensic Medicine, 500 people in Sweden have been killed by Internet drugs in the past decade.

It's unknown how many victims 5-IT may have claimed in total, or how many use the drug.

But according to the Swedish Poisons Information Centre (Giftinformationscentralen), eleven people have called them so far in 2012 complaining of unpleasant symptoms after taking the substance. Some common symptoms of drug overdose are high pulse, sweats, anxiety and confusion.

And the deaths of the 14 young men show the drug may be more widely spread than suspected.

''Previously we haven't been able to make analyses because we lacked the resources to trace the substance. But now that there were so many, we could see that they had all used 5-IT,'' said FHI's Persson to Dagens Nyheter.

FHI is now demanding the ban of 5-IT, hoping that the process to make it illegal will be prioritized. A ban would mean that possession and purchase of the substance would be punishable by up to a year in prison.

The War on Ammo

CNN: Preventing Another Theater Shooting! How Do We Know When The Threat Is Over? DUN DUN DUN

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:26

Gun Control Amendment Restricting Magazine Size To 10 Rounds Slipped Into Cyber Security Bill

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:24

3D Printing of Weapons '' Public Power by Printer Public Intelligence Blog

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Fri, 27 Jul 2012 13:23

John Robb

Printing Weapons at Home for Fun and Mayhem

It's now possible to print functional weapons at home. This is going to progress rapidly now.

Think: global file sharing of designs for servicable weapons, from pistols on up to ?, that can be printed at home. What you can print '-- from the materials to the size/quality of the object to the completeness (snap together construction) '-- is already moving forward quickly. The weapons effort will just be along for the ride.

Click on Image to Enlarge

''HaveBlue'' has tested the first ''printed'' firearm and it works. Here's his site, but it's VERY slow. It didn't blow up in his face.

Granted, he used an older professional grade Stratys 3D printer to do it. Printeres are much better now and handle many new materials.

Haveblue has been testing the ''market'' for distributing CAD/CAM weapons designs. His post of an earlier design to Thingverse (a site for 3D printing design patterns) led to a change in their policy (although it hasn't been enforced).

Click on Image to Enlarge

Haveblue's work is based on the Solidworks files available for download from the CNCguns site. Here's his earlier project:

Phi Beta Iota: Violence should be a last resort '-- publics today are far from fully exploiting the use of public intelligence in the public interest. However, it bears mention that both Gandhi and Martin Luther King were quite clear: non-violence is preferable to violence, but violence is preferable to continued oppression. Most governments, including the European governments still favoring banks over people and refusing to honor the Iceland model, no longer represent their publics and have lost all legitimacy in the eyes of many. We pray they will awaken to the reality that those governments that do not empower, protect, and respect the public, will ultimately be abolished. In the meantime, they are merely ignored.

Gitmo Nation

Eddie Bravo's Photo: Mad tanks being transported thru LA yesterday on a train, check the pics...

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 06:00

Mad tanks being transported thru LA yesterday on a train, check the pics...

4 hours ago via EchofonLoveUnlove0LovesGrab0GrabsShare 404 ViewsMore photos from Eddie BravoSee moreOther Popular PhotosRecently Viewed By:

DOJ & SPD Reach Agreement To Curb Seattle Cops "Excessive Use Of Force" (Or... Killing People)

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:26

CNN: Preventing Another Theater Shooting! How Do We Know When The Threat Is Over? DUN DUN DUN

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:26

"This Is What Racial Profiling Looks Like" SF Mayor Uses Aurora Shooting To Justify Stop And Frisk

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 05:55

EUROLand

Now Spain Needs 300 Billion Euro Bailout on Top of 100 Billion Bailout

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Fri, 27 Jul 2012 15:31

Spain has for the first time conceded it might need a full EU/IMF bailout worth 300 billion euros ($366 billion) if its borrowing costs remain unsustainably high, a euro zone official said, Reuters is reporting.According to Reuters, Economy Minister Luis de Guindos brought up the issue with German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble in a meeting in Berlin last Tuesday as Spain's borrowing costs soared past 7.6 percent, the source said.

The money would come on top of the 100 billion euros already agreed to prop up Spain's banking sector.

These bailout requests will never end, given the spending going on by PIIGS governments. At some point the ECB will have to print huge amounts of euros or the EZ collapses.

Greece ordered to 'deliver' on bailout plan

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Fri, 27 Jul 2012 06:35

Greece has once again been told to end delays in delivering on its debt reduction plan.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso made the comments during his first visit to Athens since the beginning of the eurozone crisis in 2009. He held talks with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

Commentators say many of the austerity measures worth billions of euros have never been fully implemented. The government needs to show proof of reforms to ensure the release of additional tranches of bailout cash.

''The key word here is 'deliver; deliver, deliver, deliver!' said Barroso. ''To maintain the trust of European and international partners, the delays must end.''

Protesting workers from all over Greece gathered in the capital Athens calling on officials from the so-called Troika, made up of the EU, European Central Bank and IMF, to get out of the country.

The inspectors, who are also there this week, will report in September on whether to approve the next 32 billion euros in bailout funds or let the country go bankrupt.

More about:Debt crisis, EU Commission, Greece, Greek debt, Jos(C) Manuel BarrosoCopyright (C) 2012 euronews

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Bank$ters

"If We're Going To Solve Our Problems By Raising Revenue It Will Mean Tax Increases On Everyone"

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:25

REVEALED: Corzine's MF Global Was Client of Eric Holder's Law Firm

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Thu, 26 Jul 2012 19:55

Source: BreitbartThose wondering why the Department of Justice has refused to go after Jon Corzine for the vaporization of $1.6 billion in MF Global client funds need look no further than the documents uncovered by the Government Accountability Institute that reveal that the now-defunct MF Global was a client of Attorney General Eric Holder and Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer's former law firm, Covington & Burling.

There's more.

Records also reveal that MF Global's trustee for the Chapter 11 bankruptcy retained as its general bankruptcy counsel Morrison & Foerester--the very law firm from which Associate Attorney General Tony West came to DOJ.

And more.

As Government Accountability Institute President Peter Schweizer explains in the Washington Times Thursday, the trustee overseeing MF Global's bankruptcy is former FBI Director Louis Freeh. At Holder's Senate confirmation hearing Freeh served as a character witness for Holder and revealed that Holder had previously worked for Freeh. ''As general counsel,'' Freeh said, ''I could have engaged any lawyer in America to represent our bank. I chose Eric.''

Until now, the conventional wisdom for why Holder wouldn't throw the book at Corzine was that Corzine is an Obama campaign bundler. Indeed, as Breitbart News reported, four of the top officials at the Department of Justice--Eric Holder, Thomas Perrelli, Karol Mason, and Tony West--were also big money bundlers for Obama.Read More...

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Elite$

Bill Clinton To Advise Financial Firm Run By Longtime Associates Doug Band, Declan Kelly

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Sun, 29 Jul 2012 13:37

WASHINGTON -- Former President Bill Clinton is teaming up with a top aide, a former State Department envoy, and Tony Blair to start a private equity fund and global consulting company.

Declan Kelly, a former top State Department envoy and major donor to the secretary of state's 2008 presidential campaign, has left government service to launch Teneo Capital, hiring Bill Clinton and the former U.K. prime minister as advisers for an undisclosed sum. Kelly's partner in the venture is Douglas Band, a longtime Clinton aide who set up the Clinton Global Initiative and remains the former president's right-hand man.

Bill Clinton earlier faced questions about whether his business ties would create conflicts for his wife, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and vowed to let the State Department sign off on his ventures. Kelly told HuffPost that State has approved Clinton's involvement in Teneo Capital.

"President Clinton is involved purely in an advisory capacity, and his compensation is confidential," Matt McKenna, a Clinton spokesman, told HuffPost. Kelly confirmed that Clinton will be compensated but declined to go into details.

Within the upper ranks of Democrats, such close ties to high finance are more common than the public might expect. For elite Democrats between or retired from public service, working a side gig as a tremendously well compensated consultant to a global investment firm has become routine. And those connections help explain why Democrats, even when they held a super majority in the Senate, couldn't manage to raise taxes on hedge funds or carried interest.

Right off the bat, Teneo Capital seems well-poised to build on its access to and knowledge of Irish government.

During a summit at Ireland's Dublin Castle in October, the former president announced plans to hold a Global Irish Economic Forum in New York in 2012, to be sponsored by Teneo Capital. Gathered at the Dublin summit were Bono, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and Irish Foreign Minister Eamon Gilmore.

Kelly, Teneo Capital's cofounder, was named in 2009 by Secretary of State Clinton to be special economic envoy to Northern Ireland. It was a position originally created in 1995 by President Clinton for former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell.

In November 2009, Bill Clinton included a session on Northern Ireland at his annual philanthropic event. "Hundreds of business executives packed a ballroom to hear Clinton and Kelly make their investment pitch. The gathering was, Kelly told the crowd, 'a massive assistance to me in my role.' After the session, dozens of executives lined up to talk to Kelly, according to one official in attendance," the Washington Post reported at the time.

Kelly, who was born and raised in Ireland, previously held a senior position at another global communications firm, Financial Dynamics, which was sold in 2006 to the company now known as FTI Consulting. He stepped down in the summer of 2009 from FTI, he said at that time, to pursue "non-commercial opportunities outside the company."

As part of his deal with FTI, Kelly told HuffPost, he had agreed to a noncompete clause that prevented him from establishing a rival firm within two years of leaving FTI. Hillary Clinton had just been named to President Barack Obama's Cabinet and had something to keep him busy.

"When she wasn't successful [in her presidential campaign] and she became secretary of state, she asked me if I wanted to do a stint as an envoy to Ireland, and it came at the right time in my life," Kelly recalled, adding, "So I gave up everything, resigned from the job and agreed to a two-year noncompete, and went to Northern Ireland and did that job for two years. And I resigned in March of this year, and in June we started the new business."

Kelly had been a prolific fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. The Irish Times reported that he bundled close to $2 million in 2007. It later reported that Bill Clinton was planning a trip to Ireland, hosted by Kelly, that was expected to net $300,000 for the campaign. One Iowa event organized by Kelly could have raised $1 million on its own had space not been a limiting factor, the paper said.

As the Northern Ireland envoy, Kelly took no salary from State, he said, but was afforded one staffer in Washington and reimbursed for coach flights across the pond. On his own dime, he said, he hired a staff of five and paid for office space at a cost of $1.4 million, while also giving up potentially millions in salary over the two-year period. Kelly's assertions may sound extreme, but ambassadors and high-level envoys are known to spend heavily with their personal money while in the job. The White House referred questions to the State Department; a spokesman there didn't respond to requests for comment.

Kelly has brought that staff with him to his new investment firm.

Teneo Capital has applied for funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, which has deep ties to the Clintons. It is also exploring creation of a private equity fund, Kelly said. "We don't have an equity fund, and we don't have a hedge fund. We're looking to establish one, but we haven't done it yet," he said.

The Clinton family and Kelly have long been close, Kelly said, adding that he has raised money for the William J. Clinton Foundation as well as for Hillary Clinton's Senate and presidential campaigns. Nonetheless, he said, the envoy appointment was not payback, and he didn't need any help to build access to high-level officials in Ireland that he wouldn't have had otherwise.

"I didn't need the State Department or the U.S. government's help to access the economic elite in Ireland. I have advised four prime ministers in Ireland, all pro bono. I had a business in Ireland for over a decade, I have a home there, I am an Irish citizen and I know virtually every senior business leader in the country," Kelly said. "I've gained no personal benefit from this at all."

Doug Band, Kelly's partner and the Teneo CEO, also has a long relationship with the Clintons. He started with President Clinton in 1995 and has stuck with him ever since. "He has served as President Clinton's chief advisor since 2002, counseling him, serving as the key architect of Mr. Clinton's post-Presidency, and overseeing the 1,400 employees and volunteers of the William J. Clinton Foundation. He continues to serve as President Clinton's most senior advisor," reads Band's bio on the company website.

Moreover, when the Clintons during the transition between the Bush and Obama administrations promised to be open about the former president's philanthropic and for-profit dealings, the arrangement was partly worked out by Band himself. The Wall Street Journal reported at the time, "Inside the Obama transition, the intense vetting for the Clintons, dubbed by some as 'the project,' is being handled by a small circle of close advisers to each side. Representing the Clintons are: Cheryl Mills, a former Clinton administration official and top aide to Sen. Clinton during her presidential bid; Doug Band, counselor to Mr. Clinton; and Bruce Lindsey, chief executive of the William J. Clinton Foundation."

What is remarkable about the relationship between the Clintons and the founders of Teneo Capital, in fact, is just how unremarkable it is. Jon Corzine, who went from Goldman Sachs to the Senate, then to the New Jersy governor's mansion and then back to Wall Street, is just the highest-profile example. And his meteoric crash back to Earth -- Corzine's firm, MF Global, recently filed for bankruptcy amid accusations that it was illegally trading on its own behalf with client money -- is unlikely to slow the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street.

The full list of Democrats who've jumped into the private equity pool reaches high and low. Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley, former Gen. Wesley Clark and former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford all now work for financial firms. Teneo's senior vice president, Tom Shea, was an aide to both Corzine and then-President Clinton and a onetime high-level State Department official.

For former public officials, one benefit of private equity work is that money men -- they're almost always men -- don't need to register as lobbyists, a scarlet letter that can hamper a return to politics or give reporters a paper trail to start following. Rahm Emanuel gets it: After leaving the White House in 1998, he took a job as an investment banker, earning more than $18 million in less than three years. When he ran for Congress in 2002, he wasn't tagged as a lobbyist.

Lower-rung politicians have made the same jump. Eric Gioia, a New York City councilman, ran for New York City public advocate in 2009 but lost in the primary. So he took a job at JPMorgan Chase. Jersey City Councilman Steve Fulop, who's running for mayor as a reform candidate, works for a private equity firm. His LinkedIn profile epitomizes the feet-in-two-camps position of too many Democrats: "Current: Equity Trading at Sanford C. Bernstein, Councilman at City of Jersey City."

CORRECTIONS: This article previously described Teneo Capital as a hedge fund and global consulting company. In fact, the company is looking to establish a private equity fund.Also, an earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Declan Kelly founded Financial Dynamics. Kelly held a senior post and was a minority shareholder in the global communications firm.

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Declan Kelly | Teneo Holdings | Teneo

Prior to Teneo, Mr. Kelly served as the U.S. Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland at the U.S. Department of State. Mr. Kelly was appointed Economic Envoy by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in September, 2009.

In his role as Economic Envoy, Mr. Kelly is recognized as having helped bring significant investment to the region from U.S. corporations. He also played a significant role in supporting the efforts that led to the historic devolution of policing and justice powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly, giving Northern Ireland fully devolved political governance.

Jacht van Abramovitsj binnenkort niet meer de langste

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 13:16

Absurd. Dat zijn de immense superjachten van de gefortuneerde elite. En voorlopig lijkt er nog lang geen einde te komen aan de wedloop. Er staat namelijk al een nieuwe koploper klaar.

Het schip heet Azzam, wat in het Arabisch iets als 'vastberadenheid' betekent, en is onder constructie bij een Duits scheepswerf, volgens SuperYachtTimes.com. De botenweblog heeft al wat kiekjes kunnen schieten van het vaartuig dat naar believen ongeveer 180 meter lang is.

De boot wordt gebouwd voor een tot nu toe nog onbekende miljardair die waarschijnlijk uit het Midden-Oosten komt. Naar verluid moet er een bonnetje van $500 miljoen afgerekend worden en in 2013 zal het ding geleverd worden. Het desbetreffende scheepsbedrijf Lurssen wil geen antwoord geven op vragen. De prestigieuze bootjesfabrikant staat er om bekend altijd erg discreet te zijn over opdrachten van zijn klanten.

Momenteel is het grootste superjacht nog in handen van de Russische oliemiljardair Roman Abramovitsj. Zijn Eclipse heeft een lengte van 163 meter en de kosten worden geschat tussen de $540 miljoen en de $1,1 miljard. De boot van de op een na rijkste Rus, is ook van Duitse makelij. Blohm + Voss uit Hamburg kregen de eer om het varend apparaat in elkaar te zetten. Degene het speelgoed een weekje wil lenen van Abramo, moet £1,25 miljoen per week betalen.

Een priv(C)boot van langer dan anderhalf voetbalveld is op geen enkele manier handig, leuk of prettig te noemen, het is absurd. De gigajachten zijn voor puissant rijken wat de veren voor de pauw zijn: een pronkstuk. Want er is een ware 'mijnes is groter dan jouwes'- strijd aan de gang, zegt Jonathan Beckett, de CEO van een van 's werelds grootste jachtenmakelaars. Een gigantische boot opent bovendien deuren. "When you get up to 'gigayacht' status, it is all about the best and these people are used to having exceptional possessions around them all the time'', aldus de makelaar.

In de Londense haven liggen momenteel flink wat superjachten aangemeerd om rijkdom te etaleren bij de Olympische Spelen. Zo laat persbureau Reuters weten dat Marcel Boekhoorn deze week binnen kwam varen met zijn 52 meter lange Deniki. De Nederlandse investeerder wordt door Quote geschat op een vermogen van 1,2 miljard euro. De grootste sloep die deze week in Londen is verwelkomd heet Octopus en is in het bezit van Paul Allen. De medeoprichter van Microsoft had met zijn sloep, die $200 miljoen heeft gekost en in 2003 werd opgeleverd, ook ooit de grootste.

Zolang de oliedollars richting de portefeuilles van Arabische woestijnprinsen blijven vloeien, zal het niet lang meer duren voordat de eerste boot van 200 meter of langer in de maak zal worden gezet.Kijk, het ding kan varen

Shut Up Slave!

China pipeline scrapped after anti-pollution protest

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 23:36

Amid an outburst of public anger, authorities in eastern China have ditched plans for an industrial waste pipeline.

Demonstrators in the city of Qidong, north of Shanghai, ransacked local government offices, claiming the project would pollute coastal waters.

There have been a string of environmental protests in China, highlighting the social tensions Beijing faces as it approaches a leadership transition this year.

More about:China, Environmental protection, ProtestCopyright (C) 2012 euronews

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Vaccine$

Nu.nl - Algemeen - Fors meer ADHD-medicijnen verstrekt

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 13:22

Fors meer ADHD-medicijnen verstrektDEN HAAG - Apotheken hebben vorig jaar aan 200.000 verschillende mensen een geneesmiddel meegegeven dat gebruikt wordt bij ADHD, 14 procent meer dan in het jaar ervoor. . Dat blijkt uit cijfers van de Stichting Farmaceutische Kengetallen. In de leeftijdsgroep van 20 tot 60 jaar bedroeg de stijging zelfs 19 procent

Het aantal gebruikers van ADHD-medicijnen is toegenomen van 70.000 in 2005 tot 200.000 in 2011. Ook voor dit jaar wordt weer een stijging verwacht, hoewel die wat kleiner zal zijn dan in de afgelopen jaren.

De meeste mensen (186.000 in 2011) gebruiken methylfenidaat. Dat is onder verschillende benamingen verkrijgbaar, waaronder Ritalin.

Kinderen

Kinderpsychiaters en -artsen onderzoeken of het wel terecht is dat steeds meer kinderen met druk gedrag medicijnen krijgen voor ADHD.

Staatssecretaris Marlies Veldhuijzen van Zanten (Volksgezondheid) zei anderhalve maand geleden in de Tweede Kamer dat ze nog deze zomer een evaluatie van de beroepsgroep verwacht.

De medicijnen genezen de aandoening niet, maar verminderen de symptomen. De bewindsvrouw maakt zich zorgen over de effecten van de medicijnen op de lange termijn bij nog groeiende hersenen.

(C) ANP

Laatst gewijzigd: 28-07-2012 06:33

HPV can be tested with vinegar and a camera

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 23:32

So HPV can be tested with vinegar and a camera. I gathered this from someone recently who is a Doctor. So if this is the case and the plans are to use this to test HPV in Africa. The why do Americans need to get a Pap smear.Medical spending is unreasonable, yet we overlook simple cures and fixes.

There is also a plan to use this test for people in Africa. Is this a move to push out the HPV vaccine to more children and women in Africa?

Vinegar Plus HPV Test Identifies Women at Risk for Cervical Cancer

BBC News - Today - HIV vaccine 'five to 10 years away'

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Fri, 27 Jul 2012 14:03

Timothy Ray Brown is the first person in the world believed to have recovered from HIV.

He told the Today programme's Andy Hosken that he feels great but that he does not "want to be the only person in the world to be cured from HIV".

Dr Ravindra Gupta, a research fellow at University College London, said that Timothy Ray Brown's case was "very exciting for the field".

"For the first time we've had some insight into the fact that this may be possible," he told the Today programme.

He believes we are five to 10 years away from developing "either a cure strategy or a vaccine".

Get in touch with Today via email , Twitter or Facebook or text us on 84844.

Mandatory Vaccination Reaches Britain

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Thu, 26 Jul 2012 20:08

In Africa, it's been mandatory for quite a while. Funny how AIDS broke out in kids whose parents were not AIDS victims. AIDS, they claimed is spread by sex. Children don't have sex. The Hepatitis B vaccine was sufficient to spread the epidemic.Bill gates wants no less than a one and a half billion reduction in the world's human population. He's relying on vaccination. Killing kids and making them sterile nets him even more money than a web browsing monopoly. He was no chance entrepreneur. He was part of a deal to defraud IBM's shareholders by letting Gates in as the provider of DOS. His father was hugely wealthy and a well-known 'eugenicist'.

How I hacked my brain with Adderall: a cautionary tale

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Thu, 26 Jul 2012 20:05

Evolution is a nice, big idea. It connotes the glacial pace of an unmeditated act unfolding upon species, concepts, and ecosystems. It certainly doesn't usually get branded as a feeling. But a couple months ago I felt this thing. Maybe a little like what a mommy feels when her fetus kicks the wall crossed with how the baby feels when it gets its pre-K diploma, and the best word I can come up with for it is evolution. Not the glacial kind, but the real-time, Matrix-flavored kind. I was too busy barreling through the wicked pipe of a 30-milligram Adderall to think about it much when it happened, though. Half an hour into my sunrise dose, I logged into Lynda.com, the extraordinarily put-together training site used by corporate operations to keep their employees up on hot software trends. As an avid Monday Night Football chyron fan, I had promised myself for years that I would learn After Effects as soon as I had the free time; the chemical wave pushed me through an especially potent laziness that has always kept me from becoming the motion graphics expert I knew I wanted to be.

"I know kung fu." '' Neo, 1999There I sat, glued to my chair, watching the instructional videos on my laptop, guzzling Coke Zero, and practicing in the software on my external monitor. I optimized my posture over the course of the first few hours, ironing out repetitive stress pain as it came along, taking smoke breaks between every chapter: "Getting Started With After Effects," "Learning to Animate," "Precomposing and Nesting Compositions." As the sun dipped below the horizon, I found myself at chapter 19: "Rendering and Compression," and finally, at dusk, Chapter 21: "Conclusion." My virtual instructor Chad Perkins wished me well in my motion graphics career and I realized that I was falling in love with him: his nimble pick-whipping and soothing color correction subtly opening the door to my racing heart. I became one with him, and, as a result, I internalized After Effects. As the credits rolled, Neo flashed into my head. "I know After Effects," he said, opening his eyes and staring up at Morpheus through my corneas. Less than a month later, I had landed my first job producing visuals for a national tour for the popular electronic jam band Sound Tribe Sector 9. Although they weren't scrolling inches below Mike Ditka's moustache, my motions graphics were now going to be seen by hundreds of thousands of people on a 30-foot LED pyramid, and my ESPN debut felt so close I could smile at it. This was life on speed; this was me jacking into the Matrix; this was a repeatable equation: Lynda + Adderall = Knowledge + Skills. Something powerful came to life here, something new and useful and limitless that had incubated inside me for 29 years, but wouldn't come out without the help of a shitload of tiny pink pills.

''The Black Shakes. What causes it?'' '' Johnny Mnemonic, 1995''Information overload! Technological fucking civilization'... we can't live without it.'' '' SpiderUp until my mid-twenties, I considered myself a learning maximalist: never wanting to specify a direction for myself, preferring always to try to keep up with everything that was going on around me. For the most part, I was able to. Things hadn't reached critical mass yet, social content was just ramping up with the early days of YouTube, the heyday of MySpace, and the beginnings of Twitter and Flickr. I recall very clearly the moment I realized it was no longer possible. I was working as a producer for a daily public radio show and was responsible for scouring the web for cultural tidbits to pitch each morning for coverage. My content digestion system, a tightly-engineered machine woven from Bloglines, specialized Firefox plugins, and a top-notch gChat list was race-lubricated and flying high, content bubbling and churning below me all around the Internet. The production value of content in general at that time was manageable enough to feel like I could at least be cognisant of the most important LOLcats, Bieber memes, and new music that surfaced each and every day. One day in late 2007 a friend was astonished to learn I hadn't yet seen footage of the Japanese cat that goes into boxes, 特è¨'ãã‚‹ã­ã'. I watched the video, and it was right in my wheelhouse, something I normally would have been the firstie of in my peer group. Fear of missing out (or FOMO, a social media-fueled psychosis we don't yet fully understand) gripped me, a raw panic searing the synapses of my inner learning maximalist. What had kept me from getting to it before she did? Was my machine rusted out from too much linkbait? Over time, it dawned on me that I didn't really care that I hadn't seen it. A triumph of virality in its purest form, but still nothing that shocked me. The content flood had finally risen above my nostrils, and the scope of my world began to shrink out of necessity. With maximalism no longer tenable, I had to focus on something, exorcise a massive lump of FOMO from my psyche, pick an area of expertise, and aim squarely for mastery of it.

Fear of missing out (or FOMO, a social media-fueled psychosis we don't yet fully understand) gripped meFor years and years I struggled with this. As a freelancing work-from-home type it is often difficult to motivate oneself to follow through on project ideas, especially when they come fast and furious at all hours of the day. My fellow Virgo Lil Wayne has often discussed the endless flood of lyrics that scream through his head so violently that when he finally gets to work in the studio, it's a relief: he can, at last, depressurize. But Wayne is an extreme artist, far more extreme than most, and he treats his extremities heavily with codeine cough syrup and marijuana. If I wanted to pull myself up out of the flood of information and ideas, I needed some sort of therapy: I had to find my dank drank. With a little help from my already-artificially-hyper-productive friends, I think I knew where to find it.

"Floor it." '' Officer Jack Traven, 1994Adderall's active ingredient is amphetamine. Like most useful drugs, amphetamine has been used in one form or another for centuries (popular references include the hospital scene from Downton Abbey Episode One, Dexy's Midnight Runners, and, looking ahead, the Neurachem of Richard Morgan's Altered Carbon). Just as Merck used to manufacture the best cocaine on the entire planet, Shrine now produces the most reliable amphetamine money can buy. And it's good shit, so good that it sits with opium and cocaine on the USA's List of Schedule II Controlled substances.

Getting a prescription for Adderall is not hardGetting a prescription for Adderall is not hard. Nearly every major city has a weekly alternative news and arts magazine that is half-full of ads for escorts and pain management clinics. You've probably seen them: "CHRONIC BACK PAIN? GLAUCOMA? ADULT ADHD? WE CAN HELP." I called one of these clinics, located in a zip code painfully familiar to all fans of early-90s teen sitcoms, and scheduled a consultation about my presumptive case of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. After answering a few multiple-choice questions about my attention span (the "right" answers were knee-slappingly clear), the briefest physical I've ever encountered, and handing over two hundred dollars in cash, I walked out the door with 900 milligrams of generic adderall.

The super-jolt of energy novice users experience mellows after a few days of use and changes character dramatically. It does become a very sufficient coffee replacement: a little ritual combined with chemical stimulation that motivates you to get out of bed. But coming up daily on Adderall has less to do with a caffeinated sensation than it does with becoming a detail-oriented post-human, a machine following self-imposed routines with little regard for anything outside the routine's scope. It turns out that my Adderall self has a knack for accounting, spreadsheets, and administrative tasks that my unstimulated self would normally shy away from: an inbox-zeroing robot bent on eking out every last ounce of productivity my heightened senses could spit out. Keeping up with the moving parts of being self-employed, as I am, is easy on Adderall. It feels almost robotic, as if I'm hiring an assistant to take care of the books. But an Adderall prescription is much cheaper than hiring a competent assistant, and I always know I can trust myself (even if it is a different version of myself) to keep it honest when it comes to my bottom line.

There is an issue of time here as well. As someone in the content generation industry, my normal self's most valuable asset is creativity: producing product that others will pay, in one way or another, to consume. Transforming into an Administrative Jekyll for a certain amount of time every day limits the amount of time my Creative Hyde can come up with content to market and sell. Luckily, amphetamines have that problem tackled as well: when you're using them, you don't have to sleep... at all. That frees up quite a few hours of the day. Amphetamine's extreme appetite suppressant qualities will also save time you used to spend going to the grocery store. As someone with a penchant for eating everything that's in my field of vision (often to help me avoid doing work), this was all fine with me: I waved goodbye to expensive lunches (well, to lunch in general, actually) and to those peanut butter and Cheetos-induced pounds that normally hang out around my waistline.

''How's it hangin, Death?'' ''Evil Ted, 1991One of the first things you notice about Adderall is its "hard reset" effect on your metabolism. As you begin to come up, you'd best plan to be near a toilet. Part of the impetus for this whole shitshow was my recently-acquired and very violent intolerance of coffee. While Adderall doesn't induce the internal bleeding coffee had begun to elicit in my bowels, it's obviously a very powerful stimulant, without a lot of the rot-gut acidic effects coffee has in its arsenal. Side effect number one, noted, with cautious optimism.

Around came the second, after about two weeks of regular use: rampant eye twitches. Not anything that would interfere with my daily habits, but still an annoyance I knew was coming from the medication. A constant reminder to me and my confidants that something unnatural was acting out in my body. Fluttering eyelids were one thing I was willing to deal with '-- I was ESPN-bound, after all! But the first time I became truly scared of what was happening to me was when the discharge began.

As you begin to come up, you'd best plan to be near a toiletAfter three months on Adderall, in one of the monthly phone check-ins with my clinic, I mentioned that the drug's effects had diminished significantly, and got my monthly dose doubled (just in case this message was lost on you, I'll make it clear: amphetamines are extraordinarily addictive). I was sentenced to 60 mg a day, an entire pill in the morning and another later on when my brain started to wander. The first morning I committed to 30 mg went swimmingly until it was time for a bathroom break. After a minute or so in Porcelainville, a small amount of seminal fluid oozed lazily out of my primary private part. I was a little too shocked to be scared, and also flying on my new dose, so I sort of chuckled nervously and told myself a dirty schoolyard joke to take my mind off the situation. But it kept happening, every time I sat down on the toilet for more than a minute, and sometimes when I was just sitting down on a chair. Like any modern male, I took to ADHD forums and found that I wasn't alone. Amphetamine puts a lot of pressure on the prostate, and if it's not expressed daily, the buildup from that pressure finds its way out of your body when you don't want it to. Since we're on the subject, I'll go ahead and tell you about Adderall's "Killer App" '-- erectile dysfunction!!! Haaaayyyy girl!!! To be honest, seeing that on the forums didn't shock me: with my focus pinned in on work, I'd had little motivation or time to go out and get drunk enough to seek a mate (read: a lot of nights spent at home with Buffy).

Amphetamine operates primarily by increasing levels of norepinephrine, stimulating the sympathetic nervous system, which in turn triggers the body's "fight or flight" mechanisms. Quickened heartbeat, heightened awareness, enhanced muscle control and metabolic rates: processes that require a lot of blood. That excess surge of blood comes from the supply that would normally be diverted to non-essential organs. All of the other issues I could live with. But when I miraculously stumbled upon a great girl I wanted to have sex with a lot, disaster struck: during a romantic getaway intended to bring her closer into my world, I couldn't get it up! As a former user herself she had encountered similar situations and sympathized. She also made it abundantly clear that I was to cease taking my medications immediately. I didn't object. If it's never happened to you before, let me just tell you: not being able to have sex when you're used to being a Hornball From Another Dimension is terrifying. One of those life-flashing-before-your-eyes moments. Something they don't tell you about at the clinic, for sure.

A subtler but probably much more profound effect permeates my cycle of Adderall use. I'd stopped eating. I'd stopped sleeping. I'd stopped getting horny. I'd stopped getting distracted by habits that I normally reveled in, which all seemed good. One day, about five months in, I noticed that I had stopped paying attention to music. My pleasure receptors, which in their normal state constantly cry out for sex, french fries, naps, and Katy Perry, had all become blunted. As a DJ that last thirst was something that sustained me not only spiritually but financially, and its void scared me almost as much as my flaccid penis. If I wasn't the California Gurl-obsessed snack addict I knew, then what the fuck was I?

I had finally met my first addiction, and it lived in a Walmart parking lot, in the disheveled cart collector, without Katy Perry There is a tinge of substance abuse that runs through my family, so during this whole thing I was always hyper-aware of where I thought I was on the addiction spectrum. At no point did the alarm bells sound quite so clearly as the first time I couldn't find any Adderall. A few months back, during a well-documented shortage with possibly nefarious roots in Israel and China, there just wasn't anyone in my neighborhood that stocked the stuff anymore. I hit the gMap hard and called every pharmacy in increasingly wider circles from my home until I eventually found a Walmart 45 minutes away, in Duarte, where it was mercifully in stock. A distant memory of freshman psychology fluttered into my consciousness: for many alcoholics, the mere scent of booze is enough to induce a drunken state. I can't remember what gave me the bigger amphetamine rush, hearing the pharmacist other end saying "yeah, we've got some left," or the taste of a saccharine pink pill on my tongue as soon as I hit the parking lot. I had finally met my first addiction, and it lived in a Walmart parking lot, in the disheveled cart collector, without Katy Perry.

There is a light at the end of this tunnel, and I actually think it's a pretty cool one: pretty much anything that's going wrong with you '-- physically, mentally, spiritually, interpersonally '-- can be attributed to the drug. If you don't wanna deal with the drawbacks, and you're lucky enough to not be totally dependent on the drug, you just quit! It's kind of like going to the pharmacist, complaining of having Mystery AIDS, the flu, and erectile dysfunction, and getting one single pill to cure them all, but the pill is actually no pills at all.

''Feels good to be alive, doesn't it?'' '' Johnny Utah, 1991No pills at all was, for me, fairly easy. I did a classic addiction swap, bringing back old favorites like ''stare at the ceiling for another half hour,'' ''have another snack,'' and ''watch shitty informercials on YouTube for three hours,'' a diet that I knew and felt at home with. The amphetamine-sharpened edges of my mind began to dull. I went to Trader Joe's and bought a shitload of pita chips. Doing work didn't come nearly as easily as it did on the drug, but I found I was able to tap into a lot of the same sensibilities I acquired on Adderall to accomplish tasks I wasn't super-enthusiastic about. Lunch came back into fashion, as did the lengthy noontime naps. My new lover got more than her fair share of makeup sex.

One miraculous day, driving to the beach with the windows down, I heard my favorite "Teenage Dream" remix as I hadn't heard it in half a year, flooding my smile-induction neurons with naturally-produced and -absorbed dopamine. My sense of lazy but useful peacefulness in the universe sprung anew and manifested itself in a way that I had never '-- not even before I went to the pain clinic '-- felt before. Adderall had introduced me to a new version of myself. It wasn't me, but it was a cool weird nerdy synthetic me that regular me could get along with fantastically. Like all psychoactive drugs, Adderall had opened my mind, even if it was in a very roundabout way.

''The only way is to hack your own brain.'' ''J-bone, 1995I can't be totally sure about it, but I think the omnipresence of Google really has put me in a ''Johnny Mnemonic'' situation. Information overload! I feel like I already know far too many Not For Tourists / local LOLcat population facts about other places before I even get there. While William Gibson's black shakes '-- Nerve Attenuation Syndrome '-- haven't turned up yet (aside from twitchy eyes), the world has become overwhelmingly detailed to the point that I need to whittle away at the amount of information I receive rather than add to it. My pseudo-journalistic / artsy-fartsy idols relied psychedelics and travel to increase knowledge in an additive clay-like way.

Adderall is the chisel I use on the gigantic marble form of the world, a subtractive process to try to arrive at some larger truth.

Like anything else, Adderall and all of its chemical relatives can be, and are, abused on all levels. I am not a doctor, but in my heart I know this shit should NOT be given to children, even in a world where it's increasingly harder to focus on something that isn't your Facebook timeline. The entire neurological and sociological conditioning cycles of childhood are all about constant stimulus overload. Our brains learn to whittle away at life's rough edges until we become who we are as adults. A baby poops its pants because it doesn't know how (or why) to NOT poop its pants. At a certain point we learn sphincter control; we learn that pooping one's pants might not be the best way to make friends on the playground. Throwing powerful psychoactive chemicals into the developmental mix is a dangerous idea. In addition to making children high and focused, it will probably also seriously affect their abilities to to draw together disparate points and problem-solve in a world full of unsolved problems.

Adderall is the chisel I use on the gigantic marble form of the worldBy carefully evaluating how we medicate ourselves (which we will anyway, whether it's legal, illegal, ethical, or unethical), we have the potential to harness this technological fucking civilization in more innovative ways than any other country in the world. Going a little furthur I'd say it's a duty to think actively about how we can use medicine and technology to expand the limits of our knowledge, to define new paradigms of information that will help everyone deal with an explosion of knowledge that no one in the world knows how to deal with (Except For By Hotboxing The Van And Dissolving Into a Puddle of Lesbian LOLcats That Look Like Bieber Remix).

''I think I'm just going to lie here for a moment and collect my thoughts.'' ''Shane Falco, 2000All of this, of course, is one person's perspective. Your mileage will certainly vary drastically. Over the past months I've been able to develop something of a long-term tidal pattern of usage. If I've got a big deadline, a huge project to complete, or a lack of income staring at me on the horizon, I'm able to dip into the orange bottle on a short-term basis. I use Adderall as a tool, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that; it's more effective (and cheaper) than Starbucks, which seems to be benign enough of a drug. If I'm coming off a fortnight of sleepless, nose-to-the-grindstone nights on speed, I clear my calendar for a few days, snack my brains out, and do the wonderfully passive work of connecting the random dots of the world around me. I gotta keep an eye on me, for sure, but I'm not gonna beat myself up about my drug use. I'm well-attuned to both ends of my usage patterns and see my position in the cycle clearly from day to day. As for super long-term effects, well, I'm not too optimistic about the nervous and reproductive systems I'm developing for my AARP-era self. But that's not me now. This is me now:

VIDEO

China pipeline scrapped after anti-pollution protest

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 23:36

Amid an outburst of public anger, authorities in eastern China have ditched plans for an industrial waste pipeline.

Demonstrators in the city of Qidong, north of Shanghai, ransacked local government offices, claiming the project would pollute coastal waters.

There have been a string of environmental protests in China, highlighting the social tensions Beijing faces as it approaches a leadership transition this year.

More about:China, Environmental protection, ProtestCopyright (C) 2012 euronews

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Dennis Kucinich "The Iraq War Was Based On Lies! It Had Nothing To Do With Al Qaeda Or 911!"

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 13:00

Jacht van Abramovitsj binnenkort niet meer de langste

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 13:16

Absurd. Dat zijn de immense superjachten van de gefortuneerde elite. En voorlopig lijkt er nog lang geen einde te komen aan de wedloop. Er staat namelijk al een nieuwe koploper klaar.

Het schip heet Azzam, wat in het Arabisch iets als 'vastberadenheid' betekent, en is onder constructie bij een Duits scheepswerf, volgens SuperYachtTimes.com. De botenweblog heeft al wat kiekjes kunnen schieten van het vaartuig dat naar believen ongeveer 180 meter lang is.

De boot wordt gebouwd voor een tot nu toe nog onbekende miljardair die waarschijnlijk uit het Midden-Oosten komt. Naar verluid moet er een bonnetje van $500 miljoen afgerekend worden en in 2013 zal het ding geleverd worden. Het desbetreffende scheepsbedrijf Lurssen wil geen antwoord geven op vragen. De prestigieuze bootjesfabrikant staat er om bekend altijd erg discreet te zijn over opdrachten van zijn klanten.

Momenteel is het grootste superjacht nog in handen van de Russische oliemiljardair Roman Abramovitsj. Zijn Eclipse heeft een lengte van 163 meter en de kosten worden geschat tussen de $540 miljoen en de $1,1 miljard. De boot van de op een na rijkste Rus, is ook van Duitse makelij. Blohm + Voss uit Hamburg kregen de eer om het varend apparaat in elkaar te zetten. Degene het speelgoed een weekje wil lenen van Abramo, moet £1,25 miljoen per week betalen.

Een priv(C)boot van langer dan anderhalf voetbalveld is op geen enkele manier handig, leuk of prettig te noemen, het is absurd. De gigajachten zijn voor puissant rijken wat de veren voor de pauw zijn: een pronkstuk. Want er is een ware 'mijnes is groter dan jouwes'- strijd aan de gang, zegt Jonathan Beckett, de CEO van een van 's werelds grootste jachtenmakelaars. Een gigantische boot opent bovendien deuren. "When you get up to 'gigayacht' status, it is all about the best and these people are used to having exceptional possessions around them all the time'', aldus de makelaar.

In de Londense haven liggen momenteel flink wat superjachten aangemeerd om rijkdom te etaleren bij de Olympische Spelen. Zo laat persbureau Reuters weten dat Marcel Boekhoorn deze week binnen kwam varen met zijn 52 meter lange Deniki. De Nederlandse investeerder wordt door Quote geschat op een vermogen van 1,2 miljard euro. De grootste sloep die deze week in Londen is verwelkomd heet Octopus en is in het bezit van Paul Allen. De medeoprichter van Microsoft had met zijn sloep, die $200 miljoen heeft gekost en in 2003 werd opgeleverd, ook ooit de grootste.

Zolang de oliedollars richting de portefeuilles van Arabische woestijnprinsen blijven vloeien, zal het niet lang meer duren voordat de eerste boot van 200 meter of langer in de maak zal worden gezet.Kijk, het ding kan varen

Judge Rules Advertising Underage Kids For Sex Is Free Speech

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:48

After Missing Man Returns Home He's Arrested For Child Porn

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:27

King County Police Make First "Synthetic Marijuana" Bust

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:26

DOJ & SPD Reach Agreement To Curb Seattle Cops "Excessive Use Of Force" (Or... Killing People)

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:26

CNN: Preventing Another Theater Shooting! How Do We Know When The Threat Is Over? DUN DUN DUN

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:26

"If We're Going To Solve Our Problems By Raising Revenue It Will Mean Tax Increases On Everyone"

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:25

"Guns Don't Kill People... I DO!" Maryland Man Arrested After Telling Co-Workers He Is "The Joker"

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:25

THE BUNKER BUSTERS ARE READY!

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:24

Gun Control Amendment Restricting Magazine Size To 10 Rounds Slipped Into Cyber Security Bill

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 12:24

"This Is What Racial Profiling Looks Like" SF Mayor Uses Aurora Shooting To Justify Stop And Frisk

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Sat, 28 Jul 2012 05:55

The Comedy That Is The U.S. House Of Representatives Could It Get More Stupid Than This?

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Fri, 27 Jul 2012 14:51

BBC News - Today - HIV vaccine 'five to 10 years away'

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Fri, 27 Jul 2012 14:03

Timothy Ray Brown is the first person in the world believed to have recovered from HIV.

He told the Today programme's Andy Hosken that he feels great but that he does not "want to be the only person in the world to be cured from HIV".

Dr Ravindra Gupta, a research fellow at University College London, said that Timothy Ray Brown's case was "very exciting for the field".

"For the first time we've had some insight into the fact that this may be possible," he told the Today programme.

He believes we are five to 10 years away from developing "either a cure strategy or a vaccine".

Get in touch with Today via email , Twitter or Facebook or text us on 84844.

"Either We Stand Together Or We'll Hang Separately" ( I Bet They Say That A LOT At The Pentagon)

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Fri, 27 Jul 2012 13:20

Drones-situational Awareness

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Thu, 26 Jul 2012 20:06

DHS spy in the sky to provide ''situational awareness''

Paul Joseph WatsonInfowars.comThursday, July 26, 2012

The Department of Homeland Security is preparing to use surveillance drones for the purposes of ''public safety,'' according to remarks made by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano during a House hearing yesterday.

Asked by the House Committee on Homeland Security why the DHS is not more involved in overseeing the rollout of unmanned drones domestically, Napolitano responded by pointing out that the federal agency is looking at using the technology for ''public safety''.

''With respect to Science and Technology, that directorate, we do have a funded project, I think it's in California, looking at drones that could be utilized to give us situational awareness in a large public safety [matter] or disaster, such as a forest fire, and how they could give us better information,'' she said.

Despite increasing concerns about drones being hacked or used to collect personal information in violation of the Fourth Amendment, DHS officials declined to appear at a July 19 House Homeland Security Oversight, Investigations and Management Subcommittee hearing that sought to establish how the DHS could guarantee privacy rights would be protected.

As we reported earlier this year, the DHS is already using another type of airborne drone surveillance, also utilized to track insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq, for the purposes of ''emergency and non-emergency incidents'' within the United States.

The DHS is seeking four contractors to provide ''aerial remote sensing'' services, using LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) technology fitted to drones or manned aircraft that will provide surveillance capability for ''homeland security missions,'' as well as ''management of emergency incidents by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regional offices, joint field offices and by state and local government.''

A d v e r t i s e m e n tA bill passed in by Congress in February paves the way for the use of surveillance drones in US skies on a widespread basis. The FAA predicts that by 2020 there could be up to 30,000 drones in operation nationwide.

US law enforcement bodies are already using drone technology to spy on Americans. In December last year, aPredator B drone was called in to conduct surveillance over a family farm in North Dakota as part of a SWAT raid on the Brossart family, who were suspects in the egregious crime of stealing six missing cows. Local police in this one area have already used the drone on two dozen occasions since June last year.

Last summer, the Department of Homeland Security gave the green light for police departments in the United States to deploy the ShadowHawk mini drone drone helicopter that has the ability to taze suspects from above as well as carrying 12-gauge shotguns and grenade launchers. The drone, also used against insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq, is already being used by the Montgomery County Sheriff's office in Texas.

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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.

Tags: Domestic Spying, drones

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