Monday, January 14, 2013

New CIA Director John Brennan Cheers Torture






Sandy Hook shooting - MSNBC reports that AR-15 rifle was left in the car


Editor's Note: Straight up reporting before it was necessary to blame the shooting on an AR-15.




PLA officials say troops are to prepare for war amid territorial disputes with Japan


'Hard and rigorous' training planned amid territorial tension with Japan, officials declare, but observers rubbish 'loud propaganda'

South China Morning Post
Choi Chi-yuk

The PLA aims to beef up its troops' combat readiness and prepare for actual war situations through exercises this year, according to the latest annual training directive, amid escalating tensions between China and Japan over territorial disputes in the East China Sea.

"In 2013, the goal set for the entire army and the People's Armed Police force is to bolster their capabilities to fight and their ability to win a war … to be well-prepared for a war by subjecting the army to hard and rigorous training on an actual combat basis," according to yesterday's People's Liberation Army Daily, which referred to a training blueprint issued by the PLA's Department of the General Staff for the entire force.

The directive came in stark contrast to that of its predecessor. In last year's directive, more emphasis was placed on joint military trainings and co-ordination among different PLA services.

This year's statement stresses the urgency of real combat abilities in all military training by repeating the phrase "fighting wars", or dazhang, as many as 10 times in the article, which was no more than 1,000 words. The phrase did not appear in last year's directive.

The changes could be a result of the rising tensions in waters between China and Japan, while they might also indicate that there is a different focus for the PLA, since the Central Military Commission's chairman Hu Jintao was succeeded by Xi Jinping , the new PLA commander-in-chief since November.

Separately, state broadcast media reported in the past week that the PLA's naval air force kicked off the open-sea training portion of its annual exercise programme. No details were given on the specific dates or duration.

The General Staff department's training directive came a day after Japan's Self-Defence Forces conducted a massive military exercise on training grounds in Narashino, on the outskirts of Tokyo, on Sunday, in which 20 aircraft, 300 personnel and 33 vehicles participated.

Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera issued a statement after the drill insisting that Chinese ships had trespassed in "Japanese waters" near the Senkaku Islands, which are known in China as the Diaoyus, and that the security surrounding Japan was therefore being tightened.

The disputed chain of islands in the East China Sea has been claimed by both China and Japan since the early 1970s.

Andrei Chang, editor-in-chief of the Canada-based Kanwa Defence Review, said, "The PLA is making its propaganda voice louder this year, aside from shifting their target to Japan instead of the Philippines last year," adding the statement was more or less the same as last year's.

The Age of the Siege: Nazi Military Tactics Revisited


NATO Strategies, Economic Sanctions and the "Responsibility to Protect"

Global Research

Felicity Arbuthnot

NATOBLOOD“Disengage, avoid, and withhold support from whatever abuses, degrades and humiliates humanity.” (Alice Walker, b:1944.).

[former Danish PM and Secretary General of NATO] Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Du har blod på dine hænder” ( “You have blood on your hands”), Danish protester, 2003.

The siege of Leningrad is still considered the most lethal siege in world history, a shocking “racially motivated starvation policy”, described as: “an integral part of Nazi policy in the Soviet Union during World War 11.”

The 872 day siege began on 8th September 1941 and was finally broken on 27th January 1944. It is described  as: “one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history and overwhelmingly the most costly in casualties.” Some historians cite it as a genocide. Due to record keeping complexities the exact number of deaths resultant from the blockade’s deprivations are uncertain, figures range from 632,000 to 1.5 million.

Sieges now extend to entire countries, they have become the torture before the destruction. And they are not counted in long days, but in long years. Iran thirty three years, Iraq thirteen-plus years. Ironically the disparity in the deaths in Iraq resultant from that siege, mirror near exactly what was considered a “genocide” in Leningrad.

Syria has been subject to EU “restrictions” since 2011, ever more strangulating, with near every kind of financial transaction made impossible by May 2011- when “restrictions” were also placed on President Assad himself, all senior government officials, senior security and armed forces Heads. The list of that denied is dizzying (i.) By February 2012, assets of individuals were frozen, as those of the Central Bank of Syria.

Cargo flights by Syrian carriers to the EU were also barred, as was trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds – anything which might translate in to hard cash, without which neither individuals or countries can purchase the most basic essentials.
By July 2012 Syrian Arab Airlines and even Syria’s Cotton Marketing Organisation had joined the EU’s victims.

America of course, had been way ahead of the game, with the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Act (ii) signed in to law on 12th December 2003, the year of Iraq’s comprehensive US-led destruction. Thus the mighty USA’s personal siege on under twenty one million people, is now entering its tenth year.

By last August, as with Iraq before it, the inability to trade meant that, as ever, the now Nobel Peace Prize winning EU and the policies of the Nobel Peace Prize winning US President, were targeting Syria’s most vulnerable.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Professor James F. Tracy on KPFA

KPFA

"Sandy Hook: Unanswered Questions" with Professor James F. Tracy. Discrepancies in media coverage; coroner's press conference; political fallout.


Guns and Butter - January 9, 2013 at 1:00pm

Click to listen (or download)



Professor's Questions About Sandy Hook Shooting Recall Columbine Massacre

Editor's Note:

“While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place—at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described.”
Anderson Cooper jumps on this portion of the sentence:

“While it sounds like an outrageous claim, one is left to inquire whether the Sandy Hook shooting ever took place—"
 
 before the following qualifying prep:

"
at least in the way law enforcement authorities and the nation’s news media have described.”

This is intended to milk a reaction of outrage from his audience. 

Mr. Cooper doesn't quite know who he's messing with.  Personally, I would not want to go toe-to-toe with Professor James Tracy.  I've read his past work and he is one of the sharper knives in the drawer.  Anderson had to use a deceptive excerpt out of context in order for people to buy his fake righteous indignation.


The Daily Bell



Believe it or not, there are actually people out there who are convinced that last month's horrific shooting in Newtown, Connecticut was staged. Anderson Cooper opened his show tonight taking on these conspiracy theorists. He said that ordinarily, he wouldn't give much thought to insane conspiracies, but one of the people pushing them is a Florida professor who raises doubts as to whether the shooting "ever took place" in the way that the media described, and the whole thing was just a huge conspiracy to get the country behind gun control. And as if that wasn't unbelievable enough, he also suspects that some of the parents of the children were really actors. – Mediaite.com

Dominant Social Theme: Sandy Hook conspiracy theories are appalling and outrageous.

Free-Market Analysis: A recent CNN/Anderson Cooper "Keeping Them Honest" segment focused on a media professor, James Tracy, who has publicly claimed that the Sandy Hook shootings "may not have happened at all, at least ... the way they have been described."
An article by the Sun Sentinel describes the Tracy controversy as follows:

FAU prof stirs controversy by disputing Newtown massacre ... A communication professor known for conspiracy theories has stirred controversy at Florida Atlantic University with claims that last month's Newtown, Conn., school shootings did not happen as reported — or may not have happened at all.

Moreover, James Tracy asserts in radio interviews and on his memoryholeblog.com, that trained "crisis actors" may have been employed by the Obama administration in an effort to shape public opinion in favor of the event's true purpose: gun control.

... In one of his blog posts, "The Sandy Hook School Massacre: Unanswered Questions and Missing Information," Tracy cites several sources for his skepticism, including lack of surveillance video or still images from the scene, the halting performance of the medical examiner at a news conference, timeline confusion, and how the accused shooter was able to fire so many shots in just minutes ...

Tracy said also has doubts about the official version of the Kennedy assassination, the Oklahoma City bombing, the 9-11 terror attacks and the Aurora, Colo., theater murders.
"I describe myself as a scholar and public intellectual," he said, "interested in going more deeply into controversial public events. Although some may see [my theories] as beyond the pale, I am doing what we should be doing as academics."

Cooper is at his silky best in this segment, blasting away at the professor's theories and even implying that he ought to be fired for voicing such an opinion.

4 Years Ago Could You've Imagined We'd Let Banks Off Laundering Money For Terrorists & Drug Cartels?






Saturday, January 12, 2013

From Kindergarten to University: Homeland Security Culture in America


Global Research
Sancho Jones

academicIn early March of 2009, The Department of Homeland Security, held it’s annual National Fusion Center Conference [1]. The conference highlighted the necessity for Fusion Centers to achieve Baseline Capabilities in the sharing of information and intelligence with the federal government and each other.

At the end of the same month the DHS gave a press release [2] to announce their selection of Purdue, and Rutgers Universities to co-lead the newest Center of Excellence (COE).

Centers of Excellence were created through the Homeland Security Act of 2002; the first centers began operation in 2004. With the addition of the newest one above, there are a total of 12 Centers across the country. The total number of these centers is skewed; as each center is in collaboration with multiple universities; as well as being partners with local, state, federal, and international entities. These COE’s also work with national laboratories, and corporate partners such as the RAND corporation to offer viable real world applications. In the end, there aren’t 12 centers, but a web of several hundred, and possibly thousands of centers.

The official list[3] of 12 centers are overseen by the Orwellian “Office of University Programs” [4]. The “Strategic Objectives” of this office are quoted as follows:
  •  Foster a homeland security culture within the academic community through research and educational programs.
  •  Strengthen U.S. scientific leadership in homeland security research.
  •  Generate and disseminate knowledge and technical advances to advance the homeland security mission.
  •  Integrate homeland security activities across agencies engaged in relevant academic research.
  •  Create and leverage intellectual capital and nurture a homeland security science and engineering workforce.
Notice, their admitted overall goal is not only to ‘disseminate knowledge’ and technical advances for the homeland security ‘mission’, but also to create a Homeland Security Culture within the educational system; [5], 6].

Each COE website[3] has an education link; not all sites have their educational portion up for viewing. The ones who do have the educational curricula visible, show programs offered for K-12 and college curricula, into graduate school education. From Purdue University’s COE website [7],
“This program is designed to support undergraduate and graduate students in developing the skills to become preeminent scientists in the homeland security specific and technical community.”
The Orwellian Office of University Programs, is not only creating “Obama’s Youth”, but also creating  “scientists” who are studied in Department of Homeland Security disciplines!

Two Centers of Excellence stood out from the rest. The first, is Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism [8], or START which is based at the University of Maryland.

Amongst other activities, they do as the name suggests; they create studies. Hidden amongst the Islamic Jihad studies[9] were the reports of the real terrorists; you, and I!

Two reports stuck out more than the rest. The first was a study conducted from 2007 to 2008, and finished with the creation of the U.S. Extremist Criminal Terror database[10]. The study, and now database focus on far-right extremists; the data base of U.S. Extremist Crime, comprises 1990 to 2005.

The other study of interest was,Homegrown Radicalization and the Role of Social Networks and Social Inclusiveness in the United States”[11]. There is no finished report of this study. The last update was, July 31, 2008. It seems this study is the one requested through The Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act (H.R. 1955/S. 1959)[12] “The act would establish a national commission and a university-based “Center for Excellence” to study and propose legislation to prevent the threat of “radicalization” of Americans.” Interestingly enough, just a few months after the final START study update on July 31, 2008, the DHS released, The “Domestic Extremism Lexicon”[13]. This Lexicon was a “newly unclassified Department of Homeland Security report warns against the possibility of violence by unnamed “right-wing extremists” concerned about illegal immigration, increasing federal power, restrictions on firearms, abortion and the loss of U.S. sovereignty and singles out returning war veterans as particular threats.”[14] All this came from the START Center of Excellence!

Friday, January 11, 2013

U.S. Lags Peers in Life Expectancy


Wall Street Journal
Louise Radnofsky

Americans die younger and have more illnesses and accidents on average than people in other high-income countries—even wealthier, insured, college-educated Americans, a report said Wednesday.

The study by the federally sponsored National Research Council and Institute of Medicine found the U.S. near the bottom of 17 affluent countries for life expectancy, with high rates of obesity and diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung disease and arthritis, as well as infant mortality, injuries, homicides, teen pregnancy, drug deaths and sexually transmitted diseases.

"The [U.S.] health disadvantage is pervasive—it affects all age groups up to age 75 and is observed for multiple diseases, biological and behavioral risk factors, and injuries," said the report's authors, who are public-health and medicine academics recruited by the government panels.

The shorter life expectancy for Americans largely was attributed to high mortality for men under age 50, from car crashes, accidents and violence. But the report also said U.S. women's gains in life expectancy had been lagging behind other well-off countries.

The authors offered a range of possible explanations for Americans' worse health and mortality, including social inequality. They also described criticisms including limited availability of contraception for teenagers, community designs that discourage physical activity such as walking, air pollution and access to firearms, as well as individual behaviors such as high calorie consumption.
The U.S. health-care system wasn't spared criticism, with authors describing it as fragmented, lacking sufficient primary-care physicians and posing financial barriers to millions of Americans who lack insurance or are unable to afford out-of-pocket medical costs.

But the chairman of the panel of authors, Steven Woolf, a professor of family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, said the report showed that health outcomes were determined "by much more than health care."

"Our health as Americans is only partly aided by having a very good health-care system," he said. "Much of our health disadvantage comes from factors outside of the clinical system and outside of what doctors and hospitals can do."

The Obama administration has aimed to improve Americans' health by expanding insurance coverage through the 2010 Affordable Care Act, while Republicans have pushed for giving the private sector a greater role in managing health care through changes to such programs as Medicare.

Public health has received relatively little attention from lawmakers, despite campaigns by high-profile figures such as first lady Michelle Obama on childhood obesity and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg on smoking, gun control and the sale of high-calorie beverages.

"The political environment on health is so wrapped up right now around implementation of health reform that we need to have the space to have this larger conversation and for people to understand that having health insurance is necessary but not sufficient to close this gap," said Jeff Levi, head of the Trust for America's Health, a public health advocacy group. He wasn't involved in the study.

The new report noted that average life expectancy for American men, at 75.6 years, was the lowest among the 17 countries and almost four years shorter than for Switzerland, the best-performing nation.

American women's average life expectancy, 80.8 years, was second-lowest among the countries and five years shorter than Japan's, which had the highest expectancy.
The report's authors were particularly critical of the availability of guns, writing: "One behavior that probably explains the excess lethality of violence and unintentional injuries in the United States is the widespread possession of firearms and the common practice of storing them [often unlocked] at home."

The authors noted that Americans who lived past age 75 had higher survival rates compared with similar countries, and Americans overall had better rates of surviving cancer and strokes. They also said the U.S. better controls high blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking rates and use of alcohol than many other nations.

The report didn't directly consider U.S. health in the context of spending on care, but noted that America's low outcomes were striking given that U.S. per capita health spending exceeds that of other countries.

Full Disclosure: CO, WI, CT shootings.. Are These The Work of "Lone Wolf" Gunmen


Editor's Note: Here's a good rule of thumb. If the official story contradicts existing evidence and there is no transparency while independent inquiry is discouraged by the authorities, it is reasonable to acknowledge that the event was facilitated by the authorities.





Judge Rejects Obama Administration Ploy To Dismiss 'No-Fly' Suit With Secret Evidence


Business Insider
Michael Kelley

A federal judge has rejected an attempt by the Obama administration to use secret evidence to derail a former Stanford student's attempt to challenge her inclusion on the government's no-fly list, Bob Egelko of The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

In 2005 officials detained Rahinah Ibrahim when she attempted to fly from San Francisco International Airport to her native Malaysia. The then-Standford doctoral student and her 14-year-old daughter were allowed to take a flight the next day but were not allowed to return to the U.S. two months later.

The U.S. Consulate later informed her that her student visa had been revoked under a terrorism law, according to Egelko.

In 2009 Ibrahim settled claims against police and others involved in her arrest for $225,000, but brought a new suit because her inclusion on the no-fly list has barred her and her daughter from returning to the U.S. for nearly eight years. (Ibrahim has four children.)

The government argues that it cannot discuss its no-fly list because it would "reveal or tend to reveal information that is classified."

Consequently the Justice Department called District Judge William Alsup and said an agent would bring him evidence for dismissal of the suit but would take it back because Ibrahim's counsel couldn't be "trusted to handle sensitive information."

Alsup — who had actually dismissed Ibrahim's case twice before but was overruled on appeals — refused to see the secret evidence and scheduled the trial for December.

The judge added that the government must stop "persistent and stubborn refusal" to follow the legal precedents for sharing evidence.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New World Next Week with James Evan Pilato - Interview 575

The crazy climate change obsession that's made the Met Office a menace

  • The £200 million-a-year official weather forecaster often gets it wrong
  • This week it has admitted there is no evidence that ‘global warming’ is happening
  • The Met Office quietly readjusted its temperature projections on its website on Christmas Eve
Daily Mail
James Delingpole

Was there ever a government quango quite so useless as the Met Office? 

From its infamous ‘barbecue summer’ washout of 2009 to the snowbound winter it failed to predict in 2010 and the recent forecast-defying floods, our £200 million-a-year official weather forecaster has become a national joke.

But of all its recent embarrassments, none come close to matching the Met Office’s latest one. 

Without fanfare — apparently in the desperate hope no one would notice — it has finally conceded what other scientists have known for ages: there is no evidence that ‘global warming’ is happening.

A chunk of ice is shown drifting after it separated from the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf off the north coast of Ellesmere Island in Canada. The Met Office has conceded there is no evidence that 'global warming' is happening
A chunk of ice is shown drifting after it separated from the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf
off the north coast of Ellesmere Island in Canada. The Met Office has conceded
there is no evidence that 'global warming' is happening
The Met Office quietly readjusted its temperature projections on its website on Christmas Eve. 

Until then, it had been confidently predicting temperature rises of at least 0.2 degrees per decade, with a succession of years exceeding even the record-breaking high of 1998.

Its latest chart, however, confirmed in a press release earlier this week, tells a very different story: no more global warming is expected till at least 2017. 

According to Dr David Whitehouse of the independent think-tank the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the climbdown couldn’t be more dramatic or more devastating for the Met Office’s credibility. 

‘They’re panicking. All the predictions they’ve been making about man-made global warming these past 20 years have started to come crashing about their ears.’

For two decades the Met Office has acted as Britain’s foremost cheerleader for climate change alarmism. In 2007, its Hadley Centre for climate change research produced a briefing document for the Government claiming its state-of-the-art computer models left no doubt: man-made global warming was a very real threat which needed to be addressed urgently by policy-makers.

‘The Met Office Hadley Centre has the highest concentration of outstanding people who do outstanding work, spanning the breadth of modelling, attribution, and date analysis, of anywhere in the world,’ claimed an expert from the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) in the document.

Many in the Government were impressed for, a year later, the 2008 Climate Change Act was passed by an overwhelming majority. 

The act has been described by veteran journalist Christopher Booker as the most expensive legislation in history, committing the government to as much as £734 billion (£18.3 billion a year for the next 40 years) in extra spending to ‘decarbonise’ the economy. 

It is also one of the reasons why our countryside is being ruined by ugly, noisy wind turbines.

But what if carbon dioxide isn’t the culprit for global temperature changes? 

What if all the expensive, economy-ravaging, job-killing, environmentally destructive measures we’ve taken have been a spectacular waste of money?

If so, the Met Office will be attacked for being not just risibly incompetent — but an active menace both to the integrity of science and to the nation’s wellbeing.
Hence its defiant attempts to argue that nothing has changed and it’s business as usual. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Nicolas Sarkozy ordered the assassination of Hugo Chavez


Voltaire


The Venezuelan Minister of Correctional Services, Iris Varela, has announced on her Twitter account the expulsion of a French citizen known as Frédéric Laurent Bouquet, December 29, 2012

Mr. Bouquet (photo) had been arrested in Caracas on June 18, 2009, with three Dominican nationals in possession of an arsenal. In the apartment he had acquired, forensic police seized 500 grams of C4 explosives, 14 assault rifles including 5 with telescopic lenses, 5 with laser sighting and one with a silencer, special cables, 11 electronic detonators, 19,721 cartridges of different calibers, 3 machine guns, 4 hand guns of different calibers, 11 radios, 3 walkie talkies and a radio base, five 12-gauge shotguns, 2 bulletproof vests, 7 military uniforms, 8 grenades, one gas mask, one combat knife and 9 bottles of gunpowder.

During his trial, Mr. Bouquet admitted he had been trained in Israel and was an agent of French military intelligence service (DGSE). He admitted planning an attack to assassinate Constitutional President Hugo Chavez.

Mr. Bouquet had been sentenced to four years in prison for "illegal possession of weapons." He served his sentence. He was taken from his cell by Ordinance No. 096-12 of trial judge Yulismar Jaime, then was expelled for "undermining national security" under Article 39 paragraph 4 of the Migration and Foreigners Act.
JPEG - 51.9 kb
Venezuelan authorities had so far refrained from communicating on this subject. The facts were confirmed by the spokesman of the Quai d’Orsay, Philippe Lalliot. The French Embassy in Caracas declined to comment.

From our investigation we can conclude that:

- (1) President Nicolas Sarkozy had ordered the assassination of his counterpart Hugo Chavez;

- (2) the operation was a fiasco;

- (3) France granted substantial compensation to stifle this matter during Mr Sarkozy’s term in office.

Inside Story Americas - Which stories did the media ignore this year?






Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Does Truth Have A Future In America?


Global Research
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

statueAs a writer I have found that one problem in communicating with readers is that many have political, social, economic, or ideological agendas. 

They read in order to confirm their beliefs and agendas. Neither the right-wing nor the left-wing can escape their ideological boxes and are creatures of their biases. They want their prejudices vindicated and their beliefs supported.

A writer who tells them something that they do not want to hear receives abuse.

These readers cannot benefit from facts and new information and change their minds. Truth is what validates their prejudices, biases, or their programing. Objective truth is not the matrix in which they live.

If a writer makes a case so clear that readers simply cannot avoid it, the reader will intentionally misread the article or book and attack the writer for saying everything that he does not say. The chorus will join in the effort to shut down the unwelcome information before it reaches others.

The Israel Lobby uses the technique of branding everyone who criticizes, no matter how constructively and moderately, any Israeli government policy, no matter how egregious, an anti-semite. The Israeli government applies this tactic to its own Israeli political opposition and to Jews themselves who are branded “self-hating Jews” if they criticize government policy toward the Palestinians. The effect is to deprive the Israeli government of constructive criticism. Only the Israel Lobby could call former President Jimmy Carter an anti-semite. Anyone who is not totally enthusiastic about Israel’s theft of Palestinian lives and properties is an enemy of Israel. These wild accusations from the Israel Lobby deprive anti-semite of any meaning. Essentially, every moral person has become an anti-semite. The Israeli government has simply cut itself off from truth.

The identical hardline substitution of self-interest for factual reality characterizes the American right and left. The right-wing insists that America is going broke because of welfare spending. The left-wing persists in its belief that government is capable of great good if only the right people are in power and that social institutions, such as religion, and inanimate objects, such as guns, are responsible for human evil.

If a majority of Americans sought objective truth instead of confirmation of their beliefs, truth could prevail over special interests. Reality would inform social, political, and economic life, and American prospects would be good. But when a majority are hostile to facts and truths that do not support their biases and serve their interests, there is a disconnect from reality, which is the situation in America today.

It is ironic that the left-wing, which has a large repertoire of tales of societies in the clutches of shamans, witch doctors and priests, imposes its own artificial or make-believe realities on social, political, and economic explanations. Leftists who appear to be oblivious to the militarized murderous police state erected by Bush and Obama still go out of their way to tell me how evil Ronald Reagan was and that I must also be evil because I served in the Reagan administration.

Alex Jones Stalked by NYPD Goons after Piers Morgan Debate







Monday, January 7, 2013

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Antarctic Sea Ice Sets Another Record

Forbes

James Taylor

Antarctic IcebergEditor’s note:  An update from the author has been added to this article on September 20, 2012.

Antarctic sea ice set another record this past week, with the most amount of ice ever recorded on day 256 of the calendar year (September 12 of this leap year). Please, nobody tell the mainstream media or they might have to retract some stories and admit they are misrepresenting scientific data.

National Public Radio (NPR) published an article on its website last month claiming, “Ten years ago, a piece of ice the size of Rhode Island disintegrated and melted in the waters off Antarctica. Two other massive ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula had suffered similar fates a few years before. The events became poster children for the effects of global warming. … There’s no question that unusually warm air triggered the final demise of these huge chunks of ice.”

NPR failed to mention anywhere in its article that Antarctic sea ice has been growing since satellites first began measuring the ice 33 years ago and the sea ice has been above the 33-year average throughout 2012.

Indeed, none of the mainstream media are covering this important story. A Google News search of the terms Antarctic, sea ice and record turns up not a single article on the Antarctic sea ice record. Amusingly, page after page of Google News results for Antarctic sea ice record show links to news articles breathlessly spreading fear and warning of calamity because Arctic sea ice recently set a 33-year low.

Sea ice around one pole is shrinking while sea ice around another pole is growing. This sure sounds like a global warming crisis to me.

Update:  To provide more perspective on global warming and Antarctica, I would like to update this column with some additional information:

As meteorologist Anthony Watts explains, new data show ice mass is accumulating on the Antarctic continent as well as in the ocean surrounding Antarctica. The new data contradict an assertion by global warming alarmists that the expanding Antarctic sea ice is coming at the expense of a decline in Antarctic continental ice.

The new data also add context to sensationalist media stories about declining ice in small portions of Antarctica, such as portions of West Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula (see here, for example). The mainstream media frequently publish stories focusing on ice loss in these two areas, yet the media stories rarely if ever mention that ice is accumulating over the larger area of East Antarctica and that the continent as a whole is gaining snow and ice mass.

Interestingly, a new NASA study finds Antarctica once supported vegetation similar to that of present-day Iceland.

“The southward movements of rain bands associated with a warmer climate in the high-latitude southern hemisphere made the margins of Antarctica less like a polar desert, and more like present-day Iceland,” a co-author of the NASA study reports.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

"ScienceBlog" Pre-selling Geoengineering (after the fact)


Key points relayed by the ironically named "ScienceBlog" are the legal ramifications of geoengineering and the unavoidable fact that some groups may be adversely affected by the practice.

How to regulate geo-engineering efforts to fight climate change

With policymakers and political leaders increasingly unable to combat global climate change, more scientists are considering the use of manual manipulation of the environment to slow warming’s damage to the planet.
carlson jonathan 150 How to regulate geo engineering efforts to fight climate changeBut a University of Iowa law professor believes the legal ramifications of this kind of geo-engineering need to be thought through in advance and a global governance structure put in place soon to oversee these efforts. “Geo-engineering is a global concern that will have climate and weather impacts in all countries, and it is virtually inevitable that some group of people will be harmed in the process,” says Jon Carlson, professor of law at the UI College of Law. “The international community must act now to take charge of this activity to ensure that it is studied and deployed with full attention to the rights and interests of everyone on the planet.”

Carlson is an expert in environmental law and international law who believes geo-engineering is inevitable and will likely happen sooner than later. He considers the issue in a new paper, “Reining in Phaethon’s Chariot: Principles for the Governance of Geoengineering,” published in the current issue of the journal Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems. His co-author, Adam D.K. Abelkop, is a UI law graduate now in the doctoral program at the Indiana University School of Public Health and Environmental Affairs.

Carlson says the concept of geo-engineering goes back to at least the 19th century, when scientists proposed seeding clouds to increase rainfall. Today, scientists have a long list of geo-engineering ideas that could be used to slow the impact of global warming while other methods are developed to actually mitigate the damage. Some ideas are simple and locally focused, such as planting new forests to absorb carbon dioxide, or painting roofs and paved areas white to reduce solar heat absorption.

Others are more complex and controversial—manually cooling oceans so carbon dioxide-laden water sinks to the bottom more quickly; building space-based shields and mirrors to deflect solar heat from the planet; or injecting chemicals like hydrogen sulfide or sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere, creating an aerosol shield that reduces the amount of solar heat reaching the earth’s surface.

But Carlson says geo-engineering comes with obvious international legal implications because no one country can implement its own geo-engineering plan without causing weather or climate changes in other countries. There’s also the law of unintended consequences, because while many geo-engineering concepts have proved hopeful in the lab, nobody knows what will happen when actually put into practice. For instance, Carlson says that while manually cooling the ocean may be seen as a generally good idea, what impact will that have on farmers in India whose crops depend on rain from heat-induced tropical monsoons?

To address these issues, Carlson urges the creation of an international governing body separate from any existing organization that approves or rejects geo-engineering plans, taking into consideration the best interests of people and countries around the world. He says any legal regimen involving geo-engineering activities should require they be publicly announced in the planning stage, and all countries are notified so they have a voice in deliberations.

As a model for his oversight body, Carlson suggests the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Like the IMF, his proposed organization would give all countries a place during discussions, but decisions would be made by a relatively small group of directors, each of which has a weighted vote that’s based on their country’s greenhouse gas production. That is, countries that produce more greenhouse gases will spend more money to combat global climate change, and so will have more votes.
Carlson’s proposed body would oversee a compensation fund to help people and countries that are harmed by other country’s approved geo-engineering activities, or by unseen effects of those activities.

Climatologist Files Suit Against Secret and Illegal Military Weather Modification Using Chemical Aerosols


Chemtrails Planet


Climatologist, Karsten Brandt, PhD
Climatologist, Karsten Brandt, PhD

Karsten Brandt was born in Bonn, Germany in 1973 and currently holds a doctorate in the field of Climatology

After graduating from the Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Gymnasium in Bonn (1992), Brandt founded www.donnerwetter.de and is one of the first private weather service sites in Germany.  After studying business administration at the University of Hagen (Diploma in Business Administration, 2001) as well as the history, politics and economics (Master’s degree, 2004)  In 2007 Brandt  earned a PhD in Climatology at the University of Duisburg-Essen.  In his writings, Brandt challenges Global Warming as a  failed climate policy.  He argues that solar activity, ocean currents and other features play a far greater role in changing the climate compared to CO2.

In addition to his scientific publications on climate science, Brandt has written travel and historical articles on the subject of weather and the regional history of the Seven Mountains.
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Johannes Hemmel Green Party Mug

Johannes Remmel is Minister for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Affairs of North Rhine-Westphalia. He is also parliamentary manager of the Green Party of the North Rhine-Westphalia state parliament in which he has been a member since June 1995.  As a member of the Green Party in the state parliament, Mr. Remmel has served as the party’s tourism and financial affairs spokesperson, and has served as the party’s environmental spokesperson since 1997. 
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The followng is a translation of the spoken word from German to English from the 2007 TV News Video  Below:

News Anchor : “Suddenly the radar registers the presence of a cloud, but it’s not clear, how this happened? The answer seems to be that this was the result of a military experiment.  What are these mysterious trails and what is their purpose?  We will try to find out…

Narrator:  The military planes of the German Federal army are manipulating our climate.  This is what the weather researchers are presuming and their suspicions are confirmed.  Sinister clouds up to 350 km in length appear all of a sudden on the radar, but only on the meteorological radar. The first time it happened was the Summer of 2005 and then in March, 2006.  The German Army has admitted having war exercises towards the borders with the Netherlands.

For Meteorologist, Karsten Brandt this is the answer to the enigma:

” The Federal army is manipulating the meteorological maps.  We can say with 97% certainty that we have on our hands “chemical trails” comprised of fine dust containing polymers and metals used to disrupt radar signals. This is their main purpose but I was surprised that this artificial cloud was so wide-spread.  The radar images are stunning considering the needed tons of dispersed elements, although the Army claims that only small amounts of material were propagated.  The military heads claim that the substances used are not harmful . “

Narrator:   The records report the emissions of chemical trails are observed at low altitudes.  In the United States of America there are protest after protest for many years now, against these military operations and now people are mobilizing in Germany as well.  For example Johannes Remmel of the Greens:

Remmel:  “It’s obvious that enormous regions are being polluted with clandestine actions, but all of this has to be made public.  The government must provide explanations to the unsuspecting population.”

Brandt:  “From our observations we can conclude that they fly over the regions of Westfalia, Bielefeld, the Ruhr zone to Saxony and Hamburg forming a really dense layer of artificial cloud-cover.”

Narrator:  After the first discovery Karsten Brandt filed a legal challenge against responsible parties involved in secret weather manipulation based on his careful verifications and data gathered by radar through which he documented every anomalous cloud formation.
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A 2007 TV News Special on Illegal Aerosol Weather Modification

“Technology Addiction” in the Electronic Age: Worldwide Progress or Servitude?


Global Research
Joel S. Hirschhorn

EMREverywhere I look outside my home I see people busy on their high tech devices, while driving, while walking, while shopping, while in groups of friends, while in restaurants, while waiting in doctor offices and hospitals, while sitting in toilets – everywhere.  While connected electronically, they are inattentive to and disconnected from physical reality.

People have been steadily manipulated to become technology addicted.  Technology is the opiate of the masses.

This results is technology servitude.  I am referring to a loss of personal freedom and independence because of uncontrolled consumption of many kinds of devices that eat up time and money.  Most people do not use independent, critical thinking to question whether their quality of life is actually improved by the incessant use of technology products that are marketed more aggressively than just about anything else.

I for one have worked successfully to greatly limit my use of technological innovations, to keep myself as unconnected as possible and to maximize my privacy and independence.  I do not have a smart phone; I do not participate in social networking; I do not have any Apple product, nothing like an IPod, IPad and similar devices.  I have never used Twitter or anything similar, or sent a text message.  I do use the Internet judiciously on an old laptop. Email is good and more than enough for me.  I very rarely use an old cell phone.

So what have I gained?  Time, privacy and no obsession to constantly be in touch, connected, available, informed about others.  Call me old fashioned, but I feel a lot more in control of my life than most people that I see conspicuously using their many modern devices.  They have lost freedom and do not seem to care about that.  When I take my daily long walks I have no device turned on, no desire to communicate, nor to listen to music; I want to be in the moment, only sensing the world around me, unfiltered and uninterrupted by any technology.

I am not hooked by advancing technology, not tethered to constantly improved devices, not curious about the next generation of highly priced but really unnecessary products, not logged on and online all the time.  I have no apps or games.

Those who think interactions with people through technology devices are the real thing have lost their sanity.  Technology limits and distorts human, social interactions.  Worse yet, people have lost ability and talent for actually conversing to people face to face, responding to nonverbal nuances, or through intimate writing with more than just a few words.

Consider these findings: “Researchers from the University of Glasgow found that half of the study participants reported checking their email once an hour, while some individuals check up to 30 to 40 times an hour. An AOL study revealed that 59 percent of PDA users check every single time an email arrives and 83 percent check email every day on vacation.”

A 2010 survey found that 61 percent of Americans (even higher among young people) say they are addicted to the Internet. Another survey reported that “addicted” was the word most commonly used by people to describe their relationship to technology.  One study found that people had a harder time resisting the allure of social media than they did for sex, sleep, cigarettes, and alcohol.

A recent study by the Pew Research Center ’s Internet and American Life Project found that 44 percent of cellphone owners had slept with their phone next to their bed.  Worse, 67 percent had experienced “phantom rings,” checking their phone even when it was not ringing or vibrating. A little good news: the proportion of cellphone owners who said they “could live without it” increased to 37 percent from 29 percent in 2006.

The main goal of technology companies is to get you to spend more money and time on their products, not to actually improve your quality of life.  They have successfully created a cultural disease that has gone viral.  Consumers willingly surrender their freedom, money and time in pursuit of what exactly?  To keep pace with their peers?  To appear modern and sophisticated?  To not miss out on the latest information?  To stay plugged in?  I do not get it.

I see people as trapped in a pathological relationship with time-sucking technology, where they serve technology more than technology serves them.  I call this technology servitude.  Richard Fernandez, an executive coach at Google acknowledged that “we can be swept away by our technologies.”  Welcome to virtual living.  To break the grand digital delusion people must consider how lives long ago could be terrific without all the technology regalia pushed today.

What is a healthy use of technology devices?  That is the crucial question.  Who is really in charge of my life?  That is what people need to ask themselves if they are to have any chance of breaking up delusions about their use of technology.  When they can live happily without using so much technology for a day or a week, then they can regain control and personal freedom and become the master of technology.  Discover what there is to enjoy in life that is free of technology.  Mae West is famous for proclaiming the wisdom that “too much of a good thing is wonderful.”  Time to discover that it does not work for technology.

As to globalization of technology servitude: Is this worldwide progress what is best for humanity?  Is downloaded global dehumanization being sucked up?  Time for global digital dieting.
 Contact Joel S. Hirschhorn through delusionaldemocracy.com.

Meet Zbigniew Brzezinski, Conspiracy Theorist







When Should You Shoot a Cop








Friday, January 4, 2013

'US dollar will collapse in 2013'





Judge denies Obama administration attempt to dismiss challenge to “no-fly” list

World Socialist Web Site
Eric London

A federal district court judge in California last week denied a motion by Obama administration lawyers to dismiss a legal challenge to the “no-fly” list brought by a young Malaysian woman, Rahinah Ibrahim.

Ibrahim, at the time a Stanford University Ph.D. candidate, was detained at San Francisco International Airport on January 2, 2005 when she and her daughter attempted to board a flight to her home country. She was intending to fly home to present her doctoral research at a conference sponsored by Stanford. Ibrahim was subjected to harsh treatment by airport security officials. Although she was in a wheelchair due to complications from a recent hysterectomy operation, officials handcuffed her and held her in a jail cell for two hours.

Officials eventually allowed Ibrahim to depart from the United States, but refused to allow her to re-enter the country. The government revoked her visa and denied her application for another visa in 2009, citing possible terrorist activity. No evidence has ever been presented by the government to support allegations of links to terrorist organizations.

Ibrahim originally filed the suit in 2006. It will now proceed to discovery, during which court proceedings may force the Obama administration to relinquish state records pertaining to Ibrahim’s case. Ibrahim is seeking to return to the United States and be removed from the “no-fly” list.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has heard the Ibrahim case on two previous occasions. Both times, as in the present case in US District Court, the Obama administration refused to release any evidence regarding Ibrahim’s alleged terrorist connections, claiming that such information involved sensitive security matters that neither the public, nor even the courts, were privileged to view.

The administration maintains that it has the right to block individuals from flying on commercial flights or entering the country without presenting any evidence either to the targeted person or a court of law.

US District Court Judge William Alsup issued the order denying the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss. In it, he lambasted the administration for the anti-democratic maneuvers it has used in its repeated attempts to quash the case.

“Here the government seeks to affirmatively use allegedly privileged information to dispose of the case entirely without ever revealing to the other side what its secret evidence might be,” wrote Alsup. “Here, the government has not justified its sweeping proposal. It has gone so far as even to redact from its table of authorities some of the reported case law on which it relies! This is too hard to swallow.

“The government’s latest motion based on lack of standing, being a complete mystery, is denied.”
The Obama administration’s attempt to keep Ibrahim in a legal limbo is part of its wider policy of continuing and expanding the domestic surveillance network and police state infrastructure established by the Bush administration.

The “no-fly” list, created in 2001 ostensibly in reaction to the September 11 attacks, today reportedly includes over 20,000 names. This is more than double the number in 2011. The Obama administration has placed more names on the “no-fly” list in the last 12 months than George W. Bush did during his eight years in office.

The “no-fly” list is merely one of many such lists compiled by the US government’s Terrorist Screening Center. The enormity of the government’s surveillance network is exemplified by the larger “terrorist watch list,” which includes the names of about 400,000 people.

There is no public oversight of the process by which the government determines whom to place on the “no-fly” or “terrorist watch” lists. Individual students, professors and workers have likely been placed on the list on account of their opposition to US foreign policy as expressed in phone, email, or social media communications. An unknown number of innocent individuals have been placed on the list merely because of their race, nationality or religion. Since the government is not required to make public the reasons for an individual’s placement on the list, or even inform an individual that he or she has been put on the list, there is no way to hold the government accountable.

Ibrahim, who was allowed to complete her Ph.D. in absentia, is still unable to return to the United States.

MILLOY: EPA’s illegal human experiments could break Nuremberg Code


Agency claims unfettered discretion in treatment of test subjects


Washington Times
Steve Milloy

Illustration EPA Human Experiments by Alexander Hunter for The Washington Times
The Obama Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says no law empowers any judge to stop it from conducting illegal scientific experiments on seniors, children and the sick.

That astounding assertion will be tested Friday, when a federal district court in Alexandria decides whether it has jurisdiction to hear claims made by the American Tradition Institute that EPA researchers are exposing unwary and genetically susceptible senior citizens to air pollutants the agency says can cause a variety of serious cardiac and respiratory problems, including sudden death.

Although the lawsuit only addresses ongoing, purportedly illegal experimentation being carried out at an EPA laboratory on the Chapel Hill campus of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, EPA researchers and grantees have carried out dozens of similarly shocking experiments over the past 10 years at UNC and other schools, including Rutgers University, the University of Michigan, University of Rochester, University of Southern California and University of Washington.

During that time at those university laboratories, EPA-employed or -funded researchers have intentionally exposed a variety of people to concentrated levels of different air pollutants, including particulate matter (soot and dust), diesel exhaust, ozone and chlorine gas — the latter substance more recognized as a World War I-era chemical weapon than as an outdoor air pollutant.

Over the same period that the experiments in question have been conducted, the EPA has become more and more alarmist in communications to Congress and the public about danger the air pollutants pose to individuals even at commonplace, non-concentrated levels. The EPA has determined, for example, that any exposure to fine particulate matter can cause death within hours or days of inhalation. EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, moreover, has testified in Congress that particulate matter causes about 1 of every 4 deaths in America.

Not only is diesel exhaust largely made up of “deadly” particulate matter, but its components include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which the EPA considers to be cancer-causing. The agency generally says that any exposure to a carcinogen increases the risk of cancer. Diesel exhaust also includes lead. The EPA has determined that lead can be readily absorbed from inhalation into the blood and that there is no safe level of lead in blood.

The EPA has exposed its human guinea pigs to ozone levels as high as 400 parts per billion (ppb), more than five times higher than the EPA’s current standard and six times higher than the standard expected to be adopted in 2013. In a March 2012 letter to Mrs. Jackson from the agency’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Council, a council member unwittingly commented that “[experimental] exposure of rats to 300 or 400 ppb may be very relevant to humans, but impossible to study in humans for ethical reasons.” Little did the council member know that EPA researchers routinely — but illegally — do the “impossible.”

Aside from the EPA-determined dangers associated with the air pollutants used in the experiments, there are the human study subjects. While some have been healthy young adults, others have been elderly, asthmatic or both. Many have been diagnosed with “metabolic syndrome.” Some had suffered heart attacks and, while they were in rehabilitation, were enrolled as human guinea pigs. EPA-funded researchers apparently have even exposed children to dangerous diesel exhaust and ultrafine particles.
The American Tradition Institute contends in its lawsuit that the EPA has broken virtually every rule established to protect human subjects used in scientific experiments, including the Nuremberg Code, ethics principles for human experimentation adopted following the Nuremberg Trials at the end of World War II, and similar U.S. regulations known as “The Common Rule.”

Rather than defending itself against the serious allegations made by the institute, the EPA instead has said it is essentially above the law and the federal court has no business hearing those serious charges.
The EPA claims the court has no jurisdiction to hear the case under the Clean Air Act (CAA): “Nothing in the CAA provides a meaningful standard to evaluate what air pollution EPA chooses to study or how. To the contrary, the CAA gives EPA broad discretion in the subject matter of its research program. Congress broadly mandated that EPA study the health effects of air pollution.”

Of course, Congress most likely thought the EPA would conduct such research in a lawful manner.
The EPA also says because “no judicially manageable standards are available for judging how and when [EPA] should exercise its discretion in deciding what research to undertake, EPA’s decision to study the health effects of [particulate matter] using controlled human exposure studies was a decision committed to the EPA’s discretion and immune from review under the [Administrative Procedures Act],” the general law governing the conduct of federal agencies.

The EPA’s view, then, is that because Congress has not enacted a law that expressly forbids the agency from violating the Nuremberg Code and federal regulations governing human testing or that expressly guides judges in evaluating the conduct of agency researchers who experiment on their fellow human beings, the agency has unfettered discretion to do as it pleases with the young, old, sick and anyone else who falls into its clutches.

Will it really take a special act of Congress to compel the EPA to adhere to common standards of humanity? Stay tuned.

Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com and is the author of “Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them” (Regnery, 2009).


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Interview 570 – New World Next Week with James Evan Pilato


Good to hear that we can look forward to continued broadcasts of "New World Next Week" through 2013





Why Did The FBI Not Warn Occupy Wall St Activist of Assassination Threats?


12160




PDF -Nationwide FBI [Redacted] monitoring fileon #OWS describes OWS as a "criminal and terrorist threat"

Released FBI documents reveal plans to assassinate Occupy Wall Street Leaders With Snipers

FBI knew of plot to kill OWS activists, remained silent
Only one month into the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations last year, plans were formulated to identify key figures in the movement and execute them with a coordinated assault using sniper rifles, new documents reveal.

Confessions of an Undercover Cop
Bafta-winning film-maker Brian Hill unravels the extraordinary story of Mark Kennedy, the undercover police officer who infiltrated groups of environmentalists to inform on their planned protests.

The second great depression deepening across the globe


PressTV
Webster Tarpley

 
In Charles Dickens’ celebrated short story A Christmas Carol (1843), the Malthusian miser and London stock exchange speculator Ebenezer Scrooge is told by the ghost of his deceased partner Jacob Marley that “it is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow men, and traveled far and wide” for the purpose of doing good works of charity and thus alleviating human suffering.

In this spirit, let us briefly examine the economic condition of humanity at the close of 2012.

Our finding is sadly that the ongoing world economic depression continues to increase the needless privations of the vast majority of the inhabitants of this planet. The great scourges of mankind remain poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, disease, unemployment, homelessness, inadequate sanitation, low social mobility, and exclusion -- and many of these are getting worse.

27,000 children die each day from needless poverty

The tragic condition of humanity is perhaps most dramatically reflected in the fact that between 22,000 and 27,000 children die each day due to poverty, largely in the form of starvation, malnutrition, and diseases like diarrhea which can be cured for a few pennies. The upper end of this range corresponds to one needless childhood death caused by poverty every three seconds. Total needless childhood deaths from poverty, these data suggest, must be approaching at least 10 million per year - a yearly total which by itself rivals any of the great genocides of world history. Of the 2.2 billion children who live in today’s world, one billion live in poverty. This is the estimate from the most recent United Nations Human Development Report.

And these figures only include children. Estimates for total daily avoidable mortality, including children, suggest a level of 40,000 to 50,000 fatalities per day -- for a yearly hecatomb of over 18 million deaths.

We need look no further for the severest condemnation of the existing economic systems of the world, including especially the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Bank for International Settlements, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the international system of privatized central banks, and similar entities.

Three billion people on less than $2.50 per day

These deaths occur in the world in which about a billion people try to survive on less than one dollar per day. 2.6 billion people or 40% of the world’s population are struggling to subsist on less than two dollars a day. It is a world in which a total of 3 billion people or 50% of the world total must try to get along on less than $2.50 per day. For all the talk of a growing middle class made possible by globalization, 80% of humanity receives less than $10 per day. At the other end of the scale, the most prosperous 20% of the world’s population account for 75% of total world income, and this distribution becomes even more extreme when permanent assets are considered.

Almost a billion malnourished worldwide

Closely correlated with needless death and needless immiseration is the problem of world hunger. According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization in Rome, there are in 2012 some 925 million persons experiencing hunger and malnutrition. Some 578 million of the hungry live in the Asian and Pacific countries, followed by 239 million malnourished in sub-Saharan Africa. Even in the developed countries, the FAO lists 19 million hungry. We should recall that, in the United States, some 50 million people rely on food stamps for their survival, meaning that they may have as little as $1.50 to spend per meal and per person.

The FAO’s world hunger estimates are very likely too low. This agency assumes that world hunger was about at its current level in 2008, and then rose to over one billion people in 2009, before returning to approximately the 2008 level in 2010. but this may turn out to be wildly optimistic, and perhaps deliberately so.

Another big factor in economic immiseration is the current high level of world unemployment. Here the statistics are even sketchier. The CIA assumes a world unemployment rate of 9.1%. The United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO) sets this rate at about 6% -- meaning about 200 million current jobless -- but at the same time concedes that in many developed countries - such as the United States and the nations of the European Union - the combined figure for unemployment and underemployment is in the neighborhood of 30%. These are depression levels by any reckoning.

Especially dramatic is the situation of youth unemployment. According to the ILO, almost 70 5 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24 were unemployed, yielding a global youth unemployment rate of 12.7%, up one full percentage point from pre-depression levels. Young people are currently three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. In Greece and Spain, 50% of youth are jobless.

White House wins fight to keep drone killings of Americans secret


RussiaToday


Reuters / Pascal Lauener

A federal judge issued a 75-page ruling on Wednesday that declares that the US Justice Department does not have a legal obligation to explain the rationale behind killing Americans with targeted drone strikes.

United States District Court Judge Colleen McMahon wrote in her finding this week that the Obama administration was largely in the right by rejecting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and The New York Times for materials pertaining to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to execute three US citizens abroad in late 2011 [pdf].

Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, both US nationals with alleged ties to al-Qaeda, were killed on September 30 of that year using drone aircraft; days later, al-Awlaki’s teenage son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, was executed in the same manner. Although the Obama administration has remained largely quiet about the killings in the year since, a handful of statements made from senior White House officials, including Pres. Barack Obama himself, have provided some but little insight into the Executive Branch’s insistence that the killings were all justified and constitutionally-sound. Attempts from the ACLU and the Times via FOIA requests to find out more have been unfruitful, though, which spawned a federal lawsuit that has only now been decided in court.

Siding with the defendants in what can easily be considered as cloaked in skepticism, Judge McMahon writes that the Obama White House has been correct in refusing the FOIA requests filed by the plaintiffs.

"There are indeed legitimate reasons, historical and legal, to question the legality of killings unilaterally authorized by the Executive that take place otherwise than on a 'hot' field of battle," McMahon writes in her ruling. Because her decision must only weigh whether or not the Obama administration has been right in rejecting the FOIA requests, though, her ruling cannot take into consideration what sort of questions — be it historical, legal, ethical or moral — are raised by the ongoing practice of using remote-controlled drones to kill insurgents and, in these instances, US citizens.

"The Alice-in-Wonderland nature of this pronouncement is not lost on me; but after careful consideration, I find myself stuck in a paradoxical situation in which I cannot solve a problem because of contradictory constraints and rules — a veritable Catch-22,” she writes. “I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the Executive Branch of our Government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws, while keeping the reason for their conclusion a secret.”

Throughout her ruling, Judge McMahon cites speeches from both Pres. Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder in which the al-Awlaki killings are vaguely discussed, but appear to do little more than excuse the administration’s behavior with their own secretive explanations.

“The Constitution’s guarantee of due process is ironclad, and it is essential — but, as a recent court decision makes clear, it does not require judicial approval before the President may use force abroad against a senior operational leader of a foreign terrorist organization with which the United States is at war — even if that individual happens to be a US citizen,” McMahon quotes Mr. Holder as saying during a March 2012 address at Chicago’s Northwestern University. “Holder did not identify which recent court decisions so held,” the judge replies, “Nor did he explain exactly what process was given to the victims of targeted killings at locations far from ‘hot’ battlefields…”

And while both Mr. Holder and Pres. Obama have discussed the killings in public, including one appearance by the president on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, the Justice Department insists that going further by releasing any legal evidence that supports the executions would be detrimental to national security.

While Judge McMahon ends up agreeing with the White House, she does so by making known her own weariness over how the Obama administration has forced the court to rely on their own insistence that information about the attacks simply cannot be discussed.

“As they gathered to draft a Constitution for their newly liberated country, the Founders — fresh from a war of independence from the rule of a King they styled a tyrant — were fearful of concentrating power in the hands of any single person or institution, and most particular in the executive,” McMahon writes.

Responding to the decision on Wednesday, ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer issued a statement condemning the White House’s just-won ability to relieve itself from any fair and honest explanation as to the justification of Americans.

“This ruling denies the public access to crucial information about the government’s extrajudicial killing of US citizens and also effectively green-lights its practice of making selective and self-serving disclosures,” Jameel writes. “As the judge acknowledges, the targeted killing program raises profound questions about the appropriate limits on government power in our constitutional democracy. The public has a right to know more about the circumstances in which the government believes it can lawfully kill people, including US citizens, who are far from any battlefield and have never been charged with a crime.”

The ACLU says they plan to appeal Judge McMahon’s decision and are currently awaiting news regarding a separate lawsuit filed alongside the Center for Constitutional Rights that directly challenges the constitutionality of the targeted kills.

“The government has argued that case should also be dismissed,” the ACLU notes.
In a Wednesday afternoon statement from the Times, assistant general counsel David McCraw says the paper will appeal the ruling as well.

"We began this litigation because we believed our readers deserved to know more about the US government's legal position on the use of targeted killings against persons having ties to terrorism, including US citizens," McCraw says.

Although she ruled against the plaintiffs, Judge McMahon, says McCraw, explained "eloquently … why in a democracy the government should be addressing those questions openly and fully."