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No Agenda 503 - Ninjas in Mongolia

By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 12:27 PM.

Ninjas in Mongolia

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By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 12:27 PM.


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By Adam Curry. Posted Thursday, April 11, 2013 at 12:27 PM.

Ninjas in Mongolia

Executive Producers: Earl of Oregon Melancon, Josh Jackson, Sir Barry Hanna

Associate Executive Producers: Nicholas Caldwell, Alan Bose, Kathlene Bowman, Trevor Chapman

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Hey Adam,

Dit domein is voor jullie:

Words Matter

Dear Adam Curry,

I know that you are always striving to improve your excellent podcast.

May I suggest a way to improve it a bit?

Please use the word "ecosystem" more, but not in a ecological sense.

For example, I feel confident in asserting that "The No Agenda Show is

a positive contribution to the podcast ecosystem."

Like that, except my example is very lame. You are the professional

genius with the skills necessary to apply the term to innovative new

subject areas, such as media analysis and proposed legislation.

If you follow my advice then your listener support will improve as a

result. Guaranteed.

Yours truly,


Adam Mackler

PS. I just noticed that my reverse DNS had been broken the last time

I sent you an email from this address, and yet my message got through

to you. I am unimpressed with your spam-blocking configuration.

War on Crazy

US Code Title 18 Section 922

(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise

domestic violence.

(9) has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of

bodily injury; or

partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause

use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate

(ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted

or child; or

credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner

(B)(i) includes a finding that such person represents a

participate; and

actual notice, and at which such person had the opportunity to

(A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received

that this paragraph shall only apply to a court order that -

reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child, except

in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in

person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging

harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such

(8) is subject to a court order that restrains such person from

renounced his citizenship;

(7) who, having been a citizen of the United States, has

dishonorable conditions;

(6) who (!2) has been discharged from the Armed Forces under

and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26)));

that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration

admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as

(B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been

(A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or

(5) who, being an alien -

committed to any mental institution;

(4) has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been

Act (21 U.S.C. 802));

substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances

(3) is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled

(2) is a fugitive from justice;


of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one

(1) is under indictment for, or has been convicted in any court

having reasonable cause to believe that such person -

dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or

VIDEO-Senators reach deal on gun background checks

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Archived Version

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 15:15

Two senators have struck a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more firearms purchases. The agreement could build support for President Obama's drive to curb gun violence. (April 10)

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., right, accompanied by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., announce April 10 a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks to more gun buyers.(Photo: J. Scott Applewhite, AP)

Story HighlightsSenate will hold key procedural vote Thursday on gun legislationPresident Obama has been pushing for gun-control measures in wake of several massacresDeal would close loophole on purchases made at gun shows and onlineWASHINGTON -- Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., announced a compromise bill Wednesday that would expand background checks for gun buyers, possibly paving the way for votes this week on a key piece of legislation aimed at reducing gun violence.

They announced the deal as the Senate gets ready for its most intense debate on gun control since 1994.

"I don't consider criminal background checks to be gun control. It's just common sense," Toomey said at a Capitol Hill news conference. "If you pass ... you get to buy a gun. It's the people who fail that we don't want having guns."

The deal would expand background checks to purchases made at gun shows and online sales of firearms. It would impose penalties on states that do not add records of felons and the mentally ill to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The agreement would not require private citizens to keep records of gun sales. It would specifically ban "the federal government from creating a national firearms registry" -- a key sticking point for the pro-gun rights community.

The bill would also create a commission "to study the causes of mass violence in the United States, looking at all aspects of the problem" including guns, school safety, violent video games and mental health.

Background checks are currently required for purchases made through licensed gun dealers.

"We strengthen rights of law-abiding gun owners," Manchin said, explaining that the background checks are designed "to keep people from having guns who shouldn't have them."

Manchin, a red-state Democrat, and Toomey, a blue-state Republican, represent neighboring Appalachian states with strong gun cultures. Manchin said that common ground helped forge a compromise.

But the deal didn't win over the National Rifle Association, which remains opposed to any expansion of background checks. "Expanding background checks at gun shows will not prevent the next shooting, will not solve violent crime and will not keep our kids safe in schools," said Andrew Arulanandam, a spokesman for the NRA. But he did say the private sale exemption in the compromise amendment was a "positive development."

The NRA did support a second agreement, brokered by Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, to strengthen the penalty for straw purchasers and firearm trafficking.

That came in response to concerns about whether a law aimed at straw buyers -- people who intentionally buy guns for those banned from owning them - would ensnare law-abiding citizens who legally buy guns as gifts or raffle prizes.

"We worked with the NRA and with several other senators to ensure that nothing in our bill infringes on the Second Amendment rights of lawful gun owners and purchasers, while still providing a strong new set of tools for law enforcement officials," Leahy said in a statement.

The proposed amendments come as the Senate prepares to hold a key procedural vote Thursday to allow a vote on the gun legislation, which has been pushed by President Obama in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children and six adults dead.

Obama has been pushing for expanded background checks for gun buyers, as part of a package of new gun legislation aimed at reducing the kinds of gun violence seen in massacres in Newtown on Dec. 14 and a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., last July.

Other elements of Obama's package - particularly a ban on assault weapons and a limit on high-capacity ammunition clips - passed the Senate Judiciary Committee but are not included in the gun bill heading to the Senate floor. Most Republicans and even some Democrats from red states, such as Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, were opposed to the measure.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said the assault weapons ban did not have the votes to pass, but he will allow it to be offered as an amendment.

The procedural vote is aimed at ending a threatened filibuster by more than a dozen Republicans, led by Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah. Lee said a filibuster would allow "three more days to assess how the bill would impact the rights of law-abiding citizens."

"This debate is not just about magazine clips and pistol grips," he said on the Senate floor. "It's about the purpose of the Second Amendment." Such far-reaching legislation should be subjected to a 60-vote majority to ensure bipartisan consensus, he said.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, declined to comment on the Senate compromise, or whether it would get a vote in the U.S. House.

Boehner has said the House will not take up any gun legislation until the Senate passes a bill. "I want to wait and see what actually passes over in the Senate," Boehner said, when asked about the Manchin-Toomey compromise. "I've made it clear: if the Senate passes a bill, the House will review it."

But among supporters of stricter gun safety laws, the Manchin-Toomey deal was reason for optimism.

With the families of Sandy Hook victims crying in the Senate gallery, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., took the floor this morning to commend their work to lobby Congress on the gun safety legislation.

He called the Manchin-Toomey deal "a promising and profoundly constructive turning point in this process" that makes a vote much more likely.

Contributing: Susan Davis

'Mentally Ill' But Still Able to Buy a Gun - ABC News

Federal law is fairly clear. According to the "Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act'' that became law in 1993, anyone who "[h]as been adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution" is prohibiting from purchasing a firearm.

Cho might seem to qualify as a "mental defective" by that definition, but FBI spokesman Steve Fischer said it's up to each state to determine who qualifies a "mental defective." And Virginia chooses to draw its lines in a way that didn't include Cho, even though he was found "mentally ill" and "a danger to self and others."

The definition of a "mental defective" includes anyone whom "a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority" has determined to be "a danger to himself or other" because of "marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease."

Possession of a Firearm by the Mentally Ill

(1)- involuntary psychiatric hospitalization;

Antisocial personality disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The World Health Organization's International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, tenth edition (ICD-10), defines a conceptually similar disorder to antisocial personality disorder called (F60.2) Dissocial personality disorder.[5]

-Markedly prone to blame others or to offer plausible rationalizations for the behavior that has brought the person into conflict with society.

-Incapacity to experience guilt or to profit from experience, particularly punishment;

-Very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence;

-Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty in establishing them;

-Gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations;

-Callous unconcern for the feelings of others;

It is characterized by at least 3 of the following:

Hawaii Standards

Is or has been diagnosed as having a significant behavioral, emotional, or mental disorders as defined by the most current diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association or for treatment for organic brain syndromes

(F)- antisocial personality disorder.

(E)- intermittent explosive disorder; or

(D)- dissociative identity disorder;

(C)- chronic dementia, whether caused by illness, brain defect, or brain injury;

(B)- bipolar disorder;

(A)- schizophrenia or delusional disorder;

(5)- diagnosis at any time by a licensed physician that the person suffers or has suffered from a psychiatric disorder or condition consisting of or relating to:

(4)- diagnosis in the preceding five-year period by a licensed physician that the person is dependent on alcohol, a controlled substance, or a similar substance; or

(3)- inpatient or residential substance abuse treatment in the preceding five-year period;

(2)- psychiatric hospitalization;

Emails show history of illness in Adam Lanza's family, mother had worries about gruesome images

Link to Article

Archived Version

Tue, 09 Apr 2013 10:19

Daily News Photo IllustrationExcerpts of some of the emails Nancy Lanza sent to a friend, touching on her family's history and her feelings on kids and weapons.

It ran in the family.

Newtown school killer Adam Lanza's mother Nancy told friends in emails and in private chats about a genetic disorder that killed her grandfather, nearly took her life and had already manifested itself in her son.

''Nancy indicated that Adam's issues were genetic like hers,'' friend Marvin LaFontaine told the Daily News.

Adam Lanza had been diagnosed with the form of autism known as Asperger's syndrome, and a sensory perception disorder that prevented him from recognizing pain and caused him to recoil from being physically touched.

But only his mother feared he was suffering from the family's black plague.

In hundreds of Nancy Lanza's emails obtained by The News, she said doctors had no explanation for the autoimmune disorder that killed her grandfather in just six weeks.


Doctors found lesions on her brain in 1999, and Nancy Lanza described her illness as ''like living on top of a time bomb.'' But she decided not to tell her children.

''I am carrying the gene for this type of self-destruct,'' she emailed LaFontaine at the time. ''My diagnosis was not good. I was going under the premise that I had a limited time left . . . about enough to get the boys settled in. . . . At one point I was trying to deal with the time frame of about 12 months.''

The disease went into remission, but she told a pal in January 2012 it had ''flared up.''

By November, she realized her son's troubles were deeper than just genetics.

Just two weeks before the Newtown shooting, Nancy discovered ghastly and sinister pictures in her son's room featuring dead bodies, but she did not confront him.

''One (drawing) had a woman clutching a religious item, like rosary beads, and holding a child, and she was getting all shot up in the back with blood flying everywhere,'' a friend said.


''Nancy was disturbed, really disturbed, but didn't confront him,'' he said. ''She wanted to think it over.''

As the world now knows, on Dec. 14, Nancy was shot dead by her son, who then killed 26 more people during a rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Since that rampage, Connecticut cops have been poring over evidence seized from the 20-year-old killer's bedroom, but have yet to disclose any details.

Nancy Lanza's emails, some dating to 1999, also reveal that she coddled her children, particularly Adam, and was outraged by news of school violence.

After being told in March 1999 of an incident in New Hampshire involving a student attacking another with a nail, Nancy Lanza's outrage hinted at her growing frustration over Adam's troubles.

''That kid (with the nail) should be expelled from school,'' she wrote in an email in March 1999. ''(Schools) go on and on about their great 'zero tolerance' regarding drugs and alcohol . . . but go ahead and let a kid attack another with a weapon!


''They will spend THOUSANDS of dollars on that child to keep an aide sitting with him . . . and then they say they don't have money for one hour a week of speech therapy for a smart, quiet child with a speech impairment,'' she wrote, apparently referring to Adam.

On Sunday, The News reported that Adam Lanza idolized his Uncle Jim, a hero New Hampshire cop and former Green Beret. Friends said Adam's dreams of following his uncle's footsteps into the military were dashed because of his wide spectrum of mental problems that may have triggered his killing spree.

''I really miss having my brother right next to me. I always felt so safe that way,'' Nancy Lanza emailed LaFontaine.

She recalled how her brother gave her self-defense lessons as a girl.

''I don't know if there is a name for the kind of training the Green Berets get . . . they are simply trained to kill,'' she wrote.

Nancy Lanza kept a collection of guns, including those her son used to kill her and commit the slaughter, but her emails made no mention of weapons. They also did not hint of the bullying her friends claim Adam endured as a student at Sandy Hook.Her emails also show that she was a doting mother, who threw birthday parties for Adam and his older brother Ryan, and made sure their summers were full of fun activities.

In retrospect, one email about her parenting philosophy was especially chilling, considering Nancy's fate on Dec. 14.

''Parental bonds are formed so early in life . . . they are either there or they aren't. It is a direct product of how much the parent put into that relationship,'' she wrote.

New Meme Watch, the Next Phase of Gun control ... Your Crazy Uncle Ernie may prevent YOU from owning a firearm

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: What Mel Cooley is saying.

Mon, 08 Apr 2013 12:46

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) '-- A shop that sold a gun to the Newtown school shooter's mother has lost its federal firearms license.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives revoked the license of Riverview Gun Sales in East Windsor in December. The agency, which confirmed the revocation to reporters Thursday, didn't say why.

Authorities raided the store for undisclosed reasons shortly after the December school shootings in which Adam Lanza killed 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He also shot to death his mother, Nancy, at their home. Authorities say he fired 154 shots with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle inside the school, then killed himself with a Glock handgun.

Nancy Lanza purchased a Bushmaster from Riverview, according to a person close to the investigation into the school shooting who spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe is continuing. It could not be confirmed whether the Bushmaster was the one used in the shooting.

Shop owner David LaGuercia said in December that Nancy Lanza bought a gun from him years ago, but he couldn't remember what kind. LaGuercia said at the time he was cooperating with law enforcement.

"There is nothing more devastating than the loss of a child," LaGuercia said in a statement in December. "We are absolutely appalled that the product that we sold several years ago would be used in this type of horrendous crime. Our hearts go out to the victims and the families."

His wife, Shelley Clemens, said Friday that she and her husband still don't know why the ATF revoked his firearms license. She said the store remains open selling ammunition and other items that aren't firearms while LaGuercia appeals the revocation.

"They just came in the store after Sandy Hook, raided the store and took away the license," she said, referring further questions to her husband. LaGuercia, of Agawam, Mass., didn't return phone messages Friday.

ATF officials said federal firearms license holders receive a copy of the violations report before a revocation is initiated and are made aware of the violations again during the hearing process. They have 60 days to appeal and in this case they chose not to do so, officials said.

The weapons used in the shooting had all apparently been purchased by Nancy Lanza, prosecutor Stephen J. Sedensky III said last week when search warrants were unsealed showing the Lanzas' home was packed with weapons and ammunition. Clemens said in December that store records show one gun was sold to Lanza. Continued...

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) '-- A shop that sold a gun to the Newtown school shooter's mother has lost its federal firearms license.The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives revoked the license of Riverview Gun Sales in East Windsor in December. The agency, which confirmed the revocation to reporters Thursday, didn't say why.

Authorities raided the store for undisclosed reasons shortly after the December school shootings in which Adam Lanza killed 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. He also shot to death his mother, Nancy, at their home. Authorities say he fired 154 shots with a Bushmaster .223-caliber rifle inside the school, then killed himself with a Glock handgun.

Nancy Lanza purchased a Bushmaster from Riverview, according to a person close to the investigation into the school shooting who spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe is continuing. It could not be confirmed whether the Bushmaster was the one used in the shooting.

Shop owner David LaGuercia said in December that Nancy Lanza bought a gun from him years ago, but he couldn't remember what kind. LaGuercia said at the time he was cooperating with law enforcement.

"There is nothing more devastating than the loss of a child," LaGuercia said in a statement in December. "We are absolutely appalled that the product that we sold several years ago would be used in this type of horrendous crime. Our hearts go out to the victims and the families."

His wife, Shelley Clemens, said Friday that she and her husband still don't know why the ATF revoked his firearms license. She said the store remains open selling ammunition and other items that aren't firearms while LaGuercia appeals the revocation.

"They just came in the store after Sandy Hook, raided the store and took away the license," she said, referring further questions to her husband. LaGuercia, of Agawam, Mass., didn't return phone messages Friday.

ATF officials said federal firearms license holders receive a copy of the violations report before a revocation is initiated and are made aware of the violations again during the hearing process. They have 60 days to appeal and in this case they chose not to do so, officials said.

The weapons used in the shooting had all apparently been purchased by Nancy Lanza, prosecutor Stephen J. Sedensky III said last week when search warrants were unsealed showing the Lanzas' home was packed with weapons and ammunition. Clemens said in December that store records show one gun was sold to Lanza.

Riverview Gun Sales is about 15 miles north of Hartford and about 65 miles northeast of Newtown. In December, its website described it as a place that sold a variety of rifles and pistols, including Bushmaster and Glock, but on Friday, the website's links to specific guns indicated they were not available.

The shop also sold high-capacity ammunition magazines like the ones authorities say were used by Adam Lanza. In a law passed this week, Connecticut banned the sale or purchase of magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

Associated Press writer Dave Collins in Hartford contributed to this report.

Gun permit suspended over medication

Link to Article

Archived Version

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 21:03

Updated: Tuesday, 09 Apr 2013, 6:49 PM EDTPublished : Tuesday, 09 Apr 2013, 6:49 PM EDT

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - The NYS SAFE Act is billed as a necessary law to protect the public and keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people.

But Hamburg attorney Jim Tresmond says his client was notified by letter that his gun permit was suspended upon the recommendation of State Police, who learned the man is on anti-anxiety medication.

"Claiming that he had taken some psychotropic medications, and that he no longer could be eligible for the pistol permit," Tresmond said.

The permit holder lives in Amherst and Tresmond accompanied the man as he turned in his seven handguns used for target-shooting to Amherst Police.

"A law-abiding, honest, hard working professional, who never had one wit of scandal associated with him, criminal or otherwise. And they took his guns away," Tresmond said.

Tresmond is one of the attorneys already suing the state over passage of the SAFE ACT, which at the time was the toughest gun control law in the country.

Tresmond says his client once took a prescribed medication for his anxiety but he is not mentally ill. The Amherst man ended his prescription use within the last year.

"He is a law-abiding citizen, no record. He is a stellar member of the community, I would say. Not an ex-felon. He is one of the nicest young men I have met in a long time," Tresmond said.

Officials confirmed state law permits the suspension of a gun permit before the permit holder even gets a chance to state their case.

We have not been able to reach State Police to comment on this case but we do know Erie County officials have only taken action against one pistol permit holder on mental health grounds since the SAFE Act was passed last month.

gun control common sense - Google Search

Neurodiversity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Link to Article

Archived Version

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 11:03

Neurodiversity is a concept suggesting that neurological differences be recognized and respected as a social category on a par with gender, ethnicity, class, or disability. Examples of these differences can include (but are not limited to) individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, dyscalculia, dyslexia, dyspraxia, Tourette syndrome, and others.

For some, neurodiversity is viewed not just as a concept but as a social movement. This movement understands neurodiveristy as a variation of human wiring, rather than a disease. These activists reject the idea that neurological differences need to be cured as they believe them to be authentic forms of communication, self-expression and being. They promote support-systems that allow those who are neurologically different to live their lives as they are, rather than attempting to conform to a clinical ideal.[1]

[edit]HistoryBiodiversity is an accepted phenomenon in the animal kingdom.[2] The concept of neurodiversity in humans was initially embraced by some individuals with autism and people with related conditions.[3] Subsequent groups applied the concept to conditions unrelated (or non-concomitant) to autism such as bipolar disorder, ADHD,[4]schizophrenia,[5]circadian rhythm disorders, developmental speech disorders, Parkinson's disease, dyslexia, dyspraxia, and Tourette's syndrome.[4][6]

The term is attributed to Judy Singer, a sociologist with Asperger syndrome,[3] and according to an article in New York magazine, was first published by Harvey Blume.[7] The earliest published use of the term appears in an article in The Atlantic by Harvey Blume on September 30, 1998:[8]

''Neurodiversity may be every bit as crucial for the human race as biodiversity is for life in general. Who can say what form of wiring will prove best at any given moment? Cybernetics and computer culture, for example, may favor a somewhat autistic cast of mind.''Previous to this, although Blume did not make explicit use of the term neurodiversity, he wrote in a New York Times piece on June 30, 1997:[9] "Yet, in trying to come to terms with an NT [neurotypical]-dominated world, autistics are neither willing nor able to give up their own customs. Instead, they are proposing a new social compact, one emphasizing neurological pluralism. ... The consensus emerging from the Internet forums and Web sites where autistics congregate [...] is that NT is only one of many neurological configurations -- the dominant one certainly, but not necessarily the best."

Blume was an early advocate who predicted the role the internet would play in fostering neurodiversity, saying:[10] "There is a political dimension to this bond with the Internet. A project called CyberSpace 2000 is devoted to getting as many people as possible in the autistic spectrum hooked up by the year 2000, reason being that "the Internet is an essential means for autistic people to improve their lives, because it is often the only way they can communicate effectively. ... The challenge we will all be increasingly confronted with, on-line and off, is, to look at ourselves differently than we have before, that is, to accept neurological diversity."

Usage of the term has spread to a more general meaning; for example, the Developmental Adult Neurodiversity Association (DANDA) in the UK encompasses developmental dyspraxia, ADHD, Asperger syndrome and related conditions.[11] The term gained broader exposure in a 2004 New York TimesAmy Harmon article titled "Neurodiversity Forever; The Disability Movement Turns to Brains".[12]

[edit]Autism spectrumNeurodiversity as a term captures the discovery that autism has an organic basis, representing a move away from the "mother-blaming" theories of the 20th century. Before the scientific advances in the 1980s, autism scholars popularized the belief that autism resulted from faulty parenting; stigma remained until recent genetic research debunked this myth.[13] The causes of autism are contested and could result from a variety of factors that are genetic, biological, or environmental in nature; the shift is that the basis of autism is no longer believed to be entirely social. The post-1980 geneticization of autism, wherein the condition is said to have an organic basis, was a change that prompted the idea of neurodiversity, with autism able to be accepted as a natural difference in individuals.[13]

The language surrounding neurodiversity has been controversial.[3] Those proposing the medical model label learning differences as "disorders, deficits, and dysfunctions". From this point of view, neurodiverse states are viewed as medical conditions that can and should be corrected.[14] Author David Pollak sees neurodiversity as an inclusive term that refers to the equality of all possible mental states. Still others reject the word because it sounds too medical and overshadows the needs of people with learning differences.[14]

Proponents of neurodiversity strive to re-conceptualize autism and related conditions in society. Main goals of the movement include:

acknowledging that neurodiverse people do not need a curechanging the language from the current ''condition, disease, disorder, or illness''-based nomenclaturebroadening the understanding of healthy or independent living; acknowledging new types of autonomygiving neurodiverse individuals more control over their treatment, including the type, timing, and whether there should be treatment at all.[15]Jaarsma and Welin wrote in 2011 that the "broad version of the neurodiversity claim, covering low-functioning as well as high-functioning autism, is problematic. Only a narrow conception of neurodiversity, referring exclusively to high-functioning autists, is reasonable.[3] They conclude that higher functioning individuals with autism may "not [be] benefited with such a psychiatric defect-based diagnosis" and "some of them are being harmed by it, because of the disrespect the diagnosis displays for their natural way of being", but "think that it is still reasonable to include other categories of autism in the psychiatric diagnostics. The narrow conception of the neurodiversity claim should be accepted but the broader claim should not."[3]

[edit]ControversiesSome consider neurodiversity a "controversial concept" that "regards atypical neurological development as a normal human difference".[3] According to Jaarsma and Welin (2011), the "neurodiversity movement was developed in the 1990s by online groups of (high-functioning) autistic persons. It is now associated with the struggle for the civil rights of all those diagnosed with neurological or neurodevelopmental disorders".[3]

[edit]See also[edit]References^""What is Neurodiversity?"". Syracuse University. Retrieved October 2, 2012. ^Baker, Dana Lee (2011). The Politics of Neurodiversity: Why Public Policy Matters. Lynne Rienner Publishers. ISBN 978-1-58826-754-2. ^ abcdefgJaarsma P, Welin S (February 2011). "Autism as a Natural Human Variation: Reflections on the Claims of the Neurodiversity Movement" (PDF). Health Care Anal20 (1): 20''30. doi:10.1007/s10728-011-0169-9. PMID 21311979. ^ abWoodford, Gillian. 'We Don't Need to be Cured' Autistics Say. National Review of Medicine. Volume 3. No. 8. April 30, 2006. Retrieved February 23, 2008.^Morrice, Polly (January 29, 2006) "Otherwise Minded"The New York Times, review of A Mind Apart: Travels in a Neurodiverse World^Mackenzie, Robin; John Watts (2011-01-31). "Is our legal, health care and social support infrastructure neurodiverse enough? How far are the aims of the neurodiversity movement fulfilled for those diagnosed with cognitive disability and learning disability?". Tizard Learning Disability Review (Pier Professional) 16 (1): 30''37. doi:10.5042/tldr.2011.0005. "We recommend, therefore, that the term neurodiverse include the conditions ASD, ADHD, OCD, language disorders, dyspraxia, dyslexia and Tourette's syndrome." ^Solomon, Andrew (May 25, 2008). "The Autism Rights Movement". New York Magazine. Retrieved June 28, 2008. ^Blume, Harvey (September 30, 1998). "Neurodiversity". The Atlantic. Retrieved November 7, 2007. ^Blume, Harvey (June 30, 1997). "Autistics, freed from face-to-face encounters, are communicating in cyberspace". The New York Times. Retrieved November 8, 2007. ^Blume, Harvey (July 1, 1997). ""Autism & The Internet" or "It's The Wiring, Stupid"". Media In Transition, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved November 8, 2007. ^Home page. DANDA. Retrieved on 2007-11-08^Harmon, Amy. Neurodiversity Forever; The Disability Movement Turns to Brains.The New York Times, May 9, 2004. Retrieved on 2007-11-08.^ abBumiller, Kristen. "The Geneticization of Autism: From New Reproductive Technologies to the Conception of Genetic Normalcy." Signs 34.4 (2009): 875-99. Chicago Journals. University of Chicago Press.^ abPollak, David. 2009. ''Neurodiversity in Higher Education.'' John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.^Fenton, Andrew, and Tim Krahn. "Autism, Neurodiversity and Equality Beyond the Normal." Journal of Ethics in Mental Health 2.2 (2007): 1-6. Web. 10 November 2009.[edit]External links

UK - Fixated Threat Assessment Centre

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what criteria the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre use to decide whom to investigate; [143132]

(4) who authorised the establishment of the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre. [143033]

(3) what the (a) names and (b) job descriptions are of the employees of the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre; [143142]

(2) how many people have been (a) detained, (b) sectioned and (c) investigated by the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre; [143141]

Threat research from Producer Ash in the UK


Much of this is old news so you may have seen it already and if you have I

apologise but it came up in a Thatcher death story so I looked into it a

bit and it turns out we've been ahead of the curve over here in Gitmo

Nation East when it comes to The War on Crazy...

The Fixated Threat Assessment Centre (FTAC) was set up in 2006 to gauge the

risks from stalkers and the mentally ill who harass public figures... The

small team, comprising 10 Metropolitan police officers and NHS staff, will

scrutinise the guest list of foreign dignitaries... Hundreds of people have

been sectioned since the FTAC was established. Cases are referred to the

unit after threatening letters are received by prominent figures or

individuals make personal approaches.



So, it's a team of brownshirts designed to keep shitizen slaves away from

the super-elite. Lovely. Then there's...

'Diversion' - keeping mentally ill offenders out of the criminal justice

system - is a long-held government ambition... Could the approach pioneered

through FTAC - the identification of those with a psychiatric illness

before they offend - have wider application? [you bet your arse it does!]



Interestingly the counterpoint was removed from this 2010 fair and balanced

BBC News article:

I also love the language:

FTAC may make use of police powers under section 136 of the Mental Health

Act 1983 to take a person who appears to be suffering from mental disorder,

and in immediate need of care or control, to a *place of safety*. When

people are removed to hospital under section 136, they are examined by a

registered medical practitioner and interviewed by an approved social

worker, not associated with FTAC



The message seems to be "don't upset the elites otherwise we'll dump you at

a hospital (although police stations *can* be considered as a 'place of

safety' in *exceptional* circumstances) and get them to lock you up for a

few days". In the UK someone can be sectioned in emergency cases and

detained under the mental health act for up to 72 hours for assessment, the

thing is that people can be moved in this period so essentially they could

just be stuck in the back of a van, driven around London a bit before being

waived in front of a doctor and let go although by this time they'd

probably appear mentally ill just as a natural reaction to their treatment

at the hands of the police.

There are instances of 'technical irregularities' with detentions:

And this:

Of the 4,576 patient records that CQC checked in 2011/12, 4% showed

irregularities that called the legality of the detention into question.

Although this is a small proportion, it means that more than 180 patients

may have been unlawfully detained at the time of the visit.



It strikes me as though this has massive potential to be abused, also the

Dr David James character who founded FTAC seems a little odd to me but I

haven't been able to find much on him.

By the way, I'm not expecting you to read any of this on the show (or even

this far in the email really!), it's just background I was looking up

anyway - hopefully it was of some interest. That said, if you did happen

to mention any of it I'd appreciate not mentioning my name along with it.

Oh well, the giant voice system is telling me to go to my nearest place of

safety to continue normal activity so I better be a good slave and trot


Cheers, Ash.

CIA Plans to Shift Work to Denver

Link to Article

Archived Version

Tue, 09 Apr 2013 16:53

The CIA has plans to relocate the headquarters of its domestic division, which is responsible for operations and recruitment in the United States, from the CIA's Langley headquarters to Denver, a move designed to promote innovation, according to U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials.

About $20 million has been tentatively budgeted to relocate employees of the CIA's National Resources Division, officials said. A U.S. intelligence official said the planned move, confirmed by three other government officials, was being undertaken "for operational reasons."

A CIA spokesman declined to comment. Other current and former intelligence officials said the Denver relocation reflects the desire of CIA Director Porter J. Goss to develop new ways to operate under cover, including setting up more front corporations and working closer with established international firms.

Associates of Goss said yesterday that the move was also in keeping with his desire to stop the growth of CIA headquarters and headquarters-based group-think, something he criticized frequently when he was chairman of the House intelligence committee.

Other CIA veterans said such a relocation would make no sense, given Denver's relative distance from major corporate centers. "Why would you go so far away?" one asked. "They will get disconnected."

The main function of the domestic division, which has stations in many major U.S. cities, is to conduct voluntary debriefings of U.S. citizens who travel overseas for work or to visit relatives, and to recruit foreign students, diplomats and businesspeople to become CIA assets when they return to their countries. It was unclear how many CIA employees would relocate to Denver under the plan.

Although collecting information on U.S. citizens under suspicion for terrorist links is primarily an FBI function, the CIA may also collect information on citizens under limited circumstances, according to a 1981 executive order. The exact guidelines for those operations are spelled out in a classified document signed by the CIA director and approved by the attorney general.

The Denver move, which is tentatively scheduled for next year but has not been finalized, coincides with several other developments related to the CIA's domestic intelligence work.

Last week, the CIA and FBI agreed to a new "memorandum of understanding" on domestic and foreign operations, the first change in decades. The negotiations surrounding the memo were highly contentious, with the FBI saying that it should control and approve the CIA's domestic activities, including its pool of U.S.-based assets that have been invaluable in the past to understanding the intentions of foreign nations and groups.

But the FBI is having significant problems developing its own domestic intelligence branch and the CIA is generally viewed across the intelligence community as more experienced and skilled at handling foreign informants who eventually return abroad, where the CIA has the lead in intelligence gathering and operations.

Both the CIA and FBI are trying to deepen their outreach to U.S. research and academic institutions and to private subcontractors working on major government contracts abroad.

Originally, the FBI also pressed to have the bureau disseminate all intelligence reports from sources -- foreigners or U.S. citizens -- living in the United States. It was undercut, however, by the fact that the bureau routinely falls behind in issuing counterterrorism reports and, at the time of the most heated negotiations, in December, the FBI had a backlog of more than 100 reports it had not distributed.

In response to questions this week about the new agreement, the FBI and CIA issued a joint statement to The Washington Post. "The FBI and CIA are committed to effective, joint operations to safeguard our nation," it says. "To that end, we are completing work on a memorandum of understanding that will codify our joint operating principals. We are pleased with both the process and the outcome and we recognize that our joint efforts will enhance national security."

Under the agreement, the CIA must coordinate its operations with the FBI. The CIA's domestic division has agreed to provide the FBI with more information about its operations and debriefings. One goal of updating the memo was to ensure that the two agencies were not working at cross purposes and were aware if one or the other had already recruited or debriefed someone.

It is unclear how a move to Denver would increase the effectiveness of the domestic division's operations, said several former intelligence officials.

Colorado has become a major intelligence hub since Sept. 11, 2001.

The Denver suburb of Aurora is home to the little-known Aerospace Data Facility. Located inside Buckley Air Force Base, it has become the major U.S.-based technical downlink for intelligence satellites operated by the military, the National Security Agency and the National Reconnaissance Office, according to military and government documents obtained by William Arkin, author of "Code Names," a book about secret military plans and programs.

About 70 miles away, the U.S. Northern Command, based at Peterson Air Force Base, in Colorado Springs, is tasked with homeland defense and has been increasing its domestic intelligence work.

It could not be learned whether the CIA's Denver plans are linked to the presence of either facility.

CHARTS: Where Did the Money Donated to Columbine, Aurora, and Virginia Tech Mass-Shooting Victims Go? | Mother Jones

Link to Article

Archived Version

Tue, 09 Apr 2013 15:56

Connecticut officials announced a couple weeks ago that they are asking the 69 charities publicly identified as raising money for victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown to explain how the money is being spent. The news arrived after dozens of families affected by other mass tragedies, like Columbine and Virginia Tech, urged the Sandy Hook charities to give the money directly to victims, arguing that in the past, money hasn't been distributed effectively. Families are also petitioning the White House to establish a national fund so in the future, 100 percent of the money raised in the aftermath of mass shootings goes directly to victims. The local foundation in charge of most of the Sandy Hook donations (around $11 million) is still meeting with families and members of the community, and hasn't yet distributed any of the money.

Mother Jones looked at the biggest charities set up for victims of mass shootings at Columbine High School in 1999, Virginia Tech in 2007, and a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012. We found that donations can be slow-moving and are not necessarily sufficient to cover victims' medical costs, but the majority of money given to the largest charities in the wake of a mass shooting does eventually make its way to victims and their families, instead of alternatives such as violence prevention, mental-health services, or memorials.

Charities to support specific individuals (as well as an untold number of phishing scams) often spring up in the wake of mass shootings, but in each of the shootings we studied, one charity managed a large bulk of the total contributions. After Columbine, for example, over $6 million was donated to 30 charities, but the Healing Fund, organized by Mile High United Way in collaboration with the McCormick Tribune Foundation, took in about $4.5 million of that total. In the case of Virginia Tech, donations were spontaneously sent to the university, which was authorized through executive order to distribute the funds. And after the Aurora theater shooting, the Community First Foundation took in the vast majority of the donations. These are the organizations we looked at.

At least $15 million has been raised for victims of Newtown, but most of the money, almost $11 million, has been raised by United Way of Western Connecticut, which passed control of the money to the Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, which has local Newtown residents on its board. Patrick Kinney, a spokesman for the branch, tells Mother Jones that the funds "will not be limited to families of the 26 deceased adults and children" or spent only on health care costs. Instead a board will work with the community to distribute funds to "those most profoundly affected by the tragedy, such as families, survivors, teachers, and first responders," in both the short and long term. The foundation did not accept designated funds.

Addressing why funds haven't been distributed yet, Kinney doesn't give a date, but says, "I'm not trying to be weasely; it's everyone's priority to have this process move as fast as possible." Another smaller fund, My Sandy Hook Family, has already started sending checks to families.

Claudette Carveth, spokesperson for the Department of Consumer Protection in Connecticut, tells Mother Jones that she doesn't have any information on how United Way and other charities have been distributing money, but the charities are expected to respond by April 12.

"This is not an audit. This is about transparency'--providing information that is not otherwise available to the public," says Susan Kinsman, spokesperson for the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General. "We are unaware of any misdirected money or sham charities at this point."

In the aftermath of mass shootings, victims and their families have criticized the response time of donations, the difficulty of proving "hardship," and how the money was distributed, arguing that it shouldn't necessarily go to nonprofits that don't directly assist victims. After the Aurora shooting that took place in July, for example, the Community First Foundation, which collected about $5.8 million in funds, initially only distributed $5,000 to each family through the Colorado Organization for Victim Assistance (COVA). The fund didn't distribute the remaining funds until November.

Sandra Miniutti, vice president of marketing and CFO for Charity Navigator, which evaluates charities across the United States, agrees that the process isn't perfect, because "victims shouldn't have to wait so long to receive assistance that donors intended for them to have." But she points out that there is a place for charities in the donation process, "if for no other reason than giving to a charity provides the donor a tax-deduction and greater transparency and accountability in how the donation is spent. Giving directly to someone has a much greater potential to turn out to be a scam."

The donation process at Virginia Tech also illustrates how complicated charity laws can be: Michael Pohle, whose son was killed at Virginia Tech, told the Denver Post that the shooting created a $100 million "windfall" for the university, and only about $10 million of that actually went to victims, or designated memorial funds. But Larry Hincker, a spokesman for the university, tells Mother Jones that the shooting happened in the middle of a major fundraising campaign, and the money was largely designated by donors to go to building construction, scholarships, or other program funds. "We couldn't have easily distributed [the money] to those injured'...the law doesn't allow for that and donors designate their gifts." He also maintains that the shooting had "no causal effect on our institutional fundraising."

Mass shootings can be a devastating financial blow to victims and their families, especially if they don't have health insurance. Dr. Adil Haider, the codirector of the Center for Surgery Trials and Outcomes Research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, tells Mother Jones that "if a person has insurance'--it will mostly likely cover everything apart from the deductible." But, he adds, "unfortunately, most of the patients we see do not have insurance." If a victim is paralyzed by a gunshot wound, costs could easily surpass $1 million'--although a patient could be eligible for Medicaid or disability at that point. The chart below shows the biggest amounts of money awarded to families of deceased or severely injured victims, but it's not representative of the amount of money most patients receive: In Virginia Tech and Columbine, the most commonly awarded amount was $11,500 and $10,000, respectively, and payment amounts are often distributed based on number of nights spent in the hospital (after Aurora, victims who spent fewer than seven days in the hospital received $35,000).

"How much should people donate? As much as they can," Haider says. Miniutti recommends that you give with your head, not just your heart. "Take the time to find the charity that is committed to providing the assistance that you want to fund'--that could be helping the victims financially, preventing future gun violence, or providing funding for the mental-health issues that will develop overtime," she says. "Make sure the charity is transparent."

The War on State$

United States v. Kebodeaux | Cato Institute

Link to Article

Archived Version

Tue, 09 Apr 2013 14:08

Legal Briefs

April 4, 2013

Last year's partial victory in NFIB v. Sebelius (the Obamacare case) is already being applied to new cases reaching the Supreme Court. Recall that, in that case, the Court accepted our argument that the government cannot use the Commerce and Necessary and Proper Clauses to compel someone to purchase health insurance. The Court held that allowing Congress to compel commerce into existence would be an improper use of a great and limitless power. In United States v. Kebodeaux, the Supreme Court will once again address an assertion of power that, if upheld, could give Congress nearly limitless power. In 1999, Anthony Kebodeaux was sentenced to three years in prison for statutory rape. He served his time, was freed from any post-release parole or probation requirements, and ended his relationship with the federal government in the matter of criminal law. Years later, when Kebodeaux moved intrastate from San Antonio, Texas to El Paso, Texas, he failed to update his change of address within the three-day period as required by the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) of 2006. Even though Kebodeaux was unconditionally released from custody before SORNA was enacted, he was sentenced to one year in federal prison. The Fifth Circuit overturned his conviction en banc, meaning that every judge on the Fifth Circuit heard the case rather than the traditional three-judge panel. They found the registration requirement unconstitutional because Congress lacked jurisdiction over Kebodeaux after they unconditionally released him from custody. The government's arguments to the contrary, the court held, would permit not just ''unending criminal authority'' over Kebodeaux but unending authority over every American who was once in federal jurisdiction, which is, of course, every American.

With Professor Ilya Somin of George Mason University School of Law acting as counsel, the Cato Institute filed an amicus brief arguing that it would be improper under the Necessary and Proper Clause to permit Congress to have unending authority over all Americans. Congress already lacks a general power to punish criminals, much less monitor previously released criminals and impose new and onerous restrictions on them at will. Indeed, if the Court rules in favor of the government's position, it will give Congress virtually unlimited power to regulate nearly all Americans. In essence, it would justify the gradual imposition of endless new requirements on anyone who had previously been subject to federal jurisdiction. Cumulatively, these federal impositions amount to unlimited federal authority over anyone who has ever been held in federal custody or otherwise in federal jurisdiction. This cannot be a power vested in a Congress with ''few and defined'' powers. As the Supreme Court held in the Obamacare case, Congress doesn't have the power to ''regulate an individual from cradle to grave.''

Read the Full Legal Brief


Michelle Obama Goes On Twitter, Comedy Ensues - Home - The Daily Bail

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Archived Version

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 16:46

All hail the American sense of humor.

For every question from a new mom asking about nutrition tips for her little Timmy, there appeared two criticisms of Obamacare, three complaints about White House tours being closed, and four questions about Benghazi. It was a free-for-all.

Below are some of the best tweets from the Q&A Twitter session with the First Lady.

It all started so innocently.

Then, things got out of hand.

Further proof that we are a nation of smart-asses.

Brilliant touch here.

Twitter / Search - #AskFLOTUS

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Archived Version

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 16:46

twitter searchcontaining both "twitter" and "search". This is the default operator."happy hour"containing the exact phrase "happy hour".love OR hatecontaining either "love" or "hate" (or both).beer -rootcontaining "beer" but not "root".#haikucontaining the hashtag "haiku".from:alexiskoldsent from person "alexiskold".to:techcrunchsent to person "techcrunch".@mashablereferencing person "mashable"."happy hour" near:"san francisco"containing the exact phrase "happy hour" and sent near "san francisco".near:NYC within:15misent within 15 miles of "NYC".superhero since:2010-12-27containing "superhero" and sent since date "2010-12-27" (year-month-day).ftw until:2010-12-27containing "ftw" and sent up to date "2010-12-27".movie -scary :)containing "movie", but not "scary", and with a positive attitude.flight :(containing "flight" and with a negative attitude.traffic ?containing "traffic" and asking a question.hilarious filter:linkscontaining "hilarious" and linking to source:twitterfeedcontaining "news" and entered via TwitterFeed

While Obama Throws Another White House Party, WH Assistant Chef Says He Will Be Furloughed'...

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Archived Version

Source: Weasel Zippers

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 12:01

I guarantee the cost of last night's White House concert would have covered the chef's salary.

WASHINGTON (AP) '-- Even White House chefs could be feeling the pain of government budget cuts.

Assistant chef Sam Kass, who cooks dinner for President Barack Obama several nights a week, said Tuesday that he will be furloughed as part of across-the-board budget cuts that went into effect in March. Kass, who is the president's senior nutrition policy adviser, made the comments in an interview with food reporters at the White House.

The White House has said 480 workers on the budget staff may have to take days without pay but hasn't said whether notices have gone out to other Obama aides.

Kass also plants the White House garden and is the director of first lady Michelle Obama's ''Let's Move'' campaign to combat childhood obesity. He said that effort won't be affected.

Remarks by the President at "In Performance at the White House: Memphis Soul"

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Archived Version

Source: White Press Office Feed

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 11:53

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

April 09, 2013

East Room

7:40 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Everybody, please have a seat. And give it up for our musical director, Booker T. -- (applause) -- and the Memphis Soul All-Stars. (Applause.) I just want everybody to know that it is now my second term, so rather than ''Hail to the Chief,'' we're going with that from here on out. (Laughter and applause.) Little change in tradition.

Now, before we get started, I am going to exercise some presidential prerogative to say a few words about two very special people who are here tonight -- this will humiliate them, but I'm going to go ahead and do it anyway. Jess Wright and Kenny Thompson both work on my staff -- crucial members of my team since way back in Iowa in 2007.

Over the weekend, Kenny popped the question and Jess said yes. (Applause.) So I want to congratulate -- publicly -- Kenny Thompson and Jess Wright. A beautiful couple. (Applause.) We love them. They are wonderful. They've been loyal, shown such great friendship to me, and I'm so glad that they have gone ahead and taken the plunge.

By the way, guys, Justin Timberlake just got married to this lovely young lady right here, Jessica Biel. (Applause.) So Justin can probably offer you a few pointers. And, Justin, they are looking for a wedding singer. (Laughter.) I'm just saying.

Tonight, I am speaking not just as a President, but as one of America's best-known Al Green impersonators. (Laughter.) So I have a new appreciation for what Al once said about the Memphis Soul sound that he helped create -- ''We don't even know ourselves how that music has endured for so long and how that came out of us.''

All I know is I've been looking forward to tonight because, let's face it, who does not love this music? (Applause.) These songs get us on the dance floor. Even the governor of Tennessee said he's going to dance tonight. (Laughter.) They get stuck in our heads. We go back over them again and again. And they've played an important part in our history.

In the sixties and seventies, Memphis knew its share of division and discord and injustice. But in that turbulent time, the sound of Hi, and Duke, and Sun, and Stax Records tried to bridge those divides -- to create a little harmony with harmony. The great Memphis musician Don Nix went to an all-white school, and he described what it was like. He said, ''If you could imagine, nobody's ever heard R&B music before. White kids had never heard it. And you can imagine what that did to us.''

So he and others kept playing music that everybody could get into. They created a whole new sound, and as they did, they broke down barriers. On McLemore Avenue, in the heart of a segregated city, Stax Records was integrated from the studio musicians all the way to upper management. Booker T. Jones and Steve Cropper, who are both here tonight, helped form one of the city's first integrated bands. They weren't allowed to go to school together. They weren't always allowed to travel or eat together. But no one could stop them from playing music together.

And that was the spirit of their music -- the sound of Soulsville, U.S.A., a music that, at its core, is about the pain of being alone, the power of human connection, and the importance of treating each other right. After all, this is the music that asked us to try a little tenderness. It's the music that put Mr. Big Stuff in his place. (Laughter.) And it's the music that challenged us to accept new ways of thinking with four timeless words: ''Can you dig it?'' (Laughter.)

So it's really no surprise that Memphis Soul swept the nation, and it has stood the test of time. And tonight, we bring it to the White House.

We've got folks here who were there at the beginning, legends like Mavis Staples, Charlie Musselwhite, William Bell, and Eddie Floyd. We've got artists like Cyndi Lauper, and Ben Harper, and Queen Latifah, who still turn to Memphis for inspiration. We've got Justin Timberlake, a proud son of Memphis who's never forgotten his roots, and the Alabama Shakes, who are bringing the Muscle Shoals sound to a new generation.

So to all of you, even more than for the music you've created, I want to say a special thank you for the difference that you've made in our lives. More than half a century after Soulsville, U.S.A. first opened its doors, you still bring us together. You still remind us how much we have in common. You still help us imagine a better place. And you promise, through your beautiful music, that you can take us there.

So tonight, we're going to start things off with two extraordinary artists who span the generations -- one is a Memphis legend who's been around just about forever, the other an American Idol who's turning 21 today. In the heyday of soul music, no band had more hits than the group known simply as ''Sam and Dave.'' Here to perform his classic ''Soul Man'' along with Joshua Ledet, please welcome the great Sam Moore. (Applause.)

END 7:47 P.M. EDT

Beyonce and Jay-Z's Cuba trip part of growing cultural travel trend | Reuters

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Margaret Thatcher `Paedophile Cabinet Prime Minister` Dies of Stroke

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Archived Version

Tue, 09 Apr 2013 12:34

Margaret Thatcher known as the "Iron Lady" has "died of a stroke" according to media reports within the past hour. This came amidst mounting questions about the extent of child sexual exploitation (paedophile) conspiracies involving British intelligence and security agencies (MI5, SIS) and senior British politicians who were protected by Thatcher.During her rule as Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher took the unusually strong step of issuing clear and loud threats against the British media warning them not to publish the name of Leon Brittan who was her "Home Secretary" and went on to become a European Commissioner in Brussels, another location of intense paedophile activity.

The British media at the time complied and it is only within the past few months that Leon Brittan's name started to circulate again in connection with his involvement as an abuser of young boys. At the time he was Home Secretary Leon Brittan paid the family of a young boy who he had sexually abused, to keep quiet about his name.

Margaret Thatcher gave him full protection along with all her cabinet ministers who had been chosen without exception because of the "skeletons" they all had "in their cupboards" -- i.e. dirty secrets of highly illegal activities, often involvement in child sexual exploitation, which was also nurtured and encouraged by the Zionist Jews within the British intelligence community and establishment. Leon Brittan himself was a Jew.Brittan went on to become European Commissioner for Competition at the European Commission early in 1989.

In 1995 he became European Commissioner for Trade and European Commissioner for External Affairs, also serving as Vice-President of the European Commission.

Brittan resigned with the rest of the Santer Commission in 1999 amid accusations of fraud.

Thatcher went on to dismantle socialism and the welfare state in Britain and destroyed trade unions, none of which were ever to recover. She also waged war on Argentina and Libya, which she bombed together with her strong ally Ronald Reagan, the U.S. President at the time.

The British Conservative Party continued to be heavily involved with paedophiles. The photo here is of British "Foreign Office Secretary" (Foreign Minister) William Hague, again with Jimmy Saville. Hague was groomed by Leon Brittan to replace him as MP for Richmond. Hague had formerly shared an apartment with the openly homosexual conservative "tory" MP Alan Duncan.While International Development Minister, Alan Duncan helped establish a secret 'Libyan Oil Cell' in Hague's Foreign Office which played a vital role in helping to supply fuel to Islamist (Al-Qaida allied) rebels in Libya.

It later emerged (see The Guardian 2/9/2011) that Duncan's unit also helped arrange meetings between the Libyan "rebels" and the Swiss-based multinational Vitol, the world's largest oil trader.Vitol went on to supply oil to the rebels 'largely without upfront payments'. Vitol and its president Ian Taylor have close past links to Mr Duncan.

While in opposition Duncan's office received tens of thousands of pounds from Mr Taylor via donations to the Conservative Party. Mr Duncan is also a former director of another oil firm, Arawak Energy, which was 40 per cent owned by Vitol at the time.

In addition to Duncan's oil deals, his Tory colleagues, principally Hague and Prime Minister Cameron, were responsible for the decision to spend up to £3 Billion bombing Libya in pursuit of extra profits for giant oil companies and the US/UK elite's neo-con agenda to "remake the Middle East".

Multi-millionaire Hague has up until now led a charmed life, shrugging off little problems such as the failure of his Waterhouse Inquiry to get to the bottom of the paedophile abuse at children's homes in North Wales, or the brief media interest in his room-sharing arrangements with a young male advisor, his 25-year old driver at the time, Christopher Myers.There are many leads and much information we have at Mathaba that needs following up with further research and documentation that would bring down the British Establishment once and for all if it were to become public. Meanwhile due to our ongoing resource shortage we encourage those with the ability to conduct further research and to publish their findings.

-- Support Mathaba:#

Margaret Thatcher death parties: The Left's sick 'celebration' on Brixton's streets | Mail Online

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Archived Version

Tue, 09 Apr 2013 12:33

History: Brixton was the scene of intense rioting during her time as PM - it was blamed on deep social divisions, racial tensions and unemployment

Speaking to Stephen Nolan on BBC Radio Ulster, former prime minister Tony Blair said the celebrations of Baroness Thatcher's death were in poor taste.

'Even if you disagree with someone very strongly, you can still particularly at the moment of their passing, you should show some respect,' he said.

When asked if he worried there would be similar celebrations when he dies, Mr Blair said'When you decide, you divide. I think she would be pretty philisophical about it and I hope I will be too.'

In Brixton, south London, two women were arrested on suspicion of looting a store and riot police were deployed as the crowds which had been drinking since 5pm started to become more aggressive, refusing to let buses through the streets.

Controversial: This banner was paraded last night in Liverpool - during her time in power the Tories were seen as being indifferent to the industrial decline in Merseyside

More than 300 people, including the young and old partied until late at night on the streets of London, clutching cans of cider and cartons of milk as they danced along to reggae and 1980s music.

Many children also attended the impromptu event with their parents some wearing fancy dress, fairy wings and clutching balloons.

The carnival-like celebrations also drew crowds who had no knowledge or interest in at Thatcher, but who wanted to join in with the revelry.

Brixton was the scene of intense rioting during her time as Prime Minster - the unrest was blamed on deep social divisions, racial tensions and unemployment.

At 11pm last night, party-goers climbed the Ritzy Cinema to replace the billboard of films to say 'Margaret Thatchers dead' .

They received cheers and applause from fellow revellers as they did so.

Later they added the words 'LOL', meaning 'laugh out loud', followed by 'Oh Aye'.

The two hooded men who covered their faces as they replaced the words on the Picture House cinema also attached a sign reading 'the bitch is dead'.

The Ritzy Cinema said it had nothing to do with masked people and later tweeted its thanks to those who helped clean up broken letters and damage.

Pictures of anti-Thatcher graffiti scrawled on walls in Brixton also appeared on Twitter, with one reading: 'You snatched my milk! & our hope.'

Banners were held stating 'Rejoice Thatcher is dead' by drunken crowds, many of whom were too young to remember her as prime minister.

Margaret Thatcher's death appears to provoke Belfast street...

Delight: Revellers huddle in a circle in Falls Road, Belfast last night after news of her death

Public: Graffiti on the Falls Road in west Belfast. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams has said Margaret Thatcher caused 'great hurt to the Irish and British people' during her time as Prime Minister

Disappointing: A Democratic Unionist member of the Stormont assembly Jonathan Bell described parties organised in Derry and Belfast as 'disappointing and disgusting'

Announcement: A man makes his way past graffiti daubed on the Free Derry Corner in the Bogside area of Londonderry, northern Ireland

Sickening messages also began flooding the internet minutes after the official announcement.

Revellers danced the conga, drank champagne and chanted: 'Maggie, Maggie, Maggie '' Dead, Dead, Dead.

Response: The reaction to Baroness Thatcher's has split people across Britain

Barnados charity shop was a casualty of the celebrations and this morning the store front had been left with a gaping hole in the glass.

Alex Bigham, a councillor in Lambeth representing Stockwell condemned the celebrations and said 'Even if you detested her policies, many of which I did, it is tasteless posturing.'

The Metropolitan Police said: 'Police dealt with a group of approximately 100 people in Brixton who caused low level disorder including throwing missiles at officers.'

They confirmed that two women were arrested on suspicion of burglary after being found inside a shop in Brixton. The shop front had been smashed.

Meanwhile, in Glasgow, more than 300 people gathered in the city centre for street party, organised on Twitter.

Members of organisations including the Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation, the Communist party, the Socialist party, the Socialist Workers party and the International Socialist Group, were joined by members of the public in the city's George Square.

A chorus of 'so long, the witch is dead', along with chants of 'Maggie Maggie Maggie, dead dead dead,' could be heard among the popping of champagne bottles.

In Leeds, people cheered and even handed out 'Maggie death cake' at another of several street parties across the UK last night.

Happy: A woman drinks from a bottle and holds a front page of a newspaper displaying an image of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as she and others celebrate her death in Brixton, south London

Cyber War$

Cyber War$ Alliteration

Listening to the podcast, my douchebag ritual, telling friends to listen and hitting them in the mouth.

Some more illiteration to go with

Cyber Soldiers:

Kilobyte Combat

Web Warriors

MegaBit Battlenaughts

(And my favorite)

Database Dastards

Kony: they're pulling african troops so that, as they are sending the drones in, they want to minimize collateral damage


Vinnie in TZ

DEA Accused Of Leaking Misleading Info Falsely Implying That It Can't Read Apple iMessages

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Archived Version

Sun, 07 Apr 2013 08:26

So this is interesting. Yesterday, CNET had a story revealing a "leaked" Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) memo suggesting that messages sent via Apple's own iMessage system were untappable and were "frustrating" law enforcement. Here's a snippet from that article:Encryption used in Apple's iMessage chat service has stymied attempts by federal drug enforcement agents to eavesdrop on suspects' conversations, an internal government document reveals.

An internal Drug Enforcement Administration document seen by CNET discusses a February 2013 criminal investigation and warns that because of the use of encryption, "it is impossible to intercept iMessages between two Apple devices" even with a court order approved by a federal judge.

CNET posted an image of the letter:In reading over this, however, a number of people quickly called bullshit. While Apple boasts of "end-to-end encryption" it's pretty clear that Apple itself holds the key -- because if you boot up a brand new iOS device, you automatically get access to your old messages. That means that (a) Apple is storing those messages in the cloud and (b) it can decrypt them if it needs to. As Julian Sanchez discusses in trying to get to the bottom of this, the memo really only suggests that law enforcement can't get those messages by going to the mobile operators. It says nothing about the ability to get those same messages by going to Apple directly. And, in fact, in many ways iMessages may be even more prone to surveillance, since SMS messages are only stored on mobile operators' servers for a brief time, whereas iMessages appear to be stored by Apple indefinitely.That leads Sanchez to wonder if there might be some sort of ulterior motive behind the "leaking" of this document, done in a way to falsely imply that iMessages are actually impervious to government snooping. He comes up with two plausible theories: (1) that this is part of the feds' longstanding effort to convince lawmakers to make it mandatory that all communications systems have backdoors for wiretapping and (2) that it's an attempt to convince criminals that iMessages are safe, so they start using them falsely believing their messages are protected.

Which brings us to the question of why, exactly, this sensitive law enforcement document leaked to a news outlet in the first place. It would be very strange, after all, for a cop to deliberately pass along information that could help drug dealers shield their communications from police. One reason might be to create support for the Justice Department's longstanding campaign for legislation to require Internet providers to create backdoors ensuring police can read encrypted communications'--even though in this case, the backdoor would appear to already exist.

The CNET article itself discusses this so-called ''Going Dark'' initiative. But another possible motive is to spread the very false impression that the article creates: That iMessages are somehow more difficult, if not impossible, for law enforcement to intercept. Criminals might then switch to using the iMessage service, which is no more immune to interception in reality, and actually provides police with far more useful data than traditional text messages can. If that's what happened here, you have to admire the leaker's ingenuity'--but I'm inclined to think people are entitled to accurate information about the real level of security their communication enjoy.

While both scenarios are plausible, both seem fairly cynical as well. I'd like to think that law enforcement is above attempting such tricks, but unfortunately that might just be naive these days.


Merkel afgebeeld als gevangene concentratiekamp

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Archived Version

Source: VK: Home

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 16:36

Door: Redactie '' 10/04/13, 20:38

(C) epa. De cover van het tijdschrift

Een Pools tijdschrift heeft de Duitse Bondskanselier Angela Merkel als gevangene in een concentratiekamp op de cover afgebeeld. Gekleed in een gestreepte pyjama staart ze de lezers vanachter prikkeldraad aan, en daarnaast staat de kop: 'Hoe de Duitsers zichzelf tot slachtoffer van de Tweede Wereldoorlog maakten'.

Poolse media zijn boos over de manier waarop het Poolse verzet wordt geportretteerd in een miniserie die op dit moment in Duitsland wordt uitgezonden. Het gaat om een productie van de zender ZDF (Unsere M¹tter, unsere VÛter, oftewel, Onze moeders, onze vaders) die gaat over de rol die gewone Duitsers in de oorlog hebben gespeeld, maar zonder de 'morele oordelen die zo vaak in het verleden zijn toegepast', aldus het tijdschrift Der Spiegel.

De serie is razend populair in Duitsland, maar in Polen luidt de kritiek dat Duitsers teveel als slachtoffer worden neergezet, terwijl het Poolse verzet antisemitisch zou zijn. Er is een scene waarin een groep verzetsstrijders de opdracht geeft een trein door te laten rijden naar een concentratiekamp zodra ze zich realiseren dat er Joden aan boord zijn. In een andere sc¬ne zegt een partizaan dat ze Joden 'als ratten verdrinken'.

ZDF heeft in een reactie gezegd dat het nooit de bedoeling is geweest om historische feiten te trivialiseren of de Duitse verantwoordelijkheid te reduceren.

In Duitsland is de cover van het tijdschrift Uwazam Rze 'smakeloos' genoemd.

EU Mulls Imposing Losses on Short-Term Interbank Deposits When Banks Fail -

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Wed, 10 Apr 2013 13:16

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Cyprus Will Sell ­Â400 Million Of Gold Reserves To Bail Out Its Banks

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Archived Version

Source: bertb news feed

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 12:02

Reuters is reporting that Cyprus will raise 400 million euros by selling part of its official gold reserves in order to finance a bailout of its banks.

Gold has been taking a beating in today's trading session. Right now, the shiny yellow metal is down 1 percent, near its lowest level of the day.

Industrial Terror - AQ Inc.

Excellent. Cue the drones.

Link to Article

Archived Version

Source: BadChad's ThoughtPile

Tue, 09 Apr 2013 20:35

Al-Qaeda's branch in Iraq says it has merged with Syria's armed opposition group Jabhat al-Nusra, a move that shows the rising confidence of hardliners within the Syrian rebel movement and is likely to stoke renewed fears among its international backers.

A website linked to Jabhat al-Nusra confirmed on Tuesday the merger with the Islamic State of Iraq, whose leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, first made the announcement in a 21-minute audio message posted on websites late on Monday.

Jabhat al-Nusra has taken an ever-bigger role in Syria's conflict over the last year, fighting in crucial battles with President Bashar al-Assad's forces and staging several large suicide bombings.

The US has designated it a terrorist organisation.

The Syrian group has made little secret of its links across the Iraqi border, but until now it has not officially declared itself to be part of al-Qaeda.

Group's new name

Baghdadi said that his group, the Islamic State of Iraq, and Syria's Jabhat al-Nusra will now be known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

"It is time to announce to the Levantine people and the whole world that Jabhat al-Nusra is merely an extension and part of the Islamic State of Iraq," he said.

He said that the Iraqi group was providing half of its budget to the conflict in Syria.

Baghdadi said the Syrian group would have no separate leader but instead be led by the "people of Syria themselves", implying that he would be in charge in both countries.

The formal merger of such a prominent Syrian rebel group to al-Qaeda is likely to cause concern among backers of the opposition who are enemies of the global network, including both Western countries and Gulf Arab states.

It may increase resentment of Jabhat al-Nusra among other rebel factions.

Rebels have until now respected the hardline group's fighters for their prowess on the battlefield, but a merger with al-Qaeda will complicate any effort to send arms to rebels from abroad.

A website linked to Jabhat al-Nusra known as al-Muhajir al-Islami, the Islamic emigrant, confirmed the merger.

The authenticity of neither message could be independently confirmed, but statements posted on major websites belonging to groups are rarely disputed by armed groups afterwards.

Disparate rebel groups

Jabhat al-Nusra emerged as an offshoot of Iraq's al-Qaeda branch in early 2012, as one of a patchwork of disparate rebel groups in Syria.

A top Iraqi intelligence official told the Associated Press news agency in Baghdad that they have always known that "al-Qaeda in Iraq is directing Jabhat al-Nusra".

He said they announced their unity because of "political, logistical and geographical circumstance".

The official said Iraqi authorities will take "strict security measures to strike them".

Iraqi officials say armed groups are sharing three military training compounds, logistics, intelligence and weapons as they grow in strength around the Syria-Iraq border, particularly in a sprawling region called Jazeera, which they are trying to turn into a border sanctuary they can both exploit.

It could serve as a base of operations to strike either side of the border.


Shut Up Slave!

Kunstenaar aangehouden om protest tegen Poetin - AT5 Echt Amsterdams Nieuws

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Archived Version

Tue, 09 Apr 2013 16:34

Kunstenaar Harry van Gestel is aangehouden vanwege protestleuzen op zijn etalage. Dat melden ooggetuigen.

Met zwarte letters schreef Van Gestel, zelf homoseksueel, onder andere 'Poetin fuck yourself' op zijn etalage. Meerdere ooggetuigen vertellen aan AT5 dat hij om die reden rond half vijf in handboeien afgevoerd is door de politie.

De politie ontkende in eerste instantie dat er aanhoudingen waren verricht die gerelateerd zijn aan het bezoek van Poetin. Later liet een woordvoerder weten dat er inderdaad een 59-jarige man is aangehouden vanwege 'belediging'.

Volgens de politie wilde Van Gestel niet meewerken met zijn aanhouding en liep hij steeds weg, vandaar dat hij geboeid werd. Volgens ooggetuigen heeft Van Gestel zich niet hevig verzet tegen zijn arrestatie.

Na overleg met het Openbaar Ministerie is Van Gestel later op de middag weer vrijgelaten.

The Audiovisual Media Services Directive - AVMSD- | Europa

Giant Voice Systems

AUDIO-VIDEO-Mass Notification - Whelen Engineering

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Archived Version

Tue, 09 Apr 2013 17:18

Click on Model # to listen to message. Messages are 30 seconds or less.

MODELDESCRIPTIONWINTER WEATHER WARNINGReturn to topWWW1(16 Seconds)Winter Weather Warning, Winter Weather Warning, Take emergency precautions immediately, Take emergency precautions immediately.SEVERE WEATHER WARNINGReturn to topSWW1(25 Seconds)Severe Weather Warning. Seek shelter immediately. Severe weather warning. Seek shelter immediately. Severe Weather Warning. Seek shelter immediately.TORNADO WARNINGReturn to topTW1(24 Seconds)Tornado warning. A tornado warning has been issued for this area. Tornado warning. A tornado warning has been issued for this area. Tornado warning.TW2(19 Seconds)Attention! A tornado warning has been issued. Seek shelter now. Do not delay. Seek shelter now.TW3(17 Seconds)A tornado warning is in effect! Seek shelter now! Tune to your local TV station for further information. Seek shelter now!TW4(16 Seconds)Warning! A tornado warning has been issued for our location. Please take shelter immediately.HURRICANE WARNINGReturn to topHW1(13 Seconds)Hurricane warning. A hurricane warning has been issued for this area. Hurricane warning.SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNINGReturn to topSTW1(19 Seconds)Severe Thunderstorm Warning. A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for this area. A severe thunderstorm warning.STW2(19 Seconds)Thunderstorm Warning!!! A Severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for this area. Seek shelter away from this area immediately!STW3(13 Seconds)Thunderstorm warning. Large hail and high wind is possible. Listen to radio and TV details.FLASH FLOODReturn to topFF1(17 Seconds)Attention: A flash flood warning is in effect for your area avoid low areas. Be alert for rising waters.THIS IS A TESTReturn to topT1(14 Seconds)This is a test. This is a test of the emergency warning system. This is only a test.T2(25 Seconds)This is a test. This is a test of the emergency warning system. This is only a Test. This is a Test. This is a test of the emergency warning system. This is only a Test.T3(16 Seconds)This is a test of the Emergency Management Public Warning System. This is only a test.T4(18 Seconds)Attention: The following is a regular monthly test of the outdoor warning system. This is not an emergency. This is only a test.POST TEST ANNOUNCEMENTReturn to topPTA1(13 Seconds)This has been a test of the emergency warning system. This was only a test.CHEMICAL RELEASE WARNINGReturn to topCRW1(16 Seconds)Chemical Release. Stay inside buildings and close windows and doors unless advised by authorities to evacuate area. Chemical release. Stay inside buildings and close windows and doors unless advised by authorities to evacuate area. Chemical release.CRW2(14 Seconds)Attention: There has been a chemical release in your area. Everyone should evacuate immediately.CRW3(18 Seconds)Attention: There has been a chemical accident in your area. Go inside, tune your radio or television to a local station for additional information!EVACUATION WARNING>Return to topEW1(15 Seconds)An emergency evacuation of this area is required. Follow evacuation route instructions. Listen to radio and TV for details.EW2(26 Seconds)Attention! This is an emergency evacuation order. Remain calm, follow the instructions of the emergency officials. This is an emergency evacuation order. Obey the emergency officials. Remain calmHAZARDOUS MATERIALSReturn to topHM1(18 Seconds)Hazardous Material Incident. A hazardous material incident has occurred, follow instructions of authorities to evacuate area of concern.HM2(22 Seconds)Hazardous Materials Incident. A hazardous materials accident has occurred. Please listen to your local news for information. Hazardous Materials Incident.HM3(12 Seconds)The hazardous materials emergency for this area has been canceled.HM4(28 Seconds)Attention: A hazardous material release has occurred in your area. Go inside, close all windows and doors, cut off all ventilation systems, air conditioners, and heating units. Be alert for further information and instructions.HM5(16 Seconds)There has been a hazardous materials incident. Please tune to your local radio for details.HM6(15 Seconds)A hazardous materials accident has occurred in the city. Seek shelter indoors. Listen to radio and TV for details.TERRORIST ALERT WARNINGReturn to topTA1(13 Seconds)Terrorist alert. A terrorism alert has been issued, please follow procedure.ALL CLEARReturn to topAC1(22 Seconds)All Clear. The emergency is over. All Clear. The emergency is over. All Clear. The emergency is over.AC2(15 Seconds)Attention: The emergency is over. I repeat the emergency is over. Resume your normal duties.GENERAL EMERGENCY CONDITIONSReturn to topGEC1(17 Seconds)Attention: An emergency condition exists, stand by for instructions. An emergency condition exists, stand by for instructions.POST DISASTER WARNINGReturn to topPDW1(22 Seconds)Attention: Standby for a list of shelter and first aid stations. All residents listen for a shelter location in your area. Proceed with caution. Watch for downed power lines.GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTReturn to topGA1(15 Seconds)Attention all residents. Stand by for an emergency announcement. Stop all traffic and stand by for an emergency announcement.All products proudly designed, manufactured and assembled in the U.S.A. Copyright Whelen Engineering, Inc.


Google Trends - Web Search Interest: bellicose - Worldwide, 2004 - present

Japanese city accidentally tweets North Korean missile launch | The Verge

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Archived Version

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 16:27

Residents in the Japanese city of Yokohama came in for a shock earlier today after city officials mistakenly posted a tweet stating that North Korea had launched a missile. According to ABC News, the city posted the tweet around noon local time, exclaiming "North Korea has launched a missile," sharing it with @yokohama_saigai's 40,000 followers for around 20 minutes.

"North Korea has launched a missile."

Receiving worried calls from local followers, the city deleted its tweet and was forced to admit its mistake. Correcting its error with a new tweet, the city has seen its apology receive over 3,000 retweets in the past eight hours. Following the announcement that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had authorized a nuclear attack against the US last week, tensions have been raised in Washington and across the globe. South Korean news agencies have confirmed that North Korea could launch a mid-range ballistic missile "at any time."

US and South Korean intelligence suggests the missile has a range of 3,500 kilometers and is capable of reaching the US territory of Guam. However, the Pentagon has already announced plans to deploy an advanced missile defense system in the country, in a "precautionary" attempt to safeguard its interests in the region. Despite Yokohama's Twitter mistake, Japan is on high alert and has readied Patriot missiles in Tokyo to safeguard citizens from a potential North Korean attack. It has also deployed destroyers loaded with interceptor missiles, joining US and South Korean ships in the Sea of Japan.


Arizona lawmakers approve gold and silver as legal tender

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Archived Version

Source: End the Lie - Independent News

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 16:35

Reuters / Ilya Naymushin

And now for some heavy metal news: the Arizona state legislature has officially approved a measure to make gold and silver legal tender.

As RT reported earlier, an effort in the State House and Senate to have precious metals once again considered legitimate currency has garnered an immense amount of support in recent months, particularly in the wake of ongoing round of quantitative easing conducted by the US Federal Reserve, the country's central bank. On Monday, the Arizona House of Representatives signed-off on a Senate bill that now only requires the governor's signature to become official [PDF].

Once Gov. Jan Brewer authorizes the bill, retailers in Arizona that are willing to accept gold and silver in lieu of paper money are allowed to let customers purchase goods with precious bullion.

''This gives them the ability to use it as tender and have the same recognition as the paper dollar coming out of the Federal Reserve,'' Republican State Sen. Chester Crandell tells the Associated Press.

Sen. Crandell is a sponsor of the bill, SB 1439, and helped craft the act to mimic a similar law that was passed in the state of Utah in 2011. Speaking to the AP from Arizona, Scottsdale Bullion & Coin broker Mike Rowlands suggests other states should follow suit before the buying value of the dollar diminishes even further.

''We know in the situation where we're at they continue to pump money in and pump money in, which eventually that game is going to end,'' Rowlands tells the AP.

Days before the Arizona House approved Sen. Crandell's bill with a 36-22 vote, University of Central Oklahoma Professor Loren Gatch told Bloomberg News that more states are likely to adopt similar bills if the Federal Reserve continues its current policies under Chairman Ben Bernanke.

''The legislation is about signaling discontent with monetary policy and about what Ben Bernanke is doing,'' Gatch said. ''There is a fear that the government, or Bernanke in particular and the Federal Reserve, is pursuing a policy that will lead to the collapse of the dollar. That's what is behind it.''

Lawmakers in Arizona might not have words as harsh as Gatch, but nonetheless seem to agree: since the United States abandoned the gold standard in 1971, inflation has been rampant as prices soar and the dollar's value declines.

For some, though, going back to how things were before the '70s seems to just make sense. ''This is the type of currency we have had over the history of mankind,'' adds Republican State Rep. Steve Smith.

If Gov. Brewer signs off on the bill, Arizona residents will be allowed to use gold and silver as legal tender starting in 2014 '-- only, of course, in places willing to accept them. After the Arizona Senate first passed the bill in February, the House tacked on an amendment that exempts the state's Department of Revenue from being covered under the measures '-- essentially negating a rule that would have mandated businesses accept precious metals.

''They wanted to make sure they wouldn't be required to take gold and silver,'' Republican State Rep. David Livingston says of the department. ''They just didn't want to have to deal with it right now.''

Source: RT

Help Spread Alternative News


MONGOLIA Ninja miners: Four pitfalls for Mongolia's astonishing growth

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Archived Version

Tue, 09 Apr 2013 15:43

Traditionally, Mongolian life has been based around herding, with nomadic families sleeping in yurts and tending livestock. That's why it's surprising to hear stories like that of Khorloo, a 65-year-old Mongolian who spends her days digging through the Mongolian steppe with metal detectors and shovels, plucking out the occasional gold nugget after days of scratching in the dirt.

Ninja miners in Mongolia (AP)

''It took us a week to dig this out,'' Khorloo told Reuters, holding a nugget that could earn her family as much as $6,000. ''But we dug for three years to reach the vein.''

Khorloo is one of Mongolia's 60,000 or so ''ninja miners'' '-- former herders who took up amateur mining, using whatever rudimentary tools they have at their disposal, amid soaring mineral demand from China. (They're called ninjas because the large green pans they carry on their backs look like turtle shells.)

A former economic underdog, Mongolia is now the world's fifth fastest-growing economy, with an 12.3 percent GDP growth rate that would make today's anemic, Western economies salivate. (For comparison, the U.S. economy is growing at 1.7 percent.) Like many other Central Asian countries, Mongolia is growing rich from selling minerals to China. According to a report by the Associated Press, Mongolia sends 90 percent of its exports to Chinese markets, and the two-way trade with Beijing makes up 75 percent of Mongolia's economy.

But several recent reports indicate that Mongolia's economic success story may turn out not to be all that it seems. Here are four ways its meteoric growth could go awry:

1. The Ninjas: Though they sound like some sort of ore-hunting SWAT team, the herders who have recently sought their fortunes in freelance mining are actually a bit of a drag on the mining economy. Not only do they not pay taxes, notes Morris Rossabi in Foreign Affairs, they also contribute to prostitution, gambling, and other illegal activities. And the herders who have resisted mining complain that mining companies have undermined their way of life, forcing them to migrate.

2. Becoming too dependent on China: Because China has fueled so much of Mongolia's growth, there could be scary repercussions as China's economy slows. China's demand for Mongolian minerals has already slumped somewhat, and most analysts say Mongolia needs to diversify its economy away from just one main trading partner.

Granted, Mongolia has pushed back against Chinese influence, even going so far as to lay railroad tracks at a gauge that makes it impossible for them to connect to Chinese rails. China and Russia are now each limited to a third of Mongolia's total foreign investment, and Mongolia has been attempting to foster partnerships with the United States, the European Union and Japan in order to hedge against Beijing and Moscow.

''We will not be another Africa,'' Ganhuyag Ch. Hutagt, a Mongolian banker and former vice finance minister told the AP. ''We cannot afford to have one particular nation control our businesses.''

3. Its mines have been plagued by problems: Mongolia's ''resource nationalists'' have made it difficult for mining projects to get off the ground. Nationalist policymakers worried about foreign influence over Mongolia's resources want to amend the agreement on Oyu Tolgoi, a massive copper mine, so that Mongolia gets a bigger share. Last week, Rio Tinto Group, a British-Australian mining giant that owns the majority stake in the project, said it was considering a temporary halt to construction work at Oyu Tolgoi because of Mongolia's demands for a larger share.

Mongolia's massive coal mine in Tavan Tolgoi has also suffered a number of setbacks. In July, the Mongolian government withdrew a decision to hand mining rights in Tavan Tolgoi to a consortium consisting of China's Shenhua Group, U.S.-based Peabody, and Russian Railways, saying Mongolia might develop the mine on its own. In the past few weeks, tensions between China and Mongolia have escalated after Erdenes-Tavan Tolgoi halted coal exports to China and threatened to cancel a coal-supply deal, with Mongolia's ambassador to Beijing telling The Wall Street Journal that the pricing terms of the deal were ''unacceptable in the sense of normal international trade.''

4. Mongolia is still pretty corrupt: Transparency International ranks Mongolia as 80th most corrupt of 182 countries '-- not as bad as 62nd most corrupt in 2011, but still not great. Inequality is on the rise, and it's hard to tackle because independent groups suspect the government is falsifying the country's true poverty numbers (which are already astonishingly high, at somewhere between 29 to 39 percent), Rossabi points out.

Screenshot: Transparency International

Either way, this is hardly the sort of environment where dramatic, sudden economic growth can be expected to improve quality of life for most citizens.

Or as Sumati Luvsandendev, the director of a polling organization in Ulan Bator, told the Guardian recently: ''Our society worries that things are not going that well in terms of social justice, that there is a growing gap between rich and poor, and that there is an oligarchic class.''

Ministry of Truth

Fake Somali Pirates Scam Western Journalists - The Daily Beast

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Archived Version

Tue, 09 Apr 2013 15:34

They're the most feared outlaws in the world. Since 2005, Somali pirates have kidnapped hundreds of people'--and extorted hundreds of millions of dollars in ransom payments. They've turned their stretch of the East African coastline into the most dangerous waters on earth for the shipping industry.

An armed Somali pirate sits along the coastline of Hobyo town in northeastern Somalia on January 7, 2010. (Mohamed Dahir/AFP/Getty)

Naturally, foreign journalists have beaten a path to the relative safety of neighboring Kenya to interview the elusive pirates. But asChannel 4 News's Jamal Osman'--himself a Somali'--found out, some of the seekers didn't get quite what they bargained for.

The story begins in the slums of Eastleigh, a sprawling suburb of Nairobi in Kenya and home to a huge Somali community. There, I met Adan. He and his friends are running an industry that had been fooling some of the best journalists from around the world. Their business? Pretending to be pirates.

''We pretend because we have the talent,'' Adan told me. With ships being regularly seized and crews kidnapped, Somali pirates have been much in demand by the news media. ''They [journalists] go to the boss and say, 'We need pirates,''' Adan said. ''The boss comes to us and says, 'The white men need pirates.' So he says, 'Assume to be a pirate.'''

The scam is coordinated by a ''fixer'' who offers journalists the opportunity to interview ''real live pirates'''--for a fee. Touting his local knowledge, he promises to reach parts of the community a Western journalist never could. There then follows an elaborate scheme to convince journalists of the plan's legitimacy. The ''fixer'' drives the Westerners around'--sometimes for days'--in search of the elusive pirates, telling them it is too dangerous yet to approach the men.

The scheme culminates in sit-down interviews with the so-called pirates'--interviews that have made it into the venerable pages of international newsmagazines and broadcast in documentaries, one of which was reportedly shown in some 18 countries across the world.

The ''fake pirates'' are mostly Kenyans; many of them, including Adan, are not even Somalis. They are Boran, an ethnic group that lives in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya.

He now says he can't believe anyone thought he was a pirate in the first place.

In his day job, Adan works in a restaurant, but the money he makes as a faux pirate is far greater. ''My daily fee is $200. I depend on myself. I'm an asset, not a liability.''

Adan is relatively new into the industry. However, ''Bashir'''--not his real name'--has been in the pirate role-playing trade a long time. He was harder to convince to come clean, but eventually admitted he was no pirate but an ''actor.'' He now says he can't believe anyone thought he was a pirate in the first place.

Despite this, Bashir features in a 2010 Danish documentary pretending to be one of Somalia's most feared pirates. The film was made by Rasmus Krath, a prominent Danish investigative reporter, and was broadcast by the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR). In a statement to Channel 4 News, DR said: ''That one out of the many pirates met in Rasmus Krath's documentary should be an actor does not change the overall credibility of the film.''

The Danish film was just one of many interviews ''Bashir'' gave to different media organizations over the years. Here he is again, this time in Time magazine. In its April 2010 edition, the magazine reports: ''Bashir bared his black, rotted teeth every time he smiled ... Bashir was once a fisherman. The pirates wanted to hire him because he knew how to swim, a valuable skill he could teach other recruits.

''He told me: 'We are the ones out on the water taking all the risks and suffering.'"

Time magazine declined to comment. But as of press time, the article remained on its website.

In fact, Bashir says that he has never even been to Somalia. For me, as a Somali, it was very easy to recognize which particular region he comes from. Because of his accent I know he is a Somali-Sijui. In the northeastern province of Kenya, there are more than 2 million ethnic Somalis, who are known as Somali-Sijui. Bashir is one of them.

Bashir claims that all these years of giving interviews he thought he was just taking part in a drama film.''The fixer tells us, 'It is drama film,''' he told me. ''The white men want it and we get paid.''

''We act. And the film has to look real,'' says Bashir. ''Whether you accept it or not, there are no pirates here.

''Why would a pirate act in a film when they have money? Pirates have money. Why would they do this? They don't have time to tell their stories to white guys for money.''

Adan has no regrets about the acting and feels no remorse. ''You know, Western guys think the Africans are fools. But we have discovered we are not fools. We are much cleverer than the Western people. We are fooling them--but they think they are fooling us.''

As I was about to say goodbye to Adan, his phone rang. I wondered if it was his next job.

By Jamal Osman, for Britain's Channel 4 News.

The Fix is In!

Fireworks surprise Louisville coach Rick Pitino in moments after historic championship | The Dagger - Yahoo! Sports

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Archived Version

Tue, 09 Apr 2013 14:45

Somebody forgot to tell Rick Pitino about the postgame fireworks at the national title game.Pitino became the first coach to win a national championship at two different schools Monday when Louisville beat Michigan 82-76 in Atlanta.

Television cameras caught Pitino ducking for cover reacting to the fireworks just before shaking hands with Michigan counterpart John Beilein.

The Basketball Hall of Fame officially announced Monday that Pitino has earned induction. Another Hall of Fame coach was watching tonight's game and noted on Twitter Pitino's reaction to the fireworks.

Did Rick think someone was shooting at him?

'-- Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) April 9, 2013

NCAA tournament video from Yahoo! Sports

More NCAA tournament coverage from Yahoo! Sports' Freshman's crazy alley-oop punctuates Cardinals' first-half comeback' Louisville earns redemption, third national title' Rick Pitino caught off guard by celebration fireworks' Little-known Spike Albrecht lights up first half of title game for Michigan

Agenda 21

Climate Change Could Mean Bumpier Flights

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Tue, 09 Apr 2013 14:36

Jane J. Lee

Buckle up'--thanks to climate change, airline passengers may be in for a bumpier ride.

By 2050, airplanes could see a doubling in instances of moderate-intensity turbulence over the North Atlantic Ocean'--one of the world's busiest flight corridors'--due to shifts in the jet stream as a result of global warming, according to a new study. (Related: "6 Ways Climate Change Will Affect You.")

Those bumps could also become stronger due to the intensification of conditions that lead to a type of turbulence called clear-air turbulence, according to the study published online today in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Unlike the turbulence associated with storm clouds, clear-air turbulence is mainly associated with jet streams'--large rivers of air in the atmosphere'--and can occur in clear blue skies. (Related: "Severe Weather More Likely Thanks to Climate Change.")

"The pilot can't see it and the sensors onboard can't see it'--that's why it's a particularly dangerous form of turbulence," said Paul Williams, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom and lead author of the new paper.

Turbulence occurs mostly because of a change in airspeed with respect to height, said Mitchell Moncrieff, an atmospheric scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, who was not involved in the study.

It happens mostly in in frontal areas'--places where air masses of different characteristics meet'--and jet streams.

Since climate change will accelerate the jet stream over the North Atlantic, Williams said, that river of air will flow faster, making the atmosphere more susceptible to turbulence'--much like a fast-running river develops white water.

Double Leads to Trouble

Climate models have shown that climate change will draw the jet stream over the North Atlantic even farther north, said Williams. He and his colleague, Manoj Joshi of the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom, wanted to know what that would mean for clear-air turbulence.

So the researchers took a well-known climate model from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in New Jersey and looked at the jet stream over the North Atlantic Ocean during the winter months, when jet stream strength peaks.

Williams and Joshi doubled the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide with respect to pre-industrial conditions in their climate model and looked at how clear-air turbulence conditions compared with respect to a world in which carbon dioxide levels remained at pre-industrial levels.

They then took wind and temperature profiles from that future scenario and plugged the numbers into 21 models forecasters currently use to predict clear-air turbulence.

"All 21 were showing an increase in the strength of turbulence," Williams said, while 20 models showed an increase in the frequency of turbulence, with some models predicting at least a doubling in frequency.

These increases are for moderate turbulence, he added. "So your drink might spill over, you might lift out of your seat a little bit'--certainly the pilot would have the seatbelt sign on."

The volume of different models predicting the same result was striking, Williams said.

Shake, Rattle, and Roll?

This doesn't mean that airplanes will start to shake apart over the North Atlantic by mid-century.

The most severe turbulence, more powerful than what Williams modeled in his study, exerts about 1.5 G forces on an airplane, said Bret Jensen, a spokesperson for Boeing, an aircraft manufacturer based in Seattle, Washington.

But airplanes are designed to withstand 2.5 G forces before taking damage, and 3.5 G forces before experiencing structural failures, he added.

The real danger lies with injuries, particularly to the flight crew, said Bruce Carmichael, director of the Aviation Applications Program at NCAR, who was not involved in the study.

Since flight attendants aren't usually buckled in, they can get thrown around the cabin, he said. "They're really the ones most at risk."

A Valid Approach

Though Carmichael thinks Williams and Joshi took a novel and legitimate approach to the problem of predicting future occurrences of clear-air turbulence, "you have to be a little careful about how you interpret the results," he said.

Climate models are meant to look at large trends over big areas, Carmichael said'--on the scale of hundreds of kilometers. Clear-air turbulence, meanwhile, occurs over tens of kilometers.

It's hard to know how accurate a climate model would be at predicting atmospheric conditions over the relatively small area right around an airplane, he explained.

Moncrieff agrees and said he looks forward to seeing how the study's results stack up to other models. Each climate model has its own quirks and biases, he explained, and so they can come up with varying future atmospheres. (Learn about climate modeling.)

In the meantime, Williams said his work has changed his habits when he flies: "I used to not keep my seatbelt fastened, but now I always do."

Mac & Cheese Life

Dutch recall 50,000 tonnes of beef on horsemeat suspicions

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Source: euronews

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 16:22

50,000 tonnes of beef have been recalled by the Dutch food safety authority. It has been deemed unfit for human consumption and it may contain horsemeat.

The Dutch authority has taken the precautionary steps as the origins of the meat were unclear and therefore its safety not guaranteed.

The meat appears to have come from two wholesalers, Wiljo Import and Export and Willy Selten. About 370 companies around Europe have bought the meat and despite a recall from European rapid alert system it looks like it might be too late for some.

Benno Brugginkfrom the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA)noted that, ''the meat ended up all over Europe, and I think it has been largely consumed, but the meat we can still find we are going to recall.''

The Netherlands began investigating the country's meat industry in February following the discovery of horsemeat in beef products around Europe.

The Dutch food authority made clear that there is no direct risk to human health but consumer confidence will be shaken further by yet another horsemeat scandal.

More about:Consumer Protection, Food, Inquiry, NetherlandsCopyright (C) 2013 euronews

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War on Nuke$

Ex-Regulator Says Nuclear Reactors in United States Are Flawed -

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Wed, 10 Apr 2013 10:58

WASHINGTON '-- All 104 nuclear power reactors now in operation in the United States have a safety problem that cannot be fixed and they should be replaced with newer technology, the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on Monday. Shutting them all down at once is not practical, he said, but he supports phasing them out rather than trying to extend their lives.

The position of the former chairman, Gregory B. Jaczko, is not unusual in that various anti-nuclear groups take the same stance. But it is highly unusual for a former head of the nuclear commission to so bluntly criticize an industry whose safety he was previously in charge of ensuring.

Asked why he did not make these points when he was chairman, Dr. Jaczko said in an interview after his remarks, ''I didn't really come to it until recently.''

''I was just thinking about the issues more, and watching as the industry and the regulators and the whole nuclear safety community continues to try to figure out how to address these very, very difficult problems,'' which were made more evident by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, he said. ''Continuing to put Band-Aid on Band-Aid is not going to fix the problem.''

Dr. Jaczko made his remarks at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference in Washington in a session about the Fukushima accident. Dr. Jaczko said that many American reactors that had received permission from the nuclear commission to operate for 20 years beyond their initial 40-year licenses probably would not last that long. He also rejected as unfeasible changes proposed by the commission that would allow reactor owners to apply for a second 20-year extension, meaning that some reactors would run for a total of 80 years.

Dr. Jaczko cited a well-known characteristic of nuclear reactor fuel to continue to generate copious amounts of heat after a chain reaction is shut down. That ''decay heat'' is what led to the Fukushima meltdowns. The solution, he said, was probably smaller reactors in which the heat could not push the temperature to the fuel's melting point.

The nuclear industry disagreed with Dr. Jaczko's assessment. ''U.S. nuclear energy facilities are operating safely,'' said Marvin S. Fertel, the president and chief executive of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry's trade association. ''That was the case prior to Greg Jaczko's tenure as Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman. It was the case during his tenure as N.R.C. chairman, as acknowledged by the N.R.C.'s special Fukushima response task force and evidenced by a multitude of safety and performance indicators. It is still the case today.''

Dr. Jaczko resigned as chairman last summer after months of conflict with his four colleagues on the commission. He often voted in the minority on various safety questions, advocated more vigorous safety improvements, and was regarded with deep suspicion by the nuclear industry. A former aide to the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, he was appointed at Mr. Reid's instigation and was instrumental in slowing progress on a proposed nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain, about 100 miles from Las Vegas.

Jaczko comes out as avowed antinuclear activist - Atomic Insights

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Wed, 10 Apr 2013 10:57

Greg Jaczko has recently admitted publicly what many of us in the nuclear world have known for the better part of a decade; he is now an avowed antinuclear activist instead of one who tries to hide his real nature.

He came out at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference when he made the public pronouncement that all 104 nuclear power plants operating in the United States, and presumably all of the other 250 or so large light water nuclear power plants that use the technology that we invented here, are fundamentally unsafe and should be phased out completely.

When asked why he is going public with his position now, after serving for seven years and four months on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the agency of the US federal government that is tasked with enabling safe nuclear energy to protect the public health, promote common defense and security and to protect the environment, Jaczko stated that he had only come to the understanding recently, after watching the industry come together to devise its response to the Fukushima meltdowns.

Apparently, Dr. Jaczko has recently discovered that nuclear fission reactors produce radioactive isotopes that continue to generate heat, even after the fission has been stopped by inserting control rods. Since this heat needs to be dissipated by some kind of active or passive fluid movement to prevent the core from overheating and possibly melting, Dr. Jaczko has determined that the engineering effort required to reliably remove the heat is simply too hard.

Aside: I hope you all understand that I wrote that with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek. End Aside.

Here is a quote from Matt Wald's piece in the New York Times about Greg Jaczko's admission of antinuclear tendencies.

Asked why he did not make these points when he was chairman, Dr. Jaczko said in an interview after his remarks, ''I didn't really come to it until recently.''

''I was just thinking about the issues more, and watching as the industry and the regulators and the whole nuclear safety community continues to try to figure out how to address these very, very difficult problems,'' which were made more evident by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, he said. ''Continuing to put Band-Aid on Band-Aid is not going to fix the problem.''

The nuclear industry has responded firmly, but very politely, to Dr. Jaczko's implication that we are all hopelessly misguided for bothering to devise systems and procedures that overcome the challenge of dissipating decay heat, an issue that has been well understood since about 1942. Here is a quote from a Platts article titled US nuclear power plants are safe, despite Jaczko remarks: NEI CEO.

US nuclear power plants are operating safely, and safety has been enhanced by upgrades since the Fukushima-1 accident in Japan, a nuclear industry representative said in response Tuesday to a former US Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman's remarks Monday about design flaws in plants.

''US nuclear energy facilities are operating safely,'' Nuclear Energy Institute President and CEO Marvin Fertel said. ''That was the case prior to Greg Jaczko's tenure as [US] Nuclear Regulatory Commission chairman. It was the case during his tenure as NRC's chairman, as acknowledged by the NRC's special Fukushima response task force and evidenced by a multitude of safety and performance indicators. It is still the case today, particularly as every US nuclear energy facility adds yet another layer of safety by implementing lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi accident.''

I'm not as polite or constrained, especially in the case in which someone like Jaczko is abusing his former politically appointed position in service of the taxpayers of the United States to take action that will impose enormous harm to both the environment and the economy. Nuclear plants are not only safe, they are reliable, economical generators of emission free electricity. They are well maintained, paid-for assets that can continue to operate into the distant future, just like our hydroelectric dams and other parts of our valuable, but inevitably aging infrastructure.

By coming out in opposition to the continued operation of those plants Dr. Jaczko has declared war on me, my colleagues, my children and my grandchildren. He deserves scorn and should stand ready to have his motives and his technical competence challenged by those of us who know he is dangerously wrong.

Jaczko has a few friends and defenders in both the media and in the government. Here is a clip from the Thom Hartman show in which he supports Jaczko's call for our operating nuclear plants to be replaced, but he increases Jaczko's demand for new technology to a call for ''No Nukes.''

Some of Jaczko's political defenders are in powerful positions. There is a rumor running around, which surfaced again during Dr. Ernest Moniz's hearing for confirmation as Secretary of Energy, that Senator Reid is pushing for Jaczko to be hired as a special advisor to the Department of Energy. That would be a travesty of almost epic proportions considering his dismal performance as Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and his proven disregard for both facts and for the law of the land. Those of us who see him for what he is need to stand up and challenge his credibility so that the additional damage he is able to do is as limited as possible.

I posted the following comment on a Grist post titled All U.S. nuclear reactors are too dangerous, says former nuke-safety chief:

Greg Jaczko is a politician with an unused degree in theoretical physics. He wrote his thesis about modeling the low energy behavior of baryons and mesons, a topic that helped him to spend his entire time at the University of Wisconsin without ever visiting its research reactor or taking any courses in thermodynamics, material science, nuclear power plant operation, or the health effects of radiation.

After being awarded his PhD in 1999, Greg immediately went to Washington, DC to a congressional office to work as a staffer, not to a research facility to perform post doc work. He chose to work for the most antinuclear congressman in the House, Rep. Ed Markey.

After three years with Markey, Jaczko marked time for a few months with a Senate staff and then began serving his current patron, Senator Harry Reid, as a ''science advisor''. His main assignment was to halt all progress on the Yucca Mountain waste facility; Senator Reid had promised his campaign contributors in Las Vegas that he would not allow that facility to operate. Reid, of course, never talked to the people in Nye County, where the facility was located, to find out how they felt about the jobs that the work was bringing to their community.

By blocking about 100 judicial nominations, Reid was able to coerce the Bush Administration to appoint Mr. Jaczko to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Jaczko focused on the non-nuclear topic of fire protection for his first few years on the Commission, but even then, he demonstrated a lack of atomic understanding and a lack of interest in learning anything about the use of nuclear fission to produce reliable electrical power. That is a topic for which theoretical physicists have as much relevant education as a registered nurse.

There is no doubt in my mind that Greg has a plan. He apparently dreams of being a well-compensated antinuclear activist. His career models are Victor Gilinsky and Peter Bradford, two former NRC regulators that have made long careers as antinuclear activists.

He will probably deny that he understands that fighting nuclear energy simply increases the market for coal, oil and natural gas. He will most likely profess that he does not realize that working to prevent as many plants as possible and forcing as many operating plants as possible to stop producing electricity is the primary revenue source for many nonprofit groups.

That activity is the main reason that antinuclear organizations have little or no trouble raising funds from The Establishment. Bankers, rail interests, pipeline constructors, and fossil fuel extractors like selling as much fossil fuel as possible at a price that is driven higher by reducing competitive supplies.

I am fully aware of libel laws and actually hope that Mr. Jaczko determines that he would like to challenge any of my statements.

Rod AdamsPublisher, Atomic Insights


BBC News - Dr Katharine Giles cycle death: Tribute to UCL scientist

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Wed, 10 Apr 2013 16:21

10 April 2013Last updated at08:40 ETA cyclist killed in a crash in central London was a talented scientist and lecturer doing research on global warming, her employer has said.

Dr Katharine Giles was cycling to work at University College London (UCL) when she was involved in a collision with a tipper truck in Victoria on Monday.

She had travelled to the Arctic and the Antarctic to study the sea ice.

Dr Giles had a "bright future" and was "ready to provide the next generation of leadership" in the field, UCL said.

She was the second cyclist to be killed in the capital this year.

A statement from Dr Giles's family said: "Katharine was a talented scientist responsible for groundbreaking work on global warming.

"Her family are very grateful for all the support and appreciation shown to them over this tragic loss."

'Outrageous unfairness'Dr Giles had taken on new commitments at the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at UCL following the accidental death of her colleague Seymour Laxon earlier this year.

A statement from the head of the earth sciences department, Prof Phil Meredith, said: "Coming so soon after the accidental death of Katharine's own closest colleague, Seymour Laxon, we are all left with a sense of the outrageous unfairness with which some of our best colleagues have been taken from us.

"Katharine had a bright future ahead of her. She graduated with a first-class degree in earth and space sciences from UCL, studied under Seymour for her PhD, and went on to forge her own career as a research fellow and most recently as a university lecturer.

"We greatly admired the bravery and sense of purpose with which she took on the many commitments in CPOM following Seymour's demise, and it was clear that she was ready to provide the next generation of leadership in that field.

"This makes it all the more difficult for us to accept that Katharine won't now have the opportunity to reach the heights she was sure to achieve."

The crash happened during the Monday morning rush hour at the junction between Victoria Street and Palace Street.

Seymour Laxon obituary | From the Guardian | The Guardian

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Wed, 10 Apr 2013 16:20

Seymour Laxon's work led to the first detailed map of the Arctic gravity field. Photograph: Katharine Giles

My friend Seymour Laxon, who has died aged 49 after sustaining a head injury during a fall, was an internationally respected Earth scientist. Seymour used satellites to observe the polar ice caps and the focus of his research was sea ice, a key factor in understanding the global climate since it acts as a barrier to heat and moisture exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere.

Seymour was the only child of Veronica, a psychology lecturer, and Bill, a civil engineer and pioneer of computer-aided design. Inheriting his father's interest in computers, as a teenager Seymour was one of the generation who cut their teeth programming the first home computers in the early 1980s.

He studied physics and astronomy at University College London, where his neat and structured lecture notes showed a clear and well-organised mind at work. It was no surprise when he went on to undertake a PhD at UCL's Mullard Space Science Laboratory in Surrey. There, he met his partner of 19 years Fiona Strawbridge.

Seymour's scientific breakthrough was to distinguish the ice surface from the water surface in satellite radar altimeter measurements of ice-covered oceans. This led to the first detailed map of the Arctic gravity field, revealing new tectonic features beneath the seafloor, and water circulation beneath the ice. His work helped give the European Space Agency the confidence to build CryoSat, a satellite dedicated to observing the Earth's ice-covered regions, launched in 2010.

Seymour taught at UCL's department of space and climate physics, before moving to the department of Earth sciences, where he was director of the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling. He was awarded his chair in climate physics in 2012.

He approached his work, as he did his life, with energy, integrity and good humour. With the generosity to share his knowledge and encourage others, he built a strong research team of well-trained and motivated young people who will continue his work.

Seymour was sociable and popular. Although brought up a city boy in north London, he loved the great outdoors and enjoyed cycling, camping and hillwalking. Outside work, his proudest achievement was his daughter, Imogen.

He is survived by Fiona and Imogen, and his mother, Veronica.

EQ Machine

U.S. offers to help Iran after deadly quake

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Source: Reuters: World News

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 15:01

TweetShare thisEmailPrintDamaged houses are seen in the earthquake stricken town of Bushehr in Iran, April 9, 2013, in this handout photo from ISNA.

Credit: Reuters/Mohammad Salehinia/ISNA

WASHINGTON | Wed Apr 10, 2013 3:31pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House, at odds with Iran over its nuclear program, offered on Wednesday to help Tehran grapple with a deadly earthquake in southern Iran.

The powerful 6.3 magnitude quake struck close to Iran's only nuclear power station on Tuesday, killing 37 people and injuring 850 as it destroyed homes and devastated two small villages, Iranian media reported.

Caitlin Hayden, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said in a statement the American people extended condolences to the people of Iran for the devastation that resulted from the quake.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of life and the destruction that's been caused by this disaster, and stand ready to help the Iranian people in this time of need," she said.

The two countries remain at loggerheads over Iran's alleged pursuit of a nuclear weapon. President Barack Obama vowed on a trip to Israel last month that the United States would not allow Tehran to possess a nuclear weapon.

(Reporting By Steve Holland; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Iran: 33 killed in strong earthquake

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Source: 33 World News

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 11:56

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Drone Nation

New Evidence That Team Obama Misled Us About the Drone War - Conor Friedersdorf - The Atlantic

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Wed, 10 Apr 2013 11:34

The Obama Administration is deliberately misleading Americans about the drone war it is waging in Pakistan.

Can anyone read the McClatchy Newspapers summary of top-secret intelligence reports and continue to deny it? Set aside the morality and effectiveness of the CIA's targeted-killing program. Isn't it important for Congress and the people to know the truth about the War on Terrorism? Many Americans remain furious that the Bush Administration gave Iraq War speeches that elided inconvenient truths and implied facts that turned out to be fictions. Is the objection merely that the Iraq War turned out badly? Or is misleading Congress and the public itself problematic, especially when the subject is as serious as killing people in foreign countries?To justify frequent drone strikes that regularly kill innocent people, risk serving as a terrorist recruiting tool, and terrorize whole communities understandably averse to drones buzzing above their homes, Obama Administration officials give the impression that al-Qaeda terrorists are the main targets. As it turns out, they haven't just helped hide the fact that the Bush Administration kicked off America's drone campaign in Pakistan by killing someone at the request of Pakistan's government -- as Jonathan S. Landay explains, Obama officials have misled us about their own behavior. "Contrary to assurances it has deployed U.S. drones only against known senior leaders of al Qaida and allied groups, the Obama administration has targeted and killed hundreds of suspected lower-level Afghan, Pakistani and unidentified 'other' militants in scores of strikes in Pakistan's rugged tribal area, classified U.S. intelligence reports show," he reports.

The misleading rhetoric includes words spoken by President Obama himself:

The administration has said that strikes by the CIA's missile-firing Predator and Reaper drones are authorized only against "specific senior operational leaders of al Qaida and associated forces" involved in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks who are plotting "imminent" violent attacks on Americans. "It has to be a threat that is serious and not speculative," President Barack Obama said in a Sept. 6, 2012, interview with CNN. "It has to be a situation in which we can't capture the individual before they move forward on some sort of operational plot against the United States." Copies of the top-secret U.S. intelligence reports reviewed by McClatchy, however, show that drone strikes in Pakistan over a four-year period didn't adhere to those standards.

Read more here:

In fact, the documents "show that drone operators weren't always certain who they were killing." Under what legal theory does the Obama Administration justify that behavior? It won't tell us.Instead John Brennan is trotted out to mislead us while acting as if he is being admirably forthcoming. "On April 30, 2012, Brennan gave the most detailed explanation of Obama's drone program. He referred to al Qaida 73 times, the Afghan Taliban three times and mentioned no other group by name," Landay writes. But the classified documents McClatchy reviewed demonstrate that, during the months about which they have information, al-Qaeda members were a minority of people killed by drones, and killing senior al-Qaeda leaders was rare.

I've written before about how the Obama Administration misleadingly invokes and twists the word "imminent." I've also complained about the effort to portray Hellfire missiles as "surgical" instruments. Proponents of drone strikes talk about how unmanned aerial vehicles can hover for hours to verify that the person in their sites is an appropriate target and avoid killing anyone else. That's a misleading account of how things sometimes work in the field, as retired Brig. Gen. Craig Nixon explained to an audience I was in last year at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

The McClatchy report concludes with another example of a drone strike gone wrong:

Consider one attack on Feb. 18, 2010.

Information, according to one U.S. intelligence account, indicated that Badruddin Haqqani, the then-No. 2 leader of the Haqqani network, would be at a relative's funeral that day in North Waziristan. Watching the video feed from a drone high above the mourners, CIA operators in the United States identified a man they believed could be Badruddin Haqqani from the deference and numerous greetings he received. The man also supervised a private family viewing of the body.

Yet despite a targeting process that the administration says meets "the highest possible standards," it wasn't Badruddin Haqqani who died when one of the drone's missiles ripped apart the target's car after he'd left the funeral.

It was his younger brother, Mohammad.

Friends later told reporters that Mohammad Haqqani was a religious student in his 20s uninvolved in terrorism; the U.S. intelligence report called him an active member -- but not a leader -- of the Haqqani network. At least one other unidentified occupant of his vehicle perished, according to the report.

In its drone-strike database, the New America Foundation scores that drone strike as having killed three to four "militants," zero unknown persons, and zero civilians. I've argued that the New America data very likely undercounts the number of civilians that are killed in drone strikes.

There has long been evidence indicating the Obama Administration was misleading the country about the nature of its drone war in Pakistan. This latest report only confirms the suspicions that critics of the program have articulated. And there is reason to believe that even it understates the magnitude of executive branch deception. Says Marcy Wheeler, "This report is perhaps most interesting for the fact that CIA, in its own documents, claims that none of the 40-some people killed at Datta Khel on May 17, 2011 were civilians. In other words, the CIA is lying -- even internally -- about drone strikes as blatantly as it did about torture." The New York Times report on that strike stated that "missiles fired from American drone aircraft struck a meeting of local people in northwest Pakistan who had gathered with Taliban mediators to settle a dispute over a chromite mine. The attack, a Pakistani intelligence official said, killed 26 of 32 people present, some of them Taliban fighters, but the majority elders and local people not attached to the militants. The civilian death toll appeared to be among the worst in the scores of strikes carried out recently in Pakistan's tribal areas by the C.I.A., which runs the drones."

The appropriate response when a president is caught misleading the country about a war he's waging is more scrutiny. There's no telling what else the Obama Administration is hiding. It is the job of Congress to find out, and the prerogative of Americans to know the nature of killing done on their behalf.


she-who-remembers : Message: Opium Production on Rise

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Mon, 08 Apr 2013 06:29

By TODD PITMAN Associated PressBANGKOK October 31, 2012 (AP)The cultivation of illegal opium has increased in Myanmar for a sixth successive year, fueled in part by rising demand for heroin across Asia, the United Nations said Wednesday.

The upsurge comes despite a government campaign to eradicate the crop from the Southeast Asian nation, which has won praise worldwide for taking major steps toward democratic reform after the long-ruling military junta ceded power last year.

Myanmar is the world's second-largest producer of opium after Afghanistan, accounting for about 25 percent of global poppy production, according to the U.N.

The rise in output of opium ¸ the raw ingredient used to make heroin ¸ was documented in the latest annual survey by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.

The report said farmland under opium cultivation rose by 17 percent this year, up from about nearly 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres) in 2011 to 51,000 hectares (126,000 acres) in 2012.

Myanmar's illegal crop is farmed mostly in Kachin and Shan states. The two areas, located along the country's borders with China, Thailand and Laos, have been plagued by fighting between insurgent groups and the army.

Poppy is highly lucrative for impoverished farmers in need of cash, and the fact it can fetch as much as 19 times that of rice poses a huge challenge to government efforts to eradicate it.

The estimated 690 metric tons produced in Myanmar in 2012 was valued at roughly $359 million, the report said. That output was up from an estimated 610 metric tons last year.

"One probable factor behind the resurgence in opium production in Southeast Asia is the demand for opiates, both locally and in the region in general," the report said.

The vast majority of consumers are in China, with opiate users in East Asia and the Pacific Ocean region accounting for about one quarter of the world's total.

The swath of Southeast Asia where the borders of Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet is known as the Golden Triangle. It produced more than half of the world's opium in 1990 and one third in 1998.

A year later, Myanmar set out to become opium-free by 2014. That campaign had made considerable strides, but production has risen every year since 2006 as demand and prices grew.

The latest U.N. survey indicated the government has stepped up efforts to curtail output.

Citing government figures, the report said the government had eradicated poppies on about 24,000 hectares of land in 2012, compared to 7,000 hectares the previous year.

The 236 percent increase "is a significant increase on the area reported as eradicated in previous years."

--visit http://SheWhoRemembers.Org


VIDEO-Obama Says FULLY Automatic Weapons at Sandy Hook - YouTube

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Tue, 09 Apr 2013 16:26

VIDEO-Beyonce, Jay Z Trip to Cuba 'Fully Licensed' by Treasury Department | The Weekly Standard

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Tue, 09 Apr 2013 16:22

The Treasury Department "fully licensed" Beyonce and Jay Z's trip to Cuba, according to Reuters.

"American pop star Beyonce and rapper husband Jay Z visited Havana last week on a cultural trip that was fully licensed by the United States Treasury Department, according to a source familiar with the trip," Reuters reports.

"Beyonce and Jay Z celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in the Cuban capital, where big crowds greeted them as they strolled hand in hand through the city and posed for pictures with admiring Cubans.

"The longstanding U.S. trade embargo against Cuba prevents most Americans from traveling to the island without a license granted by the U.S. government, though President Barack Obama's administration has eased restrictions on travel to Cuba for academic, religious or cultural programs."

The Treasury Department is led by Secretary Jack Lew, President Obama's former chief of staff.

At today's White House press briefing, spokesman Jay Carney said it was a Treasury Dept. decision:

BREAKING! "North Korea Could Be Planning Multiple Missile Launches At ANY MOMENT!"

"NATO" Air Strike Kills 11 Children In Afghanistan

"To Imagine Little Ones 5 And 6 Year Old Whose Bodies Were Riddled!" Congresswoman Jackson Lee

South Korea Raises Threat Level As "Region Inches Towards Thermonuclear War"

Like in Chicago? CNN's Amanpour Says Stricter Gun Laws Equals Less Gun Crime

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Source: MRCTV - News & Politics

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 11:49

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CNN's Christiane Amanpour, arguing for more gun control on Tuesday night's Piers Morgan Live, stated, "The fact of the matter is that in states inside the United States where there are tougher gun laws, there is lower gun crime."

By citing states Amanpour ignored the problem of gun violence in cities like Chicago, which has strict gun laws.

Growing Concern Over New Strain Of Bird Flu

"The Cops Came In Two And A Half Minutes To Sandy Hook"

VIDEO-Justin Timberlake Leads the Obamas In a Charming Otis Redding Sing-Along

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Wed, 10 Apr 2013 14:50

Last night, President Obama and the First Lady hosted the 10th concert in the In Performance at the White House series. Justin Timberlake, professional charmer and sometimes-crooner, encouraged his hosts to join him for Otis Redding's "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay." Timberlake appealed to the whole ragtag bunch of fancy concert-goers by cajoling: "Mr. President, everybody, come on!"

This is not the first time Timberlake and Obama have worked collaboratively on a track; the President covered "SexyBack" in January 2013 (not really, duh, but here it is if you're into this sort of thing).

Last night's In Performance at the White House was set to honor Memphis Soul, especially the music produced there in the mid to late 1960s. The concert included performances from a fantastic selection of musicians like Mavis Staples, Sam Moore, Steve Cropper, Booker T. Jones, Charlie Musselwhite, as well as Alabama Shakes. PBS will broadcast the full performance on April 16. More sing-along moments not promised.

Remember this? The best.

[Pigeons & Planes | Consequence of Sound]

VIDEO-The Purge - Official Trailer (2013) [HD] - YouTube

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Wed, 10 Apr 2013 13:57

VIDEO-George Carlin - Life is Worth Losing (Greek Subtitles) on Vimeo

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Tue, 09 Apr 2013 16:12

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