The Real Welfare Problem: Government Giveaways To The Corporate 1% - (Sept. 3, 2012 - by John Atcheson - Common Dreams) - It’s about handouts to the uber-rich and the corporations.
Bottom line: if you’re a Fortune 500 company or a member of the wealthiest 1%, you’re getting welfare, and a hell of a lot of it.
If you’re one of the dreaded entitlement crowd – which, if you include social security and Medicare, is the vast majority of the remaining 99% -- you’re getting chicken feed, and the Republicans want to take even this meager sustenance away.
Hackers Release 1 Million Apple Device IDs Allegedly Stolen From FBI Laptop - (Sept. 4, 2012 - by Kim Zetter - Wired) - The hacker group AntiSec has released 1 million Apple device IDs that they say they obtained from an FBI computer they hacked.
The hackers say they actually stole 12 million IDs, including personal information, from the hacked FBI computer, but released only 1 million in an encrypted file published on torrent sites.
In a lengthy post online, the hackers wrote that last March, they hacked a laptop belonging to an FBI agent named Christopher K. Stangl from the bureau’s Regional Cyber Action Team and the New York FBI office’s Evidence Response Team.
The hackers say the IDs were stored in a file on Stangl’s desktop titled “NCFTA_iOS_devices_intel.csv.”
The file, according to the hackers, contained a list of more than 12 million Apple iOS devices, including Unique Device Identifiers (UDID), user names, names of devices, types of devices, Apple Push Notification Service tokens, ZIP codes, cellphone numbers, and addresses. The hackers released only 1 million UDIDs, however, and did not release the accompanying personal information for the IDs.
Apple UDIDs are a 40-character alphanumeric string that is unique to each Apple device.
It’s not known why the FBI possessed the Apple IDs. The hackers suggested in a tweet from the the @AnonymousIRC account, that the FBI was using the information to track users.
The hackers say they released the Apple UDIDs so that people would know that the FBI may be tracking their devices and also because, they wrote in their online post, “we think it’s the right moment to release this knowing that Apple is looking for alternatives for those UDID currently … but well, in this case it’s too late for those concerned owners on the list.”
Apple has been criticized for hard-coding the ID’s in devices, since they can be misused by application developers and others to identify a user, when combined with other information, and track them. Last April, Apple began rejecting applications that track UDIDs.
The Algorithmic Copyright Cops: Streaming Video’s Robotic Overlords - (Sept. 6, 2012 - by Geeta Dayal - Wired) - As live streaming video surges in popularity, so are copyright “bots” — automated systems that match content against a database of reference files of copyrighted material. These systems can block streaming video in real time, while it is still being broadcast, leading to potentially worrying implications for freedom of speech.
A swarm of tech companies are rushing in to provide technical solutions to enforce copyright in online sharing communities and video-streaming sites. Those players include Vobile, Attributor, Audible Magic, and Gracenote. And they’re thriving, despite the fact that U.S. copyright law, as modified by the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, doesn’t require sites that host user-created content to preemptively patrol for copyright violations.“The companies that are selling these automated takedown systems are really going above and beyond the requirements set for them in the DMCA, and as a result are favoring the interests of a handful of legacy media operators over the free-speech interest of the public,” says Parker Higgins, an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. - http://tinyurl.com/8cs4gun
Tracking School Children With RFID Tags? It’s All About the Benjamins - (Sept. 7, 2012 - by David Kravets - Wired) - It was only a matter of time. Radio frequency identification devices are a daily part of the electronic age, and are fast becoming a part of passports, libraries and payment cards, and are widely expected to replace bar-code labels on consumer goods.And it appears that the educational move to Big Brother-style monitoring is motivated mainly by money, despite privacy and health concerns. - http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/09/rfid-chip-student-monitoring
9/11: Explosive Evidence - Experts Speak Out - (91 min. - video) - (Sept., 2012 - PBS) - Over 40 experts in high-rise architecture, structural engineering, metallurgy, chemistry, physics, explosives, and controlled demolition share their professional expertise and insights about the events of 9/11. Additionally, 8 psychological experts discuss why proving controlled demolition of the three World Trade Center skyscrapers can be so difficult for individuals to accept. - http://video.pbs.org/video/2270078138
Why Your Cellphone Could Be Called A 'Tracker' - (16-1/2 min. - audio) - (September 6, 2012 - Fresh Air/NPR) - Your cellphone is a tracking device collecting a lot more information about you than you may think, says ProPublica investigative reporter Peter Maass.
"They are collecting where we are — not just at one particular moment in the day, but at virtually every moment of the day," Maass tells Fresh Air…. "They are also taking note of what we are buying, how we're purchasing it, how often we're purchasing it." - http://www.npr.org/2012/09/06/160627856
The Secrets In A Cigarette - (30 min. - audio) - (September 6, 2012 - Science Friday/NPR) - In his book Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition, historian Robert Proctor, an expert on the tobacco industry, reveals little-known secrets of the cigarette. The book is a 737-page indictment of the tobacco industry, loaded with secrets about smoke and smoking you may have never known, like that filters don't filter, he says, or that cigarette smoke is radioactive and contains Polonium-210, or that only two-thirds of an American cigarette is tobacco, the rest additives, hundreds of them like antifreeze, ammonia, high fructose corn syrup, carob beans, cocoa, licorice, and over 100 other additives. - http://www.npr.org/2012/09/07/160752629
BBC Admits ‘Al Qaeda’ Never Existed - (10-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video) - The title is misleading. This clip is from a film made in three parts and broadcast by the BBC in 2004. But the message is accurate. Robin Cook MP and former Foreign Secretary wrote an article in The Guardian revealing Al-Qaida, literally "the database", "...was originally the computer file of the thousands of mujahideen who were recruited and trained with help from the CIA to defeat the Russians.
Public Security – The Greatest Casualty Of The Drug War - (September 11, 2012 - by Laura Carlsen - Americas Program) - In stops all around the country, the Caravan for Peace has found that convincing people that the war on drugs is destructive and wasteful is not the problem. The polls show the public came to this conclusion long ago and now close to a majority favor what used to be considered “radical” solutions like legalizing and regulating marijuana. Although most people weren’t aware of the impact of the violence in Mexico, it’s immediately obvious to them that the drug war—trying to block supply in places like Mexico and stop consumption by criminalizing drugs in the U.S.– is not working. Anywhere.
The question then is: If a public consensus on the failure of the drug war, why hasn’t anything changed?
Why does the U.S. government continue to send millions of tax dollars to cities to fight the drug war, as they close down schools for lack of funds? Why does it waste more millions financing a bloody war in Mexico? Why does the Mexican government continue to pay the economic and political cost of a disastrous and destabilizing war? The U.S. has spent 2 billion dollars on the Mexican drug war in the past five years, mostly through the Merida Initiative and the Mexican government has spent at least four times that much.
To answer these questions, we have to look behind the scenes of the drug war. There we find that this disastrous policy has some powerful promoters. - http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/09/11-2
Is Privacy Dead? 4 Government and Private Entities Conspiring to Track Everything You Do Online and Off - (September 10, 2012 - AlterNet) - The police-corporate surveillance “complex” is being consolidated, drawing ever-closer corporate tracking and government surveillance. - http://tinyurl.com/8qj6fzt
In 5 Minutes!
(5 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Sick Money: How Mitt Romney's Bain Investments Are Exploding The Deficit And Harming Our Health - (September 12, 2012 - AlterNet) - Few individuals or organizations have been as influential as Mitt Romney and Bain Capital in worsening our runaway healthcare costs, causing unnecessary suffering, or accelerating our government's long-term deficit problem. Their highly leveraged investment strategy puts healthcare companies under enormous pressure to increase revenue. They often respond by overbilling -- or worse, by encouraging unnecessary medical treatments that can include anything from non-invasive tests to heart surgery.
I spent many years working in healthcare economics: running health service companies, projecting health plan costs for governments and employers, and analyzing healthcare investments. I've reviewed hospital bills in detail and seen shocking things: Thousands of dollars for bandages and gauze during a surgery; a 12,000-percent markup on ointments; a $250 charge for the lightbulb in a projector the hospital claimed was used during surgery.
I've seen hucksters put red filters over an ordinary flashlight, call it an "infrared" healing device, and charge insurance companies or hapless patients for their use. And I've seen hundreds of cases of human tragedy brought on by unnecessary surgeries performed solely for money. I can't say I was always on the side of the angels, but I can say this: Before Bain, I had never seen behavior that was as consistently bad as we're seeing today.Mitt Romney and Bain Capital paved the way for other investors in healthcare. Their greed has caused explosive growth in a cost and overtreatment spiral that's threatening Medicare, our healthcare system, and arguably -- us. - http://tinyurl.com/9t45lot
(6 min. - YouTube audio/video)
How To Stop Facebook From Tracking You - (Sept. 12, 2012 - by Samantha Felix - Business Insider) - Most people don't realize that Facebook can continue to monitor their internet activity, even if they are no longer logged into the site.
Using "Facebook Connect," and other social plug-ins, Facebook is able to set up a cookie on any site that has a "Like" or "share" button, giving Facebook access to a startling amount of user information. Technically, the purpose of these plug-ins is to authenticate users, but it still has the ability to collect personal information such as the IP address of your computer, browsing data, outside login information, phone numbers, etc.
The cookie, known as the "datr" cookie, has been a controversial topic for the past year. Using this cookie, among other things, Facebook knows what you have read on a web page even if you did not click the "like" button. As the Wall Street Journal reported, "for this to work, a person only needs to have logged into Facebook or Twitter once in the past month. The sites will continue to collect browsing data, even if the person closes their browser or turns off their computers."
To help users control how and when their information is tracked and distributed, companies such as Abine and Ghostery have developed tools that allow users to block Facebook social plug-ins, cookies, and other trackers.We identified five practical options for consideration, including an option for web site publishers that will help protect their customers from trackers while keeping their websites running smoothly. - http://tinyurl.com/9txpq6q
Flight 93 Eyewitness
Says Flight 93
Was Shot Down
(2-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Kent State: Was It about Civil Rights or Murdering Student Protesters? - (Sept. 11, 2012 - by Laurel Krause with Mickey Huff - Project Censored) - This article is from our forthcoming book, Censored 2013: Dispatches from the Media Revolution, and intends to expose the lies of the state in order to uncensor the “unhistory” of the Kent State massacre, while also aiming toward justice and healing, as censoring the past impacts our perspectives in the present.
When Ohio National Guardsmen fired sixty-seven gun shots in thirteen seconds at Kent State University (KSU) on May 4, 1970, they murdered four unarmed, protesting college students and wounded nine others. For forty-two years, the United States government has held the position that Kent State was a tragic and unfortunate incident occurring at a noontime antiwar rally on an American college campus. In 2010, compelling forensic evidence emerged showing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) were the lead agencies in managing Kent State government operations, including the cover-up. At Kent State, lawful protest was pushed into the realm of massacre as the US federal government, the state of Ohio, and the Ohio National Guard (ONG) executed their plans to silence antiwar protest in America.
The new evidence threatens much more than the accuracy of accounts of the Kent State massacre in history books. As a result of this successful, ongoing Kent State government cover-up, American protesters today are at much greater risk than they realize, with no real guarantees or protections offered by the US First Amendment rights to protest and assemble. This chapter intends to expose the lies of the state in order to uncensor the “unhistory” of the Kent State massacre, while also aiming toward justice and healing, as censoring the past impacts our perspectives in the present.
[….]The hidden truth finally began to emerge at the fortieth anniversary of the Kent State massacre in May 2010, through the investigative journalism of John Mangels, science writer at the Cleveland, whose findings supported the long-held suspicion that the four dead in Ohio were intentionally murdered at Kent State University by the US government. - http://tinyurl.com/8kqy54p
Government Sponsored Technologies For Weather Modification - (Sept. 30, 2011 - Top 25 of 2012 - Project Censored) - Rising global temperatures, increasing population and degradation of water supplies have created broad support for the growing field of weather modification. The US government has conducted weather modification experiments for over half a century, and the military-industrial complex stands poised to capitalize on these discoveries.
One of the latest programs is HAARP, the High Frequency Active Aural Research Program. This technology can potentially trigger floods, droughts, hurricanes and earthquakes. The scientific idea behind HAARP is to “excite” a specific area of the ionosphere and observe the physical processes in that excited area with intention of modifying ecological conditions. HAARP can also be used as a weapon system, capable of selectively destabilizing agricultural and ecological systems of entire regions.
Another Environmental Modification (EnMod) program is that of atmospheric geoengineering, or cloud seeding, which has found new life since the global warming scare. Cloud seeding involves creating cirrus clouds from airplane contrails. Unlike regular contrails, which dissolve in minutes, these artificial contrails can last from several hours to days. Once the artificial clouds have been created, they are used to reflect solar or manmade radiation.
At a recent international symposium, scientists asserted that “manipulation of climate through modification of cirrus clouds is neither a hoax nor a conspiracy theory.” The only conspiracy surrounding geoengineering is that most governments and industry refuse to publicly admit what anyone can see in the sky or discover in peer-reviewed research. The Belfort Group has been working to raise public awareness about toxic aerial spraying, popularly referred to as chemtrails. However, scientists preferred the term ‘persistent contrails’ to describe the phenomenon, in an attempt to move the inquiry away from amateur conspiracy theories.
Dr. Vermeeren, Delft University of Technology, presented a 300-page scientific report entitled, “CASE ORANGE: Contrail Science, Its Impact on Climate and Weather Manipulation Programs Conducted by the United States and Its Allies.” He stated clearly, “Weather manipulation through contrail formation… is in place and fully operational.” Vermeeren mentioned a 1991 patent now held by Raytheon, a private defense contractor, with “18 claims to reduce global warming through stratospheric seeding with aluminum oxide… thorium oxide … and refractory Welsbach material.” Authors of the study expressed concern that Raytheon, a private corporation, makes daily flights spraying these materials in our skies with apparently minimal government oversight. Raytheon is the same company that holds the HAARP contract with the US. - http://tinyurl.com/7vv8n4a
Pilots For 9/11 Truth:
(6-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
(6 min. - YouTube audio/video)
FBI Rolling Out High-Tech 'Big Brother' Monitoring System - (Sept. 10, 2012 - By David Jeffers - PCWorld) - Thanks to the FBI, the United States government will soon have a nationwide system in place capable of monitoring and identifying “persons of interest” virtually anywhere. The Next Generation Identification (NGI) system….
NGI will include voice recognition, iris and retina scan data, facial recognition, DNA analysis, and more in an automated system….
NGI is designed to integrate with surveillance camera systems across the country. An algorithm will be used to automatically scan surveillance video and compare faces….
For privacy advocates, though, there’s a huge difference between using your own biometric features as a security measure to protect your computers and mobile devices, and “Big Brother” rolling out a nationwide system to automate the capability to spy on the entire population. Privacy advocates are concerned about the possible abuse of the system, or the prospect that unauthorized users might be able to hack the system and gain access to sensitive data. - http://www.pcworld.com/article/262071
Virgin Mobile Shrugs As Coder Warns Accounts Are Easily Hijacked - (Sept. 17, 2012 - by Ryan Singel - Wired) - Virgin Mobile U.S. promises its customers that it uses “standard industry practices” to protect its customers’ personal data – but according to a Silicon Valley web developer, any first-year coder can bust into a subscriber’s account, see who they call and text, register a different phone on the account and even purchase a new iPhone.
That’s according to developer Kevin Burke, who discovered the flaws on his own account in August and notified the company, only to be told that the company had no intention of fixing its systems. Virgin Mobile U.S. serves millions of customers through pre-paid plans and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sprint.
Virgin Mobile U.S. account security uses a customer’s phone number as the account name, which is very guessable, and then requires a 6-digit PIN as the password — which only provides a million possible passwords. Even worse, the site allows as many password guesses as one likes — something Burke confirmed by writing a short script to guess his own password in a day.
Once an unauthorized user is in, they can change read a customer’s communication logs, register a different phone to lock the customer out and read their text messages, change their address and order a new phone with the credit card on file. They can also lock a user out by changing the PIN and e-mail address on the account — without notification to the previous address.
Burke, who works as a developer at Twilio, says he’s used to looking at security issues thanks to his day job, and noticed how weak the authentication system was. Once he proved to himself that anyone could bust in with a few lines of code, he contacted the company.
“I tried to escalate it following responsible disclosure principles,” Burke said. After eventually finding someone who understood the problem, Burke repeatedly followed up, only to eventually be told not to expect any change.He then decided to go public so that people would know they were at risk — though there’s nothing users can do to protect themselves, except not use Virgin Mobile. - http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/09/virgin-mobile
(8 min. - YouTube audio/video)
What's Really In Your Greek Yogurt? 5 Surprising Ways
Food Companies Cheat And Mislead Consumers - (Sept. 14, 2012
- AlterNet) -
Even the most savvy shopper could be persuaded
by some of these false claims. - http://tinyurl.com/9bxgdqq
Was Mars Murdered? - (36-1/4 min. -
YouTube audio) - (July 12, 2012 - Dreamland/Whitley Strieber) - Riveting new
information about Mars this week. Why are there indications that an enormous nuclear explosion might have taken place
on Mars eons ago? What caused Cydonia to look like an archaeological site?
Was Mars ever earthlike? [Plasma physicist] Dr. John Brandenburg lays out evidence [Xenon-129] for a huge nuclear explosion
that essentially destroyed life on Mars.
Dr. Brandenburg was one of the early researchers on the Cydonia project, and is now Senior Propulsion Scientist at the Orbital Technologies Corporation.
In this wide ranging interview, he tells us what he thinks might have happened to Mars in the distant past and why it is so universally associated in human legend with war and catastrophe.
Whitley Strieber and John Brandenburg have known each other for years, ever since Whitley became involved in the Mars project and contributed the funds that made the first analysis of the Mars face, conducted by Drs. Mark Carlotto and [astronaut] Brian O'Leary, possible.
As never before, this interview will open a completely new door for you into Mars's mysterious past. (Read John Brandenburg's book Life and Death on Mars.) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTk5aGj-L7s
A Close Look At Your Bills' 'Fine Print' - (20 min. - audio) - (September 20, 2012 - Fresh Air/NPR) - Americans are paying high prices for poor quality Internet speeds — speeds that are now slower than in other countries, according to author David Cay Johnston. He says the U.S. ranks 29th in speed worldwide.
In his new book, The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use "Plain English" to Rob You Blind, Johnston examines the fees that companies — such as cellphone and cable — have added over the years that have made bills incrementally larger.
Johnston says that telephone and cable companies worked the regulatory process and the legislatures and Congress to get the rules written for their benefit.
[….]An investigative reporter, Johnston worked for The New York Times for 13 years and won a Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for exposing loopholes in the American tax code. He is a columnist for Reuters. - http://www.npr.org/2012/09/20/161477162
Memo to Fracking Apologists: You're Hurting Renewables (and You're Greenwashing, Too) - (September 20, 2012 - by Wenonah Hauter - Food & Water Watch Blog) - Here’s a memo to the technocrats, pundits, environmental organizations and foundations that believe corporate collaborations and market-based solutions are the key to solving the critical environmental problems facing us. Why are you so afraid of fighting for what we really want—a future based on renewable energy and energy efficiency?
Any position short of a ban on fracking is hurting the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions in the long term, saddling us with 50 years of infrastructure to continue fracking for gas that will be exported around the world. It’s also helping to pave the way for a new phase of geopolitical dynamics (like we saw at Rio+20) where corporations are jostling to promote the market as the ultimate arbiter for the environment and corporations as the last hope for saving the planet.
Here are some of the arguments that are often used to greenwash fracking at the expense of a truly sustainable future: - http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/09/20-1
Online, Your Reading Habits Are An Open Book - (Sept. 24, 2012 - by Aisha Sultan, Home and Family Editor - St. Louis Post-Dispatch) - ST. LOUIS • Washington University law professor Neil M. Richards worries about a day when everyone knows what everyone else is reading.
From social reader apps, which automatically share what users are reading on Facebook, to tablets and e-reading devices, which store detailed reading data, the laws protecting individuals haven't kept up with technology, he says.
"The way we read is really changing," Richards said. "It used to be we could go to bookstore, with a $5 bill, and there would be no record that we had read that book."
That kind of privacy does not exist on tablet devices such as the new Kindle Fire HD, which became available earlier this month. The older Kindle Fire sold out last month and was described by Amazon as the "most successful product launch in the history" of the company.
Richards points out that when consumers read on devices such as the Kindle, "Amazon knows exactly who you are, all the books you have bought, what you are reading, what page you are on, which passages you've highlighted and how long it takes to read."
Corporations such as Apple with its popular iPad, Barnes and Noble with the Nook and Amazon know much more than librarians ever did about individual reading habits. But unlike librarians, who are bound by professional ethics and dozens of statutes protecting individuals, companies are guided by privacy policies they write themselves, Richards said.
Plus, they have a business interest in the information collected. - http://tinyurl.com/9azfmqy
Scientists: ’93 percent’ of Fox News climate change coverage is ‘staggeringly misleading’ - (September 24, 2012 - by Stephen C. Webster - TheRawStory) - When it comes to reporting on what scientists say about climate change, the Union of Concerned Scientists told Raw Story that their research shows Fox News can be counted upon to mislead its viewers.
In a study (PDF) published Monday, the group takes Fox News and The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial page to task for consistently misleading their audience on climate change. Data collected over six months showed that Fox News was the worst offender on climate issues between the two, allowing misleading statements to permeate “93 percent” of its broadcasts on the subject from February to July 2012. The Journal‘s editorial page did not fare much better, however: the Union said “81 percent” of their climate coverage from August 2011 to July 2012 was “misleading.”“[Fox News and The Wall Street Journal] both were staggering in the levels of misleading information about climate science,” Brenda Ekwurzel, a climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists, told Raw Story. “We found that both Fox News and [The Wall Street Journal] opinion page have staggeringly high levels of misinformation.” - http://tinyurl.com/9datgdb
Chinese Hackers Blamed For Intrusion At Energy Industry Giant Telvent - (Sept. 26, 2012 - KrebsOnSecrity) - A company whose software and services are used to remotely administer and monitor large sections of the energy industry began warning customers last week that it is investigating a sophisticated hacker attack spanning its operations in the United States, Canada and Spain. Experts say digital fingerprints left behind by attackers point to a Chinese hacking group tied to repeated cyber-espionage campaigns against key Western interests.
The attack comes as U.S. policymakers remain gridlocked over legislation designed to beef up the cybersecurity posture of energy companies and other industries that maintain some of the world’s most vital information networks.In letters sent to customers last week, Telvent Canada Ltd. said that on Sept. 10, 2012 it learned of a breach of its internal firewall and security systems. Telvent said the attacker(s) installed malicious software and stole project files related to one of its core offerings — OASyS SCADA — a product that helps energy firms mesh older IT assets with more advanced “smart grid” technologies. - http://tinyurl.com/bn4qjzx
Meet The Welfare Queens Of The 1%: The Moochers Mitt Missed Work For The Pentagon - (Sept. 26, 2012 - Forget the laid-off workers, disabled veterans and elderly retirees. Pentagon contractors are far more dependent on taxpayers to pay their way than Mitt Romney's fabled 47 percent…. - http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11781
There's Been A
Dictatorial Coup -- Koch Bros. Have A Bunch Of Czars Running Cities Across
Michigan - (Sept. 25, 2012
- By Jim Hightower - Hightower Lowdown) - This is a national scandal, and few people have
noticed. - http://tinyurl.com/9dcstll
Mitt Romney On
Plan To Buy And
(1-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
St. Louis Residents
(4-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Free 9/11 Documentaries & Videos - The definitive collection of 9/11 documentaries and videos. Watch 9/11 related documentaries and videos online for free. - http://www.911docs.net
The Events Of
September 11, 2001
5 Biggest Lies About America's Public Schools -- Debunked
United States of ALEC - (32 min. - video) - (Sept. 28, 2012 - Moyers & Company/PBS) - Moyers & Company presents “United States of ALEC,” a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of — ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. A national consortium of state politicians and powerful corporations, ALEC presents itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership”. But behind that mantra lies a vast network of corporate lobbying and political action aimed to increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge.
Using interviews, documents, and field reporting, the episode explores ALEC’s self-serving machine at work, acting in a way one Wisconsin politician describes as “a corporate dating service for lonely legislators and corporate special interests.”
In state houses around the country, hundreds of pieces of boilerplate ALEC legislation are proposed or enacted that would, among other things, dilute collective bargaining rights, make it harder for some Americans to vote, and limit corporate liability for harm caused to consumers — each accomplished without the public ever knowing who’s behind it. - http://billmoyers.com/segment/united-states-of-alec
Orwell Time: 5 Creepy New Ways You Are Being Tracked - (October 1, 2012 - AlterNet) - From GPS devices in candy bars to codes on headstones, we're living in a scary new world.
Is there any moment in life where you’re not being watched? It doesn’t seem so. - http://tinyurl.com/98u8l2n
Remote Vote Tampering Attack On A Sequoia AVC Voting Machine - (11 min. - YouTube audio/video) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ClrHPShljM
How Britain’s MI5 And The FBI Plotted To Destroy The Rolling Stones - (Sept. 30, 2012 - by Phillip Norman - The Daily Mail/UK) - …MI5 were operating on behalf of an FBI offshoot known as COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) set up by the FBI’s director, J. Edgar Hoover…. - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2210932
The Blueberry Deception: Fake Blueberries Made From Chemicals And Petroleum Byproducts - (3 min. - YouTube audio/video) - The blueberries found in blueberry bagels, cereals, breads and muffins are REAL blueberries right? Wrong! Award-winning investigative journalist Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, exposes the deceptive chemical ingredients and dishonest marketing of "blueberry" products from big-name food and cereal companies. The blueberries, it turns out, are made from artificial colors, hydrogenated oils and liquid sugars. (See more episodes at www.FoodInvestigations.com ) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_HjvjB4G5s
Homeland Security 'Fusion' Centers Spy On Citizens, Produce 'Shoddy' Work, Report Says - (October 2, 2012 - By Michael Isikoff - NBC News) - The ranking Republican on a Senate panel on Wednesday accused the Department of Homeland Security of hiding embarrassing information about its so-called "fusion" intelligence sharing centers, charging that the program has wasted hundreds of millions of dollars while contributing little to the country's counterterrorism efforts.
In a 107-page report released late Tuesday, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said that Homeland Security has spent up to $1.4 billion funding fusion centers -- in effect, regional intelligence sharing centers-- that have produced "useless" reports while at the same time collecting information on the innocent activities of [American citizens] that may have violated a federal privacy law.
The fusion centers, created under President George W. Bush and expanded under President Barack Obama, consist of special teams of federal , state and local officials collecting and analyzing intelligence on suspicious activities throughout the country. They have been hailed by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as “one of the centerpieces” of the nation’s counterterrorism efforts. --- [NOTE: The ubiquitous (particularly along streets and roadways throughout the U.S.) 24/7, 360-degree, inverted, black-dome surveillance cameras -- which are digitally archived and monitored via computer software, can observe, in extreme detail, all outdoor activity (and indoors though un-draped windows!) at distances of more than a mile -- are directly tied into these “fusion” centers. -- Bike Bob]
But Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the panel, charged Wednesday that Homeland Security had tried to bury evidence of problems at the centers.
The American Civil Liberties Union also issued a statement saying the report underscores problems that it and other civil liberty groups have been flagging for years. "The ACLU warned back in 2007 that fusion centers posed grave threats to Americans' privacy and civil liberties, and that they needed clear guidelines and independent oversight," said Michael German, ACLU senior policy counsel. "This report is a good first step, and we call upon Congress to hold public hearings to investigate fusion centers and their ongoing abuses.”
In addition to the value of much of the fusion centers’ work, the Senate panel found evidence of what it called “troubling” reports by some centers that may have violated the civil liberties and privacy of U.S. citizens. The evidence cited in the report could fuel a continuing controversy over claims that the FBI and some local police departments, notably New York City’s, have spied on [American citizens] without a justifiable law enforcement reason for doing so. Among the examples in the report: - http://tinyurl.com/9g4come
Sproul Says GOP Had Him Disguise Involvement In Voter Registration Scandal - (Oct. 3, 2012 - by Mark Karlin, Editor of BuzzFlash - TruthOut) - Overlooked in the rapidly escalating charges of massive GOP voter registration illegalities is an admission by the coordinator of the scheme: the shady Republican consultant, Nathan Sproul. Having a long history of legally questionable voter registration tactics, Sproul was a known public relations disaster to a party that had trumped up charges of Democratic voter fraud at the polls that was, according to the MinnPost, "virtually non-existent."
The MinnPost reports:
A News21 analysis of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases since 2000 shows that while fraud has occurred, the rate is infinitesimal, and in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tough voter ID laws, is virtually non-existent….
Analysis of the resulting comprehensive News21 election fraud database turned up 10 cases of voter impersonation. With 146 million registered voters in the United States during that time, those 10 cases represent one out of about every 15 million prospective voters.
So what have the Republicans been up to in creating national hysteria over a problem that doesn't exist? They've been up to, as Greg Palast and Brad Friedman (among others) have detailed, attempting to steal elections and succeeding at times (think Bush 2000) through a variety of strategies.One of them, championed by the disreputable Nathan Sproul, has been to aggressively register Republicans, even it appears without their consent, while refusing to register Democrats, as legally required, or allegedly dumping the registrations of Democrats into garbage bins. - http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/17552
The 10 Most Dangerous Religious Right Organizations - (October 2, 2012 - by Simon Brown - Church & State Magazine) - The religious right is more powerful than ever, using its massive annual revenue and grassroots troops to promote a right-wing ideology and undermine church and state separation.
The movement known as the Religious Right is the number-one threat to church-state separation in America. This collection of organizations is well funded and well organized; it uses its massive annual revenue and grassroots troops to undermine the wall of separation in communities nationwide.
Americans United staff members have carefully researched this movement, and here are the 10 Religious Right groups that pose the greatest challenges to church-state separation. Most of these organizations are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the tax code, but the financial data includes some affiliated 501(c)(4) lobbying organizations operating alongside the main organizations. The figures come from official IRS filings or other reliable sources. - http://tinyurl.com/8aqslv9
Cybercriminals Plotting Massive Banking Trojan Attack, Security Firm Warns - (Oct. 5, 2012 - By Jaikumar Vijayan - Computerworld) - An international gang of cyber crooks is plotting a major campaign to steal money from the online accounts of thousands of consumers at 30 or more major U.S. banks, security firm RSA warned.
In an advisory Thursday, RSA said it has information suggesting the gang plans to unleash a little-known Trojan program to infiltrate computers belonging to U.S. banking customers and to use the hijacked machines to initiate fraudulent wire transfers from their accounts.
…they now have individual consumer accounts in their crosshairs, Ahuvia said, warning that the gang plans to attempt to infiltrate computers in the U.S. with a little known Trojan malware program called Gozi Prinimalka.
The malware is an updated version of a much older banking Trojan, Gozi, which was used by cyber criminals to steal millions of dollars from U.S. banks. The group's plan apparently is to plant the Trojan program on numerous websites and to infect computers when users visit those sites.
The Trojan is triggered when the user of an infected computer types out certain words -- such as the name of a specific bank -- into a URL string.
Unlike the original Gozi, the new version is capable not only of communicating with a central command-and-control server but also of duplicating the victim's PC settings. The Trojan essentially supports a virtual machine cloning feature that can duplicate the infected PC's screen resolutions, cookies, time zone, browser type and version and other settings. That allow the attacker to access a victim's bank website using a computer that appears to have the infected PC's real IP address and other settings, Ahuvia said.
"Impersonated victims' accounts will thus be accessed via a SOCKS proxy connection installed on their infected PCs, enabling the cloned virtual system to take on the genuine IP address when accessing the bank's website," she said in her alert.
Victims of fraudulent wire transfers will not immediately know of the theft because the gang plans on using VoIP flooding software to prevent victims from getting bank notifications on their mobile devices, she added.
Consumers need to ensure that their browsers are properly updated to protect against drive by downloads, she said. They also need to watch for any suspicious behavior or transactions on their accounts. - http://www.pcworld.com/article/2011307
Do They Really Work?
(3 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Battling Bad Science
(14-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
The Unbelievable Ways Schools Are Now Monitoring Children -- Even What They're Eating - (October 5, 2012 - by David Rosen - AlterNet) - The digital tracking and surveillance of school-aged kids has been growing. - http://tinyurl.com/9fhtfbl
Wall St.'s Next Profit Scheme -- Buying Up Every Piece Of Your Home Town - (Sept. 27, 2012 - by Michael Hudson - AlterNet) - Across America, schools, roads, and water systems are for sale to the highest Wall Street bidder. - http://tinyurl.com/9z7dumz
Drug Maker Profits
Soar From Bilking States, Despite Record Medicaid Fraud Fines - (October 9, 2012
- Public Citizen) - Corporate ripoffs of taxpayers continue despite legal
settlements, a new report by Public Citizen finds. - http://tinyurl.com/9ytqqga
Be Warned: Your Computer May Be Stealing Your Money - (Oct. 10, 2012 - by Jerome Taylor - The Independent/UK) - Cyber security experts sound alarm over growing prevalence of sophisticated malware
Almost a third of all fraudulent banking transactions now originate from the customer's own computer, as cyber criminals use increasingly sophisticated malware to hijack accounts, online security specialists warned yesterday.
Using the latest trojan viruses, hackers infect a computer and communicate with their victims by pretending to be their bank, asking them for personal data which then enables them to log into their accounts and move money around. Until recently, less sophisticated malware meant that those hackers who had gained enough log-in data would still have to try to access a stolen account from a computer that was not the customer's, which often alerts a bank's al-arm systems and prompts further security questions.Now the latest software allows the hacker to remotely access an infected computer's bank account from the customer's own machine without them knowing. - http://tinyurl.com/8ceoa2f
The Ten Most Egregious Tax Loopholes In The U.S. - (Oct. 11, 2012 - by Chris Parker - St. Louis Riverfront Times) - A year ago Citizens for Tax Justice, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit, studied the tax returns of 280 corporations. What it found was a Beltway version of a Mafia protection scheme.
From 2008 to 2010 at least 30 Fortune 500 companies — including PepsiCo, Verizon, Wells Fargo and DuPont — paid more for lobbyists than they did in taxes. They collectively spent $476 million sucking up to Congress, buying protection for tax breaks, loopholes and special subsidies.
It didn't matter that these same 30 firms brought home a staggering $164 billion in profit during that three-year period. They not only managed to avoid paying taxes. They actually received $10.6 billion in rebates.
…there's another part of the tax code where 99 percent of America is barred from entry. It's where Congress sells loopholes and subsidies to those with the wallets to pay. They…saddle the rest of the country to make up the difference…. - http://www.riverfronttimes.com/content/printVersion/1708830
NRC Whistleblowers Warn Of Nuclear Accidents Caused By Dam Failures And Effort To Suppress Disclosure - (October 11, 2012 - Beyond Nuclear) - Independent warnings from government whistleblowers within the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) have surfaced alleging that U.S. nuclear power stations sited along major rivers and below reservoirs are vulnerable to a catastrophic nuclear accident following major dam failures.
In July 2011 with the flood waters along the Missouri River still rising around Nebraska’s Fort Calhoun nuclear power station, David Loveless, a NRC Senior Reactor Analyst concluded in a post-Fukushima technical review for the flood analysis at the nuclear power stations, that the reactor would not survive the gross failure of the Oahe dam—one of six dams on the Missouri River upstream from the nuke. Loveless cites analysis that a dam break would hit the reactor on the Missouri River with a wall of water knocking out electrical power systems and water pumps vital for reactor cooling. The group, Clean Nebraska, has recently written to NRC Chairwomen Allison Macfarland in an appeal to not allow the restart of the reactor pending a full investigation.
Then in September 2012, Richard Perkins, an Nuclear Reactor Regulations engineer and the lead author of “Flooding of U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Following Upstream Dam Failure,” asked the agency’s Office of Inspector General to investigate his allegations that the NRC “staff intentionally mischaracterized relevant and noteworthy safety information as sensitive, security information in an effort to conceal the information from the public” where “agency records that show the NRC has been in possession of relevant, notable, and derogatory safety information for an extended period but failed to properly act on it. Concurrently, the NRC concealed the information from the public.”
Perkins further charges that his concerns regard a government deliberate cover-up and violation of law involving fraudulent safety claims to surrounding communities and their representatives.Another NRC anonymous whistleblower, drew even more attention to risk of nuclear accidents following dam failure to the Oconee reactor in Senecca, South Carolina, stating, “The probability of Jocassee Dam catastrophically failing is hundreds of times greater than a 51 foot wall of water hitting Fukushima Daiichi,” the engineer said. “And, like the tsunami in Japan, the man-made ‘tsunami’ resulting from the failure of the Jocassee Dam will –- with absolute certainty –- result in the failure of three reactor plants along with their containment structures. - http://tinyurl.com/9kaa3kd
Education Profiteering: Wall Street's Next Big Thing? - (October 15, 2012 - by Jeff Faux - AlterNet) - Wall Street's involvement in the charter school movement is presented as an act of philanthropy, but it's really about greed. - http://tinyurl.com/8kzlnz9
Transparency Outsourced As U.S. Hires Vendors For Disclosure Aid - (Oct. 9, 2012 - by Danielle Ivory - Bloomberg) - The next time you submit a Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. government, it may end up in the hands of a company you’ve never heard of.
At least 25 federal agencies are outsourcing parts of the FOIA process. The contractors, sometimes using workers with security clearances, are building FOIA software, corresponding with requesters, redacting documents and recommending what information should be withheld. - http://tinyurl.com/8fj7qhp
Fast Food Companies Like Subway, McDonald’s And
Starbucks Are Gaming The System To Avoid Millions In Taxes - (October 15, 2012
- by Alex Kane - AlterNet) -
Each year taxpayers get stuck paying hundreds of dollars
more because of corporate tax avoidance. - http://tinyurl.com/96v3x4x
Romney Exposed - (41 min. - YouTube audio/video) - Romney's secrecy in business is detailed, and revealed; as well as his role as a drug money launderer for GHW Bush; his connection, through Bush, to CIA death squads in Central America; his role in 9-11; in the murder of US ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens; and the significance of his endorsement of and by Cheney. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9QA5B6U86s
UFO, Nuclear Site Ties - (Oct. 16, 2012 - The Columbia [MO] Daily Tribune) - http://tinyurl.com/9ua7rx2
Critical Java Patch Plugs 30 Security Holes - (Oct. 17, 2012 - by Brian Krebs - KrebsOnSecurity) - Broken record alert: If you need Java, update it now. Cyber thieves and malware love to use unpatched Java holes to break into systems, and miscreants are always looking for new Java exploits to use. If you don’t need Java, uninstall it; you can always reinstall it later.
If you need it for a specific Web site, I’d suggest unplugging it from the browser and adopting a two-browser approach. For example, if you normally browse the Web with Firefox, for example, consider disabling the Java plugin in Firefox, and then using an alternative browser (Chrome, IE9, Safari, etc.) with Java enabled to browse only the site that requires it.
Note that Oracle’s updater may pre-select the installation of some third-party product, such as McAfee Security Scan Plus. If you don’t want this software, be sure to de-select that option before updating. Also...if you opt for the two-browser approach and unplug Java from the browser, the plugin will be re-enabled after every update. - http://krebsonsecurity.com/2012/10/critical-java-patch-plugs-30-security-holes
Google: Let Us Opt Out Of Your Data Mining Machine - (Oct. 17, 2012 - by - Doug Miller - Wired) - Google’s answer to this is “competition is one click away.” If you don’t like how Google treats your private data then you can use someone else’s product.
Yet this answer does not ring true for users who are forced to use Google’s services because their employer or school has adopted Google Apps for Business, Education and Government. In this case, your employer or school has signed up for Google Apps but you, as the user, are the one who has to live with the data mining that goes on every time you use the service. Somehow this does not seem right. All Google Apps organizations that pay for these services and their users should have the ability to not pass any data back to Google beyond what is needed to run the service they have signed up for.
So, you may ask, what has this got to do with having an email account for a business or school, or creating documents for a government job? Well — nothing actually. None of this is required for providing these services. You could even go so far as to say that this is none of Google’s business. Yet in reality, this is exactly Google’s business. This data collection is purely to benefit Google — the company that has stated it wants to organize the world’s information (including all of your information) and the company that makes about $40 billion a year from advertising based on leveraging all that data that it has “organized.”
The Europeans are onto something here and we in North America need to pay attention. As individuals, students and workers, we cannot afford to let this become the norm for cloud services. Google, give us our digital lives back and let us opt out from your data mining machine. - [Actually, it should be via "opt-in" only! --Bike Bob]: - http://www.wired.com/insights/2012/10/google-opt-out
Green Party Candidates Arrested, Shackled To Chairs For 8 Hours For Trying To Enter Debate - (6-3/4 min. - YouTube audio/video) - (Oct. 17, 2012 - Amy Goodman/Democracy Now!) - Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein and vice presidential candidate Cheri Honkala were arrested…as they attempted to enter the grounds of the presidential debate site at Hofstra University. Like other third party candidates, Stein was blocked from participating in the debate by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Republican and Democratic parties. Stein and Honkala were held for eight hours, handcuffed to chair. As she was being arrested, Stein condemned what she called "this mock debate, this mockery of democracy." - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejsLetOUfk8
Greg Palast: "Mitt Romney’s Bailout Bonanza: How He Made Millions From The Rescue Of Detroit" - (17 min. - video) - (Oct. 18, 2012 - Democracy Now!) - We turn now to a major new exposé on the cover of The Nation magazine called "Mitt Romney’s Bailout Bonanza: How He Made Millions from the Rescue of Detroit." Investigative reporter Greg Palast reveals how Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney made some $15 million on the auto bailout and that three of Romney’s top donors made more than $4 billion for their hedge funds from the bailout. Palast’s report is part of a film-in-progress called "Romney’s Bailout Bonanza." Palast is the author of several books, including recently released New York Times bestseller, "Billionaires & Ballot Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps." [Includes transcript] - http://www.democracynow.org/2012/10/18/greg_palast_mitt_romneys_bailout_bonanza
Taking On The Plutocrats - (49-1/4 min. - video) - (Oct. 19, 2012 - Bill Moyers/PBS) - Bill Moyers discusses “The One Percent’s Power and Privileges” with Matt Taibbi, of “Rolling Stone” magazine, and Chrystia Freeland, author of the new book Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else.The One Percent is not only increasing their share of wealth — they’re using it to spread millions among political candidates who serve their interests. - http://tinyurl.com/8kgts79
How Corporations Know Who You Will Likely Vote For - (October 23, 2012 - by Lois Beckett - ProPublica) - Across the country, companies are using cookies to tailor the political ads you see online.
If you're a registered voter and surf the web, one of the sites you visit has almost certainly placed a tiny piece of data on your computer flagging your political preferences.That piece of data, called a cookie, marks you as a Democrat or Republican, when you last voted, and what contributions you've made. It also can include factors like your estimated income, what you do for a living, and what you've bought at the local mall. - http://www.alternet.org/how-corporations-know-who-you-will-likely-vote
Often, For-Profit Firms, Not FDA, Inspects Food - (30-1/4 min. - audio) - (October 23, 2012 - Talk of the Nation/NPR) - According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, foodborne illnesses kill some 3,000 people in the U.S. each year. Often, the job of keeping America's food supply safe falls to for-profit companies with connections to the food producers they're supposed to inspect. - [Includes transcript]: - http://www.npr.org/2012/10/23/163480249
(12-3/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Shale Gas Drilling: Pros & Cons - (13-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video) - (July 10, 2011 - by 60 Minutes/CBSNews) - While some complain that extracting natural gas [“fracking”] from shale rock formations is tainting their water supply, others who have allowed drilling on their property are getting wealthy. Lesley Stahl reports. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0Xn21q-yQk
Thieves Hack Barnes & Noble Point-of-Sale Terminals - (Oct. 24, 2012 - by Kim Zetter - Wied) - Barnes & Noble didn’t disclose how the breach occurred, but according to a press release from the bookseller, the hackers installed malware on the so-called point-of-sale (POS) card readers to sniff the card data and PINs as customers typed them in.
Barnes & Noble doesn’t indicate how the attacker did this, but it could have occurred a couple of ways, depending on the type of POS system Barnes & Noble uses.
In July, security researchers at Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas showed how they were able to install malware onto POS terminals made by one vendor, by using a vulnerability in the terminals that would allow an attacker to change applications on the device or install new ones in order to capture card data and cardholder signatures.The researchers found that the terminals, which use an operating system based on Linux, have a vulnerability that didn’t require updates to their firmware to be authenticated. The researchers installed their malware using a rogue credit card inserted into one device, which caused it to contact a server they controlled, from which they downloaded malware to the device. - http://tinyurl.com/9qbym2e
Cybercrime: Mobile Changes Everything — And No One’s Safe - (Oct. 25, 2012 - by Markus Jacobsson - Wired) - We can’t think of a smartphone as just a computer that fits in one’s pocket, because then we assume that approaches for addressing traditional malware can simply be applied to mobile malware. This is a common misconception: Even major anti-virus companies suffer from it, as evidenced by their product offerings.
Because mobile phones aren’t just small computers when it comes to defending against malware: They’re small computers with small batteries, and important updates on them can take weeks. These seemingly minor differences are exactly what makes mobile malware more difficult to address than malware on computers.
On traditional computers, anti-virus software can be automatically updated once new malware strains get noticed. The most common type of update is to add new “signatures,” a series of ones and zeroes unique to a particular piece of software or malware. The anti-virus system compares each piece of software on a device with the list of signatures to identify unwanted software.
Unfortunately, malware writers check if their code matches any such signatures by running popular anti-virus software, continually making modifications until their code is no longer detected, and only then releasing it. And since it’s not as rapid or straightforward to perform updates on mobile phones, we’re left vulnerable. Carriers are unwilling to perform Firmware Over The Air (FOTA) patches because of the costs as well as risk of updates bricking their customers’ phones.
The other common anti-virus approach isn’t very effective for mobile devices, either. In this approach, anti-virus software monitors computer software as it executes, looking for signs of bad behavior. Because it’s robust to minor changes of code, the “behavioral detection” approach makes it more difficult for malware writers to make simple recompilations that allow malware to slip below the radar. But on smartphones, this approach doesn’t work well.
Smartphones can’t monitor everything going on as computers can, because that requires a lot of computational resources … which devours battery life.
So what does work? These are some of the approaches security researchers have come up with. : - http://tinyurl.com/8jqqf9e
In Digital War, Patents Are The Weapon Of Choice - (34 min. - audio) - (October 11, 2012 - Fresh AirNPR) - If you don't think of patents as a particularly exciting or interesting field, consider a point Charles Duhigg makes in his recent The Patent, Used as a Sword": According to an analysis done at Stanford: "In the smartphone industry alone ... as much as $20 billion was spent on patent litigation and patent purchases in the last two years — an amount equal to eight Mars rover missions." article, "
These widespread patent lawsuits are discouraging entrepreneurs, Duhigg tells 's Terry Gross. "Entrepreneurs do not try and create new types of smartphone technologies now because they know it's pointless: They're going to get sued almost immediately."
[….]In the race to the patent office, companies will file the patent for a concept before they actually figure out how to turn the concept into a product. Duhigg says the big losers in this patent race are the consumers and innovation itself. "Patents are being used to wage war in the digital world," he says, "and as a result, patents have become a toll gate on the road of innovation." - http://www.npr.org/2012/10/11/162717373
"What's Wrong With
Our Food System"
(5-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
(5-1/2 min. - YouTube audio/video)
(2-1/2 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Busting Election Theft Attempts - (9-1/2 min. - YouTube audio/video) - Investigative reporter Harvey Wasserman lays out the ways in which the elections can be stolen and what we can do about it. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=440vOki3jfE
“Man in the Middle” Dead Man Tells No Tales - (9-1/2 min. - YouTube audio/video) - From the film FREE FOR ALL! by John Wellington Ennis http://freeforall.tv — The Man in the Middle scheme subverts election results reporting. This maneuver occurred in Ohio 2004, in the Bush-Kerry Election. The man who oversaw the Man in the Middle operation, Mike Connell, died mysteriously in a plane crash soon after giving a deposition in 2008. Featuring Dr. Bob Fitrakis, Cliff Arnebeck, Sec of State Jennifer Brunner, Brad Friedman, Stephen Spoonamore. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNNHSpM-Z-w
The Permanent Militarization Of America - (Nov. 4, 2012 - by Aaron B. O’Connell, an assistant professor of history at the United States Naval Academy and a Marine reserve officer; author of “Underdogs: The Making of the Modern Marine Corps.” - The New York Times/Op-Ed) - http://tinyurl.com/9w82htc
Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki discusses his documentary on America’s War On Drugs, 'The House I Live In' - (26-3/4 min. - video) - (Nov. 9, 2012 - The Tavis Smiley Show/PBS) - http://video.pbs.org/video/2302728414
How Telecoms Sell Your Private Info To The Highest Bidder - (November 8, 2012 - by David Rosen - AlterNet) - Wireless providers are aggressively collecting and reselling your usage data. And a lot of what they do remains secret. - http://tinyurl.com/cflzfn5
Infamous Hacker Heading Chinese Antivirus Firm? - (Nov. 14, 2012 - by Brian Krebs - KrebsOnSecurity) - What does a young Chinese hacker do once he’s achieved legendary status for developing Microsoft Office zero-day exploits and using them to hoover up piles of sensitive data from U.S. Defense Department contractors? Would you believe: Start an antivirus firm?That appears to be what’s happened at Anvisoft, a Chinese antivirus startup that is being somewhat cagey about its origins and leadership. I stumbled across a discussion on the informative Malwarebytes user forum, in which forum regulars were scratching their heads over whether this was a legitimate antivirus vendor. Anvisoft had already been whitelisted by several other antivirus and security products (including Comodo), but the discussion thread on Malwarebytes about who was running this company was inconclusive, prompting me to dig deeper. - http://tinyurl.com/b9t4k4x
The Petraeus Affair vs. The CIA’s Long Criminal History - (November 15, 2012 - By Julie Lévesque - Global Research) - [The CIA-drug connection...and why the "War on Drugs" targets the CIA-backed drug lords' competition. --Bike Bob]: - http://tinyurl.com/bnc3pkf
Your Online Attention, Bought In An Instant - (Nov. 17, 2012 - by Natasha Singer - The New York Times) - That worries some federal regulators and consumer advocates, who say that such electronic trading systems could unfairly stratify consumers, covertly offering better pricing to certain people while relegating others to inferior treatment. A computer-generated class system is one risk, they say, of an ad-driven Internet powered by surveillance.
“As you profile more and more people, you’ll start to segregate people into ‘the people you can get money out of’ and ‘the people you can’t get money out of,’ ” says Dan Auerbach, a staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital civil rights group in San Francisco, who formerly worked in digital ad data-mining. “That is one of the dangers we should be worried about.” --- [Note: This process is similar to that employed by brick-and-mortar retail stores’ with their so-called “loyalty cards.” --Bike Bob]: - http://tinyurl.com/bww5f59
Why I Don’t Attend UFO Meetings That Utilize ‘Skype': Back in the early 1950s, the CIA-backed/funded Robertson Panel resulted in UFO groups being specifically targeted for monitoring -- and, undoubtedly: infiltration. Another result was the public UFO disinformation/misinformation campaign that yielded the “giggle factor”…primarily in the press and other media.
Using Skype (or any sort of similar web-casting application) at UFO meetings and gatherings -- for two-way conversations and “live video” links with other UFO groups and/or “guest speakers”…typically with Q&A follow-up -- inadvertently, or otherwise, serves that “monitoring” capability quite well. (Do keep in mind that face- and voice-recognition technology is part and parcel of that capability.)
Most folks don’t realize that all such electronic communications are permanently archived on computer “servers.” Skype does provide a way to delete such “history”…but, it’s an all-or-nothing option. HOWEVER, such deletion is only from Skype’s servers; NOT from those of the NSA (National Security Agency)!
The plain fact of the matter is that the NSA “clones” ALL electronic communications and archives EVERYTHING on their own computer servers. So, the NSA retains a permanent record of everything and anything that is electronically transmitted…which includes ALL e-mail, cell-phone conversations, Twitter and Facebook postings, along with Skype sessions, etc. --- (All this, and much more, is documented here on BikeBob.org --Bike Bob)
Monsanto Insurance: USDA Tells Farmers To Pay For Avoiding Troubles With Agro-Giant - (Nov. 22, 2012 - RT) - The Monsanto Company dominates more than just grow fields across the US, as evident in their stellar track record of taking small-time farmers to court and winning cases, an occurrence that Think Progress acknowledges happens roughly a dozen times a year. Time and time again, Monsanto’s patented, lab-made genetically engineered seeds are sold to one farmer, only for Mother Nature to move the crop onto neighboring fields with the help of a bit of wind. Just as often, of course, Monsanto’s team of high-paid litigators take the little guys to court, only to triumph thanks to a legal counsel that collects around $10 million a year just to take other farmers to court.
In a statement issued Wednesday from The National Organic Coalition (NOC), the group condemns the USDA and its AC21 panel for allegedly putting little work into alleviating a big problem destroying America’s agriculturists.
the group writes.
,” says Liana Hoodes, NOC’s executive director.
Andrew Kimbrell, executive director at Center for Food Safety and a NOC member, adds that the AC21’s findings are an
Agenda 21: The Latest Sleight Of Hand Trick By Corporate Elite - (Nov. 22, 2012 - by Thom Hartmann and Sam Sacks - ) - When the Corporate Elite tells us we need to be afraid of something, they almost always expect to make some money off our fear.
…here's what Agenda 21 really is. Standing for "Agenda 21st Century," it's a completely non-binding UN agreement that aims to address climate change and inequality by calling on local and federal governments, NGOs, and businesses, to develop plans to create more sustainable environments in their respective nations. The UN believes that…wealth disparities can be reduced, indigenous populations can be protected, and the deterioration of ecosystems around the globe can be reversed.
If you ask the environmentalists who are growing more and more concerned with a warming, crowded planet what they think of Agenda 21, they'll say it doesn't go nearly far enough. Especially after new reports by the UN about record levels of greenhouse gases and the atmosphere, and a report by the World Bank on the global economic impacts of a planet that's 7-degrees warming by 2100 as a result of climate change.
But, as you'd expect from a plan to reduce poverty worldwide and use resources and land in more eco-friendly ways, wealthy oil barons and banksters are opposed to it. ….
So, right-wingers have employed their best charlatans in America…to reinvent Agenda 21 as something completely different: a nefarious plot by communist globalists to force redistribution of wealth and confiscation of private property, and ultimate devour American sovereignty.
...this latest scheme by the Corporate Elite to scare the hell out of all of us with Agenda 21 is just like every other scare tactic by the Corporate Elite – it's meant to distract us. It's a sleight-of-hand technique to keep us focused on bogeymen, while their ranks of Texas oilmen, outsourcing CEOs, and Wall Street banksters carry out the true destruction of the United States of America: the pillaging of the Middle Class at home and the construction of a WTO-style one-world corporate government to promote unfettered capitalism and free trade everywhere on the planet. - http://tinyurl.com/b3ljtdt
EyeSee Facial Recognition Cameras Deployed In Mannequins Record Age, Gender And Race Of Customers - (Nov. 21, 2012 - by Madison Ruppert, editor - End the Lie) - As unbelievable as it sounds, facial recognition technology is now being deployed in mannequins. While this might sound completely insane, it’s not all that surprising given the rise of facial recognition systems capable of scanning 36 million faces per second, the FBI giving out facial recognition software to police and rolling out a $1 billion facial recognition system across the United States, not to mention drone-based facial recognition along with behavioral recognition and much more. - http://tinyurl.com/be8g7y4
A Year In Jail For
Not Believing In God? How Kentucky Is Persecuting Atheists - (Nov. 21, 2012 - by Laura Gottesdiener - AlterNet)
- In Kentucky, a homeland security law requires the state’s citizens to acknowledge
the security provided by the Almighty God--or risk 12 months in prison. - http://tinyurl.com/aaxa4bg
(2-3/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
(4-1/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
You Go To Prison, They Get Paid - (5 min. - YouTube audio/video) - (Feb. 20, 2012 - TheYoungTurks) - "...Corrections Corporation of America, the nation's largest operator of for-profit prisons, has sent letters recently to 48 states offering to buy up their prisons as a remedy for "challenging corrections budgets." In exchange, the company is asking for a 20-year management contract, plus an assurance that the prison would remain at least 90 percent full, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Huffington Post...".* Ana Kasparian and Cenk Uygur discuss on The Young Turks. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxp1t1tp8Z8
Nuclear Disaster In America Is More Likely Than The Public Is Aware Of -
(Nov. 28, 2012 - by William Boardman - AlterNet) - Key
federal official warns that the public has been kept in the dark about safety
risks. - http://tinyurl.com/cys7pkx
Cyber Corps Program Trains Spies For The Digital Age - (November 22, 2012 - by At the University of Tulsa school, students learn to write computer viruses, hack digital networks and mine data from broken cellphones. Many graduates head to the CIA or NSA. - http://tinyurl.com/c3moc3h
New Revelations: Two Ex-U.S. Air Force Security
Policemen Discuss UFO Activity at Nuclear Weapons Sites - (Nov. 29, 2012 - by Robert Hastings - The UFO Chronicles) - http://tinyurl.com/c3tqoal
Ninth Circuit Gives The A-OK For Warrantless Home Video Surveillance - (Nov. 29, 2012 - by Hanni Fakhoury - [Note: When reading this keep in mind the made-to-order biometric-recognition capabilities (voice, face, movement) of the new Internet-connected "smart" TVs, and other entertainment devices! --Bike Bob]: - https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/11/ninth-circuit-gives-ok-warrantless-home-video-surveillance
The Climate Denial Machine
- (December 1, 2012 - Despite the overwhelming consensus
among climate experts that human activity is contributing to rising global
temperatures, 66 percent of Americans incorrectly believe there is "a
lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is
happening." The conservative media
has fueled this confusion by distorting scientific
research, hyping faux-scandals, and giving voice to groups funded by industries that have a
financial interest in blocking action on climate change. Meanwhile,
mainstream media outlets have shied away from the
"controversy" over climate change and have failed to press U.S.
policymakers on how they will address this global threat. When climate change
is discussed, mainstream outlets sometimes strive for a false balance that elevates marginal voices and enables them to sow doubt about the science
even in the face of mounting evidence.
Here, looks at how conservative media outlets give industry-funded "experts" a platform, creating a polarized misunderstanding of climate science. - http://truth-out.org/news/item/13083
Fracking's Health Calamities Left To Fester - (December 1, 2012 - Unless you've been living on a desert island for the last couple of years, you've probably heard of "fracking," or hydraulic fracturing, and you may well have seen dramatic footage of tap water being ignited. If you listen to the slick and expensive public relations campaign from the natural gas drilling industry, lobbyists and politicians of both parties, fracking is the answer to this country's energy problems, a way to free us from our problematic ties to Saudi Arabian and Middle East oil.
…we are turning large swaths of our country into toxic industrial zones. Currently, fracking is taking place in 36 states across the nation. Natural gas drilling, one of the most powerful businesses on the globe, has become the new gold rush for those who stand to benefit. But for those who stand in the way, it can be devastating.
Fracking involves boring down as deep as 10,000 feet, and then, at that level, can go as much as two miles out horizontally. Chemically laced water is forced into tight seams of rock formations to loosen the methane or natural gas for collection. For every single well -- and there are already a million across the country -- eight million gallons of water, mixed with some 91 tons of chemicals per million gallons of water, industrial sodium and sand, are required. When a bore extends so far underground, there are any number of potential leak points along the way which can poison water tables. According to the industry's own statistics, cementing of pipe casings fails due to shoddy workmanship in an astounding one in four cases.
Each drilled gas well produces a nightmarish chemical soup, and tons of foul smelling, harmful emissions and highly toxic liquid byproducts. ….
What goes down, also comes back up. "These regurgitated waste fluids are mixed with what Mother Nature has been safely ensconcing way underground for 350 million years -- strontium, radium, arsenic, heavy metals," Cornell University's Anthony Ingraffea, Ph.D., one of the world's leading experts on fracking, told me. Known as NORMS -- Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material -- this witches' brew, combined with the fracking chemicals, is exceedingly dangerous to human health, he points out. It is also very hard to dispose of safely. - http://truth-out.org/news/item/13091
Amazing Investigation: How A Real Life James Bond Got Whacked By A Bag Lady Assassin - (Dec. 2, 2012 - by Mark Ames, Alexander Zaitchik - Salon) - New clues and a powerful Wall St. skeptic challenge the official story of a CIA financier's brutal murder. - http://tinyurl.com/bpv8quq
From Sci-Fi To Reality: The Computer-Blitzing Drone That Can Cripple A Nation's Electronics At The Touch Of A Button - (Dec. 1, 2012 - by Ben Ellery - Daily Mail/UK) - Aircraft manufacturer Boeing have created a weapon that can knock out computers.
The missile is thought to be able to penetrate bunkers and caves.
Experts warn, in the wrong hands, could bring Western cities to their knees. - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2241525
Contemptuous Internal Merck Emails Revealed - (December 3, 2012 - by Martha Rosenberg - AlterNet) - As early as 2004, Merck knew its blockbuster osteoporosis drug Fosamax was causing osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) after in-office dental procedures and ridiculed afflicted patients. The condition, also called jawbone death, occurs when traumatized tissue doesn't heal but becomes "necrotic" and dies. - http://tinyurl.com/cxuuuvo
Hospitals: The Cost Of Admission - (Dec. 2, 2012 - by Steve Kroft - 60 Minutes/CBS) - If you want to know why health care costs so much in this country, consider this, it's estimated that $210 billion a year -- about 10 percent of all health expenditures -- goes towards unnecessary tests and treatments and a big chunk of that comes right out of the pockets of American taxpayers in the form of Medicare and Medicaid payments.
For more than a year, we have been looking into the admission and billing practices of Health Management Associates. It's the fourth largest for-profit hospital chain in the country with revenues of $5.8 billion last year, nearly half of that coming from Medicare and Medicaid programs. We talked to more than 100 current and former employees and we heard a similar story over and over: that HMA relentlessly pressured its doctors to admit more and more patients -- regardless of medical need -- in order to increase revenues.Health Management Associates owns 70 hospitals in 15 states. It's thrived buying small, struggling hospitals in non-urban areas, turning them into profit centers by filling empty beds. Generally speaking, the more patients a hospital admits, the more money it can make, a business strategy that HMA has aggressively pursued. - http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57556670.html
NSA Whistleblower: Everyone In US Under Digital Surveillance, Trillions Of Messages Stored - (Dec. 3, 2012 - by Juan Cole, the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan - JuanCole.com) - National Security Agency whistle-blower William Binney explains how the NSA puts all the electronic communications of all Americans under constant surveillance and then stores zetabytes of data permanently. - [NOTE: This also includes all Skype and other VOIP [Voice Over Internet Protocol] communications, too! --Bike Bob]
Binney says that social networks analysis is being carried out on all Americans, and that if for any reason the clique in charge of the government decides to target an individual, they can go back and analyze the electronic records on him or her for damning information.
Presumably, this is what the Bush White House asked the intelligence community to do to yours truly. (See James Risen’s article here).
Binney refered to Boeing’s NARUS traffic analyzer, which we know the telcoms allowed the Bush administration to run on all our communications. - [Note: Article includes an ABSOLUTE MUST-SEE 12-1/2 min. video interview with NSA whistleblower William Binney. --Bike Bob]: - http://tinyurl.com/cqb58zd
1949 Nuclear Experiment Is An Ugly Legacy Of Hanford - (Dec. 2, 2012 - by Susan Cundiff and Patricia Hoover - The Register-Guard) - …know the term “Green Run?” Never heard of it? That’s because it was a secret.
On Dec. 2, 1949, officials at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeastern Washington deliberately experimented on residents in the area by releasing raw, irradiated uranium fuel. It was the largest known single incident of intentional radioactive contamination ever. It’s come to be known as the Green Run; in this case “green” meant “uncured.”
Normally, radiated fuel would be cooled for 83 to 101 days to allow some of the short-lived radioactive materials to decay before releasing those materials into the environment. For this test, officials waited a mere 16 days and did not filter the exhaust.
Over a seven-hour period, 7,780 curies of iodine-131 and 20,000 curies of xenon-133 were released. To put these numbers in perspective, the Three Mile Island accident released between 15 and 24 curies of radioactive iodine. Women and children were evacuated, and milk was impounded.
During the Green Run, Air Force planes measured the deposits of iodine-131 on ground vegetation within a 200- by 40-mile plume that stretched from The Dalles to Spokane. Vegetation samples taken in Kennewick, Wash., revealed nearly 1,000 times the acceptable daily limit of iodine-131.
Citizens in the area routinely accepted unusual practices devised by Hanford officials as natural and patriotic: urine samples were left on porches for pick-up, schoolchildren went through whole-body counter scans, and men in white coats palpated students’ throats around the thyroid gland.
As thyroid disease and cancer rates rose among the populations of Richland, Wash., The Dalles, Hermiston and the surrounding countryside, the public began to question the safety of Hanford’s practices. They were assured that “not one atom” had ever escaped from Hanford and that it was as “safe as mother’s milk.” Of course, if mother is contaminated, her breast milk is, too — as is the milk from dairy cattle in the area, the salmon in the river, and vegetables and fruit from the farms and ranches nearby.
With all their collected data, officials had to know the health consequences. And still the deception continued. Press releases recommended iodized salt and trucked-in pasteurized milk, but only as mere suggestions. In fact, all public health records from Hanford were sent only to Walla Walla, Wash., and never recorded at the state Capitol, thus ensuring that health research would not contain damning statistics.
The Green Run was only part of a much larger pattern of contamination. From 1944 to 1957 a total of 724,779 curies of iodine-131 were released into the atmosphere. - http://tinyurl.com/b4f8dfr
Kill The Password: Why A String Of Characters Can’t Protect Us Anymore - (Nov. 15, 2012 - by Mat Honan - Wired) - No matter how complex, no matter how unique, your passwords can no longer protect you.
…. The way we daisy-chain accounts, with our email address doubling as a universal username, creates a single point of failure that can be exploited with devastating results. Thanks to an explosion of personal information being stored in the cloud, tricking customer service agents into resetting passwords has never been easier. All a hacker has to do is use personal information that’s publicly available on one service to gain entry into another.
The common weakness in these hacks is the password. It’s an artifact from a time when our computers were not hyper-connected. Today, nothing you do, no precaution you take, no long or random string of characters can stop a truly dedicated and devious individual from cracking your account. The age of the password has come to an end; we just haven’t realized it yet.
…. In the age of the algorithm, when our laptops pack more processing power than a high-end workstation did a decade ago, cracking a long password with brute force computation takes just a few million extra cycles. That’s not even counting the new hacking techniques that simply steal our passwords or bypass them entirely—techniques that no password length or complexity can ever prevent. ….
How do our online passwords fall? In every imaginable way: They’re guessed, lifted from a password dump, cracked by brute force, stolen with a keylogger, or reset completely by conning a company’s customer support department. - http://tinyurl.com/asc6n8m
Police Have The Scary Capability To Track Wherever You're Driving - (November 30, 2012 - by David Rosen - AlterNet) - License-plate reading technology's jaw dropping capabilities are already deployed across America. - http://tinyurl.com/asqv6yn
Verizon Files Patent For Creepy Device To Watch You While You Watch TV - (Dec. 5, 2012 - by Ryan Gallagher - Slate) - …Verizon’s “gesture recognition technology.”
The company has filed a patent, published last week, for a system designed to be used in the home to target advertisements at people. Using a combination of image and audio sensors, it would detect actions in your living room while you were watching TV. These sensors, deploying facial and profile recognition, would pick up “physical attributes” like skin color, facial features, and even hair length, and also detect “voice attributes” to help determine the tone of your voice, your accent, and the language you speak. Inanimate objects aren’t off-limits—the technology could also spot beer cans and wall art.
Combined, this would mean that your TV or set-top box would effectively be watching and listening to you while you snuggle up on the couch with your partner to watch the latest episode of Homeland. If the cuddling went a bit further, the chances are the technology would pick up the noises and start playing ads for "a commercial for a contraceptive” or “a commercial for flowers,” as outlined in the patent.
The patent also says if the device picks up that the user is “stressed” then it “may select an advertisement associated with the detected mood (e.g., a commercial for a stress-relief product such as aromatherapy candles, a vacation resort, etc.).” It adds that “If a couple is arguing/fighting with each other” the system “may select an advertisement associated marriage/relationship counseling.” And if the sensors detect that a user is a kid, the system will trigger “more advertisements targeted to and/or appropriate for young children.” - http://tinyurl.com/ahrfvz7
8 Ways Police Can Spy On You Without A Warrant - (Dec. 6, 2012 - by Theodoric Meyer and Peter Maass - ProPublica) - There are plenty of ways for law enforcement, from the local sheriff to the FBI, to snoop on the digital trails you create every day. - http://www.alternet.org/8-ways-police-can-spy-you-without-warrant?paging=off
Public Buses Across Country Quietly Adding Microphones To Record Passenger Conversations - (Dec. 10, 2012 - by Kim Zetter - Wired) - Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses that would give them the ability to record and store private conversations, according to documents obtained by a news outlet. - http://tinyurl.com/ajp6onz
Boeing’s Meltdown Makeover - (Dec. 10, 2012 - EnviroReporter) - The Santa Susana Field Laboratory sprawls across 2,850 acres in the hills between the Simi and San Fernando [California] valleys. The site’s history includes massive chemical and radiological contamination and partial nuclear reactor meltdowns. The 1959 meltdown released more radiation than Three Mile Island in 1979.
A four-year EnviroReporter.com investigation has uncovered an extensive Boeing “media campaign” to bamboozle the press and public into thinking that the lab is safe enough to open immediately as open space when new evidence shows huge amounts of radiation and chemical contamination will still remain.
Thousands of pages of documents, reports, interviews, e-mails, photographs and surveillance video of demolition at the site reveal a vast Boeing meltdown makeover. New information shows the lab more radioactive than ever with a polluter-pliant government subverting its own $41.5 million radiation study.
The Boeing apparent plan to “greenwash” pollution woes away at Rocketdyne involves “astroturfing” the community, feeding media puff pieces and rewarding cooperative reporters, controlling corrupted government oversight agencies and sloppy demolition sending toxic dust into the San Fernando Valley.
At risk without a complete lab cleanup are future SSFL open space users, surrounding communities and the Los Angeles River, slated for a $2 billion revival central to the city of L.A.’s 50-year master plan. - http://www.enviroreporter.com/2012/12/boeings-meltdown-makeover
'Operation Delirium:' Psychochemicals And Cold War - (37-3/4 min. - audio) - (December 11, 2012 - Fresh Air/NPR) - In the The New Yorker, journalist Raffi Khatchadourian writes about a secret chemical weapons testing program run by the U.S. Army during the Cold War.
Throughout the 1950s and '60s, at the now-crumbling Edgewood Arsenal by the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, military doctors tested the effects of nerve gas, LSD and other drugs on 5,000 U.S. soldiers to gauge the effects on their brain and behavior. - http://www.npr.org/2012/12/11/166891159
Future Of Landline Phones - (51-1/2 min. - audio) - (Dec. 6, 2012 - The Diane Rehm Show/NPR) - Landline phone use is plummeting. The telecom industry argues it should no longer be required to provide the service. Consumer groups disagree. - http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2012-12-06/future-landline-phones
Ex CIA Agent
(11 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Leaked IPCC Report Reaffirms Dangerous Climate Change - (Dec. 14, 2012 - by Michael Marshall - New Scientist) - A draft of a major report on climate change, due to be published next year, has been leaked online. Climate-sceptic bloggers have seized on it, claiming that it admits that much of global warming has been caused by the sun's variability, not by greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, the report says nothing of the kind.
[….]In fact, the report summary reaffirms that humanity's greenhouse gas emissions are the main reason for rising temperatures. It goes on to detail the many harmful effects, from more frequent heat waves to rising sea levels. - http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23005
Point-of-Sale Skimmers: No Charge…Yet - (Dec. 18, 2012 - by Brian Krebs - KrebsOnSecurity) - If you hand your credit or debit card to a merchant who is using a wireless point-of-sale (POS) device, you may want to later verify that the charge actually went through. A top vendor of POS skimmers ships devices that will print out “transaction approved” receipts, even though the machine is offline and is merely recording the customer’s card data and PIN for future fraudulent use.
This skimmer seller is a major vendor on one of the Underweb’s most active fraud forums. Being a “verified” vendor on this fraud forum — which comes with the stamp of approval from the forum administrators, thus, enhancing the seller’s reputation — costs $5,000 annually. But this seller can make back his investment with just two sales, and judging from the volume of communications he receives from forum members, business is brisk.
These types of hacked POS systems, known as “offline POS skimmers” in the Underweb, are marketed for suggested use by miscreants employed in seasonal or temporary work, such as in restaurants, bars or retail establishments. - http://krebsonsecurity.com/2012/12/point-of-sale-skimmers-no-charge-yet
Netflix Blacks Out The Revolution - (December 20, 2012 - You might want to think twice about streaming that “subversive” documentary about the Weather Underground on Netflix. If Republicans have their way, you just might end up on a watch list somewhere.
…what you watch on Netflix may soon become public information that your friends, employers, and even the government will have access to. ….
…. Today, we're sacrificing privacy for convenience and interconnection.
We enthusiastically post our locations, our pictures, and our personal information on social media networks, all of which are monitored by advertisers, future employers, and even law enforcement.
Your web experience is now carefully compiled and examined, so advertising can target you specifically. They've been collecting data on what websites you go to and what you search for on hundreds of websites and search engines – a blatant, but legal, violation of your individual privacy.
Online data collection is now multi-billion dollar industry.
…without privacy - without the ability to be anonymous – our ability to plan peaceful revolution or non-violent social change is radically scaled back. If big corporations or Big Brother are watching, then they can block or sabotage efforts before they even become public.
It’s no secret that a massive surveillance system has been constructed in America post-9/11. We know about the warrantless wiretapping of American citizens. We know about Trapwire – a law enforcement tool that keeps track of our movements in major cities across the nation through closed circuit cameras, facial recognition software, and license plate readers.
And we know about the enormous spy center being built by the NSA in Utah that will house all the data collected by the NSA since 9/11 – including emails, phone calls, text messages, and perhaps now Netflix viewing history – all of it in one source so that it's easily analyzed.
The NSA can how hold the digital version of 500 quintillion pages of text. That's a lot of data.
But, here’s what’s most important to remember as our privacy goes by the wayside: Social change hinges on privacy, and, in some cases, even total privacy – anonymity. - http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/13464
Front Group For Military-Industrial Complex Pushes Hard To Slash Social Programs And Avoid Pentagon Cuts - (Dec. 20, 2012 - by Steven Rosenfeld - AlterNet) - Corporate-backed lobbying group Fix the Debt shows little interest in protecting the neediest in society. - http://tinyurl.com/ckdkfsn
We Are Being Nuked With False Information On Atomic Energy - (Dec. 21, 2012 - by Gar Smith - According to nuclear energy debunker Gar Smith, if we want the truth about nuclear energy, we won't be getting it from governments. That's a key message in Smith's new book,"Nuclear Roulette: The Truth about the Most Dangerous Energy Source on Earth." - [
One consistent lesson from Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima is clear: when the public is at risk, plant operators and government officials inevitably cover up and lie. ….
London's Guardian newspaper subsequently revealed that just two days after the Fukushima quake (about the time the first wave of fallout hit the US West Coast), British officials "approached nuclear companies" to fashion a PR strategy "to play down" the accident lest it undermine "public support for nuclear power." The government-nuclear complex worked closely "with the multinational companies EDF Energy, AREVA, and Westinghouse."
In fact, the swirling cloud of radioactive gases that crossed the Pacific Ocean did reach the US mainland. ….
…. ...in St. Louis monitored "rainout" levels 178 higher than normal following a storm. - http://truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/13443
Security Researchers Identify Malware Infecting U.S. Banks - (Dec. 22, 2012 - by Lucian Constintin - IDG News Service) - Security researchers from Symantec have identified an information-stealing Trojan program that was used to infect computer servers belonging to various U.S. financial institutions.
Dubbed Stabuniq, the Trojan program was found on mail servers, firewalls, proxy servers, and gateways belonging to U.S. financial institutions, including banking firms and credit unions, Symantec software engineer Fred Gutierrez said Friday in a blog post.
"Approximately half of unique IP addresses found with Trojan.Stabuniq belong to home users," Gutierrez said. "Another 11 percent belong to companies that deal with Internet security (due, perhaps, to these companies performing analysis of the threat). A staggering 39 percent, however, belong to financial institutions." (Also see "How to Avoid Malware.")
[….]The malware was distributed using a combination of spam emails and malicious websites that hosted Web exploit toolkits. Such toolkits are commonly used to silently install malware on Web users' computers by exploiting vulnerabilities in outdated browser plug-ins like Flash Player, Adobe Reader, or Java. - http://www.pcworld.com/article/2023253
FBI Investigated Occupy Movement As 'Domestic Terrorists, Criminals' - (December 23, 2012 - by Craig Brown, staff writer - Common Dreams) - 'Coordination between the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and corporate America'
The FBI organized a nationwide law enforcement investigation and monitoring of the Occupy Wall Street movement beginning in August of 2011.
Just released heavily-redacted documents revealing the FBI's actions were obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) via a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA). In some documents, the FBI refers to the Occupy Wall Street protests as a "criminal activity" and "domestic terrorism."
“This production, which we believe is just the tip of the iceberg, is a window into the nationwide scope of the FBI’s surveillance, monitoring, and reporting on peaceful protestors organizing with the Occupy movement,” stated Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF). “These documents show that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity. These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.”
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, a legal nonprofit that focuses on civil rights, said Saturday that the 112-pages of FBI documents are now available for public viewing here.
The documents show that FBI offices and agents across the US were actively conducting surveillance on the Occupy movement in August 2011, a month before the OWS encampment in Zuccotti Park in New York City and the blossoming of hundreds of other Occupy actions around the country.
Are US Munitions To Blame For Basra Birth Defects? - (Dec. 18, 2012 - by Alexander Smoltczyk - Spiegel Online) - The guns have been silent in Iraq for years, but in Basra and Fallujah the number of birth defects and cancer cases is on the rise. Locals believe that American uranium-tipped munitions are to blame and some researchers think they might be right. - http://tinyurl.com/d2nwmqd
FBI Ignored Deadly Threat To Occupiers: US Intelligence Machine Instead Plotted With Bankers To Attack Protest Movement - (Dec. 27, 2012 - by Dave Lindorff - This Can’t Be Happening) - New documents obtained from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security by the Partnership for Civil Justice and released this past week show that the FBI and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies began a campaign of monitoring, spying and disrupting the Occupy Movement at least two months before the first occupation actions began in late September 2011.
As early as August, while acknowledging that the incipient Occupy Movement was “peaceful” in nature, federal, state and local officials from the FBI, the DHS and the many Fusion Centers and Joint Terrorism Task Force centers around the country were meeting with local financial institutions and their private security organizations to plot out a strategy for countering the Occupy Movement’s campaign.
Interestingly, one document obtained by PCJ from the Houston FBI office refers to what appears to have been a plan by some group, the name of which is blacked out in the released document, to determine who the leaders were of the Occupy Movement in Houston, and then to assassinate them with “suppressed” sniper rifles, meaning sniper rifles equipped with silencers.
The chilling document in question reads as follows: - http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/1494
Jeremy Hammond Faces Life Term For WikiLeaks And Hacked Stratfor Emails -
(15-1/2 min. - video) - (Dec. 27, 2012 - DemocracyNow.org) - A
federal judge has refused to recuse herself from the closely watched trial of jailed computer hacker Jeremy Hammond, an
alleged member of the group "Anonymous"
charged with hacking into the computers
of the private intelligence firm Stratfor and turning over some five million emails to the whistleblowing website
WikiLeaks. Hammond's lawyers had
asked federal judge Loretta Preska to recuse herself because her husband worked
for a client of Stratfor, and himself had his email hacked. Hammond's
supporters say the
Stratfor documents shed light on how the private intelligence firm monitors
activists and spies for corporate clients. He has been held without bail or trial for more
than nine months. We speak with Michael
Ratner, president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights, about
Hammond's case. - www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pXmhFfOF_0
University Research, Sold Out - (Dec. 26, 2012 - By Wenonah Hauter - OtherWords.org) - The energy industry and Big Agribusiness are distorting academic research by wielding corporate influence. - http://otherwords.org/university-research-sold-out
Are Students Needlessly Giving Away Personal Information To Estimate The Cost Of College? - (January 1, 2013 - by Julie Margetta Morgan - Center for American Progress) - By using online price calculators to estimate the cost of college, students may be sharing their private information with potential vendors -- without knowing it. - http://tinyurl.com/a6v2coe
ACARS Confirmed: 9/11 Aircraft Airborne LONG AFTER Crash! - (PilotsFor911Truth.org) - This evidence strengthens previous evidence uncovered by Pilots For 9/11 Truth that a standard 767 cannot remain in control, stable or hold together at the speeds reported by the NTSB for the South Tower aircraft(6). So, if UA175 was somewhere out in Pennsylvania when an aircraft was observed to strike the south tower, and a standard 767 cannot perform at such excessive speeds as reported, then where did the airplane come from which was observed to strike the South Tower? That is a great question and the reason we are still here after 10 years attempting to get answers for the day that changed our world, and will never go away until those questions are answered.
Send this evidence to your Congress Representative, your Senators, Judges, Lawyers, print it out and hand it to your pilots when boarding a flight (Pilots love reading material while in cruise). Call into talk shows, tell them about this evidence. Grab our DVD's and make copies, hand them to friends, family, co-workers, etc. Demand a new investigation into the events of 9/11. The 9/11 Families, The 9/11 Victims, The American People, The World, deserves to know Truth about what happened on September, 11, 2001.Founded in August 2006, Pilots For 9/11 Truth is a growing organization of aviation professionals from around the globe. The organization has analyzed Data provided by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) for the Pentagon Attack, the events in Shanksville, PA and the World Trade Center Attack along with other information provided by several government agencies through the Freedom Of Information Act. The data does not support what we have been told. Government Agencies refuse to comment. Pilots For 9/11 Truth do not offer theory or point blame at this point in time. However, there is a growing mountain of conflicting information and data in which government agencies and officials refuse to acknowledge. Pilots For 9/11 Truth continues to grow and exist only through your continued support. We thank you! - http://tinyurl.com/7kgnlm3
Pentagon Looks To Fix ‘Pervasive Vulnerability’ In Drones - (Dec. 31, 2012 - by Noah Shachtman - Wired) - Drones may be at the center of the U.S. campaign to take out extremists around the globe. But there’s a “pervasive vulnerability” in the robotic aircraft, according to the Pentagon’s premier science and technology division — a weakness the drones share with just about every car, medical device and power plant on the planet.
The control algorithms for these crucial machines are written in a fundamentally insecure manner, says Dr. Kathleen Fisher, a Tufts University computer scientist and a program manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. There’s simply no systematic way for programmers to check for vulnerabilities as they put together the software that runs our drones, our trucks or our pacemakers.
In our homes and our offices, this weakness is only a medium-sized deal: developers can release a patched version of Safari or Microsoft Word whenever they find a hole; anti-virus and intrusion-detection systems can handle many other threats. But updating the control software on a drone means practically re-certifying the entire aircraft. And those security programs often introduce all sorts of new vulnerabilities. “The traditional approaches to security won’t work,” Fisher tells Danger Room. - http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/12/darpa-drones
Military Must Prep Now For ‘Mutant’ Future, Researchers Warn - (Dec. 31, 2012 - by David Axe - Wired) - The U.S. military is already using, or fast developing, a wide range of technologies meant to give troops what California Polytechnic State University researcher Patrick Lin calls “mutant powers.” Greater strength and endurance. Superior cognition. Better teamwork. Fearlessness.
But the risk, ethics and policy issues arising out of these so-called “military human enhancements” — including drugs, special nutrition, electroshock, gene therapy and robotic implants and prostheses — are poorly understood, Lin and his colleagues Maxwell Mehlman and Keith Abney posit in a new report for The Greenwall Foundation (.pdf), scheduled for wide release tomorrow. In other words, we better think long and hard before we unleash our army of super soldiers.
If we don’t, we could find ourselves in big trouble down the road. Among the nightmare scenarios: - http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/12/pentagon-prepare-mutant-future
Why Some Public Radio Supporters Won't Be Donating To NPR - (January 3, 2013 - By Alyssa Figueroa - AlterNet) - If NPR was sufficiently funded by the federal government, it wouldn’t need to take money from corporations or lobbying groups…. - http://tinyurl.com/a4blwzj
Secrets And Lies Of The Bailout - (Jan. 17, 2013- by Matt Taibbi - Rolling Stone) - The federal rescue of Wall Street didn’t fix the economy – it created a permanent bailout state based on a Ponzi-like confidence scheme. And the worst may be yet to come
It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in – only temporarily, mind you – to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite: committing American taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, unregulatable, hyperconcentrated new financial system that exacerbates the greed and inequality that caused the crash... - http://tinyurl.com/ad625tz
‘Disconnect’ - And, The Sooner The Better! - On his Jan. 9, 2013, ‘Security Now!’ podcast, Steve Gibson highly recommended the ‘Disconnect’ plug-in/add-on for all Firefox, Safari and/or Chrome users. He noted that it stops those social-networking widgets (thumbnail icons) buttons that are now ubiquitous on the vast majority of web pages from cookie-tracking -- and profiling -- you wherever, and everywhere, you go across the Internet. He further noted that that when you visit ANY web page that merely has those widget icons present ALL the various social network sites (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) automatically are tracking you...whether or not you actually click any of those icon buttons. He additionally noted that not only is it a privacy (profiling) issue, but that it is as big a security hole threat as Firesheep is/was...especially if you utilize any public Wi-Fi! --- Steve said that Disconnect is an adjunct to ‘Ghostery’...and other similar such as ‘Do No Track’...and does not replace it/them. --- [Note: You'll need to "Temporarily allow..." Disconnect.me in/with ‘NoScript’ in Firefox to download and install ‘Disconnect’. -- Bike Bob]: - https://disconnect.me
Rage Against The Machinima - (Jan. 10, 2013 - by Tessa Stuart - St. Louis Riverfront Times) - As YouTube becomes increasingly wealthy, its stars and the networks who contract with them battle for money and creative control - http://www.riverfronttimes.com/content/printVersion/1761935
CIA Mind Control
& Brain Washing
To Make Assassins
(10-3/4 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Inside The Terror Factory - (Jan. 11, 2013 - by Trevor Aaronson - MotherJones) - Award-winning journalist Trevor Aaronson digs deep into the FBI’s massive efforts to create fake terrorist plots. - http://tinyurl.com/ce33khe
"Captive Audience" - (51 min. - audio) - (Jan. 10, 2013 - The Diane Rehm Show/NPR) - …we've allowed a handful of cable companies to become monopolies that stifle competition and innovation. Their monopoly status is also why Americans pay more money for worse Internet service than consumers in most other developed nations. Diane speaks with Cardozo Law School professor Susan Crawford (fellow at the Roosevelt Institute; member of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Advisory Council on Technology and Innovation), a communications policy expert, about who controls Americans’ access to the Internet and why. - http://tinyurl.com/agdzt3q
"How We Stopped SOPA"
(Martyred Internet Freedom Activist Aaron Swartz)
(23 min. - YouTube audio/video)
Matching Names To Genes: The End Of Genetic Privacy? - (Jan. 17, 2013 - by Sara Reardon - NewScientist) - Are we being too free with our genetic information? What if you started receiving targeted ads for Prozac for the depression risk revealed by your publicly accessible genome? As increasing amounts of genetic information is placed online, many researchers believe that guaranteeing donors' privacy has become an impossible task.
The first major genetic data collection began in 2002 with the International HapMap Project – a collaborative effort to sequence genomes from families around the world. Its aim was to develop a public resource that will help researchers find genes associated with human disease and drug response.
While its consent form assured participants that their data would remain confidential, it had the foresight to mention that with future scientific advances, a deliberate attempt to match a genome with its donor might succeed. "The risk was felt to be very remote," says Laura Lyman Rodriguez of the US government's National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.Their fears proved to be founded: in a paper published in Science this week, a team led by Yaniv Erlich of the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, used publicly available genetic information and an algorithm they developed to identify some of the people who donated their DNA to HapMap's successor, the 1000 Genomes Project. - http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23088
The Second Amendment Was Ratified To Preserve
Slavery - (Jan. 15, 2013 - by The real reason the Second Amendment was ratified, and
why it says "State" instead of "Country" (the Framers knew
the difference - see the 10th Amendment), was to preserve the slave patrol
militias in the southern states, which was necessary to get Virginia's vote.
Founders Patrick Henry, George Mason, and James Madison were totally
clear on that . . . and we all should be too. - http://truth-out.org/news/item/13890
(7 min. - YouTube audio/video)