TBR News November 7, 2011

Nov 07 2011



December 25, 272 AD

First official public celebration of Dies Natalis Invicti Solis, a pagan Roman holiday that was later co-opted by Christians to celebrate the birth of their favorite Jew. Turning the holiday into “Christmas” (in 336 AD) was part of a pattern of the church stealing various pagan festivals and feast days



The Voice of the White House

            Washington, D.C. November 7, 2011: “Everyone spying on everyone else. The Army Signals people are spying on the confidential cables to the Israeli Embassy; the FBI has taken over many of the social networks like Facebook to save themselves a lot of trouble profiling relatively innocent people; the banks are spying on potential trouble-makers over the huge fake mortgage scandal, the media following orders and attacking potential Republican candidates for the presidency and on and on. We spy on them and they spy on us. There are thousands of people out there, busily spying on their employers, their employees, their neighbors and their friends for at least a baker’s dozen of domestic, and foreign, agencies. The Mossad has strong connections inside the CIA and spies on everyone else for Israel. There no secrets of any kind and if none can be found, they are made up. A real empire in decay, this is. The euro is about to collapse as the EU follows us into economic chaos and China is poised for horrific civil strife because she got too big, too quickly and both economics and nature are about to flatten her. Israel is pretending it wants to bomb Tehran and hopes we can be shoved into doing it for her and the Arabs are planning terrible things in retaliation but there is another movement in Arab circles that mandates preemptive strikes. These are really interesting times, children. Enjoy the relative peace while it lasts.”

Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make – 14 New Ways That The Government Is Watching You

November 3, 2011

The American Dream

If you live in the United States today, you need to understand that your privacy is being constantly eroded.  Our world is going crazy, government paranoia is off the charts and law enforcement authorities have become absolutely obsessed with watching us, listening to us, tracking us, recording us, compiling information on all of us and getting us all to spy on one another.  If you doubt that we are rapidly getting to the point where the government will monitor every breath you take and every move you make, just read the rest of this article.  The truth is that the government is watching you more closely than ever, and they are spending billions upon billions of dollars to enhance their surveillance capabilities even further.  If our society stays on this current path, we will eventually have zero privacy left.  At this point, it is not too hard to imagine a society where we will not be able to say anything, buy anything, sell anything, assemble with others or even leave our homes without government permission.  We truly are descending into a dystopian nightmare and the American people had better wake up.

Sadly, most people living in the United States and in Europe do not realize what is happening.  Most of them think that everything is just fine.  The “Big Brother control grid” that is being constructed all over the western world squeezes all of us just a little bit tighter every single day, and most people don’t even feel it.

But when you step back and take a look at the big picture, it truly is horrifying.

The following are 14 new ways that the government is watching you….

#1 In many areas of the United States today, you will be arrested if you do not produce proper identification for the police.  In the old days, “your papers please” was a phrase that we used to use to mock the tyranny of Nazi Germany.  But now all of us are being required to be able to produce “our papers” for law enforcement authorities at any time.  For example, a 21-year-old college student named Samantha Zucker was recently arrested and put in a New York City jail for 36 hours just because she could not produce any identification for police.

#2 The federal government has decided that what you and I share with one another on Facebook and on Twitter could be a threat to national security.  According to a recent Associated Press article, the Department of Homeland Security will soon be “gleaning information from sites such as Twitter and Facebook for law enforcement purposes”.

Other law enforcement agencies are getting into the act as well.  For example, the NYPD recently created a special “social media” unit dedicated to looking for criminals on social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

#3 New high-tech street lights that are being funded by the federal government and that are being installed all over the nation can also be used as surveillance cameras, can be used by the DHS to make “security announcements” and can even be used to record personal conversations.  The following is from a recent article by Paul Joseph Watson for Infowars.com….

Federally-funded high-tech street lights now being installed in American cities are not only set to aid the DHS in making security announcements and acting as talking surveillance cameras, they are also capable of recording conversations, bringing the potential privacy threat posed by Intellistreets to a whole new level.

#4 More than a million hotel television sets all over America are now broadcasting propaganda messages from the Department of Homeland Security promoting the “See Something, Say Something” campaign.  In essence, the federal government wants all of us to become “informants” and to start spying on one another constantly.  The following comes from an article posted by USA Today….

Starting today, the welcome screens on 1.2 million hotel television sets in Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Holiday Inn and other hotels in the USA will show a short public service announcement from DHS. The 15-second spot encourages viewers to be vigilant and call law enforcement if they witness something suspicious during their travels.

#5 The FBI is now admittedly recording Internet talk radio programs all over the United States.  The following comes from a recent article by Mark Weaver of WMAL.com….

If you call a radio talk show and get on the air, you might be recorded by the FBI.

The FBI has awarded a $524,927 contract to a Virginia company to record as much radio news and talk programming as it can find on the Internet.

The FBI says it is not playing big brother by policing the airwaves, but rather seeking access to what airs as potential evidence.

Potential evidence of what?

This is very creepy.  Why is the FBI so interested in what is being said during Internet talk radio programs?

#6 TSA VIPR teams are now conducting random inspections at bus stations and on interstate highways all over the United States.  For example, the following comes from a local news report down in Tennessee….

Youre probably used to seeing TSAs signature blue uniforms at the airport, but now agents are hitting the interstates to fight terrorism with Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR).

Where is a terrorist more apt to be found? Not these days on an airplane more likely on the interstate, said Tennessee Department of Safety & Homeland Security Commissioner Bill Gibbons.

Tuesday Tennessee was first to deploy VIPR simultaneously at five weigh stations and two bus stations across the state.

#7 Thermal imaging face scanners are becoming much more sophisticated.  Law enforcement authorities in the western world are getting very excited about “pre-crime” tools such as this that will enable them to “prevent crimes” before they happen.  The following is from a recent BBC News article….

A sophisticated new camera system can detect lies just by watching our faces as we talk, experts say.

The computerised system uses a simple video camera, a high-resolution thermal imaging sensor and a suite of algorithms.

Researchers say the system could be a powerful aid to security services.

But face scanners are not just a tool that will be used in the future.  The truth is that face scanners are being used all over the United States right now.  The following comes from an article posted on Singularity Hub….

Law enforcement continues to adopt new technologies in an effort to make their jobs easier and keep us safer. The latest gizmo attaches to officers iPhones and turns them into biometric face scanners. The scanners have already been street tested in Massachusetts. Pretty soon cops all across the US will be using them to ID suspects.

Before long, technology like this will be all over America.  In fact, the FBI has announced that it will be activating a “nationwide facial recognition service” in January.

#8 Another “pre-crime” technology currently being tested by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is The Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) program.  The following description of this new program comes from an article in the London Telegraph….

Using cameras and sensors the pre-crime system measures and tracks changes in a persons body movements, the pitch of their voice and the rhythm of their speech.

It also monitors breathing patterns, eye movements, blink rate and alterations in body heat, which are used to assess an individuals likelihood to commit a crime.

The Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) programme is already being tested on a group of government employees who volunteered to act as guinea pigs.

Do you want government officials to pull you aside and interrogate you just because you are feeling a little bit nervous one particular day?

#9 Sadly, “pre-crime” technology is even being used on our children.  The Florida State Department of Juvenile Justice has announced that it will begin using analysis software to predict crime by young delinquents and will place “potential offenders” in specific prevention and education programs.

How soon will it be before this type of things is applied to adults?

#10 Our children are being programmed to accept the fact that they will be watched and monitored constantly.  For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is spending large amounts of money to install surveillance camerasin the cafeterias of public schools all across the nation so that government control freaks can closely monitor what our children are eating.

#11 The U.S. government is also increasingly using “polls” and “surveys” as tools to gather information about all of us.  In previous articles, I have noted how government authorities seems particularly interested in our children.  According toMike Adams of Natural News, the CDC is starting to call parents all over the U.S. to question them about the vaccination status of their children….

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, which has been comprehensively exposed as a vaccine propaganda organization promoting the interests of drug companies, is now engaged in a household surveillance program that involves calling U.S. households and intimidating parents into producing child immunization records. As part of what it deems a National Immunization Survey(NIS), the CDC is sending letters to U.S. households, alerting them that they will be called by NORC at the University of Chicago and that households should have your childs immunization records handy when answering our questions.

You can see a copy of the letter that the CDC has been sending out to selected parents right here.

#12 As I have written about previously, a very disturbing document that Oath Keepers has obtained shows that the FBI is now instructing store owners to report many new forms of “suspicious activity” to them.  According to the document, “suspicious activity” now includes the following….

*paying with cash

*missing a hand or fingers

*”strange odors”

*making “extreme religious statements”

*”radical theology”

*purchasing weatherproofed ammunition or match containers

*purchasing meals ready to eat

*purchasing night vision devices, night flashlights or gas masks

Do any of those “signs of suspicious activity” apply to you?

According to a report on WorldNetDaily, this document is part of a “series of brochures” that will be distributed “to farm supply stores, gun shops, military surplus stores and even hotels and motels.”

#13 In some areas of the country, law enforcement authorities are pulling data out of cell phones for no reason whatsoever.  According to the ACLU, state police in Michigan are now using “extraction devices” to download data from the cell phones of motorists that they pull over.  This is taking happening even if the motorists that are pulled over are not accused of doing anything wrong.

The following is how a recent article on CNET News described the capabilities of these “extraction devices”….

The devices, sold by a company called Cellebrite, can download text messages, photos, video, and even GPS data from most brands of cell phones. The handheld machines have various interfaces to work with different models and can even bypass security passwords and access some information.

#14 The government can spy on us and record our conversations seemingly without any limitation, but in many areas of the country it has become illegal to watch them or record them in public.  For example, one 21-year-old man down in Florida was recently arrested for trying to document a confrontation that he was having with police on his iPhone.  But if we can’t record them, how can we prove our side of the story in court?

Oligarchy, American Style

November 3, 2011
by Paul Krugman
New York Times

Inequality is back in the news, largely thanks to Occupy Wall Street, but with an assist from the Congressional Budget Office. And you know what that means: It’s time to roll out the obfuscators!

Anyone who has tracked this issue over time knows what I mean. Whenever growing income disparities threaten to come into focus, a reliable set of defenders tries to bring back the blur. Think tanks put out reports claiming that inequality isn’t really rising, or that it doesn’t matter. Pundits try to put a more benign face on the phenomenon, claiming that it’s not really the wealthy few versus the rest, it’s the educated versus the less educated.

So what you need to know is that all of these claims are basically attempts to obscure the stark reality: We have a society in which money is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people, and in which that concentration of income and wealth threatens to make us a democracy in name only.

The budget office laid out some of that stark reality in a recent report, which documented a sharp decline in the share of total income going to lower- and middle-income Americans. We still like to think of ourselves as a middle-class country. But with the bottom 80 percent of households now receiving less than half of total income, that’s a vision increasingly at odds with reality.

In response, the usual suspects have rolled out some familiar arguments: the data are flawed (they aren’t); the rich are an ever-changing group (not so); and so on. The most popular argument right now seems, however, to be the claim that we may not be a middle-class society, but we’re still an upper-middle-class society, in which a broad class of highly educated workers, who have the skills to compete in the modern world, is doing very well.

It’s a nice story, and a lot less disturbing than the picture of a nation in which a much smaller group of rich people is becoming increasingly dominant. But it’s not true.

Workers with college degrees have indeed, on average, done better than workers without, and the gap has generally widened over time. But highly educated Americans have by no means been immune to income stagnation and growing economic insecurity. Wage gains for most college-educated workers have been unimpressive (and nonexistent since 2000), while even the well-educated can no longer count on getting jobs with good benefits. In particular, these days workers with a college degree but no further degrees are less likely to get workplace health coverage than workers with only a high school degree were in 1979.

So who is getting the big gains? A very small, wealthy minority.

The budget office report tells us that essentially all of the upward redistribution of income away from the bottom 80 percent has gone to the highest-income 1 percent of Americans. That is, the protesters who portray themselves as representing the interests of the 99 percent have it basically right, and the pundits solemnly assuring them that it’s really about education, not the gains of a small elite, have it completely wrong.

If anything, the protesters are setting the cutoff too low. The recent budget office report doesn’t look inside the top 1 percent, but an earlier report, which only went up to 2005, found that almost two-thirds of the rising share of the top percentile in income actually went to the top 0.1 percent — the richest thousandth of Americans, who saw their real incomes rise more than 400 percent over the period from 1979 to 2005.

Who’s in that top 0.1 percent? Are they heroic entrepreneurs creating jobs? No, for the most part, they’re corporate executives. Recent research shows that around 60 percent of the top 0.1 percent either are executives in nonfinancial companies or make their money in finance, i.e., Wall Street broadly defined. Add in lawyers and people in real estate, and we’re talking about more than 70 percent of the lucky one-thousandth.

But why does this growing concentration of income and wealth in a few hands matter? Part of the answer is that rising inequality has meant a nation in which most families don’t share fully in economic growth. Another part of the answer is that once you realize just how much richer the rich have become, the argument that higher taxes on high incomes should be part of any long-run budget deal becomes a lot more compelling.

The larger answer, however, is that extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy. Can anyone seriously deny that our political system is being warped by the influence of big money, and that the warping is getting worse as the wealth of a few grows ever larger?

Some pundits are still trying to dismiss concerns about rising inequality as somehow foolish. But the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake.


Far right on rise in Europe, says report

Study by Demos thinktank reveals thousands of self-declared followers of hardline nationalist parties and groups

November 6, 2011

by Peter Walker and Matthew Taylor


The far right is on the rise across Europe as a new generation of young, web-based supporters embrace hardline nationalist and anti-immigrant groups, a study has revealed ahead of a meeting of politicians and academics in Brussels to examine the phenomenon.

Research by the British thinktank Demos for the first time examines attitudes among supporters of the far right online. Using advertisements on Facebook group pages, they persuaded more than 10,000 followers of 14 parties and street organisations in 11 countries to fill in detailed questionnaires.

The study reveals a continent-wide spread of hardline nationalist sentiment among the young, mainly men. Deeply cynical about their own governments and the EU, their generalised fear about the future is focused on cultural identity, with immigration – particularly a perceived spread of Islamic influence – a concern.

“We’re at a crossroads in European history,” said Emine Bozkurt, a Dutch MEP who heads the anti-racism lobby at the European parliament. “In five years’ time we will either see an increase in the forces of hatred and division in society, including ultra-nationalism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and antisemitism, or we will be able to fight this horrific tendency.”

The report comes just over three months after Anders Breivik, a supporter of hard right groups, shot dead 69 people at youth camp near Oslo. While he was disowned by the parties, police examination of his contacts highlighted the Europe-wide online discussion of anti-immigrant and nationalist ideas.

Data in the study was mainly collected in July and August, before the worsening of the eurozone crisis. The report highlights the prevalence of anti-immigrant feeling, especially suspicion of Muslims. “As antisemitism was a unifying factor for far-right parties in the 1910s, 20s and 30s, Islamophobia has become the unifying factor in the early decades of the 21st century,” said Thomas Klau from the European Council on Foreign Relations, who will speak at Monday’s conference.

Parties touting anti-immigrant and Islamophobic ideas have spread beyond established strongholds in France, Italy and Austria to the traditionally liberal Netherlands and Scandinavia, and now have significant parliamentary blocs in eight countries. Other nations have seen the rise of nationalist street movements like the English Defence League (EDL). But, experts say, polling booths and demos are only part of the picture: online, a new generation is following these organisations and swapping ideas, particularly through Facebook. For most parties the numbers online are significantly bigger than their formal membership.

The phenomenon is sometimes difficult to pin down given the guises under which such groups operate. At one end are parties like France’s National Front, a significant force in the country’s politics for 25 years and seen as a realistic challenger in next year’s presidential election. At the other are semi-organised street movements like the EDL, which struggles to muster more than a few hundred supporters for occasional demonstrations, or France’s Muslim-baiting Bloc Indentitaire, best known for serving a pork-based “identity soup” to homeless people.

Others still take an almost pick-and-mix approach to ideology; a number of the Scandinavian parties which have flourished in recent years combine decidedly left-leaning views on welfare with vehement opposition to all forms of multiculturalism.

Youth, Demos found, was a common factor. Facebook’s own advertising tool let Demos crunch data from almost 450,000 supporters of the 14 organisations. Almost two-thirds were aged under 30, against half of Facebook users overall. Threequarters were male, and more likely than average to be unemployed.

The separate anonymous surveys showed a repeated focus on immigration, specifically a perceived threat from Muslim populations. This rose with younger supporters, contrary to most previous surveys which found greater opposition to immigration among older people. An open-ended question about what first drew respondents to the parties saw Islam and immigration listed far more often than economic worries. Answers were sometimes crude – “The foreigners are slowly suffocating our lovely country. They have all these children and raise them so badly,” went one from a supporter of the Danish People’s Party. Others argued that Islam is simply antithetical to a liberal democracy, a view espoused most vocally by Geert Wilders, the Dutch leader of the Party for Freedom, which only six years after it was founded is the third-biggest force in the country’s parliament.

This is a “key point” for the new populist-nationalists, said Matthew Goodwin from Nottingham University, an expert on the far right. “As an appeal to voters, it marks a very significant departure from the old, toxic far-right like the BNP. What some parties are trying to do is frame opposition to immigration in a way that is acceptable to large numbers of people. Voters now are turned off by crude, blatant racism – we know that from a series of surveys and polls.

“[These groups are] saying to voters: it’s not racist to oppose these groups if you’re doing it from the point of view of defending your domestic traditions. This is the reason why people like Geert Wilders have not only attracted a lot of support but have generated allies in the mainstream political establishment and the media.”

While the poll shows economics playing a minimal role, analysts believe the eurozone crisis is likely to boost recruitment to anti-EU populist parties which are keen to play up national divisions. “Why do the Austrians, as well as the Germans or the Dutch, constantly have to pay for the bottomless pit of the southern European countries?” asked Heinz-Christian Strache, head of the Freedom Party of Austria, once led by the late Jörg Haider. Such parties have well over doubled their MPs around western Europe in a decade. “What we have seen over the past five years is the emergence of parties in countries which were traditionally seen as immune to the trend – the Sweden Democrats, the True Finns, the resurgence of support for the radical right in the Netherlands, and our own experience with the EDL,” said Goodwin.

The phenomenon was now far beyond a mere protest vote, he said, with many supporters expressing worries about national identity thus far largely ignored by mainstream parties.

Gavan Titley, an expert on the politics of racism in Europe and co-author of the recent book The Crises of Multiculturalism, said these mainstream politicians had another responsibility for the rise of the new groups, by too readily adopting casual Islamophobia.

“The language and attitudes of many mainstream parties across Europe during the ‘war on terror’, especially in its early years, laid the groundwork for much of the language and justifications that these groups are now using around the whole idea of defending liberal values – from gender to freedom of speech,” he said.

“Racist strategies constantly adapt to political conditions, and seek new sets of values, language and arguments to make claims to political legitimacy. Over the past decade, Muslim populations around Europe, whatever their backgrounds, have been represented as the enemy within or at least as legitimately under suspicion. It is this very mainstream political repertoire that newer movements have appropriated.”

Jamie Bartlett of Demos, the principal author of the report, said it was vital to track the spread of such attitudes among the new generation of online activists far more numerous than formal membership of such parties. “There are hundreds of thousands of them across Europe. They are disillusioned with mainstream politics and European political institutions and worried about the erosion of their cultural and national identity, and are turning to populist movements, who they feel speak to these concerns.

“These activists are largely out of sight of mainstream politicians, but they are motivated, active, and growing in size. Politicians across the continent need to sit up, listen and respond.”


Voting trends

As a political party, having tens of thousands of online supporters is one thing but translating these into actual votes can be quite another. However, the Demos survey found that 67% of the Facebook fans of the nationalist-populist groups which put up candidates – some are street movements only – said they had voted for them at the most recent election.

Further analysis found that female supporters were more likely to turn support into a vote, as were those who were employed.

Nord Stream Pipeline Is Ready To Go

November 4, 2010

Business Insider

On Tuesday November 8, Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel together with President Dmitry Medvedev and the Prime Ministers of France François Fillon and the Netherlands Mark Rutte and EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger will formally inaugurate the first of Nord Stream’s twin 1,224 kilometre gas pipelines through the Baltic Sea.

            When fully operational in late 2012, Nord Stream’s two lines will have the capacity to transport 55 billion cubic metres of Russian gas a year to the EU for at least 50 years.

            The heads of government and other political and business leaders will be among 420 guests gathering at Lubmin by the pipeline’s landfall for a formal ceremony to celebrate the arrival in Europe of gas through the Nord Stream Pipeline and its entry into the European gas grid. The celebrations will be led by the heads of the four countries whose companies are shareholders in Nord Stream.

             Following the successful construction and pre-commissioning completion (including pressure testing, cleaning, drying, filling with nitrogen in order to eliminate any oxygen), Nord Stream has moved to a new milestone. On 6 September, Nord Stream has started filling the first line with the so-called buffer gas. The fill-in will continue for some four weeks. Before the operation can start in October, the pipeline needs to be filled up with gas to a certain level.

            This was the final step in commissioning of the first line, which means that Nord Stream Line 1 is ready to start transporting gas to Europe. After completion of all preparatory works on both ends of the pipeline in Russia and Germany, gas will start flowing through Nord Stream.

            Nord Stream AG is providing this key energy infrastructure on schedule and on budget, at no cost to European taxpayers: the consortium’s five shareholders are providing 30 percent of the 7.4 billion euro investment, with commercial loans from 26 international banks providing 70 percent.


CIA following Twitter, Facebook


November 5, 2011

by Kimberly Dozier


             McLEAN, Va. (AP) — In an anonymous industrial park in Virginia, in an unassuming brick building, the CIA is following tweets — up to 5 million a day.

At the agency’s Open Source Center, a team known affectionately as the “vengeful librarians” also pores over Facebook, newspapers, TV news channels, local radio stations, Internet chat rooms — anything overseas that anyone can access and contribute to openly.

From Arabic to Mandarin Chinese, from an angry tweet to a thoughtful blog, the analysts gather the information, often in native tongue. They cross-reference it with the local newspaper or a clandestinely intercepted phone conversation. From there, they build a picture sought by the highest levels at the White House, giving a real-time peek, for example, at the mood of a region after the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden or perhaps a prediction of which Mideast nation seems ripe for revolt.

Yes, they saw the uprising in Egypt coming; they just didn’t know exactly when revolution might hit, said the center’s director, Doug Naquin.

The center already had “predicted that social media in places like Egypt could be a game-changer and a threat to the regime,” he said in a recent interview with The Associated Press at the center. CIA officials said it was the first such visit by a reporter the agency has ever granted.

The CIA facility was set up in response to a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission, with its first priority to focus on counterterrorism and counterproliferation. But its several hundred analysts — the actual number is classified — track a broad range, from Chinese Internet access to the mood on the street in Pakistan.

While most are based in Virginia, the analysts also are scattered throughout U.S. embassies worldwide to get a step closer to the pulse of their subjects.

The most successful analysts, Naquin said, are something like the heroine of the crime novel “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” a quirky, irreverent computer hacker who “knows how to find stuff other people don’t know exists.”

Those with a masters’ degree in library science and multiple languages, especially those who grew up speaking another language, “make a powerful open source officer,” Naquin said.

The center had started focusing on social media after watching the Twitter-sphere rock the Iranian regime during the Green Revolution of 2009, when thousands protested the results of the elections that put Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad back in power. “Farsi was the third largest presence in social media blogs at the time on the Web,” Naquin said.

The center’s analysis ends up in President Barack Obama’s daily intelligence briefing in one form or another, almost every day.

After bin Laden was killed in Pakistan in May, the CIA followed Twitter to give the White House a snapshot of world public opinion.

Since tweets can’t necessarily be pegged to a geographic location, the analysts broke down reaction by languages. The result: The majority of Urdu tweets, the language of Pakistan, and Chinese tweets, were negative. China is a close ally of Pakistan’s. Pakistani officials protested the raid as an affront to their nation’s sovereignty, a sore point that continues to complicate U.S.-Pakistani relations.

When the president gave his speech addressing Mideast issues a few weeks after the raid, the tweet response over the next 24 hours came in negative from Turkey, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, the Persian Gulf and Israel, too, with speakers of Arabic and Turkic tweets charging that Obama favored Israel, and Hebrew tweets denouncing the speech as pro-Arab.

In the next few days, major news media came to the same conclusion, as did analysis by the covert side of U.S. intelligence based on intercepts and human intelligence gathered in the region.

The center is also in the process of comparing its social media results with the track record of polling organizations, trying to see which produces more accurate results, Naquin said.

“We do what we can to caveat that we may be getting an overrepresentation of the urban elite,” said Naquin, acknowledging that only a small slice of the population in many areas they are monitoring has access to computers and Internet. But he points out that access to social media sites via cellphones is growing in areas like Africa, meaning a “wider portion of the population than you might expect is sounding off and holding forth than it might appear if you count the Internet hookups in a given country.”

Sites like Facebook and Twitter also have become a key resource for following a fast-moving crisis such as the riots that raged across Bangkok in April and May of last year, the center’s deputy director said. The Associated Press agreed not to identify him because he sometimes still works undercover in foreign countries.

As director, Naquin is identified publicly by the agency although the location of the center is kept secret to deter attacks, whether physical or electronic.

The deputy director was one of a skeleton crew of 20 U.S. government employees who kept the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok running throughout the rioting as protesters surged through the streets, swarming the embassy neighborhood and trapping U.S. diplomats and Thais alike in their homes.

The army moved in, and traditional media reporting slowed to a trickle as local reporters were either trapped or cowed by government forces.

“But within an hour, it was all surging out on Twitter and Facebook,” the deputy director said. The CIA homed in on 12 to 15 users who tweeted situation reports and cellphone photos of demonstrations. The CIA staff cross-referenced the tweeters with the limited news reports to figure out who among them was providing reliable information. Tweeters also policed themselves, pointing out when someone else had filed an inaccurate account.

“That helped us narrow down to those dozen we could count on,” he said.

Ultimately, some two-thirds of the reports coming out of the embassy being sent back to all branches of government in Washington came from the CIA’s open source analysis throughout the crisis.

Israeli sends out loud warning to Iran

November 3, 2011

by Victor Kotsev

Asia Times

             Through a number of leaks and well-publicized war exercises, the Israeli government has dramatically increased its threats against Iran in the past days. Since the Israeli military likes to act by surprise, it seems this specific escalation is a bluff designed to help pass tougher diplomatic measures against the Islamic Republic at the United Nations Security Council, specifically following the anticipated publication of an important report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) next week.
             However, given the exceptionally high and rising regional tensions (not all of which involve Israel directly), a larger war in the Middle East is a distinct possibility. Thus, the Israeli rhetoric can be interpreted in two additional ways (all three are not mutuallyexclusive): as an attempt to deter a possible first or second strike by Iran and its allies, and as a campaign to prepare public opinion, both at home and abroad, for hostilities.
             According to a widely circulated if anonymous assessment (presumed to have come directly from high-ranking Israeli officials), the window of opportunity for striking the Iranian nuclear sites this year will close in a matter of weeks, with the coming of the winter.
            The urgency implied in this argument is not necessarily very real – according to most assessments, if Iran were to choose to produce a nuclear bomb, it would need several years at the current rate of enrichment to have enough weapons-grade uranium or plutonium.
            In the worst-case scenario, if the Iranian leaders choose to dash headlong toward a bomb, they would need at least a few months. There is some controversy about the precise time frame, but the Institute for Science and International Security estimates six months. [1]
             However, it was not very difficult to twist the assessment into a powerful sound bite (“the window of opportunity for a strike against Iran is closing”) and to put it to use to justify and amplify an impressive Israeli show of force. In the space of a week or so, Israel conducted a simulation of a long-distance air strike together with Italy, tested what was allegedly an upgrade of its Jericho 3 intercontinental ballistic missile, and conducted a home front drill centered around the scenario of a chemical weapons attack delivered by a missile.
            All three drills were conducted in an extraordinarily open way; the usually tight-lipped Israeli military censor allowed the Israeli press to publish pictures of the exercise in Italy and speculations about the Israeli missile program [2]. Moreover, these reports were accompanied by a flurry of other reports and leaks, all conveying, explicitly or implicitly, the same message; that an Israeli strike on Iran is imminent.
             “[Benjamin] Netanyahu trying to persuade cabinet to support attack on Iran,” was the title of a November 2 article on the Israeli prime minister’s intentions in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz [3]. “With Syria on the way down, Iran needs nukes more than ever,” another Ha’aretz headline from the same day reads [4]. “US fears unilateral Israeli strike on Iran,” a website associated with another Israeli daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, claimed just days earlier. [5]
            Even The Guardian chimed in, reporting that the United Kingdom was “stepping up” its preparations to assist the United States in a “potential military action against Iran”. [6]
            Last month, the US think-thank Stratfor suggested that the US was finally siding with Saudi Arabia in a more aggressive stance against Iran. [7]
            On the one hand, much of this is clearly posturing, and Israel seems to be playing the bad cop in the American pressure campaign against Iran at the UN Security Council.
            If Russia and China could be persuaded that the Israeli government is serious in its threats, they would theoretically become more amenable to tougher sanctions against Iran (something they have so far opposed).
            The IAEA report is due to be released next week, and it is rumored to be harshly critical of the Iranian nuclear program. It could – backed up by the American allegations that Iran conspired to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington – serve as a basis for another round of sanctions.
            In the past, Israel has conducted highly dangerous and controversial operations – a planning a potential strike on Iran would fall in this category – in the greatest of secrecy; it is unlikely that it would make so much noise now while preparing to attack imminently. Nevertheless, as a whole there is a real danger of a regional war, the time frame for which is not clear, and the Israeli moves could well be meant to address that threat.
            In the analysis of Israeli journalist Anshel Pfeffer,

            It is important to note that the drills and tests of recent days, and those expected to take place in the coming days, were all planned months ago…. However, one cannot ignore the proximity of these events, together with the continuing operational work on the Iron Dome systems in Gaza and in northern Israel, the acceleration of the Magic Wand and Arrow 3 defense systems – and naturally the public discourse over the last few days concerning the possibility of a strike on Iran … All these elements – with differing degrees of planning – provide the background music in a concert of a military apparatus preparing for a possible large-scale operation.
            Even if the decision to attack Iran has not yet been made, and despite opposition by senior security officials, the IDF’s [Israel Defense Forces] task – and that of the rest of the security and intelligence bodies – is to provide the decision-making level with the maximum number of operational options and the offensive and defensive options. [8]

            An attack on the Iranian nuclear program might not come from Israel – and neither is it certain that Iran and its allies will desist from initiating hostilities themselves. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, recently threatened to “burn the whole region” in case of a foreign intervention in his country. Days ago, he professed to accept an Arab League plan for defusing the violence, but then reportedly contradicted himself once again by murdering dozens of people in cold blood.
            Meanwhile, after the death of Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi, the attention of all those who feel Responsibility to Protect is clearly fixed on Syria. The comparisons run on multiple levels – according to a recent report, the IAEA is investigating a new suspicious site in Syria, which closely resembles a Libyan uranium plant that Gaddafi abandoned several years ago [9]. Such an allegation could theoretically help justify an intervention against Assad.
            For Israel, moreover, a confrontation with Iran or Syria need not take the form of a direct exchange with either of these countries. It is very likely, for example, that last weekend’s escalation in Gaza between the Israeli army and the Islamic Jihad militant organization happened on orders from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. The Israeli muscle flexing can thus be interpreted also as a loud warning to Iran that it can easily cross the line when stoking conflict on Israel’s borders.

Victor Kotsev is a journalist and political analyst based in Tel Aviv.

1. Debunking Gregory Jones Again , ISIS, October 27, 2011.
2. For some of the coverage, see the following: 1. Israel Air Force conducts drills for long-range attacks, Ha’aretz, November 2, 2011, 2. Home Front drill: Holon under chemical weapon attack , Jerusalem Post, November 3, 2011, and 3. IAF holds distant-strike exercise, Ynet, November 2, 2011.
3. Netanyahu trying to persuade cabinet to support attack on Iran, Ha’aretz, November 2, 2011.
4. With Syria on the way down, Iran needs nukes more than ever, Ha’aretz, November 2, 2011.
5. US fears uncoordinated Israeli strike on Iran, Ynet, October 31, 2011.
6. UK military steps up plans for Iran attack amid fresh nuclear fears , The Guardian, November 2, 2011.
7. From the Mediterranean to the Hindu Kush: Rethinking the Region, , Stratfor, October 18, 2011.
8. Are Israel’s military drills preparation for an Iran strike? , Ha’aretz, November 2, 2011.
9. New suspected nuclear complex exposed in Syria, ynetnews.com, November 1, 2011

How to Identify Made in China goods

The whole world is scared of China made ‘black hearted goods’. Can you differentiate which one is made in the USA , Philippines , Taiwan or China ? Let me tell you how… the first 3 digits of the barcode is the country code wherein the product was made.

Sample all barcodes that start with 690.691.692 until 695 are all MADE IN CHINA.

This is our human right to know, but the government and related department never educate the public, therefore we have to RESCUE ourselves.

Nowadays, Chinese businessmen know that consumers do not prefer products ‘made in china’, so they don’t show from which country it is made.

However, you may now refer to the barcode, remember if the first 3 digits is 690-695 then it is made in China .

00 ~ 13 USA & Canada
            30 ~ 37 France
            40 ~ 44 Germany
            49 ~ Japan
            50 ~ UK
            57 ~ Denmark
            64 ~ Finland
            76 ~ Switzerland and Lienchtenstein
            471 is Made in Taiwan
            628 ~ Saudi-Arabien
            629 ~ United Arab Emirates
            740 ~ 745 – Central America

            All 480 Codes are made in the Philippines.






God created the Earth in seven days, literally and exactly seven 24-hour days. And if you don’t like it, you can go to hell. That is, you can literally go to Hell.

In all the world’s rich panoply of religious and spiritual pursuits, there’s nothing quite so inspiring as watching people desperately tie their entire view of the moral universe to an idea that’s obviously wrong. Creationism is a particularly entertaining variant on an age-old theme. (Remember when Galileo was excommunicated for the ludicrous idea that the Earth goes ’round the sun and not the other way around?)

Creationism is pretty much summed up in the first sentence of this article. Creationists like to call their belief system “creation science” and would like to have it taught in school alongside the theory of evolution.

Now, it’s certainly possible that some God or other created the world in seven 24-hour days. Any sentence that contains the word “God” is pretty much wide open to debate. But is it science?

Oh, wait, that sounded like a rhetorical question. It actually has an answer. No, it’s not science. It’s religion. Nothing wrong with religion, lots of people have it. Often very smart and well-educated people.

But beliefs based solely on the text of the Bible aren’t science. Science is the “systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.” There is no scientific test which will show that Adam and Eve existed. At least, not according to the commonly accepted definition of science. However, if creationism is about anything, it’s about language.

Western civilization has believed the seven-day theory for about 6,000 years longer than it’s believed in evolution. The weight of that history is great indeed. Although Genesis was originally a Jewish scripture, the Christians were responsible for institutionalizing its contents as the undisputed truth about the world’s origins.

The original notion of evolution dates back to the ancient Greeks, but early thinking on the subject was crushed by the Church of Rome. By the 17th century, however, the Protestant revolution and the whole Galileo fiasco had given the public reason to think that the Vatican was not necessarily the best source for scientific information.

Nevertheless, the idea that people had somehow evolved from a lower life form was abhorrent to most people, right up through the Victorian era. “Man” (and specifically the white male) was considered the highest possible form of life on earth, elevated above all others.

When Charles Darwin came along in the middle of the 19th century, all hell broke loose. Although Darwin outlined a progression of primitive man through modern man, the average joe looked at his chart and made the immediate mental leap that men essentially came from monkeys. The Victorians were not amused.

A violent religious backlash arose in response to the theory. Nearly 150 years later, depressingly, the backlash continues.

The theory of evolution quickly gained traction in scientific circles, but the common man held out for a lot longer. As it does with virtually all issues of any importance in the world, the United States responded to the controversy with litigation.

The state of Tennessee passed a law in 1925 banning schools from teaching any theory of human origin that conflicted with the Biblical account. A biology teacher named John Scopes defied the ban and was brought up on charges. A legal battle of historic proportions resulted, as Clarence Darrow stepped up as attorney for the defense; William Jennings Bryan came to the assistance of the state.

The “Scopes monkey trial” wrapped up with Darrow calling Bryan and staging a virtual debate over the issue of evolution vs. creation under the guise of cross-examination. It would have been great television, had there been television at the time.

DARROW: I will read it to you from the Bible: "And the Lord God said unto the serpent, because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life." Do you think that is why the serpent is compelled to crawl upon its belly?

BRYAN: I believe that.

DARROW: Have you any idea how the snake went before that time?

BRYAN: No, sir.

DARROW: Do you know whether he walked on his tail or not?

BRYAN: No, sir. I have no way to know. (Laughter in audience).

DARROW: Now, you refer to the cloud that was put in heaven after the flood, the rainbow. Do you believe in that?

BRYAN: Read it.

DARROW: All right, Mr. Bryan, I will read it for you.

BRYAN: Your Honor, I think I can shorten this testimony. The only purpose Mr. Darrow has is to slur at the Bible, but I will answer his question. I will answer it all at once, and I have no objection in the world, I want the world to know that this man, who does not believe in a God, is trying to use a court in Tennessee…

DARROW: I object to that.

BRYAN: (…) to slur at it, and while it will require time, I am willing to take it.

DARROW: I object to your statement. I am exempting you on your fool ideas that no intelligent Christian on earth believes.

In his closing remarks, Darrow conceded that his client was guilty and that he couldn’t in good conscience plead otherwise, but that a higher court would have to decide the issue. These inspirational remarks led to the expected guilty verdict, which was later overturned on appeal for a technicality. Aside from the high drama, the trial accomplished pretty much nothing, since the technicality superseded the constitutional issue. The law remained on the books until 1967.

The bad publicity that came out of the trial left other states unenthusiastic about mandating creationism in the schools, but that didn’t stop Protestant fundamentalists from rallying around the issue for the next 80 years.

Weirdly, although the whole issue had stemmed from an overly literal intepretation of the Bible, the second wave of creationists began madly embellishing the Biblical accounts of early man in an effort to get around some of the more undeniable evidence, such as dinosaur fossils.

The dwindling pool of modern creationists now tries to paint a picture of a Fred Flintstone-style Garden of Eden in which cheerful velociraptors traipse around with Adam and Eve like oversized puppies. According to these revisionist-literalists, pretty much any reference to a generic animal in the Bible is inclusive of dinosaurs.

The modern crop of creationists is often perceived as a bunch of harmless cranks, like Jerry Falwell and the Attorney General of the United States. Sure, harmless! They run wacky organizations like the “Institute for Creation Research” and the “Center for Scientific Creation,” which contain arguments like “Evolutionists raise several objections. Some say, ‘Even though evidence may imply a sudden creation, creation is supernatural, not natural, and cannot be entertained as a scientific explanation'” and “Teaching scientific evidence for creation has always been legal in public schools. Nevertheless, many teachers wonder how to do this.”

If you’re thinking that you don’t know a lot of evolutionists who say evidence implies a sudden creation, or teachers who are wondering how to teach said evidence, welcome to the club. But then, it takes a special kind of thinking to keep ancient anachronisms alive and kicking.

A special kind of thinking of the sort perpetuated by the aforementioned Attorney General John Ashcroft, who launched a Justice Department investigation of a Texas professor for demanding that future medical students truthfully tell their opinions about the origins of human life before he would agree to write recommendation letters for them. But hey, who wouldn’t want a doctor that believes women can be extracted from your ribs?

US politics live blog: Tea Party urges Michele Bachmann to quit

The Guardian/UK

A Tea Party group calls on Michele Bachmann to give it up while Obama’s 2008 donors are less enthusiastic about 2012

What the Tea Party gives, the Tea Party can take away. As Michele Bachmann‘s presidential campaign dissolves, her former allies on the conservative right are losing patience.

Last night Barack Obama held a dinner with four donors who won the right to dine with the president after making donations to his campaign. But it came as analysis by the Associated Press found that Obama’s early donors from the 2008 campaign are proving less enthusiastic in this election cycle..

Meanwhile, Rick Perry‘s campaign team are rowing back on suggestions that their candidate might skip some of the coming GOP presidential debates. Because the only thing worse than Rick Perry appearing in a debate appears to be Rick Perry not appearing in a debate.

All this and more, as the clock ticks on the deliberations of the congressional super-committee, while Republicans and Democrats tussle over the $1.2tn cuts required.

10.04am: For some reason Herman Cain is appearing in Anniston, Alabama at a Tea Party breakfast:

We need to put some fuel in the engine of this economy. This administration put a trillion dollars in the caboose, and the economy didn’t grow…. this administration expects the caboose to push the engine.

All very well and good but when was the last time you saw a caboose on a train?

10.23am: The call for Michele Bachmann to step down comes from Ned Ryun of the American Majority – one of the many Tea Party organisations.

On the group’s blog Ryun writes: “It’s time for Michele Bachmann to go.” It’s a crushing piece:

Bachmann has ridden her tea party credentials from obscurity to a national platform like no other…. In Bachmann’s case, it is clear that the campaign has become less about reform and more about her personal effort to stay relevant and sell books; a harsh commentary, but true. It’s not about tea party values or championing real plans to solve real problems. While other campaigns are diving into the substance, the supposed tea party candidate Bachmann is sticking to thin talking points and hanging on for dear life.

Every day the campaign flounders, it risks hurting the credibility of the movement. If she really is about the tea party, and making it successful, it’s time for the Congresswoman to move on. The Tea Party doesn’t have a spokesperson, and it’s certainly not Michele Bachmann.

Part of the reason behind this, surely, is that Bachmann’s tepid performance is making the Tea Party movement look bad.

10.31am: Other wings of the Tea Party aren’t jumping off Bachmann’s bandwagon just yet.

Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots – the faction that Bachmann has been most closely identified with – told CNN:

Michele Bachmann has fought and championed the tea party core values – the fiscal responsibility, the constitutional and limited government and free markets on Capitol Hill – oftentimes when very few others were willing to take up the mantle. And tea party supporters appreciate her for championing their cause repeatedly and consistently.

10.45am: The Bachmann campaign pushes back on the Tea Party group calling on Bachmann to quit:

Michele Bachmann enjoys strong support from Americans across party lines that that certainly includes the Tea Party.

Not according to all the opinion polls in the early states, she doesn’t. The latest CNN/Time magazine poll [pdf] put Bachmann at 6% in Iowa, 4% in South Carolina and Florida, and 2% in New Hampshire.

Are we facing a crisis of overpopulation?

With the world’s population hitting seven billion, demographers are worried about how to provide for everyone.

October 28, 2011

by Chris Arsenault

Al Jazeera

Back in 1798, clergyman and author Thomas Malthus fretted that the “power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in earth to produce subsistence for man”.

When Malthus was writing in 1810, the world’s population was about one billion. It will hit seven billion on October 31, according to the UN, and debates about how many people the planet can sustain only seem to be intensifying. The global population is expected to hit nine billion by 2050.

“We don’t really know how to adequately feed seven billion people – we still have one billion who are not getting enough to eat – so how are we going to feed nine or ten billion?” asks John Weeks, director of the International Population Centre at San Diego State University.

“My own belief is that we don’t have enough resources to sustain seven billion – much less nine or more at the standard of living that we have in the West,” he told Al Jazeera.

“Malthus was obviously wrong about a lot of things.” He certainly overestimated prospective population growth rates and underestimated the ability of technology to revolutionise agriculture. “But the question about how many resources we can generate sustainably remains unanswered,” Weeks said.  

Other early scholars came to different conclusions from Malthus, who used his dire predictions to preach chastity and religious moralism.

In the 1670s, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, the Dutchman who invented microscopes, estimated that the world could sustain 13.385 billion people. 

Population is not necessarily the problem, rather over consumption and inequality drive the worst environmental degradation, some of Malthus’ critics argue.

“The consumption of the rich causes far more environmental problems per person than the modes of consumption from the vast majority of people – who have fewer claims to resources and incomes,” Richard E Bilsborrow, faculty fellow at the Carolina Population Centre, told Al Jazeera. “High consumption [in the rich world] is linked to degradation in the poorer countries. Still, the latter people are degrading the environment.”


More people, more geniuses?

Mao Zedong, the architect of communist China, didn’t worry about over population because “every stomach is born with a pair of hands”. In his view, the need to consume was balanced by the ability to produce.

Chairman Mao was not the only powerful cornucopian – someone who believes that population growth is a blessing, not a curse.

Standing on the other side of the political spectrum and sharing a similar world view, was Julian Simon, a business professor and fellow at the free-market CATO institute, who passed away in 1998.

To oversimplify his arguments, Simon contended that resources are not becoming any more scarce and population growth should be celebrated; more people means more geniuses who can solve the world’s problems through technology and innovative policies.

Today, it looks like Mao and Simon are out of style. China’s population grew from fewer than 600 million in the 1950s to nearly one billion in 1978, when reform-minded leaders imposed the one child policy, worrying there were too many idle hands and empty stomachs.

Part of Simon’s fame stems from a bet he made with the ecologist Paul Ehrlich. Simon thought that prices for basic metals – a measure of scarcity – would fall through the 1980s, while Ehrlich wagered they would rise. Simon won, but prices for food, fuels and commodities have increased dramatically since then – and many hedge funds and speculators see a rising arch over the long-term for prices of basic goods – indicating that supplies are becoming scarcer.

“We don’t have any more land on which to grow food,” Weeks said. “All the resources we are exploiting need to be exploited more efficiently.”


Inequality vs population

In early 2011, the International Monetary Fund released a paper entitled Inequality, Leverage and Crisis, warning that spiraling inequality could have “disastrous consequences” if not addressed.

And they are not alone in sounding the alarm. “The global wealth pyramid has a very wide base and a sharp point,” The Economist reported in January 2011. “The richest one per cent of adults control 43 per cent of the world’s assets; the wealthiest ten per cent have 83 per cent. The bottom 50 per cent have only two per cent.”

This massive amount of money is often spent on private jets, multiple estates and market speculation. If the gap between the haves, have-nots and have-yachts is reduced drastically, critics say, the world has enough wealth and natural resources to provide a decent standard of living to a large population.

“There is a rough tradeoff between population and consumption … a country’s environmental resources can be stressed by either of them,” said Geoffrey McNicoll, a senior associate at the Population Council, an international non-profit organisation. “More consumption is usually a better route in generating human well-being – though with diminishing returns at high levels,” he told Al Jazeera.   

Between 2000 and 2010, the number of adults worldwide rose from 3.6 billion to 4.4 billion, while average wealth (total wealth divided by population) rose from $30,700 to $43,800, The Economist reported. There could be plenty to go around.

“Simply redistributing wealth would greatly improve the current situation but it is not politically feasible,” Bilsborrow said.


Environmental debts 

But these calculations on redistribution do not take environmental costs into account. Some critics say that humans are already taking too much from nature and increased population – especially a globe full of people who want to live like citizens of the developed world – will only make the planet more unsustainable.

The ecological footprint of humankind – the amount of natural wealth we currently take out of the world in the form of food, energy, materials and water – is 35 per cent greater than what the planet can sustain, according to the calculations of environmentalist Mathis Wackernagell, co-developer of the ecological footprint concept.

Some people consume far more than their fair share, others far less. The current model is unsustainable, Wackernagell argues, as we are taking resources out of the planet faster than they can be regenerated. You can probably guess the worst offenders.

Residents of Canada, the US and a few northern European countries are only surpassed by the consumers in Arab Gulf States – the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain – where petroleum extraction, constant air conditioning and fleets of massive SUVs contribute to the world’s highest environmental impact per person, according to the Global Footprint Network, a research organisation.

“Obviously, we could sustain a larger number of people at a lower standard of living,” said Weeks. “But that would mean higher death rates and more misery.”


Growth slowing

While the population continues expanding, demographers are encouraged because its growth rate has slowed down in most regions. “The world’s population growth reached its peak at 1.9 per cent in the 1960s and has dropped to about 1.2 per cent,” said Bilsborrow. “The fall is really extraordinary.”

A rise in living standards, access to family planning and more rights for women have all played a role in slowing the rise, analysts said. 

There is, however, one significant exception. “The single major world region still experiencing rapid population growth is sub-Saharan Africa,” McNicoll said. “There is some population-related conflict (for instance, between farmers and herders), but most of the region’s conflicts seem to have other causes – religion, ethnicity, minerals, etc.”

Improving agriculture in the region is certainly possible, experts agree, as many rural farmers still lack access to basic technologies. This will help feed a growing population in the short-term, but reducing long-term population growth is trickier in a region disproportionately afflicted by conflict. “The most productive aid we [in the West] can give is education,” Weeks said. “But selling weapons is what the rich countries do most easily.”

Veep Hillary Clinton: fergetaboutit

Since before and when she was in the White House, Hillary Clinton has gone pretty straight (if you don’t include starting and pursuing various unnecessary wars). so Now’s there’s increasing talk of running her in place of Joe Biden for vice president. Here are a few reasons to forget about it:

            FIRST FIRST LADY to come under criminal investigation
            FIRST FIRST LADY to almost be indicted according to one of the special prosecutors
            NUMBER of Hillary Clinton fundraisers convicted of, or pleading no contest to, crime: 5
              NUMBER OF TIMES that Hillary Clinton, providing testimony to Congress, said that she didn’t remember, didn’t know, or something similar: 250
             NUMBER OF CLOSE BUSINESS partners of Hillary Clinton who ended up in prison: 3. The Clintons’ two partners in Whitewater were convicted of 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy. Hillary Clinton’s partner and mentor at the Rose law firm, Webster Hubbell, pleaded guilty to federal mail fraud and tax evasion charges, including defrauding former clients and former partners out of more than $480,000. Hillary Clinton was mentioned 35 times in the indictment.
            IN THE 1980s, Hillary Clinton made a $44,000 profit on a $2,000 investment in a cellular phone franchise deal took advantage of the FCC’s preference for locals, minorities and women. The franchise was almost immediately flipped to the cellular giant, McCaw.
            HILLARY CLINTON AND HER HUSBAND set up a resort land scam known as Whitewater in which the unwitting bought third rate property 50 miles from the nearest grocery store and, thanks to the sleazy financing, about half the purchasers, many of them seniors, lost their property.
            IN 1993 HILLARY CLINTON and David Watkins moved to oust the White House travel office in favor of World Wide Travel, Clinton’s source of $1 million in fly-now-pay-later campaign trips that essentially financed the last stages of the campaign without the bother of reporting a de facto contribution. The White House fired seven long-term employees for alleged mismanagement and kickbacks. The director, Billy Dale, charged with embezzlement, was acquitted in less than two hours by the jury.
            HRC’S 1994 HEALTH CARE PLAN, according to one account, included fines of up to $5,000 for refusing to join the government-mandated health plan, $5,000 for failing to pay premiums on time, 15 years to doctors who received “anything of value” in exchange for helping patients short-circuit the bureaucracy, $10,000 a day for faulty physician paperwork, $50,000 for unauthorized patient treatment, and $100,000 a day for drug companies that messed up federal filings.
            TWO MONTHS after commencing the Whitewater scheme, Hillary Clinton invested $1,000 in cattle futures. Within a few days she had a $5,000 profit. Before bailing out she earns nearly $100,000 on her investment. Many years later, several economists will calculate that the chances of earning such returns legally were one in 250 million.
            IN 1996, Hillary Clinton’s Rose law firm billing records, sought for two years by congressional investigators and the special prosecutor were found in the back room of the personal residence at the White House. Clinton said she had no idea how they got there.
            DRUG DEALER Jorge Cabrera gave enough to the Democrats to have his picture taken with both Hillary Clinton and Al Gore. . . Cabrera was arrested in January 1996 inside a cigar warehouse in Dade County, where more than 500 pounds of cocaine had been hidden. He and several accomplices were charged with having smuggled 3,000 pounds of cocaine into the United States through the Keys
            In 2000, Hillary Clinton’s Senate campaign returned $22,000 in soft money to a businesswoman linked to a Democratic campaign contribution from a drug smuggler in Havana.
            IN AUGUST 2000, Hillary Clinton held a huge Hollywood fundraiser for her Senate campaign. It was very successful. The only problem was that, by a long shot, she didn’t report all the money contributed: $800K by the US government’s ultimate count in a settlement and $2 million according to the key contributor and convicted con Peter Paul. This is, in election law, the moral equivalent of not reporting a similar amount on your income tax. It is a form of fraud. Hillary Clinton’s defense is that she didn’t know about it
            HILLARY CLINTON’S participation in a Whitewater related land deal became suspicious enough to trigger an investigation by the Arkansas Supreme Court.
            IN 2007, A Pakistani immigrant who hosted fundraisers for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton became a target of the FBI allegations that he funneled illegal contributions to Clinton’s political action committee and to Sen. Barbara Boxer’s 2004 re-election campaign. Authorities say Northridge, Calif., businessman Abdul Rehman Jinnah, 56, fled the country shortly after being indicted on charges of engineering more than $50,000 in illegal donations to the Democratic committees.
             HILLARY CLINTON SUPPORTED the appointment of Rudy Giuliani’s buddy, Bernie Kerick, to be Secretary of Homeland Security,. Kerick subsequently withdrew and not long after was indicted.


Conversations with the Crow 

When the CIA discovered that their former Deputy Director of Clandestine Affairs, Robert T. Crowley, had been talking with author Gregory Douglas, they became fearful (because of what Crowley knew) and outraged (because they knew Douglas would publish eventually) and made many efforts to silence Crowley, mostly by having dozens of FBI agents call or visit him at his Washington home and try to convince him to stop talking to Douglas, whom they considered to be an evil, loose cannon.

                        Crowley did not listen to them (no one else ever does, either) and Douglas made through shorthand notes of each and every one of their many conversation. TBR News published most of these (some of the really vile ones were left out of the book but will be included on this site as a later addendum ) and the entire collection was later produced as an Ebook.

          Now, we reliably learn, various Washington alphabet agencies are trying to find a way to block the circulation of this highly negative, entertaining and dangerous work, so to show our solidarity with our beloved leaders and protectors, and our sincere appreciation for their corrupt and coercive actions, we are going to reprint the entire work, chapter by chapter. (The complete book can be obtained by going to:


Here is the one-hundreth  chapter

Conversation No. 100

Date: Monday, September 1, 1997

Commenced: 1:45 PM CST

Concluded: 1:55 PM CST

GD: Good afternoon to you, Robert. All well there?

RTC: Could always be better but we consider the alternative. With you?

GD: One of my dogs ate the neighbor’s cat but other than that, no problems.

RTC: Really?

GD: Yes. The dog is a Husky and he was sleeping in the yard when this rather fat Angora jumped over the top of the fence right in front of him. It was all over in a few seconds but I did have to pry what was left of kitty out of his mouth and stick her deep, deep into the garbage can. Saw the neighbor lady looking for the dear one and I helped her look for a while. I told her cats ran off sometimes but they usually came back when they got hungry. Not this one, believe me. If it ever came back, the old lady would have a coronary on the spot. Huskies are born hunters and they are the closest to the wolf. I don’t think that mattered much to the cat. Well, enough animal stories for now. Have you heard from Bill? How is his wife doing?
RTC: They think the melanoma has spread. Nice woman.

GD: Yes, the nice ones seem to go early. Well, we can worry more about the ones left behind.

RTC: What are you doing today, Gregory?

GD: Actually putting the final touches on my Russian Akula.

RTC: What?

GD: That means ‘shark’ in English. That’s their huge sub. 175 meters long and 25 wide. Enormous. Carries RSM-52 long range missiles. Have a range of over 8,000 kilometers. Nuclear warheads. They go out and sit on the ocean bed about 400 meters down. That’s mostly under the polar ice cap. Just sit there and wait for the signal to surface and launch. Wonderful deterrent.

RTC: A bit long in the tooth but I’ve heard about them. How many do they have?

GD: I don’t know. Four to six is my educated guess. Stay out a specified time, maintain strict radio silence and if they aren’t needed to blow our east coast into glowing coals, rotate with the next one. Very comfortable with swimming pools, saunas and private cabins. And there they sit, waiting. And we sowed a field of detection devices all over the supposed routes from Russia so your people in Scotland can monitor the movements. Of course they are under the ice and we can’t spot them from above.

RTC: I had no idea you were into this area, Gregory.

GD: I constantly amaze people, Robert. Anyway, the Russians know about these detectors and have a really interesting way of avoiding them.

RTC: How do you know that, by the way?
GD: I have an old friend who retired from the NSG and he has a few drinks and he’s off and running with nice information. We know but we didn’t for a long time. The Navy never told the CIA so your people are sitting around in Scotland freezing their asses off and eating haggis.

RTC: I don’t suppose…

GD: No, I forgot his name. Anyway, I build ship models to relax. With some people it’s drugs but I prefer ship models. Cheaper and more satisfying. I have a huge model of the Yamato I put together. Took twenty months, that one did.

RTC: But back to the Russian sub. Perhaps we could speak about this?
GD: Delighted to, Robert, but not on the phone. When we get together, we can have a lovely chat about such things.

RTC: Yes, I suppose so. By the way, a man named Kittrick is going to get in touch with you. I won’t tell you for whom he works but stiff him.

GD: Thanks for the tip but these jerks never get past the first ten minutes of bleating on the phone. Well, I guess when they parole them from the loony bin, someone has to give them a make-work job. Hire the handicapped, Robert because they’re fun to watch. How about starting a business called ‘Rent-a-Mongoloid?’ I mean you can get some of these really frightening kids and have them pass out candy at your front door on Halloween. They don’t have to wear masks and they’ll scare the shit out of the young ones. Stains and puddles all the way out to the sidewalk.

RTC: Very cruel, Gregory.

GD: I thought so. Don’t forget, I used to pour water on drowning people. But Jesus loves me too so I guess I’m all right there.  I’m finishing up a paper on the computer system Mueller used for the Gestapo. Hollereit system. I mean early computer but effective. A bit technical but I’ll mail it off and you might find it interesting. The system has been improved but the use of it has great potential in the event some leader here wants to grab power. More insensitivity I guess.

(Concluded at 1:55 PM CST) 

Dramatis personae:

            James Jesus Angleton: Once head of the CIA’s Counterintelligence division, later fired because of his obsessive and illegal behavior, tapping the phones of many important government officials in search of elusive Soviet spies. A good friend of Robert Crowley and a co-conspirator with him in the assassination of President Kennedy

            James P. Atwood: (April 16, 1930-April 20, 1997) A CIA employee, located in Berlin, Atwood had a most interesting career. He worked for any other intelligence agency, domestic or foreign, that would pay him, was involved in selling surplus Russian atomic artillery shells to the Pakistan government and was also most successful in the manufacturing of counterfeit German dress daggers. Too talkative, Atwood eventually had a sudden, and fatal, “seizure” while lunching with CIA associates.

             William Corson: A Marine Corps Colonel and President Carter’s representative to the CIA. A friend of Crowley and Kimmel, Corson was an intelligent man whose main failing was a frantic desire to be seen as an important person. This led to his making fictional or highly exaggerated claims.

            John Costello: A British historian who was popular with revisionist circles. Died of AIDS on a trans-Atlantic flight to the United States.

            James Critchfield: Former U.S. Army Colonel who worked for the CIA and organizaed the Cehlen Org. at Pullach, Germany. This organization was filled to the Plimsoll line with former Gestapo and SD personnel, many of whom were wanted for various purported crimes. He hired Heinrich Müller in 1948 and went on to represent the CIA in the Persian Gulf.

            Robert T. Crowley: Once the deputy director of Clandestine Operations and head of the group that interacted with corporate America. A former West Point football player who was one of the founders of the original CIA. Crowley was involved at a very high level with many of the machinations of the CIA.

             Gregory Douglas: A retired newspaperman, onetime friend of Heinrich Müller and latterly, of Robert Crowley. Inherited stacks of files from the former (along with many interesting works of art acquired during the war and even more papers from Robert Crowley.) Lives comfortably in a nice house overlooking the Mediterranean.

             Reinhard Gehlen: A retired German general who had once been in charge of the intelligence for the German high command on Russian military activities. Fired by Hitler for incompetence, he was therefore naturally hired by first, the U.S. Army and then, as his level of incompetence rose, with the CIA. His Nazi-stuffed organization eventually became the current German Bundes Nachrichten Dienst.

             Thomas K. Kimmel, Jr: A grandson of Admiral Husband Kimmel, Naval commander at Pearl Harbor who was scapegoated after the Japanese attack. Kimmel was a senior FBI official who knew both Gregory Douglas and Robert Crowley and made a number of attempts to discourage Crowley from talking with Douglas. He was singularly unsuccessful. Kimmel subsequently retired, lives in Florida, and works for the CIA as an “advisor.”

            Willi Krichbaum: A Senior Colonel (Oberführer) in the SS, head of the wartime Secret Field Police of the German Army and Heinrich Müller’s standing deputy in the Gestapo. After the war, Krichbaum went to work for the Critchfield organization and was their chief recruiter and hired many of his former SS friends. Krichbaum put Critchfield in touch with Müller in 1948.

             Heinrich Müller: A former military pilot in the Bavarian Army in WWI, Müller  became a political police officer in Munich and was later made the head of the Secret State Police or Gestapo. After the war, Müller escaped to Switzerland where he worked for Swiss intelligence as a specialist on Communist espionage and was hired by James Critchfield, head of the Gehlen Organization, in 1948. Müller subsequently was moved to Washington where he worked for the CIA until he retired.

            Joseph Trento: A writer on intelligence subjects, Trento and his wife “assisted” both Crowley and Corson in writing a book on the Russian KGB. Trento believed that he would inherit all of Crowley’s extensive files but after Crowley’s death, he discovered that the files had been gutted and the most important, and sensitive, ones given to Gregory Douglas. Trento was not happy about this. Neither were his employers.

            Frank Wisner: A Founding Father of the CIA who promised much to the Hungarians and then failed them. First, a raging lunatic who was removed from Langley, screaming, in a strait jacket and later, blowing off the top of his head with a shotgun.

            Robert Wolfe: A retired librarian from the National Archives who worked closely with the CIA on covering up embarrassing historical material in the files of the Archives. A strong supporter of holocaust writers specializing in creative writing. Although he prefers to be called ‘Dr,’ in reality he has no PhD.

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