January 27, 2012
By Noel Brinkerhoff
n a nation that invented the “super-size me” option, it seems only appropriate that U.S. political campaigns would figure out a way to go mega when it comes to collecting and spending money on elections.
Beyond the political action committee (PAC) and Super PAC, there is today in American politics the Super Super PAC, also known as the hybrid PAC. Basically, the hybrid PAC combines the “best” of both PACs and Super PACs.
With PACs, groups can make contributions to federal candidates, but they can’t accept individual donations that exceed $5,000. With Super PACs, election players can raise unlimited donations from corporations and unions, but they must operate independently of candidates’ campaigns and cannot give money directly to them.
But with a hybrid PAC, special interests can raise and spend unlimited amounts of cash to promote or oppose candidates, just like a Super PAC, while also giving limited amounts of money directly to candidates’ campaigns.
January 27, 2012
CBS New York
They’re used in war zones for surveillance and military strikes.
But are there plans to deploy drones in the Big Apple to keep an eye on New Yorkers?
More and more people believe it’s inevitable, reports CBS 2’s Don Dahler.
Drones are unmanned aircraft that can fly at low altitudes and shoot live video — or shoot live missiles.
Surveillance cameras already dot the city’s streets, but is the NYPD exploring the use of even more eyes in the skies, in the form of drones? Some evidence points to yes.
A website named Gay City News posted an e-mail it says it acquired through the Freedom of Information Act. It’s purportedly from a detective in the NYPD counterterrorism division, asking the Federal Aviation Administration about the use of unmanned aerial vehicles as a law enforcement tool.
And the following is part of a recent interview with Commission Ray Kelly that raised more questions than it answered.
“In an extreme situation, you would have some means to take down a plane,” Kelly told “60 Minutes.”
Drones are already being used by law enforcement in other cities. CBS 2 has obtained footage of a huge protest in Poland a few months ago, shot by a small drone that could fly a few dozen feet right over the heads of the crowd and the police. High-resolution cameras can capture every detail, including faces and license plate numbers. In this country, Miami and several cities in Texas are experimenting with such aircraft.
January 27, 2012
By Jonathan Benson
Standardized testing is a common method by which colleges and universities evaluate the competency of applying high school students. But an increasing amount of students are cheating on such tests, which has caused lawmakers in New York to consider actually harvesting “digital DNA” from students and applying it to special ID cards that students would be required to furnish both before and after taking the SAT or ACT exams to prove their identities.
The digital DNA card idea was birthed after a major cheating scandal at Great Neck North High School on Long Island. Students struggling with their studies and the standardized test protocol apparently hired Sam Eshaghoff, a former student who performed well on his own SAT exam, to take the test for them in exchange for cash.
Dr. James Hayward from the applied DNA sciences lab at Stony Brook University, which is currently working on perfecting digital DNA technology, claims it is “absolutely unbreakable for securing the identity of a student taking the SAT exam.” He explained to lawmakers in Albany, NY, recently that a student’s identity code is wirelessly uploaded to an IT “cloud,” which allows test proctors to remotely access it and verify that it matches both that student’s digital DNA card and his or her actual image.
January 27, 2012
By Ellen Connolly
Sweeping protests around the world made it an extremely difficult year for the media, and tested journalists as never before, the annual report into press freedom reveals.
The annual report by Reporters Without Borders has been released, showing the United States fell 27 points on the list due to the many arrests of journalists covering Occupy Wall Street protests.
The slide in the United States places it just behind Comoros and Taiwan in a group with Argentina and Romania.
Reporters Without Borders said the heightened unrest around the world resulted in a significant shake-up of the group’s annual Press Freedom Index, which assesses governments’ commitment to protecting media freedoms.
The Paris-based non-governmental Reporters Without Borders has named “crackdown” the word of 2011 in an assessment of global media freedom during a year in which journalists covering sweeping protests were tested as never before.
The non-governmental organisation seeks to defend journalists’ freedom to work and combat censorship internationally.
Despite the big changes, some constants remained. The country with the freest media in the world was Finland, followed by Norway, Estonia, the Netherlands and Austria. Eritrea was last, with North Korea just above.
The United States was not alone in the falling grades: Bahrain fell 29 points because of the crackdown in that country.
January 27, 2012
By Rady Ananda
Americans are being kept in the dark about a natural cure for prostate cancer and osteoporosis by none other than the US Food and Drug Administration.
More scientific evidence confirms that walnuts have some amazing properties: not only did they reduce tumor size in mice, but they also lowered LDL, the “bad” kind of cholesterol that leads to heart disease, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition last week.
“If additional research determines that walnuts have the same effect in men as they do in mice, adhering to a diet that excludes walnuts to lower fat would mean that prostate cancer patients could miss out on the beneficial effects of walnuts,” said lead researcher Paul Davis.
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men. One in six men will be diagnosed with it, but only one in 36 will die from the disease because most tumors do not spread beyond the local site, according to the National Cancer Institute.
“These characteristics of prostate cancer make adding walnuts to a diet attractive as part of prostate cancer prevention,” Davis added.
Walnuts have also been shown to reduce bone loss, a serious issue especially for post-menopausal women. But food packages cannot contain such information per the FDA.
Heart disease is a growing problem for the elderly. Because walnuts have a high level of linoleic and linolenic acid, they reduce the risk of heart disease by decreasing LDL-cholesterol and increasing HDL-cholesterol, research has shown several times, even as far back as 1993.
Adding further support to the benefits of a whole food diet, the 2012 study also led researchers to conclude, “The walnut diet’s beneficial effects probably represent the effects of whole walnuts’ multiple constituents and not via a specific fatty acid or tocopherols.”
The California Walnut Board funded the research, and is also funding a follow-up mouse study (co-funded by the American Institute for Cancer Research), to validate the findings and explore possible reasons for the beneficial effects of walnuts.
January 27, 2012
By Anthony Gucciardi
Bill Gates, the heavy Monsanto investor who purchased 500,000 shares of the biotech giant in 2010, has been touting Monsanto’s genetically modified creations as a tool that is necessary to prevent starvation in poor nations. The same poor nations where thousands of farmers routinely commit suicide after being completely bankrupt by Monsanto’s overpriced and ineffective GM seeds.
The same company that we recently exposed to be running ‘slave-like’ working conditions, forcing poor workers to operate the corn fields for 14 hours per day while withholding pay.
According to Gates, this is the company whose GMO crops are going to save the world from starvation. Of course, along with ‘saving the world from starvation’, GMO crops also bring along a large number of unwanted health and environmental effects.
A prominent review of 19 studies examining the safety of these crops found that consumption of GMO corn or soybeans can lead to significant organ disruptions in rats and mice – particularly in the liver and kidneys.
What’s more is that Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide, Roundup, has been completely devastating farmlands for years through the creation of resistant superweeds. Experts estimate Roundup usage to result in the destruction of over at least 120 million hectares of farmland thanks to these superweeds.
January 27, 2012
As an “all Egyptian” archaeological team moves in to find answers we hope they will reveal what’s really there.
Something extremely strange is happening in Giza, both under the pyramids and in the office of Dr. Hawass. Even skeptics of the “Hall of Records” from Atlantis are now forced to admit that something big is being hidden. It’s the perfect set of circumstances for conspiracy theorists — especially with the coming of 2012.
In August of 2008 a system of caves was discovered under the pyramids. Certainly this is very big news. But look at the reaction of Dr. Hawass on his website:
Surely Hawass is intimately aware of such a discovery. So Why deny it? What is he trying to hide? Dies this have anything to do with the wall that is being built to surround the Giza complex? What secrets don’t they want us to know?
Inside Giza’s cave underworld
In December 2009, after denying that they existed, Egypt’s leading Egyptologist, Dr Zahi Hawass, has had to admit that an excavation team under his charge is investigating an ancient tomb at the centre of claims regarding the alleged discovery of a cave underworld beneath the Pyramids of Giza.
This is a surprising announcement for several reasons, not the least being that the “alleged” cave system has already been explored and photographed by British writer and explorer Andrew Collins. In August 2008, Collins announced that he had rediscovered the entrance to a previously unexplored cave system, entered via a mysterious tomb several hundred meters west of the Great Pyramid. Perhaps it was how Collins discovered the cave entrance that has caused the controversy.
January 27, 2012
By Jan Harvey
Gold rose on Friday, heading for its best weekly performance since late October after the Federal Reserve signaled its ultra-loose monetary policy would continue, keeping the dollar under pressure and the opportunity cost of holding bullion low.
Silver and platinum prices were also on course for their best monthly performances in nine months and nearly four years respectively in January, tracking gains in gold, stocks and other commodities.
Spot gold was up 0.5 percent at $1,727.81 an ounce at 1500 GMT and has risen 10 percent this month, recouping December’s hefty losses. It is up 4.2 percent this week alone, its biggest one-week gain since the week ending October 30.
The metal surged to a seven-week high just below $1,730 an ounce on Thursday after the Fed said it planned to keep interest rates on hold until at least 2014 and signaled it would be ready to take further measures to stimulate the economy.
“The Fed’s announcement that it would keep its rates exceptionally low until 2014 was… clearly not fully priced by the market,” said BNP Paribas analyst Anne-Laure Tremblay. “Real interest rates are likely to stay negative in the U.S. in the next two years, which will be supportive of the gold price.”
The dollar eased 0.3 percent against the euro, further helping gold, which usually benefits from weakness in the U.S. unit. The euro hit a five-week high on Thursday.
January 27, 2012
By Morris Hubbartt
I have been warning you about serious technical divergences on the US dollar chart. With commercial traders carrying near-record short positions on the dollar, the uptrend has now failed.
Under-capitalized retail traders are carrying giant long positions, and they could soon be in very deep trouble, because the Fed just announced that they could keep rates low until 2014, and because of a horrific technical development in the bond market. I’ll cover that development in detail today.
Some private consulting firms believe that if 1980 is used as a base year for calculations, inflation in the United States could be running as high as 10% right now. Pensioners and savers complain, but the US government doesn’t appear to be listening.
Our government’s debt is projected to rise to about $16.4 trillion by the end of 2012, a 60% increase in just four years. Inflation statistics that affect pensioners may be getting “swept under the rug”. These are fundamental issues that could put pressure on the US dollar for a long time.
There have already been six volume distribution days since Jan 1, 2012. The uptrend has failed with distribution volume. The bottom line is that the technical situation for the dollar is dire.
TLT (T-Bond Proxy) Death Chart
I have been warning my readers that the US bond is in a major topping process. There is a major double top in play now, as well as a head and shoulders top on the right side of the chart. Look carefully at this chart. The h&s formation is targeting $108-$109, and that is likely just the start of a much larger decline.
Gamblers can short the bond immediately. This bond chart is indicating rates are going higher, regardless of what the Fed says, and higher rates could mean enormous volatility is coming to the gold market, which is great news for traders!
The target of the double top is the low $90 price area, and that is just the minimum technical move. A double top like this can be the beginning of a multi-year or even multi-decade bear market.
Note the strong distribution taking place on the volume bars. US Treasury agent “James T. Bond” may have just flown his last “growth with safety” mission!
Janury 27, 2012
By Catalina Camia
“Just one more example why Ron Paul is the only choice for president.” –KTRN
Ron Paul has exceeded his fundraising goal, collecting more than $261,000 as of this morning. The theme of the online fundraiser was aimed at ending the Transportation Security Administration.
Our original post begins here:
Ron Paul appears headed toward reaching his latest fundraising goal: $250,000 to help end the Transportation Security Administration.
The GOP presidential candidate began a “money bomb” shortly after his son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, got stopped at the Nashville airport on Monday after setting off an alarm on a body-scanning machine. The younger Paul declined a pat-down search by the TSA but was allowed to board a later flight.
As of 11 a.m. ET today, Ron Paul had raised more than $226,000 toward his goal to “end the TSA now,” as he says on his campaign website.
Both Pauls are frequent critics of the TSA. After the Rand Paul incident, Ron Paul decried a “police state” in the country that “gropes and grabs our children.”