February 13, 2012
By D.E. Paine
“This shouldn’t surprise anyone. NASA is part of the defense department. They are NOT a civilian space agency. Don’t be fooled.” –KTRN
NASA is pulling the plug on a mission to Mars; and, what’s more, the space agency has inexplicably announced a new plan to reduce its exploration of all other planets.
According to CBS DC: “Two scientists who were briefed on the 2013 NASA budget that will be released next week said the space agency is eliminating two proposed joint missions with Europeans to explore Mars in 2016 and 2018. NASA had agreed to pay $1.4 billion for those missions. Some Mars missions will continue, but the fate of future flights is unclear.”
This bombshell has many seeing red, so-to-speak. Nasa’s former science chief Edward Weiler, who until September was Nasa’s associate administrator for science, is among those expressing outrage. He is quoted at The Daily Mail as saying: “To me, it’s totally irrational and unjustified. We are the only country on this planet that has the demonstrated ability to land on another planet, namely Mars. It is a national prestige issue.”
What happened with NASA? Why the sudden 180-degree pivot? The official reason being given for this is that the budget for the space program is suddenly operating under new restrictions; and the money currently being spent on the space telescope programs already puts NASA over-budget.
However, there could be other reasons. What’s notable, I think, is that this sudden Mars cut-off comes shortly after a few different reports of aliens on the Red Planet. Check out this brief timeline of events:
In 1989, according to some UFO conspiracy theories, the Russian space probe Phobos II had been deliberately “downed” by extraterrestrials. Several photographs were published, which were made shortly before Phobos 2 failure, which seem to support this theory. Accusations have been made as recently as January of this year that allege there are additional Russian documents that contain information about Mars being inhabited.
Two years ago, President Barack Obama announced plans to put a man on Mars. Just last May, experts involved in the planned mission to Mars confirmed that they were still “pretty positive” that a trip to Red Planet could happen in our lifetime. Advanced spacesuit technology and other equipment was being put through the paces in a dry run in 2011. It looked like a manned mission to Mars was going to happen soon!
February 13, 2012
By Tony Cartalucci
AP reported that US General Martin Dempsey has met directly with the military leaders of Egypt to discuss an Egyptian “crackdown on Western-funded pro-democracy groups.” Threatened with a cut-off from US aid, the Egyptian military is expected to abandon their campaign against US “NGOs.”
As usual, AP attempts to diminish the veracity of Egypt’s concerns with deceptive language and innuendos such as, “Egypt, which regularly blames anti-military protests on foreign meddling,” and “in an indication that authorities will continue to push the line that foreigners are stirring up trouble.” Of course it is not a “line” that the Egyptian government is pushing, it is a well documented fact.
AP goes on to explain the plight of the International Republican Institute (IRI) Egypt office-head, Sam LaHood, son of US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who is now on trail amongst 16 American “civil society employees.” They are charged with using US State Department funds to fuel unrest throughout Egypt.
Despite the feigned skepticism of AP, there is conclusive evidence that from 2008, the US State Department had begun a concerted effort to recruit, train, equip, fund, and in some cases arm, dissidents not only from Egypt, but from Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Iran, Russia, Belarus, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, and even North Korea. This was accomplished not only through the US State Department, but through a myriad of subsidiaries starting with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and including LaHood’s IRI.
February 13, 2012
By Anthony Gucciardi
“Antibiotics do way more harm than good. You should only take them if you want a candida overgrowth.” –KTRN
Antibiotics are not only breeding illness among the population, but are also so vastly over-prescribed that it is costing the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) the equivalent of over 10 and a half million dollars per year. According to new research, doctors are dishing out more than 1.6 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions for common ailments such as sinusitis and acute coughs. The result: an unnecessary and massive financial hit.
Conducted by researchers from Cardiff University and led by Professor Chris Butler, the two-year study worked with 68 GP practices in Wales. Finding that antibiotics were needlessly given to patients without effect, doctors were provided data that could limit the massive prescription count. Given data regarding antibiotic prescribing methods and resistance data, the researchers concluded that even a 5.5% reduction in antibiotic prescribing could save over $1,000 per individual practice — and cut over 2 million dollars per year in worthless antibiotic prescriptions.
Widespread Prescriptions, Massive Adverse Reaction < The high volume of antibiotic prescriptions — deemed needless or not — are heavily contributing to the illnesses many individuals are facing on a daily basis. This has to do with how antibiotics impact not only the ‘bad’ bacteria that could be making you sick, but also the ‘good’ bacteria that actually prevent illness and maintain gut health. Of course destroying the bad bacteria is good, but the negative effect on your gut health that results from antibiotics is quite serious. Your gut is a central function of the immune system, and when compromised your body’s “security system” begins to weaken.
February 13, 2012
By Nicholas West
It’s bad enough that drones have been welcomed by Congress into American skies, as well as already being used around the planet to conduct surveillance and bomb select countries from remote locations.
The latest proposed addition to the drone spy program is even creepier: disposable computers with software programs funded by DARPA to be dropped as self-destructing “bombs.”
Now, not only will drones surveil and hack from above, but they will drop a payload to interface with hidden computers on the ground, completely integrating a full-spectrum data transmission and control grid.
The name of the project, as well as its announcement at a hacker convention called ShmooCon, had this non-techie convinced that it had to be satire or a hoax, but the project has also been noted by Forbes and Wired, which only serves to illustrate how far off into our dystopian technocratic police state we have wandered. It seems that we are being acclimated to how funny and cool our futuristic spy toys have become. This fun has culminated in the planned dropping of F-BOMBS (Falling or Ballistically-launched Object that Makes Backdoors) to combat “Bad Men With Guns.”
The F-BOMB introduces the idea of disposable surveillance as a guard against forensic evaluation and the ability to track the source of the drop. Creator, Brendan O’Connor, has received DARPA funding to implement a software package into his nearly non-traceable surveillance hardware as cheaply as possible with easy-to-obtain components.
February 13, 2012
By Michael Pento
They always tell you no one rings a bell when a market top or bottom is reached. But a bell is now ringing for the end of the thirty-year bull market in U.S. debt. And ironically, the bell ringer is our very own U.S. Treasury!
The U.S. Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee, which brings together dealers and Treasury officials, met last week in a closed meeting at the Hays Adams Hotel. The committee members unanimously agreed that the Treasury should start permitting negative interest rate bids for T-bills. In other words, newly issued T-bills from the Treasury would offer investors a guaranteed negative return if held to maturity. The mania behind the U.S. debt market has reached such incredible proportions that investors are now willing to lend money to the government at a loss; right from the start of their investment. This is a clear signal that the bond market can’t get any more overcrowded and can’t get any more overpriced.
Of course, many in the MSM contend there is justification for today’s ridiculously low bond yields and that a bubble in U.S. debt is impossible. But those are some of the same individuals who claimed back in 2006 that home prices could never decline on a national level and any talk of a bubble in real estate was nonsense. These are also the same people who assured investors in the year 2000 that prices of internet stocks were fairly priced because they should be valued based upon the number of eyeballs that viewed a webpage.
But we can easily see the future of U.S. Treasuries from viewing what is occurring in Portugal and Greece today. Portugal and Greece were able to borrow tremendous amounts of money because they converted their domestic currencies to the Euro and therefore, had the German balance sheet behind them. If these two countries had to borrow in Escudo’s and Drachma’s instead, yields would have increased much earlier, forcing a reconciliation of the debt years before a major crisis occurred. Therefore, their current debt to GDP ratios would be much more manageable. But now their bond bubbles have burst. The yield on the Portuguese 10 year was 5% a year and a half ago; today it is 15%. Greek 10 year bonds yielded 5% two and a half years ago; today they are 34%! The bottom line is that these counties were able to borrow more money than their economy was able to sustain because their interest rates were kept artificially low.
February 13, 2012
Permaculture Research Institute
By Kyle Chamberlain
We are told that our problem is that there aren’t enough jobs. This message is everywhere. The media gauges our plight with regularly updated unemployment statistics. Politicians debate theatrically over who can create more work. People everywhere clamor for scarce positions at factories and corporations.
I’d like to point out the great irony of this situation — people hate their jobs. How many people do you know who love their job? The truth is, most of us who have ordinary jobs can barely tolerate them. All else being equal, we’d rather not do them.
Work ethic is something this society takes pride in. But, if we are honest, we will confess that we call ourselves ‘hard working’ primarily to rationalize the daily abuses, deprivations, and indignities of the workplace. Work ethic is the only ethic most of us satisfy at our jobs. I think we can agree that most of our jobs aren’t making the world a better place.
So here we are, bickering and begging to fill roles we hate.
We should remember, that ‘employed’ is just another word for ‘used’. Just as you might employ a hammer and nails, your employer employs, or uses, you. The term ‘used’ very aptly describes our relationship with our employers. Like prostitutes, we resign ourselves to fake relationships for an empty cash return. In a healthy relationship, our devotions are reciprocated in kind. But in a relationship of use and abuse, the best you can expect is a cash settlement.
It should not surprise us, then, that politicians and other powerful people will laud our enthusiasm for employment and champion that cause. To the elite, unemployment is a crises because it means that the population is insufficiently used. An unused population is unprofitable, and potentially unruly. So, when the wealthy come to our rescue, they do it with jobs. As the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation slogan goes, “We believe that all people deserve the chance to lead healthy productive lives.”
February 13, 2012
By J.D. Heyes
“What ever happened to the land of the free?” –KTRN
It’s the most benign thing in the world. In fact, it’s a concept whose time has come and it will only help protect us and keep us safe. Naturally, there’s nothing to worry about because there won’t be any abuse of the technology. After all, spy drones are already being used around the U.S.; what’s the problem with adding tens of thousands more?
In case you didn’t know it – and you probably didn’t – Congress, with little fanfare, passed an FAA reauthorization bill last week President Obama is expected to sign into law that will make it much easier for the government to put scores of unmanned spy drones into American skies.
Not only that the legislation authorizes the Federal Aviation Administration to develop regulations for the testing and licensing of commercial drones by 2015. If the law takes full effect, it is believed as many as 30,000 drones could be hovering over the U.S. by 2020.
The drones, which are widely used in Afghanistan to spot and target suspected insurgents and Taliban operatives in that country as well as neighboring Pakistan, have been used by American government agencies like U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, for a few years, in an observation/surveillance capacity. DoH has also used drones in disaster relief operations, and advocates say they can be successfully employed to fight fires and locate missing hikers.
Say Good-bye to Privacy
Privacy advocates, however, are sounding the alarm good and loud.
“There are serious policy questions on the horizon about privacy and surveillance, by both government agencies and commercial entities,” Steven Aftergood, head of the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists, told the Washington Times.
Jennifer Lynch, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a watchdog group, added that her organization is particularly “concerned about the implications for surveillance by government agencies.”
February 13, 2012
By Grant McCool and Nick Brown
When commodities brokerage MF Global imploded, the FBI and federal prosecutors were quick to launch an investigation to pursue what seemed obvious to outspoken regulators and lawmakers: laws were broken and crimes were committed.
More than three months later, it is far from clear that anyone will face criminal charges over the disappearance of more than $600 million in customer money as MF Global spiraled towards bankruptcy in the brokerage’s final, frantic days in the last week of October.
So far, the MF Global investigation is not tracking the early progress of other high-profile financial scandals such as RefCo, where former Chairman Phil Bennett was arrested within days of the disclosure that the futures firm had been hiding losses for years.
Lawyers and people familiar with the MF Global investigation of the firm that was run by former Goldman Sachs head Jon Corzine say that even though the hunt is still on to find out whether or not officials at MF Global intended to pilfer customer money in a desperate bid to keep the brokerage from failing, the trail at this point is growing cold.
To date, scant evidence of criminal intent has emerged in company emails, no former or current employees have sought to cut a deal to provide testimony about potential wrongdoing and seasoned defense lawyers say they are not seeing the tell-tale signs of a hot criminal investigation.
A source familiar with the work of Louis Freeh, trustee for the MF Global holding company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, says investigators have yet to find evidence of fraud in the multi-faceted and complex investigation.
The source, who declined to be identified because Freeh’s office is still conducting its inquiry, says there was plenty of “chaos” at MF Global in its waning days, but “no evidence of fraud.” Freeh is a former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman for the office of the Manhattan U.S. Attorney, declined to comment. Randall Samborn, a spokesman for the office of the U.S. Attorney in Chicago, also declined to comment.
Criminal and regulatory investigations can of course shift gears at any time if new information comes to light. But adding up the pieces at this stage of the inquiries, the odds look long of criminal charges ever stemming from the collapse of MF Global because of the lack of bad motives or an intent to steal or deceive, the legal standard for a criminal case.
February 13, 2012
By Steve Watson
The Ron Paul 2012 campaign has pointed to anomalies in Saturday’s announcement of the Maine caucuses results, as Mitt Romney was declared the winner with Paul in second by the slimmest of margins.
The official tally in Maine has 84% of the votes counted so far. Romney took close to 39% of that vote, with Paul scoring 36%, trailing by just 194 votes.
In an email to supporters on Saturday evening, Paul campaign manager John Tate hit out at the mainstream media for calling a Romney victory before all of the votes have been tallied, suggesting that the establishment is acting to prevent any potential surge or momentum gain for Paul.
“The national political establishment and their pals in the national media will do ‘anything’ to silence our message of liberty,” Tate stated.
“Tonight you saw dueling examples of how much the establishment is scared of Ron Paul and his message of liberty,” Tate wrote. “The truth is, Ron Paul will win the most delegates out of Maine tonight,” he added.
“In fact, he will probably even win the ‘beauty contest’ Straw Poll the media has already called for Mitt Romney – even before all the votes have been tallied,” Mr. Tate argued.
Tate explained that “in Washington County – where Ron Paul was incredibly strong – the caucus was delayed until next week just so the votes wouldn’t be reported by the national media today. Of course, their excuse for the delay was ‘snow.’ That’s right. A prediction of 3-4 inches – that turned into nothing more than a dusting – was enough for a local GOP official to postpone the caucuses just so the results wouldn’t be reported tonight.”
“In fact, if you were watching one major network, they cut off their telecast of Ron Paul’s speech right when he began mentioning this fact,” Tate exclaimed, referring to the fact that MSNBC cut away from Paul’s 20 minute speech after just 4 minutes when he began revealing what was really behind the media curtain.
February 13, 2012
By Ethan A. Huff
“Here is just one more example that the FBI is out of control.” –KTRN
Purchasing a cup of coffee using cash instead of a credit or debit card, using Google Maps to view photos of sporting event stadiums and large cities, and installing software to protect your internet privacy on your mobile phone — these and many other mundane activities are now considered to be potential terrorist activities by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). And the agency is now distributing a new series of flyers as part of its new “Communities Against Terrorism” (CAT) program that urges shop owners and others to report such “suspicious” activity to authorities.
“The Communities Against Terrorism program is funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance through the SLATT Program to provide law enforcement agencies with a tool to engage members of the local community in the fight against terrorism,” writes SLATT.org, the program of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance that is promoting the program, on its website. “To assist law enforcement in the outreach effort, templates of flyers containing potential indicators have been created for distribution to specific industries” (https://www.slatt.org/CAT).
The SLATT program offers both on-site and online training (indoctrination) for coffee shop owners, financial institution employees, tattoo shop artists, and many others into how to spot potential terrorist activities. Included among the many propaganda flyers the FBI is distributing as part of the campaign are ones for how to spot terrorists at local hobby shops and beauty supply stores, for instance, as well as flyers for owners of farm supply and home improvement stores (http://publicintelligence.net).
This little gem warns internet cafe owners to watch out for and report customers that always pay for their coffee with cash, as they could be terrorists (http://info.publicintelligence.net). Another ridiculous flyer intended for owners of boat shops warns them to be on the lookout for people interested in becoming certified scuba divers, as they could be terrorists (http://info.publicintelligence.net).