We are living through remarkable times. The government, supported by the corporate press, is engaged in a naked attempt to rebuild the life of this country around the demands of business. Extending the project begun by Tony Blair, Cameron is creating an economy in which much of the private sector depends on state contracts, and in which the government’s core responsibility is to provide them. If this requires the destruction of effective public healthcare and reliable state education, it is of no concern to an economic class that uses neither.
The corporations gaining ever greater powers will be subject to less democratic oversight and restraint, in the form of regulation. Despite the obvious lesson of the credit crunch – that self-regulation is an invitation to disaster – Cameron wants to extend the principle to every corner of the economy. Trust them, he says: what can possibly go wrong?
Shouting “Sarkozy, president of the rich” and “Sarkozy, get lost,” the protesters stopped the president and chased him into the Bar du Palais in central Bayonne where he was campaigning for reelection in the city on Thursday.
Some Basque nationalists also shouted slogans and demanded more autonomy for the region and threw pieces of paper at the president.
Riot police immediately surrounded the bar but some of the protesters threw eggs toward the barrier that police later set up to guard the bar.
Sarkozy condemned the “thuggish behavior” of the protesters and claimed the protesters were organized by his rival Socialist candidate Francois Hollande.
Yemeni soldiers have staged protests in the capital, Sana’a, demanding the departure of the country’s military chiefs whom they accuse of corruption, Press TV reports.
The soldiers took to the streets of Sana’a on Thursday to call for the ouster of Brigadier General Hussein Khairan and Air Force Commander Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar– a half brother of former dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh. Meanwhile, people held demonstrations in the southern cities of Taizz and al-Bayda, demanding the immediate restructuring of the army and the ouster of Saleh’s relatives from power.
Pakistan’s foreign minister says her country will continue a joint gas pipeline project with Iran irrespective of foreign pressures or unilateral sanctions imposed on the Iranian energy sector, Press TV reports.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference at Pakistan’s Foreign Office on Thursday, Hina Rabbani Khar noted that it is in Pakistan’s national interests to acquire energy from wherever it was available.
The Pakistani foreign minister added that Islamabad “cannot afford to be selective” with regard to energy supply sources and that no decision against the country’s national interests will be taken by the government in this regard.
It is only on rare occasions that politicians drop their smiling masks and reveal their real thoughts and feelings. One such revelatory moment occurred last Sunday when Rick Santorum, a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, became increasingly agitated during an interview on network television and seemed on the verge of losing control.
He was responding to a question from George Stephanopoulos, the moderator of ABC’s “This Week” program, about a previous remark that he “almost threw up” when he read the famous speech given by presidential candidate John F. Kennedy in 1960 affirming the constitutional separation of church and state.
As the election circus continues to crisscross the country, Presidential candidates are now engaging in yet another round of false promises and ridiculous claims in an effort to galvanize their support and further divide the country now along the lines of absurd guarantees of cheaper gasoline prices.
Newt Gingrich has been the most vocal of the Republican candidates in his attacks on Barack Obama with his claims that, if Gingrich is elected, he will lower the gas prices to an average of $2.50 per gallon. Of course, Gingrich is merely following the lead of Mitt Romney who has also attacked Obama for the high prices at the pump with almost identical solutions although, admittedly, not as dramatic as Gingrich in terms of presentation.
In the corner of the room was Husan’s aunt, holding a little baby that looked very sickly, the red hue of its skin almost burnt looking and its tiny eyes sore and red. I was straining now in my inquiry, like having to push words out my throat. “How old is your child?”, I asked. “Eight months old”, she replied. I knew about the nightly raids in this community, as I happen to be staying less than 200 meters from there and can see the light show each night as hundreds of teargas canisters are shot into this tight grip of middle class houses.
“How do you stop the teargas from getting in the house and affecting your baby?”, I inquired in a pained voice. I, myself, although not in village, feel the effects of the massive clouds of poison that pour over the entire area at night.
For the first time in decades, the Eastern Saudi Arabian volatile situation has reached the vital oil sector. A pipeline between Awamiya and Safwa has been reportedly targeted, and is under fire. Saudi Arabia’s Shiite minority, mostly residing in the oil rich east, has been protesting for years against State sponsored discrimination. They are treated as second class citizens, denied public sector jobs, and vital development for their oil rich areas. Saudi Arabia’s powerful Wahhabi religious establishment considers Shiites heretics, and constantly incites against them.
Russia has upgraded a surveillance station it maintains in Syrian territory in order to provide Iran early warning of an Israeli attack, according to the Israeli security-related blog Debkafile.
The surveillance station, located south of Damascus, had been able to monitor air traffic in Israel as far south as Tel Aviv, as well as northern Jordan and western Iraq.
Since the upgrade, its range reportedly extends to all parts of Israel and Jordan and as far south as the northern part of Saudi Arabia.
Brussels has drawn up a secret diktat which could force Britain to admit 12,000 workers from India despite soaring unemployment at home.
The order is part of an EU-wide plan to boost trade with India. EU officials say that, in return for opening up the jobs market, countries such as Britain will be helped to land lucrative export deals.
But, of 40,000 workers who will be allowed to live and work in Europe, Britain has been told it must take 12,000, according to leaked EU documents.
They have made their promises and argued their way through the debates. Five men will make it into the history books as contenders for Russia´s top job. With the final round of the battle for the Kremlin just around the corner, we will soon find out which will be chosen to head the state for the next 6 years. Who is the right man for the post? RT looks at the rivals, their vision for a better future, and the motives which guide voters to make their choice.
The US and Israeli officials have intensified anti-Iran war rhetoric in recent months to put more pressure on the country over its peaceful nuclear energy program.
There have been several anti-war demonstrations across the United States to protest against war threats made against Iran.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top Tel Aviv officials have put the Obama administration under pressure to adopt a more aggressive policy against Iran rather than imposing sanctions.
Netanyahu is also due to meet Obama in Washington on March 5 to discuss Iran’s nuclear energy program.
The handing over of British businessman Christopher Tappin to the US authorities has provoked criticism of the extradition treaty between the two countries. But it also puts the use by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies of undercover “stings” in the spotlight.
It has become one of the most familiar news stories in the United States – the arrest of a terror suspect, usually a young Muslim man, following a sting operation by the FBI.
Dozens of alleged terrorists have been put behind bars in this way since 9/11, in operations involving FBI agents or informers posing as Islamist extremists.
In some cases, the suspects have been supplied with money, transport and realistic weapons.
Earlier this month, a 29-year-old Moroccan, Amine El Khalifi, was arrested apparently en route to Capitol Hill with what he thought was a suicide bomb and a Mac-10 automatic weapon.
Everyone else involved in the alleged plot to commit mass murder at the heart of the US government appears to have been an FBI agent posing as a member of al-Qaeda.
Iran’s citizens should be starved in order to curb Tehran’s nuclear program, officials in Jerusalem said Wednesday ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s upcoming trip to Washington.
“North Korea is halting its nuclear program in order to receive aid in food, and this is what should be done with Iran as well,” one unnamed official said.
“Suffocating sanctions could lead to a grave economic situation in Iran and to a shortage of food,” the source said. “This would force the regime to consider whether the nuclear adventure is worthwhile, while the Persian people have nothing to eat and may rise up as was the case in Syria, Tunisia and other Arab states.”
“The Western world led by the United States must implement stifling sanctions at this time already, rather than wait or hesitate,” the official said. “In order to suffocate Iran economically and diplomatically and lead the regime there to a hopeless situation, this must be done now, without delay.”
It is, in fact, a kind of sub-dominant social theme – a promotion of sorts. The idea is that countries are generally driven by independent monetary and economic agendas. The world does not run from the top down.
And yet, we can see increasingly frank indications that Western media, especially in the US, is beginning to state the obvious: Monetary policy is being coordinated worldwide. Here’s some more from the article:
Central banks have revealed no plans to reverse course and tighten credit soon. The Fed has said it expects to keep short-term rates at record lows near zero until at least late 2014. At a House hearing Wednesday, some lawmakers pressed Bernanke about the risks of keeping rates so low for so long.
“One of the problems with setting these horizons out so far is that the private sector starts to expect that, and if circumstances change, crawling back off that limb could be very difficult,” Rep. Melvin Watt., D-N.C., told Bernanke. “The policy is a conditional policy,” Bernanke responded. “It’s based on what we know now. If there’s a substantial change in the outlook, we’d have to adjust accordingly.”
Bernanke hinted that if the U.S. economy continued to improve consistently, the Fed might have to consider raising rates sooner. For now, following the Fed’s lead, other central banks have kept their benchmark short-term rates at super-lows. They’ve created low-rate lending programs for commercial banks, like the three-year loans the ECB is providing.
We can see from this article’s initial excerpt and the one above that the elite narrative is a simple one: The Fed has responded adequately to the problems the world has faced since the 2008 meltdown and that other central banks have taken their cue from the world’s greatest and best-run central bank to follow along.
The article also mentions bond purchases known as “quantitative easing,” or QE. This is just a fancy way of saying the Fed is printing money and buying paper instruments that the market would otherwise value with far more severity.
In Europe, the central bank is pursuing a policy similar to the Fed’s, as is the Bank of England. Earlier this month, the article informs us, the Bank of Japan strengthened its asset-purchase program.
And the Bank of Japan, according to the article, has also been cutting short-term rates aggressively and basically giving money away to the commercial banks that then distribute the “funds” to the public.
Here’s a telling quote, according to the article, from David Jones, head of DMJ Advisors and Fed researcher and book author: “Everyone is following the Federal Reserve’s example of printing money to get out of this economic slump.”
We’ve noticed another sub-dominant social theme as well. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is constantly talking about how the economy is improving and about the possibility that the Fed would soon tighten credit and stop printing so much money.
This is because he knows that by injecting so much paper money into the system he is devaluing the money already there. This is known as “inflation” – and leads to price inflation. Price inflation is increasing around the world and in the US has been estimated to be up to nine percent per year – maybe more.
The article quotes Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, as saying, “Central banks around the world are making a bet that they will be able to handle inflation down the road.”
Of course, in the history of monopoly money printing such an event has never occurred. Central bankers have NO IDEA of how to “drain” inflation. It never happens. Ruin is a one-way street.
There is another reason why central banks either won’t “drain money” adequately or will do it so aggressively that the globe will be dumped into a kind of hyper-depression. That reason, in our estimation, is that the elites are TRYING to create a depression.
This is part of a larger one-world agenda. The twin pincer of global depression and global war is being prepared like a grim cocktail and sooner or later it will be administered to the unwilling patients.
In many ways, worldwide governance is already an operative fact. The BIS has well over 100 central banks reporting to it and almost all countries now HAVE a central bank. This does not mean, of course, that the central bank era is bound to be a success or that a formal New World Order is a fait accompli.
What we call the Internet Revolution is evidently and obviously undermining the pathologically ambitious plans of the power elite, and many of the fear-based memes that have been used successfully to consolidate power and wealth are not working so well any longer.
From our point of view, ever since the unexpected explosion of the new Information Age, the plans of the elite have been increasingly questionable.
Conclusion: Yes, there may be a good deal of centralizing going on – and we disagree that such centralizing is a good idea generally, let alone as part of a global enterprise. But we are not certain that one world is in the offing, no matter how aggressively central banks coordinate their policies and printing.
Ever since humans first invented guns, they’ve been inventing new uses for them. Some shoot bullets; others shoot lasers. But a strange and unsettling new gun being developed by Japanese researchers shoots sound waves in an effort to disrupt and silence anyone who dares speak out of turn.
The gun operates based on the concept of delayed auditory feedback. An attached microphone picks up the sound being made by the target and plays it back 0.2 seconds later. The effect is incredibly confusing to the human brain, making it all but impossible to talk or hold a conversation. The device doesn’t cause the person it’s being used on any physical harm — it simply messes with their head.
When the human brain hears its own speech perfectly in sync during normal speech, it easily processes the input and allows you to largely ignore the sound of your own voice. However, by offsetting the response just a bit, the brain hears your mouth speaking as well as the strange echo effect produced by the gun. This unusual combination is confusing enough to effectively shut down the part of your brain responsible for managing speech, and you fall immediately silent.
The first versions of the weapon — if we can even call it that — were dependent on a separate PC to process the input and relay it back to the speaker. However, the second prototype (pictured above) does away with the need for additional hardware and includes all the necessary processing bits within its casing, making it easily portable.
The developers say the gun could be used for seemingly innocuous purposes, such as enforcing rules requiring library patrons to keep quiet. It could also see action during large meetings when it is important that onlookers not disrupt the speaker; anyone who fancies a noisy outburst would immediatley be silenced by the high-tech handheld.
The free speech implications of the speech jammer are somewhat disconcerting: A protestor or speaker at a political rally could be easily silenced just for having unpopular views. Political rallies and other protest gatherings could easily be quieted by the strange gun, should law enforcement or other agencies decide to equip themselves with the technology.
Yes, the worst things you may have heard about the National Defense Authorization Act, which has formally ended 254 years of democracy in the United States of America, and driven a stake through the heart of the bill of rights, are all really true. The act passed with large margins in both the House and the Senate on the last day of last year – even as tens of thousands of Americans were frantically begging their representatives to secure Americans’ habeas corpus rights in the final version.
It does indeed – contrary to the many flatout-false form letters I have seen that both senators and representatives sent to their constituents, misleading them about the fact that the NDAA destroys their due process rights. Under the act, anyone can be described as a ‘belligerent”. As the New American website puts it,
“[S]ubsequent clauses (Section 1022, for example) unlawfully give the president the absolute and unquestionable authority to deploy the armed forces of the United States to apprehend and to indefinitely detain those suspected of threatening the security of the ‘homeland’. In the language of this legislation, these people are called ‘covered persons’.
“The universe of potential ‘covered persons’ includes every citizen of the United States of America. Any American could one day find himself or herself branded a ‘belligerent’ and thus subject to the complete confiscation of his or her constitutional civil liberties and nearly never-ending incarceration in a military prison.”
And with a new bill now being introduced to make it a crime to protest in a way that disrupts any government process – or to get close to anyone with secret service protection – the push to legally lock down the United Police States is in full force.
In the wake of the financial and mortgage crises, proponents are pushing for states to rely less on large national private banks and establish state-run financial institutions.
North Dakota serves as the model for this new experiment that 17 states are looking at. However, the state bank in North Dakota, the only one of its kind in the U.S., is not new, having been in operation since 1919.
With the Bank of North Dakota, financing is made available to support loans to students, farmers and others, while the bank’s profits go into the state budget to help provide more revenue for government programs.
Some states, such as Idaho and Vermont, have introduced legislation to study the idea of starting a state bank. Other states, like New Hampshire, Virginia, Hawaii, Washington and California, are debating bills that would create a state bank.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) advised via a February 2, 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reply that NIST will begin releasing all records in their possession obtained from the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey, Turner Construction and the New York City Department of Buildings used during their investigation of the collapses of World Trade Center (WTC) buildings 1, 2 and 7. The records of most interest obtained thus far consist of various schematic drawings of WTC 1 and 2.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has a message for everyone who thinks the drug war is bad: you’re wrong, it’s awesome.
(Reuters) – Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano defended Washington’s drug war strategy on Monday despite calls by some Latin American leaders to consider decriminalizing narcotics.
“I would not agree with the premise that the drug war is a failure,” Napolitano said. “It is a continuing effort to keep our peoples from becoming addicted to dangerous drugs.” [Reuters]
Okay, but what do these two sentences have to do with one another? Yes, we know the drug war is “a continuing effort to keep our peoples from becoming addicted to dangerous drugs [and marijuana],” but I don’t understand what that has to do with whether or not it’s been a failure. This is like saying, “I would not agree with premise that asbestos is toxic. It is a material used to insulate buildings.”
So in a metaphorical sense, you could say that American drug policy is made of asbestos, and Janet Napolitano has been given the fun assignment of convincing a bunch of frustrated foreign leaders that the sickness and death presently surrounding them was caused by something other than the one thing that’s obviously causing it.
It’s a ridiculous situation that lends itself to some really ridiculous arguments, such as Napolitano preposterously comparing Mexican Drug Kingpin Joaquin “Shorty” Guzman to Osama Bin Laden:
“It took us 10 years to find (al Qaeda chief) Osama bin Laden and we found him, and you know what happened there,” Napolitano said.
Yeah, but the fact that these drug lords are as slippery as Osama f#$king Bin Laden ought not to inspire confidence. Seriously, I don’t even know what her point is supposed to be, because it’s gotta be pretty damn obvious to Latin American leaders that we don’t have enough SEAL teams to track down and kill every wannabe drug boss all over the globe. Their services, unlike Bin Laden’s, are actually popular with much of the American public.
Calls for legalization in Latin America are going to get louder the longer this idiocy continues, and it should surprise no one that the U.S. government’s latest attempts to suppress it are utterly and predictably devoid of substance as always.
Something incredibly exciting just happened in technology. No, it’s not a new iPhone or iPad, a new TV or the latest Android device.
It’s a new kind of camera called the Lytro that takes pictures in a way that no other camera ever has. The innovation behind this gadget is light field photography, which the company, also named Lytro, calls “the first major change in photography since photography was invented.”
First, a little explanation about light field photography and what the Lytro does. When normal cameras take a photo, they measure the color and light coming through the lens to produce an image. The Lytro camera not only sees color and light but can understand which direction the light moves while snapping a photo. Instead of simply grabbing one point of the light in a scene, Lytro analyzes all the points of light and then converts them to data. Once the image is stored using the technology, it can be processed and reprocessed after the photo is taken.
… Basically, it means that you can take a photo and then refocus the subject in it after the fact. It means that if you take a picture of a friend in the foreground and there’s something exciting happening down the street, you can use Lytro’s custom software to refocus on the background, or almost anything else in the scene that you captured. It’s hard to explain, but it’s amazing.