A 77-year-old Greek man has committed suicide in central Athens by the nation’s parliament, shooting himself with a handgun in apparent financial desperation.
Eyewitness reports say that the man shouted “So I won’t leave debts for my children” before turning the gun on himself.
Greek state media reports the man left a suicide note saying “The Tsolakoglou government has annihilated all traces for my survival. And since I cannot find justice, I cannot find another means to react besides putting a decent end [to my life], before I start searching the garbage for food.”
Georgios Tsolakoglou was a Greek PM during the German occupation of Greece in the Second World War.
The note has been widely regarded as drawing a parallel between Lucas Papademos’ current collaborationist government and Tsolakoglou’s regime because of the economic crisis in the country.
Oregano is a wonderful, aromatic herb that is native to the Mediterranean. It is thought to have originated in the mountainous regions of Greece, Turkey and Italy. It was named by the Ancient Greeks “Mountain Joy.” Oregano is one of the most powerful healing herbs and natural anti-biotics ever studied.
Oregano has a warming and aromatic flavor to it. It can be very hot and bitter at times when it is picked fresh. The bite usually wanes as it is dried. Oregano became a staple of Italian-American foods. American soldiers who were stationed in Europe during World War II brought oregano back as the “pizza herb.” It was soon used in more popularity in pastas, grilled/roasted veggies, meat & fish. It is also popularly used in meat marinates and salad dressings.
Oregano Oil is an extraordinarily powerful natural anti-biotic. Oregano has been found in a recent study to be significantly better than all of the 18 currently used anti-biotics in the treatment of MRSA staph infections. The strong phenol anti-oxidants destroy pathogenic bacteria, viruses and yeasts.
Is American imperialism a Bilderberger plot? Are the American bankers, diplomats, and members of the Council on Foreign Relations all traitors, having turned America into merely an instrument to carry out their Bilderberger maniacal aims? Does America as a sovereign nation even exist anymore?
Consider the possibility that the Bilderbergers have already bought off the governments of Western Europe, North America, and the remnants of the British Empire that still cling to the Queen’s skirts. If that be true, the only remaining obstacles to a Bilderberger success are the BRICS and the Moslem world. The WTO and promises of free trade and pie in the sky prosperity can be used to subvert the BRICS which leaves the Moslem countries as the last bulwark in defense of free, independent, and sovereign nations. When one realizes just how ironic that is, the realization of just how far the Bilderbergers have already come in advancing their agenda really strikes home.
Great empires, such as the Roman and British, were extractive. The empires succeeded, because the value of the resources and wealth extracted from conquered lands exceeded the value of conquest and governance. The reason Rome did not extend its empire east into Germany was not the military prowess of Germanic tribes but Rome’s calculation that the cost of conquest exceeded the value of extractable resources.
The Roman empire failed, because Romans exhausted manpower and resources in civil wars fighting amongst themselves for power. The British empire failed, because the British exhausted themselves fighting Germany in two world wars.
In his book, The Rule of Empires (2010), Timothy H. Parsons replaces the myth of the civilizing empire with the truth of the extractive empire. He describes the successes of the Romans, the Umayyad Caliphate, the Spanish in Peru, Napoleon in Italy, and the British in India and Kenya in extracting resources. To lower the cost of governing Kenya, the British instigated tribal consciousness and invented tribal customs that worked to British advantage.
Parsons does not examine the American empire, but in his introduction to the book he wonders whether America’s empire is really an empire as the Americans don’t seem to get any extractive benefits from it. After eight years of war and attempted occupation of Iraq, all Washington has for its efforts is several trillion dollars of additional debt and no Iraqi oil. After ten years of trillion dollar struggle against the Taliban in Afghanistan, Washington has nothing to show for it except possibly some part of the drug trade that can be used to fund covert CIA operations.
America’s wars are very expensive. Bush and Obama have doubled the national debt, and the American people have no benefits from it. No riches, no bread and circuses flow to Americans from Washington’s wars. So what is it all about?
The answer is that Washington’s empire extracts resources from the American people for the benefit of the few powerful interest groups that rule America. The military-security complex, Wall Street, agri-business and the Israel Lobby use the government to extract resources from Americans to serve their profits and power. The US Constitution has been extracted in the interests of the Security State, and Americans’ incomes have been redirected to the pockets of the 1 percent. That is how the American Empire functions.
I felt a profound sense of frustration when I read Saturday’s Guardian account of another “police racism” allegation against the Metropolitan police. The circumstances of the case, in which an officer is apparently recorded racially abusing a man he’s just arrested – are still the subject of investigation. But as someone who spent most of his adult life in policing, two issues are as plain as a pikestaff. First, yet again, there seems to have been an almost total absence of leadership and supervision of junior officers; second, the impact on “real” policing will be profound.
Last Thursday, in Tottenham, I gave the 2012 Bernie Grant Memorial Lecture. To an audience still shell-shocked by the damage to their homes and livelihoods wrought by the riots and failure of policing last August, my theme was the urgent need for the police, particularly in urban communities, to rediscover a service ethos that had been sacrificed on the altar of so-called management efficiency over the past 15 years. In any liberal democracy, policing must be by consent, and you lose that consent immediately if you alienate the community and treat them as the enemy.
Confrontational – yet frightened and defensive – officers are nowadays trained to see the public as a threat to their very existence. Preventive patrolling has been abandoned – notwithstanding the soothing and wholly false spin of the Met, which continually we still have “bobbies on the beat”. Few such officers have been deployed for at least 10 years, and their barely visible replacement – comprised largely of police community support officers, are but a pale imitation of what people expect and deserve.
From Stephen Lawrence to Mark Duggan; from the kettling of peaceful protesters, to the riots of last year; from the manifest incompetence of the first phone-hacking inquiry to allegations of corruption at theLeveson inquiry – a path has been beaten towards the edge of a precipice, and it is time for those concerned about the vital role of policing to challenge what is happening.
A new UN Security Council resolution reiterating their approval of the Kofi Annan ceasefire deal in Syria and urging both sides to stop fighting by April 10 has been stalled on specific wording, with the US seemingly trying to work the resolution into some sort of mandate.
US Ambassador Susan Rice insisted that the United Nations has to act “urgently and seriously” against Syria once the April 10 deadline the Annan government agreed upon passes, assuming there is no halt to operations.
Rice went on to add that the “United States is concerned and quite skeptical that the government of Syria will suddenly adhere to its commitments.”
The UN Security Council is supposed to approve a team of observers to ensure that the ceasefire is met by both Assad regime forces and the rebels, even though there seem to be few among the rebels who agree to the idea of a ceasefire and talks in the first place. Russia, understandably concerned that any resolution would be used to start a Libya-style NATO war of regime change, is expected to resist any wording that would make the deadline an ultimatum for UN action.
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, one of the leading advocates of regime change in Syria, has condemned the UN Security Council for failing to issue a mandate already, saying that their lack of resolutions amounts to support for the regime.
A senior Likud politician has revealed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has decided to delay an attack on Iran until weeks or months before next year’s scheduled Israeli election, dovetailing with other reports that the military assault targeting Iran’s nuclear facilities has been postponed until 2013.
“A senior Likud politician told my confidential Israeli source that Bibi Netanyahu has decided to delay an Israeli attack on Iran until some weeks or possibly months before the next scheduled Israeli election. That will happen by October 2013 unless Bibi determines he wants to go to the nation earlier,” writes Richard Silverstein.
According to the source, Netanyahu is preparing to take a huge gamble by following the strategy of Menachem Begin, whose decision to attack Saddam Hussein’s Osirak nuclear plant shortly before the election in 1981 was a key factor in securing victory at the polls.
Netanyahu will be able to position himself as a war leader and rally the population around getting behind him to face an external threat if he launches the attack prior to the election.
Silverstein’s report coincides with an article published today by the Jerusalem Post which also cites anonymous defense establishment officials who suggest the attack will not take place this year.
The problems with the current operator system is that it was designed for engineers, not pilots, say drone specialists. The original drone was just an aerial surveillance vehicle; missiles were not added until 2001. Then with American forces at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, many commanding officers in difficult situations demanded this efficient new weapon for tracking and eliminating perceived enemies.
“There was a lot of time pressure to get them on the theater,” says George B. Harrison, a retired general and consultant to the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. Harrison said the current operating system is “usable” and its deficiencies correctable. “Considerable research and a lot of effort is going into designing a more human-friendly control station.”
“It can be very confusing for the operators,” admits Missy Cummings, a professor at MIT who also serves on the AFSAB. “Things haven’t been optimized. It’s a system problem across all operating stations.”
Finding people to pilot the drones has proved unexpectedly difficult. The ground control station had many flaws that required work-arounds, such as accessing fuel gauge information and creating more work space. Accidents were common. One pilot mistook the “kill engine” button for the adjacent landing gear switch, resulting in the crash of a $4.5 million Predator drone. The pilots of traditional manned vehicles who moved in remotely piloted aircraft did not always make the best drone operators. A lot of people dropped out of the program and retention was low.
There are reports of post-traumatic stress disorder and many more of sheer boredom.
If the government were to suggest monitoring every building that each person in the UK visits, and making a note of every conversation they had, the policy would be seen as electoral suicide. Assurances that the actual content of conversations wouldn’t be recorded would be unlikely to help.
It’s a telling sign of how many real-world freedoms have been sacrificed online, then, that a government that just two years ago pledged to“reverse the rise of the surveillance state” feels able to propose real-time monitoring of all email and social media communications.
The information stored would include the sender and recipient of an email, the time it was sent, and details of the computer it was sent from. This would build a profile of who contacts whom, with what frequency, and from where.
The government says such measures are essential to counter organised crime and terrorism, citing that 95% of organised crime investigations and “every” major counter-terrorism investigation use communications data. However, this statistic does not show if such information was essential or even useful to these investigations – merely that investigators chose to get hold of communications records on almost every occasion, usually via warrant or use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (Ripa).
This kind of surveillance is nothing new: it’s been gradually expanding in the UK over the past decade, from measures that make it easier to obtain permission to monitor communications, to requiring internet service providers to store information on email communications to all their users. Under Ripa, state employees as junior as Royal Mail officersare allowed to “ping” mobile phones for location information on the basis of a simple, unrecorded, verbal request.
It seems incomprehensible – since the end of the Second World War, the United States has been responsible for the death of between 20 and 30 million people in various conflicts and wars from Korea and Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan.
James A. Lucas, writing for Countercurrents.org in 2007, presents the evidence with plenty of documentation.
Of course, the toll pales when compared to the atrocities of Mao.
According to research conducted by Piero Scaruffi, Mao slaughtered between 49-78,000,000, Stalin killed around 23,000,000 and Hitler 12 million.
The United States killed more than Stalin and Hitler? We have to take into consideration the timeline – Hitler killed his victims in just over a decade and Stalin and Mao over the period of a few years (most of Mao’s victims were killed during the “Cultural Revolution” and Stalin’s were killed during Ukraine’s engineered famine and also his political purges).
The United States – or rather its psychopathic rulers – have been more consistent and persistent in the mass murder business.
In an email sent to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) officials, Vice President of the SES Platforms Services, Stephane Goebel, noted that the BLM has asked Press TV be immediately removed from the platform.
The authority has claimed that Iran’s English-speaking channel does not have a license for broadcast in Europe.
“BLM has…sent us an official request to immediately seize the service of the above-mentioned channel [Press TV],” Goebel noted.
Regretting the decision, Goebel added that his company “will be no longer able to keep the Press TV signal on air and will need to shut down the service without further notice.”
The move is clearly part of a plot orchestrated by the West to silence the voice of the Iranian English-language channel.
Australian Defense Minister Stephen Smith will formally welcome the first contingent of U.S. Marines at a ceremony outside of Darwin, after 250 troops arrived Tuesday.
The U.S. troops presence will eventually grow to a 2,500-strong air-ground task force by 2016, as per President Obama’s new bilateral defense deal with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, first announced in November. The deal also includes an increased presence of U.S. warships and military aircraft – including B52 bombers – to operate from Australian bases.
Part of Obama’s ‘strategic pivot’ to Asia-Pacific, the move is aimed at countering growing Chinese military and economic influence in the region. In announcing the expanded military presence President Obama said “it’s important for [China] to play by the rules of the road. We will send a clear message to them that we think they may need to be on track, in terms of accepting the rules and responsibilities of being a world power.”
Traditionally, the “rules and responsibilities of being a world power” means to act in a way that is subservient to the U.S., thus the need for Obama to “send a clear message” of militaristic provocation to the Chinese that their growing influence in recent years are American prerogatives.
To this end, Obama has announced troop deployments to not just to Australia, but to Singapore and the Philippines. He has also strengthened economic and military ties to South Korea, Japan, Thailand, and Guam, all of whom already have significant U.S. military presence.
Former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter Zbigniew Brzezinski described Obama’s approach as overly confrontational. As he told Slate in January, “to define our engagements in the east in terms of China is a mistake. We have to focus on Asia but not in a manner that plays on everyone’s anxieties … It becomes very easy to demonise China and they will then demonise us in return. Is that what we want?”
The expansion of U.S. military presence in Asia-Pacific occurs despite crippling fiscal deficits and impending cuts to the defense budget. The deployment also has no discernible necessity in terms of defending the nation from a military threat, making the imperial and economic aspects of this particularly blatant.
Now that U.S. forces are gone, Iraq’s ruling Shiites are moving quickly to keep the two Muslim sects separate — and unequal.
Sunnis are locked out of key jobs at universities and in government, their leaders banned from Cabinet meetings or even marked as fugitives. Sunnis cannot get help finding the body of loved ones killed in the war. And Shiite banners are everywhere in Baghdad.
With the Americans no longer here to play peacemakers and Sunni-ruled Gulf Arab nations moving to isolate Iraq, it’s a development that could lead to an effective breakup of the country.
“The sectarian war has moved away from violence to a soft conflict fought in the state institutions, government ministries and on the street,” said political analyst Hadi Jalo. “What was once an armed conflict has turned into territorial, institutionalized and psychological segregation.”
Despite occasional large-scale bombings, March recorded the lowest monthly toll for violent deaths since the 2003 U.S.-invasion. A total of 112 Iraqis were killed last month, compared to 122 in November 2009, the previous lowest.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite hard-liner in office for nearly six years, does not tire from telling anyone who cares to listen that it was he who defeated “terrorism,” the word he uses to refer to the Sunni insurgency.
Critics charge that al-Maliki is suspicious of all Sunnis, even those who never joined the insurgency or later abandoned it, and is punishing a community that lost its protectors when the Americans left Iraq in December, ending eight years of occupation.
Reports are surfacing that an adviser to Parliament Speaker Osama Nujaifi has been arrested on terrorism charges. Ali Ahmed Abbas al-Dlemi is Nujaifi’s adviser on legislative affairs. Nujaifi is the second most powerful Sunni, after fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, in Iraq. Several guards may have also been arrested.
If the reports turn out to be accurate, the arrests will support complaints that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s office is attempting to marginalize Sunnis in post-U.S. Iraq. Meanwhile, Qatar has rejected Iraqi demands that Hashemi be returned to Baghdad. They maintain that, so long as Hashemi has not been tried nor stripped of his title, they will not hand him over.
The militia leaders who have turned post-Qaddafi Libya into a patchwork of semiautonomous fiefs are now plunging into politics, raising fears that their armed brigades could undermine elections intended to lay the foundation of a new democracy.
The militia leader from Zintan who controls the airport here in the capital has exchanged his uniform for a suit and tie and now talks about running for office — with his 1,200 armed men at his back. The head of Tripoli’s military council is starting a political party, and the military council in Benghazi is preparing its own slate of candidates for local office.
Regional militias and the ruling Transitional National Council have already blocked the city of Bani Walid, once a bastion of support for Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, from choosing its local government. Other militia leaders are volunteering their armed support as the military wings of newly formed parties.
Five months after Colonel Qaddafi’s death, Libyans are counting on the ritual of the ballot box to end four decades of rule by brute force. The brigades formed to fight Colonel Qaddafi, and many others that sprang up after the fact, have thwarted the consolidation of a new central authority and become a menace to security, trading deadly gunfire in the streets of the capital, detaining and torturing suspected Qaddafi loyalists, and last week even kidnapping two members of the Transitional National Council for two days.
Libya’s interim leaders say they hope an elected government will have the legitimacy to rein in those militias, and the country is rushing to hold votes. The two largest cities, Benghazi and Tripoli, plan to hold local elections by May, while the Transitional National Council has promised elections in June for an assembly that will govern as it writes a new constitution.
Without a national army or police force, though, many civilians worry that the militias could bully voters, suppress votes or otherwise dominate the process, leaving Libya mired in internecine violence, torn by regional tensions or — as a recent poll suggests many Libyans may now expect — vulnerable to the rise of a new strongman.
A Syrian government official says troops have begun withdrawing from some cities and are returning to their bases.
The official told the Associated Press on Tuesday that the withdrawal was mainly from calm cities while in tense areas, regime forces are redeploying and taking positions on the outskirts.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, spoke days after Damascus accepted an April 10 deadline to carry out international envoy Kofi Annan‘s cease-fire plan. It requires regime forces to withdraw from towns and cities and observe a cease-fire. Rebel fighters are to immediately follow by ceasing violence.
Speaking today on ABC News, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton set the stage for the predicted failure of the mid-April P5+1 talks in Turkey. She issued a series of demands that were the condition for avoiding war with Iran.
Among those demands were a series of unspecified “concrete commitments from Iran,” including an explicit demand that they “come clean on its nuclear program.” This is in spite of the repeated reports from the US and Israeli intelligence communitiesthat Iran has no nuclear weapons program.
Iran cannot even theoretically produce publicly the evidence of a program it doesn’t have in the first place, and this is just the latest reason that the anticipated talks will be another high profile
opportunity for dissembling, and not diplomacy.
The talks have been presented by US officials as the “last chance” for Iran to avoid an attack by either the US, Israel, or some combination thereof, and since the talks were initially agreed to by Iran have been presented as doomed to failure. It doesn’t seem likely that there will even be a meaningful topic of discussion for the two sides, with the US expected to simply shake its fists angrily for two days, and both sides to come home insisting they made some key rhetorical point.
One might imagine this makes the talks a colossal waste of everyone’s time, but the US at least has proudly touted the last few rounds of “designed to fail” talks as a whopping success, integral in getting international support (or in the case of China and Russia acquiescence) on imposing new sanctions and making more threats against Iran.
The Obama Administration’s strategy for the war in Afghanistan centers on a policy of securing an agreement with President Hamid Karzai to keep ground troops in the nation through 2024. At the same time, officials have to keep up the public pretense of an imminent drawdown.
The excuses for the drawdown’s delay have usually been that the war is going too well or too poorly to change troop levels. The excuse now, it seems, is “anti-American” sentiment of Pakistan is making the withdrawal inconvenient.
Pakistan has been keeping the border to Afghanistan closed since November in retaliation for a random (and still inexplicable) US attack on a pair of their military bases. The Pakistani government has made reopening the border conditional on the US apologizing and also stopping the drone strikes against the tribal areas.
There was a surprising well of political support for the United States in Pakistan, and it has taken over a decade for the Bush and Obama Administrations to successfully burn through it all. Now, the US is so politically untouchable that Pakistani MPs fear nothing so much as being branded an “ally” of the US.
Though this has been a public relations nightmare for US diplomats and no small source of destabilization in Pakistan, it gives the administration a fresh new excuse for why Afghan troop levels are staying flat, even though there was no indication before the border’s closure that any US troops were going to leave the country by way of Pakistan and it seems a ridiculously unsafe route at any rate.
Of course, keeping Pakistanis so angry that they’ll hold massive anti-US rallies on a near-weekly basis takes some unkeep. To that end, the State Department today announced a $10 million bounty on Hafiz Mohammed Saeed. Saeed, a founding member of the Lashkar-e Taiba is being accused by the US of being behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
The day after an embargo was placed on Mali, the soldier who led a recent coup said Tuesday that he agrees with restoring constitutional order, but first Mali’s ills need to be addressed by holding a national convention which will decide on the best way forward.
With Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo refusing to step down, surrounding nations have imposed severe financial sanctions on Mali, including the closing of the country’s borders and the freezing of its account at the regional central bank.
The embargo went into effect overnight Monday, after Sanogo failed to meet the 72-hour deadline imposed by the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS, which had demanded he hand power to civilians immediately.
In his first comments since the sanctions were imposed, Sanogo invited Malians to join him at a convention Thursday — a convention he had earlier announced would decide on the type of transitional body will govern Mali, before new elections are held.
The article published by Foreignpolicy.com draws on a speech by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declaring “Internet freedom” to be a touchstone of the US foreign policy and then argues, with evidence, that the most sophisticated gadgets for strangling online free speech and choking dissent around the world are basically made in America.
According to foreignpolicy.com, American corporations are major suppliers of software and hardware to all sorts of governments, including dictatorships in the Middle East and North Africa.
It also says the US government remains the biggest customer of American-made surveillance technology, shaping the development of those technologies as well as the business practices and norms for public-private collaboration around them.
Despite the fierce remarks against the Syrian government and the warnings of more drastic measures as well as the recognition of some of President Bashar al-Assad’s opponents and even the hasty request by the Arab League’s secretary general to make the Syrian crisis subject to the 7th Chapter of the UN Charter, the second meeting of the “Friends of Syria” in Turkey’s Istanbul met the same fate of the group’s meeting in Tunisia.
The International Criminal Court will not investigate Israel’s conduct during its December 2008 offensive on Gaza because Palestine is not a state, the world prosecutor said Tuesday.
In a statement, the ICC prosecutor acknowledged that over 130 countries and some UN bodies recognize Palestine as a state.
But, Palestine still holds observer status in the UN, and so the ICC cannot at this time investigate allegations of war crimes committed on Palestinian territory, the prosecutor said.
On March 16, at least 14 employees of the Elizabeth R. Wellborn law firm, located in Deerfield Beach, Florida, wore orange shirts to work. For this style choice, they were marched into a conference room and summarily fired. Wellborn’s husband declared that the shirts were a protest against working conditions at the 275-worker law firm, and that management would not stand for such behavior.
Medical Madness: Researchers Develop Genetically-Engineered ‘Pharm’ Goats that Produce Vaccines in Milk
Just as predicted, the scientific community’s genetic engineering fetish is quickly degenerating into a no-holds-barred, genetic-tampering freak show of dastardly proportions. According to the Houston Chronicle, researchers at Texas A&M University (A&M) have unveiled a new line of genetically-modified (GM) goats that produce a malaria vaccine directly in their milk.
Mark Westhusin, a professor at A&M’s Reproductive Sciences Laboratory, and his colleagues have decided to assume the role of God by altering the genome of goats to artificially produce the malaria parasite. And as a result, their goats now produce milk that contains the same materials found in a malaria vaccine, which they hope will increase vaccine compliance among the world’s poorest.
Plans to allow the authorities to monitor the online activity of every person in Britain were pushed back last night after being condemned by MPs of all parties.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, announced that the contentious measures would be published only in draft form and would be subject to widespread consultation – concessions that could delay the proposals for at least a year. In a letter to Mr Clegg published in The Independent today, 17 Liberal Democrat MPs welcomed his intervention but warned him their support could not be taken for granted on the issue.
A storm erupted this week after it emerged that legislation to allow the police, intelligence services, councils and other public bodies to obtain details of messages sent via Skype and social networks would be included in the Queen’s Speech.
It’s found everywhere, from homes, schools, office buildings, cars to medications and even toothpaste. You can’t escape fiberglass and we’re only beginning to find out why it is so lethal. A whistleblower and former hazardous materials expert is exposing shocking and under-reported evidence that attenuated fiberglass, the kind used to insulate your home and found in countless consumer products, is more carcinogenic than asbestos.
The fiberglass manufacturing industry includes many of the same corporations which created the asbestos tragedy, except now these corporations are larger and operate in many countries. Despite recent bankruptcies, the fiberglass manufacturers retain much wealth, in the form of factories, brand names and distribution channels. Their long fingers reach into universities and medical centers, where their money pays for “research” on the safety of their products.
An onrush of condemnation and criticism kept the SOPA and PIPA acts from passing earlier this year, but US lawmakers have already authored another authoritarian bill that could give them free reign to creep the Web in the name of cybersecurity.
As congressmen in Washington consider how to handle the ongoing issue of cyberattacks, some legislators have lent their support to a new act that, if passed, would let the government pry into the personal correspondence of anyone of their choosing.
H.R. 3523, a piece of legislation dubbed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (or CISPA for short), has been created under the guise of being a necessary implement in America’s war against cyberattacks. But the vague verbiage contained within the pages of the paper could allow Congress to circumvent existing exemptions to online privacy laws and essentially monitor, censor and stop any online communication that it considers disruptive to the government or private parties. Critics have already come after CISPA for the capabilities that it will give to seemingly any federal entity that claims it is threatened by online interactions, but unlike the Stop Online Privacy Act and the Protect IP Acts that were discarded on the Capitol Building floor after incredibly successful online campaigns to crush them, widespread recognition of what the latest would-be law will do has yet to surface to the same degree.
Kendall Burman of the Center for Democracy and Technology tells RT that Congress is currently considering a number of cybersecurity bills that could eventually be voted into law, but for the group that largely advocates an open Internet, she warns that provisions within CISPA are reason to worry over what the realities could be if it ends up on the desk of President Barack Obama. So far CISPA has been introduced, referred and reported by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and expects to go before a vote in the first half of Congress within the coming weeks.
UK taxpayers will have to pay billions of dollars to have their web surfing, email exchange, text messaging, and even Skype calls, monitored. In addition to the hefty price-tag, innocent Brits risk being misidentified as terrorists.
The shocking data comes ahead of the plan announcement in the Queen’s speech, which is scheduled for May. Meanwhile, the Home Office, Britain’s interior ministry, said ministers were preparing to legislate “as soon as parliamentary time allows”.
More than $3 billion over the first decade alone is the extraordinary sum the British taxpayer will have to pay to be legally spied upon, reports the Daily Mail. In addition, annual running costs of roughly $320 million – $610 a minute – to store the data gathered from private communication.
Moreover, the above figures are based on 2009 estimates, which means the actual price, if it were estimated now, would be higher still.
British security agencies are pushing for a law, which would allow police to gain access to who you call, what sites you surf and how you play video games.
The government wants details about text messages, phone calls, email, visited websites, Facebook and Twitter exchanges and even online game chats.
The bill is aimed at finding potential terrorists and criminals in the name of protecting British citizens. However, Brits themselves might need protection from the side-effects caused by the new policy. According to the Information Commissioner’s Office – an independent watchdog upholding information rights in the public interest – once implemented, the bill may lead to innocents being wrongly identified as criminals. Or worse still – terrorists.
You may be wondering why some supposedly ‘healthy’ and ‘environmentally conscious’ companies deceive unknowing consumers into purchasing products with hidden additives and fillers. Perhaps one of the main reasons is that a large number of these pseudo-organic brands are owned by their very unhealthy ‘competitors’, such as Coca-Cola and General Mills. In fact, some of your favorite “All Natural” and organic companies may be owned by a corporate giant.
Companies like Honest Tea and Odwalla may appeal to health conscious shoppers, but they are actually owned by Coca-Cola — the very same company that is currently fuming over the requirement to change their recipes in order to avoid a cancer warning label. Another popular ‘health’ brand is Kashi, owned by the Kellogg corporation. It should come as no surprise that Kashi cereals have been found to contain a copious amount of GMOs and pesticides, according to an explosive report from the Cornucopia Institute. Kashi’s ’Heart to Heart Blueberry cereal’ was found to contain grains coated in the residue of many pesticides such as phosmet, carbaryl, azinphos methyl, malathion, chlorpyrifos methyl, chlorpyrifos. What’s more, the company’s products were found to oftentimes contain 100%genetically modified ingredients.
This information has been known for quite some time. Here’s a really revealing image from Michigan State University that reveals who really owns your favorite company. See if yours is owned by a corporate giant.