Sunday, January 30, 2011

Without Internet, Egyptians find new ways to get online

No government can shut down the internet! Here is proof. The more you try to prevent people from having free access to information, the more they will try to get it.

Source: Computer World

"When countries block, we evolve," an activist with the group We Rebuild wrote in a Twitter message Friday. That's just what many Egyptians have been doing this week, as groups like We Rebuild scramble to keep the country connected to the outside world, turning to landline telephones, fax machines and even ham radio to keep information flowing in and out of the country.

"[B]asically, there are three ways of getting information out right now -- get access to the Noor ISP (which has about 8 percent of the market), use a land line to call someone, or use dial-up," Jillian York, a researcher with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, said via e-mail.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Computer World.

Friday, January 28, 2011

U.S. Government Was Behind The 2009 Christmas Day Underwear Bomber

Attempted Plane Attack: Trial Date Set for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab: MyFoxDETROIT.com


The 2009 Christmas Day "Underwear Bomber", Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, appeared in federal court Tuesday. FOX 2 News in Detroit got a statement from Kurt and Lori Haskell who were passengers on that flight.

"The U.S. government escorted them through security without a passport and, we believe, gave him an intentionally defective bomb," said Kurt Haskell.

"It was intentional that it went this far to further the war on terror, to get body scanners in the airports, to increase the TSA's budget, to renew the Patriot Act and whatever other reasons you want to list," Kurt Haskell told FOX 2.

The Haskells say in Amsterdam before boarding the flight to Detroit, they witnessed Abdulmutallab arguing with a ticket agent at the gate because he didn't have a passport when a man in a tan suit with an American accent intervened.

"The ticket agent did not want to allow Abdulmutallab on the flight and this man was very insistent of it, and then she referred them to a manager down the hallway," said Kurt Haskell.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Did Superbugs Eat Most Of The BP Oil Spill?

Oceanospirillales are the most common type of bacteria found eating oil in the Gulf.


Homeland Security recently released the Operational Science Advisory Team (OSAT) Final Report which concludes that the vast majority of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill is already gone.

The Gulf oil spill was abated by bacteria that feed on hydrocarbons. That's how the Washington Post summarized the OSAT Report. How did these bacteria work so quickly? The article explains that as follows:

"The gulf has more natural seeps than any other body of water in or around North America. Because of this constant supply of hydrocarbons, there is always a healthy population of bacteria floating around the gulf looking for more food. When BP's well blew out, these tiny creatures went into a feeding frenzy."

So, basically, because the Gulf has an unusually high amount of natural oil seepage the bacteria were already thriving and the BP oil spill just kicked them into high gear.

As the BP oil spill continued for several months, some scientists were concerned that methane, as much as half the flow from the wellhead, would spread in large clouds that would eventually leave sizable areas of the Gulf hypoxic, starving marine life of oxygen. The Houston Chronicle reported on a paper published Jan 7 in the journal Science. Texas A&M University oceanographer John Kessler co-authored the paper and he said that "The methane was gone" when they collected samples.

"When we went back out we were just seeing the last breath of a once great methane plume. It went away much faster than we expected, and it's kind of the inspirational story of the oil spill", Kessler said. The paper concludes that large amounts of bacteria bloomed rapidly as the methane levels rose and metabolized the natural gas as food.

Kessler said, "When you look at how fast it must have decomposed from when we left the water in June to September, those rates, while they are in the realm of possibilities, are higher than anything that's ever been measured. ... What we found is that the ocean, in this capacity at least, had a remarkable ability to take care of itself."

If you think this story about superbugs gobbling up all of the oil sounds too good to be true, you aren't alone. Many conspiracy theories claim that synthetically engineered viruses called bacteriophages, or ‘phages’, must have been used to infect and alter the genetics of indigenous Gulf bacteria or a new species of bacteria was synthetically created to eat up the oil and/or gas.

And of course the conspiracy theorists claim that BP introduced the synthetically engineered bacteria into the gulf, or at least the knew about them. The most damning evidence is this 17 second clip from a BBC interview:



This 17 second clip came from a September 2010 video interview with Mike Utsler, the Chief Operating Officer of BP’s Gulf Coast Restoration. Utsler publicly admitted on camera:

There is a new form of microbiology that is attacking this (oil) plume and using it as a food source”.

In May 2010, National Geographic quoted Dr. Terry Hazen from the U.S. government’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who said,

“…we could introduce a genetic material into indigenous bugs via a bacteriophage – a virus that infects bacteria – to give local microbes DNA that would allow them to break down oil. Either that, he said, or a lab could create a completely new organism that thrives in the ocean, eats oil, and needs a certain stimulant to live…”

You can read much more supporting "evidence" for the synthetic engineering conspiracy theory from Michael Edward of the World Vision Portal. Edward also explains how he believes that microorganisms and bacteriophages in the Gulf are mutating as well.

Gerald Celente Predictions for 2011 and Beyond

Gerald Celente is the founder of the Trends Research Institute, and he has made a number of highly accurate predictions in the past. He predicted the rise of gold as an alternative store of monetary value, the popularization of hyper-local, organic food commodities, and the economic collapse.

In this interview with Russia Today (RT) Celente predicted that in 2011, every citizen is going to realize that the Great Recession the world has been living through is actually a Great Depression. He also predicted that we will see an increase in cyber war and cyber crime and the rise of the "progressive libertarian" movement.

The Great Depression
Celente predicts that in 2011 every citizen is going to realize that the current recession is actually a Great Depression. He explained how the Federal Reserve made $20 trillion worth of no-interest or extremely low-interest loans to banks around the world. "There is no recovery, it's a cover-up. They're covering it up with stimulus packages, with buy outs, with bailouts -it's not going to fix the problem. ... We cannot imagine them coming up with another scheme where they are going to be able to continue, whether it is in the US or the EU, to print this digital money not worth the paper it’s not printed on.” He went on to explain that governments continue these schemes with funds they “extract them from the little people” with austerity measures. “This is where the revolution is going to happen,” said the trend forecaster. “The youth of the world, and particularly in the United States, has mountains of debts to climb and no way to get to the top.”

Cyber War and Cyber Crime:
Celente predicted an increased use of the Internet for WikiLeaks-style “Journalism 2.0” to "exposing the corruptness, the ineptitude and the double dealing going on that [governments and corporations] don't want the public to know about." He described how government is trying to fight back by "using cyber war and the war on terror to take that Internet freedom away from America. ... But in 2011, the game's gonna run out. ... The Internet has become the great connector. They all know what's going on. They're all Facebook. They're all together. They have a system where they're interacting and relating. It's a different kind of social network than the other one, but the same."

"The worse conditions get, the more you're going to see cyber crime. The worse economic conditions go globally, the more you're going to see cyber wars. It's going to be a new element of warfare. It's an Internet nuclear bomb waiting to go off. You can bring down entire financial systems, stop bank transfers. You can blow apart, without ever having to light a fuse, a whole stock exchange... Every major computer-connected industry or service is a potential target for cyber war."

Progressive Libertarians
Celente is predicting the emergence of a new third party which he's calling "Progressive Libertarian" in 2012.
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Welfare Drug Testing Bills Introduced in Four States

Source: StoptheDrugWar.org

Critics of welfare drug testing cite unconstitutionality of warrantless drug testing, the cost of drug testing tens or hundreds of thousands of people, counterproductive results and mean-spiritedness in opposing legislation that would require it. But that hasn't stopped legislators from coming back again and again.

With this year's state legislative season barely under way, bills have been introduced in four states --Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oregon --to require drug testing for people receiving public assistance. And in a novel twist, a bill in Indiana would require unemployment recipients to declare they are not using illegal drugs and threatens them with up to three years in prison for perjury if they are found to be using them.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which successfully litigated against Michigan's welfare drug testing law, has also come down strongly against welfare drug testing. Such laws are "scientifically, fiscally, and constitutionally unsound," in the ACLU's opinion. The group cites studies showing welfare recipients are no more likely to use drugs than the rest of the population and that 70% of illicit drug users are employed. It also cites research showing that drug testing is an expensive, but ineffective way to uncover drug abuse.

But the kicker for the ACLU is the unconstitutionality of warrantless drug testing by the state, as determined by the US 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in the Michigan case. Michigan was the only state to actually implement a welfare drug testing program, but the appeals court found that the program violated the Fourth Amendment's provision barring unreasonable searches.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at StoptheDrugWar.org.
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Saturday, January 22, 2011

JFK vs The FED



"... Now the trumpet summons us again -not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need -not as a call to battle, though embattled we are -but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation"-a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease and war itself. And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you -ask what you can do for your country . My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

John F. Kennedy delivered this famous speech after his inauguration on January 20, 1961 and this week we celebrated the 50th anniversary of this momentous occasion. I thought I would take advantage of this opportunity to remind everybody of some little known facts about JFK and his legacy of profound changes in economic policy. Most importantly, I want to focus on Kennedy's battle against the private banks and the Federal Reserve System.

On June 4, 1963, a virtually unknown Presidential decree, Executive Order 11110, was signed with the authority to basically strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at interest. With the stroke of a pen, President Kennedy declared that the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank would soon be out of business. This Executive Order returned to the federal government, specifically the Treasury Department, the Constitutional power to create and issue currency without going through the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank.



The Treasury Department was given the explicit authority: "to issue silver certificates against any silver bullion, silver, or standard silver dollars in the Treasury." This means that for every ounce of silver in the U.S. Treasury's vault, the government could introduce new money into circulation based on the silver bullion physically held there. As a result, more than $4 billion in United States Notes were brought into circulation in $2 and $5 denominations. $10 and $20 United States Notes were never circulated but were being printed by the Treasury Department.



President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 and the United States Notes he had issued were immediately taken out of circulation. Federal Reserve Notes continued to serve as the legal currency of the nation. It appears obvious that President Kennedy knew the Federal Reserve Notes being used as the purported legal currency were contrary to the Constitution of the United States of America. Many believe that Kennedy's battle with the Federal Reserve system played a significant role in his assassination.

Why should you care about the Federal Reserve System and fractional reserve lending? Because it has a profound impact on your standard of living. That's why! Let's say you decide to buy a new car. Unless you purchase the car with cash from your savings you will probably be taking out a loan from a bank. Let's say the dealership gives you a fair trade-in on your old car and you only have to borrow $10,000 from a bank. The bank doesn't actually take $10,000 from its pile of cash and give it to the car dealership. They simply go to their computer and input an entry of $10,000 into the dealership's account. They created, from thin air, a debt which you have to repay with interest. The bank takes very little risk, because they keep the title of your car until the loan is paid in full.



Banks are allowed to create and lend as much debt as they want as long as they do not exceed the 10:1 fractional reserve ratio imposed by the FED. This practice of lending money with a fractional reserve is essentially a legal (or at least decriminalized) form of usury, and private banks have been doing this for years. The same lending scenario described in the car loan example above, applies to the Federal Government.

Kennedy knew that if the silver-backed United States Notes were widely circulated, they would have eliminated the demand for Federal Reserve Notes. This is a very simple matter of economics. The United States Notes were backed by silver and the Federal Reserve Notes were backed by anything of intrinsic value. If LBJ or any subsequent President were to enforce Executive Order 11110, it should have prevented the national debt from reaching its current level. Virtually all of the $14 trillion in federal debt has been created since 1963. Enforcing Kennedy's order would have almost immediately given the U.S. Government the ability to repay its debt without going to the private Federal Reserve Banks and being charged interest to create new "money".

In November, Republicans won many elections and took control of a majority of seats in the House. The GOP has made a Pledge to America that includes a promise to defend the US constitution and cite the specific constitutional authority that enables each piece of legislation they submit for consideration. They begun this session of congress by reading the constitution on the House floor. There has also been quite a bit of talk about the growing national debt and spending cuts. Perhaps now is the perfect time to revisit our nation's economic policy and our practice of borrowing from the Federal Reserve in particular.



Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution specifically says that Congress is the only body that can "coin money and regulate the value thereof." The US Constitution has never been amended to allow anyone other than Congress to coin and regulate currency. The Christian Law Fellowship has exhaustively researched Executive Order 11110 through the Federal Register and Library of Congress and has concluded that this Executive Order has never been repealed, amended, or superseded by any subsequent Executive Order. In simple terms, it is still valid.

Write your representative, and ask them to take a stand for the Constitution. Ask them how it is possible for the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, and the Federal Reserve Bank that it created, to be constitutional. Ask them why this private banking cartel is allowed to reap trillions of dollars in profits without paying taxes. Insist on an answer.

Read more of my posts about The Federal Reserve.

Read more about John F. Kennedy's Executive Order at John-F-Kennedy.net.
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Friday, January 21, 2011

Domestic Terrorism: Bomb found in Spokane

Source: ABC news and KXLY Spokane, WA

A bomb found in Spokane, Washington was packed with some form of shrapnel and had a remote detonator attached. "This is meant to maim and kill when you do that with a device," said Al Odenthal who headed up Spokane's bomb squad for most of the 1990's.

Odenthal believes the placement of the bomb, on a bench facing the Martin Luther King Unity Parade route, was no mistake. "The steel bench and the brick wall will channel some of that almost like bouncing a basketball against a wall," Odenthal said of the energy from a potential blast. He also questioned whether this is an isolated incident.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read and watch more at KXLY Spokane, WA.
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Liberal Group: Investigate Scalia and Thomas Over Citizens United Conflicts of Interest

Source: CBS News

Liberal nonprofit Common Cause is asking the Department of Justice to investigate Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia in relation to the Citzens United Supreme Court case, arguing that their decision in the case raised "serious questions about the impartiality of" both justices.

"It appears both justices have participated in political strategy sessions, perhaps while the case was pending, with corporate leaders whose political aims were advanced by the decision," writes Common Cause President and CEO Bob Edgar in a petition to the Justice Department filed this week.

The groups cited as evidence the apparent appearances of Thomas and Scalia at past political retreats sponsored by energy and manufacturing conglomerate Koch Industries. (The New York Times reported last year that the latest invitation to the event advertises Scalia and Thomas as previous guests at the retreats.)

This is a Suspicious News Brief. read more at CBS News.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Report: China Banks Lend More Than World Bank

Source: This Week In Truth

Two Chinese state controlled banks have lent more to developing countries than the World Bank, according to a report. The China Development Bank and the China Export Import Bank offered loans of at least $110 bn (£69.2 bn) to governments and firms in developing countries in 2009 and 2010.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at This Week In Truth.

Calvin's Notes:

I am starting to wonder if the title of this blog is a bit misleading. Maybe it should be called "This Week In Unsubstantiated Rumors".

If Chinese banks have outlent the World Bank does that mean they are more corrupt or less corrupt than the World Bank?
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Monday, January 17, 2011

They've Made It Rain in the Desert -- or Have They?

Source: FOX News

A Swiss company has announced the successful testing of a new weather control technology, which it claims has created as many as fifty rainstorms in the barren, arid deserts of Abu Dhabi. The company, Zug, Switzerland-based Meteo Systems, has invented a system that uses giant ionizers -- essentially fabric-free umbrellas on long steel poles. These generate fields of negatively charged particles that rise with dust from the desert and promote cloud formation, the company says, and therefore rain.

But all that's formed are clouds of doubt among the scientists FoxNews.com spoke with.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. read more at FOX News.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Corexit Connection: Linking Mass Die-Offs to BP's Oil Spill

Source: This Week In Truth

With the dumping of Corexit supposedly ending only weeks after the well was finally capped, the fall storm season for the eastern United States was beginning to ramp up. The primary source of moisture for this region is the Gulf of Mexico. As the Polar Jet Stream begins to fall further south with the progression of the late seasons, evaporated moisture from the gulf gets pumped into the atmosphere. This moisture fuels storm systems that affect the south in the fall and further north in the winter.

These storms provide a great deal of water to the areas the gulf affects. With the evaporation of toxic molecules and the transportation to land, the chemicals then are transplanted to terrestrial animals starting with the most sensitive and vulnerable ones such as birds and insects. The effects of Corexit on internal organs are in line with some autopsy reports of animals researched in the mass die-offs that have been occurring primarily throughout the eastern United States. Those effects are a general liquidation and development of cancer in the organ systems giving them an appearance of traumatic activity.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at This Week In Truth.
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Congress quietly prepares to renew Patriot Act

Source: RawStory

As senator, Obama promised to support reforming the Patriot Act, but voted in favor of extending it in 2005 and 2008. Similarly, he signed last year's extension into law with little fanfare. FBI and Department of Justice officials had consistently argued that restricting their blanket authority to conduct warrantless searches would harm national security. Candidate Obama said in 2007 that if he were elected president there would be "no more National Security Letters [NSL's] to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime" because "that is not who we are, and it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists."

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at RawStory.

Gun sales soar in wake of shooting

Source: The Australian

Gun shop owners in Arizona are reporting a rise in sales of the Glock 9mm, the model that killed six and wounded 14 in Tucson last weekend, and sales of firearms have increased across the country. Sales of the 33-round magazine allegedly used by Jared Lee Loughner have rocketed. The magazines were banned under the Clinton administration after a gunman used one on a train in Long Island, killing six people and wounding 19, but the restriction lapsed under president George W. Bush.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at The Australian.
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Friday, January 14, 2011

Jared Loughner may have posted to on-line conspiracy theory forums.

Source: Wall Street Journal
Did Jared Loughner discuss violence on popular on-line conspiracy theory forums?.

Enfinite Source Of Currency!?!?
Topic started on 8-7-2010 @ 06:14 AM by Erad3
Is it possible for an infinite source of currency?

If a member of the treasury creates 5 new currency's then the new currency replaces the previous currency.
If the new currency replaces the previous currency then the previous currency is no longer in use.
A members of the treasury creates 5 new currency's.
Therefore, the previous currency is no longer in use.

If the treasury creates a new currency then the new currency will replace the previous currency.
The treasury creates a new currency.
Therefore, the new currency will replace the previous currency.

If the treasury creates one new currency then why couldn't they create an infinite amount?

Wouldn't be beautiful to see your face on the new coins?


This is for determining the location.

I present this because of how to locate the money source for distribution.

If the poster locates the currency for purchase then the currency is in use for the location.
The currency isn't in use for the location.
Therefore, the poster didn't locate the currency for purchase.

If the poster locates the universe then the poster locates the outside universe.
The poster didn't locate the outside universe.
Nonetheless, the poster didn't locate the universe.

This is flattering to me for the location of a currency!
How flattering is this thread!
See more posts authored by Erad3 HERE.
Bill Irvine, chief executive of Above Networks, which owns Above Top Secret, said he was convinced that Jared Loughner posted on Above Top Secret under the user name Erad3 because of similarities in other confirmed online identities and posts of Mr. Loughner.

Mr. Loughner asked in an Above Top Secret site posting: "Is it possible that politicians are taking advantage of the money system? It's possible to overthrow a government and change the currency."

At first users took the question seriously. One user responded, "Governments, corporations, lots of individuals take advantage of the money system.…What we need to do is get rid of money, barter and exchange altogether."

Yet after some back-and-forth, another user questioned Mr. Loughner's mental health.

"I think you're frankly schizophrenic, and no that's not an amateur opinion and not intended as an uninformed or insulting remark," this user wrote. "I really do care. Seek help before you hurt yourself or others or start taking your medications again, please."

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read the full story at the Wall Street Journal.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nathan Deal: Drug addiction ‘draining our treasury’ | Political Insider

Source: The Atlanta Journal Constitution

In his inaugural address Georgia Governor Nathan Deal made crime and its cost his very first topic. Deal made no specific proposals, but the comments below appear to echo last week’s musings by House Speaker David Ralston, who wondered if Georgia was locking up too many people, at too high a cost –particularly in the case of drug addicts.

“For violent and repeat offenders, we will make you pay for your crimes. For other offenders who want to change their lives, we will provide the opportunity to do so with Day Reporting Centers, Drug, DUI and Mental Health Courts and expanded probation and treatment options. As a State, we cannot afford to have so many of our citizens waste their lives because of addictions. It is draining our State Treasury and depleting our workforce…”

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more in The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Gabrielle Giffords was targeted by Sarah Palin's Don't Retreat, Reload Map

Source: Telegraph

This image was pulled from Sara Palin's Facebook page.
Gabrielle Giffords, a Democratic congresswoman, was shot in the head at point blank range by a gunman who opened fire on a public meeting that she was holding in Tucson, Arizona today. At least 11 others including some of her staff members were reported to have been injured, some seriously, and there were reports that between four and six people had died. There were conflicting reports over whether Miss Gifford had herself been killed.

On March 23, Sarah Palin tweeted "Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: 'Don't Retreat, Instead -RELOAD!' Pls see my Facebook page." and posted a map on her Facebook page. The map included images of gun sights to identify 20 House Democrats who were seeking reelection and were vulnerable because they backed the new health care law.

Congresswoman Giffords is a gun-owner and supporter of the right to bear arms.

UPDATE Jan 10: Giffords was asked about Palin's map shortly after it was posted and she made these statements in an appearance on MSNBC.

"We're on Sarah Palin's targeted list, but the thing is that the way she has it depicted has the cross hairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they've got to realize there's consequences to that action."

Chuck Todd mentioned on of the arguments that has been made frequently, "In fairness, campaign rhetoric and war rhetoric have been interchangeable for years."

Giffords responded, "In the years that some of my colleagues have served, 20-30 years, they've never seen it like this."

Savannah Guthrie asked Giffords, "Are you concerned that Democrats might be using this as a political opportunity?"

Giffords responded, "I don't think of it that way. That's certainly not what we're doing."



Giffords appeared on The Daily Rundown on MSNBC.

UPDATE Jan 10: Palin posted a statement on her Facebook page: My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today's tragic shooting in Arizona. On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice. -Sarah Palin

UPDATE Jan 10: The Arizona Star reported that Jessy Kelly, Gifford's opponent held a campaign event that invited supporters to shoot an M16. Kelly's website has a stern-looking photo of the former Marine in military garb holding his weapon. It includes the headline: "Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly."

UPDATE Jan 10: This Talking Points Memo article reports that an aide to Sarah Palin claims the crosshairs depicted in her now-infamous target list of Democrats were not actually gun-sights, and that it's "obscene" and "appalling" to blame Palin for the shooting.

UPDATE Jan 11: Palin herself referred to the crosshairs on her map as "bullseye" icons in a Nov 4 tweet, "Remember months ago 'bullseye' icon used 2 target the 20 Obamacare-lovin' incumbent seats? We won 18 out of 20 (90% success rate;T'aint bad)"

UPDATE Jan 11: On Monday, Glenn Beck told his radio audience that Palin sent him a message in which she said:

"I hate violence. I hate war. Our children will not have peace if politicos just capitalize on this to succeed in portraying anyone as inciting terror and violence. Thanks for all you do to send the message of truth and love and God as the answer."


Other Examples Of Gun Images Used In Political Discourse:



This political campaign ad is called "Dead Aim" and ran in West Virginia.
Last fall, to show his separation from President Obama, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) aired a television commercial that included footage of him firing a rifle shot into a copy of the cap-and-trade energy bill that was pinned, targetlike, on a tree.

On Monday, Manchin said he probably wouldn't use the ad in today's post-Tucson environment and called for the nation to come together. About the ad, he said, "The act of a deranged madman who commits a horrific act should not and cannot be confused with a metaphor about a piece of legislation. I have never targeted an individual, and I never would."

A Wall Street Journal blog reported that Obama said the following at a campaign rally in June of 2008:

“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said at a Philadelphia fundraiser Friday night. “Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”

The following violent quotes come from The Democratic Strategist blog and are not substantiated by links to actual news stories:

Sharron Angle: "second amendment remedies".

Rush Limbaugh: "I tell people don't kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus--living fossils--so we we'll never forget what these people stood for."

Ann Coulter: "My only regret with Tim McVeigh is that he did not go to the New York Times building"

Glen Beck: "Hang on, let me just tell you what I'm thinking. I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. No, I think I could."

Eric Erickson (Redstate.com): "At what point do [people] get off the couch, march down to their state legislator's house, pull him outside and beat him to a bloody pulp for being an idiot?"

Michael Savage: "I say round liberals up and hang em' high. When I hear someone's in the civil rights business, I oil up my AR-25."

Dick Morris: "Those crazies in Montana who say 'we're going to kill ATF agents because the UN's going to take over.' Well, they're beginning to have a case."

G. Gorden Liddy (broadcasting advice on how to kill law enforcement officers): "...head-shots, they are wearing body armor, head shots... or shoot for the groin."

UPDATE Jan 11: My Opinion Several Days After The Shooting:

First of all, my heart goes out to those who were personally affected by this tragedy and all who morn the loss of those who were killed. I wish Gabby Giffords a speedy recovery and I hope she is eventually able to regain her speech and motor skills and she can return to serving her country if that is her desire.

I also want to acknowledge that these metaphorical slogans are quite creative and they have probably resulted in a significant increase in voter turnout. I also want to make it abundantly clear that the violent rhetoric mentioned in this article is protected in the US as "Free Speech". I believe that that nothing illegal has happened and everybody has the right to say these types of things. The First Amendment gives Sarah Palin and others the right to free speech and protects the "Don't Retreat, Raload" rhetoric. Freedom of speech is generally protected unless the speaker intends to incite a violation of the law that is both imminent and likely. See the Supreme Court Ruling in Brandenburg v. Ohio regarding the Imminent Lawless Action test that is applied to First Amendment protection of free speech.

Since Palin has not ruled out a run for president in 2012, I think she has a responsibility to issue some sort of statement condemning the shooter and the events in Tucson and I think she needs to openly admit that her map uses the image of gun sights. I believe that her silence on this issue is interpreted by most people as cowardice and that she cannot be taken seriously as a political candidate. I believe that her silence and refusal to respond to these challenges could cost her more political capital than the map and violent rhetoric did in the first place. In my view, this incident puts Palin firmly in the category of political commentator and completely eliminates her as a serious contender for any political office. She has reached a point, at least in my mind, where she is no more than an entertainer who can be compared to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

I don't think Jared Loughner was directly motivated by Sarah Palin or anybody else's violent rhetoric. I think he was just a very disturbed, chemically imbalanced and mentally unstable individual. His decision to go on a shooting during Giffords' public appearance probably had little to do with the violent rhetoric he heard from radio, TV and print media. But I can guarantee that this violent rhetoric didn't help matters at all. I think Tucson's top lawman, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said it best,

"I'd just like to say that when you look at unbalanced people, how they are, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths, about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous."

You can read more about Dupnik at CBC.

And finally, I wish that our nation didn't have to repeatedly suffer through these types of manicures in places like Columbine and Virginia Tech. I feel that these senseless acts of murder and destruction all could have been prevented, and I wish more people had reached out to Jared Loughner and the other shooters to help them through their problems. Lives could have been spared if somebody had offered Loughner more support and psychological help when he exhibited signs of dangerous behavior. Many people saw the warning signs, and it appears that everybody dealt with Loughner's scary behavior by expelling him from school and blocking him from virtually all interaction with society. As healthy and wealthy members of society we can do much better to help those who are less healthy and less wealthy.


UPDATE Jan 12: Sarah Palin posted a video on her Facebook page in which she lashed out at critics for manufacturing "blood libel" with claims she bore some responsibility for the attempted assassination of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Sarah Palin: "America's Enduring Strength" from Sarah Palin on Vimeo.


Palin's choice of words is apparently offensive because "blood libel" is a term used in connection with anti-semetic rhetoric. The blood libel myth dates back to the 12th century, when Jews were first falsely accused of kidnapping Christian children to re-enact the martyrdom of Jesus Christ. Throughout history it was used to justify violence against Jews, from pogroms to the Holocaust.

UPDATE Jan 17: Sarah Palin appeared on Sean Hannity's show.

This is Palin's first television appearance since the shootings.


Palin said that her use of "blood libel" referred to those "falsely accused of having blood on their hands."

Palin and Hannity also discussed this Targeting Strategy map on DLC.org as an example of how Democrats and liberals have used similar gun terminology.


Palin vowed to keep speaking out with her message that the country is headed in the wrong direction and she says "They're not going to shut me up."

Fluoride means lower IQs and more mental retardation

Source: NaturalNews

Researchers recently looked at the IQs of 512 Chinese grade-schoolers from two otherwise similar villages, except for the amount of fluoride they were drinking in their water. In the village with high fluoride in their water, the children were less intelligent -and far more apt to be mentally retarded -than the children from the village with low fluoride in the water. In either of the villages, the children with scores showing mental retardation or borderline retardation had more fluoride in their blood than any of the other children.

The researchers state, "As the fluoride level in children's serum increased, the children's IQs fell and the rates of borderline or lower intelligence increased." Of course, it's impossible to say what the children's IQs would have been, even in the low fluoride village, if they -and their parents -haven't been exposed to fluoride in their water at all. One can bet they would have been much higher.

The Chinese children in this study were drinking well water with naturally occurring fluoride. However, in the U.S., governments often mandate water fluoridation. In the high fluoride Chinese village, the average fluoride in the water was 2.47 mg/L (milligrams per liter). In the low fluoride Chinese village, the average was .36 mg/L. In the U.S., the CDC recommends water fluoridation between 0.5 to 1.2 mg/L and considers water with 0.7 mg/L or higher to have "substantial" fluoride. The EPA's maximum for fluoride in our water is 4 mg/L -which is well over the amount causing retardation in these children.

In the U.S., about one in ten children has a learning disability. According to the CDC, over forty percent children from 12 to 15 also have dental fluorosis. Dental fluorosis is caused by high exposure to fluoride (some would say fluoride poisoning) and is characterized by visible white stains on the teeth. About two dozen human studies link fluoride with low IQ and over a hundred animal studies link fluoride to brain damage. Still more research connects fluoride with thyroid disease and cancer.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read the full story at NaturalNews.
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Friday, January 7, 2011

Cocaine vaccine could make drug addiction a distant memory

Source: io9

By combining a cocaine-like molecule with part of the common cold virus, you get a vaccine that turns the immune system against cocaine, keeping it away from the brain. So far, the vaccine has only been tested on mice, but the results are extraordinary. Mice given the vaccine no longer exhibited any of the hyperactive signs of a cocaine high when they were next given the drug. The vaccine was created by taking just the part of the cold virus that alerts the body's immune system to its presence, and then researchers connected the signalling mechanism to a more stable version of the cocaine molecule. Once the mice received an injection of the vaccine, they started producing anti-cocaine antibodies which targeted and destroyed any cocaine that then entered their system. Normally, cocaine does not produce an immune response, leaving it free to wreak havoc on the brain and body of whoever takes it. But the cold virus segments taught the immune system to treat cocaine like a hostile invader, offering a nearly impregnable wall of protection from the cocaine's effects.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. See the full story at io9.
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Thursday, January 6, 2011

2 Republicans voted before they took the oath of office

Source: Bloomberg

"Despite being in Washington, Congressmen-elect Pete Sessions (TX) and Mike Fitzpatrick (PA) missed being sworn into Congress yesterday. Not being sworn in and technically not being Members of Congress didn't stop Pete Sessions or Mike Fitzpatrick from voting all day yesterday and today or participating in reading the U.S. Constitution on the House floor today."

The Huffington Post also reported that Sessions and Fitzpatrick were "glad-handing" supporters at a fundraising event in the Capitol Visitor Center when the House swearing in began. House ethics rules forbid fundraising in the Capitol.

So basically, these two members of the House violated Constitutional law by voting without being properly sworn in, and they violated House rules by holding a fundraser at the Capitol. What a great way to start the 112th Congress.
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Journal: Study Linking Vaccine To Autism Was Fraud

Source: NPR.org

The conclusions of a 1998 paper by Andrew Wakefield and colleagues was renounced by 10 of its 13 authors and later retracted by the medical journal Lancet, where it was published. Still, the suggestion the MMR shot was connected to autism spooked parents worldwide and immunization rates for measles, mumps and rubella have never fully recovered.

This is a Suspicious News brief. See the full story at NPR.org
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

GOP Bluff On The Debt Ceiling

Today, the 112th Congress was officially sworn in and Republicans now have a majority of seats in the House. The Congress is faced with several immediate and pressing policy decisions that will demonstrate how the Republicans can use their newfound majority in the House to affect change for better or for worse. Back in September the Republicans publicly announced their Pledge to America, which is basically a recycled version of the Contract with America from 1994. The Pledge includes many fiscally conservative promises such as rolling back government spending to 2008 levels and to "establish strict budget caps to limit federal spending". The Pledge even claims to achieve all of these goals while exempting "seniors, veterans, and our troops" from cuts.


Badugi nuts
By Kevin Zollman Kzollman via Wikimedia Commons
The national deficit is rapidly approaching the $14.3 trillion cap set by Congress on the amount of debt the federal government can borrow. This borrowing cap is commonly referred to as "the debt ceiling", and Republicans are promising to fight against raising the ceiling as the 112th Congress begins. The national debt officially hit $14 trillion last weekend and may reach the $14.3 trillion mark as early as March.

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) said, "Raising the debt ceiling to me is absolutely irresponsible."

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is asking Americans to sign a “Don’t Raise the Debt Ceiling” petition on-line. The petition states, "It’s time to force our elected officials to stop spending cold turkey, and we can start by making sure they do not raise the debt ceiling."

If Republicans are successful in blocking a raise of the debt ceiling, the U.S. could default on its debt for the first time in history. This is either an obvious bluff, or a suicidal plan to destroy America. While I suspect that this is all just empty rhetoric, I find myself wondering if maybe the GOP will deliberately harm America's economy in support of their effort to prevent President Obama from being re-elected in 2012. I also wonder if the American people are smart enough to identify Republican actions as harmful to our nation or if the electorate will place most of the blame on Obama and the Democrats.

Chris Hayes (The Nation) and David Frum (FrumForum.com) discussed the Republican bluff on the Rachel Maddow Show on Monday.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Book Of Eli - Movie Review, Biblical Scholarship and Phylosophy Discussion

Spoiler Alert: Watch the movie before you read this blog.

Free plug for the good people at Netflix: Watch the movie free. They have a 30 day free trial. I'm loving it!

I just finished watching "The Book Of Eli" and I wanted to share a brief thought...

"The Book Of Eli" (the film, the script, and the story represented in the movie) is a very good representation of how the Bible, and most religious books for that matter, came into being.

Plot Summary in 40 words or less: Denzel Washington carries that book with him everywhere, commits it to memory, and then dictates it to a man who writes it down and prints it on a printing press, presumably to be distributed to the masses for consumption.

Multiply that process times 100, and you will quickly begin to understand why these religious books have contradictions, obvious additions, edits and changes. See my post about Easter for a little more on the topic of Biblical accuracy and apologetics.

For other interesting discussions and theories, check out this post at TheChez.net.
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GOP Promises House Vote To Repeal ObamaCare On Jan 12

Source: CNN Political Ticker

Brad Dayspring, spokesman for incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) said, “Obamacare is a job killer for businesses small and large, and the top priority for House Republicans is going to be to cut spending and grow the economy and jobs.”

The claim that "Obamacare" is a "job killer" is based mainly on a new rule that imposes a $2000 per employee tax penalty on employers with more than 50 employees who do not offer health insurance to their full-time workers. Conservatives see this new requirement as a punishment for small businesses if they fail to provide the government mandated health benefits. Conservatives argue that this mandate provides a disincentive for small business growth beyond 49 employees and might even lead some businesses to cut staff to get below 50 employees and avoid the health benefit requirements.

The Republican's Pledge to America includes a proposed tax deduction for small businesses on up to 20% of their business income. Republicans seem to offer little more in the to create new jobs than this 20% tax deduction and the extension of Bush tax cuts. Naturally, the Republicans are counting on "trickle down economics" which requires business owners and the wealthy to re-invest their tax cuts in order to help create new jobs.

In March 20, 2010, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that Obamacare will produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $143 billion over the 2010-2019 period. So, if the Repiblicans are successful in repealing the healthcare reform, then we can expect the deficit to grow by $143 billion. That leaves Republicans with a huge hole to dig out of when they try to cut spending.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read the full article at CNN Political Ticker.
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John Perkins: Dream Big In The New Year

Source: Huffington Post

In this article, John Perkins recommends positave thinking in the new year.

"It is essential to give intent to our positive and healing dreams for the world and not to be taken in by the lure of fantasy in this materially obsessed media world. ... Let's not get caught up by the seductions of media pundits. They are fantasy-weavers who profit by distracting us from a higher sense of being. They want us to try to keep up with the Joneses, neglecting to inform us that the Joneses are merely a fantasy that imprisons our dreams. This is the year to choose to dream bigger than the Joneses, to measure our dreams not by material wealth but by the balance of heart happiness we enjoy no matter what our bank balance."

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read the full article at the Huffington Post.
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The '90s May Hold Lessons For The New GOP Majority

Source: NPR.org

Has the GOP learned from history or will they be damned to repeat it? This NPR news segment discusses the similarities between the 112th Congress that convenes this week and the 104th Congress that begun in 1994.

When the Congress convenes this week, the Republicans will be in control of the House for the first time since 2006 and Democrats will continue to have the majority in the Senate. Some observers see a striking resemblance to the House that was elected in 1994, when a big Republican surge ended 40 years of Democratic rule in that chamber.

Then speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, surprising many with an uncharacteristic tone of bipartisanship. "If each of us will reach out prayerfully and try to genuinely understand the other, if we'll recognize that in this building we symbolize America writ small --that we have an obligation to talk with each other --then I think a year from now we can look on the 104th Congress as a truly amazing institution without regard to party," he said.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Listen to the full segment onNPR
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Facing WikiLeaks Threat, Bank of America Plays Defense

Source: NYTimes.com

On Nov. 29, the director of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, said in an Forbes interview that he intended to “take down” a major American bank and reveal an “ecosystem of corruption” with a cache of data from an executive’s hard drive. “It will give a true and representative insight into how banks behave at the executive level in a way that will stimulate investigations and reforms, I presume,” he said in the interview with Forbes. “For this, there’s only one similar example. It’s like the Enron e-mails.”

After the interview, Bank of America’s share price fell on the widely held suspicion that the hard drive was theirs. This NYTimes article describes the internal investigation that is underway at Bank of America and how the bank is preparing for leaks of internal documents.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read the full article atNYTimes.com
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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Judge warns of ‘Orwellian state’ in warrantless GPS tracking case

Source: Raw Story

A Delaware Judge has ruled against warrantless GPS tracking and threw out evidence that was found as a result of illegal search. The DEA placed a GPS device on a suspect's car and tracked his movements for 20 days before stopping his car en route to a suspected drug deal.

Unless there are special circumstances, "the warrantless placement of a GPS device to track a suspect 24 hours a day constitutes an unlawful search," Judge Jurden wrote in her ruling.
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Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011: A Brave New Dystopia

Source: Truthdig

George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” are two of the most gloomy fictional views of the future. This article by Chris Hedges draws many frightening parrallels between present day events and the corporate totalitarianism described in these classic novels.
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Supreme Court becoming a tool for corporate interests

Source: Raw Story According to the Northwestern University study, commissioned for the New York Times, the Roberts court has sided with business interests in 61 percent of relevant cases, compared to 46 percent in the last five years of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who passed away in 2005.
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