Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stratfor Email Leak Reveals Insider Views On Obama, Emanuel & Romney

This is an important reminder. Always think carefully about what is and is not appropriate to discuss on-line. Just assume Anonymous will eventually hack into your mail server and publish your private e-mails on the Internet.

The public love a juicy e-mail thread like this one.

Source: ZeroHedge

From: "Bartholomew Mongoven"
Date: Fri, 6 Nov 2009 16:39:03 -0500
To: 'Anya Alfano'
Cc: 'Fred Burton'
Subject: RE: Insight -China/Tibet/ Obama

Obama needs to get in a fight and do something really mean and unfair to the right. (Gays in the military/revoke Don't Ask Don't tell). He's afraid of the backlash. He could also tell the banks to go screw themselves. Either way, he needs to do something that says he doesn't care about losing political capital. By front loading health care and climate, he made being politically safe his primary objective. He doesn't think he can afford to piss people off until those two are done. (Back to Emanuel, whose job is to tell him that he shouldn't front load all of his controversial proposals.)

Fred Burton: The GOP folks I talk to are pushing Jeb Bush. I think that is a mistake. Who else is out there?

Anya Alfano:  The neocons on top of my hill all want Tim Pawlenty.

Fred Burton: The GOP folks I talk to are pushing Jeb Bush. I think that is a mistake. Who else is out there?

Bart Mongoven: Pawlenty is good. I think Romney could do it if he is himself. He was as badly handled in 2008 as Al Gore was in 2000. It should have been his nomination and he screwed it all up. Newt might actually pull the trigger. I think Huckabee could do it just to piss off people like me. I would tell Jeb that his time came and went when Katrina went under water. Frist would love to do it, but it'll take time for him to get up and running.

Bart Mongoven: Pawlenty is good. I think Romney could do it if he is himself. He was as badly handled in 2008 as Al Gore was in 2000. It should have been his nomination and he screwed it all up. Newt might actually pull the trigger. I think Huckabee could do it just to piss off people like me. I would tell Jeb that his time came and went when Katrina went under water. Frist would love to do it, but it'll take time for him to get up and running.

Fred Burton: Romney can't make it. Mormons are viewed as Voo Doo. We need a sharp young Governor. I also like Michelle Bachman.

Anya Alfano: Tim Pawlenty is about as close as the GOP gets to a sharp, young and eligible governor.

Fred Burton: Bobby Jindel? He's some sort of Indian.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at ZeroHedge

Monday, February 27, 2012

Would We Have Drugged Up Einstein? How Anti-Authoritarianism Is Deemed a Mental Health Problem

Source: AlterNet

Some activists lament how few anti-authoritarians there appear to be in the United States. One reason could be that <b>many natural anti-authoritarians are now psychopathologized and medicated before they achieve political consciousness of society’s most oppressive authorities.</b>

I have found that most psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals are not only extraordinarily compliant with authorities but also unaware of the magnitude of their obedience. And it also has become clear to me that the anti-authoritarianism of their patients creates enormous anxiety for these professionals, and their anxiety fuels diagnoses and treatments.

A 2009 Psychiatric Times article titled “ADHD & ODD: Confronting the Challenges of Disruptive Behavior” reports that “disruptive disorders,” which include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and opposition defiant disorder (ODD), are the most common mental health problem of children and teenagers. ADHD is defined by poor attention and distractibility, poor self-control and impulsivity, and hyperactivity.

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

Wyoming House Bill 85 "doomsday bill"

Source: Casper Star Tribune

Wyoming House Bill 85 would create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government. The task force would look at the feasibility of Wyoming issuing its own alternative currency, if needed. And House members approved an amendment to have the task force also examine conditions under which Wyoming would need to implement its own military draft, raise a standing army, and acquire strike aircraft and an aircraft carrier.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Casper Star Tribune

Friday, February 24, 2012

Bailed Out AIG Posts Huge "Beat" On Tax Gimmick, Will Avoid Paying Taxes For Years

Source: ZeroHedge

AIG will essentially not pay any taxes for years to come, most likely until its next insolvency.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at ZeroHedge

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Nonpasteurized Dairy Products, Disease Outbreaks, and State Laws

Source: The Daily Meal

A new study from the CDC examining dairy-related illness outbreaks from 1993 to 2006 says that raw milk and raw milk products are 150 times more likely to cause outbreaks than pasteurized milk.

The survey found that out of 121 dairy-related outbreaks associated with pasteurized or raw milk, 60 percent were caused by raw milk.

The CDC also found that 200 of 239 hospitalizations were caused by raw milk outbreaks, and 75 percent of the outbreaks occurred in the 21 states where it was legal to sell raw milk products.

Naturally, raw milk advocates claim that the study is flawed and misportrays the actual scale of illnesses. The Weston A. Price Foundation claims that "The CDC has manipulated and cherry picked this data to make raw milk look dangerous," in a press release.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read More at The Daily Meal

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

As US Debt To GDP Passes 101% - The UK is buying the most US bonds

Source: ZeroHedge

Today, without much fanfare, US debt to GDP hit 101% with the latest issuance of $32 billion in 2 Year Bonds. ... with just under $1 trillion in new debt issuance on deck in the next 9 months, we will be at 110% in no time. Still, this trend made us curious to see who has been buying (and selling) US debt over the past year. The results are somewhat surprising.

... in the period December 31, 2010 to December 31, 2011, there have been two very distinct shifts: those like the UK who are going all in on the ponzi, and those like China and Russia who are gradually shifting away from the greenback, and reinvesting their trade surplus in something distinctly other than US paper.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at ZeroHedge

Monday, February 20, 2012

Red-Green & Blue-Yellow: The Stunning Colors You Can't See

Source: LifesLittleMysteries.com

Since 1983, scientists have been experimenting with "retinal stabilization" and other mad science to help participants experience "forbidden colors" that cannot normally be seen.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at LifesLittleMysteries.com

FBI May Shut Down Your Internet Access March 8th

Source: Activist Post

InfoWorld reports: ...the feds replaced the criminals' servers with clean ones that would push along traffic to its intended destination. Without the surrogate servers in place, infected PCs would have continued trying to send requests to aim at the now-unplugged rogue servers, resulting in DNS errors.

These viruses are called Trojans because they are disguised as something friendly, enter computers, and then install malicious software. Someone with a healthy distrust of the government may see the FBI's warning that millions will be cut off from the Internet as a Trojan Horse itself so that they may retain control over the new servers.

After all, if the FBI is controlling the "legitimate" servers, wouldn't they have access to all the traffic information of individual users and large corporations?

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Activist Post

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Underwear Bomber Victim Impact Statement of Kurt Haskell

The Underwear Bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the failed plot to blow up Delta flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009. One of the passengers on this flight was a Michigan lawyer named Kurt Haskell who gave his victim impact statement in court shortly before Abdulmutallab's final appearance before the judge.  In his statement Mr Haskell said American agents knew about the plot to blow up the flight and deliberately allowed Abdulmutallab onto the flight without a passport.

Source: The Haskell family blog Adventures with Kurt and Lori
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Victim Impact Statement
by Kurt Haskell

Every victim of a crime in Michigan is entitled to make a statement in open court regarding the impact of the crime on their life. The statement is limited to the victim's physical, emotional and financial well being as it relates to the crime. Keep that in my as you read my statement. Below is a copy of the victim impact statement I gave today at the Underwear Bomber sentencing hearing. When reading my statement, keep in mind that I am a practicing attorney in the State of Michigan. In addition, I regularly practice in the Court the hearings are taking place at and therefore, I am somewhat limited as to what I can say. We were limited to 5 minutes each.

I wish to thank the Court for allowing me these 5 minutes to make my statement. My references to the government in this statement refer to the Federal Government excluding this Court and the prosecution. On Christmas Day 2009, my wife and I were returning from an African safari and had a connecting flight through Amsterdam. As we waited for our flight, we sat on the floor next to the boarding gate. What I witnessed while sitting there and subsequent events have changed my life forever. While I sat there, I witnessed Umar dressed in jeans and a white t-shirt, being escorted around security by a man in a tan suit who spoke perfect American English and who aided Umar in boarding without a passport. The airline gate worker initially refused Umar boarding until the man in the tan suit intervened. The event meant nothing to me at the time. Little did I know that Umar would try to kill me a few hours later as our flight approached Detroit. The final 10 minutes of our flight after the attack were the worst minutes of my life. During those 10 minutes I sat paralyzed in fear. Unfortunately, what happened next has had an even greater impact on my life and has saddened me further.

When we landed, I was shocked that our plane taxied up to the gate. I was further shocked that we were forced to sit on the plane for 20 minutes with powder from the so called bomb all over the cabin. The officers that boarded the plane did nothing to ensure our safety and did not check for accomplices or other explosive devices. Several passengers trampled through parts of the bomb as they exited the plane. We were then taken into the terminal with our unchecked carry on bags. Again, there was no concern for our safety even though Umar told the officers that there was another bomb on board as he exited the plane. I wondered why nobody was concerned about our safety, accomplices or other bombs and the lack of concern worried me greatly. I immediately told the FBI my story in order to help catch the accomplice I had seen in Amsterdam. It soon became obvious that the FBI wasn't interested in what I had to say, which upset me further. For one month the government refused to admit the existence of the man in the tan suit before changing course and admitting his existence in an ABC News article on January 22, 2010. That was the last time the government talked about this man. The video that would prove the truth of my account has never been released. I continue to be emotional upset that the video has not been released. The Dutch police, meanwhile, in this article (show article), also confirmed that Umar did not show his passport in Amsterdam which also meant that he didn't go through security as both are in the same line in Amsterdam. It upsets me that the government refuses to admit this fact.

I became further saddened from this case, when Patrick Kennedy of the State Department during Congressional hearings, admitted that Umar was a known terrorist, was being followed, and the U.S. allowed him into the U.S. so that it could catch Umar's accomplices. I was once again shocked and saddened when Michael Leiter of the National Counter terrorism Center admitted during these same hearings that intentionally letting terrorists into the U.S. was a frequent practice of the U.S. Government. I cannot fully explain my sadness, disappointment and fear when I realized that my government allowed an attack on me intentionally.

During this time, I questioned if my country intentionally put a known terrorist onto my flight with a live bomb. I had many sleepless nights over this issue. My answer came shortly thereafter. In late 2010, the FBI admitted to giving out intentionally defective bombs to the Portland Christmas Tree Bomber,the Wrigley Field Bomber and several others. Further, Mr. Chambers was quoted in the Free Press on January 11, 2011 when he indicated that the government's own explosives experts had indicated that Umar's bomb was impossibly defective. I wondered how that could be. Certainly, I thought, Al Qaeda wouldn't go through all of the trouble to plan such an attack only to provide the terrorist with an impossibly defective bomb.

I attended nearly all of the pretrial hearings. At the hearing on January 28, 2011, I was greatly disappointed by the prosecution's request to block evidence from Mr. Chambers "as it could then be able to be obtained by third parties, who could use it in a civil suit against the government". It really bothered me that the government apparently was admitting to wrongdoing of some kind as it admitted that it was concerned it would be sued. It further upset me to know that the government was putting its own interests ahead of those of the passengers.

When I attended the jury selection hearings, I questioned why versions of the same two questions kept coming up, those being:

  • Do you think whether you'll be able to tell whether something is actually a bomb? and
  • Do you realize that sometimes the media doesn't always tell the truth?I continued to be greatly saddened at this point as I felt the truth continued to be hidden.

    When Umar listed me as his only witness, I was happy to testify, not on his behalf, but on behalf of the truth. I never expected to testify, as my eyewitness account would have been too damaging to the myth that the government and media are putting forward. A mere 5 days after I was announced as a witness, there was an inexplicable guilty plea which exasperated me as I no longer would be testifying.

    In closing I will just say that regardless of how the media and government try to shape the public perception of this case, I am convinced that Umar was given an intentionally defective bomb by a U.S. Government agent and placed on our flight without showing a passport or going through security, to stage a false terrorist attack to be used to implement various government policies.

    The effect this matter has had on my life has been astounding and due to this case, I will never trust the government in any matter, ever.

    In regards to sentencing, nothing I've said excuses the fact that Umar tried to kill me. He has waived his valid claim to the entrapment defense. Umar, you are not a great Muslim martyr, you are merely a "Patsy". I ask the court to impose the mandatory sentence.

    Read More at the Haskell family blog: Adventures with Kurt and Lori

    UPDATE: Feb 25, 2012 - Infowars Nightly News featured the following series of interviews with Kurt Haskell

    Kurt Haskell: Witness to Government False Flag Part 1

    Kurt Haskell: Witness to Government False Flag Part 2A

    Kurt Haskell: Witness to Government False Flag Part 2B

    Kurt Haskell: Witness to Government False Flag Part 3A

    Kurt Haskell: Witness to Government False Flag Part 3B

    Kurt Haskell: Witness to Government False Flag Part 4A

    Kurt Haskell: Witness to Government False Flag Part 4B

  • Pentagon's Project 'Avatar': Same as the Movie, but With Robots Instead of Aliens

    Source: Danger Room | Wired.com

    DARPA unveiled on Monday that they’ve allotted $7 million for a project titled “Avatar.” The project’s ultimate goal, not surprisingly, sounds a lot like the plot of the same-named (but much more expensive) flick. According the agency, “the Avatar program will develop interfaces and algorithms to enable a soldier to effectively partner with a semi-autonomous bi-pedal machine and allow it to act as the soldier’s surrogate.”

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Danger Room | Wired.com

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    The Secret, Corporate-Funded Plan To Teach Children That Climate Change Is A Hoax

    Source: ThinkProgress

    Internal documents acquired by ThinkProgress Green reveal that the Heartland Institute, a right-wing think tank funded by the Koch brothers, Microsoft, and other top corporations, is planning to develop a “global warming curriculum” for elementary schoolchildren that presents climate science as “a major scientific controversy.” This effort, at a cost of $100,000 a year, will be developed by Dr. David E. Wojick, a coal-industry consultant.

    Wojick, who manages the Climate Change Debate listserv, is not a climate scientist. His doctorate is in epistomology (the study of knowledge and to what extent is it possible for a given subject to be known). The Heartland Institute also runs the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, a conspiracy-theorist parody of the Nobel-prize-winning U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Heartland’s NIPCC project “pays a team of scientists approximately $300,000 a year to work on a series of editions of Climate Change Reconsidered.” Their climate-denial work is funded anonymously.

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

    Twitter vows privacy changes after iPhone data admission

    Source: The Irish Times

    Twitter is the latest internet company revealed to have been copying and storing entire address books from smartphones to provide a “Find Friends” service. Changes will be made to its privacy policies after they admited uploading entire address books from users’ iPhones and storing them on its computers for up 18 months. The social network uses the information to help users find existing contacts who already have a Twitter account.

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at The Irish Times.

    Secret Code in Color Printers Lets Government Track You

    Source: Slashdot

    Slashdot reader Dave Minsky writes, "The U.S. Secret Service responded to a FOIA request on Monday that reveals the names of the printer companies that cooperate with the government to identify and track potential counterfeiters. ... The pattern of dots is encodes identifiable information including printer model, and time and location where the document was printed."

    According to the FOIA response, Canon, Brother, Casio, HP, Konica, Minolta, Mita, Ricoh, Sharp and Xerox all have printer models that encode information on documents they produce.

    Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation

    Tiny Dots Show Where and When You Made Your Print San Francisco -A research team led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) recently broke the code behind tiny tracking dots that some color laser printers secretly hide in every document. The U.S. Secret Service admitted that the tracking information is part of a deal struck with selected color laser printer manufacturers, ostensibly to identify counterfeiters. However, the nature of the private information encoded in each document was not previously known.

    "We've found that the dots from at least one line of printers encode the date and time your document was printed, as well as the serial number of the printer," said EFF Staff Technologist Seth David Schoen.

    The dots are yellow, less than one millimeter in diameter, and are typically repeated over each page of a document. In order to see the pattern, you need a blue light, a magnifying glass, or a microscope.

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Electronic Frontier Foundation

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Key Facts on Keystone XL

    Source: Tar Sands Action

    Keystone XL is an export pipeline. According to presentations to investors, Gulf Coast refiners plan to refine the cheap Canadian crude supplied by the pipeline into diesel and other products for export to Europe and Latin America. Proceeds from these exports are earned tax-free. Much of the fuel refined from the pipeline’s heavy crude oil will never reach U.S. drivers’ tanks.

    <b>Gas prices: Keystone XL will increase gas prices for Americans—Especially Farmers</b>

    By draining Midwestern refineries of cheap Canadian crude into export-oriented refineries in the Gulf Coast, Keystone XL will increase the cost of gas for Americans.

    TransCanada’s 2008 Permit Application states “Existing markets for Canadian heavy crude, principally PADD II [U.S. Midwest], are currently oversupplied, resulting in price discounting for Canadian heavy crude oil. Access to the USGC [U.S. Gulf Coast] via the Keystone XL Pipeline is expected to strengthen Canadian crude oil pricing in [the Midwest] by removing this oversupply.

    This is expected to increase the price of heavy crude to the equivalent cost of imported crude. The resultant increase in the price of heavy crude is estimated to provide an increase in annual revenue to the Canadian producing industry in 2013 of US $2 billion to US $3.9 billion.”

    Independent analysis of these figures found this would increase per-gallon prices by 20 cents/gallon in the Midwest.

    According to an independent analysis U.S. farmers, who spent $12.4 billion on fuel in 2009 could see expenses rise to $15 billion or higher in 2012 or 2013 if the pipeline goes through. At least $500 million of the added expense would come from the Canadian market manipulation. “Tar Sands Oil Means High Gas Prices

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Tar Sands Action

    Sunday, February 12, 2012

    Al Qaeda Backs US Regime Change in Syria

    Source: Land Destroyer

    Tony Cartalucci claims that the US can always depend on Al Qaeda to carry out its foreign policy. The "Libyan rebels" were in fact led by the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) which is listed by the US State Department as a "Foreign Terrorist Organization." Two West Point reports confirm that LIFG was formally joined with Al Qaeda with many of its top leaders constituting the core of Al Qaeda's upper echelons.

    Now that Russia and China have vetoed the UN Security Council resolution supporting military intervention in Syria, Al Qaeda has called on its supporters to "join the uprising against Assad's "pernicious, cancerous regime." We are expected to believe that Al Qaeda had pinned their hopes on the UNSC to resolve the Syrian conflict through the mechanisms of "international rule of law" and are only now mobilizing their forces to act after the "disappointing" Russian and Chinese veto.

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Land Destroyer.

    Kids show cultural gender bias

    Could language be a significant factor that determines gender bias?  All nouns have a conventional grammatical gender in French, Spanish, and many other languages. For example, in French, the grammatical gender of personne (person) and victime (victim) are always feminine, even when the person or victim is a man! In Spanish, jardín (garden) and libro (book) have a grammatical gender of male, but universidad (university) and revista (magazine) have a feminine grammatical gender.

    English assumes most nouns are masculine or have no gramatical gender at all and feminine versions of nouns are used only when specifically identifying a female person or animal. For example, English often refers to both genders of humans as "mankind" or "men" and we often say "he" when we really mean "he or she". A flight attendant might say, "Every passenger is encouraged to wear his seatbelt when he is seated in case we encounter unexpected turbulance." Or a teacher might say, "Every student must put down his pencil when the time for testing has expired".  English speakers would probably never think of inanimate objects as masculine or feminine because the language does not require us to do so.

    By contrast, is very important in French and Spanish to learn a noun's gender along with the noun itself because articles, adjectives, some pronouns, and some verbs have to agree with nouns; that is, they change depending on the gender of the noun they modify. I only learned English as a child, so I was a bit confused when I studied Spanish in high-school because I was used to congigation but I had to learn to use the correct grammatical gender for nouns, articles, adjectives, pronouns, and verbs.

    So, it seems logical that children who only speak English think of most objects as masculine while children who speak French and Spanish would associate masculinity with some objects and femininity with other objects. It also seems logical that this gender association might also increase the probability that people who only speak English would be sexist, and people who speak French or Spanish might be less likely to be sexist.

    Source: Science Daily

    Researchers showed objects or images to the children participating in the study and asked them whether the objects seemed to be masculine or feminine in nature. While the unilingual children seemed to identify most objects as masculine, many younger bilingual children were willing to consider that, globally speaking, some objects could be feminine in nature even though "their categorizations didn't correspond very well to whether the objects were masculine or feminine in French."

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Sciencce Daily

    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    Spreading Meth across the Chinese-North Korean Border

    Source: SINO-NK

    Though the North Korean government would never admit to outsiders that there is a drug problem in the country, the Daily NK has filed many reports over the past several years about this phenomena, suggesting that “bingdu” (what the North Koreans call meth) is available practically at epidemic levels inside the DPRK.
    Quotes from defectors and sources who spoke to the Daily NK report that anywhere from ¼ to ½ of the population in North Korea are using the drug. And as reported by Isaac Stone Fish in Newsweek, bingdu is often taken as a replacement for medicine in the DPRK.
    Recent unconfirmed reports state that Chinese aid (in the form of rice and crude oil) has been sent to the DPRK. It cannot please Chinese officials, however, to see the North Koreans reciprocate the gesture by sending meth into Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces.

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at SINO-NK

    Nootropic Drugs

    Source: The Atlantic

    Ari Levaux explains nootropic drugs in this interesting article. He even took some so he could provide a first-hand account of the affects.

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at The Atlantic

    Scientific Analysis of Newt's Lunar Base Idea

    Source: Robert T. Gonzalez on io9.com

    Maybe a colony on the moon isn't as crazy as everybody seems to think it is. The potential energy sources alone might be enough to offset the costs.

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at io9.com

    What The Koch Brothers Say Online But Won’t Say Under Oath

    Source: Disinformation

    Charles and David Koch refuse to testify before Congress regarding the Keystone XL pipeline, even though they have made their position and interests clear on-line.

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Disinformation

    Voting Irregularities in the Nevada Primary

    Source: Examiner

    There appear to be more voting irregularities in the GOP primaries. First voting records went missing from the Iowa cacus and eventually Santorum was declared the winner by a very small number of votes. Now there are concerns about the election results in Nevada. How can we possibly be confident that every vote counts and the elections aren't rigged?

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at the Examiner

    Judge Reviewing PETA's Claim that the Whales at SeaWorld are Slaves

    Source: PhysOrg

    A judge is reviewing a case filed by PETA claiming that SeaWorld is violating the 13th amendment prohibition of slavery.

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at PhysOrg

    Does the Private or Public Sector Drive More Innovation

    Source: New Left Project

    The Right argue that government involvement always slows progress and harms innovation and progress.  The Left say the opposite is true. It kind of makes you wonder what our lives would be like today without taxpayers funding research and the type of risk that drives significant discovery. Would the Internet exist as it does today? Would millions more lives have been lost without government funded cures? Would we understand our universe nearly as well?

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at the New Left Project

    Canada’s use of torture data sparks outcry

    Source: Raw Story

    Canada's Public safety administrator said it's OK to use information acquired by torture if Canadian's lives are at risk.

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Raw Story.

    Rep. McKeon Praises Drone Manufacturers At Conference After They Lavish His Wife With Donations

    Source: Republic Report

    The defence industry has made generous donations to Patricia McKeon as she runs for California state office. Her husband is Chairman of the House Armed Services Commitee, Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA).

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at the Republic Report.

    Walla Walla Rep. Walsh's floor speech on gay marriage goes viral

    Source: The News Tribune

    Rep. Maureen Walsh is a Walla Walla Republican who broke ranks with her party to support legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington state. When she gave this heartfelt speech she was talking to 97 of her colleagues in the Legislature. But the whole world was watching. Walsh spoke during the Wednesday debate about the bond she shared with her late husband and her desire for all couples to be able to experience that kind of connection. She also spoke about her love for her lesbian daughter and wanting to someday throw her daughter a wedding.

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at The News Tribune.

    Watch the speach on <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiGmgqW6ES8">Youtube</a>

    Friday, February 10, 2012

    Black Bloc: The Cancer in Occupy

    I love to read, watch and listen to blog posts, news articles, and opinion pieces that provide insight into the global backlash against the status quo. I enjoy learning about the views and perspectives of many different organized groups of activists who use direct and indirect action to bring about change. There seems to be a growing list of common grievances and similar demands, but the activists have great difficulty every time they try agree on specific actions that might bring about change.

    Anonymous organizes attacks on the servers owned by powerful corporate and government organizations. They circumvent security systems and gather e-mails, private information,  classified data, and even record conference calls in which the FBI and Scotland Yard discuss hacktivism investigations.

    Private Bradley Manning downloaded classified diplomatic cables that were eventually posted on Wikileaks. Groups like Demand Progress and CREDO Action Network send e-mails and encourage their readers to post on Facebook and Twitter soliciting signatures for petitions.  But overwhelmingly, most of the activists seem content if they can occupy a public space, hold a sign, shout slogans and sing motivational songs.

    The two blog posts below and the resulting comments clearly demonstrate the disent and debate within the anti-establishment movement.  In his latest post, Chris Hedges calls out the Black Bloc as counterproductive to the Occupy movement, and many in the movement are displeased with his divisiveness.

    Source: AlterNet

    The Black Bloc anarchists, who have been active on the streets in Oakland and other cities, are the cancer of the Occupy movement. The presence of Black Bloc anarchists—so named because they dress in black, obscure their faces, move as a unified mass, seek physical confrontations with police and destroy property—is a gift from heaven to the security and surveillance state. The Occupy encampments in various cities were shut down precisely because they were nonviolent. They were shut down because the state realized the potential of their broad appeal even to those within the systems of power.
    Black Bloc adherents detest those of us on the organized left and seek, quite consciously, to take away our tools of empowerment. They confuse acts of petty vandalism and a repellent cynicism with revolution.
    Because Black Bloc anarchists do not believe in organization, indeed oppose all organized movements, they ensure their own powerlessness. They can only be obstructionist. And they are primarily obstructionist to those who resist.

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

    Randall Amster responded to Hedges's by .

    Source: Counterpunch

    You would be hard-pressed to find anyone on the American Left who has not either benefited from or been influenced by the writings of Chris Hedges. His is a singular and potent voice of progressive journalism, combining the best virtues of diligent reporting and unabashed advocacy for a better world.
    All of which makes his latest piece so disturbing in its full implications. Hedges calls out the anarchist-influenced Black Bloc as “the cancer of the Occupy movement,” and in the process vilifies with a broad brush an entire class of activists and anarchists as “not only deeply intolerant but stupid,” accusing them of “hijacking” and/or seeking to destroy Occupy and other progressive movements.
    So what gives? How is it that someone of his stature, influence, and insight has seemingly “drank the Kool-Aid” of divisiveness and internal finger-pointing that the power elite so obviously want to inculcate within our movements? Does Hedges really believe that a relatively small subset of the larger movement is somehow responsible for scuttling Occupy nationwide?
    To reject someone from the open spaces of a movement that is purporting to represent the 99 percent is to consign them to where, exactly? Since they are presumably not part of the 1 percent (hired provocateurs aside), if they are banished from the 99 percent what options does that leave them? When a movement decides to ‘self-police,’ that shouldn’t be confused with adopting the same punitive and illogical methods of the state.

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Counterpunch

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Senators Who Opposed the Stock Act

    Source: Republic Report

    The STOCK Act, bipartisan legislation that bans insider trading by members of Congress, passed the Senate by 96-3. The Senate bill now includes a provision to cover some federal employees, a 30 day disclosure requirement for lawmakers, and forces covered officials to disclose the details of their mortgage.

    The three Senators who opposed the bill are:
    Tom Coburn
    Jon Kyl
    Kent Conrad

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Republic Report.

    Senate Ethics Committee Looked Into Only Five Issues Last Year, Zero Disciplinary Action

    Source: Republic Report

    The Senate’s annual report shows that its Ethics panel received 77 requests to review alleged violations, 58 of which were dismissed because of lack of jurisdiction and an additional 14 that were not pursued because there was insufficient evidence that a violation of Senate rules had occurred. None of the matters under review resulted in disciplinary action or public admonition.

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at the Republic Report.

    Saturday, February 4, 2012

    U.S. F.B.I. Admits Hacker Group's Eavesdropping

    This serves as a reminder about how easy it is for people to gain access to a conference call.

    Source: New York Times

    Anonymous turned the tables on the F.B.I. by listening in on a conference call last month between the bureau, Scotland Yard and other foreign police agencies about their joint investigation of the group and its allies.
    An F.B.I. official said Anonymous had not in fact hacked into the conference call or any other bureau facilities. Instead, the official said, the group had simply obtained an e-mail giving the time, telephone number and access code for the call. The e-mail had been sent on Jan. 13 to more than three dozen people at the bureau, Scotland Yard, and agencies in France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden. One recipient, a foreign police official, evidently forwarded the notification to a private account, he said, and it was then intercepted by Anonymous.

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at New York Times

    States consider alternative currencies of gold and silver

    Source: CNN

    Worried that the Federal Reserve and the U.S. dollar are on the brink of collapse, lawmakers from 13 states, including Minnesota, Tennessee, Iowa, South Carolina and Georgia, are seeking approval from their state governments to either issue their own alternative currency or explore it as an option. Just three years ago, only three states had similar proposals in place.

    This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at CNN

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    Key Internet operator VeriSign hit by hackers

    Source: Reuters

    VeriSign Inc, the company in charge of delivering people safely to more than half the world's websites, has been hacked repeatedly by outsiders who stole undisclosed information from the leading Internet infrastructure company.
    VeriSign said its executives "do not believe these attacks breached the servers that support our Domain Name System network"
    Oh my God," said Stewart Baker, former assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and before that the top lawyer at the National Security Agency. "That could allow people to imitate almost any company on the Net."
    If the SSL process were corrupted, "you could create a Bank of America certificate or Google certificate that is trusted by every browser in the world," said prominent security consultant Dmitri Alperovich, president of Asymmetric Cyber Operations.
    "This breach, along with the RSA breach, puts the authentication mechanisms that are currently being used by businesses at risk," said Melissa Hathaway, a former intelligence official who led U.S. President Barack Obama's cybersecurity policy review and later pushed for the SEC guidance. "There appears to be a structured process of hunting those who provide authentication services."

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