Saturday, September 25, 2010

Queen tried to use state poverty fund to heat Buckingham Palace

The Queen asked ministers for a poverty handout to help heat her palaces but was rebuffed because they feared it would be a public relations disaster, documents disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act reveal.

Royal aides were told that the £60m worth of energy-saving grants were aimed at families on low incomes and if the money was given to Buckingham Palace instead of housing associations or hospitals it could lead to "adverse publicity" for the Queen and the Government.

Aides complained to ministers in 2004 that the Queen's gas and electricity bills, which had increased by 50 per cent that year, stood at more than £1m a year and had become "untenable".

The Royal Household also complained that the £15m government grant to maintain the Queen's palaces was inadequate.

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5 Surprising Facts About Spying In America

Here are 5 surprising facts about spying in America.

We understand if some of this sounds far-fetched. But take a look for yourself, and see if you can disprove these claims.


1: Cheney and Rumsfeld Pushed for Warrantless Wiretaps in the '70s

Dick Cheney, Donald Rumseld and other government officials who held high positions in the George W. Bush administration pushed for wiretaps without approval by a judge ... in the 1970s.

2: Massive Spying on Americans Began Before 9/11

You know about the government's massive program of spying on Americans which has been justified as a necessary response to 9/11?

Whistleblowers from major telecommunications companies have testified that the program began before 9/11 (confirmed here and here).

3: U.S. and Allied Intelligence Heard the 9/11 Hijackers Plans from Their Own Mouths

The 9/11 hijackers were largely unknown prior to that horrible event, right?

Actually, U.S. and allied intelligence services heard a lot from the hijackers' own mouths prior to 9/11...

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'Deputies have tested the device on themselves and say the beam is painful'

From Authorities at Castaic jail poised to use Assault Intervention Device by C.J. Lin, Daily News:

Guards trying to break up fights between inmates at a Castaic jail will be armed with the hottest nonlethal weapon on the market next week.

The 7½-foot-tall Assault Intervention Device emits a focused, invisible ray that causes an unbearable heating sensation in its targets – hopefully stopping inmates from fighting or doing anything other than trying to get out of its way, sheriff's officials said.

The device, unveiled Friday at Pitchess Detention Center, will be mounted near the ceiling in a dormitory housing about 65 prisoners, according to Commander Bob Osborne of the Sheriff's Department Technology Exploration Program.

"We hope that this type of technology will either cause an inmate to stop an assault or lessen the severity of an assault by them being distracted by the pain as a result of the beam," Osborne said. "So that we have fewer injuries, fewer assaults, those kinds of things."

Deputies have tested the device on themselves and say the beam is painful – especially when it's not expected.

"I equate it to opening an oven door and feeling that blast of hot air, except instead of being all over me, it's more focused," Osborne said. "And you begin to feel this warming feeling, and then you go 'Yow, I need to get out of the way."'

The pain can be stopped by moving out of the beam's path, which targets do instinctively.

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Musical Innerlube: Bettie Page dances to the Seeds

Genocide Denial with a Vengeance: Old and New Imperial Norms - Noam Chomsky

Perhaps the most shattering lesson from this powerful inquiry is that the end of the Cold War opened the way to an era of virtual Holocaust denial. As the authors put it, more temperately, “During the past several decades, the word 'genocide' has increased in frequency of use and recklessness of application, so much so that the crime of the 20th Century for which the term originally was coined often appears debased.” Current usage, they show, is an insult to the memory of victims of the Nazis.

It may be useful, however, to recall that the practices are deeply rooted in prevailing intellectual culture, so much so that they will not be easy to eradicate. We can see this by considering the most unambiguous cases of genocide and its debasement, those in which the crime is acknowledged by the perpetrators, and passed over as insignificant or even denied in retrospect by the beneficiaries, right to the present.

Settler colonialism, commonly the most vicious form of imperial conquest, provides striking illustrations. The English colonists in North America had no doubts about what they were doing. Revolutionary War hero General Henry Knox, the first Secretary of War in the newly liberated American colonies, described “the utter extirpation of all the Indians in most populous parts of the Union” by means “more destructive to the Indian natives than the conduct of the conquerors of Mexico and Peru,” which would have been no small achievement. In his later years, President John Quincy Adams recognized the fate of “that hapless race of native Americans, which we are exterminating with such merciless and perfidious cruelty, [to be] among the heinous sins of this nation, for which I believe God will one day bring [it] to judgement.”

Contemporary commentators see the matter differently. The prominent Cold War historian John Lewis Gaddis hails Adams as the grand strategist who laid the foundations for the Bush Doctrine that “expansion is the path to security.” Plausibly, and with evident appreciation, Gaddis takes the doctrine to be routinely applicable throughout the history of the “infant empire,” as George Washington termed the new Republic. Gaddis passes in silence over Adams's gory contributions to the “heinous sins of this nation” as he established the doctrine, along with the doctrine of executive war in violation of the Constitution, in a famous State paper justifying the conquest of Florida on utterly fraudulent pretexts of self-defense. The conquest was part of Adams's project of “removing or eliminating native Americans from the southeast,” in the words of William Earl Weeks, the leading historian of the massacre, who provides a lurid account of the “exhibition of murder and plunder” targeting Indians and runaway slaves.

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Swami Beyondananda for Empowerment Works



With Swami Beyondananda.

http://www.wakeuplaughing.com/

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