Saturday, December 31, 2011

NY Guard prepares for New Year's Eve duty

The 280 members of the New York National Guard's Joint Task Force Empire Shield will be on duty New Years Eve assisting police in security missions here.

National Guard Soldiers and Airmen will be visible at Grand Central Station, Pennsylvania Station, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport. Guardsmen will also be on duty at the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and the Queens Midtown Tunnel.


Joint Task Force Empire Shield members serve on State Active Duty under the command of New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.


"Members of Joint Task Force Empire Shield are proud to play a pivotal role in keeping their fellow New Yorkers and our guests from around the world safe and secure this holiday weekend," said Maj. Gen. Patrick Murphy, the adjutant general of New York.


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U.S. Abandons Toxic Burn Pits as it Withdraws from Iraq and Afghanistan

From Matthew J. Nasuti, KabulPress.org:

U.S. service members and their Iraqi and Afghan allies have a common enemy. It is not Iran, the Taliban or al-Qaeda, but the Pentagon which operated hundreds of toxic burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan. As the U.S. completes its withdrawal from Iraq and begins to draw down in Afghanistan, the American military, pursuant to its "pollute and run" policy, is abandoning millions of kilograms of toxic and potentially radioactive waste. Everything is being buried and covered over, just as it did in Vietnam and in the Philippines when the U.S. withdrew from Clark Air Base and the Subic Bay naval installation. The Pentagon seems to hope that all the health problems of U.S. troops can likewise be buried and covered over.

The (U.S.) Air Force Times ran an editorial on March 1, 2010 that read: "Stamp Out Burn Pits." We reprint the first portion of that editorial:

"A growing number of military medical professionals believe burn pits are causing a wave of respiratory and other illnesses among troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Found on almost all U.S. bases in the war zones, these open-air trash sites operate 24 hours a day, incinerating trash of all forms - including plastic bottles, paint, petroleum products, unexploded ordinance, hazardous materials, even amputated limbs and medical waste. Their smoke plumes belch dioxin, carbon monoxide and other toxins skyward, producing a toxic fog that hangs over living and working areas."

On April 12, 2010, the Richmond Times-Dispatch carried an article by David Zucchino who investigated the American burn pits in Iraq. He interviewed Army Sgt. 1st Class Francis Jaeger who hauled military waste to the Balad burn. Jaeger told Zucchino:

"We were told to burn everything - electronics, bloody gauze, the medics' biohazard bags, surgical gloves, cardboard. It all went up in smoke."
According to a website called the "Burn Pits Action Center" large numbers of American veterans who came in contact with burn pit smoke have been diagnosed with cancer, neurological diseases, cardiovascular diseases, breathing and sleeping problems and various skin rashes.

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US Occupy protests 'could intensify'


Todd Gitlin, a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University in New York, spoke to Al Jazeera about the Occupy protest movement in the US.

He said that the movement reflected "anger at the impunity with which the wealthy walked away from the consequences of having brought down the world economy."

"It is anger at a system of inequality that has been entrenched and normal. There is a collective wish for a system that is more humane."

He also said he expects Occupy protests to intensify in 2012.

"I think well see more attempts to take over buildings that have been foreclosed. We will also see protests directed at specific banks, at specific political candidates."

FOURREEL.tv x Occupy NY. Trailer

FOURREEL.tv x Occupy NY. Trailer from FOURREEL.tv on Vimeo.


FOURREEL.tv presents Occupy NY. Coming January 2012.

fourreel.tv

fourreeltv.tumblr.com

CIA sifts social media sites


More and more people put their lives on social media sites worldwide. Globally Facebook and Twitter have been effective tools for organizing major protests and overthrowing governments. Now members of the CIA department are paid to analyze what people are talking about on social media. This leaves many wondering about the intentions behind this practice. Wayne Madsen, an investigative journalist, gives us his thoughts on why the CIA is concerned with your tweets.

Anonymous: #OpBlackout - DAY OF ACTION 1/3/2012


This message is an immediate call to a day of action against SOPA, NDAA, and the United States Government.

TRANSCRIPT
____________

Citizens of the United States,
We are Anonymous.

This message is an immediate call for a day of action. On January 3rd, the collective is calling upon the citizens of the united states to protest against the new sections in the national defense authorization act that were passed a short while ago. While we cannot force the american people to protest, we must tell them that this law will strip away any rights they thought they had including, but not limited to, Free speech, Free press, Free access to information, and the right to protest, assemble, and bear arms. This law cannot be changed according to the Feinstein Act.

Sections Ten thirty one and ten thirty two of the national defense authorization act have been passed and ratified. It grants unlimited powers to the executive branch of the government to indefinitly detain suspects, even American citizens, without trial. All a person has to do is to commit a belligerent act.

What is a belligerent act? Is protesting a belligerent act? Is being Anonymous a belligerent act?

This is where we draw the line. This is when we leave our computers. This is when we take out our masks and defy the corrupt rule of law.

This is when we revolt.
The time has come for you to accept the truth and join us in overthrowing yet another corrupt military regime.

Operation Blackout, engaged.

We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
we do not Forgive.
we do not Forget.
To the United States government, you should've expected us.

Venezuela's Chavez: Did U.S. give Latin American leaders cancer?

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speculated on Wednesday that the United States might have developed a way to give Latin American leaders cancer, after Argentina's Cristina Fernandez joined the list of presidents diagnosed with the disease.

It was a typically controversial statement by Venezuela's socialist leader, who underwent surgery in June to remove a tumor from his pelvis. But he stressed that he was not making any accusations, just thinking aloud.


"It would not be strange if they had developed the technology to induce cancer and nobody knew about it until now ... I don't know. I'm just reflecting," he said in a televised speech to troops at a military base.


"But this is very, very, very strange ... it's a bit difficult to explain this, to reason it, including using the law of probabilities."


Chavez, Fernandez, Paraguay's Fernando Lugo, Brazil's Dilma Rousseff and former Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have all been diagnosed recently with cancer. All of them are leftists.


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Cyprus Natural Gas Discovery and Nostradamus' Quatrains

From Noble Announces Natural-Gas Discovery Off Coast of Cyprus:

Noble Energy Inc. said a field off the coast of Cyprus may hold as much as 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, the first discovery off the divided island nation.

Results from the Cyprus A-1 well indicate from 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet of gas, with a gross mean of 7 trillion cubic feet, Houston-based Noble Energy said today in a statement. The field covers about 40 square miles (100 square kilometers) and requires additional appraisal drilling before development, the company said.

From The Aegean Sea - March 11, 2012:

In the original text, the link between a powerful Arab and Spain is clearly made. After March 11, 2004, this poem becomes an invitation to find out if Nostradamus had something to say in his hidden text about the Madrid bombings:

C E N T V R I E C I N Q V I E S M E.
(édition de novembre 1557)

L V

De la felice Arabie contrade,
Naistra puissant de loy Mahometique:
Vexer l'Espaigne conquester la Grenade,
Et plus par mer à la gent lygustique.
La férocité de ce Ben Laden ira
tant loin le Onze Mars MMIU : il atacque
la Grande Espaigne, oncques la Mer Égée
qui a eu le rude Atome Huit Ans après.

* * * * *

In approximate English, with italics marking words no longer used or spelled thus: 'The ferociousness of this Ben Laden shall go very far on the Eleventh of March MMIU: he attacks Great Spain, never the Aegean Sea which had the rude Atom Eight Years afterwards.'

Although I was expecting Nostradamus to use the 2004 event as a warning to the Greeks for the 2012 event, I was not expecting him to link Ben Laden with the Aegean Sea event, as Ben Laden has absolutely nothing to do with it. But Nostradamus is clever in more ways than one. Although Ben Laden has nothing to do with the Aegean Sea event, Nostradamus uses the date of the Madrid attacks to point to the fact that Ben Laden never attacks the Aegean Sea!

United Native Americans: Occupy the United Nations Jan. 27, 2012

An Indigenous led Movement to Decolonize and Occupy the United Nations to demand repatriations for the theft of Tribal Lands, gold & other natural resources; and address issues of Civil Rights Violations, Hate Crimes, Broken Treaties, and the Human Rights inherent to ALL Indigenous People.

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Michael Moore: 75 Years Ago Today, the First Occupy

On this day, December 30th, in 1936 — 75 years ago today — hundreds of workers at the General Motors factories in Flint, Michigan, took over the facilities and occupied them for 44 days. My uncle was one of them.

The workers couldn’t take the abuse from the corporation any longer. Their working conditions, the slave wages, no vacation, no health care, no overtime — it was do as you’re told or get tossed onto the curb.

So on the day before New Year’s Eve, emboldened by the recent re-election of Franklin Roosevelt, they sat down on the job and refused to leave.

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Have you considered a career in total revolution?

Dan Hind for Al-Jazeera:

In the years after the World War II, the US and Western Europe saw unprecedented rates of sustained economic growth. Food and accommodation were cheap and working people could afford a vast range of novel commodities - electronic gadgets, cars, new styles in furniture and opportunities for leisure. Decades of war, depression and social unrest in Europe were over. Material life had never been better.

But Guy Debord and other writers and intellectuals associated with 'Situationism' claimed that this prosperity had been achieved at a cost that was both unacceptable and unnecessary. The technology of production had solved the problem of subsistence, but was now busy creating new, additional desires to clinch the sale of new commodities.

The choices offered by the market posed as the entire range of what could be chosen to fulfil those desires. But the sum of commodities crowded out something that couldn't be sold. The Situationists called this crowding out the 'Spectacle'. They wanted to find the world that the Spectacle overlaid, imitated and sold to us. There was, they said, a beach underneath the pavement.

So Situationism was an attempt to achieve revolutionary change in the midst of an economic boom. Debord and the rest didn't want to create a political party and then capture the state. Instead, they sought to create spaces for freedom and the lived experience of radical equality: 'since man is the product of the situations he goes through, it is essential to create human situations. Since the individual is defined by his situation, he wants the power to create situations worthy of his desires.'

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Norman Lear on fighting the good fight

I had my first "born again American" moment 30 years ago, when I was moved to outrage and action by a group of hate-preaching televangelists who were trying to claim sole ownership of patriotism, faith and flag for the far right. One of them asked his viewing congregation to pray for the removal of a Supreme Court justice.

I did what I knew how to do and produced a 60-second TV spot. It featured a factory worker whose family members, all Christians, held an array of political beliefs. He didn't believe that anyone, not even a minister, had a right to judge whether people were good or bad Christians based on their political views. "That's not the American way," he wound up saying. I ran it on local TV, and it was picked up by the networks. People For the American Way grew out of the overwhelming response to that ad.


One of the most encouraging things to happen in 2011 was the birth of the
Occupy Wall Street movement, which is giving the entire country the chance for a "born again American" moment. In calling attention to the country's widening chasm between rich and poor, the Occupiers have unleashed decades of pent-up patriotic outrage against the systematic violation of our nation's core principles by the "say good-bye to the middle class" alliance of the neocons, theocons and corporate America.

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Chomsky to Occupy: come back bigger, better, and with much more of the 99%

Noam Chomsky has advice for the Occupy movement, whose encampments all over the country are being swept away by police. The occupations were a “brilliant” idea, he says, but now it’s time to “move on to the next stage” in tactics. He suggests political organizing in the neighborhoods.

The Occupy camps have shown people how “to break out of this conception that we’re isolated.” But “just occupying” has “lived its life,” says the man who is the most revered radical critic of American politics and capitalist economics.

Chomsky gave his counsel answering questions in a small group after a speech Monday evening, December 12, in the 1000-seat Westbrook Middle School auditorium (a/k/a Westbrook Performing Arts Center), which was filled to capacity. The speech was sponsored by the University of New England’s Center for Global Humanities.

The Occupy movement’s repression, which Chomsky decried, has a saving grace, he said: the opportunity for it to expand more into “the 99 percent” by engaging people “face to face.”

“Don’t be obsessed with tactics but with purpose,” he suggested. “Tactics have a half life.”

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We are the 99% (Electronica Piano Cello) Anonymous Expression

Mature content warning

According to Anonymous Expressions: Jesus was an Occupier of his time . He stood up against oppression and taught us how to have compassion and how to love those that persecute us. Jesus is us, we are him, after all, he is you and me. Lyrics inspired by JJ3 on Youtube.

The Power of Occupy Wall Street Is Not Just What They're Doing, But How They're Doing It

From Sarah Jaffe's article at AlterNet:

“I know some members say the groups are leaderless. But I have trouble believing this is an entirely organic movement that grew without a leader. I’d push hard to see if there are leaders and to profile them,” Jerry Ceppos, journalism dean at Louisiana State University recently told the New York Times' public editor, Arthur S. Brisbane.

Brisbane was attempting to answer the question “Who is Occupy Wall Street?” It's a question that continues to confound observers of the movement. Reporters, politicians and others used to traditional, top-down, hierarchical movements (or even grassroots movements that are easily boiled down, in history books, to the actions of a single charismatic leader like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) simply cannot seem to wrap their heads around the movement's commitment to “horizontalism,” a form of organization that doesn't recognize one leader, but rather emphasizes the value of each participant equally.

Great men are how we tell our history. Great men, and very occasionally great women, individual accomplishment and heroism. History isn't so different from Twitter's trending topics, acknowledging spikes more so than slow builds and rewarding celebrity more than quiet hard work. Or, for that matter, the biases of the mainstream media and editors like Brisbane and Ceppos, authorities in their field who only understand the world through other authority figures. It's why the US only understands the civil rights movement in terms of the life of MLK, rather than the quiet work of nameless hundreds who trained in nonviolent techniques and were beaten and fire-hosed and attacked by dogs without their names making it into history books.

The way Occupy Wall Street and the Occupy movement worldwide are structured is drawn from another way of thinking. Marina Sitrin, an early participant in the Occupy movement in New York and the author of the book Horizontalism: Voices of Popular Power in Argentina, describes horizontalism thus:

“Horizontal, as it sounds, is a level space for decision making, a place where one can look directly at the other person across from you, and discuss things that matter most to all of us – we decide the agenda. Horizontalism is more than just being against hierarchy, or people having power over others – it is about creating something new together in our relationships. The means are a part of the ends. The forms of organizing manifest what we desire; it is not a question of demands, but rather a manifestation of an alternative way of being and relating.”

Horizontalism and consensus might seem complicated, especially after watching the houses of Congress descend into a battle of egos and wills. Trying to get a simple majority of the Senate, let alone the 60-vote supermajority that is essentially required for every vote now that the filibuster is routinely abused, to agree on anything is a near-impossible task, so how would 95 percent consensus ever work?

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Marx on ‘Technical Government’

Marcello Musto writes:

In recent years Karl Marx has again been featured in the world’s press because of his prescient insights into the cyclical and structural character of capitalist crises. Now there is another reason why he should be re-read in the light of Greece and Italy: the reappearance of the ‘technical government.’

As a contributor to the New York Tribune, one of the widest
circulation dailies of his time, Marx observed the political and institutional developments that led to one of the first technical governments in history: the Earl of Aberdeen cabinet of December 1852 to January 1855.

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TEPCO says it 'no longer owns' Fukushima fallout

In terms of sheer chutzpah, Tokyo Electric Power Co's claim that it no longer owns the radioactive isotopes that spewed out of its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March takes some beating.

In defending a lawsuit from a Fukushima Prefecture golf club, lawyers said the radioactive cesium that had blighted the Sunfield Nihonmatsu golf course's fairways and greens was the club's problem. The utility has taken a similarly hard line defending claims from ryokan (inn) and onsen (spa) owners.

TEPCO's lawyers used the arcane legal principle of res nullius to argue the emissions that escaped after the tsunami and earthquake triggered a meltdown were no longer its responsibility. "Radioactive materials (such as cesium) that scattered and fell from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant belong to individual landowners, not TEPCO," the utility told Tokyo District Court.

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THE TRUTH BEHIND THE VACCINE COVER-UP

... Dr. Bernier notes that in August 1999 a public workshop was held at Bethesda in the Lister Auditorium by the National Vaccine Advisory Group and the Interagency Working Group on Vaccines to consider thimerosal risk in vaccine use. And based on what was discussed in that conference, thimerosal was removed from the hepatitis B vaccine (HepB). It is interesting to note that the media took very little interest in what was learned at that meeting and it may have been a secret meeting as well. As we shall see, there is a reason why they struggle to keep the contents of all these meetings secret from the public.

He then notes on page 13 that on October 1999 the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) "looked this situation over again and did not express a preference for any of the vaccines that were thimerosal free." In this discussion he further notes that the ACIP concluded that the thimerosal-containing vaccines could be used but the "long-term goal" is to try to remove thimerosal as soon as possible. Now, we need to stop and think about what has transpired here. We have an important group here; the ACIP that essential plays a role in vaccine policy that affects tens of millions of children every year. And, we have evidence from the Thimerosal meeting in 1999 that the potential for serious injury to the infant's brain is so serious that a recommendation for removal becomes policy. In addition, they are all fully aware that tiny babies are receiving mercury doses that exceed even EPA safety limits, yet all they can say is that we must "try to remove thimerosal as soon as possible." Do they not worry about the tens of millions of babies that will continue receiving thimerosal-containing vaccines until they can get around to stopping the use of thimerosal?

It should also be noted that it is a misnomer to say "removal of thimerosal" since they are not removing anything. They just plan to stop adding it to future vaccines once they use up existing stocks, which entails millions of doses. And, incredibly, the government allows them to do it. Even more incredibly, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Family Practice similarly endorse this insane policy. In fact, they specifically state that children should continue to receive the thimerosal-containing vaccines until new thimerosal-free vaccine can be manufactured at the will of the manufacturers. Are they afraid that there will be a sudden diphtheria epidemic in America or tetanus epidemic? ...

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The effectiveness of Global Guerrilla swarmers

Global guerrilla swarmers will maintain their effectiveness across the vital swarming attributes in the following ways:

  • Elusiveness. Global guerrillas attain concealment through anonymity in large urban environments. Reliance on the local population isn’t necessary. High degrees of mobility are accomplished by leveraging public transportation networks.
  • Superior situational awareness. Open source intelligence is easy to accomplish (via the Internet, the media, and other sources). Further, encrypted global communications, via the Internet, enables global intelligence sharing information sharing. The small size of operational cells limits the potential of discovery and counter-guerrilla intelligence development.
  • Standoff attacks. Like many historical swarming attacks, global guerrillas will have significant standoff firepower potential — the ability to attack from a distance. However, this firepower isn’t a traditional weapon, rather, its the global guerrilla’s ability to use attacks on infrastructure to impact downstream systems miles (perhaps hundreds of miles) distant. Attacks will be rotated among infrastructures in a modern variant of horse archer tactics.
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Douglas Rushkoff: Reality as Subversion

... The greatest magic act of all – the unrecognized king of all sigils – was the creation of the dollar itself. We support the reality of this symbol whether we’re going after dollars or complaining about the lack of opportunity to accumulate them. By taking the very real values of wealth and prosperity and assigning them to the symbol of money, we dissociated our labor from the real. Sure, if we had some authority over that symbol system we might be in business. But we don’t; it’s the most protected and inaccessible set of mythology around. No cut and paste permitted, William.

I’m thinking we should let them win. Surrender the unreal realities to the bad guys. If they want broadcast television, mainstream newspapers, or even the web, let ‘em have it. They’ve conjured up an alternative universe that has very little true connection to what’s really going on here. And the market-based, competitive, reality-as-propaganda dream has swallowed them up. They are the victims of their own illusions. We don’t have to be. ...

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Scientists defend 'Armageddon virus' secrecy

Top US scientists have defended their bid to stop details of a mutant bird flu virus from being published and called for global co-operation to ward off an uncontrollable pandemic.

Meanwhile, scientists involved in the experiments said they were co-operating with government officials and the editors of the journals Science and Nature to pare down their research for publication in the coming weeks.

The controversy arose when two separate research teams — one in the Netherlands and the other in the United States — separately found ways to alter the H5N1 avian influenza so it could pass easily between mammals.

Until now, bird flu has been rare in humans, but particularly fatal in those who do become ill. H5N1 first infected humans in 1997 and more than half of those infected died, for a total of 350 deaths.

There is concern the virus could mutate and mimic past pandemic flu outbreaks such as the "Spanish flu" of 1918-1919, which killed 50 million people, and outbreaks in 1957 and 1968 that killed three million.

Turkish warships shell narrow water between Israeli and Cypriot gas fields

From an exclusive report at DEBKAfile:

President Demetris Christofias has warned Turkey to stop its warships shelling the strip of water dividing the Cypriot and Israeli gas exploration zones in the eastern Mediterranean.

DEBKAfile's military forces report that Wednesday, Dec. 21, Turkish warships began turning their guns on the strip dividing Israel's Leviathan gas field from Block 12 of Cyprus's Exclusive Economic Zone-EEZ, where a large gas field was recently discovered.

Neither Israel nor Cyprus reported the Turkish attacks which are staged in international waters, but both reinforced their naval units around the gas fields. It was the Cypriot president who broke the silence Friday, Dec. 23 with a warning: "If Turkey does not change its gunboat diplomacy and stop playing the part of regional police officer, there will be consequences which, for sure, will not be good - either for the whole region or the Turkish people and first and foremost for Turkish Cypriots," he said.

On Dec. 22, Israel canceled the $90 million sale to the Turkish Air Force of Elbit's hi-tech LOROP-Long Range Oblique Photography military surveillance system.Israeli defense sources said the transaction was cancelled lest SAR radar or LOROP technology find their way into the hands of Israel's enemies, such as Iran.

According to our military sources, Israel timed the deal's cancellation as a warning to Ankara to back off from its campaign of harassment in and around Israel's gas fields.

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Small tribute to Comrade Loukanikos

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