Archive for the ‘Surveillance’ Category

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Shape of things to come

May 19, 2009


I have written on the shape of things to come before here. Disturbing trends are converging at a rapid rate which portend an entirely different future than humans have imagined (except in science-fiction).

Three articles below stand out as huge milestones in the relentless march toward a New World Order: sophisticated human implants, corporation monopolies of food production and the alliance of China and Russia politically. The vehicle of implementing surveillance through implants and DNA collection, could very well be world hunger as corporations have taken over food production.

When I first blogged on these issues, I was alarmed. But finding the ongoing progress of technology to control the masses, I am beginning to fear the road ahead for us. Not that I have a solution – but the first step in definitely being aware.

Saudi ‘Killer Chip’ Implant Would Track,
Eliminate Undesirables

05-17-2009
Source

It could be the ultimate in political control — but it won’t be patented in Germany.

German media outlets reported last week that a Saudi inventor’s application to patent a “killer chip,” as the Swiss tabloids put it, had been denied.

The basic model would consist of a tiny GPS transceiver placed in a capsule and inserted under a person’s skin, so that authorities could track him easily.

Model B would have an extra function — a dose of cyanide to remotely kill the wearer without muss or fuss if authorities deemed he’d become a public threat.

The inventor said the chip could be used to track terrorists, criminals, fugitives, illegal immigrants, political dissidents, domestic servants and foreigners overstaying their visas.

“The invention will probably be found to violate paragraph two of the German Patent Law — which does not allow inventions that transgress public order or good morals,” German Patent and Trademark Office spokeswoman Stephanie Krüger told the English-language German-news Web site The Local.
Click to enlarge pic.

The 21st century’s bleak harvest


Rising food prices increased the aid dependency of developing countries [GALLO/GETTY]

By Asif Mehdi, development practitioner
Source

As the world staggers from one economic crisis to another, it seems easy to forget the global food crisis that occupied centre stage in 2008.

World prices for essential grains more than doubled between 2006 and 2008.

Rice, the staple food of most of Asia, doubled in price in just seven months. And, despite their commitments to trade liberalisation, a few significant grain-exporting developing countries rushed to protect domestic grain stocks by banning exports.

The poor, who typically spend between 50 and 70 per cent of their meagre incomes on food, were most affected by the crisis.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, the food crisis raised the number of undernourished people from 923 million to more than one billion by this year.

In late 2007 and 2008, the crisis caused food riots in at least 15 countries across the world, from Brazil to Bangladesh, and international media and forums spoke of little else.

Then, as suddenly as it struck, declining prices relegated the food crisis to collective global amnesia.

Causes not addressed

However, while prices for grains and foods have declined in 2009, they are still higher than pre-crisis levels and the fundamental causes of their volatility have not disappeared.

The international economic system has witnessed a dramatic disbanding of trade and investment barriers.

However, the international market for agricultural commodities, the nature of industrial agriculture, changing consumption patterns and international finance all threaten to make food price volatility and food insecurity a recurrent feature of the early 21st century.

Agriculture offers a textbook case of international market distortion. And in this case, the market distortion is created by precisely the developed countries that extol the virtues of free markets.

Double standards

The developed world protects its domestic agriculture with any number of subsidies and technical barriers to trade.

In 2006, for example, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated that agricultural subsidies in OECD member countries were about $230bn.

In contrast to the magnitude of those subsidies, Official Development Assistance from OECD member states amounted to $120bn (the US alone had a military budget of $600bn in 2007).

The agricultural subsidies cover a host of measures – from domestic price support, to compensation to farmers for maintaining fallow land, to export price subsidies to dumping, some of which is disguised as food aid.

Paradoxically, international trade negotiations and, more importantly, International Monetary Fund (IMF) lending conditions expect developing countries to remove agricultural subsidies and liberalise domestic markets to imported foods.

While these measures allow for the increased availability of food, they have also eroded domestic agriculture and impoverished the rural economy, often in the most economically fragile states.

It was not surprising that the most impoverished countries were unable to meet the international price surge with increased domestic production, or the release of buffer stocks of staple food commodities.

In fact, those countries became ever more aid dependent as governments struggled to find the resources to pay the bills for imported food (and fuel), in the face of sharpened threats of hunger and undernourishment.

Industry domination

The opening of developing country markets does not benefit the average farmer in the developed world.

The international agricultural industry is dominated by a few grain, seed, chemicals and oil companies.

Such is their market power that three companies control the global grain trade and one company controls 60 per cent of seed production.

The grain trading conglomerates have unchecked market power to hoard and influence world prices.

Seed companies have employed breakthroughs in biotechnology to produce seeds that are compatible only with certain brands of pesticide or supply patented terminator seeds which germinate just once, and therefore the seed from a harvest cannot be used to grow a second crop.

This last feature of the seed business ensures a seed serfdom for the farmer, who cannot set aside part of the harvest for replanting.

It is no wonder, then, that the profits of the grain traders soared to astronomical heights in 2007, in one case up by 60 per cent over the previous year.

And it is no wonder that small farmers are bankrupted by one crop failure because of their inability to afford to buy or finance the procurement of seed for a new crop.

Industrialised agriculture

The other facet of industrialised agriculture is its energy intensity and reliance on hydrocarbon resources, whether as fertiliser or as fuel.

The poorest were most seriously impacted by rising food prices [GALLO/GETTY]
During the heyday of the Green Revolution, one study noted that between 1945 and 1994 US energy input for agriculture increased four-fold while crop yields only increased three-fold.

Since then, energy input has continued to increase without a corresponding increase in crop yield.

Barring a breakthrough in seed technology, industrial agriculture has reached a point of diminishing marginal returns from energy usage.

In addition, the fact that oil resource availability has peaked suggests that oil prices will be on a long-term increase, thereby increasing the costs of food production.

Given the nature of the financial crisis in developed countries, it is highly doubtful that governments will have the fiscal resources to increase subsidies to the agricultural sector, in order to contain the increase in prices.

For the developing world, fiscal constraints on governments and the likely drying up of development assistance will have the same impact.

Food to fuel

The recent movement in the developed world to produce bio-fuels is yet another factor propelling the price of grains.

A World Bank study, prepared in April 2008, pointed out that a third of US corn production goes to produce ethanol and half the vegetable oils produced in the EU to the production of biodiesel.

This diversion from food to fuel is subsidised extensively, while imports from Brazil (which has had the longest standing and most extensive bio ethanol production) are subjected to tariff barriers that effectively prohibit imports of Brazilian ethanol into these markets.

Commodity speculators, seeing the potential from increased demand for grains in these subsidised programmes, drove up futures commodity prices which in turn raised current prices in grain markets.

The same World Bank study contends that 75 per cent of the food price increase was due to bio-fuels, a figure hotly contested by the Bush administration at the time.

An International Food Policy Research Institute study asserts that the effect was somewhat less, at 30 per cent of the food price increase.

Ideology of the rich

The financial crisis in itself was a cause for the food price hike.

While prices rose steadily through 2006 and 2007, the latter half of 2008 saw a sharp increase in prices, in a so-called price spike.

However, little had changed in the fundamental conditions of supply or demand to cause such dramatic market adjustments.

If the financial crisis reduces aid another food crisis could be devastating[GALLO/GETTY]
By now it is clearly evident that as the unregulated and complex financial sector of the US was facing the unfolding effects of the real estate bubble, trillions of dollars moved across sectors and spaces and invested in food and primary commodities, causing another price bubble, this time of an altogether more serious consequence.

The simultaneous inflation of oil and food futures caused cost increases in the production of food while inflating its trading prices at the same time.

It seems that finance had run out of opportunities for profit, so it turned to the earth as a means of generating speculative profit, whether through real estate or primary commodities and food.

As the more recent financial crisis has shown, there is no regulatory capacity to stop such profiteering from reoccurring.

These are the difficult prospects and consequences of a world run by the ideology of the rich and powerful.

Development lessons

There are development lessons to be learned here.

First, food security is an issue requiring long-term international effort and food security demands that local agriculture be able to supply domestic needs wherever possible and that reserve stocks are garnered for difficult times.

Second, the developing nations are justified in holding out in the Doha Round of trade negotiations until real and tangible concessions are made with regard to trade in agricultural products.

Third, national development efforts need to be replenished with such ‘old fashioned’ endeavours as investing in rural production, water availability and the empowerment of the small farmer.

Economic history shows us that industrialisation was preceded by agricultural transformations, with the state playing a heavy role.

And economic history is a better guide to policy than the theorising of free marketers serving powerful corporate interests.

Asif Mehdi works in international development with an international intergovernmental organisation and has worked extensively in Asia and Africa during his 29-year career as a development practitioner.

The views expressed by the author are not necessarily those of Al Jazeera.

China’s top legislator: China-Russia partnership
enjoys fast growth

05-17-2009
Source

The strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Russia is currently showing all-round momentum and rapid growth as high-level contacts remain frequent, China’s top legislator said in Moscow on Wednesday.

Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, made the remark during a meeting with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev.

Wu, who arrived in Moscow on Wednesday for an official goodwill visit, said he appreciates the frequent contact between leaders of the two countries.

He said Medvedev’s visit to China last year helped lay the foundation for continuous growth of the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Medvedev said that he and Chinese President Hu Jintao held their first meeting this year during the London G20 summit in April. He expressed the wish that they will have more meetings later this year.

The Russian president said he expects Hu to pay a state visit to Russia in June. Medvedev also expects to meet with Hu during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit and the summit of “BRIC” countries, namely Brazil, Russia, India and China, later this year.

China and Russia this year also are to hold a series of activities to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

Wu and Medvedev stressed the importance of parliamentary exchanges between the two countries, saying they reflect the high level of development of the China-Russia partnership of strategic cooperation.

Wu said the strong China-Russia partnership is reflected in such areas as frequent contacts between top leaders of the two countries, the staging of “Russian Language Year” in China, the signing of an oil cooperation agreement between the two governments, and exchanges between the NPC and the Russian parliament.

Russia, Medvedev said, places high importance on parliamentary exchanges and cooperation between the two countries.

The Russian president also said Wu’s visit reflects the momentum of fast growth in bilateral links.

Source: Xinhua

http://paper.people.com.cn/rmrb/html/2009-05/14/content_252734.htm

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Things I read Jan 22, 2009 – Welcome to Bizzaro World

January 22, 2009


200,000 war veterans homeless in US
Mission accomplished!


Jimmy Carter’s Wise Counsel
You cannot have prosperity and liberty if you are always at war. Whereas other recent presidents have seemed oblivious to this fact, the Vietnam experience seems to have made Carter realize it.

Obama throngs replaced by March for Life crowds
Wouldn’t it be interesting to know if these protesters also condemn the death penalty and the slaughter of Gaza’s & Iraq’s innocent (already born) children?


SKorean blogger charged with spreading false info
Better watch what you say on the net.

Life is strange and cruel.
Beauty queen loses hands and feet.

Argentine prez: Fidel Castro ‘believes in Obama’
Who am I to argue with Fidel? “Earlier Wednesday, Raul Castro said Obama “seemed like a good man” and wished him luck.”


2 condemned to death for role in China milk crisis
How quickly corporations would protect consumers and the environment if they were treated as the criminals they are. It’s one way to save the planet. Right on China…Monsanto…you are next.

Report: Belgian court petitioned to arrest Livni upon arrival in Brussels
A good idea – and the only way to chastise monsters…arrest them if they set foot in the EU. This might also restore the faith of EU citizens in the EU.

U.S. To Sharpen Cyber-Weaponry
Bye bye internet freedom…don’t you know…this is a war zone?

Big brother filter plan insults parents
Australian parental role to be assumed by Big Brother. Your country is next.

Spanking = Terrorism
My daughter’s boyfriend was convicted of ‘terrorist’ threats 3 years ago for calling her while drunk and belligerent. Yep, we are all terrorists now.

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Things I read – Jan 18, 09 – Forgive, Forget & Shhhh

January 18, 2009

The Flight of Reason
An exceptionally well written examination of the ‘big picture’. Long but very worthwhile…nice flowing style.

Amy Goodman: Nothing to fear except no health care

Forgive Bush, Forget Gaza?

The Moral Dead Zone

Forgive and Forget?
Establishment Washington unifies against prosecutions

2010 is 1984?

NSA’s Wiretapping of Americans being outsourced to Israeli Companies?!?!

Don’t sleepwalk into Big Brother surveillance, schools warned
Let’s get the children used to a surveillance society early.

Maryland police and their weird war on ‘terror’

There are more and more of these stories cropping up.
Taken with the article above, we are going back to the future: 1984

The troopers zeroed in on Roman Catholic nuns,
human rights activists and church groups.
They monitored animal rights advocates and cyclists
pushing for more bicycle lanes. They opened a dossier on Amnesty International. (That group’s crime was listed as “human rights.”)
The troopers created files with titles like:
“Terrorism: Anti-War Protesters,” and
“Terrorism: Anti-Govern,” and
“Terrorism: Environmental Extremists,” and
“Terrorism: Pro-Life.”
To Maryland’s finest, even Quakers, the ultimate pacifists,
constituted a “security
threat group.”

For a real life forum case of surveillance click here

No smoking in most of Belmont California, not even at home
Not a joke. In Great Britain and Ireland, they were entertaining a law to prohibit smoking in a car, alone or not.

Deal to lease African farmland to rich countries collapses after backlash against ‘colonialism’

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Net surveillance and Cyber cops – I C U

January 11, 2009


Here are two more articles the” I C U” progression on limiting internet freedom, increasing surveillance of people in general and ‘protecting us from those nasty terrorists’. In the second article, the arrest of a cyber user seems a bit dodgy but one might justify it.

My contention is that there will be little difference in the future between arrests for explicit threats on the net and those which merely express opinions contrary to the established government propaganda. And arrests could well be international with extradiction legislation now in place between the USA, the EU and other countries. I think there is real danger here for freedom of speech on the net. See HR 1955 bill passed by Congress for the amorphous definition of ‘domestic terrorist’. Are YOU a terrorist?

I have added a sexy bonus tidbit at the end….sort of a treat after all this bad news. Hope you like it.

Eagle Eye Adviser Watches Over Tech Privacy

John Scott Lewinski
January 10, 2009
Source

Eagleeye01lgWhile the paranoia-driven thrills in Eagle Eye were exaggerated for the benefit of popcorn-selling fiction, the adviser brought on to comment on the movie’s use of surveillance technology warns the world that the premise is hardly far-fetched.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, appears prominently in the featurettes packaged onto the Eagle Eye special edition DVD, which was released last month. A professor of privacy law at Georgetown University, Rotenberg insists that efforts by any government to consolidate surveillance also consolidate power.

“Camera networks are growing in most major cities,” said Rotenberg, a graduate of Harvard and Stanford Law School. “Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. While those networks are supposedly built to provide security, most of what the cameras see are people living, working, visiting. Those people aren’t criminals or terrorists.”

Eagle Eye examines the “what ifs” of such surveillance networks run amok as a mysterious villain omnisciently pushes Shia LaBeouf into criminal acts in and around our nation’s capital. The DVD’s producers invited Rotenberg to speak on the real world’s ability to monitor you via cameras, cellphone monitoring and internet taps.

“In Washington, one camera operator can have access to 5,000 cameras at any given time,” Rotenberg said. “That approaches omniscience. We need to ask, ‘Should those cameras be used? Should they be put in residential neighborhoods?’ It’s not too difficult to peer into someone’s private home in that case.”

While such antiterrorism tactics became a hot political issue in the post 9/11 era, Rotenberg made it clear that surveillance issues go beyond how you might feel about Vice President Dick Cheney. The cameras are tools, and how they’re used is key.

For example, Rotenberg explained that law enforcement agencies could well have the public’s best interest at heart when installing such cameras, but “many of the networks can be accessed in different ways. So, are they really secure? Someone inside the agency or inside the company providing the cameras might not be so ethical.”

Eagle Eye’s shadow baddie is a hell’s toss from ethical, and Rotenberg applauded the writers and filmmakers’ efforts to consider just how far the proliferation of surveillance could go.

Monitoring and debating the ethics of the growing surveillance world is the primary motivation of Rotenberg and the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

“We’re probably the leading privacy organization in the country right now,” he said. “We testified before the 9/11 Commission — the relationship between privacy and security. While defending against terrorism, surveillance could be used to limit freedom.”

To document the growing surveillance web around D.C., EPIC started Observing Surveillance, a collection of photos and other resources.

“I don’t think the public is as aware as it should be or needs to be,” Rotenberg said. “I’m afraid people think all of this is going to happen no matter what.

“I would compare the construction of surveillance networks to the creation of Frankenstein’s monster. While the original technological quest seemed justified in the beginning, the 21st century may have created our biggest threat to privacy.”

Online Threat to Kill Obama Leads to Arrest

Kevin Poulsen
January 09, 2009

Wired Online

Obama_mail_500px A Southern California man was charged Thursday with threatening a presidential candidate, for posting a racist note to a Yahoo message board in October expressing displeasure over Barack Obama’s candidacy, and predicting “he will have a 50 cal in the head soon.”

Walter Edward Bagdasarian, 47, was found with an arsenal of six weapons when Secret Service agents raided his La Mesa home in November, according to court records (.pdf). He had three handguns and three rifles, including a 30.06 with a telescopic sight and a Remington .50 caliber muzzle-loading rifle.

Bagdasarian is not accused of actually plotting against Obama, and he was released last month on a $100,000 real estate bond. Bagdasarian’s attorney did not return a phone call Friday.

The post in question showed up on a Yahoo Finance board on Oct. 22, about two weeks before the election, under the handle “californiaradial.” The message was titled “Shoot the nig.”

“County fkd for another 4+ years, what nig has done ANYTHING right???? Long term???? Never in history, except sambos.”

“Fk the niggar, he will have a 50 cal in the head soon,” the message concludes.

The message thread has been deleted by Yahoo, but traces in Google’s cache show that several other users announced that they were reporting californiaradial’s comments. In subsequent posts, the author calls one critic a “crybaby,” but does offer an explanation for the apparent threat. “I was drunk.”

U.S. Secret Service agents in Los Angeles traced the post to Bagdasarian through the IP address. When they interviewed him, Bagdasarian reportedly admitted authoring the message.

Here is a bonus article for anyone who likes sex.
What do you think?

‘Sex chip’ being developed by scientists

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Shhhhh! Baby censorship napping

January 9, 2009


Of all the articles about Gaza, this is one of the scariest for me: it effectively means censorship on the net of organising activities for those who disagree with government. It also means a blogger in one country potentially could be charged by and deported to another country for violating ‘censor’ laws (this is not far fetching, the EU is currently implementing such a plan for member states.) I am afraid this is the writing on the wall for internet freedom (see yesterday’s post here).

Freedom of speech is in grave danger of disappearing in cyberspace. Our connections in this realm are very fragile. Read and weep.

Gaza war sparks torrent of fiery comment on the Internet

Pro-Palestinian commentary pushes Internet chat to become rear-guard battleground of public opinion.

Source
PARIS – European and US media and social network websites are struggling to cope with a deluge of reader comments sparked by the Gaza conflict, most fiercely partisan and some explicitly anti-Jewish or anti-Muslim, according to the sites’ administrators.

Emotions on both sides are running high as the war enters its third week, and the Internet has become a rear-guard battleground of public opinion.

The torrent of highly-charged commentary — especially when it violates in-house rules or national hate-speech laws — poses at least two serious problems, representatives of the sites said.

One is logistic. All major news media sites filter reader views, and vetting hundreds, or thousands, of submissions — not all of them coherent or concise — is labour-intensive.

“The number of comments has exploded since the start of the conflict in Gaza,” said Alberto Piccinini, an editor at the left-wing Il Manifesto in Italy.

“The debate is very lively, often virulent,” he said, adding that most comments were pro-Palestinian and that some were bordered anti-Jewish.

The influx of views was so heavy at discussion forums of some French media sites that administrators simply shut the doors.

“The moderators were overwhelmed,” said Clemence Lemaistre of 20minutes.fr.

Some published comments were seen as anti-Jewish by some readers while other remarks were viewed as anti-Muslim by other readers, prompting chat mediators to reject all contributions at the end.

The same action was taken at left-leaning Liberation, where the comments “very quickly degenerated into a spiral of hate and insults, with no end in site,” the newspaper said in an editorial.

Two online debates hosted by BBC attracted nearly 40,000 comments.

Social network sites such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace do not vet content before it goes online, depending on community members to signal posts that may go beyond the pale.

But all these websites confront the even thornier problem of where to draw the line between an opinion that might virulent but acceptable, and one that could be interpreted as a racist insult.

The criteria for exclusion are not always clear, and rarely made explicit on a case-by-case basis.

Yassine Ayari, a 29-year old engineer in Paris, said that a pro-Palestinian discusssion group he created on website on December 29 was shut down on Wednesday by the website’s administrators.

“My aim was to link up as many people as possible to centralise initiatives of support for Gaza,” he said, adding that the group attracted more than 1000 members.

The space was blocked hours after Ayari receiving a boilerplate warning by email from the website, which followed up with a second email stating that “hateful, threatening, or obscene groups are not allowed.”

Neither email, however, specified what was objectionable, and Ayari said he was careful to remove potentially injurious comments.

According to Facebook spokeswoman Debbie Frost, “The goal is to strike a very delicate balance between giving Facebook users the freedom to express opinions and beliefs, while also insuring that individuals and groups do not feel threatened or endangered.”

That balance can shift depending on cultural norms and national laws. “There are no legal restrictions on comment in the US,” said YouTube spokesman Scott Rubin.

The video-sharing platform “gives the power to our community to control the comments of their videos,” but draws the line at “hate speech or incitement to violence.”

Digg, a site that builds discussion groups around news items, has borrowed from a popular US parenting technique to keep debate civil.

If alerted to a statement that may cross the line, “our first step is to place that commenter in a ‘time out’ which prevents them from commenting, though they are able to access their account,” said spokeswoman Jen Burton,

This technique works with people “who are otherwise good but occasionally lose their cool in an argument or just start acting out,” she said in an email.

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Things I read today – Jan 8, 2009

January 8, 2009

Two main topics today: the ‘cut-off’ of gas to Europe by Russia, and Internet surveillance. The other side of the headline. Or, The blogs we post today may not be allowed tomorrow.

Russia Halts Gas Supplies To European Nations

Russia, Ukraine resume talks on gas dispute
MOSCOW, January 8 (RIA Novosti) – Russian energy giant Gazprom and Ukraine’s national energy company Naftogaz resumed talks early on Thursday to resolve the current crisis around gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine, Gazprom’s spokesman said.

Gazprom CEO arrives in Brussels for talks with EU officials
There is the other side of the story (as you might suspect). Ukraine won’t pay Russia so Russia cuts off supplies. Because pipeline to Europe is through the Ukraine, Ukraine decides to steal from the pipeline. Russia cuts off pipeline to the Ukraine. A little bit different than mainstream interpretations, eh?

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More Evidence of Pentagon War Against the Internet
Further evidence has emerged revealing how the Pentagon is in the business of responding to blog posts critical of the U.S. government. Noah Shachtman, writing for Wired, posts an Air Force flowchart used for “counter-blogging” purposes. (See source for chart close-up)


Barack Obama’s ‘Black Widow’ : The Super Spy Computer
‘The NSA’s colossal Cray supercomputer, code-named the ‘Black Widow,’ scans millions of domestic and international phone calls and e-mails every hour. . . . The Black Widow, performing hundreds of trillions of calculations per second, searches through and reassembles key words and patterns, across many languages.’

Vets Sue MK-ULTRA CIA Over Mind Control Tests
For two decades or more, the CIA and the military allegedly plied the unwitting with acid, weed, and dozens of psychoactive drugs, in a series of zany (and sometimes dangerous) mind-control experiments. Now, the Vietnam Veterans of America are suing the agency and the Pentagon for perceived abuses suffered under the so-called “MK-ULTRA” and other projects.

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News you WANT to read – Mules and naked skiers

January 7, 2009

There are times I just can’t take the bad news anymore. And so I must punctuate the tragedy with some comedy or fuzzy warm hope. Welcome to my punctuation.

Mule Credited With Saving Woman From Fire

January 6, 2009
Source
McMINNVILLE, Tenn. — Jolene Solomon is beginning the new year with her life, her mule named Lou and little else. The Southern Standard in McMinnville reported Solomon had just finished eating supper on New Year’s Day when Lou’s braying and acting up got her attention.

Solomon, 63, who lived alone, stepped outside, she saw her house was on fire. She called 911 and as she waited for firefighters, her home and everything in it burned to the ground.

She said her father bought Lou years ago to help her and her late sister, Blue, around the farm. It took Lou months to get over the loss of her sister.

Solomon said she has ‘lost it all’, but credits Lou with saving her life.

Jolene is staying with family members and plans to rebuild her home. The home was built by her grandfather and she had lived there all her life.

Vail Chairlift Accident Leaves
Man Dangling Pantless

Source
If you think people laugh at your skiing skills then think again. A man was a put into a precarious and undoubtedly embarrassing position while skiing with his child at Vail mountain last Friday.

According to reports: the chairlift’s fold-down seat was not in the correct lowered-down position – causing the man to partially fall through the resulting gap as he attempted to board the lift.

He was prevented from plummeting to the ground below by his right ski, which became jammed in the ascending lift.

More pictures