Archive for August, 2012

Portland, Oregon to Spend $5 Million to Poison its Residents with Toxic Fluoride

Natural News
August, 29, 2012

One of the last remaining urban bastions of fluoride-free water, the city of Portland, Oregon, is about to join the ranks of most other U.S. cities in forcibly medicating its residents with a drug that has been scientifically shown to impede proper brain development, lower IQ, damage thyroid function, and even cause cancer.

Oregon’s Herald and News reports that Portland Mayor Sam Adams has decided to join two other fluoride supporters on the five-member City Council, Randy Leonard and Nick Fish, in voting to support the mass medication of Portlanders via the public water supply. The other two members, Amanda Fritz and Dan Saltzman, have expressed opposition to water fluoridation.

You can access contact information for all members of the Portland City Council by visiting:
http://www.portlandonline.com/index.cfm?c=28533

At this time, there is no official date for when the council will vote on the issue. But unless the people of Portland and their supporters around the country raise hell to the Portland City Council in the following days and weeks, this three-two majority will eventually force mandatory water fluoridation to become law, despite the fact that Portlanders have repeatedly voted down water fluoridation efforts in the past.

Mayor Sam Adams says he grew up drinking fluoridated water, his hometown’s website says otherwise

As part of his argument for why he supports fluoridation, Mayor Adams told reporters that he grew up drinking fluoridated water in his hometown of Newport, Oregon. This, he says, is the reason why his teeth are now white and allegedly very healthy.

But a quick trip over to the City of Newport’s Public Works page reveals that Newport, Oregon does not, in fact, fluoridate its water supply (http://www.thecityofnewport.net/dept/pwk/waterquality.asp). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also confirms this, as its Oral Health Resources page shows that the fluoride concentration in Newport’s public water supply is 0.00 mg/L. (http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov)

What this means is that Mayor Adams is lying to his constituents in a thinly-veiled effort to pull a fast one at the behest of aggressive fluoride lobbyists. It is these lobbyists, after all, that approached the City Council back in August to push for water fluoridation, and are apparently responsible for this sudden rush to get Portland fluoridated.

Like most other political decisions, it appears as though Mayor Adams was essentially bribed by the fluoride lobby to pretend as though fluoride is healthy and beneficial. Mayor Adams has even gone so far as to claim that the science against fluoride is based on “emotions and rhetoric,” which is clearly not the case when taking even a cursory look at the mountain of evidence.

Mayor Adams, political sellout and industry whore

If Mayor Adams really took an honest look at the science behind fluoride, as he claims he has done, there is no way he could have arrived at the conclusion that fluoride is safe and beneficial for preventing tooth decay. Numerous studies, including a 2010 study out of New Zealand, have proven that ingesting fluoride does not prevent tooth decay, and that it actually causes much harm. (http://worldental.org)

Mayor Adams, Randy Leonard, and Nick Fish need to hear from you. These fluoride shills are either grossly and willfully misinformed about fluoride, or they have caved to industry pressures — and most likely industry dollars — to push toxic fluoride in the name of improving health. After all, if these three get their way, Portland taxpayers will be forced to fork over $5 million a year to have themselves poisoned with fluoride, which will be a big financial win for the fluoride industry.

U.S Government accused of spying on citizens, intercepting trillions of emails and phone calls

U.S Government accused of spying on citizens, intercepting trillions of emails and phone calls

By: | Aug 27th, 2012 at 09:50PM

US Government Domestic Surveillance

Governments around the world are repeatedly accused of spying on both domestic and foreign individuals and groups that may threaten the interests of their citizens; sometimes these accusations are without merit and sometimes they pan out. William Binney, a former official with the National Security Agency, recently said that domestic surveillance in the U.S. has increased under President Obama, and trillions of phone calls, emails and other messages sent by U.S. citizens have been intercepted by the government. In fact, in an interview with Democracy Now, the official-turned-whistleblower claims that the government currently possesses copies of almost all emails sent and received in the United States.

Binney, who is regarded as one of the best mathematicians and code breakers in NSA history, says he left the agency in late 2001 after he learned about its plan to use the September 11th terrorist attacks as an excuse to launch a controversial data collection program on its own citizens. One commercial company he claims to have participated in the program is AT&T (T), which he says handed over more than 320 million records of citizen-to-citizen communications that took place within the U.S.

The program, which Binney says he helped create, was never meant for domestic surveillance but the agency has supposedly been spying on U.S. citizens for more than a decade now.

According to Binney, once the software intercepts a transmission it will then build profiles on every person referenced in the data. The NSA is now in the process of building a $2 billion data storage facility in Utah that is bigger than anything Google (GOOG) or Apple (AAPL) has ever built, and Binney calculates that the facility will be able to store 100 years worth of the world’s electronic communications.

In the closing lines of a documentary by Laura Poitas, Binney notes that just because “we call ourselves a democracy, it doesn’t mean we will stay that way.” The real problem, he says, is that “people may have nothing to say about it… we haven’t had anything to say so far.”

Antarctic Methane: A New Factor in the Climate Equation

Climate scientists have long fretted about the hundreds of billions of tons of methane frozen under the floor of the Arctic Ocean. If the water warms enough, some of that methane could escape. Nobody knows how soon or how quickly such a release might happen, but since methane is a far more potent heat-trapping gas than the more familiar carbon dioxide, it could add to the temperature increase already under way thanks largely to human emissions from fossil fuel burning. 

But frozen Arctic methane turns out to be just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. According to a paper released Wednesday in Nature, there could be just as much methane trapped on the opposite side of the planet, under Antarctica’s vast ice sheets.

Icebergs form on ice sheets in Antarctica.
Credit: NASA

“It’s very hard to say what the effect would be if it were released,” said lead author Jemma Wadham, of the University of Bristol, in an interview. “And it’s hard to say when it might happen, and where. But there is potential for a release, for sure.”

Wadham and her colleagues didn’t actually detect the Antarctic methane directly. What they did do was to prove that the frozen continent has all the right conditions in place to make methane deposits a very likely bet.

The first link in their chain of reasoning is the fact that Antarctica was largely ice-free millions of years ago, sporting lush forests that eventually decomposed to form soil rich in organic matter. Parts of West Antarctica were open water, where marine life created similarly rich sediments at the bottom of the sea — sediments that are up to eight miles thick in some places, with thousands of feet of ice on top of them. 

In principle, bacteria should have decomposed some of these vast storehouses of organic matter into methane. The methane should bubble up to the undersides of the ice sheets. Once there, the freezing cold and high pressure of the overlying ice should have transformed them into deposits known as methane hydrates, the same formations scientists know are trapped on the continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean.

What scientists didn’t know was whether this bacterial decomposition actually happened, even if the textbooks said it should. So Wadham and her co-authors took soil samples from the margins of glaciers in both Antarctica and Greenland. “We spent a couple of years chain-sawing out sediments frozen into the bottom of the ice,” she said, adding with a connoisseur’s judgment, “They were very nicely preserved.”

Antarctica.
Credit: NASA.

They hauled the samples back to the lab and allowed them to thaw under carefully controlled, oxygen-deprived conditions where oxygen-hating, methane-belching bacteria known as methanogens could do their work — assuming they were there. And sure enough, the soil began producing methane.

The same thing should presumably be happening underneath Antarctica’s ice, where heat percolating from the depths of the Earth have prevented sediments from ever having frozen. 

“You have perfect conditions, and the ice has been there for 30 million years,” Wadham said, “so there’s been plenty of time for methane to build up.”

It takes a combination of cold and pressure to turn methane into methane hydrates, and if either one of these conditions is relaxed, the methane can escape. In the Arctic, it’s the loss of cold scientists worry about as the seawater overlying methane-rich sediments continues to warm

In the Antarctic, Wadham said, “it’s the drop in pressure that would come if the ice sheets get thinner.” It’s not happening yet, but that could change if the temperature of waters surrounding the Antarctic continent continues to rise.

Wadham emphasized that the threat remains theoretical at this point. Not only is it unclear whether Antarctica’s ice sheets might get substantially thinner, or when it could happen, but nobody has proven that methane hydrate deposits lie below them. The new study simply provides one strong link in a chain that is still being forged.

It’s clear, however, that the forging process needs to continue. “We need people to drill to the bottom of the ice sheets to find out what’s actually going on,” Wadham said.  

TSA Takes Over Bus Station In Tampa, DHS Agents Threaten Journalists

TSA Takes Over Bus Station In Tampa, DHS Agents Threaten Journalists

Posted By admin On August 29, 2012 @ 8:10 am In Featured Stories,Steve Watson Articles,Tile | 35 Comments

Reporters forced to show papers or be “detained for 72 hours” by Homeland Security

Steve Watson
Prisonplanet.com [1]
Aug 29, 2012

VIDEO: TSA Takes Over Bus Station In Tampa, DHS Agents Threaten Journalists  290812DHS

Independent Journalists documenting the level of security theatre surrounding the Republican National Convention in Tampa were threatened with being “detained for 72 hours” by Homeland Security agents, after they filmed TSA employees occupying a Greyhound bus station close to the security perimeter.

The reporters with the Houston Free Thinkers [2] captured video of no less than five blue shirted TSA workers manning the ticket office at the station, ready to conduct bag searches and pat downs on bus passengers.

The station, at 610 Polk Street, downtown Tampa was adorned with TSA and Homeland Security notices, designating it a high security screening area.

After filming the TSA workers inside, the reporters turned their attention to a parked Homeland Security vehicle across the street, claiming that the agent sat in the car was taking photographs of them.

Upon crossing the street to ask the agent why he was taking pictures, two more DHS vehicles pulled up and agents jumped out and immediately confronted the reporters, asking them for ID.

When the reporters refused to provide ID and asked why they were being detained, once DHS agent stated “You are filming a federal compound… that in itself is against the law.”

“The fence?” one reporter questioned.

“Everything behind the fence.” the agent replied, before again asking the reporter for ID.

When the reporter again questioned why he needed to show ID, the agent stated “This is not a game, I don’t want you to tell me anything. I want to see something, or I can hold you for 72 hours, it’s your choice.”

The reporters provided ID in order to avoid detainment, but made it clear to the DHS officers that they believed the agents were violating their rights.

Watch the exchange below:

As the reporters’ live internet video feed went down, the DHS officers asked them if they had any weapons. One agent asked “Do you mind if we check your bag, while you are standing on federal property?”

“The street is federal property?” the reporter asked.

“You pay your tax dollars to who?” the agent replied, before answering his own question, “The State AND the Fed.”

The agent then claimed that as soon as the reporters set foot in the State of Florida they were “on federal property”.

Watch the exchange:

The HFT reporters then posted a follow up analysis of their run in with the DHS:

As we reported yesterday, TSA screeners have been seen conducting bag searches at bus and train stations close to this week’s Republican National Convention in Tampa.

A short video clip filmed by journalists working for AMTV shows TSA workers putting personal belongings through an x-ray screener at the entrance to the convention.

AMTV’s Christopher Greene included a photo of his RNC press pass in the blog post to prove that the TSA screeners were at the convention.

As we reported last week [3], TSA workers were also present at a recent Paul Ryan political event in The Villages, Florida, where the screeners conducted invasive bag searches as well as pat downs.

As we have previously documented, airport security style checkpoints and inspection procedures are already in place at bus terminals [4],train stations [5], and are rapidly being expanded to the streets [6] of America.

Agents have even been spotted roaming around at public events [7] such as sports games and music concerts, and even at high school proms [8].

The ‘Transportation’ part of the TSA’s acronym has presumably been dispensed with as the Department of Homeland Security attempts to create an occupying army of security goons at every public event.

The TSA even moved beyond its own borders this summer as agents were dispatched to airports in London for the Olympic Games. [9]

The TSA has also announced its intention to expand the VIPR program to include roadside inspections of commercial vehicles, setting up a network of internal checkpoints [10] and rolling out security procedures already active in airports, bus terminals and subway stations to roads and highways across the United States.

—————————————————————-

Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com [11], and Prisonplanet.com [1]. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.


Article printed from Prison Planet.com: http://www.prisonplanet.com

URL to article: http://www.prisonplanet.com/video-tsa-takes-over-bus-station-in-tampa-dhs-agents-threaten-journalists.html

URLs in this post:

[1] Prisonplanet.com: http://prisonplanet.com/

[2] Houston Free Thinkers: http://houstonfreethinkers.com/all-news/84-the-police-state/3152-the-houston-free-thinkers-detained-by-dhs-at-the-rnc

[3] As we reported last week: http://www.infowars.com/tsa-rifles-through-bags-conducts-pat-downs-at-paul-ryan-event/

[4] bus terminals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEiMvu6svgw&feature=player_embedded

[5] train stations: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/12/14/terror/main1124533.shtml

[6] expanded to the streets: http://www.prisonplanet.com/tsa-style-pat-downs-hit-the-streets.html

[7] public events: http://www.prisonplanet.com/tsa-vipr-teams-and-cbp-agents-spotted-patrolling-music-festival.html

[8] high school proms: http://www.infowars.com/tsa-launches-groping-at-high-school-proms-other-public-places/

[9] airports in London for the Olympic Games.: http://www.prisonplanet.com/tsa-gropers-invade-london-for-olympics.html

[10] network of internal checkpoints: http://www.infowars.com/tsa-responsible-for-over-9000-unannounced-checkpoints-in-last-year/

[11] Infowars.com: http://infowars.com/

Human Activity Causing Global Climate Change

Published on Tuesday, August 28, 2012 by Common Dreams

Meteorologists Adjust Official Stance: Human Activity Causing Climate Change

New language removes ambiguity from group’s previous statements on global warming and extreme weather

– Common Dreams staff

Global July temperatures were the fourth-warmest on record. (Graphic courtesy NASA)Updating their official stance on the relationship between climate change and weather events, the American Meteorological Society (AMS), has now stated plainly that the warming world is a fact beyond reproach and that human activity—despite some natural variability—is the main force behind such changes.

“Warming of the climate system now is unequivocal,” the group said in a statement on Monday. “Observations show increases in globally averaged air and ocean temperatures, as well as widespread melting of snow and ice and rising globally averaged sea level.”

The dominant cause of the warming since the 1950s is human activities, they said, adding that their scientific finding is based on “a large and persuasive body of research.”

“Due to natural variability,” the statement noted, “not every year is warmer than the preceding year globally. Nevertheless, all of the 10 warmest years in the global temperature records up to 2011 have occurred since 1997, with 2005 and 2010 being the warmest two years in more than a century of global records.”

“This statement is the result of hundreds of hours of work by many AMS members over the past year,” comments AMS Executive Director Keith Seitter. “It was a careful and thorough process with many stages of review, and one that included the opportunity for input from any AMS member before the draft was finalized.”

Turning to the causes of such drastic changes, the AMS concluded that although the climate is always changing in some respects, the melting of the polar ice sheets, extreme flooding, intense droughts and the retreat of most of the world’s glaciers “are beyond what can be explained by the natural variability of the climate.”

They continue: “It is clear from extensive scientific evidence that the dominant cause of the rapid change in climate of the past half century is human-induced increases in the amount of atmospheric greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbons, methane, and nitrous oxide. The most important of these over the long term is CO2, whose concentration in the atmosphere is rising principally as a result of fossil-fuel combustion and deforestation.”

The AMS’ new language follows pressure from some environmentalists and scientists who have criticized the meteorologist professionals for being ambiguous about the growing scientific evidence about the relationship between weather events and global climate change.

As the Summit County Citizens Voice explains: “The organization recently took some flak from environmental activists who want weather forecasters to discuss how climate change might be affecting what people experience in their day-to-day weather. One group, Forecast the Facts, publicly called out TV weather forecasts by name. The group also published a study suggesting that 27 percent of TV weather forecasters call global warming a scam, while half deny that global warming is caused by emission of greenhouse gases.”

#  #  #

Group Trying to Stop Fluoridated Water in Portland

Associated Press
August 27, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. — Opponents of a plan to add fluoride to Portland’s water supply are not waiting for the City Council to pass the proposal.

The group Oregon Citizens for Safe Drinking Water says it will ask voters in 2014 to ban fluoride from a water supply that serves about 900,000 residents in Portland, Gresham, Tigard and Tualatin.

Opponents must collect about 30,000 signatures from Portland voters to put the issue on the ballot.

“Based on the public outcry on this issue, I have no doubt that we will be able to collect enough signatures,” Kimberly Kaminski, the group’s executive director, told The Oregonian (http://is.gd/XaXWa0 ) ahead of a Wednesday press conference to announce the initiative campaign.

According to language in Kaminski’s proposal, which has not been submitted to the city, the initiative would prohibit Portland from adding “any chemical or other substance … that is a by-product of any industrial or manufacturing process,” other than those that make water drinkable.

FBI Sharing Facial Recognition Software With Police Departments Across America

By Madison Ruppert
theintelhub.com
August 25, 2012

It is no secret that facial recognition technology is on the rise with amazing leaps forward in efficiency, nor is it a secret that the federal government maintains a centralized biometric database.

This program is so massive and coordinated that even governors have been overridden in the federal government’s quest to create a comprehensive database.

Now police departments across the entire United States will receive facial recognition software developed by none other than the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The software, known as “Universal Face Workstation software,” will be provided to police departments free of charge by the FBI under the expanding pilot program.

The software allows local law enforcement agencies to compare their photographs with those of the FBI’s database, which the FBI expects will contain at least 12 million photographs by 2014.

One of the many troubling aspects of this technology is the fact that the results are sent back to the querying state or local agency automatically without any human having to check the results.

This means that wildly inaccurate results could be returned to the local agency, which would not be anything new for facial recognition technology.

Michigan was the first American state to get brought into the FBI’s pilot project earlier this year while five other states have already signed up.

These states include Hawaii, New Mexico, Maryland, Ohio and South Carolina, while Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Tennessee have all expressed interest in participating in the FBI program.

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Oregon might also be involved in the constantly ramping up Next Generation Identification (NGI) Facial Recognition Program.

The plans for the NGI are nothing short of shocking. One must realize that the federal government actually plans to include highly sensitive biometric and biographical data belonging to over 100 million Americans.

Some are already expressing concerns over the program, including U.S. Senator Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat.

However, I wouldn’t be all too quick to praise Senator Franken given that he voted for S.1867, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 when it allowed for the indefinite detention of Americans, something which Obama is now fighting to keep.

That being said, Franken did reverse his stance and eventually vote against the final language of the NDAA, but I am quite skeptical of his trustworthiness. This might be a case of looking a gift horse in the mouth but I encourage a healthy distrust of our so-called representatives even when they appear to be working for the interests of the American people.

“Facial recognition creates acute privacy concerns that fingerprints do not,” Franken rightly stated at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on privacy, technology and the law, according to AllGov.

“Once someone has your faceprint, they can get your name, they can find your social networking account and they can find and track you in the street, in the stores you visit, the government buildings you enter, and the photos your friends post online,” Franken added.

I’m quite grateful Franken brought up the social networking aspect of this issue in his statement. With Facebook’s acquisition of Face.com, the Israeli facial recognition firm, the future of facial recognition in social networking is looking quite bright indeed, at least for those who are on the winning side of the equation.

Franken also expressed concerns that the FBI’s software “could be abused to not only identify protesters at political events and rallies, but to target them for selective jailing and prosecution, stifling their First Amendment rights.”

This is far from a misplaced concern given that we saw Occupy Wall Street protesters being illegally pressured into submitting to iris scans, which is just another biometric tool in the FBI’s arsenal.

The troubling alacrity with which this technology is being spread to local agencies across the United States appears to just be increasing and unless the American people actually start expressing some concern over this, I seriously doubt it will slow down any time soon.

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This article originally appeared on End the Lie

Washington Opposes Peace

By Stephen Lendman, Contributor
theintelhub.com
August 27, 2012

America’s history is blood-drenched. Permanent war is policy. Peace and stability are verboten.

One nation after another is targeted. Aggressive wars follow. Rule of law principles and democratic values are discarded. Wealth, power and unchallengeable dominance alone matter.

Scoundrel supporters glorify what they should condemn. More on them below. Syria is being ravaged and destroyed. Spurious accusations target Iran. Neither country threatens anyone. Malicious lies say otherwise.

Headlines claim Tehran keeps accelerating efforts to produce nuclear weapons. No evidence whatever is cited. On August 25, Reuters headlined “IAEA gets no deal with Iran on bomb research suspicions,” saying:

So-called “concerns” about “suspected nuclear weapons research by Tehran” weren’t resolved. IAEA chief inspector Herman Nackaerts said important differences remain. Agreement looks unlikely.

The IAEA was established to promote peaceful nuclear energy use. Allegedly an independent autonomous organization, it reports to the Security Council and General Assembly. Under current head Yukiya Amano, it’s an imperial tool.

Washington chose him. He serves US interests. His mandate excludes independence, objectivity, and honesty. Despite no evidence of Iranian nuclear weapons research and development, he claims otherwise.

Earlier he used forged or otherwise suspect documents. What long ago was discredited became Exhibit A. Old material was recycled to look new. Amano’s predecessor, Mohamed ElBaradei, didn’t play by US rules and got sacked.

What Washington says goes. Chief inspector Nackaerts’ mandate is prevent resolution. Otherwise US/Israeli accusations fall flat. Imperial aims are sidetracked until new schemes emerge.

Regime change is policy. War plans are longstanding. Timing alone is unknown. Perhaps 2013 is planned. The fullness of time will tell. A steady drumbeat of inflammatory media reports and commentaries advances the ball for what no one should contemplate or tolerate.

On nuclear issues, no country cooperates more than Iran. It exceeds what most others would tolerate. It want equal, fair treatment. It deserves no less. Its program is peaceful. It complies fully with NPT provisions.

America long ago spurned them. So does Israel. Both countries are nuclear outlaws. Headlines don’t accuse them of threatening world peace. IAEA inspectors don’t target them. They operate extrajudicially and get away with it.

Only Iran is challenged. False accusations persist. Multiple negotiation rounds got nowhere. Washington prevents resolution. So does Israel. Doing so complicates their agenda.

Following Friday’s Vienna meeting, Iran’s IAEA representative, Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh, commented as follows:

“We had about eight hours of intensive discussions in a constructive environment. We mostly tried to bridge the gaps (relating to) differences in the structure, approach, or modality for resolving the issues.”

“We had….progress….but, of course, there are still some points that have to be worked out at a later stage. In the meantime, these are issues regarding allegations which….in many cases proved baseless and with political motivations.”

Nackaerts was ordered to assure discussions went nowhere. Follow-up isn’t planned. Before talks ended, Netanyahu claimed “additional proof that Iran is continuing accelerated progress towards achieving nuclear weapons and is totally ignoring international demands.”

Netanyahu’s an inveterate liar. He’s also more bark than bite. Israel won’t go it alone against Iran. Doing so would be suicidal. Key Israeli past and current military and government officials oppose war. They do so for good reason.

Bluster is part of a politician’s portfolio. Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak take it to the extreme. Talk is one thing. Destructive policy quite another.

War very likely is planned. Expect it on Washington’s timetable, not Israel’s. When it comes, America will be the lead belligerent. Israel will ride shotgun. The entire region and beyond will be threatened. Catastrophic consequences may follow.

World peace never was more threatened. It hangs by a thread. Daily articles and commentaries don’t feature an issue too grave to ignore. Instead, truth is maliciously inverted.

Enemies are created when none exist. War talk persists. Wrong over right is promoted. Potential catastrophic consequences are ignored. So are body counts, massive human suffering, and what fuels Washington’s addiction.

Neoconservative hawk Charles Krauthhammer is a Fox New regular. He’s also a Washington Post columnist. He tilts far enough right to be belligerent. His style substitutes hyperbole for facts.

He blames Assad for massacres and other atrocities committed by Western recruited death squads. He backs more aggressive intervention.

He’s merciless on Iran. On August 23, he headlined “The Cordesman criteria.” He accused Iranian leaders of “increasing menacing annihilationist threats.”

He claims Israel faces “the most virulent genocidal threats since Nazi Germany.”

“Time is short,” he says. “Last-ditch negotiations….failed abjectly. The Iranians are contemptuously playing with the process. The strategy is delay until they get the bomb.”

Request “congressional authorization for the use of force if Iran does not negotiate denuclearization.” End status quo “drift through kabuki negotiations.” The alternative is “liv(ing) under the threat of nuclear blackmail from a regime the State Department (calls) the world’s greatest exporter of terror.”

Readers believe this stuff. So do Fox News viewers. Never mind what’s true or false. Krauthammer, like other neocons, demands surrender. Iran won’t play that dirty game. His alternative is war.

Center for Strategic & International Studies analyst Anthony Cordesman was more measured. Nonetheless, he fell woefully short. He headlined an August 1 commentary “Iran: Preventing War by Making it Credible.”

The best way perhaps to prevent was is threaten it, he believes. Justifiability was ignored. So were rule of law principles and what drives US and Israeli threats.

Like others representing right-wing military interests, Cordesman accepts the fiction of an Iranian threat. His analysis proceeds accordingly.

He’s concerned about Washington and Israel biting off more than they can chew. He wants to head fake Iran into submission.

Instead of explaining Tehran’s peace agenda, its longstanding nonbelligerence, its advocacy for a denuclearized Middle East, and desire for friendly relations with all nations, he proposes threatening Iran short of war.

He suggests three actions:

(1) Focus negotiations around “clear US redlines.” End ambiguity. “Iran needs to know there are real limits to how long it can talk and stall.” Submit to US demands or face war.

Never mind that Tehran negotiates in good faith. Washington obstructs resolution. Like other imperial supporters, Cordesman blames the victim.

(2) “(M)ake it clear to Iran that it has no successful options.” Surrender on US terms or else. Imply shock and awe bombing and other belligerent options. (S)peak softly while….carr(ying) a big stick.”

(3) Give Iran a face saving way out. Make it appear like “a kind of victory.” End sanctions. Offer trade, other economic, and political incentives. Package them with other countries. Make surrender look like victory.

America and Israel don’t negotiate. They demand. Promises they make aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. Many nations learned the hard way.

Iran wants its sovereign rights respected. It deserves that much and more. It’s endured decades of US/Israeli isolation and hostility. It’s not about to accept unreasonable demands.

Doing so won’t end war threats. At best they’ll be delayed. Washington wants pro-Western puppets replacing Tehran’s leaders. War is the bottom line option of choice.

Cordesman didn’t explain. Nor do Western fourth estate pressitutes. They willingly go along with what they should condemn. They make death and destruction possible. They’ll get more than they bargain for if Washington and Israel attack Iran. What better reason than that to oppose it.

A Final Comment

Washington has few profiles in courage. On war and peace issues, even fewer. Herd mentality dominates thinking. Politicians march in lockstep. An occasional exception proves the rule.

During last December’s Republican presidential debate, Ron Paul opposed war on Iran. His comments bear repeating. He spoke forthrightly and was condemned. Doing the right thing has a price.

He’s “running with the American people,” he said. Lots of evidence suggests Iran has no nuclear weapons program. “There’s no U.N. evidence of that happening.”

“There is no difference from 2003. You know what I really fear about this. It’s another Iraq coming. It’s war propaganda coming on….To me the greatest danger is that we will have a president who will overreact, and we will soon bomb Iran.”

“It would make more sense if we lived through the Cold War, which we did, with 30,000 missiles pointed at us. We ought to really sit back and look and think and not jump the gun and think we’re going to be attacked. That’s how we got into that useless war in Iraq and lost so much in Iraq.”

“Nuclear weapons are loaded over there. Pakistan, India, Israel has 300 of them. We have our ships over there. We have to keep this in the proper context. We don’t need another war!”

What about Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, he was asked?

“The plans are on the books. All they talk about is when are we, the west, going to bomb Iran? They don’t have a nuclear weapon. Why wouldn’t they try to send out some information, you know if you come and bomb us, we might shut the straits of Hormuz down.”

“We have 12,000 diplomats. We ought to use a little bit of diplomacy once in a while.”

“Obviously I would like to see a lot less nuclear weapons. I don’t want Iran to have a nuclear weapon. I would like to reduce them because there would be less chance of war.”

“But to declare war on 1.2 billion Muslims and say all Muslims are the same? This is dangerous talk. Yeah there are some radicals. They don’t come here to kill us because we’re free and prosperous.”

“They come here and they explicitly explain it to us. The CIA has explained this to us. They come here and want to do us harm because we’re bombing them.”

“Why were we flying drones over Iran? Why do we have to bomb so many countries? Why do we have 900 bases in (hundreds of) countries and we’re totally bankrupt?”

“How are we going to take care of the people? I think this wild goal is to have another war in the name of defense is the dangerous thing. The danger is really us overreacting, and we need a strong national defense and only go to war when there’s a declaration of war…instead of starting these wars so often….”

Asked about Iran’s alleged threat to annihilate Israel, he said:

“There is no UN report that said that. It’s totally wrong on what you just said. That is not true. They produced information that led you to believe that. But they have no evidence.”

“You cannot solve these problems with war….Get them over with, instead of this endless fighting and this endless attitude that we have enemies all around the world…”

Rarely are these type comments heard on Capitol Hill. US national television almost never airs them. They’re unheard of in presidential debates. Media scoundrels promoting war jump all over opponents.

Paul remains anti-war. Imagine if a majority in Congress agreed. Imagine peace instead of endless wars.

If Congress won’t do what’s right, ordinary people must act. Either we stop wars or they’ll destroy us. A threat that real demands action.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book is titled How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/

Neil Armstrong, First Man to Walk on the Moon dies at 82

Neil Armstrong, First Man to Walk on the Moon dies at 82

Those old enough to have been alive when Neil Armstrong landed a NASA spacecraft on the surface of the moon will never forget that day. Especially if, like millions around the world, they witnessed it in real time on their televisions! The entire mission to the moon was covered extensively on TV and the actual first steps on the moon have become moments in history for all time.

 

 

Armstrong, was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, on August 5, 1930. After serving as a naval aviator from 1949 to 1952, Armstrong joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in 1955. His first assignment was with the NACA Lewis Research Center (now NASA Glenn) in Cleveland. Over the next 17 years, he was an engineer, test pilot, astronaut and administrator for NACA and its successor agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

As a research pilot at NASA’s Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif., he was a project pilot on many pioneering high speed aircraft, including the well known, 4000-mph X-15. He has flown over 200 different models of aircraft, including jets, rockets, helicopters and gliders.

Armstrong transferred to astronaut status in 1962. He was assigned as command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission. Gemini 8 was launched on March 16, 1966, and Armstrong performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space.

As spacecraft commander for Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission, Armstrong gained the distinction of being the first man to land a craft on the moon and first to step on its surface.

Armstrong subsequently held the position of Deputy Associate Administrator for Aeronautics, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. In this position, he was responsible for the coordination and management of overall NASA research and technology work related to aeronautics.

Photo from NASA courtesy of Space.com.

The Top Secret NSA Domestic Spying Program

The Program:

 

URL:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/opinion/the-national-security-agencys-domestic-spying-program.html?_r=1

 

By LAURA POITRAS

It took me a few days to work up the nerve to phone William Binney. As someone already a “target” of the United States government, I found it difficult not to worry about the chain of unintended consequences I might unleash by calling Mr. Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency turned whistle-blower. He picked up. I nervously explained I was a documentary filmmaker and wanted to speak to him. To my surprise he replied: “I’m tired of my government harassing me and violating the Constitution. Yes, I’ll talk to you.”

Two weeks later, driving past the headquarters of the N.S.A. in Maryland, outside Washington, Mr. Binney described details about Stellar Wind, the N.S.A.’s top-secret domestic spying program begun after 9/11, which was so controversial that it nearly caused top Justice Department officials to resign in protest, in 2004.

“The decision must have been made in September 2001,” Mr. Binney told me and the cinematographer Kirsten Johnson. “That’s when the equipment started coming in.” In this Op-Doc, Mr. Binney explains how the program he created for foreign intelligence gathering was turned inward on this country. He resigned over this in 2001 and began speaking out publicly in the last year. He is among a group of N.S.A. whistle-blowers, including Thomas A. Drake, who have each risked everything — their freedom, livelihoods and personal relationships — to warn Americans about the dangers of N.S.A. domestic spying.

To those who understand state surveillance as an abstraction, I will try to describe a little about how it has affected me. The United States apparently placed me on a “watch-list” in 2006 after I completed a film about the Iraq war. I have been detained at the border more than 40 times. Once, in 2011, when I was stopped at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York and asserted my First Amendment right not to answer questions about my work, the border agent replied, “If you don’t answer our questions, we’ll find our answers on your electronics.”’ As a filmmaker and journalist entrusted to protect the people who share information with me, it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to work in the United States. Although I take every effort to secure my material, I know the N.S.A. has technical abilities that are nearly impossible to defend against if you are targeted.

The 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which oversees the N.S.A. activities, are up for renewal in December. Two members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado, both Democrats, are trying to revise the amendments to insure greater privacy protections. They have been warning about “secret interpretations” of laws and backdoor “loopholes” that allow the government to collect our private communications. Thirteen senators have signed a letter expressing concern about a “loophole” in the law that permits the collection of United States data. The A.C.L.U. and other groups have also challenged the constitutionality of the law, and the Supreme Court will hear arguments in that case on Oct. 29.

Laura Poitras is a documentary filmmaker who has been nominated for an Academy Award and whose work was exhibited in the 2012 Whitney Biennial. She is working on a trilogy of films about post-9/11 America. This Op-Doc is adapted from a work in progress to be released in 2013.

This video is part of a series by independent filmmakers who have received grants from the BRITDOC Foundation and the Sundance Institute.

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