Behind The Woodshed Blogcaster – May 31, 2015.

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The Victory Against You in the Silent War is Your Silence

Gov Doesn’t Like Competition

Organized Crime

  • Silk Road Creator Ross Ulbricht Sentenced to Life in Prison  

    On Friday Ulbricht was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for his role in creating and running Silk Road’s billion-dollar, anonymous black market for drugs. Judge Katherine Forrest gave Ulbricht the most severe sentence possible, beyond what even the prosecution had explicitly requested. The minimum Ulbricht could have served was 20 years.

    “The stated purpose [of the Silk Road] was to be beyond the law. In the world you created over time, democracy didn’t exist. You were captain of the ship, the Dread Pirate Roberts,” she told Ulbricht as she read the sentence, referring to his pseudonym as the Silk Road’s leader. “Silk Road’s birth and presence asserted that its…creator was better than the laws of this country. This is deeply troubling, terribly misguided, and very dangerous.”

    In addition to his prison sentence, Ulbricht was also ordered to pay a massive restitution of more than $183 million, what the prosecution had estimated to be the total sales of illegal drugs and counterfeit IDs through the Silk Road—at a certain bitcoin exchange rate—over the course of its time online.

  • Euronext Breaks: All Derivative, Currency Future Trading Halted  

    Usually the market breaks don’t take place until after the selling begins. Today, someone in Europe got triggerhappy, and as a result moments ago the Euronext broke. Or perhaps this is just another drill for the “big one”.

    CATEGORY: Data issue

    Due to a market data issue, trading has been halted on the BO,BF,FF,FO,MF,YF,YO,RF,ZF,ZO,SF exchanges until further notice.

    As a consequence, all orders other than GTC’s were removed from these products.

    We are working to resolve this issue and we will provide an update as soon as possible regarding the expected pre-opening time and resumption of trading.

    For your information, before any trading resumption, there will be a pre-opening phase of at least 15 minutes.

    Trading on all Cash instruments is taking place as normal.

  • Why Is The U.S. Desperate To OK Slavery In Malaysia? 

    On Friday night, in an impressive display of dysfunction, the U.S. Senate approved a controversial trade bill with a provision that the White House, Senate leadership and the author of the language himself wanted taken out.

    The provision, which bars countries that engage in slavery from being part of major trade deals with the U.S., was written by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.). At the insistence of the White House, Menendez agreed to modify his language to say that as long as a country is taking “concrete” steps toward reducing human trafficking and forced labor, it can be part of a trade deal. Under the original language, the country that would be excluded from the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership pact is Malaysia.

    But because the Senate is the Senate, it was unable to swap out the original language for the modification. (The chamber needed unanimous consent to make the legislative move, and an unknown senator or senators objected.) So the trade promotion authority bill that passed Friday includes the strong anti-slavery language, which the House will now work to take out to ensure that Malaysia (and, potentially, other countries in the future) can be part of the deal.

  • This brilliant map renames each US state with a country generating the same GDP 

    Sometimes it helps to employ unconventional perspectives when thinking about the size of things.

    So here’s a pretty awesome map from American Enterprise Institute’s Mark Perry that shows how massive and productive America’s $16.7 trillion economy really is on a global scale.

    The map compares the gross domestic product of each US states with the national GDPs of other nations.

Making War

  • Drug War Fail: Doctors Now Creating More Heroin Addicts than Drug Dealers 

    A recently released Drug Enforcement Administration report reveals not only that heroin use has exploded, but that 4 out of 5 new users have previously abused prescription drugs. The details of the analysis, titled the “National Heroin Threat Assessment,” unwittingly demonstrate that the Drug War has failed to curb drug use and has actually exacerbated the problem.

    The report opens with an overview of heroin addiction:

    “The threat posed by heroin in the United States is serious and has increased since 2007. Heroin is available in larger quantities, used by a larger number of people, and is causing an increasing number of overdose deaths.”

    The report acknowledges more specific data about heroin use. It explains that the strength of the drug has skyrocketed since the 1980s, increasing from 10% purity in 1981 to 40% in 1999. Due to this purity, the drug has become easier to snort and smoke, which broadens its appeal. Alternatively, the reformulation of Oxycontin in 2010 made the prescription opiate harder to inject, leading some pill addicts to turn to heroin for a drug they could use intravenously.

    ‘US not engaged in major war’: Obama Memorial Day remark slammed 

    Barack Obama has made a speech, saying that this Memorial Day is the first in 14 years without major US war. Critics and social media users slammed him as hypocritical, saying the US remains involved in military conflicts and proxy wars.

    “Today is the first Memorial Day in 14 years that the United States is not engaged in a major ground war,” Obama said on Memorial Day, a US holiday for remembering those who died while serving in the country’s armed forces.

    He added that this Memorial Day is the first “since our war in Afghanistan came to an end,” but admitted that about 10,000 US troops remain on a mission to train and assist Afghan forces, even though “Afghanistan remains a very dangerous place.”

    “And as so many families know, our troops continue to risk their lives for us,” Obama said.

    Obama also said that the wars which America waged were “for democracy, the peace we’ve laid to preserve it.”

    The statement by US president was met with strong criticism both from experts and social media users.

    “What a joke. Of course the US is still at war,”wrote Brian Fernandes, a user on Facebook.

    “The US still has troops in Afghanistan and plans to keep them there for years. And they have fomented wars in Ukraine, Africa, Syria, and now Yemen. The US is the most barbaric war-mongering nation on Earth,” added another, Richard Tina.

  • EU dropped pesticide laws due to US pressure over TTIP, documents reveal

    EU moves to regulate hormone-damaging chemicals linked to cancer and male infertility were shelved following pressure from US trade officials over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) free trade deal, newly released documents show.

    Draft EU criteria could have banned 31 pesticides containing endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs). But these were dumped amid fears of a trade backlash stoked by an aggressive US lobby push, access to information documents obtained by Pesticides Action Network (PAN) Europe show.

    On 26 June 2013, a high-level delegation from the American Chambers of Commerce (AmCham) visited EU trade officials to insist that the bloc drop its planned criteria for identifying EDCs in favour of a new impact study.

  • Anthrax: Pentagon accidentally sent bioweapon to as many as nine states 

    The Pentagon has conceded it accidentally shipped samples of a live bioweapon across nine states and to a US air base in South Korea.

    In an extraordinary admission on Wednesday, the Pentagon revealed what it called an “inadvertent transfer of samples containing live Bacillus anthracis”, or anthrax, took place at an unspecified time from a US Defense Department laboratory in Dugway, Utah.

    Nine unspecified states received samples of the bioweapon, which can be fatal if untreated. One sample was also sent to Osan air base in Pyeongtaek, about 65km south of Seoul.

  • The Chilling Thing an Industry Insider Said about Glyphosate, GMOs, and Why He Sold His Conventional Seeds Company

    Dan Romig, who along with his father co-founded Trigen Seed LLC in 1993 and bloodstresold to Limagrain Cereal Seeds in 2010, is an insider in the seeds industry. His father was head of R&D at Northrup King, a subsidiary of Syngenta, which Monsanto is currently trying to acquire.

    The combined Monsanto-Syngenta behemoth would control a third of the globe’s seed and pesticides markets.

    Among the controversies surrounding Roundup, Monsanto’s flagship product, and largest selling weed killer in the world, there is this one: the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a component of the UN’s World Health Organization, declared that glyphosate, one of the active ingredients in Roundup, is “probably carcinogenic.”

    Don Quijones, in his article on WOLF STREET, Monsanto Bites Back, vivisected the implications of the Monsanto-Syngenta deal and issues surrounding glyphosate.

    Dan Romig then commented on the article from his insider point of view, and in doing so also told the story of his company and why they ended up selling it. It’s a chilling, insightful, and important read:

  • Monsanto Bites Back  

    Monsanto, the U.S. agribusiness giant that controls a quarter of the entire global seed market, could soon be even bigger and more powerful than it already is, following renewed speculation over its interest in Swiss agrichemicals firm Syngenta. The logic behind the deal is clear: Monsanto ranks as the world’s largest purveyor of seeds while Swiss-based Syngenta is the world’s largest pesticide and fertilizer company.

    A Monsanto-Syngenta tie-up would “deliver substantial synergies that create value for shareholders of both companies”, said Monsanto president and COO, Brett Begemann, adding that cash from these side deals would make an acquisition easier to finance. It would also be the largest-ever acquisition of a European company by a U.S. rival.

    The target, Syngenta, seems somewhat less enthusiastic. It is the second time in as many weeks that Monsanto has tabled an unsolicited offer for its Swiss competitor. The first time, on May 8, Syngenta politely but firmly rebuffed Monsanto, saying that the offered price of $45 billion undervalued the company. In response to the latest offer Syngenta said a sell-off of its seeds business would not be enough to allay regulators’ concerns about the tie-up.

    The 2 C’s: Consolidation and Concentration

    If the deal is consummated, the two companies combined would form a singular agribusiness behemoth that controls a third of both the globe’s seed and pesticides markets, as Mother Jones reports

  • EU dropped plans for safer pesticides because of TTIP and pressure from US

    EU plans to regulate hormone-damaging chemicals found in pesticides have been dropped because of threats from the US that this would adversely affect negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), according to a report in The Guardian. Draft EU regulations would have banned 31 pesticides containing endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that have been linked to testicular cancer and male infertility.

    Just after the official launch of the TTIP negotiations on 13 June 2013, a US business delegation visited EU officials to demand that the proposed regulations governing EDCs should be thrown out in favour of a further “impact study.” Minutes of the meeting on June 26 show Commission officials saying that “although they want the TTIP to be successful, they would not like to be seen as lowering the EU standards.” Nonetheless, the European Commission capitulated shortly afterwards.

    That climbdown was despite repeated promises from the European Commission that TTIP would not jeopardise EU health and safety standards. For example, a Commission factsheet on Pesticides in TTIP from February 2015 states: “TTIP will not lower the food safety standards for pesticides.” The Guardian report demonstrates that plans to strengthen regulations governing EDCs were blocked, which is equivalent to a lowering of future standards that would have been introduced had it not been for TTIP.

Mounting Evidence

  • Think The Anti-GMO Movement Is Unscientific? Think Again

    “Anyone that says, ‘Oh, we know that this is perfectly safe,’ I say is either unbelievably stupid, or deliberately lying. The reality is, we don’t know. The experiments simply haven’t been done, and now we have become the guinea pigs.”  ~ David Suzuki, geneticist

    Now that the mainstream media is catching on to the public sentiment against GMO food, or at least against unlabeled GMO food, to the tune of millions of Americans who made it a point to drag themselves out of their homes to protest Monsanto last month (as well as at least 40 additional countries), inevitably the indictment will be made: “the anti-GMO movement is “unscientific.”” Is that really so?

    What we do know is that the unintended consequences of the recombinant DNA process employed to create genetically engineering organisms are beyond the ability of present-day science to comprehend.  This is largely due to the post-Human Genome Project revelation that the holy grail of molecular biology, the overly-simplified ‘one gene > one trait’ model, is absolutely false.

    Only recently, for instance, a previously unidentified viral gene fragment was discovered to be present in most of the GM crops commercialized to date; a finding which calls into question the safety of 54 commercialized crops already commercialized and being used in both food and feed. There could be hundreds of viral-gene altered proteins within these foods, whose complex interactions with DNA and toxicity have never been characterized.

  • Worm Now Thrives in GMO Corn Designed to Kill It, Study Says

    One of industrial agriculture’s biggest GMO crops may have just backfired. Scientists have confirmed that corn-destroying rootworms have evolved to be resistant to the Bt corn engineered to kill them.

    Bt stands for Bacillus thuringiensis, the name of the genetically modified corn’s “donor” organism. Bacillus thuringiensis is a naturally occurring soil bacterium that produces protein crystals that bind to certain receptors in the rootworm’s intestine, killing it. For years, farmers have planted Bt corn as an alternative to spraying insecticides. Bt corn accounted for three-quarters of all corn planting in 2013. That may have to change.

    After finding a cornfield in Iowa in 2011 that was decimated by rootworm despite being planted with the Bt corn, Iowa State University entomologist Aaron Gassmann and his team began to study the pests’ interactions with the genetically modified organism (or GMO) corn in a lab. Their study, published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, describes the western corn rootworm’s rapid evolution after feeding on the engineered crop.

Inventing Crime

  • Dept. Of Justice Flying Secret Airplane Fleet Over American Cities 

    When a friend happened to spot a surveillance flight over his neighborhood, it led Sam Richards, an independent journalist, to uncover a fleet of secret airplanes registered to fake corporations apparently created by the Department of Justice.

    While their purpose remains unknown, Richards has uncovered 100 of the aircraft and traced regular flights over major American cities.

    Richards, who writes under the nom de plume Sam Renegade, first published his findings on his Twitter account, @MinneapoliSam, before gathering them into a report on Medium. In his report, published on Monday, he outlines how each of the planes is registered to a fake corporation with a three-letter acronym for a name, such as “OBR Leasing,” which doesn’t seem to otherwise exist as a viable business from Internet or public records searches. Richards reveals that dozens of these aircraft, from front corporations like “FVX Research” and “KQM Aviation,” are registered at the same Bristow, Virginia, post office boxes used for planes which are openly registered to the DOJ.

  • ‘Intruder spray’: Subway restaurant armed with traceable synthetic DNA mist 

    A Subway restaurant in Knoxville, Tennessee is now equipped with a product known as SelectaDNA, which aims to tag anyone who breaks in with an identifying spray containing a DNA code viewable only under ultraviolet light.

    The “intruder spray,” as it is nicknamed, contains “a unique DNA code which can be used to uniquely mark and trace both items of property and criminals,” according to its manufacturer, SelectaDNA.

    The spray’s US distributor, Johan Larsen, told the Knoxville News-Sentinel that the product is already in use in Australia and Europe.

    The newspaper’s report said the spray is “traceable for weeks,” and can only be viewed “with a glow under ultraviolet light.”

    If not identified by ultraviolet light, a suspect’s clothing, for example, could be tested to see if the spray’s owner-specific synthetic DNA is a match.

  • Polygraph.com owner pleads guilty to teaching people to beat polygraph tests 

    The owner of the now-defunct website Polygraph.com pleaded guilty on Thursday to obstruction of justice and mail fraud for teaching people how to cheat on polygraph tests.

    Douglas Williams, 69, admitted to teaching individuals how to beat lie-detector tests administered during the application process for jobs in federal law enforcement, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. In a press release announcing Williams’ plea deal, the FBI said that Williams “admitted to having trained [an] individual posing as an applicant seeking federal employment to lie and conceal crimes in a pre-employment polygraph examination.”

Accountable Crime

  • Sheriff that Laughed about Flash Banging a Toddler, Was Just Shot By Murderous Rogue Cop

    Sheriff Joey Terrell and one of his deputies were shot and injured while responding to a domestic violence complaint that involved another officer.

    Terrell has been the subject of a number of reports at The Free Thought Project, because he is the law enforcement official who authorized the “no knock raid” that maimed and nearly killed a young toddler. Terrell then later broke a promise to pay the family’s medical bills when he left them to take care of it on their own.

    On Sunday, Sheriff Terrell and Deputy William Zigan were dispatched to a domestic disturbance that involved former Gainesville city police officer Anthony Giaquinta. Giaquinta was recently fired from his job at the Gainesville Police Department, but as of now the reason for his termination is unknown.

    When police arrived on the scene, they found Giaquinta’s ex-wife dead in the garage of the home.

    The suspect then shot both Terrell and Zigan, then fled the scene and began a search that ended just before midnight, when police found the bodies of two men, including Anthony Giaquinta.

    “As EMS and law enforcement arrived, he started shooting at Habersham County Sheriff’s deputies. Two have been wounded. At this point, it doesn’t appear serious,” Capt. Mark Perry with the Georgia State Patrol said in a statement.

    It has not been revealed who the other person was, and no details about the circumstances of their deaths have been released to the public.

    Sheriff Terrell and Deputy William Zigan are expected to make a full recovery from their injuries.

Unaccountable Crime

  • Cops Who Flash Banged Infant’s Crib Are Blaming the Baby 

    Nearly a year has passed since a Habersham County SWAT team stormed into the Phonesavanh residence, and very nearly killed their 19 month old child. The no-knock raid was prompted by an anonymous tip which suggested there were drugs in the house. As the officers forced their way into the home, they lobbed a flash grenade which wound up landing in the crib where baby “bou-bou” was sleeping. As it erupted, the infant suffered severe burns and had to be taken to the hospital, and placed in a medically induced coma.

    To any sane person, the sheriff’s department would be responsible for the damage inflicted on this child. Not only were there no drugs in the house, but the suspect they were looking for was found elsewhere. And despite their claims that they had the house under surveillance for two days prior to the raid, somehow they had no idea that there were children who lived there.

    William Norman Grigg from the Pro Libertate blog read through the lengthy document, and sifted through the legalese for our benefit. It’s almost unbelievable how far the sheriff’s department was willing to go to avoid paying the family whose child they burned alive.

    The act of sleeping in a room about to be breached by a SWAT team constituted “criminal” conduct on the part of the infant. At the very least, the infant was fully liable for the nearly fatal injuries inflicted on him when Habersham County Sheriff’s Deputy Charles Long blindly heaved a flash-bang grenade – a “destructive device,” as described by the ATF, that when detonated burns at 2,000-3,500 degrees Fahrenheit – into the crib.

    Merely by being in that room, Bou-Bou had assumed the risk of coming under attack by a SWAT team. By impeding the trajectory of that grenade, rather than fleeing from his crib, Bou-Bou failed to “avoid the consequences” of that attack.

    In any case, Bou-Bou, along with his parents and his siblings, are fully and exclusively to blame for the injuries that nearly killed the child and left the family with more than one million dollars in medical bills. The SWAT team that invaded the home in Cornelia, Georgia on the basis of a bogus anonymous tip that a $50 drug transaction had occurred there is legally blameless.

    This is the defense presented by Haberham County Sheriff Joey Terrell and his comrades in their reply to a federal lawsuit filed last February on behalf of Bou-Bou Phonesavanh and his family.

    Can you believe that? It gets much worse from here. When photographic evidence of the baby’s horrific injuries were shown in court, the defendants denied that the photograph “accurately depicts the injuries allegedly sustained.” The statement goes on to the blame the parents and the baby because the damages caused to the child were “directly and proximately caused by the contributory and comparative negligence of the plaintiffs and their failure to exercise ordinary care.

  • Cleveland officer not guilty over deaths of two people shot at 137 times by police 

    A Cleveland police officer who stood on the hood of a car and fired his gun 49 times through the windshield at two unarmed passengers was on Saturday found not guilty on two counts of voluntary manslaughter.
    Officer Michael Brelo was also found not guilty of felonious assault, and discharged. He remains on unpaid leave.
    The federal Department of Justice announced a review of the decision. In a statement to which civil rights division head Vanita Gupta was one of three names attached, the DoJ said: “We will now review the testimony and evidence presented in the state trial … to collaboratively determine what, if any, additional steps are available and appropriate.” 

    In court in the morning, Cuyahoga County judge John P O’Donnell said prosecutors failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that bullets fired by Brelo were the cause of death of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell, or that Brelo had no fear for his own life during the volley of gunfire that ended a high-speed car chase on 29 November 2012.

    Regarding the shots fired from Brelo’s gun, O’Donnell said they could have been the ones causing death, but so could others fired by other officers before his shots from the hood of the vehicle.

    “I cannot find beyond a reasonable doubt which of the fatal wounds he caused,” O’Donnell said.

  • Fatal police shootings in 2015 approaching 400 nationwide 

    In an alley in Denver, police gunned down a 17-year-old girl joyriding in a stolen car. In the backwoods of North Carolina, police opened fire on a gun-wielding moonshiner. And in a high-rise apartment in Birmingham, Ala., police shot an elderly man after his son asked them to make sure he was okay. Douglas Harris, 77, answered the door with a gun.

    The three are among at least 385 people shot and killed by police nationwide during the first five months of this year, more than two a day, according to a Washington Post analysis. That is more than twice the rate of fatal police shootings tallied by the federal government over the past decade, a count that officials concede is incomplete.

    “These shootings are grossly under­reported,” said Jim Bueermann, a former police chief and president of the Washington-based Police Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving law enforcement. “We are never going to reduce the number of police shootings if we don’t begin to accurately track this information.”

War Camouflage

  • Housing Authority Forces Workers to Wear Orange Vests So NYPD Cops Don’t Shoot Them 

    In a testament to the “trigger-happy” nature of NYPD cops, the city Housing Authority has ordered all workers fixing elevators in NYC housing projects to wear construction orange vests.

    New policies were enacted by the Housing Authority after officers pulled a gun on a maintenance crew and fatally shot an unarmed man in a stairwell in a separate incident.

    According to a New York Post report:

    “[The elevator workers] were basically told the reason was because of recent incidents where cops had pulled a gun on a caretaker and a supervisor on the roof of a housing project,” a source said.

    “No one got shot, but they also referred to the cop shooting and were told, ‘We’re doing this for your protection. Your lives are in jeopardy, and we don’t want you to get hurt,’ ” the source said

    Pulling no punches, one Housing Authority supervisor allegedly told his crews that the new policy was due to NYPD cops being “trigger-happy.”

    In addition to wearing the bright orange vests, workers will now also be required to wear their official identification on a neck lanyard.

    “They said that in case a cop stops you, we don’t want you reaching around in back pocket That could be another reason for a cop to shoot you,” the source told the Post.

    According to a Housing Authority spokeswoman, the new policies were simply standard operating procedure regarding safety.

    “The issuance of the safety vests was one action taken to increase safety for elevator personnel through our ongoing ‘Safety in Motion’ initiative. Although not tied to any particular incident, we hope that this simple action will further protect these hardworking employees and allow them to be easily identified when needed,” the spokeswoman said.

    Regardless of the Housing Authority’s public statements, it’s quite clear that new measures are a response to the overall violent demeanor of the NYPD. More specifically, they are in response to the killing of unarmed father of two Akai Gurley in a dimly lit stairwell on November 20, 2014.

    When city agencies feel the need to have their employees wear brightly colored vests to be sure they aren’t killed by cops while on the job, you may just have a severe policing problem on your hands.

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    • Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars

    • The people know that they have created this farce and financed it with their own taxes (consent), but they would rather knuckle under than be the hypocrite.

      Factor VI – Cattle
      Those who will not use their brains are no better off than those who have no brains, and so this mindless school of jelly-fish, father, mother, son, and daughter, become useful beasts of burden or trainers of the same.

    • Mr. Rothschild’s Energy Discovery
      What Mr. Rothschild [2] had discovered was the basic principle of power, influence, and control over people as applied to economics. That principle is “when you assume the appearance of power, people soon give it to you.”

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