Behind The Woodshed Blogcaster – Nov. 1, 2015.

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At the Situationally Aware Action Oriented Intelligence Center

Of Evolutionary Engagement

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Care Less

  • United Airlines is sorry they forced a disabled man to crawl off flight to go to the bathroom

    A man with physical disabilities from cerebral palsy was forced to crawled off a plane at Reagan National Airport in Arlington VA last Tuesday, when United Airlines failed to provide him with an aisle seat, and someone to help him get off the plane.

    D’Arcee Neal says that when his 5-hour flight landed in Virginia, he really needed to use the restroom. His disability made using the bathroom on the plane difficult, and he’d already waited 15 minutes for the other passengers to get off the plane. Some kind of error by the airline or airport staff meant was no wheelchair to help the 29-year-old disembark and make his way to a suitable bathroom. He was told to wait for a wheelchair, but none came. After yet another 15 minutes or so, he decided to just crawled up the aisle from the middle of the plane to the doorway.

    “I expected them to ask to assist me, but they just stared,” he said.

    “I mean, it’s humiliating,” he told the local NBC station. “No one should have to do what I did.”

    “I was trying to get them to understand that this is why I don’t want to wait another 15 to 20 minutes,” he said.

    Mr. Neal was returning from San Francisco, where had been invited to speak about accessible transportation for people like himself, who have disabilities.


The Wanted Reality

  • ‘Upskirt’ Photos Legal In Massachusetts, Says Court

    A man who took cellphone photos up the skirts of women riding the Boston subway did not violate state law because the women were not nude or partially nude, Massachusetts’ highest court ruled Wednesday.

    The Supreme Judicial Court overruled a lower court that had upheld charges against Michael Robertson, who was arrested in August 2010 by transit police who set up a sting after getting reports that he was using his cellphone to take photos and video up female riders’ skirts and dresses.

    The ruling immediately prompted top Beacon Hill lawmakers to pledge to update state law.

    Existing so-called Peeping Tom laws protect people from being photographed in dressing rooms and bathrooms when nude or partially nude, but the way the law is written, it does not protect clothed people in public areas, the court said.

    “A female passenger on a MBTA trolley who is wearing a skirt, dress, or the like covering these parts of her body is not a person who is ‘partially nude,’ no matter what is or is not underneath the skirt by way of underwear or other clothing,” the court said in its ruling.

    State law “does not apply to photographing (or videotaping or electronically surveilling) persons who are fully clothed and, in particular, does not reach the type of upskirting that the defendant is charged with attempting to accomplish on the MBTA,” the court said.

    The SJC said that while such actions should be illegal, they are not, given the way state law is written.

  • Mass. upskirt photos now illegal as lawmakers keep their promise

    When Massachusetts’ highest court ruled Wednesday that taking so-called “upskirt” photos of women in public was legal under existing law, lawmakers made a promise: Not for long.

    That proved true. In fact, it took just a day for a bill outlawing “upskirting” to sail though the Massachusetts Legislature – a show of bipartisanship on an issue that had commanded national headlines.

    The bill, passed Thursday, was sent to Gov. Deval Patrick’s desk for his signature that night and was signed into law Friday morning, becoming effective immediately.

    “It shows they can do it when they want to,” the governor said of the swiftness of the legislative response, The Boston Globe reported.

  • The US National Grain Reserves Are Apparently Gone
    From a preparedness standpoint, if the supply chains of agricultural distribution become interrupted (or the crop cycle itself), there is little or no buffer for Americans to put bread on the table (or without significant cost).The United States government once held vast grain reserves in silos across the country. Today our national grain reserves have apparently vanished, primarily due to deregulated global markets and globalization, and the 1996 abolishment of our national system of holding grain in reserve – which was gradually depleted until 2008, when the USDA decided to convert all of what was left into its dollar equivalent.In other words, it’s all gone…

The Better Realty

  •   Greenland Blowing Away All Records For Ice Gain
    Greenland is blowing away all records for ice gain this year. They have gained almost 200 billion tons of snow and ice over the past two months, which is more than 50% above normal. The surface of the ice gained more than 200 billion tons during the previous 12 months.
  • NASA Study: Mass Gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet Greater than Losses

    A new NASA study says that an increase in Antarctic snow accumulation that began 10,000 years ago is currently adding enough ice to the continent to outweigh the increased losses from its thinning glaciers.

    The research challenges the conclusions of other studies, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2013 report, which says that Antarctica is overall losing land ice.

    According to the new analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed   to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008.

    “We’re essentially in agreement with other studies that show an increase in ice discharge in the Antarctic Peninsula and the Thwaites and Pine Island region of West Antarctica,” said Jay Zwally, a glaciologist with NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and lead author of the study, which was published on Oct. 30 in the Journal of Glaciology. “Our main disagreement is for East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica – there, we see an ice gain that exceeds the losses in the other areas.”  Zwally added that his team “measured small height changes over large areas, as well as the large changes observed over smaller areas.”


  • 16 times Obama said there would be no boots on the ground in Syria

    Since 2013, President Obama has repeatedly vowed that there would be no “boots on the ground” in Syria.

    But White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the president’s decision Friday to send up to 50 special forces troops to Syria doesn’t change the fundamental strategy: “This is an important thing for the American people to understand. These forces do not have a combat mission.”

  • US spokesman in Iraq: ‘Of course it’s combat’  
     U.S. troops in Iraq are in combat.
    That’s what the Baghdad-based spokesman for the American-led, anti-Islamic State coalition told reporters Wednesday.
    Pentagon officials have hesitated to label the role of U.S. forces against the militants in Iraq and Syria as combat in the week since Army Master Sgt. Joshua L. Wheeler was killed in a firefight during a raid on an Islamic State prison compound outside of Hawijah in the Kirkuk province. But Army Col. Steve Warren, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, was more direct Wednesday, speaking with reporters at the Pentagon through video conference.
    “We’re in combat,” Warren said of the roughly 3,500 U.S. troops in Iraq. “Of course it is; that’s why we all carry guns, that’s why we all get combat patches when we leave here, that’s why we all received imminent danger pay. So, of course it’s combat.”
    In June, as President Barack Obama announced he would send more U.S. troops into Iraq’s heavily contested Anbar province, he emphasized “American forces will not be returning to combat in Iraq.”

Disrespecting U.S.

  • Iraq: We Didn’t Ask for U.S. Ground Operations  

    he Iraqi government said Wednesday it didn’t ask for — and doesn’t need — the “direct action on the ground” promised by the Pentagon.

    The revelation came a day after Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said the U.S. may carry out more unilateral ground raids — like last week’s rescue operation to free hostages — in Iraq to target ISIS militants.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s spokesman told NBC News that any military involvement in the country must be cleared through the Iraqi government just as U.S.-led airstrikes are.

    “This is an Iraqi affair and the government did not ask the U.S. Department of Defense to be involved in direct operations,” spokesman Sa’ad al-Hadithi told NBC News. “We have enough soldiers on the ground.” 

Terrorist R U.S.

  • Vladimir Putin accuses US of backing terrorism in Middle East

    The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has launched a stinging attack on US policy in the Middle East, accusing Washington of backing terrorism and playing a “double game”.

    In a speech on Thursday at the annual gathering of the Valdai Club, a group of Russian and international analysts and politicians, Putin said the US had attempted to use terrorist groups as “a battering ram to overthrow regimes they don’t like”.

    He said: “It’s always hard to play a double game – to declare a fight against terrorists but at the same time try to use some of them to move the pieces on the Middle Eastern chessboard in your own favour. There’s no need to play with words and split terrorists into moderate and not moderate. I would like to know what the difference is.”

  • Whistleblower: 3000 U.S. Troops to be Sacrificed to start World War 3
    Obama wants World War 3 really, really bad.
    Not long ago, a U.S. fighter jet was sent over contested airspace near China’s newly constructed “islands”. Yesterday the US Navy sent a warship into contested waters. Now, according to an Ex-CIA Whistleblower, 3000 U.S. Troops are to be sent to Syria to support the Syrian “Rebels”… and to die at the hands of the Russian troops who are fighting ISIS.
    Why is Obama trying to start World War 3? Is the establishment afraid of the inevitable uprising that is boiling up in the U.S.A.? It wouldn’t be the first time that they used a false flag to incite patriotism and distract the U.S. public from reality.

Corporate Tenants

  • In Volkswagen emissions fraud scandal, proprietary software is the real villain

    “Proprietary software is an unsafe building material. You can’t inspect it.”

    Columbia University law professor Eben Moglen made that observation 5 years ago. It’s timely today, as the Volkswagen emissions fraud scandal–enabled by proprietary software–worsens.

    Volkswagen admitted this week it altered proprietary software on 11 million VW diesel cars, so they’d pass emissions tests when they were actually belching more smog.

    “The breadth of the Volkswagen scandal should not obscure the broader question of how vulnerable we are to software code that is out of sight and beyond oversight,” writes Jim Dwyer at the New York Times today.

  • Organic Farmers Suffer 77-fold Increase in Lost Revenue from GMO Contamination in Last 3 Years  

    Monsanto has many weapons in its arsenal when it comes to eliminating competition from non-GMO and organic farmers. After more than two decades of pushing their products onto US farmland with purposely flawed safety studies, the sheer presence of genetically modified crops poses an existential threat to the business of traditional and organic farming.

    A new report has come out showing the extraordinary costs that non-GMO and organic farmers incur from GMO contamination of their crops.

    “Results from the newest USDA survey indicate that of the farmers who chose to answer the question, 92 had experienced monetary loss between 2011 and 2014 averaging approximately $66,395 per farmer during that timeframe. Overall, GMO presence cost organic farmers at least $6.1 million over four years. This figure is 77 times that reported during the 2006 to 2011 timeframe—a staggering increase.”

    The USDA conducted its first survey this year of the financial losses suffered by non-GMO and organic farmers from contamination. They did so at the urging of rights groups such as Food and Water Watch, who conducted their own survey in 2013.

    That report found that one in three farmers had dealt with GMO contamination, causing many buyer rejections at a median cost of $4,500 each rejection. Considering the 77-fold increase in financial burden since previous years, it is clear that the biotech industry is pushing their competition toward financial ruin.

  • The Heavy Price Tag of GMO Contamination    

    Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its newest data on the organic sector, featuring results from a survey of organic farmers conducted earlier this year. The survey results confirm what organic farmers have been saying in recent years – while overall organic sales went up, the number of organic farms in the U.S. went down. It’s a pattern that’s sadly familiar in the world of conventional agriculture and one that is sparking serious discussion in the organic community.

    Buried fairly deep in the report is another result that makes it very clear that GMO crops are putting an unfair burden on organic farms across the country. GMO crops can contaminate non-GMO and organic crops through cross-pollination on the field or through seed or grain mixing post-harvest. And because the USDA organic standards require that organic farmers take preventative measures to minimize the risk of contamination, organic farmers end up bearing the burden of trying to avoid GMO presence from crops planted by their neighbors. But if their buffers or delayed planting regimens are unsuccessful at preventing GMO presence on their farm, they also bear the financial burden if they can’t sell their crop for a premium since there are no programs currently in place to compensate them for their losses.

    We know that these losses aren’t abstract threats, but actual problems suffered by organic farmers, because in 2013 we asked farmers themselves. We worked with the Organic Farmers Agency for Responsible Marketing (OFARM) to conduct our own survey of organic farmers, and one out of three respondents indicated that they had dealt with GMO contamination on their farm. Of those with contamination, over half had been rejected by their buyers for that reason with a median loss of $4,500 per rejection.

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