Behind The Woodshed 3rd year Anniversary at Real Liberty Media
At the Situationally Aware Action Oriented Intelligence Center
Of Evolutionary Engagement
The Victory Against You in the Silent War is Your Silence
In Whose Reality
Engaging in counter-propaganda tactics and related work
Real Anarchists Don’t Fix Potholes
- Masked anarchist workers repair potholes in Portland
The group has a Facebook page that shows masked workers repairing potholes in southeast Portland. The anarchists say state neglect has caused the streets to fall into disrepair and it’s up to residents to fix them.
Even anarchists enjoy smooth roads.
A group billing itself Portland Anarchist Road Care has taken to the streets, not to promote disorder but to repair the potholes that emerged during the city’s brutal winter.
The group has a Facebook page that shows masked workers repairing five potholes in southeast Portland.
In a message posted to the site, the anarchists say state neglect has caused the streets to fall into disrepair and it’s up to residents to fix them. The group says it also wants to correct the perception that anarchists are only interested in breaking windows and blocking traffic.
“We believe in community oriented direct action,” the group says on Facebook. “We believe the state cares more about funding a militarized police force to suppress free speech than caring for and repairing the roads.”
Big Data & Other Malwares
- Windows 10 Is Bringing Shitty Ads to File Explorer, Here’s How to Turn Them Off
— BEGIN POINTLESS RANT ABOUT HOPELESS SITUATION —
It’s just incredible how grim Windows is getting. Linux is still terrible on the desktop, and Apple has abandoned macOS to embrace their primary role as a mobile phone company. Even people who stuck with Apple through the near collapse in the 1990s (that’s when I ditched Apple) are now throwing in the towel. And now, with Windows 10, you get ads in the file system and you can’t use the latest chips with older versions of Windows if you want to receive updates!
Sure, you can turn the file system ads off for now. But if you want to see where this is going, try killing the Cortana process in the task manager as a so-called “Administrator” and watch what happens. Hint: It just respawns after a couple of seconds. haha Yes, there are ways to actually kill it, or, more accurately, make it appear to be killed, but is this how I want to spend my day? No.
I don’t believe the task manager. I know I’m not root on Windows machines. I just got over it and moved on.
So, never mind the surveillance on Windows 10. Just bake that in from the start. Trying to fix these issues is an exercise in futility, regardless of platform, anyway. . .
- Sony files to patent new contact lenses that can record video, store it, play it back – and adjust zoom, focus and aperture automatically
- The contacts, which only need to be worn on one eye, can be switched on and off by closing the eyelids
- They use sensors to detect the length of an eyelid closure – and distinguish blinks from voluntary movements
- Sony’s contacts also detect blinking while video is recording and can erase black frames that result from it
- The system is equipped to correct tilted images, get rid of blur and control focus and aperture
- Users can play videos by switching to display mode with a different eyelid movement set in advance
- For the First Time, Police Ask for Entire City’s Google Searches and the Court Says Yes
An Orwellian precedent is underway just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, which could be the downfall of internet freedom as we know it. Police in Edina, MN, have been granted a warrant requiring Google to determine everyone in an entire city who has used its search engine to look up a specific term and identify them to authorities.
The case doesn’t involve some massive terror plot to destroy an entire city or a high-level child trafficking ring. It is for a wire-fraud crime — worth less than $30,000. However, if Google caves to the warrant, it could set off a precedent that will undoubtedly be used by police across the country.
According to Ars Technica, investigators are focusing their probe on an online photo of someone with the same name of a local financial fraud victim. The image turned up on a fake passport used to trick a credit union to fraudulently transfer $28,500 out of an Edina man’s account, police said. The bogus passport was faxed to the credit union using a spoofed phone number to mimic the victim’s phone, according to the warrant application.
According to the warrant, Google must help police determine who searched for variations of the victim’s name between December 1 of last year through January 7, 2017.
The ominously worded warrant makes some chilling demands — all over a small fraud case.
A Google search, the warrant application says, as reported by Ars Technica, reveals the photo used on the bogus passport. The image was not rendered on Yahoo or Bing, according to the documents. The warrant commands Google to divulge “any/all user or subscriber information”—including e-mail addresses, payment information, MAC addresses, social security numbers, dates of birth, and IP addresses—of anybody who conducted a search for the victim’s name.
Independent journalist and public records activist, Tony Webster discovered the warrant and posted photos of it online. He has also expressed the grave reality surrounding such broad and sweeping dragnets — and their ability to sweep up innocent people in the process.
There’s a Limit ?
- DHS Oversight Says Social Media Scanning Program Is Badly Implemented And Agency Doesn’t Even Know If It Works
The DHS and CBP have both taken a healthy interest in travelers’ social media posts. The DHS head even suggested withholding this information would no longer be an option — that demands for account passwords were on the way. (Considering the government can search every person and their electronic devices at the border, demands for social media info would seem to be mostly redundant…) The underlying premise is this would give the US a jump on incoming terrorists by checking travelers’ posts against a list of troublesome terms.
This isn’t a welcome development, but the federal government continues to be its own worst enemy. You can’t fear what can’t be deployed competently. The DHS isn’t going to stop trying to hoover up social media posts as part of the vetting process, but as a just-released Inspector General’s report [PDF] points out, it may be several years before this vetting program operates in any sort of useful fashion. (via The Register)
[T]hese pilots, on which DHS plans to base future department-wide use of social media screening, lack criteria for measuring performance to ensure they meet their objectives. Although the pilots include some objectives, such as determining the effectiveness of an automated search tool and assessing data collection and dissemination procedures, it is not clear DHS is measuring and evaluating the pilots’ results to determine how well they are performing against set criteria.
It appears the DHS has only a vague grasp on what it’s looking for in a social media harvesting program. Combining this with a lack of useful metrics means the agency has been throwing algos at the wall and hoping one sticks. Of course, deciding which one has “stuck” also appears to be out of the agency’s technical reach.
USCIS started a pilot in December 2015 to screen the social media accounts of [REDACTED] and [REDACTED] applicants for [REDACTED] status. The pilot’s objective was to examine the feasibility of using social media screening with an automated search tool called [REDACTED] and determine whether useful information for adjudicating refugee applications could be obtained. Although the pilot had an objective, it did not define what would constitute a successful outcome…
As the OIG points out, the absence of any metric meant there was no way to know if the program was successful or not. All the DHS determined is that a redacted number of those screened had “confirmed social media accounts,” something the agency could likely have achieved without deploying the unnamed “automated search tool.” [Google?]
The next pilot program went live in April 2016. It, too, had the same lack of quantifiable results or stated goals.
The applicants were asked to voluntarily give their social media user names. USCIS then screened the user names against [REDACTED] using the [REDACTED] tool; USCIS also manually screened the user names against [REDACTED]. USCIS assessed identified accounts to determine whether the refugees were linked to derogatory social media information that could impact their eligibility for immigration benefits or admissibility into the United States. Using the tool and manual screening, USCIS identified [REDACTED] individuals with confirmed social media accounts and [REDACTED] individuals with unconfirmed accounts. In reviewing the pilot, USCIS concluded that the tool was not a viable option for automated social media screening and that manual review was more effective at identifying accounts.
USCIS said this tool delivered results with “low match confidence,” but did not bother measuring the program’s success or lack thereof against anything that might have helped choose an algorithmic successor. Meanwhile, ICE was testing its own search tool. Like the rest of the agencies, it also failed to implement anything that might have quantified the tool’s usefulness.
- Italy’s ex-intelligence chief given 10-year sentence for role in CIA kidnapping
A US State Department official on Monday “expressed concern” about what he called “a ‘climate of impunity’ over abuses by police and security forces” – in Egypt. The official, Michael Posner, warned that failure to investigate Egyptian state agents responsible for “cruel treatment of those in their custody” – including torture – creates “a lack of meaningful accountability for these actions”. Last week, I wrote that “I’ve become somewhat of a connoisseur of US government statements that are so drowning in obvious, glaring irony that the officials uttering them simply must have been mischievously cackling to themselves when they created them,” and this American denunciation of Egypt’s “climate of impunity” almost certainly goes to the top of the list.
After all, Michael Posner works for the very same administration that not only refused to prosecute or even investigate US officials who tortured, kidnapped and illegally eavesdropped, but actively shielded them all from all forms of accountability: criminal, civil or investigative. Indeed, Posner works for the very same State Department that actively impeded efforts by countries whose citizens were subjected to those abuses – such as Spain and Germany – to investigate them. Being lectured by the US State Department about a “culture of impunity” is like being lectured by David Cameron about supporting Arab dictators.
To see just how extreme the US “culture of impunity” is, consider the extraordinary 2003 kidnapping by the CIA of the Muslim cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr (Abu Omar), from the streets of Milan. Nasr, who in 2001 had been granted asylum by Italy from persecution in Egypt, was abducted by the CIA and then shipped back to Egypt where he was imprisoned for four years without charges and, he says, brutally tortured by America’s long-standing ally, the Mubarak regime.
Der Spiegel described just what a standard kidnapping it was: Nasr “was seized in broad daylight on the open street, pushed into a white van, taken to the Aviano military airport and then flown to Egypt via the US Ramstein Air Base in Germany”. Yesterday, an Italian appellate court sentenced the country’s former intelligence chief, Niccolò Pollari, to ten years in prison “for complicity” in that kidnapping:
The appeals court, in Milan, sentenced the former chief, Niccolò Pollari, to 10 years and his former deputy Marco Mancini to nine years for their role in the kidnapping of the cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr . . . . Three Italian secret service officials were also sentenced to six years each.
Mr. Nasr was kidnapped under the practice of ‘extraordinary rendition’, in which people suspected of being Islamic militants were abducted in one country and then transferred to another, often one where torture was common.
While Mr. Nasr was initially charged with membership in an illegal organization, the charges were ultimately dropped. He has since been released.
In other words, not only did the CIA kidnap Nasr and deliberately send him to an allied regime notorious for torture – a serious crime no matter who he was – but, as it turns out, he was guilty of absolutely nothing. What made him a kidnapping target was that, according to the New York Times, his “anti-American speeches and calls to jihad were resonating with young Muslim men who were attending his Islamic center”.
Despite being convicted of no crime (other than criticizing US aggression), he was imprisoned in Egypt without charges for four years until a Cairo court found his detention unfounded and ordered him released. Upon release, he said “he had been reduced to a ‘human wreck’ by torture he had undergone in a Cairo jail”. Nasr detailed the truly horrific kidnapping and torture he endured in a 2008 interview with Peter Bergen for Mother Jones, who used Italian court documents to write a comprehensive report on the case:
“A little before noon on February 17, 2003, Abu Omar was headed to his mosque, incongruously located inside a garage. He strolled down Via Guerzoni, a quiet street mostly empty of businesses and lined with high, view-blocking walls. A red Fiat pulled up beside him and a man jumped out, shouting ‘Polizia! Polizia!’ Abu Omar produced his ID. ‘Suddenly I was lifted in the air,’ he recalled. He was dragged into a white van and beaten, he said, by wordless men wearing balaclavas. After trussing him with restraints and blindfolding him, they sped away.
“Hours later, when the van stopped, Abu Omar heard airplane noise. His clothes were cut off and something was stuffed in his anus, likely a tranquilizing suppository. His head was entirely covered in tape with only small holes for his mouth and nose, and he was placed on a plane. Hours later he was hustled off the jet. He heard someone speaking Arabic in a familiar cadence; in the distance, a muezzin was calling the dawn prayer. After more than a decade in exile, he was back in Egypt. . . .
“Spreading his arms in a crucifixion position, he demonstrates how he was tied to a metal door as shocks were administered to his nipples and genitals. His legs tremble as he describes how he was twice raped. He mentions, almost casually, the hearing loss in his left ear from the beatings, and how he still wakes up at night screaming, takes tranquilizers, finds it hard to concentrate, and has unspecified ‘problems with my wife at home.’ He is, in short, a broken man.”
Yesterday’s 10-year sentence was based on a 2010 finding by an Italian judge that “the Italian secret service was most likely aware of, ‘and perhaps complicit in,’ the operation”. In 2009, an Italian criminal court found 23 individual CIA agents (including the Milan station chief, Robert Lady) guilty of kidnapping and other crimes, but was forced to try them in abstentia because the US (first under Bush and then Obama) pressured the Italian government to suppress extradition requests issued by Italian courts to compel those CIA agents to travel to Italy to stand trial.
This entire case reveals vital facts about the culture of impunity for high-level officials that prevails in the US even when they commit the most egregious crimes:
First, it is completely inconceivable that anything like what just happened in Italy could happen in the US. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the highest-level US officials had systematically committed felonies under the War on Terror rubric, both political parties, bolstered by a virtual consensus of the DC press, united to block all forms of accountability. A sacred rule in US political culture is that high-level state officials are to be shielded from all accountability, let alone criminal punishment, for how they abuse power.
In sum, US officials are not subject to the rule of law but reside above it. Neither party’s establishment nor their Adversarial Press Corps would ever tolerate the CIA Director being prosecuted for his crimes the way Italy’s just was. The defense offered to the press by Lady, the CIA’s Milan station chief – I was just following orders – is exactly what resonates in US elite circles as an excuse for all crimes: if the US government does it, then it is, by definition, shielded from legal punishment.
Second, both Bush and Obama officials continuously attempted to apply coercive pressure on Italian magistrates to obstruct this investigation, and when that failed, applied the same pressure to the Berlusconi and Prodi governments. Indeed, numerous diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks detail those efforts, and the Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi of L’Espresso described that campaign of obstruction in her book “Dossier WikiLeaks. Segreti Italiani.”
One 2006 cable describes a meeting between US Ambassador Ronald Spogli and Italy’s new Undersecretary to the Prime Minister Enrico Letta in which the US made not-so-subtle threats about the need of the Italian government to suppress extradition requests for the CIA agents:
In the context of keeping our excellent bilateral relationship on sound footing, the Ambassador explained to Letta that nothing would damage relations faster or more seriously than a decision by the GOI to forward warrants for arrests of the alleged CIA agents named in connection with the Abu Omar case. This was absolutely critical. Letta took note of this and suggested the Ambassador discuss the matter personally with Justice Minister Mastella, who Letta suggested should be invited to Washington for an early meeting with the Attorney General.
A 2007 cable describes plotting between the US and Italian governments to thwart the judicial investigation. They agreed that the US should “send something in writing to [the Italian justice official] explaining that the US would not act on extradition requests in the Abu Omar case if tendered”, which “could be used pre-emptively by the GOI to fend off action by Italian magistrates to seek the extradition of the implicated Americans”. In response, “the [US] Ambassador agreed that we should work to avoid having extradition requests forwarded.”
- Pentagon wants to declare more parts of world as temporary battlefields
Donald Trump’s administration is considering a military proposal that would designate various undeclared battlefields worldwide to be “temporary areas of active hostility”, the Guardian has learned.
If approved, the Pentagon-proposed measure would give military commanders the same latitude to launch strikes, raids and campaigns against enemy forces for up to six months that they possess in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.
The proposal would in effect unravel a highly controversial bureaucratic structure for launching lethal assaults, such as drone strikes and counter-terrorism raids, set up by Barack Obama’s White House.
Under Obama’s structure, known as the Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG), the president and his counter-terrorism adviser at the National Security Council played a substantial role in approving life-or-death strikes on suspected terrorists on undeclared battlefields such as Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia.
The Pentagon’s proposal would push those authorities down to military commanders during the 180-day lifespan of the temporary designations, according to an administration official familiar with the proposals, who described Obama’s PPG as, functionally, a dead letter.
Accordingly, the proposal would lower a threshold for ensuring the safety of civilians in such strikes, from a “near certainty” that civilians would not be harmed to “reasonable certainty”, similar to the standard on official battlefields.
It is unclear from the proposal, described by an administration official, how many countries would be designated temporary zones of active hostility. It is similarly uncertain how such designation would square with the War Powers Resolution, a much-eroded 1973 law that permits presidents to launch military hostilities for 60 days before needing congressional approval.
“It’s completely disregarding the War Powers Resolution,” said Mary Ellen O’Connell, an international law professor at the University of Notre Dame.
- 2 Years After This American Journalist Was Killed, Her ‘Conspiracy Theories’ on Syria are Proven as Facts
While Americans continue to be distracted by the discussion over Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, geopolitical tension around the proxy war in Syria has escalated to levels that could lead to regional warfare or open conflict between nuclear superpowers Russia and the United States, as described by military officials from multiple countries. US Army General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that a “no-fly zone” in Syria would lead to war with Russia, during a September 22 Senate committee hearing. Hillary Clinton also admitted similar risks of the military policy she supports for the Syria war, saying “you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians,” during a speech at a Goldman Sachs event.
The most recent attempt to stop the violence was a September 9 ceasefire negotiated by the United States and Russia. However that effort failed after US officials ended talks on October 3, claiming the Syrian military was killing civilians. The ceasefire agreement called for Russia to influence the Syrian government forces to stop fighting for control and for the US to influence rebel groups to separate from terrorist groups Al Nusra and Islamic State so they could be targeted by joint US-Russia military campaigns, a task which the US has failed to do since February 2016 despite US officials claiming to be in daily contact with rebel groups. The increased tension comes as the United States loses leverage in negotiations because of advances the Syrian government forces have made in regaining control over the country with the support of Russian military.
New information about the Syria proxy war continues show that actions by the United States have helped Al Qaeda and the Islamic State gain power in the country, with the goal of allowing the terrorists to overthrow the Syrian government. Evidence for this claim has been reported in small anecdotes by many international media outlets during the violent proxy war which has lasted almost six years, but American reporter Serena Shim dedicated her professional career to proving the United States and allies were purposely helping Al Qaeda and the Islamic State.
Serena Shim is an American citizen of Lebanese descent who was born near Detroit. Shim worked for Iranian broadcaster Press TV as a foreign correspondent covering wars, legitimate protests and fake uprisings in multiple countries. She reported live from Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Lebanon during the conflict since 2011, including in the critical region of Daraa during the beginning of protests, which are misrepresented by American media as the reasons for the fake civil war.
Serena Shim was killed two years ago on October 19, 2014, in Turkey while reporting on the intense battle for the Syrian border city of Kobani which was the focus of international media attention. She was 29 when she died.
The city of Kobani, which has one of Turkey’s major border crossings with Syria, because it was under threat of being completely captured by the Islamic State. The US was forced to respond because Islamic State grew out of control and threatened the border stability of Turkey, and it became the first major area bombed during the US campaign in Syria.
The US and Turkey were also arguing over Washington’s plan to arm Kurdish fighters on the Syrian side of the border and how to allow Kurds from Iraq to support the effort by crossing through Turkey. On the day she was killed, the US began operations to airdrop weapons to the Kurds. Less than two days later, Islamic State fighters released a video showing the capture of an American weapons cache airdropped near the city. The video received international media attention which led the Pentagon to admit the weapons mistakenly reached ISIL terrorists.
It is claimed she was killed in a car accident with a cement truck. However, physical details about the case raise questions about the official explanation by Turkish officials. There are also conflicting stories about the timeline after her death and before the family received her body, which indicate actions by the government of Turkey and possibly the United States.
Two days before her death, Serena Shim reported on live international television that Turkish intelligence services were planning to arrest her for questioning on the suspicion her being a spy. The day after her death, US officials denied releasing any information it had about whether the US government was aware of Turkey’s plans. State Department officials told WTF News it would be December 2017 before a Freedom of Information Act request could be completed for information on what actions were taken by them to assist her as a US citizen.
Serena Shim conducted an undercover investigation in Turkey and Syria lasting multiple months during 2012 as she spoke fluent Arabic. Her report aired on Press TV beginning in December 2012. The issues listed below are topics she reported on first or experienced in person before they were reported by major media outlets. US officials continue to hide her death and not a single major media outlet in America reported on her death at the time despite the fact that she was popular in America and the Middle East.
Debt Slaves or Lawful Money
- Arizona’s Silver And Gold Bill Undermines The Federal Reserve
An Arizona bill that would eliminate state capital gains taxes on gold and silver specie, and encourage its use as currency, passed the House today. Final approval of the legislation would help undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.
Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Tucson) introduced House Bill 2014 (HB2014) on Jan. 9. The legislation would eliminate state capital gains taxes on income “derived from the exchange of one kind of legal tender for another kind of legal tender.” The bill defines legal tender as “a medium of exchange, including specie, that is authorized by the United States Constitution or Congress for the payment of debts, public charges, taxes and dues.” “Specie” means coins having precious metal content.
In effect, passage of the bill would “legalize the Constitution” by treating gold and silver specie as money.
- U.S. Constitution Article I
The Congress shall have power . . . ;
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.
- The Banking Secret that Neither Economists Nor Laypeople Know … Which Makes the Fatcats Richer, While Destroying the Real Economy
Private Banks – Not the Government or Central Banks – Create 97 Percent of All Money
Who creates money?
Most people assume that money is created by governments … or perhaps central banks.
In reality – as noted by the Bank of England, Britain’s central bank – 97% of all money in circulation is created by private banks.
Bank Loans = Creating Money Out of Thin Air
But how do private banks create money?
We’ve all been taught that banks first take in deposits, and then they loan out those deposits to folks who want to borrow.
But this is a myth …
- US raises benchmark interest rate by 0.25%
The central bank voted to raise its key rate target to a range of 0.75% to 1%.
The Fed had been expected to raise rates after a robust February jobs report, solid pay gains, rising inflation and a dip in the unemployment rate to 4.7%.
Federal Reserve policymakers are expected to increase rates a total of three times this year.
The Fed aims to keep the cost of lending between banks within a specified band, which it does by buying or selling financial assets.
It is raising that band by a quarter of a percent.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen said the committee judged that a “modest increase” in the rate was appropriate “in light of the economy’s solid progress.”
“Even after this increase, monetary policy remains accommodative, thus supporting some further strengthening in the job market, and a sustained return to 2% inflation,” she added.
The decision was approved with a 9-1 vote. Neel Kashkari, the head of the Fed’s regional bank in Minneapolis, cast the dissenting vote.
This is the second time the Fed has raised rates in three months. It signalled that further hikes this year will be gradual.
We Said Bankers Not Bakers – Stealing The Dough
- Venezuela has a bread shortage. The government has decided bakers are the problem
Facing a bread shortage that is spawning massive lines and souring the national mood, the Venezuelan government is responding this week by detaining bakers and seizing establishments.
In a press release, the National Superintendent for the Defense of Socioeconomic Rights said it had charged four people and temporarily seized two bakeries as the socialist administration accused bakers of being part of a broad “economic war” aimed at destabilizing the country.
In a statement, the government said the bakers had been selling underweight bread and were using price-regulated flour to illegally make specialty items, like sweet rolls and croissants.
The government said bakeries are only allowed to produce French bread and white loaves, or pan canilla, with government-imported flour. However, in a tweet on Thursday, price control czar William Contreras said only 90 percent of baked goods had to be price-controlled products.
Two bakeries were also seized for 90 days for breaking a number of rules, including selling overpriced bread.
Juan Crespo, the president of the Industrial Flour Union called Sintra-Harina, which represents 9,000 bakeries nationwide, said the government’s heavy hand isn’t going to solve the problem.
“The government isn’t importing enough wheat,” he said. “If you don’t have wheat, you don’t have flour, and if you don’t have flour, you don’t have bread.”
He said the country needs four, 30-ton boats of wheat every month to cover basic demand.
The notion that bread could become an issue in Venezuela is one more indictment of an economic system gone bust. The country boasts the world’s largest oil reserves but it has to import just about everything else. Facing a cash crunch, the government has dramatically cut back imports, sparking shortages, massive lines and fueling triple-digit inflation.
Global Governance Mastery
- Shocker: little known ‘Financial Stability Board’ has huge climate deceit
A powerful international organization, the Financial Stability Board, includes a task force that is helping to coordinate numerous attacks on financial, investing, insurance and other firms … and their clients … in the name of preventing dangerous manmade climate change. By locking up centuries of fossil fuel reserves, the FSB’s army of agitators hope to benefit immensely – at the expense of ordinary people everywhere.
The vice-chair of the FSB’s climate disclosure task force says the world will have to spend $93 trillion over the next 15 years on “renewable, sustainable” energy and low-carbon infrastructure programs, as part of the Climate Crisis, Inc. plan to de-carbonize and de-industrialize the planet. Naturally, most of that money will flow to its crony corporatist allies. Their ultimate goal is to enrich and empower themselves … and fundamentally transform the global economy – to our detriment, and especially the detriment of the world’s poorest families – using our taxpayer, consumer, and investment, retirement, insurance and pension fund money!
- Whanganui River to gain legal personhood
The Whanganui River Claims Settlement Bill was passed today, giving the Whanganui River the same status as a legal person.
Te Urewera, the former national park, was granted the same status when Tūhoe settled with the Crown in 2014.
In Whanganui they have a saying: ‘Ko au te awa, ko te awa ko au’ – which translates into English as, ‘I am the river and the river is me.’
The river will now be the first in the world to have such a status – but for the iwi of the river, it recognises something they say they have always known.
Te Tai Hauāuru MP Adrian Rurawhe said some people might find the concept strange but it was completely normal for Māori.
“The river as a whole is absolutely important to the people who are from the river and live on the river.
“I’ll repeat something that [MP] Chester Burrows said in [Parliament] today – it’s not that we’ve changed our world view but people are catching up to seeing things how we see it.”
Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson said the new law would work just like a charitable trust or an incorporated society, with trustees for the river legally required to act in its best interest.
“There some precedents for it overseas – there had been a lot of talk that this is actually a really good way of ensuring that the particular resource is able to have representative to address the kind of environmental degradation that so many natural resources suffer from.”
Mr Rurawhe said iwi had been fighting for over 160 years to get this recognition for their river.
“From a Whanganui viewpoint the wellbeing of the river is directly linked to the wellbeing of the people and so it is really important that’s recognised as its own identity,” Mr Rurawhe said.
Mr Finlayson said the legislation recognised the deep spiritual connection between the Whanganui iwi and its ancestral river and created a strong platform for the river’s future.
- UN experts denounce ‘myth’ pesticides are necessary to feed the world
The idea that pesticides are essential to feed a fast-growing global population is a myth, according to UN food and pollution experts.
A new report, being presented to the UN human rights council on Wednesday, is severely critical of the global corporations that manufacture pesticides, accusing them of the “systematic denial of harms”, “aggressive, unethical marketing tactics” and heavy lobbying of governments which has “obstructed reforms and paralysed global pesticide restrictions”.
The report says pesticides have “catastrophic impacts on the environment, human health and society as a whole”, including an estimated 200,000 deaths a year from acute poisoning. Its authors said: “It is time to create a global process to transition toward safer and healthier food and agricultural production.”
The world’s population is set to grow from 7 billion today to 9 billion in 2050. The pesticide industry argues that its products – a market worth about $50bn (£41bn) a year and growing – are vital in protecting crops and ensuring sufficient food supplies.
“It is a myth,” said Hilal Elver, the UN’s special rapporteur on the right to food. “Using more pesticides is nothing to do with getting rid of hunger. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), we are able to feed 9 billion people today. Production is definitely increasing, but the problem is poverty, inequality and distribution.”
Elver said many of the pesticides are used on commodity crops, such as palm oil and soy, not the food needed by the world’s hungry people: “The corporations are not dealing with world hunger, they are dealing with more agricultural activity on large scales.”
- Alarming Levels of Glyphosate Contamination Found in Popular American Foods
Glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide linked to Monsanto’s Roundup Ready genetically engineered crops, has been found at alarming levels in a wide range of best-selling foods across the U.S., Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project announced Monday.
The results published in this report are from the first independent glyphosate residue testing of popular American food products performed using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), the regulatory recognized “gold standard” testing methods at an FDA registered laboratory.
These newest findings also come as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) postponed hearings last month, which were due to explore glyphosate’s link to cancer in humans. Last year, 17 leading global cancer experts from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) sparked a firestorm when they classified glyphosate as a class 2A “probable human carcinogen”.
On the heels of the growing controversy surrounding glyphosate’s safety, this unique testing project that started in 2015, has so far found alarming levels of glyphosate in General Mills’ Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Raisin Bran and Frosted Flakes and PepsiCo’s Doritos Cool Ranch, Ritz Crackers and Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips, as well as many more famous products at levels that present significant risks according to the latest independent peer-reviewed science on glyphosate.
- Monsanto attempt to block glyphosate from California cancer list tossed by judge
A California state court has dismissed a legal challenge by multinational agribusiness firm Monsanto that seeks to bar the state from adding glyphosate, the lead ingredient in the company’s Roundup herbicide, to a list of cancer-causing chemicals.
On March 10, Fresno County Superior Court Judge Kristi Culver Kapetan ruled against Monsanto’s challenge to a provision of Proposition 65, a California voter initiative passed in 1986 that requires the state’s governor to publicize a list of chemicals known to cause cancer.
The California Office of Environmental Health Health Hazard Assessment proposed to add glyphosate to the Proposition 65 list after the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified the chemical as a probable human carcinogen in 2015.
“The law requires that certain substances identified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) be listed as known to cause cancer under Proposition 65,” the state agency said in September 2015.
Glyphosate is a key ingredient of Monsanto’s flagship weedkiller well-known under the trade name ‘Roundup.’ It is one of the most heavily used herbicides in the world and is designed to go along with genetically-modified “Roundup Ready” crops, also produced by Monsanto.
Monsanto argued that adding glyphosate to the state list based on the World Health Organization’s decision was unconstitutional.
Kapetan said none of Monsanto’s challenges to the state provision were viable. In dismissing the case, she wrote that “there does not appear to be any chance that Monsanto or [its co-plaintiffs] can amend their complaints to state valid claims under any of the theories they can rely upon.”
- Fibrocysts and the Iodine Connection
Today, thyroid disease is epidemic. Eighty-percent of thyroid disease is experienced by women with at least fifty percent of cases going undiagnosed. Eight-four percent of women with thyroid disease have fibrocystic breasts. Is there a connection between low thyroid function and fibrocysts?
Thyroid disease is really iodine deficiency disease. Iodine is a trace mineral from food and is needed by every cell in the body. The body requires 12.5 g/day of iodine for full sufficiency. Of that, the thyroid takes 6 mg/day, the breasts take 5 mg, and the other glands, including the ovaries, grab about 2 mg.
In studies, when thyroid patients are supplemented with iodine, in the form of Lugol’s iodine (potassium iodide plus iodine), two things happen: Not only does thyroid function return – and the need for thyroid hormone is reduced or eliminated – but patients see their fibrocysts melt away. That’s because fibrocysts are partially developed follicles that have not ovulated. Follicles, including hair follicles, are direct targets of thyroid hormones; T3 and T4. This connection may explain why people with hypothyroidism often have the symptom of thinning hair and eyebrows. Bottom line: Iodine deficiency can lead to cysts in breasts and ovaries. When iodine is supplemented, fibroids and cysts reverse.
The cause of fibroids and cysts is also associated with estrogen dominance and liver overload. Estrogen dominance means estrogen is high and progesterone is low, due to an abundance of oil-based toxins (xenoestrogens) in our environment. Estrogen blocks thyroid hormone from binding to its receptor in every cell and thereby inhibits the absorption of iodine. These toxins also congest the liver.
Iodine is integral to health. It regulates the flow of energy in the body and restores the heat of metabolism. Iodine is a natural antibiotic, antiviral, and antifungal. It detoxifies by displacing toxic halogens (bromine, fluoride, chlorine). Oxidized iodine triggers cell apoptosis, or programmed cell death, to allow the body to cleanse itself naturally. Iodine is the trace element with power.
Other nutrients, such as antioxidants are known to help boost the immune system to dissolve cysts, such as lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, rosemary extract, green tea extract, whey protein, and turmeric, to name a few. Selenium is another trace mineral that is a powerful anti-oxidant for its role in T4 to T3 (bio-active form) conversion, as well as the detoxification of heavy metals such as mercury.
Cysts can be reversed using essential minerals, of which food is the best source. Food is medicine.
- Researchers in Germany say marijuana may treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) better than the popular drug Adderall.
Scientists studied 30 patients with ADHD who had minimal success with Adderall or Ritalin, another popular ADHD drug. After using medical cannabis, all 30 participants reported “improved concentration and sleep” and “reduced impulsivity.” At the end of the study, 22 of the subjects decided to ditch the pharmaceuticals they’d been taking for their symptoms and stick with pot.  The data is some of the first to frame medical marijuana as a viable treatment for the difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and forgetfulness associated with ADHD. Previous studies have shown that pot may help ADHD and chronic diseases, but there is minimal data on how it affects ADHD specifically.
Great news for people who can get their hands on some weed, because Adderall comes with some nasty side effects and the medication can be abused.
Although, to be fair, pot can make you forgetful, too. And to be fair, marijuana can be abused, too. That’s why so many people are quick to dismiss the health benefits of pot – because the very mention of it conjures up images of baked drop-outs eating Cheetos on the couch, like scenes out of “Half Baked.”
But it’s a lot more dangerous to “do” Adderall than pot.
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