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Glyphosate Detected in Deformed Piglets

Activist Post -

Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

In April, a Danish farmer called for a ban on glyphosate. For three years he had used non-GMO soy feed for his pig herds, but when he ran out, he ordered two tons of GM soy feed. His herdsman immediately told the farmer of diarrhea in the piglets and lack of appetite in the sows. He had not told the herdsman of the feed switch.

Worse, he began noticing an absurd amount of deformed piglets and reproductive problems in the sows.  Roundup is used on GMO soy shortly before it is used as pig feed.

But that's not all - he brought 38 malformed piglets to a laboratory. In a research project by German and Egypt Veterinarian doctors using ELISA testing, differing levels of glyphosate (aka Roundup herbicide, by Monsanto) concentrations were discovered in piglets born from sows eating genetically modified soy feed.

That research became "Detection of Glyphosate in Malformed Piglets," published in April, by open access journal Environmental & Analytical Toxicology.

All organs and tissues of the euthanized one-day old piglets contained glyphosate. Highest concentrations of glyphosate were found in the lungs, followed by the hearts. Lowest concentrations were found in muscle tissues. They noticed that the rate of malformations increased to one out of every 260 piglets born of sow when feeds contained 0.87-1.13 ppm glyphosate during the first 40 days of pregnancy. If feed soy contained 0.25 ppm glyphosate, then one of 1,432 piglets was malformed.

They postulated that glyphosate was reaching the piglets through the placenta of their dams. They draw from a 2010 study citing glyphosate's effects on embryonic and placental cells (in chickens), producing mitochondrial damage, necrosis and programmed cell death with doses far below those used in agricultural concentrations.

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In their summary, they write:
The detection of such glyphosate concentrations in these malformed piglets could be an allusion to the cause of these congenital anomalies. Further investigations are urgently needed to prove or exclude the role of glyphosate in malformations in piglets and other animals.Detected deformities in piglets from the picture in the study:

Spinal deformation, ear not formed, cranial deformation, cranium hole in head, born alive piglets with short legs and one eye not developed, one was born with one large eye and an elephant trunk with bone in it (!!!), elephant tongue, female piglet with testicles, piglet born with swollen stomach has disconnected fore gut and hind gut (intestines), and one malformed with swollen belly.

They conclude:
...glyphosate could reach the animals through food and feed and is able to pass the placental barriers. Further studies are warranty needed to confirm or exclude the role of glyphosate in malformation in piglets.Check out the actual number amounts of glyphosate found in the piglet organs because they were averaged out. But high maximum numbers were apparent in the livers, kidneys and brains too. You might also appreciate the other studies listed in their references.

When sticking to non-GMO soy feed, the farmer reports that his herds average more piglets, less piglet diarrhea, fewer ulcers, no bloat and better milk and appetite. Previously, he did not experience the amount of malformations that prompted him to go to the lab. He does not blame the farmers, but the chemical companies and government agencies for not taking safety matters seriously. He no longer minds paying extra for non-GMO feed - about $0.04 (USD) more per pound - which adds up, but better preserves his herds.

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at NaturalBlaze.com and ActivistPost.com. Like at Facebook.

Recent posts by Heather Callaghan:

Bloomberg Lies as Ukrainian Rebels Allegedly Down 2 Warplanes

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Are Ukrainian separatists foolish enough
to continue using Buk missile systems?
Tony Cartalucci
Activist Post

In Bloomberg's article, "Two Ukrainian Jets Shot Down, Three Dangerous Explanations," it claims two Ukrainian SU-25 ground attack warplanes were shot down by rebels over Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, stating:
Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesman told reporters in Kiev that two of its Sukhoi SU-25 fighter jets were shot down while flying at 5,200 meters (17,000 feet) over the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. The pilots ejected, and their whereabouts are unknown. At 17,000 feet, the planes would have been outside the range of the shoulder-fired missiles that the rebels contend are their only air-defense weapons. The planes would, however, be in range of a surface-to-air missile such as the Buk, which is suspected to have been used to shoot down Malaysian Airlines flight MH-17 on July 17.Bloomberg's "three dangerous explanations" are patently false.

They first asserts that the rebels have been lying about the weapons they have access to, claiming (emphasis added):
This possibility would mean that the rebels do, in fact, have missiles capable of hitting a plane at high altitude. The evidence mustered so far that the Malaysia Air plane was shot down at 33,000 feet over rebel-held territory has proven a major problem. “The rebels are clearly having a very difficult time denying having access to such equipment,” says Reed Foster, a defense analyst at IHS Jane’s in London. The rebels have said they have shoulder-fired weapons known as MANPADS, but Foster says shooting down a plane at 17,000 would be “far outside the capacity” of those weapons.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
However, Jane's itself published an article titled, "Ukraine claims Malaysian airliner was shot down in its territory," in which it claimed (emphasis added):
The shooting down of a Ukrainian air force An-26 transport plane in Luhansk province on 14 July has also raised questions about more advanced systems potentially being operated by the separatists. The An-26 military aircraft was hit while flying at cruising altitude (6,500 m), out of the range of most MANPADS. This suggests the separatists have either gained access to more advanced systems - such as the 9K38 Igla-S (SA-24) MANPADS, 96K6 Pantsyr-S1 self-propelled air defence systems, or 9K37 Buk (SA-11) self-propelled surface-to-air missile systems - or that the aircraft was downed by a missile fired by a Russian system over the border. Moscow denied any involvement in that incident. In other words, there are MANPADS capable of hitting Ukrainian SU-25 warplanes and even higher flying military transport planes (up to 6,500 m) - without possessing weapons like Buk missile systems that could reach 33,000 feet where MH17 was flying, or higher.

Bloomberg's other two "explanations," include Russia firing the missiles from within their territory - which like all claims by the Western media lack any evidence at all to back them up - and that the Ukrainian government is lying, which is of course plausible since the Ukrainian government already irrationally claims "Russia" shot down MH17 on purpose as an act of malice state-sponsored terrorism. But while Ukraine lying about the incident is possible, the fact that man-portable missile systems rebels may possess could target and take down the SU-25s at the altitudes they were allegedly flying at, provides the most credible "explanation," and not surprisingly, the explanation Bloomberg intentionally omitted from its propaganda.

With all that is at stake amid the current politically-motivated climate surrounding the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, would Ukrainian separatists still be using Buk missile systems if they indeed had them to begin with? Would the Russians still be assisting them in their use - a necessity the West has unanimously declared would be required for separatists to deploy the Buk missile system in the first place? Or were Ukrainian separatists using the highly capable MANPAD systems Jane's alluded to in their recent analysis of aircraft shot down at higher altitudes than the two SU-25s were flying at? Without actual evidence provided by Bloomberg or the less than credible Ukrainian regime they are citing, commonsense suggests the latter.

Tony Cartalucci's articles have appeared on many alternative media websites, including his own at 
Land Destroyer Report, Alternative Thai News Network and LocalOrg.  

Read other contributed articles by Tony Cartalucci here.

Human Rights Court Condemns Poland for CIA Torture Black Site

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image sourceJoe Wright
Activist Post

The CIA global torture network is coming under much-needed revived scrutiny from the latest revelation that a secret prison existed in a Polish forest for the purpose of rendition and interrogation of suspected terrorists.

As the video report below highlights, the European Court of Human Rights has concluded that Poland fully cooperated with the establishment of the site and subsequently failed to investigate prisoner claims of torture while being held there.

Two men at the heart of the ruling were essentially kidnapped from Thailand in 2002 and brought to the site. The court's ruling is the very first to issue a condemnation and financial penalty to a country involved in the program. The report also aknowledges that Poland housed one of the most important of the early rendition sites, and therefore might spark a wave of rulings against other countries who cooperated - believed to be more than 50 in number.

While the court's ruling is symbolically important, until those who orchestrated the global program of kidnapping and torture are brought to justice, this might become an ongoing piece of political theater that actually covers up more than it exposes.

Transcript by Erik Shute 

The European Court of Human Rights ruled Poland violated an international treaty by hosting secret CIA prisons within its borders.

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"The Strasbourg based court found Poland cooperated in the 'preparation and execution of CIA rendition, secret detention and interrogation operations on its territory'".​ (Via euronews)

Among those under secret detention were Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, two alleged terrorists from Sudan who brought the case to the human rights court. BBC reports both men are currently held at Guantanamo Bay. They claim they were taken to a secret CIA prison, or black site, in a Polish forest and subjected to treatment which amounted to torture. (Via Getty Images)

The court's findings state:

- The two men were taken from Thailand to the Polish black site in 2002.
- Poland knew about the operations and did nothing to protect the human rights of prisoners.
- The court also found Poland failed to launch any investigation into the men's claims. (Via European Court of Human Rights)

Now Poland will pay more than 300-thousand dollars to the two terror suspects for violating their rights.

What's more, lawyers from al-Nashiri told The Wall Street Journal they plan on using the court's ruling as a defense when their client stands trial.

But this case is about more than penalties and legal defenses. This is the first ruling of its kind to condemn the CIA’s covert operation. Al Jazeera, along with other news outlets, believe this could set a new precedent and convict more countries.

The new judgment crystallizes a decisive moment at which, for countries complicit in the 'rendition, detention, interrogation' program, it has become absurd to deny involvement.” (Via Al Jazeera)

The ruling has already made Poland reel in response. RT quotes a presidential spokesperson as saying,

"The ruling of the tribunal in Strasbourg on CIA jails is embarrassing for Poland and is a burden both in terms of our country's finances as well as its image." (Via RT)

And what about the images of the U.S. and the CIA?  The New York Times reports the U.S. is outside the court's jurisdiction, but this could help President Obama address legal questions that arose after the program ended. Remember: in his first week in office, the president shut down the detainee program and black site operations. (Via Getty Images)

The CIA black site in Poland been widely reported on since 2005. Since then, information about its history and use have seeped from Washington. The Washington Post wrote about the Polish prison just last January saying,

“The CIA prison in Poland was arguably the most important of all the black sites created by the agency after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. It was the first of a trio in Europe that housed the initial wave of accused Sept. 11 conspirators.” (Via The Washington Post)

RT cites reports claiming there are 54 countries worldwide who have offered to help the CIA detain, transport, and interrogate suspects since the September ​11th attacks. On Thursday, Amnesty International called for these supporting countries to be investigated as well.

Recently by Joe Wright:

Trial Scheduled Over Missing Surveillance Tapes of Oklahoma City Bombing

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Fox 13

"Jesse Trentadue is suing the CIA and FBI, demanding the agencies release surveillance video of the bombing that killed 168. But the federal government claims the tapes don’t exist anymore." ...

"The trial begins Monday and is expected to wrap up Wednesday. It is anticipated that the federal judge handling the case will issue a ruling in writing at a later date."

Full lawsuit can be read here:

Smart Homes Reveal User Behavior, Prone to Hacks: Study

Activist Post -

Kevin Samson
Activist Post

Our Internet-driven world filled with interconnected smart gadgets and computing applications is making us vulnerable to potentially life-changing hacks and tracking. Not only are modern cars open to being hacked, but also boats, planes, and GPS-driven weapons. (Source)

The modern smart home So, perhaps you think you'll ditch the modern car, get rid of the smartphone, limit travel and hunker down safe and cozy in your home? Well, unfortunately, if your house is filled with modern appliances and electronics, it could potentially open you up for a nightmare experience. This is the subject of a new European study that will be presented at the ACM Conference on Security and Privacy in Wireless and Mobile Networks in Oxford.

The smart home market is exploding even as news about pervasive surveillance and concerns over Agenda 21 continue to mount.

According to a report from Market Watch, the global numbers are staggering; the report also notes how government regulations will promote future growth.

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The following points are taken from a full report that you can read here. Emphasis mine:
  • APAC smart homes market is expected to have a stable growth in coming years, with the revenue growth estimated to reach $9.23 billion by 2020, at an estimated CAGR of 16.73% from 2013 to 2020.
  • The total European smart homes market is expected to reach $13.81 billion by 2020 at a double digit CAGR from 2013 to 2020.
  • The major drivers for the European smart homes market are the regulatory initiatives and the mandatory measures taken by European Union (EU), and the comfort and the security ensured by the smart homes systems.
  • The major restraints for the European smart homes market are the lack of standardization and high costs of the smart homes systems.
  • The growth of the Americas smart homes market in the coming years is expected to be remarkable, with the revenue growth estimated to reach $22.4 billion by 2020, at an estimated CAGR of 17.62% from 2013 to 2020.
  • China, currently, leads the market share for APAC smart homes as this region has the maximum adoption. South East Asia countries from Others market are the emerging market for smart homes and are poised for the highest growth rate amongst all the countries followed by China growing at a CAGR of 17.50% from 2013-2020. It is estimated that the Others market will increase at a CAGR of 19.13% from 2013 to 2020.
As you can see from the third bullet point, security is one of the main selling points of this massive rollout. However, vulnerabilities are being exposed which could undermine this aspect of the initiative.

IT security expert Christop Sorge and a team of researchers at Saarland University in Germany believe in the benefits of smart homes, so they have undertaken an examination of how to provide better protection against the negative consequences of the massive amount of data that is gathered by these systems.

Here is how they describe the current reality:
"Many of the systems do not provide adequate security against unwanted third-party access and therefore threaten the privacy of the inhabitants," says Sorge. For the purposes of their study, the researchers took on the role of a malicious attacker. "Using a simple mini-PC no bigger in size than a packet of cigarettes we eavesdropped on the wireless home automation systems (HASs) of two volunteers and were thus able to determine just how much information a conventional wireless HAS reveals about its user," explains Sorge. No other information about the users was available to the research group. The result: "Non-encrypted systems provide large quantities of data to anyone determined enough to access the data, and the attacker requires no prior knowledge about the system, nor about the user being spied on," says Professor Sorge. "The data acquired by the attacker can be analysed to extract system commands and status messages, items which reveal a lot about the inhabitants' behavior and habits. We were able to determine absence times and to identify home ventilation and heating patterns," explains the expert in legal informatics. The analysis enabled the research group to build up profiles of the inhabitants. Even systems that use encryption technology can supply information to third parties: "The results indicate that even when encrypted communication is used, the number of messages exchanged is enough to provide information on absence times," says Sorge. Potential attacks can be directed against the functionality of the system or the privacy of the inhabitants. "An attacker with malicious intent could use this sort of information to plan a burglary," says Sorge. (emphasis added) [Source]If we have learned anything, we have learned that there are gaping security holes in nearly every modern computing application. As a matter of personal privacy and data protection it is concerning enough, but as the Internet of Things expands to include everything - even our own bodies as form of identification and access - the potential dangers are becoming as exponential as the advancement of the technology itself.

Until the proper protections are proven in real-world conditions, we should be doing all we can not to buy into these gadgets and conveniences. We must also refuse any mandatory measures to impose this smart world upon us.

image source

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Purchasing Power: Good Luck Getting Out of THIS

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Rodney Johnson
Activist Post

As I age, I’m fighting to stay healthy (while trying to keep whatever purchasing power I have left). My battle is not life-threatening or even serious, but it involves some chronic leg pain that has become more of a hassle every day. Our confusing health-care industry just makes me feel worse.

This year, I exchanged my high-deductible, health-savings account insurance plan for one with more benefits (and greater premiums), because of the Affordable Care Act. So I figured this was the year to address my issues once and for all.
That being said, I’m still intent on managing the costs associated with my care, even though I’m not responsible for paying medical costs beyond a pre-set copay, no matter what the costs.

I’m trying to fight the moral hazard of having limited financial liability but still able to rack up excessive medical expenses. This seems like the path that all of us should take in order to reign in the crazy costs of health care.

However, in my efforts to manage these expenses, I’m failing miserably… and I am sure I am not alone.

The system is a complete mess — not least because we play the dual roles of consumer and patient.

Purchasing Power Shouldn’t be Tricky

The billing system is a riddle, at best. There seems to be no relationship between the actual cost of a procedure or treatment and what we end up paying. It seems impossible for a patient to know in advance what any of it will end up costing, even if he shopped around like a discerning consumer.

Besides, even if this super-sleuth of a patient was able to determine the cost of care ahead of time, what could he do about it? How exactly are we supposed to shop around and try to bring some rationale to this system? So far, I’ve been unable to solve this puzzle.

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My own health issue has eluded diagnosis, leading to a number of MRIs and other tests.

In past years when I had such tests, I’d tell the provider I was self-insured. Given that my deductible was five figures, I was definitely going to pay the entire cost. On this basis, I negotiated the price of MRIs from $1,500 down to $300. That seemed reasonable.

But now that I have a super-duper insurance policy, I can no longer claim self-insurance. My power to negotiate (to the extent it ever existed) is gone. I simply hand over my card and pay the bill, which, for an MRI, is $150.

One might expect the additional cost covered by my insurance would be near $150, bringing the total cost to the $300 that I paid before as a self-pay — but I’m not so sure. A recent charge for an MRI to my insurance company was $2,200. I’ve not seen the discount yet, but I don’t think it will be $1,900.

That charge left me a bit shaken, but I was really taken aback by the next phase of the process…

Because I was not getting medical answers around town, my primary-care doctor suggested I go to one of several famous diagnostic centers. I called my insurance company and quickly found that choosing one in state would greatly reduce my costs, as well as the cost to the insurance company.
OK, sign me up!

Being a fairly organized person, I arrived at my appointment fully prepared. I met with my doctor and presented a binder containing a timeline of my symptoms, treatments, tests and previous doctors visits. After an hour and a half of review, she rendered her informed opinion — apparently, I’m just built this way. From a medical standpoint, there was nothing wrong with me.

Her solution: I should instead investigate a pain-management regimen. I left her office disappointed because it didn’t give me a path toward resolution of my issue. Her suggestion was simply to find a way to live with it. But my disappointment turned to fury when I got the $735 bill.

The insurance company’s negotiated rate was $400. No tests were performed, and this doctor didn’t consult with others. The $400 cost was simply for spending 90 minutes with a person who, at the end of the process, had no idea what the problem was. My cost for this was just my co-pay of $20, the rest was paid by the insurance company.

The fact that I personally paid so little might seem like a win for me, but it’s not. I still have no way to manage the overall expenses, and neither does anyone else, as far as I can tell. While my co-pay might only be $20, my premium can always be ratcheted higher when I renew — not because of my individual procedures, but because the collective cost of care is growing.

The process was starting to feel like a game — and one that I was losing. Then things got even more confusing.

I was referred to a chronic-pain specialist in my hometown. I was skeptical, but after meeting with him, I was pleased with his approach and his methods.

I think I’ve found a good physician that can help me get to the cause of my issues, which is great! What I struggle with is the crazy — and costly — path to treatment.

At my first appointment, I was given 22 pages of forms to fill out. Thirteen of them were financial documents. I signed that I’m responsible for all costs. I noticed that even if my insurance company declined to pay, I would still have to pay, even though I verified this doctor is in my network.

If my injury were the result of an accident, the doctor would be first in line to be paid from any recovery in a lawsuit, if he had not yet been paid.

It was hard to tell if I was going to a doctor or buying a house. It’s also a sad commentary on the level of fraud and abuse in our medical system by patients. And it’s a strange evolution of the health-care industry that doctors have to become lawyers to protect themselves and guarantee payment of their fees.

In the end, my doctor prescribed a minor procedure that was to be done at an outpatient facility. I called my insurance company and was informed the surgery center was out of network.

I called the center the next day to cancel so that I could find an in-network provider (trying to keep the costs down for everyone) and was informed by a customer service representative that the surgery center would accept my low deductible. They would send the bill, as usual, to my insurance company, she said, and they would accept whatever they received from my provider as full payment and write off the rest.

When I asked if I could get that in writing, she laughed and pointed out that it wouldn’t change the cost to the insurance company — they still pay only the portion that is derived from outpatient pricing.

From my standpoint, it seemed very convoluted.

So now I’m left with physician and treatment bills I can’t negotiate, but am not responsible for paying, either.

I’ve signed over any proceeds from a lawsuit regarding my injury to cover my care, even though no lawsuit exists.

And I’m relying on the word of a customer service representative that many of the forms I’ve signed don’t matter, since the billing will be handled differently.

It’s impossible to navigate this system with any clarity!

Now that health coverage is mandatory, we’ve added millions of people to this insane system. It’s hard to see how this is going to make things better.

We have yet to simplify the process of providing care and paying for services rendered. Instead, we’ve only succeeded in making the purchase of insurance more straightforward.

Having more people covered is a positive for the country (although the path to this coverage is debatable), but until we address the underlying issues surrounding the provision of care and how we pay for it, things will simply get worse as Americans get older.

While all of this makes me shake my head, at least we can use the fact that boomers are aging, and requiring more health care, to our advantage in some ways. Adam O’Dell, the chief investment analyst for Boom & Bust, has provided subscribers with some great gains in this space over the past two years. Now that’s making lemonade out of lemons!

Rodney Johnson works closely with Harry Dent to study how people spend their money as they go through predictable stages of life, how that spending drives our economy and how you can use this information to invest successfully in any market. Rodney began his career in financial services on Wall Street in the 1980s with Thomson McKinnon and then Prudential Securities. He started working on projects with Harry in the mid-1990s. He’s a regular guest on several radio programs such as America’s Wealth Management, Savvy Investor Radio, and has been featured on CNBC, Fox News and Fox Business’s “America’s Nightly Scorecard, where he discusses economic trends ranging from the price of oil to the direction of the U.S. economy. He holds degrees from Georgetown University and Southern Methodist University. This article first appeared at Economy and Markets

Stanford biologist warns of early stages of Earth's 6th mass extinction event

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James Temple imageActivist Post

The planet's current biodiversity, the product of 3.5 billion years of evolutionary trial and error, is the highest in the history of life. But it may be reaching a tipping point.

In a new review of scientific literature and analysis of data published in Science, an international team of scientists cautions that the loss and decline of animals is contributing to what appears to be the early days of the planet's sixth mass biological extinction event.

Since 1500, more than 320 terrestrial vertebrates have become extinct. Populations of the remaining species show a 25 percent average decline in abundance. The situation is similarly dire for invertebrate animal life.

And while previous extinctions have been driven by natural planetary transformations or catastrophic asteroid strikes, the current die-off can be associated to human activity, a situation that the lead author Rodolfo Dirzo, a professor of biology at Stanford, designates an era of "Anthropocene defaunation."

Across vertebrates, 16 to 33 percent of all species are estimated to be globally threatened or endangered. Large animals – described as megafauna and including elephants, rhinoceroses, polar bears and countless other species worldwide – face the highest rate of decline, a trend that matches previous extinction events.

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Larger animals tend to have lower population growth rates and produce fewer offspring. They need larger habitat areas to maintain viable populations. Their size and meat mass make them easier and more attractive hunting targets for humans.

Although these species represent a relatively low percentage of the animals at risk, their loss would have trickle-down effects that could shake the stability of other species and, in some cases, even human health.

For instance, previous experiments conducted in Kenya have isolated patches of land from megafauna such as zebras, giraffes and elephants, and observed how an ecosystem reacts to the removal of its largest species. Rather quickly, these areas become overwhelmed with rodents. Grass and shrubs increase and the rate of soil compaction decreases. Seeds and shelter become more easily available, and the risk of predation drops.

Consequently, the number of rodents doubles – and so does the abundance of the disease-carrying ectoparasites that they harbor.

"Where human density is high, you get high rates of defaunation, high incidence of rodents, and thus high levels of pathogens, which increases the risks of disease transmission," said Dirzo, who is also a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. "Who would have thought that just defaunation would have all these dramatic consequences? But it can be a vicious circle."

The scientists also detailed a troubling trend in invertebrate defaunation. Human population has doubled in the past 35 years; in the same period, the number of invertebrate animals – such as beetles, butterflies, spiders and worms – has decreased by 45 percent.

As with larger animals, the loss is driven primarily by loss of habitat and global climate disruption, and could have trickle-up effects in our everyday lives.

For instance, insects pollinate roughly 75 percent of the world's food crops, an estimated 10 percent of the economic value of the world's food supply. Insects also play a critical role in nutrient cycling and decomposing organic materials, which helps ensure ecosystem productivity. In the United States alone, the value of pest control by native predators is estimated at $4.5 billion annually.

Dirzo said that the solutions are complicated. Immediately reducing rates of habitat change and overexploitation would help, but these approaches need to be tailored to individual regions and situations. He said he hopes that raising awareness of the ongoing mass extinction – and not just of large, charismatic species – and its associated consequences will help spur change.

"We tend to think about extinction as loss of a species from the face of Earth, and that's very important, but there's a loss of critical ecosystem functioning in which animals play a central role that we need to pay attention to as well," Dirzo said. "Ironically, we have long considered that defaunation is a cryptic phenomenon, but I think we will end up with a situation that is non-cryptic because of the increasingly obvious consequences to the planet and to human wellbeing."

The coauthors on the report include Hillary S. Young, University of California, Santa Barbara; Mauro Galetti, Universidade Estadual Paulista in Brazil; Gerardo Ceballos, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico; Nick J.B. Isaac, of the Natural Environment Research Council Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in England; and Ben Collen, of University College London.

Written by Bjorn Carey. For more Stanford experts on ecology and other topics, visit Stanford Experts.

University of Texas Student Arrested for Terrorism Felt Austin was Safest Place for Muslims

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UT student suspected of terrorism believed in “balance”

Julie Wilson
Activist Post

In mid-June, two Austin men were arrested on charges related to terrorism, one of them being University of Texas student, Rahat Khan, and the other, Michael Wolfe, also known as Faruq.

Both men, 23, were charged with “conspiring to provide material support to terrorists,” according to the Department of Justice.

The criminal complaint against Khan alleges that he conspired to “recruit people to travel overseas to support terrorist activities including committing violent jihad,” and that he used the Authentic Tauheed Paltalk chat room to locate these recruits.

Authentic Tauheed is an online chat room used for listening and taking notes on lectures discussing Islam.

The documents accuse Khan of connecting an informant with co-conspirators who discussed the secret source’s “passport and possible routes to move [the source] into Somalia to join al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated, [terrorist organization],” as reported by KXAN.

FBI officials also allege they met with Khan, and in an unrecorded meeting the suspect said, “he could not wait to spill blood.”

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Allegations against Wolfe include that he intended to travel to the Middle East to help “radical groups fighting in Syria,” which led to his arrest while he and his family were boarding a plane to Denmark that was departing from Houston.

The federal complaint alleges Wolfe said he told an undercover agent that he was practicing “Cross-Fit” so that he would be fit for jihad.

Friends say UT student was devoted to his family

Other than information provided to the media by FBI arrest affidavits, little has been known about the two men. However, a recent interview with one of the suspect’s close friends, and acquaintance, Ryen Burns, sheds light on the life the men led, detailing relationships and beliefs that were important to them.

Khan’s close friend, who wishes to remain anonymous due to previous visits by the FBI, said he met Khan about two years ago at the North Austin Muslim Community Center, which functions as a place of worship and offers a chance for Muslim brothers and sisters to get to know each other.

When news of the arrest broke, the Central Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force refused to provide details regarding the men’s relationship and if the two cases were related; however, it’s now been confirmed that they did in fact know each other.

Sources say the Muslim community in Austin is very tight knit, and the two men shared mutual friends as well as attended the same mosque.

When asked about their reaction to the charges brought against their friends, both admitted they were quite shocked and skeptical of the allegations.

Khan’s close friend, who knew his family and worked for his father in the construction business, said he “spent time with him [Khan] in the most private of settings, when there was no one else around, and not once did he ever try to recruit me for al shabab or get me to go to Somalia.”

In fact, one of the most important concepts Khan learned during his time as a Muslim was “balance.” He constantly spoke of the importance of balance and avoiding extremism in any religion, they said.

According to the friends, while engaging in conversation about world events, including America’s foreign policy, and the fighting between Gaza and Israel, Khan stood up for America’s liberties, stressing that Muslims have a far better livelihood in the United States than in many other countries.

About a year and a half ago while they were driving around, Khan reportedly told friends that he felt Austin, Texas was the safest place in the world to be Muslim.

“Does that sound like the views of an extremist? When we’re in the car and nobody else is around?

“It doesn’t to me, and that’s why I have a hard time believing it,” said the suspect’s close friend.

“Because the word Muslim is thrown in there, all of a sudden there is an intention, and a motive, and there’s conspiracy,” added Burns.

“I just don’t buy it.”

If the suspects were trying to leave the country, and were perceived as a threat, why not just revoke their citizenship and prevent them from returning? asked the friends.

Since their arrest, both men initially pleaded not guilty, but later in a second hearing that plea was reversed.

The guilty plea was the “path of least resistance,” said the friend, adding that Khan most likely wanted to save his family the expenses and heartache of a trial.

“He knows he looks super Muslim, he’s brown in America in 2014 and he has charges on him.

“With all of the current foreign affairs going on in the Muslim world, and America’s foreign policy and domestic policy, I think they [FBI] misunderstood” and what was said in the Paltalk chat room was taken out of context, they said.

On the day Khan and Wolfe were arrested, nearly ten friends of the men received visits from the FBI, questioning them about their relationships to the suspects and whether or not they had plans to travel.

One of the friends questioned by agents said the FBI made up lies about him, and spread them around in an attempt to intimidate others during the interrogations.

“They said I was an al-Qaeda recruiter shipping people in crates.”

Despite his unpleasant interaction with the FBI, he surprisingly defended their mission.

“I think that these agents are trying to do their job, be it by any means necessary,” he admitted.

“I think they’re trying to protect the homeland, but that doesn’t mean they’re going about it the right way. They might be sincere, but I believe they’re sincerely wrong.”

High profile Austin attorney, Joseph A Turner, who has represented clients like Willie Nelson, was unable to provide any information on Khan’s case, suggesting there may be something to tell in a few months.

Kahn is currently being held at the Bastrop County Jail, and Wolfe at the Caldwell County Jail. Sentencing for the two men has yet to be scheduled.

Recently by Julie Wilson:
BIO: Julie Wilson is an Austin-based investigative journalist whose articles have been cited on sites such as Natural News, Infowars, Ben Swann and The Liberty Beat. Follow me on Twitter @JulieJay2904! If you have any tips please email Julie.Wilson2034@gmail.com.

McDonald's Stands By Meat Supplier Amid Shanghai Food Scandal

Activist Post -

Heather Callaghan
Activist Post
One of the latest food scares has rocked Shanghai, China and the restaurant chains serving patrons there. Recent revelations have also rocked trust in the processed food system. A TV report on Sunday showed workers at a branch of Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd, owned by Illinois-based OSI Group, using expired meats and those that had fallen on the floor.

Yesterday, five people connected to the company were arrested and detained by Shanghai police. Yum Brands Inc which owns KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut have cut ties with the company. Starbucks pulled away too, after having to recall its apple-chicken panini sandwiches from its Chinese chains. Hong Kong has just banned importation of OSI's products.

But this food system issue has implications for the U.S. as well.

McDonald's had said previously to Reuters, "If proven, the practices outlined in the reports are completely unacceptable to McDonald's anywhere in the world."
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However, it looks as though they have changed their tune. Or at least, there's a caveat. On Tuesday, they said they were no longer serving food from the primary Husi facility, but...
Chicago Tribune has reported:“According to OSI, Chinese authorities have inspected Husi’s other facilities, allowing us to confidently serve our customers,” the world's largest hamburger chain said in a statement. Oak Brook-based [Illinois] McDonald’s said it sourced chicken, beef, pork and lettuce from Shanghai Husi. Now, it plans to get such items from Husi’s “new state-of-the-art facility” in Henan.An imaginary camera zooms in on a random McDonald's patron who says, "Aw! I just ate there last week, man!"
In other words, this could be the first time people are realizing where their fast food actually comes from. And without really saying it, it sounds like McD's just admitted to serving expired, dirty meat to U.S. customers. Measures were taken to seal and block meat upon revelation, but how long had expired floor-meats been used? McDonald's feels "a bit deceived"? What about the people eating it?

This time it'll be different, right? 
McDonald's is standing by OSI and its new facility in China, putting faith in current inspections. Why? OSI is basically "made for" McDonald's because the group is the fast-food chain's biggest supplier. And how would the world's biggest fast food chain suddenly cut off its biggest supplier? Yum Brands and Starbucks didn't really utilize OSI supplies that much.
Unfortunately, some former employees of OSI branches have alleged similar unclean working conditions in Illinois. One employee alleged cow hair, sweat, spit and chewed gum going into the vats. 
Last Fall, the USDA lifted bans on Chinese processed chicken imports. Chicken produced here can be shipped to China for processing and then sent back to the states. Oddly, it remains a cheap process. And the imports aren't really inspected. It gets worse - the USDA doesn't plan on having on-site inspections or use inspectors for U.S. chicken, but will take the word of poultry processor employees. Why? It speeds things up and saves money.
Are these more signs that a top-heavy processed food system in the U.S. is about to topple?
20 Locators to Find Local Food and Family Farms Near You

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at NaturalBlaze.com and ActivistPost.com. Like at Facebook.

Recent posts by Heather Callaghan:

Internet Sales Tax Quietly Moving Through Congress

Activist Post -

Image sourceEric Blair
Activist Post

Big retailers, including Amazon, have been lobbying long and hard for it, and now the Internet sales tax is back after being quietly reintroduced in the US Senate last week.

The Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act would force customers to pay sales taxes for online purchases from out-of-state online merchants, and it forces online retailers to collect and remit separately sales taxes to all US territories.

Washington Post says "Currently, officials can only levy sales taxes on retailers who have a physical presence, be it a store or warehouse, in their states." Because of that, big box stores complain that Internet retailers have an unfair advantage. Congruently, local officials seem to be salivating at the potential for more revenue.

In March 2013, the Senate voted overwhelmingly 75-to-24 in favor of a largely symbolic version of this bill to gauge the support for the concept of Internet sales taxes. An identical bill was introduced in the House of Representatives last year only to expire in session without a vote.

Earlier this month, the House passed the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act which bans states from taxing Internet access. Being a fairly popular bill with the public, the Senate wants to hitch this sales tax bill to it in hopes of easier passage.

Critics say a tax will hurt the free decentralized Internet, customers will have to pay more, and most of all it will hurt small online businesses who can't afford to comply with such complex accounting, which is no problem for big guys like Amazon. This is one way the big corporations in all industries use legislation to crowd out competition. It's a new barrier to entry for start-ups and a new thorn for existing businesses.

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Even foreign retailers (no matter where they are located) will have to charge, account for, and remit sales taxes for customers who may reside in a participating U.S. state. It doesn't matter that the retailer has no attachment to the customer's state, or country for that matter. Can anyone see how this may hinder the U.S. economy?

Proponents say the bill only applies to Internet retailers who gross over $1 million, which seems like a lot. However, former Congressman Ron Paul pointed out "many small Internet businesses with over a million dollars in out-of-state revenues operate on extremely thin profit margins, so even the slightest increase in expenses could put them out of businesses."

Paul went on to question the constitutionality of the bill:Some say that it is a legitimate exercise of Congress’s Commerce Clause power to give state governments the authority to force out-of-state businesses to collect sales taxes. But if that were the case, why shouldn’t state governments be able to force you to pay sales taxes where you physically cross state lines to make a purchase? The Commerce Clause was intended to facilitate the free flow of goods and services across state lines, not to help states impose new burdens on out of state businesses.And Paul is backed up by the Illinois Supreme Court that ruled the Internet sales tax was unconstitutional:

This bill couldn't be a better example of greedy politicians walking in lockstep with big business. It threatens the level playing field the Internet currently offers. It's time to make some noise.

Recently by Eric Blair

Missouri Voters to Consider State Privacy Amendment With National Implications

Activist Post -

Activist Post

In a referendum that could ultimately have national implications, Missouri voters will go to the polls Aug. 5 with the opportunity to add protection for electronic data and communications to their state constitution.

Amendment 9 would give “electronic data and communications” the same state constitutional protections as “persons, homes, papers and effects.” This would eliminate any constitutional ambiguity surrounding electronic data and specifically bar state agencies from accessing it without a warrant in most cases.

By prohibiting state agents from “accessing” warrantless electronic data, it would make such data gathered by federal agencies such as the NSA and shared with state and local law enforcement inadmissible in state criminal proceedings.

The law has not kept pace with new technologies. As a result, both state and federal governments claim broad authority to track innocent people’s movements, purchases, reading habits and sometimes even private conversations, all without a warrant. Our correspondence and other “papers” don’t become less sensitive simply because we store them in electronic form.

Americans shouldn’t face a forced choice between using modern technologies and protecting their privacy. Amendment 9 would make it clear that in the same way the government must get a warrant to read people’s postal mail, it also must obtain a warrant to read people’s email.

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Forty years ago, even before the advent of the Internet, Sen. Frank Church warned America about the federal spy program, saying that the NSA could potentially bring about “total tyranny.” Congress had 40 years to do something to rein in the surveillance state, but failed to lift a finger. In fact, it’s made things worse.

Federal courts haven’t proved much better. Judges generally defer to the Congress and the president when they justify actions as necessary due to “national security issues.” The law concerning electronic communications remains far from “settled,” and we simply cannot depend on the federal government to protect our privacy.

While state action like Missouri’s cannot stop the NSA from collecting information illegally, it can protect people in that state from its practical effect. Along with barring state agents from engaging in illegal surveillance, it would prohibit state and local law enforcement from accessing warrantless data, even if federal courts ultimately place their seal of approval on mass surveillance. States can legally set a higher bar for privacy protection than the federal standard. This fact alone makes state actions such as Amendment 9 a powerful and effective tool for protecting basic privacy rights.

If Missouri voters approve Amendment 9, it will set the stage for similar initiatives in other states. Every state except Delaware can amend their state constitution through a legislatively referred referendum. Missouri offers a blueprint. We have the potential to blanket the country with constitutional provisions specifically extending privacy protection to electronic information and data. This would ensure state-level respect for privacy rights and address a practical effect of federal spying, regardless of how things play out in Congress or in federal courts.

OffNow plans to draft model legislation for introduction in state legislatures during the 2015 session. Our goal: get similar referendums on the ballot and before voters in as many states as possible.

The OffNow coalition is group of grassroots organizations and individuals spanning the political spectrum committed to stopping unconstitutional NSA spying through state and local activism.

Please support the Tenth Amendment Center and the OffNow Coalition

FAIR Act Introduced to Stop Policing for Profit

Activist Post -

Activist Post

Sen. Rand Paul yesterday introduced S. 2644, the FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) Act, which would protect the rights of citizens and restore the Fifth Amendment's role in seizing property without due process of law.

Under current law, law enforcement agencies may take property suspected of involvement in crime without ever charging, let alone convicting, the property owner. In addition, state agencies routinely use federal asset forfeiture laws; ignoring state regulations to confiscate and receive financial proceeds from forfeited property.

The FAIR Act would change federal law and protect the rights of property owners by requiring that the government prove its case with clear and convincing evidence before forfeiting seized property. State law enforcement agencies will have to abide by state law when forfeiting seized property.

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Finally, the legislation would remove the profit incentive for forfeiture by redirecting forfeitures assets from the Attorney General's Asset Forfeiture Fund to the Treasury's General Fund.

"The federal government has made it far too easy for government agencies to take and profit from the property of those who have not been convicted of a crime. The FAIR Act will ensure that government agencies no longer profit from taking the property of U.S. citizens without due process, while maintaining the ability of courts to order the surrender of proceeds of crime," Sen. Paul said.

The Coming Calamity, The Coming Resistance

Activist Post -

Dees IllustrationDevon Douglas-Bowers
Activist Post

Currently, the world is facing a number of problems, politically, socially and economically. While we may be paying attention to important stories such as the Islamic State’s movements in Iraq and the ongoing fighting in the Gaza Strip which are extremely important, there are dealings being made behind our backs of which we know virtually nothing about. There are major international trade deals in the works and the government seems to be getting prepared for the fallout.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has its roots in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organization. In 1994, APEC stated in its Bogor Declaration that:

With respect to our objective of enhancing trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific, we agree to adopt the long-term goal of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific. This goal will be pursued promptly by further reducing barriers to trade and investment and by promoting the free flow of goods, services and capital among our economies….

We further agree to announce our commitment to complete the achievement of our goal of free and open trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific no later than the year 2020.[1]
Furthermore, in the free trade agreement between the US and Singapore, both leaders made a statement in 2000 in which they stated that both countries “are committed to APEC’s Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment by 2010 for industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies.”[2] Thus we can see that some sort of trade deal has been sought after for quite some time and, logically, it would be much easier to have a regional trade deal between APEC nations rather than individual trade deals among the many countries in the region.

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The TPP itself originally had nothing to do with the United States; rather it was a trade deal between Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, and Brunei that was signed in 2005. The US became involved three years later and officially joined the TPP in 2009.[3]  However, this leads to the question: If the trade deal was originally between four Asia Pacific nations, why did the US feel the need to become involved?

According to Deborah Elms, head of the Temasek Foundation Centre for Trade & Negotiations, the US became involved for three reasons:
  1. A trade agreement between the European Union and South Korea bolstered the argument for greater US economic intervention in the region.
  2. Alternative trade configurations were starting to be discussed such as ASEAN plus China, Japan and Korea. If these were to become a reality, the US would end up being sidelined from Asian markets.
  3. “The TPP gave the United States a seat at the economic table in Asia in a way that these alternatives did not. It represented a better platform for meaningful engagement than the only remaining configuration—somehow coaxing APEC to do more.”[4]
The last point is further backed up when one looks at the US President’s 2008 Annual Report on the Trade Agreements Program, which read that “US participation in the TPP could position US businesses better to compete in the Asia-Pacific region, which is seeing the proliferation of preferential trade agreements among US competitors and the development of several competing regional economic integration initiatives that exclude the United States.”[5]

However, there is also much more to the story than just not wanting to be locked out from Asian markets. US geopolitical interests are involved as well. The aforementioned annual report also stated that “Apart from economic considerations, there are also geopolitical  concerns, particularly with regard to the growing power and influence of China, something which became clearer with the Obama administration’s policy announcement of a military and diplomatic ‘pivot’ or ‘rebalance’ towards Asia”; and a US Congress research paper noted that the TPP would have regional effects for the US, especially when one factors in that “the region has served as an anchor of US strategic relationships, first in the containment of communism and more recently as a counterweight to the rise of China.”[6]

Jane Kelsey, a professor of law at the University of Auckland, argued that the TPP had “very little to do with commercial gain and everything to do with revival of US geopolitical and strategic influence in the Asian region to counter the ascent of China” and that the US wanted to “isolate and subordinate China in part through constructing a region-wide legal regime that serves the interests of, and is enforceable by, the US and its corporations – and in the TPPA context, what the US wants is ultimately what counts.”[7] Many in China seem to believe that the TPP indeed is meant to harm China, with it being reported that “official media have suspected that the deal has more insidious goals than simply forging a trade alliance, accusing the US of corralling Pacific nations against Beijing’s interests.”[8]

While many praise the Trans-Pacific Partnership as free trade, one must be wary not only due to the geopolitical aspects, but also due to it being so secret that “often times, members of Congress and Parliament are denied access to them, even though the agreement will set out legal obligations that these elected officials will be expected to meet.”[9] However, the TPP is not the only secretive trade deal currently being discussed. There is also the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

A transatlantic partnership between the US and Europe has been in the works for quite some time. In 1995, the US mission to the European Union stated that it wanted to “create a New Transatlantic Marketplace by progressively reducing or eliminating barriers that hinder the flow of goods, services and capital” and that the US and EU would “carry out a joint study on ways of facilitating trade in goods and services and further reducing or eliminating tariff and non-tariff barriers.”[10]

The idea of focusing on Europe economically was pushed by those who thought that, due to the Cold War being over, the US should shift away from examining Europe through a military lens. Robin Gaster and Alan Tonelson wrote in The Atlantic that the military-view of Europe “completely misreads the nature of America’s post-Cold War interests in Europe, and has resulted in a deepening transatlantic rift on both the security and the economic front” and that “the United States and Europe urgently need to develop a NATO-like forum for handling economic issues.”[11] While this argument isn’t for a US-EU free trade agreement, it still signals that to some, there needed to be a shift in the US relationship with Europe.

However, that quickly changed as some began to argue for a deeper economic integration between the transatlantic partners. In 1997, Ellen L. Frost, a then-senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, proposed to the to the House Subcommittee on Trade (part of the House Ways and Means Committee) the creation of a North Atlantic Economic Community which would be “a framework combining APEC-like trade and business initiatives with a NATO-like strategic, political-economic orientation” and would “establish a deadline for free and open Transatlantic trade and investment (say, 2010) on a Most Favored Nation Basis.” She argued that the Community “should span not only trade and investment but also macroeconomic coordination, monetary policy, exchange rates, and other financial aspects of the transatlantic relationship, as well as trade and investment.”[12]

The very next year, in May 1998, Bill Clinton and Tony Blair announced in a press conference that “we have launched a major new transatlantic trade initiative, the Transatlantic Economic Partnership, which will further add momentum to the process of developing what is already the most important bilateral trade relationship in the world. We’ve also agreed to work ever more closely together to promote multilateral trade liberalization.”[13]

The push for a transatlantic economic partnership has continued into the present day, both by individuals and organizations. In 2006, an article was penned in Der Spiegel which argued that “The role NATO played in an age of military threat could be played by a trans-Atlantic free-trade zone in today’s age of economic confrontation” and that such a partnership would “help reduce the slope of Asia’s ascent and prevent our flight paths from crossing too frequently.”[14]

In 2012, “BusinessEurope released a report to contribute to the EU-US High Level Working Group entitled, Jobs and Growth: Through a Transatlantic Economic and Trade Partnership, in which it was recommended to eliminate tariffs and barriers, to trade in services, ensure access and protection for investments, ‘opening markets,’ to establish ‘global standards’ for intellectual property rights, and to build on the Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) for regulatory cooperation.”[15]

While both of these ‘free trade’ partnerships are quite worrisome, there is still the Trade in Services agreement which has recently come to light.

Trade in Services Agreement

The TiSA is so new and so secretive that barely any information can be found about it. Public Services International, a global trade union federation, issued a report in April 2014 discussing the origins of TiSA, stating

The TISA appears to have been the brainchild of the U.S. Coalition of Service Industries (CSI), specifically its past president Robert Vastine. After his appointment as CSI President in 1996, Vastine became actively involved in services negotiations. The CSI initially endorsed the Doha Round and seemed to be optimistic in the early stages of negotiations, but when the target deadline passed in 2005, the CSI became increasingly frustrated. Vastine personally lobbied developing countries for concessions in 2005 and continued to try and salvage an agreement until at least 2009.

By 2010, however, it was clear that the WTO services negotiations were stalled. In mid- 2011, Vastine declared that the Doha Round “holds no promise” and recommended that it be abandoned. Vastine was also one of the first to suggest, as early as 2009, that plurilateral negotiations on services should be conducted outside the framework of the WTO. Working through the Global Services Coalition (GSC), a multinational services lobby group, the CSI then garnered the support of other corporate lobbyists for the TISA initiative. The TISA is a political project for this corporate lobby group.[16]

Some of the actual effects TiSA would have were released in June 2014 by WikiLeaks. In the leak, it explained that TiSA would have horrendous effects on public services. TiSA would “lock in the privatizations of services-even in cases where private service delivery has failed-meaning governments can never return water, energy, health, education or other services to public hands,” “restrict a government’s right to regulate stronger standards in the public’s interest,” “restrict a government’s ability to regulate key sectors including financial, energy, telecommunications and cross-border data flows,” and “limit the ability of governments to regulate the financial services industry at exactly the time when the global economy is still recovering from a crisis caused by financial deregulation.”[17] This trade agreement not only has the power to allow corporations free rein and to truly be unrestricted in doing whatever they please, but also to put the public in massive danger via permanently privatizing public goods.
However, this brings up the questions of what exactly is the Coalition of Services Industries, what involvement do they have with TiSA, and who is Robert Vastine?

According to its website, the Coalition of Services Industries is an organization representing the interests of the US service economy and aims at “expanding the multilateral trading environment to include more countries and more services, enhancing bilateral services trading relationships, and ensuring competitive services trade in the global marketplace.”[18] Among its board of directors are people such as Zubaid Ahmad, the Vice Chairman of Institutional Clients Group and Member of Senior Strategic Advisory Group of Institutional Clients at Citigroup and Jake Jennings, Executive Director of International External Affairs at AT&T. It represents companies ranging from Walmart to JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup to Google, Verizon, and AIG. In many ways it represents a variety of interests, virtually all of whom benefit from worker subjugation and/or economic deregulation.

The Coalition of Services Industries is part of the TiSA Business Coalition (aka Team TiSA) which is “dedicated to promoting and advocating for an ambitious agreement which eliminates barriers to global services trade, to the benefit of services providers, manufacturers and farmers, and consumers globally.”[19]

Now, with regards to Robert Vastine, in 2012 he retired from the presidency of the Coalition of Services group and is currently a senior industry fellow at the Center for Business and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.[20] He is quite known for having stated in 2011 at the Doha Round, a round of negotiations among the members of the World Trade Organization with the aims of achieving “major reform of the international trading system through the introduction of lower trade barriers and revised trade rules,”[21] that the talks were a waste of time and “hold no promise.”[22] However, he already had problems with the Doha Round talks as he stated in 2005 in the Global Economy Journal that “High expectations for substantial reductions in barriers to services trade emerged from the 1997 negotiations, but thus far remain unfulfilled” and that “a Doha Round that does not contain substantial benefits for services is a Round that will have failed.”[23] Thus, it is no wonder that he is a supporter of TiSA.

The effects of these trade agreements will be horrendous for millions of people around the world, but especially the poor and working-class, much of whom are more vulnerable to these agreements as few have the money needed to learn new skills and adapt to the changing economy. For them and many in what remains of the middle class, if these trade agreements become a reality, it will result in a global race to the bottom in which, among them, there are no winners.

All of these trade agreements, however, are being done all the while the police are becoming increasingly militarized and the Pentagon is preparing for a mass breakdown in society.

Police Militarization

We have recently been seeing an increase in coverage of the militarization of the police and a number of stories reveal this. It was reported in July 2014 that the Albuquerque police purchased 350 AR-15 rifles[24] and the American Civil Liberties Union released a report in which they found that the police are often being used incorrectly and actually creating violence as “SWAT teams today are overwhelmingly used to investigate people who are still only suspected of committing nonviolent consensual crimes. And because these raids often involve forced entry into homes, often at night, they’re actually creating violence and confrontation where there was none before.”[25]

Police are also acquiring military-grade weaponry. A New York Times article written in June 2014 noted that “the former tools of combat — M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers and more — are ending up in local police departments, often with little public notice” and that “During the Obama administration, according to Pentagon data, police departments have received tens of thousands of machine guns; nearly 200,000 ammunition magazines; thousands of pieces of camouflage and night-vision equipment; and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft.”[26] The situation also has the potential to get increasingly strange as it was reported that a drone which can shoot pepper spray bullets at protesters had been developed by a company in South Africa.[27] Unfortunately, however, police militarization isn’t anything new.

A study was conducted in 1998 which “found a sharp rise in the number of police paramilitary units [PPUs], a rapid expansion in their activities, the normalization of paramilitary units into mainstream police work, and a close ideological and material connection between PPUs and the U.S. armed forces.These findings provide compelling evidence of a national trend toward the militarization of U.S. civilian police forces and, in turn, the militarization of corresponding social problems handled by the police.”[28] The study found that this increased militarization would lead to three problems:
  1. It would reinforce “the cynical view that the most expedient route to solving social problems is through military-style force, weaponry, and technology.”[29]
  2. The militarist-feel could potentially infect the police on an institutional level, noting that many police departments have specific paramilitary units to deal with patrolling, drugs, and suppressing gangs.
  3. Most PPUs don’t solely react to already existing emergencies which require their level of skill, but also “proactively seek out and even manufacture highly dangerous situations” and these “units target what the police define as high crime or disorderly areas, which most often are poor neighborhoods.”[30]
Furthermore, police militarization in many ways doesn’t make sense as we have seen a decrease in the amount of crime, but it does make sense when we acknowledge the fact that most of the victims of police militarization are the poor.

According to the 2003 Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) annual crime report, violent crime in America has declined by 3 percent since 2002, and declined some 25 percent since 1994. Aggravated assaults, which make up two-thirds of all reported violent crimes, reportedly declined for the tenth consecutive year. The 2003 annual crime report also revealed that property crimes had declined 14 percent since 1994.

Similar findings of a historic decline in the violent crime rate in America over the past decade were also reported in other government studies. One such study that provided supporting evidence of this declining violent crime rate was the United States Justice Department’s annual survey of crime victims, released in September 2004. This report revealed that the nation’s violent crime rate was at its lowest point since their study of crime victims began, in 1973.

However, even with this reported decline in violent crime there still remained throughout suburban communities a perceived threat of being victimized by violent acts of crime, perpetrated by the urban underclass.[31]

We can further see that there is a war on the underclass in the form of police militarization as a study in 1997 found that SWAT teams “were characterized by the deployment of military special operation weapons, such as Heckler and Koch MP5 submachine guns, diversionary devices, and the wearing of tactical body armor and camouflage uniforms” and that often those resources were used “in daily and routine policing activities against the urban underclass.” One can even go so far as to say that “the use of special weapons, military tactics, and the wearing of combat style uniforms in the course of routine urban policing by street-level law enforcement officers would suggest that they are engaged in an actual urban war with the enemy being the urban underclass.”[32]
This increased cooperation between the police and military should have us wonder: What exactly is the Pentagon up to?

The Pentagon

The Pentagon is actively preparing for civil unrest and a breakdown of society. The organization currently has a research program which “is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies” and earlier this year awarded a project to the University of Washington which “seeks to uncover the conditions under which political movements aimed at large-scale political and economic change originate,’ along with their ‘characteristics and consequences.”[33] However, like with police militarization, this has been going on for a while.

In 2008, it was noted that “A U.S. Army War College report [warned that] an economic crisis in the United States could lead to massive civil unrest and the need to call on the military to restore order.”[34] The use of the military to quell civil unrest was also discussed in Directive No. 3025.18, the Defense Support of Civil Authorities. The directive was rather interesting in that it stated that “Federal military forces shall not be used to quell civil disturbances unless specifically authorized by the president in accordance with applicable law or permitted under emergency authority,” however, later the document reads that federal military commanders are able, “in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the president is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances,”[35] under two conditions. The two conditions are when the military has “to prevent significant loss of life or wanton destruction of property and are necessary to restore governmental function and public order” and “when federal, state and local authorities are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for federal property or federal governmental functions.”[36] This is quite vague in the sense of who defines what “significant loss of life” or “wanton destruction of property” is? What exactly does “adequate protection” for federal property and/or governmental functions mean?

Unfortunately, this isn’t just occurring in the US, but also in Europe as well. It was reported in July 2014 that “European governments are working together to prepare to militarily suppress social unrest. This effort—involving legal, technical, as well as military plans—is in an advanced stage of development, according to a report by Aureliana Sorrento that aired on June 20 on Germany’s Deutschlandfun k radio station.”[37] Just like the US, the Europeans also utilize vague language, saying that a disaster “is defined as ‘any situation that has harmful repercussions on human beings, the environment or wealth assets.’”[38]

However, among all of this preparation and secrecy, there is mounting resistance to these trade deals. In December 2013, 30 protests were held across the US and Mexico, with people voicing their opposition against the Trans-Pacific Partnership.[39] The World Development Movement, a UK-based group fighting poverty and inequality, noted that “Campaign groups and trade unions announced plans for Europe-wide protests on 11 October against the deal, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Campaigners also launched a ‘Citizens’ Initiative’ petition to the European Commission with the aim of gathering one million signatures against the deal.”[40]

We are beginning to resist against the secretive trade deals and police militarization, but we must go further. We have to also reject the governments, no matter how large are small their facilitation or complicity may be, as they are being used as tools in a corporate agenda meant to oppress us even further. The calamity may soon be coming; the question is, will you resist?


[1] Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, 1994 Leaders’ Declaration Bogor Declaration, http://www.apec.org/Meeting-Papers/Leaders-Declarations/1994/1994_aelm.aspx (November 15, 1994)
[2] US Government Printing Office, Joint Statement by President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong on a United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/WCPD-2000-11-20/pdf/WCPD-2000-11-20-Pg2885.pdf (November 16, 2000)
[3] Office of the United States Trade Representative, TPP Statements and Actions to Date, http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/press-office/fact-sheets/2009/december/tpp-statements-and-actions-date
[4] Deborah Elms, “US Trade Policy In Asia: Going For The Trans-Pacific Partnership?” November 26, 2009 (http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2009/11/26/u-s-trade-policy-in-asia-going-for-the-trans-pacific-partnership/)
[5] T. Rajamoorthy, “And Then There Were Twelve: The Origins and Evolutions of the TPPA,” Third World Resurgence, July 2013, pg 4
[6] Ibid
[7] Jane Kelsey, “TPP As A Lynchpin of US Anti-China Strategy,” Scoop, November 19, 2011 (http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1111/S00171/tpp-as-a-lynchpin-of-us-anti-china-strategy.htm)
[8] Shawn Donnan, David Pilling, “Trans-Pacific Partnership: Ocean’s Twelve,” Financial Times, September 22, 2013 (http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/8c253c5c-2056-11e3-b8c6-00144feab7de.html?siteedition=intl#axzz37adFOqTN)
[9] Cory Doctorow, “Trans Pacific Partnership Meeting Switched From Vancouver to Ottawa, Ducking Critics,” Boing Boing, July 2, 2014 (http://boingboing.net/2014/07/02/trans-pacific-partnership-meet.html)
[10] United States Mission to the European Union, Transatlanic Relations, http://useu.usmission.gov/new_transatlantic_agenda.html (December 5, 1995)
[11] Robin Gaster, Alan Tonelson, “Our Interests In Europe,” The Atlantic, August 1995, pgs 28, 31
[12] Peterson Institute for International Economics, Transatlantic Trade: Towards a North Atlantic Economic Community, http://www.iie.com/publications/testimony/print.cfm?ResearchId=286&doc=pub (July 23, 1997)
[13] The American Presidency Project, The President’s News Conference With European Union Leaders in London, United Kingdom, http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=55983(May 18, 1998)
[14] Gabor Steingart, “A NATO for the World Economy: An Argument for a Trans-Atlantic Free-Trade Zone,” Der Spiegel, October 20, 2006 (http://www.spiegel.de/international/a-nato-for-the-world-economy-an-argument-for-a-trans-atlantic-free-trade-zone-a-443306.html)
[15] Andrew Gavin Marshall, Large Corporations Seek U.S.–European ‘Free Trade Agreement’ to Further Global Dominance, http://andrewgavinmarshall.com/2013/05/12/large-corporations-seek-u-s-european-free-trade-agreement-to-further-global-dominance/ (May 12, 2013)
[16] Public Services International, TISA Versus Public Services, http://www.world-psi.org/sites/default/files/documents/research/en_tisaresearchpaper_final_web.pdf (April 28, 2014)
[17] CNBC, Secret Trade Deal Puts Public Services at Risk Around the World, http://www.cnbc.com/id/101773881 (June 19, 2014)
[18] Coalition of Services, Who We Are, https://servicescoalition.org/about-csi/what-is-csi
[19] Coalition of Services, The TiSA Business Coalition, https://servicescoalition.org/about-csi/team-tisa
[20] Georgetown University, J. Robert Vastine, http://cbpp.georgetown.edu/staff/j-robert-vastine/
[21] World Trade Organization, The Doha Round, http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dda_e/dda_e.htm
[22] Claude Barfield, “It’s Time To Dump The Doha Development Round,” Real Clear Markets, August 25, 2011 (http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2011/08/25/time_to_dump_the_doha_development_round_99212.html)
[23] Robert Vastine, “Services Negotiations in the Doha Round: Promise and Reality,” Global Economy Journal 5:4 (2005), pg 1
[24]  Travis Gettys, “Highly-criticized Albuquerque police militarize with $350,000 purchase of 350 AR-15 rifles,” Raw Story, July 11, 2014 (http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/07/11/highly-criticized-albuquerque-police-militarize-with-350000-purchase-of-350-ar-15-rifles/)
[25] Radley Balko, “New ACLU Report Takes a Snapshot of Police Militarization in the United States,” Washington Post, June 24, 2014 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-watch/wp/2014/06/24/new-aclu-report-takes-a-snapshot-of-police-militarization-in-the-united-states/)
[26]  Matt Apuzzo, “War Gear Flows to Police Departments,” New York Times, June 9, 2014 (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/09/us/war-gear-flows-to-police-departments.html?_r=0)
[27] Hack Read, “Riot Control” Drone Will Shoot Pepper Spray Bullets At Protesters, http://hackread.com/riot-control-drone-shoots-pepper-bullets/ (June 22, 2014)
[28] Peter B. Kraska and Victor E. Kappeler, “Militarizing American Police: The Rise and Normalization of Paramilitary Units,” Social Problems 44:1 (1998), pg 12
[29] Ibid
[30] Ibid
[31] Daryl Meeks, “Police Militarization in Urban Areas: The Obscure War Against the Underclass,” The Black Scholar 35:4 (2006), pg 37
[32] Ibid, pgs 37-38
[33] Nafeez Ahmed, “Pentagon Preparing For Civil Breakdown,” The Guardian, June 12, 2014 (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/jun/12/pentagon-mass-civil-breakdown?CMP=twt_gu)
[34] Diana Washington Valdez, “Unrest Caused By Bad Economy May Require Military Action Report Says,” El Paso Times, December 29, 2008 (http://www.elpasotimes.com/ci_11326744)
[35] Bill Girtz, “Inside the Ring: Directive Outlines Obama’s Plan to use the Military Against Citizens,” Washington Times, May 28, 2014 (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/may/28/inside-the-ring-directive-outlines-obamas-policy-t/?page=all)
[36] Ibid
[37] Dennis Krassnin, “European Governments Prepare For Military Suppression of Popular Opposition,” World Socialist Web Site, July 10, 2014 (http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/07/10/euro-j10.html)
[38] Ibid
[39] Truthout, 30 Cities Across US Protest Toxic Free Trade Agreements, http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/20457-30-cities-across-us-protest-toxic-free-trade-agreements (December 5, 2013)
[40] Miriam Ross, “Opposition to EU-US Trade Deal Gathers Negotiation as Talks Falter,” World Development Movement, July 17, 2014 (http://www.wdm.org.uk/trade/opposition-eu-us-trade-deal-gathers-momentum-negotiations-falter

Devon DB is a 22 year old independent writer and researcher. He is the Politics/Government Department Chair at the Hampton Institute, a working class think tank, and holds a BA in Political Science. He can be contacted at devondb[at]mail[dot]com.

The significance of a forgotten CIA document: MKULTRA

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image sourceJon Rappoport
Activist Post

This June 27, 1994, document is stored at the National Security Archive at The George Washington University.

It was written by a CIA advisory committee, and forwarded to the Presidential Committee on Human Radiation Experiments, which was preparing public hearings at the time.

The document has many interesting implications. In this article, I want to focus on two. The first point concerns the CIA mind control program, MKULTRA.

Here is a key quote:

“In the 1950s and 60s, the CIA engaged in an extensive program of human experimentation [MKULTRA], using drugs, psychological, and other means, in search of techniques to control human behavior for counterintelligence and covert action purposes… Most of the MKULTRA records were deliberately destroyed in 1973 by the order of then DCI Richard Helms, who waived the internal CIA regulation (CSI-7O-l0) governing retirement of inactive records… Helms testified that he agreed to destroy the records because ‘there had been relationships with outsiders in government agencies and other organizations and that these would be sensitive in this kind of a thing but that since the program was over and finished and done with, we thought we would just get rid of files as well, so that anybody who assisted us in the past would not be subject to follow-up questions, embarrassment, if you will.’”

Helms was not only admitting he destroyed the records, he was stating that the MKULTRA program deployed, through contracts, “outsiders” to carry out mind control experiments. He was determined to protect them, to keep their identity and work secret. He was also dedicated to prevent these people from exposing the nature of their mind-control work. And finally, Helms knew that some of these outside researchers had no idea they were involved in MKULTRA—in other words, the CIA had tricked them into thinking their work was designed for other purposes.

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Subsequently, some of these “outsiders” have been revealed. But no one really knows how deep, far, and wide the CIA penetrated into academic and research communities to enable MKULTRA.

The second point I want to cover is made clear by this quote from the 1994 CIA document: “The Church Committee [investigating the CIA] reports that one of the three principal functions of the Special Operations Division (SOD) of the U.S. Army Biological Center at Camp Detrick, Maryland was to conduct ‘biological research for the CIA.’ Church Committee, Book I, at 395. In early 1952, SOD agreed ‘to assist CIA in developing, testing, and maintaining biological agents and delivery systems. By this agreement, CIA acquired the knowledge, skill, and facilities of the Army to develop biological weapons suited for CIA use.’”

In other words, biowarfare research wasn’t limited to the Army and the Pentagon. The CIA actually became a second center for developing biological agents they could use for covert actions.

It’s important to note that the assumed termination point of MKULTRA, 1962, is false. In or around that year, the CIA shifted its entire mind control operation to its Office of Research and Development.

John Marks, who wrote the breakthrough book on MKULTRA, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate, told me that his access to CIA documents was abruptly cut off after the publication of his book. A CIA employee told him he’d never see another document, from a cache of 100 boxes, that described MKULTRA projects when they went super-dark after 1962.

The 1994 document I’m quoting in this article was part of preparation for 1995 Presidential hearings on secret human radiation experiments. The CIA stated that, after extensive searching of its files, it found no evidence that radiation was used in MKULTRA projects.

However, at the 1995 hearings, two women, Claudia Mullin and Chris De Nicola, testified that, indeed radiation had been used on them (as torture), in a wide-ranging program of mind control to which they were subjected, starting when they were young children.

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com

Government Confiscation of Dormant Assets

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Ted Bauman
Activist Post

From my father Bob Bauman, I inherited an affinity for the great American vaudeville and film comic, W.C. Fields. For those who remember him, W.C. is best known for his drinking habits and his creative partnership with another great star of his era, Mae West — she of “come up and see me some time” fame.

W.C.’s unique brand of humor — like that of the Marx Brothers, my appreciation for which signifies another Bauman idiosyncrasy — is rooted in a healthy disdain for convention and distrust of authority. But W.C. was like many of us in another way: he practiced a sound asset protection strategy.

You see, W.C. was in the habit of making small deposits — a few hundred dollars, say — at local banks in towns where he performed during his vaudeville days. His years of show business experience taught him that unscrupulous promoters, agents and the taxman could easily leave a traveling minstrel like him high and dry, financially speaking. And that would leave him dry in other ways as well.

But W.C. is surely turning in his grave, for in today’s America, all of that careful preparation would have been for naught: the government would just have taken his money for itself.

I had no idea — until I read about a similar system in Australia — that all 50 U.S. states now have laws on the books that allow them to seize “dormant” assets from their owners. These assets range from uncashed dividend checks to safe deposit boxes to actual bank accounts. Banks and other businesses are required to turn that property over to the states for “safekeeping.”

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The problem is that states return less than a quarter of this supposedly “unclaimed” property to its rightful owners. One of the most egregious is California. California law used to say assets were unclaimed if the owner had no contact with the business for 15 years. But during various state budget crises, the waiting period was reduced to seven years, then five, then three. Legislators even tried for one year.

Some states — such as Oregon, Colorado, Missouri, Iowa and Kansas — keep their unclaimed property in a special trust fund and only tap into the interest. Many, including my native Maryland, use tax databases to track down the rightful owners. But California dumps the money into the general fund — and spends it. The Golden State became so addicted to spending people’s “gold,” as it were, that for years it simply stopped sending notices to the rightful owners.

Some of these cases of state-sanctioned theft are shocking even to jaded observers like me.

A British resident who bought $4 million in U.S. stock to fund his retirement found it had been seized and sold for $200,000 years earlier — even though he was regularly in touch with his broker. A Sacramento family lost railroad land rights their ancestors had owned for generations, sold off as unclaimed property.

But the cake-taking story belongs to San Francisco-resident Carla Ruff. Her Bank of America safe-deposit box was drilled, seized and turned over to the state, marked “owner unknown.” She discovered the loss when she went to open it to retrieve important paperwork she needed because her husband was dying. The papers had been shredded. And her great-grandmother’s natural pearls and other jewelry had been auctioned off — for $1,800, even though they were appraised for $82,500.

California isn’t the only state to operate a legally-sanctioned theft racket. All 50 states pay private contractors commissions to locate and seize accounts for them. It’s a classic conflict of interest: the more rightful owners are found, the less money the contractors make. But the states have the biggest conflict of interest of all. In Delaware, unclaimed property is the third largest source of state revenue.

What Would W.C. Do?

Were he alive today, W.C. Fields would need to pause between shots of whisky to do the following:
  • Make contact with his bank or brokerage firm at least once a year, in a way that creates a paper trail. He’d ensure they have his current address at all times.
  • He’d vote his stock proxies occasionally to keep his stock ownership active, and stay in touch with his broker.
  • He’d insure valuables even if they are kept in a safe-deposit box, so he’d be covered if the bank or state emptied it.
  • He’d maintain a careful list of all accounts and keep it with his will, so his heirs would know where to retrieve his assets.
W.C. Fields’s last film was called Never Give a Sucker an Even Break. Clearly, that’s the credo adopted by U.S. state governments. But you don’t have to be that sucker. Just follow the steps on W.C.’s list above.

Ted Bauman is an Offshore and Asset Protection Editor who joined The Sovereign Society in 2013. As an expat who lived in South Africa for 25 years, Ted specializes in asset protection and international migration. He is the editor of Offshore Confidential and Plan B Club. His writing is featured at The Sovereign Investor, where this article first appeared. For more information about how to protect your assets, please visit: http://pro.sovereignsociety.com/SVS911/WSVSQ412/?h=true

Police Militarization: The New Search and Seizure

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Ted Bauman
Activist Post

As World War I drew to a close in November 1918, over 2.5 million soldiers of the Imperial German Army remained in the field. They brought training, experience and battle-hardened attitudes with them as they streamed back across Germany’s borders.

These soldaten soon found ways to deploy their skills at home. Supported by Minister of Defense Gustav Noske, right-wingers — including one Corporal Adolf Hitler — organized ex-soldiers into Freikorps, and armed them with surplus military weaponry. These militia brutally crushed Germany’s nascent post-war democratic movement. For the next 20 years, they provided the core of the feared Brownshirts, street thugs who helped Hitler and the Nazis into power.

Fast forward 100 years. Another faltering empire in domestic political crisis, the United States, brings its own frustrated warriors and their weapons back home …

Brownshirts in America — far-fetched? Not at all. They’re already here, this time dressed in black or camo. I’ve already told you about the militarization of our borderlands, using tactics drawn directly from the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. I warned then that events there would soon affect you and me.

I was right. A few weeks ago, a police paramilitary unit raided a house not too far from my home in Atlanta, in search of a teenager suspected of dealing drugs. Upon breaking down the door, they lobbed a flash bang grenade into the crib of a two-year-old child, Bounkham “Bou Bou” Phonesavanh, blowing a hole in the infant’s chest. The teenager they were searching for — a relative in the family — did not even live in that house.

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This is the norm in today’s America. The American Civil Liberties Union recently released a report documenting the explosive growth of paramilitary police forces like the one that assaulted Bou Bou.
Originally intended for hostage situations and shootouts, police paramilitaries are now deployed tens of thousands of times each year, largely for routine jobs such as search warrants or municipal code violations — all within our own borders.

These boys have some really nasty “toys.” Since the late 1980s, the Department of Defense’s Program 1033 has transferred tons of military-grade weaponry, including machine guns, tanks and aircraft, to state and local police departments, free of charge. As our Middle Eastern wars degenerated into counterinsurgencies, these weapons have become more and more oriented to the sort of urban “combat” that SWAT teams seem to think is their mission.

None of this would have happened, however, if America’s police hadn’t embraced the opportunity to go military with such gusto. Indeed, America’s police culture long ago abandoned any pretense at a Mayberry-style “Officer Friendly” approach. With few exceptions, police now see themselves as an occupying army, confronting a population where every individual is a potential “hostile.” Police routinely refer to their daily beats as “tours,” and to interaction with potential criminals as “combat.”

What accounts for this radical change in attitudes? Where’s Sheriff Andy Taylor? The influx of former military personnel into domestic policing jobs definitely plays a role. So too does the glorification of force that goes with being a militaristic empire surrounded by imagined enemies.

More important, however, is the profound change in the relationship between citizen and government in America since 9/11.

In everything that matters, we citizens are no longer treated as the “employers” of civil servants like police, to whom they are accountable, but as the object of government’s efforts to impose its own independent will. From the National Security Agency to your local sheriff’s office, a sense of impunity and utter lack of accountability reigns supreme.

Aiding and Abetting

Today’s police are recruited and trained in a carefully cultivated atmosphere of us vs. them that treats the rest of us as potential threats to be neutralized, not as citizens to be served and protected. But every policeman in the country is theoretically accountable to representatives elected by the citizenry. If America’s police are out of control, it’s because those elected officials aren’t doing their jobs. And that means we aren’t, either.

Many citizens of interwar Germany’s Weimar Republic craved “law and order” to such an extent that they were willing to overlook blatant abuses of basic rights and freedoms, as long as they were directed at “others.” Political opponents were deemed not to be “real Germans.” As political temperatures rose, the militaristic skills and attitudes developed on the Western and Eastern fronts of 1914-18 were increasingly substituted for democratic debate and process. Many Germans thought this was fine, because the ascendant forces seemed to favor their own interests.

Then came Hitler. As the courageous theologian Martin Niemöller wrote shortly after his release from a Nazi concentration camp,
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out — because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.Americans would do well to meditate on Pastor Niemöller’s words. Too many of us are guilty of looking the other way as our politicians allow America’s police forces to morph into heavily armed, unaccountable paramilitary thugs.

Ultimately, however, it is unlikely that our political process will arrest this trend. That’s why it’s so important to emulate another group of Germans from the 1930s — those who left while there was still time — and escape America while you still can.

Related Activist Post Article:
The Ultimate Betrayal: Police and Military Working Together to Oppress Americans

Ted Bauman is an Offshore and Asset Protection Editor who joined The Sovereign Society in 2013. As an expat who lived in South Africa for 25 years, Ted specializes in asset protection and international migration. He is the editor of Offshore Confidential and Plan B Club. His writing is featured at The Sovereign Investor, where this article first appeared. For more information about how to protect your assets, please visit: http://pro.sovereignsociety.com/SVS911/WSVSQ412/?h=true

“We lost contact with the plane.” Really?

Activist Post -

Jon Rappoport
Activist Post

Today—Air Algerie Flight 5017, from Burkina Faso to Algiers crashed, according to “officials.”

Some of these officials state contact with the plane was lost an hour after takeoff.

You can probably remember similar statements about other doomed flights: lost contact. Wasn’t that the case on 9/11?

“Lost contact” appears to cover all available means of communication. Nothing on radar screens. Radio inoperative. No transponder signals picked up.

In this day and age, with a blizzard of technology available to track and surveil, what is going on?

Commercial jets have only one transponder? Isn’t it possible to embed dozens of GPS-type devices at various points in the craft? And wouldn’t those devices report a plane’s location, no matter how far it strayed off course?

Even underwater? Isn’t the US Navy able to keep tabs on its own submerged submarines?

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So either we are looking at an international scandal, in which modern tracking technology is not being fully applied to commercial planes…or officials are lying when they say: lost contact.

Assuming cutting-edge tracking tech is, without public knowledge, being used on modern commercial jets, do hijackers have the ability to jam all signals emanating from the planes? If so, passengers would like to know.

“Attention, passengers. Before boarding this flight, you should realize only one transponder is being deployed. Although the device, plus radar, plus radio will help track your location, there are dozens of other devices we could use to make sure we know where you are. Unfortunately, the manufacturer has not yet installed them. Consult the 800 number on your ticket. Feel free to contact the manufacturer and make inquiries.”

If the NSA can simultaneously tap every phone in America, somehow I think they can track a giant jet, if they want to. Unless perhaps, these planes are still using a primitive communication apparatus from the 1950s.

Jon Rappoport is the author of two explosive collections, The Matrix Revealed and Exit From the Matrix, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com

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