Source: Boulder Weekly
1. Signs of an emerging police state
President George W. Bush is remembered largely for his role in curbing civil liberties in the name of his “war on terror.” But it’s President Obama who signed the 2012 NDAA, including its clause allowing for indefinite detention without trial for terrorism suspects.
2. Oceans in peril
3. U.S. deaths from Fukushima
On March 24, 2011, the task of collecting nuclear data had been handed off from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to the Nuclear Energy Institute, a nuclear industry lobbying group. And in one study that got little attention, scientists Joseph Mangano and Jeanette Sherman found that in the period following the Fukushima meltdowns, 14,000 more deaths than average were reported in the U.S., mostly among infants. Later, Mangono and Sherman updated the number to 22,000.
4. FBI agents responsible for terrorist plots
In 243 of these cases, an informant was involved; in 49 cases, an informant actually led the plot. And “with three exceptions, all of the high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings.”
5. Federal Reserve loaned trillions to major banks
These loans had significantly less interest and fewer conditions than the high-profile TARP bailouts, and were rife with conflicts of interest. Some examples: the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served as a board member of the New York Federal Reserve at the same time that his bank received more than $390 billion in financial assistance from the Fed. William Dudley, who is now the New York Federal Reserve president, was granted a conflict of interest waiver to let him keep investments in AIG and General Electric at the same time the companies were given bailout funds.
6. Small network of corporations run the global economy
They found that, of 43,060 transnational companies, 147 control 40 percent of total global wealth. The researchers also built a model visually demonstrating how the connections between companies — what it calls the “super entity.”
7. The International Year of Cooperative
8. NATO war crimes in Libya
“Background knowledge and historical context confirming Al-Qaeda and Western involvement in the destabilization of the Gadaffi regime are also essential for making sense of corporate news narratives depicting the Libyan operation as a popular ‘uprising.’”
9. Prison slavery in the U.S.
10. H.R. 347 criminalizes protest
Officially called the Federal Restricted Grounds Improvement Act, the law makes it a felony to “knowingly” enter a zone restricted under the law, or engage in “disorderly or disruptive” conduct in or near the zones. The restricted zones include anywhere the Secret Service may be — places such as the White House, areas hosting events deemed “National Special Security Events,” or anywhere visited by the president, vice president and their immediate families; former presidents, vice presidents and certain family members; certain foreign dignitaries; major presidential and vice presidential candidates (within 120 days of an election); and other individuals as designated by a presidential executive order.
Mussolini’s National Fascist Headquarters, Rome
Big Brother is watching you.
In a case that could have wide-ranging implications for the political future of the Service Employees International Union, a former SEIU organizer told a right-to-work group and a best-selling author recently that the union forced him and other workers to volunteer their time for Democratic political campaigns.
On a video segment provided exclusively to The Daily Caller, the organizer says he and other SEIU staff “had to do some political work. We were required as staff to do that.”
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation and Mallory Factor, author of “Shadowbosses: Government Unions Control America and Rob Taxpayers Blind,” obtained an hour-long videotaped statement from the organizer, who now works for a different union.
Factor and the right-to-work group protected the former SEIU organizer’s anonymity by distorting his image and his voice because he fears reprisals from the union.
The SEIU did not respond to questions from TheDC about whether it routinely requires its organizers to devote their time to political campaigns.
But the union’s leaders, the organizer said on the video, “would tell us, ‘We need to go canvassing for this candidate, so we need you to sign this sheet to say that you are requesting a personal day today, so that you can go do this. We’ll make it up to you later,’” he said in the interview.
“And I [thought], ‘Is this really legal? Can you require me to volunteer for a candidate that I can’t even vote for?’” he recalled thinking. “I don’t live in that jurisdiction, that district that they are running from.”
“And that happened a lot around election time. The staff was — it was — I called it ‘mandatory volunteerism.’ And that happened to everybody. We were all told that we had to volunteer for this candidate on this day.”
National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation spokesman Patrick Semmens said the interview, which took place less than a month ago, confirmed what his organization has long known.
“I wish it were surprising that the SEIU was coercing this organizer into supporting union boss politics, but these days that’s standard operating procedure for Big Labor,” Semmens said in an email to TheDC.
President Kennedy played host to some cute little trick-or-treaters in the Oval Office on Halloween in 1963. Mr. Kennedy looks like he’s having fun with the youngsters, but does he know that the witch on the left has smuggled in her own black cat?
There are some things in politics that are as predictable as the changing seasons. When there is a high-profile act of violence involving a firearm, the ghouls at the Brady Center and their allies issue press releases while the blood is still hot on the ground, blaming the crime on the failure of Congress to comply with their policy preferences. When there is a natural disaster, Democrats are front and center, before the flood waters even have crested, with reminders that Republicans — wicked, evil Republicans — would cut FEMA funding if left to their own devices.
The storm is coming. But Matt Yglesias is coming first: “Romney wants to cut FEMA.”
Whenever there’s a major natural disaster, the federal government steps in to help. But that wouldn’t necessarily be the case if Mitt Romney got his way. During a 2011 GOP primary debate he said it was “immoral” for the federal government to be spending money on disaster relief when it should be focused on deficit reduction.
. . . If a storm damages basic physical infrastructure (power lines, bridges) and imperils human life it would be the height of penny-wise, pound-foolish thinking to suppose that the afflicted area should wait months or years to repair the damage. Ultimately, anyplace is going to go back to robust wealth creation faster if basic stuff gets fixed up faster. But that requires financing by an entity capable of rapidly financing expensive projects — i .e., the federal government. Left to its own devices a storm-ravaged Delaware or Louisiana is going to be squeezed between balanced budget rules and falling sales tax receipts and be forced into an increasing state of dilapidation.
Romney did not present disaster relief vs. deficit reduction as an either/or proposition. Like most Republicans, he has argued that we might have more effective disaster relief if we moved some larger part of the responsibility to the state and local levels, and into the private sector. To put the issue in a less boneheadedly simplistic fashion, the question is not whether we: A. spend money on disaster relief or B. reduce the deficit. Rather, the questions are: Given our tenuous fiscal position, is it possible that we are spending too much money on FEMA and related programs? Is that spending maximally effective? Might we be better off decentralizing these efforts?
Yglesias, like many of his like-minded compatriots, presents these arguments as though they were all-or-nothing propositions. This is strange, inasmuch as they pretty clearly recognize the merits of such inquiry when coming from their own side: There are many people who believe that we spend far too much money on national security (I am among them), but only the most gap-toothed among us equate asking uncomfortable questions about military-spending priorities with abandoning national security categorically. Sometimes it makes sense to ask whether the federal government should be doing this at all. Very often it makes sense to ask, as one expects a Romney administration would, whether the federal government is going about this the right way.
Two women were arrested on suspicion of prostitution after seven rooms were found in a building close to Sretensky Monastery where sexual services were offered from 1,750 roubles (£35) per hour.
Father Tikhon, the abbot of the monastery, is said to be a religious counsellor to Mr Putin, who is a confirmed Russian Orthodox believer.
There were conflicting reports over the ownership of the brothel, found in one of a chain of mini-hotels called Podushkin.
Life News, a popular muckraking website with close ties to the police and security services, said the building where the brothel was located on Rozhdestvensky Boulevard had been rented out by the monastery.
However, an attendant at the monastery was quoted as saying: “Some time ago we rented premises for our seminary. The bordello was only found then, when we started to check which rooms had become temporarily ours, and which hadn’t. This establishment had been there for a long time; it belongs to someone and has absolutely no connection to us.”
Read it all HERE.
The face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the Neck; then the Breast and Arms; the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding only what is below the Girdle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all Cats are grey, the Pleasure of corporal Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every Knack being by Practice capable of Improvement.
Ben Franklin, Advice for Choosing a Mistress.
Begin each day by telling yourself: Today I shall be meeting with interference, ingratitude, insolence, disloyalty, ill-will, and selfishness – all of them due to the offenders’ ignorance of what is good or evil. But for my part I have long perceived the nature of good and its nobility, the nature of evil and its meanness, and also the nature of the culprit himself, who is my brother (not in the physical sense, but as a fellow creature similarly endowed with reason and a share of the divine); therefore none of those things can injure me, for nobody can implicate me in what is degrading. Neither can I be angry with my brother or fall foul of him; for he and I were born to work together, like a man’s two hands, feet or eyelids, or the upper and lower rows of his teeth. To obstruct each other is against Nature’s law – and what is irritation or aversion but a form of obstruction.