Category Archives: human rights

Chavez Cancer Conspiracies

I was actually surprised to see this printed on a mainstream site, especially an investment publication.

From forbes.com:

Charismatic president Hugo Chavez, 58, died of respiratory complications caused by pelvic cancer on Tuesday evening in Venezuela.

Or did he?

The announcement of Chavez’s death came hours after vice president, and now interim president Nicolas Maduro, met with Venezuela’s top political leaders and military brass to discuss the president’s ever-worsening health condition. At the time, Maduro apparently suggested that someone may have deliberately infected Chavez with cancer or some other agent that made him deteriorate, according to CNN.  Maduro went so far as to call Chavez’s death an assassination, according to The Washington Post.

Stories of Chavez being essentially poisoned by the CIA have been around since his first tumor was reported back in 2011. Even controversial drama-loving Chavez himself wondered out loud if it were possible. To which the U.S State Department public affairs staff responded with a “that’s reprehensible”.  What else are they going to say? You caught us?

For the sake of argument, we can say Maduro said no such thing about Chavez. Does one actually get injected with cancer? I mean, even if you did, your immune system would have to already be compromised already.  We  have cancer cells floating in our bodies all the time. They get destroyed, hopefully, on a daily basis.

But since Chavez announced he was heading to Havana for cancer treatment, conspiracies of a U.S. involvement began immediately.  Chavez egged them on, if not outright got them rolling.

For those who can understand Spanish, this video of Chavez talking to the military questioned whether the U.S. was infecting rival leaders in Latin America with cancer.  He said he found it an odd coincidence that major leaders south of the border, from Brazil’s Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to Dilma Rousseff, his handpicked successor, to the president of Argentina, Cristina Kirchner, all got cancer around the same time.  And now…it was Chavez’s turn.

“I find it very strange. It is hard to explain,” he says in the video.

Of course, most of this has fallen on deaf ears. Even the video itself got under 10,000 viewers.  And Hugo Chavez is, since Lula left office, the most famous politician in Latin America. He”s far from an unknown.  The conspiracy angle has not caught fire.

The death of Chavez did not really rally the left outside of his home base.  In Latin America, Lula was seen as the more charismatic, if not more practical leader of South America. Chavez was a firebrand, stoking Cold War rhetoric with Washington. As Latin American politics goes, Chavez was the anti-American.

So it is not surprising that here at home, the harshest critics of good, old fashion Yankee imperialism came out Wednesday in notes circulating in email in-boxes nationwide that Chavez may have been the victim of a U.S. plot to get rid of him once and for all.  And while the left in the United States send out Viva Chavez, Viva La Revolucion kudos to the most reviled leader in Washington other than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the right wing, in their usual lust for kindness, is busy expression their sheer joy that the man is gone.

The Daily Caller wrote in an op ed by Christopher Bedford that “No, the U.S. didn’t kill Chavez. But we should have.”

Tea Party Republicans called him a tyrant, expressed relief that he was no longer a “force” to reckon with. Force quotes are mine, not his. Because, really, was Chavez a force to reckon with anywhere outside of Venezuela?

Meanwhile, there is a relative calm in Venezuela according to press reports and investment sources on the ground in Caracas.  The market expects Maduro to be elected within 30 days.

Unless the CIA gives him cancer.

Shhhh….

To see this printed in Forbes goes to show that even if there’s a hedge of truth to the “cancer” meme, the attitude of the public is “meh” and “What’s the deal ?” “The U.S. Government assassinates people on a daily basis.”

And goes to show how over-rated Chavez was to begin with.

Hugo Chavez Cancer Conspiracy Theories Resurface After Death

Google and the NWO

By now most folks have heard about the Google and Verizon deal to create a multi-tiered Internet and eliminate Net Neutrality. That news alone is disheartening.

Now there’s proof that Google is going to end street privacy, under the guise of ‘street mapping’:

Citing a German news report, Techeye.net reports that Google has purchased small UAV “microdrone” aircraft manufactured by Germany’s microdrone GmbH, perhaps for use to augment the company’s Street View mapping data. Techeye says:

The UAVs being flogged are mini helicopters with cameras attached that can be flown about all over the place. They’re quiet and resemble sci-fi UFOs for the vertically challenged alien.

They can fly up to 80km per hour, so Microdrone CEO Sven Juerss suggests they’ll be brilliant for mapping entire neighbourhoods really quickly and relatively cheaply.

Even before Google started data mining on open web networks itsStreet View operations were controversial, with Google Maps picking up on people who didn’t exactly want their faces plastered all over the internet. With the kind of high-angle aerial shots this sort of kit can achieve, it boggles the mind as to the sort of images that may be accidentally captured.

Our take: Skepticism is warranted, and outrage is probably premature.

Our understanding is that FAA certification procedures for civilian UAVs operating in domestic airspace are not yet in place, so it is not clear that the regular operation of such UAVs would be legal — never mind prudent from a privacy or public-relations point of view.

Meanwhile, the Techeye report, while fascinating, is also single-sourced, with the news of the UAV sale to Google coming from the manufacturer of the UAV — which is to say, he’s hardly a disinterested conduit for information. There has been no confirmation of the sale from Google, so far as we know. (Indeed, Forbes reports a Google spokesperson says, “”This was a purchase by a Google executive with an interest in robotics for personal use.”)

So, while curious and exciting, Telstar Logistics suggests keeping cool pending further information about Google’s plans and the regulatory environment that may or may not make such plans viable.

UPDATE: Our friends at BoingBoing link to more information about Google’s UAV denial, as well as further detail about the air-certification challenges such UAVs would present.)

We’ll keep our eyes in the skies, but in the meantime, here’s some nifty footage of the Microdrone in action, during which we can see just how adept the tiny aircraft is at peeking into the windows of private homes.

Google once had a motto, “Don’t Be Evil.”

I think it might be safe to say that the definition of evil either changed, or Google doesn’t adhere to that particular motto any longer.

Does Google Plan to Fly UAV Spies in the Skies?

hat tip

Internet Privacy, Corporatism and Tax Dollars

I had a discussion with certain family members over this past weekend about the subject of Internet privacy, anonymity, Facebook, corporations and governments.

I found that my kids (one late Gen Xer, two Millennials) have differing views about Internet privacy, which taken at face value, shouldn’t be too surprising.

While I found that my Late Gen-Xer son’s views most mirror my own (he’s 31 years old), I found that my Millennial daughters split into subgroups, even though they are only 22 and 19 years old respectively.

My daughters use Facebook quite a lot and post quite a bit of personal info, but my youngest daughter posts the most personal info and uses the message board to communicate with friends, her fiance and her fiance’s mother. Even though they text each other all day long on their cellphones!

These people don’t care who scans their personal info at all! They believe in the system’s ability to ‘protect’ them! Amazing!

Which leads me to today’s post about Big Brother, corporatism and raiding the taxpayer’s wallet:

Repression doesn’t come cheap, just ask the FBI.

As the securitization of daily life increase at near exponential rates (all to keep us “safe,” mind you) the dark contours of an American police state, like a pilot’s last glimpse of an icy peak before a plane crash, wobbles into view.

In the main, such programs include, but are by no means limited to the following: electronic surveillance (call records, internet usage, social media); covert hacking by state operatives; GPS tracking; CCTV cameras linked-in to state databases; “smart” cards; RFID chipped commodities and the spooky “internet of things;” biometrics, and yes, the Pentagon has just stood up a Biometrics Identity Management Agency (BIMA); data-mining; watch listing; on and on it goes.

Pity our poor political minders, snowed-under by a blizzard of data-sets crying out for proper “management”! Or, as sycophantic armchair warrior and New York Times columnist, Thomas Friedman, would have it, “The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist–McDonald’s cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the F-15.”

So true; yet neither can an aggregate of repressive police and intelligence agencies function without an army of corporate grifters who guide that “hidden hand” and not-so-hidden fist into highly profitable safe harbors. Call it Big Brother meets market fundamentalism.

And so, the heat is on as America’s premier political police agency struggles to “modernize” their case file management system.

The FBI’s Case Management “Problem”

When circumstances (a massive up-tick in illegal spying since 9/11 courtesy of the USA Patriot Act) forced the Bureau to store a treasure trove of tittle-tattle of “national security interest” on decidedly low-tech storage devices, FBI agents and their all-too-willing helpers from giant telecommunications firms such as AT&T took to scribbling “leads” on post-it notes.

Communications Analysis Unit (CAU) eager-beavers did so in order to speed-up the process of obtaining dodgy “exigent letters” that smoothed over the wrinkles (your rights!) as the Bureau issued tens of thousands of National Security Letters (NSLs).

The secretive lettres de cachet demanded everything: emails, internet searches, call records, bank statements, credit card purchases, travel itineraries, medical histories, educational résumés, even video rentals and books borrowed from public libraries. The contents of such shady administrative warrants cannot be disclosed by their recipients under penalty of stiff fines or even imprisonment.

While such extra-legal missives are supposedly issued only in cases of dire “emergency,” the banal, ubiquitous nature of surveillance in post-Constitutional, “new normal” regimes such as the United States, all but guarantee that extraordinary “states of exception” are standard rules of the game in our managed democracy.

As the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General revealed in a heavily-redacted report in January, with all semblance of a legal process out the window, the FBI were caught with their hands in the proverbial cookie jar, repeatedly violating the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

Fear not, Obama administration legal eagles cobbled together a new theory justifying the practice and have created, yet another, accountability free zone for agents who violated the rules.

Neatly, seamlessly and silently Obama’s Office of Legal Counsel (John Yoo and Judge Bybee’s old stomping grounds) granted them, wait!, retroactive immunity for such lawbreaking. The trouble is, the OLC’s ruling is classified so we haven’t a clue what it entails or how far-reaching is its purview. So much for the new era of “openness” and “transparency.”

But I digress…

The New York Times reported March 18, that work on parts of the Bureau’s cracker-jack case management program known as Sentinel has been “temporarily” suspended.

While the “overhaul” was supposed “to be completed this fall,”Times journalist Eric Lichtblau disclosed that the system will not be ready for prime time until “next year at the earliest.”

Overall, American taxpayers have shelled-out some $451 million to an endless parade of contractors, Lockheed Martin being the latest. Delays are expected to cost “at least $30 million in cost overruns on a project considered vital to national security” Lichtblau wrote, citing Congressional “officials.”

But problems have plagued the project since its inception. Lockheed Martin, No. 1 on Washington Technology’s “2009 Top 100” list of Prime Federal Contractors, secured some $14,983,515,367 in defense-related contracts last year and was brought on-board to revamp the troubled case management project.

This is all the more ironic considering that the defense giant was hailed as Sentinel’s savior, after an earlier incarnation of the program known as Virtual Case File (VCF), overseen by the spooky Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), crashed and burned in 2006.

No slouches themselves when it comes to raking-in taxpayer boodle, SAIC is No. 7 on the Washington Technology list, pulling in some $4,811,194,880 in 2009, largely as a result of the firm’s close political connections to the Defense Department and the secret state.

SAIC’s work on VCF began in June 2001 and was expected to be completed in 36 months. However, after shelling out some $170 million over four years the Bureau concluded the system wouldn’t work. Published reports fail to mention whether or not SAIC was forced to hand the loot back to cash-strapped taxpayers. Probably not.

Open-Ended Contracts: Hitting the Corporatist “Sweet Spot”

As with all things having to do with protecting their national security constituency from lean quarterly reports to shareholders, congressional grifters and secret state agencies alike are adept at showering giant defense and security corporations with multiyear, multibillion dollar contracts.

After all, high-end CEO salaries and lucrative remunerations for top executives in the form of handsome bonuses are based, not on a firm’s actual performance but rather, on the critical up-tick in the share price; just ask Lehman Brothers or other outstanding corporate citizens such as Goldman Sachs. Or SAIC itself, for that matter!

Unfortunately, effective oversight is not the forte of a plethora of congressional committees; nor are crisp, objective evaluations, better known as due diligence, conducted by outside auditors before scarce federal resources, which could be used for quaint things such as health care, education or other reality-based programs, pour into any number of virtual black holes.

Take VCF as an example.

In a post-mortem of the SAIC program, The Washington Post revealed back in 2006, that after spending months writing 730,000 lines of computer code, corporate officers proclaimed VCF’s roll-out “only weeks away.”

The trouble was, software problem reports, or SPRs, “numbered in the hundreds.” Worse for SAIC, as engineers continued running tests, systemic problems were multiplying quicker than proverbial rabbits.

As Post journalists Dan Eggen and Griff Witte disclosed, citing an unreleased audit of the program hushed-up by the Bureau, because “of an open-ended contract with few safeguards, SAIC reaped more than $100 million as the project became bigger and more complicated, even though its software never worked properly.”

Despite evidence that the system was failing badly, SAIC “continued to meet the bureau’s requests, accepting payments despite clear signs that the FBI’s approach to the project was badly flawed.”

Auditors discovered that the “system delivered by SAIC was so incomplete and unusable that it left the FBI with little choice but to scuttle the effort altogether.”

David Kay, a former SAIC senior vice president and Bushist chief weapons inspector in Iraq tasked with finding nonexistent “weapons of mass destruction,” told the Post even though top executives at the firm were aware the project was going “awry,” they didn’t insist on changes “because the bureau continued to pay the bills as the work piled up.”

“From the documents that define the system at the highest level, down through the software design and into the source code itself,” Aerospace, the independent firm that conducted the secretive FBI audit, “discovered evidence of incompleteness, lack of follow-through, failure to optimize and missing documentation.”

Even more damning, a report by computer experts from the National Research Council and SAIC insider, Matthew Patton, removed from the program by top executives after posting critical remarks on VCF in an on-line forum, found that the firm “kept 200 programmers on staff doing ‘make work’,” when a “couple of dozen would have been enough.”

SAIC’s attitude, according to Patton, was that “it’s other people’s money, so they’ll burn it every which way they want to.”

As a cash cow, VCF was a superlative program; however, the IT security specialist told the Post: “Would the product actually work? Would it help agents do their jobs? I don’t think anyone on the SAIC side cared about that.”

Why would they? After all, $170 million buys much in the way of designer golf bags, pricey Hawaiian getaways or other necessities useful for navigating the dangerous shoals of America’s “war on terror”!

As investigative journalist Tim Shorrock detailed in his essential book, Spies For Hire and for CorpWatch, SAIC “stands like a private colossus across the whole intelligence industry.” Shorrock writes, “of SAIC’s 42,000 employees, more than 20,000 hold U.S. government security clearances, making it, with Lockheed Martin, one of the largest private intelligence services in the world.”

As the journalist revealed, while SAIC “is deeply involved in the operations of all the major collection agencies, particularly the NSA, NGA and CIA,” failure also seems to come with the corporate territory.

“For example” Shorrock wrote, the firm “managed one of the NSA’s largest efforts in recent years, the $3 billion Project Trailblazer, which attempted (and failed) to create actionable intelligence from the cacophony of telephone calls, fax messages, and emails that the NSA picks up every day. Launched in 2001, Trailblazer experienced hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns and NSA cancelled it in 2005.”

Is there a pattern here?

Is there a pattern indeed.

It doesn’t really matter whether these corporations have cost overruns that run into the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

When one has no-bid cost-plus contracts that are paid for by the taxpayer, where is the need to do a job right the first time, or anytime at all?

The government contractor gravy-train just keeps rolling along, on the backs of the working poor and what’s left of the privately/self employed middle class.

And Internet privacy?

It’s just an archaic concept.

Big Brother and the Hidden Hand of the “Free Market”

Spy’Bots? Just Google the NSA!

Well, this was bound to happen, the partnership of Google and the ultimate spy agency, the NSA.

The world’s largest Internet search company and the world’s most powerful electronic surveillance organization are teaming up in the name of cybersecurity.

Under an agreement that is still being finalized, the National Security Agency would help Google analyze a major corporate espionage attack that the firm said originated in China and targeted its computer networks, according to cybersecurity experts familiar with the matter. The objective is to better defend Google — and its users — from future attack.

Google and the NSA declined to comment on the partnership. But sources with knowledge of the arrangement, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the alliance is being designed to allow the two organizations to share critical information without violating Google’s policies or laws that protect the privacy of Americans’ online communications. The sources said the deal does not mean the NSA will be viewing users’ searches or e-mail accounts or that Google will be sharing proprietary data.

The partnership strikes at the core of one of the most sensitive issues for the government and private industry in the evolving world of cybersecurity: how to balance privacy and national security interests. On Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair called the Google attacks, which the company acknowledged in January, a “wake-up call.” Cyberspace cannot be protected, he said, without a “collaborative effort that incorporates both the U.S. private sector and our international partners.”

But achieving collaboration is not easy, in part because private companies do not trust the government to keep their secrets and in part because of concerns that collaboration can lead to continuous government monitoring of private communications. Privacy advocates, concerned about a repeat of the NSA’s warrantless interception of Americans’ phone calls and e-mails after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, say information-sharing must be limited and closely overseen.

“The critical question is: At what level will the American public be comfortable with Google sharing information with NSA?” said Ellen McCarthy, president of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance, an organization of current and former intelligence and national security officials that seeks ways to foster greater sharing of information between government and industry.

On Jan. 12, Google took the rare step of announcing publicly that its systems had been hacked in a series of intrusions beginning in December.

The intrusions, industry experts said, targeted Google source code — the programming language underlying Google applications — and extended to more than 30 other large tech, defense, energy, financial and media companies. The Gmail accounts of human rights activists in Europe, China and the United States were also compromised.

So significant was the attack that Google threatened to shutter its business operation in China if the government did not agree to let the firm operate an uncensored search engine there. That issue is still unresolved.

Google approached the NSA shortly after the attacks, sources said, but the deal is taking weeks to hammer out, reflecting the sensitivity of the partnership. Any agreement would mark the first time that Google has entered a formal information-sharing relationship with the NSA, sources said. In 2008, the firm stated that it had not cooperated with the NSA in its Terrorist Surveillance Program.

Sources familiar with the new initiative said the focus is not figuring out who was behind the recent cyberattacks — doing so is a nearly impossible task after the fact — but building a better defense of Google’s networks, or what its technicians call “information assurance.”

One senior defense official, while not confirming or denying any agreement the NSA might have with any firm, said: “If a company came to the table and asked for help, I would ask them . . . ‘What do you know about what transpired in your system? What deficiencies do you think they took advantage of? Tell me a little bit about what it was they did.’ ” Sources said the NSA is reaching out to other government agencies that play key roles in the U.S. effort to defend cyberspace and might be able to help in the Google investigation.

These agencies include the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

Over the past decade, other Silicon Valley companies have quietly turned to the NSA for guidance in protecting their networks.

“As a general matter,” NSA spokeswoman Judi Emmel said, “as part of its information-assurance mission, NSA works with a broad range of commercial partners and research associates to ensure the availability of secure tailored solutions for Department of Defense and national security systems customers.”

Despite such precedent, Matthew Aid, an expert on the NSA, said Google’s global reach makes it unique.

“When you rise to the level of Google . . . you’re looking at a company that has taken great pride in its independence,” said Aid, author of “The Secret Sentry,” a history of the NSA. “I’m a little uncomfortable with Google cooperating this closely with the nation’s largest intelligence agency, even if it’s strictly for defensive purposes.”

Go to the site ‘Ignorance Is Futile‘ and you will get an education on Google and the plans to make it “God on Earth.”

Joining with the NSA is just another step toward accomplishing that goal.

Kiss what’s left of your privacy good-bye, the Panopticon is coming!

Google to enlist NSA to help it ward off cyberattacks

hat tip

Big Brother in the American Federal Empire

Big Brother is knocking:

In a case that raises questions about online journalism and privacy rights, the U.S. Department of Justice sent a formal request to an independent news site ordering it to provide details of all reader visits on a certain day.

The grand jury subpoena also required the Philadelphia-based Indymedia.us Web site “not to disclose the existence of this request” unless authorized by the Justice Department, a gag order that presents an unusual quandary for any news organization.

Kristina Clair, a 34-year old Linux administrator living in Philadelphia who provides free server space for Indymedia.us, said she was shocked to receive the Justice Department’s subpoena. (The Independent Media Center is a left-of-center amalgamation of journalists and advocates that – according to their principles of unity and mission statement – work toward “promoting social and economic justice” and “social change.”)

The subpoena (PDF) from U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison in Indianapolis demanded “all IP traffic to and from http://www.indymedia.us” on June 25, 2008. It instructed Clair to “include IP addresses, times, and any other identifying information,” including e-mail addresses, physical addresses, registered accounts, and Indymedia readers’ Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, and so on.

“I didn’t think anything we were doing was worthy of any (federal) attention,” Clair said in a telephone interview with CBSNews.com on Monday. After talking to other Indymedia volunteers, Clair ended up calling the Electronic Frontier Foundation in San Francisco, which represented her at no cost.

Under long-standing Justice Department guidelines, subpoenas to members of the news media are supposed to receive special treatment. One portion of the guidelines, for instance, says that “no subpoena may be issued to any member of the news media” without “the express authorization of the attorney general” – that would be current attorney general Eric Holder – and subpoenas should be “directed at material information regarding a limited subject matter.”

Still unclear is what criminal investigation U.S. Attorney Morrison was pursuing. Last Friday, a spokeswoman initially promised a response, but Morrison sent e-mail on Monday evening saying: “We have no comment.” The Justice Department in Washington, D.C. also declined to respond.

You may not think you are doing anything illegal, but the Patriot Act laws here in the US set the precident that anything and anybody at anytime can be declared illegal if Big Brother claims you are a ‘terrorist’.

No warrants, no nothin’.

Ain’t living in the American Federal Empire just great!

Justice Dept. Requested News Site’s Visitor Lists

Source

NWO Population Control Propaganda / Commercial Space Venture Uses Old Soviet Tech with Conflict of Interest?

The human-haters among us will surely rejoice in this article:

Leading figures from science and environmentalism have backed a call for population restraint policies to be adopted by every state worldwide as part of the battle against climate change.

 

popcontrol.81909 

The Optimum Population Trust says today (August 17, 2009) that the climate change talks which will culminate at Copenhagen in December must ensure that all countries adopt non-coercive policies to limit and stabilise population growth. Family planning programmes in poorer countries should be treated as “legitimate candidates for climate change funding”. Empowering women to control their own fertility would also have major humanitarian benefits for the poorest women and children in the world.

Successful population policies, which answered the unmet need for family planning, could mean nearly three billion fewer people in 2050, a difference equivalent to 44 per cent of current world population (6.8 billion), OPT says. “All environmental problems, and notably those arising from climate change, would be easier to solve with a smaller future population.”

Figures endorsing the statement include broadcaster and film-maker Sir David Attenborough; Professor Paul Ehrlich, author of the 1960s classic The Population Bomb; Gaia scientist James Lovelock; Jonathon Porritt, chair of the UK Sustainable Development Commission until last month and a former director of Friends of the Earth; and Professor Chris Rapley, formerly head of the British Antarctic Survey.*
Roger Martin, chair of OPT, said: “The fact that such eminent individuals, several of them OPT patrons, have personally endorsed our statement should act as a wake-up call to those involved in the Copenhagen process. At the very least it should spur negotiators to start taking population growth seriously as a major driver of climate change. There’s not much point in labouring mightily to cut our carbon emissions if hard-won improvements are then routinely drowned out by rising numbers of people.”

 

The woman holding the placard stating “Kill Yourself” says it all, doesn’t it?

So far, people like her fit right in the elitists’ plans to spread this vile misinformation.

But there might come a day when they are considered ‘useless eaters’ by the same criminals they once embraced!

Feh! And it’s people like them who scoff at space programs!

The Campaign To Control World’s Population

Hmm, not only does Bigelow Aerospace figure on launching a stripped down version of NASA’s Orion capsule in 2013, a company named Excalibur Almaz Limited plans on updated old top-secret Soviet space technology to launch capsules and a small, manned space station in 2013:

An international company announced plans to launch a commercial space venture using spacecraft designed for a once classified Russian space program. Excalibur Almaz Limited plans to offer week-long orbital space flights beginning as early as 2013 with updated 1970’s era Reusable Return Vehicles, designed for flying to the USSR’s top-secret Almaz space station. Excalibur Alamaz’s press release said they would be “taking a big leap beyond the sub-orbital flight market targeted by most other private space companies.”

Excalibur Almaz (EA) is currently updating the spacecraft to conduct crew and cargo space missions for private individuals, corporations, academic institutions and national governments.JSC MIC NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia originally built the spacecraft and EA has purchased both the rockets and modules for the Almaz space station, which was never flown. The RRVs went through nine flight tests, with two RRVs flown to orbit several times.

EA Founder and CEO Art Dula said, “Through cooperation with NPOM and with the support of leading space contractors around the world and an exceptionally strong management and advisory team, EA is in a unique position to initiate a new era of private orbital space exploration.”

Cosmonaut Vladimir Titov, advisor to EA in Russia, said, “With this announcement, the dream of private orbital space exploration may become a reality in the very near future.”

Former NASA astronaut LeRoy Chiao, a current member of the Augustine Commission, is the Executive Vice President for EA. (emphasis mine)

EA is headquartered in Isle of Man, British Isles, and support contractors are located in Moscow, Tokyo, Houston and Los Angeles.

EA’s spacecraft will consist of two parts: an RRV and an expendable service module to provide crewmembers with room to comfortably operate during spaceflight. EA said they will “update the Almaz RRVs with flight-proven technologies where appropriate, while retaining tested legacy systems to ensure safety and economy of operation. A critical feature of the RRVs is their reusability, which will reduce logistical, overhead and program costs for commercial access to space.”

EA plans for its spacecraft to be compatible with a number of launch vehicles and capable of being launched from worldwide sites.

I find it interesting that a former astronaut, and current member of the Augustine Commission is Executive Vice President of this company.

Can anyone spell “c-o-n-f-l-i-c-t  o-f  i-n-t-e-r-e-s-t  ?”

Once Classified Russian Rockets to be Used for Commercial Space Venture

Optimism despite the coming Panopticon

As the world plunges further into economic chaos and war being brought about by the world’s elites (few of which actually realizing they shot themselves in the foot), scientific endeavors funded by tax dollars have either reached a rather dystopian turn, or have gone to research that encourage an inward turning of human interests.

But there are still people who dream of an interstellar future for mankind and Paul Gilster is one of them.

In yesterday’s post on his Centauri Dreams site, the dream of finding planets around our closest interstellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri, still is on the front burner and not about to be snuffed out yet:

Finding Earth-like planets around any star would be a stunning feat, and either Kepler or CoRoT may deliver such news before too long. But how much more exciting still if we find a planet like this around a star as close as Centauri B? After all, the Centauri stars are our closest stellar neighbors, close enough (a mere 40 trillion kilometers!) to conjure up the possibility of a robotic mission there and, if we play our propulsion cards right in the future, perhaps a manned trip as well.

[…]

Gregory Laughlin (UC-Santa Cruz), on the other hand, armed with a planet hunter’s insights, a passion for the Centauri system, and a realization that patience could tease out faint signals like these, traded ideas with Debra Fischer (San Francisco State) on the possibility of devoting years to an Alpha Centauri search. Fischer is now hard at work, using a telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in Chile. She works with a decommissioned spectrometer and other vintage equipment. Call it ‘Alpha Centauri on the cheap.’

On the cheap indeed, most money tied up in astronomical research is done either in NASA, DARPA, Pentagon with a little thrown toward Seth Shostak’s way.

It may take promising early data to get even this modest setup funded after National Science Foundation funds run out in November, but we’ll take the funding problem one step at a time. For now, the precision work continues, with software Fischer herself coded being used to filter out distortions of weather, instrumentation and stellar activity on the target stars to hunt for the minute shifts in wavelength that could signal the breakthrough discovery. If she pulls this off, Fischer’s patience may become legendary.

This is the only good thing about the advanced programming being developed by Microsoft and Google, the ability to clean out distortions made by the atmospheric glare, pollution, dust and lights from cities.

Actually, Microsoft and the Google-Plex are writing these programs to enhance their own new telescopes they are building for Google-Moon and Google-Mars in order to sell more realistic VR tourist jaunts to folks sitting in their Panopticon/Matrix prisons, er…living rooms.

Alright, maybe that’s a little paranoid. But with most of our tax money going to the Pentagon, DARPA and the growing domestic “spy on the public because there’s terrorists there” industry, I think we all should be a little paranoid.

It’s shaping up to be that if we’re going to the stars, it just might be folks like Branson and Musk pushing the envelope because there’s money to be made.

Very Heinlein-like.

And if I remember right, most of Heinlein’s characters hated the government snooping in their privacy.

The Hunt for Centauri Planets

The Yale Law Journal – Escape Into the Panopticon: Virtual Worlds and the Surveillance Society

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FBI “Going Dark” Program to add $234M in new surveillance technology

Sleeper Agents of the NWO?

The recent horrific multiple murders in Alabama and Germany have monopolized the airwaves in the corpo-media for the past two days, to the point which one has to wonder if there’s an ulterior motive behind it.

Sure, the stories make for sensationalist news, worthy of anything that might come from the Enquirer or the Sun. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trivializing these acts in any way, shape or form. These are heinous crimes and the perpetrators got off rather easy in my estimation (both were suicides, one by cop).

But it’s the timing of these events that get my gray matter to spit and sputter into action. The synchronicity of it all is just too obvious to ignore.

Are these random quantum events, or is there a deeper agenda here?

Some people claim that these attacks are orchestrated by the NWO through mind control of the shooters in order to get anti-gun legislation passed. In fact, this has already occurred in Europe:

Several European countries have restricted gun laws in the wake of school massacres, gang violence and other gun-related crimes:

_Finland announced plans Wednesday to impose stricter restrictions on firearms, including raising the minimum age for handgun ownership from 15 to 20. The proposal was prompted by two school massacres within a year in which lone gunmen opened fire on classmates and teachers.

_Germany, where a gunman killed at least 11 people Wednesday, raised the legal age for owning recreational firearms from 18 to 21 following a 2002 shooting in Erfurt that killed 16 people, including 12 teachers.

_Belgian lawmakers passed strict new gun control laws in 2006 in reaction to the racially motivated shooting deaths of a toddler and her black baby sitter in Antwerp.

_Swiss citizens are demanding a referendum aimed at confining army weapons to military compounds and banning private purchases of pump-action rifles and automatic weapons — following a spate of suicides and homicides.

_The Portuguese Parliament is currently discussing a government proposal to tighten gun laws, including denying bail to anyone suspected of a gun crime. (link)

Nevermind the fact that it’s the people who pull the triggers, not the guns themselves.

Of course the citizenry thinks that if guns are outlawed, that’ll solve the problem.

But they better rethink that, if  hard-core members of international gangs such as MS-13 keep gaining numbers through the growing Great Recession, guns will be the least of the problems besetting society and these gangs have no problem what-so-ever obtaining and using illegal firearms.

So why the mind-control meme?

Many conspiracy theorists will tell you that the American 2nd Amendment (the right to keep and bear arms) is the last bastion of the US citizenry’s right to protect their private property. In order to bring about and enforce a world socialist State, a totalitarian government has to find a way to disarm its citizens. An armed public is rather dangerous to handle, even with modern war-tech to back you up.

And I haven’t seen an army yet willing to take on 100 million armed people, who at least own one shotgun.

So what do you do?

One way, and it’s a tried and true method used by intelligence agencies worldwide, is to use Manchurian Candidates, or sleeper agents.

The methods to control sleepers vary, but one major way is to use psychotropic drugs , typically antidepressants.

And coincidentally, the recent mass murders were committed by people under the influence of antidepressants:

A 17-year-old former student opened fire near Stuttgart, Germany, killing at least 16 people. The teenager was a former student at a Winnenden school, where he initiated the shooting spree. Three teachers and at least 10 students were killed by his actions.

The media is reporting that Tim Kretschmer, “walked calmly into three classrooms and opened fire, without saying a word.” Following the shooting at his school, Tim ran to a psychiatric clinic school and killed an employee there. (Did he have a link to the psychiatric staff members there?)

A day earlier, a man in his mid-30’s opened fire in Alabama, killing ten people before he was shot and killed by law enforcement.
It’s the medication, not the firearms
In seeing the news reports on these events, the ignorant masses quite predictably leaped to the conclusion that “guns are the problem.” Apparently in their minds, these shootings were carried out solely by guns and have nothing whatsoever to do with the people pulling the triggers. But the truth is far more insidious: It is the psychiatric medications that are causing violent shooting sprees in America, Germany and elsewhere. (link)

Okay you might ask, how do alphabet soup agencies figure in here?

Ever hear of a little known project called MKUltra?

Check out this little number from Senator Ted Kennedy in a 1977 senate investigation committee report (Wikipedia, yeah, I know):

The Deputy Director of the CIA revealed that over thirty universities and institutions were involved in an “extensive testing and experimentation” program which included covert drug tests on unwitting citizens “at all social levels, high and low, native Americans and foreign.” Several of these tests involved the administration of LSD to “unwitting subjects in social situations.” At least one death, that of Dr. [Frank] Olson, resulted from these activities. The Agency itself acknowledged that these tests made little scientific sense. The agents doing the monitoring were not qualified scientific observers.

A lot of the tests involved LSD, but obviously the chemicals have improved significantly in the ensuing 32 years.

Are world governments using MKUltra methods for these senseless murders in order to spread fear among the world’s population so the hue and cry of “gun control” will drown out all voices of reason and sanity?

Or are all these attacks, and those that have happened over the past 10 years just coincidence and just bad flips of the coin of probabilities?

I suggest do your studying before giving a knee-jerk reaction that could spell dire consequences for us all.

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Week of January 5th, 2009

As this year is getting under way, national and world news offers little in change, yet.

This past Friday (1/2), Wall Street wonks give a positive, though cautious analysis about the new year’s stock markets around the world, giving a boost to Asian and Eurozone exchanges this morning; (Asia)http://www.cnbc.com/id/19832390/ , (Eurozone)http://www.cnbc.com/id/19794221/ .

I’m not buying into this meme, due to the fact that in alot of states, state governments are levying more taxes and cutting services to low, middle income folks and not raising taxes on the rich folk. According to New York State governor, David Paterson, raising taxes on the rich is “unpalatable” and to be used as a last resort; http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/nyregion/21millionaire.html.

Leona Helmsley would approve.

On the world front, Zionist Israel is continuing its pogrom on the Palestinians, killing hundreds of civilians in order to get at Hamas “terrorists”; http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/jan2009/gaza-j05.shtml .

World opinion is against Israel, of course, and using civilians as human shields is a shitty way for Hamas to get their message across. And of course, the Israeli government is backed wholeheartedly by Bu$hco, who is raking up mega-monopoly-money via the military-industrial-congressional complex from the slaughter not only in Gaza, but world-wide.

So what’s with a little exit plan profit taking?

The incoming Obama administration’s meme of spreading fiat currency around the country for infrastructure, school and green tech is hitting rough ground as some in Congress say that there’s not enough time to get an economic plan together by the Inauguration, but by the middle of February instead; http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/05/us/politics/05spend.html?bl&ex=1231304400&en=99a6130dae16eb41&ei=5087%0A .

There’s plenty more news I can comment on, but I still want the focus to remain on science and science-fiction in this ezine.

Have a good week folks and remember to convert to gold!

BAB/Dad2059  8)

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The Paranoia, and the Prophetic Genius of Philip K. Dick

The works of science-fiction author Philip K. Dick are the most authentic articles of modern prophecy since Nostrodomus.

Many of his works have made it to the movie theaters over the past 26 years, ‘Blade Runner’ (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), ‘A Scanner Darkly’, ‘Paycheck’, ‘Total Recall’ and ‘Minority Report’ to name a few.

Like most geniuses however, PKD suffered from episodes of paranoia and delusions, possibly from premature birth and a death of a twin sister when they were five weeks old. Dick often refered to her as his ‘phantom twin’, which was a recurrent theme through-out his writing career.

But Dick would say his illnesses were from the ‘visions’ and ‘possessions’ he suffered during the 1970s. Oddly, some of his best writing was produced during this time.

Throughout February and March 1974, he received a series of visions, which he referred to as “two-three-seventy four” (2-3-74), shorthand for February-March 1974. He described the initial visions as laser beams and geometric patterns, and, occasionally, brief pictures of Jesus and of ancient Rome. As the visions increased in length and frequency, Dick claimed he began to live a double life, one as himself, “Philip K. Dick”, and one as “Thomas”, a Christian persecuted by Romans in the 1st century A.D. Despite his history of drug use and elevated stroke risk, Dick began seeking other rationalist and religious explanations for these experiences. He referred to the “transcendentally rational mind” as “Zebra”, “God” and, most often, “VALIS“. Dick wrote about the experiences in the semi-autobiographical novels VALIS and Radio Free Albemuth.

At one point Dick felt that he had been taken over by the spirit of the prophet Elijah. He believed that an episode in his novel Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said was a detailed retelling of a story from the Biblical Book of Acts, which he had never read.[15]

In time, Dick became paranoid, imagining plots against him by the KGB and FBI. At one point, he alleged they were responsible for a burglary of his house, from which documents were stolen. He later came to suspect that he might have committed the burglary against himself, and then forgotten he had done so. Dick himself speculated as to whether he may have suffered from schizophrenia.

However paranoid Dick became, his powers of predictive deduction were not diminished. If anything, they increased with time.

One such item, although he initially wrote about it in 1965, is becoming reality now in this time period, courtesy of DARPA, the Pentagon’s best friend:

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVE: The Gandalf program is an advanced technology and development and demonstration program that is seeking solutions to the functions of radio frequency (RF) geolocation and emitter identification using specific emitter identification (SEI) for specific signals of interest. The ultimate goal of the Gandalf program is to enable a set of handheld devices to be utilized to perform RF geolocation and SEI on RF signals of interest to the Gandalf program. The specific goals and performance objectives associated with RF geolocation and SEI for the Gandalf system are classified.

The basic idea is that a group of agents or troops could carry a hand-held gadget that could pick out the phone of a specific person, and then target that person.

Philip K. Dick had a unique understanding of the military mind, and he called this one in his wonderful 1965 novel The Zap Gun. He called this process of targeting a single individual needle-eyeification:

“The final solution,” Febbs said, “in my opinion, in n-e weapons.” N-e: that signified the esoteric term, used in Wes-bloc’s weapons circles such as the Board which he now (God in his wisdom be praised!) belonged to, needle-eye. And needle-eyeification was the fundamental direction which weapons had been taking for a near half-century. It meant, simply, weapons with the most precise effect conceivable. In theory it was possible to imagine a weapon – as yet untranced of by Mr. Lars himself, still – that would slay one given individual at a given instant at a given intersection at one particular given city in Peep-East. Or in Wes-bloc, for that matter…

God, how clearly he could conceive it in his own mind!

Now my question is this, “Is this a case of art imitating life, or life imitating art?”

Is the US Government purposely using the genius of a dead science-fiction author to create the weapons of oppression to be used against its citizens?

Or was P.K. Dick a latter-day prophet, tortured by visions he could barely understand and was trying to warn a future world of dangers that only demons in hell could dream up?

DARPA Gandalf Project And Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick Wikipedia entry

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