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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

“Fake Science”: Biotech’s Studies on GMOs are Flawed, Inaccurate

According to Peer Reviewed Research


gmos_tomato_study_flawed_nslogo-263x164
Remember when doctors and scientists told us cigarettes were safe, with doctors even showing up on commercials puffing away? Or how about when Vietnam Vets were told that being sprayed with Agent Orange wouldn’t cause them any significant health problems? The ‘studies’ supported by biotech on GMOs have been suspected of being falsified in one way or another, and now there is an independent, peer-reviewed study to prove it.
Many believe that if enough individuals think there is enough ‘proof’ that GMOs are perilous, then the U.S. government will have no choice but to stop biotech companies like Monsanto from making them, but I believe this is an erroneous assumption.
A growing number of people are starting to think that the U.S. government is using flawed science on purpose to justify centralized manufacture, production, storage, and distribution of an altered world food supply to be used for political power and international rule. If we don’t eat our GMOs, take our vaccines, and assent to being sprayed with chemtrails while our municipal water is being poisoned, then their aims will be supported by our military and police forces.
Until we oust practically every criminal in office, including those who are about to run for office (i.e. Hilary Clinton, who cheerleads for  biotech), we will continue to have this problem.
In a recent study that reviewed the histopathology on rats who ate three of the most predominantly consumed GMO genes by humans, the following was surmised:
“Our review also discovered an inconsistency in methodology and a lack of defined criteria for outcomes that would be considered toxicologically or pathologically significant. In addition, there was a lack of transparency in the methods and results, which made comparisons between the studies difficult. The evidence reviewed here demonstrates an incomplete picture regarding the toxicity (and safety) of GM products consumed by humans and animals.
Therefore, each GM product should be assessed on merit, with appropriate studies performed to indicate the level of safety associated with them. Detailed guidelines should be developed which will allow for the generation of comparable and reproducible studies. This will establish a foundation for evidence-based guidelines, to better determine if GM food is safe for human and animal consumption.”
Furthermore, the significant differences between say non-GMO corn, which contains well – corn, and GMO corn which may contain E coli bacteria, antibiotic resistant markers, up to six varieties of Bt toxins, pesticide residues, and RoundUp residues, how can these crops be compared to regular food at all?
The researchers:
“…found 21 studies for nine (19%) out of the 47 crops approved for human and/or animal consumption. We could find no studies on the other 38 (81%) approved crops. Fourteen out of the 21 studies (67%) were general health assessments of the GM crop on rat health. Most of these studies (76%) were performed after the crop had been approved for human and/or animal consumption, with half of these being published at least nine years after approval. Our review also discovered an inconsistency in methodology and a lack of defined criteria for outcomes that would be considered toxicologically or pathologically significant.”
GMOs are not safe. It’s about time we wake up to the reality that biotech and the U.S. government won’t listen to a single study saying they are cancerous, cause birth defects, or destroy human embryo cells. It’s time we take a different track altogether. You can assess what you and your family should do in such a hostile environment where our food is concerned.

Τhe Transnational Elite and the New World Order (NWO)  ...time we kick "their"(elites) ass's outta "their" own party ..lets try that 1 once ? :o

Region:

new world order
 This article attempts a brief historical description of the emergence of the New World Order (NWO) based on neoliberal globalization, in the last thirty or so years ago. The Transnational Elite is defined in this context as a network of interconnected elites controlling each major field of social life (economic, social, ideological and so on) and its function is similar to that of the national elite in the pre-globalization era of nation-states. It is shown that a transnational market economy needed its own transnational political and economic elites to control it in exactly the same way as when the market economy was mainly “national,” when the role of enforcing the market rules was assigned to the “nation state” ― through its monopoly of violence ― and the political and economic elites controlling it. The conclusion drawn is that, contrary to the systemic propaganda, the conception of the Transnational Elite (as well as the NWO itself) has nothing to do with “conspiracies” of any kind.
Last weekend thousands of European citizens across Europe took part in demonstrations against the New World Order (NWO) of neoliberal globalization and the Transnational Elite (TE) ― mainly the transnational elites’ network based in the G7 countries ― which runs it. The reason was the latest TE plan for a transatlantic trade deal called “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership” (TTIP).[1] Negotiations for this new agreement are in fact well advanced and have taken place between representatives of the political and economic elites of USA and EU. A similar agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) is being negotiated between nations of the Pacific Rim (Canada, the US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Vietnam, Peru, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei).
One could immediately notice that both Russia and China are deliberately excluded from these negotiations, which instead take place exclusively among members of the TE, and those fully integrated into the NWO as associate or subordinate members of it. As I tried to show in a previous Pravda article, Russia is not fully integrated into the NWO,[2] despite recently joining the World Trade Organization, whose aim is to fully integrate into the New Order of neoliberal globalization as many countries of the world as possible, provided they would agree to fully open and liberalize their markets for commodities, so that Transnational Corporations (TNCs) do not have any tariff or other barriers restricting their activities.
However, despite the fact that the World Trade Organization was highly successful in opening and liberalizing goods markets, it was not so successful in opening services markets given that many countries still try to protect basic needs services like Health, Education, Transportation and Communications, which are still characterised as social services and are not therefore left free to become easy prey for the TNCs and their profit making activities. This is unlike the US case, where meeting these basic needs depends on market forces (i.e. on how thick the citizen’s wallet is), rather than on collective social decisions taken democratically. On top of this, the World Trade Organization was not particularly successful in opening and liberalizing some production sectors in the “South” (e.g. the agriculture sector), which are still the main production sectors (at least in terms of providing employment) to many of those countries. As an expert on the field stressed:
“To put it mildly, the World Trade Organization has not proven terribly popular. In fact, the organization has mainly been used as a vehicle to force open vulnerable economies and make the rich richer and the poor poorer around the world. Thus, unsurprisingly, talks on further liberalization measures within the World Trade Organizations’ global framework have stalled. (…) Hence, the confusingly abbreviated TTIP and TTP, which are being negotiated by more exclusive sets of countries whose leaders happen to (mainly) agree that it would be a good idea to go much further down the trade liberalization rabbit hole than even the hugely unpopular World Trade Organization has. One of the most concerning ways they want to do this is by seeking to institutionalize what is known as investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) within the agreements’ framework.”[3]
So, these agreements are in fact part of the same process that began with the emergence of the NWO following the mass expansion of TNCs in the last thirty years or so­­ ― which is a new phenomenon in the history of the capitalist market economy ― and the parallel collapse of the USSR and the soviet bloc in general. As a result of the mass expansion of TNCs, which, by 2009, numbered more than 80,000, accounting for about two-thirds of world trade, several experts on the field talk today about a hyper globalization. As a New Scientist study has shown, today, just 1,318 core TNCs, through interlocking ownerships, own 80% of global revenues and 147 companies out of them (i.e. less than 1 per cent of the network) form a “super entity,” controlling 40 per cent of the wealth of the entire network![4] This vast expansion of TNCs would have been impossible without open and liberalized markets for commodities and capital, which have been established all over the world in the last thirty years or so by governments of every persuasion: Christian democrats, social democrats, liberals and any combination between them. This was not the result of some conspiracy by ‘bad’ economists and politicians, exploiting any kind of crisis, as some best-seller conspiracy theorists suggest.[5] Instead, this was just the inevitable effect, which followed the collapse of the social-democratic model that was based on national markets, and which was not compatible anymore with the growing internationalization of the market economy. In other words, governments in the new framework had to follow neoliberal policies to make their economies competitive and capable of continued growth and the expansion of the consumer society.
However, the creation of an internationalized market economy necessitated some sort of international economic and political “regulation.” When the market economy was mainly “national,” the role of enforcing the market rules was assigned to the “nation-state” ― through its monopoly of violence ― and the political and economic elites controlling it. This included the old national empires, like the British colonial empire, which in effect had its own internal market for trade and capital investment. However, a transnational economy needs its own transnational political and economic elites to control it. Although the state monopoly of violence still remains in the present internationalized market economy, it is now supplemented by a transnational form of violence, which is enforced not just by one state ― even if this happens to be the last “empire” in the classical sense of the word (USA) ― but by the main military powers in the G7 i.e. France, UK, US (the “FUKUS” powers). Therefore, even though economic power is spread today among a few hundred TNCs, which originated, mainly, in the G7 countries (i.e. FUKUS plus Germany, Japan, Canada and Italy), the USA, due to its unambiguous military supremacy, has a de facto leading position ― but it is not the Emperor. In other words, the NWO is an “Empire,” in the sense of a unipolar world, but without an Emperor ― unless we consider as “emperor” the entire TE.
In this framework, we may define the “transnational elite” as the elite that draws its power (economic, political or generally social power) by operating at the transnational level ― a fact which implies that it does not express, solely or even primarily, the interests of a particular state. It consists of a network of interconnected elites controlling each major field of social life (economic, political, ideological and so on). Therefore, the following elites constitute the major components of the transnational elite:
  • The transnational economic elites in charge of economic globalization, which control the main TNCs (corporate directors, executive managers, major shareholders of the main TNCs), as well as the directorates of the main international economic organizations (IMF, World Bank, OECD and so on);
  • The transnational political elites in charge of political globalization, which control the distinctly politico-military dimension of the NWO and consist of globalizing bureaucrats and professional politicians functioning either within major international organizations or in the state machines of the major market economies (principally the G7 countries);
  • The transnational propaganda elites in charge of promoting the ideology of the New World Order, through their control of transnational mass media (e.g. CNN, BBC and the likes), as well as the elites involved in implementing this ideology in dealing with the protection of human rights etc. (leading cadres of international NGOs financed by the transnational economic elites, like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, etc.). Transnational media and international NGOs, as well as the so-called “social media” of the Internet (blogs, facebook, twitter etc) have played a crucial role in the manufacturing of “news” (and of the legitimacy of “insurgents”), let alone in supporting the propaganda about the supposed progressive role of criminal organizations like NATO. It is now known, for instance, that DARPA ― the Pentagon-run Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency ― has in one way or another funded several studies recently that set out to explore the fact that social networking sites, as well as users of Twitter, Pinterest, Kickstarter etc. (as well as its Social Media in Strategic Communications, or SMISC, program), have as a general goal the pure manipulation of social data information, so that the TE’s line is filtered through them. As its goal is described: “Through the program, DARPA seeks to develop tools to support the efforts of human operators to counter misinformation or deception campaigns with truthful information.[6]
  • The transnational academic elites, namely the prominent systemic academics in various transnational organizations (foundations, institutes, think tanks and the likes) in charge of creating/improving the ideology of the NWO and globalization, “scientifically” justifying the need for globalization, as well as disorienting people on the real causes of the present multi-dimensional crisis.
  • The transnational cultural elites, namely the film industry (mainly controlled by the Transnational and Zionist elites that control the dominant Hollywood industry) which plays a crucial role in propagating the values of globalization and the “normal” way of living (which “by coincidence” happens to be the one consistent with the bourgeois way of life and values!), the music industry (particularly the pop industry which is also controlled by TNCs) and so on.
Needless to add that the globalization process run by the TE has already led to an unprecedented concentration of wealth and income and as the just published Credit Swisse report shows, the richest 1 percent on the planet now own 48.2 percent of the world’s wealth, up from 46 percent last year, whereas the bottom half of the global population own less than 1 percent of the total wealth![7]
The twofold aims of the TE since the rise of the NWO have been:
First, to expand globalization into countries which have not yet lost all national and economic sovereignty within the globalization process, mainly Russia and also countries still controlled by governments that came to power through national liberation movements (Syria and Iran, following the destruction by the same TE of countries like Iraq and Libya) or, alternatively through socialist movements (Cuba, Venezuela and others). The means used to achieve this aim were either economic violence, as e.g. with respect to the EU peripheral countries, or physical violence, exercised directly by the TE or its proxies (as e.g. in the Middle East), or some combination of the two forms of violence.
Second, to deepen the globalization process into areas not yet covered by the World Trade Organization rounds and particularly the movement of capital, whose complete freedom to move, up to now, has only been secured within the EU and NAFTA and as regards to other countries mainly through bilateral agreements. The new agreements (TTIP and TTP) propose clauses that will create universal mechanisms to settle disputes between TNCs and states. Thus, unlike individual deals on developing specific natural resources, the TTIP and TTP cover a wide range of what are considered to be investments in the states. Therefore, as the same expert points out “incorporating these clauses would mean that if a country later makes a law that contravenes the terms of the TTIP or TTP, for example, in the interests of protecting public health, that a company that suffers damages (for example, because they have been making a product that contravenes the new rule) can sue the state for compliance with the treaty, bypassing the normal court system. In other words, foreign companies are placed above the law of the host State through these agreements.”[8] Thus, TNCs with a stake in the UK health service, for instance, could sue the government if it decided to pursue a program of nationalization. No wonder that Unite’s (a major British Trade Union) Assistant General Secretary Gail Cartmail urged congress delegates in the last TUC conference to oppose the TTIP and rally support amongst people in the UK to demand Prime Minister David Cameron keep Britain’s health services out of the TTIP agreement. As it was reported at the time:
“It is clear this government thought they could do this deal in secret ― a deal that would mean the irreversible sell-off of our NHS to America,” Cartmail said. “Wall Street financiers like Blackrock and Invesco are already heavily invested in the NHS ― over 70 percent of new contracts are now in private hands. Over £11 billion of our money in the hands of casino capitalists,” she added.[9]
It is not therefore surprising that some of the campaigners against TTIP worry that once this agreement is converted into EU law and then finds its way to domestic parliaments (as it is well known at least 75% of each EU country’s legislation originates in the EU Commission) then it could open the way to privatize any social service still available, following the onslaught of the NWO of neoliberal globalization and the mass neoliberal legislation adopted in the last 30 years by both conservative, Christian Democratic and social democratic parties in power. Environmentalists are also concerned that the dispute settlement procedure could well be used by TNCs to block moves to protect the environment. The conduct of the negotiations is also contentious. Campaigners say they are secretive and undemocratic, as of course it should be expected as they are, in fact, (despite formalities) carried out between unelected US and EU bureaucrats, who owe their posts to the transnational political and economic elites, and representatives of TNCs.
The effects of globalization particularly as far as the continuous squeezing of employees’ real incomes is concerned (in the context of liberalizing labor markets, so that they could become more competitive), are being realized now widely by many people all over the world. The present “job miracle,” for instance, in Britain (which is characterized as “the job creation capital of the western economies”), hides the fact that “unemployment is low largely because British workers have been willing to stomach the biggest real-terms pay cut since the Victorian era”[10] ― all this as a result of globalization. It is not therefore surprising that even the conservative London Times had to admit this fact in explaining the reasons why the nationalist Right under Nigel Farage’s UKIP is rising rapidly:
“The surge in support for UKIP is not simply a protest vote. The party has a constituency among those left behind by globalisation… the globalisation of the economy has produced losers as well as winners. As a rule the winners are among the better off and the losers among the least affluent.”[11]
The same process is repeated almost everywhere in Europe with people (and particularly working class people) turning to the nationalist Right not because they suddenly became “nationalists” let alone “fascists” (as the “Left” accuses them) but simply because the present degenerate Left does not wish to lead the struggle against globalization, while, at the same time, the popular strata have realised that national and economic sovereignty is incompatible with globalization. The strong patriotic movement in Russia encompassing all those opposing the integration of Russia into the NWO, i.e. from nationalists up to communists and from Christian orthodox to secularists, is just such a movement.
The typical reaction of the ideological organs of the TE, either in the media or in universities, think tanks, NGOs and the like, is to attack this rapidly rising global movement against the NWO of neoliberal globalization with two parallel aims:
a) to slander as “fascist” such popular movements against globalization[12] (while looking the other way concerning the actions of the real fascists in Ukraine whom it used as its main organs for its “coup from below”)[13] and;
b) to try to marginalize or even defame as conspiracy theorists every writer who does not toe the TE’s line on globalization, while, at the same time directly or indirectly promoting liberal or even Marxist “Left” authors and publications, who ignore globalization and the TE and prefer to talk about today’s reality in terms of completely outdated theories of the past two centuries, developed well before the emergence of globalization. Clearly, this Palaeolithic Marxist Left (apart from some enlightened Marxists who attempted ― in a genuine Marxist fashion ― to use the classical Marxist tools to develop new theories for today’s reality[14]) is today politically and ideologically dead.
Neil Clark, aptly described the systematic effort by the TE organs to describe any effective critique of present reality like the above as a “conspiracy theory”:
“The labelling of people as ‘conspiracy theorists’ by gatekeepers in the West has nothing to do with how much evidence there is to support a claim or the quality of that evidence, but is a political call, based on who the conspiracy theory concerns and who is making it. Establishment gatekeepers are not objective judges, but are heavily biased and label any idea they don’t like as a ‘conspiracy theory’. Labelling someone a ‘conspiracy theorist’ is their standard way of declaring that person to be ‘off-limits’, i.e. he/she is an unreliable source and a ‘crank’. It’s a way that dissent and debate is stifled in what appear to be free, democratic societies ― and how people who challenge the dominant establishment narrative are deliberately marginalized.”[15]
Thus a common slander against the conception of the TE I gave above is that it implies the presence of a well organized international elite which decides for the planet’ s future in a way that “History is written on the basis of the commands of this elite which represents the ‘New World Order’.”[16] Of course, as I have consistently stressed, History is always a creation, something that rules out both any kind of conspiracies and, alternatively, any “objective” laws determining its outcome. Naturally, this does not mean that the elites do not plot. The example of the TE conspiracy about the supposed weapons of mass destruction in order to dismantle the Iraqi Ba’athist regime is particularly topical. Yet, whether a conspiracy will succeed or not always depends on the outcome of the social struggle.
As I attempted to show elsewhere,[17] in describing the process leading to the NWO, the new form of internationalized market economy that has been established in the last thirty years or so represents a structural change, a move to a new form of modernity, i.e., a move from statist to neoliberal modernity, rather than a change in economic policy and an ideology, as the reformist Left argues. In this sense, today’s globalisation is indeed a new phenomenon, although it is the outcome of the interaction of the social struggle with the dynamics of the market economy, which was established two centuries ago and has led to the marketization process, i.e. to the process of minimising social controls on the markets and particularly those aiming to the protection of labour and the environment that were coming inevitably into conflict with economic “efficiency” and profitability. The emergence and rapid expansion of multinational corporations (a new phenomenon in the history of the capitalist market economy), has initially led to an informal opening and liberalisation of markets that was later institutionalised by Thatcherism and Reaganomics. It was this development that, together with the change in the subjective conditions, i.e., the decay of the labour and socialist movements in the aftermath of de-industrialisation in the West, signalled the collapse of social democracy and the rise of neoliberal globalization.
* This article is based on extracts from the author’s forthcoming book SUBJUGATING THE MIDDLE EAST: Integration into the New World Order, Vol.1: Pseudo Democratization (Progressive Press, 2014). A shorter version of it was published in Eleftherotypia on 19/10/2014. This article has also been published simultaneously by english.pravda.ru. It was edited by Jonathan Rutherford.
Notes
[1] see e.g. Andrew Walker, “Concerns rise over US-EU trade talks,” BBC News, 11/10/2014, 
[2] Takis Fotopoulos, “Russia, the Eurasian Union and the Transnational Elite,” Pravda.ru (01/09/2014). 
[3] Roslyn Fuller, “Pyrrhic victory for whistleblowers on Transatlantic Trade Agreement,” RT (02/04/2014).  
[4] Andy Coghlan and Debora MacKenzie, “Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world”, New Scientist Magazine, issue 2835 (24/10/2011).
[5] Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine (Penguin, 2007)
[8] Roslyn Fuller, Pyrrhic victory for whistleblowers on Transatlantic Trade Agreement, op.cit
[10] Ed Conway, “The UK is paying the price of its jobs miracle,” The Times (14/10/2014).
[11] Editorial, “The People’s Revolt”, The Times (11/10/2014).
[12] see Takis Fotopoulos, Ukraine: The attack on Russia and the Eurasian Union (published shortly by Progressive Press), ch. 10. 
[13] Takis Fotopoulos, “The Russian embargo and the Ukrainian ‘coup from below’,” Pravda.ru, (18/08/2014). 
[14] see e.g. Leslie SklairThe Transnational Capitalist Class (Oxford: Blackwell, 2001).  
[16] see e.g. a collective work on “The conspiratorial discourse in the Greek political system”, University of Thessaloniki, 2010.
[17] Takis Fotopoulos, “Globalisation, the reformist Left and the Anti-Globalisation “Movement”,” Democracy & Nature, Vol. 7, No. 2 (July 2001). 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

~~Plato

You Can't Vote Out National Security Bureaucrats: And They, Not Elected Officials, Really Run The Show   ...if u think fer 1 fucking minute Our "vote" counts fer fucking any~thin  ..yer crazy !     don't "think"  so ??? what fucking changes folks ...WHAT !  with either party ..what fucking changes???  it just KEEPS get~in worse & worse & worse  Lol & still we think ...well just wait till  ... a "fresh" fucking "batch" of  ass pipes geet back in &  ???   um yup  & we wonder y E fucking T ..probes US up the ...ass  :o

from the well,-that's-unfortunate dept

A year ago, we noted a rather odd statement from President Obama, concerning some of the Snowden leaks. He more or less admitted that with each new report in the press, he then had to go ask the NSA what it was up to. That seemed somewhat concerning to us -- suggesting that the administration wasn't actually aware of what the NSA was up to until after it leaked to the press. Combine that with our more recent story of how James Clapper is basically ignoring the substance of President Obama's called for surveillance reforms, and you might begin to wonder who really runs the show when it comes to surveillance. And, indeed, according to a guy who knows quite well, the national security bureaucracy basically calls the shots, and the President has little to no power. That's the basic summary of an interview with Michael Glennon under the title Vote all you want. The secret government won't change in the Boston Globe.

Glennon is the author of a new book called National Security and Double Government, as summarized by the Boston Globe:
Though it’s a bedrock American principle that citizens can steer their own government by electing new officials, Glennon suggests that in practice, much of our government no longer works that way. In a new book, “National Security and Double Government,” he catalogs the ways that the defense and national security apparatus is effectively self-governing, with virtually no accountability, transparency, or checks and balances of any kind. He uses the term “double government”: There’s the one we elect, and then there’s the one behind it, steering huge swaths of policy almost unchecked. Elected officials end up serving as mere cover for the real decisions made by the bureaucracy.

Glennon cites the example of Obama and his team being shocked and angry to discover upon taking office that the military gave them only two options for the war in Afghanistan: The United States could add more troops, or the United States could add a lot more troops. Hemmed in, Obama added 30,000 more troops.
And, yes, of course, there have long been conspiracy theory books about the "shadow government" and the like, but this one's from someone who actually worked on these issues.
He was legal counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a consultant to various congressional committees, as well as to the State Department. “National Security and Double Government” comes favorably blurbed by former members of the Defense Department, State Department, White House, and even the CIA. And he’s not a conspiracy theorist: Rather, he sees the problem as one of “smart, hard-working, public-spirited people acting in good faith who are responding to systemic incentives”—without any meaningful oversight to rein them in.
Basically, the story that Glennon describes is sort of an exact replica of the concerns that many people have about how lobbyists push legislators in a particular direction. While many like to ascribe nefarious intent to lobbying efforts, the reality is that oftentimes legislators don't fully understand a particular or specific area, and the people they turn to are the lobbyists. And, to some extent that's reasonable. You'd rather that regulators and legislators actually are informed about the issues they're making decisions on, but too often they don't understand those areas at all. The problem is that the "experts" who are readily available aren't unbiased purveyors of truth, but are those who have a very specific agenda.

The same thing is true of government bureaucrats within the intelligence community. They're going to advise elected officials in ways that continually push and expand their own capabilities and powers, rather than limit them. And while what happens with lobbyists is often not directly publicly viewable, there can at least be some public recognition of policies and regulations that come out of those discussions. When it comes to the intelligence community, many of the results are kept entirely secret, so there's basically no pushback and no "other side" heard. The intelligence community acts as secret lobbyists for the expansion of the surveillance state, and the government basically says "okay." And that doesn't even begin to go down the road of recognizing how much of this "expansion" of the surveillance state also happens to massively benefit the private corporations that former intelligence officials jump to right after leaving the government. Glennon covers all that and more:
It hasn’t been a conscious decision....Members of Congress are generalists and need to defer to experts within the national security realm, as elsewhere. They are particularly concerned about being caught out on a limb having made a wrong judgment about national security and tend, therefore, to defer to experts, who tend to exaggerate threats. The courts similarly tend to defer to the expertise of the network that defines national security policy.

The presidency itself is not a top-down institution, as many people in the public believe, headed by a president who gives orders and causes the bureaucracy to click its heels and salute. National security policy actually bubbles up from within the bureaucracy. Many of the more controversial policies, from the mining of Nicaragua’s harbors to the NSA surveillance program, originated within the bureaucracy. John Kerry was not exaggerating when he said that some of those programs are “on autopilot.”
And the end result is basically that elected officials don't really have the power to do anything, even if they're technically "in power."
I think the American people are deluded... that the institutions that provide the public face actually set American national security policy. They believe that when they vote for a president or member of Congress or succeed in bringing a case before the courts, that policy is going to change. Now, there are many counter-examples in which these branches do affect policy.... But the larger picture is still true—policy by and large in the national security realm is made by the concealed institutions.
All the more reason why Snowden's revelations were so important. They've helped expose just a tiny fraction of these policies being decided in near total secrecy by the intelligence community to further its own agenda -- leading to some much needed sunlight, finally forcing at least a tiny bit of debate into that corner of the world that thrives on being able to expand in secret.

Scorpion' Walter O'Brien Finally Tries To Respond To Inconsistencies In His Many Claims

from the not-very-convincing dept  //https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141018/06582528871/scorpion-walter-obrien-finally-sorta-barely-responds-to-inconsistencies-his-many-claims.shtml

I really thought we were done writing about Walter O'Brien -- the claimed "inspiration" for the TV show Scorpion. We already wrote two separate posts detailing the questionable, unbelievable or obviously false claims that he has made recently. And we did another post calling out the "professional journalists" who simply repeated his claims without any skepticism. And, once again (since this comes up every time), I have absolutely no problem with CBS making whatever TV show they want. The problem I have is with O'Brien using the obviously bogus claims to try to build a business on false premises, leading people to believe that giving him money will get you results not unlike those in the obviously farcical TV series.

In that last post, we noted that a couple of the journalists who had originally written fawning profiles had taken the concerns to heart and had tried to reach out to O'Brien to respond about the inconsistencies. Susan Karlin, at Fast Company, had written a profile about O'Brien that repeated many of the claims. When many of us raised questions, that story was briefly dropped behind an unimpeachable paywall (it said it was behind the paywall, but offered no way to pay) and then reemerged with a note acknowledging the questions raised and saying that Karlin was reaching out to O'Brien for a followup. We were skeptical that any followup would happen, but alas, late last week Karlin had a new story describing O'Brien's weak attempts at responding to the questions about his life story.

It appears he avoided most of the really damning stuff -- ridiculously claiming that "non-disclosure agreements" prevented him from discussing them. On the IQ question:
IQ: Regarding his absence from IQ lists, O'Brien wrote: “I was about nine years old when a teacher administered my IQ test," said O'Brien. "Unfortunately, as I was nine, I didn't know that I needed to keep the paperwork for future reference.”

O'Brien did not respond to a follow-up question asking, since he was using his IQ as a marketing element, why he didn’t later take a Mensa-endorsed test in case that figure got challenged.
First off, this proves what we said in our last post, that all of his claims about being "the fourth smartest" are complete bunk. Elsewhere, he had admitted that it was the Stanford-Binet test he took. At age 9, in 1983, the version of the Stanford-Binet that was out was known as the L-M version (two versions ago), in which the scores were not based on standard distributions, but rather a ratio scoring system (i.e. "this score at this age, compared to a normal person at this age"). And yet, to back up his claim of being the 4th smartest, he pointed to this chart, which uses the modern Stanford Binet "standardized" scoring system to compute "rarities." So he's mixing his metrics. Worse, research has shown that scores on the L-M test (especially at the high end) correspond to lower scores on the current Stanford-Binet test (SB5). So, even if the test was accurate, his score would be lower. On top of that, all the test showed was that at age 9 Walter was probably much brighter than other kids his age. It means nothing about him being particularly smart today. At the very least, for someone who puts so much weight on his IQ score and claims to be so smart, you'd think maybe (just maybe) he'd actually have a working understanding of how IQ scores work.

O'Brien did clear up some of the inconsistencies about his appearance in the International Olympiad in Informatics in Argentina, showing that he absolutely did attend (he has a "participant" certificate). O'Brien completely ignored the question about why his visa application to come to the US claims he came in 6th place in that competition, when it's clear he did not. At best there are reports that he came in 90th, though the explanation for why that 90th place doesn't show on the website for the Olympiad doesn't make much sense:
“The application from Ireland to compete had just missed the cut-off deadline,” said O’Brien. “We applied for an exception and it was granted, that's why Ireland doesn't appear in the registry, but did compete, and I certainly was there.”
But, clearly, the website was updated after the competition to show who won, so it's difficult to understand why they did not add his results.

O'Brien does admit to having faked the picture of the headquarters, as we pointed out, but says that the company was run virtually and he never thought people would think it was real:
Regarding the Photoshopped German building, he added, “I apologize if the building image on the website was misleading, as it was just a cool graphic that our website designer provided years ago. To me it was clearly a made up image since it has a large scorpion tail reflected in the glass and no sky in the background, but I can see how you could think it was our headquarters.”
Regarding the bogus number of 2600 employees and the UPS Store as his address:
O’Brien said Scorpion was run virtually, to reduce overhead, utilizing approximately 2,600 pre-screened independent contractors on an as-needed basis to solve large software problems for companies, individuals, and governments. “Most of our systems are either in the cloud (like Amazon's) or at a large customer's data center (like a military base), so we spend our time either at a customer site or telecommuting from our laptops,” he said. "Because we are virtual (and for security reasons), as with many companies, we use a P.O. box for our address.”
I'm all for virtual businesses running online, but there is no business in the world making over a billion dollars that can run entirely virtually without at least some semblance of a real office -- and various stories have claimed that Scorpion makes over a billion dollars in revenue. You don't run a billion dollar business out of a UPS store box. No one does. Small businesses run out of such things -- which is great for them. It's logistically impossible to run a large business that way.

The "2,600 pre-screened independent contractors" excuse is also bogus. First of all, I'm quite familiar with the expert network business, and I've never seen an expert network so careless as to come even close to suggesting that the network members are the equivalent of employees. But, more importantly, with every expert network, it's very common for the members of that network to promote that they're members on things like LinkedIn. And yet, it seems that almost none of these folks associated with Scorpion do so. It's possible that the rolodexes of the very small number of people (it appears to be less than 10) who actually do work at Scorpion may total up to 2600 people, but that's a very misleading way to promote the business.

Speaking of incredibly misleading ways to promote your business, O'Brien also responds to the hilarious claim that Scorpion was a venture fund with $204 billion under management:
O’Brien also stood by the $204 billion venture fund. That figure “was true at the time,” said O’Brien. “That statement simply referred to the total net worth of all the investors and venture capitalists that Scorpion had a relationship with and often hire Scorpion for due diligence. This is collectively referred to as a fund source as we are allowed to show these investors any new companies or inventions that we thought were worth the investors taking a closer look at.”
That's bordering on fraud -- to the point that it seems like the SEC might be interested. You don't get to claim "because I sometimes work with these investors, I can claim to have a fund worth the value of all their assets."

He also never bothers to explain why -- if he was managing a fund with over $200 billion and building up a company with over $1 billion in revenue (out of a UPS store) and 2,600 "independent contractors" -- he was still working a day job doing QA for The Capital Group.

Karlin also turns up some other lies from O'Brien that we had missed. O'Brien claimed that the following happened back in 1992:
1992 Presented A.I. discoveries, Invited to speak at the Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science conference at the University of Limerick (A.I.C.S.), by special invite from Dr. Padraig Cunningham. The youngest Scientist ever invited to present his SPEAKART project. This project was a fifth generation computer application, in the Dublin Hitachi research lab which resulted in being offered an apprentice position at HITACHI.
Karlin contacted Dr. Cunnigham and found a rather different story:
“That’s not true that I invited him to speak,” said Padraig Cunningham, now a professor in computer science at University College in Dublin, when contacted by Fast Company. “And he wasn’t offered an apprentice position at the Hitachi Dublin lab. I’d just finished working there in September, 1992, and he was not offered a job.
“I Googled his name and found this softer version of events in a news article published on one of his sites,” he added. (It reads: “Later that year [1992] Dr. Padraig Cunningham of T.C.D. invited him to attend the two-day Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science Conference in Limerick University.”)
“It appears he later hardened his claims that he was invited to speak and got a position at Hitachi,” said Cunningham. “This is a really old item, but it’s consistent with the idea that he’s become more effusive about his claims.”
This is the same thing that seems to keep coming up with O'Brien. He takes snippets of reality and extends and extends and extends those claims, embellishing the story each and every time. Being invited to attend a conference eventually turns into being invited to speak and then into getting a job.

In regards to all the other obviously bogus claims -- including the ones about "catching the Boston Marathon bombers," stopping wars, having his software misused leading to 2,600 civilian casualties in the Gulf War (yes, same number of "independent contractors" he now claims to have), stopping soldiers in Afghanistan from drinking water laced with arsenic from local drug lords... O'Brien doesn't want to respond to any of it.
“Much of our company’s work, especially with military/government clients is subject to strict Non-Disclosure Agreements, so we can’t say more than has been cleared for news.

“I’ve answered all the questions I have time to right now,” he replied in response to follow-up questions. “All that remains to be said is that I’m proud of and stand by my career, my company, and all the good we have done.”
It appears the strict non-disclosure agreements allow him to promote things that are extraordinarily dubious (and debunked by other information), but not to actually present any evidence to confirm. How convenient.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Next NSA Spying Shoe to Drop: “Pre-Crime” Artificial Intelligence ~ hey besides the spying(control files on whoever) & the deep,deep DEEP finance system ? & c'ing who has,does what wit the 'new' technology (coming down the pike(hint,hint ..new "phisss~icks" maybe just maybe ALL the spy~in  IS "they" r look~in fer somebody who kinda looks like US ...& IS kinda "close" 2 US ....but isn't from round here ....but is here & more r coming here (or R on "their" way here )  ..just a thought   & ALL this smoke is just cover 4 THAT ? & maybe just maybe Y all the "spraying "  ALL over the Planet ....ya know 2 make IT kinda un~bear~able ( or reveals them ?)    ....   they know some~body IS coming ...back  ...soon  ?  hummmmmmmmmmmm

:o Oops


1984
NSA Building Big Brother “Pre-Crime” Artificial Intelligence Program
NSA spying whistleblower Edward Snowden’s statements have been verified.    Reporter Glenn Greenwald has promised numerous additional disclosures from Snowden.
What’s next?
We reported in 2008:
A new article by investigative reporter Christopher Ketcham reveals, a governmental unit operating in secret and with no oversight whatsoever is gathering massive amounts of data on every American and running artificial intelligence software to predict each American’s behavior, including “what the target will do, where the target will go, who it will turn to for help”.
The same governmental unit is responsible for suspending the Constitution and implementing martial law in the event that anything is deemed by the White House in its sole discretion to constitute a threat to the United States. (this is formally known as implementing “Continuity of Government” plans).
As Ketcham’s article makes clear, these same folks and their predecessors have been been busy dreaming up plans to imprison countless “trouble-making” Americans without trial in case of any real or imagined emergency.  [Background here.] What kind of Americans? Ketcham describes it this way:
“Dissidents and activists of various stripes, political and tax protestors, lawyers and professors, publishers and journalists, gun owners, illegal aliens, foreign nationals, and a great many other harmless, average people.”
Do we want the same small group of folks who have the power to suspend the Constitution, implement martial law, and imprison normal citizens to also be gathering information on all Americans and running AI programs to be able to predict where American citizens will go for help and what they will do in case of an emergency? Don’t we want the government to — um, I don’t know — help us in case of an emergency?
Bear in mind that the Pentagon is also running an AI program to see how people will react to propaganda and to government-inflicted terror. The program is called Sentient World Simulation:
“U.S defense, intel and homeland security officials are constructing a parallel world, on a computer, which the agencies will use to test propaganda messages and military strategies.Called the Sentient World Simulation, the program uses AI routines based upon the psychological theories of Marty Seligman, among others. (Seligman introduced the theory of ‘learned helplessness’ in the 1960s, after shocking beagles until they cowered, urinating, on the bottom of their cages.)
Yank a country’s water supply. Stage a military coup. SWS will tell you what happens next.
The sim will feature an AR avatar for each person in the real world, based upon data collected about us from government records and the internet.”
The continuity of government folks’ AI program and the Pentagon’s AI program may or may not be linked, but they both indicate massive spying and artificial intelligence in order to manipulate the American public, to concentrate power, to take away the liberties and freedoms of average Americans, and — worst of all — to induce chaos in order to achieve these ends.
PBS Nova reported in 2009:
The National Security Agency (NSA) is developing a tool that George Orwell’s Thought Police might have found useful: an artificial intelligence system designed to gain insight into what people are thinking.
With the entire Internet and thousands of databases for a brain, the device will be able to respond almost instantaneously to complex questions posed by intelligence analysts. As more and more data is collected—through phone calls, credit card receipts, social networks like Facebook and MySpace, GPS tracks, cell phone geolocation, Internet searches, Amazon book purchases, even E-Z Pass toll records—it may one day be possible to know not just where people are and what they are doing, but what and how they think.
The system is so potentially intrusive that at least one researcher has quit, citing concerns over the dangers in placing such a powerful weapon in the hands of a top-secret agency with little accountability.
Known as Aquaint, which stands for “Advanced QUestion Answering for INTelligence” [which is run by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA)], part of the new M Square Research Park in College Park, Maryland. A mammoth two million-square-foot, 128-acre complex, it is operated in collaboration with the University of Maryland. “Their budget is classified, but I understand it’s very well funded,” said Brian Darmody, the University of Maryland’s assistant vice president of research and economic development, referring to IARPA. “They’ll be in their own building here, and they’re going to grow. Their mission is expanding.”
***
In a 2004 pilot project, a mass of data was gathered from news stories taken from the New York Times, the AP news wire, and the English portion of the Chinese Xinhua news wire covering 1998 to 2000. Then, 13 U.S. military intelligence analysts searched the data and came up with a number of scenarios based on the material. Finally, using those scenarios, an NSA analyst developed 50 topics, and in each of those topics created a series of questions for Aquaint’s computerized brain to answer. “Will the Japanese use force to defend the Senkakus?” was one. “What types of disputes or conflict between the PLA [People's Liberation Army] and Hong Kong residents have been reported?” was another. And “Who were the participants in this spy ring, and how are they related to each other?” was a third. Since then, the NSA has attempted to build both on the complexity of the system—more essay-like answers rather than yes or no—and on attacking greater volumes of data.
“The technology behaves like a robot, understanding and answering complex questions,” said a former Aquaint researcher. “Think of 2001: A Space Odyssey and the most memorable character, HAL 9000, having a conversation with David. We are essentially building this system. We are building HAL.” A naturalized U.S. citizen who received her Ph.D. from Columbia, the researcher worked on the program for several years but eventually left due to moral concerns. “The system can answer the question, ‘What does X think about Y?’” she said. “Working for the government is great, but I don’t like looking into other people’s secrets.
A supersmart search engine, capable of answering complex questions such as “What were the major issues in the last 10 presidential elections?” would be very useful for the public. But that same capability in the hands of an agency like the NSA—absolutely secret, often above the law, resistant to oversight, and with access to petabytes of private information about Americans—could be a privacy and civil liberties nightmare. “We must not forget that the ultimate goal is to transfer research results into operational use,” said Aquaint project leader John Prange, in charge of information exploitation for IARPA.
Once up and running, the database of old newspapers could quickly be expanded to include an inland sea of personal information scooped up by the agency’s warrantless data suction hoses. Unregulated, they could ask it to determine which Americans might likely pose a security risk—or have sympathies toward a particular cause, such as the antiwar movement, as was done during the 1960s and 1970s. The Aquaint robospy might then base its decision on the type of books a person purchased online, or chat room talk, or websites visited—or a similar combination of data. Such a system would have an enormous chilling effect on everyone’s everyday activities—what will the Aquaint computer think if I buy this book, or go to that website, or make this comment? Will I be suspected of being a terrorist or a spy or a subversive?
World Net Daily’s Aaron Klein reported earlier this month:
In February, the Sydney Morning Herald reported the Massachusetts-based multinational corporation, Raytheon – the world’s fifth largest defense contractor – had developed a “Google for Spies” operation.
Herald reporter Ryan Gallagher wrote that Raytheon had “secretly developed software capable of tracking people’s movements and predicting future behavior by mining data from social networking websites” like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare.
The software is called RIOT, or Rapid Information Overlay Technology.
Raytheon told the Herald it has not sold RIOT to any clients but admitted that, in 2010, it had shared the program’s software technology with the U.S. government as part of a “joint research and development effort … to help build a national security system capable of analyzing ‘trillions of entities’ from cyberspace.”
In April, RIOT was reportedly showcased at a U.S. government and industry national security conference for secretive, classified innovations, where it was listed under the category “big data – analytics, algorithms.”
Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst for the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, argued …  that among the many problems with government large-scale analytics of social network information “is the prospect that government agencies will blunderingly use these techniques to tag, target and watchlist people coughed up by programs such as RIOT, or to target them for further invasions of privacy based on incorrect inferences.”
“The chilling effects of such activities,” he concluded, “while perhaps gradual, would be tremendous.”
Ginger McCall, attorney and director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Open Government program, told NBC in February, “This sort of software allows the government to surveil everyone.
“It scoops up a bunch of information about totally innocent people. There seems to be no legitimate reason to get this, other than that they can.”
As for RIOT’s ability to help catch terrorists, McCall called it “a lot of white noise.”  [True ... Big data doesn't work to keep us safe.]
The London Guardian further obtained a four-minute video that shows how the RIOT software uses photographs on social networks. The images, sometimes containing latitude and longitude details, are “automatically embedded by smartphones within so-called ‘exif header data.’
RIOT pulls out this information, analyzing not only the photographs posted by individuals, but also the location where these images were taken,” the Guardian reported.
Such sweeping data collection and analysis to predict future activity may further explain some of what the government is doing with the phone records of millions of Verizon customers. [Background here.]
***
“In the increasingly popular language of network theory, individuals are “nodes,” and relationships and interactions form the “links” binding them together; by mapping those connections, network scientists try to expose patterns that might not otherwise be apparent,” reported the Times.  [Background here.]
In February 2006, more than a year after Obama was sworn as a U.S. senator, it was revealed the “supposedly defunct” Total Information Awareness data-mining and profiling program had been acquired by the NSA.
The Total Information Awareness program was first announced in 2002 as an early effort to mine large volumes of data for hidden connections.
Aaron Klein reported last week that Snowden might have worked at the NSA’s artificial intelligence unit at the University of Maryland:
Edward Snowden, the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations, told the London Guardian newspaper that he previously worked as a security guard for what the publication carefully described as “one of the agency’s covert facilities at the University of Maryland.”
***
Brian Ullmann, the university’s assistant vice president for marketing and communications, was asked for comment. He would not address the query, posed twice to his department by KleinOnline, about whether the NSA operates covert facilities in conjunction with the university.
Ullmann’s only comment was to affirm that Snowden was employed as a security guard at the university’s Center for the Advanced Study of Languages in 2005.

“Whoever Owns Space Owns the World”: Star Wars or Star Peace?  ~  ALL that bullshit bout the dollar collapse ??? who EVER has control of the "high ground" controls  $$$ !!!  huh ?


spacewar
The US is making huge investments into satellite technology. Back in 2009 US Defence Minister Robert Gates convinced Congress to designate a sum of $10.7 billion to developing this field.
“Whoever owns space also owns the world,” says the former Chief of Arms of the Russian Armed Forces, Colonel-General Anatoly Sitnov. But people in the military are the first to admit that Russia is lagging far behind the USA when it comes to space systems…
At the moment the sky is home to around 500 American orbiters, and just 100 Russian ones.
35 years after George Lucas’s Star Wars was released, there is a greater possibility of a space battle outside the realm of Hollywood.
Two new military satellites, one American, the other Russian, were recently launched into orbit. There is nothing particularly newsworthy about this since different satellites are constantly being sent up into space, but still, the event is yet another indication that space is becoming more militarised. If we are to prevent space from turning into a new kind of warzone, it is essential that international agreements to ban space armaments are developed and signed as a matter of urgency.
Back in 1977, no one would ever have believed George Lucas’s Star Wars Trilogy could become a reality. But today, 35 years after the film was first released, there is apparently a greater possibility of a space battle happening outside the realm of Hollywood fantasy. Space has become a central part of the military and defence policies in many of the world’s biggest states.
In the future a country at war will not try to occupy enemy territory directly. Instead it will concentrate on finding a country’s weak spots before issuing calculated blows. Ground troops and armoured vehicles will soon become a thing of the past, and strategic aviation is also set to take a back seat in the military campaigns of the future. Our understanding of ‘strategic armament’ has shifted from classic ‘nuclear defence triads’ towards non-nuclear armaments which rely on high-precision weapons systems and various means of deployment.
Wars of the future are expected to involve a lot of orbiters to ensure a country’s security: satellite reconnaissance, warning, forecasting and targeting systems – objects which themselves will need to be defended and armed.
The US is making huge investments into satellite technology. Back in 2009 US Defence Minister Robert Gates convinced Congress to designate a sum of $10.7 billion to developing this field. His successor in Barack Obama’s administration, Leon Panetta, clearly has no intention of lowering this sum.
Authoritative military analysts like for example, General Vladimir Slipchenko (who recently passed away), predict that by 2020 the world’s leading countries will have between 70,000-90,000 precision weapons. We can only imagine the number of satellite systems these will require. And without satellites, the cruise missiles and smart bombs that can be programmed to wipe out something as small as a mosquito are no more than useless lumps of metal.
And so it is only a matter of time before orbital systems are developed that will be able to independently hit targets in space, in the atmosphere or on the Earth itself. But just because the technology exists (or soon will do) it does not make it necessary to send military space stations into orbit, and this certainly should not mean that reconnaissance or meteorological satellites should have to be armed. In reality, the problems of satellite defence could be effectively dealt with from Earth.
“Whoever owns space also owns the world,” says the former Chief of Arms of the Russian Armed Forces, Colonel-General Anatoly Sitnov. But people in the military are the first to admit that Russia is lagging far behind the USA when it comes to space systems.
At the moment the sky is home to around 500 American orbiters, and just 100 Russian ones. According to Russian experts the American satellite fleet is more than four times the size of the Russia’s. Plus which, not all of Russia’s orbiters are in good working condition. In the middle of June the experimental space-craft X-37B completed a successful autonomous landing after more than 15 months orbiting the Earth. X-37B’s Programme Manager Lt Col Tom McIntyre noted that following the retirement of the space shuttle fleet, the X-37B OTV programme would bring “a singular capability to space technology development.” The Americans do not hide the fact that this sort of technology could first and foremost be applied to create new armament opportunities.
In this respect Russia’s position is very different from that of the Americans. In May 2008 Commander of the Space Forces General Vladimir Popovkin (who is now in charge of Roscosmos) said: “We are categorically against placing or launching any sort of armaments into space, because space is one of the few areas where there are no borders. Introducing arms to space will upset the balance in the world.”
According to Popovkin space systems and complexes are technically very difficult and could easily fail. “As the Commander of Space Forces (in this case) I cannot guarantee that the object’s failure was not caused by the actions of a potential enemy”.
According to military experts, strategic nuclear stability, i.e. guarantees against a sudden nuclear missile strike, rely heavily on the efficacy of early warning satellites that detect missile launches, and also on the constant work of reconnaissance satellites. If one of these orbiters ceases to function, the security of the state that launched it may end up in jeopardy. This could in turn create an atmosphere of distrust and uncertainty, which could ultimately lead to a military catastrophe.
It would seem that Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo, one of the most important characters in the Star Wars films, was right when he said that the main secret of the film’s success was that it was “not about space, but about people; this is primarily a film about human relationships.” It is up to us humans to decide whether space shall remain as a peaceful realm or whether it will become another arena for military conflict.