Author Archive | BananaFamine

Americans Growing Tired of Traffic Light Spy Cameras

Traffic Light SpyAlex Johnson writes on MSNBC:

In more than 500 cities and towns in 25 states, silent sentries keep watch over intersections, snapping photos and shooting video of drivers who run red lights. The cameras are on the job in metropolises like Houston and Chicago and in small towns like Selmer, Tenn., population 4,700, where a single camera setup monitors traffic at the intersection of U.S. Highway 64 and Mulberry Avenue.

One of the places is Los Angeles, where, if the Police Commission gets its way, the red light cameras will have to come down in a few weeks. That puts the nation’s second-largest city at the leading edge of an anti-camera movement that appears to have been gaining traction across the country in recent weeks.

A City Council committee is considering whether to continue the city’s camera contract over the objections of the commission, which voted unanimously to remove the camera system, which shoots video of cars running red lights at 32 of the city’s thousands of intersections.

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Chris Hedges’s Endgame Strategy: Why The Revolution Must Start In America

Synopsis via The Raw Story:
Pulitzer-winning author and former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges has a revolutionary worldview. In the video below, his recent “Endgame Strategy” piece for AdBusters is read aloud by George Atherton. His conclusions are chilling, but not entirely hopeless. “We will have to take care of ourselves,” he wrote. “We will have to rapidly create small, monastic communities where we can sustain and feed ourselves. It will be up to us to keep alive the intellectual, moral and cultural values the corporate state has attempted to snuff out. It is either that or become drones and serfs in a global corporate dystopia. It is not much of a choice. But at least we still have one.
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Food Ark: Will Seed Banks Save Our Sources of Food?

“Experts estimate that we have lost more than half of the world’s food varieties over the past century”. Charles Siebert writes in National Geographic:

Svalbard Vault Mountain (Cutaway). Illustration: Global Crop Diversity Trust

Svalbard Vault Mountain (Cutaway). Illustration: Global Crop Diversity Trust

A crisis is looming: To feed our growing population, we’ll need to double food production. Yet crop yields aren’t increasing fast enough, and climate change and new diseases threaten the limited varieties we’ve come to depend on for food. Luckily we still have the seeds and breeds to ensure our future food supply — but we must take steps to save them.

Six miles outside the town of Decorah, Iowa, an 890-acre stretch of rolling fields and woods called Heritage Farm is letting its crops go to seed. It seems counterintuitive, but then everything about this farm stands in stark contrast to the surrounding acres of neatly rowed corn and soybean fields that typify modern agriculture. Heritage Farm is devoted to collecting rather than growing seeds.

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LulzSec Leaks Arizona Law Enforcement Papers

LulzSecRob Beschizza writes on BoingBoing:
LulzSec announced Thursday evening the publication at Pirate Bay of a trove of leaked material from Arizona law enforcement agencies. Arizona's Department of Public Safety confirmed shortly thereafter that it was hacked. In the press release included with the dump, a LulzSec affiliate outlines a more activist agenda than is usually associated with the group: We are releasing hundreds of private intelligence bulletins, training manuals, personal email correspondence, names, phone numbers, addresses and passwords belonging to Arizona law enforcement. We are targeting AZDPS specifically because we are against SB1070 and the racial profiling anti-immigrant police state that is Arizona. The documents classified as "law enforcement sensitive", "not for public distribution", and "for official use only" are primarily related to border patrol and counter-terrorism operations and describe the use of informants to infiltrate various gangs, cartels, motorcycle clubs, Nazi groups, and protest movements.
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Male Birth Control Pill On The Horizon

Male Birth ControlReports LiveScience via MNN:

Equality for men may be on the horizon — contraceptive equality, that is. For more than a half century, women have been able to pop a pill to prevent pregnancy, but a pharmaceutical alternative has never emerged for men.

Now, research to interfere with the body’s ability to use vitamin A is showing some promise, because, in men, vitamin A is necessary for the production of sperm.

One recent study found that a compound that interferes with the body’s ability to use vitamin A rendered male mice sterile while they were receiving 8- or 16-week courses. But once the mice were taken off the compound, they resumed making sperm. Significantly, the researchers found no side effects, and the testosterone levels of the mice stayed normal, meaning no fluctuations in mousey libido.

“Our mice, they mate quite happily, so that is not something we have interfered with,” said Debra Wolgemuth, one of the study researchers and a professor of genetics and development at Columbia University Medical Center.

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Check Out Ron Paul’s Stock Portfolio (and for Other Members of Congress)

Ron Paul Gold CoinFrom Linette Lopez’s article in Business Insider. Here’s what Ron Paul does and full article here.

Well, this is predictable …Today members of Congress had to reveal their stock holdings. We were curious what anti-Fed, pro-gold Congressman Ron Paul held, and no surprise, he likes gold. Lots of it. Here are the stocks he owns:

Agnico Eagle Mines; Alumina Common; Anglo Gold Ashanti Ltd.; BrigusGold Corp. Com MPV (formerly Apollo Gold Corp); Barrick Gold Corp.; Claude Research Inc; Coeur D’Alene Minds Corp.; Gold Corp Inc; El Dorado Gold Corp.; IAM Gold Corp.; Kinross; Lexam Explorations Inc.; Mag Silver Corp.; Metalline Mining Co.; Mutual Securities Inc.; Newmont Mining Corp.; Pan American Silver; Petrol Oil and Gas; Silver Wheaton Corp; Virginia Mines Inc.; Vista Gold Corp.; Viterra Inc; Wesdome Gold Mines Ltd.; Allied Nevada Gold Corp.; Hecla Mining Co.

Looks like he’s doing well these days.

Click here to see what some of his fellow Representatives are holdings as well.… Read the rest

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Why The World Isn’t As ‘Flat’ As Thomas Friedman Says…

The World Is Not FlatRana Foroohar writes in TIME:

Tis the season to be selfish. Right after the global financial crisis exploded in 2008, many economists fretted that countries looking to hold on to their share of a shrinking pie would become more self-interested and protectionist, plunging the planet into an even sharper downturn, just as happened in the 1930s after the Great Depression. Thanks to panic-fueled crisis management by policymakers, it didn’t happen. But after three years of pain and very little economic gain, it may be happening now.

The signs are everywhere. Europeans are in the middle of a potentially calamitous debt crisis, one that threatens not only the survival of the euro zone but the idea of the European Union itself: politicians are starting to talk about rolling back visa-free travel between countries. Meanwhile, OPEC is falling apart as the Saudis and the Iranians bicker over how to control the world’s energy spigots.

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Rabbinical Court Sentences Dog To Death By Stoning For Reincarnation

Reports Agence France-Presse via the Raw Story:
JERUSALEM — A Jerusalem rabbinical court condemned to death by stoning a dog it suspects is the reincarnation of a secular lawyer who insulted the court's judges 20 years ago, Ynet website reported Friday. According to Ynet, the large dog made its way into the Monetary Affairs Court in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem, frightening judges and plaintiffs. Despite attempts to drive the dog out of the court, the hound refused to leave the premises. One of the sitting judges then recalled a curse the court had passed down upon a secular lawyer who had insulted the judges two decades previously. Their preferred divine retribution was for the lawyer's spirit to move into the body of a dog, an animal considered impure by traditional Judaism.
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New Apple Technology Stops iPhones From Filming Live Events

Bad AppleF@ck you, Apple (had to get that out of my system). Fox News reports:
CUPERTINO, Calif. — Fans at concerts and sports games may soon be stopped from using their iPhones to film the action —as a result of new technology being considered by Apple, The Times of London reported Thursday. The California company has plans to build a system that will sense when a person is trying to film a live event using a cell phone and automatically switch off their camera. A patent application filed by Apple, and obtained by the Times, reveals how the software would work. If a person were to hold up their iPhone, the device would trigger the attention of infra-red sensors installed at the venue. These sensors would then instruct the iPhone to disable its camera. Apple declined to comment.
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