Tag Archives | United States

How the Cold War Spawned the Environmental Movement

The_Population_BombVia New Scientist

In Arming Mother Nature, Jacob Darwin Hamblin argues that environmentalism is rooted in cold war plans to abuse nature for military ends

I have often wondered why NATO holds environment conferences. Now I know the answer. Back in the 1960s, the Western military alliance coined the term “environmental warfare” and for years actively considered how to wage such wars. More than that, argues Jacob Darwin Hamblin in this startling account, much of modern environmental thinking originated with the scientists and military strategists during the dark days of the cold war.

And you thought the first environmentalists were muesli-eating, sandal-wearing hippies? Far from it, Hamblin says. Before them was a generation of scary Dr Strangelove types, “scientists, military leaders and politicians who believed they would have to manipulate and exploit nature” in a war against the Soviet Union. The original doom-mongers were not sounding the alarm; they were riding into battle.

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U.S. Government: Reports About PRISM Contain “Numerous Inaccuracies”

via Tech Crunch8-cell

After the flurry of reports about the NSA’s alleged PRISM surveillance program earlier today, the U.S.’s Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper just released an official statement. According to Clapper, “The Guardian and The Washington Post articles refer tocollection of communications pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They contain numerous inaccuracies.”

Clapper argues that Section 702 is meant to ” facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-U.S. persons located outside the United States.” It is not meant to be used to “intentionally” target any U.S. citizens (though the statement leaves a door open for an admittance of “unintentional” spying).

Given the outright denials of all the tech firms accused of participating in this program, including Google, Facebook and Apple, it remains unclear if the accusation that these companies knew about the program is one of the “inaccuracies.”

Here is the full statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence:

DNI Statement on Activities Authorized Under Section 702 of FISA

The Guardian and The Washington Post articles refer to collection of communications pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

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Georgia Man Threatens to Sue if He Can’t Tell Strangers’ Children About Jesus

via The Raw Story religion-is-like-a-penis-mens-heavyweight-tee_design

A Georgia man is threatening to sue the city of Ringgold after he claims his constitutional rights were violated by police last Friday night, when officials asked him to stop bothering strangers’ children about his beliefs in the Christian deity figure Jesus Christ.

Cleveland, GA resident Daryl Banther and his 8-year-old son were reportedly handing out religious pamphlets and questionnaires at an annual celebration in Ringgold when he was confronted by the city manager and chief of police, who interrupted his proselytizing because a parent filed a police report about a strange man in the parking lot approaching children.

He left after repeated requests and was not arrested, but Banther vowed to return the next day. He then contacted the media and informed a reporter for WTVC-TV that he did just as promised, returning on Saturday night to find that he was not hassled at all.

Appearing on camera, he claimed that Christians no longer have any rights in America, then seemed aghast that an atheist could possibly file a lawsuit to force government officials to stop showing a preference for a religion.

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American Engineer’s Death Suicide or Cyber-Espionage?

via CBS News Year of the Snake

The death of an American computer engineer, Shane Todd, in Singapore has created quite a stir. His parents contend he was murdered, but authorities say it was suicide. The mystery seems to have links to the dark world of cyber-spying and could possibly involve China.
Rick and Mary Todd traveled from Montana to Singapore to prove that their son was actually the victim of a web of international cyber-espionage.

“We really appreciate the process that is going on; it’s a slow process so we really appreciate the way Singapore conducts its court system,” said Rick Todd.

The Todds are attending an 11-day inquiry into their son’s death. Shane Todd had been an engineer for a Singapore government research agency called the Institute of Microelectronics (IME). Then two days after quitting last June, he was found dead, hanging in his apartment bathroom. Police and the coroner ruled it a suicide.

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Is the US in Terminal Decline?

You might very well think that, but I couldn’t possibly comment. BBC News‘ North America editor Mark Mardell has some interesting thoughts, however:

It is eerie to walk so close to a weapon of mass destruction.

The B-52 bomber is one of the ultimate expressions of American power. If the president decides to drop a nuclear bomb, this is the sort of aircraft that would do it.

I am careful not to step over the red line around the plane. A sign painted on the ground warns lethal force can be used against those who cross it without authorisation.

I’ve come to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, filming for the new BBC One programme The Editors.

The programme aims to get the BBC’s on-air editors to explore – and hopefully answer – a big question. My chosen subject is the decline of American power.

There’s little evidence of it at the base, where the sign above the gate reads: “Only the best come North”.

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Poll: Three in Ten US Voters Say “Armed Revolution Might be Necessary”

Sprit_of_'76.2Jillian Rayfield writes at Salon:

A new survey of voters by Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind finds that 29 percent agree with the statement,  “In the next few years, an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect our liberties” – including 18 percent of Democrats, 27 percent of Independents and 44 percent of Republicans.

From the survey:

Only 38 percent of Americans who believe a revolution might be necessary support additional gun control legislation, compared with 62 percent of those who don’t think an armed revolt will be needed. “The differences in views of gun legislation are really a function of differences in what people believe guns are for,” said Cassino. “If you truly believe an armed revolution is possible in the near future, you need weapons and you’re going to be wary about government efforts to take them away.”

The poll also found that 25 percent of those surveyed “think that facts about the shootings at Sandy Hook elementary last year are being hidden.” 11 percent are unsure.

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‘Motorville’, Animated Short About U.S. Addiction to Oil

Motorville is an animated short film by Patrick Jean about a hungry city map in America that travels to a foreign nation in hopes of feeding it’s oil deprived body made up of “streets, highways and freeways.” via Vimeo Staff Picks: http://vimeo.com/62468031 The short film features sounds design by David Kamp and additional animations by both One More Production and Stephen Vuillemin.
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Creating torture centers and death squads in Iraq: Allowing psychopaths to abuse and rape children in the United States

via chycho

For me, the most amazing aspect of our society is that we have not yet come to terms with the origin of the horrors that are visited upon us. How is it possible that we do not understand that there are consequences to our actions? That if we do not begin to hold psychopaths responsible for creating death and misery around the world in our name, then how can we hope to have a different fate from those who we have victimized?

I believe the following paint a pretty clear picture, that the old axiom, we reap what we sow, is not just some abstract proverb.

In Iraq

BBC-Guardian Exposé Uses WikiLeaks to Link Iraq Torture Centers to U.S. Col. Steele & Gen. Petraeus – “A shocking new report by The Guardian and BBC Arabic details how the United States armed and trained Iraqi death squads that ran torture centers.… Read the rest

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The future of Africa looks bleak, here is why

via chycho

Contrary to what some have been hoping for, the future of Africa looks to be bloodier than its past. The reasons for this are as vast and varied as the continent itself, such as resources (oil, water, land, minerals), economic interests of external powers (growth, trade, monetary policy), and ideological differences (structure of governments, corruption, tradition, ethnicity).

One of the main reasons that this scramble for Africa has intensified in the last few years and will most likely continue to escalate for the next few decades is because western nations are losing major battles on multiple other fronts. Just to name a few: the coalition of the willing has lost Iraq as well as Afghanistan; Syria is a stalemate; Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Algeria, Congo, and Mali are a disaster; Bahrain is in lockdown; Latin America is freeing itself from U.S.

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