Category: Conspiracy Theories


Wall Street On Parade

Suspicious Deaths of Bankers Are Now Classified as “Trade Secrets” by Federal Regulator

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 28, 2014

It doesn’t get any more Orwellian than this: Wall Street mega banks crash the U.S. financial system in 2008. Hundreds of thousands of financial industry workers lose their jobs. Then, beginning late last year, a rash of suspicious deaths start to occur among current and former bank employees.  Next we learn that four of the Wall Street mega banks likely hold over $680 billion face amount of life insurance on their workers, payable to the banks, not the families. We ask their Federal regulator for the details of this life insurance under a Freedom of Information Act request and we’re told the information constitutes “trade secrets.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the life expectancy of a 25 year old male with a Bachelor’s degree or higher as of 2006 was 81 years of age. But in the past five months, five highly educated JPMorgan male employees in their 30s and one former employee aged 28, have died under suspicious circumstances, including three of whom allegedly leaped off buildings – a statistical rarity even during the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

There is one other major obstacle to brushing away these deaths as random occurrences – they are not happening at JPMorgan’s closest peer bank – Citigroup. Both JPMorgan and Citigroup are global financial institutions with both commercial banking and investment banking operations. Their employee counts are similar – 260,000 employees for JPMorgan versus 251,000 for Citigroup.

Both JPMorgan and Citigroup also own massive amounts of bank-owned life insurance (BOLI), a controversial practice that pays the corporation when a current or former employee dies. (In the case of former employees, the banks conduct regular “death sweeps” of public records using former employees’ Social Security numbers to learn if a former employee has died and then submits a request for payment of the death benefit to the insurance company.)

Wall Street On Parade carefully researched public death announcements over the past 12 months which named the decedent as a current or former employee of Citigroup or its commercial banking unit, Citibank. We found no data suggesting Citigroup was experiencing the same rash of deaths of young men in their 30s as JPMorgan Chase. Nor did we discover any press reports of leaps from buildings among Citigroup’s workers.

Given the above set of facts, on March 21 of this year, we wrote to the regulator of national banks, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), seeking the following information under the Freedom of Information Act (See OCC Response to Wall Street On Parade’s Request for Banker Death Information):

The number of deaths from 2008 through March 21, 2014 on which JPMorgan Chase collected death benefits; the total face amount of BOLI life insurance in force at JPMorgan; the total number of former and current employees of JPMorgan Chase who are insured under these policies; any peer studies showing the same data comparing JPMorgan Chase with Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup.

The OCC responded politely by letter dated April 18, after first calling a few days earlier to inform us that we would be getting nothing under the sunshine law request. (On Wall Street, sunshine routinely means dark curtain.) The OCC letter advised that documents relevant to our request were being withheld on the basis that they are “privileged or contains trade secrets, or commercial or financial information, furnished in confidence, that relates to the business, personal, or financial affairs of any person,” or  relate to “a record contained in or related to an examination.”

The ironic reality is that the documents do not pertain to the personal financial affairs of individuals who have a privacy right. Individuals are not going to receive the proceeds of this life insurance for the most part. In many cases, they do not even know that multi-million dollar policies that pay upon their death have been taken out by their employer or former employer. Equally important, JPMorgan is a publicly traded company whose shareholders have a right under securities laws to understand the quality of its earnings – are those earnings coming from traditional banking and investment banking operations or is this ghoulish practice of profiting from the death of workers now a major contributor to profits on Wall Street?

As it turns out, one aspect of the information cavalierly denied to us by the OCC is publicly available to those willing to hunt for it. On March 24 of this year, we reported that JPMorgan Chase held $10.4 billion in BOLI assets at its insured depository bank as of December 31, 2013.

We reached out to BOLI expert, Michael D. Myers, to understand what JPMorgan’s $10.4 billion in BOLI assets at its commercial bank might represent in terms of face amount of life insurance on its workers. Myers said: “Without knowing the length of the investment or its rate of return, it is difficult to estimate the face amount of the insurance coverage.  However, a cash value of $10.4 billion could easily translate into more than $100 billion in actual insurance coverage and possibly two or three times that amount” said Myers, a partner in the Houston, Texas law firm McClanahan Myers Espey, L.L.P.

 

Read More Here

 

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Insurance policies pertaining to bankers’ suicides classified as containing ‘trade secrets’

Published time: April 29, 2014 19:09

AFP Photo / John Moore

AFP Photo / John Moore

After a recent rash of mysterious apparent suicides shook the financial world, researchers are scrambling to find answers about what really is the reason behind these multiple deaths. Some observers have now come to a rather shocking conclusion.

Wall Street on Parade bloggers Pam and Russ Martens wrote this week that something seems awry regarding the bank-owned life insurance (BOLI) policies held by JPMorgan Chase. Traditional life insurance policies ensure that the loved ones of the deceased are compensated fairly in the event of a death, but banks are investing billions in policies that let them receive untaxed payment with the passing of each employee. While it’s not unusual for major banks to take out policies that compensate companies in the event of an employee death, the Martens wrote, attempts to find out more about that practice have been peculiarly hard and have raised a red flag among bloggers like those at Wall Street on Parade.

Four of the biggest banks on Wall Street combined hold over $680 billion in BOLI policies, the bloggers reported, but JPMorgan held around $17.9 billion in BOLI assets at the end of last year to Citigroup’s comparably meager $8.8 billion.

Both banks are global financial institutions with commercial and investment banking operations, the Martens wrote, and each employs close to a quarter-of-a-million employees. Nevertheless, they say that JPMorgan has experienced a far greater rate of suicide among employees in recent months, particularly in the midst of a series of news reports documenting unusual leaps off buildings and other bizarre deaths that have taken the lives of JPMorgan staffers.

 

Read More Here

 

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Benghazi attack could have been prevented if US hadn’t ‘switched sides in the War on Terror’ and allowed $500 MILLION of weapons to reach al-Qaeda militants, reveals damning report

  • Citizens Committee on Benghazi claims the US government allowed arms to flow to al-Qaeda-linked militants who opposed Muammar Gaddafi
  • Their rise to power, the group says, led to the Benghazi attack in 2012
  • The group claims the strongman Gaddafi offered to abdicate his presidency, but the US refused to broker his peaceful exit
  • The commission, part of the center-right Accuracy In Media group, concluded that the Benghazi attack was a failed kidnapping plot
  • US Ambassador Chris Stevens was to be captured and traded for ‘blind sheikh’ Omar Abdel-Rahman, who hatched the 1993 WTC bombing plot

By David Martosko, U.s. Political Editor

The Citizens Commission on Benghazi, a self-selected group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers, declared Tuesday in Washington that a seven-month review of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack has determined that it could have been prevented – if the U.S. hadn’t been helping to arm al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier.

‘The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,’ Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.

She blamed the Obama administration for failing to stop half of a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.

‘Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,’ Lopez claimed. ‘They were permitted to come in. … [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..

‘The intelligence community was part of that, the Department of State was part of that, and certainly that means that the top leadership of the United States, our national security leadership, and potentially Congress – if they were briefed on this – also knew about this.’

The weapons were intended for Gaddafi but allowed by the U.S. to flow to his Islamist opposition.

 

The Citizens Committee on Benghazi released its interim findings on April 22, 2014 in Washington. Pictured are (L-R) Clare Lopez, Admiral (Ret.) Chuck Kubic, Admiral (Ret.) James 'Ace' Lyons, former CIA officer Wayne Simmons and civil rights attorney John Clarke

The Citizens Committee on Benghazi released its interim findings on April 22, 2014 in Washington. Pictured are (L-R) Clare Lopez, Admiral (Ret.) Chuck Kubic, Admiral (Ret.) James ‘Ace’ Lyons, former CIA officer Wayne Simmons and civil rights attorney John Clarke

 

On September 11, 2012 armed terror-linked militias attacked U.S. diplomatic outposts in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans and driving the United States out of that part of the country

On September 11, 2012 armed terror-linked militias attacked U.S. diplomatic outposts in Benghazi, Libya, killing four Americans and driving the United States out of that part of the country

 

‘The White House and senior Congressional members,’ the group wrote in an interim report released Tuesday, ‘deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler [Muammar Gaddafi] who had been working closely with the West actively to suppress al-Qaeda.’

‘Some look at it as treason,’ said Wayne Simmons, a former CIA officer who participated in the commission’s research.

Retired Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic, another commission member, told reporters Tuesday that those weapons are now ‘all in Syria.’

 

‘Gaddafi wasn’t a good guy, but he was being marginalized,’ Kubic recalled. ‘Gaddafi actually offered to abdicate’ shortly after the beginning of a 2011 rebellion.

‘But the U.S. ignored his calls for a truce,’ the commission wrote, ultimately backing the horse that would later help kill a U.S. ambassador.

Read More  and Watch Video Here

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Washington Examiner.com

 

By Paul Bedard | APRIL 18, 2014 AT 1:05 PM

More than half of the nation’s union members, most of whose Washington-based executives support President Obama and use dues to support Democrats, fear the government, a remarkably high number that even tops the 42 percent of gun owners who fear Uncle Sam, according to a new poll.

Overall, Rasmussen Reports said on Friday that 37 percent of likely voters fear the government. They didn’t poll what they feared. Some 47 percent do not fear the federal government, and 17 percent said they were unsure.

Among union workers, 52 percent of those in the poll expressed fear, compared to 30 percent who said they don’t worry about the federal government. Nearly half the nation’s gun owners, 49 percent, don’t fear the Feds.

The poll suggested that the reason for the concerns among voters is the belief that Washington is a threat to individual liberty, not a protector.

 

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The soldier behind Wednesday’s deadly shooting at Fort Hood was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder, and had seen no combat while deployed in Iraq three years ago.

Also, the shooter bought his gun from the same place the 2009 Fort Hood shooter got his weapon.

Army officials Thursday afternoon identified the killer as Spc. Ivan Lopez, 34, a Puerto Rican father of three who authorities say had no record of misbehavior. Wednesday’s tragedy at the Texas Army base left four people dead, including the gunman, and 16 injured.

“We have very strong evidence that he had a medical history that indicated an unstable psychiatric or psychological condition,” Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, head of the Army’s III Corps at Fort Hood, said of Lopez. “There was no indication that he was targeting specific people.”

Milley hinted at a motive for the shooting. “There may have been a verbal altercation with another soldier or soldiers,” he said. “There is a strong possibility that that immediately preceded the shooting.”

MORE: Alleged shooter was not required to register weapon

STORY: Tragedy again touches Fort Hood community

STORY: Military plays catch-up on PTSD

STORY: 4 dead, 16 wounded in Fort Hood attack

MORE: Fort Hood shooting comes less than 5 years after earlier attack

MORE: ’09 shooting led to Pentagon review of base security

Lopez purchased his gun on March 1.

Last year, Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan was convicted and sentenced to death in the Nov. 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood on his fellow soldiers as they waited inside a crowded building on the base. Thirteen died and more than 30 were wounded, and it remains the deadliest attack on a domestic military installation in U.S. history.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Wednesday night traced the gun used in Wednesday’s attack to a local gun shop, said a federal law enforcement official not authorized to comment publicly. The official confirmed that the gun had been purchased at Guns Galore, the same shop that sold a weapon to Hasan.

Lopez enlisted in the Army in June 2008 and served four months in Iraq as a truck driver.

“His records show no wounds, no involvement — direct involvement — in combat,” said Army Secretary John McHugh, the U.S. Army’s top civilian official. “As Gen. Milley said, no record of Purple Heart or any injury that might lead us to further investigate a battle-related TBI (traumatic brain injury) or such.”

Milley said Lopez had “self-diagnosed” a traumatic brain injury. “He was not wounded in action,” Milley said.

On Thursday, McHugh said the suspected shooter had two deployments, including the one in Iraq. Lopez enlisted as an infantryman and later switched his specialty to truck driver.

Lopez, who was on a variety of prescribed drugs including Ambien, had not yet been diagnosed for post-traumatic stress disorder. But he was also undergoing treatment for depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance and a variety of other issues, McHugh said.

“He was seen just last month by a psychiatrist,” McHugh said Thursday. “He was fully examined. And as of this morning, we had no indication on the record of that examination that there was any sign of likely violence, either to himself or to others. No suicidal ideation.”

Out of respect for Lopez’s family and the integrity of the investigation, Milley said he would not release any more details about the soldier’s medical status. He did add that it was too early to tell if Lopez received adequate mental health treatment.

 

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Active Shooter at Fort Hood! Planned Jihad-False Flag Exposed!

 

Published on Apr 2, 2014

FOX WARNED OF THIS! THEN RECANTED!! NOW IT HAPPENS?? FALSE FLAG !! ALL DAY !

MORE INFO AT LINKS:

http://www.kcentv.com/story/25146842/…

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/04/01/…

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/04/01/…)

 

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Busted! Sloppy MSM Psyop On Fort Hood ‘False Flag Shooting’ Exposed!

 

Published on Apr 2, 2014

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LOOK! Craigslist Ad for Role Players in Staged Fort Hood Disaster!

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Deleted Craigslist Ad for  roleplayers for a Fort Hood Type Shooting Drill photo deletedcraigslistadforroleplayersinforthoodstyleshootingdrillApril2014_zpsfbe3537c.png
Screenshot of Deleted Craigslist Ad for roleplayers for a Fort Hood Type Shooting Drill

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Flight 370 The CIA Hoax: Gordon Duff

The file photo shows the search operation for the missing Malaysian plane

The file photo shows the search operation for the missing Malaysian plane

 

By Gordon Duff and Press TV

(This is the most read article in the world for 2014 thus far)

Today we are told that the fate of Flight 370 is known, not yet identified debris has been spotted in what is called “the Southern Indian Ocean,” perhaps more appropriately described as “north of Antarctica.”

We also know that the 777/200 is a “fly by wire” aircraft with controls in place that allow the CIA to remotely pilot the plane “in case of emergency.”  We were able to verify the design and implementation of this system through Boeing, Raytheon and commercial pilots.

“BAD NEWS”

The descriptions today in the New York Times and other publications are purposefully inaccurate and contradictory.  Their explanations of how commercial aircraft communicate and are tracked are fanciful at best, at worst “criminal.”

CIA CONTROLS COMMERCIAL AIRCRAFT

When Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 was reported as having crashed in the South China Sea, a massive cover up began yet no one will speak of it, nothing is written of it and its broad consequences are a subject of no investigation.

While people around the world were told the plane was “lost” or “crashed,” it was being monitored by NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) and its regional defense partners through secret systems installed in the plane.

In 2006, Boeing announced the following, from a John Croft article in Flight Global:

Boeing last week received a US patent for a system that, once activated, removes all controls from pilots to automatically return a commercial airliner to a predetermined landing location.

The “uninterruptible” autopilot would be activated – either by pilots, by onboard sensors or even remotely via radio or satellite links by government agencies like the Central Intelligence Agency, if terrorists attempt to gain control of a flight deck.
 
Boeing says: “We are constantly studying ways we can enhance the safety, security and efficiency of the world’s airline fleet.”

Similarly, Raytheon Corporation was awarded a contract by the Federal Aviation Administration 8 years ago to implement an “Advanced Route Evaluation System” (ARES) to work in concert with the system operated by the Central Intelligence Agency.

In addition, the technical staff at Rolls Royce, a fact also reported in the Wall Street Journal, continually monitored the plane’s flight.

Hundreds of people knew exactly where the plane was, how every system was working, what had been “turned off” not only when but where and exactly where the plane is now.  Every word told the press, has been a lie.
Every word told by the mainstream media has been a lie.

THE “FLYING DUTCHMAN” AIRLINER

Now everyone knows that the plane continued flying for hours.  This is where the cover up becomes problematic; you see everything about the plane was known, position, conditions of the engines, oxygen levels in the cockpit and passenger compartment, this and much more.

Even if the plane couldn’t be remotely piloted, its systems under “uninterruptable” control, a term coined by Boeing itself, the 777/200’s supposed “Flying Dutchman” journey to the South Pole is more than implausible.

The CIA along with Joint military commands set up during the Global War on Terror, tracked Flight 370, monitoring it continually, monitoring the murder of its passengers, monitoring its landing, monitoring its refueling and know exactly where it is.

If the plane really went down “off Antarctica,” they then monitored and “allowed” that.

ROLLS ROYCE SILENCE

In Britain, technicians for Rolls Royce monitored the plane as well, reporting its position to the British government every minute it was in the air.  Those technicians have been silent, the British government has never been asked, and no one has been asked.

As the largest “Where’s Waldo” hunt in history goes on, now pulling in data from weather satellites and fleets of anti-submarine warfare planes unleashed upon the Indian Ocean, the entire thing is an “act,” a would-be comical farce.

Flight 370 is a Boeing 777/200, one of the most automated planes in the world.  We will be outlining some of the specifics that make this theft or hijacking or alien abduction or whatever the mainstream media chooses to call it not just improbable but government sponsored terrorism.

9/11 ALL OVER AGAIN…..

 

Read More Here

 

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New objects seen, but still no evidence of jet

By ROB GRIFFITH and GILLIAN WONG Associated Press

Posted:   03/29/2014 12:58:05 AM MDT | Updated:   72 min. ago

 

Click photo to enlarge

Crew onboard a Royal Malaysian Air Force C-130 Hercules unloads… ((AP Photo/Rob Griffith, Pool))

PERTH, Australia—A day after the search for the Malaysian jetliner shifted to a new area of the Indian Ocean, ships on Saturday plucked objects from the sea to determine whether they were related to the missing jet. None were confirmed to be from the plane, leaving searchers with no sign of the jet three weeks after it disappeared.Meanwhile, a Chinese military plane scanning part of the search zone, which is roughly the size of Poland, spotted several objects floating in the sea, including two bearing colors of the missing jet.

It was not immediately clear whether those objects were related to the investigation into what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing, and officials said the second day of searching in the new area ended with no evidence found of the jet.

Dozens of relatives of passengers on the missing plane were to fly from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday to seek answers from Malaysia’s government as to what happened to their loved ones. Two-thirds of the 229 passengers aboard Flight 370 were Chinese, and their relatives have expressed deep frustration with Malaysian authorities since the plane went missing.

Ships from China and Australia on Saturday scooped up items described only as “objects from the ocean,” but none were “confirmed to be related” to Flight 370, said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, which is overseeing the search.

A Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 plane spotted three floating objects, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said, a day after several planes and ships combing the newly targeted area, which is closer to Australia than the previous search zone, saw several other objects.

The three objects spotted by the Chinese plane were white, red and orange in color, the Xinhua report said. The missing Boeing 777’s exterior was red, white, blue and gray.

Investigators have been puzzled over what happened to Flight 370, with speculation ranging from equipment failure and a botched hijacking to terrorism or an act by one of the pilots.

The latter was fueled by reports that the pilot’s home flight simulator had files deleted from it, but Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said checks, including one by the FBI, had turned up no new information.

 

 

Read More Here

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Some Objects Found in Search Area Not Related to Jet

Objects retrieved by Chinese and Australian ships on Friday are not related to missing Malaysia Airlines jet, Chinese state media said. But more objects found Saturday have not been ruled out as having a connection to the plane.

Objects were retrieved by a Chinese ship during Friday’s search operations, but China’s state broadcaster CCTV said that they were merely garbage.

Australian officials confirmed that a Chinese aircraft had spotted three objects in a new search area for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet off Australia’s west coast on Saturday.

 

Read More Here

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Obama administration’s plans to monitor newsrooms ignites bitter opposition

Americans are outraged over the Obama administration’s Federal Communication Commission’s plan to study exactly how news agencies pick and choose stories. Already, 33,713 and counting have signed a petition saying “no government monitors in newsrooms”, according to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ).

In just the first two hours of the petition’s launch yesterday, the organization claims that the number of signers against the government’s plan to watch newsrooms reached 10,000. Last year, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) made an announcement about a Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs (CINs).

It explained that it’s goal was to understand how stories were chosen, news station priorities, production of content, populations it reached out to, perceived station bias as well as the percentage of news out toward the content to every part of the “critical information needs” in a region, according to what Fox News reported.

However, chief counsel of the ACLJ Jay Sekulow is highly concerned that it could be utilized as a tool of intimidation for specific news agencies to cover issues that state and federal officials feel are vitally important.

“This is an extremely troubling and dangerous development that represents the latest in an ongoing assault on the Constitution by the Obama Administration,” Sekulow said in a statement, “We have seen a corrupt IRS unleashed on conservatives. We have seen an imperial president bypass Congress and change the law with executive orders.”

Presently, the FCC has jurisdiction over the broadcast sector and does not have power over cable news or print. Local stations, networks, and the majority of radio stations would be subject to the monitoring project the federal agency wishes to carry out in the future.

“Now we see the heavy hand of the Obama administration poised to interfere with the First Amendment rights of journalists,” Sekulow said in an article on theblaze.com, “It’s clear that the Obama administration is only interested in utilizing intimidation tactics – at the expense of Americans and the Constitution. The federal government has no place attempting to control the media, using the unconstitutional actions of repressive regimes to squelch free speech.”

During press time, it was noted that an FCC spokesperson did not make a comment in regards to the plan. Various objectives are outlined for the research initiative. In a statement released on May 28, 2013 the goals are “collect data to inform: the access (or potential barriers) to CINs as identified by the FCC; the media that makes up media ecologies (i.e., what media is actually included in that ecology; ownership of that market; what specific type of content dominates those media ecologies; what is the flow of information within the ecology, etc); the use of and interaction between media that makes media ecologies (i.e., how do different layers of the ecology interact to provide for CINs; how do individuals of diverse neighborhoods/communities differ in terms of access to CINs); validate data collection tools/templates and protocols; demonstrate high internal validity and reliability of measured constructs.”

The Obama administration has come under harsh critique for how it has treated the press in the past. Reporters Without Borders’ group put the United States in the 46th place in the world for press freedom. It noted that government investigations into a variety of news agencies in national security incidents are what put the country in that ranking.

“The trial and conviction of Private Bradley Manning and the pursuit of NSA analyst Edward Snowden were warnings to all those thinking of assisting in the disclosure of sensitive information that would clearly be in the public interest,” the international journalists report states.

“US journalists were stunned by the Department of Justice’s seizure of Associated Press phone records without warning in order to identify the source of a CIA leak,” the report noted, “It served as a reminder of the urgent need for a ‘shield law’ to protect the confidentiality of journalists’ sources at the federal level.”

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Canada Free Press

Hooray for our glorious state-run media!

Behold the Obama administration’s creepy plan to put FCC monitors in America’s newsrooms

By Robert Laurie (Bio and Archives)  Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hey, you know what’s a pain in the rump for the ruling class? That pesky “freedom of the press,” that’s what. Reporters can investigate whatever they want, and then they can just go ahead and put those reports on the air. That means that someone might discover the horrible things politicians are doing, and they might even decide to run the story.

If only there was a way for Obama’s FCC to get the First Amendment under control.

From Mediaite:

An FCC commissioner is warning people about an agency study that would bring government monitors into newsrooms and inspect issues like the amount of time spent on the “critical information needs” [CIN’s] of Americans in news content.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal bringing people’s attention to this study, saying “the government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.” And while participation is technically voluntary, ignoring them would not be a wise decision for any news outlet that wants an FCC license.

The FCC has evidently cooked up eight “CIN’s” that it feels outlets should be covering. Their study would demand that news departments answer a series of questions designed to “ascertain the process by which stories are selected, station priorities (for content production quality, and populations served), perceived station bias, perceived percent of news dedicated to each of the eight CIN’s and perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”

Read More Here

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Josh del Sol
Activist Post

Two weeks ago, the New York Times’ truth-humor strip on “The Home of the Future” came on the heels of Google’s purchase of ‘smart thermostat’ manufacturer Nest for $3.2 Billion.  With power utility commissions such as California already stating their intention to “expand third-party access” to in-home data, the perfect storm is brewing for Google’s mission of making you their product – even in your own home.

For context, this is the same Google whose executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, told MSNBC:

If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.

While pushing to nullify privacy laws, the Big G obviously doesn’t care about pesky old-fashioned encumbrances like ethics either, as evidenced by this gem:

I would argue that [us] implanting things in your brain is beyond the creepy line – at least for the moment, until the technology gets better.

The timing of Google’s purchase announcement is interesting, coming only a couple weeks after US federal judge William Pauley ruled that the unwarranted NSA phone surveillance against US citizens is legal.

However, federal judge Richard Leon, the European Union, and the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board have all strongly condemned the spy programs.  (The credibility of the Justice Department is in serious question, following revelations that last April it had secretly inked a deal with the Obama Administration to help corporations evade federal wiretap laws.)

The Battleground Hits Home

So where does a ‘smart thermostat’ fit in the current corporatist drive for total in-home surveillance?

For the last couple of years, utilities around the globe have all been touting their new metering systems with buzzwords such as ‘smart’, ‘advanced’, ‘upgraded’, or ‘modernized’.  All rhetoric aside, these devices are intended to integrate with all appliances in your home to form an inescapable wireless data-mining dragnet, dubbed as the “home area network”, with your HVAC and likely other in-home systems overseen by spy-giant Google, if they get their way.

 Around the world, more than 1 million homeowners have now refused
the corporate push to deploy a ‘smart’ meter on their home.

As we’ve seen, even former CIA director David Petraeus was publicly frothing over having the ability to spy through ‘smart’ appliances, intended to wirelessly report back to the meter continuously, while receiving energy-use dictates from the meter.

According to a US Congressional Research Report:

With smart meters, police will have access to data that might be used to track residents’ daily lives and routines while in their homes, including their eating, sleeping, and showering habits, what appliances they use and when, and whether they prefer the television to the treadmill, among a host of other details.

Read More Here

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Google buys ‘smart’ thermostat maker Nest for £2bn

Smart move: Nest’s next-generation smoke alarm, Protect

Updated: 09:10, 14 January 2014

Google has spent $3.2 billion (£2bn) acquiring ‘smart’ home appliances start-up Nest Labs.

California-based Nest makes thermostats and smoke alarms that connect to the internet, allowing people to remotely monitor and control them from their smartphones.

The company was founded by Tony Fadell, a former Apple executive dubbed the “godfather of the iPod” for his work on the MP3 player. He left the position of head of music at Apple in 2008 to found Nest.

Nest launched is first thermostat in 2011 and says its products are now in over a million homes. Late last year the company made its first foray into the UK market, launching its smoke alarm here.

Fadell said in a statement: “We’re thrilled to join Google. With their support, Nest will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world.”

Read More Here

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IMF to revise upwards global growth forecast: Christine Lagarde

AFPJan 7, 2014, 10.34PM IST

(International Monetary…)

…..NAIROBI: The International Monetary Fund will revise upward its global growth forecast in about three weeks, Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Tuesday in Nairobi.

“We will be revising upwards the global forecast of the economic growth,” she told a press conference in the Kenyan capital, adding that it would be premature to say any more.

Lagarde, who was wrapping up a two-day visit to Kenya, gave no reason for the revision.

When it issued its latest World Economic Outlook report in October, the IMF lowered its forecasts, saying that global growth “remains in low gear”.

It said it expected the global economy to grow 2.9 percent year-on-year in 2013 and 3.6 percent in 2014. That represented a downward revision of 0.3 and 0.2 percentage points, respectively, from its July estimates.

Emerging-market economies, although still accounting for most global growth, were losing more momentum than previously thought, the IMF said in November, although advanced economies, in particular the United States, were showing signs of picking up.

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World Economic Forum chance to ‘push the reset button’ on global economy

The World Economic Forum is an an opportunity to “push the reset button” on the global economy and to seek solutions to fundamental issues, according to the body’s executive chairman. Speaking ahead of the next week’s gathering of world leaders and power brokers in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, Klaus Schwab said the world…

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Davos debates income inequality but still invites tax avoiders

The rich and powerful at the World Economic Forum are not as worried as they should be about the gap between rich and poor

World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab

Mind the gap: World Economic Forum founder Klaus Schwab has warned against the concentration of wealth in too few hands. Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

Those on the outside might imagine that the business leaders who gather in Davos each year to chew the fat are concerned only about enriching themselves. Critics might imagine that the company bosses, jetting to the World Economic Forum 5,000 feet up in the Swiss Alps in their helicopters, mink-clad trophy wives in tow, are oblivious to the struggles of the poor. But they would be wrong.

As the rich and powerful make their last-minute preparations for their week up the magic mountain, they want the message to be sent out that they understand about inequality. They feel the pain. Truly they do.

The evidence for the “Davos gets it” line comes from the annual risk report compiled by the WEF. It asks 700 of its members what they think will be the most pressing threats to the global economy over the coming decade. Inequality is seen as the most likely risk.

Klaus Schwab, who created the Davos meeting in the 1970s, is pleased about that finding. As a good old-fashioned social democrat, he wants his members to take a history lesson and realise that capitalism cannot survive if income and wealth become concentrated in too few hands. For much of the 20th century, the more far-sighted business leaders realised this. They understood that their workers needed reasonable wages so that they could buy the goods and services they were making. They grasped the idea that a market system in its rawest form was incompatible with democracy and so acquiesced while some of the rough edges were knocked off via progressive taxation, welfare states and curbs on capital. Deep down, they feared that the Russian revolution would provide a template for disaffected workers in the west.

Attitudes have changed in the past 30 years. The so-called Great Compression of incomes seen from the 1930s to the 1970s went into reverse, with the top 1% grabbing the fruits of growth. The rich used their money and their influence to ensure that governments did their bidding. After the Berlin Wall came down, there was no rival model and less need to show restraint. With the arrival of a unipolar world came a return to a more aggressive form of market economics that had not been seen since the early days of industrialisation.

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Op-Ed: New evidence shows US intelligence on Syrian sarin attack faulty

 

By Ken Hanly

Jan 16, 2014
Damascus – U.S. technical intelligence on the Damascus sarin attack of August 21, 2013 appears flawed as new analysis of the rocket said to have delivered the gas in a main attack has too short a range to have been fired from government positions as the U.S. claims.
There have long been questions about the intelligence used to make the case that the Assad regime carried out the attack, and no very plausible motive for Assad to mount the attack has ever been offered. Some claim that the attack was the result of frustration by Assad forces at their inability to dislodge the opposition from the areas attacked. However, there were UN inspectors in Damascus at the time and a gas attack had been a red line for U.S. intervention. The largest attack on the night in question was delivered by a rocket whose range was too limited to have been fired from Syrian government positions from which the Obama administration has insisted they originated. The rocket had long been recognized as improvised and not one that some intelligence operatives believed was part of the Syrian armaments. Neither was such a weapon declared as part of its arsenal or uncovered by OPCW inspectors. It is possible that Syria deliberately left such rockets out of its declaration in order not to be tied to the event. Even if this were so, it does not explain why the U.S. continues to insist that the rocket was launched from positions that lie beyond the rocket’s range!

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New analysis of rocket used in Syria chemical attack undercuts U.S. claims

McClatchy Foreign StaffJanuary 15, 2014

Mideast Syria

This image provided by Shaam News Network on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting. It purports to show bodies of victims of an attack on Ghouta, Syria

UNCREDITED — AP

— A series of revelations about the rocket believed to have delivered poison sarin gas to a Damascus suburb last summer are challenging American intelligence assumptions about that attack and suggest that the case U.S. officials initially made for retaliatory military action was flawed.

A team of security and arms experts, meeting this week in Washington to discuss the matter, has concluded that the range of the rocket that delivered sarin in the largest attack that night was too short for the device to have been fired from the Syrian government positions where the Obama administration insists they originated.

Separately, international weapons experts are puzzling over why the rocket in question – an improvised 330mm to 350mm rocket equipped with a large receptacle on its nose to hold chemicals – reportedly did not appear in the Syrian government’s declaration of its arsenal to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and apparently was not uncovered by OPCW inspectors who believe they’ve destroyed Syria’s ability to deliver a chemical attack.

Neither development proves decisively that Syrian government forces did not fire the chemicals that killed hundreds of Syrians in the early morning hours of Aug. 21. U.S. officials continue to insist that the case for Syrian government responsibility for the attack in East Ghouta is stronger than any suggestion of rebel involvement, while experts say it is possible Syria left the rockets out of its chemical weapons declaration simply to make certain it could not be tied to the attack.

“That failure to declare can mean different things,” said Ralf Trapp, an original member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and a former secretary of the group’s scientific advisory board. “It can mean the Syrian government doesn’t have them, or that they are hiding them.”

In Washington, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said its assertion of Syrian government responsibility remains unchanged.

“The body of information used to make the assessment regarding the August 21 attack included intelligence pertaining to the regime’s preparations for this attack and its means of delivery, multiple streams of intelligence about the attack itself and its effect, our post-attack observations, and the differences between the capabilities of the regime and the opposition. That assessment made clear that the opposition had not used chemical weapons in Syria,” it said Wednesday in an email.

But the authors of a report released Wednesday said that their study of the rocket’s design, its likely payload and its possible trajectories show that it would have been impossible for the rocket to have been fired from inside areas controlled by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

In the report, titled “Possible Implications of Faulty U.S. Technical Intelligence,” Richard Lloyd, a former United Nations weapons inspector, and Theodore Postol, a professor of science, technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argue that the question about the rocket’s range indicates a major weakness in the case for military action initially pressed by Obama administration officials.

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