Saturday, May 7, 2011

The debt ceiling raise it again- RT Interview

Italy to supply Libyan rebels with arms: spokesman

Italy to supply Libyan rebels with arms: spokesman | Reuters

BENGHAZI, Libya | Sat May 7, 2011 2:59pm EDT

(Reuters) - Rebels fighting to oust Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said on Saturday they have reached an agreement with Italy to supply them with weapons, but the former colonial power denied the report.

Abdel-Hafiz Ghoga, spokesman for the rebel Transitional National Council, told a news conference in Benghazi that the weapons would be provided to the insurgents soon.

Asked to confirm reports that Italy had agreed to provide rebels with weapons, Ghoga said: "Yes, the military officers have confirmed that they have an agreement with the Italians.

"They will supply us with weapons. They've already been there (to Rome) twice, and we will receive them very soon," he added.

He declined to specify what kind of weapons would be furnished to the rebels but said they would be the "weapons that are needed for liberation."

In Rome, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said no such deal had been reached. "There has been no agreement to supply them with weapons," the spokesman told Reuters.

"T1's Project Truth" First Republican Debate Greenville SC

CASHLESS SOCIETY: Girl Scouts using smart phones to accept credit cards ...

Alan Watt - The Anti-Gender Agenda

Why does 2010 Bin Laden Look Better Than 2001 Bin Laden?

Washington's Blog

The Pentagon has released "home made videos" by Bin Laden, supposedly seized from the Pakistani compound in which he was killed:

In the newly-release videos, Bin Laden looks better than he did years ago. Specifically, this is what Bin Laden looked like in December 2001:

Bin Laden December 27, 2001 video

Bin Laden was pretty ill by December 2001. As CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen - who met Bin Laden and studied him and his operation for several years - told CNN in 2002:

He's aged enormously between '97 and October of last year.

This is a man who was clearly not well. I mean, as you see from these pictures here, he's really, by December he's looking pretty terrible. But by December, of course, that tape that was aired then, he's barely moving the left side of his body. So he's clearly got diabetes. He has low blood pressure. He's got a wound in his foot. He's apparently got dialysis ... for kidney problems.

I mean, this is a man who has a number of health problems, apart from the fact that anybody running around the Afghan mountains is not going to be in great shape.

Indeed, the oldest - and second-largest - French newspaper claims that CIA agents met with Bin Laden two months before 9/11, when he was in a hospital for kidney failure. As the Guardian notes:

Two months before September 11 Osama bin Laden flew to Dubai for 10 days for treatment at the American hospital, where he was visited by the local CIA agent, according to the French newspaper Le Figaro.

The disclosures are known to come from French intelligence which is keen to reveal the ambiguous role of the CIA, and to restrain Washington from extending the war to Iraq and elsewhere.

Bin Laden is reported to have arrived in Dubai on July 4 from Quetta in Pakistan with his own personal doctor, nurse and four bodyguards, to be treated in the urology department.


Bin Laden has often been reported to be in poor health. Some accounts claim that he is suffering from Hepatitis C, and can expect to live for only two more years.

According to Le Figaro, last year he ordered a mobile dialysis machine to be delivered to his base at Kandahar in Afghanistan.

And CBS news reported that Bin Laden was ill on September 10th, being treated in a Pakistan hospital with kidney dialysis:

In addition, it is rumored that Bin Laden had Marfan Syndrome - a disorder of the connective tissue, which usually shortens the life span (Abraham Lincoln had Marfan).

As Salon noted in November 2001:

Judging by photos and the FBI's physical records, Osama bin Laden could be a candidate for the diagnosis. He is said to be between 6 foot 4 inches and 6 foot 6, which is apparently unusual for his family. He is thin, bony and has little muscle; he weighs only 160 pounds. And he uses a cane -- possibly the result of connective tissue or back problems. Other information about the leader of al-Qaida suggests he may have a heart condition. His facial structure also resembles that of people with Marfan.

"He is Marfanoid," says Dr. Richard Devereux, a clinician who treats patients with the illness at the Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York. "He seems to have long fingers and long arms. His head appears to be elongated and his face narrow ... It's certainly conceivable that he has the Marfan syndrome and could be evaluated for it."

Though people have long speculated about bin Laden having Marfan, federal officials won't answer questions about his health. "We don't discuss the medical conditions of our enemy commanders," says Maj. Jay Steuck, a Defense Department spokesman. And a Central Intelligence Agency spokesman says, "We don't do unclassified medical summaries."

Hoax: White House Claims 4-Year-Old Bin Laden Video Is New Footage

Hoax: White House Claims 4-Year-Old Bin Laden Video Is New Footage

Dubious Bin Laden “Home Movies” Identical To Tapes Released 4 Years Ago By Pentagon Front Group

Paul Joseph Watson
Saturday, May 7, 2011

In a desperate effort to bolster its crumbling official narrative, the White House today released a set of dubious Bin Laden “home movies” purportedly seized from his compound during the raid on Sunday night that it claims show Bin Laden on camera in 2010, but the tapes are almost identical to footage released almost four years ago by a notorious Pentagon front group that acts as a conduit for US intelligence by regularly releasing fake Al-Qaeda videos.

Before we even look at the new tapes, recall that the Washington Post reported last year on how CIA officials recruited “darker-skinned employees” to create fake Bin Laden tapes. The fact that the CIA created fake Bin Laden tapes is an admitted fact, not a conspiracy theory.

“Extraordinary home videos taken from Osama bin Laden’s hideout show the terrorist leader watching news coverage of himself on television,” reports the Daily Mail.

“The videos were seized by Navy SEALs after Bin Laden was killed. They were shown to reporters this afternoon by intelligence officials.”

One of the videos purports to show Bin Laden watching television news reports about himself. The footage is filmed from almost behind his head and only shows a small portion of his face. The TV shows footage of Bin Laden as well as still images and footage of Barack Obama. Interestingly, the only moment in which the cameraman zooms in on the TV so that you can clearly see the picture is when it either shows Bin Laden, Obama, or both of them in a still shot together.

Hoax: White House Claims 4 Year Old Bin Laden Video Is New Footage 070511top2

Contrary to the footage of Bin Laden allegedly flicking through television channels, in which his beard is gray, in the other tapes, which the White House claims were recorded between October and November 2010, Bin Laden appears with his beard dyed black. The man watching TV appears to be much older than the Bin Laden seen in the other tapes.

Hoax: White House Claims 4 Year Old Bin Laden Video Is New Footage 070511top

MSNBC ran the video under the headline New Video Shows Bin Laden In Gold Robe. However, these tapes are almost identical to footage first released by the Pentagon front group SITE in September 2007. In that footage, Bin Laden also appears with a dyed beard and is wearing exactly the same clothes. The only thing that differs is the color of the background, but in other tapes the background is the same brown color as the 2007 tape. As computer expert Neal Krawetz’s analysis revealed, fake backgrounds are often used on purported “Al-Qaeda” tapes, where a blue screen is used to superimpose the figure of the speaker over a pre-selected backdrop.

Hoax: White House Claims 4 Year Old Bin Laden Video Is New Footage 070511top3
The footage in these tapes purports to show Bin Laden making recordings in late 2010, and yet he looks identical to how he appeared in tapes first released in 2007.

The establishment media has completely failed to even mention the fact that much of the footage, which the White House claims was filmed in 2010, is almost identical to that first released in 2007 by the Pentagon front group SITE. Why would Bin Laden make a video in October 2010 and not release it? Unless this is merely outtakes from the footage already released four years ago.

It would not be the first time that tapes of Bin Laden have been passed off as new material when in fact they are years old.

In July 2007, the mainstream media heralded the arrival of a tape of Bin Laden giving a speech as new footage. In fact it was almost six years old, having been filmed in October 2001 and later released by IntelCenter, SITE’s sister organization, in October 2003. At the time we did an image comparison proving that the footage dubbed “new” in 2007 was in fact filmed in 2001 and released first by the Al-Ansaar Islamic news agency in 2002.

Hoax: White House Claims 4 Year Old Bin Laden Video Is New Footage 180707osama4

As we documented yesterday, the organization that released the original 2007 tape which is virtually identical to the tapes released by the White House today is nothing more than a conduit for Pentagon propaganda run the daughter of a former Israeli spy.

The SITE organization is virtually a contractor for the U.S. government, receiving some $500,000 a year annually from Uncle Sam, and has been caught releasing fake Al-Qaeda tapes on numerous occasions. SITE’s website domain is hosted by servers located in Washington DC, which are stationed between the Department of Homeland Security and the Israeli Embassy.

As in the 2007 tape, the As-Sahab logo appears in the “new” tapes released by the White House. A 2007 investigation by Neal Krawetz featured in Wired Magazine found that the As-Sahab logo was added at the same as the IntelCenter logo, another US military-industrial complex front, meaning the so-called “Al-Qaeda” tapes were in fact coming straight out of US intelligence circles. Although Krawetz asserted that this was the case in a taped interview, after the story began to receive attention he mysteriously backed away from the claim despite Wired’s Kim Zetter receiving approval from Krawetz that all the information contained in the original report was valid.

These “new” tapes which are actually identical to footage first released in 2007 will do little to firm up the White House’s crumbling Bin Laden narrative, which has been under suspicion after it was reported that Osama’s body was hastily dumped into the sea and President Obama refused to release an image of the dead Bin Laden.

The narrative of last Sunday’s raid has flip-flopped constantly and even mainstream journalists are starting to become wary, particularly after it emerged that Obama and Hillary could not have watched the raid unfold live as they had claimed because the live feed was cut before the Navy SEALS entered the compound, meaning that the “situation room” photos that purported to show Obama and Hillary watching Bin Laden’s assassination live were in fact completely staged.

A longer clip of the video that claims to show Bin Laden watching TV appears below.

The Mind Has No Firewall US Army War College Quarterly - Spring 1998

PARAMETERS, US Army War College Quarterly - Spring 1998

From Parameters, Spring 1998, pp. 84-92.

"It is completely clear that the state which is first to create such weapons will achieve incomparable superiority." -- Major I. Chernishev, Russian army[1]

The human body, much like a computer, contains myriad data processors. They include, but are not limited to, the chemical-electrical activity of the brain, heart, and peripheral nervous system, the signals sent from the cortex region of the brain to other parts of our body, the tiny hair cells in the inner ear that process auditory signals, and the light-sensitive retina and cornea of the eye that process visual activity.[2] We are on the threshold of an era in which these data processors of the human body may be manipulated or debilitated. Examples of unplanned attacks on the body's data-processing capability are well-documented. Strobe lights have been known to cause epileptic seizures. Not long ago in Japan, children watching television cartoons were subjected to pulsating lights that caused seizures in some and made others very sick.

Defending friendly and targeting adversary data-processing capabilities of the body appears to be an area of weakness in the US approach to information warfare theory, a theory oriented heavily toward systems data-processing and designed to attain information dominance on the battlefield. Or so it would appear from information in the open, unclassified press. This US shortcoming may be a serious one, since the capabilities to alter the data- processing systems of the body already exist. A recent edition of U.S. News and World Report highlighted several of these "wonder weapons" (acoustics, microwaves, lasers) and noted that scientists are "searching the electromagnetic and sonic spectrums for wavelengths that can affect human behavior."[3] A recent Russian military article offered a slightly different slant to the problem, declaring that "humanity stands on the brink of a psychotronic war" with the mind and body as the focus. That article discussed Russian and international attempts to control the psycho-physical condition of man and his decisionmaking processes by the use of VHF-generators, "noiseless cassettes," and other technologies.

An entirely new arsenal of weapons, based on devices designed to introduce subliminal messages or to alter the body's psychological and data-processing capabilities, might be used to incapacitate individuals. These weapons aim to control or alter the psyche, or to attack the various sensory and data-processing systems of the human organism. In both cases, the goal is to confuse or destroy the signals that normally keep the body in equilibrium.

This article examines energy-based weapons, psychotronic weapons, and other developments designed to alter the ability of the human body to process stimuli. One consequence of this assessment is that the way we commonly use the term "information warfare" falls short when the individual soldier, not his equipment, becomes the target of attack.

Information Warfare Theory and the Data-Processing Element of Humans

In the United States the common conception of information warfare focuses primarily on the capabilities of hardware systems such as computers, satellites, and military equipment which process data in its various forms. According to Department of Defense Directive S-3600.1 of 9 December 1996, information warfare is defined as "an information operation conducted during time of crisis or conflict to achieve or promote specific objectives over a specific adversary or adversaries." An information operation is defined in the same directive as "actions taken to affect adversary information and information systems while defending one's own information and information systems." These "information systems" lie at the heart of the modernization effort of the US armed forces and other countries, and manifest themselves as hardware, software, communications capabilities, and highly trained individuals. Recently, the US Army conducted a mock battle that tested these systems under simulated combat conditions.

US Army Field Manual 101-5-1, Operational Terms and Graphics (released 30 September 1997), defines information warfare as "actions taken to achieve information superiority by affecting a hostile's information, information based-processes, and information systems, while defending one's own information, information processes, and information systems." The same manual defines information operations as a "continuous military operation within the military information environment that enables, enhances, and protects friendly forces' ability to collect, process, and act on information to achieve an advantage across the full range of military operations. [Information operations include] interacting with the Global Information Environment . . . and exploiting or denying an adversary's information and decision capabilities."[4]

This "systems" approach to the study of information warfare emphasizes the use of data, referred to as information, to penetrate an adversary's physical defenses that protect data (information) in order to obtain operational or strategic advantage. It has tended to ignore the role of the human body as an information- or data-processor in this quest for dominance except in those cases where an individual's logic or rational thought may be upset via disinformation or deception. As a consequence little attention is directed toward protecting the mind and body with a firewall as we have done with hardware systems. Nor have any techniques for doing so been prescribed. Yet the body is capable not only of being deceived, manipulated, or misinformed but also shut down or destroyed--just as any other data-processing system. The "data" the body receives from external sources--such as electromagnetic, vortex, or acoustic energy waves--or creates through its own electrical or chemical stimuli can be manipulated or changed just as the data (information) in any hardware system can be altered.

The only body-related information warfare element considered by the United States is psychological operations (PSYOP). In Joint Publication 3-13.1, for example, PSYOP is listed as one of the elements of command and control warfare. The publication notes that "the ultimate target of [information warfare] is the information dependent process, whether human or automated . . . . Command and control warfare (C2W) is an application of information warfare in military operations. . . . C2W is the integrated use of PSYOP, military deception, operations security, electronic warfare and physical destruction."[5]

One source defines information as a "nonaccidental signal used as an input to a computer or communications system."[6] The human body is a complex communication system constantly receiving nonaccidental and accidental signal inputs, both external and internal. If the ultimate target of information warfare is the information-dependent process, "whether human or automated," then the definition in the joint publication implies that human data-processing of internal and external signals can clearly be considered an aspect of information warfare. Foreign researchers have noted the link between humans as data processors and the conduct of information warfare. While some study only the PSYOP link, others go beyond it. As an example of the former, one recent Russian article described offensive information warfare as designed to "use the Internet channels for the purpose of organizing PSYOP as well as for `early political warning' of threats to American interests."[7] The author's assertion was based on the fact that "all mass media are used for PSYOP . . . [and] today this must include the Internet." The author asserted that the Pentagon wanted to use the Internet to "reinforce psychological influences" during special operations conducted outside of US borders to enlist sympathizers, who would accomplish many of the tasks previously entrusted to special units of the US armed forces.

Others, however, look beyond simple PSYOP ties to consider other aspects of the body's data-processing capability. One of the principal open source researchers on the relationship of information warfare to the body's data-processing capability is Russian Dr. Victor Solntsev of the Baumann Technical Institute in Moscow. Solntsev is a young, well-intentioned researcher striving to point out to the world the potential dangers of the computer operator interface. Supported by a network of institutes and academies, Solntsev has produced some interesting concepts.[8] He insists that man must be viewed as an open system instead of simply as an organism or closed system. As an open system, man communicates with his environment through information flows and communications media. One's physical environment, whether through electromagnetic, gravitational, acoustic, or other effects, can cause a change in the psycho-physiological condition of an organism, in Solntsev's opinion. Change of this sort could directly affect the mental state and consciousness of a computer operator. This would not be electronic war or information warfare in the traditional sense, but rather in a nontraditional and non-US sense. It might encompass, for example, a computer modified to become a weapon by using its energy output to emit acoustics that debilitate the operator. It also might encompass, as indicated below, futuristic weapons aimed against man's "open system."

Solntsev also examined the problem of "information noise," which creates a dense shield between a person and external reality. This noise may manifest itself in the form of signals, messages, images, or other items of information. The main target of this noise would be the consciousness of a person or a group of people. Behavior modification could be one objective of information noise; another could be to upset an individual's mental capacity to such an extent as to prevent reaction to any stimulus. Solntsev concludes that all levels of a person's psyche (subconscious, conscious, and "superconscious") are potential targets for destabilization.

According to Solntsev, one computer virus capable of affecting a person's psyche is Russian Virus 666. It manifests itself in every 25th frame of a visual display, where it produces a combination of colors that allegedly put computer operators into a trance. The subconscious perception of the new pattern eventually results in arrhythmia of the heart. Other Russian computer specialists, not just Solntsev, talk openly about this "25th frame effect" and its ability to subtly manage a computer user's perceptions. The purpose of this technique is to inject a thought into the viewer's subconscious. It may remind some of the subliminal advertising controversy in the United States in the late 1950s.

US Views on "Wonder Weapons": Altering the Data-Processing Ability of the Body

What technologies have been examined by the United States that possess the potential to disrupt the data-processing capabilities of the human organism? The 7 July 1997 issue of U.S. News and World Report described several of them designed, among other things, to vibrate the insides of humans, stun or nauseate them, put them to sleep, heat them up, or knock them down with a shock wave.[9] The technologies include dazzling lasers that can force the pupils to close; acoustic or sonic frequencies that cause the hair cells in the inner ear to vibrate and cause motion sickness, vertigo, and nausea, or frequencies that resonate the internal organs causing pain and spasms; and shock waves with the potential to knock down humans or airplanes and which can be mixed with pepper spray or chemicals.[10]

With modification, these technological applications can have many uses. Acoustic weapons, for example, could be adapted for use as acoustic rifles or as acoustic fields that, once established, might protect facilities, assist in hostage rescues, control riots, or clear paths for convoys. These waves, which can penetrate buildings, offer a host of opportunities for military and law enforcement officials. Microwave weapons, by stimulating the peripheral nervous system, can heat up the body, induce epileptic-like seizures, or cause cardiac arrest. Low-frequency radiation affects the electrical activity of the brain and can cause flu-like symptoms and nausea. Other projects sought to induce or prevent sleep, or to affect the signal from the motor cortex portion of the brain, overriding voluntary muscle movements. The latter are referred to as pulse wave weapons, and the Russian government has reportedly bought over 100,000 copies of the "Black Widow" version of them.[11]

However, this view of "wonder weapons" was contested by someone who should understand them. Brigadier General Larry Dodgen, Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Policy and Missions, wrote a letter to the editor about the "numerous inaccuracies" in the U.S. News and World Report article that "misrepresent the Department of Defense's views."[12] Dodgen's primary complaint seemed to have been that the magazine misrepresented the use of these technologies and their value to the armed forces. He also underscored the US intent to work within the scope of any international treaty concerning their application, as well as plans to abandon (or at least redesign) any weapon for which countermeasures are known. One is left with the feeling, however, that research in this area is intense. A concern not mentioned by Dodgen is that other countries or non-state actors may not be bound by the same constraints. It is hard to imagine someone with a greater desire than terrorists to get their hands on these technologies. "Psycho-terrorism" could be the next buzzword.

Russian Views on "Psychotronic War"

The term "psycho-terrorism" was coined by Russian writer N. Anisimov of the Moscow Anti-Psychotronic Center. According to Anisimov, psychotronic weapons are those that act to "take away a part of the information which is stored in a man's brain. It is sent to a computer, which reworks it to the level needed for those who need to control the man, and the modified information is then reinserted into the brain." These weapons are used against the mind to induce hallucinations, sickness, mutations in human cells, "zombification," or even death. Included in the arsenal are VHF generators, X-rays, ultrasound, and radio waves. Russian army Major I. Chernishev, writing in the military journalOrienteer in February 1997, asserted that "psy" weapons are under development all over the globe. Specific types of weapons noted by Chernishev (not all of which have prototypes) were:

  • A psychotronic generator, which produces a powerful electromagnetic emanation capable of being sent through telephone lines, TV, radio networks, supply pipes, and incandescent lamps.
  • An autonomous generator, a device that operates in the 10-150 Hertz band, which at the 10-20 Hertz band forms an infrasonic oscillation that is destructive to all living creatures.
  • A nervous system generator, designed to paralyze the central nervous systems of insects, which could have the same applicability to humans.

Florida bank shut down by regulators

PressTV - Florida bank shut down by regulators
Regulators have shut down Coastal Bank of Coca Beach in Florida, raising the number of US bank closures to 40 in 2011 amid rising concerns over the economic crisis.

The Premier American Bank, National Association in Miami has struck a deal with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to acquire Coastal Bank's two branches, The Miami Herald reported.

The FDIC, appointed by the Office of Thrift Supervision as receiver, has estimated the amount for the acquisition will cost USD 13.4 million.

Coastal Bank held approximately USD 129.4 million in total assets and USD 123.9 million in total deposits before its failure. The two branches will reopen on Monday as branches of Florida Community Bank, a division of Premier American Bank.

This is the fifth bank in Florida to fail this year. Last week, the Cortez Community Bank of Brooksville and First National Bank of Central Florida in Winter Park were closed by regulators and bought by Premier American Bank.

Meanwhile, The National Credit Union Administration has taken two federal credit unions -- the Hmong American Federal Credit Union of Saint Paul, Minnesota and Valued Members Federal Credit Union of Jackson, Mississippi -- into conservatorship on May 4.

So far in 2011, 40 banks and 11 credit unions have either closed, acquired or placed into conservatorship.

In 2010,157 banks and 24 credit unions failed, whereas the number was as low as 140 in 2009. The failures come despite the Federal Reserve's two rounds of asset purchases totaling USD 2.3 trillion.

Some reports say more than 10 percent of the United State's 7,760 banks are in financial trouble.

Bin Laden home videos expected to be released

Bin Laden home videos expected to be released |
Saturday, May 07, 2011
Bin Laden

FILE -This undated file photo, shows Osama bin Laden. Americans are expected to get a glimpse of Osama bin Laden's daily life with the disclosure of home videos showing him strolling around his secret compound, along with propaganda tapes that have never been made public (AP Photo/File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans will likely get a glimpse of Osama bin Laden's daily life.

U.S. officials say home videos that show him strolling around his secret compound could be released Saturday, along with propaganda tapes that have never been made public.

U.S. officials say the footage shot at the terror leader's hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan, and the propaganda tapes are expected to be released to the news media. The officials spoke anonymously to discuss sensitive information.

The videos and tapes are among the wealth of information collected during the U.S. raid that killed bin Laden and four others. They are said to indicate bin Laden played a strong role in planning and directing attacks by al-Qaida and its affiliates in Yemen and Somalia.

US warns of more steps against Syria

US warns of more steps against Syria - Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States warned it would take "additional steps" against Syria if it continues a brutal crackdown on protesters, a week after imposing tough sanctions on the Arab nation.

"The United States believes that Syria's deplorable actions toward its people warrant a strong international response," the White House said in one of its strongest statements yet since the outbreak of unrest there.

It warned that unless President Bashar al-Assad's government halted its repression of peaceful pro-democracy protests, "the United States and its international partners will take additional steps to make clear our strong opposition to the Syrian government?s treatment of its people."

It also welcomed the European Union's decision to impose sanctions on Syrian officials "responsible for human rights abuses."

On April 29, the United States ordered the freezing and restricting of Syrian financial transactions, notably targeting Maher al-Assad, the powerful brother of the president, who commands Syria's feared Fourth Armored Division.

Also named in an executive order from President Barack Obama were Ali Mamluk, director of Syria's Intelligence Directorate, and Atif Najib, the former head of intelligence in Daraa province, the epicenter of political violence.

But the Obama administration stopped short of targeting the Syrian president himself, and has so far not withdrawn the US ambassador to Damascus, Robert Ford, who only arrived in January in a bid to improve relations.

The latest White House statement came after rights groups said Syrian security forces shot dead at least 26 protesters Friday during a huge "Day of Defiance" against the regime.

"We strongly condemn and deplore the Syrian government's use of violence and mass arrests in response to ongoing demonstrations," the statement said.

Exxon Makes $30.5 Billion, So GOP Votes Unanimously To Give Them Tax Breaks

Exxon Makes $30.5 Billion, So GOP Votes Unanimously To Give Them Tax Breaks -

Source: Think Progress

Exxon Mobil is by far the most profitable company in the new Fortune 500 list, riding “high oil prices to a staggering $30 billion in income” in 2010. Exxon made over $10 billion more than fellow oil giant Chevron, the third most profitable company (AT&T edged out Chevron for the number two spot). ConocoPhillips’ $11.4 billion in profits put it in the 16th spot, giving the three oil giants a combined $60.9 billion in profits in 2010.

Today, the Republicans in the House of Representatives celebrated this massive redistribution of wealth from American families to oil executives. With the support of 7 oil-patch Democrats, 234 Republicans voted to block a bill to eliminate a $1.8 billion annual subsidy that treats oil drilling as “domestic manufacturing”:

House Republicans rejected an effort by Democrats Thursday to use a procedural maneuver to force a vote on a bill to repeal a key oil industry tax break.

As they did in March, House Republicans voted unanimously to defend these wasteful, unaffordable and unfair oil subsidies, even though several members told their constituentsthey want to end them.

Exxon Makes $30.5 Billion, So GOP Votes Unanimously To Give Them Tax Breaks

Exxon Makes $30.5 Billion, So GOP Votes Unanimously To Give Them Tax Breaks -

Source: Think Progress

Exxon Mobil is by far the most profitable company in the new Fortune 500 list, riding “high oil prices to a staggering $30 billion in income” in 2010. Exxon made over $10 billion more than fellow oil giant Chevron, the third most profitable company (AT&T edged out Chevron for the number two spot). ConocoPhillips’ $11.4 billion in profits put it in the 16th spot, giving the three oil giants a combined $60.9 billion in profits in 2010.

Today, the Republicans in the House of Representatives celebrated this massive redistribution of wealth from American families to oil executives. With the support of 7 oil-patch Democrats, 234 Republicans voted to block a bill to eliminate a $1.8 billion annual subsidy that treats oil drilling as “domestic manufacturing”:

House Republicans rejected an effort by Democrats Thursday to use a procedural maneuver to force a vote on a bill to repeal a key oil industry tax break.

As they did in March, House Republicans voted unanimously to defend these wasteful, unaffordable and unfair oil subsidies, even though several members told their constituentsthey want to end them.

Speech disorder: Foreign accent syndrome is rare

Speech disorder: Foreign accent syndrome is rare -
As medical oddities go, this incident stands out: A lifelong resident of Oregon went to the dentist for surgery and awakened from sedation speaking in a British, or somewhat-British, accent.

The 56-year-old woman appeared Thursday on NBC’s "Today," answering questions in what this MSNBC storydescribes as “an odd mixture of Irish, Scottish and northern British, with perhaps a dash of Australian and South African for good measure.”

Some speculate that she may have foreign accent syndrome, a rare but real speech disorder. It’s most often caused by a stroke, but can also be caused by a blow to the head, brain hemorrhage or multiple sclerosis.

A person’s speech is still understandable, but the rhythm is unusual, according to a University of Texas at Dallas primeron the disorder. People may have trouble pronouncing consonant clusters or elongate their vowels.

To the speaker and everyone else, it sounds like an accent change—researchers have documented accents that sound Japanese, Korean, Spanish and Hungarian, among others. Here’s an audio sample of a woman raised in upstate New York who had lived in Texas for 15 years saying “stayed out all night” at a family reunion. And this is what she sounded like in a University of Texas lab after developing foreign accent syndrome.

Many types of organic compost are really packaged human sewage

Many types of organic compost are really packaged human sewage
(NaturalNews) Do you want everything that goes down your drain winding up on your backyard produce? Well that's what happens to those who use organic compost made with municipal sewage.

More than half of the 15 trillion gallons of sewage flushed annually by Americans ends up in a fertilizer product and those products contain everything that goes down the drain from Prozac flushed down toilets to the motor oil rinsed off factory floors ( The U.S. Department of Agriculture doesn't regulate whichfertilizerscan be labeled as "organic" which means anyone can use the term, including thosecompaniesthat are packaging what we flush.

A 2009EPAsurvey of U.S. sludge samples found 12 pharmaceuticals, 10 flame retardants, and high levels of endocrine disruptors such at triclosan, an antibacterial soap ingredient that scientists believe is killing amphibians.

In communities where sludge has been used, effects on the community have been reported by ailing residents with complaints ranging from migraines to pneumonia to mysterious deaths. In an often-cited 1994 episode, an 11-year-old Pennsylvania boy died of a staph infection after biking through sludge at an abandoned mine (

Marketed with near zero regulation

With those kinds of risks associated with the use of sewage sludge,compostconsumers should know whether sludge permeates their choice of product. But compostproducts, such as Kellogg's Amend, do not list sludge or even "biosolids" on their label and instead just list the vague term "compost" (

Although the USDA banned the use of sludge in organicagriculture, it does not regulate which fertilizers for private use can be labeled as organic. And the nonprofit U.S. Composting Council is no better, using itsgreenimage for the Orwellian rebranding of sludge while biosolids companies sit on its board of directors and sponsor the councils Composting Week, according to Mother Jones. (

Learn more: